People who had higher scores for sleep health — based on regularity, satisfaction, alertness, timing, efficiency and duration — during a 12-month weight loss program were more likely to follow the caloric intake and exercise components of the program in comparison to peers who scored lower for sleep health.
People with better sleep health attended more of the program’s group sessions.
People who reported getting regular, uninterrupted sleep did a better job sticking to their exercise and diet plans while trying to lose weight, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle & Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2023. The meeting was held in Boston, February 28-March 3, 2023, and offered the latest science on population-based health and wellness and implications for lifestyle and cardiometabolic health.
“Focusing on obtaining good sleep — seven to nine hours at night with a regular wake time along with waking refreshed and being alert throughout the day — may be an important behavior that helps people stick with their physical activity and dietary modification goals,” said Christopher E. Kline, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of health and human development at the University of Pittsburgh. “A previous study of ours reported that better sleep health was associated with a significantly greater loss of body weight and fat among participants in a year-long, behavioral weight loss program.”
The researchers examined whether good sleep health was related to how well people adhered to the various lifestyle modifications prescribed in a 12-month weight loss program. The weight-loss program included 125 adults (average age of 50 years, 91% female, 81% white) who met criteria for overweight or obesity (body mass index of 27-44) without any medical conditions requiring medical supervision of their diet or physical activity.
Eating late increases hunger, decreases calories burned, and changes fat tissue
Obesity afflicts approximately 42 percent of the U.S. adult population and contributes to the onset of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and other conditions. While popular healthy diet mantras advise against midnight snacking, few studies have comprehensively investigated the simultaneous effects of late eating on the three main players in body weight regulation and thus obesity risk: regulation of calorie intake, the number of calories you burn, and molecular changes in fat tissue. A new study by investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a founding member of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system, found that when we eat significantly impacts our energy expenditure, appetite, and molecular pathways in adipose tissue. Their results are published in Cell Metabolism.
“We wanted to test the mechanisms that may explain why late eating increases obesity risk,” explained senior author Frank A. J. L. Scheer, PhD, Director of the Medical Chronobiology Program in the Brigham’s Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders. “Previous research by us and others had shown that late eating is associated with increased obesity risk, increased body fat, and impaired weight loss success. We wanted to understand why.”
Intermittent fasting can produce clinically significant weight loss as well as improve metabolic health in individuals with obesity, according to a new study review led by University of Illinois Chicago researchers.
“We noted that intermittent fasting is not better than regular dieting; both produce the same amount of weight loss and similar changes in blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation,” said Krista Varady, KN professor and author of “Cardiometabolic Benefits of Intermittent Fasting.”
According to the analysis published in the Annual Review of Nutrition, all forms of fasting reviewed produced mild to moderate weight loss, 1%-8% from baseline weight, which represents results that are similar to that of more traditional, calorie-restrictive diets. Intermittent fasting regimens may also benefit health by decreasing blood pressure and insulin resistance, and in some cases, cholesterol and triglyceride levels are also lowered. Other health benefits, such as improved appetite regulation and positive changes in the gut microbiome, have also been demonstrated.
The review looked at over 25 research studies involving three types of intermittent fasting:
Alternate day fasting, which typically involves a feast day alternated with a fast day where 500 calories are consumed in one meal.
5:2 diet, a modified version of alternate day fasting that involves five feast days and two fast days per week.
Time-restricted eating, which confines eating to a specified number of hours per day, usually four to 10 hours, with no calorie restrictions during the eating period.
Among young women without an eating disorder diagnosis, those who use diet pills and laxatives for weight control had higher odds of receiving a subsequent first eating disorder diagnosis within one to three years than those who did not report using these products, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Boston Children’s Hospital.
“We’ve known that diet pills and laxatives when used for weight control can be very harmful substances. We wanted to find out if these products could be a gateway behavior that could lead to an eating order diagnosis,” said senior author S. Bryn Austin, professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard Chan School and director of STRIPED (Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders). “Our findings parallel what we’ve known to be true with tobacco and alcohol: starting harmful substances can set young people on a path to worsening problems, including serious substance use disorder.” Continue reading →
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…
Back in August I wrote Good chance you have sarcopenia, or ‘muscle loss’ and how I realized I was experiencing it. I just ran across this nice write up on Eatright, a website of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics which I thought would interest you.
Muscle is harder to build and maintain as we age. In fact, most of us start losing muscle around age 30, with a 3- to 8-percent reduction in lean muscle mass every decade thereafter.
This is due to lower testosterone levels in men and lower estrogen levels in women — both hormones that help build muscle — as well as changes in nerve and blood cells and the body not converting amino acids to muscle tissue as efficiently, among other factors. But muscle loss doesn’t have to be inevitable: For adult men and women, regular resistance training exercises are key to building and keeping muscle.
Strength Training and Health
Strength training is an important piece of the fitness equation. Men and women should participate in muscle strengthening activities that work the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders and arms) at least two times each week. Examples of strength training include lifting weights, using resistance bands and doing push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups. Even everyday activities such as carrying groceries, playing with your kids and gardening can strengthen muscles. Continue reading →