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Aug 8

Eat a plant-based diet lose weight, shed medications and get healthy? – Detroit Free Press

"The Cheese Trap" is the new book by vegan physician Neal Barnard, the founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Barnard argues that avoiding dairy can improve health and promote weight loss. Wochit

Kim and Marc Ramirez of Clinton Township(Photo: Provided by Marc Ramirez, Provided by Marc Ramirez, Provid)

Do you want to lose weight?

Do you want to get off daily medications?

Dr. Neal Barnard says he can help.

Think chickpeas over chicken, peppers over pepperoni pizza, kale over kielbasa. And while youre at it, skip the cheese; its addicting.

Barnard, a vegan for more than 30 years, is a well-known advocate for adopting a plant-based way of eating. He maintains that a plant-based diet is the path to optimum health and a way to combat, and in some cases, reverse, chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

More: Vegan ice cream? Try it, you'll love it!

Over the years, Barnard has conducted and participated in several nutritional studies, including one about controversies explaining why trendy foods items like coconut oil, green juice and gluten-free wear health halos instead of delivering real heart-health benefits, like nutrient-dense, plant-based foods.

Barnard will make a stop in Detroit on Wednesday and Thursday to convey that message as part of a 10-city tour to kick off a 21-Day Kickstart Challenge to follow a plant-based diet.

Dr. Neal Barnard(Photo: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine)

Barnard is a psychiatrist with a focus on nutrition research. Hes the founder of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), and author of more than 18 books on health and wellness, including his most recent The Cheese Trap (Grand Central Life & Style, $27). The PCRM is a nonprofit that advocates for preventative medicine and higher standard for research.

It was 30 years ago that Barnard became vegan after working as an autopsy assistant and seeing the affects of certain foods on health.

I did two things that year: I was a smoking omnivore that threw out the Merit Menthols and threw out my Velveta, too, and never looked back, Barnard says.

The 64-year-old Washington, D.C.-based doctor will be at the Chass Clinic in southwest Detroit on Wednesday for a presentation announcing the kick-off of the challenge.

Barnard says he choose to start the effort in Detroit because we need the help.

More: Please, no more downtown Detroit burger restaurants

The adult obesity rate in Michigan is 31.2%, up from 22.1% in 2000, according to a September 2016 report from the State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The health indicators are not good. Theres a lot of obesity and a lot of type 2 diabetes, Barnard says. It doesnt make it unique because frankly, thats true of the entire civilized world. But Detroit is right up there.

Barnard also sees Detroit as a leadership city and says its where many things get started and spread elsewhere. We also have some terrific boots on the ground there, he says.

At Chass Clinic, Barnard will be joined by Marc Ramirez, a former University of Michigan football player. Ramirez, 50, and an AT&T operations manager, switched to a plant-based diet more than five years ago.

The Cheese Trap by Dr. Neal Barnard(Photo: Provided by Physcians Committee for Responsible Medicine)

On Thursday, Barnard will visit the Motor City Health Fest in the Eastern Market area in Detroit. Billboards are up around town about the event, touting Eat more fruits and vegetables and cut the dairy and meat. There, he will join Rameriz and Dr. Joel Kahn, a local cardiologist and owner of GreenSpace Cafe in Ferndale, and other support groups and plant-based diet experts.

After being sick for a decade, taking pills and getting worse, in 2 months, Im off my insulin shots and all Metformin pills and in three months, I lost 50 pounds, Ramirez says.

Ramirez also dropped 50 pounds within those first few months. Ramirez has a long family history of diabetes. Of his eight siblings, only one sister does not have diabetes, a disease that affects millions of Americans.

Ramirez and his wife, Kim, are certified Food for Life Instructors by PCRM. They founded Chickpea and Bean, which offers plant-based lifestyle seminars and cooking classes.

Today at 50, Im the oldest Ive ever been and in the best shape of my life. How does that happen when at 43 I was so sick? Ramirez says.

In April, Ramirez launched a 21-Day KickStart program in Macomb County. Nearly 100 people took the challenge of following a plant-based diet for three weeks. The group averaged an 8-pound weight-loss within those 21 days. And among the 74 people who participated in blood tests, Rameriz says, there was a 15% drop in LDLs (the bad cholesterol), and good cholesterol (HDL) went up 8%.

Barnards 21-day Kickstart pilot program started in 2009. Barnard said 500,000 to 600,000 people have done it worldwide. The program is available in many languages, too.

Two things happen, Barnard says, when people do the challenge: They lose weight and blood sugars improve.

Apart from the physical benefits that they are experiencing, their tastes are changing in a way they didnt forecast. They all say I used to be a cheese-aholic, but no, its not calling my name so much.

Barnard says when switching to a plant-based diet, the average weight loss is a pound a week, which is slow and steady, but theres 52 weeks in a year, and it become effectively a one way street and very healthy direction.

If you want to know more

Dr. Neal Barnard will make an appearance at these metro area events:

The Plant Based Nutrition Support Group will host Barnard at its meeting Wednesday at Seaholm High School in Birmingham. Doors open at 5:30 and the event presentation begins at 6:30. Barnard will sign copies of his latest book The Cheese Trap which will also be on sale. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For tickets go to:

21-Day Kickstart Kick-off: noon -1 p.m. Wednesday at Community Health and Social Services (CHASS) Center, 5635 W. Fort Street, Detroit. To reserve at seat, call 313-849-3920, ext. 5163. The event is free and open to the public.

Motor City Health Fest: 6-9:30 p.m. Thursday at the Eastern (in the Eastern Market area), 3434 Russell St., Detroit. At the health fest, there will be a screening of the film Forks Over Knives, which looked at how following a plant-based diet may ward off chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. There will be free health screenings, nutritional information, food samples and cooking demonstrations.

About 21-day kickstart

This program started by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine includes a 21-day meal plan, weekly meetings, Webcasts, an app that gives you a meal plan with photos, directions, ingredients and nutrition facts for all meals and snacks and demonstrations by Food for Life instructors.

Stir-fry vegetable salad with Asian dressing.(Photo: JESSICA J. TREVINO, Detroit Free Press)

Stir-Fry Vegetable Salad with Asian Dressing

Serves:6 /Preparation time:15 minutes /Total time:45 minutes

Serve this salad warm or cold. You wont use all the dressing. It keeps for 2 weeks and can be used in stir-fries and other salads.

1 package fresh Chinese noodles, optional. Look for fresh Chinese-style noodles in the produce department.


1 1/2cups low-sodium soy sauce

1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1 bunch green onion (about 6, white and green parts), chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1 tablespoon sesame oil

Juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon agave nectar (or to taste)

1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with 1/2 cup cold water


1 tablespoon canola oil

12 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced about 1/4-inch thick

2 large carrots, peeled, julienned

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, julienned

1/2 head green cabbage, finely shredded

3 baby choy sum or baby bok choy, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup frozen shelled edamame

1 bunch green onions (about 6, green parts only)

1 cup chopped cilantro

1 bunch mint, chopped

1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds, lightly toasted

If serving the salad over Chinese noodles, cook them according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

To make the dressing:Place all the dressing ingredients in a saucepan and bring to just a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer over low heat for about 10-15 minutes. The dressing will thicken just a little. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. When completely cool, strain the dressing into a glass measuring cup or jar (discarding solids) and refrigerate until ready to use. If not using right away, strain the dressing into a jar that has a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

To make the salad:In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil. Add the mushrooms and saut until just soft and tender. Add the carrots, red pepper and cabbage and saut about 1 minute. Add the choy sum, edamame and green onion and saut 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the cilantro and mint and toss to incorporate. Drizzle with about 1/3 cup or more of the dressing. Serve over noodles with additional dressing on the side. Garnish with almonds.

Adapted from Vegan Cooking for Carnivores by Roberto Martin (Grand Central Publishing, $29.99).

Tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen. Analysis includes noodles and 1/2cup of the dressing and almonds.

333 calories (30% from fat), 12 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat), 47 grams carbohydrates, 13 grams protein, 908 mg sodium, 5 mg cholesterol, 7 grams fiber.

Vegan Linguine with Shitake mushroom sauce.(Photo: JESSICA J. TREVINO, Detroit Free Press)

Vegan Linguine with Shiitake Cream Sauce

Serves:6 /Preparation time:10 minutes /Total time:30 minutes

According to the Vegetarian Times, Mark Reinfield, author of several vegan cookbooks, revamps a classic Italian recipe, replacing clams with a combination of shiitake mushrooms and arame, a sea vegetable available in the Asian food aisle of supermarkets.

12 ounces dry linguine

2 tablespoons arame, optional

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 cloves garlic, peeled, minced (about 2 tablespoons)

3 cups fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 1/2 cups unsweetened soy, rice or macadamia nut milk

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine, optional

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

4 teaspoons pine nut or walnuts, chopped and toasted

Cook pasta in boiling, salted water according to package directions. Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta. Meanwhile, if using arame soak it in 1/2 cup hot water.

Meanwhile, in large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add mushrooms, wine and lemon juice; saut 5 minutes, adding about 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water (if needed) to prevent sticking.

Reduce the heat and add soy milk, nutritional yeast, margarine (if using), red pepper flakes and arame with soaking liquid; season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Divide linguine among 4 plates, top with shiitakes and sauce, and garnish with parsley and pine nuts.

Tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.

386 calories (21% from fat), 9 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat), 65 grams carbohydrates, 16 grams protein, 114 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 grams fiber.

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Eat a plant-based diet lose weight, shed medications and get healthy? - Detroit Free Press

Aug 8

Eat beans lose weight and go crazy – Payson Roundup

In my lifelong search for the magic diet bullet, I stumbled upon pulses also known as legumes.

This information both fascinated and terrified me. I mean pulses have some side effects Im not sure I can live with.

The research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows a daily dose of three-quarters of a cup of a pulse will effortlessly allow people to lose almost a pound of weight.

So, after trying those strange Paleo and Atkins diets, seems eating beans will do it but youll have to swear off psychiatric drugs and find a partner who doesnt mind if you toot.

Yeah. Pulses mess with meds and the digestive system.

Ever wonder why Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs said, I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti,?

A psychiatrist himself, the charming cannibal was being clever, since beans, wine and liver can all affect certain psychiatric meds which he clearly wasnt taking.

Kind of a chilling medical joke but then the tooting can put a damper on things, too.

Still, pulses have been part of humanitys diet for around 5,000 years, since they include lentils, chickpeas, beans, peas, mesquite, carob, soybeans, peanuts and tamarind.

Archaeologists have found evidence of pulses in stone-age dwellings and Egyptian tombs proof that we can overcome any side effects for a good source of protein, fiber and minerals.

In fact, the United Nations declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses.

And now in addition to reducing heart disease and diabetes, the magic beans can help you lose weight.

To top that all off, pulses save the soil.

The roots of legume plants host bacteria that pull nitrogen from the atmosphere.

Nitrogen serves an essential part of the protein making process and so fertilizes the soil.

Once pulse plants die, the remaining roots release the nitrogen into the soil making it more fertile. Farmers often rotate in a pulse crop to give their soil a boost.

Some even go so far as to call it green manure.

Makes me crazy all this bathroom humor.

Chipotle Lentil Tacos with Avocado and MicroGreens

1-1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 minced chipotle in adobo sauce (comes in a can at the grocery store)

1 to 2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce, divided

1/2 avocado, cut into small cubes

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon honey or brown rice syrup

1 to 2 ounces cotija, feta or goat cheese

Rinse the lentils. Place them in a sauce pan with the broth, minced chipotle, 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, lime juice, salt, cumin and coriander. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer; cover and cook until lentils are tender but not mushy, 22 to 25 minutes. Taste and add more adobo sauce, if youd like more heat.

Combine the avocado and microgreens. In a small bowl, beat together lime juice, honey and olive oil. Pour over the microgreens and avocado, tossing until greens are coated. Divide the lentil mixture among the tortillas. Top with the avocado salad, crumbled cheese and minced cilantro.

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Eat beans lose weight and go crazy - Payson Roundup

Aug 8

These balloons don’t come with birthday cake, but they might help you lose weight – Metro US

Ah, the dad bod. Yet another excuse for men to evade being held to the same body ideal women struggling with weight loss are held to. (Have you heard anyone lovingly refer to mom bod? Nope.)

While we give a nod to the dad bod, many recognize it can be more harmful than charming like the people behind the Obalon Balloon System, the first swallowable intragastric balloon system indicated for temporary use to facilitate weight loss in adults with obesity.

While these balloons dont come with birthday cake, the Obalon three-balloon system is a nonsurgical, FDA-approved reversible way to lose weight. And since swallowing (too much food) is what gets most of us into the upper BMI bracket, it's almost poetic that swallowing could be the weight loss kick-in-the-pants some of us need.

According to the company, obese adults swallow a capsule which is then remotely filled with gas via a micro-catheter. No sedation is required and each treatment takes about 10 minutes. A fully inflated balloon is about the size of an orange and weighs approximately the same as a penny.

Over the course of three months, a total of three balloons is placed in the patients stomach. After a weight loss period of six months, all three balloons are removed via an outpatient endoscopy under light conscious sedation.

As with many weight gain interventions, a potential candidate for the balloon system has to give good old fashioned diet and exercise a try. Adults who are 30 to 100 pounds overweight are eligible, but must also be ready for a lifestyle change.

The degree of long-term weight loss will depend on their ability to modify their lifestyle and maintain this behavior after the balloons are removed, according to the company. It is important that they discuss their willingness to accept this commitment with their physician before undergoing the Obalon Balloon System.

In clinical trials, patients lost twice as much weight as diet and exercise alone. Six months after the balloons were removed, 89 percent of the weight lost was kept off, when combined with diet and exercise.

In the clinical trial, the majority of adverse effects were reported as mild and consisted of abdominal pain and nausea which typically resolve within two weeks (serious side effects were less than 0.3 percent).

A similar product, the EllipseBalloon, uses the same idea, but the balloons are filled with water, which eventuallyleaks out. The balloons are then expelled as waste.

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These balloons don't come with birthday cake, but they might help you lose weight - Metro US

Aug 8

Researchers Track an Unlikely Culprit in Weight Gain – New York Times

The work began when Dr. Mone Zaidi, a professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, became curious about whether a reproductive hormone F.S.H., or follicle-stimulating hormone affects bone density.

It had long been assumed that the hormones role was limited to reproduction. F.S.H. stimulates the production of eggs in women and sperm in men.

Researchers knew that blood levels of F.S.H. soar as womens ovaries start to fail before menopause. At the same time, women rapidly lose bone even when blood levels of estrogen, which can preserve bone, remain steady.

Dr. Zaidi reasoned that F.S.H. could be a culprit in bone loss. So he and his colleagues created an antibody that blocked F.S.H. in female mice whose ovaries had been removed.

Since the mice were making no estrogen at all, they ought to have been losing bone. Indeed, the bone marrow in such mice usually fills with fat instead of developing bone cells. Much the same happens in women: Thats why their bones become less dense.

But in Dr. Zaidis lab, the mice that received the antibody did not developed fat-filled bone marrow and, to his enormous surprise, they lost large amounts of fat.

This is a weird, weird finding, he recalled telling his friend Dr. Clifford J. Rosen, a bone specialist at Maine Medical Center Research Institute. Dr. Zaidi persuaded Dr. Rosen to help repeat the experiments independently, each in his own lab.

At first, Dr. Rosen was dubious: I said, I dont believe it, I think its not going to work, and it will cost a lot of money. But he received a grant for the research, and the two labs got started.

Two and a half years later, they had their results and they replicated Dr. Zaidis original findings. The researchers also came up with a theory that might explain increased metabolic rates in mice in which F.S.H. is blocked.

There are two kinds of fat in the body: White fat primarily stores energy, and brown fat burns calories and throws off heat.

Brown fat is more common in children, but researchers have found that adults also carry small amounts. In the experimental mice, white fat was being converted to brown fat.

At the moment, Dr. Rosen is withholding judgment about whether the results will apply to humans. I think the idea has some credibility, he said. But does it mean anything? I dont know.

But these are not the only researchers to find a link between obesity and the strange interplay of hormones.

Wendy Kohrt, a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, has been studying the effects of menopause on womens body fat and the amount of calories women burn.

Dr. Kohrt has given healthy premenopausal women a drug that blocks production of estrogen and F.S.H., putting them into a reversible state of menopause.

Within five months, she found, the womens fat moves to their abdomens, increasing by 11 percent on average. And they burn 50 fewer calories per day.

The effect is reversed when the participants stop taking the drug or when Dr. Kohrt gives them estrogen.

Something similar goes on in men, although its not clear that F.S.H. is the sole cause, said Dr. Michael W. Schwartz, director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Washington.

Men with advanced prostate cancer often take Lupron, a drug intended to stop the production of testosterone, which can fuel their tumors. Often, they gain weight, accumulating fat in their abdomens.

Lupron also blocks production of F.S.H., and the mouse studies suggest that this should prevent weight gain. That might be because of the loss of testosterone.

Yet in experiments in which men were given both Lupron and testosterone leaving F.S.H. the only blocked hormone they still did not lose weight. F.S.H. clearly is not the only factor at work, then.

But the dream of an easy way to prevent abdominal weight gain is so appealing, you just want it to be true, said Dr. Philipp E. Scherer, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

He has seen too many mouse studies fail in humans to be persuaded that this one will succeed. I will be on the sidelines waiting, he said.

Dr. Zaidi is undeterred. He is already preparing to test an anti-F.S.H. antibody in people.

Whether it works in humans, I have absolutely no idea, Dr. Zaidi said.

The rest is here:
Researchers Track an Unlikely Culprit in Weight Gain - New York Times

Aug 7

Should you tell somebody she needs to lose weight for her own good – Bangor Daily News

I am catching up on the news. I just finished reading Thursdays (8/3/17) paper. The Dear Abby column was of particular interest to me. A woman wrote to ask Abby how she can make her stepmother actually follow through with her declaration to lose weight.

She wrote in a fairly detailed description of how her stepmother eats. She eats lots of fatty foods, uses lots of salt and eats almost no fruit and vegetables. Then she praised her father for his healthful eating habits, He, on the other hand, eats very healthy almost the opposite of what she does. He rarely eats anything fatty and uses salt sparingly. He also eats fruits and vegetables every day.

Then the stepdaughter goes back to commenting on her stepmothers weight and how its an issue and how her health problems would improve if she lost weight. Its probably true that some of her stepmothers health issues are related to her weight. Its true that losing weight could improve her health, so why do I suspect the motives of the woman seeking the advice of Abby?

She writes shes concerned that saying something will strain the relationship. I agree, it will strain it further. I already sense some stress between the two women based on her descriptions of the difference in the way her father and her stepmother eat. It comes across as judgmental.

Dont expect a pleasant reaction like the one here when you tell your stepmother she needs to eat better to lose weight.

Abbys advice, should she follow it, can only make things worse. Abby says, dont talk to her; talk to your father. The stepmother will feel as though the two are ganging up on her. The desired outcome of the talk with dad is to get Stepmomma to see a nutritionist to tweak her eating habits. That sounds helpful, but as I am reading the column, Im thinking talking to Stepmomma because youre concerned about her health is no different that talking to an addict.

Jim LaPierre wrote an excellent blog (Recovery Rocks). Actually, every blog he writes is excellent, but this one in particular is about talking to addicts with great advice about how to approach it and the expectations one should have as a result of the talk. Its called The problem with trying to save people.

Jim writes:

But you cannot force a person to be willing to change.

You can shame them, threaten them, guilt them and pressure them. You can point out the suffering of their friends and family. You can implore them, beg them, and point out their proximity to death.

But you cannot make a person stop drinking, using, or otherwise prevent them from destroying themselves.

In the case of this Dear Abby post, Im not sure the real purpose of writing is to save her stepmother. The moralistic and judgmental undertones strike me more as shaming than saving. Whatever the motive, the approach Abby suggests is not a good one.

Recently Dear Lizresponded to a reader asking how to let somebody know she was concerned with how many prescription drugs a friend was taking. Liz asked Jim LaPierre to weigh in and he said what I wish Abby had replied with the reader with the overweight stepmother.

Ive been asked this countless times. To an addictions counselor, it translates to, Im pretty sure my friend is waist deep in quick sand, but Im afraid Ill hurt their feelings by mentioning it. Maybe expressing our concern over a possible substance use disorder should not be akin to, Janet, you really seem to be packing on the pounds these days!

I get it. Folks tend to fear conflict and therefore anticipate defensiveness. Showing concern for your loved one on sensitive topics can be a bit of an art form. Most counselors would suggest that the finesse youre looking for would come through making, I statements.

As cheesy as that may sound, saying to your friend, You seem to be taking too many medications will be received very differently than saying, Im concerned about how your medications are affecting you. You triggers defensiveness because it points at my friends choices. I need not trigger defensiveness because Im expressing concern for you as my friend.

I suggest to folks that when theyre concerned about being misunderstood that they lead with their fears. Example: Janet, I want to talk to you about something but Im afraid itll come out wrong. By doing this, were enlisting our friends support and patience in expressing our concerns.

Think about what youve seen thats changed. Whats different thats raised your concerns? Im assuming here that you havent just been snooping through her medicine cabinet and are genuinely worried. Expressing this as directly and succinctly as possible is your best bet.

Express your concerns without expectation. Give your friend time to consider whether this is something they need to look at. Dont get hung up on whether youre right or wrong sharing your concerns is a way of showing love. The world needs more of that.

You might be able to help a friend or family member make lifestyle changes that can save their life and maybe you cant. If you follow Jims advice youve done your best.

Before you do anything about alerting a dear one to his or her need to lose weight, examine your motives. Where is this concern coming from. Is it concern or judgment? Should you tell somebody they need to lose weight? In my opinion you should not, but thats not the same as letting somebody know youre concerned about lifestyle choices that might help that person live a longer and healthier life.

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Should you tell somebody she needs to lose weight for her own good - Bangor Daily News

Aug 7

Six things no one tells you about losing weight –

This couple lost 100kg's between them in just 12 months on 'This Time Next Year'. Courtesy: Channel Nine

You might think weight loss is simple. Its not.

WHEN it comes to shedding kilos, you probably think you know the formula.

Calories in vs. calories out, and the weight will fall off. Right? Not quite.

There are several things you ought to know before you tackle a healthier waistline.


This science behind shifting weight basically says that if your calories out (exercise) exceed your calories in (food), then youll see results.

While this is correct, to some extent, its not always this simple. Weight loss is complicated when you factor in genetics, environment, underlying health issues, fitness, biological age, to name a few.


Health professionals will tell you losing around 0.5kg a week is a good guide. But stepping on the scales each morning may prove more disheartening than motivating.

Why? The scale weighs everything: bone, muscle, water (which makes up 70 per cent of the body) and body fat. Just because your scale is not heading south, doesnt mean you are not making progress. So dont overly rely on the scale and use measurements or clothing as your results indicator.


You often hear 80% diet and 20% exercise? While this theory may not be completely accurate, its true that what goes into your mouth is the key to success.

You can lose weight without exercise (not recommended), but you cannot lose weight if your calories counteract your hard work at the gym. Remember though, exercise has numerous benefits beyond burning calories: mental health, self-esteem, energy, heart health . you name it.


The road to success is not a straight one. Youll probably find you gain momentum, then have a few set backs, then maybe have another great few weeks, then plateau. As mentioned above, there are many forces working behind the scenes hormones, stress, genetics and lifestyle hindrances. Plus, physiologically, our body protects us from weight loss more than it protects us against weight gain. So prepare for some ups and downs.


OK, sounds a little harsh, but even well-meaning of friends can steer you off course. Youll be faced with conflicting advice: Just cut out the carbs! or Carbs are fine, just eliminate fat. Also, theres the temptation that comes with social outings.

As hard as it may be, plan around these and have contingent solutions so you stick to your guns. If it helps, fill your mind with motivating podcasts or spend time with people who share similar goals.


Youre used to how your body feels, how you hold yourself, how clothes look, how you move. So as your body changes, youll start to feel a little different. Spend time in front of the mirror, working on your new personal style, and falling in love with your body.

Its important to note that improved self-esteem doesnt happen overnight.

Kathleen Alleaume is an exercise and nutrition scientist and author of Whats Eating You?

Excerpt from:
Six things no one tells you about losing weight -

Aug 7

Weight loss: Could running BACKWARDS be more effective when losing weight? –

Weight loss can be aided by doing different forms of exercise, with running an easy way to start the journey.

However, running forwards may not be the most effective way to do so.

A study has found that running backwards may aid any weight loss much more.

The only tricky part may be the odd looks that are given.

By reverse running, it is thought that up to 20 per cent more calorie are burnt.

This is because running backwards requires more balance and is harder to stay in an upright position.

Therefore by trying to maintain a good posture to avoid falling over, more effort is put in and therefore creates a harder workout.

It is thought that it can build stamina as well as improve speed and balance more than forward running.

Dr Robert K Stevenson, author of Backwards Running, states: This switch in movement also helps the bodys antagonistic (opposing) muscles function like the agonistic (contracting) muscles.

"Overall, backward running will produce a far better relationship between your muscles and help deliver more power, safely.

When attempting the workout for themselves, any runners should be careful not to fall over.

For best and safest results, they should keep their arms close to their body and push off from the balls of their feet.

Its not the only thing running is good for when it comes to health.

Walking and running could also keep dementia at bay, a new study has found.

Just 45 minutes of intensive activity a day could be key in delaying it.

It is thought that it also boosts brain power.

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Weight loss: Could running BACKWARDS be more effective when losing weight? -

Aug 6

How to Lose Weight and Keep It Off? Eternal Dieting Vigilance – Newsweek

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Obesity is a risk factor for numerous disorders that afflict the human race, so understanding how to maintain a healthy body weight is one of the most urgent issues facing society. By 2025, it is estimated,18 percentof men and 21 percent of women will be obese worldwide.

In the U.S. alone, 68.8 percentof people are already classified as overweight or obese. The U.K., meanwhile, has one of the greatest problems in Western Europe67 percentof men, 57 percentof women and a quarter of children are overweight.

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In order to lose and maintain a healthy weight, public health policy typically advises eating fewer caloriesby reducing the calorie content of food items or reducing portion size, for example. We propose, however, that simply choosing food items with reduced calories is not necessarily the best way to maintain a low weight.

There are hundreds of diets that, for a period, reduce calorie intake and in this way decrease body weight. But the number of those who are dieting at any one time demonstrates that this is not a long-term solution. Every year in the U.K., 65 percentof women and 44 percentof men try to reduce their weight, by, for example, decreasing fatty or sugary foods or eating smaller portions.

It is estimated that a quarter of people are always trying to lose weight. Mason Masteka/Flickr

Surveys also estimate that a quarter of people are always trying to lose weight, or "yo-yo dieting." The constant dieting to lose weight, subsequent weight gain and further weight loss are part of a cycle that repeats itself for these people. Losing weight is much easier than maintaining weight loss, yet for health reasons we need to retain the lower weight.

Although cutting calories can cause weight loss, it does not follow that if a person returns to their usual diet they will maintain their new low weight. In fact, studies have found that after a low calorie diet, between one- and two-thirds of people regain more weight than they had lost initially.

The fundamental problem with cutting calories is that the human body defends its original weight. Evolution has produced a body that anticipates future famine, with the result that when you reduce calorie intake there are strong physiological pressures to replace the lost energy.

For example, dieting causes the gut to release a range of hormones that increase appetite: changes that are still apparent after the diet is over. Leptinwhich makes one feel satisfied and fullhas been found to be still reduced a year after dieting has finished, while ghrelin, a hormone which stimulates appetite, remains raised. So even a year after a person finishes their diet, they will feel hungrier than when they started dieting, and still anticipate a higher food consumption than before the diet.

Reducing food intake also reduces the bodys metabolic rate and production of body heat. The resulting lower energy consumption helps a more thrifty body to return to its initial weight, as fewer calories are needed to fulfill these basic bodily functions.

There is also increasing evidence that dieting changes taste-sensitivity. For example, those who have recently lost weight rate the taste of sugar as more pleasant.

Dieting makes sugar taste more appealing.

When low-calorie versions of foods are unknowingly consumed, there is a subconscious tendency to replace lost calories by changing other aspects of the diet. In one study, researchers gave artificially sweetened drinks to unknowing participants who were used to drinking sugary drinks. The scientists found that although on the first day the participants consumed fewer carbohydrates, from the second to the seventh day, the overall energy intake was unaffected: They made up for the lack of calories in the sweetened drinks with energy from other foods and beverages.

The overwhelming message is that the price of freedom from obesity is eternal vigilance. When the initial attention associated with dieting dissipates, basic biology ensures that weight is regained. For the weight-conscious, actively counting calories can be successful, but losing weight and keeping it off can only work if ones calorie intake becomes an issue high on the agenda.

The passive removal of caloriesfor example, when a manufacturer reduces portion size, or a government requests that chocolate bars should not contain more than 250 calorieswill only be influential if an individual persistently monitors overall calorie consumption. Without this psychological engagement, basic human biology will take over, and any lost calories will be replaced.

David Bentonis professor of psychology atSwansea University.

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How to Lose Weight and Keep It Off? Eternal Dieting Vigilance - Newsweek

Aug 6

‘Lose weight or you’ll turn blind’ – Doctor’s shock warning spurred woman’s dramatic weight loss –

I was living away from home for the first time in my early 20s when I met James. We became a couple, moved in together and quickly fell into terrible eating habits. There were a lot of takeaways near us and the temptation was just too much. All fruit and veg went out the window and we survived on fast food and junk. Id skip breakfast, then put away a fried egg sandwich for lunch, with two eggs and three thick pieces of bread.

For dinner Id gorge on curry, pizza or Chinese and Id also snack on four or five bags of crisps, a couple of cake bars and four or five bars of chocolate every day.

So it was no surprise that I managed to pile on 6 stone over just 18 months, ballooning from 12 to 18 stone, and going from a size 14 to a 24. As well as bad eating habits at home, I was in a bad cycle at work. Sat behind a desk and bored with my office job, I snacked out of boredom. I had no energy, but I was in love and happy. James put on weight too, but not as much as me.

James and I married in 2014 and I didnt care that I was a big bride; I had my man and I was content. The only thing that was dampening my spirit was the daily headaches Id started suffering. I went to the doctor every six months to ask for help, but every time I got the same response: Theyre tension headaches, take some paracetamol.

When I went for a routine eye check-up in 2015, instead of a new prescription, I unexpectedly started to get an answer as to why I was getting headaches. The optician told me there was something showing up behind one of my eyes. He didnt say what it was there was just a blur and sent me to hospital.

I was terrified. My mind automatically jumped to the worst-case scenario and I was convinced I had a brain tumour. I was sent to the neurology department, and after tests a consultant explained I had a condition called Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH). I listened in shock as I was told my weight had put far too much pressure on my brain.

The only way to stop it was to lose weight. If you carry on and get bigger, you will go blind, the consultant warned. The extra weight had been put on so quickly it was putting pressure around my brain. If it got worse, then the force on my cranial nerves could progress to enlargement of the blind spot, blurring of vision and ultimately a total loss of sight.

I was dumbstruck. I couldnt believe my weight could be responsible for my headaches and could be putting me at so much risk. Sure, I knew I was responsible for my weight gain and I knew about the common side effects of that but to lose my sight because of it? It was a massive shock and it took a while to get my head around it.

They couldnt put a timeframe on the risk to my sight, but I needed to stop piling on the weight or else Id end up blind. If I continued I would literally be eating my sight away. My vision had been declining for about three years, but Id had no idea this was why.

They carried out a lumbar puncture, which is a big injection to drain the excess fluid, to ease the pressure off my brain and give me a few weeks respite.

I was so big they couldnt find the spot they needed in my spine and had to perform a second one under an x-ray. That stopped the headaches for a couple of weeks and then it was down to me. If I didnt overhaul my lifestyle, the headaches were going to return and I would go blind. As motivation goes, that worked pretty well for me.

I managed to lose 3 stone through a mixture of Slimming World and Weight Watchers, but found I put weight back on as soon as I stopped going to the support meetings or following the plans religiously. Every time the pounds started creeping back on I would panic that I was going to end up back where I started and lose my sight. I needed to break the cycle.

By Christmas 2015 I was yo-yoing around 15-17 stone, which was good enough to keep the headaches at bay and I was discharged from the hospital as an outpatient on the promise Id continue to look after myself. The IIH wasnt gone, but I was in remission. If I put on weight quickly it would come back, and if I fell pregnant itd be high risk.

I was relieved to have saved my sight, but I knew I needed to do something once and for all to slim down and stop me falling into old habits again. Without the motivation of the regular weigh-ins at hospital I knew it would be easy to let the weight start creeping back on again. I was also fed up with having to change my wardrobe every few months as my dress size fluctuated with my weight.

I cut my portion sizes in half then halved them again, so I was eating a quarter of what I used to. I also made healthier choices, like swapping a fried egg sandwich for poached egg on toast. Then a few months later I changed jobs and started working as a health care assistant. I was on my feet all day, and I was so busy I didnt even have time to think about snacking; and thats when I really noticed the weight coming off.

I got to my goal weight of 10st 2lb in March 2017 going from a size 24 to a 10 where Ive always wanted to be. Its the first time Ive ever been a size 10 in my life and I sometimes forget I'm smaller than I used to be.

Sadly, I split up with James around the same time, as we realised we had drifted apart. Were better off as friends and well always stay that way, so I havent lost him completely.

Ive always been self-conscious and Im still not used to being a size 10, so now Im working on building my confidence and hoping to get the new me out there and on the dating scene again soon. And no longer having to worry that I might suffer the horror of going blind is such a relief. The future is looking bright.

IIH (Idiopathic intracranial hypertension) is a rare neurological condition defined by increased intracranial pressure around the brain without the presence of a tumour or disease.

It affects one in 100,000 people, which increases to 1-4 per 100,000 of women of childbearing age and to 19 per 100,000 with a BMI higher than 30.

Monre than 90% of patients diagnosed with IIH are overwight women and recent studies have shown weight loss is an effective treatment to reduce optic disc swelling and for curing IIH.

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'Lose weight or you'll turn blind' - Doctor's shock warning spurred woman's dramatic weight loss -

Aug 6

Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner On Being Told to Lose Weight for Roles – Men’s Health

Turner, who was featured in SELF magazine last year, opened up about working out with celebrity trainer James Farmer while shooting X-Men: Apocalypse.

Her routine included cardio like running and burpees, and also included using equipment like kettlebells and resistance bands. Additionally, she started paying attention to what she ate.

"Exercise has made me feel more positive about my body, less self-conscious," she said."I don't know if I look any different, but I feel stronger, and I can do more, which is such a good feeling. It's so liberating.

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Turner will play Sansa Stark until Game of Thrones ends next year, and has said the show has given her quite the sex education.

The first time I ever found out about oral sex was from reading the script, she told The Sunday Times. I was like, Wow! People do that? Thats fascinating!

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Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner On Being Told to Lose Weight for Roles - Men's Health

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