Author Archives: taylor2545

Pasta Tied to Weight Loss

If you love pasta and also want to lose weight, there is good news for you. In a new study, eating pasta has been tied to weight loss.

Eating Pasta & Weight Loss

Eating pasta is linked to weight loss, study. Photo by Times of Malta

A study done at the University of Toronto looked at the results from 30 different studies of individuals who eat pasta as a part of a low glycemic diet. The pasta-eaters ate at least a half cup of noodles three times per week. They did not gain weight and lost about one pound after 12 weeks.

“The study found that pasta didn’t contribute to weight gain or increase in body fat,” lead author John Sievenpiper, MD, PhD, a clinician scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital, said in a statement. “In fact, analysis actually showed a small weight loss. So contrary to concerns, perhaps pasta can be part of a healthy diet such as a low GI diet.”

The trick is to pay attention to the low GI part. Foods that have a high glycemic index cause a rise in high blood pressure and have you feeling hungry afterwards. Low GI foods under 55 do the opposite and can help you lose weight. Sweet potatoes, beans and lentils are foods with low GI that you are probably already consuming.

Although this study sheds light on eating pasta, it does not mean you should stuff your plate with pasta on a regular basis. More trials are needed to examine the effect of pasta compared to other ‘healthy’ dietary patterns. Also, long-term research should be conducted on how people fare after a year or more on low glycemic diets that include pasta.

I do not believe that following a low GI diet is the secret to weight loss. Some of the most nutritious foods rank high on the glycemic index like watermelon and should not be avoided. The key is to eat smart by controlling your portion size and include whole grains to increase your chances of weight loss.

Source: Chiavaroli L, Kendall CWC, Braunstein CR, et al “Effect of pasta in the context of low-glycaemic index dietary patterns on body weight and markers of adiposity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials in adults” BMJ Open 2018;8:e019438. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019438

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

Big Weight Loss Linked to Relationship Changes

Weight-loss surgery may bring problems to your love life, new study says.

Weight Loss Couple

Weight loss surgery may bring big relationship changes, study. Photo by 10thousandcouples

A new Swedish study showed that major weight loss after bariatric surgery was linked to more divorces. The other study found that singles were more likely to form new relationships or marry after a weight-loss operation.

“Those of us who take care of bariatric surgery patients notice that many patients experience a pretty profound change in their lives,” said Dr. Luke Funk, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

“Their significant weight loss and improvements in other health problems — like high blood pressure and diabetes — cause changes in both their physical and mental well-being,” added Funk, co-author of an editorial published with the study.

“They often take up new hobbies, become much more physically active, and feel much more confident about themselves. They also tend to have an improved self-image. I think this leads many to re-examine their relationships with others,” said Funk.

I think that since people who are overweight tend to have low self-esteem, they stay in relationships to find comfort and believe that they cannot do any better. Then when they lose weight, they look and feel better so he or she gains confidence in beginning a new relationship.

Researchers say the effects of behavior go from improved quality of life on one hand to increased risk of substance abuse on the other. This means that some will be happy and continue living a healthy life while others will become depressed and result to drug use.

One study analyzed the relationship background of 2,000 obese Swedes who had weight-loss surgery over 10 years. They were compared to about 2,000 patients who did not have an operation.

The other study looked at data of nearly 30,000 patients who had gastric bypass surgery and compared them to 280,000 people in the general public.

The researchers found that bariatric surgery was linked to increased odds for separation or divorce for those in a prior relationship, especially for the ones who lost the most weight.

Among those who had been unattached, significant weight loss was linked with higher odds for a new relationship or marriage.

I understand there are several factors why a relationship might not work but I would have never thought weight loss would be one of them.

Study author Per-Arne Svensson said, “In solid partner relationships, weight loss after bariatric surgery is probably not an issue, and in many cases the relationships can even be strengthened.

“However, in partner relationships that are somewhat unstable or nonfunctional, weight loss may increase the risk of partner separation,” he noted.

I would think that relationships would strengthen after weight loss but maybe the partners do not seem connected as they once were. Patients probably see a new outlook on life and want to begin a new relationship. This study only gives limited insight as to why couples separate after bariatric surgery but Funk noted that many patients have told him bariatric surgery was the best thing they have ever done.

Although a person may experience relationship changes after weight loss, at least they are much healthier and can have a new outlook on life.

This study was published online March 28 in JAMA Surgery.

Source: Per-Arne Svensson, Ph.D., associate professor, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; Luke M. Funk, M.D., MPH, assistant professor, surgery, University of Wisconsin, School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison; March 28, 2018,JAMA Surgery, online

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

Freezing the ‘Hunger Nerve’ May Help Weight Loss

A new weight loss study being conducted by doctors uses gas to freeze a nerve in the back that sends hunger signals to the brain, reducing the patient’s appetite and aiding weight loss.

Hunger Nerve

According to a new study, freezing the hunger nerve may promote weight loss. Photo by News Health

This study was presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting, that included ten people with obesity and a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 37.

“We developed this treatment for patients with mild-to-moderate obesity to reduce the attrition that is common with weight-loss efforts,” said Dr. David Prologo, the study’s lead author and an interventional radiologist at Emory University School of Medicine. “We are trying to help people succeed with their own attempts to lose weight.”

During the study, women and men were put under sedation while doctors inserted a needle into their backs controlled by a CT scan. The needle was guided to the posterior vagal trunk, then the needle and surrounding nerve was froze. The procedure corrupts part of the nerve connected to the brain and stops the connection between the two. The process is painless and only takes 30 minutes.

All of the patients reported a decrease in appetite. The average weight loss was 3.6 percent after 90 days and the average loss of excess BMI was 14 percent.

Many weight loss programs fail because they are hard to follow and people just have trouble controlling their appetite. With this nerve-freezing study, the hunger signal to the brain can be weakened, providing a solution to mild obesity.

This is not a permanent procedure, however. The nerve will fully grow back in one year and to follow up on this study, more subjects will have to be tested in a clinical trial

Source: Lardieri, A. “New Weight Loss Procedure Freezes Hunger Nerves to Brain” 21 March 2018 www.usnews.com

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

High-Energy Breakfast Aids Weight Loss, Diabetes

We all know how important it is the get your day started with a good breakfast, but a new study suggest that a high energy breakfast will also help you lose weight and control glucose levels.

High-Energy Breakfast

A new study suggest that a high energy breakfast will help you lose weight and control glucose levels.

The study took place in Israel where 11 women and 18 men with both obesity and type 2 diabetes were monitored for three months. The patients were being treated with insulin and 69 was the average age. The participants were divided into two groups. One group ate an energy-rich breakfast, medium lunch and small dinner. The other group ate six small meals during the day. The weight and glucose levels of the patients were also tracked during the three months.

The researchers found that the three meal diet with the high-energy breakfast was more effective for weight loss with the obese and type 2 diabetes patients rather than the six meals. During the study, the high-energy group lost an average of 11 pounds while the other group only lost 3 pounds. Cravings and hunger for carbs decreased in the high energy breakfast group but increased in the six meal group.

Also, the high-energy group needed a lot less insulin while the other group needed more insulin than average.

According to the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease and occurs when the body is “insulin resistant,” or does not use insulin properly. If left untreated this can cause eye, kidney, nerve and heart problems. This condition can normally be treated with lifestyle changes, pill, and insulin shots.

These results, which were presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Chicago, suggest that proper food timing and frequency could play a role in glucose and weight control for diabetic patients.

Although this study was done with obese diabetic patients, I believe a high-energy breakfast with two meals could be effective for any obese individual. If you could stay away from white flour and refined sugar but opt for more filling foods like eggs, wheat bread or oatmeal, you will greatly increase your chances of weight loss.

Source: Dovey, D. “A Big Breakfast May Be Key to Weight Loss, Study Finds” 19 March 2018 www.newsweek.com

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

Will the Ketogenic Diet Help You Lose Weight?

In this world of living healthy and losing weight, there always seems to be a new diet that claims rapid weight loss and quick fixes for fat loss. The latest diet that has been drawing attention is the ketogenic diet — a high fat, low carb diet that changes the metabolism from carbohydrates to fat.

Keto Diet

The keto diet is basically a low-carb diet that focuses on eating moderate amounts of fat, such as avocados and cheese. Photo by Sott.net

Just like other popular diets, this one promises to result in rapid weight loss or better yet, fat loss. This diet was created in 1920 to treat children with epilepsy who did not respond to several medications. Since the restricted food choices make it difficult to follow, the ketogenic diet is “usually not recommended for adults,” according to the National Epilepsy Foundation.

The keto diet is basically a low-carb diet that focuses on eating moderate amounts of fat, such as avocados and cheese. When you eliminate carbohydrates, your body will burn stored fat through a process known as ketosis; which helps fat loss.

According to doctors, your body will enter this state in about two days and luckily, counting calories is not necessary. It is recommended that patients eat according to their appetites. Although you do not have to count calories, you have to pay attention to the fats, carbohydrates and proteins in your diet. Research shows that the keto diet works best when it includes less than 20 grams of carbs per day.

About 60 to 80 percent of your diet should be comprised of fat, registered dietitian Stacey Mattinson told Everyday Health. Then, about 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight is allowed. To figure out carb allowance, Mattinson explained that you need to determine the net carbs. This can be done by subtracting fiber from a food’s total carbohydrates.

One difficult thing about the keto diet is that even eating the wrong serving size of fruit could make your body burn carbs instead of fat. “It’s easy to get ‘kicked out’ of ketosis,” Mattinson said. Even meats need to be consumed in moderation, and certain types are off limits completely, like breaded chicken or cold cuts.

Studies have found, however that the keto diet does have some benefits. In 2012, a paper published in Nutrition found the plan could help diabetics maintain their blood sugar levels, though there is some concern about consuming excess amounts of fat. Many studies have found the diet to be effective for losing weight.

For the most part, medical advice is always recommended before starting a new diet. Any diet that eliminates an entire food group is a big concern for me. I love diets that are easy to follow and emphasize eating whole grains with fruits and vegetables. Everyone is different so finding a diet that works for you increases your chances of weight loss.

Source; Matthews. M, “What is Keto? Trendy Diet Allows for Plenty of Cheese and Fat” www.newsweek.com 13 March 2018

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

Counting Calories May Not Be Key to Weight Loss, Study

If you have ever been on a diet, you know that the formula for weight loss is to limit the amount of calories you intake.

Counting Calories

If you eat quality foods you can still lose weight without counting calories, study. Photo by Diet Doctor

According to a new study, published in JAMA, that advice may not be so relevant. It found that individuals who reduced refined grains, processed foods and added sugar while focusing on eating whole foods and plenty of vegetables — without stressing about limiting portion sizes or counting calories — lost a good amount of pounds over a year.

The plan worked whether they followed diets that were low in carbs or low in fat. Also, their results were not affected by genetics or insulin-response to carbs. The findings bring support to the fact that quality, not quantity is what really helps people lose and maintain their weight for long term.

This should encourage Americans to focus more on eliminating processed foods that contain refined starches and added sugar like refined flour, sugary snacks and white bread instead of calorie counting.

The study was led by Christopher D. Gardner, the director of nutrition studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. During research, 600 overweight or obese people were split into two groups, “healthy” low carb and “healthy low fat. Both members attended classes with dietitians where they were trained to eat nutrient-dense, less processed whole foods, prepared at home whenever possible.

The low-fat group was encouraged eat oats, brown rice, fresh fruits, legumes and low-fat dairy products. The low-fat group was trained to eat salmon, hard cheese, vegetables, grass-fed and pasture-raised animal foods.

Unlike previous studies, this one did not set restrictive carb or fat limits but instead emphasize that they focus eating whole or “real” foods. “The unique thing is that we didn’t ever set a number for them to follow,” Dr. Gardner said.

Obviously, many dieters do regain the weight they lose, and this study cannot determine if the participants will maintain their new habits. There was a large variability in both groups although people on average lost a significant amount of weight. Some gained weight and others lost 50 to 60 pounds. The ones who lost the most weight reported that the study “changed their relationship with food.”

I think keeping track of everything you eat while trying to burn all those calories with physical activity is very stressful and in the long run, you give up. I believe that focusing on high quality foods is a much better approach.

Dr. Gardner said many of the people in the study were surprised — and relieved — that they did not have to restrict or even think about calories.

“A couple weeks into the study people were asking when we were going to tell them how many calories to cut back on,” he said. “And months into the study they said, ‘Thank you! We’ve had to do that so many times in the past.’”

After one year, the low-carb group lost an average of 13 pounds, while those in the low-fat group lost about 12 pounds. Both groups also saw improvements in blood pressure and blood sugar levels, body fat and waist sizes.

Researchers took DNA samples and analyzed genetic variants to find out that it did not affect their responses to the diets.

The most important thing about this study is to focus more on diet quality and not tracking how many calories you have consumed. If you eat more whole foods, vegetables, less added sugar and less refined grains, you can really increase your chances of weight loss.

Gardner CD, Trepanowski JF, Del Gobbo LC, Hauser ME, Rigdon J, Ioannidis JPA, Desai M, King AC. Effect of Low-Fat vs Low-Carbohydrate Diet on 12-Month Weight Loss in Overweight Adults and the Association With Genotype Pattern or Insulin SecretionThe DIETFITS Randomized Clinical TrialJAMA. 2018;319(7):667–679. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.0245

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

Weight Loss Has ‘Ripple Effect’ On Partner

Weight loss can be tough for anyone just starting out especially if you are alone and/or have genetic predispositions to obesity. However, working out with a partner is good for motivation and can increase your chances of success, but only if the both of you are committed.

 

Couple Workout

A new study found that weight loss has a ‘ripple effect’ on your parnter. Photo by Fitness Republic

A team of researchers from the University of Connecticut conducted a new study which found that losing weight has a ‘ripple effect’ on your significant other. In other words, if you are fully committed to losing weight then your partner will too. Conversely, if you are struggling with weight loss, your partner will also have the same outcome.

During the study that included 130 overweight or obese couples age 25 or order, researchers discovered when one member of a couple lost weight, it greatly raised the probability that the other partner would too — even if that partner was not actively participating in any weight loss program. Likewise, when one partner struggled to trim down, it made it more likely for the other person to have problems as well. Amy Gorin, a professor of behavioral psychology at the University of Connecticut and the lead author of a new study on these impacts, calls this the “ripple effect.”

Gorin put the couples into two groups. In one group, one partner joined Weight Watchers in which they received personal counseling and online tools to help them lose weight for six months. The partner in the other group only got a handout on exercise, healthy eating and weight management strategies.

After six months, over 33 percent of the untreated partners lost 3 percent or more of their beginning body weight, a number that dieticians regard as a sizeable benefit. These individuals did not participate in any weight loss program at all; only their partners.

With that being said, it does not matter if the partner who is trying to lose weight joins a weight loss program or not, as long as they are trying to lose weight is what counts. The main point is that anyone trying to lose weight, no matter what approach is taken, can benefit others in their lives.

Source: Gorin, A. A., Lenz, E. M., Cornelius, T., Huedo-Medina, T., Wojtanowski, A. C. and Foster, G. D. (2018), Randomized Controlled Trial Examining the Ripple Effect of a Nationally Available Weight Management Program on Untreated Spouses. Obesity. doi:10.1002/oby.22098

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

Best Diets for 2018

This year the DASH and Mediterranean diets tied for first place as best overall diet.

DASH stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension. It highlights eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and minimizing on salt. This diet was created by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to help individuals lower their high blood pressure. The Mediterranean diet also outlines fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, with moderate alcohol intake. Both have lean proteins such as fish or chicken.

Best Diets

The Mediterranean and DASH diets were voted best diets for 2018. Photo by U.S. News

Both diets were also ranked as easiest to follow, with the Mediterranean diet winning first place and the DASH diet fourth. They also tied for first place as best diet for people with diabetes and claimed top spots in some other categories.

Experts based their choices by how easy the diet was to follow, the likelihood of short-term and long-term weight loss, and how effective it was against diabetes and heart disease. One of the experts mentioned that there is no single diet that fits everyone. You have to find a diet that you can adapt to, manage and maintain over time.

Other best overall diets include Weight Watchers, the Flexitarian diet, Volumetrics, TLC diet and MIND diet.

The Flexitarian diet is mainly a meatless plan that focuses on plant-based foods. Weight Watchers focuses on healthy eating, with point values assigned to foods and a daily point limit. TLC is short for therapeutic changes for high cholesterol; followers exercise more and reduce saturated fat. The MIND diet joins parts of the Mediterranean and DASH diets and pushes to improve brain health.

Best commercial diets: Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers were winners for first and second place. Jenny Craig has low-calorie packaged foods and support from consultants. The Flat Belly diet and Nutritarian tied for third. The Flat Belly plan emphasizes eating healthy, with monounsaturated fats such as from olive oil and nuts and setting a 1,600-calorie daily limit. The Nutritarian diet focuses on a plant-based plan with ”anti-cancer super foods.”

Best weight loss diets: Winners included Weight Watchers, Volumetrics, Jenny Craig, Vegan, and Flexitarian. Volumetrics emphasizes eating foods that fill you up, such as broth-based soups, fruits, and non-starchy vegetables such as tomatoes and mushrooms.

Best fast weight loss diets: Winners were the HMR diet, Weight Watchers, Biggest Loser, Medifast, SlimFast and Volumetrics. The HMR diet is a low-calorie plan with meal replacement shakes that emphasize fruits and vegetables. The Biggest Loser involves eating regular meals with lean protein, fruits, and vegetables and keeping a food journal. Medifast starts with five meal replacements a day and one meal, with more meals introduced as weight is lost. SlimFast is a program of meal replacement shakes.

Best diets for healthy eating: Winners: DASH, Mediterranean, Flexitarian, TLC, Mayo Clinic, MIND, Volumetrics, and Weight Watchers. The Mayo Clinic diet emphasizes healthy lifelong eating.

Easiest to follow: Mediterranean, Flexitarian, Weight Watchers, DASH, and MIND.

Best for diabetes: After the two first-place winners, DASH and Mediterranean, followed the Flexitarian, Mayo Clinic, Vegan, Volumetrics, and Weight Watchers diets.

Best for heart disease: DASH declared the top spot, followed by Mediterranean and Ornish (tie for second) and TLC. Flexitarian, MIND, and Vegan tied for the fifth spot. The Ornish diet ranks foods from healthiest to most satisfying, inspiring followers to focus on the foods from the healthiest group.

Best plant-based diets: The top five are the Mediterranean, Flexitarian, Ornish, Vegetarian, and Traditional Asian diets. The Traditional Asian plan includes low-fat eating with minimal red meat and plenty of fresh fruits, fish, and vegetables.

As mentioned earlier, there is no one diet that works for all. Just because the diet is popular does not mean that it is right for you. The best option for weight loss is to try different diets and find one that is easy for you to stick to long-term.

 

Source: U.S. News & World Report: “Best Diets 2018 rankings.”

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

Start Weight Loss Today

As the new year approaches many of us have goals of losing weight and becoming a healthier person. The holidays are here and if we are not careful, we can easily gain too much weight and make our goals of weight loss even tougher. Today I will share a few tips you can use to start your goal of becoming a healthier you before the new year begins.

Start Weight Loss Today

You can start weight loss today by taking small but steady steps to become a healthier you. Photo by The Dia Method

Slow but Steady

I know that you may be excited to lose weight and cannot wait to get that beach body that you dream of but be realistic. This means that your goals should be realistic and you should start off slow but be consistent. For instance, you can begin by losing 2 or 3 pounds per week and slowly increase your goal overtime. A great way to start exercising is by taking walks or jogging around the park and your local track. Take a friend with you if you feel yourself not motivated enough and this way you can inspire each other.

Make Small Changes to Your Diet

If you think you can ditch your current diet and start eating totally healthy overnight think again. You have to take your time and make small changes to your diet and over time it will become easier for you to eat healthy. You can start by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet or replace sugary drinks with water. When I get tired of eating the same thing I switch it occasionally because it can get boring fast.

Do Not Give Up

When it seems like you have been working hard towards weight loss and you do not see immediate results you sometimes lose confidence. Sometimes it does take time to see noticeable results so if you don’t see a change at first, just keep going. Studies show that if you are making small progress but are consistent, you tend to keep the weight off longer overtime. If you do achieve your goals but reach a plateau, switch up your diet and exercise routine. Once your body gets use to a certain routine it becomes more difficult to lose weight because your metabolism has probably come to a standstill.

These are just general weight loss tips but they provide a great way to get started today on your journey. Losing weight is not easy so it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to see real results. Whatever you do, do not give up and stay focused on your weight loss goals to become healthier.

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

Cinnamon May Fight Obesity

Cinnamon is a sweet spice that most of us enjoy and the fact that it may help fight obesity just makes it even better.

Cinnamon

An essential oil in cinnamon attacks fat cells and could be used as a treatment to fight obesity, according to new study. Photo by Medical News Today

According to a new study published in the journal Metabolism, an essential oil found in cinnamon attacks fat cells and could be used to fight obesity.

Researchers from the University of Michigan found that the oil cinnamaldehyde boosts metabolic health by causing fat cells to start burning energy — a process called thermogenesis.

“Cinnamon has been part of our diets for thousands of years, and people generally enjoy it,” said Jun Wu, a research assistant professor at UM’s Life Sciences Institute. “So if it can help protect against obesity, too, it may offer an approach to metabolic health that is easier for patients to adhere to.”

I believe that too much of anything is not good for you especially when we are talking about sugar and spices. I do agree that if a spice like cinnamon has the potential to help you lose weight, it will not hurt to add it to your diet in moderation if you really enjoy it.

Cinnamaldehyde is what gives cinnamon its flavor.

The research reflects off cinnamaldehyde studies in mice, where the oil fought against obesity.

The new study, published in the December issue of the journal Metabolism, tested whether the same effect would happen in humans.

Using fat cells from volunteers, researchers treated the cells — called adipocytes — with cinnamaldehyde. The results found an “increased expression” of genes and enzymes that boost metabolism while increasing proteins beneficial to thermogenesis.

Wu suggests cinnamaldehyde could be used to fight obesity by way of activating thermogenesis. But she held off on endorsing cinnamon as a weight-loss treatment until further study is done.

More research is needed to discover cinnamaldehyde’s benefits and side effects.

Source: Jiang, Juan et al “Cinnamaldehyde induces fat cell-autonomous thermogenesis and metabolic reprogramming” Metabolism – Clinical and Experimental, Volume 77, 58 – 64

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice