Tag Archives: weight control

7 Coffee Facts You Need to Know

As a coffee drinker and coffee lover, I enjoyed this post and thought you might, too.

Tony

Athletic Performance Training Center

Apparently, Saturday, September 29 was National Coffee Day.  I missed it.

I’ve touted the benefits of coffee and caffeine in past articles and blog posts (Please see Coffee, Caffeine, and Exercise, among others).  Here’s an informative article from The Ladders’ Meredith Lepore.  Read it with your daily cup of java.

It seems like every day there is a new study telling us either that coffee is slowly killing us, making us healthier, making us smarter, making us dumber, helping us grow wings, etc., However there are a number of studies that have come out recently that reveal some very interesting facts about your daily cup of joe. In honor of National Coffee Day, this Saturday, check out these 7 facts about coffee.

It can make everyone you work with so much more appealing

A recent study that appears in the Journal of Psychopharmacology finds that if you have coffee…

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Sleepless nights add pounds – Study

An international team of researchers has found that a single sleepless night can alter metabolic processes leading to weight gain and lack of muscle maintenance. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the team describes their study of the impact of a sleepless night on several volunteers.

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Prior research has shown that interfering with normal sleep patterns can lead to weight gain—night shift workers, for example, have a tendency to gain weight. But until now, the mechanism responsible for such metabolic changes has not been known. To learn more, the researchers with this new effort enlisted the assistance of 15 adult volunteers. Each volunteer was tested in a lab on two separate occasions. One of the occasions was after getting a good night’s sleep, the other was after the volunteer had stayed up all night. Each submitted blood, fat and muscle samples, which the researchers then studied looking for differences.

They found differences in gene activity linked to the production of proteins associated with lipid absorption and cell proliferation in the volunteers between the two visits. More specifically, they found that when volunteers missed a night of sleep, they had elevated levels of both metabolites and proteins that are involved in the process of storing fat. They also experienced a breakdown of proteins that are involved in muscle buildup and repair. The researchers also found that missing a single night of sleep caused changes to genes that have been associated with a type of inflammation linked to the development of type 2 diabetes and obesity.

The team reports that they do not know how long the metabolic changes lasted after the volunteers returned to normal sleep patterns. But they point out that their study shows that sleep serves more functions than previously thought—it is not just to rejuvenate the brain or to conserve energy, it also plays a role in overall metabolism. They suggest more study is required to determine if such changes due to episodic sleep disruptions become long-term.

To read further on the value of sleep check out my Page – How important is a good night’s sleep?

Tony

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Filed under good night's sleep, normal weight gain, sleep, sleep deprivation, Weight, weight control, weight gain

11 Sneaky Things Other Than Food & Exercise That May Affect Your Weight

There are some clever and useful ideas here.

Tony

Our Better Health

And how to make them work in your favor

The great recession

What do economics have to do with health? At most universities they’re not even in the same building! But it turns out that a dip in the economy can lead to a rise in our weight according to a study done by John Hopkins. Researchers found that from 2008 to 2012—the period known as the great recession—weight gain was strongly correlated with the rise in unemployment, increasing the risk of obesity by 21 percent. This makes sense as one of the first things to go when our budgets get tight are luxuries like health food and gym memberships, not to mention the loss of health insurance that often accompanies a job loss. However, it may help to remember that there are many low-cost or free ways to protect your health—and an investment in you is the best one…

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Filed under Exercise, exercise benefits, ideal weight, normal weight gain, Weight, weight control, weight gain

Just how healthy is watermelon?

It’s early in watermelon season and I thought it might be nice to discuss this giant member of the Cucurbitaceae family. Although watermelons are sold year ’round, summer is their season and that’s when you get the best tasting ones. It is aptly named because a watermelon consists of 92 percent water. Can you say super-hydrator?

Full disclosure: Mr. Lazy Cook loves watermelon. What’s not to like? It is utterly simple to deal with and tastes delicious. Below is a photo of my first watermelon this year. Yum.

My first watermelon of the season

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Filed under calorie counting, calories, healthy eating, lazy cook, watermelon, Weight, weight control, weight loss

Do we have to gain weight as we age?

I just took a WebMD quiz on weight and aging and barely passed. I read and write about this stuff every day and wasn’t sure about a number of answers.

You can take the quiz  by clicking the link in the lead.

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Here are a couple of questions that tripped me up:

Thinner is better as you get older. True of False. I thought it was true. But, no. Here is WebMD’s answer, “You want to be healthy, not frail. For older adults, what matters most is how active you are and whether you can do all your everyday activities. While it’s important to stay at a healthy weight, how much of your weight is muscle instead of fat is also key. Your doctor can tell you if your weight is on track.”

Here is one more example, but I suggest you take the quiz as it has lots of good information.

Gaining weight is a fact of aging. True of False. I thought, incorrectly, True. Here is WebMD’s answer, “You can keep your weight steady as you age. It does get harder, but it’s possible. Those corners you cut when you were younger (huge portions, happy hours, little to no exercise)? You can’t get away with them anymore. But age doesn’t have to equal weight gain.”

As an old guy, I should have got this one right. The fact about cutting corners is something I face every day. There are no corners to cut – and get away with. One of the facts of life of aging is that your margin of error shrinks to virtually nothing. Here is an example. Twenty years ago when I caught a cold, I would be over it in a couple of days. Now, if I catch a cold, it is at least a week affair and probably longer. That’s one of the reasons that I am so scrupulous about me health. There is no margin of error.

I hope you will click the link and take the test. I bet you will learn something.

Tony

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Filed under aging, aging myths, Exercise, exercise benefits, longevity, successful aging

Morning mushrooms may be key weight control tool – Study

Shades of Alice in Wonderland!  A new study demonstrates that mushrooms may have near magical powers in making your body feel as full as if you had consumed meat – when protein levels are matched. This could be really good news for anyone who feels concerned about reducing his saturated fat consumption from red meats.

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If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then mushrooms may be one of the most imperative ingredients. A new study on satiety published in the October issue of the journal Appetite indicates that eating a mushroom-rich breakfast may result in less hunger and a greater feeling of fullness after the mushroom breakfast compared to the meat breakfast.

“Previous studies on mushrooms suggest that they can be more satiating than meat, but this effect had not been studied with protein-matched amounts until now,” said gut health and satiety researcher and study author Joanne Slavin, PhD, RD, professor at the University of Minnesota. “As with previous published research, this study indicates there may be both a nutritional and satiating benefit to either substituting mushrooms for meat in some meals or replacing some of the meat with mushrooms.” 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?

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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

Walnuts Activate Brain Region Involved in Appetite Control – Study

Eat less; move more; live longer remains the mantra of this blog. So, it is always  useful to learn more about how various inputs like food and exercise impact the brain. Here is some fresh info on walnuts from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

  • Double-blind test bolsters observational data that walnuts promote feelings of fullness.
  • Results provide a quantitative measure for testing other compounds’ ability to control appetite, including potential medications for the treatment of obesity.
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Fascinating how walnuts also suggest the shape of the brain.

Packed with nutrients linked to better health, walnuts are also thought to discourage overeating by promoting feelings of fullness. Now, in a new brain imaging study, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have demonstrated that consuming walnuts activates an area in the brain associated with regulating hunger and cravings. The findings, published online in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, reveal for the first time the neurocognitive impact these nuts have on the brain. Continue reading

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Filed under aging brain, brain, brain exercise, brain function, brain health, good weight loss foods, walnuts, Weight, weight control

How to Use Your Brain for Weight Control

I took a course in The brain six years ago and was so inspired by what I learned that I posted on it. Thought you newer readers might get something out of it.

Tony

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

Exercise and intelligent eating are the keys to weight control and healthy living. Everyone knows that 30 minutes on the treadmill burns X amount of calories depending on your weight. The role of exercise in healthy living and weight control is straight forward and doesn’t need explaining. The exercise of the brain in weight control is another matter.

In order to understand it, you need to know a few basic facts about parts of your brain and how they function. If you are willing to wade through a couple of basic biology facts, I think you will emerge at the other end with a new tool in the universal ongoing battle of the bulge.

For this subject we need to focus on just two parts of the brain and how they work, together and separately.

The first is the amygdala. This is the part of the brain that is central…

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How to battle holiday weight gain – Rush

In deference to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday which ushers in the holiday season, I published yesterday my post – Healthy eating tops for the holidays.

I thought this write up from Rush University Medical Center was a worthwhile follow up. The Rush dietitian has some good detailed suggestions and examples.

Trying to lose weight during the holiday season may be unrealistic, given that the average American gains one to five pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, a six-week span marked by celebrations, eating and drinking.

This is especially true for people who are already overweight.

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A review of studies evaluating holiday weight gain determined the average gain between Thanksgiving and New Year’s to be only 0.8 pounds. However, people who were already overweight or obese gained as much as five pounds. A more recent evaluation also found that obese people experienced greater increases in body fat over the holiday season compared to people in the normal weight range. Continue reading

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12 +1 Rewards of Exercise

WebMD is offering a nice slide show with what they call the top 12 rewards of exercise.

I called this post 12 +1 Rewards because I have included my own observation adding one  reward from working out that WebMD didn’t mention.

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They list Better Mood pointing out that exercise releases endorphins – the feel good’ chemicals in the brain.

Next is More Energy, noting that “when you exercise regularly that fatigue goes away and you find yourself with a lot more pep.” Continue reading

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Exercise is Not Optional

I think that probably the most widespread misconception about being healthy in general and losing weight in particular is that exercise is optional. It isn’t. As I wrote in an earlier post, you need to Move ya body. A skinny body with no muscle tone is not a healthy body. Also, and most importantly, exercise excites important activity in the brain. In a lot of ways the brain benefits as much as the body from exercise. Check out Important facts about your brain (and exercise)

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Following is an excerpt from my Page – How to lose weight (and keep it off)

You need to exercise. Exercise is your two-edged sword. You do it to work your muscles and remain in top physical and mental condition. AND, you can do it to burn calories and help in weight management.

According to the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services:
Adults 18 to 64 should get:
2.5 hours/wk of moderate intensity exercise.
OR 1.25 hours a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity
. Or Some combination of the above – equivalent episodes of at least 10 minutes spread throughout the week.

Be careful using free weights. Seniors: If you weigh 150 pounds, you should not exercise with more than 60 pounds of weights because as you age, the spinal discs are not as flexible and the risk of a back injury increases. Check out my post on How Much Should You Lift? here.

Have a lovely day!

Tony

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Saying ‘yes’ to kale, more successful than ‘no’ to cake – Baylor Study

Back more than six years ago, the primary focus of this blog was weight loss pure and simple. In the course of writing about weight loss, I found myself opening up to the concept of good health and long life and the idea of simply losing weight diminished in value. In my mind the positive aim of healthy living easily trumped the negative and short range goal of simply dropping some unwanted pounds. Now, it seems that Baylor University  has determined that looking on the positive side worked far better than the avoidance, or negative side in their studies.

Baylor reported that, many diet plans are doomed from the start.

The reason? Dieters tend to adopt the wrong strategies, often planning to ditch their favorite foods and replace them with less-desirable options, according to new research from Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business.

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Conversely, successful dieters focus on adding healthy foods – foods that they actually like, said Meredith David, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing at Baylor. She is the lead author on the study, “Saying ‘No’ to Cake or ‘Yes’ to Kale: Approach and Avoidance Strategies in Pursuit of Health Goals,” published in the journal Psychology & Marketing. Continue reading

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Watermelon Fun!

Here is yet another way to enjoy the wonderful cooling and healthy benefits of watermelon.

I am a giant fan of watermelon. Check out my posts for further details:

How healthy is watermelon?

How about some polar opposites: watermelon and Twinkies?

More good reasons to eat watermelon – Infographic

Vita Mix – Drinking a watermelon

Tony

Eat well, Live well

Today is the first day of July and the summer time is here! What better way to celebrate the first day of July with a fun watermelon drink? Watermelon is a good source of vitamin C,  has plenty of antioxidants (watermelon gets it reddish-pink shades primarily from lycopene!), and has a rich supply of an amino acid called citrulline.

A fully ripened watermelon will feel heavy for its size. Heaviness in a watermelon is a good thing because the water content of a watermelon will typically increase along with ripening, and a fully ripened watermelon will be over 90% water in terms of weight! A fully ripened watermelon will also often have a ground spot that has turned creamy yellow in color.

Looking for ideas on what to do with watermelon? Make it into a fun drink. I used plain seltzer water mixed with watermelon for a light spritzer drink…

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Weight Loss: Exercise vs. A Healthy Diet

Some really good , healthy concepts here. I love the positive approach. Work on being healthy and your weight loss problem will disappear.

Eat less; move more; live longer.

Tony

Are you trying to lose weight with just exercise alone? Do you have a soda addiction but figure it’s not as bad as smoking or other vices since you can just exercise the ‘bad’ calories away? Unfortunately new research looking at the weight management approach of calories in versus calories out tells us that this is really not the case — you really can’t outrun a bad diet.

Diet Trumps Exercise for Weight Loss

The 2015 study published in the journal Current Biology suggests that too little physical activity can make you unhealthy but too much of it drives your body to make big adjustments to adapt, leading to weight loss plateaus. The authors  of the study point to the need to focus on diet, especially when it comes to weight loss and weight management.

Below is a great video that pretty much sums up exactly what the research says:

How to Make a Healthy Diet Fit Your Life

I’m…

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Eating in moderation

This post demonstrates the difficulty of trying weight control without the proper tools. For my money the number one tool in weight control is portion control and its corollary serving size. These are absolutes that can be followed by anyone willing to put in the effort.

Check out the following for more details on portion control

How to lose weight using portion control

Serving size and portion control – Keys to weight loss

A fresh look at portion control and portion distortion

How to lose weight using portion control

Tony

Focus on food safety

Pizza size is all in the eye of the beholder (Photo: Valerio Capello). Pizza size is all in the eye of the beholder (Photo: Valerio Capello).

In 1978, I visited the USA with two colleagues on a mission to study meat quality. After travelling by car for many hours to reach Texas we got very hungry and stopped at a pizza joint in Oklahoma. We had a choice of small, medium, large and very large pizzas. We settled on one medium each as one should eat in moderation, but huge pizzas each covering half of the table arrived. We couldn’t even eat half of the pizzas.

This highlights that there is no universal measure of eating in moderation.

What is moderation?

Eating in moderation seems to be practical advice for a healthy diet, but a new study suggests that it is an ineffective guide for losing or maintaining weight. The scientists found that the more people liked a food, the more flexible their definitions of moderation were. And who…

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