Obesity Hard to Overcome

On the popular reality TV series The Biggest Loser, obese people quickly shed 100 or more pounds through grueling workouts and drastic diets. New research reveals, however, that the show’s approach does not keep the pounds off long-term, because obese people’s bodies fight to regain the lost weight. A study involving 14 former contestants found that only one managed to stay slim after six years; the rest regained most or all of the lost weight. After conducting a series of tests, researchers from the National Institutes of Health found the contestants faced a losing battle because of a phenomenon called “metabolic adaptation,” Vox.com reports. A person’s basal metabolic rate— the rate at which energy is used when the body is at rest—slows with weight loss or increased physical activity, as the body fights to maintain a stable weight. That problem was particularly acute for the show’s obese contestants, whose bodies burned 500 fewer (Read More)

Chemicals undo weight loss

A class of widely used chemicals lurking in nonstick pans, pizza boxes, food wrappers, and other consumer products are accumulating in people’s bodies and can cause weight gain. For 60 years, chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, have been used to make a wide range of stain-resistant, waterproof, and nonstick products, including cookware, carpets, and food wrappers. These chemicals have already been linked to cancer, immune system dysfunction, and hormone disruption. Now Harvard researchers have found exposure to these ubiquitous chemicals could also slow metabolism. The team analyzed blood samples collected from 621 overweight or obese people. They found those with the greatest levels of these chemicals burned fewer calories and regained more weight after dieting than those with minimal exposure. This link was particularly strong among women, who gained back up to five more pounds than those with the lowest PFAS levels. “It is very hard to avoid (Read More)

Diet Key to Weight Loss

Exercise has many proven health benefits, but those who dutifully log miles on the treadmill in the hopes of shedding stubborn pounds may want to reconsider their approach to weight loss. In a new study, researchers at Loyola University in Chicago found that healthy eating habits appear to be more important than exercise for long-term weight control, reports LiveScience.com. The team analyzed the physical activity and weight fluctuations of roughly 2,000 adults from the U.S., Ghana, Jamaica, South Africa, and the Seychelles. In each of the five countries, many of those who did 2.5 hours of moderate weekly exercise actually put on more pounds over two years than their more sedentary peers. The most likely explanation for this? Exercise tends to boost appetite, meaning active people eat more than they otherwise would. The findings suggest that physical activity alone is “not enough to prevent weight gain,” says lead author Lara (Read More)

Juicing Vs. Blending

From late night commercials to in-store demos, the battle between the health benefits of juicing and blending is heating up. While these two methods of turning vegetables and fruit into drinks share some similarities, each have its own pros and cons. Here is a quick guide to help you choose the method that is right for you. Juicing Everyone is familiar with drinking fruit juice; orange and apple juice are part of everyday eating. However, did you know you can juice any fruit or vegetable? Juicers let you get the health benefits of raw food quickly and easily. There are many great health benefits from juicing. Juiced food is digested more easily by your body than whole foods. Juicing extracts the nutrients from bulky foods into a relatively small amount of liquid, allowing micronutrients to be easily accessible to your body. Juicing is also pulp free, which will make you (Read More)

Is good health contagious? A new study says yes.

There’s no magic solution for weight loss and improved health. But data collected by researchers in Kentucky shows friends and family members may lose weight more effectively by working as a team. That finding comes from a new study reported by the American Heart Association. The study’s results indicate that strong social networks, such as those among friends and relatives, help people lose weight and improve their overall health. Are healthy habits contagious? The study, undertaken by researchers in Kentucky, answers that question in the affirmative. The data showed that dieters who lost weight collectively with friends and family lost more weight and were likelier to achieve permanent results. Study organizers, working with a pool of 552 participants, assigned friends and family members into social groups of between two and eight people. The groups worked together to improve their health. Over the course of ten months, participants within social groups lost an (Read More)

5 Heart Healthy Habits

Many of the hardest things to do in life are based on good old-fashioned common sense.  So why are they so hard to accomplish? Let’s face it – in our minds we often think that change is not rational.  Our reasoning is that when we change something in our lives, that often means that we will also lose something – habits that gives us great pleasure. That is why people burn out so easily on their New Year resolutions.  As you read through these common sense behaviors that are critical to a healthy heart, remember that failure is an event – not a person.  Be willing to take risks to get out of you comfort zone. Be willing to start, create “baby steps” for change that are based in your behavior, not just your attitude.  It truly is better to act your way into a new way of thinking, rather (Read More)

Foods That Boost Metabolism

Metabolism is a process used by the body for a number of benefits, such as boosting energy, breaking down fat and breaking down unhealthy chemicals in the body. Many dieters focus on eating foods that will boost their metabolism in order to lose more weight. If you are concerned over excess weight, there are a number of lifestyle changes that may be beneficial in obtaining your weight loss goal, including exercise and a healthy diet. The following foods have been shown to be beneficial in helping to speed up the metabolism. It is common for those wanting to lose weight to choose foods known as “negative calorie” foods. These types of foods trick dieters into believing that because the food does not contain calories, it is good for them. However, in order to safely lose weight you should eat foods that help produce energy, which is beneficial in digestion and (Read More)

Put Down the Haagen-Dazs: Comfort Food is a Myth

What’s your favorite “comfort food”? You know you have one — a treat you use to soothe bruised feelings following some distressing event. Well, guess what: You’re kidding yourself. A new study finds comfort foods are no more effective at lifting moods than any other foods — or even sitting quietly without consuming a calorie. “Negative moods naturally dissipate over time,” writes a University of Minnesota research team led by psychologist Traci Mann. “Individuals may be giving comfort food ‘credit’ for mood effects that would have occurred even in the absence of the comfort food.” That tub of Haagen-Dazs may not have magical powers after all. Mann and her colleagues describe four experiments, three of which were similarly structured. At an introductory session, participants were specifically asked “What foods would make you feel better if you were in a bad mood?”, as well as other foods they enjoy but do (Read More)

Summer Weight Loss

Summer is here, and that means bathing suit season. For many people, summer is the dreaded season. Months before the long summer evenings settle in people from coast to coast start cutting calories and exercising a bit more—all in an effort to get their body in tip-top shape for summer. While getting in shape for summer is great, your healthy habits don’t have to end at the start of the solstice. Focusing on your health and wellness goals can help you stay in the best shape of your life year round. Losing weight over the summer can actually be a lot of fun, and by working towards your weight loss goals throughout the summer you can enter the fall feeling and looking great. Tips to Lose Weight This Summer There are plenty of fun ways that you can lose weight this summer. Here are a few tips to help you (Read More)