Category Archives: Weight Loss

Intermittent Fasting is an Effective Way to Lose Weight

Fasting is eliminating or reducing your caloric intake for a set period of time. It has frequently been quoted as a great method for weight loss and keeping the pounds off. Whether you fast in a once-a-week pause or month-long daytime fast, no one method has really stood above the rest. However, researchers are beginning to focus on this one approach, intermittent fasting.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has been found to be better for burning fat and improving metabolism, according to a new study published in the journal Cell Research. Photo by Generation Builders Ministries

Intermittent fasting has been found to be better for burning fat and improving metabolism, according to a new study published in the journal Cell Research. Scientist put mice on an intermittent fasting program for 16 weeks. The mice ate normal for two days then went one full day without eating. In the meantime, a fixed group of mice ate an equal amount of calories overall, but spread evenly over three days.

After four months, the mice that fasted had lower bodyweights compared to the fixed-group mice. They also had less white fat and more brown fat, which is used for body heat and energy, and their glucose and insulin levels were more constant.

It may be possible that intermittent fasting stimulates an anti-inflammatory cell, that triggers an increase of a blood vessel growth factor, which causes the body to burn more fat cells, according to researchers.

“Intermittent fasting without a reduction in calorie intake can be a preventative and therapeutic approach against obesity and metabolic disorders,” said study co-author Kyoung-Han Kim, an assistant professor in the department of cellular and molecular medicine at the University of Ottawa. “Strikingly, these fasting-stimulated changes in the growth of vascular cells and subsequent immune alterations occur even after a single cycle of 24-hour fasting, and are completely reversed when mice start eating again.”

Although this study was not tested with humans, I believe this type of fasting is effective for people as well. Of course, going an entire day without food is difficult, but it may be well worth the temptation if it is promising for weight loss.

Source: Kyoung-Han, K. et al. “Intermittent fasting promotes adipose thermogenesis and metabolic homeostasis via VEGF-mediated alternative activation of macrophage” Cell Research 17 October 2017

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

Black Tea May Help You Lose Weight

You should know by now that green tea has its benefits to weight loss from previous studies, but now researchers from the University of California Los Angeles found that black tea can help you lose weight as well.

Black Tea

Black tea may help you lose weight, according to new study by UCLA. Photo by Organic Facts

The study that was published in the European Journal of Nutrition fed four groups of mice different diets for 30 days. The groups were as follows: low-fat and high-sugar, high-fat and high-sugar, high-fat and high-sugar with green tea, and high-fat and high sugar with black tea.

After analyzing the mice’s fat, liver tissue and gut bacteria, they discovered that both of the tea groups on a high-fat diet lost an equal amount of weight compared to the mice consuming less fat, or lesser calories overall.

That is because black tea and green tea are sufficient in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that has been found to increase your heart health and play a role in weight loss. However, the way these antioxidants travel through your body differs in black tea, compared to green tea says researchers.

Polyphenols in green tea absorb in your blood easily. On the other hand, polyphenols in black tea work through your intestines because they are too big to be absorbed into your bloodstream. This is where they boost good bacteria in your gut to help keep your metabolism running smoothly.

Although both types of teas can positively affect gut bacteria, only black tea lead to an increase in a type of bacteria known as Pseudobutyrivibrio and short-chain fatty acids in the mice, which basically explains how it could affect your metabolism differently than green tea.

Although the study was done in mice, the researchers believe the results could apply to humans, too.

“Our new findings suggest that black tea, through a specific mechanism through the gut microbiome, may also contribute to good health and weight loss in humans,” Susanne Henning, Ph.D., R.D., lead study author and adjunct professor at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition stated in a press release. “The results suggest that both green and black teas are prebiotics, substances that induce the growth of good microorganisms that contribute to a person’s well-being.”

Keep in mind that just drinking tea will not make you lose weight alone. You must add some kind of physical activity and watch what you eat on a daily basis. Still, choosing to sip on black tea instead of a sugary beverage will help you lose those extra calories.

Source: Monster, R. “Black tea may help with weight loss, too” www.newsroom.ucla.edu 2 October 2017

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice

Cheat Days May Help People Lose Weight

When you think about weight loss, it usually involves engaging in a long term diet and exercise plan. We know that when you are trying to lose weight, you have to be consistent and work hard.

Weight Loss - Strict Diets

According to a new study by Australian researchers, taking breaks or cheat days, while dieting may actually help aid weight loss. Photo by Verywell

According to a new study by Australian researchers, taking breaks or cheat days, while dieting may actually help aid weight loss.

In the study, two groups of obese men were involved in four-month diet that required them to restrict their calories by one-third.

The first group stuck to the diet for two weeks, then left the diet for two weeks, and continued to go on and off the diet in two-week cycles. While in the two week cycle off the strict diet, the dieters consumed calories equal to the number of calories they were burning, which created an energy balance.

On the other hand, the second group continued their diet during the four-month period.

Researchers found that the dieters who alternated between their strict diet and having cheat weeks lost more weight during the study, that was published in the International Journal of Obesity. Those who took days off their diet gained back less weight as well when the study was over.

“While further investigations are needed around this intermittent dieting approach, findings from this study provide preliminary support for the model as a superior alternative to continuous dieting for weight loss,” Nuala Byrne, the head of the University of Tasmania’s School of Health Sciences, and leader of the study said in a statement announcing the findings.

I believe that taking a break from dieting gives your body and mind a chance to rest but the key to weight loss is consistency.  You can really do some damage to your body during those off days and end up worse than you were when you started. However, I do believe in enjoying the foods you love but in portions. I do not see anything wrong with that chocolate or ice cream every now and then.

To get the best out of weight loss, I try to eat lean meats, fruits and vegetables, avoid sugary drinks and get some physical activity in on a daily basis.

Source: Byrne; N.M et al. “Intermittent energy restriction improves weight loss efficiency in obese men: the MATADOR study” International Journal of Obesity 19 September 2017

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Losing Weight Can Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Type-2 diabetes can be reversed by losing a certain amount of weight, according to new study published in The BMJ.

Diabetes

Type-2 diabetes can be reversed by losing a certain amount of weight, according to new study published in The BMJ. Photo by Medical News Today

There is popular belief that type-2 diabetes is permanent, but this study found that people can reverse their condition by losing 30 pounds. If more individuals worked toward this goal, and if more doctors were reporting occurrences of diabetes remission, health care costs and complication rates could both be reduced drastically, according to authors.

Evidence from recent clinical trials was what the analysis was based on. In one of them, individuals who had type-2 diabetes got their sugar levels back to normal when they lost weight on a diet. A follow up study done in 2016 showed that people who had diabetes for up to ten years were able to reverse their condition by losing approximately 30 pounds.

According to Mike Lean, professor of human nutrition at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, a person’s chances of suspension from diabetes is greatest in the first 5 years after being diagnosed.

He wrote in an email that type-2 diabetes is “best avoided by the weight gain that drives it.” I believe that weight loss is a better option to prevent diabetes versus taking pills or injections. Many people don’t try to lose weight and keep it off, Lean says-and that may be because that person does not believe they can become non-diabetic again. Doctors should give their patients the proper guidelines and more encouragement.

If many of the healthcare service offer the structured weight-loss programs like those that have showed promise in the clinical trials, patients would have a better chance. Hopefully a program as such will be available soon as there is a large study going on for effectiveness set for next year.

Until further notice, patients should do what is necessary to lose weight and keep it off. It will not be easy but support for sustained weight loss is the best option for people’s remission of diabetes.

Source: McCombie Louise, Leslie Wilma, Taylor Roy, Kennon Brian, Sattar Naveed, Lean Mike E J et al. Beating type 2 diabetes into remission BMJ 2017;358 :j4030

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Slow But Steady Wins the Weight-Loss Race

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, take your time and be consistent, a new study says.

Steady Weight-Loss

Slow and steady weight loss wins the race, a new study suggest. Photo by NutritionFacts.org

Researchers discovered that when dieter’s weight went up and down or swung irregularly, they were less likely to maintain weight loss over time.

“It seems that developing stable, repeatable behaviors related to food intake and weight loss early on in a weight-control program is really important for maintaining changes over the long term,” said study lead author Emily Feig. She is a former graduate student at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

I think when you try to lose too much weight at one time or set unrealistic goals, it puts too much pressure on you then that causes you to give up. Being patient will take that extra stress away and give you the freedom to be consistent which will help you maintain weight loss.

During the study, scientists analyzed why some individuals have more issues maintaining weight loss. The study authors inducted 183 individuals in a 12-month weight-loss program and monitored them for two years.

The people relied on meals replacement and set goals, for both their total calories and physical activity. Also, they reported on food behaviors such as binges, cravings and emotional eating. They did weekly weigh-ins during group meetings. The participants weighed in for a final time one year after the weight-loss program had ended.

The study, published Aug. 28 in the journal Obesity, discovered that the people who had erratic swings in their weight did not fare as well as those who reliably lost a consistent amount of weight over the course of the program.

“Settle on a weight-loss plan that you can maintain week in and week out, even if that means consistently losing three-quarters of a pound each week,” principal investigator Michael Lowe, a psychology professor at Drexel, said in a university news release.

Source: Drexel University, news release, Aug. 28, 2017

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Walnuts May Aid Weight Loss

Eating a good amount of walnuts may reduce your hunger and help you lose weight, a new study says.

Walnuts

Walnuts can reduce your hunger, says study. Photo by Alibaba

Consuming them activates a part of the brain linked to the regulation of hunger and cravings, according to the research published in the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism journal.

A study that included 10 obese people were given diets over two sets of five-day sessions while living at a research center. Over the course of the two day sessions, they were given two types of smoothies on a daily basis. One of the smoothies had 48 grams of walnuts and the other one did not contain walnuts but were designed to taste the same and have equivalent nutritional value.

The participants that had the walnut smoothie reported having a reduced appetite. A functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan was used at the end of each session to look at the brain as the participants were shown images, some of the foods included hamburgers and desserts as well as neutral items such as flowers and rocks and finally pictures of vegetables and other undesirable foods.

The results found that a part of the brain known as the right insula was active when people who had ate the walnuts were shown the foods considered to be highly-desirable.

Walnuts are found to have many benefits such as lowering your cholesterol, controlling diabetes and improving your metabolism. These types of nuts may not be the best tasting to some but I eat them once in a while when I feel hungry and they are available.

Although this is a small study, it is a step closer to figuring out why walnuts have such an effect on the brain but more research still needs to be done. This is not a weight loss study but it is a demonstration on how walnuts can affect your hunger and increase your chances of losing weight.

Sources:

Farr OM , Tuccinardi D , Upadhyay J , Oussaada SM , Mantzoros CS . Walnut consumption increases activation of the insula to highly desirable food cues: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over fMRI study. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2017;1–5. https://doi.org/10.1111/dom.13060

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/seed-and-nut/health-benefits-of-walnuts.html

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Having A Soda With That Burger is Dangerous

Drinking a soda with your fried chicken or burger can really spark your body to add on more pounds, a new study in the journal BMC Nutrition suggests.

Soda & Hamburger

Sweetened drinks combined with high protein meals decreases the fat burning process, according to study. Photo by Pinterest

Adults who had a sweetened drink with a high-protein meal stored more unused fat, compared to others who had a sugar-free drink, laboratory tests discovered.

For the study, 27 healthy weight adults were put in a sealed laboratory that tracked how much oxygen was inhaled and carbon dioxide was exhaled. Samples of urine was collected as well.

Participants spent two days in the lab. One day they consumed two meals containing 15 percent protein, and on the other day they ate two meals with 30 percent protein.

“If we are adding extra carbohydrates on top of what’s already in a meal, that will definitely have an effect on the body being able to use fat as an energy source, and it will more than likely go into energy storage,” said lead researcher Shanon Casperson. She’s a research biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This makes perfect sense because if you consume too much carbs, your body automatically use it as storage instead of burning it off right away.

Food contains three major types of nutrients — carbohydrates, fats and protein. Casperson and her team wanted to see how extra carbs in the form of a sugary drink would affect metabolism of fats and proteins.

The study found that sugar-sweetened drinks decreased fat oxidation by 8 percent. Fat oxidation is the process that jumpstarts the breakdown of fat molecules.

Also, the sweetened drink consumed with a 15 percent protein meal reduced fat oxidation by an average 7.2 grams, while the same sugary drink with a 30 percent protein meal reduced fat oxidation by 12.6 grams.

I believe that the extra carbs from soda may reduce the body’s need to process dietary fat for energy. The fat that is not burned is then distributed to other areas of the body such as the belly and hips.

Although this is a small study, it just sheds light on how dangerous it is to combine sugary drinks with high protein meals. This will definitely encourage weight gain and slow down the fat burning process. More research still needs to be done to find out why adding extra protein to a meal affects the fat burning process. Until then, I would definitely stay away from sweetened drinks combined with high protein meals to aid weight loss.

Source: Shanon Casperson, Ph.D., research biologist, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Erika Renick, R.D., bariatric dietitian, Comprehensive Weight Loss Center, Staten Island University Hospital, New York City; BMC Nutrition, July 20, 2017

Leeeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Best Ways to Build Muscle

Despite the fact that weight loss is a big part of the fitness industry, there are just as many individuals who want to gain weight by building muscle.

Building Muscle

Building muscle is a slow process, but with consistency and a proven guideline, you can gain muscle steadily.

However, there are a variety of ways to approach it, and it is just as difficult for people who want to achieve long-term weight loss.

I know there is tons of information available to help you gain muscle mass just as it is with weight loss, so I will save you some time and provide the best ways to stack on those extra pounds of muscle today.

  1. Focus on the large movements

Rather than filling up your sessions with exercises targeting single muscles, focus the majority of your training on larger, multi-joint movements.

‘Compound’ exercises, such as bench press, deadlift, chin-ups and squats work multiple muscle groups, and are better choices for loading the muscles and creating the best hormonal response for muscle growth.

  1. You have to eat to build muscle!

You will not gain muscle out of nothing! You have to consume a lot of calories to gain weight.

A goal of eating about 15 percent of our maintenance needs will help reduce body fat gain, while giving us space to eat the minimum of 0.8g per lb. of bodyweight in protein that we need to boost muscle growth. Make sure to fill your plate!

  1. Make progress

The reason behind all weight-training programs is that they push you to improve over time, by increasing the work load of the weights you are using.

This will make sure you are following a program which helps you make improvements by the week to help you avoid spinning your wheels.

  1. Get good rest

Recovery is a big and underrated part of muscle growth.

When to train too much and with high workloads, your fatigue will begin to outweigh your recovery overtime, leaving you struggling to build muscle or improve training performance.

I aim to train between 3-5 times a week, with at least 7 hours of sleep each night. These are the two best methods to speed up recovery and keep you making progress.

  1. Mix it up

Lifting heavy weights is an important part of building muscle, however, including a mix of rep ranges which help stress and tear down the muscles will allow you to cover all bases for what is required for muscle growth. I typically use low, medium and high reps in my training program.

  1. Don’t exercise your upper body everyday

The lower body has the largest, strongest muscle, but people often leave them out in favor of the upper body.

Although leg training can be disliking, training them can create a huge hormonal response which encourages not just muscle growth in the lower half, but in the upper half body as well.

To maximize muscle growth, I make sure I hit the squat rack hard at least once per week.

  1. More is not always better, but more often might be

Research suggests that training muscle groups multiple times per week might be more optimal for muscle growth instead of trying to target muscle groups all in one training session each week.

Consider a program that hits muscle groups more often, stimulating them to grow multiple times throughout the week. And yes, this includes your legs.

  1. Watch the cardio when trying to build

Cardio is an excellent tool for maintaining or improving fitness, but can be detrimental when trying to build muscle.

Physical activity burns a lot more energy than lifting weights, so even with an increase in food intake, you may still burn through those extra calories.

If you add high intensity cardio sessions into the mix, your recovery can even suffer. It is okay to include some cardio for fitness purposes, but keep total amount in check, and keep in mind how your food intake may need to further change to accommodate it.

  1. Disregard the bodybuilders

There are a ton of programs you can find in magazines or online that show you the training routines and diets recommended by professional bodybuilders.

However, keep in mind that there are a host of reasons they are able to train the way they do, and the routines are often completely inappropriate for the majority of other trainees.

Following a program by a qualified personal trainer or coach is a lot better, safer option, and you are more likely to get the results you want.

  1. Be patient

Muscle growth takes time, and it is suggested that a trainee can only aim to grow 2lbs of actual muscle per month.

Being consistent along the weeks and months is the only way you will begin to see results, but your patience will pay off. I am a hard gainer so my muscle growth was a slow process but I stayed consistent and I finally was able to build muscle mass and get stronger.

Source : W. Alan “ Putting on the pounds: top 10 tips to build muscle” http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk 26 June 2017

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Is Fasting Better for Weight Loss?

Although you may dislike the everyday restrictions of a conventional diet, a new study suggests that fasting one day and eating anything you want the next may not be better for weight loss.

Fasting

Fasting every other day may not be better for weight loss, study. Photo by Daily Burn

At the end of one year, researchers discovered that weight loss on either type of diet was about the same. There was a 6 percent weight loss on the alternate-day fasting diet and a little over 5 percent for the ones on a daily restricted diet.

“We thought the alternate-day fasting group would do better. It allows people to have a break from dieting every other day, so we thought their adherence would be better,” explained lead author Krista Varady.

“But it turns out people in both diets lost the same amount of weight,” said Varady. She’s an associate professor of kinesiology and nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“People in the alternate-day fasting group were eating more than the 500 calories prescribed on the fast day, but a lot less than the calories prescribed on the feast day. That’s why they lost the same amount of weight,” she explained.

However, “people who stuck to the [alternate-day fasting] diet lost 20 to 50 pounds in a year,” Varady added. “It does work for some people.”

In the study, 100 obese people were randomly assigned to an alternate-day fasting diet, a conventional diet, or no diet at all.

People assigned to the conventional diet managed to stick to their diet goals better than the alternate-day fasting group, says researchers.

The dropout rates said it all: nearly 40 percent of the alternate-day fasting group gave up, while only 30 percent of the conventional diet group and 26 percent of control group quit.

Sticking to just 500 calories a day is very difficult but reducing your calories by 25 percent is much easier so a conventional diet would be a better choice for many.

The fasting diet appeared to be safe, she added. On fast days, people were encouraged to eat a lot of protein, because protein makes you feel full, she said. Whole grains are also a good choice because they can suppress your appetite as well.

In terms of weight loss, all calories are the same, but not all calories are healthy ones, Varady said. On days people could eat anything, some ate bags of chips and still lost weight, she noted. Snacks are not a good choice if you are trying to receive better health benefits even if you still lose weight.

“If you are reducing your food intake, you are going to lose weight, but in terms of health benefits, people should try to eat less processed foods and more fruits and vegetables,” Varady said.

Even though some have been fasting for years and love this lifestyle, this is not for everyone. You must find a diet that works for you and stick to it long term for successful weight loss.

Source: Krista Varady, Ph.D., associate professor, kinesiology and nutrition, University of Illinois, Chicago; Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., senior clinical nutritionist, New York University Medical Center, New York City; May 1, 2017, JAMA Internal Medicine, online

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Fewer Americans Try to Lose Weight

More US adults are overweight or obese, but a lot of Americans have just given up on trying to lose those extra pounds, a new study reveals.

Fewer Americans Are Trying to Lose Weight

Fewer Americans are trying to lose weight, study says. Photo by Stoner Days

One in every three Americans are overweight, compared with one in five 2 decades ago, researchers report. It seems that adults were more interested in weight loss years ago but now have lost interest somehow.

People who were observed between 2009 and 2014 were 17 percent less likely overall to say they had tried to lose weight during the previous year than those observed between 1988 and 1994, the study discovered.

Individuals who were overweight but not quite obese have went through the greatest loss of interest in maintaining a healthy weight, said senior researcher Dr. Jian Zhang.

“This is not good. We are missing the opportunity to stop overweight from becoming obesity,” said Zhang, who is an associate professor of epidemiology with Georgia Southern University. You can start to see even the younger generation become overweight which is another problem we are facing.

Zhang and his colleagues studied data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a federally funded ongoing survey that keeps track of Americans’ health and diet habits.

All ethnic and racial groups across both genders reported decreased interest in losing weight, but women in particular were more likely to say they had given up on it, the findings showed.

By 2014, black women were 31 percent less likely to have tried weight loss compared with 20 years prior, and white women were 27 percent less likely to have made the attempt, the researchers found.

People might be giving up on weight loss because it’s just too difficult, Zhang said.

“It’s painful,” he explained. “It’s hard to drop pounds. Many of us tried and failed, tried and failed, and finally failed to try anymore.” Finding a diet and exercise plan that is easy to follow is difficult and staying dedicated is another issue that we go through.

Modern medicine has also improved on preserving the overall health of individuals, perhaps causing them to ask why they should bother, Zhang said. Everyday there seems to be some sort of a new pill that will improve your health or increase your life expectancy.

Many might not take weight loss seriously because evidence shows that adults overweight may live as long or even longer than normal-weight adults. Since more than half are overweight, we may think we are okay, and it is not necessary to change our body weight.

Dr. Mitchell Roslin, chief of obesity surgery for Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, mentioned that conflicting diet advice also probably dissuades many from trying to shed some pounds.

“First they were told don’t eat fat, and now we are telling patients to reduce simple carbohydrates,” Roslin said. “While I believe that reducing carbohydrates is key, what the public hears is, ‘I might as well eat what I like because all this advice has not worked.'”

I believe doctors, public health officials and the media should do a better job at binging awareness to living healthy. The ups and downs of losing weight is frustrating and the health risks of being overweight should be emphasized with better education.

Zhang said that future efforts to improve public health should focus on lifestyle changes that promote healthy eating and exercise for everyone, rather than an emphasis on losing weight.

I agree that prevention is the better way to tackle overweight and obesity, so further efforts should focus on just that to get Americans back interested in weight loss.

Source: Jian Zhang, M.D., DrPH, associate professor,  epidemiology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Ga.; Mitchell Roslin, M.D., chief, obesity surgery, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Rajpal Chopra, M.D., endocrinologist, Northwell Health’s Long Island Jewish Forest Hills, Forest Hills, N.Y.; March 7, 2017, Journal of the American Medical Association

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer