An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure!

Archive for December, 2011

Here’s Your Prescripti​on For Losing Belly Fat

Pandemic of Lifestyle Diseases

Image by colros via Flickr

Be Aware Of The Dangers Of Too Much Belly Fa

Belly fat promotes insulin storage, which increases hunger and cravings for sugar and carbohydrates, further boosts fat storage around the belly area.   The fatter a person gets, the more insulin-resistant they become, which creates a vicious cycle of craving carbs and sugar, unwanted weight gain, yo-yo dieting, becoming hungry and gaining more weight again and again.

 

There Are Two Types Of Belly Fat To Be Concerned About…

Subcutaneous Fat – Is the visible kind of fat just above your hips that jiggles and looks unattractive;

Visceral Fat – Not visible, but hides out deep in the abs and wraps itself around vital organs.

 

While subcutaneous fat can make you look and feel unattractively fat, it is the invisible visceral fat that is the real problem. Visceral fat functions like an endocrine system because it is metabolically active itself. It releases enzymes and hormones into the bloodstream that raise blood pressure, increase bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower good (HDL) cholesterol.

Visceral fat also interferes with the body’s ability to use insulin and increases estrogen  levels. Too much visceral fat can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, breast  cancer, type 2 diabetes and other unhealthy conditions.

Waging A Successful War Against Belly Fat

Is Easier Than You May Think!   Use These Proven Ways To Lose Belly Fat:

 

1. Cut Back On Carbs and Sugar…

It is important to immediately reduce sugars, simple carbohydrates, processed foods and  any products made with high fructose corn syrup. It absorbs quickly, boosts inflammation, blood glucose and insulin levels.

 

2. Don’t Use Artificial Sweeteners As A Substitute…

Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame increase inflammation and insulin resistance, ultimately triggering increased storage of belly fat.

Try to keep your appetite satisfied (comfortably full) with a diet stimulating the body’s metabolic function for efficient fat-burning.  Your diet should consist of:                                                      30% – 40%  Protein,

30% – 40% Carbohydrates

No More Than 30% Total Fat

3. The Mediterranean Diet Is Ideal…

Traditionally, the Mediterranean dietincludes high consumption of olive oil, legumes, beans, nuts,unrefined cereals, fruits, vegetables, fish, moderate servings of dairy, red  wine, and keeping the consumption of red meat low.

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...

Image via Wikipedia

 

It’s deliciously satisfying, simple and proven to be healthy… People following the Mediterranean diet lose more weight,  maintain key improvements in cholesterol and reduced blood pressure. Subsequently,  their risk of heart disease is lower more than people on a low-fat diet.

 

4. Specific Food-Source Nutrients Are Beneficial Against Belly Fat

Omega-3 Fatty Acids from fish oil also help reduce damaging inflammation which promotes unhealthy insulin resistance and subsequent accumulation of belly fat.

Cinnamon Extract and Chromium have both been shown to lower insulin resistance, consider including supplements in your daily regimen

Green Tea contains catechins,the powerful antioxidants that have been proven in several studies to release fat cells and allow more efficient weight reduction.

 

5. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Are Nutrient Rich and     They’re  Full of Water and Fiber..

Fruits and veggies have the unique ability to expand in your stomach and fill you up with fewer calories and nearly no fat!

That’s why it’s crucial to eat  at least five servings daily…

 

6. Be Sure To Get At Least 2-3 Servings of Whole Grains Daily…

Eating a diet high in whole grains and low in refined carbohydrates makes it easier to minimize storage of fat throughout the body. Nutrition specialists and food scientists believe the dietary fiber and magnesium in whole grains may help maintain insulin sensitivity.

One of the most important areas currently being studied is the crucial role of whole grains on measures of insulin sensitivity.

 

7. Physical Activity and Regular Exercise…

Never underestimate the importance of exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week. A good combination of cardio, resistance (strength) training and interval training is best, depending on your age and  general physical condition.

People who don’t exercise are more likely to regain weight than those who combined a  healthy Mediterranean style diet with regular aerobic exercise five days a week. People  who exercise regularly also improve their cholesterol levels, aerobic capacity, blood  pressure and blood glucose levels.

 

Reduce Belly Fat Quicker With “Interval” Training…

Interval training means alternating periods of intense exercise with low-intensity exercise or rest, and can be used successfully with any type of aerobic sport, such as walking, biking or jogging. Alternate slow and fast cycling or fast walking and running, recommends the Mayo Clinic.

For example… A  20-minute cycling regimen that includes sprinting on a stationary bike for 8 -10 seconds followed by 12 seconds of light cycling. A  person can lose more belly fat than those doing only cardio, even though the cardio workouts are almost twice as long!

It’s also important to note that proper interval training suppresses the appetite hormone  known as Ghrelin. Thus, a person naturally want to eat less.

Weight Lifting (also known as resistance training and strength training) Is A Very Powerful  Weapon Against Belly Fat

In resistance training, a person increases their muscle strength and

endurance by doing repetitive exercises with weights or weight machines. Building lean muscle speeds up metabolism and fat burning efficiency.

Start to reap the rewards of resistance training with least 30 minutes two or three times a week.People can lift weights and do circuit-training at the gym, and do resistance crunches and push-ups at home or office.

Experts recommend performing the resistance training workout before your aerobic workout to get best overall results and to burn maximum fat.

When a person successfully decreases their belly fat, they will firm muscles in their central core: abs, back and chest, so they look fitter and slimmer.

 

8. Reduce Levels Of Stress, A Major Contributor To Gaining Fat…

With stress, the body increases its production of Cortisol, a dangerous hormone that increases the appetite and makes people crave high-fat, high-sugar comfort foods such as cookies, cake and ice cream which all pack on unwanted, unhealthy pounds.

 

Research at Georgetown University Medical Center demonstrated that chronic long-term  stress resulted in metabolic syndrome, a series of unhealthy symptoms including inflammation, weight gain, insulin resistance and increased belly fat.

To effectively reduce stress, try gentle stretching, deep breathing, yoga or meditation, or take a long nature walk.

 

9. Adequate Sleep Is Also An Important Factor In Long

Term Reduction Of  Belly Fat

Studies show that inadequate sleep affects  levels of two key appetite hormones, Leptin  (which decreases hunger) and Ghrelin (which increases hunger).

 

Several studies have proven that people who sleep only 5 hours compared to those who  sleep at least 8 hours experience a dramatic decrease in Leptin and increase in Ghrelin, resulting in additional weight gain.

 

The increase in appetite and craving of high-carb foods like cookies, candy and cakes, rise significantly when a person skimps on sleep!.

 

Be sure to get at least 7 – 8 hours of quality, restful sleep each night.

 

This article is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.

Hormones Cause People To Regain Weight After Dieting

Although restriction of diet often results in initial weight loss, more than 80 per cent of obese dieters fail to maintain their reduced weight. Worldwide, there are more than 1.5 billion overweight adults, including 400 million who are obese.

In Australia for example, it is estimated more than 50 per cent of women and 60 per cent of men are either overweight or obese. Although restriction of diet often results in initial weight loss, more than 80 per cent of obese dieters fail to maintain their reduced weight. Obese people may regain weight after dieting due to hormonal changes, a new study has shown.

 

The study involved 50 overweight or obese adults, with a BMI of between 27 and 40, and an average weight of 95kg (210 lbs), who enrolled in a 10-week weight loss program using a very low energy diet. Levels of appetite-regulating hormones were measured at baseline, at the end of the program and one year after initial weight loss.

Results showed that following initial weight loss of about 13 kgs (28 – 29 lbs), the levels of hormones that influence hunger changed in a way which would be expected to increase appetite. These changes were sustained for at least one year. Participants regained around 5kgs (11 lbs) during the one-year period of study.

 

Researchers  from the University of Melbourne and Austin Health said the study revealed the important roles that hormones play in regulating body weight, making dietary and behavioral change less likely to work in the long-term.

 

“Our study has provided clues as to why obese people who have lost weight often relapse. The relapse has a strong physiological basis and is not simply the result of the voluntary resumption of old habits,” they said.

Although health promotion campaigns recommended obese people adopt lifestyle changes such as to be more active, the researchers believe they were unlikely to lead to reversal of the obesity epidemic.

 

“Ultimately it would be more effective to focus public health efforts in preventing children from becoming obese.”

“The study also suggests that hunger following weight loss needs to be addressed. This may be possible with long-term pharmacotherapy or hormone manipulation but these options need to be investigated,” they said.

 

The study was done in collaboration with La Trobe University. It was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

 

Story Source: University of Melbourne (2011, October 28). Obese people regain weight after dieting due to hormones, Australian study finds.

Journal Reference: Long-Term Persistence of Hormonal Adaptations to Weight Loss. New England Journal of Medicine, 2011;

This article is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.

Powerful Muscle-Bui​lding Effect of Protein Supplement​s for Athletes

It’s well established… physical activity requires strong, healthy muscles. When people exercise on a regular basis, their muscles experience a continuous cycle of muscle breakdown (during exercise), remodeling and growth,especially with weight-training and weight lifting.

Athletes have long used methods to enhance the cycle of physiologic responses to increase muscle growth. The use of high-quality, high-protein beverages and supplements during and after exercise has become well accepted and popular. Dairy-based whey proteins being are a favorite.

Several studies have shown and documented beneficial effects of protein supplement consumption.

The effect of the essential amino acid – leucine naturally present in these products as part of the protein’s typical amino acid profile is very important.

Two reports, published in the September 2011 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition report the results of two independent studies conducted to understand better how amino acids influence protein synthesis in athletes.

According to the ASN researchers “These studies, and others like them, help us understand and apply something we all inherently know: the human body works in a complex, yet completely logical way! It makes good sense that consuming a food containing high-quality protein during and/or immediately following exercise would help muscles get stronger. Muscle strength doesn’t just happen on its own; our muscles need to be both encouraged with exercise and nourished. Now we have even more scientific proof for this common-sense concept.”

In the first study, researchers from McMaster University investigated whether post exercise muscle protein synthesis is different when a large, single dose of whey protein (25 grams) is consumed immediately after activity compared with when smaller doses (2.5 grams) are consumed 10 times over an extended period. The idea with the small “protein shots” was to mimic how another milk protein, casein, is digested.

Participants were 8 men; (mean age: 22 years) performed 8 sets of 8-10 repetitions on a leg-extension machine; each subject participated in both dietary treatment regimens. In the second study with researchers from the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, active-duty military personnel (7 men and 1 woman; mean age: 24 years) consumed a high-protein beverage (10 grams protein providing essential amino acids) containing 1.87 or 3.5 g leucine while exercising on a stationary bicycle. In both studies, post exercise muscle protein synthesis was evaluated.

Consuming the large dose of whey protein immediately after exercise increased muscle protein synthesis more than when periodic smaller doses of protein were consumed. In the second study, muscle protein synthesis was 33% greater after consumption of the leucine-enriched protein beverage than after the lower-leucine supplement drink.

The researchers concluded that muscle metabolism after exercise can be effectively managed using proper dietary supplementation.

In consideration of the most beneficial timing of protein intake, immediate post exercise consumption appears to be the best. Leucine may play an especially important role in stimulating muscle growth in the post activity recovery period.

Story Source: American Society for Nutrition

Journal References: “Rapid aminoacidemia enhances myofibrillar protein synthesis and anabolic intramuscular signaling responses after resistance exercise” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2011;

“Leucine-enriched essential amino acid supplementation during moderate steady state exercise enhances post exercise muscle protein synthesis” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2011;

American Society for Nutrition (2011, August 18) “Muscle-building effect of protein beverages for athletes investigated”

This article is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.

Benefits of Nut Consumptio​n for People With Abdominal Obesity, High Blood Sugar, High Blood Pressure

Scientists now are reporting a significant link between eating nuts and higher levels of serotonin in the bodies of patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS) who are at high risk for heart disease. Serotonin is a substance that helps transmit nerve signals and decreases feelings of hunger, makes people feel happier and improves heart health. It took only one ounce of mixed nuts (raw unpeeled walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts) a day to produce the beneficial effects.

The report appears in ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research

Resaerchers from the Biomarkers & NutriMetabolomics Research Group of the University of Barcelona in collaboration with the Human Nutrition Unit of the Rovira i Virgili University explain that the rise in obesity around the world means more and more patients have metabolic syndrome. Symptoms include excess abdominal fat, high blood sugar and high blood pressure, which increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Dietary changes may help patients reduce the excess weight and become healthier. They’re recommending increased regular consumption of nuts, which are packed with healthful nutrients, such as healthy fats (unsaturated fatty acids) and antioxidants (polyphenols). Nuts have been recommended to fight the metabolic abnormalities associated with MetS.

To check the biochemical effects of nut consumption, the researchers put 22 MetS patients on a nut-enriched diet for 12 weeks and compared them to another group of 20 patients who were told to avoid nuts.

The scientists analyzed the broad spectrum of compounds excreted in the patients’ urine and found evidence of several healthful changes. One surprise was evidence that nut consumption had boosted patients’ levels of serotonin metabolites in urine, since these findings suggest the role of serotonin in the beneficial effects of nuts. They point out that the study provides the first evidence in humans of the beneficial effects of nut consumption in reducing levels of substances in the body associated with inflammation and other cardiovascular risk factors in patients with metabolic syndrome.

Journal Reference: Metabolomics Unveils Urinary Changes in Subjects with Metabolic Syndrome following 12-Week Nut Consumption. Journal of Proteome Research, 2011;

American Chemical Society (2011, November 2). Benefits of nut consumption for people with abdominal obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure.

This article is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.

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