Why yo-yo dieting is still better than doing nothing for weight loss

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/21/yo-yo-dieting-still-better-nothing-weight-loss/

Yo-yo dieting is still beneficial for health, new research suggest, after a study showed serial slimmers live longer than those who simply remain fat.

Experts found those who dropped large amounts of weight, only to regain it later had similar life expectancies to moderate dieters.

Around nine in 10 diets end in failure, but researchers said that people should not be disheartened because a cycle of weight loss and gain is still beneficial than not dieting at all.

So we think it’s probably not a bad idea to lose weight even if you are going to gain it back and redo it every few yearsDr David Allison

Dr David Allison, a biostatistician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said people should view dieting like a trip to the dentist.

“If you go the dentist for your six month evaluation, they find there’s some plaque around your teeth and scrape it off, and then they give you a toothbrush and piece of string and send you out and say keep up the good work,” he told the American Association Annual Conference in Boston.

“And six months later, guess what, the plaque is back on. Just like weight loss. Nobody says dentistry is a failure. They say that’s ok.

“A concern with obesity is that you lose the weight and you gain it back within two to five years. And if you do this repeatedly, perhaps you’re harming yourself.

Overweight man
Going on a diet is still a good idea, scientists say CREDIT: DOMINIC LIPINSKI/PA 

“We just finished a study in mice and what we found is that when mice who are obese keep on repeatedly losing and gaining that weight, they live longer than the mice that are allowed to stay obese.

“So we think it’s probably not a bad idea to lose weight even if you are going to gain it back and redo it every few years.”

Around two in three British adults are overweight or obese, which increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, liver disease and cancer.

Susan Jebb, Professor of Diet and Population Health at Oxford University said: “I agree with the notion that losing weight is generally worthwhile, even if you put the weight back on again.

“We have good evidence from long term follow up studies after controlled intervention studies in humans that there is a benefit.”

However other experts cautioned against yo-yo dieting for health.

Professor Timothy Spector, of  King’s College, London, author of The Diet Myth:  “Data in humans shows that yo yo dieting makes you gain weight long term. In our twin study of 5000 twins the yo yo dieter was usually heavier long term than the identical twin who didn’t diet.

Although mice and men are different , a recent Israeli study in mice found that yo yo dieting causes a massive change in their gut  microbes that permanently alters energy regulation. These microbes cause obesity when transplanted into other mice.

“So the evidence for me shows crash calorie restriction dieting is to be avoided at all costs.”

 Experts also warned that obesity can be contagious, and said socializing with people who were gaining weight puts others at greater risk of becoming fat as well.

Conversely, if friends like spending time in the gym, it encourages more healthy behavior.

Dr Allison said: “One way people have thought about manipulating these social networks is through intervention programmes – maybe we should not treat people individually, but maybe we should have buddy programmes.

“So you and your buddy come in and get the treatment together.


Why willpower isn’t enough to keep the pounds off

Source: why-willpower-isn-t-enough-to-keep-the-pounds-off

Have you been dreaming about that second helping of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy? Are you planning to eat chocolate now and diet later? You might want to think about this first.

The overwhelming majority of dieters fail. Depending on which study you look at, between 80 and 95 percent of people who lose weight put it back on within two years.

The reason: most people’s bodies fight weight loss — fiercely. And if you manage to lose weight, it fights — fiercely — to get you to put those pounds back on. To boot, it does this in ways you have little or no control over.

One of the most powerful mechanisms your body uses is your resting metabolic rate.

That’s the number of calories you burn at rest — to keep your heart beating, lungs breathing and eyelids blinking, etc. And depending on how much exercise you do, it can be between half and three-quarters of the total number of calories you burn in a day.

Biggest Loser effect

But when you diet, your body becomes more fuel efficient, burning fewer calories to accomplish those same tasks. It goes from being a Hummer to being a Honda Civic, in terms of fuel consumption. And that fuel efficiency can be permanent. That’s what scientists found in the now well-known Biggest Loser study.

Six years after the show ended, the contestants in Season 8 found that their metabolism was still down an average of 499 calories a day. One man — Dan Cahill — saw his drop by 800 calories a day, even after he’d regained 100 pounds.

Everyone’s resting energy expenditure drops while they’re dieting, says York University’s Jennifer Kuk. But for about 50 per cent of people, that drop becomes permanent, making it harder to burn calories. (Laura Carlin/CBC)

Jennifer Kuk studies this phenomenon at the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at Toronto’s York University. She says everyone’s resting energy expenditure drops while they’re dieting. But for about 50 per cent of people, the drop becomes permanent.

The average is about a 200-calorie-a day drop. In extreme cases, it can be four times that much. If you’re in the unlucky half of the population, keeping lost weight off is much harder.

“You have to make sure that you do that much more physical activity, that you have be that much more careful when you do consume your food because you have a smaller window in terms of how many calories you can eat before you potentially store.”

The science of hunger

And metabolism isn’t the only trick your body uses to prevent weight loss. There are dozens of hormones and peptides that affect what and how much you eat. Scientists are just beginning to unravel the complicated ways they interact.  But the effects of two are pretty well understood.

Dr. Arya Sharma is an obesity specialist, a researcher at the University of Alberta and the science director for the Canadian Obesity Network.

Sharma says one of the first things your body does when you go on a diet is raise the level of a hormone called ghrelin. Its job is to make you hungry.

There are dozens of hormones and peptides that affect what and how much you eat. Ghrelin, in particular, is known as the hunger hormone. (Canadian Obesity Network)

“Ghrelin always peaks just before a meal. It actually induces your eating behaviour. And there’s research showing that if you’re not eating [dieting], ghrelin levels go up.”

The other hormone — leptin — does the other job. It’s created by fat cells and tells your body to stop eating because you’ve had enough. If you go on a diet, you shrink some of those fat cells and produce less leptin. The “stop eating” message gets weaker.

And your brain joins in on the fight, too.

Test of willpower

Stephan Guyenet, a Seattle-based neuroscientist and author, says it is possible to white-knuckle your way past the pastry tray and not eat something — but the strategy doesn’t work in the long term.

“The problem with willpower is that it’s a limited resource. It’s effortful,” he says.

“If you have to do it on a constant daily basis, which is what you have to do if you’ve lost weight and your hunger circuits and your food-seeking circuits are activated, you’re going to have to exert that willpower on a continual basis to restrain yourself from eating food.”

That’s difficult for most people to do, Guyenet says, pointing out you’re often using your willpower for other things, like going to work, running errands and looking after your family.

“Those are things that deplete your willpower reserves, such that, at the end of the day, you might not have what it takes to fight those impulses.”

The consistently dismal outcomes from diets have a growing number of researchers, like Sharma, coming out strongly against fat-shaming.

They’re actively trying to debunk the commonly held idea that people with excess weight are undisciplined or lazy. In fact, science shows they’re trying to accomplish something their own bodies don’t want them to do.

7 Things Only People Cutting Weight Will Understand

Source: https://barbend.com/cutting-weight-understand/

Dieting and exercising for weight loss is seldom as fun as trying to gain weight. A lot of smart coaches advise that if you’ve been competing for less than a year, you shouldn’t cut at all — you should focus on building a base for competition.

But if you have good reason to cut weight, generally speaking, it’s best to start about a month out from the meet. And oh boy, does that month bring its challenges.

1) The Terror of Losing Strength With the Weight

It’s true that bodybuilders and figure competitors do tend to lose strength as their fat loss becomes more aggressive, but so long as the cut is done responsibly, it doesn’t have to be a problem for strength athletes.

If you don’t start a cut until a month out from your meet, try and keep the weight loss to one or two pounds per week, keep your protein intake high, consume carbs before and during workouts, and get plenty of sleep (consider a magnesium supplement), strength shouldn’t be an issue. Most pro lifters limit their calorie deficit to 500-1000 calories a day, but talk to a sports dietitian to get recommendations for your training history.

2) A None-Too-Subtle Drop in Sex Drive

One of the greatest ironies is that as you approach what some consider the apex of human sexiness — Ryan Reynolds abs and spider-veined biceps — your interest in sex can start to dip.

It could be a combination of low fat intake affecting testosterone levels or stress affecting the thyroid gland. (It’s probably both.) It’s usually reported in bodybuilders and many consider it very difficult to fix if you’re under 10 percent body fat. If it’s affecting you, consider increasing your fat intake on non-training days and ensuring you consume enough zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, and selenium to hedge your bets.


3) Exploring Creative Ways to Add Low-Calorie Bulk to Your Belly

For real, Spiralizers cost about forty bucks, and once you start adding paper-thin ribbons of zucchinis to your meals, you’ll marvel at how easy it is to feel insanely full on a hundred calories. You’ll also suddenly find a lot of new ways to consume tomatoes as well, and you might find yourself discovering tasty, low-calorie foods that you’ve probably never heard of. (Ever tried jicama?)

4) Peeing All the Time

About a week out from the meet, a lot of people start the water cut: that involves drinking lots and lots of water, some two gallons per day, which coupled with the smaller meals means a lot of trips to the bathroom.

The day before the meet, water is typically cut way down or completely eliminated until the weigh in. That’s when you’ll actually miss your constant pee breaks.


5) Learning That There Are Different Kinds of Water

Unlike purified drinking water, distilled water is totally free of minerals and salts, and it’s what a lot of people recommend during your water loading phase to avoid taking in any extra sodium.

6) Cursing the Fact That Sodium Can Increase Water Weight

Damn it, sodium! Why are you so delicious and why do I have to limit you during the last week of prep? In the final days before a meet, sodium gets cut way down to avoid any possible water weight tipping you into another weight category. This is when so-called salt-free seasonings become a staple. Despite what the packaging tells you, it only makes you remember how great actual salt tastes.


7) Learning How to Rehydrate Fast

After your weigh in, it’s a rush — well, a slow, controlled rush — to gain as much nutrition and fluid as possible before lifting begins.

Here are some popular tips that are worth considering: take some Immodium after the weigh in to prevent more water loss and diarrhea, consume some Pedialyte or Gatorade to help replenish some of the lost electrolytes, and take a tablespoon of Glycerin, which can help the body rehydrate.

We won’t deny that cutting weight isn’t as much fun as eating for weight gain and increases in strength, but if it’s done responsibly and with these tips in mind, and can prove a new and interesting challenge in manipulating your body and performance.

4 weight loss tips that worked

Source: https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/january-2017/Weight-loss-tips-from-people-who-have-been-there.html?intcmp=Highlights7_WeightLossTips

Maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of cancer prevention. Use these tips from those who have been there.

Maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of cancer prevention.

Obesity has been linked to several types of cancer, including breast, colorectal, esophageal, kidney, thyroid and pancreatic cancer.

But losing weight is easier said than done. We talked to two of MD Anderson’s Cancer Prevention Center patients who have been making changes to lose weight. Here’s what tips they said worked for them.

The problem: Struggling to find time to exercise and eat healthy

Yvonne Jacobo was tired of not fitting into any of her clothes, so she decided to do something about it. After talking with her doctor she made an appointment to see a dietitian and a health educator at MD Anderson’s Cancer Prevention Center. These consultations are available to MD Anderson’s Cancer Prevention Center patients.

As a night nurse, Yvonne struggled to find time to eat healthy and exercise. A health educator reviewed her schedule and helped her incorporate some healthy habits.

Tip: Embrace mindful eating

Yvonne often overate, so her first step was to establish a routine that cut down on snacking and worked with her busy schedule. Now Yvonne eats something healthy every five hours.

She also began eating more slowly. It takes 20 minutes for your brain and stomach to communicate that you’re full, so Yvonne began by setting a timer for 20 minutes each time she ate, and stretching her meals out to the full time.

In addition, Yvonne used smaller plates. This helped her keep her portion sizes under control. Studies show that using larger plates encourages overeating.

At the end of each meal, she drank a cup of coffee to signal to her body that she was done eating.

Tip: Make nutrition and exercise a priority

Yvonne also made exercise a part of her routine and started strength training.

“I’ve made exercise a priority,” she says. “Even when I can’t make it to the gym, I hop on the elliptical at home.”

Since starting these efforts to lose weight in March 2016, Yvonne has lost more than 50 pounds. She says she’s proud of the changes she’s made, but she couldn’t have done it without the support of her husband and son. The two have helped her prepare healthy meals and snacks.

“They’re tremendously involved,” she says.

“If you make a mistake, just keep going. That advice, more than anything, has really helped me.

Kerrye Middleton


The problem: Living a sedentary lifestyle

Kerrye Middleton always had trouble losing weight.

“I’m a stress eater,” she says.

She also confessed that she led a sedentary lifestyle. An appointment at MD Anderson’s Cancer Prevention Center helped her get on the right track. Now, Kerrye is eating healthy, staying active and feeling better.

“I’m losing weight slowly,” she says. “But it’s staying off.”

She offers these three tips for others trying to lose weight.

Tip: Start small

Instead of going on a diet, Kerrye made small, sustainable changes. Before, she didn’t eat many vegetables. But she knew they offered the nutrients she needed to feel healthy and full, so she started eating salads for lunch a few times a week. She swapped her favorite dressing – honey mustard – for a lower calorie raspberry vinaigrette.

To help control her sodium intake, she also started using salt packets. This way, she knew exactly how much salt she was taking in.

Tip: Set goals and keep going

Not only did Kerrye not exercise in the beginning, she wasn’t being active.

Whittney Thoman, an exercise physiologist, helped her get moving. She knew that to see a difference in her weight and health, Kerrye didn’t need to spend hours at the gym. She just needed to get moving and add more activity to her day.

Kerrye had just moved into a new house and hadn’t finished unpacking. Thoman suggested that she unpack one box each day.

“That got me up and moving,” Kerrye says.

Now she goes to the gym to exercise for an hour five times a week.

Kerrye urges others trying to lose weight to be honest with themselves and to set realistic goals.

“If you make a mistake, just keep going,” she says. “That advice, more than anything, has really helped me.”

Weight loss: Switch to brown rice. It’s as good as doing a 30-minute brisk walk

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/health-and-fitness/weight-loss-switch-to-brown-rice-it-s-as-good-as-doing-a-30-minute-brisk-walk/story-Y5ZxjWbtouLlcghZqcjWhN.html

Researchers have found swapping white rice with its brown alternative speeds up weight loss and is the equivalent of a 30-minute brisk walk.

Making the small daily change to include more fibre can help to cut 100 calories each day, a study found. This difference is about the same amount that would be burnt off by a brisk half-an-hour walk, experts discovered.

Researchers at Tufts University in Massachusetts took two groups of people and fed them diets similar in total energy, total fat and the number of fruit, vegetable and protein servings.


The only difference was in the source of grain. One group ate wholegrains such as brown rice and whole wheat, while the other consumed white rice and refined white flour.

They found that the diet with more wholegrains led to people developing a faster metabolism, burning more calories. They also absorbed fewer calories in their digestive systems.

This was caused by a higher resting metabolic rate and also lower absorption of calories in the digestive system, researchers said.

Dr Phil Karl, who led the study, said: ‘Many previous studies have suggested benefits of whole grains and dietary fibre on chronic disease risk.

‘This study helps to quantify how whole grains and fibre work to benefit weight management, and lend credibility to previous reported associations between increased whole grains and fibre consumption, lower body weight and better health.’

Dr Susan Roberts co-author said: ‘We provided all food to ensure that the composition of the diets differed only in grain source.

‘The extra calories lost by those who ate whole grains was equivalent of a brisk 30 minutes walk or enjoying an extra small cookie every day in terms of its impact.’

In the UK, the recommended amount of fibre to take in is 30 grams a day for an adult, although most people eat much less — an average of around 12 grams.

A Calorie Is A Calorie Is A Calorie…Probably

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2017/02/06/trying-to-lose-weight-a-calorie-is-a-calorie-is-a-calorie-probably/#1d65495c68a0

By Mia Zaharna, M.D. and Henry I. Miller, M.D.

Many New Year’s resolutions involved a new gym membership or at least a commitment to break a sweat frequently, most often in order to lose weight. Manufacturers of exercise equipment and the mainstream media have tried to convince us that the “no pain, no gain” mantra–a la “The Biggest Loser”–is the key to shedding pounds, so that to slim down we need to wear a Fitbit, walk the equivalent of a marathon every day and maybe even get a treadmill desk.

But you might want to think twice before you toss out your comfy office chair.

Recent research has shown that exercise is in fact not the key to weight loss, and in some cases, may even lead to weight gain. Although exercise is certainly beneficial to health by reducing the risk of a range of diseases such as coronary heart disease, various cancers, stroke and type 2 diabetes, as well as reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, unless you’re a tri-athlete, in most cases exercise alone will not lead to significant weight loss.

A large study published last year by an international group of academics showed that exercise had only a weak influence on overall calories burned–and exercising harder didn’t equate to burning more calories. Other studies (here, here, here, here and here, for example) have shown that people tend to eat more calories when exercising, and the calories consumed are not offset by those burned by the exercise. An example is Dr. Oz’s breakfast smoothie (as recommended in his Rapid Weight Loss Plan), which has 350 calories.  It would take the average 150 lb person about an hour of brisk walking to burn this off.  Eat a normal lunch and dinner, and you might need to walk all day. Uphill.

Diet has more influence on weight loss.  Multiple studies (here and here, for example) have confirmed that whether it’s a high protein, vegetarian, vegan, junk food, juice or cabbage soup diet, what matters most is total calories consumed.  According to the dietary guidelines on Health.gov, when it comes to calories and managing your weight, where the calories come from doesn’t matter; for the most part, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie.

Although there is no doubt that eating a healthy, well balanced diet has benefits beyond just weight loss, paradoxically a pop tart might be just as good for losing weight as a bowl of quinoa and green juice. In fact, a Kansas State University nutrition professor ate only “convenience store snacks”–including a smorgasbord of Twinkies, Little Debbie confections, Doritos, and Oreos–and lost 27 lbs over ten weeks. The key was that he dropped his caloric intake from his normal total intake of 2600 per day to 1800. Unexpectedly, not only did he shed the weight, but reportedly his bad cholesterol and triglycerides dropped and his “good” cholesterol increased significantly. (We not recommend that you try this at home, however.)

On the other hand, a 2011 study conducted by nutritionists at Harvard University and published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed just the opposite–that in fact there may be “good” calories and “bad” calories. The study examined the dietary and lifestyle habits of more than 120,00 U.S. citizens from 1986 to 2006 and concluded that calorie for calorie, foods such as potato chips, potatoes, sugar-sweetened drinks and both unprocessed and processed meats contributed more to weight gain than other food types such as vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts and yogurt. However, those findings seem to be contradicted by the joint 2013 statement from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and the Obesity Society, which said about overweight and obese adults, “to achieve weight loss, an energy deficit is required.” In other words, what’s necessary for weight loss is fewer calories, regardless of where those calories came from.

Where does this stew of research findings leave us? Certainly, decreasing calories is essential, but whether those calories should come from a candy bar or a handful of nuts is less clear.

Our advice is to avoid trendy diets. There’s no magic in them, the results seldom last, and they can be expensive. Last year gave us Paleo, raw food, juicing, “clean eating” and, in stark contrast, the “poop diet.” (We are not making this up.) And while any of those diets may result in weight loss, it’s likely due to restricted calories rather than the result of flushing toxins from the body or some other mumbo-jumbo justification that owes more to slick advertising than to physiology. De-tox? Your liver and kidneys are remarkably skilled at removing toxins from your body on their own.  That’s what they do, all day, every day.

Our local mall just replaced Auntie Anne’s Pretzel shop with a Pressed Juicery, which offers a five-day juice detox cleanse for a mere $229. Never mind that one small bottle of many of their signature juices contains more calories than a hot buttery Auntie Anne’s pretzel.

Bottom line: If you’re resolved to lose weight, cut calories in whatever way best suits your appetite and wallet. Adopting the mantra of “calories in versus calories out” will get you there.

Mia Zaharna is a psychiatrist specializing in sleep disorders. Henry I. Miller, a physician and molecular biologist, is the Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He was the founding director of the FDA’s Office of Biotechnology. Twitter: @henryimiller.

Tested Practical Tips on Losing Weight on a Gluten Free Diet

Source: Tested Practical Tips on Losing Weight on a Gluten Free Diet

How can one achieve weight loss after going gluten free. In this story people from a Gluten Free Facebook group share gluten free weight loss success stories.

One member in this group this morning asked for tips to lose weight after going gluten free. Here are some success stories or tips from people who have lost weight while on a GF diet.

Limit Snacking

“I limit snacking to only fruit and yogurt. No eating after 8pm and I do a combo of yoga (2xs a week), cardio (4-5x’s a week) and lifting weights (4-5 x’s/week),” writes a group member named Sara. She continues that she has lost about 35 lbs and maintained over the last year. “For me, it’s been about losing, then maintenance for a while, then losing some more. I eat a lot of chicken and salad. The only time I have gluten free bread is one piece of toast in the morning with one egg,” she adds.

Here is one GF weight loss success story from a group member named Devan.

“I lost about 35 pounds in the first couple months because I didn’t buy much of the food that was unnaturally gluten free. I did a lot of clean eating and just watched what I was having. I did have some of the breads and such that are gluten free, but I tried to stay away from the rest of the stuff and do just veggies and chicken, fish or meat. I only use the GF stuff when I absolutely needed to because my doctor told me about all the added things in it for taste and such.

Cut Out Some Carbs

One member named Mal wrote that he went GF, cut out processed carbs and just ate brown rice and potatoes for carbs. He also exercised every day. He writes he lost “heaps of weight.” Mal also adds that he ate plenty of fish, chicken, rice and vegetables. To this another member, named Heather agrees, replying that she agrees in regard to protein and good vegetables. “Since i went gluten free almost a month now not only do I feel so much better, but I have lost 20 lbs and still losing.”

Dawn writes. “I follow a modified low carb diet. I do not eat any grains at all and try to eat very few processed foods. I went from 198 to 140.” Some other members also left short comments recommending to cut out carbs and basing their recommendations on their GF weight loss success.

Avoid Convenience Food

Allyn writes. “It is hard to avoid the convenience foods. Too easy to munch on things mindlessly that aren’t good for you. That is my downfall.” She also adds that “the pre-packaged ‘substitutes’ have lots of calories. There is typically extra sugar and sodium. If you are fairly new to GF your gut is still healing you may find that you gain before you lose. I have lost 30lbs since being GF for just about a year.”

“Use the opportunity not to eat as much bread as you used to. I am doing this and the pounds are just melting off,” writes a group member Michelle.

Stay Away From Processed Gluten Free Foods

Go with veggies and proteins. Stay away from the processed stuff, suggest many group member who follow the gluten free meal plan. Go naturally gluten free foods. Don’t buy the processed, they write.

“Stay away from a lot of processed food,” writes Elaine. “I buy gluten free bread and eat it a few times a week. Just eat fruits and vegetables, eggs, meat etc. It really is so easy, except donuts. Good luck,” she adds.

“Don’t replace the gluten with carb loaded substitutes. Focus on healthy protein, fats and fiber,” writes Lindsay.