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Sep 26

What Is the Blood Type Diet, and Is It Worth the Hype? – The Everygirl

Have you ever wondered why your friend can eat dairy without any side effects while you suffer from bloating? How can one person swear by the keto diet while someone else sees no difference? According to Boston Medical Center, an estimated 45 million Americans will try a diet plan each year. Maybe youre among the millions who have dabbled with keto, vegan, Atkins, Mediterranean, or one of the many other diets out there. Youve spent time trying different food combinations or rearranging your eating schedule. Youve told yourself it would all be worth it because this diet will be the one that works. Yet, now youre six months down the road and dont see the results you had hoped for.

Theres a reason diet culture is overwhelming and disappointing. The truth is, our bodies are all different. While one diet may make your friend, sister, or coworker feel amazing, it might not be the right fit for you. Were all about ditching diets and eating whatever makes your body feel good, but there may be an explanation for why different ways of eating work for different bodies.

Enter: the Blood Type Diet. Founded by Dr. Peter J. DAdamo, the Blood Type Diet provides individualized solutions for each persons blood type. Instead of looking at one diet as a solution for everyone, the Blood Type Diet breaks down each persons blood type and uses that information as the basis for nutrition. Im usually turned off by anything with diet in the title, but this one seems different. It proves that diets are not a one-size-fits-all method. Read on for my deep dive into what the Blood Type Diet really is and whether or not its worth trying out.

As Dr. DAdamo explains in his book Eat Right For Your Type, there are four universal blood types: Type O, Type A, Type B, and Type AB. Each type possesses a different antigen with its own chemical structure. Your blood type plays a huge role in how you absorb nutrients. This means that your blood not only affects how you respond to infections, stress, and bacteria, but it also affects the bodys response whether you eat a croissant or eggs for breakfast.

In his research, Dr. DAdamo found that different foods have different lectins, and those lectins produce a chemical reaction between blood and the food you eat. Sometimes the reaction leaves us feeling satisfied and energized, while other times, the reaction causes us to feel symptoms like indigestion, bloating, or fatigue. The Blood Type Diet looks at how different lectins in foods are absorbed by different blood types. Eating based on your blood type can increase nutrient intake, improve gut health and digestion, and support overall immune function, according to Dr. DAdamo.

Of course, nutrition is only one piece of the puzzle. Any wellness method is incomplete without factoring in the role of stress and exercise. (We can eat all the healthy food we want, but unless we also factor in high-stress levels and a sedentary lifestyle, we wont feel our very best.) Dr. DAdamo agrees. So, hes included research on how different blood types need different forms of exercise to cope with stress, as well as a stress and exercise plan for each blood type.

Dr. DAdamo found that people with Type O blood respond best to a diet based on animal proteins while avoiding dairy and grain products. Type Os can efficiently digest and metabolize meats and seafood because they tend to have high stomach-acid content, he explained. But its important to balance meat products with vegetables and fruit to avoid over-acidification. When it comes to exercise, he recommended intense physical exercise like HIIT or weight training because it makes the muscle tissue more acidic and produces a higher rate of fat-burning activity.

For Type As, Dr. DAdamo recommends limiting meat and dairy products, as they are poorly digested, but moderate quantities of seafood (3-4 times a week) can have beneficial effects. Focus more on plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, etc. Type As can tolerate wheat products and gluten more than other blood types. But they shouldnt eat in excess, or else their muscle tissue will become overly acidic. For exercise, Type As thrive by engaging in gentle and meditative movements to help manage stress, such as yoga, Tai Chi, stretching, walking, or Pilates.

Type Bs can benefit from a balanced diet of all types of foods, including meat, dairy, seafood, and grains. However, Dr. DAdamo suggests limiting corn, buckwheat, lentils, peanuts, and sesame seeds, as they contain a certain lectin that affects the efficiency of your metabolic process. This results in fatigue, fluid retention, and hypoglycemia. As for exercise and stress, Type Bs are able to manage stress well. They do best with moderate activities such as tennis, hiking, cycling, walking, yoga, jogging, or light weight training.

For those with the rarest of all blood types, Type ABs, their plan requires a combination of the Type A and Type B plans. Unlike Type As, meat in small portions can be beneficial. A balanced diet of all foods works for your systemincluding dairy, grain products, fruits, and vegetables. The key with Type AB is portion size and frequency, so eat smaller meals more frequently. When it comes to exercise, Type ABs have inherited a Type A stress pattern. So, Dr. DAdamo recommends following the Type A exercise plan of gentle movement to help decrease stress.

We like that the Blood Type Diet is a personalized wellness plan that looks at a persons genetics and bio-individuality. However, use it as a starting point or a way to experiment when finding what works best for your body. Dont follow the plan to a T. As with every diet, some experts swear by it while others disagree. For example, Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, CNS, DCa leading doctor and founder of Ancient Nutritionbelieves that the Blood Type Diet may help some people, but its not necessarily the best for everyone. There are other factors that determine how we digest nutrients than just blood type, like hormones.

Bottom line: The best way to determine what foods to eat and what exercise to do is to listen to your body. Period. Looking to your blood type for insight on nutrition and movement might make you feel amazing, but the same effects can be achieved in other ways too. The Blood Type Diet isnt necessarily for everyone, but it shows that diets need to be more personalized and cater to an individuals body type, food preferences, and biological history. Our bodies are all different, and how we eat should cater to that uniqueness. If youre thinking of experimenting with the Blood Type Diet, talk to your doctor and know that your body is always the #1 expert about which foods and exercise are best for you.

What Is the Blood Type Diet, and Is It Worth the Hype? - The Everygirl

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Sep 26

The basics of diabetes and diet Nebraska City News Press – Nebraska City News Press

The number of people living with diabetes has risen dramatically over the last four decades. According to the World Health Organization, between 1980 and 2014, the number of people with diabetes rose from 108 million to 422 million.

The dramatic spike in diabetes cases in such a short period of time highlights just how big a threat the disease poses to the health of people across the globe. That makes now a perfect time to learn more about diabetes and what individuals can do to manage their disease.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease related to how the body produces or utilizes insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin or cannot effectively utilize the insulin it produces.

What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

The WHO notes that more than 95 percent of the people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association , type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not use insulin properly, whereas type 1 occurs when the body does not produce insulin.

Can diabetes be managed?

Its important that individuals diagnosed with diabetes recognize that both types 1 and 2 can be managed. The ADA reports that diet and routine exercise are vital to managing type 2 diabetes. The ADA urges people who have recently been diagnosed with diabetes to speak with a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN/ RD) to find foods that are healthy and help them feel satisfied at the end of a meal. Lingering may compel people to make poor dietary choices that could make their condition worse. The ADAs Nutrition Consensus Report, published in 2019, is a comprehensive review of 600 research articles over a five-year span conducted by a panel of scientists, doctors, endocrinologists, diabetes educators, and dietitians. That review emphasized the significance of working with an RDN, noting that recommendations about diet for diabetes patients must take factors specific to each individual, including their life circumstances and preferences, into consideration. The review also noted that each person responds differently to different types of foods and diets, so there is no single diet that will work for all patients.

Though there is no one-size-fits-all diet for people with diabetes, the ADA created the Diabetes Plate Method as a simple way to help people with diabetes create healthy meals. The method urges individuals to fill half their plate with nonstarchy vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, green beans, and salad greens. One-quarter of the plate should be filled with lean proteins such as chicken, lean beef (cuts like chuck, round or sirloin), or fish (salmon, cod, tuna). Plant-based sources of protein also count, and these include beans, lentils, hummus, falafel, edamame, and tofu, among other foods. The final quarter of the plate should be reserved for foods that are higher in carbohydrates, such as whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, whole grain pastas), beans and legumes, or even fruits and dried fruit.

More people than ever before are being diagnosed with diabetes. Diet plays a significant role in managing life with diabetes. More information can be found at

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Sep 26

7 dietitian-approved weight loss hacks that actually work – Fit and Well

With so many supposed weight loss hacks on the internet, television and social media, it can be hard to have a healthy relationship with our weight. Some will say that fat or carbs are the energy, while others will push fad diets or weight loss foods. Lets be clear; you cant actually hack your way to weight loss in these ways, at least not healthily.

In order to achieve healthy and sustainable weight loss, small changes to our lifestyles are key. From the way that we treat our relationship with sleep, down to ensuring we're not removing entire food groups from our diet. Healthy, dietician-approved tips are the way forward.

To unpack what really works, we spoke with Reema Patel, registered dietitian and nutritionist for Dietitian Fit & Co (opens in new tab), for the best ways to help you on your healthy and sustainable journey to weight loss. Plus, check out our ultimate round up of the best protein powder for weight loss to keep you full throughout the day.

A diet high in fiber can help to keep you fuller for longer and increase overall satiety levels, says Patel. This is because fiber takes time to move through our digestive system, slowing down the absorption of nutrients and helping with fullness. It will also therefore help with controlling blood sugar levels and preventing spikes and crashes.

Reema Patel is a registered dietitian and member of the Health & Care Professions Council and the British Dietetic Association in the U.K. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics from the University of Surrey, and a Master of Science in Sports and Exercise Nutrition from Loughborough University.

Patel further explains how fiber also feeds the healthy bacteria in our gut, which can have an impact on weight and blood sugar control.

Ideally, we want to be consuming around 30g of fiber a day. But for those who dont already have this level of fiber intake, be sure to introduce more fiber gradually. Great sources of fiber include plenty of fruits and vegetables, grains and pulses, as well as nuts and seeds.

If you take the time to plan your meals ahead of the working week, writing a shopping list and prepping some elements to meals, this will help you not only with maintaining healthy habits in the long term, but also saving money, says Patel. This way, you can ensure that you always have the food you need to be eating in the house, and feel more prepared about cooking.

Patel suggests boiling a batch of eggs to have as a quick breakfast or snack, cutting up your vegetables so that they can be easily roasted in the week, or marinating some meat and fish to speed up time in the kitchen when preparing dinner.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The idea of mindful eating allows us to be fully present and aware of our food and eating and explore how it makes our body feel when we eat. Patel recommends that before even eating, you should take a moment to notice the food how does it smell, what are the sensations you are getting? Then, take your time to enjoy the experience of eating, slowly with no distractions, to fully appreciate the food.

This way, youll notice your body and emotions change and feel different whilst eating. This can make enjoying foods that you crave more manageable, with slightly smaller portions but feeling fully satisfied after having them mindfully, adds Patel.

Sleep has so much to do with our overall health from our skin down to our weight. If you find that you have short night sleeps or struggle with energy in the day, it could be worth trying to improve your sleep hygiene.

Patel recommends trying to reduce screen times an hour before sleep, instead doing other things that relax you such as reading or another hobby like scrapbooking or knitting. Try to go to sleep and wake up at regular times each day, even on weekends, to get into a routine, she says.

Studies show (opens in new tab) that if you do not get enough sleep, you may be more likely to snack the next day or reach for higher energy dense foods to provide you with a boost to get you through the day. You may also be less inclined to cook healthy meals or exercise, which all impacts on your health overall.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Relationships with comfort eating can be difficult. But if we find that after a long or stressful day, we reach for food as a comfort, this can have a negative impact overtime on health and weight.

Its not that comfort eating is bad, explains Patel, but, its important to find other ways to really help us to feel better. When we think about it, eating for comfort can help in the moment, but often it is very short lasting and we are left wanting more.

Food can be a temporary fix but looking deeper into what other ways you may find helpful to manage stress or help with your mood will be more important for your wellbeing in the long term.

Instead of cutting carbs from the diet, focus on the quality and type of carbohydrates consumed.

Carbohydrates are important to help provide us with our main source of energy, in the form of glucose. However, there is a difference in the types of carbohydrates, and how they can influence weight, explains Patel.

Try to opt for unprocessed whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and pulses, and reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates, such as white bread or pastas, and pastries. Unprocessed carbohydrates are often higher in fiber, with a lower glycaemic index. This can help with improving blood sugar control and helping regulate appetite levels, which can play a role in reducing risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Read more about good carbs vs bad carbs at Fit&Well.

(Image credit: Getty)

There are some many benefits of protein. When we consume protein, this requires more energy by the body to digest and absorb, which is beneficial for helping with weight loss, says Patel. So, its important to get a good level of protein in each meal this could be animal protein, including chicken, red meat, fish, eggs or dairy, but can also include vegetarian protein such as beans, lentils and soy products like tofu.

This is especially helpful if you are exercising regularly, as a diet higher in protein will help to facilitate muscle maintenance and muscle growth.

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Sep 26

Behavioral weight loss interventions: Do they work in primary care? – Harvard Health

Attaining and maintaining a healthy weight is a major health issue, not only in the United States but in many countries throughout the world. Governments are looking to identify the most effective services to support people to lose weight and improve overall health. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis (a larger study of studies) examined the effectiveness of weight management interventions delivered in primary care settings, and included data from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Spain.

Researchers evaluated 34 studies with adults who had a body mass index greater than 25 (overweight). They looked at people who received weight loss interventions within primary care settings. The interventions included instruction on weight management behaviors such as low-calorie diets, increased exercise, use of food diaries, and/or behavioral self-management approaches with support by clinic staff to set weight-related goals, solve problems, and increase self-efficacy.

Weight loss interventions were conducted by telephone, the internet, email, or face-to-face, and included group-based and/or individual connections. The research compared these types of interventions to no weight loss treatment, minimal intervention (use of printed or electronic education about weight loss), or instruction in attention control to resist urges or behaviors, but not focusing specifically on weight loss behavior.

The interventions were delivered by a variety of medical professionals (nurses, dietitians, and general practitioners) and nonmedical practitioners such as health coaches. The interventions lasted between one session (with patients following the program unassisted for three months) and several sessions over three years, with a median of 12 months.

Results showed that the mean difference between the intervention and comparison (no specific weight loss intervention) groups at one year was a weight loss of 5.1 pounds, and at two years it was 4 pounds for those that received weight loss interventions in primary care. There was also a mean difference in waist circumference of -2.5 cm, in favor of the intervention at one year.

Importantly, since this was a systematic review of 34 trials with a wide range of interventions, the authors were not able to specifically identify which interventions produced the result.

The authors noted that although a 5-pound greater weight loss in the intervention group may seem small, research has shown that a 2% to 5% weight loss is associated with health benefits, including lower systolic blood pressure along with reduced triglyceride and glucose levels, which may impact cardiac health.

The study recognized that the comparison groups had fewer person-to-person contacts than the intervention groups, and this may have played a critical role in the findings. A greater number of contacts between patients and providers led to more weight loss. The research suggests that programs should be developed to include at least 12 contacts (face-to-face, telephone, or a combination).

Although the study did not determine the costs of the programs, it is likely that interventions delivered by nonmedical personnel, with supervision and support from primary care health professionals, would be less expensive. It may be that a combination of practitioners would be most effective, since physicians and general practitioners most likely will not have the time for 12 consultations to support a weight management program.

A study prepared for the US Preventive Services Task Force and published in 2018 found similar results. This review reported a reduction of 5.3 pounds in participants who received weight management interventions in a variety of settings, including universities, primary care, and the community. Compared with controls, participants in behavior-based interventions had greater mean weight loss at 12 to 18 months and less weight regain.

In the two largest trials (of the 124 identified), there was a decreased probability of developing type 2 diabetes compared with those who did not receive the weight management interventions. There was an absolute risk reduction of approximately 14.5% in both trials over three to nine years, meaning those who received weight loss management intervention had a 14.5% reduced chance of developing diabetes compared to a control group.

Weight management interventions delivered in primary care settings are an effective way to deliver services. Primary care practices offer good reach into the community, and oftentimes are the first point of contact for people to the healthcare system. With our growing obesity epidemic, every effort should be considered to connect with patients struggling with their weight and offer viable, effective interventions.

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Sep 26

Bulking and cutting: How a fitness trend may be impacting youth – Medical News Today

Engaging in muscularity-oriented eating and weight-control behaviors is common among adolescents and young adults and varies according to gender.

Bulking and cutting is a dietary technique in which individuals alternate between periods of high caloric surplus bulking, and periods of caloric restrictioncutting, to increase muscle definition.

Until now, few studies have explored the link between bulk and cut cycles and psychological factors such as the drive for muscularity, eating disorders, and muscle dysmorphia.

Recently, researchers conducted a study to understand the prevalence of bulk and cut cycles across genders and to recognize any links with mental health conditions.

They found that almost half of young men and one in five women, transgender, and gender non-conforming (TGNC) individuals engaged in bulk and cut cycles in the last 12 months.

They also found that bulking and cutting was linked to an increased incidence of muscle dysmorphia and eating disorders among all genders.

The study was published in Eating and Weight Disorders- Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia, and Obesity.

For the study, the researchers used survey data from 2,762 individuals from the Canadian Study of Adolescent Health Behaviors. Participants were between 16 and 30 years old and were recruited between November and December 2021 via adverts on Instagram and Snapchat.

Survey topics included:

After analyzing the results, the researchers found that men were almost twice as likely as women and TGNC individuals to engage in bulk and cut cycles in the last 12 months and in the last 30 days.

They conversely found, however, that women and TGNC participants tended to complete more bulk and cut cycles than men.

They further found that in men, women, and TGNC participants, bulking and cutting were associated with a higher drive for muscularity, eating disorders, and muscle dysmorphia.

Engaging in bulk and cut cycles in the last 12 months and 30 days was also linked to a greater incidence of eating disorders and muscle dysmorphia among men and women.

However, eating and cut cycles correlated only with muscle dysmorphia among TGNC participants in the last 12 months.

Muscle dysmorphia is also known as bigorexia or reverse anorexia, Dr. Jason Nagata, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, and senior author of this study, told Medical News Today.

Muscle dysmorphia occurs when an individual becomes obsessed with becoming muscular. They may view themselves as puny even if they are objectively muscular. Dr. Jason Nagata

To explain their results, the researchers noted that mens engagement in bulking and cutting with an average of three cycles per year generally aligns with regimes promoted by the fitness industry to achieve body ideals.

They added that women might be more compelled to engage in shorter bulk and cut cycles leading to a greater number of completed cycles to ensure a more consistent body image without excessive muscle gain or body fat.

They also noted that the greater number of completed bulk and cut cycles among TGNC individuals might be evidence of a greater level of disordered eating to align with gender-specific body ideals.

When asked about the studys limitations, Dr. Rebecca L. Pearl, assistant professor at the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida, told MNT:

Since bulk and cut cycling has received little attention in eating disorder research and treatment, there is not yet a standardized way to screen for this in young people. Its possible that the questions used in the current study to assess bulk and cut behaviors may not have measured exactly what the authors intended to measure across all participants.

As the authors highlighted in their paper, its possible that some participants particularly women and transgender and gender non-conforming individuals may have been thinking about times when they cycled between binge eating and subsequent caloric restriction (symptoms of bulimia nervosa) when they endorsed the questions about cycling between overconsumption and underconsumption, she said.

[P]articipants in this study were recruited via social media. Individuals who are active on social media may have greater exposure to and/or greater interest in messages related to fitness ideals and muscularity-oriented disordered eating and weight control practices [than those less active on social media]. Thus, the prevalence of bulk and cut behaviors in the study sample could potentially be higher than in the general population. Dr. Rebecca L. Pearl

The researchers concluded that their findings have important implications for future research and clinical and public health efforts.

When asked what these implications might be, Dr. Kyle T. Ganson, assistant professor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto and the studys lead author, told MNT:

Given the popularity of this dietary practice, and the fact that it is supported and emphasized in many communities (i.e., online, social media, fitness), we need to be thinking of it as potentially overlapping with serious mental and behavioral health conditions that can have significant adverse effects.

Healthcare professionals need to be aware of this unique behavior and not just screening for typical eating disorder behaviors, such food restriction and binge-eating, or typical body-focused attitudes and behaviors, such as [a] drive for thinness. Dr. Kyle T. Ganson

Overall, we need to bring bulking and cutting, which is within the larger umbrella of muscularity-oriented eating and weight control behaviors, and the potential problems associated with these behaviors, into focus within our society, and among health and mental healthcare systems, he added.

Dr. Ganson told MNT that eating disorders are characterized by intense fears of gaining weight, significant body dissatisfaction, and problematic eating behaviors such as food restriction, binging, and purging.

If people sense that their psychological, social, and/or occupational functioning is being impeded by their focus on body and food, this may be an indicator of a potential eating disorder, he said.

It is important to note here that eating disorders can impact anyone, including all genders and sexual identities, races and ethnicities, people of all body sizes, and across the income spectrum. People shouldnt assume that they dont have an eating disorder because they do not fit the mold society has prescribed as having an eating disorder: white, young, skinny, affluent, female. Dr. Kyle T. Ganson

Dr. Ganson noted that muscle dysmorphia has similar psychological, behavioral, and functional symptoms to eating disorders. However, he said it differs as it is primarily driven by significant muscle dissatisfaction and an intense desire to gain muscle.

This may manifest in excessive and compulsive exercise and weight training, dietary practices aimed at increasing muscularity (i.e., bulking and cutting), and use of appearance- and performance-enhancing drugs and substances, like anabolic steroids, he pointed out.

To treat eating disorders and muscle dysmorphia, Dr. Pearl said talking with somebody is a good first step.

Many individuals keep these behaviors a secret from their loved ones due to shame and fear of judgment, which can lead them to feel even more ashamed and alone. Seeking professional help is important, which could include talking to your doctor or finding a mental health professional or nutritionist who specializes in body image and eating disorders, she said.

Non-profit and advocacy organizations such as the National Eating Disorders Association offer resources for obtaining accurate information, understanding treatment options, and connecting with others who have had similar experiences, she added.

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Sep 26

Limbo is tackling obesity with a pair of wearables and decades of physiology – TechCrunch

In recent years there has been a flurry of startup activity aimed at commercializing blood glucose biosensors aka, wearable tech that was originally developed for diabetes management. These continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) transmit near real-time data on glucose levels, providing instant feedback (via a companion mobile app) on how the body metabolizes different foods or responds to lifestyle decisions around exercise and sleep.

The biowearables, which are semi-invasive typically worn on the arm with a sensing filament inserted just under the skin were originally developed for diabetics and pre-diabetics who have a medical need to track their blood sugar because of insulin resistance. But the startup gambit is that opening access to CGMs more generally can offer broad health utility by giving all sorts of people a dynamic window onto whats going on with their metabolism.

Some of these startups are selling the idea that biohacking by tracking blood glucose can help people optimize athletic performance, or configure a healthy diet and lifestyle including weight management. But the startup strategy has often fixed on opening up the data window first as a tactic to build product utility while they acquire (and structure) users metabolic and lifestyle data tracking glucose responses to food and lifestyle inputs and, they hope, spotting positive and negative patterns that they can use to synthesize a fitness or healthy lifestyle program.

Limbo, a New York, London and Cork-based startup which is announcing a $6 million seed raise today, is in this growing pack commercializing CGM tech in its case building a subscription weight management business to target the obesity crisis. But it claims to be bringing a distinct approach with a product thats not just a data-mining work in progress; rather, they say, the program is based on some three decades of research undertaken by one of the co-founders chief research officer, Tony Martin, who is a physiologist and coach.

[Martin] essentially worked out the secret of how blood glucose regulated the body and how energy in the body is mediated through blood glucose, says co-founder and CEO, Rurik Bradbury, discussing the startup in a call with TechCrunch. How if you control it in a certain way then you can have very dramatic weight loss results based on biodata.

Martin is not affiliated with any research institutions, nor has he published any scientific papers on his work so its private research and results he was able to obtain using this private methodology with his own clients that Limbo is drawing on for its product.

The big breakthrough came over the last 5-6 years when CGMs came out which allowed him to test a number of hypotheses, explains Bradbury. Both on himself and on his weight loss clients. And what he found was a number of patterns and a number of effects which he could replicate to do with the balance of different macronutrients essentially, and how the body can regulate itself if you reduce carbs and sugars.

Theres nothing hugely secret about that about whats essentially a Keto[ogenic diet] type program. There are many, many different variants of it and what he did was work out the right balance for people on a more individualized basis so it could be implemented as a program with a CGM to steer them in real time.

Now weve got kind of the recipe for how to make this work for people as a platform as opposed to a person by person system, he adds.

Limbos other co-founder Pat Phelan, whose name may be familiar to long-time TechCrunch readers as he exited his ecommerce fraud protection startup Trustev to TransUnion for $44 million back in 2015 has also put himself through the program.

Indeed, the inspiration for Limbo began with Phelans personal weight loss journey after years of jetsetting startup life had not been kind to his health. And it was in looking for help to address his obesity problem that he met Martin who suggested he try his homebrew blood glucose tracking method with a CGMv and then Phelans success with the regime (which he discusses in this video on the startups website) led to the trio of founders coming together to establish a startup to productize Martins program (with Phelan and Bradbury bringing the tech experience gleaned from years working in startups).

Limbo was founded in fall 2020 so its very much a pandemic health tech startup, with the first private beta users starting on the program at the end of 2020.

Target users are people looking to lose 10-15% of their body weight, per Bradbury. While typical customers so far are 35-55 in age range.

The team doesnt have any efficacy studies published quantifying the impact of the weight loss program by, for example, comparing Martins method to other weight management approaches. But Bradbury argues early results speak for themselves with members seeing an average weigh loss of 12% after three months of use. (Phelan himself lost 36kg/81 pounds over 9 months using the prototype.)

The 12% stat was based on an initial paying cohort of 50 users. Limbo now has around 2,000, per Bradbury, who says theyre hoping to have tens of thousand signed up over the coming 12 months.

The program is a subscription service costing 1,500 for three months access, so its definitely premium level pricing.

As well as a supply of CGM sensors to track their blood glucose, Limbo members are sent two additional devices: A wearable wristband that tracks a range of health data (including heart rate, steps, skin and body temperature, blood oxygen); and a smart scale which can measure body fat and muscle mass in different areas of the body so its triangulating a range of signals in order to assess the healthiness (or otherwise) of the users diet and lifestyle; and to track their progress towards their weight goals.

We started with an off the shelf piece of tech [for the wristband]. But we have a customized one built to our specs, says Bradbury, discussing its hardware mix. We have the person who used to run Apple in Asia Rory Sexton on our board, and he was one of the first investors. And he became interested because youve probably seen the rumors that Apple is looking to add blood glucose to [Apple] Watches. But its a very tricky thing. Weve also looked at this ourselves. And theres lot of constraints there as far as how much power it would take and how accurate it is I think it might be a little way off.

But he got interested in that and we did an Apple Watch integration but the challenge with that and all the other tools out there Fitbit and so on is that their data resolutions quite low. So [with our custom hardware] were looking every second or minute at these data points. [Whereas] Apple Watch and other wristbands tend to sample every few minutes to save power because the battery life is tricky.

Limbos smart scale is also customized rather than off-the-shelf kit and Bradbury says it is higher end than consumer smart scales (which can suffer from poor accuracy). But he also says there is less need for high resolution data for the scale (vs the wristband) since its mostly used to track progress over time, not for dynamic feedback on meals etc.

Were looking at a gradual over the course of 3-6 months period of shifting body fat percentage, he says of the scale. Obviously that usually comes down. Thats the main goal of the program. So were looking for a shift over time. Were not looking for a precise, exact moment in time measurements. Were not training, say, boxers for a fight where every ounce counts.

The core interface for Limbos program is of course a mobile app which visualizes the users blood glucose level (via a plotted line), tracking changes continuously; and delivers feedback and nudges to members (via push messages).

Limbo says its using a combination of AI-powered analysis and human coaches looking at users data in order to encourage positive behavioural changes, via feedback and nudges with the overarching goal of steering users towards eating a healthier, balanced diet and away from consuming foods that spike their blood sugar. So the push is to cut back on simple sugars (carbs, processed foods etc).

The user has to do only limited data logging themselves. Theyre asked to snap a picture of whatever theyre eating to log their food intake, with an optional text field to add more details. But Bradbury says adding extra detail isnt required because all the connected hardware enables them to rely on this tracking of the users biological signals to determine what post-meal feedback to provide.

So while the app might not literally know what that dark beverage youre drinking is or, if it looks like a cup of tea, how many sugars you might have slipped into it the data wont lie. If the drink contains unhealthy levels of sugar that spike your glucose the app will pick up that response in the CGM data and nudge you to drink something less sugary next time.

So the user gets continual, dynamic feedback to help them change their diet for the better.

Its a really interesting issue because its both psychological and its data, says Bradbury, discussing the importance of the psychological element. You can show people data you can tell them stuff til youre blue in the face but thats different from having a psychological effect to make them behave in a different way. So the nudges are almost like extra pushes on top of the data. So if someone spikes their blood sugar itll push a message saying what just happened? Essentially you cant cheat on this program.

One of the biggest issues with other diets is compliance. That people quote forget they had that muffin. And no ones the wiser except for them. Whereas you cant cheat on Limbo. Theres automated sensing if something happened. So theres interventions like that where the member knows theyre being watched and they behave accordingly. You cant pull a fast one and sneak something past the system. And secondly there are educational interventions such as the right balance of carbs and sugars and proteins and fats to eat to get to your goal.

So that might be this contained too many carbs, try to reduce sugar content in drinks, that type of thing. Another one might be more positive: Add more protein to the next meal or do something along those lines.

The idea is a coach on your arm that watches you 24/7 and steers you in the right direction, he adds.

But dont we already know that eating sugary processed foods is bad and leads to weight gain, and eating healthy whole, fresh foods is good for us? Why do we need an app to tell us this?

If knowledge were enough to get someone across the finish line we all know these things technically then there wouldnt be an obesity crisis. But the hard thing is that firstly a lot of people dont know exactly what carbs and sugars are and the impact of highly processed foods which are extremely bioavailable which spike you very quickly and directly after eating them. So theres a lot of people who dont really have a clear picture of what food does to them, he suggests.

Secondly weve been served myths for decades or centuries. People think that a sweet piece of fruit is good for you theyve been told its good for you. And theyve taken it for granted. When a glass of orange juice is a cup of sugar. So these pervasive myths throw people off course. And certainly its the willpower thing if you have a coach whos watching you 24/7, whos holding you accountable, steering you in the right direction, educating you on whats actually happening to you inside your body its a very powerful crutch to help people get places.

While the primary focus of Limbos intervention currently is around food, nutrition and diet, Bradbury notes the app will also nudge users to take some low intensity exercise such as a post meal walk as another tactic to flatten the curve (aka get glucose level back into the target zone). And he says theyre planning to put more focus on how activity affects blood glucose as they continue developing the product.

If you eat something that has too high carb and sugar content the app will often pop up and say now would be a good time to take a [low intensity exercise] walk so its not about sending people to the gym and spin class and so on. Its much more about a smaller, more manageable amounts of exercise that complement the food choices, he says of the current Limbo experience.

One of the big lies that have been sold to people is that you have to go to the gym and sweat your way out of extra weight. Its very, very hard to exercise off a poor diet, he adds. Or an imbalance of energy coming into the body that is expended. So most of the nudges are about food and diet.

The priority for the seed funding is product development. We havent really spent any money on marketing and weve let things spread by word of mouth because I think people are quite mistrustful of marketing for anything to do with diets and food its a space where theres so much snake oil sold and dodgy businesses so were basically just showcasing what people have done or the weight theyve lost with this and having them spread the word themselves, he tells us.

So rather than spend lots of money on marketing were putting that into the AI, the analytics and the product side so were building out teams to make the product broader. Theres lots of things we can do more on in terms of sleep and exercise. Lots of the focus is on food but they all interact with each other so were building out an experience to showcase to members how those things interact in a visual way.

Limbo is also working towards a U.S. launch in the second half of next year, per Bradbury.

Obesity is of course a global problem so the team sees huge potential for scaling, while cautioning that they dont want to grow so quickly they lose the quality of individualized advice, as Bradbury puts it. (For a sense of scale, Limbos team is currently 18 people who are supporting around 2k members.)

On the competition front, while there are a growing number of CGM players seeking to tempt consumers with a glimpse of their metabolic health indeed, even CGM maker Abbott is itself getting into the game Bradbury argues Limbos approach of productizing an existing weight loss program as an app (rather than trying to develop a methodology off of CGM data) gives it an edge.

Hence he also argues that Limbos competition is closer to a more radical obesity intervention like gastric bypass surgery than what other startups are offering.

That said, U.S. startup January AI also has a lot of research underpinning its food-response focused program, while Indias Healthify which is due to launch a premium CGM offering in the U.S. next year already has years of fitness data under its belt (and the latters Pro offering similarly combines CGM, smart scale plus in-app coaching), to name two. So Limbo certainly isnt the only solid-looking CGM weight loss game in town.

Asked about its pricing strategy which is a major mark-up on most CGM competitors Bradbury again says its a reflection of the proven program and accessible approach its offering.

As far as weve seen so far all of the other companies started with the idea of well what if we could give CGMs to everyone? And then well look at the data and see what we can find, he says. So we took the opposite approach Weve already done the 30 years research beforehand so we know what happens when someone wears a CGM, we know how to steer them into better choices.

So while we look similar to some other CGM companies were starting from a very different position. Were implementing a pre-existing, prescriptive program do this, do that, do this, and you will lose weight. So thats a very big difference in terms of the experience of the program and people will, I think, pay for results.

Aside from premium pricing, there is the challenge of convincing users to stick a sensor in their arm. Wearing a CGM can look daunting, given its a semi-invasive sensor that requires both pricking your skin and living with a filament in your arm for weeks at a time, but Bradbury says the team hasnt so far had a problem getting people to get comfy with biowearables.

He suggests target customers are simply so motivated to achieve their weight loss goals and so tired of trying diets that are miserable and havent helped them that theyre happy to try something different where they get to see data and track their results, even if it means getting comfortable with firing a gadget into their arm every two weeks.

Still, the first 2,000 or so Limbo members may be especially motivated due to repeat failure to shift weight other ways. So it will be interesting to see whether its early adopters are outliers in being so easy for it to onboard, i.e. owing to having stubborn weight issues and whether broader scaling will be more challenging.

Limbos price-point is certainly one hard limit.

On the other hand, the lure of real-time health data is undoubtedly powerful and if its method of bite-sized insights plus wraparound support which does the hard work by translating sometimes confusing metabolic signals into simple actions people can take to improve their lifestyles then its easy to imagine big appetite for a smart but simple diet tool.

A lot of people start the program and its not for 3-4 weeks that their blood sugar ever gets into the standard zone and thats because for the 10-15 years prior they were eating carbs and sugars so often and so much that their body systems were beaten down and overwhelmed and they were constantly fighting to lower the sugar but with insulin resistance and so on they couldnt do it, says Bradbury of Limbos experience with early members. But after 3-4 weeks with an intense [effort] in pushing youll find that that member gets into the blue for the first time.

What the system really is is letting people conscientiously engage with their bodies and thats something thats almost impossible with food because you cant just put your finger on your pulse and measure your blood glucose So if we can visualize this for people and coach them on what they see it can have a big effect.

Its a virtuous cycle we try to set up for them, he adds. Youll see a bad result if you have a[n unhealthy] snack and then youll know thats going to happen. So, over time, people unwind those snacking habits. Its also the effect of them seeing what is happening inside their body. You can eat a cookie or a muffin or something and you can ignore it. But when you see it in front of you in the app this spike happening and the crash afterwards its a very different thing [vs the traditional experience of dieting] in terms of a feedback cycle, a feedback loop to change your decision next time.

Limbos seed round is led by Hoxton Ventures. Other backers include (the former NBA basketball player) Shaquille ONeal, Seedcamp, (former Apple exec) Rory Sexton, (rugby player) Jamie Heaslip, and co-founders at a number of tech firms including Intercom, PCH International, Yelp, Voxpro, and Web Summit.

This report was updated with a correction: We originally misstated the price of Limbos plan its 1,500 for three months, not 1,300 as we originally reported

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Limbo is tackling obesity with a pair of wearables and decades of physiology - TechCrunch

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Sep 26

Does Fasting Improve Gut Health? What to Know | Time – TIME

If you spend a lot of time online, you may have noticed that parts of the internet have caught fasting fever. Online message boards are awash in posts touting the benefits of time-restricted eating and other intermittent-fasting approaches that involve going without caloric foods or drinks for an extended period of timeanywhere from 12 hours to several days. These online testimonials have helped popularize intermittent fasting, and they often feature two common-sense rationalizations: One, that human beings evolved in environments where food was scarce and meals occurred sporadically; and two, that the relatively recent shift to near round-the-clock eating has been disastrous for our intestinal and metabolic health.

Mining the internet for accurate information, especially when it comes to dieting, can feel like panning for gold. Youve got to sift through a lot of junk to find anything valuable. But this is one case where nuggets may be easy to find. A lot of the published peer-reviewed research on intermittent fasting makes the same claims youll find on those Reddit message boards. Until recently, food availability has been unpredictable for humans, wrote the authors of a 2021 review paper in the American Journal of Physiology. Knowledge of early human evolution and data from recent studies of hunter-gatherer societies suggest humans evolved in environments with intermittent periods of food scarcity. They say that fasting regimens may provide a period of gut rest that could lead to several meaningful health benefits, including improved gut microbe diversity, gut barrier function, and immune function.

The past decade has witnessed an explosion in fasting-relatedid research. (According to Google Scholar, the last five years alone contain almost 150,000 articles that examine or mention fasting.) While that work has helped established links between intermittent fasting and weight loss, as well as other benefits, its not yet clear when (or if) fasting can help fix a sick gut. I would still consider the evidence moderate, says Dr. Emeran Mayer, a professor of medicine and founding director of the Goodman Luskin Microbiome Center at the University of California, Los Angeles. [Fasting] looks like a prudent way to maintain metabolic health or reestablish metabolic health, but its not a miracle cure.

When it comes to gut conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), he says the research is either absent or inconclusive. To his point, researchers have found that Ramadan fastinga month-long religious period when people dont eat or drink between sunrise and sunsetcan substantially remodel the guts bacteria communities in helpful and healthy ways. However, among people with IBD, studies on Ramadan fasting have also found that a persons gut symptoms may grow worse.

While its too early to tout fasting plans as a panacea for gut-related disorders, experts say theres still reason to hope these approaches may emerge as a form of treatment. Its clear that some radical, and perhaps radically beneficial, things happen when you give your body breaks from food.

For a series of recent studies, a team of researchers based in the Netherlands and China examined the effects of Ramadan-style intermittent fasting on the gut microbiomethe billions of bacteria that reside in the human gastrointestinal tract. (Ramadan comes up a lot in published research because it provides a real-world opportunity for experts to examine the effects of 12- or 16-hour fasts, which is what many popular intermittent fasting diets espouse.) We really wanted to know what intermittent fasting does to the body, says Dr. Maikel Peppelenbosch, a member of that research team and a professor of gastroenterology at Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands. Generally, weve seen that intermittent fasting changes the microbiome very clearly, and we view some of the changes as beneficial. If you look at fasting in general, not only Ramadan, you see certain types of bacteria increasing.

For example, he says that intermittent fasting pumps up the guts population of a family of bacteria called Lachnospiraceae. In the intestines, bacteria are constantly battling for ecological space, he explains. Unlike some other gut microorganisms, Lachnospiraceae can survive happily in an empty GI tract. They can live off the slime the gut makes itself, so they can outcompete other bacteria in a fasting state. Lachnospiraceae produces a short-chain fatty acid called butyrate, which seems to be critically important for gut health. Butyrate sends anti-inflammatory signals to the immune system, which could help reduce pain and other symptoms of gut dysfunction. Butyrate also improves the barrier function of the intestines, Peppelenbosch says. This is, potentially, a very big deal. Poor barrier function (sometimes referred to as leaky gut) is a hallmark of common GI conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease. If intermittent fasting can turn down inflammation and also help normalize the walls of the GI tract, those changes may have major therapeutic implications.

Lachnospiraceae is only one of several types of helpful bacteria that research has linked to fasting plans. But at this point, there are still a lot of gaps in the science. Peppelenbosch says the guts of people with bowel disorders dont seem to respond to fasting in exactly the same way as the guts of people without these health issues. In ill people, we see the same changes to the microbiome, but its not as clear cut as in healthy volunteers, he says. So we are now actually trying to figure out whats going on there.

Healthy microbiome shifts arent the only possible benefits that researchers have linked to intermittent fasting. UCLAs Mayer mentions a phenomenon called the migrating motor complex. This is rarely mentioned in fasting articles today, but when I was a junior faculty it was one of the hottest discoveries in gastroenterology research, he says. The migrating motor complex refers to recurrent cycles of powerful contractions that sweep the contents of the gut, including its bacteria, down into the colon. Its this 90-minute recurring contractile wave that swoops down the intestine, and its strength is comparable to a nutcracker, he says. Essentially, this motor complex behaves like a street-cleaning crew tidying up after a parade. It ensures the gut is cleared out and cleaned up in between meals, via 90-minute repeating cycles that fasting allows to be become more frequent. It also helps rebalance the guts microbial populations so that more of them are residing in the colon and lower regions of the GI tract. But its stopped the minute you take a biteit turns off immediately, he says.

Mayer says that modern eating habitsso-called grazing, or eating steadily throughout the dayleave little time for the migrating motor complex to do its thing. This function has been relegated to the time when we sleep, but even this has been disrupted because a lot of people wake up in the middle of the night and snack on something, he says. So those longer periods of time when we re-cleanse and rebalance our gut so that we have normal distributions of bacteria and normal population densitiesthat has been severely disturbed by these lifestyle changes.

Ideally, Mayer says people could (for the most part) adhere to the kind of time-restricted eating program that allows a full 12-to-14 hours each day for the motor complex to work. If you dont snack, this motor complex would happen between meals, and youd also get this 12- to 14-hour window at night where the digestive system was empty, he explains. In other words, sticking to three meals a day and avoiding between-meal bites (or nighttime snacks) could be sufficient. But again, its not clear whether this sort of eating schedule can undo gut damage or treat existing dysfunction.

Read More: The Truth About Fasting and Type 2 Diabetes

Another possible perk of fasting involves a biological process called autophagy. During autophagy, old or damaged cells die and are cleared away by the body. Some researchers have called it a helpful housekeeping mechanism, and it occurs naturally when the body goes without energy (calories) for an extended period of time. Theres been some expert speculation, based mostly on evidence in lab and animal studies, that autophagy could help strengthen the gut or counteract the types of barrier problems seen in people with IBD. But these improvements have not yet been demonstrated in real-world clinical trials involving people.

Meanwhile, some experts have found that fasting may help recalibrate the guts metabolic rhythms in helpful ways. By changing the timing of the diet, this will indeed change activity of themicrobiome, and that may have downstream impacts on health, says Dr. Eran Elinav, principal investigator of the Host-Microbiome Interaction Research Group at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

Some of Elinavs work, including an influential 2016 paper in the journal Cell, has shown that the gut microbiome undergoes day-night shifts that are influenced by a persons eating schedule, and that lead to changing patterns of metabolite production, gene expression, and other significant elements of gut health. If you change the timing of diet, you can flip the circadian activity of the microbiome, he says. This is likely to have health implications, though what those are, precisely, remains murky.

Read More: What We Know About Leaky Gut Syndrome

Its clear that when you eat, including how often you eat, matters to the health of your gut. But the devils in the details. At this point, its not clear how intermittent fasting can be used to help people with gut-related disorders or metabolic diseases.

For a condition like IBD, its important to differentiate between what you do during a flare and what you do to prevent the next flare, Mayer points out. The research on people observing Ramadan suggests that, at least during a flare, fasting may make a persons IBD symptoms worse. Figuring out whether fasting could also lead to longer-term improvements is just one of many questions that needs to be answered.

While plenty of unknowns remain, experts say that common approaches to fasting appear to be safe for most people. Time-restricted eating, for example, involves cramming all your days calories into a single six-to-eight-hour eating window. Even among people with metabolic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, research suggests that this form of fasting is safe, provided a person is not taking blood-glucose medications.

That said, there simply isnt much work on intermittent fasting as a treatment for gut problems. Also, there is very little research on more extreme forms of fasting, such as plans that involve going without calories for several days at a stretch. These diets may turn out to be therapeutic, but they could also turn out to be dangerous. If youre considering any of these approaches, talk with your health care provider first.

We really need much better studies to compare all the different fasting protocols, says Peppelenbosch. But generally speaking, increasing the space between calorie consumption is a good thing for you. The body is not made to be eating all day.

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Sep 26

How to find peace with food and leave dieting behind – Coastal Point

Health coach Tracy Dejardins

You may be dieting and not even realize it. Check-in with the following questions:

Are you:

Living with certain self-imposed food rules, like low-carb or fat-free?

Dreading upcoming holidays because you fear loss of control?

Rescheduling your annual physical until you lose the weight?

Eating foods that are not truly satisfying, then experiencing a binge?

Continually falling off the wagon on the weekends?

Starting your eating plan over each Monday morning after indulging?

Trying to control your portions by obsessing, weighing and measuring?

Believing that you are good or bad based on something you ate?

Getting caught up in the media hype about what works for weight loss?

And the list goes on. If you can identify with even one of the above points, then, my friend, you are dieting. Simply stated, dieting does not just mean following some popular, commercial plan (although, yes, that, of course, is a diet). If you are trying to follow through with your own set of food rules, restrictions, and control that is leaving you defeated and frustrated, you are dieting.

However, if you feel a sense of powerlessness over this relationship you have with food, I am here to tell you that it is not your fault. We have been conditioned for decades to fight our weight with the scale, to harness willpower to help us suffer through eating boring, tasteless food in mouse-sized portions and judge ourselves harshly when we mess up and eat the thing we told ourselves was off limits.

What happens then? We dust ourselves off, re-group, and undertake the same restrictive tactics again, only to repeat the same try, fail, repeat the experience all at the grand price of our self-respect, dignity and self-trust with food. In essence, we create a toxic reference for controlling food to achieve an outcome that improves our health. What happens, frankly, is that dieting promotes a weight-regain problem, not a solution to weight loss.

Based on current data that indicates a 95 percent failure rate, this is cause for pondering. To add to the dreaded phenomenon, the current weight-loss industry cashes in at a whopping $72 billion and growing.

Lets be clear about something. Diets for weight loss do work, if the rules are followed with a laser-sharp focus, leading up to an endpoint typically a weigh-in date. Many of us have achieved the gold standard of our goal weight, only to land in an emotionally panicked state, because our truth often is that we have no idea how to sustain our tactics that led to the so-called weight loss success.

Many times, we then relapse into old food habits upon the first holiday, vacation or Sunday family dinner, because while we lost the weight, we did not learn any tools to help us keep our results and we actually intensified an already damaged relationship with food and our bodies. We eat in a no-holds-barred fashion, with our inner rebel celebrating like wild animal that has been let out of a cage for the first time, and you know what happens next: the weight returns, and we sit in a sea of shame and self-loathing.

So what is the solution, then, to weight loss, improving health and learning to eat healthier in general?

It is rather simple. Stop dieting.

Vow to end living in a war with food rules and consider adopting a mindset of open curiosity with your food choices.

You see, dieting teaches us to check out when we eat. To disembody and follow a set of rigid boundaries with food that keep us in stress mode internally. When we choose to let go of food rules and take on an attitude of curiosity with our food, we then begin to repair the damaged relationship with eating by learning to pay attention to all aspects of the eating experience.This is becoming embodied in our relationship with food.

This is where the healing opportunity begins. How does this food choice make me feel? How do I want to feel in my body as I live my life? Those two questions have the wisdom and power to help us eat to nourish ourselves with self-love and care, not fighting for weight loss.

In this manner, it makes it easier to want to eat whole, natural, unprocessed foods that are chock full of loving vitamins, minerals and fiber to help us feel better from the inside out, rather than appease an out-of-control palate that has been hijacked with standard American salt- and sugar-laden foods.

OK so if you are thinking, But I love my sweets, or pizza, etc., consider the thought of saving your treats for occasions, rather than so frequently. That seems like a reasonable, responsible gesture that is health-promoting, right? This is different from dieting-restrictive rules. When we consider what vibrant health looks like and feels like to us, we can begin to be curious as to how our food choices react in our bodies and make us feel.

Once we become curious in our food choice approach, we are on the road to re-wiring our brains to connect with what is truly best for us, on our terms, not some restrictive plan that the world says we should follow. When we stop the war on food, we learn to connect with ourselves at a deep level and take back our self-trust, upon which we can rely to truly nourish and support us in the mission of self-care.

Its funny how, when we say no to diet culture, and yes to our own wisdom and food intuition, those stubborn, excess pounds that we fought for decades, begin to shed in their own timing, revealing a natural, healthy weight that is sustainable.

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How to find peace with food and leave dieting behind - Coastal Point

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Sep 26

Dementia Risk and Type 2 Diabetes: 7 Healthy Habits – Healthline

People with type 2 diabetes can reduce their risk of developing dementia with seven healthy lifestyle habits.

Thats according to a new study published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Researchers investigated data from the UK Biobank to determine whether or not the known increased risk of dementia in people with type 2 diabetes can be offset or counteracted by a combination of common healthy lifestyle factors.

The researchers used data from 167,946 participants aged 60 years or older without dementia at the start of the research. At a follow-up around 12 years later, 4,351 participants had developed all-cause dementia.

The researchers reported that participants who engaged in a broad range of healthy lifestyle factors demonstrated significantly less risk of developing dementia within 10 years (from about 5% to less than 2%).

The study authors wrote that their research shows why behavioral lifestyle modifications through various approaches should be a priority for the prevention and delayed onset of dementia in people with type 2 diabetes.

The seven healthy lifestyle habitswere:

1. No current smoking

2. Moderate alcohol consumption of up to one drink a day for women and up to two a day for men

3. Regular weekly physical activity of at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise

4. Seven to nine hours of sleep daily

5. A healthy diet that included more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish and fewer refined grains, processed and unprocessed meats

6. Being less sedentary

7. Frequent social contact

Akua Boateng, Ph.D., a psychotherapist in Philadelphia, says that while research recognizes the significance of having a healthy sleep and lifestyle pattern on longevity and vitality, many people have struggled to maintain the lifestyle that supports this level of health.

There are many factors such as where you grew up and your family genetic patterns that increase the likelihood of developing diabetes and/or dementia, she told Healthline.

At the center of health is our ability to move toward what is corrective and transformational, Boateng said. Our sense of meaning, via emotional discovery, has the power to give us reason to change what is comfortable, rewrite health precursors, and change the trajectory of our lives.

Your mental health is core in achieving holistic wellness, she added.

So rather than give advice on how to incorporate each of these seven healthy lifestyle habits, Boateng encourages people to make a few changes that she says can help to ensure these seven habits are more integrated into their life.

According to the American Psychological Association, poor sleep makes any mental health condition more difficult to manage and can also raise the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, and depression.

Sleep health, then, is a pillar on which all the other aforementioned healthy lifestyle habits originate, experts say. Without adequate sleep, achieving other health milestones is more difficult because youre not thinking with a well-rested brain.

Dr. Shelby Harris is a clinical psychologist and board-certified in behavioral sleep medicine by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. She is also the director of Sleep Health at Sleepopolis.

Harris explains why getting those recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night is so important for people with type 2 diabetes.

Poor sleep and/or lack of sleep makes you have more insulin resistance, Harris told Healthline. You also have more hunger and satiety signals, while also craving more fatty and sugary foods for quick energy.

This can make maintaining healthy blood sugar levels with type 2 diabetes more challenging.

When it comes to sleep and dementia, Harris explains that while you are in deep sleep, your brain essentially works as a dishwasher, washing away the waste products such as plaques and clusters of protein that build up from being awake during the day.

Without adequate sleep, your brain doesnt do this cleansing process, and a buildup of plaque can form, she explained.

Harris added that plaque buildup is often found in people with Alzheimers disease, which is a risk factor for developing dementia.

If you struggle to make time for sleep, but dont have any issues with actually sleeping when you get to bed, try to work on maybe increasing your total sleep time by 30 to 60 minutes once a week, suggested Harris.

Then once thats better, move to two days a week and so on, she says. Another way to do it is to aim for maybe 10 minutes earlier for bedtime every night for a week, then once thats better move it to 15 minutes earlier every night.

She also suggests that you try to figure out why youre not making time for sleep.

Some questions to ask yourself include:

Harris suggests using timers to help remind you that it is time to wind down for bed at a specific time nightly and write your why on the timer when it goes off on your phone.

Also, limit auto play on streaming media apps. That way it doesnt go from one show to another and you need to make a conscious decision to watch another show vs. automatically going into another one, she said.

And finally, if you struggle with sleep and insomnia, make sure your sleep hygiene is on point, Harris added.

This means limiting alcohol in the 3 hours before bed, limiting caffeine in the 8 hours before bed, and limiting screens 30 to 60 minutes before bed.

If thats not enough and you still struggle with sleep quantity and quality, talk with a sleep specialist, as there are many effective non-medication and medication treatments out there, says Harris.

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Dementia Risk and Type 2 Diabetes: 7 Healthy Habits - Healthline

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Sep 26

High-sugar diet disrupts the gut microbiome, leading to obesity (in mice) –

Sugar may disrupt the community of bacteria living in the gut, thereby depleting crucial immune cells and causing obesity down the line, a new mouse study suggests.

So far, the results have been shown only in mice. But if follow-up studies show similar trends in humans, that could eventually lead to treatments for metabolic disease and obesity, said senior author Ivaylo Ivanov, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

In the recent study, published online Aug. 29 in the journal Cell (opens in new tab), scientists found that feeding mice a high-sugar diet containing sucrose and maltodextrin caused specific bacteria, called segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB), in the mice's intestines to die due to an overgrowth of different gut bugs. The sudden loss of SFB triggered a chain reaction in the mouse gut that ultimately changed how the animals absorbed dietary fat.

This, in turn, caused the mice to become obese and develop features of "metabolic syndrome," a cluster of conditions such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar and insulin resistance that collectively raise the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Related: Gut bacteria may 'talk' to the brain, mouse study suggests

The results suggest that SFB somehow protect against metabolic syndrome and excess weight gain, but how do the gut bugs do it? It turns out that SFB "talk" to the immune system, encouraging the production of a specific type of immune cell called Th17. These immune cells release proteins that affect the lining of the intestine, preventing excess fat from being absorbed through the tissue and into the bloodstream.

Broadly, SFB can be found in many animals including rodents, fish and birds but they haven't been found in humans, Ivanov noted. However, humans do carry a different set of gut bacteria that can induce Th17 cells just like SFB do, and early research hints (opens in new tab) that these bacteria may be similarly depleted by high-sugar diets, he said. In other words, although humans may not carry SFB, sugar may still exert similar effects on the mouse and human gut microbiomes and immune systems.

"Really what's providing the effect is the T cells so the bacteria are inducing the T cells, and T cells are providing the effect," Ivanov told Live Science. "We hypothesize that, in humans, inducing these T cells will also be beneficial."

In their recent mouse study, the researchers placed mice on a high-sugar, high-fat diet for a month to see how their gut bugs might change. They found that the diet spurred the growth of a bacterium called Faecalibaculum rodentium, which essentially crowded out the SFB growing in the mouse gut, depleting its numbers. As the mice steadily lost SFB, their overall number of Th17 cells also fell, and they gained weight and developed insulin resistance and glucose intolerance all signs of metabolic syndrome.

These effects weren't observed in mice that were fed a low-sugar, low-fat diet, or in mice fed a sugar-free, high-fat diet, but mice fed a high-sugar, low-fat diet also swiftly lost their SFB. This suggests that it was specifically the sugar that was driving the harmful loss of the bacteria and the Th17 cells.

Basically, the Th17 cells provided an "armor" that protected the mice from developing metabolic disease, and sugar indirectly destroyed that armor by messing with the microbiome, Ivanov explained.

In a different experiment, the team eliminated SFB from a group of mice and then fed them a sugar-free, high-fat diet. They found that these mice also gained weight and developed metabolic disease, despite not having eaten sugar. So what gives? In essence, without the right gut bugs, the mice didn't make enough Th17 cells and they thus lacked that aforementioned armor. The team found that they could provide that armor in two ways: by feeding the mice a probiotic imbued with SFB or by directly injecting Th17 cells into their bodies.

This suggests that, if a mouse's gut has already been depleted of SFB, cutting down on sugar won't help the rodent avoid metabolic disease. If this finding carries over to humans, that suggests that consuming less sugar wouldn't necessarily be helpful if one's gut microbiome is already disrupted. Therefore, an additional intervention might be needed to restore the gut bugs or Th17 cells of those people, Ivanov said.

Again, more research is needed to know if similar forces are at work in the human gut. Ivanov and his team are also trying to understand how gut bacteria help Th17 cells grow in the mouse gut and whether that mechanism also applies in humans.

"Even after 10 years of studying this, we don't understand completely this process, this mechanism, how exactly the bacteria is inducing these T cells," Ivanov said. "We know a lot, but still there are a lot of questions."

Originally published on Live Science.

High-sugar diet disrupts the gut microbiome, leading to obesity (in mice) -

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