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Oct 29

The Ketogenic Diet: A Detailed Beginners Guide to Keto – Healthline

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The ketogenic diet (or keto diet, for short) is a low carb, high fat diet that offers many health benefits.

In fact, many studies show that this type of diet can help you lose weight and improve your health (1).

Ketogenic diets may even have benefits against diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimers disease (2, 3, 4, 5).

Here is a detailed beginners guide to the keto diet.

The ketogenic diet is a very low carb, high fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and low carb diets.

It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.

When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain (6).

Ketogenic diets can cause significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has some health benefits (6, 7, 8).

The keto diet is a low carb, high fat diet. It lowers blood sugar and insulin levels and shifts the bodys metabolism away from carbs and toward fat and ketones.

There are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including:

However, only the standard and high protein ketogenic diets have been studied extensively. Cyclical or targeted ketogenic diets are more advanced methods and primarily used by bodybuilders or athletes.

The information in this article mostly applies to the standard ketogenic diet (SKD), although many of the same principles also apply to the other versions.

There are several versions of the keto diet. The standard (SKD) version is the most researched and most recommended.

Ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body uses fat for fuel instead of carbs.

It occurs when you significantly reduce your consumption of carbohydrates, limiting your bodys supply of glucose (sugar), which is the main source of energy for the cells.

Following a ketogenic diet is the most effective way to enter ketosis. Generally, this involves limiting carb consumption to around 20 to 50 grams per day and filling up on fats, such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and healthy oils (6).

Its also important to moderate your protein consumption. This is because protein can be converted into glucose if consumed in high amounts, which may slow your transition into ketosis (10).

Practicing intermittent fasting could also help you enter ketosis faster. There are many different forms of intermittent fasting, but the most common method involves limiting food intake to around 8 hours per day and fasting for the remaining 16 hours (11).

Blood, urine, and breath tests are available, which can help determine whether youve entered ketosis by measuring the amount of ketones produced by your body.

Certain symptoms may also indicate that youve entered ketosis, including increased thirst, dry mouth, frequent urination, and decreased hunger or appetite (12).

Ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body uses fat for fuel instead of carbs. Modifying your diet and practicing intermittent fasting can help you enter ketosis faster. Certain tests and symptoms can also help determine whether youve entered ketosis.

A ketogenic diet is an effective way to lose weight and lower risk factors for disease (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

In fact, research shows that the ketogenic diet may be as effective for weight loss as a low fat diet (13, 14, 15).

Whats more, the diet is so filling that you can lose weight without counting calories or tracking your food intake (16).

One review of 13 studies found that following a very low carb, ketogenic diet was slightly more effective for long-term weight loss than a low fat diet. People who followed the keto diet lost an average of 2 pounds (0.9 kg) more than the group that followed a low fat diet (13).

Whats more, it also led to reductions in diastolic blood pressure and triglyceride levels (13).

Another study in 34 older adults found that those who followed a ketogenic diet for 8 weeks lost nearly five times as much total body fat as those who followed a low fat diet (17).

The increased ketones, lower blood sugar levels, and improved insulin sensitivity may also play a key role (18, 19).

For more details on the weight loss effects of a ketogenic diet, read this article.

A ketogenic diet can help you lose slightly more weight than a low fat diet. This often happens with less hunger.

Diabetes is characterized by changes in metabolism, high blood sugar, and impaired insulin function (20).

The ketogenic diet can help you lose excess fat, which is closely linked to type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and metabolic syndrome (21, 22, 23, 24).

One older study found that the ketogenic diet improved insulin sensitivity by a whopping 75% (25).

A small study in women with type 2 diabetes also found that following a ketogenic diet for 90 days significantly reduced levels of hemoglobin A1C, which is a measure of long-term blood sugar management (26).

Another study in 349 people with type 2 diabetes found that those who followed a ketogenic diet lost an average of 26.2 pounds (11.9 kg) over a 2-year period. This is an important benefit when considering the link between weight and type 2 diabetes (24, 27).

Whats more, they also experienced improved blood sugar management, and the use of certain blood sugar medications decreased among participants throughout the course of the study (27).

For more information, check out this article on the benefits of low carb diets for people with diabetes.

The ketogenic diet can boost insulin sensitivity and cause fat loss, leading to significant health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.

The ketogenic diet actually originated as a tool for treating neurological diseases such as epilepsy.

Studies have now shown that the diet can have benefits for a wide variety of different health conditions:

However, keep in mind that research into many of these areas is far from conclusive.

A ketogenic diet may provide many health benefits, especially with metabolic, neurological, or insulin-related diseases.

Any food thats high in carbs should be limited.

Heres a list of foods that need to be reduced or eliminated on a ketogenic diet:

Avoid carb-based foods like grains, sugars, legumes, rice, potatoes, candy, juice, and even most fruits.

You should base the majority of your meals around these foods:

Its best to base your diet mostly on whole, single-ingredient foods. Heres a list of 44 healthy low carb foods.

Base the majority of your diet on foods such as meat, fish, eggs, butter, nuts, healthy oils, avocados, and plenty of low carb veggies.

To help get you started, heres a sample ketogenic diet meal plan for one week:

Always try to rotate the vegetables and meat over the long term, as each type provides different nutrients and health benefits.

For tons of recipes, check out these 101 healthy low carb recipes and this keto shopping list.

You can eat a wide variety of tasty and nutritious meals on a ketogenic diet. Its not all meats and fats. Vegetables are an important part of the diet.

In case you get hungry between meals, here are some healthy, keto-approved snacks:

Great snacks for a keto diet include pieces of meat, cheese, olives, boiled eggs, nuts, raw veggies, and dark chocolate.

Although getting started on the ketogenic diet can be challenging, there are several tips and tricks that you can use to make it easier.

Reading food labels, planning your meals ahead, and bringing your own foods when visiting family and friends can make it much easier to stick to the ketogenic diet.

Many restaurant meals can be made keto-friendly.

Most restaurants offer some kind of meat or fish-based dish. Order this and replace any high carb food with extra vegetables.

Egg-based meals are also a great option, such as an omelet or eggs and bacon.

Another favorite is bun-less burgers. You could also swap the fries for vegetables instead. Add extra avocado, cheese, bacon, or eggs.

At Mexican restaurants, you can enjoy any type of meat with extra cheese, guacamole, salsa, and sour cream.

For dessert, ask for a mixed cheese board or berries with cream.

When eating out, select a meat-, fish-, or egg-based dish. Order extra veggies instead of carbs or starches, and have cheese for dessert.

Although the ketogenic diet is usually safe for most healthy people, there may be some initial side effects while your body adapts.

Theres some anecdotal evidence of these effects often referred to as the keto flu (38). Based on reports from some on the eating plan, its usually over within a few days.

Reported keto flu symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting (39). Other less common symptoms include:

To minimize this, you can try a regular low carb diet for the first few weeks. This may teach your body to burn more fat before you completely eliminate carbs.

A ketogenic diet can also change the water and mineral balance of your body, so adding extra salt to your meals or taking mineral supplements may help. Talk to your doctor about your nutritional needs.

At least in the beginning, its important to eat until youre full and avoid restricting calories too much. Usually, a ketogenic diet causes weight loss without intentional calorie restriction.

Many of the side effects of starting a ketogenic diet can be limited. Easing into the diet and taking mineral supplements can help.

Staying on the keto diet in the long term may have some negative effects, including risks of the following:

A type of medication called sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors for type 2 diabetes can increase the risk for diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition that increases blood acidity. Anyone taking this medication should avoid the keto diet (40, 41).

More research is being done to determine the safety of the keto diet in the long term. Keep your doctor informed of your eating plan to guide your choices.

There are some side effects to the keto diet about which you should speak to your doctor if you plan to stay on the diet long term.

Although no supplements are required, some can be useful.

Certain supplements can be beneficial on a ketogenic diet. These include exogenous ketones, MCT oil, and minerals.

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about the ketogenic diet.

1. Can I ever eat carbs again?

Yes. However, its important to significantly reduce your carb intake initially. After the first 2 to 3 months, you can eat carbs on special occasions just return to the diet immediately after.

2. Will I lose muscle?

Theres a risk of losing some muscle on any diet. However, protein intake and high ketone levels may help minimize muscle loss, especially if you lift weights (50, 51).

3. Can I build muscle on a ketogenic diet?

Yes, but it may not work as well as on a moderate carb diet (52, 53). For more details about low carb or keto diets and exercise performance, read this article.

4. How much protein can I eat?

Protein should be moderate, as a very high intake can spike insulin levels and lower ketones. Around 35% of total calorie intake is probably the upper limit.

5. What if I am constantly tired, weak, or fatigued?

You may not be in full ketosis or be utilizing fats and ketones efficiently. To counter this, lower your carb intake and revisit the points above. A supplement like MCT oil or ketones may also help (42, 43).

6. My urine smells fruity. Why is this?

Dont be alarmed. This is simply due to the excretion of by-products created during ketosis (54).

7. My breath smells. What can I do?

This is a common side effect. Try drinking naturally flavored water or chewing sugar-free gum.

8. I heard ketosis was extremely dangerous. Is this true?

People often confuse ketosis with ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is dangerous, but the ketosis on a ketogenic diet is usually fine for healthy people. Speak to your doctor before starting any new diet.

9. I have digestion issues and diarrhea. What can I do?

This common side effect usually passes after 3 to 4 weeks. If it persists, try eating more high fiber veggies (55, 56).

A ketogenic diet can be great for people who:

It may be less suitable for elite athletes or those wishing to add large amounts of muscle or weight.

It may also not be sustainable for some peoples lifestyles and preferences. Speak with your doctor about your eating plan and goals to decide if a keto eating plan right for you.

Read the article in Spanish.

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Oct 20

What Is The Dukan DietAnd Is It Effective? – Forbes

The Dukan Diet is split into four phases that vary in terms of duration, how much weight you can expect to lose and which foods you should eat and avoid.

The first phase of the diet is the shortest and most restrictive. Depending on your goals, this phase lasts between two to seven days and could result in two to eight pounds of weight loss, according to the diet program.

However, rapid weight loss isnt necessarily a good thing, according to Brittany Lubeck, a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant for Oh So Spotless in Fort Collins, Colorado. In addition to being harmful and potentially unsafe, Lubeck also notes that it can increase the risk of weight regain in the future.

Only around 68 pure protein foods are permitted during this phase, which includes items like lean meat, poultry and fish. Additionally, its recommended to consume 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran and aim for 20 minutes of physical activity per day, which can help contribute to weight loss, according to the plan.

The Cruise phase lasts until you reach your True Weight, which is a healthy weight that youre able to maintain based on your age, sex, height and weight loss history, according to the programs website. Dieters can expect to lose around two pounds per week during this phase, according to the site.

In addition to the 68 high-protein foods that are permitted during the first phase, followers can also enjoy 32 vegetables, including asparagus, kale and broccoli, shirataki noodles and limited quantities of olive oil, goji berries and wheat gluten. It also encourages you to eat 2 tablespoons of oat bran and exercise for 30 minutes daily.

The Consolidation phase aims to prevent weight regain by gradually reincorporating forbidden foods, such as fruits and starchy vegetables, back into your diet and allowing you to enjoy up to two celebration meals per week, which may consist of an appetizer, entre and dessert with one glass of wine.

Dieters follow this phase for five days for each pound of weight they lost during the Cruise phase. You should also consume two tablespoons of oat bran, exercise 25 minutes per day and eat only lean proteins one day per week.

The Stabilization phase is intended to be followed indefinitely once youve reached your weight goal, and allows you to add any forbidden foods back into your diet. During this phase, there are no restrictions on which foods you can eat.

The only rules for this phase are to continue eating only high-protein foods one day per week, walk for 20 minutes daily and consume 3 tablespoons of oat bran per day, which can help maintain weight loss, according to the plan. Indeed, an emphasis on whole foods and moderate exercise has been shown to be beneficial for weight loss over time.

Experts note what separates this diet from other, similar eating plans is the incorporation of off- limit food items back into the diet. However, they caveat that the diet does not take into account busy lifestyles or social events that may not make it suitable for many.

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Oct 20

Navigating the necessity of losing weight, according to BMI Butler County Times-Gazette – Butler County Times Gazette

By Dr. Keith Roach

DEAR DR. ROACH: I was confused by your column the other day, as well as the response regarding weight loss to a writer who is losing height due to aging and/or osteoporosis.

Would it be possible to please obtain more information about why its not necessary to lose weight unless someone is in the morbidly obese range? I am confused. You also said that its okay to be in the overweight range (of the BMI) and remain healthy. What about the obese range of the BMI?

Many people, including myself, have vacillated between the overweight and obese range for quite a few years, and dont feel healthy and would like to lose weight. I try to eat well, and I exercise regularly. So, I am unclear on why this is considered sustainable unless I reach the morbidly obese range.

I am tired of peoples fat phobia; perhaps your column was an attempt to normalize being overweight and obese in order to avoid fat phobia, which is rampant in society. I could understand that perspective. But, I am still curious about the actual health effects of not losing weight or why you said it wasnt necessary. K.E.

ANSWER: I try to base my recommendations on evidence when possible,and the evidence is pretty strong that being overweight does not increase a persons overall risk of death. While this area remains controversial, the most recent data suggest that a BMI (the body mass index is a flawed but widely used way of adjusting weight for a persons height) in the overweight range is not a significant harm and, in some studies, may have an improved mortality rate compared with people who are in the normal range.

However, people who are obese do have a clear worsening in mortality risk, and the risk depends strongly on a persons waist size. A smaller waist size for both men and women is associated with improved mortality rates at every level of BMI, reflecting the fact that abdominal obesity (a body shape sometimes called apples) is much different and much worse than obesity around the hips and thighs (pears). At very high levels of obesity, called morbid obesity, there is an increase in mortality that gets worse and worse as the BMI goes up.

The reason I do not emphasize weight reduction for patients who are overweight, and for those people who are in the obese but not morbidly obese range, is because the evidence that weight loss improves outcomes is scanty. Further, nearly every obese patient I have had has heard many times that they need to lose weight, and I feel that emphasizing specific behavioral changes, such as modest increases in exercise and specific dietary changes after a careful review of their eating habits, is more likely to improve that persons health than the advice to just lose weight.

People who are obese and morbidly obese who have diseases related to their weight, such as diabetes, do benefit from weight loss. However, the best evidence from this comes from trials on weight loss surgery, which is not appropriate for many. The newer diabetes drugs that have become available may dramatically change our understanding of the potential health benefits of weight loss, but having witnessed several spectacular disasters from weight loss drugs, I am awaiting more long-term data before making a stronger recommendation on these new classes of drugs when used specifically for weight loss (as opposed to using them for diabetes).

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to or send mail to 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.

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Oct 20

Whats The Best Time To Eat Dinner For Digestion And Weight Loss? Heres What Health Experts Say – SheFinds

Although you may have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we also cant forget the monumental importance of dinner; how you end your day can be just as impactful on your health as how you start it. And as it turns out, it isnt just what you eat that can make a differenceits also important to pay attention to when you eat it. According to health experts, the time at which you eat dinner plays a major role in functions like digestion, sleep, and metabolism. Luckily, theres one rule they swear by for ensuring optimal results.

To discover the best time to eat dinner in order to keep everything running smoothly, we spoke to Dietitian Kimberly Gomer MS, RD/LDN, Director of Nutrition for Beautiful Body Miami, and sleep expert Jeff Kahn, CEO and Co-Founder of Rise Science. They told us that eating 2-3 hours before bed is ideal. Read on to learn why!

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Unsurprisingly, the best time to eat dinner is less of an actual time of day and more about your own personal routine. Health experts agree that having your meal a few hours before you go to bed is the best rule of thumb. "It is best to eat dinner at least 2 hours (ideally 3 hours) before your head hits the pillow," Gomer confirms. This is good for your body when it comes to digestion, weight loss, and sleep.

One of the main reasons you should leave an ample amount of time between dinner and sleep is the fact that you want to give your body enough time to digest your food while you're awake. Otherwise, not only will you run into indigestion, but you may also have a harder time getting a full night's rest. "When you sleep, you are supposed to rest and repairnot digest food," Gomer reminds us. "Digesting foods while sleeping can cause acid reflux and stomach upset."

Kahn agrees, noting that digestion is best done standing or sitting. "Lying down to digest often results in heartburn, indigestion, and GI discomfort, which are all uncomfortable by themselves and can lead to less or worse sleep," he says.


But it isn't just digestion that's affected by the time at which you eat dinner; your mealtime can also play a major role in your weight for several reasons. "It is ideal for weight loss to have a longer opportunity for insulin balance," Gomer states. "When we eat, insulin must respond, and that will promote fat storage instead of weight loss."

Additionally, eating dinner at a consistent time is important to regulating your body's functions, including your metabolism. "Eating later than your circadian rhythm anticipates can desynchronize your internal body clocks, many of which are responsible for the complicated processes of digestion and require alignment with each other to work well," Kahn tells us. "Over time, desynchronized clocks increase your risk of obesity and metabolic disorders." Yikes!

Finally, remember that waiting too long to eat typically results in overeatingwhich is, of course, a major faux-pas for anyone looking to lose weight. Kahn points out that this can especially be a risk when you're tried. "We tend to make poorer food choices when we're tired because we have less willpower to recruit," he explains. "For this reason, late eating can often be unhealthy eating. (And under conditions of sleep loss, our hunger and satiation hormones work in counter-productive ways, leading us to feel hungrier and less satisfied with our usual patterns of consumption.)" Good point!

Taking all of this into consideration, there's no doubt that aiming to eat at least 2 hours before bed (and more if possible!) is the best way to go. However, the occasional late dinner won't be the end of the world. As Kahn concludes, "The odd night where you can't eat earlier won't make or break your overall health, wellbeing, and weight loss efforts. Making eating earlier a long-term, consistently practiced habit is what's going to have a positive impact."

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Oct 20

Depression and weight changes: The link and how to manage – Medical News Today

Depression can cause weight changes, which may be due to physical changes in the body as a result of depression itself, side effects of antidepressants, or changes in appetite and relationship to food.

There is a close link between depression and weight changes, which can work both ways. Drastic changes in weight may affect a persons emotional state and create physical changes in their body that can also affect their mood.

Depression can change a persons eating habits, level of physical activity, and metabolic system, which can all affect weight.

This article looks at the link between depression and weight and steps a person can take to manage depression and weight changes that may occur.

Changes in appetite, diet, and eating patterns are common in depression.

Depression can cause a loss of appetite, which may lead to weight loss. However, depression may instead cause an increase in appetite and therefore weight gain. Researchers now describe two types of depression:

Weight loss may occur if people lose interest or pleasure in eating, which may happen as a result of changes in the brains reward system that occur with depression.

Antidepressants can also cause weight loss or weight gain. And other possible side effects of antidepressants, such as nausea and insomnia, may affect eating habits and weight.

Research has shown that rates of depression are twice as high in people with obesity than in those without. Researchers are still unsure whether obesity leads to depression or whether depression leads to obesity.

Depression and obesity may occur as a result of a change in stress responses in the body. Other factors that may link the two conditions include:

Read more about the link between obesity and depression.

Obesity can cause risk factors for depression, such as:

Diet can affect both weight and mental health. A diet that is high in fat and sugar or includes more than the recommended number of calories can increase the risk of obesity.

People following a healthy diet have a lower risk of experiencing or developing symptoms of depression.

Weight changes can be a side effect of antidepressants, although medications may affect each person differently.

According to a 2018 study, antidepressants increase the risk of weight gain, which can vary depending on the type of antidepressant. The researchers found that the risk of weight gain was greatest during peoples second and third years of taking antidepressants.

The risk of 5% or more weight gain was 46.3% greater in people who were in their second year of antidepressant treatment than in the general population. These findings applied to people from a wide range of demographics.

According to a 2020 study, weight changes are a possible side effect of many antidepressants. Tricyclic antidepressants may lead to many side effects, including obesity. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors may also cause weight gain.

Certain antidepressants may lead to weight loss in some people. For example, a common side effect of venlafaxine is nausea, which could make people feel like eating less.

One of the significant side effects of long-term treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in study participants was weight loss.

Learn more about antidepressants and weight gain.

Anhedonia the loss of pleasure or interest in things a person may usually enjoy is a key symptom of depression. Anhedonia may affect a persons eating patterns.

Anhedonia and certain emotional states, such as depression, may have a link to certain behaviors that make it more difficult to lose weight, such as stopping a weight loss program or reducing cardiovascular exercise.

In people with obesity, high levels of anhedonia may also contribute to lower fitness levels and an increased risk of stopping a weight loss program.

Depression can affect sleep patterns, and people experiencing it may have difficulty sleeping. Insomnia can also be a side effect of some antidepressants.

Insufficient or poor quality sleep increases the risk of overweight and obesity, metabolic changes, dysfunctional eating patterns, and reduced physical activity.

A 2019 study found that emotional eating eating as a response to negative emotions is linked to depression and the development of obesity.

The researchers concluded that people with higher rates of emotional eating who slept for shorter durations at night may have a higher risk of weight gain.

Research suggests that increasing physical activity and sleep duration may help people reduce excessive intake of foods high in fat and sugar as a response to negative emotions. This may help them regulate their weight.

If people find that they lack motivation to exercise, they may start with short durations of low impact exercise such as walking. People can consult a healthcare professional for advice and to discuss an exercise program that may help.

If depression is affecting a persons sleep or a person thinks antidepressants may be causing insomnia, a doctor may be able to suggest treatments or a change in medication.

People may also need to alter their diet by reducing or increasing calories, depending on whether they want to gain or lose weight. People may find it helpful to speak with a doctor or dietitian who can help them create a tailored eating plan.

If people need urgent help or need to talk with someone, they can call a helpline such as the SAMHSA helpline or call 988 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, which is available 24/7.

Learn about foods that may help with depression.

Treatment and lifestyle changes may help people manage depression and weight changes.

Losing weight may help improve symptoms in people who have depression and obesity.

If people with depression are concerned that they are losing weight, speaking with a health professional about increasing their calorie intake, as well as checking for underlying causes, may help.

A doctor can help people work out a treatment plan to target depression and any associated weight changes. A doctor can also help people find a mental health professional if necessary.

Depression can cause weight loss or weight gain. This may be due to changes within certain body systems, a side effect of medications, or mood changes that affect eating patterns and appetite.

If people with depression find it difficult to regulate their weight, they can talk with a healthcare professional about treatment options.

Treatment may include a change in medication type or dosage, an exercise program, and a dietary plan.

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Oct 20

The Dire Connection Between Diet and Obesity, Depression, and Anxiety – The Epoch Times

The link between obesity and mental health disorders is more significant than most people realize, and one physician researcher has been working to better understand the reasons.

Obesity has become epidemic, with the average American man now weighing 198 poundsup from 166 in the 1960sand the average American woman weighing 170 poundsup from 140 in the 1960s. Concurrently, mental disorders like depression, anxiety, ADHD, and post-traumatic stress disorder are also becoming epidemic, and Dr. William Wilson, author of Brain Drain, believes the phenomena are correlated.

While many researchers have linked several of these conditions to factors related to modern lifeeverything from sitting too much, to social isolation, to environmental contaminants including endocrine disruptersWilson believes the overarching cause is our food. Or more accurately, his findings focus on how the food we commonly eat triggers a neurological/psycho-emotional disorder he calls carbohydrate associated reversible brain syndrome or the CARB syndrome.

Wilson is the rare family physician who is also active in the research community, a combination that led to his work in the field.

According to Wilson, the long-term consumption of highly processed foods made by Big Food, or the Food Industrial Complex as he calls it, has had a profound impact on brain function. These foods are packed with high glycemic carbohydrates and sugars that drain the body of crucial neurotransmitters like dopamine, epinephrine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. This loss nudges people toward mental disorders even as it compels the body to store extra fatregardless of how much the person eats.

I noticed a strange correlation [in my patients] between certain brain dysfunction symptoms and changes in body composition, and the symptom changes always preceded the body composition changes, Wilson told The Epoch Times.

In other words, psychological factors seemed to have a causative role in weight gain.

To me, this suggested that when it comes to fat storage, the brain calls the shots, he said.

Wilson made this observation after taking the somewhat unusual step 16 years ago to begin measuring body composition using a Futrex machine. It measures body composition far more accurately than the typical method of using body mass index (BMI), which is a formula based on dividing weight by height. Unfortunately, BMI doesnt take muscle mass into account.

Even people with anorexia can still have excess body fat, Wilson says.

Over the years, Wilson has amassed a database of more than 18,000 cases, and he noticed another pattern: When body composition improved so did several psychological conditions.

A 2003 paper by Harvard researchers theorized that 14 common brain disorders may be part of an overall disease called affective spectrum disorder. The paper got Wilson thinking.

I realized they were the same symptoms associated with changes in body composition and I eventually identified 22 symptoms that fit this pattern, he said.

The symptoms that Wilson says characterize CARB syndrome are:

At the heart of CARB syndrome is a pattern of disordered eating that is linked to shifts in brain chemistry and mental health.

The symptoms of CARB syndrome can overlap with many traditional brain disorders, Wilson said, which creates confusion in the medical and scientific communities.

For example, bipolar disorder has been with us since the dawn of human civilization, characterized by mania and psychosisa complete separation from reality, he said.

Over the past 50 years, we have been seeing a lot of people with hypomania but no psychosis. The medical profession decided to call this bipolar disorder II, which, in my opinion, is wrong. These patients have CARB syndrome, which is unrelated to bipolar disorder I. If you treat them with antipsychotics, over time they get worse and gain a lot of weight.

People with CARB syndrome dont eat like normal people, Wilson explained.

In normal, healthy people without CARB syndrome, mild cravings for sugar and highly refined carbohydrates can occur, especially after consuming processed food, but these cravings tend to be mild and transitory, he said.

In those with CARB syndrome, these cravings become very intense and persist regardless of food consumed, he said. They push people to consume more of the very food that is frying their brains, triggering a vicious circle of disease and declining quality of life. There are likely multiple reasons for these pathological cravings, including fluctuating glucose levels.

Studies in scientific literature have supported Wilsons tenets. In a study published in the journal Current Nutrition Reports in 2019, researchers wrote: Dopamine receptor agonists show attenuation of obesity and improvement of mental health in rodents and humans. Modulating brain insulin and dopamine signaling in obese patients can potentially improve therapeutic outcomes.

In other words, fixing dopamine issues decreased obesity and improved mental health in the subjects.

Research published in 2017 in the journal Birth Defects Research notes that recent studies have highlighted how palatable high fat and high sugar junk foods affect brain function, resulting in cognitive impairments and altered reward processing.

Diet can lead to alterations in dopamine-mediated reward signaling, and inhibitory neurotransmission controlled by gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), two major neurotransmitter systems that are under construction across adolescence, the study authors wrote.

Poor dietary choices may derail the normal adolescent maturation process and influence neurodevelopmental trajectories, which can predispose individuals to dysregulated eating and impulsive behaviors.

In short, eating poorly can affect brain development and trigger disordered eating, even as it undermines impulse control.

This year, research published in the journal Behavioural Brain Research also studied links between diet and brain function in adolescent rats. The researchers looked at the role of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), an ingredient found in almost all junk food.

While HFCS consumption has been linked to an increased likelihood of obesity and other physical health impairments, the link between HFCS and persistent behavioral changes is not yet fully established, the researchers wrote.

The present study aimed to assess whether adolescent HFCS consumption could lead to alterations in adult behaviors and protein expression, following cessation, and the researchers found it did.

Taken together, these data suggest that adolescent HFCS consumption leads to protracted dysfunction in affective behaviors and alterations in accumbal proteins which persist following cessation of HFCS consumption, they concluded.

Wilson cowrote a 2021 article with Dr. Richard Johnson, a top fructose researcher, in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, which The Epoch Times cited earlier this year. Titled Fructose and Uric Acid as Drivers of a Hyperactive Foraging Response: A Clue to Behavioral Disorders Associated With Impulsivity or Mania? the article also buttresses the CARB syndrome concept.

Obesity has been linked, in the scientific literature, to a greater chance of contracting COVID-19 as well as a greater chance of developing complications from the disease, which Wilson also notes.

I believe that in many cases, there is a two-way connection between COVID-19 and CARB syndrome, he said. Because the brain plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy immune system, I believe that people with CARB syndrome are more prone to developing COVID-19. Once people have the illness, they dont fully recover due to their malfunctioning immune system, and they end up with what is termed long COVID-19.

If you peruse the typical symptoms of long COVID-19, they closely overlap with typical CARB syndrome symptoms.

If someone develops COVID-19 and doesnt already have CARB syndrome, they are more likely to develop it down the line, Wilson said.

Thats because COVID-19 alters brain function, making individuals more prone to developing other brain disorders like CARB syndrome. Thus, COVID-19 and CARB syndrome seem to be connected in a deadly dance into sickness and diminished quality of life, he said.

Because neurons dump neurotransmitters when exposed to high glucose levels, and the body then excretes them, Wilson said he gives patients precursors of neurotransmitters such as the amino acids L-tyrosine, DL-phenylalanine, and 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-htp) and sees their condition improve.

I also add L-glutamine, an amino acid that helps to suppress those pesky cravings for sweet and starchy food, he said.

Not surprisingly, more healthful and conscientious eating makes a difference in those suffering from negative diet/brain connection, said Wilson, who offers some recipes on his website

As a final word, Wilson said, CARB syndrome is preventable, reversible, and treatable, and no one should be discouraged.


Martha Rosenberg is a nationally recognized reporter and author whose work has been cited by the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Public Library of Science Biology, and National Geographic. Rosenbergs FDA expose, 'Born with a Junk Food Deficiency,' established her as a prominent investigative journalist. She has lectured widely at universities throughout the United States and resides in Chicago.

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The Dire Connection Between Diet and Obesity, Depression, and Anxiety - The Epoch Times

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Oct 20

Obesity risk in middle-aged women linked to air pollution in new study – Yahoo Life

A new study has linked air pollution to women's weight. (Getty Images)

Nearly 42% of adults in the U.S. are now considered to have obesity, but there's no easy explanation why. After all, many contributing elements determine a person's weight, including genetics, muscle mass, diet, exercise routine and environmental factors. But a new study found one surprising contributor to weight, as far as women are concerned: air pollution.

The study, which was published in the journal of the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Care, analyzed data from 1,654 women from the Study of Womens Health Across the Nation, a multi-site, long-term study designed to examine the health of women during their middle years. Data collected from the women, who had a median age of 49.6, included body size and body composition. The researchers also tracked annual air pollution exposures.

Here's what they found: The more air pollution the women were exposed to, the greater their risk of developing obesity. Air pollution exposure was specifically linked to higher body fat, a higher proportion of fat and a lower lean body mass in women who are in their middle years. Women exposed to air pollution had an increase in body fat of 4.5% or about 2.6 pounds.

The researchers also looked at how air pollution and physical activity influenced body composition and found that high levels of physical activity were a good way to offset exposure to air pollution.

The lead author of the study, Xin Wang, a research investigator in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, tells Yahoo Life that he and his team wanted to identify and study "modifiable risk factors, including exposures to environmental pollutants," to help identify people who are at high risk for having obesity.

Wang says it's not surprising that air pollution may play a role in the development of obesity. "If we look at history, it is not hard to find that the fast rise in obesity prevalence has paralleled the increasing exposure to environmental pollutants," he says. Wang notes that research has already linked exposure to air pollutionincluding fine particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and ozone to increases in inflammation of fat tissue, along with a slew of other factors that are "tightly linked to obesity."

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It's easy to assume that air pollution could increase a person's chances of developing obesity because it keeps people indoors, but it's more complex than that, Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, an obesity medicine physician and clinical researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, tells Yahoo Life. "Research shows that it appears that air pollution may lead to metabolic dysfunction meaning, it affects your metabolism and how your body stores cholesterol," Stanford says. "Air pollution also seems to be tied to chronic disease onset, whether it's diabetes or obesity."

But, she adds, "when you have air pollution, of course it can disrupt regularly physical activity, particularly in an outdoor setting."

As for exercise helping to combat the impact of air pollution on weight, that is correlated with the benefits of exercise in general, Dr. Mark Conroy, an emergency medicine physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells Yahoo Life. "Exercise has long been viewed as having a strong association with improved health and body composition," he says. "In individuals with high levels of inflammation, exercise can lower those levels, improve metabolism and promote fat loss."

Stanford cautions against blaming obesity on air pollution alone. "Obesity is a complex, multifactorial relapsing-remitting disease," she says. "Everyone that has obesity may have it for a variety of different reasons. For some, air pollution may be one of the things that leads to some of the disease that people have but, for many, there are multiple factors that play a role." She lists among these family history, medications and chronic stress. "It's important for us not to just single out one factor as being the reason why people have obesity," she says.

Wang points out that the study was conducted on a specific population midlife women who were exposed to a specific range of air pollution (the median annual PM2.5 concentration ranged from 12.3 g/m3 to 15.9 g/m3). As a result, it's not possible to conclude that the findings apply to everyone. "However, our findings call for more studies, especially those with high exposed population, to confirm the association between air pollution and obesity," he says. "This will help find out whether air pollution is an important contributor to the epidemic of obesity and establish the foundation for future studies for intervention strategies."

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Obesity risk in middle-aged women linked to air pollution in new study - Yahoo Life

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Oct 20

Digital weight loss company Noom confirms another round of layoffs – Mobihealth News

Noom confirmed another round of layoffs at the digital weight loss company this week, the latest in a spate of workforce reductions at health tech companies.According to reporting by TechCrunch, Noom let go of about 500 workers, or around 10% of its staff, largely affecting its coaching team.

This marks the second round of layoffs at the company this year. Insider first reported in April that Noom was cutting about a quarter of its coaches as part of a strategy change in its coaching model.

"Noom has experienced extraordinary growth over the past several years, and its essential that we are structured in a way that enables us to continue growing over the long term. We recently made the difficult decision to reduce the number of Noom employees. We are deeply grateful for their contributions to Noom, and we wish them continued success," a Noom spokesperson wrote to MobiHealthNews.


Founded in 2008, Noom raised a massive $540 million Series F round in 2021. At the time, Bloomberg reported it was valued at $3.7 billion. The company said it planned to use the cash to expand outside weight loss and later launched a stress-management product dubbed Noom Mood.

But Noom has faced pushback for its weight loss model, which some have critiqued for too-low calorie recommendations and insufficient support from coaches with high caseloads.

Earlier this week, TripAdvisor announced the hire of Noom CFO Mike Noonan, who will take over for its retiring executive at the end of the month. The company is also looking for a new CEO to replace cofounder Saeju Jeong, who is staying in his role until Noom finds a successor.

A number of other digital health and health tech companies have announced layoffs this year. Connected fitness giant Peloton recentlylaid off another 500 workers, its fourth round of reductions this year, as the company executes a financial turnaround plan.

COVID-19 testing and vaccination startup Curative announced it was laying off 109 workers last month as it shifts focus to launching a new health plan.

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Digital weight loss company Noom confirms another round of layoffs - Mobihealth News

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Oct 20

Need Motivation to Exercise? Find an Active Friend – Healthline

It may be obvious to some, but exercising with a friend is more motivating than going solo, according to new research published today.

And the evidence isnt just anecdotal.

Theres actually a newly developed mathematical model incorporating the influence of social interactions on community exercise trends.

It suggests interacting with moderately active people can influence sedentary people to become more active.

The research was developed by a team led by Ensela Mema, PhD, an assistant professor at Kean University in New Jersey.

According to the researchers, the 2018U.S. Department of Health and Human Services guidelines recommending the types and amounts of physical activity havent inspired much improvement in daily exercise routines.

So, Mema and colleagues looked at previous research showing social interactions with peers can play a key role in boosting physical activity within a community. They developed a mathematical model simulating how social interactions can affect a populations exercise trends over time.

Using data from the U.S. Military Academy, the simulations showed populations with decreasing physical activity and sedentary behavior were most common in the absence of social interactions.

However, when simulations included social interactions between sedentary and moderately active people, they became more physically active in the long term. In simulations where moderately active people became more sedentary over time, overall physical activity trends plummeted.

We have traditionally directed physical activity interventions by engaging sedentary individuals to become more active, the researchers said in a statement. Our model suggests that focusing on the moderately active population to sustain their activity and increasing their interactions with sedentary people could stimulate higher levels of overall physical activity in the population.

Though the simulations werent validated with real-world data, the researchers said they still provide new insights that could inform public health efforts.

They recommend social activities designed to boost interactions between sedentary and moderately active people.

Experts say theres not only an increased level of enjoyment with group exercise, theres also accountability, making it more likely people show up and get results.

Depending on the individuals personality, expectations, experience, and motivation, everyone can respond differently and uniquely to a more social exercise environment, said Ryan Glatt, a personal trainer and brain health coach for the Pacific Neuroscience Institute at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in California.

Whereas some individuals may feel competitive, that sense of competition can be both friendly and playful or aggressive and serious, Glatt told Healthline. Conversely, others can compare themselves to others, which can either lower or increase confidence depending on the context.

Some individuals are more internally accountable, where they will never miss a commitment they make to themselves, and others are more externally accountable, where they are more likely to exercise when they have an external accountability system, he added.

Noah Neiman, the co-founder of Rumble Boxing in New York City, told Healthline that humans are a communal species, so getting better results by exercising with others just makes sense.

He said communal exercise is a breeding ground for the elevated effort thats truly necessary to make a lasting positive impact on your mind and body.

We survive and thrive in packs, Neiman said. Numerous studies show that having a strong peer group has noticeable effects on our physical health and psychology. Its important to exercise and its important to get your social time in. Those two dont necessarily have to go hand in hand. I wanted to create Rumble (Boxing) because I wanted to combine those two very important elements.

Matthew Stultz, PhD, an exercise physiologist at Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, told Healthline theres a long history of evidence showing the benefits of group exercise.

Experiments back to 1898 Travis Triplett (at Indiana University) demonstrate that working out with someone can help you to work harder (and) go faster, which is called social facilitation, Stultz told Healthline. In this case, two people running with each other push each other along to run at a faster pace.

But Stultz cautioned the opposite can happen as well.

You can feel compelled to slow down if your partner is in worse condition and this is probably why some people feel compelled to work out alone. They dont want to be impeded by someone elses lack of effort or inability to keep up, Stultz explained. I suggest that you work out with someone similar to you and with similar goals, fitness level, and drive, or be willing to step up to that level soon.

Stultz also said employing personal trainers is often the result of wanting to interact and be motivated by someone else.

Some people prefer to workout side-by-side with others and need the social interaction and accountability; thats why personal trainers exist, that, and the expertise (and) guidance, Stultz told Healthline. Many others just need to be in the same vicinity of other people working out, and not working out with them, per se.

Danielle Cote, the director of training operations for national chain Pure Barre, told Healthline its important to balance your approach to group exercise.

Some people find success in scheduling their workouts and treating them like they are mandatory meetings that cannot be rescheduled, Cote said. It can be easy to move yourself down the priority list, especially as the day goes on. Find a time that works best for you and schedule, whether it is the same time each day you are working out, or it needs to shift based off other obligations and commitments.

Cote added its important to celebrate progress rather than letting any comparative shortcomings affect your motivation.

Remember to give yourself grace, Cote said. Outside of your workouts theres a lot of demands youre met with on a day-to-day basis and lifestyle factors are a big part of this as well. Oftentimes, individuals may focus on what type of progress theyve made, when there are so many components to consider.

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Need Motivation to Exercise? Find an Active Friend - Healthline

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Oct 20

Hey, Health Coach: What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Yo-Yo Dieting? – Forbes

According to most research, your doctor is correct: Yo-yo dieting can be taxing on both the body and mind.

If youve ever played with a yo-yo, you know it requires a certain amount of force, so the analogy here is an appropriate one. Assuming youre not seriously ill, rapid weight loss demands forceful change. In yo-yo dieting, people frequently take extreme measures like drastically cutting calories or restricting whole categories of food. Its difficult to maintain because food gives us energy, pleasure and comfort, and yanking it out of reach has inevitable physical and psychological repercussions.

Everyones body is unique, but repeated phases of feast and famine have predictable results. Heres what we know.

When you cut calories, your body utilizes both fat reserves and muscle mass for fuel. In other words, weight loss isnt exclusively fat. Youre likely losing muscle, too.

As you may know, muscle burns more calories than fat, so when you have less muscle, your metabolism decreases, requiring fewer calories to maintain your current weight. If you start eating more calories after losing that muscle, your body will probably regain fat more easily than muscle tissue. Over time, yo-yo dieting can change your body composition, and, with a higher percentage of body fat, sustaining weight loss grows more difficult.

One thing to keep in mind: If youre losing weight, strength training and eating adequate protein helps your body maintain muscle mass. The recommended dietary allowances for protein vary depending on a persons age and activity levels. A sedentary adult needs 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight while someone engaged in strength or endurance training might require up to 1.7 grams per kilogram. For someone who weighs 180 pounds, the ideal range would be 65 to 138 grams of protein per day. But to keep your muscles strong and ready to work, eating protein isnt enough. You have to exercise, too.

Leptin is a hormone that helps signal when youre full and its time to stop eating. It comes from fat cells, so when you create a calorie deficit and lose fat, less leptin is released into your blood, leading to a potential increase in appetite.

Unfair as it may be, losing weight makes you hungrier, and the lower metabolism mentioned above makes you burn fewer calories. When you gain and lose, as you do yo-yo dieting, you can see how you might end up less satisfied and possibly heavier than you were in the first place.

A 2021 meta-analysis of studies including over 250,000 people found individuals who experienced weight cycling had a 23% increased risk of developing diabetes than those who didnt weight cycle. While the researchers stress that more studies are needed, evidence suggests this risk could be caused by metabolic disturbances, such as insulin resistance, elevated triglycerides and abdominal fat accumulation.

Weight cycling can also contribute to heart disease. According to a study of more than 9,500 people in the New England Journal of Medicine, body weight fluctuations are associated with higher mortality and a higher rate of cardiovascular events independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors.

To your doctors point about the difference between staying overweight and yo-yo dieting, a study that followed several thousand young people (ages 18 to 30) for 15 years found those who maintained a stable body mass index (BMI) over time experienced a minimal progression in risk factors and lower incidence of metabolic syndrome regardless of their starting BMI. Simply put, participants that started out heavier but maintained their weight did not have increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes compared with folks who put on weight over time.

You probably dont need me to tell you that dieting can be infuriating. And for some, it can trigger depression. A study of 2,700 U.S. adults in the fall of 2020 found weight cycling to be related to reported depressive symptoms in both men and women, regardless of a persons starting weight.

Anyone at any weight can struggle with their body, and anyone at any weight can feel confident and strong.

I have to remind my clients sometimes that being thin doesnt automatically equate to being happy or healthy.

In the above study, fluctuations in weight were also correlated with something the researchers called internalized weight stigma, defined as the extent to which a person believes negative weight-related stereotypes (such as people with larger bodies have less willpower, are less competent or are unattractive) to be true of themselves.

Weight stigma shows up repeatedly in research associated with poor body image, lack of confidence in dietary choices and lower health-related quality of life, as well as a greater likelihood of weight gain, weight cycling, perceived stress and eating to cope.

Feeling badly about our bodies doesnt make us more likely to treat them well. It makes us more likely to be stressed out and seek coping mechanisms that make us feel better as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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Hey, Health Coach: What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Yo-Yo Dieting? - Forbes

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