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‘I Joined Weight Watchers After A Devastating MiscarriageAnd I Found My Joy And Confidence Again’ – Women’s Health

Posted: December 6, 2019 at 10:45 am

Im Mari Sierra (@cake_2_5k), 29, of Grand Rapids, Michigan. I work in finance for a food service company. A personal loss put me in a depressionso I turned to WW to find my groove again and lost 90 pounds in the process.

I had struggled with my weight my entire life. My earliest memory of being aware of my weight when I was about 6, when my pediatrician advised my mom to incorporate diet and exercise into my daily routine. It was the first time I remember feeling sadness about my weight.

It was my second pregnancy and my husband and I were over the moon about welcoming a second child. After we learned the pregnancy wouldn't continue, I became depressed and gained about 30 pounds. Later, we became pregnant again and had our sonand we were overjoyed. Three months after he was born in September 2017, I decided I needed to make a change for myself and for my children that I felt so lucky to have.

I was scrolling through Instagram and I saw a video of a mom running next to her daughter on a bike. I remember thinking that I could never do thatbut I wanted to. I wanted to be able to keep up with both of my children.

Im on the Team Blue plan. WW has really worked for me because no foods were restricted and it helped me learn balance.


Want to learn more?


Before WW, I had tried keto-style diets and was successful for a short period of time. I would lose 15 to 20 pounds but I wasn't able to maintain the lifestyle because I felt deprived. I love cake and potatoes, and I wasn't able to find a way to live on keto and still incorporate those things into my diet. WW allows me to still eat what I love.

This is what I typically eat in a day now:

In December 2017, I started training with the Couch to 5k app. I had not been active at all; I couldnt even run for one minute. To not overwhelm myself, my first fitness goal was to make it to the gym to run one time a week. I gradually added more days. Eventually, I would run three to four times a week on a treadmill following the app program. I ran and completed my first 5k in May 2018.

After I accomplished my goal of running a 5k, I wanted to explore other types of exercise and I started doing boot camp style classes. The classes are generally 45 minutes long and are a mix of cardio and strength training. I enjoy this style of exercise now because I love seeing myself develop strength and tone my body. I try to workout at least twice a week these days.

My biggest tips for success? First off, make small attainable goals. For example, another one of my very first goals was simply to bring lunch to work every day for one work week. Then, when I accomplished that, I'd set another small goal.

Second, plan ahead as much as you can. Having a plan helps to stick to your goals. Especially when you have social events, create a plan to help you stay on track and enjoy the moment.

I am more confident. I value myself more. I prioritize myself and my health. I am taking more chances on myself and I know that I can accomplish anything.

I want other women to use my story as an example to see that it truly can be done. When my weight-loss journey began, I never in a million years thought I was capable of losing 90 pounds. I am no superwoman. Any woman can decide to make a change and be successful. I'm rooting for all of those women out there.

My weight loss has changed my life in so many ways, but what I am most proud of is that I get to set a good example for my daughter. It feels amazing that I get to help her learn that taking care of our bodies is so important. Mostly, I am happy I get to run around with both of my kids...and that *they* get tired first.

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'I Joined Weight Watchers After A Devastating MiscarriageAnd I Found My Joy And Confidence Again' - Women's Health

Fans fear for Anthony Joshua after he shows off incredible weight loss in clearest photo yet but has he lost – The Sun

Posted: December 6, 2019 at 10:45 am

Fans fear for Anthony Joshua after he shows off incredible weight loss in clearest photo yet but has he lost  The Sun

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Fans fear for Anthony Joshua after he shows off incredible weight loss in clearest photo yet but has he lost - The Sun

Weight Loss: This Low-Fat Carrot Idli Can Be A Great Addition To Your Weight Loss Diet – NDTV Food

Posted: December 6, 2019 at 10:45 am

Idli in itself is a low-fat food that is quite popular among people in health and nutrition circuit.


Would you believe that the very same veggie that is used to prepare the decadent gajar ka halwa could also help you shed a few kilos as well?! Intrigued? Well, if you're on a weight loss diet and are bored of having the regular leafy salads, today we bring to you a weight-loss-friendly recipe that has the perfect balance of both taste and nutrition. We're talking about carrot idli. Idli in itself is a low-fat food that is quite popular among people in health and nutrition circuit. The addition of carrot in it would increase the fibre content and further promote a feeling of fullness and prevent you from bingeing. According to the book 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing House, "Carrots also aid digestion, help weight control, contain silicon, which benefits skin and nails, and promote eye health due to their beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein content."

(Also Read:Indian Cooking Hacks: Tips To Get Soft, Fluffy Idlis Every Single Time!)


Fermented idli batter - 2 cupsCarrots - 2 medium-sized (grated)Red chilli powder - half a tspSalt to tasteChaat masala - half a tspCurry leaves - 8-10Coriander leaves - 1 sprigChana dal - 1 tbspUrad dal - 1 tbspTurmeric powder - a pinchMustard seeds - half a tspOil - 1 tsp


To begin with, take a pan and heat a teaspoon of oil over high flame in it. Add mustard seeds along with curry leaves to it. Allow them to splutter for a while.

Then add chana dal and urad dal along with chopped green chillies, grated carrot and all the spices. Mix well and ensure that all these ingredients are sauteed well.

Now mix the sauteed carrot mixture in idli batter.

Meanwhile add water to the idli maker and allow it boil. Grease the compartments of the idli maker with little oil and then pour a ladleful of batter into each unit. Place the same inside the container and cover with a lid.

Allow the idlis to steam for about 10-12 minutes or until they are properly cooked; insert a toothpick to check the same.

Serve the delight with piping hot sambar or chutneys of your choice.

Now, that we have shared with you a stellar recipe of low-fat carrot idli, make the most of this winter veggie and add this nutritious delight to your weight loss diet. Try making it at home and do share your feedback with us in the comments section below.

(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)

About Deeksha SarinAn eccentric foodie and a die-hard falooda lover, Deeksha loves riding scooty in search of good street food! A piping hot cup of adrak wali chai can make her day bright and shiny!

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Weight Loss: This Low-Fat Carrot Idli Can Be A Great Addition To Your Weight Loss Diet - NDTV Food

‘Family By The Ton’: Casey King and Family – Shocking Weight Loss Updates – Soap Dirt

Posted: December 6, 2019 at 10:45 am

Family By The Ton cast members Casey King, Amanda Johnson and Amy Long all embarked on a family journey to lose weight. As seen on the TLC show, the family went through many ups and downs when it came to their health. But, now the familys giving an update on their journey and how far theyve come. Check out how Casey, Amanda, and Amy look now.

Casey King was the heaviest of the family. He weighed over 700 pounds. Casey often blamed his dad for him gaining weight. This lead Casey to have a rough start to his weight loss journey. He had a hard time focusing on exercising and eating healthy. However, with the help of his mom, Casey was able to start shedding some weight.

Now almost a year since Family By The Ton aired, Casey Kings still working to drop more pounds. Casey recently shared his new physique. In the photo, Caseys wearing jeans much different from the sweat pants he usually wore. He admitted that this was the second time he wore jeans in almost a decade. Now Casey feels like he is becoming more and more a normal functioning human being. In addition to the ing family, TLCs launching a new show1000-lb Sisters starting January 1 at 10 pm to chronicle another familys weight loss story.

Family By The Tons Amanda Johnson started her fitness journey weighing 700 pounds. Also, she was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. However, Amanda wasnt able to get proper treatment since she was overweight.

She had to lose nearly half her weight if she wanted to get the treatment she needed. It seems like Amanda may be close to reaching her goal. Check out the Family By The Ton stars updated physique below.

The Family By The Ton reality star often shares updates on her journey online. Amanda Johnson recently shared that she is starting to notice the weirdest things. Like the fact that she can now see the seat when she sits in her car.

Since starting her journey of getting her health back, Amanda lost 400 pounds. But, she is not done yet. Now her next goal is to be under 300 pounds. And she seems to be well on her way and far from her starting weight on Family By The Ton.

Amy Long was 400 pounds at her heaviest. She had a hard time struggling with self-esteem. It was hard for her to see herself gain so much weight. Amy was the first to go through weight loss surgery on Family By The Ton. She hoped that the other family members would follow in her footsteps. Which they did. It wasnt an easy road. But, Amy was able to focus and work on herself.

The Family By The Ton TLC star is another member of the family that often gives updates online. Amy Long recently let fans know that she is now half the size she once was. She now weighs just under 200 pounds. Although, Amy noticed she hasnt been dropping pounds as fast as she once was. Yet, she is cool with that currently. For Amy small progress adds up and you can see her impressive results above.

So congrats to Casey King, Amy Long, and Amanda Johnson on their amazing progress and check out the new TLC weight loss show.

Come back to Soap Dirt daily for all the latest Family By The Ton news.

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'Family By The Ton': Casey King and Family - Shocking Weight Loss Updates - Soap Dirt

How this runner ran off nearly 10 stone – Runner’s World (UK)

Posted: December 6, 2019 at 10:45 am

Even as a child, I could never control how much I ate and would fill up on whatever I found in the kitchen. Then I had our first daughter, Jenny, when I was 19 and three more children after that. I had no time or desire to exercise so I just got bigger.

In 2007 I was diagnosed with a binge-eating disorder linked to my depression and anxiety issues. It had got to the point where I would wake up at 2am and eat a packet of biscuits. For 10 years I had my own jam- and chutney-making business and I would sell my produce at farmers markets. While there, I would also fill up on fresh bread, pasties and cakes. I reached 25st and was wearing size-32 clothes. I really hated summer, as I would be a red ball of sweat and feel constantly tired in the heat. I tried lots of diets but soon gave up, although in late 2014 I began an eating plan, which helped a bit.

In June 2017, my husband, Steve, and I were in Swansea on the day of its half marathon. I loved the vibe and felt it would be brilliant to do one day, but, then at 22st, it seemed unlikely. Around this time, I began a job as a postwoman, so I became more active and lost some weight. That September I began an online interval-style exercise plan that included doing a 1km run, which I enjoyed. In January 2018, I joined the Ampthill and Flitwick Flyers, my local club. By then I was about 17st. On the first night I tried its monthly 5km time trial and got halfway up the hill start before I burst into tears, saying,I cant do this! But other members encouraged me and we walked the course. I became hooked and started running three times a week.

I ran my first half marathon last year at the Richmond Running Festival. This year Ive done other half marathons, including Swansea, the one that first inspired me. Im fitter than Ive ever been in my life.

For me its all about finishing lines, not finishing times. I run with my club mates, but also with social groups like Run Mummy Run and Veteran Runners UK. I enjoy mixing it up while picking up tips and advice from different people I run with.

Im also going to be the Flitwick 10K race director next year, which should be an exciting challenge. My main goal is next years LondonMarathon. Im running for AsthmaUK, as Jenny has lived with it since she was four. Im sure being on the start line will be amazing, especially remembering how big I used to be.All going well, I would love to do an ultramarathon, too.

Three ways Vickie keeps herself on track:

Look back - Ive kept a pair of my size-32 shorts: Im now a size 16. On a bad day, to see how far Ive come stops me returning to my old eating habits.

Fools rush in - However far you run, its better than sitting on the sofa doing nothing. Dont expect too much too soon I built up gradually.

Cut back - Dont totally deny yourself what you enjoy eating or you will crave it even more. Instead, reduce your portions of it or make it an occasional treat you will savour it much more when you do have it.

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How this runner ran off nearly 10 stone - Runner's World (UK)

Do ice baths help in muscle recovery and weight loss? – Firstpost

Posted: December 6, 2019 at 10:45 am

If you are a fitness enthusiast, you have probably heard of ice baths. Also called cold-water immersion (CWI) or cryotherapy, the technique is thought to speed up muscle recovery, reduce inflammation and help in weight loss.

Those who swear by CWI immerse themselves in ice-cold water for 10-15 minutes, even in this cold weather.

Representational image. Image source: Getty Images.

So should you rush to turn off your geysers and fill the bathtub with ice-cold water, too? Consider this research before you decide whether to opt for an ice bath or not:

A few years ago, a team of sports scientists led by Dr Jonathan M. Peake asked a simple research question: do ice baths speed up muscle recovery after an intense workout?

To answer this question, the team studied nine test subjects who tried both ice baths and active recovery sessions after leg-focussed workouts over two separate days.

Their conclusion: CWI had no impact on inflammatory measures and cellular stress in comparison to the active recovery trial.

In other words, they found that ice baths are not better than active recovery sessions like practising Yoga, Tai chi or light resistance training for reducing pain.

The team published their findings inThe Journal of Physiologyin 2017.

Adipose or fat tissue is of two types: brown and white. White adipose tissue stores energy - this is also the type of fat that can add inches to your waist and thighs. Brown adipose fat, which is primarily located around the neck and collar bones, is metabolically active and can burn or oxidise white adipose tissue, thereby helping you lose weight.

Ice baths and cold showers can activate the brown adipose fat and muscles. Once activated, they release two hormones: irisin and FGF21. These hormones then burn white fat tissue and help you lose weight.

That this is even possible was shown by endocrinologist Dr Paul Lee of Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney. In 2014, Dr Lee undertook the study of brown adipose tissue at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US. Here's what he found: During cold exposure and exercise, the levels of irisin (produced by shivering muscle) and FGF21 (produced by brown fat) rise.

Specifically, 10-15 minutes of shivering increases irisin to such a level that it has the same effect as an hour of moderate exercise.

Additionally, Dr Lee found that around 50 grams of white fat stores more than 300 kilocalories of energy, and the same amount of brown fat could burn up to 300 kilocalories a day.

Dr Lees findings were also supported by the previous research on irisin by scientists at Harvard University.

Word to the wise: While the benefits of ice baths for fat loss are undisputed, you must be very careful about how to go about itmany experts even suggest that it should not be done without proper medical supervision because it can lead to hypothermia, which can turn fatal very quickly.

Studies have shown that what activating irisin does is that it converts white fat into healthier brown fat - this improves the glucose tolerance of the body. The latter effect can help prevent diabetes.

People living with diabetes and high cholesterol are often advised to lose weight for better health management. By helping in weight loss, ice baths also help to deal with obesity-related disorders. But the same precautions apply here, too: Do not try ice baths without medical supervision and do not overdo them. If you have a medical condition, ask your doctor before starting any new therapy.

Earlier this year, Cas J. Fuchs and his associates at the University of Maastricht focused on another claim that proponents of ice baths sometimes make: ice baths help in muscle recovery and building new muscles.

Heres what they did: they got 12 healthy men aged 21 years, give or take two years, to perform a single resistancetype leg exercise for two weeks. Each session was followed by immersing the legs in water for 20 minutes - they dipped one leg in ice-cold water and the other one in a thermoneutral or room temperature water. Next, they took protein samples from these test subjects and analysed them for myofibrillar protein synthesis rates.

Their findings: ice baths during recovery from resistancetype exercisereduces(emphasis added) myofibrillar protein synthesis rates and, as such, likely impairs muscle conditioning.

So, contrary to popular belief, the researchers said, ice baths impair the growth of new muscles, thereby blocking the recovery!

For more information on this topic, please read our article onMuscle Pain.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by, Indias first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

Updated Date: Dec 06, 2019 16:35:12 IST

Tags : Belly Fat, Brown Fat, Build Muscles, Fat Loss, Gain Muscles, Ice Bath, Ice Bath For Weight Loss, New Muscles, NewsTracker, Pain Relief, Weight Loss

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Do ice baths help in muscle recovery and weight loss? - Firstpost

What Is Metabolism? Can Better Metabolism Help In Weight Loss? How To Boost Metabolism? Here Are All The Answers – Doctor NDTV

Posted: December 6, 2019 at 10:45 am

Metabolism: Most people are not aware of various facts about metabolism. Metabolism is an important factor that you must not miss. Here are some details about metabolism and how it works. Also, know some ways to boost metabolism.

Weight loss: Better metabolism can help in effective weight loss

Metabolism can affect many functions inside your body. It is the process by which your body converts the food consumed into energy. Metabolism also affects your weight loss process. Better metabolism results in better weight loss. It also keeps you energetic and makes you feel better. Many factors are responsible for metabolism. Some can improve your metabolism whereas others can mess with your metabolism. Most people are not aware of the role of metabolism for weight loss and other body processes. Here are some details about metabolism with some expert advice. Also, know some ways to boost metabolism.

Chief Dietician, Ms. Pavithra N Raj explains, "Metabolism is the rate at which our body utilizes the nutrition. Many factors influence the metabolism (hormone levels, enzyme secretion, chronic disease conditions, medications, stress, activity level and sleep patterns). The rate of metabolism directly affects caloric needs and impacts weight loss or weight gain. As age progress, the metabolism gets slowing down by 5 percent each decade."

Metabolism can affect your weight loss processPhoto Credit: iStock

Also read:Speed Up Your Metabolism With These Drinks For Effective Weight Loss

Dt. Ms. Pavithra further explains the processes which are a part of metabolism-

1. Catabolism - the breakdown of food components (such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats) into their simpler forms, which can then be used to create energy and provide the basic building blocks needed for growth and repair

2. Anabolism - the part of metabolism in which our body is built or repaired. Anabolism requires energy that ultimately comes from our food. When we eat more than we need for daily anabolism, the excess nutrients are typically stored in our body as fat.

Also read:Lack Of Sleep Can Affect Metabolism, Says Study; Know Mistakes That Can Slow Down Your Metabolism

Adding more protein to your diet can result in better metabolismPhoto Credit: iStock

Also read:Weight Loss: 6 Mistakes That Can Slow Down Metabolism

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

DoctorNDTV is the one stop site for all your health needs providing the most credible health information, health news and tips with expert advice on healthy living, diet plans, informative videos etc. You can get the most relevant and accurate info you need about health problems like diabetes, cancer, pregnancy, HIV and AIDS, weight loss and many other lifestyle diseases. We have a panel of over 350 experts who help us develop content by giving their valuable inputs and bringing to us the latest in the world of healthcare.

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What Is Metabolism? Can Better Metabolism Help In Weight Loss? How To Boost Metabolism? Here Are All The Answers - Doctor NDTV

Weight loss: Six tips to avoid putting on a STONE over Christmas and still enjoy it – The Sun

Posted: December 6, 2019 at 10:45 am

FROM countless mince pies to a few too many glasses of mulled wine - it's easy to gain weight at Christmas.

And between festive office parties, Christmas lunch or dinner, edible presents and a boozy New Year's Eve - it can be difficult not to pile on the pounds.


And research has shown that most people gain 2lb over the festive season and never lose it.

However, Christmas doesn't need to be synonymous with weight gain - according to top nutritionist Steph Geddes.

Steph reiterates that you can still enjoy all the chocolate and champagne and not put on weight - as long as you stick to some simple rules.

She says: "Enjoy yourself and dont stress if you feel that you have been overindulging more than usual.

"The most important thing is that you get back on track with your healthy eating as soon as you can and dont let the indulgences become new habits."

Here Steph takes us through her top six tips to make sure you don't balloon over the festive season...

Most of us don't really think about how much we're eating over Christmas - and shovel down as much turkey and stuff is physically possible.

However, if you want to keep on top of your calorie intake Steph says the easiest thing to do is monitor your portion control of each food group.

She says: "Every time you sit down to a meal try and make it 1/4 plate protein, plate complex carbohydrates, plate of vegetables and 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fats.

Make it 1/4 plate protein, plate complex carbohydrates, plate of vegetables and 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fats

"Cooking at home makes this much more achievable, but during the festive season there is a lot socialising and theres no reason you cant try and stick to this when youre out also.

"If out at a caf or restaurant try to order whichever meal seems closest to these portions and dont be afraid to order extra vegetables or salad on the side if you need to."

Many people would much rather stay in by a warm fire than venture out into the winter chill to exercise on Christmas day.

But keeping your gym routine on track over the festive season can be crucial when it comes to not piling on the pounds.

Steph says: "Dont compromise on your usual exercise in the lead up to Christmas either because exercising get those endorphins going which help you to make healthy food choices.

"On Christmas morning, suggest a family walk/cricket match/swim before or after you sit down for a big meal."

It might sound like more extra work, but meal prepping through December will help to keep you in shape.

Steph says: "Making sure you are prepared with some healthy meals/ snacks or just ingredients may involve some time and organisation but it is well worth the effort.


"This takes away any excuses that might pop into your head when youre tired, stressed or busy and means you dont have to think about what to cook because its either cooked already or prepped ready to go.

"Make your freezer your best friend and that way you can keep healthy meals, snacks or even just frozen veggies on hand to whip up a healthy dinner in no time."

Snacking regularly throughout the day can actually aid weight loss and stop you from making unhealthy choices.

Steph says: "This one is a game changer, make sure you are eating healthy nutritious snacks that will sustain you until your next meal and you wont have the urge to over indulge on less healthy foods.

"Im talking a small handful of nuts, some veg with nut butter or hummus, protein balls or just a piece of fruit.

"If you have a long lunch scheduled for work then have a snack between breakfast and lunch so that youre not going into the lunch starving and likely to overeat."

With all the Christmas parties, it can be tricky to avoid knocking back excessive amounts of mulled wine.

However, Steph says staying hydrated can be a simple way to ensure that calorie intake is reduced, without putting a dampener on your festive spirits.

She says:"The best thing you can do is to keep hydrated.

Keeping in mind that trying to have more alcohol free days per week than alcohol days is ideal to keep things balanced

"This means a water in between alcoholic drinks but also choosing drinks that are served with mineral/soda water is helpful.

"Ensuring youve eat a good nutritious meal is always a good idea and keeping in mind that trying to have more alcohol free days per week than alcohol days is ideal to keep things balanced."

Many Christmas parties are a nightmare when it comes to eating healthily - as they're filled with finger food.

Steph recommends eating something before you go to a bash like this - so you don't end up gorging on all the fatty food and treats available.

Alcoholic drink swaps to help you stay on track during the festive period

Diet guruTerri-AnnNunns shares her advice on how to enjoy alcoholic drinks without overindulging and the best swaps you can make this Christmas.

1. Swap eggnog for...sloe gin

A glass of eggnog could quite easily exceed 350kcals. Another drink that is equally enjoyable but for different reasons is sloe gin. You can have it warm or on ice but it is still a tasty treat - with much fewer calories.

2. Small glass of desert wine of sherry

Opting for a glass of Sherry (60 calories) would halve your calorie intake in comparison to a small glass of desert wine (118 calories).

3. Mulled wine made with sugar for...mulled wine made with sweetener

Adding the sugar obviously adds more calories but you can actually use sweetener instead of sugar to achieve that sweet taste without the calories.

4. Large glass of wine of prosecco

A glass of prosecco is likely to be less than half the calories of a large glass of wine. A large glass of wine is 250ml or a third of a bottle, whereas prosecco is served in smaller glasses, generally serving 125ml.

5. Pint of lager for...a bottle of beer

Swapping a pint of beer for a bottle significantly reduces the volume you will drink and therefore the calories, especially if you plan to have more than one.

6. Gin and tonic for...gin and slimline tonic

By changing your mixer to one that is sugar-free, you can make a significant reduction to your calorie intake.

7. Long Island Iced Tea for...Bloody Mary

If you want to go for a healthier cocktail, choosing something like a Bloody Mary would mean you would consume much fewer calories and you could even hit two of your five a day.

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FEEL THE BURN Top tips to reset your diet and boost fat burn before Christmas

"Finger food events are tricky ones," she says.

"Youre never sure what food will be available (often this type of food is lacking in veggies) and its easy to consume more than we would in a meal because its difficult to keep track of how much youve had.

"So you can either eat a full nutritious meal before you go and politely decline the finger food, or at least eat half of a meal so that you can get plenty of veggies in and then just enjoy two to three items at the event."

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Weight loss: Six tips to avoid putting on a STONE over Christmas and still enjoy it - The Sun

To Lose Weight, Cut the Fad Diets and Stick to the Basics, Expert Says – Cornell University The Cornell Daily Sun

Posted: December 6, 2019 at 10:45 am

With every flip of the calendar, it seems a new diet fad captures national attention, promising effortless weight loss. The Paleo diet is how our ancestors ate it must be healthy. No, try intermittent fasting. Scratch that this prune juice detox will take inches off your waist in days!

Prof. David Levitsky, nutritional sciences, describes obesity as the biggest public health problem we have. Its cause? Not carbohydrates or processed sugars as the latest trend might have you believe. The science behind obesity is simple: excess calorie intake.

The fundamental science behind nutrition and related physiology has not changed for decades, Levitsky said. Instead, its the media, with a motive to sell, writing about the science that changes. While some diets make it easier to consume less, they may be unnecessary.


With this perspective on nutrition, the vegan diet may be the healthiest of them all. Vegans live longer than anyone else, Levitsky said. That should tell you something.

But its not the meat thats going to kill you, Levitsky explained. There is no magical quality of plant-based diets that will make you immortal. Vegan diets drastically improve health outcomes because, on average, theyre far lower in dietary fats compared to omnivorous diets and higher in fiber.

But despite the benefits it carries, Levitsky also urged caution towards vegan diets. Since vegan meals often dont contain complete proteins and are low in iron, vegans need to be very cognizant in planning their meals and combining appropriate protein sources.

Low-Carb Diets

Some of the most popular modern diets Paleo, Atkins and Keto, to name a few portray carbohydrates as the antithesis of health, a macronutrient to be avoided at all costs.

Carbohydrates dont deserve this reputation, Levitsky said. Like any other macronutrients, the problem is overconsumption,and carbs are the easiest to overeat, as we typically eat 60-65% of our calories from carbohydrates.

In a low-carb diet, that range drops to 10-15%, Levitsky said. He explained that this doesnt discount low carb diets efficacy for weight loss, but there are a few issues if one endures a low-carb diet.

First, the rapid drop in weight may not be from fat tissue, but instead from fluids. Excess carbohydrates are stored in the body as glycogen, which holds large amounts of water with it. As low-carb diets deplete these stores, the water rapidly flushes out.

The other problem is the fact that people cant stay on low-carb diets for long periods of time. If you look at the population statistics, most people cant stick to these for more than a few months. Levitsky said. And once you start indulging in those pre-meal bread rolls again, youre just going to put [the weight] back on immediately.

Ultimately, low-carb diets are not an effective way to lose weight and sustain it, Levitsky said.

Intermittent Fasting

A number of other fasting schemes have gained popularity recently, but the idea behind them is the same: limit the period of time during which you eat.

Levitsky describes these methods as very effective for losing weight, but emphasizes that there is no special benefit of eating only during specified windows. These are simple mechanisms to reduce caloric intake.

It turns out, most people cant do it for long periods of time. But if it fits into your lifestyle, theres nothing wrong with it, Levitsky said.

What is the ideal diet?

Levitsky also offered a few guides for students unsure about how they should eat. First, he recommends not eating the same foods for two days in a row in order to diversify your nutrient sources constantly. Next, never eat when youre not hungry this is a very easy way to consume less.

Another tip he gives is to take small portions. Perhaps the most prominent environmental signal to eat is whats on your plate, he said. By exercising portion control, we can simplify the dieting process substantially.

Ultimately, for those whose goal is to lose weight, they should be eating in moderation with a variety of foods and using the scale to objectively track progress for weight loss.

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To Lose Weight, Cut the Fad Diets and Stick to the Basics, Expert Says - Cornell University The Cornell Daily Sun

So This Is Weird: Stop Prioritizing Your Diet and Start Prioritizing Your Microbes – The National Interest Online

Posted: December 6, 2019 at 10:45 am

People worry about having access to clean water, power, health care and healthy foods because they are essential for survival. But do they ever think about their access to microbes?

Every day, humans encounter microbes - in air, water, soil, food and buildings - and pick them up and leave them behind everywhere they go. Although you might be reaching for the hand sanitizer as you read this, many of these microbial exposures are beneficial to human health. But not everyone has equal access to good microbes.

Social equity is the practice of applying justice and fairness to our social policies. Society often measures it in terms of access. Do people have equal access to healthy food and clean water? Medical care? Safe housing? Parks and forests? My idea of microbes and social equity is rooted in the fact that we rely on the microbes that live in our bodies or in the environment around us. We need public policies that promote access to microbes.

Im a gut microbiologist, and I want to understand the microbes that pass through our digestive tract and how they impact us. For example, human beings cant digest plant fiber; we actually rely on several species of microbes in our gut to do this, which provides us with the nutrients we need. Microbes also help train our immune cells not to attack those trillions of microorganisms living in or on the body, thereby maintaining a delicate truce.

Connecting with good microbes

I wanted to create a space to learn about and discuss the idea of Microbes and Social Equity, so I developed and taught a course at the University of Oregon during the summer of 2019. I focused on how access to basic necessities like nutritious foods (and especially fiber), pre- and postnatal health care, and green space and city parks could influence microbial exposures and individual experiences throughout a lifetime. These findings and discussions have now been published as a peer-reviewed essay in the journal PLoS Biology.

Fibrous foods recruit microbes in the gut, especially ones that break down and ferment complex plant carbohydrates in order to create energy for themselves. In doing so, they produce several molecules (like butyrate) that we use for energy, and they yield a number of health benefits.

The paper in PloS Biology provides examples of research on microbes and health, such as the benefit of a fiber-rich diet in recruiting beneficial gut microbes and reducing the symptoms of diabetes. There are specific examples of social policies that might promote access to microbes, such as launching more school nutrition programs that require fruits and vegetables. There are also examples of policies with negative microbial impacts, such as inadequate food-service infrastructure in prisons, which can allow for the spread of foodborne illness.

My students were especially interested in policies that support maternal health care and enable breastfeeding. Breast milk contains important components to boost the infant immune system, as well as a diverse community of bacteria, some of which support digestion of milk in the infant gut and confer health benefits.

Infants who only receive formula recruit different gut microbes and are missing the ones derived from breast milk that protect against allergies and other health problems. Policies that provide pre- and postnatal care are known to improve health outcomes for mothers and infants. These policies also happen to support mother-infant microbial exposure, which can have huge health benefits. The lack of good policies may have the opposite effect: Many women identify a lack of social and infrastructural support as preventing them from breastfeeding their infants, which also deprives the babies of the microbes they need.

Poor-quality city infrastructure leads to poor-quality health

The quality of the environment greatly impacts health. Plants are known to produce chemical compounds that benefit human health, and exposure to the diverse microbes found in the natural environment can keep our immune systems fit. Living near industrial areas exposes residents to lower air quality, contamination of water sources with hazardous materials, noise pollution, and more. Worse, studies suggest that pollution-heavy industry is often intentionally placed in disadvantaged, low-income, or predominantly minority-resident neighborhoods because they lack the social capital to negotiate better zoning. And, heavily urbanized or industrial zones disperse different microbes than a forest or park would, changing outdoor microbial exposure for residents of poorly planned neighborhoods.

Inequalities in access - such as only putting parks in wealthier neighborhoods - creates social inequity in resource distribution. But it also creates inequity in microbial exposure and may affect your health. However, zoning could be used to aid in the equitable distribution of resources.

Access is the basis for creating social equity. Globally, many governments have a legal obligation to provide access to a safe and healthy natural environment. If we consider that microbes are integral to maintaining public health, it follows that there is also a legal obligation to provide policy and infrastructure to enable equitable access to microbes.

This can be done by providing affordable maternal health care and parental leave to facilitate breastfeeding and train the immune system with good microbes.

It can be done with access to an affordable, high-quality diet with lots of fiber, especially by making healthy food available in public schools, prisons and food deserts with inadequate shopping options.

It can also be done by equitably distributing natural environments and green space in urban settings. Encouraging urban farms, local farmers markets, bike lanes and walking paths, and giving stores incentives to stock and sell healthy food items, can make urban and rural areas healthier by promoting physical activity, good food, clean air and water and diverse microbial exposures.

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Sue Ishaq, Assistant Professor of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, University of Maine

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Image: Reuters

Here is the original post:
So This Is Weird: Stop Prioritizing Your Diet and Start Prioritizing Your Microbes - The National Interest Online

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