Healthy Byte: Tips from Long Term Maintainers

In the health world, we’re typically inundated with research on the best ways to lose weight, from nutrition advice to fitness tips. But what if we knew the secrets to never gaining it in the first place? What if we just focused on how to stay at a healthy weight?

Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, author of Slim by Design, and Yahoo Health Advisory Board Member, and his team of researchers at Cornell Food and Brand Lab are launching the Global Healthy Weight Registry in January to gather information and discover the secrets of people who have pretty much never gained weight (other than 5 to 10 pounds).

You can join the registry here.

Currently, the National Weight Control Registry, made up of people who had lost 30 pounds and kept it off for three years, provides a wealth of information on weight loss and what makes individuals successful with it long-term. But we don’t hear much about preventing weight gain in the first place, Camille Finn, manager of the Healthy Weight Registry, tells Yahoo Health.

“We need this registry so that we can share the secrets of people who have never been overweight,” Finn explains. “We hope to discover interesting tips and tricks from people who have always been a healthy weight and share those secrets to help others avoid gaining weight.”

So who’s eligible for the registry? Finn breaks it down: “The perfect candidate is someone 18 or older who has maintained a healthy body weight (healthy body mass index) throughout their adult life, and who has not worked with weight counselors or other health professionals regarding their weight in the past.”

If you think you qualify, the next step is to take a questionnaire, which asks a wide range of questions on topics such as what you eat for breakfast, food preferences, cooking secrets, and broader topics such as hobbies and your outlook on life. Once you’re accepted — you’ll be kept anonymous, don’t worry — you’ll be sent updates on new insights and related research papers Wansink’s team publishes. Your only other commitment will be to answer a new set of questions once a year.

‘If you are not eligible, we can still keep you up-to-date on some of our findings when you sign up as a Registry Friend on our website,” Finn explains.

Once the registry gets going, the team will crunch the data in search of commonalities among healthy weight people, says Finn. Then, they’ll share these insights with both the people in the registry and the general public, so that others can apply these tips and tricks to their own lives. “We’ll write academic articles on the results and develop infographics, posts, and tweets, and share them on the website and our social media so that we can help people stay slim.”

The team has created an infographic with some of their preliminary findings on “healthy weight” registrants, which includes some interesting stats: 63 percent eat veggies with dinner every night, 46 percent eat fruit at breakfast, 47 percent never diet, and over 50 percent exercise four or more days per week.

As the registry grows, more insights like these will be revealed and guide useful recommendations that other people can follow to help maintain a healthy weight throughout their lives.

Originally Posted HERE

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Wednesday Wisdom

“Obstacles can’t stop you.

Problems can’t stop you.

Most important of all, other people can’t stop you.

Only you can stop you.”

~ Jeffrey Gitomer

Healthy Byte: Fast Food Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Hitting the Drive Thru

(Photos: Jackie Newgent/

When you need a meal but don’t have time to cook, what do you grab? It can be a delicious dish filled with good nutrition. Simply pick one day a week that you have 20 minutes or so to spare – perhaps Sunday evening – and whip up a meal (or more!) that can be frozen for later. It’s ideal if you need to cook for just one or two; you’ll be able to take the exact serving of what you need out of the freezer. If you’re cooking for four, you’ll also find family-style recipes here. The best part is that all you need to do is put the frozen meal into the oven or microwave, set the timer and go about your business until it’s ready. Then, of course, enjoy!

1. Egg, Spinach and Portobello Breakfast Sandwich
You don’t need to go to a fast-food drive-through window to get a speedy breakfast sandwich. You can head over to your freezer, take out one of these savory goodies and pop it into the microwave for two minutes. Wow, that’s faster than going the fast-food route! Better yet, it’s packed with great taste, balanced nutrition and natural ingredients. Each whole-grain English muffin is spread with goat cheese and stuffed with a scrambled mixture of eggs, portobello mushrooms and baby spinach. It’s an easy way to get veggies in the morning – or any time! CALORIES: 272. Get the recipe here.

2. Cincinnati-Style Veggie Chili Bake (Family-Style)
Every region in the United Sates has its own preferred chili. In Ohio, Cincinnati chili is popular. It’s basically a uniquely spiced, meaty chili served over spaghetti, then topped as you like with Cheddar cheese, beans and onions. This recipe is a better-for-you version. It’s baked with layers of whole-grain penne, Cheddar cheese, red onion and vegetarian chili that’s “spiked” with red wine vinegar, cinnamon, cocoa powder and allspice. It’s an antioxidant winner! And it’s a winner for dinner on any given day because all you need to do is take the dish out of the freezer and bake it. That’s it! CALORIES: 471. Get the recipe here.

3. Vegetarian Stir-Fry Rice Bowl
You can pick up the phone and order Chinese takeout, or you can pull this rice bowl out of the freezer and have a delicious mealtime fix – fast. Instead of greasiness, this colorful vegan bowl is loaded with plant-based delightfulness. Brown rice is combined with orange zest and fresh cilantro. Organic tofu is stir-fried with baby bella mushrooms, red bell peppers and scallions. A savory sauce of tamari and toasted sesame oil scrumptiously brings everything together. Each bowl takes less than five minutes total from freezer to microwave to table! CALORIES: 528. Get the recipe here.

4. Tropical Black Bean, Cheese and Papaya Burrito
This is not your run-of-the-mill burrito. It has a taste of the tropics by way of vitamin C-rich papaya. Each sprouted whole-grain tortilla is also stuffed with baby spinach, black beans, spicy salsa, scallions and fresh cilantro. To bring it all together in a mouthwatering way, don’t leave out the Monterey Jack cheese! From the freezer, each burrito takes only three-and-a-half minutes to heat in the microwave. That’s downright fast! But then it’s time to slow down and savor every bite with a fork and knife. CALORIES: 296. Get the recipe here.


5. Power Pasta Bowl With Turkey-Kale Meatballs
Spaghetti with meatballs is a classic. This pasta bowl takes that classic and kicks it into a trendier place. The meatballs are based on turkey, kale and hemp seeds. The pasta is whole grain. It all goes together to make one great-tasting, nutrient-rich bowl of goodness – and a fun way to get lutein (from kale) and lycopene (from marinara). To prepare, you’ll bake the meatballs while you cook the pasta, toss it all together with a quality marinara sauce, transfer to bowls and freeze. Each bowl will be ready to eat after four minutes in the microwave! CALORIES: 563. Get the recipe here.


Originally Posted HERE

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Wednesday Wisdom

“To do anything in this world worth doing,

we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger,

but jump in and scramble through as well as we can.”

~ Sydney Smith

Healthy Byte: TV Shows Fanning the Flames or Helping?

Personal Note: A lot of overeating or poor eating choices revolves around one’s psyche and ta person’s own emotional  relationship with food. Just because these trainers purposely gain weight it doesn’t necessarily change their personal state of mind in regards to food. For example, if their innate mindset is that food is nothing but fuel for their body then it is quite different from someone who has an emotional attachment to say ice cream when they are upset about something. So although this may allow trainers to be more compassionate towards clients but I wouldn’t say that their journey is anywhere equivalent to someone who is actually obese, overweight, or have grown up with grandma giving them a fresh bake cookie when they’ve had a bad day. Just something to keep in the back of the mind anyways.

Adonis Hill, a trainer on the upcoming show “Fit to Fat to Fit,” went from weighing 217 pounds to 286 pounds by consuming 8,000 calories a day, according to The New York Post. (Photo: A&E)

In the new A&E show Fit to Fat to Fit (premiered Jan. 19), trainers don’t just preach the powers of diet and exercise, they live it with their clients — by throwing their healthy lifestyles out the window, upping their body weight by 40 percent, and then working side-by-side with overweight people to shed pounds together.

But is gaining excessive weight over the course of four months only to lose it again (in four months) healthy? Experts warn against it: “It’s certainly not healthy to put weight on at all, but it’s also not healthy to put weight on really fast,” Charlie Seltzer, MD, a weight-loss expert and Yahoo Health Advisory Board member, tells Yahoo Health.

He also says, though, to take the show with a grain of salt: After all, this kind of setup is for entertainment value — and it’s hard to apply the situation to real life. (Beyond being an actor and needing to drop pounds for a role, when would you purposely gain weight just to lose it in a confined time period?)

That said, the health issues that come from the process are real. For one, according to news reports, the trainers didn’t appear to focus on “quality calories” — which is unhealthy, Rebecca Blake, RD, CDN, the senior director of Clinical Nutrition at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York, tells Yahoo Health. The New York Post reports that Katie Mack, a 29-year-old trainer on the show, ate “high-calorie snacks such as bread with butter; bacon, egg and cheese on a bagel; Ho Hos; and oatmeal creme cookies. She drank lots of high-calorie beer, light-and-sweet coffee and even melted ice cream.”

When you eat this way, you gain fat, not muscle mass, says Blake. This can put you at risk for obesity, which ups your likelihood of suffering from a health condition like hypertension or diabetes.

Katie Mack, a trainer on the upcoming show “Fit to Fat to Fit,” went from weighing 123 pounds to 157 pounds by consuming 4,000 to 5,000 calories a day, according to The New York Post. (Photo: A&E)

Seltzer adds that a bigger waist circumference — which comes hand-in-hand with weight gain — is linked to cardiovascular disease, a decrease in insulin sensitivity (associated with diabetes), more triglycerides in your blood (a type of fat that can increase your risk of heart disease), and an increase in the “bad” LDL cholesterol. The worst part: “These issues don’t necessarily easily reverse themselves when you get back to normal weight,” says Blake.

The other problem? If you’ve been eating clean, you can face a ton of ugly side effects like GI upset and water retention once you start eating unhealthy, says Blake. “You feel like what you’re feeding yourself — not great.”

Check out the trainers’ own reports: Of the diet, Mack told The New York Post: “It was perpetually uncomfortable,” and “I felt like I had some version of a terminal or chronic illness.” Adonis Hill, another trainer on the show who went from weighing 217 pounds to 286 pounds, told The Post: “When I was overweight, there were a lot of things I was fighting, like depression.”

Beyond the physical side effects, though, if you gain weight in such a manner, you start to train your body to want more food, says Blake. Part of that comes down to the way your stomach stretches; part of it is your body learning new (unhealthy) ways of operating. And these habits, she says, take time to nix, too.

Of course, when it comes to shedding the weight, for the most part, losing weight is good for your body, says Seltzer. But he adds: “I would encourage people to have fun watching the show — not to think they would be able to lose weight that quickly.”

 While Blake notes that if you’ve been in excellent shape your whole life (like the trainers), you’re much more likely to be able to bounce back to a healthy weight fairly quickly, actually doing so is not always so easy.

Seltzer says that without an extensive fitness and physiology background, it’d be hard for the average person to see similar weight-loss results. “It’s so hard to do it right anyway,” he says. If you’re trying to drop pounds within a certain amount of time — like on the show — it’s even harder, he says, as specific factors like meal timing become especially important.

There are also dangers to trying to do so. Physically, when you lose weight quickly, you lose more muscle mass and miss out on crucial nutrients because of the giant calorie deficit, says Seltzer.

Your body can also go into starvation mode, says Blake. In this kind of state, your metabolism can be compromised. “Your body starts to ‘hang on’ to calories,” she says. If this happens, it could mean that to maintain a 150-pound weight that you once had, you might need to eat less than you once did.

In fact, trying to move the scale quickly is usually never a good idea. Seltzer says that the faster you lose weight, the more likely you are to gain it back. In part that’s because — in the real world — when people drop pounds too fast, they tend to ignore the underlying issues that made them overweight to begin with.

And for those of us who aren’t in front of the camera, addressing those issues in due time with the appropriate support is the best and healthiest way to attack weight loss.

Originally Posted HERE

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Wednesday Wisdom

“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters.

Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”

~ Colin Powell,  United States Army General – Retired