Navigate Your Family Christmas Traditions and Food Culture

Navigate Your Family Christmas Traditions and Food Culture

For centuries, food has been a common element that has brought people together to socialise and celebrate – it is part of culture and tradition. Christmas is a time that combines family, celebration, culture, tradition, food and drinks.

Often some foods are only prepared and served once a year, on certain special occasions, like Christmas. This is why food is such a central aspect to our Christmas celebrations.

Many cultures and families show their love through food, and therefore food equals love. If you don’t eat the food that has been lovingly prepared then it is seen as a rejection of love.

As a result, you may feel pressured into eating certain foods, and eating more than you want to, as you want to please family, and not cause conflict.There can be a pressure to have seconds or more than standard portion sizes.

To help you reconnect with what is most important to you about the Festive Season Holidays, remind yourself what makes this time of year special.

Some of the reasons for you could be:


  • Connecting with family and friends;
  • Spending time with those closest to you;
  • Celebrating culture and tradition, and
  • Finding time to relax and de-stress.

Food Equals Love and Leads to Food Pushing 

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The truth is, there’s more than just eating and drinking on the holidays – it’s really about sharing moments and happiness with the people you love most.

When grandma serves her traditional dish, notice everyone around – embrace the nostalgia, tradition, thankfulness and enjoyment. Notice what is going on and join in with the fun and love!

You can have a little without feeling guilty!

If food is pushed on you, be assertive and move the focus from you and tell them how much you love and appreciate them and what they have made, created, or done for you over the past year.

This is called deflection – moving the subject from one topic to another.

You can say how much you enjoyed their dish and then get them talking about the tradition behind the dish and how it became a family tradition.

If none of this works, you can say you are full, and either put your napkin over your plate or take your plate to the sink – removing you and it from the conversation.

Empower yourself to maintain your boundaries at family celebrations –  around food, eating and drinking – while still being able to enjoy yourself. Who doesn’t want to have a little of Nana’s Christmas Pudding, or to be able to say no without causing tension?


Balance Is The Key . . .

You don’t have to sacrifice eating to be healthy.

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With so much food on offer, you may tend to go into a mindless, feasting mode where you just binge. Alternatively, you have had a consistent mindset that each and every year, Christmas is when you give yourself a ‘free pass’ and eat whatever you want. Let’s be honest, this is neither healthy nor balanced and can have lasting effects on your psychological and physical health.

We are privileged, and most of us no longer live in a yearly famine state. Therefore, the majority of the foods that you consume during Christmas are available to you each and every day throughout the year.

If you really connect and get this, then you can begin to change how you feel and see food during the Festive Season.

This year, make a choice to change your mindset and eating behaviours with a focus on balance.

Eating and your choice of foods is a mindful act . . .

Living a balanced and healthy lifestyle is not about diets or overindulgence. Being healthy and finding balance is a daily habit that you can embrace without having to starve yourself from some of the nice things.

If you need a bit of extra support over the Festive Season, then get in touch with Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic today. We can support you by providing you with tools and strategies to create positive change to help you find or maintain balance in your everyday life.

Click on the below button to start creating balance in your relationship with food and eating, and improve your relationship with your family and ultimately yourself!

Too Much of a Good Thing: The Effects of overexercising

Too Much of a Good Thing: The Effects of overexercising

Exercise is believed to be good for your health and wellbeing, and you have heard it so many times – over and over – Calories in and calories out!

This is the mantra to many weight loss programs.

While some of these programs do genuinely work, like most things in life, going overboard will cause more harm than good.

In our technologically driven culture, a lot of people don’t get their required regular exercise.

No need to go to the post office when you can quickly send an email in your phone.

No need to commute two hours for a meeting when you can schedule a teleconference right at home.

It comes as no surprise that physical inactivity is linked to higher risk of acquiring diseases like type 2 Diabetes, Osteoporosis, and certain types of Cancer.

How do people try to counter lack of exercise?

Usually by putting on a jogging suit and running lapses, or stopping over at the gym when they can squeeze in a couple of hours after work.

Making it a habit to move your body is a healthy practice.


Benefits of Cardio Exercise

Cardio exercise is any exercise that raises your heart rate and it is important to get your heart pumping to stay healthy.

Cardio workouts are an effective way to lose weight and feel healthier.

Some of the other benefits of a Cardio workout are:

  • Strong Heart;
  • Reduced stress;
  • Improved Sleep;
  • Increased bone density;
  • Reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer;
  • Temporary relief from Depression and Anxiety, and
  • Improved Confidence in how you feel and look.


When Too Much Cardio Is Bad for You

When you stress over doing cardio exercises often, do you ever ask that maybe, just maybe, you’re doing more cardio exercises than what is healthy for you? 

Fitness and fat loss expert, Shin Ohtake, who authored the book MAX Workouts, disclosed the interesting fact that frequent long sessions of cardio workout can cause a lot of pain and injuries.

Based on scientific research that probably opposes everything you know about health and fitness.

In his video, he presented the worst mistakes that people make and the misguided belief that longer cardio workouts can burn fat and be healthy.

Here are the pieces of truth when you overdose on cardio workout:

  1. Your muscles breakdown when you do cardio workout frequently on long sessions.
  2. Free radicals responsible for damaging cells in your body increase production
  3. You age faster as your cells begin to break and get damaged.
  4. You’ll suffer achy joints and possibly injuries.
  5. You can potentially gain weight.

Cited in the British Medical Journal, a German research published in the journal Heartfound that patients with heart disease are at high risk to die by heart attack or stroke when they do too much exercise that involves high intensity workouts.

The research findings are affirmed by Swedish researchers in a similar study published in the same journal suggesting that young men are likely to develop irregular heart rhythm as they age if they are doing endurance exercises over five hours a week.


What Is a Good Measure for a Healthy Cardio Exercise?

The National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians released the recommendation to carry out moderate exercise on a regular basis, which suggests a 30-minute minimum activity.

Walking is accepted as a moderate physical activity if you intend to exercise most days of the week.

Be aware however, when you are starting to breathe heavily with difficulty talking while doing your exercise, it signals that you are overdoing your physical activity.

The bad effects of cardio exercise on your health entirely depends on how you perform your exercise.

Adding strength training to your exercise routine will provide variety to avoid overuse injuries which are common with cardio-only routines.

Strength training also turns fat to muscle which will boost your resting metabolic rate.

Your body will thank you for a slower strength training session which will be less of a stressor than constant cardio training.

If you are struggling with over-exercising, bigorexia or weight loss and need sustainable lifestyle solutions that promote genuine health, get in touch with Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic.

Sometimes it takes someone outside of your situation to help you turn your focus towards your goals filled with balance, happiness and health.

No to Dieting, Yes to Health!

No to Dieting, Yes to Health!

Weight loss has become an obsession, a modern vanity fair!

Many people resort to drastic measures in an effort to lose weight.

According to the the Sun Corp, Australians are spending as much as 8.5 billion dollars every year on gym memberships, sports equipment, and on the latest weight loss programs and wellness fads.

However, according to the Heart Foundation Australians are spending 7.16 Billion dollars on fast food every year.

There is certainly a conflict between trying to lose weight and eating junk food!

This is part of the pattern that we see when we look at why dieting doesn’t work and the yo-yo dieting effect.

Many people tend to constantly flip between either being on an exercise and diet plan or off it!

There appears to be no balance or healthy lifestyle trend.

Extreme Dieting Linked to Poor Health 

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Yo-yo dieting and repeatedly losing and regaining weight is linked to negative health issues including but not limited to:

  • Cardiovascular Disease, 
  • Diabetes, 
  • Immune Dysfunction, 
  • Osteoporosis, 
  • Anxiety, 
  • Depression, 
  • Anorexia, 
  • Bulimia, 
  • Binge Eating Disorder, and
  • Disordered Eating Behaviours.

Research conducted by Utrecht University in Holland found that dieters don’t actually reduce the amount of food they eat.

However, they attach emotions to eating and food and this impacts’:

  • Feelings of guilt;
  • Loss of pleasure of eating, and
  • Stress levels.

Therefore, if the emotional emphasis of eating and food intake are decreased or eliminated then food just becomes food!

People can eat for nutrition, for enjoyment and this may reduce and/or stop emotional eating or some aspects of binge eating.

The Link Between Dieting and Emotions

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When we put pressure on ourselves to be perfect, that leads to a whole heap of emotions like guilt and shame, as well as stress.

Once we feel stressed, the stress hormones in our system are so elevated that they need to feed and that’s when we blow the diet.

The stress hormones are hungry hormones and they cause us to reach for high calorie foods like junk food.

Then we tend to feel guilty.

Society has greatly influenced the notion that for a person to be accepted, to belong, then they need to be a certain size!

It is also believed that a certain number on the scales, clothing size and/or body shape will make a person happier, more successful, and more attractive.

This is far from the truth!

The truth is: YOU ARE UNIQUE!

You’re already beautiful, just as you are!

If you want to lose weight, your goal should be focused on being healthier and living a healthy lifestyle – not a smaller waistline that is supposedly going to magically fix all of your woes or help you to live the life you dream of!

You and your life reflect a unique person.

You are much more than:

  • What the numbers on the scale;
  • The size on your clothing tags, or 
  • The shape of your body. 

Realise that food and your body are not the enemy, and learn how to create a healthy life with food.

Identify your passions in life and confidently pursue them to live a life filled with:

  • Fun,
  • Health;
  • Balance; 
  • Happiness, and 
  • Quality relationships.

If you are ready to back free from yo-yo diets and discover what it really means to be healthy and uniquely confident in who you are, then get in touch with Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic today.

Dieting Causes Weight Gain

Dieting Causes Weight Gain

Are you a victim of marketing hype and social pressure?

For so long, you may have been led to believe that dieting will help you to lose weight, be healthier and happier.

The research paints a very different picture!

Dieters who do lose weight end up with unwanted weight gain within five (5) years!

Those who diet end up:

  • Gaining more weight than they lost;
  • Having an unhealthier attitude towards food;
  • At risk of developing Eating Disorders or Disordered Eating Behaviours;
  • With a reduced ability to recognise natural hunger;
  • Developing a poorer body-image, and
  • At risk of Depression. 

If this sounds like you, don’t be disheartened – there is hope!

If you realise that dieting causes weight gain, you can reverse it, you can lose weight just by stopping dieting!

If you follow the NO DIET plan, eventually, you will find balance and a sustainable eating plan to suit your body.

This is not a quick fix; nor does it mean that you can eat everything and anything you want, whenever you want! 

Being Ready

You need to be ready to learn about, listen to, and respect your body.

You need to be ready to give yourself, your body and food the time it deserves so you can mindfully focus on:

  • Finding balance;
  • Understanding your fullness and hunger levels;
  • Finding foods that give you energy and health;
  • Enjoying food – planning, cooking, eating;
  • Being ready to let go of foods that zap your energy or make you feel sick, and
  • Finding a sustainable eating plan for the rest of your life.

5 Steps to Losing Weight by Giving Up Dieting

Here are five (5) tips to help you in your journey towards a sustainable, healthy lifestyle that will help you to lose weight without dieting.

Tip #1 – Focus on Your Health

Health is more important than weight loss.

Therefore, understand what health means to you and pursue goals that help you become stronger physically, emotionally, psychologically, socially, and spiritually.

Focus more attention on what will make you happy and fulfilled in your life, and help you live fully.

Tip #2 – Develop a Positive Relationship with Food

Nutritional balance is the most important aspect of food and eating.

Ridding your life of rigid food rules so you can learn how to eat a balanced, variety of foods that will nourish your brain and body is a crucial step.

Organising and planning food and meals will help you to eat healthy, balanced meals, regularly.

Tip #3 – Non-Diet Professional Support 

Breaking the negative cycles of dieting can be difficult to do on your own.

Therefore, it is important to seek the help of professionals to help give you develop new skills and tools, to enable you to live a healthy, flexible and fun lifestyle.

Tip #4 – Like-Minded and Supportive People 

You need to surround yourself with people who are like-minded and support a balanced approach to life, food, eating and health.

Some people in your life may be on either side of the continuum: unhealthy and sabotaging or healthy but rigid and too focused on food, exercise and eating.

You can’t change other people but you can choose how much influence they have over you and how much time you spend with them. 

Tip #5 – Develop a Lifestyle

Let go of quick fixes and rigid rules!

Quick fixes will not ever deliver you a life of happiness and health.

Taking things slower and developing new skills, habits, thoughts and beliefs will provide you with a lifestyle that you have always wanted for yourself.

A lifestyle is a journey towards happiness for a lifetime of wellbeing, not only physically but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Focus on long-term sustainability. 

8 Easy to Prepare Healthy Snacks

8 Easy to Prepare Healthy Snacks

 1. Veggie Sticks and Hummus Dip

Eating raw vegetables provides you with vitamins and minerals that benefit your health.

Hummus is made from chickpeas and they are high in antioxidants and healthy fibre 

2. Baked Sweet Potato Fries with a sprinkle of melted cheese.

Sweet potatos are a healthy carb option and can subsititue white potatoes in many meals.

Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin B6, and are a good source of Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. 

3. Ham Cup with Baked Egg

Eggs are an inexpensive and high quality protein.

The egg whites are rich in selenium, Vitamins and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper.

4. Apple chunks, chopped walnuts (13 halves) and cinnamon

Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fibre.

Apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.

Walnuts are a source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 essential fatty acids and are rich in antioxidants, as well as Vitamin B.

5. Greek yogurt and berries

Get your hit of antioxidants with seasonal berries mixed with Greek yogurt.

Greek yogurt is a fantastic source of calcium, potassium, protein, zinc and vitamins.

It contains probiotics and has twice the protein content of regular yogurts.

6. Reduced fat Ricotta cheese with chopped Pear and Cinnamon

Pears mixed with naturally lower in fat ricotta cheese and cinnamon which is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Pears are rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and dietary fibre.

Pears have a positive connection with weight loss.

7. Chia Pudding – chia seeds and milk (of your choice) with cocoa

Chia is high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and also includes protein, Omega-3 and dietary fibre, without the high calorie count.

Two teaspoons of cocoa contains 25 calories and 1.5g fat.

Along with these benefits cocoa is rich in minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, copper and manganese.

8. Baked Zucchini chips with feta, paprika and sea salt

Packed in this snack is all the goodness from zucchinis which includes Vitamin A, magnesium, folate, potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and protein.

Also the health benefits from feta cheese which includes supports bone health, boosts immune system, maintains gut health, prevents headaches and natural treatment for anaemia.

With any healthy eating plan for every day, or for weight loss, you should aim for two snacks per day – one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon.

By planning your snacks ahead for your busy days, you will reach for healthier options and give the junk food a skip. 

If you suffer from Disordered Eating it is important to maintain a healthy combination of carbohydrates and protein to balance the nutrients and reduce cravings.

When eating snacks, it is important to ensure you eat until you are slightly satisfied and not reach over-fullness.


Take the quiz to find out your relationship with food today! 

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