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Jan 3

Sustainable Diets | WWF

We understand and respect peoples diets are heavily influenced by local cultures and individual choice so we would never be prescriptive in recommending what people eat.

Our vision is that at least half of the world is eating within evolved National Dietary Guidelines, which account for the health of people and planet, within the next decade.

Healthy, balanced, diverse and sustainable diets will look different in different parts of the world, dependent on what food is available and culturally relevant.

These diets must meet National Dietary Guidelines in terms of nutrition but also ensure there is no over-reliance on any select commodities. Though some people and communities may benefit from reducing the amount of certain things they eat, there is no need to universally eliminate anything from our diets. Instead we can focus on ensuring the variety of foods we eat are better produced. By removing unsustainably produced foods, which cause deforestation or conversion of wildlife habitat, or degradation of water and soil quality, or unduly increased greenhouse gas emissions, we can ensure we have the option to eat all the foods we love forever.

Plant-based foods tend to have a lower planetary impact than animal-based foods. As such, as a global community, we can reduce our environmental footprint by increasing the proportion of plant-based products that we eat; as long as they are available, affordable and deliver the required nutritional needs for each individual. Sustainably produced meat and fish are valuable sources of nutrition to many communities and, in certain areas, can play a key role in landscape management and maintaining ecosystem services. Families should eat the food which is readily available to them and supports nutrition, livelihoods and the planet.

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Sustainable Diets | WWF

Jan 3

WW diet review: Is the new Weight Watchers worth a try? – CNET


Losing weight can be a daunting task, and it can be even harder to know where to start. If your research on diet programs led you here, it's very likely that you are considering Weight Watchers, now called WW after a rebranding in 2018.

WW is a well-known program with decades-long history. For over 58 years, this program has helped millions of people lose weightincluding influential celebrities like Oprah Winfrey. If you want to begin a weight-loss journey, WW may be the push you're searching for. Follow along to see if their program is right for you.

Editor's Note: Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet.

Our Health & Wellness newsletter puts the best products, updates and advice in your inbox.

You know the name, you've heard the talk or seen the commercials -- maybe even one from the 2015 Super Bowl.

WW is among the most popular dieting regimens available. In 2019, WW reached over 4.6 million members all over the world. It continues to grow today.

WW offers four membership plans that aim to meet the unique needs of each individual looking to lose weight. Each plan builds off the others, offering more support than the last. Memberships only include what's accessible through the app and don't include any actual meals, only a plan with recipes you can follow.

The four memberships you can choose from are:

With this membership, you get a fully personalized food plan paired with recipes that'll help you reach your goals. You can also access meal, water, activity, weight and sleep trackers so you can stay on top of your progress. Even though this is WW's basic plan, you also get workouts for all levels, 24/7 live coaching, plus 5-minute coaching audios. WW partnered with Headspaceto provide members with exclusive guided meditations if you are also interested in incorporating wellness for the mind.

This membership plan offers all of the above plus access to virtual cooking demos,nutrition classes and Digital 360 Coaches. With the Digital 360 Coaches, you can access on-demand sessions hosted by people who have gone through the WW journey and share their experiences to help guide you through yours. Some topics in this section include:

With the Unlimited Workshops Plus Digital membership, you get everything included in the Digital 360 plan, plus in-person and virtual workshops led by WW coaches that deliver what the company claims are "scientific behavior change techniques" for weight loss. You will also be included in a workshop group to help motivate you.

The One-on-One Coaching Plus Digital plan swaps the Digital 360 Coaches for a private coach. You'll be able to view all of the coaches' profiles on the app and choose the one that best suits your needs. You will begin the program with a 30-minute session with your coach, where you will talk about lifestyle, preferences, and personality to build your action plan tailored to your goals. After that, you can schedule unlimited 15-minute phone or video check-ins.

After choosing your preferred membership, you will have the chance to pick a meal plan of recipes and suggested dishes that lines up with your palette, dietary needs and weight goals. Those three meal plans are:

Green plan: This is the most restrictive and has the least amount of approved foods.

Meal example: Salmon salad with lemon-caper dressing

Blue plan: A medium amount of restriction, designed for vegetarians and vegans.

Meal example: Irish steel-cut oats with pomegranate seeds and pistachios

Purple plan: The least restrictive plan, and the one with the most food choices.

Meal example: Swordfish, vegetables and brown rice

Keep in mind that while WW pushes well-balanced meals full of protein, fruits, vegetables and nutrients, the company is adamant that no food is off-limits.

When you enter the WW site for the first time, you will be prompted to take a quick quiz to further personalize your program. The quiz asks questions about your home life, reasons why you want to lose weight, sleep cycle and even your mindset going into the program.

Once finished, WW will recommend the membership plan best suited for you based on your answers. It'll also suggest areas of your life that you can improve to reach your weight loss goals, whether that be nutrition, activity, sleep or mindset.

WW then provides -- based upon your membership plan -- resources to make strides towards your goals. If you struggle with reaching your desired amount of sleep each night, there are guided meditations you can listen to before bed. If you would like to be more active during your day, there are workout classes you can join virtually.

The most important aspect of WW's programs is its SmartPoint system. It works by assigning each food a number of points. Foods higher in saturated fats or sugar, like potato chips or chocolate, tend to be high in points. Meanwhile, healthy whole foods such as fruits and vegetables or foods high in protein like chicken are low in points.

Depending on your chosen meal plan, you will be given a set number of SmartPoints that you can use daily. This means that every meal you eat will subtract from your budget. Please note that you will not be penalized in any way if you go over your SmartPoint budget. Those things happen!

One nice feature is that your SmartPoints roll over, so you never have to feel like you are throwing away points if you don't hit your daily budget. For example, if you eat only 15 SmartPoints on Monday (out of a budget of 16 daily SmartPoints), you could potentially eat 17 points on Thursday.

ZeroPoint foods are everyday nutritional food items that you don't need to trackmeaning that they aren't counted towards your daily SmartPoints budget. Everyone's ZeroPoint foods list will be different since it's tailored to your personalized plan. The amount of ZeroPoint foods will depend on which meal plan you choose (Green, Blue or Purple), as well as the number of ZeroPoints allowed (the Purple plan allows for the most ZeroPoint foods), but some of the basics include:

Each plan has a designated SmartPoint budget and a range of ZeroPoint foods to choose from. The plan you select is completely up to you based on your preference of flexibility around your meal planning.

Green plan: 30 daily SmartPoints with 100-plus ZeroPoint foods

Blue plan: 23 daily SmartPoints with 200-plus ZeroPoint foods

Purple plan: 16 daily SmartPoints with 300-plus ZeroPoint foods

The Green plan has the highest daily SmartPoints budget but the lowest amount of ZeroPoint foods to choose from. In this plan, the ZeroPoint foods are mostly fruits and non-starchy vegetables.

The Blue plan is middle of the road -- fewer SmartPoints but more ZeroPoints. The Blue plan offers more than just ZeroPoint fruits and vegetables, such as fish, eggs and non-fat yogurt.

The Purple plan is by far the most malleable with ZeroPoints. These foods include whole-grain pasta and grains, beans and starchy vegetables.

This is a meal from the Purple plan, and it is to be assumed that you would have 16 daily SmartPoints.

Breakfast: Omelette with cheese, ham and bell peppers (2 points)

Lunch: Pesto chicken sandwich with a side Italian arugula salad (8 points)

Snack: Plain fat-free cottage cheese with fresh peaches (0 points)

Dinner: Italian turkey sausage and pepper pasta (3 points)

Dessert: Sugar-free ice cream bar (3 points)

After counting all of these meals, you would have totalled 16 SmartPoints. Keep in mind that you have the power to create and plan your meals to your liking.

Depending on the plan you choose, your costs using WW can vary. Keep in mind that your membership cost doesn't include the price of ingredients. Here's a breakdown of the weekly costs:

Digital: starts at $3.30 per week (about $13.20 a month, or $158.40 a year)

Digital 360: starts at $4.23 per week (about $16.92 a month, or $203.04 a year)

Unlimited Workshops plus Digital: starts at $5.96 per week (about $23.84 a month, or $286.08 a year)

1-on-1 Coaching plus Digital: starts at $11.08 per week (about $44.32 a month, or $531.84 a year)

Note: A $20 starter fee will be added to your membership the first time you sign up.

Track your meals right in the app.

The WW app has pretty solid ratings on the App Store and Google Play store.

4.8 out of 5 stars on App Store

4.4 out of 5 stars on Google Play store

The user-friendly WW app is one of the best parts of the program. Since you bring your phone everywhere, your dieting plan can come too.

WW app allows you to:

Recent research has a lot to say about the relationship between WW users and weight loss. While there are plenty of tempting fad diets to choose from, evidence seems to suggest that WW is the real deal.

A study from 2017 found that out of a test group who struggled with obesity, 57% lost weight on WW compared to 42% on another weight-loss program.

Another study from 2016 found that Weight Watchers and another popular dieting program, Jenny Craig, were effective in helping a test group lose weight. The study concluded that health physicians could recommend either program to patients who are looking to lose weight.

There are a lot of benefits to the WW program, such as:

The cons of this dieting regiment seem to hit in two main categories: nutrition and money.

WW is not a one-size-fits-all program. It is not recommended if you don't have the time to plan or track your food each day. It's not for those who deeply struggle with self-control and portion sizing. It is great if you're looking for overall wellness advice, however, such as help tracking sleep, activity and water intake. There are little to no restrictions when customizing a dieting plan fit just for you.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

Read more:
WW diet review: Is the new Weight Watchers worth a try? - CNET

Jan 3

Do Cleanses and Detox Diets Really Work? – The Manual

Whether the holidays were a time of a little extra indulging or its been a while since youve hit the gym regularly, you may be wondering if trying or cleanse or detox is the best way to jumpstart some weight loss, get back on a healthy diet plan, and reset your metabolism. Cleanses and detox diets are extremely popular. There are tons of commercial juice diets you can order, or enemas, or lemon and cayenne drinks recipes to follow, and expensive supplements and diet pills said to help detox your body, just to name a few.

Many of these popular programs claim to help rid your body of toxins, cleanse your blood and liver, and enable you to drop a significant amount of weight quickly. But do cleanses actually work? Are they safe? Is a cleanse the same thing as a detox diet? Is there an effective way to reset your metabolism and kickstart weight loss? Keep reading for the answers to these questions and the basics of cleanses and diet detoxes.

A cleanse is typically some kind of diet or regimen that aims to improve digestion and clean your system out, whereas a detox is said to systematically remove toxins that have built up in your blood, liver, or kidneys so that you feel more revitalized and healthy. Cleanses and detox diets usually involve a period of fasting followed by some kind of juice or liquid diet protocol with a strong emphasis on the complete avoidance of certain food groups like gluten, dairy, soy, alcohol, sweeteners, and perhaps even solid food. There may also be specific herbs, teas, supplements, and or enemas involved in the cleanse or detox as well.

The most important takeaway is that several of the claims made by detox dietsmainly that they can stimulate your liver and kidneys to eliminate excess toxinsare not true. Providing your body with healthy nutrients and steering clear of inflammatory foods like sugar, alcohol, and processed ingredients will reduce inflammation, support digestion, and aid circulation, but the liver and kidneys already detoxify nearly all harmful compounds in circulation and remove them via urine, feces, sweat, and even expired air. Heavy metals like lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium can build up in different tissues of the body over time; however, there is no evidence to suggest that detox diets can effectively get rid of these compounds. Therefore, the actual detoxing or toxin-eliminating claims of detox diets are not true. That said, there can be some health benefits to cleanses and detox diets.

While cleanses and detox diets do not increase the elimination of toxins in your body or spur your liver and kidneys to go into turbo mode, there can be physical and behavioral benefits to short-term cleanses and detoxes. For example, while a cleanse or detox diet wont remove heavy metals that are already in your body from storage, you likely wont be ingesting other inflammatory compounds during the cleanse. Foods containing trans fats and hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners and sugar, salt, food dyes, and chemicals, and even gluten, dairy, corn, soy, and certain other ingredients can be inflammatory. If youre following a cleanse that focuses on fresh produce like organic fruits and vegetables in their raw, cooked, or juiced forms, youll be giving your digestive system a break from breaking down fats, protein, and these other potentially inflammatory compounds from processed foods.

Because cleanses are so restrictive, most people do experience modest weight loss. However, results can be short-term if a healthy, calorie-controlled diet is not maintained after the end of the cleanse. That said, severe caloric restriction is not safe and not supportive of metabolic health, particularly if maintained beyond a couple of days. Consider intermittent fasting as an alternative way to get some of the weight loss benefits of a cleanse in a more metabolically effective and safe manner. Long-term starvation diets, in turn, will slow your metabolic rate and can disrupt hormonal balance and can encourage fat storage rather than fat loss.

Lastly, some people enjoy behavioral and emotional benefits from following a short-term cleanse or detox program. Just as a digital detox can be a much-needed break from technology and an eye-opener as to your reliance on phones, TV, and other devices, a diet detox or cleanse can help reset your palate, cravings, and unhealthy eating patterns. A cleanse may reduce sugar cravings and restore mindfulness around eating, helping you stick to a healthier, more balanced diet upon completion.

Again, the primary thing to keep in mind when embarking on a cleanse or detox diet is that you arent actually going to be eliminating any toxins from your body. Even if this isnt your only goal, there are still a few additional precautions to consider. Nearly all cleanses involve severe caloric restriction, which can cause low energy, headaches, blood sugar irregularities, arrhythmias, and bad breath. This may not be advisable for those with certain health conditions (particularly diabetes, eating disorders, and pregnancy/lactation), so you should consult your doctor if you take medications or have illnesses or medical disorders. Colon cleanses that use laxatives and diuretics often cause severe diarrhea and excessive urination and can lead to dehydration, nausea, and vomiting.

If you use commercial diet pills and herbal supplements as part of your cleanse, its important to keep in mind that many of these products are not regulated by the FDA. As such, they may be dangerous in high doses and the labels can be inaccurate. It is highly advisable to avoid any products that are not regulated and that may contain harmful substances or doses; just because something is herbal, does not mean it is safe; for example, ephedra can cause convulsions and heart irregularities.

These are some of the food groups that most cleanses eliminate:

Some even eliminate solid foods and only encourage juicing and drinking broths. That said, most allow free consumption of healthy vegetables and fresh fruits, which provide all sorts of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. There are some healthy juices packed with antioxidantsto reduce free radical damage and support health. For example, you might try cold-pressed juices from Factor, which retain all of the nutrients and have no added sugars. Green tea is also usually encouraged, as there is evidence that it increases metabolic rate, aids metabolism, and reduces oxidative damage in the body.

Cleanses and detox diets can be a potentially effective way to transition to a nutritious diet free from processed foods and excessive sugar, salt, and fat. That said, a detox diet does not eliminate toxins from the body and there are dangers associated with long-term or severe caloric restriction, diet pills, and supplements, laxatives, and diuretics.

Do Cleanses and Detox Diets Really Work? - The Manual

Jan 3

Opinion: I tried out six diets. Heres what I learned. – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Kiernan works in genomics and writes about debunking food myths with science, and lives in La Jolla. Twitter: @Estevan.Kiernan.

2022 is upon us and many will make the decision to take control of their health and focus on what they put in their bodies in the coming year. When we seek information on health topics, theres a sea of conflicting opinions on every subject you Google. Is eating fat good or bad this year? I thought breakfast was the most important meal of the day. Are we skipping it with fasting? Did they ever figure out if meat was going to kill us?

More health information is available than ever before and yet weve never been more confused. Just dipping our toe into the pool of data can leave us with analysis paralysis. We look to our healthy friends and ask them for tips. They seem to have all the answers even if counterpoints are brought up about their diet. How can they be so confident that this diet will affect me the same way?

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Thats where I was two years ago. Instead of throwing my hands in the air, I said to myself I would try every diet out there. Thats right. Everyone claimed they knew the answer for what was right for me, but I was going to try every diet and find the answers for myself. As a scientist, I wanted to find the truth through data. At the beginning and end of each diet, I would take my blood work, blood pressure, body weight, body fat percentage and compare results at the end. A diet based on facts, not my Instagram algorithm.

For eight weeks at a time, I would try them all: keto, paleo, Mediterranean, intermittent fasting, vegetarian and calorie restriction. In the beginning of each diet, I was told, youre going to have so much clarity or all of your aches and pains will feel better. What I got was awkward interactions at restaurants, looks of disgust from family on my food choices, and newfound abilities of locating the nearest restroom at any venue. The cravings. The expenses. The sustainability. Each diet was a teacher on ways to approach eating and I wanted to learn it all.

My experiences with these diets were similar to others who have tried them, but also diverged from the narrative, too. Sometimes I had classic side effects from making a change. Other times I didnt realize I was on a diet. Which is kind of the point. The United States is a melting pot of different backgrounds, cultures, financial means, genetics, family histories and health goals. Each group has its own reasons for the food choices it makes. A generalized statement like x is the way you should eat is an antiquated view that cant accommodate all circumstances. We need individualized approaches on finding what works for our circumstances and our goals.

Which brings us to the question, which diet worked best? They all did. Each diet taught me something different. Maybe I dont need extra bread with every entree. I wont die if I dont have a piece of meat at every meal. I have endured 24 hours without food, so Im probably bored and not hungry. Eating sardines for breakfast isnt so bad. And of course, there are multiple diets that lead to weight loss. I tried these diets for only eight weeks, but the new relationships I developed with food will last me a lifetime.

So as the new year comes, dont ask what diet is best. Ask what diet you should try first.

My key takeaways:

1) Seek out experts. Listen to their opinions but dont solely rely on them. The reason it can be difficult to find the correct data on food is theres conflicting information in the literature. Conflicting information means people are responding differently to diets. Let your body be your guide.

2) If you want to be objective, numbers are important. Whats measured is managed. But if your goal is to just feel better, then numbers arent essential.

3) Forgive spouses for what theyre about to go through and thank them for their support. I cant tell you how many times I heard, Im not the one on the diet, you are. Feed me normal food!

4) Being thoughtful about what you are eating has more impact than any one diet. When you focus on what youre putting in your body, you tend to make better choices both in what you eat and the quantity you eat.

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Opinion: I tried out six diets. Heres what I learned. - The San Diego Union-Tribune

Jan 3

Veganuary 2022: What to know about the one-month vegan challenge – CNET


January is the perfect time to try something new. The non-profitVeganuary believes that it's an especially good time to try out a new diet -- aveganone, to be exact.

A vegan diet excludes all meat, fish, dairy, eggs and other animal products. Veganuary challenges you to follow this plant-based diet for the whole month of January and enter the New Year with a fresh mindset.

Veganuary may be trendy, but your new vegan diet could turn into a full-time lifestyle. Learn more about the potential benefits of going vegan, how to make the switch and how to join Veganuary in 2022.

Our Health & Wellness newsletter puts the best products, updates and advice in your inbox.

Veganuary (yes, a combination of "vegan" and "January") is a UK-based non-profit organization that values the Earth and all its inhabitants. Each year, the organization challenges people to eat only vegan foods for the entire month of January in an effort to promote health, protect the environment and end animal farming.

Since 2014, millions of participants have taken part in the Veganuary pledge. In addition to the January challenge, Veganuary supports vegan businesses and restaurants year-round. In the process, they get the word out about vegan diets in the media.

According to the organization, over 500,000 people from 200 countries participated in Veganuary by starting a new vegan diet in 2021. With hopes of increasing that number in 2022, Veganuary invites you to take the 31-day pledge this January.

Vegan diets aren't for everyone. But there are benefits of a well-balanced vegan diet, especially one that consists of plenty of whole, minimally processed plant foods.

Good for the environment: A vegan diet is "probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth," according to Joseph Poore, lead author of a 2018 study in Science that analyzed the impact of almost 40,000 farms worldwide. Not only do vegan diets produce fewer greenhouse gases, but they also conserve essential resources like water and land.

Lowers your sugar intake: Heavily processed foods tend to have a higher sugar content than fruits, vegetables and other whole plant-based foods. Eliminating these foods from your diet reduces your sugar intake. High amounts of sugar have been linked to diabetes, heart disease and other diseases.

Healthier heart: Saturated fats are a leading cause of high cholesterol, according to the American Heart Association. The amount of saturated fats is drastically decreased in diets free of meat and dairy. Consuming less saturated fat also reduces the risk for heart disease and stroke.

A healthy way to lose weight: Some animal products, like red meat and dairy, are high in calories and fat. Eating less of these foods can translate to weight loss, if that's your goal. Variousstudieshave shown that vegan diets are the most effective at maintaining weight loss, compared to vegetarian or omnivorous diets.

Read more: Everything you need to know about a vegan diet, explained

You should pledge to go vegan for all of January if you think a plant-based diet is right for you, whether you're looking to be kinder to the Earth or improve your health.

Still, if you're new to a vegan diet and participate in Veganuary, you'll need to quit meat, cheese, fish and other animal-based food staplescold turkey. That isn't for everyone. Instead, consider trying a vegetarian diet first, then slowly wean yourself off other animal products. Similarly, if cutting out foods doesn't sound feasible or healthy for you, know that you can always try boosting the amount of plant foods that you eat on a daily basis without going vegan.

But for some, an abrupt withdrawal might be the push you're looking for. If this sounds like your mindset, then the 31-day challenge is for you.

If you decide to take on the Veganuary challenge, you can visit the company's website. Once prompted, sign up with your email address (it's free, and you can unsubscribe at any time).

You can also participate in Veganuary independently without signing up on the website. If you decide to sign up, you'll receive free resources in your inbox, such as an e-cookbook with delicious recipes, nutritional tips, daily emails that offer encouragement and support, shopping advice and restaurant recommendations -- everything you need to succeed.

Then, for 31 days, attempt an all-plant diet.

If you're new to veganism, you're right on time -- these days it's more convenient than ever to steer clear of animal products. But you still have to do some planning to make sure you're meeting your nutritional needs.

Map out your meals for the entire week and prepare your groceries beforehand. If this is an entirely new diet for you, consider how much your daily routine might have to change. Make sure to have a few vegan snacks on hand, too.

One of the benefits of becoming a vegan today is that there are many apps out there to ease the transition. Check out HappyCow, Oh She Glows, Vegan Amino and Veg Menu in the App Store and Google Play for tasty recipes and vegan-friendly restaurants near you.

Don't feel pressured to become vegan overnight. Wean yourself off your favorite animal products one by one. Start with the simple changes first, then ease yourself into more of the plant-based diet.

Starting a vegan diet doesn't mean you have to start at zero. You might even have vegan-friendly options in your fridge and pantry. Some common household food items you might have include nuts, beans, lentils, fruit, rice and pasta.

With meat out of the question, you will need to find a substitute for your protein. Some common proteins vegans lean to are tofu, rice, grains and beans. There's plenty of imitation meat for sale, as well.

In plant-based diets, vitamin B-12 is often hard to come by. It is recommended that vegans try especially hard to meet a daily requirement of B-12 (found in nutritional yeast and some cereals). If not, you can opt for a B-12 vitamin supplement.

Don't worry about missing out on calcium if you are a huge milk drinker. There are other calcium-rich foods that do the same job. Foods with high levels of calcium include tofu, white beans, broccoli, sweet potatoes and plant-based yogurt.

Veganuary has a lot of helpful tips and information for those just starting a vegan diet. One of the best resources it offers are the easy-to-follow recipes for all meals of the day.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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Veganuary 2022: What to know about the one-month vegan challenge - CNET

Jan 3

The Galveston Diet for Menopause: What to Know – Everyday Health

The Galveston eating plan comprises three major actions.

RELATED: 6 Foods to Avoid Around Menopause

Instead, the diet emphasizes whole foods with lots of nonstarchy vegetables and fruits. Foods specifically believed to reduce inflammation are encouraged, such as fatty fish, berries, garlic, nuts, tomatoes, and olive oil.

The type of intermittent fasting recommended in the Galveston diet is known as 16/8, which means fasting for 16 hours and eating during a window of 8 hours every day. That generally means delaying the first meal of the day until around noon.

Haver advises adopting this regimen slowly, such as by pushing breakfast back a half hour every few days, to give your body time to adjust. I myself took six weeks before my first meal was at noon, so I never felt very hungry, she says.

By contrast, the Galveston diet slashes carbs dramatically. Here, the bulk of calories come from healthy fats, in order to encourage fat burning, the company says.

For example, daily intake in the first weeks assigns 70 percent of daily calories to fat,with proteins at 21 percent and carbs at 9 percent. After youve been on the diet for a while and you get used to eating fewer carbs and sugars, some additional complex carbs are put in.

It is true that a womans body composition shifts during perimenopause, with more fat settling around the abdomen, experts say.

Midbody weight gain is almost universal among menopausal women, says Nanette Santoro, MD, the chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora and a longtime menopause researcher.

Virtually every woman gains at least some fat under her skin with the end of menses, Dr. Santoro says, which researchers believe could be related to the loss of estrogen, although this has not been proven. There are a lot of compelling theories and good science being done around his question, but there are currently few answers, she says.

Some percentage of women do experience more rapid weight gain and more fat accumulating around the abdomen during the menopausal transition, she says. Still, little is known about why these women seem to have to work much harder on maintaining their body weight during this time.

In addition to the possible hormonal link, women entering perimenopause and menopause are also dealing with changes related to getting older, says Stephanie Faubion, MD, the director of the Mayo Clinic's Center for Women's Health and the medical director for the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). Most women reach menopause, defined as having gone a full year without having a period, by around age 51.

RELATED: The Best Foods for Women Around Menopause

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The Galveston Diet for Menopause: What to Know - Everyday Health

Jan 3

Wellness vacations go beyond massages and diet tips during the pandemic. – The New York Times

Before the pandemic, when Mary Calliste, 32, traveled, she would try to hit as many tourist attractions as she could. But in early December, Ms. Calliste, who works in the financial services industry out of Plainfield, N.J., went to Guatemala and stayed at an eco-friendly hotel called Lush Atitln. There, she ate vegan meals, walked around the natural reserve and listened to music.

And loved it.

From now on, she said, I see myself incorporating a lot more of my needs into my travel instead of what I can see.

As the pandemic lingers into its third calendar year, its probably not surprising that travelers are increasingly looking to their vacations to work on their mental and physical wellness. In a recent American Express survey, 76 percent of respondents said they wanted to spend more on travel that improved their well-being, and 55 percent said they would be willing to pay extra for these services or activities.

That has hotels ramping up their wellness offerings, from outfitting rooms with Peloton exercise bikes to adding programs that address mental health. Hilton has created a program called Five Feet to Fitness, which includes an interactive kiosk with fitness tutorials and a gyms worth of equipment in some rooms.

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Wellness vacations go beyond massages and diet tips during the pandemic. - The New York Times

Jan 3

The dietitian’s five best diets to focus on in 2021 (and three to avoid at all costs) – Good Food

The pastyear has certainly been an interesting one and, from a dietary perspective, things have not been all bad. More time at home has meant that many of us have been able to commit a lot more time and energy to food preparation and healthy eating, which is only a good thing.

Interest in plant-based eating continues to grow exponentially, with a growing number of plant and nut milks a routine part of coffee orders. More than ever, you can find zero-alcohol wines and beers, along with lower calorie alcoholic water and wine spritzers, some of which are quickly taking the place of our favourite wine or spirit. And the snack food section of supermarkets continues to expand, with more products boasting nutritional claims of less sugar, more protein and fewer 'bad' fats.

It is not all good news, though, with a growinghabit for ordering our mealsstraight to our door,as well as desserts and alcohol, resulting in plenty of fat and calories sneaking into our diets each week. With this has come a few extra kilograms, collectively blamed on COVID,although it's almost two years since the pandemic began.

At the start of a shiny new year, before you spend money on yet another diet program that promises that you will look like a supermodel before the end of January, here are the diets that are scientifically proven give you the health- and weight-related results you are hoping for, as well as a few diets to avoid.

1.Lower Carb Diets

Lower carb or moderate carb diets contain 30-40 per centcarbs, generally with a taper at night. Programs such as the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet follow this formula. It is an effective, sustainable way to shift half akilo each week whilst still enjoying some fruit, bread and grains in your eating plan. How to make Adam Liaw's greens and egg salad, pictured.

2.The Mediterranean Diet

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Whilst it is not specifically known for weight loss, when it comes to health outcomes, you cannot go past the Mediterranean Diet. The simple formula involves plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, lashings of extra virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, fish and little to no processed food, and it is the recipe for a healthy heart and long life.

3.The 5:2 or Fasting Diets

Fasting diets have been shown to help kickstart a number of the body's hormones, including those that regulate fat metabolism. The 5:2 diet involves twolow-calorie days each week, while for the 16:8dietyou consume allof your calories within an 8-hour windowand then fast for 16 hours. While you won't lose 1-2kga week using fasting, if you can consistently follow one of the regimes you can lose a couple of kilograms a month without overly strict dieting.

4.Very Low-Calorie Diets (VLCDs)

Not for everyone, Very Low-Calorie Diets contain roughly 800 calories and are often sold as a program in which all meals are replaced by formulated dietary shakes, bars or soups for a period of time. When followed, VLCDs can be extremely effective in supporting relatively quick weight loss of 1-2.5kg a week and are especially effective for those with Type 2 diabetes. For less intense weight loss, followers can replace just one to twomeals each day to support calorie control.

Andrew McConnell's vegan tomato and chickpea curry. Photo: William Meppem


A vegan diet, unlike a vegetarian diet, includes no animal foods whatsoever meaning that the diet is based around legumes, grains, seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables. While these foods are all exceptionally healthy and mostly lower in calories than diets that include animal-based protein, vegan diets are not necessarily lower in calories than other diets, meaning they will only result in weight loss if they are also calorie controlled. How to make Adam Liaw'sPiyaz salad and Andrew McConnell's tomato and chickpea curry.

Lemon detox diet

Basically, this is a starvation diet. Deficient in all the key nutrients and even dangerous for those with hormonal conditions such as insulin resistance and diabetes, there is nothing positive that can be said for this diet, especially since you are likely to regain most,if not all, the weight you lostonce you start to eat again.

Avoid juice fasts as long term they are deficient in protein, fats, vitamins and minerals. Photo: Supplied

Juice fasts

Often referred to as a 'cleanse', a juice dietworks in a similar way to the lemon detox diet but with slightly more sugar and calories. Long-termjuice diets are deficient in protein, fats, vitamins and minerals and, again, any weight you lose is likely to be regained once you start eating again.

Alkaline diet

The alkaline diet suggests that alkalising foods (those with minimal acid-forming properties) help to restore the body to an alkaline state. It is believed by followers that an alkaline body is the key to new cell generation and disease prevention. While this may sound fantastic, the reality is that the pH of the body is largely out of our control which means the alkaline diet cannot do what it says it does.

Some carbs are good, such as those found in wholegrain bread. Photo: iStock

Susie Burrell is a dietitian.

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The dietitian's five best diets to focus on in 2021 (and three to avoid at all costs) - Good Food

Jan 3

‘Losing weight is a lot like baking a cake’ – The42

THE FOLLOWING PASSAGE is an extract from The Keane Edge by Brian Keane.

Losing weight is a lot like baking a cake.

Yes, you read that right. Im starting this healthy eating book talking about baking a cake. As youll see over the coming chapters, this book is unlike anything you have ever read before. Im not going to be preaching the fat-burning capabilities of some random food found deep in the Amazon jungle, or selling you on some quick-fix solution that massively reduces your calorie intake by eliminating an entire food group. Nope, you wont get that here. What you are going to get in the following pages is a mindset shift.

Youre likely going to hear some uncomfortable truths about the sole contributing factor as to why you dont look the way you want to look. Ill give you a clue. When it comes to every single diet or nutritional plan youve followed unsuccessfully over the years, what has been the common denominator? Have you been too restrictive and then pressed the f*ck it button and binged on everything in sight? Possibly. Have you eliminated entire food groups in your desire to lose weight, e.g. six weeks gluten free, no dairy? Yeah, you might have.

But none of those is the common denominator. Want to know what is? Its YOU! Yes, you, or more accurately your mindset and how you approach the diet or nutritional plan. But dont worry, were going to fix that. But first, back to my cake.

Surely cake is off-limits if youre trying to lose weight or reduce your body fat? Well, yes and no. Yes in the sense that in Part One of the book youll see that calories do matter and food portion sizes are important. Eating a whole cake is unlikely to support your weight-loss goal.

Equally though, one slice a few times a week probably has the opposite effect. It gives you the psychological and metabolic boost you need to stick to your nutritional plan over the space of a week, a month or even a year. But thats not why I bring up cake. The reason I bring it up, apart from the fact that cake is delicious, is the baking element.

If youve ever baked a cake (or any other oven treat), you know that you have to follow a recipe. You need to do things in the right order, following a step-by-step process to end up with an appetising baked good. But you also need the ingredient list.

Forget the flour and you have a pile of mush, forget the sugar and it tastes horrible, forget the eggs and it doesnt stick together you get the idea. Developing the Keane Edge is exactly the same.

To lose weight, you need the recipe, and you need to follow a step-by-step process. In Part One, well go through that: how calories work, what you need to know about macros the foods that make up your calories and food choices and the order of priority or fat-loss pyramid of prioritisation that comes alongside them.

At this point, you might be thinking, Oh God, not another diet book on clean eating, or To lose weight, consume fewer calories been there, done that oh no my friend, thats just the start of it.

Similar to baking a cake, you can know exactly how to make it but it still might taste like crap if you dont know what ingredients to use. Which brings me on to the meat and potatoes (pardon the pun) of this book the ingredients, aka your mindset tools.

The educational side of the weight-loss process is broken down into everything from calories, macros and food choices to using the correct metrics to track your progress. Randomly following dietary advice without context or knowledge is a recipe for misery. You might hit your weight-loss goal, but you might not. You always want to be able to replicate what you do.

For instance, if you lost 4 kilos to look your absolute best for a wedding or other event, you want to be able to replicate that any time you need to in the future. I only use the word diet as an adjective.

Its a skill you acquire to use when you need it. You diet to slim down for a date in the future. And unless you are morbidly obese or seriously overweight and youve been dieting for more than a year with no result, you are doing it wrong!

Over the course of our journey together, you will acquire the dieting skill but our primary focus will be on the nutrition side of things. That means finding a plan that is specific to your goal and then approaching it the right way. The ingredients come next and the first one on that list is discipline.


When I say discipline, Im not talking about gruelling workout sessions in a gym, or even avoiding your favourite foods to hit a weight-loss target. Far from it. What I mean by discipline is building habits that support your end goal, so that you dont feel like youre on a diet.

Being disciplined is about understanding how your daily actions and behaviours determine how well you do on your weight-loss journey. If you tell me how you eat every day, Ill tell you how much weight youll lose or how youll look in a year. Im also going to break down the myth of motivation and the misconception that there are motivated people out there.

Spoiler alert, theres no such thing as motivated people there are disciplined people: individuals with good daily habits or people who have educated themselves and conditioned their mindset to find a nutritional plan that works for them. We can remove that unsupportive belief system of discipline here and now because its nonsense and only serves as an obstacle to the correct mindset. More on this later.

So if discipline is one of our ingredients, what else is there? Im glad you asked.


Failure is next on the list. Yes, failure is an important ingredient on your journey. But wait, how is failure helpful? Surely thats a bad thing, right? Nope.

Failure is one of the most important ingredients on your weight-loss journey because failure isnt final: failure is feedback! Feedback on what hasnt worked in the past. Feedback on how you avoid self-sabotage in the future.

In this section, well talk about the concept of pressing the f*ck it button. You all know what Im talking about; youve eaten poorly all day Saturday and then had a big fry up on Sunday morning, so you say, F*ck it, Ill start back on my plan tomorrow.

Yeah, you know the button. If its overused, or worse, worn out, well figure out why and put a plan in place around it.

Failure also gives us the tool of resetting, where you dont let one bad meal turn into two or a bad weekend turn into a bad week. We reset after a potential slip and we get right back on plan.

Thats failure as feedback and that brings me on to the final ingredient in this recipe: the mindset tools.

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This book is ultimately a tool book, and your mindset tools are the most important ones. Well go through philosophies such as getting your ladder up against the right wall, or in other words, finding the plan thats in alignment with your goals, one that includes foods you enjoy and one that you can stick to. Well also go over the 01 principle on why the start of any new diet is the hardest part, even though its usually when youre at your most motivated (and why thats normally the problem).

We will go deep on the problem with waiting for Monday if youre feeling motivated on Friday, and the unsupportive behaviour of having a last supper a ritual that involves bingeing on your favourite foods because you start a diet tomorrow. Well also go deep on your why. Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to reduce your body fat? Why do you want to look a certain way? Knowing why youre doing it can be the difference between success and failure on a dietary plan.

You will come to see that its not the diet thats the issue: its your mindset towards it thats been the problem all along. The honest truth is that most diets work if you stick to them. But why cant you stick to your diet? Is it unsustainable? Does it eliminate your favourite foods? Do you feel rubbish on it low energy, crap sleep, poor sex drive?

Well uncover those tangibles and intangibles as we dive deeper into the book, but for now, realise that this book works with any diet. Although the final part will give you a nutritional plan to follow and some recipes with high-quality, nutrient-dense meals, truthfully any plan will work if you stick to it.

What tool do you need to help you with this job? Are you self-sabotaging? Cool, read that section and use the tools in there to help you. Do you lack motivation or have bad dietary habits? Great, check out that chapter and pull out the tools you need.

My mission with this book is to make you realise that outside of some fundamental educational principles that everybody on a weight-loss journey should know such as basic calorie intake its not the diet per se that determines your weight loss success: its your mindset towards it that matters. Thinking that the diet is the problem or what I call the diet mindset is not only flawed, its broken and downright wrong. And its time to upgrade your thinking.

You can leave that diet mindset at the door. Now were moving to the next level. The level that gets you exactly where you need to be and keeps you there until your goals change. Now were talking about the Keane Edge.


Part One of this book is for absolute beginners. If this is the first book on nutrition that youve ever picked up and are confused or dont fully understand calories, macros or how food choices affect your body composition, then I recommend reading Part One in its entirety. If you are already familiar with foundational nutritional principles such as calories and macros, you can skip to the end of Part One, where Ive recapped the main takeaways, and then jump into Part Two, which talks about developing the mindset around nutrition.

Part Three deals with nutrition itself and training, while Part Four looks at the pivotal but often misunderstood area of fat loss: sleep and stress.

The books final part gives you The Plan. Its not the unsustainable kind of one and done formula you may have come across in other diet books; Im interested in mindset, nutrition and how to efficiently lose weight or reduce body fat over time. That being said, the plan will help you get started if youre feeling motivated right now.

The Keane Edge by Brian Keane is published by Gill Books. More info here.

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'Losing weight is a lot like baking a cake' - The42

Jan 3

5 New Year’s resolutions to get your 2022 off to the best start (even in a pandemic) – CNET

Iryna Veklich/Getty Images

As we usher in another new year in the throes of a global pandemic, it's time to call BS on diets that don't serve us and habits that distract us from what we want to be doing with our lives. For 2022, I'm playing hardball by tossing soft and meeting you where you are -- in your home, trying to make the best choices for your own health and that of your family.

New Year's resolutions are personal and, crucially, optional -- you don't necessarily need to make any. But if you're inspired to make small changes that could have big impacts on your overall well-being, here's a list that might help.

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Think about the best possible start to your day. Does it involve savoring a cup of coffee while you read a book? Working out as the sun rises? Going for a quiet walk around the block? Listening to music or playing with your dog? Whatever it is, use the New Year as a new opportunity to refine your morning routine and slow it down for the things you love. Everyone's ideal "slow morning" will be different, but carving out time for things that bring you purpose early in the day can lead to a more present work day, whether it requires waking up 30 minutes earlier or just reprioritizing your time in the AM.

Starting your day off in the right headspace makes all the difference.

We live, communicate and work through our phones, so it makes sense that they're the first things we turn to when we open our eyes. And it doesn't take much scientific study to conclude that scrolling social media or going through your inbox isn't the best way for your brain to start (or end) the day.

But there is some science behind it. As Forbes reported, by reaching for your phone first thing in the morning, you're "priming your brain for distraction" and disrupting the brain's flow of different waves that allow you to be more creative and purposeful about your day. Staying on your phone for work-related matters hours after signing off can also inhibit you from getting a good night's rest.

If you're like many people who've considered cutting back screen time, there's no better time than 2022 to start. There are different ways to improve screen hygiene, like using blue light glasses for work and reading a book instead of scrolling through your phone before bed. To cut back on screen time this year and reorganize your screen time, check out these tips.

Finding an eating pattern that's both intuitive and satisfies your nutritional needs can be tough, and daunting New Year's resolutions that require you to completely switch gears for a diet that might be downright unhelpful.

This year, try subscribing to the advice of nutritionists and experts that work with you to create sustainable meal habits (also called the "anti-diet dietitians"). Chances are, you'll start honoring food as the fuel our body needs to live and be healthy, make nutritious choices accordingly and become more expert about what your body needs.

Restricting calories can sometimes trigger binge eating, which can make you feel ill or lead to unhealthy habits. If you want to eat healthier but don't want to sign up for a restrictive diet,make sure your plate is full of things your body needs first.

Stopping the scroll first thing in the morning is a more ambitious goal than it sounds.

In 2009, caregiver Bronnie Ware wrote a blog post detailing the top five regrets of dying people. A lot of news outlets reported on the list, it turned into a book and even inspired aTED talk. The number one thing on the list? "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."

Many people may push aside their more creative pursuits because it doesn't make them money or they feel they don't have the time.

For 2022, I suggest you make the time, whether it's 10 minutes of active daydreaming or an hour of active crafting, writing music, poetry, painting, graphic designing, figure skating, playing chess or anything else that inspires you. If you've been keeping it on the back burner, imagining the day you'll have the time, 2022 is your year to make the first step.

Be as understanding with yourself as you are with other people: It's the inverse of the Golden Rule. If your friend set a goal for themselves to exercise for 15 minutes each day, but they missed two days in a row, would you consider them a failure or would you tell them to just pick it back up tomorrow?

Probably the former, because unless you're a robot, you know that someone experiencing a hiccup or less-than-productive day doesn't undermine the value of their goal and all of the work they've put in so far. Sometimes, people just need a break to reconvene and figure out the best way to fit their new passion into their busy schedule. So why can't we see that in ourselves?

Many people fall into the trap of thinking something has to be done perfectly or not done at all. While you may have already heard the phrase "done is better than perfect," it's worth repeating here. Picture it in the context of someone else's creative journey, then give yourself the same space and grace. By learning to understand yourself the way you understand others, you'll also start practicing self-compassion and you might just end up accomplishing more in the process.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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5 New Year's resolutions to get your 2022 off to the best start (even in a pandemic) - CNET

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