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Oct 16

5 ways to increase and protect your weight-loss efforts – Houston Chronicle

Q: I am trying to lose 35 pounds and it is going so, so slowly about a pound a week. Any shortcuts that will get me to my goal more quickly?

A: Bravo for working to reclaim your health. Losing a pound or two a week is a proven way to shed weight and keep it off. If you lose weight too quickly, your body fights to retain and regain it. Its a simple matter of self-preservation left over from ancient times when quick weight loss was a sign you were in danger of starvation. That said, there are some pretty nifty ways to streamline your weight-loss effort.

Ditch alcohol for a month: Its sugary and metabolism-slowing. Removing it initially (and always being moderate later) will help your efforts.

Dont eat after 7 p.m. and eat most of your days calories before 3 p.m. Dr. Mikes book What to Eat When and his latest, due out in March, The Great Age Reboot, explain why timing your meals matters so much. Hint: It puts you in sync with your internal body clock, and that influences your weight gain and loss.

Drink coffee, with no sugar or fatty dairy added. It boosts metabolism, suppresses appetite and, says the Mayo Clinic, it may offer protection against Type 2 diabetes.

Eat lean protein from salmon, anchovies, herring and sea trout, and plants and fiber-dense foods like broccoli and 100 percent whole grains at every meal. That protects your digestive system, stabilizes your glucose levels and helps retain and build muscle.

Stay well-hydrated with water. You may mistake thirst for hunger, making you eat more than you need. The rule of thumb is to never feel thirsty and that means a basic daily intake of at least 64 ounces of water (food contributes some), increasing your intake as needed when you exercise and sweat.

Q: You two and everyone else are always pushing olive oil. Why is it healthier than other vegetable oils?

Lisa K, Skokie, Ill.

A: Olive oil especially extra-virgin or EVOO is minimally processed compared with other vegetable oils and retains more nutrients and flavor. A tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil provides approximately 13 percent of your daily recommended value of vitamin E, and around 9 percent of vitamin K plus good dose of inflammation-fighting polyphenols that research shows may help control blood pressure. It also has more heart-loving, monounsaturated fats, such as oleic acid, linoleic acid and palmitic acid. Other vegetable oils are often much higher in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-6s.

Now, you need omega-6s but the American diet is overloaded with them and has far too few omega-3s, and that imbalance contributes to cardiovascular disease, cancer and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Plus, the most popular vegetable oils are all deodorized, which can create trans fats in them not a lot, but we know that its smart to avoid them completely if you can.

Olive oil does have a slightly lower smoking point than other vegetables oils, but a healthy diet doesnt include high-temp fried foods, so that shouldnt be an issue.

Now, how about the differences between olive oils? Well, there are three kinds: extra-virgin, regular olive oil and light OO the most refined version.

EVOO has the highest level of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial compounds and is best used to finish cooked dishes or unheated for dipping and dressings.

Regular olive oil combines refined olive oil and 15 percent to 25 percent virgin (but not extra-virgin) olive oil. The refined oil component is treated with some heat and chemicals, and that reduces certain health benefits compared with EVOO.

Light olive oil combines refined olive oil and 5 percent to 10 percent virgin olive oil and is still a good source of beneficial phytosterols and some vitamin E and K. It has a neutral flavor and aroma.

So enjoy along with walnut and avocado oils for a little variety.

Contact Drs. Oz and Roizen at

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5 ways to increase and protect your weight-loss efforts - Houston Chronicle

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