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Nov 28

7 Low-Carb Diet Foods That Can Help You Lose Weight – LIVESTRONG.COM

Both salmon and broccoli are stellar low-carb foods for weight loss that together make for a filling meal.

Image Credit: Elena_Danileiko/iStock/GettyImages

If you're following a low-carb diet to lose weight, you've probably figured out that not all foods low in carbohydrates are created equal.

In other words, eating a low-carb diet doesn't always provide fast and sustainable weight loss. If your version of low-carb includes large servings of high-fat animal products, processed meats and adding butter or coconut oil to your coffee, your food choices could be doing more harm than good.

When it comes to eating fewer carbs for weight loss, it's wise to focus on lean proteins and vegetables that are low in carbs and high in fiber to keep, which will keep you feeling full and provide other added benefits.

Here are some of the best low-carb foods for losing weight.

Salmon is an excellent zero-carb choice; it provides heart-healthy fats and brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s, which are a type of unsaturated fatty acid, may help decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure, reduce blood clotting and decrease your risk of heart failure or stroke, per the Mayo Clinic.

A 3-ounce piece of cooked salmon packs nearly 22 grams of protein in 196 calories, per the USDA. Protein is the most satiating of the macronutrients (the other two being carbs and fat), so a protein-packed choice like salmon helps you feel full longer (without the saturated fat you'd get from proteins like red meat).

Chicken breast has zero carbohydrates and is an excellent source of protein. One medium chicken breast provides 193 calories and 36 grams of protein, per the USDA.

Research shows that protein plays a major role in weight loss. An April 2015 review in Clinical Nutrition found that eating a higher-protein diet containing between 1.2 to 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of a person's body weight per day provided improvements in body weight and appetite.

A kilogram is equal to 2.2 pounds. So, a person who weighed 180 pounds, for example, would want to aim for between 98 and 130 grams of daily protein.

Too much math? There's a simpler solution: The analysis found that eating 25 to 30 grams of protein per meal provided similar effects.

Leafy greens like spinach, kale and arugula can add volume and flavor to your meals without adding many calories or carbohydrates. Leafy greens are a great pick because they allow you to add more food to meals to spark benefits, instead of taking food away.

Studies have found that doing just this adding voluminous veggies to meals can help people lose weight. When you break down the nutrition profile of greens, it's easy to see how they can provide so much good: One cup of raw spinach, for example, contains just 6 calories and less than 1 gram of carbohydrates with more than half of the carbohydrates coming from fiber, per the USDA.

Eggs are a versatile low-carb pick. For an easy grab-and-go option, hardboil a batch and eat a couple for breakfast or one as a snack. Don't forget to look beyond breakfast, too: Eggs can make a delicious addition to salads, avocado toasts and even zucchini noodles.

One large egg contains 70 calories, 6 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of carbohydrates, per the USDA.

Beyond protein, eggs are a healthy source of vitamin D, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Because of their stellar nutrition profile, they're a great option for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Brussels sprouts are considered nonstarchy vegetables, per the American Diabetes Association. These veggies are naturally low in carbs and calories 8 grams of carbs and 39 calories per cup, per the USDA which makes them an excellent addition to any weight-loss plan.

Other examples of nonstarchy veggies include cauliflower, celery, carrots, cabbage and zucchini. Like leafy greens, these veggies can be piled on your plate to add volume; they'll increase your satiety and provide essential vitamins and minerals without adding many calories, carbs or fat.

Did you know that keeping a food diary is one of the most effective ways to manage your weight? Download the MyPlate app to easily track calories, stay focused and achieve your goals!

Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse, offering fiber and antioxidants with very few carbohydrates. One 3-ounce serving of broccoli contains 25 calories, 4 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber, per the USDA.

The majority of its carbohydrates are part of broccoli's fiber content, which make it a great choice. Fiber is the indigestible part of a plant food that doesn't get absorbed by the body, so it fills us up but doesn't stick around.

Enjoy this versatile veggie as a side or make it the meal's main attraction there is truly no wrong way!

Like chicken breast, roasted turkey breast is an excellent source of protein (26 grams in a 3-ounce serving, per the USDA) with zero carbohydrates and only 125 calories.

Swap in turkey for recipes that call for ground beef and you'll cut down on both calories and fat while still getting your protein fix.

When trying to lose weight, it's best to bake, broil, grill or steam lean sources of protein like turkey. This will help limit calories from fat that add up in cooking methods that rely on oil.

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7 Low-Carb Diet Foods That Can Help You Lose Weight - LIVESTRONG.COM

Nov 28

This Ingredient Helps You Feel Healthier Lighter, and Lose Weight – The Beet

It's post-Thanksgiving andyou may befeeling weighed down by second, third, fourth helpings, and a hefty array of appetizers and cocktails.If there were one thing that could help us lightly detox, we would all get our hands on it. However, there are many things that can help including, exercise, rest, vitamins, and this drink, in particular, apple cider vinegar.

This simple ingredient is full of powerful health benefits and has a strong taste. Personally, my favorite brand is Bragg's because of its long history as a "health food" that detoxifies and boosts metabolism, and the founders were health advocates long before such a thing was trendy.

Paul Bragg was an alternative health food advocate and fitness enthusiast.who wrote on subjects such as detoxification, dieting, fasting, longevity,andphysical culture. Back when he started his apple cider vinegar company people thought he was a quack but it turns out that for hundreds of years apple cider vinegar has been used as a "cleansing" ingredient in foods. and Bragg's current CEO Linda Boardman, explains that the company is now enjoying aresurgence in popularity, as the entire country seeks out health boosters that they can trust to add to their food that will help keep our bodies in peak form right now.

Bragg has a collection of vinaigrettes you can buy from theBRAGG website, however, many of them include honey so if you're a vegan who doesn't eat honey, I recommend making your own dressing using the apple cider vinegar.

I try to add ACV to almost everything I eat, even if it's a small drop.I like to use it as an olive oil replacement with I sauteed fresh vegetables and make delicious stir-fry for dinner. Not only does it have a tangy flavoring and adds a kick to my meals, but ACV also has many health benefits. The most common use of apple cider vinegar is for weight loss.According toHealthline,studies have shown that vinegar can make us feel fuller faster and eat fewer calories which may result in weight loss. The study of 175 people with obesity showed that "daily apple cider vinegar consumption led to reduced belly fat", here are the exact numbers:

The bottom line is that ACV can trick your body into thinking you are full, so you avoid overeating and gaining weight. Add a few tablespoons to your salad dressings, cocktails, pasta sauces, smoothies, baking goods, or simply to your pan when you sautee vegetables or make a breakfast sandwich usingJUST eggs. We included three vegan recipes from plant-based chefs that are easy to make and taste even more delicious with ACV.

For the dough: (makes 2 pizzas)

For the toppings: (for 2 pizzas)

To prepare the dough:

Dry ingredients

Wet ingredients

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This Ingredient Helps You Feel Healthier Lighter, and Lose Weight - The Beet

Nov 28

Weight loss: How adding pistachios to your breakfast can help you burn fat and lose weight – Express

One pistachio is around just three calories - compared to almonds which are roughly 14 calories each.

They are high in lutein, minerals and B vitamins - perfect for a nutritious start to your day.

Pistachios are also brimming with fibre which will keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Whats more, they have been proven to burn fat, according to a study published in the journal Nutrition.


The research saw one group adding pistachios to their diets; they ate 20 per cent of their total calories from the nut, which increased their protein and good fat intake and decreased their carbs (their diets contained 51 per cent carbs, 20 per cent protein and 29 per cent fat).

The control group, which consumed no pistachios, ate a diet that was 60 per cent carbs, 15 per cent protein, 25 per cent fat.

After six months, participants in the pistachio group had smaller waists (by approximately 0.7 inches).

They also saw their total cholesterol score drop by 15 points. They had better blood sugar numbers and had less harmful inflammation.

Furthermore, a 2015 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association also showed that people who snack on nuts may have lower abdominal fat than those who consume carb-based foods.

So while nuts - and especially pistachios - are a good addition to breakfast (although you shouldn't eat more that one to two handfuls a day) - what aren't good foods to consume in the morning?

Granola and breakfast bars should be eaten with caution.

They can be packed full of sugar and you could end up eating as many calories as if you sat down to a dessert.

Egg sandwiches also come with a word of warning. These often consist of a fried egg, ham and cheese on a toasted bagel or English muffin.

While such sarnies only have 300 to 400 calories, their macronutrients are highly unbalanced.

According to Livestrong, egg sandwiches have up to four times as much low-quality carbs as protein. This is because they are only made with one egg and therefore low in protein, which could lead to you snacking later in the day.

Other foods to avoid at breakfast include waffles, pancakes, bagels and muffins. These also do not contain enough protein and are rich in carbohydrates.

Orange juice is also a poor option for people wanting to lose weight.

The fruit juice is packed with sugar and, if shop-bought in a carton, low in nutrition.

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Weight loss: How adding pistachios to your breakfast can help you burn fat and lose weight - Express

Nov 28

Age No Barrier to Weight Loss in Those With Morbid Obesity – Medscape

Older adults should be recommended for hospital-based lifestyle interventions to reduce weight, say UK investigators after finding there was no difference in weight loss between older and younger individuals in their program for those with morbid obesity.

Thomas M. Barber, PhD, and colleagues looked back at nearly 250 randomly selected adults who attended their obesity service over an 11-year period.

Older individuals, defined as aged 60 years and over, had higher rates of type 2 diabetes but experienced a similar percentage weight loss and reduction in body mass index (BMI) as younger patients over the course of around 40 months.

"Age should be no barrier to lifestyle management of obesity," said Barber, of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, UK, in a news release from his institution.

"Rather than putting up barriers to older people accessing weight loss programs, we should be proactively facilitating that process. To do otherwise would risk further and unnecessary neglect of older people through societal ageist misconceptions."

He urged service providers and policymakers to "appreciate the importance of weight loss in older people with obesity for the maintenance of health and well-being and the facilitation of healthy aging."

"Furthermore, age per se should not contribute towards clinical decisions regarding the implementation of lifestyle management of older people."

The research was published online November 22 in Clinical Endocrinology.

Jason Halford, PhD, a professor of biological psychology and health behavior, told Medscape Medical News, "The fear is that older patients are perceived not to respond" to lifestyle interventions to control obesity, "and that's clearly a fallacy, according to this study."

The findings are strengthened by the fact that these are real-world data, "and so it will inform clinical practice," he added.

And one of the "more interesting" findings was that [type 2] diabetes was "more prevalent" in the older group "but they're still losing weight," he noted.

"Traditionally it's been thought that people with type 2 diabetes find it more difficult to lose weight because you're trying to manage two conditions," said Halford, of the University of Leeds, UK, who is also president-elect of the European Association for the Study of Obesity.

The researchers note that many of the comorbidities associated with obesity "develop over time" and that "no one is immune to obesity," regardless of their age, sex, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

Barber said there are "a number of reasons" why healthcare professionals "may discount weight loss in older people," including "an 'ageist' perspective that weight-loss is not relevant to older people and misconceptions of reduced ability of older people to lose weight through dietary modification and increased exercise."

And "older people may feel that hospital-based obesity services are not for them," he noted.

To determine the effect of age on the ability to lose weight through lifestyle interventions, Barber and colleagues randomly selected 242 patients with morbid obesity who attended their hospital-based service between 2005 and 2016.

Of these, 167 were aged 18-60 years and 75 were aged 60 years and older. Most participants were women (75.4% of the younger patients and 60.0% of the older patients).

The proportion of patients with confirmed diabetes was markedly higher in the older group compared with the younger group, at 62.7% versus 35.3%, although older patients had a significantly lower baseline BMI, at 46.9 versus 49.7 kg/m2 (P < .05).

The average duration of the lifestyle intervention was over 3 years (41.5 months) in the younger patients and 33.6 months in the older patients.

There was no significant difference in percentage weight loss between younger and older patients, at 6.9% and 7.3%, respectively, and no difference in percentage reduction in BMI, at 8.1% versus 7.8%.

Further analysis demonstrated that there was no significant correlation between age at referral to the hospital-based serviced and percentage weight loss (correlation coefficient, 0.13).

Halford said it would have been "useful" to know the proportion of patients achieving 5% and 10% weight loss because if a third of patients lost more than 10% of their weight, "even in an elderly population, that would suggest there'd be real benefits in terms of things like type 2 diabetes," he noted.

And he would like to have seen more data around how long participants had been struggling with obesity, as it's "just an assumption that the second group is further down the path because they're older, but we can't be 100% sure."

The team notes the study is limited by being retrospective and including a random selection of patients attending the service rather than the entire cohort.

Halford agreed but said the analysis is a "starting point" and could be used as a platform to conduct "much more systematic research on this area."

No funding or relevant financial relationships were declared.

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2020. Published online November 22, 2020. Full text

For more diabetes and endocrinology news, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Age No Barrier to Weight Loss in Those With Morbid Obesity - Medscape

Nov 28

These 12 Foods Drive the Most Weight Loss of All, Say Experts – Yahoo Lifestyle

If you've ever wondered what the best ever foods are that you should be eating to lose weight, good news: So have we! That's why we reached out to scores of top doctors, registered dietitians, weight loss coaches and other relevant expertswith a single question in mind: What are the absolute greatest foods you can buy at any supermarket that are the most effective at driving weight loss results? Here are their answers, below. So read on and take good notes, because what follows is your ultimate, expert-backed, weight loss shopping list. And for some handy tips and tricks to help you achieve your weight loss goals, be sure to read this list of Simple Ways to Lose Weight Starting Now, According to Experts.


"Avocados are a vitamin rich food, high in fiber, low in carbohydrates (9 grams per serving) and contain a healthy monounsaturated fat (MUFA) oleic acid that our body needs to decrease inflammation and disease," says Monisha Bhanote, MD, FCAP, a triple board-certified physician with expertise in integrative medicine and pathology. "Using the benefits of the MUFA in an avocado can increase our insulin sensitivity and lower our cholesterol."

Additionally, she says, the fat content can help with appetite regulation and aid in weight loss by increasing the rate at which fat is burned. "You can get all the benefits from just one portion size which is usually a quarter of an avocado," she says. If you're ready to supplement your diet with avocados, don't miss this roundup of 18 Things You Had No Idea You Could Do with an Avocado.


"Cherries are often overlooked, but they're a superfood that can help boost weight loss," says Lynell Ross, a psychology-trained Certified Health and Wellness Coach and Nutritionist who is also a National Diabetes Prevention Program Instructor. "They are packed with nutrients such as potassium, copper, manganese, and vitamin C. But the health benefits go beyond vitamins and minerals, as cherries also pack 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber. Tart cherries also may help you sleep better. Studies have shown that better sleep promotes more weight loss. And if these benefits weren't enough, cherries can help with joint pain, allowing you to get more exercise, which helps you lose weight."

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Though classified as a whole grain, quinoa is actually a seed that provides eight grams of protein and five grams of fiber per cup. "Eating foods high in fiber, like whole grain quinoa, will fill you up and help prevent overeating," says Amanda W. Izquierdo, MPH, RD, LDN. For more great tips to help you along your journey, don't miss this list of Underrated Weight Loss Tricks That Totally Work!


"Many don't eat protein first thing in the morning," says Sunny Brigham, MBA, MS, CNS. "Then they'll have a little at lunch and a huge influx at dinner. Several studies show we can only digest and absorb about 20-25 grams of protein at a time. So, if someone is really only eating protein at dinner, they aren't getting enough in throughout the day."

Fact: Healthy protein intake supports muscle structure, liver and kidney function, and your metabolism. "Working to get in anywhere from 10-20 grams of protein at breakfast will boost the metabolism and satiate hunger until lunch," says Bingham. "Good options would be free-range organic eggs, oatmeal, nuts, nut butter, and a quality protein powder."

Just about all of the weight loss experts we spoke to for this article preached the benefits of eating more eggs. "Studies show that people who eat eggs for breakfast lose more weight than those who eat foods high in carbohydrates in the morning," adds Ross. "Eggs contain valuable nutrients and protein, which helps you feel satisfied so you eat less throughout the day." For more on the benefits of scrambling your breakfast, know that This Is What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Eggs Every Day.


"For starters, all seafood is good to eat if weight loss is your goal," says Rima Kleiner, MS, RD. "Recent studies have shown that eating seafood several times every week can help promote weight loss. Because fish and shellfish tend to be rich in protein with relatively fewer calories than other animal proteins, seafood can help you feel satisfied, which may help to curb overeating."

Additionally, seafood is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation and boost heart and brain health. "When it comes to weight loss and health, more important than what kind of seafood to eat is choosing seafood that has been healthfully prepared and cooked. So say no to fried, and ditch the dishes with calorie-dense sauces."

Experts all single out salmon as a wonderful weight loss food. "Even if you think it's too fishy, there are some tricks you can try [to make it more palatable]," advises Kleiner. "Soaking fish in milk for about 20 minutes prior to cooking can help lessen the fishiness. Also, try squeezing lemon juice over the fish to mask some of the fishy smell or taste. Or, serve topped with a nutritious and delicious sauce, like a tzatziki sauce, teriyaki sauce, or mango salsa."


"I'm a huge advocate of eating chia seeds for weight loss," says Natalie Knezic, Health&Wellness Coach with expertise in weight-loss, weight management, and digestive health. "Chia seeds are staples in my kitchen and high on my favorite foods list, as they are among the healthiest, most nutrient-dense foods on the planet."

Despite their tiny size, chia seeds are full of essential nutrients and very filling, and are therefore excellent for losing weight. "They are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, soluble fibers, and proteins," says Knezic. "Just one serving (two tablespoons) of chia seeds contains almost 10 grams of fiberclose to 40 percent of your recommended daily intake. The fiber makes us feel full, which prevents overeating. Also, chia seeds mixed with water expands in our stomach and keeps you super satisfied for hours."


"They help quell hunger, and emerging research shows that eating pistachios will help you lose weight," says Katherine Brooking MS, RD. "Results from several recent studies suggest that adults who consume nuts, such as pistachios, may have a lower body weight and decreased prevalence of health risks such as heart disease and metabolic syndrome. They also tend to have better diets compared to people who don't regularly eat pistachios. Pistachios are also a complete proteinideal for vegans and vegetarians."

In fact, a new study published in the journal Nutrients reveals how pistachios may indeed be your new weight-loss secret weapon. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, followed 94 adults of varying body sizefrom slim and healthy to obeseas they embarked on the same weight-loss program. The only difference? Half of the participants added 1.5 ounces of pistachios to their diet, while the other half didn't. Though participants across the board lost weight, the ones who ate pistachios had much rosier biometrics at the end of the trial. They ultimately experienced lower blood pressure, consumed more fiber, and consumed "less sweets" than those who didn't supplement their diets with pistachios.


"Leafy greens are an excellent addition to your weight loss diet," says Lisa Young, Ph.D., RD, a professor of nutrition at NYU. "Not only are they low in calories but also high in fiber that helps keep you feeling full." To know the all-time greatest greens to add to your diet, don't miss this list of The Healthiest Leafy Greens on the PlanetRanked by Nutrition.


"Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are high in fiber, low in calories, and very filling," says Young. In fact, according to a recent study, one particular cruciferous vegetable was singled out as The #1 Greatest Weight Loss Food for Women.


"Beans are one of the best kept secrets for weight loss," says Lynell Ross. "A one-half cup serving of kidney beans contains about 7 grams of fiber."

According to Ross, all beans and legumes are high in fiber, which will help your digestive tract to work effectively and result in weight loss. "Women should aim for about 21-25 grams of fiber per day, while men need between 30-39 grams," she says.


"Apples are one of the healthiest foods you can eat to help with weight loss," says Ross. "Not only does one medium-sized apple have about 5 grams of fiberwhich aids in weight lossbut also the sweet and crunchy taste can substitute for dessert while helping you feel full."


"Studies have shown that people who eat dairy foods lose more weight than those who don't include dairy foods in their diet," says Ross. "Yogurt is high in calcium and vitamin D, which helps strengthen your bones, and it's high in protein, which balances your blood sugar and helps to cut sugar cravings. Just be sure to select a plain yogurt that's low in sugar and add your own fruit." If you're in the market for more weight loss tips, be sure to see the 200 Greatest Ever Weight Loss Tips on the Planet!

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These 12 Foods Drive the Most Weight Loss of All, Say Experts - Yahoo Lifestyle

Nov 28

BMI calculation: What is a healthy BMI? How do you work out your BMI? – Express

BMI was first worked out in the 1830s, when a Belgian astronomer, mathematician, statistician and sociologist worked out the sum. The aim was to figure out whether a person was a healthy weight, simply by dividing their weight by their height. This method is still used, but it has been argued the BMI doesn't take into consideration the complexity o the human body. What is a healthy BMI?

Your BMI uses your height and weight to work out if you are a healthy weight, but it cant tell if you are carrying too much fat if you have a lot of muscle.

A BMI should be treated as a starting point since muscle is much denser than fat so people often end up with a BMI which classes them as obese when they arent.

This is one of its biggest flaws because muscly athletes could have the same BMI as couch potatoes.

The Body Mass Index doesn't take into consideration your muscle mass, bone density, overall body composition, and racial and sex differences.

READ MORE- How to prevent a stroke: Lifestyle modifications to reduce your risk

Some scientists argue BMI exaggerates thinness in short people and fatness in tall people, so the results can sometimes be misleading.

Waist to height ratio is sometimes considered a better way to check how healthy your weight is.

This is because carrying too much fat around your waist puts you at a higher risk of conditions such as heart disease, type two diabetes, cancer, and stroke.

If your waist measurement is more than 94cm as a man or 80cm as a woman you should try to lose weight, according to the NHS.

A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy, 25 to 30 is overweight and more than 30 is obese.

If your BMI is between 18.5 and 20, you are considered a bit underweight and shouldnt lose any more.

A BMI of less than 18.5 is considered very underweight, and a BMI of 40 or over means you are severely obese.

The most common method to check obesity is BMI, but BMI isn't used to diagnose obesity.

The main reason for this is because people who are very muscular can also have a high BMI with very little body fat.

If you have a high BMI and are obese, you are at a higher risk of life-threatening conditions such as type two diabetes, coronary heart disease, cancer, and stroke

A high BMI when linked to obesity can affect your quality of life and lead to mental health problems such as depression and low self-esteem.

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We hear about the risks of being overweight all the time, but the problems associated with being underweight are rarely discussed.

According Some people naturally find it hard to put on weight.

If your weight is constant and you have no long-term medical problems and a good diet, you probably don't need to worry.

If you're malnourished, on the other hand, you definitely need to do something about it.

Being underweight puts you at risk of being malnourished, weakens your immune system, and gives you fragile bones.

It can also cause fertility problems and nutritional deficiencies such as osteoporosis and anaemia.

The BMI calculation divides your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared.

If you are worried that you are underweight or overweight, find out your BMI using the NHS BMI healthy weight calculator.

The calculator is the easiest way to work out your BMI without puzzling yourself with sums.

This will give you an indication whether youre underweight, overweight, obese, or just right.

You will also be given tips on how to handle your weight safely at home.

If you have an eating disorder, the BMI calculator results do not apply and you should get further advice from a GP.

No matter what your results are, you should discuss your weight and general health with your GP if you are concerned.

They will be able to offer a deeper insight and help you to move forward and achieve a healthy BMI.

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BMI calculation: What is a healthy BMI? How do you work out your BMI? - Express

Nov 28

Fear of COVID-19 fueling increase in bariatric surgeries – Houston Chronicle

Ted Threadgill wavered for years over whether to get bariatric surgery, the treatment option considered the most effective way for obese people to lose excess weight and, most important, keep it off.

On one hand, the 54-year-old former college baseball player knew the dangers of tipping the scales at 350 pounds, the problems it caused just playing sports. On the other, it seemed a pretty big procedure removing a piece of your stomach, for Petes sake.

Then Threadgill contracted COVID-19, which poses a higher risk of severity in people with obesity.

On Thanks to a loophole, Houston ambulance trips leave door open for high, unexpected bills

Threadgill survived, but it was a frightening few weeks: double pneumonia, a temperature of 104, breathing difficulties that made it challenging to just get in bed, sleep from which hed wake soaking wet. Finally recovered, the decision to get bariatric surgery was a no-brainer, he said.

COVID was the last straw, the ultimate sign Im not bulletproof, said Threadgill, CEO of a chemical distribution company in The Woodlands. I figured bariatric surgery would permanently shed weight I had determined I wasnt capable of keeping off on my own.

Bariatric surgery, considered underused by doctors, is gaining popularity because of COVID-19, both among obese people who have already battled the disease and those who havent but want to improve their odds. In Houston and around the country, specialists in the field have reported an increase in procedures and consultations about whether interested parties would make good candidates.

The research already indicates the procedures COVID-19 benefits. A Cleveland Clinic study this month showed that obese patients whod previously had bariatric surgery were 25 percent less likely to be hospitalized and need intensive care than obese patients who hadnt had the surgery.

Hard data about the recent increase in the procedures use is hard to come by, particularly among researchers, partly because bariatric surgery was one of the elective procedures stopped during the early months of the pandemic. When elective surgeries resumed, insurance company requirements that patients must first undergo weight-loss regimens typically meant it could take months before a procedure can be performed. Many such patients are still in the pipeline.

Still, insurance company data show the trend. UnitedHealths Optum health care program saw a 25 percent increase in the enrollment of bariatric-surgery programs during the summer, and Cigna authorizations of procedures rose 10 percent from June to August 2020 compared with 2019, after dropping nearly 40 percent during the spring. The increases came despite COVID-19 fears that scared many patients away from visiting hospitals, a phenomenon that led to an increase in deaths from heart attacks and strokes.

Ive definitely seen a COVID-related increase, said Dr. Felix Spiegel, a Memorial Hermann bariatric surgeon. In May and June, Id say I had between 10 and 20 patients come in for consultations because of their apprehension of the disease, patients who specifically mentioned COVID.

The latest theory is that COVID-19 is particularly hard on obese people because fat is rife with ACE2 receptors, proteins the coronavirus uses to enter cells and replicate. In other words, the more fat a person has, the more COVID-friendly receptors he or she will have and the greater the odds of a high viral load.

On another level, COVID-19 more severely affects the obese because of downstream consequences of too much weight. It decreases lung capacity, COVID-19s favorite battleground. It is associated with diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea, which are also risk factors for COVID-19. It introduces harmful agents into the blood that reduce immune function needed to fight off viruses. And it predisposes people to blood clots, which COVID-19 can trigger.

Doctors havent had to hammer the lessons home.

Dr. Vadim Sherman, a Houston Methodist bariatric surgeon, said two new reasons have emerged on a hospital form asking people why they are interested in the surgery: seeing obese people dying from COVID-19 at a faster rate was a wake-up call, and the sedentary lifestyle caused by the lockdown was leading to weight gain and adding to their risk.

It pushed us to move faster, said John Burns, an industrial cybersecurity officer who had the surgery, along with his wife, Nicole, soon after Memorial Hermann resumed elective surgeries. Wed already done all the required preliminary work, then werent able to do much during the lockdown so we decided just to cannonball into the surgery like everything else in life.

Bariatric surgeons say the procedure is the appropriate response for obese people who cannot lose weight or keep it off. The surgery works by reducing the size of the stomach, limiting the amount of food that can be consumed and curbing appetite by altering hormonal signals between the brain and stomach. Thats why patients lose excess weight over a two-year post-surgical period.

The surgery had a checkered history, considered too risky by many in the early days of the 1990s. But thanks to refinements, its safety profile today is equivalent to natural childbirth, according to Dr. Samer Mattar, chief of metabolic and bariatric surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. Twenty years ago, the risk of complications was 1 in 100; today it is 1 in 1,000.

Surgeons performed about a quarter of a million bariatric surgeries in 2018, the latest year for which data are available. But that represents less than 1 percent of people eligible for it.

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That number is expected to increase in 2020, even with nearly two months of deferred surgeries.

Dr. Jason Balette, the bariatric surgeon at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands who performed Threadgills surgery, dismisses the suggestion that a silver lining of COVID-19 might be the attention it has brought to bariatric surgery and to people losing weight. But he acknowledges anytime is a good opportunity to talk about obesity and the different approaches to weight loss.

In no need of convincing are Threadgill and John and Nicole Burns, the three of whom have lost nearly 300 pounds between them. They say the pre- and post-surgical differences are like night and day.

I dont mean to downplay things, but its felt surprisingly easy so far, said Threadgill. I feel great, I have more energy, Im able to do things I havent done in years.

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Fear of COVID-19 fueling increase in bariatric surgeries - Houston Chronicle

Nov 23

420 pounds in eighth grade, Cajuns guard O’Cyrus Torrence didn’t wait to stand out – Daily Advertiser

Lift your spirits and take a look at UL's athletic fields as seen from the air through footage from Lafayette photography and videography company Viznu. Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Even in eighth grade, OCyrus Torrence was a hugedeal. At 6-foot-3 and 420 pounds, its hard not to be.

These days a trimmed-down Torrence carries about 332 pounds on a6-5 frame standingout for altogether different reasons. Starting at right guard for the No. 25 Ragin Cajuns, the sophomore already is a bona fide NFL prospect.

But before he becomingone, the big guyfroma small townhad to deal with what he was and decide what he wanted to be.

I had to get usedto the fact I was much biggerand I always felt out of place because I literally didnt fit in, Torrence said.But once I got to high school and started playing football, everything else really worked its way out because football gave me more confidence and helped me lose all the weight.

Now Cajun coaches and teammates too rave about all he does for UL (7-1, 5-1 Sun Belt), which after having Saturdays game against Central Arkansas canceled due to COVID-19 issues inside the program is scheduled to visit UL Monroe this coming Saturday (2 p.m., ESPN3).

Like Coach Looney would say, Hes a freak, starting center Shane Vallot said with reference to late offensive line assistant coach D.J. Looney, who died of a heart attack during a mini-camp workout in August. Hes a big dude. Hes a player.

He got thrown in as a freshman, and I would say he did a helluva job. He went out there, he competed. Hes a fighter. He doesnt give up. And he likes to learn.


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Torrence stepped right in when starting left guard Ken Marks tore up a knee in ULs 2019 season-opener against Mississippi State at the Superdome in New Orleans.

When I went down, I went up to him and I told him, You got this. He had a little nervous look in his eye, Marks said. But after a few plays he was good, and throughout the season he developed even more.

Coach just threw him in the fire, and he didnt bend, he didnt break, Cajuns quarterback Levi Lewis added. Some guys had ups and downs; I didnt see a down in Cybos game the whole season.

Was there ever any doubt?

Evidently not for someone whose nickname is the shortened version of one his mother Demetrice gave him as a kid Cyborg, a fictional superhero.

People didnt pick up on it, and somehow Cybo caught on, since its quicker, he said.

Whatever the name, he has game.

We knew he was a good player whenever he came in, Marks said. Just being coached by Coach (Rob) Sale and Coach Looney, we knew he was going to be all right.

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Shortly after signing with the Cajuns, the Class 2A All-State pick fromSt. Helena College & Career Academy in Greensburg a Louisiana map dot of 700 or so not quite 40 miles northeast of Baton Rouge received a workout manual.

Sale, ULs offensive coordinator/o-line coach, remembers Torrence, who receiveda late recruiting offer from Georgia to go with ones from Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss and South Alabama, doing everything to a T.

In the weight room. Running too.

And for a big man, Sale said, running is more important.

Youre big and strong, but can you maintain? Are you in shape to strain?

Offensive guard O'Cyrus Torrence (58) helps lead the Ragin' Cajuns run onto Cajun field for their Nov. 14 win over South Alabama.(Photo: Andre Broussard/Special to The Advertiser)

For Torrence, though, conditioning was no issue. What he did in high school carried over.

The hard work that comes with (playing) football and losing weight went hand-in-hand, he said,and it kept getting better and better from there.

But Torrence still had something to prove before playing his first college game.

Each step that first summer is a test Sale applies to determine just how ready each freshman is. He passed.

One day, practice it just clicked, Torrence said. Thats the best way I could put it.

One day I went to practice, I didnt know as much. I kept missing it during film. Then one day I went out there, I started understanding more of what Coach Sale was doing and what was happening on the field.

Sale noticed.

Soon, the show was on.

Once you start getting into it, after the first scrimmage, Sale said, youre like The guys gonna have a chance to play.

With Marks unavailable, Torrence had to. Sale and head coach Billy Napier didnt hesitate, though.

Obviously you love the kids size, speed, athleticism when youre watching the guy on tape, watching his high school film, Sale said last spring. But the way we structure our June and July (tells a lot).

A freshman typically has nine scheme installs in June, nine in July, nine in August preseason camp.

So Cybo had installs three times. And we two-spot everything, Sale said. So a true freshman gets the same amount of reps as the starting right guard would have gotten reps. So you can evaluate.

As Cajun coaches did, they became convinced.

By the time of the first game youve had a good body of work in practice, Sale said.

So you knew once you put him out there (against) Mississippi State you werent just rolling the dice. Because what you do in practice is what youre gonna do in a game. Its not just like, Oh, Im a gamer. No, no, no. It dont work like that.

It all worked out for the Cajuns last season, though.

Truth be told, however, Torrence initially just tried to keep up. It took all he had.

Of course I was nervous, he said, but I practiced for it and I was ready for it.

Then I started realizing my best was good enough.

Other people, they started noticing, Torrence added. I started seeing it too, but I tried to not buy too much into it and (tried) to remember what got me here.

UL wound up rushing for 3,604 yards 257.4 per game and 42 touchdowns as the 11-3 Cajuns won the Sun Belt ConferenceWest Division and the LendingTree Bowl.

Elijah Mitchell ran for 1,147 yards and 16 TDs. Raymond Calais Jr. now with the Los Angeles Rams rushed for 886 and averaged 7.6 yards per carry. Trey Ragas ran for 820 yards, averaging 7.1 per carry, and 11 TDs. Chris Smith, ULs No. 4 running back then, had 334.

It certainly wasnt all Torrences doing, but he was a huge part.

I wouldnt mind running inside zone behind him myself, UL strength and conditioning coach Mark Hocke joked. I might be able to get a yard or two behind him.

Offensive guard O'Cyrus Torrence (58, top) helps push the pile during UL's Nov. 7 win over Arkansas State at Cajun Field.(Photo: Andre Broussard/Special to The Advertiser)

By seasons end, Torrence was a 2019 Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-American.

ULs line that year also featured NFL Draft picks Robert Hunt (Miami) and Kevin Dotson (Pittsburgh). But Hunt missed the seasons second half with an injury, so Max Mitchell wentfrom left tackle to right. Dotson started at left guard, and when he left Torrence seamlessly movedthere.

Cybo, hes a stud, Sale said.

Some people are better with the right hand down and on the right side than the left side. Cybos ambidextrous. He can both play guards, and he looks dang-good doing it.

Moving Torrence to the right reunited him with Max Mitchell, who now protects southpaw QB Lewis blindside.

We just work well with each other, Mitchell said.

Thats a large man beside me as well, so its pretty nice to move some people and being able to rely on him to take my inside gap, you know?

Ragas sure knows.

Its just like running behind Dotson, he said of Torrence at right guard. Its the same to me.

Which says a lot. Dotson was drafted in the fourth round, Hunt in the second.

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He humbly harbors hope of turning pro too, and its easy to understand why.

The sky is the limit for him, Max Mitchell said.

Hes handled his diet well. Hes strong. Hes athletic. The kid has all the football instinct in the world. He could definitely go, I think, first round by the end of this career here.

Torrence, however, didnt rest on freshman-season laurels.

I havent seen letup in his work ethic, Hocke said in the offseason.

Torrance has helped Senior Bowl invitee Elijah Mitchell rush for 563 yards over seven games this season. Ragas has 522 in eight, Smith another 290 on about half as many carries as the other two.

When UL beat Georgia State in September, Torrence was one of three Cajun captains.

Hes been one of the bright spots, Napier said.

Hes a guy who has the right mindset. Hes very intelligent. Hes very mature. Hes got great perspective on life. Hes a really good practice player. Hes one of the more disciplined kids we have, and hes becoming a leader.

Thats one of the things were challenging him to do, is to be more vocal, Napier added, because hes one of the guys that does it the right way and really sets an example.

Credibility is a byproduct of his hard work.

Sale and the late Looney, as Hocke sees it, toiled to develop him but built from a solid base.

Really the biggest person, reason, for his success is OCyrus himself, the strength coach said.

And it has little to do with those pounds hes accustomed to carrying.

No doubt you can watch him compete on a Saturday and see how special he is physically, how tough he is physically, Hocke said. But I think that all starts between the ears, right?

The way hes wired, the way he thinks; thats what makes him different from just about anybody and everybody, Hocke added. And thats why I think hes going to continue to have success.

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Right guard O'Cyrus Torrence sits in his stance during UL's win over UAB at Legion Field in Birmingham.(Photo: Brad Kemp/

From seat of the Sale, who calls coaching guys like Ol Cybo why you do it, Torrence would have forced himself into freshman-season playing time even if Marks hadnt gotten hurt.

The injury simply accelerated things.


He just never looked back, Sale said.

Nor does Torrence ever sit still.

Starting center Vallot bragged in the summer about how the youngster would regularly text him about reviewing the weekly game plan.

Thebeautiful thing about Big Cybo is he wants to learn, sixth-year senior offensive lineman Cole Prudhomme said. He wants you to pour information, and hes just listening.

You tell him one thing, hell either get there right away or hell mess up one time then hell learn from that mistake. Hes so easy to coach and I think thats just amazing.

What we learned: No. 25 Louisiana 38, South Alabama 10

More: Secondary was a primary force in No. 25 Ragin' Cajuns' win over South Alabama

More: Balanced offense helps No. 25 Ragin' Cajuns run away from South Alabama

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420 pounds in eighth grade, Cajuns guard O'Cyrus Torrence didn't wait to stand out - Daily Advertiser

Nov 20

To Your Good Health: The weight loss battle continues – Agri News

I am looking for advice on diet pills. I have tried everything. I eat well, go to the gym and walk, but my meniscus problem limits my walking speed. Since menopause, I have gained 30 pounds. I am sure there is something out there that will kick-start my metabolism. I am so depressed, and my doctor has no sympathy.

Difficulty losing excess weight is one of the greatest public health problems in industrial countries, and Im not going to solve it here, but Ill try to discuss principles of drug treatment for weight.

One critical issue is to look at any medications you are taking: Many can cause weight gain, and some, like beta blockers, often used for high blood pressure, are unrecognized by many doctors. Stopping medicines that predispose to weight gain is critical.

Depression itself is a predisposing factor to weight gain. Some people lose weight with depression, but my experience is that weight gain is much more common. Many anti-depression medicines cause weight gain. One, bupropion, commonly causes weight loss.

Among medicines specifically for weight loss, most work either by decreasing fat absorption or by reducing appetite. They dont really increase metabolism, with the exception of phentermine, which does increase resting energy expenditure somewhat and may be useful in preventing weight regain in people who have lost weight, for whom metabolism does often slow down.

Orlistat called Xenical by prescription, Alli over-the-counter prevents the body from absorbing some of the fat in the diet. The fat is then excreted through stool. This may cause many people to have gastrointestinal side effects, which are diminished when on a low-fat diet. Orlistat caused people to lose about 7 pounds more than placebo.

There are several drugs that work on appetite. Liraglutide is a diabetes medicine that has been found to be helpful in overweight people even without diabetes. Metformin is another diabetes medicine that is sometimes used for weight loss, although it does not have a Food and Drug Administration indication for this. Both of these diabetes drugs often have gastrointestinal side effects. Lorcaserin, or Belviq, is about as effective as orlistat, but with fewer side effects; headache was the most common.

Some weight loss experts use combination drugs, including phentermine/topiramate, or Qsymia, and bupropion/naltrexone, or Contrave. These have more significant risks. I dont prescribe these drugs, but I do refer my patients who are interested in medication treatment to a weight loss expert. Look for a doctor who is board certified in obesity management.

Its important to remember that medications are not a cure for being overweight. Once the medicines stop, weight is expected to rise, unless a person makes significant changes in diet and exercise.

I am a female, 16 years old. My white blood cell count is 16.6. I am suffering from so much weakness and pain in my legs, arms and shoulder area. I also have a cough and cold. Is it dangerous? What should I do for it?

I dont have enough information to help much. A white blood cell count that high suggests an infection.

At your age, those symptoms are most likely a viral infection, but acute mononucleosis and even pneumonia are possible, so you need to see your doctor.

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@ 2020 North America Synd., Inc.

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To Your Good Health: The weight loss battle continues - Agri News

Nov 17

A Formerly Anonymous Portland Writer Has Written a New York Times Op-ed Titled Leave Fat Kids Alone – Willamette Week

Portland-based author and activist Aubrey Gordon has penned an op-ed for The New York Times about fat shaming and growing up during a "war on childhood obesity."

In the new essay, titled "Leave Fat Kids Alone," Gordon recounts personal experiences with pediatricians and family members who began making disparaging comments about her body as early as the fourth grade. She also digs into the history of campaigns against childhood obesity.

"It wasn't a campaign against foods with little nutritional value, or against the unchecked poverty that called for such low-cost, shelf-stable foods," writes Gordon. "It was a campaign against a body typespecifically, children's body types."

A recent episode of Maintenance Phase does a deep dive into misguided U.S. childhood health programs. Gordon's New York Times op-ed covers some of that ground too, discussing "B.M.I. report cards" and a recent Georgia health campaign that erected billboards around the state with slogans like "WARNING: My fat may be funny to you but it's killing me. Stop childhood obesity."

"Rather than motivating fat people to lose weight, weight stigma had led to more isolation, more avoidance and less support," writes Gordon. "Weight stigma kick-starts what for many will become lifelong cycles of shame. And it sends a clear, heartbreaking message to fat children: The world would be a better place without you in it."

Read the whole article here.

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A Formerly Anonymous Portland Writer Has Written a New York Times Op-ed Titled Leave Fat Kids Alone - Willamette Week

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