31/03/2014 09:09 BST | Updated 28/05/2014 06:59 BST


The mindless guilt cycle

Time to up the natural happy drug.

Ever gone to bed on a Sunday night and said to yourself 'I'm starting my diet tomorrow and I am going to stick to it this time'?

#DIETSDONTWORK. We have tried and tried them over and over, but every time we do it seems we end up with the same result. If you were to bang your head on the wall and the result was that it hurt, would you do it again? Most likely not. So why put yourself through the emotional pain of this which has the same outcome?

Creating yourself a 'healthy lifestyle' is sometimes easier said then done but here at HH HQ we have found that the 70/30 rule works a treat. Its time to give yourself a break as constantly giving yourself a hard time is only going to result in failure. We recommend that 70% of the time try to follow a healthy alkaline diet and 30% do what you want and let your hair down. This way you will not feel deprived of anything.

There is a chemical that is released in your brain called dopamine, which increases your mood, i.e makes you happy. This is released when we do exercise, have sex, when you are in love and when you are eating a healthy, balanced and varied diet. However the same chemical is released when you eat sugary foods. Sugar tricks the brain and makes you feel great after consuming it. However, soon afterwards you will have a blood sugar crash and will feel the opposite effects including the emotion of self-guilt.

Its time to activate this natural, happy drug all the time. Here are 2 simple tips to help: you out of this guilt cycle.

1. Get some exercise: this doesn't have to be hard core pounding on the treadmill and going to the gym. You could go for a walk, try yoga or dance. You just need to get moving 3 times a week.

2. Eat a varied diet: Scientists say that eating different foods keep your dopamine levels up. If you eat the same healthy salad every day for a week you will find that you start to feel bored and not as enthusiastic. This is not just your taste buds, its your brain asking for variation and a variety of vital nutrition. You are more likely to fail at your 'diet' if you eat the same foods every day than if you were to eat different things. (Check out the 'On The Go' recipe section in the new book HH For Life)

Most importantly you must not give yourself a hard time. If you feel yourself doing this, literally out loud tell yourself to STOP. You would be surprised how this helps. You have one body for the rest of your life so be nice to yourself. If someone was that mean to you all the time, I very much doubt you would still be friends with them so why allow yourself to do it to you?