We should never have told people to start taking vitamins

It seems like simple, obvious advice: Eat your vegetables, get some exercise, and, of course, take your vitamins.

Or not.

Decades of research has failed to find any substantial evidence that vitamins and supplements do any significant good. And our obsession with vitamins masks a much bigger problem: We’re not getting the nutrients we need from our diets.

We should never have told people to start taking vitamins

Photo Source: Reuters

That’s the premise of science writer Catherine Price’s latest book, “Vitamania,” which explores how the tiny, colorful pills transformed the way we think about food.

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“We use vitamins as insurance policies against whatever else we might (or might not) be eating, as if by atoning for our other nutritional sins, vitamins can save us from ourselves,” Price writes.

They can’t. And some of them might actually be hurting us instead. Several supplements have been linked with an increase in certain cancers, while others have been associated with a rise in the risk of kidney stones. Still others have been tied to an overall higher risk of death from any cause.

So if we’re not eating right, and vitamins aren’t the solution, what do we do?

First, we can change what we eat. For most of us, this means eating less red meat, fewer sweets, and more fresh fruits and vegetables. New USDA guidelines announced in January echo these recommendations.

Several leading nutritionists and public health experts have said that in addition to doing all of the above, we should also eat more healthy fats like those from avocados, oily fish, and nuts.

eat more healthy fats

Photo From: Flickr/Sonny Abesamis

These basics are a good place to start:

  • Keep vegetables as the cornerstone of your meals. Or, in the words of the famous journalist and food writer Michael Pollan: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
  • Snack on nuts. Since they’re high in protein, nuts can help stabilize blood-sugar levels – which, if they plummet, can make healthy people feel “hangry” (hungry and angry) and is especially dangerous for people with diabetes. Nuts are also a good source of fiber, a key nutrient that helps aid digestion and keeps us feeling full.
  • Cut back on added sugar and refined carbs. Diets that are high in sugar and refined carbs (white rice, sweet snack foods, white bread) and low in whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat) have been linked with health problems, while diets high in whole grains and low in refined carbs tend to be linked with more positive outcomes.
  • Incorporate oily fishlike salmon into your diet. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fats, which help protect our cell membranes, the structure protecting the inner components from their outside environment. They’re also the building blocks of the hormones that regulate blood clotting and inflammation.
  • Eat avocados. While they’re high in fat and calories – just half of one packs 120 calories, about the equivalent of a slice of bread – avocados are low in sugar and rich in fiber. So add a few slices to your next meal.

As it turns out, all of the above foods are rich in various vitamins and minerals. Most green, leafy veggies are high in vitamins A, C, and E; colorful peppers and carrots are rich in vitamin A; fish and nuts are high in omega-3s; and avocados are a great source of potassium and vitamins C and E.

With this knowledge, writes Price, “we might rediscover something both surprising and empowering: that, while nutrition itself is amazingly complex, the healthiest, most scientific, and most pleasurable way to eat is not that complicated at all.”

This article is from Erin Brodwin of www.businessinsider.com


Is Depression Wrecking Your Weight?

Depression and weight problems often go together. Here are tips for handling both.

They are both heavy burdens – weight problems and depression. And they often go hand in hand.

Some people gain weight when they’re depressed. Others lose weight, to an unhealthy degree.

Which comes first? And how can you untangle the link between depression and weight — especially if depression has sapped you of your energy to make changes? Here’s what experts say you need to know.

Depression Wrecking Your Weight

Photo Source: www.webmd.com

Depression and Weight Gain

A March 2010 review of 15 studies, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, linked obesity to a greater risk of developing depression – and vice versa.

But do people gain weight because they are depressed? Or do they become depressed because of the excess pounds they are carrying? No one knows.

“It’s a chicken and the egg phenomenon,” says psychologist Leslie Heinberg, PhD, who directs the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. “But we do know that depression has lots of symptoms that can worsen obesity – appetite disturbances, lack of energy, lack of motivation to do things.”

In 2009, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham reported that depressed people tend to gain weight faster than people who aren’t depressed.

The bulk of those extra pounds was concentrated around their waists. That’s not good. Belly fat is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Depression, of course, comes with its own set of risk factors, including suicide, social isolation, drug and alcohol addiction, and anxiety.

Whichever comes first – depression or overweight/obesity – it is a very unhealthy combination. Often, it is a self-reinforcing combo as well.

Eating Yourself Blue

“Some foods, especially foods with high sugar and/or fat content, make you feel better, if only briefly,” says psychiatrist James Gordon, MD, author of Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey out of Depression.

“That good feeling makes you want to eat more, which in turn makes you feel bad about yourself,” Gordon says. “That leads to deeper depression, and more eating, and greater amounts of weight gain. It’s a vicious cycle.”

Getting out of that cycle can be a real challenge.

“When you are depressed, it is much harder to get out of bed, much less pay attention to what you are eating,” says Edward Abramson, PhD, an emeritus professor of psychology at California State University at Chico and the author of Emotional Eating: What You Need To Know Before Starting Another Diet.

For doctors, it’s less important to know which came first: the patient’s depression or the weight problems. The question is, which one should get the most initial attention?

“If someone comes to me who is severely depressed and overweight, the depression is going to be the primary focus,” says Abramson.

However, he continues, an eating disorder that causes a patient to binge might need to be addressed first: “If their eating is out of control, that becomes the primary focus.”

At the beginning of therapy, that usually means walking. Abramson recommends picking up a pedometer before hitting the sidewalk. By measuring the number of steps they take each time they walk, they can monitor their progress. And, says Abramson, “small victories equal positive thoughts.”

Heinberg often prescribes walking as well. She likes to focus on her patients’ depression for the first six to eight weeks of therapy, introducing low-key exercise only to keep weight steady rather than bring it down. Once the depression is under control, she says, it becomes easier to address weight problems.

Be Active, Make Choices, Feel Better

Exercise is a key part of treating overweight and depression, in part because it allows patients to play an active role in caring for themselves. In fact, Gordon maintains that exercise is the best prescription for treating mild to moderate depression, as well as being helpful for severe depression.

“People feel good about doing things for themselves – that, in itself, is therapeutic,” Gordon says.

Gordon also recommends taking a break from fast food and other unhealthy eating habits; instead, he says, make time to cook a meal for yourself.

“It goes beyond just preparing something healthier to eat than fast food,” says Gordon. “People get engaged in their own care, and that’s crucial to dealing with weight.”

Gordon, who is the founder and director of the Center for Mind Body Medicine in Washington, D.C., includes alternative and complementary treatments in his practice. Key among them is meditation.

“You have to become aware of what and how you eat, through mindfulness,” says Gordon. “Very often, if you are anxious, you are going to eat more. But if you are in a state of relaxation, you won’t be eating frantically or mindlessly.”

Don’t be discouraged if therapy does not provide positive results right away. Treatment takes time. And keep in mind that treating depression and weight problems will likely require more than just a pill and a one-size-fits-all diet plan.

“It is important to have a comprehensive program,” says Gordon, one that addresses all aspects of a patient’s problems and prepares him or her for the hard road back to health. “I don’t have a magic bullet, and you are going to do most of the work.”

This article is from: http://www.webmd.com/depression/features/depression-and-weight-connection


6 Time Tested Strategies for Permanent Weight Loss

The idea losing weight fast is an attractive one isn’t it? However, losing weight quickly does not always result in permanent weight loss. Not to mention, it might not be healthy for you in the long run either.

Chances are, you have struggled with being overweight for a number of years, and you have probably developed some habits that contribute to your problem. Shedding extra pounds can seem nearly impossible if you try to stumble your way through it all alone. What you need is a few simple, yet proven weight loss strategies put together by real people that have done it before you that will stand the test of time.

6 time tested strategies for permanent weight loss

Time Tested Weight Loss Strategies – Photo Source: www.examiner.com

1. Attitude – You must cultivate a positive attitude. No matter how much weight you have to lose, no matter how many diets or “programs” you have tried in the past, you must believe can and will lose weight! Not only is it possible, but it is very likely now that you are arming yourself with this proven weight loss strategy. There is one guaranteed way to not lose weight and that is believing that you can’t. You also need to have an attitude of doing whatever it takes to lose weight. There will be obstacles and temptations along the way, but having the right attitude will get you past them.

2. Have Fun – Well, that’s an odd thing for a strategy, isn’t it? At first glance, that may seem to be the case, but you may as well have fun while you are working hard to improve your health. Work and fun are not always opposites, so go ahead and eat fun food (only on special occasions and in moderation of course) and do fun things to burn calories. Smile! Remember, losing weight is should be rewarding, not drudgery. People like Leslie Sansone, Chalene Johnson, Shaun T, Zumba Experts, are just a few experts that all have programs that really make working out and eating well fun yet effective.

3. Resources – No man or woman is an island, and trying to lose weight all by yourself is an exercise in futility. Things like weight loss guides and meal plans, food scales, calorie counters, phone apps, gym memberships, workout DVDs, a personal trainer, accountability group/partner, and so on are all important tools to work with. The more resources you have and make use of, the more likely you are to succeed.

4. Be patient – How long did it take you to weigh as much as you do now? If you are several pounds overweight, then it’s a safe bet that you did not gain all the weight overnight, or even in a few months for that matter. Therefore, it’s going to take some time to take that weight off. However, if you follow a good plan combined with a proven weight loss strategy, then you should be able to lose weight faster than you put it on.

5. Celebrate! – It isn’t always easy to lose weight, but it is possible. Be sure to celebrate the small successes along the way, as well as reaching your ultimate goal.

6. Rinse and Repeat – You will stumble along the way and that’s okay. We all have and still do at times. You need to stay calm and remember it’s just a minor blip in the grand scheme of things, but don’t forget to get right back to it. Bottom Line: Don’t give up!

This post is written by Mellisa McJunkin from examiner.com


FDA Approves Weight Loss Machine That Sucks Food Out of Your Stomach With The Press of a Button

For those who are extremely overweight or suffer from obesity, gastric bypass and Lap-Band surgeries have been the go-tos to help them shed weight. These super invasive procedures help patients drop serious weight—think upward of 100 pounds or more—but, they also come along with restrictive diets that have to be followed forever.

While gastric bypass and Lap-Band surgeries are proven to be successful, a new weight-loss device just received approval by the FDA and it’s different than anything else we’ve ever seen. Named AspireAssist, a small tube is placed in the upper part of the stomach through a small incision (you’re put under twilight anesthesia during the 15-minute outpatient endoscopic procedure) that connects to a small port, that works kind of like a button, on the outside of your stomach. The port-like device is easily hidden by clothes.

FDA Approves Weight Loss Machine That Sucks Food Out of Your Stomach With The Press of a Button

Photo Source: www.newbeauty.com

AspireAssist helps to cut down on the amount of calories that the body absorbs by physically removing about 30 percent of the food before it gets digested and absorbed. Here’s where it gets gross. After each meal, you attach a connector and tube to the port, which allows food that isn’t utilized by the body to be drain out from the tube and into the toilet. The emptying process takes about five to 10 minutes and should be done about 20 minutes after eating.

Besides the fact that AspireAssist lives outside the body, it’s also different from other weight-loss procedures because it’s minimally invasive and reversible (it can be taken out in a quick 10-minute procedure). Also, once you’ve had the procedure, you can pretty much eat whatever you like—no foods are considered off limits—although healthy eating is advised. But, you should “aspire your food,” three times per day after major meals to get to your optimal weight-loss goals. According to the company that manufactures the device, in clinical trials, patients lose three times more weight using the device than those who just exercised and diet.

“In the constantly evolving world of medicine, new devices and technologies frequently come to market and even achieve FDA-approval,” says Sarasota, FL, plastic surgeon Raja Nalluri, MD. “For patients with morbid obesity and medical conditions related to obesity, a device and/or gastric banding, stapling or bypass procedures are an option and have been successfully implemented to promote massive weight loss and greatly improve patients’ health.”

For a cool $13,000 (give or take), you too (if you’re an appropriate candidate, the company says the device should not be used on those with eating disorder) can be on the path to skinny.

This articles is written by from Elise Minton, Executive Beauty Editor of www.newbeauty.com


The Weird Piece Of Weight-Loss Advice That Changed My Approach To Fitness

Some nights, we find ourselves scrolling through Instagram posts, reading quote after quote. Although these quotes may be written to reach a mass audience, we can’t help but admit the amount of comfort some quotes have the ability to bring us.

The Weird Piece Of Weight-Loss Advice That Changed My Approach To Fitness


Last summer, I was feeling particularly down on myself. Classes had ended, and I was heading back to the hell hole that is my hometown.

Freshman year had treated me even better than I had thought it would. There was a lot of partying, which, of course, involved drinking. There were also lots of hours spent in the dining hall, eating and gossiping. By the time summer rolled around, I found that I myself had gained a couple of rolls.

I was heading home nine pounds heavier.

Within the first week back home, I had gotten myself a gym membership, made myself a meal plan and subscribed to more fitness programs than I can remember on YouTube.

For an entire month, I went to the gym every single day for two hours. I swore by my meal plan and increased my activity on YouTube by 100 percent (considering I had never really used YouTube before).

Despite all of these drastic changes I had taken on, I still wasn’t happy with my body. I may have been down a roll or two, but I couldn’t help but notice how weak-minded I was while I was exercising. At one point, I found myself in tears. I crashed down on my mat and told myself, “I’m too fat for this.”

Just as I was about to give up on trying to get in shape altogether, I came across a quote on Instagram that said, “Love the body you have, while working toward the one you want.” As cliched as it may sound, that quote sparked an energy that is still burning in me a year later.

This quote taught me a valuable lesson that we should all keep with us while we’re on our journey toward our fitness and weight-loss goals. It stresses on the importance of having a strong relationship with your mind and body while you’re working to get in shape.

If you don’t do what you can to love the body you currently have and appreciate it for what it is now, and if you instead put a microscope on only all the things that are wrong with your body, your journey will be even harder.

By appreciating your body for what is now, you’re not saying you don’t want to make a change. But your current body is looked at as a motivator instead of a handicap. Once I accepted my body for what it was, I was able to make healthy progress by having a stronger mindset.

Sure, in the short term, going to the gym religiously, eating strictly and trying to absorb as many fitness videos as you possibly can might make you feel like you’re on top of the world and on track to a better you. But if you take this path, you may easily get burnt out like I did.

If you accept your body the way it is currently and make realistic adjustments that gradually intensify along the way, you will reach your fitness goals much faster. In fact, you’ll barely feel like getting there was a “journey.” In this way, your change will be much more likely to stick.

Trust the process.

This article is written by Marella Porter from elitedaily.com/wellness/weight-loss-advice-changed-fitness-approach/1500608/


4 Wellness Tricks I Learned In Japan That Helped Me Lose 40 Pounds

When I arrived in Tokyo 40 pounds overweight, I told my new Japanese share-mate about my weight concerns. She said, “Maybe you should take a hot bath tonight. That will help.” A hot bath? What could a hot bath have to do with weight loss? Clearly, I was missing something.

I was yoyo dieting for years and was struggling to lose my goal of 20 pounds. I had the mentality that if I put in more effort, I would reap more reward, so I had been doing intense exercising from ice hockey training, to weight lifting, to high intensity workouts up to two hours per day. I also tried to cut down on dessert, but wound up having moments of binging, followed by justification because I had worked out so much. But simply changing my approach to body care led me to effortlessly lose 40 pounds as a side effect.

4 Wellness Tricks I Learned In Japan That Helped Me Lose 40 Pounds

Photo From: Carles elitedaily.com/Rodrigo Monzo

In the US, women speed walk in their yoga pants with 2 liter bottles of water tucked under their arms. They shun carbs like the plague, go to intense workouts like CrossFit and describe themselves as being “good” today or “bad” today. But in Japan, I would see slender women eating rice and noodles, going to yoga classes and not drinking any water with their meals.

It seemed to me like the information available about weight loss in the US was valid with scientific back-up, but what’s missing and confusing is the application. How can we intuitively approach a healthy lifestyle when we can’t even sense protein, carbs and calories with our tongues?

If I was to tell women in the US that walking could give them more results of a slender body than high intensity training, they’d think I was crazy. But the thing is, when it comes to your body, more effort doesn’t necessarily mean more reward. If anything, being able to calm yourself allows you to listen to your body and can lead to naturally craving less, and that’s not something you can feel when you’re forcing yourself to get a certain result.

It’s not uncommon for dieters in the US to think that the only way to be healthy is to eat bland grilled chicken with steamed broccoli. But if we’re not training for the Olympics or entering a body competition, then what is it we’re working for? We want to look hot and eat cake, too. And I know it’s possible.

It has been seven years since that first conversation with my Japanese share-mate, and now I’m a health coach with a background in eastern and western lifestyle ideologies. Here are four things I learned that you can implement into your lifestyle to get healthy without being extreme:

1. If you train like a sumo wrestler, you’ll look like a sumo wrestler.
The first moment I realized it’s not about what you do, but how you do it was when I saw a sumo wrestling tournament for the first time. Sumo wrestlers skip breakfast, spend all morning doing intense training so they can lift and push their heavy components. They have a big lunch, followed by a nap and then wake up and repeat in the evening.

Likewise, I had been exercising like crazy and it made me feel ravenous. Regardless of how healthy my meals were, I would eat more than I needed without realizing it. Then I’d feel tired from the workout and warm from the meal, so I’d go to bed. On one hand, I was building muscle and stamina, but I was also adding a thick layer of fat on top of all of the muscle.

One way you can tell if you’re overdoing your workout is if you find yourself hyperventilating. Calm breathing indicates to your body that “everything is OK,” so it’s geared towards targeting the fat on your body for energy. But if you’re stressing your body out, as indicated by gasping for breath, then you’re likely triggering your body to use quick energies in the form of sugars. So, those times when you go home and tell your loved ones not to talk to you until you’ve had something to eat because you’re so hungry you could practically eat your arm off? Those are good indications that you’re overdoing it.

2. Keep your body warm.
A cold body is a dead body. A warm body is a living body. There is a concept called food energetics that isn’t really studied much in the US. Basically, it’s about how the direction in which food grows gives it a certain kind of energy to foods, which is then transferred to us when we eat. Foods that grow in the hot summer weather are considered cooling, so they help your body acclimate to the heat. And foods that grow in the winter weather (like root vegetables) are considered warming and calming to the body.

Raw foods are considered healthy and eaten frequently as part of a healthy diet in the US. Foods like raw salads, raw vegetables, smoothies made with raw fruits and raw greens all fall into this category. These are healthy and detoxifying, but at the same time, if you are eating too much, it can be considered too cooling to the body. It’s not uncommon for people to feel fatigued, as a result.

Have you ever gone to a Chinese restaurant and ordered a raw salad? Probably not. That’s because in the East, their diet doesn’t consist much of raw foods because you want to keep your body warm. If you hate having raw salads, then making sautéed, boiled, stewed or baked vegetables are fantastic contenders.

3. Don’t drink water with meals.
In the US, every café or restaurant you go to will serve you ice water. There’s two reasons this would be looked down upon in the East: First, because it’s cold and you want to keep your body warm. The other reason is that water “douses your digestive fires,” which makes it difficult to digest your foods. In the world of science, this means that water will neutralize the PH of your stomach acid, which makes it really hard for your body to break down foods.

In Japan, most people will have soup with meals. And even if they don’t, they will usually not drink with their meals. It is common, however, to have some warm tea after a meal.

In the US, I constantly see dieting advice urging people to drink more water, but instead of thinking of drinking more glasses of water, you should be thinking of having more foods that are hydrating in your diet. This could mean adding soups with your meals, or having steamed bread instead of baked bread. It also means taking out anything dehydrating, like caffeine from coffee and black teas. So, while it is true you need to stay hydrated, save having water for between meals instead of with them. Stick to hydrating foods during meals instead.

4. Take hot baths.
In addition to releasing tight muscles, hot baths can improve circulation, which helps with digestion and detoxing through your pores. In Japan, people will take a “half bath,” which means you fill the tub until it meets just under your heart area if you were to be sitting in the tub. If you fill the tub above your heart level, it can put pressure on your heart. So, they avoid it.

Temperature is also important. Most people soak in a bath that is between 100 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature is enough to improve your circulation without overbooking your body. Hot baths also relax you before bed, so soaking in a hot tub can improve the quality of your sleep.

If you have only ever thought that weight loss comes from calories in vs. calories out, then these tips might sound a bit odd. But when entire nations of people are eating well and having balanced bodies as a result of these tips, while you’re counting calories and killing yourself at the gym, it can’t hurt to give it a try.

This article is written by Katheryn Gronauer from elitedaily.com


Four in 10 American women now classified as obese

US reaches ‘scary’ milestone in obesity epidemic as government warnings fail to reverse dangerous weight gain

Four in 10 American women now classified as obese

In recent years, obesity rates among American women have surged ahead of men. Photograph: McCrickard/REX Shutterstock

More than four in 10 American women are now classified as obese in an alarming new milestone for the nation.

Obesity rates for men and women in the US had been roughly the same for about a decade. But in recent years, women have surged ahead and now just over 40% of women are obese, compared to 35% of men.

The percentages were reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in two articles published online on Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association. The numbers are based on a small government survey that is considered the best measure of the nation’s obesity problem.

Though it is not altogether surprising to health researchers because the nation has long been growing more obese, it is “scary” that the statistic has reached 40% for women, said Dana Hunnes, a dietitian who sees obese patients at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.

“It’s a really alarming figure, and it’s alarming that it’s continuing to go up despite government calls to action on weight loss and healthy eating,” she said.

Why the problem is getting worse for women faster than for men remains somewhat of a mystery to health researchers. “I don’t know if anyone truly knows for sure,” Hunnes said. Experts say there are a range of possible explanations, including that many women are satisfied with a larger body size.

The rate of obesity in women is also higher than in men across the world, although far lower overall than in the US. According to the World Health Organization, 15% of women worldwide and 11% of men are obese.

Obesity, which means not merely overweight, but seriously overweight, is considered one of the nation’s leading public health problems because it can trigger diabetes and lead to heart disease and other serious health problems. Until the early 1980s, only about one in six adults were obese.

The problem is not increasing as dramatically as it was, but the new numbers show it is clearly not improving, said Dr Felipe Lobelo, an Emory University researcher who focuses on obesity and physical activity.

Researchers looked at obesity rates among different age groups and along racial lines and found wide disparities, mainly ones that have persisted for years.

Obesity continues to be most common among black women. About 57% of black women are obese. In contrast, about 47% of Hispanic women, 38% of white women, and 12% of Asian women are obese.

Among men of different races, obesity rates cluster much closer together — at 35 to 38% for blacks, Hispanics, and whites.

Article From Associated Press via http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/08/four-in-10-american-women-classified-obese-epidemic

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