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Oct 28

6 Breakfast Mistakes That Can Make It Harder to Lose Weight – LIVESTRONG.COM

If you often eat breakfast while working or commuting, you might end up eating more than you think.

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When it comes to losing weight, breakfast shouldn't be taken lightly literally or figuratively.

Breakfast and when, what, how and if you eat it can have a significant affect on your weight-loss goals. Unfortunately, there are some common missteps many of us take when it comes to eating in the a.m. Do you bypass breakfast as a means to cut calories? How about eating a bowl of cereal while working at your desk sound familiar?

Here, we call out six of the most common breakfast mistakes that may be hindering your weight-loss efforts and offer easy solutions to help change these behaviors.

Mistake 1: Skipping Breakfast to 'Save' Calories

If you nix breakfast as a means to reduce your overall calorie intake for the day, you may want to rethink your strategy. Yes, skipping breakfast means you'll probably consume fewer calories in the morning, but what kind of effect does this have on the rest of your day?

Eating breakfast increases what's called your "postprandial energy expenditure," aka the amount of energy (calories) you burn to digest and metabolize the food you eat. In fact, a November 2018 review published in Advances in Nutrition found that you burn an extra 40 to 200 calories just by eating breakfast.

Wondering how to calculate your calories for weight loss? Download the MyPlate app to do the job and help you track your intake, so you can stay focused and achieve your goals!

Plus, a June 2016 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that eating breakfast not only helps you lose weight, but is key to helping make sure you don't regain it.

The fix: If weight loss is your goal, eat a hearty breakfast and then cut calories from your other meals and snacks. This way, you'll still consume fewer calories throughout the day but you'll burn extra calories by consuming something in the morning. You'll likely have more energy and feel less hungry, too.

Mistake 2: Limiting Yourself to 'Breakfast Foods'

There's no reason you can't enjoy your favorite "dinner foods" in the morning.

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When it comes to what we're actually eating for breakfast, it appears we're filling up on cereals, pancakes, baked goods and the like. Our breakfast meals skew higher in carbohydrates and lower in protein compared to lunch and dinner, according to a June 2014 study published in The Journal of Nutrition. The study found we're eating about 13 grams of protein at breakfast and three times that (39 grams) at dinner.

This is important when it comes to weight loss because, as the study points out, balancing our protein intake throughout the day stimulates muscle protein synthesis more effectively, compared to eating very little protein earlier in the day and loading up in the evening hours. Building muscle protein prevents muscles from breaking down and allows them to build back up, especially after exercise. Ultimately, this has a positive effect on our ability to exercise and metabolism.

The fix: If you find yourself favoring more carbohydrate-rich foods in the morning, try adding a bit of protein to help offset your intake later in the day. Yogurt, eggs and lox are all great sources of protein that you can easily add to your morning meal.

Or mix it up with some nontraditional a.m. dishes like high-protein breakfast soups or savory oatmeal. And hey, who says dinner leftovers can't become a quick-and-easy meal the next morning?

Mistake 3: Making Breakfast Your Smallest Meal of the Day

If you tend to go light at breakfast in an effort to eat less, again, you'll want to rethink this strategy. Research shows that eating more in the morning and then less at lunch and even less at dinner may be a more effective approach.

A February 2020 intervention study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that eating about 70 percent of your calorie needs at breakfast, 20 percent at lunch and just 10 percent dinner increased diet-induced thermogenesis (calories burned after eating) by 2.5 times, compared to eating 10 percent of total calories at breakfast, 20 percent at lunch and 70 percent at dinner.

These findings are in line with other research like a pilot study published August 2018 in Physiology & Behavior, which found that eating 50 percent of calories at breakfast, 30 percent at lunch and 20 percent at dinner was also beneficial.

The fix: Adjusting to eating a bigger breakfast may take some time, especially if you typically keep it to a minimum. Start by slowly adding in more foods a piece of fruit, an extra tablespoon of nut butter on toast, adding an additional egg to your omelet. Overall, the goal is to eat more of your calories earlier in the day and less towards the end of the day, before you go to bed.

Mistake 4: Eating Breakfast While Distracted or On-the-Go

Multi-tasking, especially when eating, could be hurting your efforts when it comes to weight loss. A May 2019 study published in Physiology & Behavior found that when we're distracted, we eat more.

The findings showed that whether subjects were eating while using their phones or reading a magazine, they consumed 15 percent more calories than those who ate without distraction.

The fix: If you tend to eat breakfast while commuting, watching the morning news or working at your desk, you'll want to stop this ASAP. Sit down (without distraction) and pay attention to the food you're putting in your mouth. You'll likely enjoy the meal more and end up eating less without trying.

Mistake 5: Opting for Juice Instead of Whole Fruit

Juice doesn't give you the benefits of fiber, which is a key nutrient when you're trying to lose weight.

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Yes, sipping on juice can be an easy way to get more fruits and vegetables, but the truth is, you're really not getting the best bang for your buck. When fruit and vegetables are juiced, the majority of the fiber (part of what makes them so healthy) is removed.

Fiber helps to keep us feeling fuller longer. It slows digestion and helps to prevent the quick rise and fall of your blood sugar levels after eating, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The fix: If you enjoy drinking juice because of the convenience and the ease of eating more fruits and vegetables, try smoothies instead. When you sip on a smoothie, you're still getting all of the fiber found in fruits and vegetables.

Mistake 6: Overloading Your Coffee

Having a cup of coffee in the morning can absolutely be part of a healthy diet and a helpful component of your weight-loss journey, with one caveat. It depends on how you "take" or make your coffee.

Coffee is a source of antioxidants and it may aid in weight loss, but if you're adding spoonfuls of sugar and/or creamer to your cup, these benefits are a wash.

Sweeteners and creamers high in saturated fat quickly increase the amount of calories in your cup of joe.

Artificial sweeteners don't have the added calories and sugar, but research shows they can mess with your gut, and not in a good way. Indeed, an October 2014 study published in Nature found saccharin, aspartame and sucralose consumption may increase the risk of glucose intolerance (a risk factor for diabetes) by altering our gut microbiome in favor of harmful bacteria.

The fix: In place of creamer, try adding milk or nut milk instead, preferably with minimal added sugars, if any at all. When it comes to adding sweetness, keep in mind the American Heart Association recommends limiting daily intake to 25 grams or 6 teaspoons for women and 36 grams or 9 teaspoons for men.

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6 Breakfast Mistakes That Can Make It Harder to Lose Weight - LIVESTRONG.COM

Oct 28

How Can You Get Rid of Back Fat? 11 Tips for the Gym and Your Plate – Greatist

Created for Greatist by the experts at Healthline. Read more

Everybodys got some amount of back fat. But if you have some extra back fat that youd like to shed, weve got your back (and the fat that comes with it).

Heres how to get rid of back fat the healthy way with diet and exercise.

Body fat is actually essential for a bunch of things like regulating your body temp, storing energy, and aiding in digestion. So, having fat doesnt mean youre unhealthy right off the bat. You actually need it to ya know, survive.

Without enough fat, you might have to deal with issues like vitamin deficiencies, hormone probs, or nervous system damage.

Keep in mind that according to the American Council on Exercise, most healthy women should have about 21 to 35 percent body fat. Healthy men should have about 8 to 24 percent.

Excess upper, middle, and lower back fat builds up for the same reason any other fat does: due to genetics, a lack of exercise, a sedentary lifestyle, or certain health conditions.

With age, fat also tends to accumulate more around your belly area, which can also lead to so-called love handles on your lower back.

Losing fat typically requires a combo of eating healthy, working out regularly, and reducing calories. Doing exercises that build muscle in your upper and lower back can also tone up your back muscles.

Psst Heres the deal with spot reduction

Repeat after us: Localized fat loss does NOT work! You cant just lose fat in one area of your bod including your back. Instead, you have to lose weight all over to notice a difference.

Youve prob heard this one before: Cutting calories is key to fat loss. It takes about 3,500 calories to equal 1 pound of fat. So, if you reduce your calories by about 300 to 500 calories per day, you can lose 1 to 2 pounds each week.

The healthy intake for adults ranges from 1,400 to 3,200 calories per day. The number of calories per day youll need depends on numerous factors, including age, sex, height, weight and your level of physical activity.

When youre feeling a little more bloated than usual, fat might not even be to blame it could be water weight. Regularly munching on salty foods can cause you to retain excess water that adds to stomach and back bloat.

You know that feeling you get after eating a cup of noodles? Yeah, thats what sodium does to you. To get back on track, cut down on processed and restaurant foods, which are often super salty.

You dont have to meticulously count calories to eat better. Instead, opt for healthful, fiber-rich and low sodium foods like avocados, eggs, nuts, leafy greens and veggies, fish, and lean chicken breast.

Eating fiber-rich, nutrient dense foods will keep your digestive system regular, lower bad cholesterol levels, and help you maintain a healthy weight.

High carb and starchy foods are delicious. But unfortunately, theyre usually full of sugars and empty calories. Cutting back on foods like white bread, crackers, chips, and cookies can have a major impact on weight loss as well as your overall health.

Remember: Everything in moderation. You dont have to skip out on your fave Sunday morning croissant to be healthy and feel amaze.

Sometimes when you think youre hungry, youre actually just thirsty. Stay hydrated and feel more satiated by sipping on more water throughout the day.

Most adults lose about 2.5 to 3 liters of water per day, which is about how much you need to gulp down to stay healthy.

Can you get rid of back fat fast?

Like with most things, slow and steady wins the race when it comes to weight loss. One research review found that rapid-fire weight loss leads to more muscle loss than slow, long-term weight loss.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, healthy weight loss is at a pace of about 1 to 2 pounds a week. Any faster, and you could face adverse effects like nutrient deficiencies, fatigue, and headaches.

In case you didnt already know, an exercise ball is the ultimate quarantine accessory.

This classic yoga pose helps improve your posture and build muscle. (When your spines straight and tall, you might not find much of an issue with your back fat, after all.)

Dont forget the cardio!

Moving your body with cardio and strength training gets you closer to not only a healthy lifestyle, but it can help you melt away fat.

One study showed that just 20 to 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous cardio per day can help you burn fat and boost your metabolism.

Not much of a jogger or spinning enthusiast? No prob. Simply walking more can burn enough calories to lead to weight loss. Try trekking more on foot to reap the benefits.

You dont have to be a gym enthusiast or clean-eating fan to cut back on some back fat. Over time, small lifestyle changes can lead to major changes. Here are a few tips to move toward a healthier you:

Sorry, but spot-fat reduction for back fat just isnt a thing. You can only lose back fat by losing fat all-over on your bod. You can also tone the area by targeting back muscles.

Creating a calorie deficit, eating healthy, and exercising regularly are the keys to the weight loss needed to target back fat.

Remember that some degree of back fat is healthy and totally normal! Give yourself a pat (on the back ) for working on your physical fitness, but try not to impose unrealistic standards on yourself. Lets be real: You dont deserve that ish.

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How Can You Get Rid of Back Fat? 11 Tips for the Gym and Your Plate - Greatist

Oct 28

The 9 Best Ways to Boost Mood, Including What to Eat and Drink – The Beet

Anxious or stressed? (Who isn't right now?) The key is to figure out the right foods to reach for when stress, anxiety, and everyday worry takes over your brain. Other than getting exercise and a good night's sleep, food is the most powerful medicine you can reach for, says this doctor. Here is his prescription for what to eat and drink when you need to feel calmer fast.

"When it comes to that natural stress reaction, we need something crunchy," says Dr.Jonathan Dr.Clinthorne, a Ph.D. in Nutrition, who has researched extensively on the connection between nutrition and mood, is the nutrition communications manager for Atkins, and has written a new paper: Good Mood, Good Food: A Wellness Guide to Superfood Mood Balancers."For me, that means almonds and nuts and seeds. And those are great sources of magnesium and that helps calm the neurotransmitters in our brains."

Why do humans find solace in crunching down on foods that make that satisfying sound as we mash our teeth? "For some reason crunching on foods can be helpful to our brains," Dr. Clinthorne says. It's practically caveman-like. Hearing our own crunching in our head is calming, and makes us realized we are eating something. A Mental Floss story on the science of why we love loud crunchy foods adds this: "Humans love crunchy, noisy snacks, that loud rattling that travels to our inner ear via air and bone conduction and helps us identify what it is were consuming. Depending on the snack, the noise can reach 63 decibels."

So whether you're eating nuts, celery, snap peas, or other "loud" foods you can tell yourself that just the act of hearing yourself chew these crunchers is a therapeutic endeavor."It's easy to slurp down something not good for us. but crunchy food, on the other hand, helps us since it signals the brain that we know we are eating. When you eat nuts, it is both crunchy and savory. When you eat nuts you are satisfying your brain by bringing in food that tells the brain, all is well, we are being fed. It turns out we need that reward."

Some people need to satisfy their stress with comfort food, especially chocolate, which contains chemical compounds that are beneficial to your brain chemistry called methylxanthines, which are in cacao and chocolate and coffee. In a study calledHealth Benefits of Methylxanthines in Cacao and Chocolate, the authors studied why humans throughout time have brewed drinks with these compounds and discovered that they help your brain focus and result in more efficient thinking, but without the serious side effects of drugs. So these phytochemicals in chocolate and coffee allow your brain to process the work at hand, which can lead you out of a stressful situation.

The study adds: "Apart from the benefits for day-life activities, methylxanthines may even be considered instrumental for health-maintenance.... In fact, chocolate/cacao does not generally produce insomnia or cause anxiety."

We all know to stay away from sweets, which sends us on a rollercoaster of highs and lows throughout the day, but the most dangerous foods are those packed with hidden sugarsthat trick us into thinking we're eating healthy food when in fact we are surging our insulin response and then crashing again.

"A lot of foods you would not expect to have sugar do, and in America, we are so programmed to eat sugary foods we don't think about it," says Dr.Clinthorne. "The worst thing to eat when you're stressed is sugar. You start consuming it when you're stressed and want more sugar and more sugar and then end up feeling bad about ourselves. So tell yourself: "I am just staying away from sugary foods"is the best idea.

Does alcohol count as sugar?"I think alcohol is a great question We know that in higher doses it activates our flight and flight mechanism, so if stress is the issue, definitely stay away from higher levels," says Dr.Clinthorne. "People who do not have trouble with sleep, a little is fine. But as long as you stay away from sugary mixes, it's fine. But even tonic water has sugar in it. What is a small amount? For a lot of people, that's two or more drinks. You can tell when your heart rate goes up when you're drinking."

A day of stress-free eating:

Breakfast looks like a smoothie with some veggies like frozen spinach, avocado, coconut milk or oat milk, then add any fruit or veggies you have lying around. Start with a mix of healthy fats like the avocado and then add fiber from the spinach and fruit and the carbs are built-in. The oat milk adds protein. Those healthy fats and fiber will make me feel good all morning.

Lunch is usually what I call my big-ass salad. I add as many vegetables as I can get in there. and usually not afraid of putting it in the calories in the form of nuts and seeds. I get most of my calories at lunch. Make it the highest caloric meal of the day.

Then I like a smaller dinner. I choose a plant-based protein source like whole grains or a sheet pan of roasted vegetables we may crumble some cheese on top, and that can be dairy-free cheese if you're eating plant-based, saysDr.Clinthorne. I am one of those people who sees the benefits of eating more plants.

This is important. "Exercise. I am an exercise junky. I think everyone should get physical activity in some ways shape or form," says Dr. Clinthorne. "Be active whether gardening or walking or mowing the lawn. It doesn't have to be a 100-mile bike ride, just has to be something you enjoy. But don't want you to get intimated or turned off so just get out there."

"The reason is that our bodies release anti-stress compounds that are almost like CBD in response to exercise," says Dr. Clinthorne. "The brain works by responding to the stress of exercise with endorphins and they stick around long after you stop working out."

The anti-stress hormones are endorphins he adds. "I am evidence-based, and they can measure these in the lab. Some people feel worse after exercise and if you are one who struggles with endorphins either you are doing the wrong exercise or going too hard... if you do that you will feel awful. So switch it up or go easier on your body."

So exercise is the first and most important thing you can do, for stress, every day. get it done in the morning. It doesn't have to be running 5 miles. You can get it in much faster. A tone-upsession on your livingroom rug works, but get your heart rate up.

"Everyone needs to eat more vegetables since they help us by delivering important antioxidants and nutrients to keep us healthy. But they are also high in fiber which makes you feel fuller longer and keeps your gut healthy, which sends the right signals to our brains for our mood," says Dr. Clinthorne.

"But it's also smart to eat berries, especially blueberries, and since they actually have alow glycemic index, you can use berriesto satisfy your cravings if you have a sweet tooth. We should all eat more raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries which are full of antioxidants to make us feel good.Eating high fiber foods helps us by keepingthe gut healthy, since healthy with probiotics help us improve our overall mental health as well."

Surprising fact: Dehydration is related to your mood. "There is really fascinating research being done around dehydration and mood. Just being dehydrated can cause you to have a negative outlook. You might be bummed out and feeling irritable or angry and in fact, you're just dehydrated," saysDr. Clinthorne. "So drink a little extra water and you might pop out of it.

"Think of how important water is to all our physiological functions, and as human beings not being able to find water is a source of survival, which means being dehydrated activates our fight or flight responses in the brain. So instead of eating, go drink a tall glass of water."

Sunlight in the morning has been proven to help elevate mood. Studies on light cycles show that while bright light at night can depress mood, sunlight in the morning boosts your brain mechanisms and mood. Still, the changing seasons can affect your mood, so in the fall, it's even more important to get sunlight for your wellbeing, studies have found.

"There is extensive research on how UVA and UVB raysfrom sunlight affect our brains," Dr. Clinthorne adds, "Since the UVB rays are important for vitamin D synthesis, while the UVA rays on our skin help us feel our neurotransmitters and help boost our mood." So first thing as the sun gets up, you should open your blinds and check the weather and if it's sunny, get outside.

The second half of that equation is to get to bed earlier so that you don't have to struggle to get out of bed in the morning. The earlier you get to bed, the better it is for your health, your mood, and your overall ability to fight stress and stay away from junk food the next day.

"Everyone is stressed out and many of us have put on pounds during this time, so if that is stressing you out orimpacting your mood, there are strategies to lose weight during this time that work effectively and quickly.

"If you controlblood sugar,you are going to lose weight, and there are a lot of different eating patterns you canchoose and still lose weight."The key is to find the plan that is right for you: Mediterranean or vegetarian or vegan diets are compatible with the Atkins Diet," he says.

Or try The VegStart Diet, which is a healthy weight loss plan that helps you shed pounds in 14 days on a plant-based diet.

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The 9 Best Ways to Boost Mood, Including What to Eat and Drink - The Beet

Oct 28

Lose weight: Five tips for healthy fasting. – The Washington Newsday

Just the thought of fasting can make you hungry. But living without food for a while whether for health or religious reasons can be good for you, explains hepatologist Dr. Nizar Zein in an article published by the renowned Cleveland Clinic (USA).

Fasting does not only help you lose weight, but is also associated with numerous health benefits. However, many people find it difficult to avoid food completely or partially for a certain period of time. Some tips from an expert can help here.

There is a set of possibilities for chamfered, says the physician. Sometimes fasting means avoiding certain types of food such as carbohydrates or fats. In other cases, it just means reducing the calories overall. Then there is the kind of fasting, where for one day or longer nothing at all is eaten (or sometimes drunk). Many religions promote some form of fasting as a spiritual discipline. And the medical literature shows that fasting in general:

There are also theories according to which intermittent chamfering can help to live longer, strengthen brain function and prevent neurodegenerative diseases, says Dr. Zein.

Health benefits

For those who plan to fast without eating, Dr. Zein recommends these five tips for maintaining health and energy levels:Prepare for entry: Reduce eating and drinking gradually for several days or even weeks before fasting. Otherwise, a sudden start of fasting will be a shock to your body. Do not eat three full meals a day with snacks in between and then suddenly stop eating one day, Dr. Zein warns. If your body is used to regular refueling, it can be difficult to maintain the energy level during the fast.

Even if you follow these tips, too much fasting can be dangerous. Do not abstain from food and drink for more than a few hours, advises Dr. Zein. Fasting for too long can lead to dehydration, psychological stress and sleep disorders.

Avoid foods and drinks containing sugar: It is not a good idea to consume cookies and sweet tea before fasting. You may feel full and satisfied at first, but if your blood sugar drops an hour or two later, you may become extremely hungry and weak. To have enough energy in the long run, you consume complex carbohydrates (like pasta, rice and potatoes) and protein (like meat and beans).Reduce activities: It is not a good idea to do intensive sports if you do not eat or drink, says Dr. Zein. If you plan not to replenish your nutrients for a while, save your energy for important daily activities.Pay attention to the intake of medication: Talk to your doctor about taking your medication before fasting. Some medications for example, for seizure disorders are essential, and people who are affected by them should not fast. Other medicines such as some antibiotics should be taken with a meal. If people have negative consequences from fasting, it is often because they have not taken their medication properly, explains the hepatologist.Do not rush anything when stopping: Increase at the end of chamfered your calorie supply gradually again. Distribute these calories on your next two meals, instead of immediately again eating very much. This is better because it helps you avoid rapid changes in blood sugar levels and the fatigue associated with eating a large amount of food.

Fasting can be healthy overall. I recommend it, says Dr. Zein. However, it can cause problems for people with certain health problems. To those, which should not do without all food and beverages, according to the physician persons belong, who:

Tips for healthy fasting

Otherwise, fasting in a healthy way can bring psychological and physical advantages. Talk to your doctor or health care professional before making fasting part of your routine. (ad)

WashingtonNewsday Health and Wellness.

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Lose weight: Five tips for healthy fasting. - The Washington Newsday

Oct 28

Good fats vs bad fats: Know what to have when you go on a keto diet – TheHealthSite

On your pursuit to lose weight, you must have come across several diets. Today, keto or ketogenic diet is one of the most followed diets in the world. Many weight watchers are relying on it for fast and effective weight loss results. In fact, some studies suggest that a keto diet provide other health benefits, including improving blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of Alzheimers disease and more. However, it is important to know what to eat and what to avoid when on a ketogenic diet. When you are on a high-fat, low-carb diet, you need to know the difference between healthy fats and unhealthy fats. Also Read - The lazy Keto diet may be perfect if you find the original version too restrictive

When you eat a high-fat diet, your body reaches a phase called ketosis. It is a metabolic state in which the body produces ketone bodies out of fat and use them for energy instead of carbs. However, some fats can hamper this process and elevate your risk of developing diseases such as heart disease. So, today we are sharing with you a list of healthy fats that you should have when you are on a keto diet. Also Read - 5 best ketogenic foods to burn that stubborn belly fat

For years, we were urged to ban fats from our diet. However, more and more studies have suggested that eating healthy fats is, in fact, good for the body. For those of you wondering which fats are best for your health, keep reading on. Also Read - Keto diet for quick weight loss: The best foods that help you achieve ketosis

Polyunsaturated Fats

You can include polyunsaturated fats in your diet. However, you need to be careful about its intake. Most sources of polyunsaturated fats contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. However, you should eat more foods rich in omega-3s. Too much omega 6 can increase your blood pressure and lead to blood clots, which can increase the chances of heart attack and stroke. Omega-3s, on the contrary, are extremely important for the body. Coldwater fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines are great sources of omega-3. Nuts, seeds, flaxseed oil and canola oil are some other good sources you can include in your diet.

Monosaturated Fats (MUFAs)

Monosaturated fats are good for you if you are following a keto diet. It is touted as one of the healthiest fats to include in your diet. MUFAs can help lower cholesterol, control blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and alleviate the risk of heart diseases. Olive oil, avocado oil, nuts, canola oil, sesame oil are some of the good sources of monosaturated fats.

Saturated Fats

Not all forms of saturated fats are bad, but you must limit the quantity. Eating too much of this fat can increase cholesterol levels, and lead to heart problems. Red meat, coconut oil, eggs, cocoa butter, ghee, butter are some of the sources of good saturated fats. However, you must limit your intake.

It is also important to know the kind of fats you should avoid or at least reduce when you are on a keto diet.

Trans Fats

When it comes to unhealthy fats, trans fattops the list. It is a form of saturated fat. It is associated with several negative health effects. Studies have linked the intake of trans fat with heart disease, inflammation, and high bad LDL cholesterol. Processed foods like cookies, French fries, and fast food are high in trans-fat.

Published : October 28, 2020 3:25 pm

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Good fats vs bad fats: Know what to have when you go on a keto diet - TheHealthSite

Oct 23

5 science-backed benefits of fasting, and how to fast safely and effectively – Insider – INSIDER

While many people all over the world fast for religious and cultural reasons, there are also proven health benefits of this practice, as long as you do it safely.

Fasting is when you do not eat for a certain period of time. If you are fasting for health purposes, you can still drink water or black coffee.

There are many different types of fasting, says Andrew Wang, MD, PhD, a professor of immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine. The main types are:

Fasting has many mental and physical health benefits. Here are five benefits of fasting and how they work:

One of the main benefits of fasting is that it may reduce inflammation.

Inflammation is your body's natural response to infection and usually disappears after damaged cells are healed. However, when your body undergoes oxidative stress a process caused by an accumulation of free radicals you can enter a state of chronic inflammation. That's because these free radicals, which can come from both outside sources like pollution and bodily processes like digestion, begin attacking healthy tissues and cells.

Chronic inflammation can damage healthy cells, tissues, and organs, and is associated with many diseases, including heart attacks and strokes.

There are several ways that fasting may reduce inflammation in the body. First, when your body is in a fasted state, it is unable to convert glucose from food into energy, Wang says. Instead, your body has to rely on an alternative energy source called ketone bodies, which come from fatty acids. Your body produces fewer free radicals when burning ketones, which helps to reduce inflammation.

Fasting may also reduce inflammation by decreasing the number of monocytes a type of inflammatory white blood cell in the bloodstream. A small 2019 study on humans and mice found that short-term fasting for 19 hours significantly reduced monocytes in blood circulation.

When we age, our organs are prone to chronic inflammation called "inflammaging," Wang says. Chronic inflammation can contribute to cognitive decline and dementia potentially due to plaque buildup in the brain. Fasting helps to counter this by reducing inflammation, Wang says.

There is a growing body of research that suggests fasting can prevent the development of Alzheimer's in animals. While the research has not yet been conducted in humans, a 2019 study found that intermittent fasting can slow cognitive decline and improve the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in mice.

The cognitive benefits of fasting are not restricted to the elderly. A small 2016 study tested amateur weightlifters after a 48 hour fast and found that fasting improved mental flexibility, which was defined as theirability to quickly and efficiently switch between tasks.

Fasting may also regulate blood sugar levels. Maintaining normal blood sugar is important to protect against diseases like type 2 diabetes.

Blood sugar increases when you eat, so it naturally falls when you fast, Wang says. However, your body will prevent your blood sugar from dipping too much by making glucose itself. This keeps your blood sugar at a healthy levels, which is considered above 70 mg/dL.

A small 2019 study of men at risk for type 2 diabetes found that restricting eating to a nine-hour window, called intermittent fasting, helped improve glucose tolerance. If you have diabetes, consult a doctor before fasting, as it can increase the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis for those who use insulin to treat their diabetes.

While research on this topic is limited, Wang says it is reasonable to assume that fasting boosts heart health by reducing inflammation and protecting against diabeteswhich are both risk factors for heart attacks and strokes.

A small 2012 study tested Muslims with a history of heart disease who fasted intermittently for Ramadan. After their fast ended, there was an improvement in their 10-year coronary heart disease risk score and a reduction in other heart risk factors like lipids profile, systolic blood pressure, and weight.

Fasting helps you lose weight by restricting the number of calories you eat. Intermittent fasting eating your meals in an eight-hour window earlier in the day helps with weight loss by keeping blood sugar levels lower in the evening when you are less active.

However, there is mixed evidence regarding if fasting for weight loss is more effective than a calorie-restricted diet. A 2015 review found intermittent fasting tends to lead to weight loss, with participants typically losing around seven to 11 pounds in 10 weeks. However, other studies found that intermittent fasting and calorie restriction were equally effective in helping people lose weight.

If you're looking to lose weight, talk to your doctor about the best method for you.

Fasting times can range significantly. While intermittent fasting usually involves fasting for about 16 hours a day, longer fasts can range from 24 to 72 hours.

There's no magic amount of time you should fast for, Wang says. The best thing to do is to listen to your body and determine what type of fast works for you. If you are feeling jittery, nauseous, faint, or otherwise unwell while fasting, Wang says you should consider breaking your fast.

People who should not fast include those who are:

You should consult with your doctor before fasting if you are:

Fasting may offer health benefits, like reduced inflammation, better heart health, and improved cognitive functioning. However, fasting is not advisable for certain people, and going too long without food can be harmful. If you are interested in fasting, it is important to listen to your body and ask your doctor if it's safe to fast.

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5 science-backed benefits of fasting, and how to fast safely and effectively - Insider - INSIDER

Oct 23

Signs of Dehydration in Babies: Remedies and When to Worry – Healthline

Babies are on a purely liquid diet for the first few months of life, whether you breastfeed or bottle-feed. Even after that, your baby or toddler may seem perpetually attached to their sippy cup! So, it may be surprising that babies can sometimes get dehydrated, just like adults.

Dehydration means that your baby has lost too much water and isnt able to drink enough fluid (milk) to replace it right away. Their small size makes it easier for babies and toddlers to lose water and get dehydrated. In serious cases, dehydration can be dangerous for babies if left untreated.

Heres what to know about dehydration in newborns, babies, and toddlers.

Signs and symptoms of dehydration can vary depending on how much water loss your baby has. They may also be different in newborns, babies, and toddlers.

Common signs of dehydration in newborns include:

Common signs of dehydration in babies and toddlers include:

Newborns often have a few hiccups when they first learn how to get milk. They may also have difficulty swallowing and digesting milk. Problems with latching on and getting milk are so common that in fact, these are a couple reasons why babies lose weight in their first week of life.

So some of the causes of dehydration in newborns are:

Older babies and toddlers have pretty similar causes of dehydration. Theyre most likely to get dehydrated when theyre feeling unwell. The flu, stomach viruses, and food intolerance or allergies can all lead to a temporary bout of dehydration.

Causes of dehydration in babies and toddlers include:

Treatments and remedies for your little ones dehydration depend on the cause and on how old your baby is.

If your newborn isnt yet latching on properly, keep trying to breastfeed at regular intervals. Let your baby try to latch on and then take a break when they get tired. Try to breastfeed again after 15 minutes or so. Theyll get the hang of it soon!

If your newborn is unable to breastfeed or youre not yet making enough milk, try different ways to deliver the milk. Pump breast milk or make baby formula. Use a bottle, sterile dropper, or a teeny baby spoon to gently feed your baby milk.

Spitting up and even vomiting is normal for babies as they get used to digesting milk. If youre formula feeding, try a different formula to see if your baby likes it better. You might be able to help your baby spit-up less with these tips.

If your baby or toddler sweats at night or when they sleep, dress them in breathable clothing, choose lighter bedding, and turn down the thermostat, to keep them from overheating at night.

If your baby or toddler has a fever, you might try sponging them down in lukewarm water. Also consider these tips to help bring the fever down.

You can trick your toddler into getting more liquid by letting them suck on an iced treat. Make your own sugar-free kind by freezing pured fruit and juice.

You can also let them eat their water. If your baby or toddler is fussy about drinking water or milk, give them juicy fruit and vegetables like watermelon, plums, or cucumbers.

Babies and toddlers can get dehydrated quickly because of their small size. Newborns have such tiny stomachs that they cant hold much milk at a time. Call your doctor if you notice any symptoms of dehydration. It can get serious fast.

Let your doctor know right away if your newborn baby isnt able to suck from the breast or a bottle or if theyre not able to hold any milk down and are spitting up and vomiting a lot. They may have an underlying health condition thats stopping them from drinking milk normally.

Your doctor may recommend meeting with a breastfeeding or lactation specialist. They can help your baby latch on and drink properly.

If you have a newborn or a baby younger than 3 months, call your doctor immediately if they have a rectal temperature of 100.4F (38C) or higher. If your baby or toddler is projectile vomiting, always call your doctor.

For serious dehydration, your little one may need treatment in a hospital. Theyll be given fluid with a bottle or a tube that goes from their nose into their stomach. They might also get fluid from a tube that goes into a vein (IV).

Your doctor might recommend an electrolyte solution like Pedialyte for your older baby. This kind of formula has extra salts and other nutrients that babies and toddlers need when they lose too much water.

Your doctor will also check their health, including their breathing, blood pressure, pulse, and temperature to make sure the dehydration hasnt caused any side effects.

You wont always be able to prevent your baby or toddler from getting a little dehydrated. It happens, just like diarrhea and projectile vomit happen! But you can help prevent your little ones dehydration from getting too serious.

Remember your newborn has a stomach the size of a grape that slowly grows a bit bigger. This means that they can only drink a few teaspoons of milk at a time and need lots of regular feedings. Your newborn will need about nine feedings in a 24-hour period.

It can be difficult to stay on top of all the feedings and everything else at first. Keep track of how much milk your little one is getting with a feeding schedule.

Equally important is what comes out the other end. How much your baby poops or wets their diaper is a good sign of how much water is going in. Keep count of how often you have to change your babys diaper.

Also check what your babys poop looks like. Very watery or explosive poops might mean your baby has diarrhea and is losing water. Dry, hard poops might mean your baby is a bit dehydrated. Both kinds of poops mean its time to give your little one an extra feed or more.

Babies and toddlers can sometimes get a little dehydrated because of their small size. This can happen when they lose water too quickly from vomiting or diarrhea. Dehydration can also happen when babies arent getting enough liquids through normal feeding.

Serious dehydration can happen quickly and is dangerous for babies and toddlers. Call your doctor right away if your baby has a high fever or if they have any symptoms of dehydration.

Signs of Dehydration in Babies: Remedies and When to Worry - Healthline

Oct 20

Intermittent fasting for weight loss: Does it work and what’s the best plan for you? – Press and Journal

Whether its the 5:2 or 16:8 plans, fasting diets have won celebrity fans in recent years, including Jennifer Aniston.

The Morning Show and Friends star revealed last year that she avoids solid foods for 16 hours of every day, only eating during a restricted eight-hour window to help control her weight.

The 5:2 plan, under which you eat normally for five days and then strictly control calories for two, also has its share of followers, with Phillip Schofield and model Miranda Kerr among those reported to have used it to keep in shape.

But research from the University of California, San Francisco, recently poured cold water on the idea that simply restricting your hours of eating was enough to shift the pounds.

They tasked a group of volunteers with following a 16:8 fasting diet, while others ate three meals a day whenever they wanted.

Both groups saw a modest fall in their weight, suggesting the fasting plan made virtually no difference.

The diet is based on the 8 Hour Diet book, by author David Zinczenko and editor-in-chief of Mens Health Peter Moore, who argue that a daily fasting period gives the body the time it needs to process food and burn away extra fat.

Scottish dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton, who herself follows a 16:8 type plan, believes limiting your hours of eating can be useful but only if you are cutting out calories within that timeframe.

She said: My take on this study is its good news that you can lose weight either way. For a long time Ive believed there are many ways to lose weight and it depends on your own personal circumstances, preferences and the way you want to live your life. Too many people have been given the lie that theres a perfect diet that you have to follow if you want to lose weight or be healthy and youre made to feel guilty.

If you eat carbohydrates youre told, Oh no, you shouldnt be having that, or its the same if you eat fat, so its almost like for everything you want to eat theres somebody leaning over your shoulder telling you you cant eat it.

It comes down to calories at the end of the day so whichever method works for you to cut your calories and create a calorie deficit, that is how you will lose weight best.

Im careful with my weight because I have quite a sedentary job. Even though I exercise I spend most of my day in front of my computer. So I tend to do the 16:8. This morning I got up and made my breakfast, put it in the fridge and ate it around noon. I go and do something active in the morning and then I have a late breakfast and at eight at night I stop eating and thats it for the rest of the day. That works for me.

I dont have a lot of weight to come off, its just sometimes Ill stand on the scales and think, Oh dear, thats another couple of pounds I need to lose, so I do the 16:8 for a week or so and it gets back under control again.

Its something I do on and off. There have been studies showing that people who will manage to stay in a healthy weight range for all of their adult life, are people who are just now and again doing a little check and keeping an eye on it so that they arent going too far out of their range. Those who deny it and let the problem build up will find it harder.

Carrie believes the best way to keep your weight under control is to do frequent, but not daily, checks so that you can act quickly if you happen to have gained a couple of pounds.

She said: The better way of doing it is every week or two just have a little check, it could be by trying on the same pair of jeans or trousers, or it could be standing on the scales, and if you see your weight creeping up tackle it quickly by limiting calories.

You could eat less at mealtimes with a smaller plate of food, or follow 5:2 it doesnt work for me because I cant eat a small amount for a whole day, but some people like that or you could try 16:8, or go to a slimmers club for moral support, or see if your gym does a healthy eating plan. Even the liquid diets are worth considering. There is evidence showing this is very helpful for reversing diabetes, so there are lots of options and its about finding whats right for you.

In 2012, the BBC broadcast a Horizon episode called Eat, Fast and Live Longer, presented by Dr Michael Mosley in which the idea of intermittent fasting was first introduced on a major platform. He then published The Fast Diet book in January 2013, which was closely followed by a similar book from former BBC journalist, Kate Harrison called The 5:2 Diet Book. Their similar plans proved to be the order of the day, with both books becoming bestsellers.

Under the 5:2 diet, you eat broadly what you like five days a week within the recommended calorie range. Dieters are then recommended to eat just a quarter of their usual calorie intake so going down to 500 calories for women and 600 for men for two consecutive days.

16: 8

This diet is potentially a little easier to follow, but it is a seven-day-a-week plan which sees you only eat solids eight hours out of 24.

Generally, followers of the plan will eat between midday and 8pm and, outside of those eight hours, will stick to unsweetened liquids such as water, tea and coffee.

Could soups and shakes replacing meals help type 2 diabetes-sufferers put the disease into remission?

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Intermittent fasting for weight loss: Does it work and what's the best plan for you? - Press and Journal

Oct 20

The Uncomfortable Truth About Thru-Hiking and Weight Loss – The Trek

Youre so skinny. Did you even bring food with you?

I can feel your bones when I hug youlets get you some pasta!

Man, I should consider thru-hiking. You look INCREDIBLE!

I could go on and on and on. Thru-hiking and weight loss go hand-in-hand for most of us while were on the trail. Theres no denying that burning upwards of 4,000 calories a day will have that effect, no matter what your on-trail diet may look like.

For some, losing weight is part of the overall thru-hiking goal and thats GREAT. Walking from point to point while carrying all you need can motivate you to implement permanent healthy life changes. However, losing excessive amounts of weight and receiving praise for our trail bodies can also take a damaging psychological toll when the hike is over.

I dont know about you, but this hamburger/hotdog shirt makes me feel 100% my sexiest.

Well, were burning a shit ton of calories. And often not eating nearly enough, nutritionally and calorically. Aaron Owens Mayhew, creator of Backcountry Foodie, shares how traditional hiker diets, including highly processed foods, dont provide the amount of nutrition needed to keep up with the increased demands. As a result of this, our bodies can begin to lose muscle and fat while on trail. The physical impact of a 4-6 month thru-hike is unmatched in nearly any other sport, hence extreme weight loss becoming the norm.

When you spend months on end in a caloric deficit, your body begins to crave calories wherever it can get them. This explains the hiker hunger that results in eating gallons of ice cream, piles of fries, and inches of pancakes when in town. However, once the hike is over your body wont need as much food to recover as it did on the trail. It can be incredibly difficult to manage a post-trail diet because most people experience lingering hiker hunger. Even once youve stopped walking, your body may still be screaming for calories. Adjusting back from this ravenous appetite can take a few weeks after a multi-month thru-hike.

If your post-trail diet doesnt adjust to match your decrease in activity, Aaron notes that excessive weight gain can occur. Furthermore, after physical activity as intense as a thru-hike, our bodies naturally store fat quickly once the activity stops. Combining these factors while trying to break junk food habits that may have developed on trail can make maintaining your hiking weight impossible.

Approaching post-hike fluctuations in weight objectively is crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship with your body. This means that weight loss and weight gain are two natural consequences of starting and ending a hike. Neither one is good or bad.

Photo via Aaron Owens Mayhew.

Lets circle back to those opening comments about thru-hiking and weight loss. Unsolicited opinions about how fit you look or how much weight youve lost after a hike can insidiously affect post-trail behavior. Marissa Kleinsmith, a Registered Dietitian who uses an intuitive eating framework, shared her thoughts on how hikers can learn to listen to their bodies.

Sometimes, recognizing hunger cues during physical exertion can be a bit scary for folks that have previously been restrained eaters because they feel like they shouldnt be hungry yet. It can be tough to set this judgement aside and feel that the body deserves more nutrition Responding to this need for fuel will not only translate to a better hiking experience in mind and body, but it will also promote body respect. Making an effort to carry nutrient and calorie dense snacks with various flavors and textures can also add to the satisfaction factor of eating.

Though weight loss on trail can catalyze a healthier lifestyle for many hikers, its important to proceed cautiously with intentional weight loss. Marissa noted that at least some of the trail-related weight loss would be lean body mass. This lean muscle is what powers us through long uphills and 30+ mile days. Also, losing muscle makes it much harder to recover quickly. Rapid weight loss on trail can be exciting, but its imperative to prioritize your caloric and nutritional needs.

When I came home from the John Muir Trail, a lot of my family and friends told me how good I looked. They were complimenting my body, and that made my own insecurities with gaining weight back that much worse. I actually fantasized about doing another, longer thru-hike the next summer just so that I could look that way again and be in that kind of shape. Alex K.

Youd be hard-pressed to find a thru-hiker who doesnt have something to say about body image and weight loss. These long trail veterans share their insights on the promises and pitfalls of thru-hiking and weight loss. Their stories shed light on how diet culture can sneak into the outdoors.

Responses lightly edited for length and clarity.

Photo via Becca Bergstrom

Becca, as you may recall from The Treks YouTube page, thru-hiked the PCT in 2019. Though she did experience a fixation on weight loss while on trail, she did her best to focus on the miles rather than on her weight.

Weight loss is such a common topic. For instance, post-trail Q&As always touched on how much weight was lost and also gained back once I stopped hiking 30-35 miles per day. It was also common talk on trail, especially during town stops when a scale was available. The publicity of my YouTube videos also compounded the fixation, because it became pretty common for people I didnt even know make comments about how my body was changing with the miles I was putting in.

All of this was especially problematic for me. I had struggled with eating disorders and body dysmorphia for over 10 years before I even stepped foot on the PCT. I had long romanticized that the trail would be this great escape for me to heal and become friends with my body, but it just wasnt that easy.

After the trail, I experienced newfound respect for what I could put my body through, both physically and mentally. I focused my new post-trail routine on being as active in the outdoors as possible, because thats where I come to love myself the most and felt the strongest and most capable version of myself.

Its important to note that diet culture is a trend, much like fashion, and is always evolving, thus, always pointing out ways to be better and look better. There is no end game because its always changing so were constantly never good enough. Its an endless cycle that only feeds us stress and negativity for not meeting the new standards. Why subject yourself to that, just to try to conform to what someone else labels beautiful or ideal, when itll be changing again anyhow. Every body deserves to be celebrated, instead of cycling through periods of when a certain body type is considered ideal.

Photo via Luke Pearsall

Luke Pearsall hiked the Colorado Trail this summer after 117 days of committed COVID quarantine. With what he called a little extra love to hike off, he started the CT after the disappointment of a 2020 PCT NOGO. Weight loss was by no means his goal.

For the first couple of weeks after the trail, I felt really proud of myself and the transformation that took place with my body. I saw the results of all the hard work, and it has helped me maintain a consistent level of physical fitness and nutrition. After a couple of weeks of being back, I stepped on the scale (like I said, I wasnt concerned with weight loss as much as I was being healthy and feeling better on a daily basis). I weighed in at 218 lbs. Thats a total of 54lbs lost over the course of the 36 days of hiking on the Colorado Trail for an average of about 1.5lbs of weight loss per day. I was actually pretty surprised.

I think one of the most useful psychological tools for me getting back home was to wake up and walk every morning. Keeping that little routine in my life that I have gotten used to is very helpful. Its been challenging coming back after the 5 months quarantined with my Photography and Video having been closed for over half a year due to COVID. But the hustle required to adapt my business so it can survive this time has been enough to keep my mind busy. I think staying busy helps fight the post-trail blues a lot, although admittedly some days that are slower I find myself daydreaming about the carefree days on trail with all the amazing people I met along the way, and the nostalgia hurts the heart.

If you think you cant do something because you are out of shape or a little overweight, dont let your mind be the thing that defeats you before you even give yourself a chance. I woke up earlier and hiked later than my group every day because I needed the extra time, and that was OK. Even after the days that I struggled and just kept walking, I would often repeat this in my head: You can do anything for another day, or another mile, or even another 100 feet. Ill never be a super hiker like many of my friends such as Legend, The Prodigy, Rabbit, or the slew of other inspiring people I have in my life, but every single one of them will continue to inspire me to put one foot in front of the other, as long as my body will let me.

Photo via Alex Kereszti.

Alex hiked the John Muir Trail last summer and the High Sierra Trail this summer. After the JMT, she battled thoughts of wanting to get back on trail purely for the exercise. On the HST, she quickly re-learned how beautiful the outdoors make her feel.

On trail is probably the only time that I dont fixate on weight loss. During the JMT, I definitely noticed the fact that I was losing weight. My legs were leaner, and less of my stomach fat bulged over the straps from my pack across my abdomen. But I wasnt fixated on it in the same way Ive felt constantly preoccupied with it in the past.

Recently on the HST, I felt self-conscious about my body before hitting the trail. I had gained some weight through quarantine and felt out of shape, but within one day of being on the trail, I hardly thought about it. I truly feel my strongest, most beautiful self when Im backpacking. If Im hiking all day long, pushing miles, and challenging my physical limits, I dont even have the energy to be preoccupied with weight. Im just SO HUNGRY, and all the food in my canister for the next five days doesnt even seem like enough to satiate me at that moment.

Something that I struggle with as an athlete is blurring the line between being in shape and being skinny. It feels AMAZING to crush long, hard days with lots of mileage and elevation gain on the trail. A huge part of that comes from eating enough to keep you fueled and for your muscles to recover quickly. On my next long thru-hike, I just need to be more aware of how unsustainable the caloric deficit is. Also, it is impossible to maintain that kind of routine in your regular day-to-day life. If you have a full-time job, you cant backpack 20 miles a day as well. So just giving myself forgiveness and the ability to see ahead once Im off the trail will help a lot.

Photo via Julia Sheehan

Julia thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2019. You may have seen her on YouTube, where she shared vlogs, a full-length feature video, and lots of advice. As a woman with an eating disorder, she did her best to focus on how strong she got on trail, not how much weight she lost.

On trail I was more concerned with my bodys ability to complete the tasks at hand. I also realized that I was losing fat and inches, and it was being replaced with muscle and strength. A lot of people who maybe had more weight to lose were more fixated on their weight loss. Most men had lost 20-40 lbs by the time they reached Harpers Ferry. Meanwhile, most women had lost 0-15 lbs by then. It was common for non-thru-hikers to ask how much weight we had lost. I was proud to say that I had technically gained 4 lbs by the time I had reached Katahdin.

As a woman with an eating disorder (ED), anxiety about gaining weight is always present. This was especially hard after the trail. I received many compliments about the shape of my body after returning. This made it that much harder to regress to my pre-trail body, which was inevitable. I experienced relapses with my ED when returning home. But I sought treatment and therapy to help keep me on track.

As a woman with an ED, its difficult to navigate a world that is obsessed with weight and size. I delete influencers on social media that share diet fads or relate their weight or weight loss with success and happiness. I go to therapy and also manage my anxiety and ED by talking to friends and family. Im trying to normalize ED recovery so its not painful or secretive to talk about.

Implementing intentional strategies to fight over-fixation on thru-hiking and weight loss/gain can be crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship with your body. Bear in mind these tools are from hiker to hiker and do not replace therapy or counseling. There are resources at the end of this article if you think you may need extra help.

Aaron Owens Mayhew of Backcountry Foodie

Marissa Kleinsmith

Becca Bergstrom

Luke Pearsall

Alex Kereszti

Julia Sheehan

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The Uncomfortable Truth About Thru-Hiking and Weight Loss - The Trek

Oct 20

Commentary: The negative impact of celebrity weight loss – The Slate Online

When people look at modern-day celebrities and the influence they hold, it can be difficult to truly grasp the impacts these stars have on their audiences.

Whether it is spreading political messages, promoting their newest album or clothing line, there is always going to be a wide range of reactions. It is the harsh reality of being famous.

But with that, a question arises: When does a celebritys influence become too powerful to the point where it can harm themselves or their audience? How do these stars balance their own appearance while ensuring their audience does not feel pressured or betrayed by their change?

Two prominent celebrities, Rebel Wilson and Meghan Trainor, have used body positivity in the past to forward their careers. Wilson and Trainor, who have lost more than 30 pounds, respectively, are best known for using their larger figures to influence and inspire the younger generation.

Wilson, who played Fat Amy in the Pitch Perfect franchise, would constantly use her weight and appearance to her advantage by making jokes about herself on camera. Wilson also used her presence on and off the big screen to show her fans that loving yourself for who you are is the most important thing. The same can be said about musician Meghan Trainor.

Trainor, an American singer songwriter, rose to stardom after she released her hit single All About that Bass. The song, which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100, focused primarily on messages regarding body positivity by telling listeners they are perfect no matter their shape or size. Trainor quickly gained a following and many looked up to her as an idol and spokeswoman for body-sensitive individuals.

It is easy to see why fans of both Wilson and Trainor are confused by their recent weight loss transformations. Of course, these two likely decided to lose weight for personal or health-related reasons, but some fans are not so supportive of this.

Society has created a mindset where both men and women need to be perfect. But for many of Wilson and Trainors fans, they look up to them as a means of feeling included. It is rare that Hollywood or the music industry promotes anything other than the size zero hourglass figures. So these two essentially acted as the representation for many.

In seeing them lose such a drastic amount of weight, fans were left feeling betrayed. Wilson and Trainor used their platform to show their audience that it is OK to be different and that conforming to societys expectations is not necessary, yet they themselves go against those messages. In a way, it seemed almost hypocritical and many fans felt abandoned.

On top of this, both women found their careers in jeopardy. Wilson now no longer has the body, which aided in her obtaining roles that suited her comedy-driven acting style. Moreover, Trainor has seen some spurts of success in her music but has shifted her focus toward movie soundtracks and seasonal releases. She is unfortunately no longer as musically prominent as she once was.

Celebrities need to be aware of their audience and the messages they are promoting to them. Additionally, it is important that they stay true to what they preach and do not conform to the pressures that society can put on them. Celebrities are extremely influential, so whatever they say and do are substantially magnified. As clich as it sounds, they need to know how to use their power and influence responsibly. Not only can their careers depend on it, but the mental and physical wellbeing of their fans as well.

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Commentary: The negative impact of celebrity weight loss - The Slate Online

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