Keeping the pounds off (after weight loss)

10/24/2010

 

Once a person loses excess weight, the next great battle is keeping those pounds off!

A recent study from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research found that people who consistently logged in to an interactive Internet version of a personal coach were able to keep the weight off.  The key word is “consistently.”

For 6 months before the trial, men and women reduced their caloric intake and exercised in an effort to shed pounds. Those who lost at least 19 pounds were randomly assigned to 3 groups for weight maintenance. One group was self-directed, another contacted a health counselor once a month, and a third group relied on an interactive website.  All of the participants were obese or overweight, and were taking medications for hypertension or high cholesterol.

Those men and women assigned to a personal coach regained the least amount of weight overall, but the ongoing expense sometimes does not make this an option.

At the end of 30 months, the people assigned to a personal coach regained on average 10 pounds, while the web site group regained 12.5 pounds and the self-directed group regained 14 pounds.

The men and women assigned to the weight-management website who visited the site once a month maintained more of their weight loss than patients who checked in sporadically.  On the Web site, participants could record their weight, caloric intake, and minutes of exercise and compare that information with the goals they had set for themselves. A bulletin board allowed them to read other peoples’ success stories and share their own, as well as get advice from experts on exercise and behavior change.

A weight-management web site appears to be a good alternative to a personal coach for those who may not be able to afford personal coaching fees.  You should look for a site where you can enter data on weight, caloric consumption, and exercise, and receive reminders if you forget to supply this information.

This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in J Med Internet Res. online July 27, 2010. 

 


Why Mediterranean Diet is Different from American Diet

05/03/2010

a) It is widely known that Mediterranean diet has high fat content.  Is weight loss still possible if people will follow this kind of diet?

To some extent, Mediterranean diet really has a high fat content.  But you have to take note that the fat content of a Mediterranean diet consists of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.  These fats are essential and healthy for your body unlike the saturated fat which is common in American diet.  Do take note also that calorie intake is the determining factor for weight loss and not fat consumption.  If you follow the Mediterranean diet, you will enjoy lots of healthy benefits but you still need to lower your daily calorie consumption to achieve weight loss. 

b) What makes Mediterranean diet different from American diet?

Mediterranean diet includes plenty of healthy food choices like vegetables, olive oils, nuts, cereals, potatoes, breads, and many more.  It does not focus on red meat, eggs, and poultry products which are the common component of the typical American diet. 

c) Is it true that Mediterranean diet played a major role in lowering the rate of heart disease in the region?

Mediterranean diet plays an important role in lowering the incidences of cardiovascular disorder.  This finding has been proven by major research and studies.  More importantly, the success of the Mediterranean diet comes from the fact that it promotes a holistic approach to healthy living.  By following the Mediterranean diet, you will learn how to eat healthy and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

d) Is exercise still required if one is following a Mediterranean diet?

Exercise is always essential no matter what type of diet you follow.  The best thing about the Mediterranean diet is that it encourages daily regular exercises as part of the holistic approach to achieve a healthy lifestyle.  When this type of diet was introduced in the sixties, exercise and physical activities were already part of the culture of the Mediterranean people.  For your minimum exercise needs, you have to take a daily one-hour walk and weekly full body exercise. 

e) Is Mediterranean diet different from Low Carb diet?

There is a sea of difference between these two diets.  With the Mediterranean diet, your protein consumption would be lower.  Normally, you will get 15 percent of your calorie consumption from the protein content of a Mediterranean diet. 

f) People observed that wine is included in the Mediterranean diet.  What is the daily recommended amount for wine consumption?

For your general guidance, you have to consume wine in low to moderate amounts.  For male dieters, your daily calorie consumption from wine should be 5 percent.  For women, it should be lower or about 2.5 percent. 

g) Final word of advice

The Mediterranean lifestyle is your way to achieve good health.  You need to include foods in your diet that are rich in Omega 3, root crops, and vegetable oils.  Combine these with breads, cereals and fruits and you can prevent heart disease. 

About the Author – Eva Alexander writes for http://mediterraneandiet.org.uk/”>mediterranean diet plan, her personal hobby blog focused on tips to eat healthy on the Mediterranean way.


Does Yankee Stadium have Heart Healthy Foods?

09/05/2009

I visited the “new” Yankee Stadium again this past week.  This was my 4th trip to the new stadium (Yankees beat the White Sox – Yeah!)

Yankee Stadium Subway Series 2009 016

 I’m very happy to see the calories listed on all the food vendor signs and they even have a healthy fruit stand. 

Yankee Stadium food 003

Being a nurse and a woman trying to control my weight I have to say I think this is a great and long overdue service.  The amount of calories listed in many of the foods was very surprising.  

 Being at a baseball game I wanted my traditional ballpark hot dog, and did select the smaller portion rather than the footlong which saved me some calories.  Of course a lite beer goes very well with the hot dog.  

Yankee Stadium food 007Yankee Stadium food 012

Then later I had some popcorn, and was surprised by the number of calories present in the “large” which was the smallest portion size available.

Yankee Stadium food 019

 Next day I spent a little extra time at the gym to burn off the extra calories I had enjoyed at the game.

 I started to wonder: Do most people really pay attention to this information? Do people make decisions based on the caloric intake?  I decided to try my first blog poll.

Please let me know your thoughts….


Calories – Is Less Really Best?

06/06/2009

Have you ever been frustrated by not losing weight even when you feel like you’ve done everything possible to cut down on calories?

So is less really best when it comes to how many calories we eat? One might think that reducing calories is the most direct way to manage weight. However, this can backfire, especially with eating less than 1200 calories per day (or higher in some individuals). When one cuts their calories down too low the body’s metabolism (the rate at which we burn calories) can become compromised and slow down. This happens as the body senses starvation and switches into conservation mode, burning fewer calories so that the available calories go to vital body organs. As a result of a slower metabolism the body can’t burn calories as efficiently which can slow down and/or prevent weight loss. Does this sound familiar? Many diets actually result in deprivation gone-too-far and slow the metabolism.

The solution in this case is to eat more (and ditch the diet)! By gradually increasing your calorie level with healthful food choices and eating at regular intervals you will be optimizing your metabolism.

Of course, there are times when reducing calories is appropriate by replacing high fat or high sugar foods with healthier options. However, ask yourself it’s possible that you’ve cut out too many calories. You might be wondering how you would know this. Here are some possible signs of calorie intake being too low…

  • Extreme hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Cravings
  • Weight plateaus (i.e. not losing any more weight)
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Irritability
  • Shakiness, lightheadedness, dizziness

Adequate calorie intake is just one of many factors that affect weight loss. To drastically increase your success with losing weight and keeping it off you must surround yourself with a steady support system. NewU – Your Weight, Your Health, Your Choice is a safe place for you to receive support and expert guidance on your journey to weight loss. Learn more and join at http://www.goldbar.net/ua/link.php?affID=Heartstrong_ad
.


Can “Brown Fat” Help Adults Burn Calories and Lose Weight?

05/06/2009

brown-fatBrown fat is present in newborns, one of its primary functions is to generate body heat by burning calories.  Brown fat is activated by cold temperatures – it’s a way newborns try to keep warm.  Three preliminary studies published in an April 2009 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine suggest that brown fat when present in adults may help us burn calories.  For many years it was thought that adults did not retain brown fat but these new studies found that some thinner adults may have this fat and possibly could burn more calories without additional exercise.  PET (positron emission tomography) scans were used to look for active brown fat deposits in adults.  The researchers found that brown fat became more active in cold temperatures similar to findings in infants.  This is brand new research that needs to be evaluated in future studies but may possibly lead to future new treatments for weight loss and the prevention of heart disease and diabetes.