Category Archives: Health

Best Diet Overall is Mediterranean Diet

The best diet overall is the Mediterranean diet for three straight years, according to U.S News and World Report.

Best Diet Overall
Best diet overall is Mediterranean diet Photo by foodbusinessnews.net

Just like the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) food plan, the Mediterranean focuses on whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Eating more fruits and vegetables has definitely helped me lose weight when I add cardio as per an article I read at seattle weightloss website. I find the Mediterranean to be a good choice for me because I can stick to it for long-term weight loss.

The panel of experts used seven criteria for the rankings, including short-term and long-term weight loss, how easy it was to follow, its safety and its health management of heart disease and diabetes.

Winners for 2020:

Best Overall: The Mediterranean took first place for best overall

Best Weight Loss Diets: WW got first

Best Commercial Diets: WW took first

Best Fast Weight Loss Diets: HMR (meal replacement shakes, along with fruits and vegetables) took first

Best Diets for Healthy Eating: Mediterranean and DASH tied for first,

Easiest Diets to Follow: Mediterranean got first,

Best Diets for Diabetes: Mediterranean took first,

Best Heart-Healthy Diets: Ornish Diet (low in fat, refined carbs, and animal protein) took first,

Best Plant-Based Diets: Mediterranean took first

As you can see, the Mediterranean dominated in just about all the categories that the experts considered. Year after year, this one seems to outperform each time. Intermittent fasting and eating the Mediterranean foods has increased my chances of weight loss significantly.

Is the Best Diet Overall Right for You?

The main thing to consider is to pick one that works for you. There is no one-size-fits-all eating plan so you really need a plan that is easy for you to stick you and make you happy. The Mediterranean diet top all other ranking diets in several categories which makes it the best diet overall.

Source: Doheny, Kathleen. “Mediterranean Diet Repeats as Best Overall of 2020” www.webmd.com January 2, 2020

Diet Soda Does Not Advertise Weight Loss

Diet soda does not pretend to help people lose weight, a California appeals court has ruled in a lawsuit filed by a woman who drunk diet soda for more than 10 years, yet failed at weight loss.

Diet soda does not advertise weight loss.
Diet soda does not advertise weight loss Photo by Amazon

If you have ever thought that just my drinking diet soda you will lose weight, this is a very interesting court ruling to consider.

What does ‘diet’ soda mean

“The prevalent understanding of the term in (the marketplace) is that the ‘diet’ version of a soft drink has fewer calories than its ‘regular’ counterpart,” a three-judge panel with the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously decreed Monday.

“Just because some consumers may unreasonably interpret the term differently does not render the use of ‘diet’ in a soda’s brand name false or deceptive.”

Shana Becerra filed a fraud lawsuit against the company behind Diet Dr. Pepper but a lower court tossed it out.

She claimed she had been tricked into buying the soda for 13 years and had not lost a single pound.

Diet refers to “fewer calories than regular”

The appeals court found that when “diet” is used as an adjective, as it is on the soda cans, it refers to something with fewer calories than the “regular” version of the product.

Ads showing slim and beautiful people using the products “cannot be reasonably understood to convey any specific meaning at all,” Bybee wrote.

Shana also filed a similar lawsuit against Diet Coke that was thrown out the prior week.

She claimed that she “did not receive what she paid for” when she bought the soda.

All in all, the court ruled that Shana failed to prove false advertising and fraud so the answer is no, diet does not advertise weight loss.

Source: Saul, Emily. “‘Diet’ soda does not advertise weight loss, court rules” www.nypost.com January 1, 2020

Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Diet

Intermittent fasting weight loss diet has become very popular in the recent years because of the many benefits you receive including losing weight.

Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Diet
Intermittent fasting weight loss diet Photo by health.harvard.edu

According to a new study, the intermittent fasting weight loss diet can boost your health.

“The state of the science on intermittent fasting has evolved to the point that it now can be considered as one approach, with exercise and healthy food, to improving and maintaining health as a lifestyle approach,” said senior author Mark Mattson, a neuroscientist with Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore.

Add fasting into your diet plan

There are two ways that you can add intermittent fasting into your lifestyle:

First, there is time-restricted diets that allow you to have a small eating window, usually six to eight hours a day.

Next, there is the 5:2 intermittent fasting weight loss diet. This diet suggests you eat one normal sized meal on two days each week.

What happens when you fast?

When individuals are fasting, they are burning through the glucose stored in their liver slowly, according to Mattson. Glucose is basically sugar that is stored for energy.

“It takes 10 to 12 hours to use the liver’s energy stores,” Mattson said. “Then what happens is, fats are used for energy.”

This process is called “metabolic switching,” and the three-meals-a-day eating pattern favored by Americans doesn’t allow their bodies to run through their liver’s energy stores and make the switch to fat-burning, Mattson said. I used to eat three meals a day myself but now, I can eat only one meal per day on some days and be good.

Benefits of intermittent fasting weight loss

Research has shown that intermittent fasting can control blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol and improve brain health.

Another reason people love this diet is because there are no restrictions on what you eat. You are only focusing on your timing between meals. This does not mean junk food or whatever you want either.

Intermittent fasting weight loss is historical

Fasting goes way back in history during the hunter-gatherer era because food was scarce and you never knew when the next meal will be coming. There was no choice but to eat your food wisely and sufficiently.

How to start time-restricted feeding?

People can begin by fasting one time per week, with one meal on that day. Then, they can increase it to two days per week the next month.

I can honestly say that it will be uncomfortable at first like any other major change, but after a few weeks, your body will adjust to it.

Also, it can take a few weeks for you to start seeing any weight loss or health benefits so don’t expect instant results. It took me about two weeks to notice any results when I started my intermittent fasting weight loss diet.

The bottom line

Fasting is one of the most popular weight loss diets that is proven to work with several studies to back it up.  Not only can fasting help you lose weight but it can improve your brain health, lower cholesterol levels and control your blood pressure and glucose levels. If you looking to live a healthy lifestyle, then it may be worth it to try the intermittent fasting weight loss diet.

Source: Thompson, D. “’Intermittent Fasting’ Diet Could Boost Your Health” www.webmd.com December 26 2019

Risk of Breast Cancer Lower with Weight Loss

Risk of breast cancer lowers with weight loss, according to a new study.

Risk of Breast Cancer Lower With Weight Loss
Risk of Breast Cancer Lower with Weight Loss Photo by usnews.com

In the U.S., about 12 percent of women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and there is also an overweight or obesity epidemic that is going on in the United States as well.

Obesity increases chances of breast cancer

The physicians are aware that obesity increases a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer after menopause. On the other hand, the research in the JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute is the first major content of scientific evidence to illustrate the effect can be reversed with weight loss.

Sustained weight loss lowers risk of breast cancer

“What we found was that indeed, women who lost weight and kept it off had a lower risk of breast cancer than women who stayed the same weight,” said lead study author Lauren Teras, scientific director for epidemiology research at the American Cancer Society.

The study

During the study, 180,000 women over the age of 50 were tracked for nearly ten years.

Weight was calculated throughout the study to see whether the women lost weight and were able to maintain weight loss. Also, the study authors took into consideration of other risk factors that can affect obesity and break cancer risk. For example, women who had hormone replacement therapy or physical activity levels.

The bigger the weight loss, the lower the risk of breast cancer

If they were to lose about 5 pounds and keep it off, the women had a 13 percent lower chance of breast cancer. “The bigger the sustained weight the, the bigger the impact,” says Teras.

Unfortunately, the way that postmenopausal obesity affects breast cancer development is not clearly understood, but it seems to focus on hormones. Fat cells create estrogen, which will, in turn, create some forms of breast cancer.

Lifestyle increases breast cancer risk

Although some breast cancer is general, lifestyle choices can also play a part, for example, forms or hormone therapy, lack or exercise and alcohol consumption. Exercising each day is another way to lower the chances of breast cancer.

The bottom line

All in all, breast cancer is a growing disease for women with over 60,000 new cases this year alone. Lifestyle choices can play a major role in the chancer of breast cancer but weight loss may lower the risk of breast cancer.

Source: Edwards, Erika. “Losing weight after age 50 linked to lower breast cancer risk” www.nbcnews.com December 17, 2019

What is a Calorie Deficit?

A calorie deficit is something you have probably heard if you have ever tried to lose weight.

Calorie Deficit
What is a Calorie Deficit Photo by webmd.com

Still, you may wonder how it all works and how does it help you with weight loss.

In this article you will learn everything you need to know about a calorie deficit including, what it is, how it relates to weight loss, and how to maintain it in a healthy way.

What is a calorie deficit?

A calorie is a unit of energy that you get from food, and when you eat fewer calories than you burn, you get a calorie deficiency.

There are three categories of calories you burn including thermos, physical and REE which is resting energy.

Calculating your calories

For a normal person, a 500 calorie deficiency is sufficient for weight loss and it should not affect your energy or hunger levels.

You can use online calculators to estimate your maintenance calorie needs. Monitoring your weight and calorie intake for 10 days is necessary for an accurate number. A calorie intake between 1,200 and 1,500 calories is sufficient for healthy weight loss.

How to achieve a calorie deficit

To achieve a calorie deficit, you either have to consume fewer calories than you burn or do more exercise. Diet may be better than physical activity since exercise does not burn as much calories as people think.

Nonetheless, regular strength training and cardio exercise is still beneficial for your overall health.

Tips to cut calories

Contrary to popular belief, counting calories actually does not require any major changes.

In fact, many strategies that help reduce your calorie intake to lose weight and maintain it, do not involve any calorie counting at all.

Limit sugary drinks

Sodas, fruit juices and special coffee are all examples of beverages you should avoid when trying to decrease your calorie intake. Alcohol contains a lot of sugar and calories as well so it should be limited.

Avoid processed foods for a calorie deficit

Highly processed foods have little to no nutritional value and should be substituted with minimally processed foods. Lean meats, nuts and fruits and vegetables are examples of minimally processed foods rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Eat home-cooked meals

If you are like me, I love me some home cooking. Not only is it delicious, but you can save money and enjoy the foods you love while getting quality nutritional value.

The main idea

A calorie deficit happens when your body burns more calories than it consumes.

A calorie deficiency of 500 calories per day is good for healthy and sustainable weight loss.

Avoiding processed foods, removing the sugary beverages and eating home-cooked meals will help you achieve a calorie deficit without counting calories.

Source: Walle, V. Gavin. MS, RD “What Is a Calorie Deficit, and How Much of One Is Healthy?” www.healthline.com December 12, 2019

Noom Diet for Weight Loss Review

Since its launch in 2008, the Noom diet, or Noom, has become a very popular diet to seek for weight loss. Today we will see if the Noom diet is for weight loss.

Noom diet for weight loss
Noom diet for weight loss Photo by bodyandsoul.com.au

What is Noom?

Noom is an app that you can download on your smartphone to track your lifestyle. This health app provides tools for tracking your weight loss, educational articles and virtual support.

There is a 14-day trial if you would like to try it out before the monthly fee.

How does Noom work?

Like most diet plans and weight loss programs, Noom strives to help you lose weight by decreasing your calorie deficiency. This is when you consume fewer calories than you burn.

Noom uses a calorie budget to see how many calories you are allowed to consume each day.

Will the Noom diet help you lose weight?

To be honest, any low-calorie diet plan or program can help you achieve weight loss.

Unfortunately, no research has compared Noom to other weight loss programs or diet plans.

However, a study of 36,000 Noom users found that 80% of the users experienced weight loss within nine months. Those who tracked their progress more frequently, also showed more weight loss success.

Noom benefits

Noom focuses on calorie density, a calculation of calories compared to volume or weight.

Calorie and nutrient density

Low-calorie dense foods, such and fruits and vegetables, are associated with weight loss and less hunger.

No food is restricted

Unlike several popular diets that have restrictions on what you eat, Noom is flexible with the foods you like to eat.

Downsides to Noom diet

The cost of $45 per month and the mobile-only accessibility are just two of the cons of the Noom diet. Also, Noom is a virtual-based app, which may not be the right fit for many individuals.

Noom diet foods to eat

Noom has green, yellow and red food categories that are based on its calorie and nutrient density. Green contains fruits and vegetables, Yellow has lean meats and seafood, and Red contains red meats and snacks.

The main point

Noom is a mobile app for weight loss that grants you access with a tablet or smartphone.

Noom may help you lose weight by aiming at low-calorie foods that are rich in nutrients and pushing healthy lifestyle changes.

If you can handle the price, accessibility and virtual assistance style of coaching, the Noom diet may help you lose weight.

Source: Walle,. G” Noom Diet Review: Does It Work for Weight Loss?” www.healthline.com December 10, 2019

Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss

Intermittent fasting for weight loss is very popular now and many people are finding success with it when it comes to losing weight. Fasting can range from skipping a meal to going a few days per week without eating.

Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting for weight loss Photo by Today

The simpler approach would be to give yourself a 10 hour eating window. For example, if you eat breakfast at 9 a.m., then you should not be eating anything after 7 p.m.

According to a new study in Cell Metabolism, this eating pattern may be a great approach to weight loss.

During the study, a group of overweight patients followed this diet plan for about 90 days.  “Typically, people would go for an 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. eating window,” explains Dr. Pam Taub, a cardiologist at the University of California, San Diego’s School of Medicine, and an author of the study.

Also, the patients were encouraged to drink plenty of water and track their meals with an application.

Intermittent fasting helps you lose belly fat

There was a 3 percent decrease in body weight and a 4 percent decrease in belly fat, according to Dr. Taub. I can only imagine how much stomach fat and weight we would lose if we added in exercise.

Benefits of intermittent fasting

In addition to the weight loss, “we saw that cholesterol levels improved and blood pressure [levels] also improved,” Taub explains. There was also some reported improvement in sleep quality, and many of the participants reported more energy.

To begin with, this was a small study, only 19 individuals. All the participants were overweight and had a bunch of risk factors (high blood sugar, elevated cholesterol levels and high blood pressure) that put them at higher risk for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. A bigger study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is in the works to analyze daily fasting in people with metabolic syndrome.

Intermittent fasting does work for weight loss

For now, the new findings shed some preliminary evidence of the benefits of daily fasting. Taub says you can think of a few extra hours of daily fasting as a way to give your metabolic organs a rest.

The bottom line

Intermittent fasting for weight loss is not just a new trend that people are excited about. There is strong evidence that fasting is effective for weight loss but it can take some time to get used to, especially if you are new to weight loss.

Source: Aubrey.,A “Eat For 10 Hours. Fast For 14. This Daily Habit Prompts Weight Loss, Study Finds” December 8, 2019

Banana Peels May Help You Lose Weight

Bananas are one of my favorite fruits to eat and I make sure to add them to my diet plan when I try to lose weight. They have a good source of potassium and fiber to suppress your appetite when you are hungry. Now, a nutritionist is finding that banana peels may help you lose weight.

Banana Peels May Help You Lose Weight
Banana Peels May Help You Lose Weight

“Specifically, you will increase your overall fiber content by at least 10 percent as a lot of dietary fiber can be found in the skin of the banana,” Australian nutritionist Susie Burrell wrote in a blog sponsored by Australian Bananas. “You will get almost 20 percent more vitamin B6 and almost 20 percent more vitamin C and you will boost both your potassium and magnesium intake.

So basically, if you are brave enough to eat the skins of a banana, you could possibly increase your chances your weight loss. The question is, how can you prepare the peels to make is pleasing to eat?

How should we eat banana peels for weight loss?

Susie suggests that we cook the skin of the banana to soften it, then we can use the skin to blend with smoothies or add to recipes. I do love smoothies, so I can see myself adding the skins to my protein shakes before workouts.

Does color matter?

Also, the color of the bananas makes a nutritional difference as well. For example, yellow bananas have a good source of antioxidants to fight cancer while green bananas contain tryptophan (good for quality of sleep).

More research is needed

 Keep in mind that even though banana peels are edible and have do nutritional value, research to back up Susie’s weight loss claims is insufficient.

“There is no published research on this, so we don’t know for certain how eating them may impact weight loss,” Health’s contributing nutrition editor, Cynthia Sass, RD, explains. While theoretically nutrients like fiber, prebiotics, and antioxidants may help with weight loss, because the studies are lacking, there is no established form (green versus ripe), specific amount/dose, prep method, or frequency (daily, weekly, etc.) tied to a specific amount of weight lost over a given time frame. “I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to try to incorporate them into your diet,” she says.

Banana peels may help you lose weight

To say the least, there are other foods that are high in fiber such as whole grains, nuts and oatmeal if banana peels are not your thing. But if you do choose banana peels, make sure they are USDA certified and washed thoroughly. If you are able to get the fiber you need out of them, then yes, banana peels may help you lose weight.

Source: Groth, L. “Can Eating Banana Peels Help You Lose Weight?” www.health.com December 2, 2019.

F-Factor Diet for Weight Loss

The F-Factor Diet is a weight loss plan that includes lean proteins and high fiber foods. This article will discuss is the F-Factor diet for weight loss.

F-Factor High Fiber Diet
F-Factor High Fiber Diet Photo by health.harvard.edu

According to its founder, it helps you lose weight without taking away the foods or drinks you love. Also, it does not require any physical activity.

What is the F-Factor Diet?

Created by Tanya Zuckerbrot, a registered dietitian, this diet comes with a food line, meal plan, and other branded products. The F-Factor Diet book was published in 2006.

The “F” in F-Factor stands for fiber, a nutrient that most individuals do not get enough of. Fiber is an indigestible carb that adds size to foods (Source1, Source2).

The F-Factor diet is based on foods that are high in fiber, lean protein, and complex carbs. I like the fact that this diet is very flexible, allowing you to eat out at restaurants, exercise less and drink alcohol in moderation.

How to follow the F-Factor Diet for Weight Loss

The F-Factor Diet emphasizes eating three meals plus one snack each day. It begins by gradually increasing the number of net carbs you eat before reaching a weight maintenance eating pattern.

Is F-Factor Diet for Weight Loss

The F-Factor Diet focuses on eating high fiber foods, a strategy that has long been related to weight loss and other health benefits. Eating foods such as whole grains or fruits that are high in fiber will keep you fuller longer and suppress your appetite.

Possible Downsides

The only downside that I see with this diet plan is that it does not focus on exercise. Getting physical activity each day is crucial to your weight loss success and this diet does not include it.

The Main Point

The F-Factor Diet is a weight loss diet that is based on eating high fiber foods along with lean proteins. It allows you to eat at restaurants and does not hold back any foods or drinks or require physical activity.

Studies on the F-Factor Diet specifically is unavailable, but the high fiber content of the diet may help weight loss and support overall well-being. It may even stop constipation, support heart health, and help you maintain your blood sugar.

On the other hand, the F-Factor Diet does have some downsides to think about. It does not recognize physical activity as an important part of a healthy weight loss journey and emphasizes fiber over all other nutrients.

Although most people would likely benefit from eating more fiber, eating a variety of healthy, whole foods and following a lifestyle that works well for you may be the best option for maintaining weight loss.

Source: Panoff, L. MPH. RD. “F-Factor Diet Review: Does It Work for Weight Loss? www.healthline.com December 3, 2019

Mediterranean Diet for Weight Loss

The Mediterranean diet for weight loss has been associated with fast weight loss, lower risk of chronic disease, and lower inflammation. Today we will discuss is the Mediterranean diet for weight loss and will it really help you lose weight long-term.

Mediterranean Diet for Weight Loss
Mediterranean Diet for Weight Loss Photo by heart.org

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

Unlike other diets, the Mediterranean diet focuses on specific food groups rather than counting calories. Fruits, veggies, healthy fats and whole grains are all key foods of the Mediterranean diet.

Also, unhealthy foods such as processed foods, red meat and sweets are restricted.

Exercise is a key component of the Mediterranean diet

While making changes to your diet, getting regular physical activity is another important part of the Mediterranean diet. Running, walking or lifting weights are just a few of the healthy physical activities I do each week.

Other than the plant-based whole foods included in the Mediterranean diet for weight loss, seafood, poultry and red wine can be consumed in moderation as well.

Benefits of the Mediterranean diet

A recent review of 5 studies discovered that the Mediterranean diet was as effective as other popular diets like the low carb diet for weight loss, resulting in up to 22 pounds of weight loss over 12 months (Source).

Similarly, a large study in over 32,000 people found that long-term adherence to the Mediterranean diet was related to a decreased risk of gaining weight and belly fat over 5 years (Source).

Other studies have also shown the Mediterranean diet to reduce inflammation, increase heart health and protect against type 2 diabetes.

Downside of the Mediterranean diet for weight loss

The Mediterranean diet allows moderate amounts of alcohol, which may not be suitable for everyone. In addition, some people may find it hard to follow, and it may be costlier than other diets.

The main point

The Mediterranean diet is a healthy eating pattern that is derived from traditional diets of those in countries like Spain, France, Greece and Italy.

The diet promotes nutritious foods like fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and whole grains while restricting processed ingredients and added sweeteners.

Following a healthy Mediterranean diet can not only help achieve weight loss but also increase heart health, lower risk of type 2 diabetes and reduce inflammation.

Source: Link, R. “Mediterranean Diet Review: Does It Work for Weight Loss? www.healthline.com November 26 2019