Healthy Byte: Side Effect of Massive Weight Loss

simone weight loss

Simone Pretscherer  – Read about her amazing story HERE

You did it. You logged the woman-hours at the gym and stocked your fridge with enough kale and Greek yogurt to slenderize an elephant. Or maybe you went under the knife and are now putting in major effort to maintain. Regardless, the numbers on the scale are at super-satisfying lows. There’s just one teensy, tiny (ahem, giant, looming) issue: Your skin didn’t get the “I’ve got a new body now” memo.

Kelly Coffey’s skin sure didn’t. Coffey, a personal trainer, wound up with some serious excess after losing 170 pounds from gastric bypass surgery. “It happened very quickly; I was sort of shocked at how much there was,” she says.

For her own body, Coffey went the tummy-tuck route for extra skin around her midsection and amped up her weight-lifting routine for her arms, legs, and back. (Looking for a total-body toning workout that will fit into your busy schedule? How does 10 minutes a day sound? Try Prevention’s Fit in 10 DVD today!) But which route is right for you? Here are 5 ways to deal with loose skin—surgical and not—after a serious drop in pounds.

Embrace the Weights

(Photo: Getty Images)

Sadly, gaining muscle isn’t going to actually remove any extra skin. But toning up could help you appear more taut after weight loss. The heavier the weights you lift, the better, suggests Coffey. (Here are 10 of the best strength-training moves for women over 50.) “Don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights; it takes a lot less time to achieve the same degree of muscle with heavier weights, and the quicker I built muscle, the faster I toned up,” says Coffey. To make sure you’re doing it correctly and safely, enlist a professional’s guidance when you’re first starting out.

Update Your Support System

(Photo: Getty Images)

Don’t worry; we don’t want you to get new friends. (Unless they’re totally toxic—butthat’s another story.) A great bra and panties can go a long way, suggests Claudine DeSola, a stylist at Caravan Stylist Studios in New York. “Good intimates are a great way of helping conceal excess skin in the belly area,” says DeSola. Opt for bras with front closures and thicker bands, which give a cleaner, smoother look to your back. Trade in your bikini-cut panties for some high-cut briefs while you’re at it, and don’t shy away from Spanx—they’ll make everything feel a bit more secure, says DeSola. (Thanks, Tina Fey, for showing we don’t have to be ashamed to enlist a little Lycra every now and then.)

Come Out of Hiding
Don’t you want to congratulate yourself with an updated wardrobe? Have fun with form-fitting layers, suggests DeSola. “A slightly fitted tee with a sweater on top and a thick belt is a great way to cinch your waist,” says DeSola. Mid-rise jeans are another great option—ones that hit right below the belly button are the sweet spot for a perfect fit. Looking for something a bit more fun? Try a wrap dress in a bold color like red. It should hit at (or just below) the knee, and pairing it with heels will make your legs look longer and leaner.

Ditch the Negativity

(Photo: Getty Images)

Fact: Losing a ton of weight won’t automatically reserve you a spot on the Victoria’s Secret runway (and let’s be real—would you want to perpetuate that skinny ideal anyway?). “When we lose weight, we’re not headed toward a different body; we’re headed toward a smaller body,” Coffey says. Instead of hating on that extra skin, wear it as a badge of honor—you made a commitment to living a healthier, more active life, and loose skin is just proof that you did what so many other people have trouble doing. “Excess skin isn’t the terrible tragedy that so many of us think it will be; it’s just another one of the details about your body that makes you you,” says Coffey. It’s a symbol of your journey—and that’s something to be proud of.

Make Like a Snake
When it comes to excess skin after weight loss, the hard, cold truth is that going under the knife is the only surefire way to totally get rid of it. And if you’ve tried everything else and still aren’t even remotely satisfied with your appearance (or if your extra skin is getting irritated), it’s probably time to talk with a plastic surgeon about your options. Extra stuff around the midsection can be removed through an abdominoplasty—also known as a tummy tuck—according to Raul Rosenthal, MD, president of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. “Because the skin has stretched over so many years, it’s very difficult for that skin to go back to where it was before; it will not return to its natural consistency or elasticity,” says Rosenthal. According to him, patients who undergo plastic surgery following extreme weight loss not only experience a better quality of life, but they’re also more likely to keep the weight off. One last note: Before you choose to shed your skin for good, make sure you talk to your insurance provider, as most don’t cover such procedures.

Originally Posted HERE

PERSONAL NOTE: Like many things there are very different school of thoughts in regards to weight loss & excess skin. Some believe that the rate of weight loss maybe the culprit to excess skin (HERE). Others believe that perhaps the ‘excess skin’ is not excess skin at all but body fat because they lost more muscle than fat during weight loss phase (HERE). Yet, there are those who believe that the human skin elasticity has a definitive limit and the rate of weight loss has very little bearing (HERE). Regardless which camp one may believe in, I think there is some truth to all the schools of thought and we just have to decide which makes more sense to us individually based on how overweight we were, age, and method of weight loss (ie. crash diet, heavy cardio, surgery etc).

For me personally, I lost a total of 39 lbs over 18 months give or take. When I reached my first goal weight within 8 months doing strictly long stretches of cardio, I had a fair amount of ‘excess skin’ in the abdomen area. I reached my second goal within the following year and started to dial down the cardio and incorporated strength training. My weight have relatively remained with 1-2 lbs for the last 2 yrs but my ‘excess skin’ has dissipated significantly and overall I look ‘thinner.’ After reading the various school of thought (above) I do see some validity to perhaps that some of the 39 lbs I lost included a fair amount of muscle. Since I really didn’t get serious about strength training to tone & define until within the last 18 mths or so, the theory that building muscle helps ‘fill in’ to make the skin look more taut is very plausible in my case. Again, this is just my own personal thought based on my own experience and it can be very different for someone else.

“A big part of tightening loose skin is building muscle. The reason for this is simple.

There are two layers of tissue underneath your skin: fat and muscle, both of which press up against your skin and keep it from sagging loosely.

When you gain a large amount of weight, your skin must expand quite a bit to accommodate the increase in body size. When you lose the fat, however, and especially when you lose it quickly, your skin doesn’t necessarily shrink at the same rate as your fat cells. This imbalance can lead to loose skin.

Furthermore, many people use various forms of starvation dieting as well as large amounts of cardio to lose fat, which also causes significant muscle loss, further expanding the void between the skin and the underlying tissue.

The end result is a reduced body fat percentage but a small, soft physique with sagging skin. The “skinny fat” look, as it’s called.

Building muscle is the solution to all these woes because it literally fills in the looseness in the skin, creating a visibly tighter, healthier look.”

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Healthy Byte: Science Finds Sweet Tooth Hormone

Scientists have discovered a hormone that reduces sugar cravings.

The days of uncontrollably binging on leftover holiday goodies may be numbered. The Telegraph reports researchers have figured out a hormone produced in the liver that reduces the desire to eat sugar.

Fibroblast growth factor 21—or FGF21—is produced when carbohydrate levels in the body get too high and tells the brain to suppress the body’s desire for sugar.

“We never imagined that a circulating, liver-derived factor would exist whose function is to control sweet appetite,” RT quotes study co-author Matthew Gillum as saying. Hormones have been known to suppress appetites as a whole but never individual types of nutrients.

“This is the first liver-derived hormone we know that regulates sugar intake specifically,” says researcher Dr. Matthew Potthoff of the University of Iowa.

According to the study—published in Cell Metabolism—mice born with an FGF21 deficiency ate more sugar, while those born with an excess of the hormone ate much less. But it doesn’t have to be left up to nature.

Researchers found mice injected with FGF21 ate seven times less sugar, the Telegraph reports. A second study found a similar effect in primates given a dose of the hormone, according to a press release. This could be good news for obese people or those with diabetes.

“FGF21 can help people who might not be able to sense when they’ve had enough sugar,” researcher Lucas BonDurant says. According to the press release, the same hormone could also suppress the desire for alcohol. (Speaking of sugar, there’s a senator in charge of stocking a candy desk.)

Originally Posted HERE

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Healthy Byte: Good Fat vs Bad Fat

No one can spot train to lose fat. However, there are certain combination of things that can be done to curtail it, especially for those who may be genetically predisposed to carry excess weight in the abdomen. Check this out!

(Photo: Corbis)

With guys, weight gain—and loss—is all about the gut.

Men are genetically predisposed to carry any excess weight in their abdomens, says Brian Quebbemann, M.D., a bariatric surgeon with the Chapman Medical Center in California and president of The N.E.W. Program. Unfortunately, unlike fat in your butt, neck, and thighs, abdominal fat isn’t limited to subcutaneous, just-below-the-skin fat. Belly fat exists all the way down to and around your organs. “This visceral fat is directly correlated with multiple medical problems including diabetes, coronary artery disease, hypertension, sleep apnea, and a shorter life expectancy,” he says.

Add all of that to the simple fact that guts just aren’t sexy and, yeah, you have plenty of reason to get rid of yours for good. Luckily, all of these science-approved tips don’t just fight fat—they fight belly fat.

1) Lift Weights

“Abdominal fat is more metabolically active than peripheral body fat,” Quebbemann says. “That means that when you exercise, you’ll disproportionately lose more abdominal than peripheral fat.” And while any exercise will help you lose weight, strength training reduces body fat better than steady-state cardio, according to 2015 research from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

2) Eat The Right Fats

Saturated fat, bad. Unsaturated fat, good. In one 2014 Diabetes study, when people ate an extra 750 calories from fat every day for seven weeks, those who loaded up on saturated fat gained more visceral fat while those who ate polyunsaturated fat gained less fat and more lean muscle.

3) Befriend Fiber

Fiber does more than get things moving. In one 2012 Obesity study, people who simply increased their daily intake of soluble fiber by 10 grams reduced their visceral fat by 3.7 percent over the course of five years. To get more soluble fiber, Quebbemann suggests reaching for fruit, beans, and oats.

4) Get More Sleep

Less sleep, more belly. Sleeping five hours or less per night increases people’s visceral fat levels, according research from Wake Forest University. One reason: Because skipping out on sleep results in higher levels of fat-promoting stress hormones such as cortisol, he says.

5) Drink…In Moderation

When it comes to alcohol, there’s a definite sweet spot. According to research from the University at Buffalo, people who drink less than once a week—but more than four drinks at a time—have larger beer guts than guys who drink more often, but less during each sitting. It turns out, in moderation (aim for no more than two drinks per day), alcohol consumption may actually be linked to less inflammation and smaller stomachs.

6) Eat More Protein

Apart from keeping your blood sugar levels stable and your stomach feeling full, proteinmay alter how your body stores fat. In one 2014 study of high-calorie diets, those who got their excess calories from protein stored 45 percent of them as muscle, while those on low-protein diets stored 95 percent of the excess calories as fat.

7) Replace Refined Grains With Whole Ones

“Sugar and refined carbohydrates push up your blood sugar, subsequently increasing your insulin secretions and forcing calories to be deposited as fat,” Quebbemann says. “The first place this fat is deposited in men is in the belly.” Hence why a recent American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that guys who eat refined grains have more visceral fat and larger waistlines than those who eat whole ones.

8) Ditch Diet Soda

If you haven’t gotten the memo by now, no soda is safe. In fact, drinking two diet sodas a day is linked to a five-fold increase in people’s waist measurements, per research from the University of Texas. While researchers aren’t exactly sure why, previous research suggests that artificial sweeteners may trick the body into overeating, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

9) Eat More C

Vitamin C can do more than fend off colds. According to research published in The Journal of Nutrition, people who get the most C have the smallest waists. It may because it reduces inflammation in the body. But don’t limit yourself to oranges. Red bell peppers, spinach, and strawberries all have a good amount of the nutrient.

 10) Drink Tea

Green tea shouldn’t get all of the glory. In a 2014 study published in The Journal of Nutrition, polyphenols from green, black, and oolong teas may reduce inflammation as well as fat accumulation around the stomach.


Originally Posted HERE

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Wednesday Wisdom

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”

~ Audrey Hepburn

Healthy Byte: Work Factors Contributing to the Expanding Waistline

The original article listed 21 ways … I thought I’d highlight the most widely applicable top 10. As usual you can view the original via link at the bottom of the blog. Enjoy!

By the editors of Eat This, Not That!

Is your job literally killing you? With all the ways it can tip the scale, your 9-to-5 lifestyle can do some serious damage to health.

Since starting your current job, have your pants gotten tighter? You’re not alone. Forty-one percent of the U.S. workforce has gained weight since starting their current position, a 2014 survey conducted by the job search website discovered. But get this: Among those who have packed on the pounds, 59 percent gained more than 10 pounds—and 30 percent have added more than 20 pounds to their frame. Although many people say sedentary desk jobs are to blame, there are a number of other reasons your job may make it hard to stay trim. Compare yourself and your routine to the below and then find out 20 Incredible Weight-Loss Tips from a Biggest Loser.

2. You Take Frequent Business Trips

“I’m traveling on business” sounded cool when you were 22 years-old and still skinny. But 10 years later, with an extra layer or two on your body, you now know the truth: Business trips often mean indulgent meals or I’ll-take-what-I-can-get room service and a heck of a lot of sitting and waiting. In fact, 81 percent of business trips are taken in cars, with the travelers more likely to make poor food choices, according to a 2011 Columbia University study. The same research revealed that people who travel for work two week or more each month have higher BMI and higher rates of obesity.

Do This!

Keep a couple healthy snacks—like one of these 27 Healthiest Snacks Under $1—in your purse or satchel so that you’re less likely to overindulge once you get to your long-awaited meal. Squeeze in mini flat-ab workouts when you can, and don’t worry about using up every penny of what you’re allowed to expense.

3. You Arrive Late and Stay Later

When you work later, you also eat later and go to sleep later, both of which lead to unwanted pounds. A study in the journal Nutrition Research found that those whose last meal was closest to bedtime took in more calories during the day. If you typically log late nights at the office, you could be diminishing the quality of your sleep and increasing your odds of weight gain. The blue light emitted from electronic devices like your office computer or iPad could negatively affect sleep quality, according to recent Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences research. Blue light emissions impair the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, making it harder to doze off. When you don’t feel rested, ghrelin–the hunger-stimulating hormone–goes into overdrive, increasing feelings of hunger even when the body isn’t in need of food.

Do This!

Invest in F.lux. Throughout the day the software gradually changes the light emissions from electronic devices from blue to a warm red, a hue that minimizes blue light’s stimulating effects. Also be sure to check out the 30 Things to Do 30 Minutes Before Bed to Lose Weight.

4. Your Coworkers Are Terrible Influencers

We’re not saying you can’t think for yourself, but people do tend to conform to “eating norms” when in social settings, according to a 2014 review study published in theJournal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. found that people tend to conform to “eating norms” in social settings. Even if you’re not literally eating lunch with a coworker, you still see what they’re chowing down on, where they’re picking up lunch, and what they think is normal.

Do This!

Be the odd man out! Order the tempeh at lunch; bring your overnight oats to work; just say no to another massive salad drenched in a high-calorie dressing and toppings. Seek out the healthy-eating coworker and align yourself with him or her during lunchtime; you two may just start a chain reaction!

6. You Stay Glued to Your Seat

We sit an average of 67 hours a week — that’s nine hours a day sitting, six hours lying down, and only about seven hours out of every 24 spent actually moving. And our sedentary jobs now cause us to burn 100 fewer calories a day than we did 50 years ago. That alone translates to gaining an extra 10 pounds a year.

Do This!

A recent study in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found that a two-minute walk every hour can offset the effects of too much sitting, one of the 40 Habits That Make You Sick and Fat.

8. You Order Lunch

A study found that just having a lot of take-out options near your work or along your commute to work makes you twice as likely to be obese. Think about that for a moment: Just the mere presence of take-out food increases your risk of obesity.

Do This!

The best thing for you to do is pack your lunches and at least two snacks to make sure you don’t have to go searching for food elsewhere. If you absolutely must order takeout or run out for something, first scope out our fast food survival guide.

9. You Forget to Eat

Chances are that you either inhale a huge meal once you’re finally home and famished, or you just call it a day and live off of what you had. The first situation isn’t hard to see a problem with, but the latter one is dangerous, too. When you eat far too few calories, it can cause your body to lose muscle mass, which slows the rate of your metabolism. Plus, when you skimp on calories, your body slows the rate at which is burns calories because it goes into survival mode—it tries to conserve the fuel it’s got. Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN helps to explain this by saying, “Many people wrongfully believe that eating as few calories as possible is the best solution. Not only can this lead to numerous nutritional deficiencies as the body is getting less food overall, it can actually have the opposite effect on weight loss.”

Do This!

Why not prep a healthy and delicious breakfast or lunch the night before? These 25 Overnight Oats That Boost Your Metabolism will make sure you’re getting the fuel your body needs.

12. You Have Easy Access to a
Vending Machine

As if there aren’t enough reasons you might gain weight throughout your day, a conveniently-placed vending machine full of unhealthy snacks and sodas is a landmine for office employees. Because guess where they go when they’re too busy to pack lunch, run out for a bite, or somehow grab something to calm their hunger? The evil vending machine.

Do This!

Choose either the nuts or trail mix option, which is most likely to have some healthy fats and a little bit of protein to keep hunger at bay. Do not even look at the price of the Famous Amos, Cheetohs, or Diet Coke.

13. You Work In a Toxic Culture

Maybe it’s an over-the-top petty coworker or a boss who micromanages your every move. These little stressors still add up—and not only can stress cause headaches, stomach distress, high blood pressure, chest pain and sleep disturbances, it also causes the body to metabolize food more slowly, according to research published in the journalBiological Psychiatry. To add insult to injury, the types of food we crave when we’re stressed out tend to be fat and sugar-laden treats like doughnuts and chocolate. Researchers say that the combination of high-calorie cravings and a stress-induced snail-paced metabolic rate can result in significant weight gain.

Do This!

To keep your metabolism running strong, plaster a smile on your face and fight stress with some good cheer. Research shows that smiling and laughing causes levels of stress hormones to diminish. Combine that with another effective outlet—a mini workout at lunch, a walk around the block to get a dose of nature, or some yoga stretches—and you’ll keep your stress levels more balanced.

17. You Constantly See Candy and Cupcakes
in Your Office

Whether it’s a candy bowl, a coworker’s birthday, or just a well-meaning gesture from a client or partner company, baked goods and packaged foods are common in some offices. And when you’re stressed, hungry, or just looking for a mood-booster, it can be nearly impossible to turn down the temporary high.

Do This!

Don’t look to see what’s in the candy bowl; split that client cupcake with someone else; make up an excuse that you can’t have birthday cake because you have a headache and sugar makes it worse. Remember that you’re in charge of what goes in your stomach—no one’s forcing these sweet treats down your throat.

20. You Rely on Diet Soda

It’s easy to rely on a diet soda to get over that 2 p.m. slump—and you’re pretty sure your boss has several sodas a day. But a University of Texas Health Science Center study found that adults who drank diet soda experienced a whopping 70 percent increase in weight circumference when compared with non-soda drinkers. Plus, aspartame is shown to raise glucose levels to a point where it’s converted into fat.

Do This!

Drink water! According to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, drinking 17 ounces of water increased the metabolic rate of participants by 30 percent. Add an extra 1.5 liters of water to your workday intake, and you could burn 17,400 calories a year. Bonus: What happens to your body when you give up diet soda is simply amazing.


Originally Posted HERE

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Wednesday Wisdom

Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.”

~ Buddha