Weight Loss Involves Overcoming Interpersonal Challenges

Source: https://psychcentral.com/news/2017/02/03/weight-loss-involves-overcoming-interpersonal-challenges/115969.html

New research discovers that weight loss efforts may be complicated by unexpected barriers erected by our friends and even family.

North Carolina State University investigators found that the people around you may consciously or subconsciously sabotage your efforts. The study also uncovered strategies that people use to navigate interpersonal challenges related to losing weight and keeping it off.

“Many times, when someone loses weight, that person’s efforts are undermined by friends, family, or coworkers,” says Lynsey Romo, an assistant professor of communication at North Carolina State and lead author of a paper describing the recent study.

The paper, “An Examination of How People Who Have Lost Weight Communicatively Negotiate Interpersonal Challenges to Weight Management,” is in press in the journal Health Communication.

“This study found that people experience a ‘lean stigma’ after losing weight, such as receiving snide remarks about healthy eating habits or having people tell them that they’re going to gain all of the weight back.”

For this study, Romo conducted 40 in-depth interviews with people who reported themselves as having been formerly overweight or obese, but considered themselves thin at the time of the interview.

Twenty-one of the study participants were women, 19 were men, and the participants reported an average weight loss of 76.9 pounds.

“All 40 of the study participants reported having people in their lives try to belittle or undermine their weight loss efforts,” Romo says.

“This negative behavior is caused by what I call lean stigma. However, the study found participants used specific communication strategies to cope with lean stigma and maintain both their weight loss and their personal relationships.”

Researchers discovered the communication strategies involved two different categories.

The first category focused on study participants helping other people “save face,” or not feel uncomfortable about the study participant’s weight loss and healthy eating habits. The second category focused on damage control: participants finding ways to mitigate discomfort people felt about an individual’s weight loss and related lifestyle changes.

Techniques used to avoid discomfort included telling other people about one’s intentions and rationale before losing weight.

Study participants also reported taking steps to conceal the scope of their lifestyle changes, such as eating smaller portions of unhealthy foods at family gatherings, accepting food from people but not eating it (e.g., taking a piece of cake at an office birthday party, but saying they’ll eat it later), or saving their “cheat day” for a night out with friends.

Meanwhile, techniques used to mitigate discomfort tended to focus on making excuses for changes in behavior.

“Study participants would go out of their way to make clear that they were not judging other people’s choices,” Romo says.

“For example, participants would stress that they had changed their eating habits for health reasons, or in order to have more energy.

“Overall, the study highlights how important relationships are to making sustainable lifestyle changes — and the importance of communication in how we navigate those relationships,” she adds.

Source: North Carolina State University

Can Intermittent Fasting Take Your Weight Loss To The Next Level?

Source: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/health-benefits-of-intermittent-fasting/

What is intermittent fasting?

We’ve all heard that skipping meals is the fastest way to slow your weight loss progress. But, what if I told you it could actually speed up your metabolism and burn stubborn body fat? Intermittent fasting (also referred to as “IF”) is the practice of only eating your caloric requirements during certain times of the day or week. The rest of the time, you fast.

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Intermittent fasting enthusiasts are reluctant to call it a diet — it’s more like a lifestyle. Here are a few examples of how people put it into practice:

    • Eat Stop Eat: Fast for 24-hours one day a week.
    • LeanGains: Eat all meals during a specific window of time, like noon to 8 p.m.
    • Warrior Diet: Eat just one meal a day, typically dinner, with total needed calories.
    • Alternate Day Fasting: Alternate between fasting every other day.
    • Limiting Calories: Limit calorie intake, like down to 500, for one or two days a week.

These are all variations on the same idea, and they are not to be used at the same time. Since some plans are more extreme than others, make sure to find one that works for you and your schedule. If you need some motivation to give intermittent fasting a try, here are some of the scientifically-backed benefits to know about:

1. Intermittent fasting can promote weight loss

Research has shown that intermittent fasting can promote weight loss.

In one study, researchers found that intermittent fasting was an effective tool for weight loss in obese individuals. They had participants alternate between eating normally for 24 hours and fasting (or partially fasting) for 24 hours. After three weeks, participants lost four to eight percent of their body fat. After 12 weeks, participants lost 11 to 16 percent body fat. Researchers also noted that intermittent fasting may be more effective at retaining lean mass during weight loss than traditional calorie restriction. Another study recorded similar findings for obese individuals.

There’s quite a bit of anecdotal evidence on intermittent fasting and weight loss as well. From fitness forums to YouTube videos, you’ll find plenty of success stories to inspire you.

2. It can reduce your risk of diabetes

One study found that alternate-day fasting in nonobese individuals led to lowered insulin production. In addition to burning fat, a lower level of insulin means that there is less risk for insulin resistance. And we all know what that means: less risk for diabetes! Interestingly, researchers noted that hunger levels on fasting days did not subside during the study, meaning that it may be difficult for some individuals to keep up the schedule up for the long haul.

3. It can reduce oxidative stress

Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals interact with our body’s all-important molecules, like protein or DNA. When free radicals damage them, it can pave the way for numerous dangerous diseases, including cancer and heart disease. The good news is, one study found that alternate day fasting increased markers of good health, lowered inflammation and reduced oxidative stress in a group of adults over the course of eight weeks. The practice of intermittent fasting also increased antioxidants in the body. Now there’s something we all need more of!

Other health benefits shown in rats

While the studies on humans are the most promising, researchers have also learned loads from studies on rats. Some of the most promising results of intermittent fasting include:

  • Increased lifespan
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Protection against diabetic kidney damage

What to eat in-between intermittent fasting

Eating whole foods can help you lose weight while practicing intermittent fasting.

Here’s an important point to drive home: Just because you’re fasting, it doesn’t mean you should indulge in junk food on your non-fasting days or hours. In fact, eating processed foods can hamper your weight loss! Fake sugars, preservatives and chemicals will interrupt your body’s natural digestion process, which is all the more reason to eat “clean.” For example, when you cut out processed sugar, your body will learn how to rely on another source of fuel — fat!

Whole, fresh foods with a variety of nutrients will set you up for success. In-between meals, make sure to drink plenty of lemon water, along with coffee or tea as needed. Try to eat as many of these foods as possible to get your body on the right track:

  • Nuts: cashews, almonds, walnuts, pistachios
  • Eggs: always source an organic, antibiotic-free varieties
  • Fruits: bananas, apples, oranges, pineapple, avocados, lemons, berries
  • Tubers: sweet potatoes, potatoes, beets, carrots
  • Seeds: chia, pumpkin, flax, hemp, sunflower, sesame
  • Spices: garlic, cayenne, turmeric, black pepper, pink Himalayan salt
  • Legumes: chickpeas, black beans, lentils, green beans, peas
  • Probiotics: sauerkraut, Greek yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, miso
  • Vegetables: broccoli, kale, spinach, cauliflower, peppers
  • Healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil
  • Gluten-free grains: quinoa, brown rice, millet, buckwheat, amaranth
  • Organic, free range meats (in moderation): chicken, turkey, wild-caught salmon

Before you embark on any lifestyle change, it’s important to check in with your primary care physician. Fasting should be undertaken with supervision, especially if you are on medication for a chronic condition. If you have recently given birth or are breastfeeding, intermittent fasting is not a good idea.

How to safely try intermittent fasting

Make sure to stay hydrated while doing intermittent fasting.

If you’re working on the LeanGains method, for example, start with a broad window of time during the first week. The idea here is to start slow so that your body can make the adjustment. At first, make a commitment to only eat between a 10-hour window, say 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Then, the following week, try to move down to an 8-hour window, like 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This will quickly eliminate mindless grazing outside of a set time frame. Plus, you’ll be getting creative in the kitchen to squeeze in all of your nutrients.

While your body is getting used to the change, you may feel a bit more hungry or irritable than usual. Don’t worry, that’s normal — and it’s temporary! Here are a few ways to make the process easier so you can get the most out of intermittent fasting:

  • Determine your ideal caloric intake. Before you get started, crunch some numbers to find out how much you should be eating every day. Please don’t starve yourself! Instead, find a goal that’s reasonable for weight loss to prevent you from binging after a fast.
  • Break your fast with normal meals. Proponents say it’s better to eat multiple small meals than a huge meal all at once. Be careful not to overload your system.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking water is a great way to help your body detox. It can also help get rid of some of those hunger pangs, especially at first.
  • Know your limits. It’s not recommended to undergo rigorous physical activity while fasting until your body is used to it. Pay attention to how you feel at all times.

And there you have it! Have you tried intermittent fasting? How did it work for you? Let us know in the comments below.

— Hilary Lebow

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.

Hitting the Gym but Not Losing Weight? Here’s Why

Source: Popsugar

Have you been working out, eating right, losing weight — then suddenly you hit a wall? Perhaps you’ve been doing all the right things and still not seeing any results. This plateau might feel like a dead end in your weight-loss journey, but there’s hope in the form of new research.

Last week, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) published a 13-week study with new research about subjects they call “non-responders.” The conclusion: you need a personalised balance of cardio and strength training to see results.

If you suspect you are a “non-responder” and your body isn’t budging despite your healthier choices, you’re not alone. A separate study from the Cooper Institute found that many people — “20 to 45 percent of some populations,” according to a press release — are in the same boat. ACE’s study suggested that “considerable heterogeneity” in exercise can lead to “adverse effects.”

Think back to your exercise schedule. Is there enough variety? Is it personal to you? If the entirety of your fitness routine is purely group cardio classes, it’s time to break the cycling cycle! ACE’s research showed that “a unique combination of functional fitness, resistance training, and cardio workouts eliminates the non-responder phenomenon.” This means the only way to break through a rut, wall, or plateau in your fitness journey is to mix it up; individualised programs are imperative if you’re not seeing progress.

Here’s how the study went: exercises were split into two groups of exercisers (it was a small group — 46 subjects in total). One group was put into an “individualised training” group, while the others were in a “traditional exercise” group. “Between two groups, 100 percent of participants with individualised training saw positive results, while 35 percent of the traditional exercise group showed no significant health improvements.”

The “traditional exercise group” was the control group; they were “not instructed to not do any formal exercise.” The individualised group received more instruction, which was a balance of functional movement, resistance training, and cardio. We’ve heard before that a combo of cardio and weight training is the best way to lose weight via exercise, and this is more evidence.

“The individualised group saw more significant health improvements in almost every metric,” ACE said in a press release. This included an improvement to “VO2 max” (your lung capacity and performance ability), as well as “muscular fitness and key cardiometabolic risk factors.”

It’s important to note that in addition to a balanced routine, each participant in the individualised group received a plan that was specific to their bodies and abilities in order to optimise their results. While movement of any kind is important for your health, if you’ve got fitness goals and seem to be hitting a roadblock, it’s time to consider a plan that is more tailored to you. At the very least, start mixing up your workouts with both cardio and resistance training.

The 1200 Calorie Diet: A Tailored Meal Plan for Weight Loss

Source:Weekly voice

A 1200 kcal/day diet for an adult is a calorie-restricted meal plan for weight reduction and should not be made a way of life. National institute for Nutrition, recommends a healthy 1900Kcal/day for a woman (sedentary) and 2300Kcals/day for Men (Sedentary). Very low calorie diets i.e. below 1000Kcal/day should be under medical supervision only.
 
If you have been recommended to go on the 1200 calorie diet, this what your day’s food chart should ideally look like:
 
Breakfast
 
Is the morning cup of tea a custom for you? By all means, indulge in a cup but try cutting down on sugar. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and you must fuel up well. You can start your day with a glass or milk or even buttermilk. Team it with wholesome cereal like oats or a slice of bread along with a slice of paneer or a protein packed cheela.
Mid-morning
 
Battle those mid-meal hunger pangs by snacking on something nutritious before lunchtime.
Lunch
 
Make sure your lunch is wholesome with enough carbs, protein and essential fats.Whole grains, cereals, dairy products along with seasonal vegetables should make an ideal mix on your plate.
Evening Snack
It is good to give your body a nutritional boost between lunchtime and dinner. Make sure you snack light and keep portions small. Snacking heavily towards the evening can kill your appetite for dinner.
Dinner
As the popular adage goes, one should eat dinner like a beggar – small portions that are light on the stomach. Always eat at least three hours before turning in, to facilitate digestion. Consuming a small glass of milk before sleeping is known to induce better sleep.
Things to keep in mind
– Cereals: Include high fiber, multi nutrient rich sources like whole wheat, millets like ragi, amaranth, oats and barley. The key to enjoying food is variety, so use these as flours to make chapattis, pancakes, cheela or use them in grain form to make porridge. Choosing a multi-grain breakfast cereal instead of a refined sugar coated, processed version is a smarter choice. It doesn’t mean that you cannot touch refined cereals, just use them occasionally. One refined cereal which makes for great healthy food choice is polished rice- Idly, dosa, and uttapam. Use sooji for upma, and white bread with lots of raw vegetables for a fiber laden sandwich.
– Proteins:These are very important to build, repair and maintain our body, hormones, blood and immunity. Including a protein in every meal ensures satiety and helps reduce cereal intake. Vegetarian source of protein include dals, besan, soy, paneer, cheese. Paneer and cheese could pack fat calories, choose their low calorie versions. Amongst the non-vegetarian sources, chicken, fish and egg are healthier sources as compared to beef, organ meats and pork.
(Get your daily dose of protein in an organic avtar, shop now on SmartCooky)
– Fats: Very essential, do not delete them from your food. By controlling the amount you consume, you can control your total calorific intake while retaining the taste and getting all the health benefits.
Vegetable refined oils are healthy, don’t stick to one forever. Clarified butter or ghee has the same amount of fat and calories as vegetable oils, but has a higher content of saturated fats. 1tsp/day is okay.
– Vegetables: At last, one food that you can consume to your heart’s content. Hungry? Eat a carrot or boil, blend and make a thick vegetable soup for a hot and salty snack, or juice your vegetable for a cold refreshing drink. 3 servings a day are recommended. One serving of a leafy veg is 150g and any other veg is 100g. But you don’t need to weigh as you can eat as much as you desire. The catch is only for roots and tubers like potato, sweet potato, yam, etc. They can substitute your cereals in a meal with their carb content.
 
– Fruits: These are great as desserts. Take two 100-150 gm servings daily including banana and mango (when in season).
 
– Milk and Milk products: Add some milk to every meal in the form of skimmed milk, fat free dahi, and skimmed milk pudding. In fact, a perfect snack for late night craving could be a fat free milk pudding.
 
No matter the number of calories you wish to ingest, make sure you do not miss out on the goodness of food. Eat seasonal, eat a variety and eat wholesome. In addition to losing weight, remaining healthy will also ensure a glowing complexion and vitality.

Moi moi – super food for intermittent fasting and weight loss 

  
The top picture is a delicacy Nigerians know as Moinmoin. The similar looking bottom picture is called Abara and is a popular delicacy in Bahia, a state in Brazil with 90% black population. Both are made with same ingredients, prepared the same way and the only main difference is Abara is wrapped in banana leaves which is different from what Nigerians use. African culture in Brazil and other parts of south America and Cuba has survived in many forms having been transplanted via slave trade and in many ways much more than in Africa presently. Yoruba language is spoken (and deities worshiped) in Bahia, Brazil and many other parts of South America. So when next you visit Brazil, you can try Abara if you feel like some moinmoin!!

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Posted by Ike Onwubuya