Category Archives: overweight

5 Habits that work for weight loss – Harvard

I think that deciding to live a healthy life is a far more rewarding goal than ‘losing a few pounds.’ Unfortunately, I think peoples’ eyes glaze over contemplating the general idea of living a health life. Whereas, lopping off a few offending pounds resonates. Statistics show that 60 percent of us are overweight and half of those folks are outright obese. So, we need to know some weight loss techniques. I think Harvard does a good job on this list from the Harvard Heart Letter.

1. Make time to prepare healthy meals

Home-cooked food tends to be far lower in calories, fat, salt, and sugar than restaurant food and most processed food. But it takes time and effort to choose recipes, go to the store, and cook. Take a close look at your weekly schedule to see if you can carve out a few hours to devote to meal planning and shopping, which is more than half the battle, says Dr. Blackburn. It could be on Sunday afternoon or in 15- to 30-minute increments throughout the week. Continue reading

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Empty calories: What you need to know – MNT

I think calorie-counting is a very valuable tool when you are first getting started on weight control and living a healthy life. But, there are calories and there are calories. You need to know the food value of the calories you are consuming. You don’t want to eat a lot of empty calories.

Put simply, empty calories are calories that come from foods or drinks that have little or no nutritional value.

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There are many common sources of empty calories. People may choose to limit or eliminate these foods and drinks from their diets to stay healthy and within their ideal weight range.

Helping children limit empty calories can set them up for a healthy life in the future. It can also help stabilize their energy and decrease mood swings.

Avoiding or limiting empty calories is a simple step toward a healthier diet and lifestyle.

What are calories?

Calories are units of energy. Scientifically, a gram calorie (cal) is the amount of energy needed to raise 1 gram (g) of water by 1° C.

From a scientific perspective, what is typically called a “calorie” is actually a kilogram calorie (kCal). This is a unit of energy made up of thousands of “small calories” equal to the large calorie often used to measure the energy in food.

Calories are an essential part of the diet. The body needs to burn calories to do the simplest tasks, such as breathing or blinking. When physical exercise is thrown into the mix, even more calories are required to stay healthy and alert.

The amount of calories a person needs every day can vary widely. Most recommendations are based on a diet of 2,000 calories per day. However, this number may be higher or lower depending on the individual and their habits.

A registered dietitian can help determine a person’s ideal caloric intake based on activity level, age, sex, metabolism, and height.

What are empty calories?

Continue reading

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Filed under calorie counting, calorie restriction, calories, Exercise, exercise benefits, ideal weight, junk food calories, overweight, stealth calories, Weight, weight control

10 Metabolism secrets to help shed pounds – Infographic

The aim of this blog is not to simply lose weight. It is to live a healthy, happy and long life and to have all our mental faculties functional till the end. I am including this infographic because it has a lot of good information on those very things – as well as losing weight.

Eat less; move move; live longer.

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Tony

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Filed under Exercise, exercise benefits, ideal weight, overweight, stress, Weight, weight control, weight loss

More bad news for expanding waistlines

For decades, American waistlines have been expanding and there is increasing cause for alarm. Researchers make the case that metabolic syndrome is the new silent killer and that the “love handle” can be fatal.

I have posted on obesity in general and expanding waistlines in particular. If you want to read further on these subjects, check the links at the end of this post.

For decades, American waistlines have been expanding and there is increasing cause for alarm. Researchers from the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University make the case that metabolic syndrome — a cluster of three of more risk factors that include abdominal obesity, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, abnormal lipids, and insulin resistance, a precursor of type 2 diabetes — is the new “silent killer,” analogous to hypertension in the 1970s. As it turns out, the “love handle” can be fatal.

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In a commentary published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics , the authors describe how being overweight and obesity contribute to metabolic syndrome, which affects 1 in 3 adults and about 40 percent of adults aged 40 and older. Clinicians have traditionally evaluated each of the major risk factors contributing to metabolic syndrome on an individual basis. There is evidence, however, that the risk factors are more than just the sum of their parts.  Continue reading

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Is your child fat?

As you can see from this post, lifelong good health starts early. There are excellent tools here to make sure your children get off to the right start.

Tony

IS YOUR CHILD FAT? Here’s a question a growing segment of our PARENTAL population is going to have to begin asking themselves. The need to face REALITY is NOT based on aesthetics but rather the diseases and traumatic life altering compromises our children face if we continue to avoid this topic. The argument, “we should […]

via IS YOUR CHILD FAT? — All About Healthy Choices

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Filed under BMI, children, ideal weight, overweight, Uncategorized, Weight, weight control

Tricking Your Brain Into Helping You Lose Weight

If, like many folks, you overindulged during the recent holidays, perhaps this item I wrote back when the blog was still in diapers might be of help.

Besides, I think the brain is amazing and we can’t know too much about it.

Tony

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

Regular readers know that I am retired and have been taking courses from The Great Courses for some time. Lately, I have become fascinated with the brain and how it functions.

The latest class I am studying is “The Neuroscience of Everyday Life” taught by Sam Wang, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology and Neuroscience at Princeton University. Additionally, Professor Wang is the co-author of the best-selling book Welcome to Your Brain which has been translated into 20 languages.

Here is the best-selling book Professor Wang co-wrote

I have only just begun reading the book, but I ran across a passage on page 36 that I thought would interest and benefit readers of the blog. The following is from a two-page write-up titled Tricking Your Brain Into Helping You Lose Weight.

This is the conclusion of those two pages:
“Early food exposure influences dietary preferences in adulthood, and eating habits…

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Filed under brain, brain function, Exercise, exercise and brain health, overweight, Snacking, Weight, weight control, weight loss

Metabolism and weight loss – WebMD

As my blog title says, I am one regular guy writing about diet, exercise, etc. Professionally, I worked 20 years as a financial journalist. After writing this blog for nearly seven years, I consider myself to be a newbie health journalist, but still just a regular guy. I still find myself in deep waters when it comes to body chemistry among other medical subjects.

So when I ran across the extensive write up on metabolism by WebMD, I thought I would share some of it. You can read the whole thing by clicking the link.

Metabolism is the body’s engine. It’s the energy you burn just to keep your heart beating, your lungs breathing, and your other organs running. Unless you’re an elite athlete, resting metabolism accounts for 60% to 75% of all the calories you burn each day, and it varies a lot from person to person.

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If you’re counting calories, knowing your resting metabolism can help you figure out how much you can eat without gaining weight.

People who have a naturally high metabolic rate can eat more, without gaining weight, than people who burn calories at a slower pace.

The bad news: It’s hard to boost your resting metabolism much beyond its natural set point, though it is possible to slow it down.

Are you familiar with the TV show The Biggest Loser? I know it has been around a while and has a certain popularity. I watched it a few times, but was never comfortable with it. It seemed so unnatural and I had a feeling it wasn’t truly healthy either. Continue reading

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Filed under Exercise, exercise benefits, overweight, The Biggest Loser, Weight, weight control, weight loss

Guys – Get that check up

I started writing this blog for guys nearly seven years ago. The idea was that women did a great job of keeping track of their health; men, not so much. Over the course of writing it, I have found that more than half of my readers are women who are paying attention to their  health, so the focus shifted from guys to simply good health and living past 100. But, according to this little infographic, guys still don’t do a very good job. With 34% of men over age 20 overweight or obese, guys need to wake up.

I hope this little Men’s Health 101 from Texas A&M University Health Science Center gives you a wake up call.

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Tony

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Filed under blood pressure, medical check ups, men's health, overweight, Weight, weight loss

Being Overweight in Midlife May Increase Alzheimer’s Risk – Study

As if we didn’t need another reason to control our weight, the National Institute on Aging reports that being overweight may increase our risk for Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.
obese“Being obese or overweight in middle age has been linked to increased risk of dementia. To learn more, researchers at the National Institute on Aging, part of the NIH, further explored the relationship between weight at midlife and Alzheimer’s among volunteers participating in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), one of the longest running studies of human aging in North America. They found that being obese or overweight at midlife—as measured by body mass index (BMI) at age 50—may predict earlier age of onset of the devastating neurodegenerative disorder.”

The study led by Madhav Thambisetty, M.D., Ph.D., appeared online Sept. 1, 2015, in Molecular Psychiatry.

“Cognitively healthy at the start of the nearly 14-year study, each of the 1,394 BLSA participants received cognitive testing every one to two years; 142 volunteers eventually developed Alzheimer’s disease.

The investigators found:
▪Each unit increase in BMI at age 50 accelerated onset by nearly 7 months in those who developed Alzheimer’s disease.
▪Higher midlife BMI was associated with greater levels of neurofibrillary tangles—a hallmark of the disease—in the brains of 191 volunteers, including those who did not develop Alzheimer’s.
▪Among 75 cognitively healthy volunteers who had brain imaging to detect amyloid, a protein whose fragments make up the brain plaques that are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s, those with higher midlife BMI had more amyloid deposits in the precuneus, a brain region that often shows the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s-related changes.”

Eat less; move more; live longer.

To read further about keeping your brain healthy, check out my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise Benefits).

Tony

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Where Do I Find Hidden Sugar in My Diet?

Sugar, like other damaging white powders, salt, cocaine, can often be found in the most unlikely places. Locking down the top of your sugar bowl isn’t enough to save you from consuming too much of this sinful sweet.

WebMD has a super quiz that tests our “Sugar Smarts” which I recommend that you take as soon as possible.

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“Soda, fruit drinks and juices, sports drinks, energy drinks, and other sugar-sweetened beverages are the No. 1 source of added sugar in American diets. (Emphasis mine) A recent study found that drinking one or two sugary drinks a day raises the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 26 percent compared with those who limit sweet drinks to just one a month.

“But sugar alone isn’t to blame for diabetes. Diets that are high in calories from any source, like sugar or fat, lead to weight gain — and being overweight raises your chance of Type 2 diabetes,” the quiz says in answer to its fifth question – where do added sugars hide? That’s all the spoilers I’m going to give you.

The American Heart Association recommends a total of six teaspoons of sugar a day for women and nine for men. In fact, Americans consume an average of 22 teaspoons a day. Those teaspoonsful have little nutritional value but load you up with empty calories. For more on empty calories, check out my Page – A Love Letter to Hostess Ho Ho’s – NOT.

Is it any wonder that 60 percent of us are overweight and 30 percent obese?

Please take the WebMD quiz and learn more about this very damaging ‘nutrient’ in our daily diet.

Tony

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Filed under diabetes, food labels, fruit drinks, health, overweight, weight loss

What Are Calories? What Is A Calorie?

If we consume just the amount of calories our body needs each day, every day, we will probably enjoy happy and healthy lives. If our calorie consumption is too low or too high, we will eventually experience health complications.

Cooking with Kathy Man

From Medical News Today …..

A calorie is a unit of energy. In nutrition and everyday language, calories refer to energy consumption through eating and drinking and energy usage through physical activity. For example, an apple may have 80 calories, while a 1 mile walk may use up about 100 calories.

There are two types of calories:

  • A small calorie (sympbol: cal) – 1 cal is the amount of energy required to raise one gram of water by one degree Celsius.
  • A large calorie (symbol: Cal, kcal) – 1 Cal is the amount of energy required to raise one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius.

    1 large calorie (1 kcal) = 1,000 small calories.

    Most people associate calories just with food and drink, but anything that contains energy has calories. One ton of coal contains the equivalent in energy of 7,004,684,512 calories.

    The terms large calorie and small calorie…

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    Filed under calorie counting, calorie restriction, calories, Exercise, exercise benefits, ideal weight, junk food calories, overweight, Weight, weight control, weight loss

    Why Do You Feel Tired? – Oleda Baker – Guest Post

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    As you can see from her photos, Senior Supermodel Oleda Baker is aging magnificently. I interviewed Oleda last December. She is a treasure trove of information on everything this blog stands for, namely weight control, healthy living and healthy aging, so I asked her if she would share some of her ideas with us. She has written 10 books on beauty and health. Her latest, written at the age of 75, Breaking the Age Barrier – Great Looks and Health at Every Age – was released in November 2010 and is available from Amazon or from her website www.oleda.com where she also sells her own line of health and beauty aids.

    Being tired not only zaps your brain cells and energy level at the moment – it can also be a sign that your body needs some serious and immediate attention. Unlike the illness known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which can be manifested by headache, tender lymph nodes, weakness, muscle and joint aches and an inability to concentrate, the feeling I’m referring to here is just plain old tiredness. It is a symptom that affects both body and mind. It slows reflexes and reduces function in your day-to-day life.

    Staying tired, washed out or exhausted too long can lead to other problems, some serious, so let’s nip it in the bud right now.

    American families are so much busier than they used to be. Often both parents are working and there is too much to do in every 24 hours. There is not enough time for sleep and not much time to cook balanced meals. No wonder they feel tired so often.

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    I see my daughter-in-law with three children, a husband, a job. She takes care of the house, attends school functions for the children when needed and cooks for the family. My son helps out but he also has a job, helps with the children, takes care of the yard and is on the go with errands. This is typical of households today.

    Then there are also those who are not overworked or stressed out but they still feel tired all the time. It’s hard for them to get up in the morning. Some can’t sleep at night so they wake up tired and remain tired all day.

    General Reasons For Tiredness:

    You may not be able to change your life style this very moment, so here are some things you can do to compensate until then. Listed are ways to fight that never ending tired feeling.

    Not enough sleep: There are two parts to “not enough sleep.” They are not enough hours to sleep and insomnia.

    Not Enough Sleep: If you feel you can’t find enough hours to sleep… better rethink it. Find some way to get that extra hour or two. In general the body needs about eight hours each night to repair itself for the next day and more so for a long range healthy, longer life. If you wake up feeling groggy instead of refreshed, you’re not getting enough sleep. If you feel sleepy during the day or yawn (off and on) all day you are not getting enough sleep. Don’t minimize the importance of enough sleep, as it will affect your body… anywhere from feeling tired all day to dark circles under the eyes to a breakdown in the immune system which can lead to illnesses.

    Insomnia: Insomnia is not only difficulty in falling asleep but also difficulty in staying asleep or sleeping soundly. There can be many causes, and if you cannot solve it on your own check with your doctor and find out why. Without enough sleep other problems could arise. A lack of calcium and magnesium can cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep. Continue reading

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    Filed under body fat, energy, Exercise, fat, healthy eating, healthy living, obesity, Oleda Baker, overweight, sleep, sleep deprivation, water, Weight

    How Good Are Mini Exercise Sessions?

    A very commonly heard reason (excuse) for not exercising is I just don’t have the time. Everybody finds themselves working longer hours these days. That’s one of the explanations for the increased productivity we hear so much about. Businesses cut jobs and reallocate the work among the remaining employees. I get it. You are likely to be working longer hours now than you ever have in your life. But there are solutions for curtailed free time.

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    One of the basic facts of healthy living that you need to know is that exercise is not optional. You need to do it. If you aren’t getting some kind of exercise, you are on a fast track to big time medical problems. Being overweight and under exercised is a prayer to an unkind god that will be answered in a way that does not make you happy.

    One of the basic principles of healthy living is that you can break exercise up into smaller segments. Your body needs 30 minutes of exercise five days a week. Besides providing much-needed work for your muscles and cardiovascular system, exercise also helps to lower your LDL cholesterol (the bad one) and raises your HDL cholesterol (the good one).

    You can break up your 30 minute exercise requirement into 10 minute segments three times a day and still get the benefit of 30 minutes of exercise.

    Remember there are lots of ways you can do exercise without going to the health club. Park the car at the far end of the lot and walk the rest of the way to work, shopping mall or supermarket.

    If you work or live in a high rise building, take the stairs for the last few flights. Stair climbing is a super exercise to get your heart going. You are using the big muscles in your legs to lift your body and pump your blood around your circulatory system. I have written a number of posts on the benefits of stair climbing: Stair climbing is good for you – Part One, Stair climbing is good for you – Part Two, Stair climbing is good for you – Part Three and Stair climbing is good for you – Part Four.

    Get going on these mini exercise segments and remember to be kind to yourself. If you only get in two instead of three, do it again tomorrow. Two is better than none.

    Tony

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    Filed under aging, Exercise, HDL Cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol, overweight, Weight

    What Are Some Differences Between Fat and Muscle Tissue?

    So many people are hung up on their body weight, but fail to realize that the more important issue is their body composition.

    All there is to us is fat, muscle and bone. Our body weight is equal to the sum of these parts.

    I hope this illustration will help you to see the issues clearer.

    It is clear from this picture that fat weighs less than muscle, so it takes up much more room than muscle.

    It is clear from this picture that fat weighs less than muscle, so it takes up much more space than muscle.

    Once you have an idea how much more space in your body that fat takes up, you can understand the importance of knowing your percentage of body fat. You can read about how to measure your body fat percentage in an earlier post.

    Once you know this you will have a baseline from which to work. This is important because often when a person starts to do cardio and resistance exercises his weight doesn’t tell him there is much change going on. Yet, if he is burning fat and building muscle, his body will be changing in important ways. Shirts will fit differently, pants will become looser around the waist line.

    Another important consideration in body composition is that one pound of fat burns about 5 calories each day while one pound of muscle burns 50 calories in a day. So, once you get yourself on the road to fitness and start building muscle and burning fat, you will be transforming yourself into a calorie and fat burning machine. You will have started a wonderful positive spiral.

    It is important to understand your body fat composition because while you may presently think you are at a good weight, if you have too large a percentage of fat, you may not be all t hat healthy and may be headed for medical problems despite you ‘good weight.’

    Similarly, if you are overweight, once you learn your percentage of body fat you will have a guideline against which to measure yourself by and you won’t be troubled by the fact that you ‘aren’t losing weight,’ when you begin an exercise program and start trying to eat in a more healthy manner. You will be burning off fat and muscle weighs more than fat. Often when an overweight person starts working out and getting healthy he/she finds that their close fit looser/better despite no change in their weight.

    Tony

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    Filed under belly fat, body fat, calories, cardio exercise, Exercise, healthy eating, healthy living, nutrition, obesity, overweight, percent of body fat, Weight

    How Many Calories in McDonald’s Egg White Delight?

    McDonald’s is taking a walk on the mild side with their new lower calorie Egg White Delight this spring. The total calories drop to 260 from 300 on the Egg McMuffin.

    Contents include Canadian bacon (leaner than regular  bacon), white cheddar cheese. The egg whites will be grilled, not fried, and served between whole grain slices. These all sound like positive steps in reducing calories and upping nutritive value.
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    In addition, the company will be cutting out its Chicken Selects and is considering the removal of the Angus burgers.

    I have had a problem with the sugar, salt and fat content of a number of McDonald’s offerings in the past. Why You Shouldn’t Drink McDonald’s Frozen Strawberry Lemonade is an example.

    In this Egg White Delight case, it sounds like they are heading in the right direction. It will be interesting to see the actual size of this. Often when fast food firms cut calorie size, they end up with a nearly bite size product. From the photo this looks like a nice hand full.

    On the bright side, anything that takes a swipe at the 60 percent of the population that is overweight and 30 percent outright obese has to be a good thing.

    To read more about this subject check out the Fast Food Nutrition page.

    Tony

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    Filed under calories, healthy eating, healthy living, McDonald's, McDonald's Egg White Delight, obesity, overweight, Weight

    How Does Sugar Affect My Body? CSPI

    Because most nutrition labels give the sugar content in grams, here is the translation:

    Grams to teaspoons: There are 4.2 grams of sugar in one teaspoon.

    SUGAR

    In case it isn’t obvious to you in the section – 385 Calories consumed daily from added sugars…. It is the combination of the four exercises mentioned: walking, basketball, biking and jogging to burn off those 385 calories, not any single one of them.

    You can take a very cool quiz on sugar right now. I posted it earlier this week.

    Tony

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    February 28, 2013 · 8:24 am