Tag Archives: lose weight

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

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

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

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

Weight Loss Linked to Lower Risk of Uterine Cancer

Weight loss may lower the risk of cancer of the endometrium, the lining of the uterus, in older women, a new study suggests.

Weight Loss May Reduce Uterine Cancer

Weight loss may lower the risk of uterine cancer in older women, a new study finds. Photo by Miami OBGYN

This is good news to older adults who think that weight loss may not be beneficial to them. “Many older adults think it’s too late to benefit from weight loss, or think that because they are overweight or obese, the damage has already been done. But our findings show that’s not true,” study author Juhua Luo said in a news release from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

These new findings shed light on the fact that it can never be to too late to lose weight, no matter what age you are. “It’s never too late, and even moderate weight loss can make a big difference when it comes to cancer risk,” Luo added. She’s an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Indiana University Bloomington’s School of Public Health.

According to the researchers, endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer and the fourth most common cancer among women in the United States, the researchers said. More than 75 percent of endometrial cancers occur in women aged 55 and older.

The researchers analyzed data from more than 35,000 American women between the ages of 50 and 79. The study included an average of more than 10 years of follow-up.

Although the study did not prove cause and effect, losing weight was associated with a significantly lower risk of endometrial cancer, and that benefit was greatest in obese women, the researchers said. Exercising alone just makes you feel so good and the fact that it can lower the risk of cancer just makes it all the better.

Women over 50 who reduced 5 percent or more of their body weight had a 29 percent lower risk of endometrial cancer, regardless of their age or how much weight they lost, according to the researchers.

Obese women who reduced 5 percent or more of their body weight had a 56 percent reduction in their risk. Overweight or obese women who accomplished a normal body mass index (BMI — an estimate of body fat based on weight and height) had the same risk as women who kept a normal BMI, the study authors said.

The researchers also discovered that women who gained more than 10 pounds had a 26 percent increased risk of endometrial cancer.

The study was published online Feb. 6 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“There have been more than a thousand studies linking obesity to an increased risk of endometrial and other cancers, but almost none that look at the relationship between weight loss and cancer risk,” said Dr. Jennifer Ligibel, an ASCO expert in cancer prevention.

“This study tells us that weight loss, even later in life, is linked to a lower risk of endometrial cancer. The findings also support the development of weight loss programs as part of a cancer prevention strategy in overweight and obese adults,” she said.
Source: Journal of Clinical Oncology, news release, Feb. 6, 2017

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