Artificial Sweeteners Increase Flies’ Appetites

Flies given the artificial sweetener sucralose get hooked on the taste, eating more sugar and negating any calorie reduction they might experience from using the artificial sweetener in the first place. The researchers of the paper in Cell Metabolism are wary of extrapolating to humans, but advocate at least knowing how much artificial sweeteners are in one’s diet.

Artificial Sweeteners Increase Flies' Appetites
Photo Credit: iamharin/Shutterstock When fruit flies get a taste of sucralose, it makes them chase more high-calorie foods.

Artificial sweeteners have become a huge industry. However, according to senior author Dr Greg Neely of the University of Sydney, there is conflicting evidence as to whether they replace sugar consumption, or stimulate more demand. That’s not all that surprising. Nutritional studies on humans are notoriously hard, because so many people don’t stick to the diet and don’t admit it to researchers when they stray. Tightly controlled nutritional research tends to be on very small groups, for short periods of time, or both.

Animal diets are much easier to control. Neely told IFLScience that fruit flies are particularly good to work with because it is possible to test a lot of diets quickly.

“We then applied one component to mice,” Neely said. “We couldn’t do the whole thing in mice because it would take years.” Confirming that, at sufficient doses, sucralose triggers a similar craving in mammals gave Neely’s team more confidence of its wider application.

“After chronic exposure to a diet that contained the artificial sweetener sucralose, we saw that animals began eating a lot more,” said Neely in a statement. “Through systematic investigation of this effect, we found that inside the brain’s reward centers, sweet sensation is integrated with energy content. When sweetness versus energy is out of balance for a period of time, the brain recalibrates and increases total calories consumed.”

He added: “Using this response to artificially sweetened diets, we were able to functionally map a new neuronal network that balances food’s palatability with energy content. The pathway we discovered is part of a conserved starvation response that actually makes nutritious food taste better when you are starving,”

Neely cautioned that the work may not be applicable to all artificial sweeteners. “Fruit flies don’t like saccharine,” he told IFLScience, while aspartame proved difficult to administer. Nevertheless, the same mechanism could easily apply to anything that tastes sweet.

When the fruit flies were given sucralose for more than five days, their energy intake increased by up to 30 percent, with Neely telling IFLScience that the more sweetener they were given, the more they ate.

The implications for our own diets are less clear. Neely told IFLScience that to a human, sucralose is 600 times as sweet as sucrose, gram for gram, while flies only find it four times as sweet. So the flies were consuming quantities, relative to body weight, no human would touch. Rather than suggesting dieters should cut artificial sweeteners out entirely, Neely suggested clearer labeling might be beneficial so that people know how much they are consuming.

Article is written by Stephen Luntz from www.iflscience.com

 

3 Reasons Weight Loss Doesn’t Necessarily Fix Insecurities

Looking good is one of the biggest motivators for weight loss of all types. Seeing the results in the mirror or receiving compliments from other people gives many the willpower to keep going. Yet, many people find that weight loss is not the cure-all for insecurities.

Many of the insecurities we face manifest themselves in our own appearance. But, they are often so deeply rooted that even a significant physical transformation cannot relieve them entirely.

3 Reasons Weight Loss Doesn’t Necessarily Fix Insecurities

Photo Source: Jovo Jovanovic

Here are three reasons losing weight can help, but will not cure your insecurities.

1. Adjusting to a new image is hard.

Losing a lot of weight does not necessarily change the way you see yourself in the mirror, and adjusting to the new image in the mirror is hard. You may look at your reflection and see a trimmer, toned body, but you may not feel like the person staring back at you.

According to Elayne Daniels, a psychologist who works with people on body-image issues, people who were previously overweight or felt they were overweight carry around their perception of that image with them, even after the extra pounds are gone.

The phenomenon of feeling like you are still fat, even when you are far from it, is referred to as “phantom fat.” While it is disheartening, it is common. The perception of phantom fat particularly affects those who were overweight for a long period of time, and then dropped the pounds at a rapid pace.

You may also experience phantom fat if you are anxious about gaining the weight back. Those who have struggled with yo-yo dieting are likely to be more worried about small fluctuations on the scale.

Along with weight loss, it is important to retrain your brain to look at yourself without placing such heavy importance on your looks. You need to understand being thin does not mean being perfect. It will go a long way to helping you reduce your insecurities, regardless of your BMI.


2. Losing weight changes your size, not your life.

There is a lot of talk about changing habits and lifestyles when it comes to losing weight. Many people say, “If I could just lost 30 pounds, then I could….” There is a perception that weight loss results in dramatic life changes that allows you to finally reach your full potential as a human being.

But, changing a habit like overeating does not change who you are. It might change specific aspects of your life, like what size clothes you wear. But, your physical weight will not make you more or less likely to achieve all your dreams.

That is because losing weight and changing your personality are two different goals, and they need to be treated as such.

Encourage yourself to set different goals for different areas of your life. Set goals for your mental health and happiness. Keep weight loss in your physical health goals, and avoid feeling the “need” to lose weight.

If you feel like you “need” to lose weight psychologically, consider switching this mindset to goals that are physical. Train yourself to accept mental goals like enjoying being healthy instead of looking a certain way.

This will set you up to lose weight and also make those important changes to your life that will help you live your dreams.

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3. Finding happiness is not as easy as losing weight.

Happiness and weight loss are often referred to as a package deal. You have never seen a weight-loss success story featuring newly thin people looking grim. But, those are advertisements. They do not reflect reality.

Weight loss often puts you on what is known as the hedonic treadmill. The hedonic treadmill says you might be extra happy after losing weight. But, you will return to your previous happiness level after the excitement wears off.

In other words, you might be elated you have lost weight and spent all that plan devising a workable meal plan. But, that happiness is not a long-term event.

Real, long-term happiness means working toward new goals. It means not expecting a singular event to solve all your problems forever.

Learning to accept the elation you experience after losing weight does not last is important because returning to natural happiness levels is not a reason to let your previous physical goals slip. It also does not take away from your accomplishments in losing weight.

Losing weight is a great start to providing yourself with a physically healthy life, and it might limit certain insecurities for a while. But, if you are not prepared to face yourself and your continued challenges after weight loss, you might see those insecurities are not shed with the extra pounds.

To help support your weight loss and reduce negative feelings, learn how to keep your physical goals separate from your psychological ones. Accept that life is a work in progress, regardless of the number you see on the scale. Embrace that, and you will find it easier to embrace yourself.

This article is from Katie Mather of elitedaily.com

 

5 Bedtime Habits That Will Help You Sleep Your Way To Weight Loss

Weight loss is an extremely tough task and if you’ve ever tried to bring your inches down, you’ll know what we are talking about. But did you know that you can sleep your way to weight loss? We’re not joking. Some useful bedtime habits can actually speed up your metabolism and will help shed those kilos. So here’s what you should do before you get ready to snooze.

5 Bedtime Habits That Will Help You Sleep Your Way To Weight Loss

1. Eating pepper:

Scientific studies have shown that peppers have great fat-burning qualities which help your body metabolise even while you sleep. So if you can and it suits your palate, eat pepper as it helps you lose weight faster.

Eating pepper

2. Maintaining a sleep routine:

When you maintain a sleep routine and sleep at the same time every night your body clock gets used to the schedule and begins to work accordingly. This helps your metabolism work in your favour too working positively towards weight loss.

3. Take in protein:

Having protein in the form of milk, Greek yogurt or a protein smoothie is a great idea helps you fight midnight hunger pangs. This will also help your body build more muscle in sleep which is a great way to increase your metabolism for speeding up weight loss.

4. Do stretches or yoga:

Avoid intense exercise at night as it will increase your energy levels and not let you sleep but you can still do some light stretches and yoga poses that will help you sleep better, relax your muscles and keep your metabolism going too.

Do stretches or yoga

5. It keeps the munchies at bay:

There are two key hormones here that sleep affects: leptin, which regulates hunger and ghrelin, which works up your appetite. When you don’t get enough sleep, ghreline levels rise, which make you more hungry. Conversely, by getting good shut-eye, your leptin count goes up which means your hunger pangs are kept at bay.

Photo Sources: Image courtesy: Thinkstock / Getty Image

This article is from Zahra Motorwala of www.idiva.com

 

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

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