NOTE: This does NOT work for everybody – but it is always good to know what factors studies continues to find that may help those who are just starting.

No matter how you feel about the weighing yourself, Dietitian Julie Upton, MS, RD, of Appetite For Health, shares details from a new study on how the scale can help with weight loss. download

According to a first-of-its-kind study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers from Duke University Obesity Prevention Program reported that those who weighed themselves daily lost about three times as much weight and body fat, compared to those stepped on the scale less frequently.

The Duke obesity researchers enrolled 47 overweight men and women into a weight loss clinical trial that used electronic scales that were networked to the researchers’ computer network. All subjects were instructed to weigh in daily and were given some basic advice about healthy eating and exercise behaviors (i.e., increase water consumption, walk more, eat fewer snacks, enjoy more fruits/veggies).

Using data from the subjects’ escales, the researchers could objectively track the frequency of weigh-ins as well as the actual weights recorded. Previous studies have relied on subjects’ self-reported information about weigh-ins, which is considered less reliable.

After six months, the researchers evaluated both body weight and composition of all subjects and found that those who weighed in daily (51 percent of all subjects) lost an average of 20 pounds, compared to about seven pounds lost among those who weighed themselves about five days per week. Subjects who weighed themselves daily were also more likely to report following through on more healthy diet and lifestyle behaviors.

The authors concluded: “Daily weighing may trigger the self-regulatory processes that promote behavior change. Those who weigh daily report greater adoption of diet and exercise behaviors associated with weight control.”

Originally Posted HERE

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Healthy Byte: High Fat & Nutritionally Balance Diets

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Alternating diet between high fat, balanced may help control obesity, study finds
Researchers at the University of Georgia’s College of Pharmacy have discovered that alternating between a high fat and a more nutritionally balanced diet at regular intervals may help prevent or treat obesity and its associated metabolic disorders. They published their findings recently in the journal Scientific Reports.

For their study, scientists fed mice a high fat diet for five days before switching the animals to regular feed for a period of one, two or five days. They repeated this cycle for several weeks and observed the effects.

They found that switching to a regular diet for two or five days between periods of high fat intake not only helped control body weight, it also improved insulin sensitivity and prevented the accumulation of fat in the liver, two common side effects of obesity.

“Maintaining a proper diet requires a lot of willpower, and one of the problems we see very often with modern weight loss programs is that people cannot sustain a restricted diet over long periods of time,” said Dexi Liu, the Panoz Professor of Pharmacy at UGA. “The temptation to eat becomes overwhelming, and many people end up regaining the weight they’ve lost, so we wanted to see if there may be an alternative to these diets.”

Mice were allowed to eat as much food as they wanted during every phase of the study. The researchers also maintained two control groups, one of which received only a high fat diet and another that received only regular feed.

While mice that received only a high fat diet predictably gained weight, those fed an alternating diet closely mirrored the control group that received only regular feed in terms of their body weight, liver health and glucose sensitivity.

“The mice that received an alternating diet maintained body weight similar to mice that only received a regular diet,” Liu said. “They also had much lower levels of inflammation, which can contribute to the development of metabolic disorders like diabetes.”

Liu and his co-authors Yongjie Ma and Mingming Gao also found that an alternating diet can reverse obesity in mice. To test this, they fed a group of obese mice an alternating diet for five weeks, which led to a 12 percent reduction in fat mass compared to control animals.

“These results suggest that it may be possible to eat the foods you like, and to do so with pleasure, as long as those habits are tempered with periods of rest,” Liu said.
While he cautions that their results in an animal model do not necessarily translate directly to humans, Liu and his colleagues think that an alternating diet similar to the one used in their experiments could serve as the foundation for new dietary guidelines.

“Obesity is a complex disorder, and there are many factors that can contribute to excessive weight gain,” Liu said. “There are, for example, genetic differences that may influence how easily a person gains or loses weight, but we believe that diet is still the dominant factor.

“Ultimately, we want to find ways to help make people healthy, and an alternating diet may be a more practical way for people to live a healthier life.”

Originally Posted HERE

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Healthy Byte: Weight Loss Myths

While some have tried pretty shocking techniques to lose weight, there are also some common, long-held techniques that seem like a good idea — and may even work at first — but are absolutely going to backfire and end up causing weight gain. If you’re on a quest to a slimmer you, avoid doing these five things.

Having a Cut-Off Time For Eating

If you’ve heard that you shouldn’t eat past 6, 7, or 8 p.m. in order to lose weight, that’s just not true. Food eaten at night doesn’t automatically get stored as fat, as previously believed. What time you stop eating has nothing to do with how much weight you’ll gain or lose — it’s the total calories you consume in a day that matters. If you are a late-night snacker, opt for healthier options that are easy to digest.

Deprivation

Whether it’s all carbs, all gluten, all sugar, all baked goods, or all whatever, certified dietitian Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD, of Whole Health Nutrition believes this is not a life your pizza-ice-cream-pasta-loving self can sustain. After a period of forced deprivation, most people will just throw in the towel and devour an enormous plate of whatever they’re living without, says Langevin. Or, if they are able to go through a period of elimination, once they go back to eating these foods, the weight they lost will slowly creep back on. When it comes to maintaining weight loss, moderation is key.

Subscribing to a Low-Fat Diet

Going no fat or low fat was a huge trend back in the ’90s, a fad that we are glad has mostly passed. Most low-fat foods are packed with sugar to add flavor, and as a result, they end up causing weight gain — especially belly fat. Also of importance is that we’ve since learned that eating healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, and nuts can actually help to increase metabolism and can burn away belly fat. Healthy fats also fill you up longer, so go ahead and add nuts to your smoothie, avocado to your soup, or roast your veggies in olive oil.

Skipping Out on Meals

In order to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. And while reducing the number of calories in your diet is one way to do this, skipping an entire meal is not the way to go. Starving the body can slow down its metabolism and lead to overeating later. And let’s face it, if you’re running on empty, you won’t have the energy for a calorie-crushing workout later. Beyond adopting a healthier diet in general, the best way to reduce your calorie intake is to find ways to make healthy swaps in your favorite foods and also by choosing lower-calorie foods that are high in fiber, protein, or whole grains, which can better keep you full.

Only Exercising

Working out is definitely part of the weight-loss equation, but if you think it means you can eat whatever you want, you’re not going to be happy with the results. Keep in mind that a 30-minute run at a pace of six mph (10 minutes per mile) burns about 270 calories. In order to lose a pound a week, you need to burn or cut out 500 calories a day. So that means coupled with your 30-minute workout, you still need to cut out 220 calories from your diet, which most likely does not translate to eating everything in sight. Research actually proves that “abs are made in the kitchen,” which means that what you eat — focusing on eating healthy portions throughout the day — can be even more important than how much you work out.

Originally Posted HERE

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Healthy Byte: Simple Ways to Keep the Weight Off

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So you want to drop a couple sizes. You know the drill: Eat more veggies; fewer cookies. Drink more water; less soda. Work out a few times a week.

Still, while most of us know the basics of healthy living, getting trim is hard work.

That’s why we recently talked to exercise scientist Philip Stanforth, executive director of the Fitness Institute of Texas and a professor of exercise science at the University of Texas, to find out more about what to look out for when losing weight.

He told us there are three main obstacles that face most people who are trying to lose weight, and overcoming them can make a huge difference.

1. We spend way too much time sitting

“In the world we live today to think people could not be overweight is ridiculous, because in the normal course of the day we expend so few calories,” said Stanforth. “The chances are much higher that we’re going to eat more than that.” In other words, a daily regimen of sitting at our desks, driving to and from work, and ordering takeout probably means we’re going to end up eating more than we burn off.

(Nathan O’Nions/flickr)
This, plus the fact that much of the food we eat comes stuffed with calorie-rich sugar and fat, makes evening out this ratio of burning to eating even harder.

There are some simple solutions to a sedentary lifestyle, though. While research has shown that simply working outwon’t cut it, getting up for a few minutes every hour might just do the trick.

2. We’re really, really bad at remembering what we’ve eaten and how much exercise we’ve done

Even when we’re making an effort to be more conscious of what we’re putting into our bodies and how active we are, we tend to give ourselves more credit than we deserve.

“People tend to overestimate their physical activity and underestimate how much food they eat,” Stanforth said. “They consistently think they’ve worked out more and consistently think they’ve eaten less.”

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Several recent studies back up Stanforth’s observations. In a recent editorial published in the Mayo Clinic’s peer-reviewed journal, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the researchers wrote: “The assumption that human memory can provide accurate or precise reproductions of past ingestive behavior is indisputably false.”

The problem here isn’t just that memories aren’t reliable historical records — it’s also that we often overlook the calories in many of the foods we eat habitually.

Take coffee, for instance. Black coffee has just about 2 calories — less than a stick of sugar-free gum. But cream and sugar can add anywhere from 25-150 calories per serving.

“Most people will think, ‘Oh I had a coffee this morning and coffee has few-to-no calories,’ so it’s not significant,” says Stanforth.“ But when you add cream and sugar, that can end up being far more significant.”

3. Our portion sizes are way, way out of proportion

In recent years, the amount of food we consider to be a single serving has ballooned. In some foods, it’s increased as much as a whopping 138%. What most people would think of as a serving of ice cream, for example, is probably about a cup. In reality, though, a 230-calorie “serving” of Ben and Jerry’s is half a cup, or just about 8 large spoonfuls!

“Portion size is a big problem,” says Stanforth. “Most people would say, ‘Well that looks like a serving,’ but in reality it’s two or three servings.”

Think of this the time you’re out to eat. If you get a bowl of pasta, consider taking half to-go. If you’re eating family-style, start by covering half your plate in salad greens.

Originally Posted HERE

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Healthy Byte: Stop the Diets – Try Real Life Tips

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Foundry via Pixabay

How is your diet working for you?

I spent years trying to perfect my eating. Admittedly, I was a nutritional fundamentalist. There were a few reasons for that, some foods gave me brain fog and I had a bad case of IBS. My bloating would get so past the stage of “has she gained a few pounds?” people would boldly ask me if I was pregnant. But truth is, I feared food, and in trying to keep my symptoms at bay I created a self fulfilling prophecy.

I was not one to sit on the sidelines watching my health spiraling downhill. So I tested, researched, chuck some “nutritional truths” out of the window and made of nutrition my life’s work. Eventually I found that there are as many perspectives on diet as there are people on the planet, but in the end, it all comes down to 3 fundamental guidelines I work with, and suggest you try. Experience tells me they work:

1. Be an emotional eater

In other words, embrace who you already are. We all are emotional eaters, but not in the way we usually speak of, tail between our legs as if it were a shameful thing. Your body is sensitive to the chemistry of your emotions, and very much so. Depending on what’s going on inside you will digest food differently, metabolize differently, burn calories differently and use energy differently. You will be more, or less pone to falling ill, and to developing a health condition.

It’s not about taking emotions out of the equation, it’s about learning to manage them. For this reason, learning to relax your body during a meal is vital for a healthy metabolism, and deep breathing is one of the simplest, most effective ways to relax. Don’t discard simple, it’s often the most powerful.

 

2. Stay curious about your eating behaviors

Binge eating, overeating, emotional eating, shopping sprees, one drink too many… Our most disconcerting actions can be stepping stones to our deepest insights. Exploring the driving force behind them gives us the understanding, wisdom and maturity we are being called to develop. Addiction taught me that what you resist, persists. Rather than control, observation, curiosity and inquiry will ‘unlock’ an unwanted behavior. Try to beat it it’ll beat you. Invite it to the table, you’ll be surprised at what it has to say.

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3. Let your diet evolve

This — is important. Your health mirrors how you do life and your life mirrors how you care for your health. You move through periods that require from you new choices in food as they do in your life, and the healthy diet that worked miracles 5 years ago may have reached its expiration date.

We can outgrow a diet like we outgrow a jumper. Does this mean the diet was bad? No. Even a life saving medicine works until it does. Your ability to listen to your changing needs and move into what best supports you right now keeps you awake. It keeps you healthy in body and sharp in your thoughts, open in your beliefs and elastic in your ability to change them.

Because a diet made you feel superhuman doesn’t mean it will continue to do so. While there are long term preferences you stick to because they work, it’s important to stay aware of your body senses, keep an open mind and continue to assess whether yesterday’s choice is still the right one.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. Which of the above 3 tips did you resonate with the most, and why?

Originally Posted HERE

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Healthy Byte: Strength Training Tips from the Pros

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Every guy dreams of attaining chiseled abs and arms, which usually leads to lots of hours at the gym. Putting in the time will definitely set you on the right path, but it might not be enough to get the results you want. Tons of elements go into a well-rounded strength routine, and the little details really do matter. You may be greatat maximizing your effort for individual lifts, but slacking on recovery or consistency.

Fitness can be a tricky puzzle to put together, so it’s time to clear up some of the confusion. We asked six leading weight-lifting experts to share the advice that had the greatest impact on their own training, which they’ve since passed on to others. Read on to hear what they had to say.

1. Don’t shy away from intensity

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Working out | Source: iStock

‘Go to failure.’ That’s the best weight-lifting advice I received when I was a young man. Now that I’m a professional trainer, I witness the power of it often, and still in my own life.

After my wife’s second pregnancy and the joy of bringing a second little girl into the world, I reprioritized my workouts. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of backing off my intensity in the gym. That meant less resistance, ending before failure, and longer rest periods. The result? I saw a 10% increase in my body fat.

When I realized how I’d drifted, I repurposed my workouts and increased my intensity again. I used several resistance training methods to do it. With a change in diet, I dropped to below 4% body fat.

Joe Cross, CPT, and founder of Cross Fitness in Minneapolis

2. Remember to take time for recovery

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‘Fatigue masks fitness.’ If you’re always doing a high volume of work, you’ll never give yourself an opportunity to realize or demonstrate your fitness gains. Short-term overreaching is a good thing, and part of the training process, whereas long-term overtraining is a huge problem.

Eric Cressey, CSCS, and president and co-founder of Cressey Sports Performance in Hudson, Mass.

3. Dedication is everything

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A dedicated man pushing himself | Source: iStock

The most important advice anyone can take with regards to strength training isn’t something I was ever given explicitly, but something that was reinforced over my years as a weightlifter by my coaches. And that is hard work and consistency are the keys to success. There are no magic tricks. And thinking, reading, talking, and arguing about every new thing you hear of is wasting time and energy you should be putting into training and recovery. Or, as I like to tell my lifters, “shut up and get back to work.”

Greg Everett, head coach of the Catalyst Athletics weightlifting team, owner of Catalyst Athletics in Sunnyvale, Calif., and author of Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches

4. Keep everything in balance

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A man performing push-ups | Source: iStock