Tag Archives: diet

Exercise Alone May Not Lead to Weight Loss

Many of us tend to believe that more exercise is better for burning calories and weight loss. However, this is not the case according to a new study published in Current Biology.

Exercise May Not Lead to Weight Loss

Exercising more than average may not help you lose weight, according to new study. Photo by Women’s Health Magazine

According to researchers, when we increase our exercise regimen our bodies adapt to the energy expenditure which causes us to reach a plateau. This means there is a limit to the amount of calories we can burn through exercise. This study is not to discourage exercise which is essential to keeping your mind and body healthy, but to shed light on how important dieting is for losing weight.

Lead researcher Herman Pontzer, PhD, a professor of anthropology at City University of New York, and Edward L Melanson, PhD, an associated professor in the division of endocrinology, metabolism, and diabetes at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Auroro measured the daily activity of more than 300 men and women. They came from the U.S., Africa and Jamaica. People in some of those countries are usually more active physically than many Americans.

Although they did not track whether the people lost weight or gained, they had a record of their body mass index (BMI) and calculated their calorie burning for 7 days. As people got more exercise, the calories burned did not rise very much. People who had average physical activity lost about 200 more calories than those who were inactive. Unfortunately, those who exercised more than the average saw no change in the amount of calories burned.

According to Pontzer, moderate exercisers are active “but not serious athletes”. For example, someone who rides a bike to work or walks a couple of miles each day. Although this study did not focus on the role of exercise in weight loss, Pontzer does mention that diet and exercise work together as an effective fat loss strategy.

This study seems to point out that the obesity epidemic may be caused by overeating rather than inactivity. I have always heard the saying that “abs start in the kitchen” so I understand how important diet is already. I also understand how over working out at the gym is not effective as well. Pontzer says that our body adapts to our exercise routine if we are more active which creates an energy expenditure plateau. This is why many people wonder why they workout at the gym for hours every day and see no weight loss results.

The researchers believe that our body has a “sweet spot”, a point at which the calories burned during workouts peak. The way to find it is to pay attention to your body, Pontzer says. If you feel worn out and need more time to recover from exercise, you may be over doing it and need to work out less.

To say the least, diet should be the first step in weight loss but exercise must be included as well for preventing diabetes, stress, high blood pressure and heart disease.

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

Source: Pontzer, Herman et al. “Constrained Total Energy Expenditure and Metabolic Adaptation to Physical Activity in Adult Humans” Current Biology 28 January 2016

Dietary Supplements Send Thousands to ER Yearly

Weight loss dietary supplements rush nearly 23,000 individuals to the hospital emergency room annually, says a new study. This is the first time someone has calculated national numbers on this issue.

Dietary Supplents for Weight Loss

Dietary supplements send 23,000 to ER annually, says study. Photo by news@jama

According to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, supplements for weight loss and energy were the most threatening, and heart problems were the most common issue with those type of supplements. Seniors, women and preschoolers were at higher risk.

“People may not notice that dietary supplements can cause any adverse events, but each year thousands of Americans are treated in emergency rooms for symptoms related to dietary supplements,” says Andrew Geller, MD, a medical officer at the CDC who led the study. Some supplements may be safe but I always recommend diet and exercise for natural weight loss.

With over 150 million Americans taking dietary supplements, the number of people who go to the emergency room seems small to supplement manufacturers. “If you look at the projected number of emergency room visits and do the math, we’re looking at far less than one-tenth of one percent of supplement users will visit the ER,” says Duffy Mackay, ND, senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade organization.

I still believe that 23,000 visits to the emergency room for a weight loss or dietary supplement is too many. Experts who did not take part in the study agree that these figure are too high. “The number is alarming,” says Pieter Cohen, MD, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School who studies the safety of dietary supplements.

The results were found by researchers at the Center for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration who went through medical records maintained by at least 60 hospitals around the United States. They studied a 10-year time frame, from 2004 to 2013 and searched for occurrences that physicians had specially noted had been caused by some type of supplement.

Adults between the ages of 20 and 34, and women, were most at danger. Energy and weight loss products were the blame for this age group and women were more affected than men overall. Heart issues such as racing pulse, chest pain and irregular heart beat were the most common reason individuals requested help. Adults over the age of 65 had issues with swallowing their supplement so this group was the most likely to be hospitalized. Preschoolers made up for 1 in 5 visits to the ER because many of them had taken a pill when the parent or guardian was not watching. I suggest that anyone who has dietary supplements to keep them out of sight and reach of children. Seniors can ask their physicians about other forms of taking the supplements or split the pill in half to prevent choking.

I do not believe all weight loss dietary supplements are bad but agencies need to step in and make sure that are at least safe. I would like to see those 23,000 emergency room visits decline greatly in the future and hope that people find a safe weight loss supplement to take when trying to lose weight.

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

Source: Andrew I. Geller, Nadine Shehab, Nina J. Weidle, et al “Emergency Department Visits for Adverse Events Related to Dietary Supplements” The New England Journal of Medicine 15 October 2015

Drink More Water to Lose Weight

Drinking water not only keeps your body hydrated but it is good for weight loss as well. According to a study published in the journal Obesity, drinking 16 ounces of water before you eat can help you lose weight.

Drinking Water to Lose Weight

A study says drinking 16 ounces of water before each meal can help you lose weight. Photo by Charming Style

Researchers gathered 84 adults with obesity for a 12 week study in which they received general weight loss advice. They were split into two groups with one group drinking 16 ounces of water 30 minutes before they ate. The other group was told just to imagine they were full before they ate. I bet it was very difficult just thinking about being full when they were probably starving!

Everyone’s weight was observed throughout the study and urine was monitored as well to make sure the first group was definitely drinking more water. Their physical activity was observed also but it did not change.

The group that drank more water lost nearly three more pounds than the group that did not increase their water consumption. The results got better as they drank more water; the ones who drank 16 ounces before each meal lost 9 pounds over the course of the study. Dr. Amanda Daley, study author of the University of Birmingham in the U.K., says that it is equivalent to what you get from Weight Watchers. I guess that a half a pound to 2 pounds weekly is a great start for weight loss.

The reason water is so effective may be because “it fills you up” and helps you feel full, Daley mentions. I know each time I am hungry and have a glass of water, I usually do not have much of an appetite and I find myself eating less. Daley says that drinking a couple of glasses of water thirty minutes before you eat gives you time to feel fuller, which can help influence decisions on what you consume.

Drinking more water along with diet and exercise is a good fat loss strategy in my opinion. I understand this is just the beginning and more research is necessary before scientists can fully understand it. I believe drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your body and if it helps weight loss, we should drink more.

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

Source: Parretti, H. M., Aveyard, P., Blannin, A., Clifford, S. J., Coleman, S. J., Roalfe, A. and Daley, A. J. (2015), “Efficacy of water preloading before main meals as a strategy for weight loss in primary care patients with obesity”: RCT. Obesity, 23: 1785–1791. doi: 10.1002/oby.21167

Obesity Gene Discovery May Aid Fat Loss

Losing weight without diet or exercise may seem impossible but new genetic research about the causes of obesity makes it possible. According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers have discovered a genetic “switch” inside fat cells that can increase your metabolism and help you burn fat as heat energy.

Obesity Gene & Weight Loss

According to new study, researchers have discovered a genetic “switch” inside fat cells that can speed up your metabolism and burn fat, preventing obesity. Photo by 123R

In the study, mice in the lab lost 50 percent of their body weight when researchers turned that genetic switch on. By examining human fat cells, it has been indicated that this may also work for humans, said senior author Manolis Kellis, a professor of computer science and computational biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. This sounds like a cool idea, eat as much as you want, then flip on a genetic switch to help you burn calories and lose weight.

The mice were eating the same amount but were not exercising more. The energy burned was in the form of heat so this means that researchers switched their metabolism from energy storage to energy dissipation.

The focus on this research was a gene region known as “FTO,” which has been in the spotlight since its discovery in 2007. Prior research tried to pair the FTO region with brain circuits that control hunger, but researchers now believe the action happens in fat cells and affects how much food is kept, independently of the brain. Hopefully there may be a way to trigger that gene with future medications to turn on that switch and fight obesity.

The researchers also discovered a higher occurrence of two distant genes, IRX3 and IRX5, which meant more fat storage. By changings the pathways of these genes, scientists can reverse the traces of obesity. The scientists specifically looked at “beige fat,” which is closely related to “white fat.” On the other hand, “brown fat” is usually found in newborn babies and burns faster. The mutations in the cells were manipulated so the white fat turned into beige fat. The amounts of early fat cells were increased so that they turned into beige fat instead of white fat.

According to the www.nejm.org (CDC), more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese, costing about $200 billion dollars each year for medical costs. Obesity is steadily rising and people face serious health conditions such as type-2 diabetes, heart diseases and certain types of cancer. This type of research is very important for finding another method for weight loss and preventing obesity to say the least.

With this new discovery of manipulating fat cells to fight obesity in mice, the next step will be finding out how this works with humans. Although diet and exercise is not required for this obesity gene manipulation, it is still important that you do these things for long term fat loss.

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

Source: www.nejm.org Melina Claussnitzer, Simon N. Dankel, Kyoung-Han Kim, et al “FTO Obesity Variant Circuitry and Adipocyte Browning in Humans” The New England Journal of Medicine 19 August 2015

Coca-Cola’s Funded Research Says Exercise is Better for Fat Loss

Eating less has always been more important than exercising for weight loss, but according to Coca-Cola’s new funded research, dieting is not the answer.

Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola funds research group that says exercise is better for weight loss. Photo by Red Garage Ventures

Coca-Cola has funded over a million dollars to a new research organization claiming that exercise is the key factor to preventing obesity rather than reducing calories. However, research says cutting calories is the key player in fat loss and physical activity burns fewer calories and takes more time. Through my experience, eating less helps me lose weight faster but exercising keeps the weight off and tones me up.

“Diet is far more important for losing weight but in the long run, regular workouts are critical to keeping the weight off and staying fit”, says Philip Stanforth, a professor of exercise science at the University of Texas and the executive director of the Fitness Institute of Texas.

According to the New York Times, Steven Blair, a member of Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN), says that “blaming fast food” and sugary drinks as the cause of the obesity crisis is not the answer. This research group says that maintaining an active lifestyle and eating more calories is the key to preventing weight gain. Now that is absolutely ridiculous! Coke has just paid GEBN 1.5 million dollars to promote foolishness about weight loss!

I do agree that people who have lost weight and kept if off do exercise on a regular basis so it does make sense in that matter. However, research shows that diet plays a bigger role than exercise when you look at the bigger picture. Even if you are physically active on a daily basis but eat unhealthy, you can still develop serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure. In reality I think this entire Coca-Cola research campaign is just a front for the declining soda sales. They want to confuse the media and people struggling with weight loss with unreliable science.

Although exercise has its benefits such as muscle growth, stress relief and a faster metabolism, you will need a proper diet to lose weight effectively. From experience, I know sodas and other sugary drinks are not the answer to fat loss but reducing calories works much better and it’s easier. Ignore Coca-Cola’s new research group claims about just exercising to shed pounds and find a diet plan that works for you to lose weight properly and keep it off.

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

Source: O’Connor, A. “Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away from Diets” The New York Times 9 Aug. 2015 http://well.blogs.nytimes.com

Obese People Unlikely to Achieve Weight Loss

Losing weight can be a struggle for anyone but a new weight loss study reveals that obese men and women have a very low chance of achieving even a five percent fat loss in a given year: 1 in 10 for women, and 1 in 12 for men. Women who are overweight face a one in 124 chance of returning to normal weight, while men have a one in 210 chance (American Journal of Public Health).

Obesity & Weight Loss

Obese people are unlikely to lose weight and keep it off, according to a new study. Photo by Think Progress

These findings were published in the American Journal of Public Health, which reviewed electronic health records of nearly 280,000 people who lived in England over a 9 year period. “What our findings suggest is that current strategies used to tackle obesity are not helping the majority of obese patients to lose weight and maintain that weight loss,” says lead researcher Alison Fildes, a research psychologist at the University College London. This means that new and effective ways for obesity management are urgent as the obesity rates are steady increasing.

It is obvious that the doctor’s advice of eating healthy and exercise are not enough to reduce the obesity rates and diet plans that promise quick and easy weight loss are irrelevant. “Losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight has been shown to have meaningful health benefits and is often recommended as a weight loss target. These findings show how difficult it is for people with obesity to achieve and maintain even small amounts of fat loss,” said Dr. Alison Fildes, from the Division of Health and Social Care Research at King’s College London.

The healthiest weight loss happens at a rate between 1 and 2 pounds per week according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This federal agency mentions that losing weight at this rate provides individuals with the best chance of keeping it off. I believe the best way to conquer obesity is to stop it before it happens. This can be done by educating the youth early about weight loss to make them aware and set up inventions for them. It is important that kids understand they are obese and help them with their weight management from the start.

The researchers decided that the best way to reduce obesity rates is through education, which is teaching the public how not to become obese in the first place. “The greatest opportunity for stemming the current obesity epidemic is in wider-reaching public health policies to prevent obesity in the population, “Martin Gulliford of KCL stated in a university press release. Although diet and exercise may be the best way to lose weight, I agree that public policies about weight management would be better for preventing obesity.

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

Source: Fildes et al. “Probability of an Obese Person Attaining Normal Body Weight: Cohort Study Using Electronic Records” American Journal of Public Health 16 July 2015

Fat Loss With Intermittent Fasting

Reducing calories with intermittent fasting or daily, long-term calorie restriction for fat loss can seem strange, but it’s a diet strategy that has been around for a long time—and gaining recognition lately. New research demonstrates that intermittent fasting makes you cognitively sharper in addition to lowering your risk of chronic disease and possibly helping you live longer.

Intermittent Fasting for Fat Loss

Intermittent fasting may help you lose weight and improve cognitive performance, according to new study published in Cell Metabolism. Photo by Healthy Geeks

When I think about chronic fasting for weight loss, I instantly feel like I am starving myself by reducing calories but there is some good news! We may be able to receive some of those benefits from cutting our calorie intake just by five days each month, according to a new study published in Cell Metabolism.

Scientist from the University of South California, Los Angeles (UCLA) put 19 people on a diet for five days a month for three months. On the first day, the diet was restricted to 1,090 calories; days two through five allowed them 725 calories. On the rest of the days, the participants were given to opportunity to eat whatever they wanted (Cell Metabolism 2015). Their blood sugar and inflammatory levels improved in the end, even when they begin to eat normally.

These participants were surveyed by researchers and were given a carefully balanced diet so engaging in your own fasting diet is not always a good choice. Experts still don’t recommend long-term calorie restriction and intermittent fasting as a “one-size-fits-all” diet plan.

Fat loss involves diet and exercise so getting physical activity is a must if you are trying to lose weight effectively. Abs does start in the kitchen and that is why healthy eating is equally important as exercise. For those of you that are not completely sold on intermittent fasting for fat loss, here is a 725-caloire diet plan you can use:

Breakfast: Layer two rye crispbreads (55 calories) with sliceLayer Two Crisp Breads from ¼ avocado. Add a sliced boiled egg with a sprinkled of smoked salt.

 

Lunch: Try a large salad with 2 cups of lettuce, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 1 sliced cucumber, 3 ounces of light tuna, 1/3 cup of thawed frozen corn, 2 teaspoons of red vinegar and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Tuna salad

Dinner: Black bean soup. Add 1 cup of spinach to 1 cup of black bean soup (140 calories) with extra heat and water. Black bean soup

Desert or Snack: 1 cup of cherries.

 

 

 

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

Source: Brandhorst, S. et al. “A Periodic Diet that Mimics Fasting Promotes Multi-System Regeneration, Enhanced Cognitive Performance, and Healthspan” Cell Metabolism www.cell.com 7 July 2015

Diabetes Drug May Aid Weight Loss

Liraglutide (better known as Saxenda), a new injectable diabetes drug approved last year, helps patients who are obese or severely overweight lose weight, according to a new study.

Diabetes Drug May Aid Weight Loss

An injectable diabetes drug, liraglutide ( Saxenda), may help overweight people lose weight, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Photo by Yourwellness

The most recent study of the drug, Saxenda, involved 3,700 individuals from six different continents and presented similar results to those in the previous trial: improved fat loss and control of blood sugars, but also several known side effects (New England Journal of Medicine 2015). These discoveries were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. I don’t usually recommend weight loss drugs to help individuals lose weight but this one was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) back in December of last year.

Patients who injected Saxenda lost an average of 18 pounds over a year compared to an average of 6 pounds for those who took a placebo. The participants were also given a reduced-calorie diet and an increased exercise regimen along with the injections. Combining a healthy diet and physical activity is what makes any weight loss medication successful and that is exactly what happened in this study. Women who are pregnant can also benefit from liraglutide which is another advantage.

Sixty-three percent of those who got the injection lost more than 5 percent of their body weight compared to 27 percent who used a placebo. The drug “tends to decrease gastric emptying, the emptying of the stomach. And it gives signals to the brain to lower and increase satiety, said Dr. Xavier Pi-Sunyer of Colombia University Medical Center (New England Journal of Medicine 2015). In other words, this weight loss drug can act as an appetite suppressant to help you lower calories by making you feel full.

This drug is specifically for individuals who are overweight or obese with at least one related health condition, such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. The side effects of liraglutide (Saxenda) include nausea, diarrhea, pancreatitis and gall bladder abnormalities.

The study was funded by the drug’s creator, Novo Nordisk, in which the FDA required the company to conduct further safety testing showing the serious side effects. For people who are overweight or obese, this new diabetes drug may be a powerful option to finally conquer fat loss along with diet and exercise.

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

Source: Xavier Pi-Sunyer, Arne Astrup, Ken Fujioka, et al “A Randomized, Controlled Trial of 3.0 mg of Liraglutide in Weight Management” The New England Journal of Medicine 2 July 2015

Vitamin D Supplement Aids Weight Loss

Overweight Americans, who are vitamin D deficient, can now take a supplement of the nutrient to help them lose weight, according to a new Italian study (HealthDay 2015).

Vitamin D Aids Weight Loss

Vitamin D may help overweight individuals lose weight who are vitamin D deficient. Photo: Sathit/Shutterstock

I love vitamins because they are good for replacing the nutrients I need for my diet plan during weight loss efforts. Prior research has demonstrated that vitamin D deficiency is related to a risk of obesity and obesity-related issues, says led scientist Vigna of the University of Milan. The team mentioned that past research on the use of vitamin D deficiency to stop obesity has been indecisive thus far.

In northern Italy, it has been estimated that severe vitamin D deficiency varies from 6 percent in overweight people to 30 to 40 percent in morbidly obese individuals. Nearly all obese persons did not have a favorable vitamin D level.

The study consisted of 400 overweight or obese individuals with low vitamin D, who were to follow a low-calorie diet and then were separated into three groups. One group took no supplements, while the other two either took 100,000 international units (IU) or 25,000 IU of vitamin D each month.

After 6 months, people who took the supplements accomplished a significantly greater weight loss and reduction in waist circumference than those who took no supplements. The people who took 100,000 units lost an average of 5.4kg, while 3.8kg was the total fat loss for the 25,000 unit group (HealthDay 2015).

“The present data indicate that in obese and overweight people with vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D supplementation aids weight loss and enhances the beneficial effects of a reduced calorie diet,” Vigna team said. The scientists recommend that all obese and overweight individuals have their vitamin D levels checked.

It is important to note that the effects of vitamin D is only limited to those who actually have a vitamin D deficiency. Consuming the proper amounts of vitamins and minerals is important, said Dr. Christopher Ochner, an expert in nutrition, weight loss and obesity of The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. However, “this study does not suggest that everyone looking to lose weight should start taking large doses of vitamin D – or any other supplement,” he stressed, adding that “most individuals are not vitamin D-deficient.”

Vitamin D has the nickname “sunshine vitamin” because the body produces the nutrient when skin is exposed to the sun. People can also get vitamin D from foods such as eggs, milk, salmon, tuna, orange juice and cereal. If you are obese or overweight and vitamin D deficient, consult with your physician to see how taking this supplement may help you lose weight.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice from FAMU
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Preidt, R. “Vitamin D Supplements Might Help Some Lose Weight” HealthDay 2015

Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig Top Diet Plans for Weight Loss

Individuals seeking long-term weight loss should think about trying Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, as a review of clinical trials ranks them top diet plans in a study (Ann. Intern. Med., 2015). Weight loss is a $2.5 billion growing industry with more than a third of adults obese in the United States. That is why commercial weight loss programs have become so popular but doctors still haven’t had much information to recommended specific programs.

Jennifer Hudson Weight Watchers - Weight Loss

Jennifer Hudson after her amazing weight loss with Weight Watchers. Glamaholic Photo

In the trial that lasted one year, Weight Watcher participants had at least a 2.6 percent greater weight loss than those who received only education. People who used Jenny Craig lost 4.9 percent more weight at 1 year compared to those who underwent education and counseling. Other weight-loss programs such as Nutrisystem resulted in a 3.8 percent greater fat loss, while Atkins had a 0.1% to 2.9% fat loss at 12 months.

I believe that weight loss programs that help individuals restrict calories with a strategic approach to making healthier diet choices is key to long-term weight loss. Other fat loss programs that focus strictly on supplements or prepackaged meals are not successful as Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. Gudzune and researchers highlighted that “structure and intensity of contact” are highly correlated with program success.

Although diet and exercise are the key factors to weight loss, it seems that frequent coaching and making smart diet choices is what effects long-term weight loss the most. Clinicians may now consider referring obese or overweight patients to Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers as they are reviewed as top diet plans. Programs such as Nutrisystem, demonstrate promising fat-loss results; however, further research analyzing long-term weight loss outcomes are required.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Gudzune KA, Doshi RS, Mehta AK, Chaudhry ZW, Jacobs DK, Vakil RM, et al. “Efficacy of Commercial Weight-Loss Programs: An Updated Systematic Review” Annals of Internal Medicine 2015