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Jan 3

How the Weight Set Point Theory Can Help You Find a Healthy Weight – LIVESTRONG.COM

The set point theory may change your perspective on weight loss.

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Here's a crazy idea: Instead of fighting to get to a number on the scale that seems really, really hard to reach or maintain, why not let your body decide for itself what it wants to weigh?

That might seem radical or even straight-up scary if you've long struggled with diets. But increasingly, experts are agreeing on the idea that every body has a sweet spot when it comes to weight. Often called a "set point" or "settling point," it's the weight range where your body is most comfortable and where it really, really wants to stay.

If you've struggled to lose the same 10 pounds over and over again, adopting a set-point mentality might help you find your body's real happy weight and break the diet cycle for good. And if you're living with obesity, it could give you insight into how to achieve a healthier weight successfully and sustainably.

Let's take a look at how the whole thing works, and what the whole set point theory might mean for you.

What Is the Set Point Theory?

Every body, it seems, has a sweet spot when it comes to weight.

"We know the body regulates its weight within a certain range through a complex set of hormonal and metabolic interactions that drive our behaviors," obesity medicine specialist Sylvia Gonsahn-Bollie, MD, tells

In other words? Your body is used to receiving a certain amount of energy in the form of calories. Eat a little more than usual once in a while, and it'll compensate by temporarily ramping up your metabolism. Eat less, and it'll make up the difference by burning fewer calories in case you need them later, according to the Centre for Clinical Interventions.

Some studies suggest that our set points are tight feedback loops that work to keep the body within a 10- or 15-pound range, per a July 2018 review in F1000Research. But the idea of a so-called set point isn't, well, set in stone. That same review also noted other studies that found that the body can adapt to changes in our environment and settle at a new, often higher weight range.

And a growing number of experts believe that's the driving force behind why the vast majority of people tend to regain lost weight over time, according to an August 2017 scientific statement in Endocrine Reviews. Other findings back this up.

"From studies like 'The Biggest Loser' study, we know that the body tries hard to maintain its weight at its previous highest points," Dr. Bollie explains. "Contestants had weight regain after the show because their body had made metabolic and hormonal adaptations to [that higher weight]."

Where Your Set Point Comes From

Everyone's body is different and everyone's set point is different too. The weight where your system is most comfortable seems to be determined by a combination of genetics, inherited traits that don't involve DNA and your environment, a 2010 F1000 Medicine Reports review concluded.

The effect of your surroundings is particularly important, since it's the one way your set point can creep up over time or be brought down to a lower range, if you're at a higher weight than what's considered healthy. Being in an environment that consistently encourages you to eat more (like working at an office where doughnuts are always in the break room) or dealing with chronic stress can both make it easy for the pounds to pile and stay on, per the Obesity Action Coalition.

The good news is that the opposite is also true. While you can't control your DNA, making slow, sustainable changes to your environment and forming healthier habits can lead to lasting weight loss, Dr. Bollie says. "A person's set point can be changed higher or lower," she notes.

The key is figuring out which camp you fall into: Do you really need to lose weight, or are you actually already in the range where your body really wants to be?

Accepting Your Weight Range

Not everyone's body matches up with what they think it should look like.

"The standard for beauty is thinner and lighter than what science tells us is best for most women's health," says Georgie Fear, RD, author of Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss. "The small, almost uniform sample of women's bodies we see on movies, television, social media and advertising is not an accurate representation of reality, or what is healthy according to medical research."

Put more bluntly? "If you find yourself gaining and losing the same 10 to 20 pounds over and over, you're probably aiming for a weight that's below your body's set point," says Sandra Aamodt, PhD, author of Why Diets Make Us Fat.

Instead of taking your weight cues from cultural norms, start by looking at what experts count as healthy.

"Your healthy weight is the weight range at which you are free of obesity-related diseases and have a nonobesity range of body fat percentage and/or waist circumference," Dr. Bollie says.

That's less than 32 percent body fat and a waist circumference under 35 inches for women, or less than 25 percent body fat and a waist circumference under 40 inches for men.

Once you've confirmed that your weight is in a good place health-wise, it's time to stop paying so much attention to it. Easier said than done, of course. But taking the focus off the number on the scale often becomes easier when you allow yourself to have a healthier relationship with food. Think: Eating that's joyful, relaxed and not stressful, Fear says.

That might mean thinking less about what you should or shouldn't eat and simply paying attention to your appetite. After Aamodt watched her weight bounce up and down for years, she decided to stop yo-yo dieting and just eat in accordance with her hunger.

"What I found was my many years of dieting had really interfered with my ability to feel or respond to hunger," she explains. But once the pressure was off, she found it easier to eat in accordance with what her body actually needed.

Weight loss wasn't necessarily Aamodt's goal, but she ended up losing 10 pounds. In other words? By trusting that her body would make the right food choices (easier said than done, she admits), she ended up achieving a lower weight without much effort.

Aamodt is quick to point out that not everyone who tries her approach will lose weight. But whether the scale trends down or not isn't really the point. It's the fact that adjusting your approach to eating will change what your weight means to you. Even if you don't feel lighter physically, you'll notice the difference emotionally.

If straight-up giving yourself permission to eat what you feel like is too overwhelming, a trial period is a good way to begin. "You don't have to say you're going to stop paying attention to what you're eating for the rest of your life. But what would it be like if you stopped paying attention for three or six months?" Aamodt asks. "Just see how it goes."

Finding your happy weight gets a little more complicated if you and your doctor determine that the number on the scale is putting you at risk for health problems or causing problems already. Being very overweight or obese likely means your body has gradually settled into a new, higher set point, Dr. Bollie says.

That can make losing a significant amount of weight challenging. Trying to quickly lose more than 10 percent of your body weight sends out a warning signal to your body that you could be starving and it starts to fight back, according to obesity experts at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center of Boston. That can make it almost impossible to reach your goal weight let alone stay there.

Taking slow, steady steps can help your body adjust to getting fewer calories so it doesn't feel threatened and ultimately make it easier to settle at a lower, healthier weight range.

"In order to decrease your set point range, weight loss must be slow think 1 to 2 pounds a week. And it has to be consistent, over the course of at least six months," Dr. Bollie says.

That means steering clear of quick-fix diets that promise dramatic results ASAP. Instead? Think gradual, sustainable changes you can keep up for the long haul. Learn to eat according to your body cues instead of external factors like the time of day or certain rules, acquire skills to manage your feelings without relying on foods and enjoy a wide variety of foods, Fear recommends.

Commit to physical activity that you love enough to do on a regular basis too. Among participants of the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), a database of U.S. adults who've lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for at least a year, 90 percent say they exercise for an hour a day.

Last but not least? Keep tabs on your weight and take action if you notice the pounds starting to creep up. A full 75 percent of NWCR participants say they weigh themselves at least once a week. That can help nip weight gain in the bud before your body moves towards a higher settling point.

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Jan 3

Healing from the inside out – Around DB and Life on Lantau

If 2021 is your year to finally get serious about your health, Sonal Kulkarni says fasting is the way forward

Fasting isnt just a dramatic weight loss strategy or a hack that bodybuilders use to lose fat quickly while maintaining lean muscle mass. It is the worlds most ancient and natural healing mechanism; at its best it triggers a truly wonderful cleansing process that reaches right down to each and every cell and tissue in the body.

Fasting, if you do it for long enough, triggers autophagy from the Ancient Greek meaning self-devouring. And thats a good thing. Autophagy is the natural, regulated mechanism of the cell that removes unnecessary or dysfunctional components. It allows the orderly degradation and recycling of cellular components. Its something our bodies do naturally but arguably not often enough.

By fasting we are asking our bodies to be much more efficient and self-protective than they are accustomed to being. Fasting helps every system in the body to function smoothly and it provides an opportunity for the body to heal and repair itself. Fasting is done to store energy utilised in the digestion process, as well as to remove toxins from the body.

Types of fastingFasting can mean total or partial abstinence from food. Medical advice generally suggests anywhere from 24 hours to three days as the maximum time to fast. When you fast, youre allowed to drink as much water as you like.

If youre thinking about fasting for the first time, its advisable to seek expert guidance and supervision from your doctor. Fasting isnt for everyone you certainly cant fast if youre pregnant, insulin-dependent or an alcoholic, or if you have diabetes or anaemia. Be sure to check with your doctor first.

For beginners, the easiest option is to fast for between four and eight hours during the day and then in the evening for 12 to 16 hours until morning. As a way in, you might decide to fast in the mornings from 6am to 1pm, and again in the evenings from 4pm to 10pm.

Popular intermittent fasting regimens range from ingesting few if any calories all day every other day or several times a week, to fasting for 16 hours or more every day. Many people will experience hunger, irritability and a reduced ability to concentrate during periods of food restrictions. However, these side effects usually disappear within a month.

Less hardcore fasts include the one item fast eating only one type of food, such as rice, for much of the day; the liquid fast drinking fruit juice and milk as you fast; and the fruit fast, which allows you to eat fruit during your fast.

For DB resident Sonal Kulkarni fasting is now a lifestyle. Photo by Baljit Gidwani

The fasting processFrom the onset, its important to recognise that the lifestyle implications of a poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, lack of sleep, and alcohol or drug use cannot simply be flushed or purged away. But a fast can help cleanse your body, and allow you to jump-start a healthier lifestyle.

Before you fast, you need to make sure that you are prepared both physically and mentally. In the fortnight preceding your fast, try to relax and get plenty of sleep. Drink lots of liquid and take some moderate exercise. Reduce your intake of all addictive substances and start to exclude certain foods, like red meat, dairy and refined carbohydrates.

Committing to fasting helps you reassess your diet, and become better informed about healthful eating. Many people find that their tastes change for the good and their old cravings disappear after a fast. Going forward, you may find that you do not need to eat as much, and that you feel more satisfied with healthy choices.

When you break your fast, start with raw foods fruit and vegetable juices and salads before switching to normal cooked meals. Your diet after fasting should include 40% carbohydrates, 30% fruit vegetables and 30% pulses, plus plenty of leafy greens.

Post-fast, you will find that you have a clean taste in your mouth, sweet breath and a clear tongue. Your urine will be clear. Youll feel fresh, your eyes will sparkle and youll be full of energy.

Fasting and autophagyWhen talking about fasting, its important to focus on autophagy the natural self-devouring process mentioned earlier that fasting triggers.

The human body contains trillions of cells, and over time, as they age, unwanted molecules build up inside them. When we fast, the body does not have its usual access to glucose, forcing the cells to resort to other means and materials to produce energy. During a long fast, insulin drops and this raises glucagon, which in turn stimulates autophagy cells start to heal themselves, removing and recycling any unwanted molecules and dysfunctional parts. This process of cellular housekeeping is crucial for cellular quality control not only does it rejuvenate cells it enables them to absorb nutrients more easily.

Defects in autophagy have been linked to various diseases, including neurodegeneration and cancer, and interest in modulating autophagy as a potential treatment for these diseases is growing rapidly. Recent studies of intermittent fasting have found that it improves such disease indicators as insulin resistance, blood fat abnormalities, high blood pressure and inflammation, even independently of weight loss. In patients with multiple sclerosis, intermittent fasting reduced symptoms in just two months, a research team in Baltimore reported in 2018.

Consider that in nature, when animals get sick, they stop eating. This results in better functioning at a cellular level, which in turn helps their bodies to heal.

The benefits of fastingFasting has numerous additional benefits. Importantly, it gives the digestive system a rest, while at the same time allowing the body to metabolise food and burn fats more efficiently.

Increased metabolism can, of course, help with weight loss. Just as importantly, fasting helps to regulate the hormonesin your body so that you can experience true hunger. This can be particularly beneficial to people who find it difficult to establish a correct eating pattern due to work and other priorities, and to people with eating disorders.

Medicine practitioners and naturopaths, from Phuket to Sri Lanka, Denpasar to DB, will tell you that fasting is an essential part of any detox. Even a short fast eliminates toxins from your body, and youll benefit from flushing them out regularly.

Fasting results in increased immunity. It reduces free radical damage, regulates inflammatory conditions and staves off cancer cell formation.

Fasting boosts the bodys production of pro-proteins, which activate neural stem cells to generate new neurons this results in improved mental clarity, focus and memory. People who fast also experience improved sleep quality. This is because fasting regulates the bodys production of serotonin and dopamine, the neurotransmitters that regulate countless functions and processes in the body, from sleep to metabolism.

Last but not least, fasting feeds the soul, making us feel peaceful and content. With a lighter body and clearer mind, we become more aware of and grateful for the things around us.

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Jan 3

6 Grocery Store Foods That Will Be Flying Off Shelves in 2021 | Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

No matter where you live, pandemic-related lockdowns have probably curtailed your activities in one way or another. For many, working in the office gave way to working from home. Going to the gym gave way to the "seven dog-walks a day" exercise plan, Zoom workouts, or, in many cases, no workouts at all (here are 20 warning signs you need to get moving again).

Americans also did a lot of home-cooking. Sourdough bread-baking becoming a cultural zeitgeist in the early days of lockdown, with all of these pandemic food trends following quickly in its footsteps. Now, as the vaccines roll out and we start a new calendar year, what are the hot new food items going to be in 2021?

According to a new Instacart survey of 2,050 U.S. adults conducted online in November by The Harris Poll, nearly half of all Americans are still deep into home-cooking. But after months of "binge-baking" and "quarantine comfort foods"as Instacart's Trends Expert, Laurentia Romaniuk, puts itthe pendulum is swinging toward bolder flavors, cultural explorations, and healthier snacks.

Read on for Instacart's prediction of the 6 foods you'll see flying off grocery store shelves and in kitchens everywhere in 2021. And for more, check out the 100 Easiest Recipes You Can Make.

At least 20 percent of the Americans surveyed by Instacart say they've become more adventurous in their home-cooking, increasingly introducing bolder flavors, new spices, and influences from other cultures into their repertoire as the year has gone by. Instacart's sales prove this isn't just "talk," with spices and spice-forward sauces having seen major gains in sales and showing no sign of trending downward anytime soon.

"2021 is looking like it's going to be a very flavorful year," Romaniuk told Eat This, Not That! "Consumers are looking to spice up the meals they've been making at home."

However, you can't help but wonder if the desire for more flavor has anything to do with the fact that one of COVID-19's most common symptoms is a loss of the senses of smell and taste.With that in mind, here's a spice that can help protect you from COVID-19.

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Considering the trend toward amping up flavors, it's not surprising that Instacart's survey revealed Americans are buying up a lot of anchovies (sales have gone up 85 percent in 2020!). In particular, canned or preserved anchovies, which are packed with umami flavor, are gaining popularity. Although the complex, meaty-slash-mushroomy flavor known as "umami" has been around forever (think: parmesan cheese, shitake mushrooms, and this instant pot shrimp and broccoli recipe), it's only recently been catching on with home cooks.

Anchovies lend their unique flavor to Worcestershire sauce and classic Caesar salad, among other recipes. They're also a standard pizza topping, and now, those briny, meaty little fishies are turning up everywhere.

Is it time for srirachato make room for a new condiment contender?

Apparently, Kewpie-brand mayonnaise, an extra-creamy mayonnaise that clever restaurant chefs have already been adding to their creations for years, has captured the attention of American home cooks. In fact, Instacart saw a 153 percent jump in sales of Kewpie mayonnaise since last year.

Truth be told, we're no stranger to the stuff. In fact, we wrote about it in 2019, calling it one of the worst condiments for your health. Of course, there is literally no such thing as mayonnaise that isn't high in fat and calories. But what made us single out Kewpie mayonnaise is that it contains the flavor-enhancer MSG (monosodium glutamate).

That being said, MSG lends wonderful umami taste to whatever it touches, and while it's been linked to migraines, whether or not it is otherwise harmful is the subject of continuing debateamong experts.

"One of the buzziest diets in recent yearsthe high-fat/low-carb Keto dietcontinues to be top of mind for many consumers," Romaniuk tells Eat This, Not That! "In fact, our survey indicates the keto diet is one of America's favorite eating plans." Twenty-eight percent of those who tried a diet during 2020 went keto, and 82% of those say they're sticking with it.

Instacart sales concur: Products like keto snacks and keto energy bars are continuing to sell. Besides helping you to lose weight, it can't hurt that the keto diet has also been scientifically proven to improve your prognosisshould you be diagnosed with COVID-19.

If you engaged in some devil-may-care boozing during the early days of the pandemic, you're not alone. If you're now looking to turn over a new, dryer leaf, then welcome to what may be one of the biggest trends of 2021: non-alcoholic drinks.

"Homemade craft cocktails have already grown in popularity this year," says Romaniuk.In fact, sales of alcohol-free beverages on Instacart increased by nearly 200 percent since 2019. Here are the 6 best new non-alcoholic beverages to try for mind and body benefits.

Despite the shift Instacart has observed toward alcohol-free beverages, booze will still be very popular in 2021. In fact, sales for hard seltzer have been going stronger than ever all over the U.S., with searches for brands across the category up a full 519%! And this category isn't all about White Claw anymore either. Searches were for all brands, according to Romaniuk.

Also trending upward is hard kombucha, which appeared in Instacart marketplace searches 320% more in 2020 compared to 2019. If you love the idea of a healthier, lower-carb alcoholic beverage, consider trying one of these 5 low-carb alcoholic drinks that support weight loss.

For more things to look for in 2021, Don't miss Yelp's best food trends to try in the new yearbased on 2020's restaurant reviews.

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6 Grocery Store Foods That Will Be Flying Off Shelves in 2021 | Eat This Not That - Eat This, Not That

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Jan 3

‘Gogglebox’ star Amy Tapper overwhelmed by response to weight loss – Yahoo! Voices


(Bloomberg) -- Rarely, if ever, can a year have started with price levels in emerging markets looking so divorced from the fundamental backdrop.Rising Covid-19 case numbers and uneven rates of recovery in the biggest of the developing economies underscore a nagging concern that this will be about as good as it gets for stocks, bonds and currencies. The relative strength index on MSCI Incs emerging-market equities gauge is above 70, suggesting the market is in overbought territory. The average yield on local-currency debt is less than 20 basis points above the all-time low of 3.46% reached in May.Even though the virus is likely to hold back growth next year, a blended price-to-earnings ratio of emerging-market stocks based on analyst estimates for the next 12 months is currently at 15.2 after reaching 15.4 in August, a record high in data compiled by Bloomberg starting in 2005.The fact remains though that with central-bank stimulus efforts and vaccine roll-outs providing comfort, most investors are confident the rally has further to run. Emerging-market economies will post an average fourth-quarter growth rate of 2.2%, according to a Bloomberg survey, though many see the efficacy of inoculation programs as a key driver for sentiment. The World Banks Global Economic Prospects report on Tuesday is set to provide further clues on the pace of recovery.Markets are naturally forward-looking, so we have seen a strong rally despite the dark winter with restrictions still in place in many countries, said Trieu Pham, a strategist at ING Groep NV in London. We remain constructive going in early 2021, with hopes that we turn a page on the Covid-19 issue and with major central banks remaining dovish.Listen: EM Weekly Podcast: Georgia Senate Runoffs, PMIs, Inflation DataDeveloping-nation stocks ended 2020 at the highest level in 13 years while currencies edged closer to their 2018 record. Local-currency bonds had their best quarter in more than a decade, with investors staring down more than $17 trillion of negative-yielding debt worldwide.Thats not to say there arent enough events to keep traders on their toes this week. Markets could face headwinds after the New York Stock Exchange said it will delist Chinas three biggest telecom companies to comply with a U.S. executive order. Chinese oil majors, including CNOOC Ltd., may be next in line for delisting in the U.S., according to Bloomberg Intelligence.The Georgia Senate runoffs on Tuesday may also affect sentiment toward risk assets, with the outcome set to decide control of the U.S. Senate and influence the ability of President-elect Joe Biden to advance his legislative agenda. Elsewhere, the Gulf Cooperation Council summit on the same day is seen as a possible step in resolving a crisis that erupted mid-2017 when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed trade, travel and diplomatic ties with Qatar.Among a slew of economic data due this week, Turkeys year-end inflation rate will be in focus as investors seek clues on whether the new central bank chief return to monetary orthodoxy is here to stay.Inflation DataTurkeys expected inflation rate leaves Governor Naci Agbal with little choice but to keep access to credit tight well into 2021Consumer prices probably rose an annual 14.2% in December, higher than the central banks raised October forecast of 12.1%, and nearly triple the target of 5%The lira was the biggest gainer in emerging markets after the Chilean peso in December, trimming last years loss against the dollar to 19%Governor Agbal delivered another meaty interest-rate hike late last month, bolstering credibility with investors after he pledged to tighten policy when needed to keep prices in checkIn Poland, preliminarily December inflation data will probably reflect a slowdownThe nations central bank is analyzing the impact of potential interest-rate cuts that could take place in the first quarter of 2021, Governor Adam Glapinski saidConsumer prices in Ukraine for December, scheduled for Friday, may show a higher reading for the monthColombias December inflation data, to be released on Tuesday, is likely to show that price-growth remains subduedWhile the nations peso slipped in 2020, it was still the second-best performer among six Latin American currencies tracked by BloombergDecember inflation data for for much of Asia will also be released this weekIndonesias CPI remained below below the central banks 2%-to-6% target range for a seventh month in data released on MondayThailand is expected to report a 10th month of deflation on TuesdayTaiwans CPI should hold around 0.1% in year-over-year terms in numbers due on ThursdayRead more: This Is the Start of a Rally That May Last in 2021: SEAsia RatesPMI ReleasesAsias manufacturing PMIs released early Monday were strong. The simple average excluding China rose half a point. This was despite increased lockdown measures in South Korea and weakness in Chinese PMIsThe separately released Caixin manufacturing PMI survey fell 1.7 points below economists forecastsThis wasnt enough to halt the rise of the yuan, which strengthened decisively through 6.5 per dollar soon after trading openedThe January outlook for the yuan looks good with exporter sales of dollars, clear evidence of seasonal strength, and the possibility of a relaxation in the central banks resistance to further appreciationChinas Caixin services PMI is predicted to show a slight increase when it is published on WednesdayIndias services PMIs are due on WednesdayThe rupee was one of the worst-performing regional currencies in the second half, though it still gained about 3%While there should be more room for rupee appreciation in 2021, Brad Setser -- who will probably be responsible for the U.S. Treasury report on currencies in the new U.S. Administration -- advocates a more forgiving attitude to countries that normally run a current-account deficitHungarys purchasing managers index is forecast to rise to 52.9 from 51.9 during DecemberPoland and Czech Republics PMI are set to show an improvement as wellOther DataSeveral Asian countries will release foreign-reserves data for December this weekIntervention probably continued during the month in much of the region, although at a slower pace than in NovemberSouth Koreas data are due on Wednesday. Exchange-rate valuation effects alone should increase reserves to about $440 billion. The won has stuttered a bit in recent weeks as Covid cases have spiked, but the currency still appreciated almost 11% in the second half of 2020Taiwans reserves are also due Wednesday. Valuation effects alone would lead to an increase to about $518 billion. The Taiwan dollar continues its pattern of making intraday gains and erasing them into the close. The very high volumes suggest it may only be a matter of time before the authorities yield groundThailand publishes reserves and forwards data to Jan. 1 on Friday. The baht broke through the key 30 per dollar level when trading commenced in the new year, as the central bank debates further measures to arrest currency strengthTaiwans trade numbers for December due Friday are expected to show healthy export growth and surplusSouth Koreas November current-account figures -- also due Friday -- should remain in comfortable surplusChina may release money supply and loans data this week, while the Philippines may release trade figures for NovemberChiles November economic activity on Monday is expected offer its first positive year-over-year reading since before the coronavirus was declared a pandemic, according to seven economists surveyed by BloombergInvestors will also watch for a potential pickup in December inflation figures later in the week. The peso was the lone Latin American currency to gain in 2020, according to a Bloomberg trackerOn Thursday, Mexican policy makers will release the minutes of their most recent meeting, when the central bank left its key rate unchangedOn the same day, a reading of December inflation will probably flag a pickup from a month earlierBrazil will release a slew of economic data for December, including trade figures, manufacturing numbers and vehicle salesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Jan 3

How to Safely Lose Weight After the Holidays – Science Times

The holidays are a season of merriment that only comes once a year, and often all good intentions of keeping one's health and nutrition on track are easier said than done. It is hard to keep track of one's weight when there is a feast laid out on the table during Christmas or New Year celebrations.

On average, Americans consume about 4,500 caloriesduring the holidays, but for those social butterflies who have lots of commitments to attend parties that number could add up. Unfortunately, the accumulation of these pounds will not melt as fast as the snow in the spring.

But that does not mean that losing weight is impossible. Here are some tips to safely lose that holiday weight gain:

Often, people mistake thirst for hunger, so they end up eating more. It is important to discern the differences between being hungry or thirsty to avoid adding up calories to the body.

Besides, there also benefits to drinking wateras it helps the stomach feel full. Experts suggest that taking a sip of water before sitting down to a meal or even during a meal will add volume and weight to the meal, making the person feel full.

In losing weight, it is not advisable to lose all the unwanted weight at once. Experts advise that people should start focusing first on the 10% of their weight loss goal as it has the best chance of ultimate success.

Additionally, losing the first 10% of the weight loss goals yields the biggest health gain because the belly fat is usually the first to come off. Belly fat is considered to be the most dangerous fat in the body, according to an article by The Conversation.

ALSO READ: Age Doesn't Matter When It Comes to Losing Weight, Study

Sugar consumption could be addicting and could lead to an unhealthy cycle of cravings and binges because of the insulin spikes that accompany foods high in sugar. Insulin is responsible for keeping the blood sugar down, storing extra calories as fat, and causes a sugar crash later that leads to a "food coma."

Since sweets are expected and inevitable during the holiday celebrations, it has also become the season for high sugar levels and fat. It would be best to cut out eating the sweet stuff after the holidays for at least four to ten days to decrease cravings for these foods, according to Muscle and Fitness website. Slowly, the body would start to crave more naturally sweet foods, such as fruits and vegetables.

According to studies, eating more proteinwill prolong the feeling of fullness because it is more difficult to digest which leads to less of an insulin spike. Researches done in many European countries found that those who ate a high-protein breakfast or lunch were less hungry at their next meal.

Also, protein takes a few more calories to digest, as long as the person sticks to a low-fat protein like chicken, salmon, greek yogurt, or thinly sliced turkey breast.

Experts said that one of the main causes of overeating is having low self-esteem. Training oneself to focus on their best trait rather than their weaknesses could be helpful. It might help to buy new clothes or update one's hairstyle and get a makeup suggestion to feel attractive every day.

READ MORE: Losing Weight? Experts Say Timing Your Meals is the Best Way

Check out more news and information on Weight Lossin Science Times.

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Jan 3

Why do some people find it harder than others to lose weight? – The Guardian

Anushka Asthana talks to Dr Andrew Jenkinson, a consultant in bariatric (weight-loss) surgery. He discusses how his patients experiences of failed weight loss led him to spend years researching metabolism and weight reduction. Why is it that although most people consume food with too many calories, only some become obese?

Genes predispose you to obesity, he says, but your genetics need to be triggered by environmental change for you to become obese. In areas of the world where populations eat local, fresh ingredients, populations do not become obese. But if you change that food supply to processed food, some of that populations will become obese.

The United Arab Emirates is a good example of this, says Jenkinson, who holds clinics in Dubai. He notes that two generations ago the population ate a Bedouin diet. Now they have a far more processed diet and obesity rates have soared 50% of UAE women are obese.

Jenkinson believes that by decreasing sugar and refined carbohydrates, increasing our omega 3 and 6 levels, and decreasing our cortisol (stress hormone) levels rather than cutting calories, people can permanently reduce their weight.

Jenkinsons book Why We Eat (Too Much) is out now.

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Why do some people find it harder than others to lose weight? - The Guardian

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Jan 3

Ask the Expert: What are the most realistic steps to maintain a healthy weight? – The Daily Progress

Its also important to set an alarm weight; this is usually a weight that is about 3 to 5 lbs. above your goal weight. If you hit that weight, that can signal you to put into place your weight-loss protocol; it might mean a bit less added sugar, fewer starchy vegetables like potatoes, or less bread or pasta.

Sometimes, patients will come to me because they feel they are doing everything correctly and they are not getting closer to their goals. We take an inventory of every aspect of their lives: preparation, stress, sleep, nourishment and movement. I recommend journaling writing down their food in a simple way and spending a few minutes journaling their thoughts. This helps us identify where they are struggling and what feels easy.

Also, I like to encourage decision making about meals and movement ahead of time. When we create these decisions in advance, we are using the best part of our brains and are less likely to give into impulses for less healthy options when we are tired. Set yourself up for success if you know you are too tired to prepare a meal by the end of the week, consider simple foods like scrambled eggs and a side of mixed greens or frozen veggies, which take only minutes to prepare. Stock your fridge with easy options for those types of days.

Perhaps one of the most important concepts, which we dont discuss enough, is self-compassion and self-acceptance. Weight regain happens, so when we can forgive ourselves, we can begin to move forward and work toward our goals. If you need more help, please speak to your primary care doctor or find an obesity medicine specialist for additional help.

Dr. Jenilee Lawrence is board certified in obesity medicine and internal medicine and provides primary care, including care of patients who are overweight or obese, at the UVa Health Zion Crossroads primary care practice. Learn more at

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Ask the Expert: What are the most realistic steps to maintain a healthy weight? - The Daily Progress

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Jan 3

Exercise helps us to lose weight, but whats the optimal amount? – The Irish Times

Can exercise help us shed pounds? An interesting recent study involving overweight men and women found that working out can help us lose weight, in part by remodelling appetite hormones.

But to benefit, the study suggests, we most likely have to exercise a lot burning at least 3,000 calories a week. In the study, that meant working out six days a week for up to an hour, or around 300 minutes a week.

The relationship between working out and our waistlines is famously snarled. The process seems as if it should be straightforward: We exercise, expend calories and, if life and metabolisms were just, develop an energy deficit. At that point, we would start to use stored fat to fuel our bodies continuing operations, leaving us leaner.

But our bodies are not always cooperative. Primed by evolution to maintain energy stores in case of famine, our bodies tend to undermine our attempts to drop pounds. Start working out and your appetite rises, so you consume more calories, compensating for those lost.

The upshot, according to many past studies of exercise and weight loss, is that most people who start a new exercise programme without also strictly monitoring what they eat do not lose as much weight as they expect and some pack on pounds.

But Kyle Flack, an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Kentucky, began to wonder a few years ago if this outcome was inevitable. Maybe, he speculated, there was a ceiling to peoples caloric compensations after exercise, meaning that if they upped their exercise hours, they would compensate for fewer of the lost calories and lose weight.

For a study published in 2018, he and his colleagues explored that idea, asking overweight, sedentary men and women to start exercising enough that they burned either 1,500 or 3,000 calories a week during their workouts. After three months, the researchers checked everyones weight loss, if any, and used metabolic calculations to determine how many calories the volunteers had consumed in compensation for their exertions.

The total, it turned out, was an average of about 1,000 calories a week of compensatory eating, no matter how much people had worked out. By that math, the men and women who had burned 1,500 calories a week with exercise had clawed back all but about 500 calories a week of their expenditures, while those burning through 3,000 calories with exercise ended up with a net weekly deficit of about 2,000 calories. (No ones overall metabolic rate changed much.)

Unsurprisingly, the group exercising the most lost weight; the others did not.

But that study left many questions unanswered, Flack felt. The participants had performed similar, supervised workouts, walking moderately for 30 or 60 minutes, five times a week.

Would varying lengths or frequencies of workouts matter to peoples caloric compensation?

And what was driving peoples eating?

Did the differing amounts of exercise affect peoples appetite hormones differently?

To find out, he and his colleagues decided to repeat much of the earlier experiment, but with novel exercise schedules this time. So, for the new study, which was published in November in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, they gathered another group of 44 sedentary, overweight men and women, checked their body compositions, and asked half of them to start exercising twice a week, for at least 90 minutes, until they had burned about 750 calories a session, or 1,500 for the week. They could work out however they wished many chose to walk, but some chose other activities and they wore a heart rate monitor to track their efforts.

The rest of the volunteers began exercising six times a week for about 40 to 60 minutes, burning close to 500 calories a session, for a weekly total of about 3,000 a week. The researchers also drew blood, to check on the levels of certain hormones that can affect peoples appetites.

After 12 weeks, everyone returned to the lab, where the researchers refigured body compositions, repeated the blood draws and began calculating compensations.

And again, they found a compensatory threshold of about 1,000 calories. As a consequence, only the men and women in the group that had exercised the most six days a week, for a total of 3,000 calories had shed much weight, dropping about four pounds of body fat.

Interestingly, the researchers did uncover one unexpected difference between the groups. Those burning about 3,000 calories a week showed changes now in their bodies levels of leptin, an appetite hormone that can reduce appetite. These alterations suggested that exercise had increased the exercisers sensitivity to the hormone, enabling them to better regulate their desire to eat. There were no comparable hormonal changes in the men and women working out less.

In essence, Flack says, the new experiment reinforces the earlier finding that most of us will eat more if we exercise, but only up to about the 1,000-calories-a-week inflection point. If we somehow can manage to burn more than that amount with exercise, we probably can drop weight.

But, of course, burning thousands of calories a week with exercise is daunting, Flack says. Plus, this study lasted only a few months, and cannot tell us whether later changes to our appetites or metabolisms would augment or undercut any subsequent fat declines.

Still, for those of us hoping that exercise might help us trim our waistlines , the more we can move, it seems, the better. New York Times

Sign up for one of The Irish Times'Get Runningprogrammes (it is free!).First, pick the eight-week programme that suits you.- Beginner Course:Acourse totake you from inactivity to running for 30 minutes.- Stay On Track:For those who can squeeze in a run a few times a week.- 10km Course:Designed for those who want to move up to the 10km mark.Best of luck!

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Exercise helps us to lose weight, but whats the optimal amount? - The Irish Times

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Jan 3

Add more of this vitamin in your diet to lose weight in winter – Times of India

The benefit of vitamin A is not only limited to skin and hair health. A new study revealed that it can help you shed kilos particularly when the weather gets colder.

The study published in the scientific journal, Molecular Metabolism revealed that vitamin A stimulates a fat-burning process known as browning. Browning is referred to as the conversion of white fat tissue into brown fat tissue. This brown fat makes 10 per cent of the total fat of the body and helps to burn calories and generate energy.

According to another study published in the journal Nature, this kind of fat can also help in treating obesity and type 2 diabetes. The findings revealed that brown fat could help the body filter and remove branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) from the blood. These amino acids when present in excess amounts can increase the risk of diabetes and obesity.

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Add more of this vitamin in your diet to lose weight in winter - Times of India

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Jan 3

Have this super healthy flax seeds kadha to lose weight – Times of India

Flax seeds one of the oldest known crops originated in the Middle East thousands of years ago. Also known as common flax or linseeds, these seeds are of two types- brown and golden, which are equally nutritious. They gained popularity later owing to their myriad health benefits.

Just one tablespoon of flax seeds (7 grams) can provide you with a good amount of heart-healthy omega-3 fats, fiber, protein and other essential vitamins and minerals. The seeds hold great importance even in preparing Ayurvedic medicine. They are available in different forms in the market including seeds, oils, powder, tablets, capsules, and flour.

One tablespoon of flax seeds gives you-

Calories: 37

Protein: 1.3 grams

Fiber: 1.9 grams

Total fat: 3 grams

Omega-3 fatty acids: 1,597 mg

Vitamin B1: 8% of the RDI

Folate: 2% of the RDI

Iron: 2% of the RDI

Magnesium: 7% of the RDI

Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI

Potassium: 2% of the RDI

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Have this super healthy flax seeds kadha to lose weight - Times of India

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