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Posts Tagged ‘Weight Loss’

Why Current Strategies for Fighting Obesity Are Not Working

Posted by Sun on July 6, 2012

ScienceDaily (July 3, 2012) — As the United States confronts the growing epidemic of obesity among children and adults, a team of University of Colorado School of Medicine obesity researchers concludes that what the nation needs is a new battle plan — one that replaces the emphasis on widespread food restriction and weight loss with an emphasis on helping people achieve “energy balance” at a healthy body weight.

In a paper published in the July 3 issue of the journal Circulation, James O. Hill, PhD. and colleagues at the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center take on the debate over whether excessive food intake or insufficient physical activity cause obesity, using the lens of energy balance — which combines food intake, energy expended through physical activity and energy (fat) storage — to advance the concept of a “regulated zone,” where the mechanisms by which the body establishes energy balance are managed to overcome the body’s natural defenses towards preserving existing body weight. This is accomplished by strategies that match food and beverage intake to a higher level of energy expenditure than is typical in America today, enabling the biological system that regulates body weight to work more effectively. Additional support for this concept comes from many studies showing that higher levels of physical activity are associated with low weight gain whereas comparatively low levels of activity are linked to high weight gain over time.

“A healthy body weight is best maintained with a higher level of physical activity than is typical today and with an energy intake that matches,” explained Hill, professor of pediatrics and medicine and executive director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the lead author of the paper. “We are not going to reduce obesity by focusing only on reducing food intake. Without increasing physical activity in the population we are simply promoting unsustainable levels of food restriction. This strategy hasn’t worked so far and it is not likely to work in the future.

As Dr. Hill explains, “What we are really talking about is changing the message from ‘Eat Less, Move More” to ‘Move More, Eat Smarter.’ ”

The authors argue that preventing excessive weight gain is a more achievable goal than treating obesity once it is present. Here, the researchers stress that reducing calorie intake by 100 calories a day would prevent weight gain in 90 percent of the adult population and is achievable through small increases in physical activity and small changes in food intake.

People who have a low level of physical activity have trouble achieving energy balance because they must constantly use food restriction to match energy intake to a low level of energy expenditure. Constant food restriction is difficult to maintain long-term and when it cannot be maintained, the result is positive energy balance (when the calories consumed are greater than the calories expended) and an increase in body mass, of which 60 percent to 80 percent is usually body fat. The increasing body mass elevates energy expenditure and helps reestablish energy balance. In fact, the researchers speculate that becoming obese may be the only way to achieve energy balance when living a sedentary lifestyle in a food-abundant environment.

Using an exhaustive review of the energy balance literature as the basis, the researchers also refuted the popular theory that escalating obesity rates can be attributed exclusively to two factors — the change in the American diet and the rise in overall energy intake without a compensatory increase in energy expenditure. Using rough estimates of increases in food intake and decreases in physical activity from 1971 to 2000, the researchers calculated that were it not for the physiological processes that produce energy balance, American adults would have experienced a 30 to 80 fold increase in weight gain during that period, which demonstrates why it is not realistic to attribute obesity solely to caloric intake or physical activity levels. In fact, energy expenditure has dropped dramatically over the past century as our lives now require much less physical activity just to get through the day. The authors argue that this drop in energy expenditure was a necessary prerequisite for the current obesity problem, which necessitates adding a greater level of physical activity back into our modern lives.

“Addressing obesity requires attention to both food intake and physical activity, said co-author John Peters, PhD., assistant director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. “Strategies that focus on either alone will not likely work.”

In addition, the researchers conclude that food restriction alone is not effective in reducing obesity, explaining that although caloric restriction produces weight loss, this process triggers hunger and the body’s natural defense to preserve existing body weight, which leads to a lower resting metabolic rate and notable changes in how the body burns calories. As a result, energy requirements after weight loss can be reduced from 170 to 250 calories for a 10 percent weight loss and from 325 to 480 calories for a 20 percent weight loss. These findings provide insight concerning weight loss plateau and the common occurrence of regaining weight after completing a weight loss regimen.

Recognizing that energy balance is a new concept for to the public, the researchers call for educational efforts and new information tools that will teach Americans about energy balance and how food and physical activity choices affect energy balance.

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Who Knows You Best? Not You, Say Psychologists

Posted by Sun on July 5, 2012

ScienceDaily (Aug. 2, 2011) — Two Clemson University researchers seek to make diners mindful of mindless eating.

Psychology professor Eric Muth and electrical and computer engineering professor Adam Hoover have created the Bite Counter, a measurement device that will make it easier for people to monitor how much they eat. Worn like a watch, the Bite Counter device tracks a pattern of wrist-roll motion to identify when the wearer has taken a bite of food. Think of it as a pedometer for eating.

“At the societal level, current weight-loss and maintenance programs are failing to make a significant impact. Studies have shown that people tend to underestimate what they eat by large margins, mostly because traditional methods rely upon self-observation and reporting,” said Muth. “Our preliminary data suggest that bite count can be used as a proxy for caloric count.”

The advantage of the Bite Counter is that it is automated so that user bias is removed. The device can be used anywhere, such as at restaurants or while working, where people find it difficult to manually track and remember calories.

The device is not based on what happens in a single bite (i.e. exact grams or specific food nutrients), but in how it simplifies long-term monitoring. For commercialization, Bite Counters eventually will be sold as simple consumer electronics alongside such familiar devices as activity monitors, heart-rate monitors, GPS watches and pedometers. A device is available from Bite Technologies now for professional and research use at http://www.icountbites.com.

“The device only requires that the user press a button to turn it on before eating and press the button again after the meal or snack is done. In between, the device automatically counts how many bites have been eaten,” Hoover said.

In laboratory studies, the device has been shown to be more than 90 percent accurate in counting bites, regardless of the user, food, utensil or container, according to Hoover. However, there are few existing data on how bite count relates to calorie count or how a bite-counting device could be used for weight loss. The device will allow for such data to be more easily collected.

With prototypes completed and manufacturing under way, devices are being tested in 20 subjects for one month. The devices will store logs of bite-count activities, which will provide researchers baseline data for developing guidelines for completely new and innovative weight-loss studies.

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How the Smell of Food Affects How Much You Eat

Posted by Sun on June 13, 2012

ScienceDaily (Mar. 21, 2012) — Bite size depends on the familiarly and texture of food. Smaller bite sizes are taken for foods which need more chewing and smaller bite sizes are often linked to a sensation of feeling fuller sooner. New research published in BioMed Central’s new open access journal Flavour,shows that strong aromas lead to smaller bite sizes and suggests that aroma may be used as a means to control portion size.

The aroma experience of food is linked to its constituents and texture, but also to bite size. Smaller bites sizes are linked towards a lower flavour release which may explain why we take smaller bites of unfamiliar or disliked foods. In order to separate the effect of aroma on bite size from other food-related sensations researchers from the Netherlands developed a system where a custard-like dessert was eaten while different scents were simultaneously presented directly to the participants nose.

The results showed that the stronger the smell the smaller the bite. Dr Rene A de Wijk, who led the study, explained, “Our human test subjects were able to control how much dessert was fed to them by pushing a button. Bite size was associated with the aroma presented for that bite and also for subsequent bites (especially for the second to last bite). Perhaps, in keeping with the idea that smaller bites are associated with lower flavour sensations from the food and that, there is an unconscious feedback loop using bite size to regulate the amount of flavour experienced.”

This study suggests that manipulating the odour of food could result in a 5-10% decrease in intake per bite. Combining aroma control with portion control could fool the body into thinking it was full with a smaller amount of food and aid weight loss.

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Eating Disorders Impact Brain Function, New Brain Research Suggests

Posted by Sun on June 12, 2012

ScienceDaily (July 11, 2011) — Bulimia nervosa is a severe eating disorder associated with episodic binge eating followed by extreme behaviors to avoid weight gain such as self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives or excessive exercise. It is poorly understood how brain function may be involved in bulimia. A new study led by Guido Frank, MD, assistant professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and Director, Developmental Brain Research Program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, examined the brain response to a dopamine related reward-learning task in bulimic and healthy women.

Dopamine is an important brain chemical or neurotransmitter that helps regulate behavior such as learning and motivation. Frank found that bulimic women had weakened response in brain regions that are part of the reward circuitry. This response was related to the frequency of binge/purge episodes. Overeating and purging episodes thus could cause such a weaker response and set off a vicious cycle of altered brain function.

These findings are important for several reasons. First, they directly implicate the brain reward system and related dopamine function in this disorder. Second, bulimic behavior appears to directly affect brain reward function and it is uncertain whether such alterations return to normal with recovery or not. Third, brain dopamine could be a treatment target in bulimia nervosa using specific medication that targets those abnormalities.

“This is the first study that suggests that brain dopamine related reward circuitry, pathways that modulate our drive to eat, may have a role in bulimia nervosa. We found reduced activation in this network in the bulimic women, and the more often an individual had binge/purge episodes the less responsive was their brain. That suggests that the eating disorder behavior directly affects brain function. These findings are important since the brain dopamine neurotransmitter system could be an important treatment target for bulimia nervosa,” said Frank.

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Less Couch Time Equals Fewer Cookies

Posted by Sun on May 31, 2012

ScienceDaily (May 28, 2012) — Simply ejecting your rear from the couch means your hand will spend less time digging into a bag of chocolate chip cookies.

That is the simple but profound finding of a new Northwestern Medicine study, which reports simply changing one bad habit has a domino effect on others. Knock down your sedentary leisure time and you’ll reduce junk food and saturated fats because you’re no longer glued to the TV and noshing. It’s a two-for-one benefit because the behaviors are closely related.

The study also found the most effective way to rehab a delinquent lifestyle requires two key behavior changes: cutting time spent in front of a TV or computer screen and eating more fruits and vegetables.

“Just making two lifestyle changes has a big overall effect and people don’t get overwhelmed,” said Bonnie Spring, a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and lead author of the study published in Archives of Internal Medicine.

“Americans have all these unhealthy behaviors that put them at high risk for heart disease and cancer, but it is hard for them and their doctors to know where to begin to change those unhealthy habits,” Spring said. “This approach simplifies it.”

With this simplified strategy, people are capable of making big lifestyle changes in a short period of time and maintaining them, according to the study.

Spring wanted to figure out the most effective way to spur people to change common bad health habits: eating too much saturated fat and not enough fruits and vegetables, spending too much sedentary leisure time and not getting enough physical activity.

She and colleagues randomly assigned 204 adult patients, ages 21 to 60 years old, with all those unhealthy habits into one of four treatments. The treatments were: increase fruit/vegetable intake and physical activity, decrease fat and sedentary leisure, decrease fat and increase physical activity, and increase fruit/vegetable intake and decrease sedentary leisure.

During the three weeks of treatment, patients entered their daily data into a personal digital assistant and uploaded it to a coach who communicated as needed by telephone or email.

Participants could earn $175 for meeting goals during the three-week treatment phase. But when that phase was completed, patients no longer had to maintain the lifestyle changes in order to be paid. They were simply asked to send data three days a month for six months and received $30 to $80 per month.

“We said we hope you’ll continue to keep up these healthy changes, but you no longer have to keep them up to be compensated,” Spring said.

The results over the next six months amazed Spring. “We thought they’d do it while we were paying them, but the minute we stopped they’d go back to their bad habits,” she said. “But they continued to maintain a large improvement in their health behaviors.”

From baseline to the end of treatment to the end of the six-month follow-up, the average servings of fruit/vegetables changed from 1.2 to 5.5 to 2.9; average minutes per day of sedentary leisure went from 219.2 to 89.3 to 125.7 and daily calories from saturated fat from 12 percent to 9.4 percent to 9.9 percent.

About 86 percent of participants said once they made the change, they tried to maintain it. There was something about increasing fruits and vegetables that made them feel like they were capable of any of these changes,” Spring said. “It really enhanced their confidence.”

“We found people can make very large changes in a very short amount of time and maintain them pretty darn well,” Spring said. “It’s a lot more feasible than we thought.”

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Eat Healthy — Your Kids Are Watching

Posted by Sun on May 31, 2012

ScienceDaily (May 30, 2012) — If lower-income mothers want kids with healthy diets, it’s best to adopt healthy eating habits themselves and encourage their children to eat good foods rather than use force, rewards or punishments, says a Michigan State University study.

The study, which appears in a recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is one of a few that focuses on the eating habits of low-income families. The results demonstrate that the mothers who led by example and persuaded, rather than ordered, their kids to eat their vegetables had kids with healthier diets, said Sharon Hoerr, MSU professor of food science and human nutrition.

“Mothers should stop forcing or restricting their kids’ eating,” she said. “They’d be better off providing a healthy food environment, adopting balanced eating habits themselves and covertly controlling their children’s diet quality by not bringing less healthy foods into the house.”

Overtly restricting certain foods from a child when others are eating them at mealtimes can lead to unhealthy eating, she added.

Additional parental tips include maintaining regular meal and snack times, offering smaller portions of healthy foods and allowing the children to decide how much they will eat. And what about kids who’d rather play with their food or consume only junk food?

“With picky eaters, it’s best to coax and encourage them to eat rather than yell at them,” Hoerr said. “Other ways to get them interested in having a balanced diet is to take them to the grocery store or garden, and help them select new foods to taste as well as allow them to help cook at home.”

In continuing this research, Hoerr hopes to develop home-based and interactive educational materials for parents who want to encourage healthful eating.

Additional MSU researchers contributing to this study include Megumi Murashima, doctoral student, and Stan Kaplowitz, sociologist. Part of Hoerr’s research is funded by MSU’s AgBioResearch.

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How to lose weight

Posted by Sun on May 28, 2012

Cut calories

A gram of fat contains twice as many calories as a gram of carbohydrate or protein. Reduce high-fat foods in your diet, choose lower or fat-reduced options, use cooking oil and spreads sparingly and remove excess fat from meat.

Include lower calorie options in your diet, such as fruit and vegetables. Bulky fibre-rich foods are also a good choice.

Try switching from white to wholemeal bread, or choose a wholegrain breakfast cereal.

Think about portion sizes

Portion sizes have increased over the years, especially when it comes to ready meals and snack foods. This means we’re consuming extra calories, but we adapt quickly to eating bigger portions and don’t tend to feel fuller as a result.

Downsize potatoes, pasta, rice and fatty and sugary foods, and super size fruit and vegetables.

Watch what you’re drinking

Cut sugar-rich drinks and alcohol, and instead choose water, tea, coffee or artificially sweetened drinks.

Sugary drinks add extra calories to your diet but don’t make you feel full or satisfied.

Keep a balanced diet

Remember the principles of a balanced diet – include plenty of fruit and vegetables (at least five portions a day), unrefined foods with more fibre, lean meats and low-fat dairy products.

Get active

Becoming more active doesn’t necessarily mean sweating it out in a gym. Instead, try the following:

  • Choose activities you enjoy and try to spend more time each week on these
  • Incorporate more activity into everyday life
  • Buy a pedometer and increase the number of steps you take each day

Another good way to become more active is to focus on spending less time sitting down. At home, limit the time you spend watching TV or in front of a computer screen. At work, take regular breaks and if you want to talk to a colleague, walk to their desk instead of sending an email.

Fad diets don’t work

Diets that promise quick, effortless weight loss are best avoided. You may lose weight initially, but they’re often difficult to follow in the long term. Often they’re also very restrictive and may not provide all the nutrients your body needs.

Fad diets are those that:

  • Promise a quick, easy fix with rapid weight loss
  • Suggest that certain foods ‘burn fat’
  • Promote the eating of just one of two foods
  • Have lots of rules about how to eat
  • Sound too good to be true

Yo-yo dieting

Many people who lose weight tend to regain it over time. You can minimise the chance of this by making permanent changes to your lifestyle – by switching to low-calorie drinks and low-fat spreads, for example, or by eating smaller portions. Regular physical activity appears to be especially important in maintaining weight loss.

The following factors are important for maintaining weight loss:

  • Small, permanent dietary changes
  • Regular physical activity
  • Realistic goals
  • Regular weighing
  • Support from family and friends

Although no one would suggest yo-yo dieting is a good thing, there’s little evidence it’s harmful to health. However, it’s disappointing and can reduce your confidence and motivation.

Recognise that in the period immediately following a diet you’re at high risk of weight gain and you need to take specific steps to avoid it.

Remember to weigh yourself regularly. If you notice your weight increasing, take action immediately. Don’t let a minor lapse become a major problem.

Dr Toni Steer, Dr Susan Jebb

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk

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Healthy weight-loss diet

Posted by Sun on May 28, 2012

Dr Toni Steer, Dr Susan Jebb

A sensible rate of weight loss is around 0.5kg to 1kg (1lb to 2lb) a week. To achieve this, you need an energy deficit of 3,500kcal to 7,000kcal a week, which means eating 500 to 1,000 fewer calories a day.

You can do this by replacing high-fat foods with those that are low in fat such as fruit, vegetables, unrefined carbohydrates and lower-fat dairy products, and by being more physically active.

It’s also important to watch the size of your portions. This can be difficult, because over time you can lose touch with what’s a sensible amount of food.

Meat, fish and alternatives

Meat, fish, eggs and alternatives, such as beans and lentils, provide protein, which is essential for growth and repair. These protein-rich foods, meat in particular, are also good sources of iron, selenium, zinc and B vitamins.

Lean sources of protein can also help to curb your appetite. To help reduce the calories you get from fat, remove the skin from chicken, cut off obvious bits of fat from lamb, pork and beef, and use minimum oil for cooking.

Aim to eat two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, sardines or trout.

You should have two portions of protein-rich foods every day. A portion is equivalent to:

  • Meat and fish the size of a pack of playing cards
  • Two eggs
  • Four tablespoons of lentils or beans

Bread, cereals and potatoes

Starchy carbohydrate foods, such as bread, potatoes, rice and breakfast cereals, provide us with energy and other nutrients, including iron and B vitamins.

Starchy foods should make up about a third of your total daily energy intake.

Choose unrefined types that are higher in fibre. They’ll make you feel full for longer and help to control hunger.

A balanced diet should contain about five portions of starchy foods each day. A portion is equivalent to:

  • Three tablespoons of breakfast cereal
  • One large slice of bread
  • One chapatti
  • Three heaped tablespoons of pasta
  • Two egg-size potatoes
  • Two heaped tablespoons of rice

Fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables provide essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, and contain many other compounds associated with good health.

Everyone should aim to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in their diet.

Because fruit and vegetables are bulky and contain a lot of water, they can help to control your calorie intake. Aim for at least five portions a day.

A portion weighs about 80g and can include fresh, canned, frozen and dried fruit and vegetables. A portion is equivalent to:

  • Two large tablespoons of vegetables, such as peas, carrots, swede or broccoli
  • Whole fruits, such as one apple, one orange, one pear
  • A handful of grapes
  • Two tablespoons of strawberries or raspberries
  • One small glass of fruit juice
  • A handful of dried fruit

Milk and dairy foods

Foods such as cheese, yoghurt and fromage frais are an important source of calcium as well as providing protein and vitamins. Choose low-fat or reduced-fat versions to reduce the amount of calories in your diet.

Aim for around three portions of dairy foods a day. A portion is equivalent to:

  • A medium-size glass of milk
  • A small pot of yoghurt
  • A small matchbox-sized piece of cheese

Foods containing fat and/or sugar

Fatty and sugary foods, such as crisps, spreads, oils, creamy dressings, sweets, cakes, biscuits and chocolate, and sugar-rich drinks, including alcohol, are high in calories but relatively low in nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.

Eating healthily means including foods that are packed with nutrients rather than packed with energy.

You should reduce your intake of these foods as much as possible. You can do this by:

  • Swapping sugary and fatty snacks for fruit, diet yoghurt or a slice of wholemeal toast with reduced-fat spread
  • Choosing water, reduced-fat milk or low-calorie drinks instead of sugar-rich drinks
  • Using only a scraping of spread on your bread and using an oil spray to limit fat when cooking

Alcohol contains around 7 kcal per gram. As well as adding calories to your diet, it can stimulate the appetite and weaken your healthy eating intentions.

For more advice on cutting calories, see How to lose weight.

A word about salt

On average, we eat over 50 per cent more salt than the recommended level and more than twice the amount we actually need.

We’ve become used to eating foods containing salt, so reducing the amount we consume often means adjusting our palates.

A lot of salt comes from processed foods, so look for low-salt varieties and check the salt content on the label. You can also cut salt by:

  • Preparing foods from fresh ingredients as much as possible
  • Avoiding salty snacks, such as crisps and salted nuts
  • Choosing ‘unsalted’, ‘no added salt’ or ‘reduced salt’ foods

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk

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Non-Smokers Put On Less Weight, Study Suggests

Posted by Sun on May 25, 2012

ScienceDaily (Apr. 22, 2010) — A new study links nicotine poisoning with weight gain, and concludes that active smokers, not only those who stop, put on more weight than non-smokers. After four years of analysis in the University of Navarra, those who put on least weight were those who had never smoked.

From now on we will have to question the myth that smoking makes you slimmer. Researchers from the Department of Preventative Medicine at the University of Navarra (UNAV) have evaluated the link between the two cardiovascular risk factors: the ‘nicotine habit’ and the increase in weight when smokers stop the habit and when they continue smoking.

The results, now published in theRevista Española de Cardiología, “are crucial for considering prevention programmes,” Francisco Javier Basterra-Gortari, main author of the study and researcher at UNAV, said.

The data, resulting from an analysis of 7565 people over 50 months, is based on age, sex, initial body mass index and lifestyles (sedentarism, changes in physical activity, energy/fibre intake, snacks between meals and consumption of fizzy drinks, fast food and alcohol).

Weight gain in people who stopped smoking during the study was higher the more cigarettes they smoked a day when the investigation began. Those who continued smoking also gained more weight during this period than the non-smokers.

The authors confirm that nicotine addiction is not an effective way of preventing obesity. “In fact the increase is demonstrated, especially in ex-smokers and in smokers who continue,” highlights Basterra-Gortari.

 

A dangerous connection

 

The association between being overweight and nicotine addiction is especially harmful for cardiovascular health. Therefore, abandoning the nicotine habit has been linked to a decrease in the risk of cardiovascular illnesses and cancer. However, experts argue that weight gain after stopping smoking is, often, a reason for not quitting the nicotine addiction, especially among women.

Most of the investigations that have studied this link have observed that, although there is an increase in weight after stopping smoking, there are notable variations in weight gain.

“In Spain, there are very few studies on this link,” concludes the researcher, who believes that “more extensive studies can confirm the results and extrapolate them to other sectors of the population.”

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Moderate Sleep and Less Stress May Help With Weight Loss

Posted by Sun on May 24, 2012

ScienceDaily (Mar. 29, 2011) — If you want to increase your chances of losing weight, reduce your stress level and get adequate sleep. A new Kaiser Permanente study found that people trying to lose at least 10 pounds were more likely to reach that goal if they had lower stress levels and slept more than six hours but not more than eight hours a night.

The paper, published March 29 in theInternational Journal of Obesity, was the result of a study funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Nearly 500 participants from Kaiser Permanente in Oregon and Washington took part in the study, which measured whether sleep, stress, depression, television viewing, and computer screen time were correlated with weight loss. Several previous studies have found an association between these factors and obesity, but few have looked at whether these factors predict weight loss.

“This study suggests that when people are trying to lose weight, they should try to get the right amount of sleep and reduce their stress,” said lead author Charles Elder, MD, MPH, an investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., who also leads Integrative Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Northwest. “Some people may just need to cut back on their schedules and get to bed earlier. Others may find that exercise can reduce stress and help them sleep. For some people, mind/body techniques such as meditation also might be helpful.”

The study involved two phases: during the first phase, participants were asked to lose at least 10 pounds over six months. If they succeeded, they moved to the second year-long phase of the study, which tested a complementary acupressure technique against more traditional weight-maintenance strategies. Findings from phase two are not yet available.

During the study’s first phase, all participants attended weekly meetings at which they were weighed and advised to reduce calorie intake by 500 calories per day, adopt a low-fat, low-sugar diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, increase physical activity to 180 minutes a week, and keep daily food records. People who kept more food records and attended more meetings were more likely to lose weight during this phase of the trial.

Participants also were asked to report levels of insomnia, stress and depression, and to record how much time they slept and spent watching television or using a computer. The research team found that sleep and stress levels were good predictors of weight loss, but depression and screen time were not.

People with the lowest stress levels who also got more than six hours, but not more than eight hours, of sleep were most likely to lose at least 10 pounds. In fact, nearly three-quarters of this group moved on to the second phase of the trial, and were twice as likely to be successful as those who reported the highest stress levels and got six or fewer hours of sleep per night.

Participants who qualified for the second phase were divided into two groups: one received monthly guided instruction in the Tapas Acupressure Technique, which involves lightly touching specific pressure points on the face and back of the head while focusing on a problem (i.e., maintaining weight loss). The other group also met monthly with a trained interventionist and a support group, but used more traditional nutrition and exercise techniques to keep weight off. Both groups met for six months and then were followed for another six months to see which group kept more weight off. Results of that phase of the trial should be available in late 2011 or early 2012.

The study authors caution that their findings may not apply to all groups trying to lose weight. The authors also noted that the participants were highly motivated, and that 90 percent had attended at least some college.

These studies are part of ongoing research at Kaiser Permanente to better understand weight loss and the key factors to maintaining optimum weight. Another Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research study last year found that the more people logged on to an interactive weight management website, the more weight they kept off. Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research also found that keeping a food diary can double a person’s weight loss and that both personal contact and web-based support can help with long-term weight management.

Study authors include: Charles R. Elder, MD, MPH, Christina M. Gullion, PhD, Kristine L. Funk, MS, Lynn L. DeBar, PhD, Nangel M. Lindberg, PhD, and Victor J. Stevens, PhD, all from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore.

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How Stress Makes You Fat

Posted by Sun on May 24, 2012

By: Lisa Turner

How many times have you heard someone say “it’s just stress”? There’s no “just” about it — stress has been linked to depression, cardiovascular disease,HIV/AIDS, breast cancer and other diseases. And when it comes to food, eating, digestion and weight, stress is a critical factor.

A number of studies have shown that stress leads to weight gain,[1] partly by increasing the body’s cravings for sugary carbs and fatty foods.[2] In one study, a group of college-age men and women were told that they would have to prepare a short speech that would be recorded and assessed for quality. All of the participants were so stressed by this news that their blood pressure went up and their mood declined. Then they were presented with a selection of food and told that they could eat as much as they wanted. All of the stressed-out group ate 88 percent more fatty, sugary foods than did their unstressed counterparts in a control group.[3]

It’s not just that being tense makes you crave cupcakes; stress also initiates a complex web ofhormonal influences that may prompt the body to hang on to fat. And when you’re stressed, your ability to digest food is also vastly compromised. It’s well-known that stress greatly exacerbates digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); in one interesting small study of 12 subjects from 1989, deep relaxation was significantly more important than thorough chewing in terms of starting the digestive process.[4]

The solution is simple: Reduce stress and eat slowly. Don’t just take my word for it. A number of studies have borne this out. For example, in one study, simple mindful eating and stress-reduction techniques prevented overweight and obese women from gaining weight, without dieting. As an added bonus, the women who had the greatest reduction in stress also lowered their bodies’ tendencies to hang onto deep belly fat, the kind of fat that’s linked to heart disease and diabetes.[5]

There’s no magic one-size-fits-all stress reduction plan, but some general approaches work for most people:

    • Try meditating. It’s a surefire stress reducer; studies show that meditation combats stress, and some suggest it works by actually changing the brain.[6] Very few of us will park our rears on a cushion and sit still for two hours at a time — but even smaller doses work. Cultivate the habit: Start with five minutes in the morning, and gradually work up to half an hour.

 

    • Get more sleep. If you don’t get enough, or if your quality of sleep is poor, you’ll be more likely to gain weight, partly because the sleep-deprived body craves carbs for quick energy, partly because glucose metabolism is affected.[7] In one study, people with high stress levels and poor sleep were less likely to achieve a 10-pound weight loss goal.[8]

 

 

    • Incorporate stress-reducing foods. If you’re going through a trying time, foods that soothe nerves can help. Stay away from refined sugars, eat adequate protein, and be sure you’re getting magnesium-rich greens, lots of vitamin C, and plenty of omega-3 fats.

 

 

  • Examine your priorities. What’s your purpose on the planet? What’s your life’s work? If you haven’t taken time to establish these, do so. Having a bigger vision keeps you out of the small stressors of daily life — and makes living more enjoyable overall.

 

References:

1. Torres SJ, Nowson CA. “Relationship between stress, eating behavior, and obesity.” Nutrition. 2007 Nov-Dec;23(11-12):887-94.

2. Peters, A., Kubera, B., Hubold, C., et al. “The selfish brain: stress and eating behavior.” Medical Clinic 1, University of Luebeck Luebeck, Germany. Frontiers in Neuroscience 2011; 5:74.

3. Kozak AT, Fought A. “Beyond alcohol and drug addiction. Does the negative trait of low distress tolerance have an association with overeating?” Appetite. 2011 Dec;57(3): 578-81.

4. Morse DR, et al. “Oral digestion of a complex-carbohydrate cereal: effects of stress and relaxation on physiological and salivary measures.” Am J Clin Nutri, 1989; 49: 1, 97-105.

5. Daubenmier J, et al. “Mindfulness intervention for stress eating to reduce cortisol and abdominal fat among overweight and obese women: an exploratory randomized controlled study.” J Obes.2011;2011:651936. Epub 2011 Oct 2.

6. Hölzel BK, et al. “Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density.”Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 2011; 191 (1): 36.

7. Weiss A, et al. “The Association of Sleep Duration with Adolescents’ Fat and Carbohydrate Consumption.” Sleep, 2010: 33:09.

8. Elder CR, et al. “Impact of sleep, screen time, depression and stress on weight change in the intensive weight loss phase of the LIFE study.” International Journal of Obesity, 2011:1-7.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

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Women Who Choose Boiled Coffee Run Lower Risk of Breast Cancer, Swedish Study Finds

Posted by Sun on May 23, 2012

ScienceDaily (June 15, 2010) — Women who drink Scandinavian boiled coffee, which chemically resembles French press and Turkish/Greek coffee, more than four times a day run a lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who drink coffee less than once a day. This is shown by Lena Nilsson and her associates at Umeå University in an article in the journal Cancer Causes & Control.

A major difference between boiled and filtered coffee is that the boiled version contains up to 80 times as much coffee-specific fatty acids. These fatty acids have previously been shown in animal experiments to inhibit the growth of cancer.

By comparing filtered coffee and boiled coffee in the Västerbotten Intervention Project (64,603 participants), researchers at Umeå University have been able to show for the first time that various brewing techniques can lead to different risk patterns for cancer. For total cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and many other less common forms of cancer, there was no correlation.

Among women who drank boiled coffee more than four times a day there was a lowered risk of breast cancer compared with women who drank coffee less than once a day. Among women who drank filtered coffee there was an increased risk for early breast cancer (under 49 years old) and a decreased risk for late breast cancer (over 55 years old). Boiled-coffee drinkers, but not filtered-coffee drinkers, also had an increased risk of pancreatic cancer and lung cancer among men.

The study, recently published in the scientific journal Cancer Causes and Control, is the first in the world to compare the consumption of coffee prepared with two brewing techniques in regard to cancer.

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Coffee Drinkers Have Lower Risk of Death, Study Suggests

Posted by Sun on May 23, 2012

ScienceDaily (May 19, 2012) — Older adults who drank coffee — caffeinated or decaffeinated — had a lower risk of death overall than others who did not drink coffee, according a study by researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and AARP.

Coffee drinkers were less likely to die from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections, although the association was not seen for cancer. These results from a large study of older adults were observed after adjustment for the effects of other risk factors on mortality, such as smoking and alcohol consumption. Researchers caution, however, that they can’t be sure whether these associations mean that drinking coffee actually makes people live longer. The results of the study were published in the May 17, 2012 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Neal Freedman, Ph.D., Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, NCI, and his colleagues examined the association between coffee drinking and risk of death in 400,000 U.S. men and women ages 50 to 71 who participated in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Information about coffee intake was collected once by questionnaire at study entry in 1995-1996. The participants were followed until the date they died or Dec. 31, 2008, whichever came first.

The researchers found that the association between coffee and reduction in risk of death increased with the amount of coffee consumed. Relative to men and women who did not drink coffee, those who consumed three or more cups of coffee per day had approximately a 10 percent lower risk of death. Coffee drinking was not associated with cancer mortality among women, but there was a slight and only marginally statistically significant association of heavier coffee intake with increased risk of cancer death among men.

“Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in America, but the association between coffee consumption and risk of death has been unclear. We found coffee consumption to be associated with lower risk of death overall, and of death from a number of different causes,” said Freedman. “Although we cannot infer a causal relationship between coffee drinking and lower risk of death, we believe these results do provide some reassurance that coffee drinking does not adversely affect health.”

The investigators caution that coffee intake was assessed by self-report at a single time point and therefore might not reflect long-term patterns of intake. Also, information was not available on how the coffee was prepared (espresso, boiled, filtered, etc.); the researchers consider it possible that preparation methods may affect the levels of any protective components in coffee.

“The mechanism by which coffee protects against risk of death — if indeed the finding reflects a causal relationship — is not clear, because coffee contains more than 1,000 compounds that might potentially affect health,” said Freedman. “The most studied compound is caffeine, although our findings were similar in those who reported the majority of their coffee intake to be caffeinated or decaffeinated.”

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Coffee Drinkers Have Slightly Lower Death Rates, Study Finds

Posted by Sun on May 23, 2012

ScienceDaily (June 16, 2008) — A new study has good news for coffee drinkers: Regular coffee drinking (up to 6 cups per day) is not associated with increased deaths in either men or women. In fact, both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee consumption is associated with a somewhat smaller rate of death from heart disease.

“Coffee consumption has been linked to various beneficial and detrimental health effects, but data on its relation with death were lacking,” says Esther Lopez-Garcia, PhD, the study’s lead author. “Coffee consumption was not associated with a higher risk of mortality in middle-aged men and women. The possibility of a modest benefit of coffee consumption on heart disease, cancer, and other causes of death needs to be further investigated.”

Women consuming two to three cups of caffeinated coffee per day had a 25 percent lower risk of death from heart disease during the follow-up period (which lasted from 1980 to 2004 and involved 84,214 women) as compared with non-consumers, and an 18 percent lower risk of death caused by something other than cancer or heart disease as compared with non-consumers during follow-up. For men, this level of consumption was associated with neither a higher nor a lower risk of death during the follow-up period (which lasted from 1986 to 2004 and involved 41,736 men).

The researchers analyzed data of 84,214 women who had participated in the Nurses’ Health Study and 41,736 men who had participated in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. To be in the current study, participants had to have been free of cancer and heart disease at the start of those larger studies.

The study participants completed questionnaires every two to four years that included questions about how frequently they drank coffee, other diet habits, smoking, and health conditions. The researchers then compared the frequency of death from any cause, death due to heart disease, and death due to cancer among people with different coffee-drinking habits.

Among women, 2,368 deaths were due to heart disease, 5,011 were due to cancer, and 3,716 were due to another cause. Among men, 2,049 deaths were due to heart disease, 2,491 were due to cancer, and 2,348 were due to another cause.

While accounting for other risk factors, such as body size, smoking, diet, and specific diseases, the researchers found that people who drank more coffee were less likely to die during the follow-up period. This was mainly because of lower risk for heart disease deaths among coffee drinkers.

The researchers found no association between coffee drinking and cancer deaths. These relationships did not seem to be related to caffeine because people who drank decaffeinated coffee also had lower death rates than people who did not drink coffee.

The editors of Annals of Internal Medicine caution that the design of the study does not make it certain that coffee decreases the chances of dying sooner than expected. Something else about coffee drinkers might be protecting them. And some measurement error in the assessment of coffee consumption is inevitable because estimated consumption came from self-reports.

This study was supported by National Institutes of Health research grants.

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Increased Caffeinated Coffee Consumption Associated With Decreased Risk of Depression in Women, Study Finds

Posted by Sun on May 23, 2012

ScienceDaily (Sep. 26, 2011) — The risk of depression appears to decrease for women with increasing consumption of caffeinated coffee, according to a report in the September 26 issue ofArchives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Caffeine is the most frequently used central nervous system stimulant in the world, and approximately 80 percent of consumption is in the form of coffee, according to background information in the article. Previous research, including one prospective study among men, has suggested an association between coffee consumption and depression risk. Because depression is a chronic and recurrent condition that affects twice as many women as men, including approximately one of every five U.S. women during their lifetime, “identification of risk factors for depression among women and the development of new preventive strategies are, therefore, a public health priority,” write the authors. They sought to examine whether, in women, consumption of caffeine or certain caffeinated beverages is associated with the risk of depression.

Michel Lucas, Ph.D., R.D., from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, and colleagues studied 50,739 U.S. women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study. Participants, who had a mean (average) age of 63, had no depression at the start of the study in 1996 and were prospectively followed up with through June 2006. Researchers measured caffeine consumption through questionnaires completed from May 1980 through April 2004, including the frequency that caffeinated and noncaffeinated coffee, nonherbal tea, caffeinated soft drinks (sugared or low-calorie colas), caffeine-free soft drinks (sugared or low-calorie caffeine-free colas or other carbonated beverages) and chocolate were usually consumed in the previous 12 months. The authors defined depression as reporting a new diagnosis of clinical depression and beginning regular use of antidepressants in the previous two years.

Analysis of the cumulative mean consumption included a two-year latency period; for example, data on caffeine consumption from 1980 through 1994 were used to predict episodes of clinical depression from 1996 through 1998; consumption from 1980 through 1998 were used for the 1998 through 2000 follow-up period; and so on. During the 10-year follow-up period from 1996 to 2006, researchers identified 2,607 incident (new-onset) cases of depression. When compared with women who consumed one cup of caffeinated coffee or less per week, those who consumed two to three cups per day had a 15 percent decrease in relative risk for depression, and those consuming four cups or more per day had a 20 percent decrease in relative risk. Compared with women in the lowest (less than 100 milligrams [mg] per day) categories of caffeine consumption, those in the highest category (550 mg per day or more) had a 20 percent decrease in relative risk of depression. No association was found between intake of decaffeinated coffee and depression risk.

“In this large prospective cohort of older women free of clinical depression or severe depressive symptoms at baseline, risk of depression decreased in a dose-dependent manner with increasing consumption of caffeinated coffee,” write the authors. They note that this observational study “cannot prove that caffeine or caffeinated coffee reduces the risk of depression but only suggests the possibility of such a protective effect.” The authors call for further investigations to confirm their results and to determine whether usual caffeinated coffee consumption could contribute to prevention or treatment of depression.

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You Are What You Eat: Why Do Male Consumers Avoid Vegetarian Options?

Posted by Sun on May 22, 2012

ScienceDaily (May 16, 2012) — Why are men generally more reluctant to try vegetarian products? According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers are influenced by a strong association of meat with masculinity.

“We examined whether people in Western cultures have a metaphoric link between meat and men,” write authors Paul Rozin (University of Pennsylvania), Julia M. Hormes (Louisiana State University), Myles S. Faith (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), and Brian Wansink (Cornell University). The answer, they found, was a strong connection between eating meat — especially muscle meat, like steak — and masculinity.

In a number of experiments that looked at metaphors and certain foods, like meat and milk, the authors found that people rated meat as more masculine than vegetables. They also found that meat generated more masculine words when people discussed it, and that people viewed male meat eaters as being more masculine than non-meat eaters.

Most of the studies took place in the United States and Britain, but the authors also analyzed 23 languages that use gendered pronouns. They discovered that across most languages, meat was related to the male gender.

“To the strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, All-American male, red meat is a strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, All-American food,” the authors write. “Soy is not. To eat it, they would have to give up a food they saw as strong and powerful like themselves for a food they saw as weak and wimpy.”

If marketers or health advocates want to counteract such powerful associations, they need to address the metaphors that shape consumer attitudes, the authors explain. For example, an education campaign that urges people to eat more soy or vegetables would be a tough sell, but reshaping soy burgers to make them resemble beef or giving them grill marks might help cautious men make the transition.

“In marketing, understanding the metaphor a consumer might have for a brand could move the art of positioning toward more of a science,” the authors conclude.

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Obese People Can Suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder Due to Weight Alone

Posted by Sun on May 20, 2012

ScienceDaily (Apr. 13, 2011) — A new study from Rhode Island Hospital researchers shows that obese individuals with social anxiety related only to their weight may experience anxiety as severe as individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD). The findings directly conflict with the criteria for SAD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV). The study is now published online in advance of print in the journalDepression and Anxiety.

The DSM-IV indicates that an individual with a medical condition should only be diagnosed with social anxiety disorder (SAD) if the anxiety is unrelated to the medical condition. A workgroup for the proposed draft of the upcoming edition of the manual, DSM-5, has recommended modifying the criteria so that individuals with medical conditions such as stuttering, Parkinson’s Disease, and obesity can be diagnosed with SAD if the anxiety is excessive or is unrelated to the medical condition.

Since the DSM-IV was published, researchers have examined whether or not individuals with a medical condition who suffered with SAD should be excluded from the diagnosis, with several studies focused on individuals who stutter. To date, however, no research has been done among individuals who are obese and the anxiety is related only to obesity and is considered severe.

The new research from Rhode Island Hospital, led by Kristy Dalrymple, Ph.D., evaluated a group of individuals who were seeking clearance for bariatric surgery. The researchers identified three separate groups: 135 individuals diagnosed with DSM-IV SAD; 40 individuals classified as “modified SAD” who experienced clinically significant social anxiety related to weight only; and 616 individuals with no history of psychiatric disorders.

In their study, both the SAD and modified SAD groups were rated as having poorer social functioning as an adolescent compared to the no disorder group, but there was no difference between the SAD and modified SAD groups in this respect, with similar results found in social functioning over the past five years. In addition, the SAD group was rated as having more time out of work in the past five years due to psychopathology or emotional reasons compared to both the modified SAD group and the no disorder group.

Results also showed that those in the modified SAD group experienced more disruption in their social life and were more distressed about having social anxiety in the past month compared to those in the SAD group. Dalrymple says, “We found it particularly interesting that the modified SAD group reported greater levels of disruption in social life and distress about their social anxiety compared to the DSM-IV SAD group. This suggests that although our modified SAD group had social anxiety that was related to obesity only, their level of impairment was significant.” She explains, “It could be that for individuals in which anxiety is related only to obesity, the change in social life functioning is more recent due to weight changes, and therefore, more distressing than for individuals who have experienced more generalized forms of social anxiety over a longer period of time.”

The researchers state that these findings, combined with others in their study, lead to the conclusion that obese individuals who have weight-related social anxiety experience significant social anxiety when compared to individuals with DSM-IV SAD. Dalrymple says, “These individuals could potentially benefit from treatment of this disorder and therefore, excluding the diagnosis of SAD in obese individuals who experience anxiety related only to their weight may hinder the identification of the disorder. We believe the results of this study support adoption of the proposed change to the medical exclusion for SAD criterion in the DSM-5.”

The principle affiliation of Dalrymple is Rhode Island Hospital, a member hospital of the Lifespan health system in Rhode Island, and direct financial and infrastructure support for this project was received through the Lifespan Office of Research Administration. The researcher also has an academic appointment at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

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Obese Dieters’ Brain Chemistry Works Against Their Weight-Loss Efforts

Posted by Sun on May 20, 2012

ScienceDaily (June 23, 2011) — If you’ve been trying to lose weight and suspect your body’s working against you, you may be right, according to a University of Illinois study published in Obesity.

“When obese persons reduce their food intake too drastically, their bodies appear to resist their weight loss efforts. They may have to work harder and go slower in order to outsmart their brain chemistry,” said Gregory G. Freund, a professor in the U of I College of Medicine and a member of U of I’s Division of Nutritional Sciences.

He particularly cautions against beginning a diet with a fast or cleansing day, which appears to trigger significant alterations in the immune system that work against weight loss. “Take smaller steps to start your weight loss and keep it going,” he said.

In the study, the scientist compared the effects of a short-term fast on two groups of mice. For 12 weeks, one group consumed a low-fat diet (10 percent fat); the other group was fed a high-fat (60 percent fat) and had become obese. The mice were then fasted for 24 hours. In that time, the leaner mice lost 18 percent of their body weight compared to 5 percent for the obese mice.

Freund said that there is an immune component to weight loss that has not been recognized. “Our data show that fasting induces an anti-inflammatory effect on a lean animal’s neuroimmune system, and that effect is inhibited by a high-fat diet. Some of the brain-based chemical changes that occur in a lean animal simply don’t occur in an obese animal,” he said.

This breakdown occurs because obese animals resist down-regulation of genes that activate the interleukin-1 (IL-1) system and associated anti-inflammatory cytokines, he said.

The scientist also studied differences in the behavior of the two groups of mice, monitoring how much they moved, administering tests to discern the animals’ ability to learn and remember, and noting whether the mice exhibited signs of depression or anxiety.

The results suggest that beginning a diet with a fast or near-fast may alter brain chemistry in a way that adversely affects mood and motivation, undermining the person’s weight-loss efforts.

“The obese mice simply didn’t move as much as the other mice. Not only was there reduced locomotion generally, they didn’t burrow in the way that mice normally do, and that’s associated with depression and anxiety,” he said.

Beginning a weight-loss program in a depressed frame of mind and with decreased motivation doesn’t bode well for the diet’s success, he noted.

Funding was provided by grants from the National Institutes of Health, including the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

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What’s Motivation Got to Do With Weight Loss?

Posted by Sun on May 18, 2012

ScienceDaily (Apr. 26, 2010) — Energy in, energy out, it’s the basic equation to weight loss, or is it? With more than two thirds of Americans classified as overweight or obese, a study in the May/June 2010 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior examines how motivation might be a large contributor to sticking with weight loss programs.

Researchers at the University of Kentucky and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill examined two types of motivation, autonomous and controlled, and their relationship to adherence and weight loss in a 16-week Internet weight-loss intervention. To measure the 2 types of motivation, a Treatment Self-Regulation Questionnaire was used to identify those participants motivated by intrinsic and extrinsic controls such as feeling that performance is the best way to help oneself and making changes for personal reasons (autonomous motivation) and those participants motivated by only external controls such as perceived pressure from others and feelings of guilt (controlled motivation). Motivation for weight loss was measured at baseline and 4, 8, 12, and 16 weeks. In addition, study participants recorded their food intake, exercise, and body weight through an on-line self-monitoring system weekly throughout the study.

Over half of the participants (37 of 66) lost 5% of initial body weight at the 16-week follow-up. To examine the relationship between the 2 different types of motivation and weight loss, the sample was divided into those who had and those who had not lost 5% of initial body weight by 16 weeks (37 and 29 participants, respectively). The researchers found that the majority of participants had a significant increase in autonomous and controlled motivation between baseline and 4 weeks, though it’s not clear what caused the increase in motivation at 4 weeks, the face-to-face session given at the start of the study, early success with weight loss, or something else. Although motivation increased initially for most participants, the group that went on to achieve a 5% weight loss sustained their autonomous motivation between 4 and 16 weeks, while the group that was less successful experienced a significant decrease in autonomous and controlled motivation over time.

The authors also found that autonomous motivation at 4 weeks was a significant predictor of adherence to self-monitoring and weight loss. Furthermore, this increase in self-monitoring appeared to be a way in which autonomous motivation led to better weight loss. The authors found a positive correlation between weight loss at 4 weeks and higher levels of autonomous motivation especially when compared to participants who had higher levels of controlled motivation. .

Writing in the article, the authors state, “It appears that the time period between 4 and 8 weeks may be an important window for weight control programs to consider using techniques designed to enhance autonomous motivation, including giving more intense support or different types of interventions, such as activities to enhance autonomous motivation or contact from a weight-loss counselor in the form of e-mails, phone calls, or face-to-face meetings.”

“It is possible that motivation measured a few weeks after the study has begun more accurately captures motivation than baseline motivation for weight loss since participants have become familiar with the behavior changes that will be necessary for weight loss and can better gauge their motivation for making those changes.”

“These findings suggest that building motivation may be an effective means of promoting adherence and weight loss.”

I am medical doctor and hypnotherapist with more than 17 years experience. Feel free to send me email (guide.rehab@gmail.com) to discuss your situation.

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Why Diets Fail

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Why Diets Fail

Posted by Sun on May 13, 2012

What is the solution to over-eating and obesity? Nigerians are trying several ways to deal with obesity. Presently, some use over-the-counter aids (appetite depressant, etc.) diets of many kinds, group therapy, punishment and reward techniques, even prayer and fasting. But few have experienced lasting result.

Diet researchers have come to one conclusion: there is no completely successful method of dieting that works for everyone over a sustained period of time. Most adults who lose weight return to their original overweight condition within two years after they stop dieting. That is definitely not success.

I have known dozens of individuals who have struggled with their own methods of diet control. Many have sought trained medical advice and been given all kinds of slimming drugs. But drugs have not solved their weight problem.

Instead, they got hooked, became nervous and have personality changes. Recently, an undergraduate from one of the Nigerian universities called to tell me she is overweight and will really need my help. I asked her few questions and her answers revealed that she had been on a slimming drug and she wanted me to recommend another type of drug that will help her lose weight.

Drugs and other weight-loss techniques often postpone or prevent our finding a permanent solution to diet problems.

WHY DIETS FAIL

When we begin a diet, we usually have something motivating us to lose weight. It may be to:

– look better in a fitted dress

-become more physically attractive

-get a new job

-overcome a health problem

-attract the opposite sex

-become more self confident

All of these reasons are related to what we think, feel and want. They all revolve around our selfish desire.

People who lose weight for these reasons don’t keep it off. In more than 90% of the cases,most people who diet regain the weight they have lost. And many regain more than their original weight.

The problem with this kind of motivation is that it isn’t good enough. Motivation to change must come from a higher and stronger source than ourselves. It must come from within —from our desire to be in line with the will of God for our lives.

The word “diet”comes from the Greek word meaning “manner of living”. Our diets are a way of life. The way we eat and the reason that we diet tells a lot about our general well-being.

I understand that eating nutritiously in this day and age can be a challenge. But whenever possible, shop for lean meats, e.g. cow leg, chicken, fish, eggs (for adults, eat more of the egg whites and less of the egg yolk). Also, combination of beans and corn (like in moinmoin and pap or eko). Simply put: one cup of cooked beans eaten with 1/2 cup pap (made from millet) forms a complete meal

Dairy: use more of fat free milk and yoghurt. As we speak, some people are confused about milk. They ask questions like- Does milk really do the body good? To drink or not to drink? That is the burning question. My take on this is to go on low fat or skimmed milk. Components in the milk include calcium, zinc and Vitamin A. You can limit milk intake to twice a week .

High-carbohydrate: four servings of carbs like ofada rice/brown rice (for white refined, parboiled rice, six table spoonful of rice is adviced per meal. Whole-wheat bread, or high-carbohydrate vegetables are potatoes (white and sweet) yams, corn. A serving is a slice, 1cup of cold or hot pap, rice.

Fats: Two tablespoons a day for health and flavouring. And use oils moderately, especially palm oil. There are also some heart friendly oils, and you can also use small amount of healthy butter for spreads. What matters is the accumulation over the week. If one day is short on fats, you can make it up the next day. If you eat too many fats one day…..oops, accident do happen! Then cut back on them the next day. Fats should only total 20-25 percent of your calories. Check labels and buy foods with 20% fat or lower.

Fruits: One fruit a day is a huge plus. It may not be really easy getting fruits everyday, but you can try. It is good to vary them. Choose the most common fruits in season and enjoy them. Presently, Mango, Watermelon and some other fruits are available; or some other fruits depending on which is best for your system.

Vegetables: One serving is equivalent to 1/2 cup cooked or raw, one cup leafy, salads, soups. Always have one or two vegetables accompanying your lunch and dinner. Toss chopped onions, tomatoes and pepper into low fat (non cholesterol oil). You can eat low-carb vegetables all day long if you want! When you get hungry grab some carrot sticks to crunch on.

Here is a quick vegetable recipe: dice or slice your favourite vegetables and add cooked protein like fish or chicken, salt and pepper. Toss them all into a pot. Simmer mixture for fifteen minute, and enjoy! You can eat with yam, rice, beans etc.

Make fitness a priority. Lifestyle fitness is not difficult or complicated. Simply by getting more active, and moderate eating you are taking a positive step towards a lifetime of health and fit living.

I am medical doctor and hypnotherapist with more than 17 years experience. Feel free to send me email (guide.rehab@gmail.com) to discuss your situation.

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