Less stress and more sleep may help you lose weight

Heart Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity
If you or someone you love is overweight or obese, here's some good news on a couple of other ways (other than better nutrition and exercise) you could consider to lose weight. The Los Angeles Times "Booster Shots" reported, "Getting a healthy amount of sleep, avoiding stress, and complying with specific elements of a weight-loss plan (such as keeping a food diary) seem to boost the odds of" losing weight." (more…)
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Comparing Weight Loss Plans, Dollars Per Pound

Nutritional Health, Obesity
Well,  it's the day after Thanksgiving, and there are at least two or three things on most people's minds: (1) Black Friday shopping, (2) Football, and/or (3) Weight Loss. Have you ever wondered which of the weight loss plans cost you the most for each pound dropped? Well, here you have the answer, provided by ABC News: $500 per pound with Liposuction $300 to $400 per pound with Gastric Band Surgery $235 to $353 per pound with Duodenal Switch Surgery $237.56 per pound with One-on-One with Jenny Craig $173 per pound with Non-prescription Weigh Loss Aids when paired with a Low-Fat Diet SAVE $12.50 per pound by just Kickin' It Old School Here are the details: 1) One-on-One With Jenny Craig Bottom-Line Estimate: $237.56 per pound for one-on-one weight loss support and…
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Three Healthy Habits Cut Breast Cancer Risk, Study Finds

Cancer, Woman's Health
There's been a lot of debate about mammograms for breast cancer screening, but an even more important health promotion exercise would be for women to everything they can to prevent breast cancer. And now experts are reporting that women can do three things to dramatically reduce their risk of getting breast cancer -- especially if they have a strong family history of breast cancer: Exercise (20 minutes of heart-rate raising exercise at least five times a week), Maintain a healthy weight (BMI of 18.5 to under 25), and Watch alcohol intake (fewer than seven drinks per week). Here are the details in a report from HealthDay News: Women who maintain certain "breast-healthy" habits can lower their risk of breast cancer, even if a close relative has had the disease, a…
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8 Tips for Eating Healthy During Menopause

Alternative Medicine, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
Good news! Aging does not have to equal weight gain. Women do tend to put on a pound a year in their 40s and 50s, but it’s more likely due to a drop in activity rather than hormones. However, hormonal changes can shift your body composition, so any pounds you do gain tend to land in your middle. Here are some tips from Rachel Meltzer Warren, MS, RD, that were first published on Health.com: Here are some ways to stay slim, reduce menopausal symptoms, and cut the health risks that can rise after menopause. 1) Go fish Heart disease risk is likely to rise after menopause, so you should try to eat at least two servings of fish per week (preferably those with healthy fats like salmon or trout). “Women may want…
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Three Meals A Day May Beat ‘Mini-meals’ For Weight Loss

Nutritional Health, Obesity
Sitting down to eat a real meal three times a day may be a better strategy for weight loss than grazing on several smaller "mini-meals," new research shows. Here are the details in a report from Reuters Health: Overweight and obese men on low-calorie, high-protein diets felt more satisfied and less hungry when they ate three times a day compared to when they ate six times a day, Dr. Heather J. Leidy and colleagues from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, found. "There's a lot of lay press about eating frequency," Leidy, who is now at The University of Missouri in Columbia, told Reuters Health. While there's a widespread perception that it's better to eat little meals more often, she added, "these mini-meals everyone is talking about don't seem to…
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Losing Weight the Smartphone Way, With a Nutritionist in Your Pocket

Nutritional Health, Obesity
FOR most of us, the formula for losing weight is a simple one: eat less, exercise more. But humans are anything but simple, and the majority of Americans struggle endlessly with losing pounds and keeping them off. Consuming fewer calories is perhaps the most difficult part of the weight-loss equation; many dieters are daunted by the prospect of tabulating their daily intake. That’s why many experts and consumers are excited about the new weight-loss programs available for iPhone, BlackBerry and other smartphones. Here's a story from the New York Times on how to do it: "We really haven’t come up with one good weight-loss solution,” said Dr. James A. Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic. “If we had, everyone would be using it.” The apps — which are simple,…
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Four Recommended Apps for Losing Weight

Nutritional Health, Obesity
Here are a few well-regarded weight-loss programs to consider, courtesy of a report in the New York Times. LOSEIT (iPod Touch, iPad and iPhone; free): Tell the app how much weight you want to lose and how many pounds per week you want to take off, and it calculates the amount of calories you can consume each day. LoseIt has a database of 40,000 food items and can also calculate how many calories your daily exercise burns up. CALORIE COUNTER by FatSecret (works on all platforms; free): This program works much like LoseIt. But one advantage is that when you enter your basic information, you can sync up with the FatSecret Web site. The site has forums where users can swap ideas about diets, recipes and working out. TAP &…
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Women interested in preventing age-related weight gain should take up biking or walking

Obesity, Woman's Health
USA Today reports, "Women who want to prevent weight gain as they age should hop on a bike or take a brisk walk," discoveries that add "to mounting evidence of the importance of moderate to vigorous exercise for weight control." Those who participated in the Harvard study "gained an average of 20½ pounds over 16 years," but "those who regularly biked or walked briskly were less likely to gain as much." The "findings are based on the second Harvard Nurses' Health Study, which is tracking 116,608 female nurses who periodically fill out questionnaires about their health, weight, diet and behavior," the New York Times Vital Signs reports. The "new analysis, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, looked at weight change and behavior from 1989 (when the nurses were 25 to…
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Letter from Professor about the Family Physician Academy and Coke

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
In a past blog of mine (Partnership Between Family Physicians and Coca-Cola Poses Ethical Problem) I wrote, "What does my national academy of family physicians, the AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians), and Coca-Cola have in common? The common sense answer should be, 'Nothing.' The actual answer is, '$500,000.' Ouch!" Now, the family medicine professor I featured in the previous blog has written the following to me. I'd be interested in your take, dear reader, on this issue: Dear Walt, Partnership Between Family Physicians and Coca-Cola Poses Ethical Problem As a fellow family physician, I am sure you know about the AAFP's decision to accept money from Coca Cola to develop "health education materials" regarding beverages, hydration and sweeteners on familydoctor.org. True to their word, they have done this. What…
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Could African Mango Help With Weight Loss?

Nutritional Health, Obesity
Irvingia gabonensis is becoming a popular natural ingredient for weight loss. It is now showing up in several weight loss products such as Integra Lean Irvingia, Vitagetics Vita Lean, Dr. Sears Private Label Primal Force Primal Lean, and others. But, does it work, and is it safe? Irvingia gabonensis, also known as "African mango" or "bush mango," is a tree from Africa that produces a mango-like fruit. The seeds have high soluble fiber content and function as a bulk-forming laxative. According to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCD, one of my most favorite web sites for trustworthy information on herbs, vitamins, and supplements), there is some research that suggests that a seed extract from the plant reduces the accumulation of fat in fat cells called adipocytes. Clinical research shows that…
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The latest drugs and supplements used for weight loss. Are any worth trying?

Nutritional Health, Obesity
As soon as the holiday goodies are gone, people begin to try various products to try to lose weight. Why? Because most of us gain weight over the holidays. So, pharmacies report a run on the over-the-counter (OTC) weight loss products. However, people typically lose just 5 to 10 pounds in a year with OTC orlistat (Alli, etc), or even with prescription sibutramine (Meridia) ... phentermine ... or diethylpropion. And, there are new concerns about increased cardiac risk with sibutramine ... possibly due to increased blood pressure and pulse. So many people are looking for new options. Here’s a brief review of these products by the experts at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database - an evidence-based source of information I've frequently recommended to you: Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG, Pregnyl, etc). Proponents say…
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How Much Water Per Day Do You Really Need?

Nutritional Health
This is not an infrequent question for me to be asked. And, a very nice article by Mara Betsch at Health.com will give you the information you need to answer this question for yourself, your family, and your friends: You’ve heard it before: Drink eight glasses of water a day to keep your body trim, healthy, and happy. Though water is vital in a variety of bodily functions and processes, you may not have to drink as much as you think. Unlike other vital nutrients, water doesn’t have specific daily requirements. Just like everyone has different caloric needs, a person’s water intake is affected by age, weight, activity level, and environment. In a report from the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine, the group offers a ballpark…
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Partnership Between Family Physicians and Coca-Cola Poses Ethical Problem

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
What does my national academy of family physicians, the AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) and Coca-Cola have in common? The common sense answer should be, "Nothing." The actual answer is, "$500,000." Ouch! Here's the story and an opinion about this type of relationship from a family physician that was posted on the ABC News web site: The American Academy of Family Physicians announced this month that it has received a $500,000 donation from Coca-Cola as part of their Consumer Alliance Program. In theory, this program seeks "to develop robust new programs and educational materials" to help patients and health care providers make "better choices ... to achieve a healthy lifestyle." According to its Consumer Alliance Web site, the Academy recognizes the "significant influence" that corporations have over consumer choices…
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Study points to chewing gum as weight loss aid

Nutritional Health, Obesity
The Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/10/AR2009111001029.html reports that for anybody trying to lose weight, "taking up gum-chewing might not be a bad idea," as "there's actually a bit of scientific evidence showing that chewing gum helps fight fat in a number of ways." The research, sponsored by the Wrigley Science Institute, has suggested "that chewing gum may help reduce cravings, particularly for sweet snacks, and spur people to cut their daily intake by about 50 calories." The findings were presented at the annual scientific meeting of the Obesity Society last month, and "showed that gum-chewing people consumed 67 fewer calories at lunch and didn't compensate by eating more later in the day." For anybody trying to lose weight, a new report says that "taking up gum-chewing might not be a bad idea,"…
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Federal health officials target sugary drinks as largest driver of obesity epidemic

Children's Health, Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting, Woman's Health
The Boston Globe is reporting that, according to federal disease investigators, "the cost of treating obesity has doubled in the past decade," and "sugar-laden beverages" are "a prime culprit." So, what's this mean to you? Could this story lead to a "first step" for you and your family to lose weight? More Information: (more…)
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Study indicates cutting calories may help people lose weight regardless of diet

Children's Health, General Health, Heart Health, Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting, Woman's Health
A new study confirms that the type of diet you pick doesn’t matter so much for weight loss; it’s sticking to it that counts.  Researchers compared a low-fat, average protein diet, a low-fat, high protein diet, a high-fat, average protein diet, and a high-fat, high protein diet in 811 middle-aged obese people.  They found that, despite different diets, the groups lost pretty much the same amount of weight (average 13 lbs after 1 year) and slowly started gaining again in the second year.  Risk factors for heart disease improved for all diet groups. More Information: (more…)
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Red yeast rice, fish oil fight high cholesterol

Alternative Medicine, Health Headlines, Heart Health, Men's Health, Woman's Health
Reuters Health is reporting new research showing that a regimen of supplements and lifestyle coaching is just as effective as a statin medication for reducing levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or "lethal" cholesterol. Not only that, the combination was shown to be more effective in helping people lose weight. My Take? (more…)
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