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Here you will find great tips for healthy living, nutritional advice, and the latest news on health studies and research.

Tag Archives: weight loss

Kids, Obesity & TV

We all love our children and grandchildren, right? Did you know a huge study linked childhood obesity to having a television in their bedroom?  A huge study out of London found that children with TV’s in their bedrooms by the age of 7 were far more likely to be overweight or obese by the age of 11, compared to kids who did not have the TV in their room.  Girls were 30% more likely to be overweight and boys were 20% more likely.  The researchers found that having a TV in the bedroom was an independent risk factor for being overweight and increased body fatness.  Just think, we now have added computers, phones, tablets and other electronic media to the whole mix.  Time to kick the kids outside and let them play, get dirty and experience the world again!!

Low fat, high sugar diets…probably not good..!

Did you know that those diet products you eat are probably making you fat?  This may be why.  Keep in mind that this is a study about rats, however, those rats that were fed a low-fat, high-sugar diet, added the same amount of fat as the control rats who were fed a balanced diet. Unfortunately, they only needed HALF the amount of calories to add the same amount of body fat.  In other words, those rats on the low fat, high-sugar diets needed less than half the calories to generate the same amount of fat.  Scary eh!  This diet also resulted in chronic brain inflammation and intestinal tract inflammation as well as possibly contributing to non-alcoholic fatty liver.  Please take heed of this information. We know that inflammation is also a driver in cardiovascular disease..!!

Reduce the bad carbs, live longer?

I touched on a study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine in which they concluded that we should rethink worrying about lowering saturated fat in our diets to prevent heart disease.  They conclude it is more important to focus on decreasing insulin resistance and inflammation in the body by targeting exercise, diet and reducing stress. During a review of previous studies the researchers found that even those people who lowered there LDL cholesterol and overall cholesterol and replaced their saturated fat with omega-6 fatty acids, still had a higher rate of death. Researchers went on to say that we should concentrate on a Mediterranean style diet.  The problem is that when people try low fat diets (to avoid saturated fats) they tend to eat more refined carbs which leads to insulin resistance, higher blood sugar, higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and obesity.  The bottom line is that we as a society must be more focused on lifestyle changes that prevents insulin resistance and reduces inflammation.

Eggs to lose weight?

If you like eggs, and want to lose some weight, this might be just for you. A recent study of men and women who ate two eggs at breakfast (as part of a reduced-calorie plan) lost a whopping 65% more weight than those who ate a bagel breakfast of equal calories. The egg eaters also felt more energetic. As far as the yolk, nutritionists are encouraging you to eat the yolks in that they contribute to the weight loss, but also increase the HDL cholesterol as well as being a good source of vitamin B12 and choline. I wouldn’t recommend the buttered toast, hash browns and bacon to go along with those eggs, if you are trying to lose some weight, however, having protein to start the day, helps reduce appetite and keeps blood sugar levels from wild fluctuations.

Eat the fat, not the sugar!

I am always amazed when I read health news. It seems as soon as one study comes out, the next research contradicts the previous one.  I read an interesting but controversial article where the researchers (three cardiologist from Britain) say that saturated fat does not clog your arteries and that the “clogged pipe” model of heart disease is “plain wrong.”  They go on to say that in people over 60, the number one risk factor for heart attacks is inulin resistance, driven by a number of dietary factors, especially increased sugar and other refined carbohydrates.  In other words, its not the saturated fat in your burger that causes the problem, it is the bun, fries and sugary drink that you wash it down with, that you should be concerned with. Remember inflammation is a driver of cardiovascular disease and pro-inflammatory ingredients are the sugars, refined carbs and industrial seed oils found in processed foods.  I will have a bit more on this next time!

Obesity, Health & Disease

If you love to eat, as I do, then you may want to consider the following information from the CDC relative to American weight gain.  We are now as fat a country as ever.  Forty one percent of women and thirty five percent of men are obese compared to a decade ago.  That is up 4% for women and 1% for men.  Teen obesity is at 21% which is up from 17%.  The good news is that obesity rates for kids ages 2-5 have declined to 9% from 14% and kids 6-11 have remained about the same. These stats are the latest from 2014 but it is definitely not good news.  It is not the fact that as a society we are getting fatter, it is all the health ramifications that go along with that including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, just to name a few.  We can be heavy but healthy, however it does take effort, education, persistence, informed food choices and timely but consistent exercise.  This is an epidemic and as a society it must be addressed now, as we are failing in our attempts to help our selves and educate our future generations to the ramifications of the choices we make with our foods.  The first step is to hold ourselves accountable, for the health of our nation.

Weight Loss & Noise

Did you know if it is loud when you eat, you may consume more calories than if it was quieter?  A study of 71 people, divide into two groups, had people listen to white noise through a headphone while they ate pretzels.  The group listening to soft noise ate roughly 50% fewer pretzels than those who listened to louder noise.  The researchers speculated that hearing yourself eat may serve as a “consumption monitoring cue”.  The bottom line here is that keep it quiet as possible while you eat, and your body will thank you for it!!

Disease risk and reducing fat!

Practical Solutions

Disease risk and reducing ectopic fat isn’t always easy or well known.  Last time I discussed how the location of lipid tissue (ectopic fat) in the body can increase the risk of disease. That is, it is not so much how much fat you have, the danger may lie in where it is located.  So, how do we deal with it and reduce our risks?

Diet

First, when it comes to reducing the risk of cardiometabolic disease, diet is key, however it must be sustainable. Meaning it must be incorporated as a way of life.  Recent research indicates that eating three meals daily: with breakfast as the biggest calorie source, may be better than several smaller meals daily, due to alterations in insulin production. Also consider and identify any food sensitivities that need to be eliminated.

Exercise

Exercising with high intensity interval training is a great way to burn fat as fuel .  When lifting weights, it is good to lift heavier weights, utilizing less repetitions to failure. For example instead of 12-15 reps with a light weight, perform 10-12 reps, with the last rep to failure.  This will help increase muscle mass which will then increase your metabolic rate. Try to move after a meal, walking etc., Use the new activity trackers to keep record and shoot for 10,000 steps daily.

Lifestyle

Sleep and sleep patterns are important to reduce disease risk as poor sleep patterns are associated with both weight gain and metabolic syndrome.  Studies have shown that those with 5 or fewer hours of sleep on a continual basis, gain weight compared to those who sleep longer (7-9 hours).  Controlling stress is another factor in improving health.  Stress increases cortisol production which then has great impact on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.

Nutrition:

These nutraceuticals are more recommended for reducing the risk of disease by providing healthy metabolic processes rather than losing weight. Berberine is good for supporting healthy insulin and blood sugar levels. An appropriate dosage are up to 500 mg, three times daily.  Melatonin supports healthy sleep, is associated with fat loss and helps maintain a proper circadian cycle. Fish oil supports healthy signaling mechanisms associated with metabolic syndrome.  It can help reduce the risk of incidence of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and support healthy insulin signaling. Curcumin helps support healthy insulin response s well as healthy glucose and lipid profiles.  MCT oil helps suppress the accumulation of body fat in men and women.  Talk  to your physician about taking any supplement if you are on medications of any type.

I hope this provides some reasonable information on how to reduce your risk of disease!!

 

Ectopic Fat, Cardiovascular Risk

Fat Distribution

Ectopic fat is important! Have you noticed a little more chub around your waist lately? Did you know that one risk factor relative to health is exactly where this lipid  is stored on the body? Growing evidence associates the location of fat in the body, to increased risk of disease. This risk is not so much associated with how much fat we carry but where we carry it. If we carry this lipid tissue along our waist, liver, heart, pancreas or muscle, we are generally more at risk for disease. Tell tale signs include an apple-shaped fat distribution pattern, primarily in the abdomen, chest and shoulders. Even people with the same BMI measures can have different risk factors based upon where fat is located. Unfortunately ectopic fat can be present even if one is not clinically obese or even overweight. On the flip side of this coin, the presence of obesity does not necessarily mean there is ectopic fat present.

Risks

Since these lipids are more dangerous to health ( cardiovascular issues) when it is located along our waist and internal organs, there must be some risk factors. There are risk factors that we can control and some we cannot.  Controllable risk factors include, stress, sleep, activity levels and smoking. Other controllable risk factors include calorie intake higher than calorie burn, the standard western diet, night eating and high fructose corn syrup. Demographics include age, ethnicity, gender and genetics, all which are uncontrollable.

Physical and Lab Measures

There are some physical and lab evaluations that are associated with ectopic fat than can provide important details if one wishes to pursue them.  Though finding out your BMI is helpful, a better way is to get a Bio impedance analysis which uses electrical measurements to provide measurements of lean tissue, fat tissue, and fluid distribution. There are also several biochemical assessments such as salivary cortisol, C-reactive protein, ESR, hemoglobin A1c, fasting glucose and insulin as well as fructosamine and C-peptide.

All this information is fine, except what are the solutions?  Solutions include diet, exercise, lifestyle and nutrition via nutraceuticals.  I will discuss this in detail next time!

Calories and Exercise

People often complain that when they workout more or get more intesnse with their exercise routines, they do not necessarily lose any more weight, even though they eat the same amount of calories. A recent study suggests that when we workout, we tend to hit a plateau where the calorie burn is not correlating to the workout. In other words the study suggests that “burning calories is a less realistic weight loss strategy than we might have thought.” One expert says to focus on changing the diet and consuming less calories. Exercise is just one of many tools to lose weight. The old adage of “to lose weight, simply exercise more” may not be as accurate as we thought. As we increase our exercise, at some point we do not increase energy expenditure in a linear way. In other words the extra effort doesn’t equate to extra calorie burn. We do burn more “activity calories” as we exercise more but we do reach a “breaking point” where the body compensates by burning fewer “resting calories”. This is basically a primitive evolutionary adaptation to keep us from starving…..as if we would!