Category Archives: Weight Issues/Management

Ask Well: The Best Time of Day to Exercise to Lose Weight

ID-100110814Researchers in Belgium have found that exercising in the very early hours of the morning can help the body to burn more fat and potentially keep off weight gain, compared to exercising at other times. In the study, researchers had young, healthy men to gorge themselves for 6 weeks with a diet consisting of 30% more calories and 50% more fat than what they had been eating prior. The first group of the volunteers remained sedentary while eating. The second began a strenuous, midmorning exercise routine after they had had breakfast while the third group followed the same workout regimen, but before they had eaten anything. After the 6 weeks, the first group predictably had gained the most weight, at 6 pounds, and had begun to develop insulin resistance. The second group gained 3 pounds and also developed insulin problems. But the third group of men gained almost no weight and retained healthy insulin levels. Their bodies were also burning more fat throughout the day than were the other men. It is important to note though that the early-morning exercise prevented weight gain, which is not the same thing as inducing weight loss. But the results are encouraging to anyone who is looking to have a healthier lifestyle. Does this study motivate you to work out early in the morning? What about in this weather?

 

For more information, please click here.

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In search of a personalised diet

ID-100123942A new study lead by BBC Science and obesity experts explains every person has different eating habits and specific diets are needed for each person based on their hormones, genes,cognitive behavior etc. Instead of following a standard diet it is important to focus on your eating habits first to develop a diet specific for you. Scientists from Oxford and Cambridge followed and observed eating trends of 5 dieters for three months in their homes. The study looked at three types of over eaters, feasters, constant cravers and emotional eaters. The study found diets are based off habits. The feasters, people who have a hard time stopping eating, have a problem with their gut hormone balance. Constant cravers, people that are always hungry, have certain genes that disrupt the signals sent to the brain so they do not know when they are full. Emotional eaters eat when they feel anxious or stressed which is a habit they have developed. Overall, feasters lost the most weight and constant cravers had the hardest time losing weight. Dieters learned what type of eater they were and experts came up with plans to help them change their eating habits and practice the best diet for them. Although personalized diets are a new trend, experts say there is a lot of potential to help people lose more weight once they know more about their own body and how it affects their eating habits. Depending on the type of eater you are determines the type of diet you should try.

Would a personalized diet help people to lose weight?

For more information click here

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A Blast of Cold Jump-Starts Fat Burning and Generates Body Heat

obesity_lThere seems to be some good news coming from the recent Arctic blast of cold air. Brown fat cells (the “good” fat cells) are activated every time the body feels the icy cold wind. Full of mitochondria, brown fat cells are responsible for protecting vital organs. During the winter, that calls for burning extra glucose the body stores as white fat (the “bad” fat) cells for heat. Researchers found that men who slept in 66 degree temperatures for a month saw an increase of brown fat cells by 30-40%. On the other hand, brown fat cell levels fell below baseline when they slept in rooms where the temperature was above 80 degrees. This led to the question of whether stimulating these fat cells would help in obesity and type 2 diabetes. A study led by Dr. Hei Sook Sul of the University of California, Berkeley, showed that when mice were fed high fat diet, those who were exposed to transcription factor Zfp516 (the protein critical to brown fat cell formation) gained 30% less weight than those mice who were not exposed. While the exact time one has to be outside is unknown, Sul recommends giving it a try at a safe exposure. How do you feel about recommending colder sleeping environment?  What other recommendations would you be comfortable to provide based on the results of this research?

For additional information please visit the Washington Post.

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Food Scores, a New Web Service, Ranks Grocery Items on Ingredients and Nutrition

nutritious-apple-with-health-facts-10055103On Monday, The Environmental Working Group launched a new program known as the Food Scores Database, which encompasses the nutritional values of over 80,000 foods you may find in your local supermarket. Each product has been rated on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the most nutritious. The current push from consumers to know what is in packaged foods or how heavily processed they are, has helped to fuel this project. Also included, is product information from food companies and research conducted by The Environmental Working Group themselves, regarding pesticides, additives, preservatives, and dyes. Food Scores will soon be available as a phone app and allow consumers to scan product bar codes. Thus far, the scoring system has faced ridicule from the Grocery Manufacturers Association, but the founder of the environmental group trusts that the general public will both embrace and utilize this new program. As your patients become more health conscious, how do you teach them to evaluate the quality of their food? What other programs are available at this time to help consumers purchase healthier choices?

 

For additional information on the Food Scores Database, go to The New York Times.
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Authors Of The Last Study Backing Dr. Oz’s “Magic Weight Loss Cure” Retract Their Research

measuring-tape-around-apple-10042494The study that supports the use of green coffee bean extract for weight loss and was promoted in Dr. Oz’s Show as the “Magic weight loss cure”, has been retracted by its authors. They explained that the sponsors of the study, the green coffee bean extract manufacturer, could not assure the validity of the data. Moreover, the company, Applied Food Sciences Inc., has been charged by the Federal Trade Commission for using the results of the flawed study to make baseless claims. What are your thoughts about weight loss products and specifically green coffee bean extract? What other products are you uncomfortable recommending?

For more information, please visit Huffington Post.

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Diet may influence ovarian cancer survival

female-reproductive-system-100273659A new study has revealed at a healthy diet prior to a diagnosis of ovarian cancer will increase the odds of survival in the following years. A healthier diet, rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and low in processed foods will help build immunity and reduce inflammation in the body. Both of these factors can be crucial when fighting the disease. In this observational study, women who consumed the healthiest diets were 27% less likely to die than those with the poorest diets. Those consuming the healthiest foods were also more likely to continue their good habits post-diagnosis and have access to better care. However, those with diabetes and a waist circumference over 34 inches, appeared to have lower survival rates. Before lifestyle recommendations can be standardized regarding prevention and increasing survival of ovarian cancer, randomized control trials should also be completed. Which lifestyle changes do you recommend in your practice for those looking to prevent ovarian cancer or better their prognosis?

 

For additional information on this study, go to Reuters.

 

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Soda Producers Set Goals on Cutting U.S. Beverage Calories

colaRecognizing that they are a part of the obesity problem in the United States, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola Co, and Dr.Pepper Snapple Group have come to an agreement with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to pledge to cut calories consumed by beverages by 20% by the year 2025. Their plan is to create smaller portion sizes, as well as promote water and non-calorie options more effectively. Due to a cap on sugary drink portions now in effect in New York, a soda ban in schools, and a possible tax on these soft drinks in San Francisco in the near future, this may be their attempt to stay appealing to customers. Since the peak of soda sales in 1998, the amount of calories consumed by Americans from sugary drinks has decreased by 23 percent due to an increased concern with our health. As the general population has become more conscious of disease states such as diabetes, they have started to opt for healthier options, including water and beverages that do not contain aspartame. Still, experts agree that more needs to be done in order to decrease obesity rates.

How do you feel about more aggressive government-instituted restrictions on these products?  How comfortable would you be with instituting potential penalties on these companies if they cannot fulfill their promise by 2025?

To read more, please visit WSJ.

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Nutrition Basics Help Fight Child Obesity

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The Food and Drug Administration just released Nutrition Basics reminder to help parents look at nutrition facts labels (ingredients, percent daily value, nutrients, and serving size) before buying food for their children. The main goal of this program is to fight childhood obesity with better food choices. How often do you discuss food labeling with your patients?

For additional information, please see the FDA Consumer Update .

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5 reasons to drink coffee before your workout

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A recent research published in the International Journal of Sport and Exercise Metabolism suggests that caffeine consumption before exercise might increase weight loss. Previous findings highlighted other effects including increase in blood flow, decrease in pain, muscle preservation, memory enhancement and increase in muscle fuel.  Have you or your patients experimented with coffee around the time of your exercise?  What are your thoughts?

For additional information, please see CNN.

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Weight loss: Is the secret in your bacteria?

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Trial published by the Journal of Microbiology Ecology released information that may hint that management of gut microbiota may be the secret to managing weight. Shanghai researchers looked into gut microbiota and its connection to weight. Ninety three obese patients were placed on a dietary regime with whole grains, traditional Chinese medicinal foods, and prebiotics for 9 weeks.  Patients were evaluated at the end of 9 weeks and then 14 weeks later demonstrating an average weight loss of 5kg. Researchers claim diet management improved insulin sensitivity, lipid profiles, and blood pressure. In addition to weight loss, what health benefits can potentially be gained from managing our natural flora?

For the article visit BBC

For the study visit the Journal of Microbiology Ecology

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