Six steps to happiness, fitness and weight loss

Want to be happy, fit and slim? Just follow this guide, says Michael Mosley

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SIX STEPS TO HAPPINESS

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1. Go for a walk
When you’re aware you’re having negative thoughts, regrets about the past or worries for the future, interrupt them. It can simply be a matter of getting up, leaving whatever is causing the negative thoughts, and walking around.

2. Don’t obsess about yourself
Don’t follow the trend to “let it all hang out” and go on about yourself all the time.

3. Adopt a stiff upper lip
A good, old-fashioned stiff upper lip has its benefits. My grandfather was a prisoner during the war on the River Kwai. He never, ever talked about the experience, and I think there was a certain wisdom in that.

4. Literally count your blessings
Every night, write down three things that have gone well in your day. It will make you feel happier.

5. Write a thank you letter
Write to someone who’s made a big difference to you — especially if you’ve never told them so. Write it down, then read the letter to them.

6. Don’t think everyone is out to get you
If you see someone in the street and they appear to ignore your friendly wave, it’s probably not because they hate you. They probably just didn’t see you. Shout over to them and say, “Hi.” Go the further inch.


SIX STEPS TO SLIMMING

1. Don’t eat 8pm—8am
Try stretching periods when you don’t eat. Even one day of fasting every two months is thought to have potential long-term health benefits.

2. Cut protein
Reducing protein has been linked to increased longevity. You probably eat more than you think: the Government recommends 55 grams a day for adults between 19 and 50, but the average Brit scoffs 85 grams.

3. Drink more
Fill up on fluids, in particular water and green tea — a good thing generally, and particularly when fasting. Green tea is full of antioxidants, which help to fight the nasty free radicals that are one of the principal causes of ageing.

4. Eat colourfully
Follow as rich and varied a diet as possible: invoke the rainbow principle, and eat as many varied colours of food as possible.

5. Stop snacks
Small gestures in the direction of fasting are also thought to have benefits.

6. Stick at it
It’s tough, but it does get easier. If you distract yourself, the hunger pangs do disappear.

Click here to learn more about the fast diet.


SIX STEPS TO FITNESS

1. Commit to HIT
That stands for high intensity training — a short, sharp, vigorous burst of exercise.

2. Get the right kit
It’s best to use an exercise bike as it engages all the muscles and puts less strain on the joints than sprinting.

3. Warm up
Warm up for a minute or so, then really go for it, pedalling hard for 20 seconds. Take a breather.

4. Go for it
Go fast for another 20 seconds. Take another breather — then do another 20-second burst.

5. Repeat
Three bursts of 20 seconds equals one minute. Now do that three times a week…

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6. But before you start
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you should consult your doctor before trying this or, indeed, fasting.