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Apr 15

Podcast #793: The New Science of Metabolism and Weight Loss – Art of Manliness

You hear a lot about metabolism. You probably know it has something to do with weight loss. And even if you dont go in for those supposed hacks around speeding up your metabolism, you likely figure you can at least increase it by exercising more.

This isnt actually the case, and my guest will sort through this and other misconceptions around metabolism on todays show. His name is Dr. Herman Pontzer and hes a professor of evolutionary anthropology and the author of Burn: New Research Blows the Lid Off How We Really Burn Calories, Lose Weight, and Stay Healthy. We begin our conversation with an overview of how metabolism powers everything your body does from thinking to moving to simply existing, and how it uses the food you eat as the energy needed to fuel these processes. We then get into Hermans field research which shows that increasing your physical activity doesnt actually increase the number of calories you burn, but why its still hugely important to exercise anyway. He also unpacks whether certain kinds of foods are better for your metabolism, offers his recommendations on how to use diet to lose weight, and answers the common question as to whether its true that your metabolism goes down as you age.

Brett McKay: Brett McKay here, and welcome to another edition of The Art of Manliness podcast. You hear a lot about metabolism, you probably know it has something to do with weight loss, and even if you dont go in for the supposed hacks around speeding up your metabolism, you likely figure you can at least increase it by exercising more. This isnt actually the case though, and my guest will sort through this and other misconceptions around metabolism on todays show. His name is Dr. Herman Pontzer, and hes a professor of Evolutionary Anthropology and the author of Burn. New research blows the lid off how we really burn calories, lose weight and stay healthy. We begin our conversation with an overview of how metabolism powers everything your body does from thinking, to moving, to simply existing, and how it uses the food you eat as the energy needed to fuel these processes. We then get into Hermans field research, which shows that increasing your physical activity doesnt actually increase the number of calories you burn, but why its still hugely important to exercise anyway. He also impacts whether certain kinds of foods are better for your metabolism, offers his recommendations on how to use diet to lose weight, and answers the common question as to whether its true that your metabolism goes down as you age. After the shows over, check out our show notes at

Alright, Herman Pontzer, welcome to the show.

Herman Pontzer: Thanks for having me.

Brett McKay: Alright, so your field research has uncovered some counter-intuitive things about our metabolism, and were gonna dig into that today. But before we do, I think it would be helpful to do a short metabolism 101 class for our listeners. Because I think people throw around that word metabolism a lot like, Oh, gotta speed up my metabolism. But they might not know exactly what that means. So what exactly is metabolism? And then well go from there.

Herman Pontzer: Sure, sure. So yeah, I think youre right, people dont always Arent always told the right thing. Your metabolism is all the work that your cells do all day. So youve got 37 trillion cells give or take, and each of them is a tiny microscopic factory thats bringing in raw materials, thats the nutrients in the foods that we eat, and turning them into various molecules, hormones, that kind of thing, burning them for energy. And all of that work that our cells do, each of those little factories do, that takes energy, and so metabolism is all of that, its all the work thats happening. And since work requires energy, we can think about metabolism either as the work itself, so people do focus on things like how molecules get changed around by cells, its called metabolomics, the products that they make. Or you can focus on the energy it takes to do that work, and thats what most people focus on in metabolism research like me, we measure all the work that our cells are doing by measuring the energy that our bodies burn.

Brett McKay: Gotcha, okay, so metabolism is the measurement of energy our body is using to do what it needs to do: Breathe, heart beating, reproduce, get off the couch

Herman Pontzer: Yeah.

Brett McKay: Thats metabolism. Okay.

Herman Pontzer: Yeah, thats right. And most of it, youre only dimly aware of or not aware of at all. So for example, every nerve cell in your body needs to keep a very precisely amount of negative charge inside of its cell relative to the outside of its cell, or else your nerves dont work. And so to do that, its constantly pumping these ions, these sodium and potassium ions in and out to maintain that balance, maintain that negative charge. Your liver is constantly at work, detoxifying all the stuff you ate, helping break down nutrients. Your spleen, your immune system, all of it, theres so many things that are happening. Your brain, your brain runs a 5k every day, your brain burns 300 kilo calories of energy everyday, thats the equivalent of going on a five kilometer run, and none of this youre aware of, youre only aware of the very small amount of energy that you spend Relatively proportionately, that you spend on things like exercise.

Brett McKay: Yeah, so thats an important point, when people typically think about speeding up their metabolism, and well talk about why that actually isnt a thing, they think, Well, I just gotta exercise and move more, and thats gonna burn more calories. But you make the point, no, most of the calories you burn, its just functioning, just sitting there existing, listening to this podcast.

Herman Pontzer: Exactly, yeah, yeah. Even if all you did is binge listen to The Art of Man podcast, all day, youd still burn about 70% of the energy that you would have burned in an active day.

Brett McKay: So, okay So yeah, I think you break it down, theres a chart, the percentage of our calories that we burn throughout a day that are geared towards just existing, and then theres movement. And then theres another one, another criteria of how we burn calories, I think its called NEAT? N-E-A-T.

Herman Pontzer: Oh, yeah.

Brett McKay: What is NEAT?

Herman Pontzer: Well, so NEAT is this concept that youre moving when youre not paying attention to it, so fidgeting, standing up and walking over to get a cup of coffee, that stuff. It stands for Non-exercise activity thermogenesis. And yeah, its a nice acronym for NEAT is a nice acronym for that, and its this idea that not only are you burning energy to move when youre paying attention to it and exercising, but youre also burning energy in these other ways as well. But theres even more than that, because NEATs not Okay, so NEAT was a concept that people developed because they were having a hard time making the numbers add up. When they would try to understand how people are spending their energy, they would look at basal metabolic rate, thats your energy at rest, like 6:00 in the morning when your bodys super calm and still and youre in the nadir or youre in the valley of your energy expenditure for the day. Your organs are as quiet as theyre gonna be, you take basal metabolic rate, you take how much people exercise, you take how much energy it takes to digest food, you add those up and theres missing calories cause people are burning more calories than those three components would suggest.

You add those up, you dont get the same numbers you get when you really measure it as a real empirical measurement, it being total calories burned over 24 hours. And so people thought, well, theres this NEAT stuff too, theres movement when were not paying attention, and thats true, I guess we could add that in it as well. And I would say theres other things as well that we dont always pay attention to that we need to think about as well, which is the circadian fluctuations, the circadian rhythm of our energy expenditure, youre burning more energy in the middle of the day, especially when youre alert, than you are at night while youre sleeping. So even without moving, just the act of being alert and awake and at the peak of your circadian metabolic cycle is gonna be burning more energy than at your lowest point. So we can get into the weeds, we can get into the nuanced weeds about how the body spends energy, but youre right, we can break it down to those components as well.

Brett McKay: But I think the big take away, the majority Like you said, the majority of our calories burned throughout the day is this BMR, this basal metabolic rate, just When were at rest, thinking, breathing, heart beating, liver producing all the hormones that it does, thats where most of our energy is geared towards. Okay.

Herman Pontzer: Thats right.

Brett McKay: So lets talk about how our body takes the food we eat and converts that into energy. So basically, when we consume food, you can categorize the nutrients in that food into three broad categories, theyre called macronutrients. We got protein, carbs and fats. And our body metabolizes these different macronutrients differently. Can you walk us through big picture, and we dont have to get into the Krebs cycle.

Herman Pontzer: Sure.

Brett McKay: But big picture, what are the difference between how our body takes these different macronutrients and turn them into energy so we can power our bodies?

Herman Pontzer: Yeah, sure. So we can start with carbs. So carbs include starches, they include sugars, and no matter whether its a complex carbohydrate, like you get from a potato, or if its a simple sugar like you get from the sugar in your coffee, your body and your digestive tract breaks those down into very simple sugars, things like glucose and fructose. Glucose is by far the major simple sugar, so thats why we talk about blood glucose levels, cause that glucose, its absorbed into your blood, and then really it only has a couple places to go. It can go and get stored as glycogen, which is kind of a short-term savings account for glucose, cause glucose is really just all about energy. It can get turned into fat if your glycogen stores are already full, because glycogen Theres a limit to how much glycogen your muscles and liver can hold. Or, it can get burned as energy. And so, thats what its gonna eventually end up happening, is its gonna get burned as energy. But if youre not using it right now for energy, the glucose, you can store it as glycogen or fat.

The fat that you eat will also get broken down into fatty acids and those get stored as fat or burned. And then the proteins you eat get turned into tissues, like muscle tissue. Youre constantly cycling through muscle tissue cause you break it down during the day and you build it back up at night. And your other tissues need protein as well. Were kind of protein robots walking around. We need a lot of protein to build our tissues. And then when proteins get degraded, when tissues break down, your body will break those down into amino acids and burn those as well. But the main energy supply for your body is the glucose and the fat, and protein is mostly a building block. And we can get into the weeds there, like you say, we can For example, there are sugars that help build your DNA, there are fats that help build your cell membrane. So, things get used for different jobs, but those are the three big jobs.

Brett McKay: Gotcha. Okay, and so I think the big takeaway here is you literally are what you eat. When you eat carbs and fats, that stuffs in proteins, its broken down and its powering every part of your existence. And the idea is, okay, if you eat this stuff, you Say you eat a pizza, use it as an example, if you do pizza pizza, your bodys going to process that, break it down. You might use it right away for energy. If it doesnt need that energy right away, if its glucose or carbs, its gonna store it as glycogen. If the glycogen stores are too full, well then the body is, Okay, well, were gonna save that energy for later. Were gonna turn that into fat. And the same with fat, you eat fat, you either use it right away to power your body. If your body doesnt need it then, then it will store it as fat around your belly.

Herman Pontzer: Thats right. Thats right.

Brett McKay: Thats basically Okay. Okay, so now that we have this basic understanding of how metabolism works, lets get into your research. Because like I said, its counterintuitive what you found, cause I think a common idea out there that people have is that if you move your body around a lot, youre gonna burn more calories, than someone who moves less. And thats exactly why people, when they say, Im gonna start losing weight, what do they do? They sign up for the gym, they start exercising.

Herman Pontzer: Yeah.

Brett McKay: But what youve done with your field research as an anthropologist, you went to a group of hunter-gatherers in Africa, called the Hadza, and you measured their daily caloric expenditure. And the Hadza, theyre hunter-gathers, theyre moving around all the time. They have to move to eat, whether theyre gathering tubers or hunting animals out in the wild, theyve gotta work a lot to get their food. And you figured, well, they probably burn a ton of calories because theyre moving all the time.

Herman Pontzer: Yeah.

Brett McKay: What did your research find?

Herman Pontzer: Yeah, thats right. So we did this project because humans evolved as hunter-gatherers, so our species is Homo sapiens, so were in this genus Homo. The genus Homo is older than us, its 2.5 million years old. And for the last 2.5 million years, the entirety of the genus Homos evolution, weve been hunting and gathering. And then our species, Homo sapiens, shows up about 300,000 years ago, and were just one more hunter-gather group in a hunting and gathering genus. And so if you wanna understand anything about how our bodies evolved or what our bodies are built for, a hunting and gathering community is Thats the best context you can have. Now, theyre not living in the past, theyre not trapped in amber or anything like that, theyre as modern humans as you and I are. But because theyve held on culturally to this hunting and gathering lifestyle, it allows you to ask, How do our bodies work in a hunting and gathering lifestyle? So its one of the best windows youll get into how our bodies were shaped for hunting and gathering.

And like you say, theyre incredibly physically active, they worked with us, the group called the Hadza in northern Tanzania. They get more physical activity in a day than most Americans get in a week. And so going into it, we thought, Well, gosh, we have to understand how many calories theyre burning, because obviously, its gonna be a lot different than you and me. And so we went there. We stayed The first time I went there, I went for about two months, living with them, measuring energy expenditures over the course of a week, with this isotope tracking technique, which is really good, empirical, objective measurement of calories burned per day, and you get it over about a week-long period. So, its a really good look at daily energy expenditure. And yeah, we got back to the States with our samples, cause you use urine samples to track this stuff. We had to get them analyzed in a lab down at Baylor. And we got the numbers back and we were shocked, because Hadza men and women were burning the same amount of energy everyday as people in the US and Europe and other industrialized countries. There was no difference. In fact, Hadza men and women are burning less energy every day, fewer calories every day, than men and women in the West. Once you account for body size, they tend to be a bit shorter. So once you account for body size, its indistinguishable. You cannot distinguish daily energy expenditures between us and them. Its really, really remarkable.

Brett McKay: Oh, yeah, just to be I wanna emphasize this point. They, on average, walk like five miles a day, I think, was like one of the

Herman Pontzer: Oh, at least, yeah, thats the women. The men walk further. Yeah, absolutely.

Brett McKay: And a western like me, I dont Im lucky if I get my 10,000 steps in a day.

Herman Pontzer: Yeah, so thats a fun way to do it. The women get about 13,000 steps a day on average, often with a kid on their back, and men get about 19,000 steps a day on average.

Brett McKay: Alright, so whats going on there? How is it that theyre able to burn the same amount of calories as us not-so-active Westerners. Whats going on?

Herman Pontzer: Yeah. Yeah, well, that was the big puzzle, and so weve been trying to figure that out for the last 10 years. Heres what we know. We know that theres nothing magic about the way that theyre moving, right? So weve measured the energy cost of their walking. Weve taken a system out there that allows us to measure the energy cost to walk, and its the same as you and me. So theres nothing special about their muscles, theyre not more efficient that way. Instead, what seems to be happening is, the energy that they spend on activity is being rather than adding on top of everything else and creating a higher total energy expenditure per day, the energy theyre spending on all that activity is taken away from other expenditures. So basically, theyre reducing other expenditure and other aspects of their bodies to make room for this really large amount of energy spent on daily physical activity.

Brett McKay: Wait, and where do you Have you been able to see where the bodys taking away Whats going on? Wheres the body reducing caloric expenditure, so they can take into account that extra activity?

Herman Pontzer: Yeah, so this has been the focus of research over the last few years. Heres what we know, and part of this is based on what we know from groups like the Hadza, and part of this is what we know from other people, like for example, athletes in the US and elsewhere who are also really physically active, and then sometimes are easier to study, because we can get them into labs here. Heres what we know. When youre really physically active, you have lower levels of baseline inflammation, so things like C-reactive protein and the other stuff that is your immune system kind of over-reacting all the time, theres high levels of inflammation that Westerners tend to have, its lower in people who are really physically active. So, thats your immune system basically dialing it back, spending less energy, if youre really physically active.

Reproductive hormones, testosterone levels, estrogen levels in men and women respectively, are lower in groups like the Hadza and in athletes as well, endurance athletes as well. If you are a Hadza man, or a Hadza woman, your reproductive hormone levels are gonna be 20% lower, 30% lower than an adult your age. Theres an age effect, of course, as well with your reproductive hormones, so were accounting for age with that. Thats your reproductive system spending a little bit less energy on keeping itself up, and thats gonna save energy. Now, that doesnt mean I wanna be really clear, that doesnt mean theres fertility issues, or anything like that, or that theyre any less manly, the men, because they have slightly lower testosterone levels, nothing like that, but just the reproductive system is just taking a little bit less energy per day in really physically active folks.

And then the other big thing, and we dont have measurements of this with the Hadza, but we do with other physically active groups and with athletes, stress levels and stress reaction, stress reactivity, right? So if I stress you out, I accost you on the street and give your heart a bump, and your epinephrine levels go up, your adrenaline levels go up, your cortisol levels go up, or if I do that in the lab and I make you do mathematics in public, thats a really fun way to get people to get stressed out, your heart rate will go up, your cortisol levels go up. But if youre an athlete, or if We think if youre someone like the Hadza whos physically active all the time, that reaction will be not as sharp, not as big, and will Youll go back to baseline faster, youll spend less energy on that stress reaction than if you are a sedentary person who doesnt exercise a lot. So these are all the different various ways, we think, that the bodys able to take energy away from other tasks in ways that actually are really healthy for us, we can talk about that too, and make room for more physical activity.

Brett McKay: I guess to help people understand this, why its going on, basically our bodys regulation system for metabolism, its all geared towards surviving and reproduction, right? And so yeah, it makes sense, like you talk about the reproductive hormones going down. Well, if youre facing extreme physical activity, extreme caloric expenditures just to survive, to get food, your bodys like, Well, were gonna prioritize survival over reproduction a bit more, so were gonna adjust things. So I guess people understand that, your bodys metabolizing energy either to survive and reproduce, its going to modify things to further those goals. And I guess survivals the first goal, and then reproduction is number two.

Herman Pontzer: Well, yeah, I mean, it depends. In some species that are short-lived, its all about reproduction. Theyll throw away the survival piece. Humans, because were long-lived, were evolved to be here for the long term and to get through the tough times. Yeah, thats right, well, in a bad time, well focus more on the survival piece, our bodies will. But yet, we see this kind of a reproductive issue, reproductive effects in the Hadza, so a woman in a Hadza community, they like big families, they dont use contraception typically, but a woman will still have a kid every Between two and three years. So thats without any contraception. In the West, women who have a kid this year, even if that woman decides to breastfeed and is Yeah, so shes nursing, if she doesnt use contraception, is likely to be pregnant again within a year. So its much The reproductive system is actually kind of, its dialed back a little bit in these really physically active groups. And by the way, thats probably more healthy that most guidelines for things like pregnancy say, You should put more time between pregnancies. So thats one Its a good thing. But you can see the impact of how the energys being spent.

Brett McKay: And so what you guys have found, what you researchers found, is that our bodies, all human bodies, have this sort of constrained daily expenditures. Its like the Theres a range, upper limit range of how many calorie you can burn through a day.

Herman Pontzer: Yeah, thats right. So its not just the Hadza. I want to be clear about that. Weve done If youre a scientist and you find this really interesting result, the first thing you assume is that youre wrong, so you go to all the Youve done all the work to try to make sure that thats a really strong A good result for the Hadza and it is. You can use different techniques, different approaches, you get the same answer. So Hadza data are solid, and then you wanna replicate it. You wanna make sure its not just one society where youre seeing this or even one species, and so weve seen this in other human groups, now. Weve looked at other farming and hunter-gatherer groups and mixed groups, you see the same thing. Same daily energy expenditures as Westerners, industrialized communities, even though theyre much more physically active. We see this across species.

So weve done this study where we looked at different species of primates, monkeys and apes, and lemurs and lorises. In the monkeys in a zoo, from the same number of calories every day as monkeys in the wild. You can do this in a laboratory setting. You can get mice, you can take out their running wheel away from them for a while and then give it back, and theyre less active and then theyre more active, and you dont see any effect on their daily energy expenditure. So this is a really robust thing. Our bodies And probably all mammal species, maybe even birds species too, seem to be built to really try to regulate how many calories were burning everyday.

Brett McKay: So in humans, whats the constrained daily expenditure? Whats the range?

Herman Pontzer: Well, its gonna be a function of your body size. Bigger people expend more energy than small people, but women burn about 2400 kilocalories a day. Im saying kilocalories, cause we always say calories, its actually not correct, but you can just replace that with capital C, big calories if you want to, but women burn about 2400 kilocalories a day, men burn about 3000 kilocalories in a day. That can vary a little bit, again, with your body size, thats the biggest factor, but lifestyle has a really small effect on it.

Brett McKay: Alright, so this is a cross. About 3000 calories, whether youre a Hadza or some guy in New York, your bodys probably burning about three This is total, so this includes This is like BMR, so that resting, basal metabolic rate, on like your activity.

Herman Pontzer: Yep, it includes that, it includes the energy to digest your food, it includes whatever exercise you did, it includes taking that walk to go get a coffee, it includes the stress reaction from your boss throwing extra work at you at 5 oclock, all that stuff.

Brett McKay: Okay, so the implication of this finding is that relying solely on exercise to lose weight is probably not an effective strategy because your body Cause you exercise to burn more calories than youre consuming, but youre Weve discovered our bodys gonna figure out a way to compensate for the increased physical activity so that you stay inside your constrained daily expenditure.

Herman Pontzer: Yeah, theres two reasons that exercise end up being a poor tool for weight loss. One, is what weve been talking about, your body will adjust and youre adding You think youre adding 300 kilocalories a day to your daily routine of exercise, but youre not really because that 300 kilocalories of exercise is at least partially being eaten up by adjustments other places. The other thing is that even if you are able to manage to pump your energy expenditure up a bit with exercise, especially in the short term, cause it takes a while for the body to adjust, youre gonna eat those gains, cause your body is also Part of the system as your body is very well evolved to match energy intake with energy expenditure, and that also happens below our conscious thoughts. So if you are able to increase your metabolic rate by a bit, youre just gonna eat those gains and youre gonna end up right back where you are, where your energy intake matches your energy expenditure and youre not changing your weight at all.

Brett McKay: Alright, so Im sure people are listening to this and is like, Well this is depressing. But were gonna talk about why actually this is so important. Were gonna take a a quick break for a word from our sponsors.

And now back to the show. Okay, so people might hear this and go, Okay, if I wanna lose weight, then exercise doesnt do anything for me, what I need to do is reduce the number of calories I take in by a lot to lose weight. But that doesnt work either, and can even backfire sometimes, so what happens when we significantly reduce our caloric intake?

Herman Pontzer: Yeah, if you go on a crash diet, really cut the calories in half kind of thing, then this is another evolved survival response, your body says, Oh my gosh, were starving, theres no food in the world, and we gotta get through this lean period. And so what itll do is, without your being aware of it, it will reduce your metabolic rate. So all those systems that youre not aware of, your body can take the foot off the gas and spend less energy on those, and all of a sudden you arent burning as many calories as you were before. And not only do you feel miserable because youre starving yourself, but youre actually Your body is actually trying to frustrate those weight loss attempts Weight loss effort because it is reducing the energy expenditure that you had before, so its actually that difference between the energy youre taking in and the energy youre burning gets smaller because your body is saying, Oh my gosh, were starving, turn the energy down.

Brett McKay: And then so weve seen this with Biggest Losers contestants. They go Theyre losing hundreds Like 150 to Like a human, they lose a human off of their body, a full-grown human. And then you do the follow How do they do afterwards? And I think most of them gain the weight back.

Herman Pontzer: They almost all do, and thats really Its sad because of how much effort that you know they put into it and how much it meant to them, but its also kind of predictable because your body doesnt wanna change weight. There have been vertebrates, part of the group of animals called vertebrates, weve been around for half a billion years, and for almost all that time, probably all of it, losing weights been a really bad thing. Youre losing weight, youre on your way to dying, and so there are all these involved mechanisms not to lose weight, which is why its actually the most important that you can do for your health is to try to not get overweight in the first place. And that gets us into discussions about how we think about how we take care of our kids and how we take care of ourselves, especially in our early years, but yeah, its really hard to change once you do Once youre overweight. The best thing you can do is, if youre looking at behavioral strategies, is to try to change your diet, but like you say, if you go too fast, too hard and too fast, too soon, then that can backfire because your body responds to that by, again, reducing energy expenditure and frustrating that weight loss.

Brett McKay: Alright, so yeah, the metabolism, you cant outsmart the metabolism, theres no Its gonna figure things out.

Herman Pontzer: Yeah, one of the biggest frustrations I have when I look at online self-help, Heres how youre gonna take charge of your metabolism and boost your metabolism or whatever. All of this stuff, it all makes people think that theyre in charge of their metabolism. Right? Which is completely not the case. Your metabolism is working behind the scenes. Its smarter than you. And it adjusts to you. You cant really push it around. In a way itll manipulate things behind the scenes in ways that are gonna frustrate what youre trying to do. Now, and I hope were gonna talk about this, you should still exercise, absolutely, and if you do wanna try to lose weight with diet theres some strategies you can take, but I think this idea that were in the drivers seat, revving our engines, our metabolic engines in a sort of really simplistic way. And thats how we burn calories. I wish we could move away from that. Cause its just not the science.

Brett McKay: Right. So you cant speed up your metabolism, like thats

Herman Pontzer: No. Its really hard to do, and basically, yeah, you cant do it.

Brett McKay: Okay. So lets talk about this. So while exercise cant be the sole driver of weight loss, you make it very clear. You devote a whole chapter of this. Like that doesnt mean you shouldnt exercise and you actually make the case that because of humans unique metabolism, maybe we can talk about how it differs from the apes, because of our unique metabolism we actually its really, really important for us to move a lot. Why is that?

Herman Pontzer: Yeah. Well, so like I said, weve been evolving as hunter gatherers for two and a half million years and hunting and gathering takes a lot of work. And so our bodies are actually evolved to expect and require a lot of physical activity every day. Its what our organ As evolved organism, its what were evolved to do. And if we dont do it, we get sick. And so, yeah. Getting all those steps every day is really important. And apes are lazy, right? I mean, Ive done field work with apes. Ive worked with apes in zoos. Theyre impressively lazy, getting 5,000 steps a day maybe, is kind of a typical day for an ape. Even if you count up the climbing and all that stuff. And theyre just fine like that. They dont get sick from being like that. In fact, a chimpanzee in a zoo probably has less than 10% body fat. Thats a typical, thatd be typical for a chimpanzee in a zoo, even though theyre just sitting around. And so we cant do that. If we act on our ape-like impulses just to be lazy all day, yeah, we get real sick.

Brett McKay: Yeah. That was really interesting to me is that apes in captivity dont really get fat, like when they eat more food instead of turning that into body fat, apes just turn that into lean tissue.

Herman Pontzer: Yeah. Isnt that crazy. Humans are Its another evolved piece of our physiology. We are evolved to put on fat really easily. And it probably goes hand in hand with having a faster metabolism. So weve actually evolved a faster metabolism than apes have that allows us to have things like these big brains that we are so energetically expensive, and we have big fat babies more, and we have them more often than apes do that, takes a lot of energy. We are physically more active than apes. So all of this is like were a high energy ape. And as a kind of a backup plan, weve also evolved this propensity to put on fat because if youre always burning a high level of energy, given a high metabolic rate that you cant kind of turn down, you cant adjust much at all as weve been talking about, you need to have a backup in case you have periods where theres not much food and thats where our body pack comes in.

Brett McKay: Right. So, yeah, I get Okay, just to make sure Im getting this right. So apes, they dont have to move around a lot to get their food. So they have a slow metabolism and thered be you no reason for them to put on body fat really, because they would never They would probably wouldnt be long periods of time where they wouldnt go without food. Like, well, Ill just grab this leaf here. Humans, we had to hunter and gather to gather foods that requires a lot of energy. And so we have to If theres instances where we dont have a lot of food available, our bodies are like, Well, we need to have We need to store body fat in case that ever happens so that we have the energy to walk and find tubers and gazelle again.

Herman Pontzer: Yeah. And reproduce and do all those things that were built to do. Absolutely.

Brett McKay: Okay. So we have to move a lot. So our body uses a lot of energy. You also highlight research that exercise while isnt useful to lose weight, its really important in maintaining weight loss. Whats going on there?

Herman Pontzer: Yeah. Thats a really interesting piece of this. So if you go on an exercise program tomorrow, yeah, you might lose a couple pounds over the course of the year, but thats not the big benefit of it. Big benefit is how it kind of makes a lot of our systems more healthy. And if youre able to lose the weight with usually with diet as the big intervention, that exercise helps you keep it off. And we dont entirely know why. What we think is happening is that the exercise, the When you exercise your muscles send all these signals to your body, all these hormones and all these things. So your body knows youre exercising, it affects every part of your body. And one of the things we think it helps do is regulate how hungry and how full we feel. So how much we eat. And so kind of exercise has this effect of keeping our hunger and fullness better regulated. So we dont overeat once weve lost the weight. If you exercise, it helps you keep at that weight and not overeat and gain all that weight back.

Brett McKay: Okay. So, yeah, I think when people Okay, I wanna Theres some interesting things going on here, because our metabolism again is weird, when we exercise more, were gonna eat more because we need more energy, right? But if, I think what youre saying here is that when you exercise, theres a better connection between the calories you need and your hunger levels, right? So its like

Herman Pontzer: Yeah, thats right, yeah, thats right, And once youve lost the weight, the energy that you need is actually less, right? Because youve lost all that weight. And so if your body was just trying to match how much you need and how much youre taking in, youll match that at that lower level and maintain the weight better. Thats what we think is going on. Its actually not entirely well understood why exercise is such a good tool for keeping weight off. But it absolutely is thats what all the data show.

Brett McKay: Okay. So overall, exercise is gonna help you lose a little weight, but its really useful in helping you keep the weight off and maintaining your weight loss. And its probably because it helps match your appetite to your actual caloric needs and its helping control those hunger signals, and something thats interesting with this research is that they found that sedentary people, people who dont move hardly at all they actually eat more than those who are active, and its probably because their bodies have somehow become out of touch with how much food they actually need. And then something else we talk about Biggest Loser contestants, something else thats interesting with the research there is that with all the contestants, their metabolism dropped after the show, and then it stayed low long-term, but among those who exercised, even though their metabolisms were low as well, they actually did the best in keeping the weight off. And again, its probably because of the way exercise regulates appetite. So, yeah, exercise plays a big role in weight maintenance.

Herman Pontzer: The other thing that its doing, all of the other adjustments its doing, keeping your inflammation levels down, reproductive hormones in a healthier place, your stress reactivity down, that is gonna add years to your life. Those are all ways to avoid heart disease, avoid diabetes, the things that were most likely to die from, is by exercising. So, thinking about exercise as a weight loss tool, still kinda misses the point. Its actually really good for all this other stuff thats gonna keep you healthy and active and add not just years to your life, but like healthy good vital years to your life.

Brett McKay: Well, lets talk about diet, because I think thats the way we can lose weight, just reducing calorie intake. But then theres people who have created diets based on how our body metabolizes different macronutrients, and I think the most popular one is like a low carb high fat diet.

Herman Pontzer: Yep.

Brett McKay: And I think the big idea is Gary Taubess idea is like, well, the reason why you get fat is insulin, and when you eat carbs, insulin level spike and it drives the storage of carbs or fat as body fat. And so you cut the carbs, you reduce the insulin, youre gonna lose weight. What does your research reveal about diet and weight loss based on a macro nutrient?

Herman Pontzer: Yeah, the carb idea, its a beautiful idea. It just doesnt fit the evidence, unfortunately. So first of all, we can say, a group like the Hadza, and there are lots of them still that are farming and hunting and gathering and doing that kind of stuff. They eat a lot of carbs, in fact, they eat more carbs as part of their diet than people in the US do. So if it were all about carbs, then folks like the Hadza should be incredibly obese, but of course theyre not. Theyre but healthy weight throughout their whole lives, and they dont ever gain weight in their middle and older age, theyre just fine. And so if its really just about carbs then groups that eat a lot of carbs ought to be overweight, theyre not. Secondly, when you do the control laboratory studies and you put people on low carb diets versus on low fat diets, you dont see any difference in weight loss outcomes. And in fact, depending on the size sometimes you see people do a little bit better on low fat, but thats The main outcome is that you just dont see any difference at all.

If you cut calories by cutting carbs, or you cut the calories by cutting fat, you get the same outcomes. And the third is, if you do a study where you take people and you randomly assign them to a high carb diet or sorry to a low fat diet or a low-carb diet, this has been done a few times now. Theres no difference in outcomes. People, again, lose weight just as easily, just as well on low fat as they do on low-carb diets, and so theres just really no The carbohydrate insulin model of obesity, which is the Gary Taubess idea, its been tested in a lot of different ways, and its a beautiful idea, its very elegant, it just doesnt work. It doesnt fit the data. Now, low-carb diets work for a lot of people, thats a different question. The question is, why are they working? And how do they work? And the answer is, they basically, youre cutting calories but that doesnt mean that the mechanism thats been proposed as insulin-based mechanism is really what its all about, cause that just doesnt bear out.

Brett McKay: Alright, so again, you cant trick your body, your metabolism?

Herman Pontzer: Well, I mean, no, I think this is a different thing about tricking. So, okay, the counter argument from the folks like Gary Taubes would be like, Oh well, youre saying all calories are the same, youre saying, it doesnt matter what you eat. Is that what youre saying? You know, and the answer is Well, no, no, were not saying the 100 kilo calories of broccoli is gonna affect us differently and feel different than 100 kilo calories of potato chips. So, in both those cases, those are very carb-heavy foods. And so the kinds of food you eat matter, but all the evidence says that the way that you feel full on fewer calories, which is really the goal to lose weight with diet, is that we have to think about the way that those calories affect our brains.

So we talked about how your brain is really well adapted to match the calories in and the calories out, to match our fullness and hunger to our weight. The way that you kind of push that system to lose weight without feeling miserable is to find foods that make you feel full on fewer calories, so things like higher fiber foods can help, higher protein foods can help. Thats where low carb diets come in, by the way, you take a whole macro-nutrient group out and you give yourself foods that really have a lot of protein in them, and you feel better. You feel full on fewer calories, thats why low calories work for some people. Yeah, so I mean, thats what were talking about here. So were not saying that theres no That foods dont have different effects, that kind of stuff, of course they do. But do all diets work through the insulin pathway or do they work through manipulating the way our bodies feel, our brains feel that seems to be the more likely mechanism.

Brett McKay: Yeah, we had Steven Guinea on the podcast a while back ago. And he talked about this, right, how our brain How it feels about our food that were eating, and one of the interesting takeaways I got from him was, one thing you can do is just eat less palatable food, cause palatable food you just wanna eat a lot of it. Were talking about Doritos and cheese burgers its like oh I just wanna keep But its like if you look at the diet of the Hadza its the most boring thing. Theres no spices, its just like, well, youre gonna a tuber its kind of burnt, and like some zebra.

Herman Pontzer: Yeah.

Brett McKay: Thats just gross, and so its usually like well, Ill eat enough to get the energy I need to do what I have to do, but Im not gonna So one take away, its just like eat Instead of eating a potato chip, eat a baked potato.

Herman Pontzer: Yeah, thats right, theres actually a great set of, most of it is anecdotal cause nobody No real nutritionists would ever recommend this diet and Im not to be clear, but theres a great anecdotal evidence of people who just eat potatoes and lose lots of weight that weigh hundreds of pounds sometimes, because if all you eat is potatoes, guess what, you are sick of potatoes [laughter] well before you have over-eaten your calories that day, and so thats one way to do it for sure. And I think thats what low carb is doing as well, you take a whole class of foods off the menu and how much steak can you eat? How much spinach can you eat? Youre just gonna feel full before you over-consume and thats the great way to go, for some people that works really well. But its not the only way to go and its not because of this kind of carbohydrate-insulin magic, I think its much more about our brains than that.

Brett McKay: So I think another common idea people have about metabolism Its okay, thats great We kind of debunked a lot of things, exercise isnt gonna do much for you to lose weight, basing a diet on a macronutrient probably is not gonna do anything for you.

Herman Pontzer: Right.

Brett McKay: I think another popular idea people have about metabolism is that as you get older, it slows down, thats why

Herman Pontzer: Oh, yeah.

Brett McKay: People in their 50 or 60 got the belly Is that true? Does their metabolism slow down?

Herman Pontzer: You know man, Im in my 40s and I was really sure that one was true. And then we just recently did this big study, we took measurements from 6400 and some people, and those are people from People who have just been born, 8 days old, up to folks who are in their 90s. And what we did is we were able to use that big, big data set to measure how many calories people burn over the course of a day and ask how that changes over a lifespan. What we found was that your metabolism is really steady and stable between about 20 years old and about 60, and so theres no slow down in your 30s and 40s that we were able to detect at all, yeah, that turned out to be another one of these myths. So thats not to say that it feels the same to be 44 as it does to be 24, I can attest to that. But its not metabolism, its not the energy burning thats changing, its something else, its about stress levels or hormone levels, that kind of thing.

Brett McKay: But it does start slowing down after 60?

Herman Pontzer: At 60, yeah, and thats really interesting because 60 is also that inflection player, people start to People get in their 60s, 70s, 80s, thats when you see your risk of different diseases pick up, heart disease, Alzheimers disease, other Diseases that we associate with aging, those are when those really start to kick in, is after 60, and were seeing your metabolic rate decline too. What does that mean? That your cells are slowing down, thats where your metabolic rate Which we started off by talking about what metabolism is, its all your cells at work, when we see that metabolism is starting to slow down, well thats telling us our cells are doing less work. And man, we would love to know exactly whats happening there, whats changing that it is either promoting or just signaling and telling us about these changes and how our cells work that seem to be related to the disease risk that we see picking up there. Because maybe, maybe we could find a way to keep ourselves burning more energy keep them at a younger state, maybe that would be protective against disease, I dont know. But its Something we need to look into next, is figuring out exactly why that decline happens and is that telling us about healthy aging, I suspect it is, but were gonna have to have more work to figure that out.

Brett McKay: Well, one idea that crossed my mind when you told me that at 60, it starts going down, that would make sense if we understand that metabolism is about survival and reproduction. If youre over 60, especially for women, reproductions off the table, your body doesnt need calories for reproduction.

Herman Pontzer: Yeah, so thats interesting, right? Because menopause typically happens when women are in their 40s, late 40s, so actually from an evolutionary perspective, that last 15 years, if you go to 60, lets say Thats kind of hard to explain. And what that seems to be about is that the elders in our communities And this is true in the Hadza, and this is also true here in the States, and its true historically and across cultures. Folks who are in their later middle age are doing a lot of work and helping out their own kids and helping out the next generation, and that seems to be really important, so we have this evolved strategy to share and to help, its one thing you cannot escape when you go in to work with the Hadza, theyre always sharing, theyre always helping each other out. And its not just being nice, it is baked in to being a human, and I love that about the doors that this kind of metabolism work opened up, Id be like, Oh my gosh, hunting and gathering. Right? Its not just one or the other, you have to do it together.

And that comes out every celebration you ever had, I bet, involves hanging out with other people and sharing stuff, sharing food, sharing birthday cake. Alright, thats whats been so hard about all the social distancing with COVID is were built to be social and together and sharing. Anyway, so getting up to 60 actually gets you past your reproductive years, for most of us, and that makes sense because again, its really We need to work together. Maybe at 60 is around the time that most folks in the hunting and gathering communities, mortality rates kick in at a higher rate there, and maybe thats what were evolved to get to at least 60, and then the rest of that time youre in the bonus if youre in a hunting and gathering group, that would fit the mortality data alright, so thats an interesting idea. But I do think its clearly, is an evolved piece of our physiology, its not something we decide to do is just slow down at 60, its our cells are built to start doing that.

Brett McKay: Alright, so whats a person supposed to do with this information? Alright, someones listening to this, thinking, Well, I need to lose some weight. How should this research guide their approach to losing weight?

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Podcast #793: The New Science of Metabolism and Weight Loss - Art of Manliness

Apr 15

6 High-Protein Foods That Shrink Belly Fat, Says Dietitian Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

Losing weight and shrinking excess belly fat can be a long and exhausting process to actually see results. But looking at a diet that keeps you full and satisfied, while also contributing to shedding some extra pounds sounds like the perfect place to start for long-term changes.

Including more protein in one's diet can foster weight loss in a number of ways. When combined with exercise, a high intake of protein helps build more lean muscle, and "lean muscle helps to burn more calories throughout the day," Medical News Today reports.

However, high protein foods can also "help with weight loss by decreasing hunger and promoting a sense of fullness," explains Brittany Dunn, MS, RDN, CD, who specializes in sports nutrition and has experience working with and educating athletes through Dunn Nutrition. High protein diets are extremely effective in weight loss, because "they preserve muscle mass and prevent decreased metabolism," she says.

A common misconception when it comes to high protein meals, is that many people want to overcompensate with the intention of losing more body fat, explains Dunn. Many people believe that "food sources of protein are not enough to contribute to a high protein meal plan and that supplementation is necessary," when in reality, "whole foods can provide enough and oftentimes, even more protein than expected," she says.

You should be eating "between 1.6 and 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight" on a daily basis, if you're working towards overall weight loss, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

"Very few Americans consume inadequate amounts of protein," says Dunn. "However, if you do find yourself struggling to achieve enough protein in your diet, here are some tips: thicken sauces or soups with blended legumes (such as lentils) or [layer] tofu and sweet potato curry over steamed veggies."

To look into the nitty-gritty of what foods pack the best protein punch, here are six high-protein foods to help you reach your weight loss goals and shrink that waist! Then, for more weight loss tips, here are the Eating Habits to Lose Abdominal Fat As You Age, Say Dietitians.

What may seem like an obvious choice, choosing specific meats as a source of protein in your diet can make all the difference when it comes to shedding fat. Lean meats in particularsuch as skinless chicken, turkey, pork loin, bison, white flesh fish, salmon, and shrimpwill contain a high level of protein with low calories, healthy fats, and more often than not, less processed ingredients compared to red meat, Medical News Today explains.

When prioritizing eating lean meats, you can "limit the amount of saturated fat [you] consume to less than 10% of calories per day," according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

What does this mean in terms of weight loss? When you consume more high volume foods full of nutrients, like lean meat that are lower in calories (generally), you don't have to fill up on a larger portion to feel full and you will stay full for longer, explains Mayo Clinic.

Eating more fish like salmon and shrimp helps contribute sources of iodine and essential omega-3 fatty acids to filter good thyroid health and stable metabolism. Both of which support overall weight loss by helping keep overeating under control and also sustain fullness.

Another piece of the puzzle is how you cook your lean meats can help contribute to fat loss. To continue trimming excess weight, The Community Health Center (CHN) says "prepare your meat [by] grilling, broiling, or roasting to lower the amount of saturated fat."

If you love a classic Italian Wedding soup, Dunn recommends subbing in some turkey meatballs to give you a leaner protein power boost. You also could also spice up your shrimp with a shrimp fajita salad or curled up in a wrap, she says.

For more meat options to choose from, take a look at The Best Forms of Lean Protein You Can Eat

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A plant-based source of protein that you can throw into just about any meal for an extra boost chickpeas.

"Chickpeas are what's known as a complete protein because they contain all nine essential amino acids," which play a key role in metabolism and body function, according to Cleveland Clinic. The high protein and fiber contents of chickpeas help to keep you fuller longer, which is important if you're trying to lose weight and maintain it.

Chickpeas are also a great choice because they are considered a legume, which has the nutrient value of high protein foods as well as vegetables, according to a review in Nutrients. The review also points out that the vast nutrients in chickpeas have major effects on losing weight by controlling the body's glucose and insulin responses. Both of which play their part in easing digestion and slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates, so you're full of energy while consuming a low-calorie food.

One way to incorporate chickpeas more into your diet is by adding a "legume based hummus on sandwiches and wraps," says Dunn.

Whole-grain foods are another group that has huge rewards in terms of protein. Quinoa for examplecan act as a carb-like substitute for rice or pastais considered a complete protein, which is made up of the nine of the essential amino acids your body needs. The plant-based protein source will easily fill you up and support your fat loss goals, by contributing to building more muscle and a strong metabolism.6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e

Quercetin and kaempferol, the two flavonoid plant compounds in quinoa, also help with weight loss by protecting your gut cells and supporting strong metabolites. Having strong metabolites will help fuel your metabolism to function efficiently in turning food into energy versus the alternative (fat). But, be careful what you pair with this protein-packed food because combining quinoa with high calorie and fatty foods could hinder your fat loss journey more than support it.

There's nothing wrong with enjoying a healthy carb with high protein content, especially when you're trying to lose fat. Black beans are a complex carbohydrate that is gluten-free and plant-based and sources both high levels of protein and healthy fiber. One study saw major weight loss results after including beans and legumes as a leading source of protein over the span of eight weeks.

The subjects of the study found they had lost significant body fat, reduced their waist circumference, and lowered their blood pressure and total cholesterol. Beansespecially black beanscan help lower the body's leptin levels, also known as the hormone that regulates the appetite. With a controlled appetite and a body full of healthy protein and fibers, you have a greater chance of losing more fat over time.

Dunn recommends filling up on a protein-packed burrito bowl with black beans, grilled chicken breast, grilled veggies, and salsa. Another meal to help implement more beans in your diet is our Vegetarian Black Bean Omelet Recipe.

Dairy products don't have the best reputation in supplementing a solid fat loss journey, but for many people consuming more dairy on a daily basis can potentially accelerate weight loss. Turning to fat-free milk, certain cheeses (such as cottage cheese), and low-fat Greek yogurt, can support your body's need for natural dairy-based nutrients (such as calcium) and a high source of protein.

The Journal of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity conducted research on participants in a reduced-calorie diet consuming three to four servings of dairy (in different types) a day, over the span of 24 weeks and many lost a great percentage of total body weight.

"It's clear from our research that the unique combination of essential nutrients in dairy foods has a powerful, positive impact on metabolism and weight loss," said lead researcher Dr. Michael Zemel, Ph.D., the director of the UT Nutrition Institute, in the journal review.

The study found that the calcium levels paired with the reasonable protein properties in dairy products contribute greatly to weight loss as they speed up the body's metabolism and improve natural energy storage.

Looking to sneak in extra protein? Try blending up a well-rounded smoothie with your choice of greek yogurt, low-fat milk (or a high protein non-dairy substitute), fruit, and veggies, Dunn says. If you're not a big smoothie fan, she also recommends topping Greek yogurt with seeds/nuts, nut butter, and hemp hearts.

Whey protein, in its original form, is mainly found in dairy products like milk and cheese. It's created during the curdling process of making milk and cheese and contains a total of eight protein groups and nine essential amino acids, explains Cleveland Clinic. The most important group of whey, in terms of fat loss, is the branched chain of amino acids (BCAA's)leucine, isoleucine, and valinewhich foster significant muscle growth.

It's highly recommended to consume whey protein for fat loss because it supplements more lean muscle throughout the body (similar to meat), which burns calories at a higher rate than body fat, says Dunn.

There's a reason why whey protein is one of the most commonly used and researched protein powders on the market. While protein powder isn't necessarily a food, it's great for on the go and can be blended or mixed into so many staple meals and drinks that are already part of your diet (plus, the wide variety of flavors can add even more taste to your food intake).

Here are The Healthiest Protein Powders for Weight Loss.

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6 High-Protein Foods That Shrink Belly Fat, Says Dietitian Eat This Not That - Eat This, Not That

Apr 15

Many kids gained extra weight during the pandemic. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing. – The Herald-Times

People of all ages across the country gained weight during the pandemic, for reasons ranging from being sedentary while working from home to stress snacking. But kids, who often rely on school to provide healthful meals and exercise opportunities, were put in an even tougher spot.

A 2021 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the rate of of increase in body mass index of children ages 2 to 19 nearly doubled during the pandemic compared withearlier statistics.

Studies from across the country are displaying similar results. Research from the Journal of the American Medical Association from around the same time showed children ages 5 to 11 were most affected by weight gain.

Dr. Jeremy Mescher, a pediatrician with Riley Physicians in Bloomington, said he and his colleagues have seen an increase in patients struggling with weight since the pandemic began. But he doesnt want to focus on the weight gain itself, which is often stigmatized, but rather the underlying causes.

We try to make sure our families understand that we worry more about health than we do size, he said, and our interventions are aimed at reducing the risks of the downstream consequences of increased weight.

When schools shuttered in the early stages of the pandemic, students were left without school-provided breakfast and lunch every day, leaving the burden of food preparation on parents.

Our school districts tried their hardest to continue home delivery and access to school based meals, but there was still likely a reduction in usage, Mescher said.

The pandemic also put a financial strain on many families, leaving them with fewer healthfulfood options and forcing them to rely on convenience foods which are more calorically dense, Mescher said.

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Erin Reynolds, program director at the Ferguson Crestmont Boys and Girls Club, spent 16 months of the pandemic driving around neighborhoods to deliver sack lunches to kids.

The program has 290 members, Reynolds said. Many of thefamilies in the program told her how much they needed the help.

Monroe County has always had food deserts, or areas with limited access to affordable healthful food, Reynolds said. The pandemic only exacerbated the problem.

Closed schools also meant a decline in after-school activities, such as school sports, which is how many students get their exercise, Mescher said. A 2020 study from the National Library of Medicine showed that kids, especially older ones, struggled to regularly exercise at the beginning of the pandemic.

Reynolds said that while she was out driving the neighborhoods every week earlier in the pandemic, she rarely saw kids outside playing, especially since local parks were closed for some time, too.

Although the increase in weight gain could have an effect on long-term public health, Mescher said, it's not too late to make gradualchange.

"It will take time to create new healthy habits, especially for children of an age who may have not had these habits in a pre-pandemic world," he said.

Although nutrition and exercise are important for a healthy lifestyle, it can lead to a slippery slope, especially when only focusing on losing weight.

Christy Duffy is a Bloomington psychologist who runs Under the UmbrellaLLC, which offers treatment for eating disorders. She said she has seen a huge skyrocket in eating disorder concerns in the community and nationwide.

I havent found anybody, even in different states, who hasnt had a lengthy waitlist during the pandemic because demand has gone up so high, shesaid.

Duffy, who doesnt work with younger children but has plenty of teen patients, said that many patients started coming in after the pandemic hit saying they had too much time on their hands and decided to spend it getting healthy, which eventually led to over-exercising and disordered eating habits.

Other patients came in reporting the opposite that the pandemic caused them to sit on their couch and snack all day because the kitchen was accessible at all hours.

Like Mescher, Duffy doesnt let her patients focus solely on weight gain or loss but rather on emotional wellbeing and balanced nutrition.

We want to eat fruits and vegetables, but we also want to eat pizza and dessert, she said.

This could mean, for example, if a patient finds themselves eating entire packs of Oreos in one sitting, the solution could be to keep Oreos in the house more often.

"If you're allowed to have Oreos whenever you want, and you're also eating all the other foods, you won't want toeat all the Oreos," she said.

Another way to help kids form a healthy relationship with food is to involve them in grocery shopping and meal preparation, Mescher said. This will ideally help reduce any food-based anxiety and give them a sense of ownership in meal planning.

Others are reading: Bloomington motorist says a man shot him in a possible road rage incident

Duffy also said its important to remember that a persons size isnt necessarily an indication of their health.

There are people in all different shapes and sizes that are both healthy and unhealthy, she said. We have anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder, and people usually have an image in their head of what a person in those three categories look like, and thats usually not true.

The incoming data about increased weight gain in children and adults alike can be nerve wracking, Duffy said. Its important to look at the results in context of how the community has been hurting throughout the pandemic, she said, including financially and emotionally.

We live in a culture where we advocate weight loss for pretty much every problem that comes up, but what we know from insane amounts of research is that doesnt work, Duffy said. The weight gain itself isnt the problem. … Just be gentle with yourself.

Contact Herald-Times reporter Christine Stephenson at

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Many kids gained extra weight during the pandemic. It isn't necessarily a bad thing. - The Herald-Times

Apr 15

Weight loss story: I added protein to my meals and did yoga to lose 17 kilos in a year – Times of India

My breakfast: 1-2 whole eggs, 1 cup of milk with turmeric, 2 slices of bread or 1 roti, one scoop of whey protein. A banana and salad along with supplements like multivitamins, fish oil, and multiminerals.

My lunch: 1 roti, 1 cup vegetable, 1 cup curd (alternate days), 1-2 whole eggs, salad and/or fruits, 5 soaked almonds

My dinner: Half roti, half cup vegetable, 1 whole egg, salad and/or fruits

Pre-workout meal: 1 Banana and one egg white.

Post-workout meal: One scoop of micellar casein protein (as I workout late) and half a cup of whey protein.

I indulge in (What you eat on your cheat days): Anything that's created at home is okay for me. For example Moong dal chilla, chole bhature, aloo-puri.

Low-calorie recipes I swear by: Since I don't have any cooking skills, I created a turnaround and learned mindful eating. Instead of counting calories, I learned intuitive eating and understood my fullness levels. Ultimately, I learned to eat until 80% full. And that turned out to be a blessing for me.

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Weight loss story: I added protein to my meals and did yoga to lose 17 kilos in a year - Times of India

Apr 15

South Shore Hospital Center Achieves Accreditation For Bariatric Care – Patch

WEYMOUTH, MA - South Shore Hospital Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery in Weymouth, which serves patients in Braintree and neighboring communites, has been accredited as a comprehensive center by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program, a joint Quality Program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

South Shore Hospital Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery is offered in collaboration with Brigham and Women's Surgical Associates and includes state-of-the-art surgical treatment as well as a team of experts who provide lifetime nutritional and behavioral health supporta key component to long-term weight-loss success. The program is led by Neil Ghushe, MD, who is fellowship trained in bariatric surgery and an instructor of surgery at Harvard Medical School.

"Accreditation from the MBSAQIP is a 'seal of approval' that shows South Shore Hospital's bariatric program is capable and committed to improving the lives of our patients every day," said Ghushe. "Earning this award underscores the expertise of our multidisciplinary team and the high-quality care we provide throughout our patient's entire weight-loss journey."

Each year, the MBSAQIP evaluates metabolic and bariatric surgery centers to ensure that patients receive multidisciplinary medical care, which improves patient outcomes and long-term success. To earn accreditation, South Shore Hospital Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery met essential criteria for staffing, training, facility infrastructure and patient care pathways, ensuring its ability to support patients with obesity. The center also participates in a national data registry that yields semiannual reports on the quality of its surgical outcomes and identifying opportunities for quality improvement.

"With this accreditation, patients seeking surgical treatment for obesity have a high-quality care choice on the South Shore," added Ghushe. "I am so proud of our team for continuing to meet the highest standards for patient safety, quality and commitment."

In addition to the MBSAQIP award, South Shore Hospital Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts with a Blue Distinction Centers for meeting the rigorous quality criteria for bariatric surgery set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

For more information about South Shore Hospital Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, visit

The above is a press release from the South Shore Hospital Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Any opinions expressed are the author's own.

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South Shore Hospital Center Achieves Accreditation For Bariatric Care - Patch

Apr 15

Facts About Keto and Menopause – Everyday Health

An increasingly popular diet craze involves eating all the foods you were once told to avoid: fatty meats, cheese, heavy cream, and more. If this makes you do a double take, youre not alone. But the ketogenic diet, commonly known as keto, is a weight-loss plan that continues to gain adherents.

Some people advocate this eating plan or related versions of it for midlife women who want to drop pounds and improve their health during the menopause transition.

But experts urge women to proceed with caution.

Its true that some midlife women have lost weight with this plan, but the keto diet has the potential to create other health issues in the process, warns Bonnie Taub-Dix, a registered dietitian nutritionist in New York City.

Menopause is officially defined as the time when your menstrual cycle has stopped for a year, but many use the term to describe the transition process leading up to that milestone, and that period can begin years before.

Menopausal symptoms include difficulty sleeping, mood changes, vaginal dryness, and hot flashes. Many women lose muscle tone.

Lots of women complain that during the menopausal transition they put on pounds, even when they eat the same number of calories, says Nanette Santoro, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora and a longtime menopause researcher.

Whats more, fat distribution often shifts away from the hips and thighs and toward the abdomen. Virtually every woman gains at least some subcutaneous fat with the end of menses, Dr. Santoro says, something that might make a woman feel heavier even if the scale doesnt move.

This extra fat around the abdomen seems related to hormones, but no known mechanism currently exists, she says.

RELATED: 12 Ways to Beat Menopausal Belly Fat

This weight increase or change in fat distribution drives many women to seek out a new eating plan around the menopause years. Keto is one of those diets that may be recommended to women in midlife.

With our traditional way of eating, our bodies use glucose from digested carbohydrates to fuel itself through the day. The premise of a keto diet is to deprive the body of carbs, and therefore glucose, forcing it to turn to a different fuel instead.

That fuel: stores of fat. This fat gets broken down in the liver, creating a state known as ketosis and allowing the body to use this to fuel itself instead of glucose.

There is no one official ketogenic diet, so there are some variations in what people on the diet are instructed to eat.

Generally, anywhere from 70 to 90 percent of daily calories in a keto diet come from fat. This is a huge increase from the 25 or 30 percent recommended by most nutritionists and the20152020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans,per Medline.

On this diet, some 5 to 15 percent of calories come from protein and only a tiny amount comes from carbs.

One diet that positions itself for menopausal women is the Galveston diet. Like keto, this diet provides for the majority of daily calories, some 70 percent, to come from fats, with the remaining allocated as 20 percent lean protein and 10 percent carbs.

Galveston is not technically a keto diet, its creator Mary Claire Haver, MD, a Texas ob-gyn, says. Thats because its meal plan distinguishes between healthy fats like olive oil, walnuts, and avocado, which the diet emphasizes, and highly saturated fats like those found in cheese and red meat, which are included in smaller amounts in the Galveston diet.

Taub-Dix, author of Read It Before You Eat It Taking You From Label to Table, says that while emphasizing healthy fats over heart-harming saturated fats is good, any diet that skimps on carbs is problematic. Carbs provide the most readily available source of energy and fiber, she says. Carbs also feed the microbiome, the living organisms that populate our intestines, skin, vagina, mouth, and other parts of the body.

Plus, when fats make up so much of a diet, they crowd out the beans, colorful vegetables, and fruits that are packed with nutrients, she says.

Canadian researchers evaluated numerous studies comparing the keto diet with low-fat eating plans in research published in 2018 inCanadian Family Physician. They found that when only high-quality studies were assessed, there was no weight loss difference between the two plans.

Another review of research on keto, published in March 2020 in Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders, assessed very-low-calorie ketogenic diets, for which people dropped their calorie intake substantially. It found that such a diet did help people reduce their body mass index and waist circumference, total cholesterol and triglycerides levels, and blood pressure. However, such severe calorie restrictions are not typical of most keto eating plans, and the researchers could not assess whether the keto aspects or simply the huge drop in calories was behind the results.

No studies have looked at whether keto helps with estrogen levels and other menopausal hormones.

Some people on the diet say that their hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms are helped, but others complain that the diet makes these worse.

At the start of the diet, people often exhibit symptoms that can be similar to those of menopause. Known as the keto flu, this can include headaches, fatigue, sleep problems, and heart palpitations.

Some women worry that keto can trigger menopause, but there is no research or evidence to suggest that.

RELATED: Predicting How Long the Menopausal Transition Will Last, and When Youll Reach Menopause

Heart disease is a serious issue for midlife women, since once women pass into menopause, they lose the heart protection that estrogen provides.

Thats why a keto diet that allows eaters to consume high amounts of saturated fat seems especially dangerous for midlife women, Taub-Dix says.

Experts caution that eliminating food groups and eating small amounts of vegetables and fruits could lead to nutritional deficiencies if the diet is followed for a long time.

And because of its lack of fiber, many people on keto suffer from constipation.

Most studies of keto follow dieters for a limited period of time, meaning there isnt good research on how long it is safe to eat this way. Experts typically recommend that people who want to try this diet view keto as a short-term way of eating rather than a lifelong eating plan.

Thats another of its downfalls, Taub-Dix says. The best diet should be able to fit into your life permanently, she says. This is not that kind of diet.

You may drop weight on a keto diet, but a better approach may be to eat a healthier diet with few processed foods. Taub-Dix and many nutritionists prefer the Mediterranean diet.

Santoro emphasizes that there is no magic diet that will banish weight for menopausal women. For women of this age or any age, the best thing that helps prevent or mitigate weight gain is physical activity, she says.

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Facts About Keto and Menopause - Everyday Health

Apr 15

Covid symptoms: Study links long-term loss of smell to brain damage – Verve Times

A loss of smell or an impaired perception of odours was identified as one of the key symptoms of the coronavirus in the initial stages of the pandemic. There is evidence, however, that the symptom has faded as the virus has evolved. In a bid to understand the mechanisms behind the olfactory changes, researchers have studied the lining of the nasal cavity in depth. For a new body of research, however, scientists chose to dig deeper and study the tissue inside the brain.

The research, published in the journal JAMA Neurology, has warned that an infection from the virus is tied to damage in the part of the brain that controls smell.

The scientists drew their conclusion from the study of 23 deceased COVID-19 patients, who were compared to a control group of 14 deceased people without COVID-19.

Lead author of the study, Cheng-Ying Ho, NMD, PhD, associate professor from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, wrote: The striking anoxic pathology in some cases indicates that olfactory dysfunction in COVID-19 may be severe and permanent.

He told Medscape: The results show the damage caused by Covid can extend beyond the nasal cavity and involve the brain.

READ MORE: Next pandemic not if, but when as wet markets STILL threaten another virus outbreak

We wanted to go a step beyond to see how the olfactory build was affected by Covid infection.Tissues were extracted from the post-mortem tissue in the brain, lung, and other organs for analysis.

The findings revealed a higher prevalence of damaged blood cells and axons a cable that transmits impulses between neurons in the brains of Covid patients.

The team also found axon deterioration was about 60 percent more pronounced in patients with Covid, while the damage to microscopic blood vessels was 36 percent more severe in these patients.

The researchers noted that axon damage in some patients suggests that Covid-induced smell loss could be severe and irreversible.


However, researchers found no evidence of a correlation between the severity of symptoms and the damage to the nerve cells of microscopical blood vessels.

The findings shed valuable light on some of the mechanisms at play in the long-term loss of smell that afflicts a large portion of the population.

Data released by the Covid Symptoms Study initiative last year found the symptom affected around 60 percent of people aged 16 to 65 who catch Covid.

But Professor Ho pointed out that these figures were released before the advent of the Omicron variant, which is less likely to cause smell loss in patients with Covid.

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Covid symptoms: Study links long-term loss of smell to brain damage - Verve Times

Apr 15

Steglatro: Side effects and how to manage them – Medical News Today

Steglatro (ertugliflozin) is a brand-name prescription medication. Its approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat type 2 diabetes in adults.

Steglatro is typically a long-term treatment to help improve blood sugar levels in combination with diet and exercise.

Here are some fast facts about Steglatro:

Like other drugs, Steglatro can cause side effects. Read on to learn about potential common, mild, and serious side effects. For a general overview of Steglatro, including details about its uses, see this article.

Steglatro can cause certain side effects, some of which are more common than others. These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. But if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

These are just a few of the more common side effects reported by people who took Steglatro in clinical trials:

* For more information about this side effect, see Side effect specifics below.

Mild side effects can occur with Steglatro use. This list doesnt include all possible mild side effects of the drug. For more details, you can refer to Steglatros prescribing information.

Mild side effects that have been reported with Steglatro include:

These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. But if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks side effects of the medication. If you develop a side effect while taking Steglatro and want to tell the FDA about it, visit MedWatch.

* For more information about this side effect, see Side effect specifics below.

Steglatro may cause serious side effects. The list below may not include all possible serious side effects of the drug. For more details, you can refer to Steglatros prescribing information.

If you develop serious side effects while taking Steglatro, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think youre having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

Serious side effects that have been reported and their symptoms include:

* For more information about this side effect, see Side effect specifics below. An allergic reaction is possible after using Steglatro. But this side effect wasnt reported in clinical trials.

Steglatro may cause several side effects. Here are some frequently asked questions about the drugs side effects and their answers.

The side effects of the 5-milligram (mg) strength of Steglatro are expected to be the same as for the 15-mg strength.

However, certain side effects may be more common at the drugs higher strength. Examples of side effects that were more common in clinical trials of the 15-mg strength than of the 5-mg strength include:

To learn more about what to expect with the 5-mg and 15-mg strengths of Steglatro, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* For more information about this side effect, see Side effect specifics below.

In rare cases, Steglatro may cause side effects that have long-term complications.

Examples of these side effects include:

If youre concerned about long-term side effects with Steglatro, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can advise on your risk of these side effects and potential ways to lower them. They can also recommend ways to ease your symptoms if they happen.

* For more information about this side effect, see Side effect specifics below.

It isnt likely. Diarrhea wasnt reported as a side effect in clinical trials of Steglatro.

Keep in mind that other diabetes medications may cause diarrhea. An example is metformin (Fortamet, Glumetza, Riomet).

Steglatro may be taken in combination with other diabetes drugs. So, you may have diarrhea if youre taking Steglatro with these medications. But this side effect probably isnt caused by Steglatro itself.

If you have questions about diarrhea and Steglatro, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can discuss your risk of this side effect while youre taking Steglatro with other diabetes medications.

Learn more about some of the side effects that Steglatro may cause. To find out how often side effects occurred in clinical trials, see the prescribing information for Steglatro.

Steglatro may cause certain genital or urinary tract infections (UTIs). Read on for details about each type of infection.

Genital infection

Mild female* yeast infections were a common side effect in clinical trials of Steglatro. Mild male* yeast infections were less common.

In females, symptoms of yeast infection can include:

Male yeast infections typically cause symptoms around the penis and groin, such as redness or discoloration, itching, and white or pale-looking skin patches.

In rare cases, Steglatro may cause a condition called Fourniers gangrene. This is a severe, life-threatening type of flesh-eating disease that affects the genitals. Symptoms include swelling and pain in the genital area along with an unpleasant odor coming from the affected skin.

You may have an increased risk of genital infections if you take higher doses of Steglatro.

* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the terms male and female in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.

Urinary tract infection

Mild UTIs were a somewhat common side effect in clinical trials of Steglatro. But rarely, a more serious UTI can occur.

Mild UTI can cause symptoms such as:

A more serious UTI may cause symptoms such as chills, fever, nausea, back pain, or vomiting. This condition is typically severe enough to require treatment in a hospital.

Below are a few suggestions for what you can do about a genital infection or UTI.

Genital infection

Before taking Steglatro, tell your doctor if youve had yeast infections in the past. Also, tell them if you have yeast infections that continue to come back. These factors can increase your risk of getting a yeast infection with Steglatro.

If you have symptoms of a yeast infection while taking Steglatro, talk with your doctor. They can suggest over-the-counter treatments, such as Monistat (miconazole) cream or suppositories. Or they can prescribe a medication that will treat the infection.

If you have symptoms of Fourniers gangrene, contact your doctor right away. Youll likely need antibiotics and surgery to treat the affected area.

Urinary tract infection

Before taking Steglatro, tell your doctor if youve had UTIs in the past. You may have a higher risk of UTIs with Steglatro.

If you have UTI symptoms, talk with your doctor. They can tell you if your infection is mild or serious.

For mild infections, your doctor may prescribe you a medication to treat the infection. But for a serious infection, theyll likely tell you to go to the hospital right away for treatment.

Steglatro may cause increased urination. This was a less common side effect in clinical trials of the drug.

With increased urination, you may urinate in larger amounts, frequently at night, or more often than usual. You may also have urinary urgency (an intense need to urinate without having a full bladder).

If you have increased urination with Steglatro, talk with your doctor. They can suggest ways to ease your symptoms, such as avoiding caffeine and drinking less liquid.

Back pain may occur with Steglatro. This was a less common side effect in clinical trials of the drug. However, you may have an increased risk of back pain if you take higher doses of Steglatro.

Keep in mind that back pain can be a symptom of urinary tract infection (UTI). For details, see Genital or urinary tract infection above.

If you have back pain with Steglatro, talk with your doctor. They may check with you about other symptoms of UTI.

If you have back pain that isnt caused by UTI, your doctor can suggest ways to ease your symptoms. For example, they may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers. Examples include Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Advil (ibuprofen).

As with most drugs, Steglatro can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Although this side effect wasnt reported in clinical trials, it has been reported since the drug became available for use.

Symptoms can be mild or serious and can include:

For mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, call your doctor right away. They may recommend ways to ease your symptoms and determine whether you should keep taking Steglatro. But if your symptoms are serious and you think youre having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

Be sure to talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Steglatro. This drug may not be the right treatment for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. The conditions and factors to consider include:

Kidney problems. Before taking Steglatro, tell your doctor about any kidney problems you have. Steglatro may cause dehydration as a side effect, which could worsen your condition. And doctors typically will not prescribe Steglatro for people on dialysis. If you have kidney problems but arent on dialysis, talk with your doctor before starting treatment with Steglatro. They can advise if its safe to take Steglatro.

Liver problems. It isnt known if Steglatro is safe for people with severe liver problems. For this reason, doctors typically will not prescribe Steglatro for people with this condition. If you have any liver problems, talk with your doctor before starting treatment with Steglatro. They can advise if its safe to take Steglatro.

Pancreatitis. Before taking Steglatro, tell your doctor if you have pancreatitis (inflammation of your pancreas). Also, tell them if youve had surgery on your pancreas in the past. You may have a higher risk of ketoacidosis with Steglatro. (This is a life-threatening condition that causes a high level of acid in the blood.) Your doctor can recommend if its safe for you to take Steglatro.

Planned surgery. If you have any surgeries planned, tell your doctor. This is because having surgery could increase your risk of ketoacidosis with Steglatro. To reduce this risk, your doctor may have you stop taking Steglatro a few days before surgery.

History of yeast infections or urinary tract infections (UTIs). Yeast infections and UTI are possible side effects of Steglatro. People whove had these conditions in the past may have a higher risk of these side effects. If you have had either of these conditions in the past, talk with your doctor. They can recommend if Steglatro is the right treatment option for you.

Factors increasing your risk of amputation. Before taking Steglatro, tell your doctor if you have certain factors that could increase your risk of amputation. (This is surgery to remove a body part.) Examples of these factors include nerve damage in your legs or feet, poor blood circulation, diabetic foot ulcers, or having an amputation in the past. You doctor can advise if Steglatro is the right treatment for you.

Allergic reaction. If youve had an allergic reaction to Steglatro or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Steglatro. Ask your doctor what other medications may be better options for you.

It may be best to avoid drinking large amounts of alcohol while taking Steglatro.

Consuming large amounts of alcohol could increase your risk of certain side effects with Steglatro. Examples include:

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about how much is safe for you to drink while taking Steglatro.

Below are details about taking Steglatro while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Pregnancy and Steglatro

It isnt known if Steglatro is safe to take during pregnancy. There havent been enough human trials of the drug to know for sure.

However, animal trials have shown harm to offspring exposed to Steglatro during pregnancy. Animal studies dont always predict what happens with humans.

But to be safe, your doctor may recommend that you avoid taking Steglatro during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

If youre pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor. They can recommend other medications that may be safer for you.

Breastfeeding and Steglatro

It isnt known if Steglatro passes into breast milk. So, it isnt known for sure if the drug could affect a breastfed child.

Because of the possible risk to a breastfed child, its recommended that you avoid breastfeeding while taking Steglatro.

If youre breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor before starting Steglatro treatment. They can suggest other healthy ways to feed your child.

Most side effects of Steglatro are expected to be mild. But in rare cases, serious side effects may occur.

If youd like to learn more about Steglatro, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help answer any questions you have about side effects from taking the drug.

Besides talking with your doctor, you can do some research on your own. These articles might help:

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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Steglatro: Side effects and how to manage them - Medical News Today

Apr 15

Ive Studied Body Image For 25 Years. Heres What Boys Don’t Know How To Tell You. – HuffPost

I always worried about my daughter. Would she grow up feeling happy in her body? I vowed that she would learn that brains were more valuable than boobs and humor is more attractive than hair. I tried to weave these sentiments into our conversations over the years, and although Im not ready to declare victory yet (shes only 14), I think shes gotten the message.

But what about my son? Unexpectedly, its actually his body image I find myself worrying about. Is he happy in his body? Even more concerning: Would I know if he werent?

I am a health psychologist, professor and body image scientist. And yet, when I recently tried to engage my son in a conversation about body image, he was reluctant to talk. It was actually more than that it was as though he didnt have the words to talk about his body. Across 25 years of conducting research on body image, Ive found that my personal experience is reflected by many.

I interviewed dozens of boys ages 14 to 24 for my forthcoming book Being You: The Body Image Book for Boys, and conversations often started slowly and awkwardly (a real contrast to my experience interviewing girls for my other books). Boys could tell me they wanted bigger abs and pecs, and thought they should eat a ton of protein, but were often at a loss to articulate why.

One boy recounted taping his chest before heading to school one day because he was tired of his friends teasing him about his man titties. Scotch tape was not up to the task and created an embarrassing mess for him to extract himself from when he got home that afternoon.

The more I spoke with boys, the more it became clear to me that they couldnt win. Its nearly impossible for them to be tall, lean and muscular like the guys they see on TikTok bragging about their gym routines. Those bodies require a certain genetic predisposition and an unhealthy attention to diet and lifting weights.

One boy told me, Any moment where my shirt was off in public just caused me to feel embarrassed and uncomfortable.

It was clear from their actions whether it be weightlifting, carb-cutting, grooming or dressing that boys care and worry about their appearances. And yet, boys didnt think of their appearance concerns as body image issues.

Boys (and many of us adults, too) tend to think body dissatisfaction only plagues girls. But research suggests otherwise. One recent study found that 75% of adolescent boys are dissatisfied with their bodies. Up to half of boys are using supplements such as protein powders during their teens thinking it will boost their muscularity. (It wont.) A growing portion one-fourth to one-third of eating disorder patients are male. Clearly boys are suffering, but they seem to mostly be suffering in silence.

In addition to interviewing teen boys for Being You, I spoke to young men with a history of eating disorders. I heard them confirm what recent research suggests: Boys eating disorders are often not identified until their condition is dire. This is, in part, because boys who develop eating disorders dont necessarily have the same symptoms as girls. Boys may purge with excessive exercise; they are more likely to eat but eliminate entire food groups from their diets. Their preoccupation and psychological distress is present but not discussed.

All too often, boys parents, peers, coaches and sometimes even medical providers believed boys were getting healthy, when in fact they were sinking into a serious disorder. As one boy told me, It didnt take long before all that exercise and my healthy eating resulted in notable weight loss. I also found myself becoming obsessed with food. I was always thinking about what I was eating and not eating next.

Dr. Jason Nagata, an expert in boys body image and eating disorders at the University of California, San Francisco, is one of a growing number of scientists and advocates helping to shed light on boys vulnerabilities and signs to watch for. He told me: Boys with eating disorders may pursue a body ideal that is big and muscular. They may engage in muscle-enhancing behaviors such as excessive exercise and use of performance-enhancing substances.

Of course, some boys want to lose weight, and many want to lose weight and bulk up, which has led to new language and techniques bulking, cutting and shredding flourishing online. The scientific basis for these practices is questionable at best and the possibility of them leading to disordered eating habits is likely.

What makes the situation worse is that boys are less likely than girls to seek help for mental health issues. Nagata emphasizes that the longer food and body image concerns go unaddressed, the more habitual they can become. And, the long-term consequences of an eating disorder can be extremely serious and life-threatening; physical, social and cognitive development can be affected.

When I started writing Being You, I wanted to develop a resource for my son and tween and teen boys everywhere, but I wasnt convinced that boys experiences were as complex or serious as girls experiences. Ive changed my mind.

Boys experiences of their bodies are different from girls but just as challenging. They are also bombarded with messages that they need to fix their bodies, but arent socialized to understand how to get help when they need it. They may be unlikely to find themselves squeezing into a bikini, but they still dont want to take their shirts off at the pool. Until we normalize conversations about body image among boys, theyll stay stuck in a parallel universe to what girls and women have known for decades.

Recently, my son went to the gym with a friend to lift weights for the first time. I asked him when he got home if he thought hed do this regularly. He said, Nah, I really dont think so. Dont worry. Im happy with myself as I am. Body positive, Mom! I guess maybe hes been listening all along.

Dr. Charlotte H. Markey is the author of Being You: The Body Image Book for Boys, an accessible, evidence-based resource for teen and tween boys.

Do you have a compelling personal story youd like to see published on HuffPost? Find out what were looking for here and send us a pitch.

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Ive Studied Body Image For 25 Years. Heres What Boys Don't Know How To Tell You. - HuffPost

Apr 3

Eating Habits to Speed Up Weight Loss as You Age, Say Dietitians Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

It seems that everyone wants to put the pedal to the metal in life, and the need for speed doesn't yield when it comes to weight loss. We want to see results quickly. And yet, the pace at which we drop pounds seems to slow down as we get older. Or does it?

The commonly held notion that metabolism slows as we age was called into question last year in a study in the journal Science. Researchers from Duke University found that metabolism stays mostly stable throughout life, declining about 3% per year until about age 20 and then plateauing until around age 60, when it declines again at the rate of about 1% a year.

The study surprised many who accepted the historical convention that changes in metabolism due to aging contributed to weight gain. Nevertheless, it's likely your lifestyle that is affecting your ability to slim down. So let's review some key eating habits that dietitians say can accelerate weight loss as you age.

Don't get sucked in by the claims of every new or old diet plan you see.

"Most diets are restrictive, challenging to follow, and are unrealistic to keep up with long-term," warns Sandy Younan Brikho, RDN, owner of The Dish On Nutrition. "If you love what you are eating, and if you are losing weight in the process, then you will not only lose weight, but also keep it off!"

Instead of a diet of subtraction, Brikho recommends adding in certain foods that can help with speedier weight loss.

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It's a simple behavioral trick that'll reap big benefits over time. Brikho says getting into the habit of always covering half of your dinner plate in vegetableshelps increase your fullness, prevent overeating, and help you get the nutrients you need.6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e

"Do this and you won't need to double the portion of pasta and meatballs in order to feel full," she says. "You'll lose weight over time by automatically cutting down on eating too many other higher-calorie foods."

Even if your metabolism hasn't decreased, you may be burning fewer calories because you're not as active every day as you once were or maybe you're not getting adequate sleep. If, for whatever reason, your calorie burn is not what it once was and you haven't reduced your calorie consumption proportionally, you'll gain weight.

Avoid that scenario and lose weight by reducing the size of your meal portions, suggests Jesse Feder, RDN at Strength Warehouse USA.

"You don't have to change what you eat, just the amount," says Feder. "In today's culture, we tend to eat until we can't breathe anymore. I always tell my clients to stop eating when they feel content."

Tip: Put down your utensils and take a sip of water between bites.

"By doing this, we can actually begin to regulate the hormones that make us feel satiated more easily," Feder says.

Making sure you eat enough protein every day is the most important eating habit to adopt, according to Katie Tomaschko, RDN with Sporting Smiles.

"Protein is the most satiating macronutrient and will stall weight gain by preventing overeating excess calories," she says.

There's another important reason to eat more protein: protein helps build and maintain muscle mass which tends to decrease with age.

"Muscle burns more calories than fat and is one of the only ways you can increase your metabolism," Tomaschko says.

She recommends getting 25 to 30 grams of protein per meal to ensure you max out the benefits. Team up that protein with these Floor Exercises that Speed Up Belly Fat Loss, According to a Trainer.

"Processed sugar is everywhereeven seemingly healthy foods like yogurt and cereal sometimes contain a lot of added sugar," says Janet Coleman, RD for TheConsumerMag. "Cutting back on processed sugar from sweetened beverages and packaged foods and their empty calories will help speed up your weight loss."

Coleman suggests substituting sweets with fruits, especially berries.

"Berries are high in antioxidants that help fight free radical damage while improving the health of our cells," she says.

Getting into the habit of carrying a water bottle around with you in the car, at work, while shopping, can help you lose weight quickly for a number of reasons, says Tomaschko. Drinking water can help suppress your appetite and even assist with boosting your energy and metabolism. fills your belly, helping to ward off hunger.Carrying water wherever you go, discourages you from buying sugary drinks to quench your thirst.

"Hydration is essential to good health," she says. "It's so important to drink as much water as you comfortably can throughout the day," says Tomaschko.

You might even consider carrying your water bottle to family gatherings where alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages will be served. There's a clear connection between drinking alcohol and sugar-sweetened soft drinks and metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, says Feder.

In other words, choose more complex carbohydrates like beans, quinoa, 100% whole grain bread, and steel-cut oatmeal. Complex carbs are rich in fiber, which helps us stay feeling full longer, so we snack less between meals, says Laura Krauza, RDN, owner of Waistline Dietitian. Dietitians recommend that women shoot for eating about 25 grams of fiber per day while men should reach 38 grams.

Some of the best sources of fiber per serving, besides those above, include raspberries (8 grams), split peas (16 grams), bran cereal (5.5 grams), lentils (15.5 grams), black beans (15 grams), and air-popped popcorn (3.5 grams).

Pressed for time and need a quick drive-thru meal? Here's the #1 Best Fast-Food Order for Abdominal Fat Loss, Says Dietitian.

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