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Lose weight with the Paleo diet: everything you need to know – T3

Posted: January 16, 2020 at 1:45 pm

The paleo diet is one of the big 'buzz' diets of the last few years although it's arguably now been surpassed by the Keto diet, Have you ever wondered what it would be like to eat like a caveman? Perhaps not, but as well as helping you lose weight, paelo will also help you find that out as well.

The paleo diet, or Paleolithic diet to give it its full title, is a diet designed to mimic that of people who lived in the Paleolithic era of history. Clever, right? The Paleolithic period began around 3.3 million years ago, but whats important in the context of the paleo diet is that it was a time when food was sourced by hunter-gatherers, rather than by going to Tesco.

We dont know exactly what our prehistoric ancestors ate, but researchers believe they ate whole foods, which means food that is unrefined, with no additives. Thats a pretty sensible guess given they didnt exactly have the technology for much food-processing.

The concept of the paleo diet is that because Paleolithic people didn't have ways of processing and adding to food like we do today, they avoided many of the health problems we face in the 21st century. Today, scientists and nutritionists associate multiple diseases, diabetes, heart disease and obesity to name a few, with poor diet.

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Because we dont know exactly what our ancestors ate, and because what they ate would depend greatly on what was readily available to them based on location and season, the overarching concept that 21st century paleo dieters should stick to is to only eat whole foods and avoid processed foods.

There is no calorie counting. Instead the Paleo diet removes food groups typically high in calories, such as carbohydrates.

Although there is no calorie counting, as with any method of weight loss the Paleo diet seeks to reduce calorie intake. This is because weight loss ultimately boils down to consuming fewer calories than you burn also known as a calorie deficit.

On the Paleo diet calories are reduced by avoiding sugary and high fat foods. Instead Paleo diet foods are low in fat and high in protein (on average you should look for 25 - 30% of your calories to come from protein if following the Paleo diet), which helps you burn fat and build lean muscle mass.

Studies have shown links between overeating processed foods that are high in things like salt and trans fats contribute to diseases like diabetes and heart disease, as well as weight gain. In theory, by only eating naturally-occurring, whole foods, our prehistoric ancestors were less likely to develop these conditions, and more likely to have have low BMIs (although they wouldnt have called it that, of course).

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Paleo diet foods are foods that were available to our prehistoric ancestors and so should be naturally occurring and unprocessed. Meat and fish, fruit and vegetables, potatoes, nuts, seeds and eggs are all allowed, as well as herbs and spices and oils to help flavour your food.

Its recommended that you opt for grass-fed animals and organic produce where you can, but it depends on how strict youre being (and the price tag).

If youre not being too strict and know that you'll cave if you can't occasionally indulge in a treat, the recommended treat options are red wine and dark chocolate.

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The main food groups to avoid when following the paleo diet are grains, most dairy (anything that needs to be pasteurised or processed is not a paleo food), non-naturally occurring sugars and vegetable oils. In reality this does equate to a LOT of food, as many packets, jars and tins that youll pick up off a shelf in the supermarket will contain sugar or salt additives at least.

It will be considerably easier to follow the paleo diet if you start shopping in smaller shops like butchers and greengrocers, and avoid anything that comes in a packet, particularly if theres an ingredient you cant pronounce.You might be a little surprised to learn this includes dried beans, pulses, lentils and other seemingly very healthy things. But if a food wasn't available to Captain Caveman, it's not available to you in this diet.

The paleo diet is not specifically designed to be low-carb, but naturally given these restrictions you will find yourself consuming far fewer complex carbs.

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A significant difference between paleo and other diets is the absence of calorie counting. This means that there is no restriction on how much you eat, but instead a focus on what you eat. As a result, users describe the paleo diet as filling, without issues with hunger associated with other diets, such as the military diet or intermittent fasting.

One user, Sharon, told us that following paleo has given her loads of energy, and that she feels "no hunger or cravings as [the] food is lovely." She also experienced gradual weight loss.

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The concept of the paleo diet is relatively new, but studies have been conducted to see how effective it is for weight loss.

One study found that a group following the paleo diet lost an average of 2.3 kgs and 1.5cm from their weight circumference after three weeks. Its important to note that the sample size was only 14 people.

Another study, which looked at 70 woman over a period of two years found that the half who followed the paleo diet lost twice as much weight within 12 months as the half following a low-fat, high-fibre diet. Whats especially interesting is that the women were assessed again after a second year and while both groups had put some weight back on, the paleo dieters lost 1.6 times more weight overall. It should be noted that this study was specifically on middle-aged women deemed to be 'obese'.

Paleo is not by any means an easy diet to switch to. While staying away from 'processed foods' sounds like a great idea, in this context it includes milk, flour, lentils and plenty of other staples of the western diet.

The paleo diet can be difficult to stick to due to the lack of fibre and higher prices of some of its staple ingredients. There have also been no large-scale, long-term studies that demonstrate its effectiveness or which have looked into potentially negative effects of the paelo diet. However, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from people who have stuck to the diet that it can help with weight loss.

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Lose weight with the Paleo diet: everything you need to know - T3

5 Apps To Help You Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health – Gadgets Africa

Posted: January 16, 2020 at 1:45 pm

A weight loss app can give you the motivation, discipline, and accountability you need to lose weight. Whether youre looking to count calories, log meals, or track your workouts, there are tons of great apps for iPhone and Android devices. Depression, anxiety, stress, and a host of other mental health concerns can stop you from leading your best possible life. Here are a few apps to help you take care of your mental and physical health.

The app has psychiatrists and therapists dedicated to your mental health. Using their insights from therapy along with the latest science in CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), Positive Psychology, and Mindfulness, they have replicated the real-life therapy experience into a self-help app for you.Their ultimate aim is to support you to create a happier and healthier life. All done by a range of therapy-based self-help tools and techniques designed for your mental health needs.

This app gives you options to lose weight in a fast and safe way Not only does it have systematic workouts, but it also provides diet plans at your disposal. It is scientifically proven to help improve your health and fitness. Your workout and calorie data can be synchronized on Google Fit. Stick with the program, and your body will be more beautiful than ever before you know it.

One popular app, MyFitnessPal, integrates calorie counting into its strategy for supporting weight loss. MyFitnessPal calculates your daily calorie needs and allows you to log what you eat throughout the day from a nutrition database of over 5 million different foods. This even includes many restaurant foods that are not always easy to track. After you enter your food intake, MyFitnessPal provides a breakdown of the calories and nutrients you consumed throughout the day.

Instead of telling you to eat less and move more, Noom uses a psychology-based approach to identify your deeply held thoughts and beliefs about nutrition and exercise. Then it builds a customized approach to help you create healthy habits. The app helps you track your weight, food, exercise, blood pressure, and blood sugar all in one place.

When it comes to losing weight, diet and exercise are crucial, but to have any success, you cant discount the importance of mental health, says Georgie Fear, R.D., author ofLean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss. For her clients who struggle with emotional or binge eating, Fear recommends Talkspace. It gives you access to professional counseling anywhere, anytime. Message your therapist 24/7 via text, voice, video.

Your mental and physical health is important. Be sure to recommend any other health apps you have used.

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5 Apps To Help You Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health - Gadgets Africa

Fast track to physical and spiritual health benefits – Eastern Eye

Posted: January 16, 2020 at 1:45 pm

By Nadeem Badshah

FASTING regularly could boost a persons health and religious faith, according to experts.

Intermittent fasting has become trendy mainly in January when Britons take up the diet to lose weight after feasting on food and drinks over Christmas.

US researchers have found that limiting eating to a fixed number of hours or days cuts blood pressure, cholesterol and resting heart rates, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

It can also reduce other risk factors linked to obesity and diabetes, the study in December said. Outside the month of Ramadan, some Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset on Mondays and Thursdays to follow a tradition started by Prophet Muhammad.

Some Hindus fast on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for spiritual reasons as well during festivals such as Navratri, Shivratri, Janmashtami, Diwali, Karwa Chauth,and Chhath Poojan.

Rajnish Kashyap, general secretary of Hindu Council UK, told Eastern Eye: Fasting is frequently heralded as the miracle weight loss for those who have tried all else without success.

However, while fasting certainly has great health benefits, to define it merely as a type of diet is to undermine one of the oldest and most sacred spiritual practices.

Fasting has been used for millennia by the saints and sages to purify their bodies, minds and souls and to bring their bodies into connection with the divine.

A fast also is one of the best ways of controlling our mind and senses. They allow us to withdraw our senses from the outside world and become refocused on our own divine nature and our connection to God.

Additionally, during this period of sadhana, of austerity, of restraint, one realises that one is truly the master of ones body, not vice versa.

Intermittent fasting diets often fall into two categories the 16:8, where food is consumed within an eight-hour window; or the 5:2, where people eat 25 per cent of their recommended calorie total on two days a week, while following a healthy diet on the other five.

*Farooq, 30, started intermittent fasting last year to lose weight and become more spiritual.

The media officer said: Ive lost weight and my cravings for sugar have gone down. Im more disciplined with my diet.

Being Muslim is a lifestyle too and diet plays a big part. Because intermittent fasting and the 5:2 diet are so similar, I decided to combine the two, so Im killing two birds with one stone.

Im reaping the spiritual benefits of following the tradition of Prophet Muhammad while also losing weight on the 5:2 method.

Religious fasting in Islam has one major difference when compared to intermittent fasting you cant eat or drink anything during the fasting hours, so I face a tougher time than people who are on the 5:2 diet.

I find it easier to practise fasting during the winter as the days are shorter. While you are fasting, you think about food more often, so it teaches you restraint . Its also a great time to meditate and clear my thoughts, which makes me more focused during work.

Doctors have urged anyone with health issues to speak to their GP before starting a regular fasting regime.

Recent studies have suggested intermittent fasting could hold the key to combating Alzheimers disease.

A trial at the University of Toronto last year found 220 healthy, non-obese adults who maintained a calorie-restricted diet for two years showed signs of improved memory.

Professor Kamlesh Khunti is professor of primary care diabetes and vascular medicine at the University of Leicester.He told Eastern Eye: Some small studies have shown benefits of intermittent fasting on a number of areas such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancers. However, the reasons for the benefits are not clearly understood.

The other major limitation is that most of these are short-term studies. We do not know if the benefits, or indeed compliance with intermittent fasting, will be maintained in the longer term.

* Name has been changed.

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Fast track to physical and spiritual health benefits - Eastern Eye

This Guy Kicked His Junk Food Habit and Lost 85 Pounds in One Year –

Posted: January 16, 2020 at 1:44 pm

Sagar Varma never wanted to find himself in a hospital again. The 27-year-old IT worker from Warren, Michigan, tore his ACL in 2009, but didnt get it looked at until eight years later. He required two surgeries and months of recovery, during which he couldnt do much more than sit and eat. Varma had been heavy as a kid, and at 25, he was at 63 and weighed 300 pounds.

But preparing for his surgeries, hed begun working out and dropped to 265 pounds. After surgery, though, he was stuck eating delivery fast food again. In his heavier days, it had been a familiar pattern. I used to feel bad that I was heavy, so to feel happy, I used to eat fast food, he says. Taco Bell and McDonalds a few times a week made him feel happy, until the next morning when he woke up and felt badwhich led him back to more fast food.

Having surgery had given him a reprieve from that cycle, but then, as he recovered, the weight started to creep back up. He didnt want to waste his chance. I made a promise to myself that I would never go back to a hospital again, he say. I wanted to change my lifestyle."

He started walking 30 minutes a day while his leg healed. After about six months, he felt recovered enough to start jogging, hitting 1.5 miles a day. Even through the cold Michigan wintereven in the snow;I do not recommend ithe hit his marks. Then he added weightlifting, working to build his strength. He still had a soft spot for junk food, so he tried swearing off meat; going vegan for a few months dropped his cholesterol and triglyceride levels so much that even his doctor was impressed.

He dropped down to 225 all by himself, using a free app called JeFit, talking to his trainer friend, and learning proper form from YouTube videos. He hired a trainer for more help, and with guidance on diet and workout routines, hes now down to 213 poundsin a year, hed dropped 85 pounds and added muscle.

I used to wear XXXL and I now wear M (slim fit), he says, something he thought he would never achieve. Hes more confident; working out has become a part of his routine. Hes aiming to lose the last of his love handles, then build more muscle for an aesthetic look. Im a huge fan of Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds, he says.

Varma stays motivated thinking about how he felt eating junk food and recovering in the hospital. He doesnt want to go back to that. He started following weight loss stories on Instagram, and eventually posted his own photos. The supportive response from his friends and family buoyed him and kept him going.

A ton of people have already said this and I am no different, he says: the keys to success were workout, diet, and consistency. For him, it also helped to have someone hold him accountable. He told friends what he was doing, using their imagined judgment of him if he failed as a motivator. That is a weird way of pushing oneself, he says, but it helped me.

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This Guy Kicked His Junk Food Habit and Lost 85 Pounds in One Year -

New year, new you: Could intermittent fasting be the key to weight loss? –

Posted: January 16, 2020 at 1:44 pm

LYNDHURST, Ohio New year, new you? You may be working toward a healthier lifestyle this new year and theres a specific style of weight loss gaining popularity.

I definitely think it could be the new thing and the thing I like about it is that its not just a fad diet, explains Cleveland Clinic Center for Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Anna Kippen.

I consider to be a fad diet anything that cuts out entire food groups, is unrealistic and promises unlimited eating and incredible amounts of rapid weight loss, and that is not this.

Kippen is referring to intermittent fasting. What she calls an umbrella term for various diets that cycle between fasting and non-fasting over defined sets of time.

Two very popular types are 16:8 and 5:2.

16:8 is sixteen hours a day of fasting and eight hours a day eating, done seven days a week.

Were better off eating the majority of our calories during the time of day were most active, she says.

7am to 3pm is really a good time frame and really no later than 10am-6pm ideally.

During fasting hours you still have water, black coffee or plain tea.

This is something that works for a lot of people because its not necessarily limiting our portions, changing our diet drastically. It works within what you already do but it is important that you eat a healthy balanced diet during your feeding hours, Kippen explains.

5:2 is another popular option. Youre eating a healthy balanced diet five days out of the week. The other two youre eating 25-percent of your calories which Kippen says is about 600 calories a day for men and 500 for women.

This is just a method that a lot of patients love because its not really necessarily something that requires them to follow through every single day, they get to choose which days they do it, she says.

Try not to chose fasting days the same as exercise days, we tend to get hungrier when we exercise, youre less likely to be successful.

So is it safe long term?

Kippen says the jury is still out.

We do have a lot of studies that show it is effective for weight loss, she explains.

Kippen says, studies have shown improvements in insulin resistance, decreased blood sugars, decreased cholesterol and decreased blood pressure.

Theres a lot of benefit that were seeing but ultimately its very, very limited especially in humans. The majority of our studies are actually in animals which dont always apply humans.

She says the biggest thing to know is that those with chronic conditions, like diabetes or eating disorders, should not be trying intermittent fasting. She suggests anyone interested in this change reach out to a doctor and dietitian.

Diet and nutrition is very personalized and I think its a lot more individualized than people realize. What works for one person would not work for someone else, she explains.

If youre someone who likes to get drinks and dinner a couple of times a week with your friends this is going to significantly alter your lifestyle and it may not be worth the weight loss for you.

No matter what she recommends vegetables calling them a weight loss miracle. They are high in fiber, low in calories and carbs.

"Going on diets just simply does not work, that's what we know," Kippen explains.

"Any changes we make if we don't feel they're sustainable they're likely not going to be successful in terms of keeping the weight off."

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New year, new you: Could intermittent fasting be the key to weight loss? -

Metformin and Weight Loss: Here’s Everything You Should Know Before Trying It –

Posted: January 16, 2020 at 1:44 pm

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Maybe youve heard that the diabetes drug metformin makes people lose weight. But is that even true? And more important, might you be one of the people who could drop pounds by taking this prescription medication?

Great questions. The answers are: Yes, metformin helps some people lose weight, but depending on whats going on with your body, you mayor may notbe one of them.

Before we get to whether it makes sense for you to ask your doctor to take out her Rx pad, heres a little background:

Metformin is an oral drug that is FDA approved to control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It is sometimes used off-label (meaning docs prescribe it for non-FDA-approved uses it seems to work for) in people with prediabetesi.e. they have somewhat high blood sugar or some insulin resistance, and so are at risk for developing diabetes. Its also prescribed off-label for other conditions, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Researchers arent 100% sure of all the ways the drug acts in the body. Metformin is a complex drug with multiple sites of action and multiple molecular mechanisms that are not fully understood, according to a 2017 report.

What is known is that metformin causes the liver to lower the amount of glucose (sugar) it makes and releases into your bloodstream, and also affects your gut, so that you use glucose more efficiently. All of this helps people with diabetes, whose blood sugar is too high and/or not being used properly (which makes the body want to crank out more.)

Folks seem to be less hungry on the drug. Metformin mainly causes weight loss by lowering food intake, says Steven K. Malin, Ph.D., an assistant professor and expert in exercise metabolism and human nutrition at the University of Virginias Curry School of Education and Human Development. Simply put, the drug is thought to act on the brain via neural pathways to lower appetite signals, and to tamp down the signals of a ghrelin, a hunger hormone manufactured in the gut, which together add up to you feeing less noshy.

It may also help your gut flora use glucose as an energy source, says Malin, which means your body doesnt need to dip into blood glucose as frequently, causing those crazy energy dips that make you want to inhale a king-size sack of M&Ms and a Big Gulp.

Another way it is thought to make you less hungry is that metformin may reduce inflammation in your fat tissue, says Caroline Apovian, M.D., an obesity medicine physician and professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. We think inflammation begins the process of weight gain, and causes dysfunction in the neural pathways that lead to satiety in the brain, she says. In other words, this inflammation may be preventing your brain from getting the Im full signals that your hormones are trying to convey.

So metformin seems to be a one-two punch: If you alter the gut microbiome, youre increasing the satiety hormones, says Dr. Apovian. If you improve inflammation, youre allowing the satiety hormones to work through a different mechanismbut it all ends up in the brain. Finally, when the brain says, step away from the Oreos, you are no longer helpless to comply.

About 4 or 5 pounds, says Dr. Apovian, who prescribes metformin along with one of the approved drugs for obesity for people who have diabetes and obesity or prediabetes and obesity to help with bigger weight loss. If someone has obesity, you always need another agent aside from metformin. The heavier a person is, the better they are likely to drop a few pounds on metformin, and research shows that the weight loss in people with diabetes who stay on the the drug lasts.

In some cases, metformin can still promote some weight loss, says Malin. There is evidence that metformin can induce weight loss of approximately 5-10 lbs. in people who have PCOS or psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, he says. A possible reason is that they have associated insulin resistance.

While some doctors will prescribe metformin for moderately overweight people without insulin issues, it is not clear from any research that it helps. Unless it is warranted to take metformin to promote glycemic control or improve insulin sensitivity because of underlying health issue, taking metformin may not be advisable, says Malin. His research on healthy people as well as people with prediabetes taking metformin and exercising had mixed findingsmore fat metabolism, but blunted fitness gains and no added health benefit from taking the drug. Focusing instead of being physically active and consuming a proper diet would like be better for weight lossand build healthy habits going forward.

Bottom line: If you have diabetes, pre-diabetes, insulin resistance or hyperinsulinemia (when your blood sugar is too high for a variety of reasons), or have the disease of obesity, its worth asking your doctor about taking metformin. If not, keep your body moving and eat healthfully, avoiding processed foods especially, as they are thought to contribute to inflammation.

Like what you just read? Youll love our magazine! Go here to subscribe. Dont miss a thing by downloading Apple News here and following Prevention. Oh, and were on Instagram too.

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Metformin and Weight Loss: Here's Everything You Should Know Before Trying It -

Strive to Thrive week 1: Weight loss basics – Richland Source

Posted: January 16, 2020 at 1:44 pm

Editor's Note: This article was submitted by Carol Mabry, Exercise Physiologist at OhioHealth and Strive to Thrive personal trainer.

No matter how you slice or dice it, the basic principle of weight control boils down to calories in versus calories out. Whether your goal is to lose weight, maintain your weight or even gain weight, this same basic principle applies.

To visualize this concept, think of weight control as a balance where one side of the scale represents calories coming in and the other side calories going out.

To gain weight consume more calories than you burn.

To maintain weight consume an equal number of calories as you burn.

To lose weight consume fewer calories than you burn. In other words eat less and move more!

To help you tip the scales in your favor:

Become aware of the caloric value and serving size of the foods you eat.

Find ways to be more physically active throughout the day.

Maintain a healthy balance of calories in/calories out.

Need additional guidance and motivation? Check out our special Strive to Thrive Weight Loss Package available now through the end of January. This package includes a pre/post InBody assessment, 12 weekly personal training sessions, free group exercise classes and our 6-week 40 Days of Fresh support program. For more information, call the OhioHealth Ontario Health and Fitness Center at (419) 526.8900 or the OhioHealth Wellness and Prevention Center at (567) 241-7200.

Sign up for the weekly thrive newsletter and get local inspiration delivered to your inbox every Monday.

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Strive to Thrive week 1: Weight loss basics - Richland Source

Insiders Advice: Think and Lose Weight (1/16/20) – Southeast Missourian

Posted: January 16, 2020 at 1:44 pm

Dr. Gregory Pursley, DC ~ PC Wellness Centers

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Weight loss is a topic that has been misunderstood for decades. Products and services have been created and sold resulting in a multi-billion dollar per year industry. The marketing for this industry sells individuals on the idea of quick results with promises of Lose 30 pounds in 30 days or Get a six pack with these quick and easy steps. These results are achievable, they say, if you buy their product or service.

Over the past 13 years, I have helped people get out of pain and lose weight. Ive heard all of the excuses and reasons why someone hasnt reached their goal. I can sum up weight loss in one sentence: if you want to change your weight, change your habits.

There is no need to buy anything, and you dont need a guru or a system. If you want to lose weight, first answer this question: what habits do you have that do not serve you? Is it a sweet tooth? Or late-night snacking? Or lack of exercise? Or unhealthy eating?

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Second, replace the habits that dont serve you with habits that do serve you. It is not enough to get rid of a habit; you must replace the habit with something new. If you find yourself reaching for cookies too often, take notice of it, and when you feel the urge to reach for a cookie, replace the action with something that better serves you. For example, eat an apple, or pick up your favorite book or drink some water. The possibilities are limitless.

Ive started writing a book called Think and Lose Weight which discusses simple and effective ways to change your habits over time to give you a different result. Weight loss is simply the opposite of weight gain. Weight gain occurs slowly over time due to our habits, and weight loss can occur slowly over time due to our habits, too.

If you would like a free digital copy of my book when it is released later this year, email me at

Dr. Gregory Pursley, DC is the owner of PC Wellness Centers.

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Insiders Advice: Think and Lose Weight (1/16/20) - Southeast Missourian

Intermittent fasting: What it is, how it works and why you should try it – CNET

Posted: January 16, 2020 at 1:44 pm

Is it time to eat yet?

By now you've probably heard of intermittent fasting, arguably the hottest health trend of the last couple years. It involves fasting (or refraining from eating) during parts of your day, restricting the amount of time duringwhere you consume calories.

It's been heralded as not only a foolproof weight-loss method, but also a potential cure for things like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, poor sleep, insulin resistance, even cancer and Alzheimer's disease. A new study in The New England Journal of Medicine links fasting to "increased stress resistance, increased longevity and a decreased incidence of diseases, including cancer and obesity."

Want to learn more? And maybe try it yourself? Here's everything you need to know about intermittent fasting (which I'll also refer to as "IF"), including some of my own experiences with it.

Editors' note: You should always consult with a doctor before making changes to your diet or eating behaviors.

Most of us eat throughout the day, starting with breakfast when we wake up and perhaps ending with a dessert or snack after dinner. If you have breakfast at 7 a.m. and a final snack at 8 p.m., you're consuming food for 13 hours; that's your current "eating window." The idea behind IF is simply to shorten that window -- not necessarily to eat less (though of course that's part of it), but to eat less often.

For example, most experts agree that you can start to experience IF benefits with an 8-hour eating window, meaning a 16-hour fast. So you could have lunch at noon and still have your 8 p.m. snack (well, ideally 7:45 p.m, so you're actually done at 8). That's it. If you can stick to that, it may be enough to produce results.

But, wait: Isn't that just skipping breakfast? And haven't we heard for years that skipping breakfast actually leads to weight gain? Yes and yes. However, IF requires a "clean" fast to be effective (more on that below), and once you get accustomed to it, your appetite should correct so that you no longer overeat once your window opens.

Here's what I love about this: It costs nothing. It requires nothing: You don't have to buy books or gear or supplements or meals. You just adapt yourself to a slightly different way of eating (or "WOE") and that's it. The simplicity -- and affordability -- of IF is what drew me to it.

No food is "off limits" with IF, you can eat whatever you want during your window.

Gin Stephens is the author of Delay, Don't Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. Those first three words are the key to what makes this WOE worthwhile: You're not denying yourself anything, you're merely delaying it. You don't have to give up, say, pizza because of the carbs or ice cream because of the sugar. You just have to wait until your window opens; then you can eat what you want to eat. No, not the entire pizza or a whole pint of ice cream; you still have to be reasonable. But there are no exclusions. And that's incredibly liberating.

Think about nearly every other diet in history: Atkins, South Beach, paleo, keto, etc. They all require you to either cut out certain things entirely (fat, carbs, sugar, etc.) or eat an excess of something else (protein, cabbage soup, etc.). The reason these diets typically fail is they're not sustainable.

Stephens is fond of this saying: "'Diets are easy in contemplation and hard in execution. Fasting is hard in contemplation but easy in execution.' I absolutely love that quote, because it's so true," she says. "We've all started a new diet and we're all in. Then, as the days go by, the diet gets harder and harder to stick to. Intermittent fasting is the exact opposite. Instead of getting harder and harder, it gets easier and easier."

Lost amid the talk of IF's various health benefits is a very real secondary perk: Saving money. When you cut your diet down to one or two meals per day, your food costs drop accordingly. It's impossible to say exactly how much you stand to save, because it depends on how often you dine out, what you buy at the grocery store and so on.

But even if your total food expenses drop by just 25%, that's ahugedifference. Suppose you typically spend, say, $100 per week on food. If you subtract the cost of seven meals per week, that might realistically lower your expense to $70. Over the course of one month, you'd save $120. Over one year, $1,440.

That's a vacation. A down payment on a new car. And there's a bigger-picture benefit as well: You're lowering your impact on the planet. Imagine if entire populations switched to two meals a day from three. We could get by on fewer crops and animals, which in turn would reduce overall water consumption. Maybe that's a bit of pie-in-the-sky thinking, but there's truth to it.

I mention all this because after I started IF, I noticed I was spending less on food. And then I started thinking about the external benefits of less food consumption, and that made me feel even better about it. Eat less, help the planet. Win-win!

You might have to give up late-night snacking with IF.

There are two schools of thought with regard to how to structure your fasts. The first is fairly different from what's described above; it's commonly known as 5:2, meaning you eat normally for five days of the week and fast for two. That may work for some, but two days of virtual starvation doesn't sound very appealing.

I prefer the daily method: Fast for at least 16 hours per day. The aforementioned New England Journal of Medicine study was based on an 18:6 structure: 18-hour fast, six-hour window.

"16:8 is a great place to start," Stephens says, "but it may not be a weight-loss window for many people. That's because fat-burning ramps up between hours 18 and 24 of the fast. 19:5 was a great weight-loss sweet spot for me, and I lost at about a pound per week when doing it. With 19:5, you fast for 19 hours a day and have an eating window of five hours. Your sweet spot may be different from mine, of course. Maybe it will be 18:6 or 20:4." Experimentation is key, she adds.

If your eating window doesn't include breakfast, you can still drink coffee as long as it's black and unsweetened.

The most important part of the equation, however, is not the length of the window; it's the fast itself, which much be entirely "clean," according to Stephens. That means water, coffee and tea only, with absolutely no added fat, artificial sweeteners or the like. No bone broth, no water with lemon, no flavored teas. No gum, no mints, nothing with calories, period. The goal is to deprive your body of anything that triggers insulin production, because an insulin-deprived body turns to fat stores for energy.

One of the toughest hurdles for many people is giving up cream and/or sugar in their coffee. I was always a sugar man; when I made the switch to black coffee, it sucked for maybe a week or so. Now I'm a convert; I actually like it better. My advice to you: Suck it up and get used to drinking it black.

Stephens can't stress enough the importance of following the clean-fast rule. "For anyone who has ever tried IF in the past but was not fasting clean, now you know why it was so hard for you. The clean fast is so much easier, I promise."

Stephens has a new book -- Fast, Feast, Repeat: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny Intermittent Fasting -- coming this June, with "a deeper dive into the science" than her first book. In the meantime, she recommends two other titles: The Obesity Code, by Dr. Jason Fung, and AC: The Power of Appetite Correction, by Dr. Bert Herring.

There's also a Facebook group -- Delay, Don't Deny: Intermittent Fasting Support -- that's an offshoot of Stephens' first book. It boasts a whopping 178,000 members who ask and answer questions and share stories and encouragement. You'll also find a lot of before-and-after photos that illustrate exactly how effective IF has been for some.

But not for all. You'll also see posts along these lines: "I fasted clean for two months, ate one meal a day, and didn't lose a single pound." Others will note that it took them six months before the scale started to budge. "It takes time," Stephens says. "We didn't become overweight and unhealthy overnight, and it takes time to reverse these health conditions. Once your body has begun healing, fat loss is more likely." How long that actually takes depends on a variety of factors, including age, sex, starting weight and so on.

I started IF in August 2018. At the time I weighed around 181, which is acceptable for a 6-foot male. But I'd been 175 for years, and suddenly it seemed I couldn't control my eating. I didn't like where my belly was headed.

After about two months, during which my fasting windows varied (but averaged around 17:7), I'd lost 10 pounds. Needless to say, I was pleased with that result and became pretty evangelical about IF. My excitement stemmed from not only the weight loss, but also the total lack of hardship. This didn't feel like a diet; it felt like a smart way to live.

In fact, I discovered that I really liked having a window. When I was feeling a little hungry in the late morning? Just wait a bit longer, I told myself, your window opens soon. Then I'd busy myself with something and forget about it. And if I wanted a snack after 7 p.m.? Too bad, window's closed for the day -- but you can have it tomorrow.

I stuck with it for about 10 months, though I'll admit I got frustrated at times. For one thing, I'd been hoping to lose another 5-10 pounds, and assuming they'd come off as easily as the first 10, but the scale held firm at 171.

Meanwhile, there were times when it was much harder to manage my window, like during family vacations, when we'd all eat later than usual and breakfast was a part of the experience. Then came the holidays and various parties and family gatherings, which also presented window-related challenges. With a little planning it's possible to adjust to these things, but ultimately I just got lazy about it -- probably because I'd lost the weight I'd initially wanted to lose.

Over the summer I decided to pump the brakes. But six months later, the scale is once again showing 180. So hello again, my IF friend! I'm actually excited to get back to it, because I've missed the simple discipline. Now that the holidays are in the rear-view, I'm good to go.

Whether you're fed up with diets or just want to improve your overall health, intermittent fasting is absolutely worth a try. It costs nothing to do and can actually save you money. Maybe even help the planet.

Your thoughts?

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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Intermittent fasting: What it is, how it works and why you should try it - CNET

Weight loss app Noom has entered healthcare and marketers can learn from its approach – Opinion – MM&M – Medical Marketing and Media

Posted: January 16, 2020 at 1:44 pm

Tis the season for wishful thinking. The start of a new year often sparks new eating habits, well-intentioned gym memberships and the shedding of vices. Its also all about advertising for things to help you with these ambitions and, lately, a weight-loss app called Noom is everywhere we look. Its on every TV channel and our Facebook and Instagram feeds; it has forged a partnership with Novo Nordisks Saxenda and collaborated with Eversana to branch out of weight loss and into chronic disease management.

So we drank the green juice Kool-Aid and signed up. And what we found is that theres actually a ton that life science marketers can learn from the app thats been dubbed Weight Watchers for Millennials.

Developed with behavioral psychology principles in mind, Noom is all about conquering the mental side of weight loss. The apps ability to do this both in the way its program is set up and how it keeps dieters engaged has led to the companys increasing prominence. Since its relaunch in December 2017, over 45 million people have joined Noom. In an independent study, 77% reported achieving their weight-loss goals after nine months.

So what exactly does Noom do thats so darn smart? And how can the healthcare industry repurpose these moves in the realms of disease education, treatment adherence and lifestyle management?

From the beginning, Noom makes it clear that it is focused on you, the person. Its website only offers one action on its homepage: An invitation to start answering questions about yourself.

After you emerge from Nooms extensive questionnaire, you have three things to show for your online confessional:

Nooms focus on personalization doesnt stop at plan development. The app consistently weaves your questionnaire responses into its communications. It asks new questions each day to enhance your experience and results (more on this later) and even pairs you with a personal coach who checks in and offers tips via the apps messaging system.

Borrow this: Noom proves that the sign-up/info-gathering experience for a program cannot be underestimated. Going deep with questions indicates a more personal experience is forthcoming, and the added data creates a wealth of possibilities for both engagement and segmentation.

So dont hold back on those symptom screeners, newsletter sign-ups and adherence programs. Emulate Nooms human approach to getting to know someone beyond his or her gender and age range. Whats holding them back? What motivates them? Where are they looking for extra support?

And dont forget to deliver against that additional info. Encourage physicians to engage the non-symptom topics on your symptom screener, pull through the personalization by sending them relevant content and build behavioral motivators into your adherence program.

Noom is proud to be nerdy so much so that, in its daily communications to users, it concludes many of its scientific proclamations with #nerd. This orientation works especially well for Nooms premise, which is to educate users about the psychological traps and triggers that thwart most diets.

For example, each Noom user receives a daily to-do list containing a bite-sized health lesson and a quiz or questionnaire. Here, Noom shows off its nerdiness by using fun, swipeable cards to educate and test users on otherwise snoozy subjects such as caloric density and psychological behavior chains. Noom enthusiasts rave about all the a-ha! moments that are prompted by these lessons.

Noom also knows that dieters start strong and motivated, only to fade after the first few signs of hardship. They pace their lessons accordingly: a slow-drip of content that is easily consumed while brushing your teeth versus a library full of resources accessible on day one. This pace cleverly keeps users tied to Noom as the teacher and creates constant curiosity of what insights could be waiting in the next days lesson. Isnt it just like a diet app to always leave you a little hungry?

Borrow this: Dont be afraid to blind users with science. Health info-seekers are hungry for answers and often on a personal mission to become as educated as their healthcare providers. Become their one-stop shop by putting more thought and effort into disease education. And for those with chronic conditions, a moderately-paced educational journey may be more engaging and enticing than an info dump.

Chances are that Noom doesnt represent most users first attempt at weight loss. Its likely not even their second or third attempt, which means quitting the program and relapsing on bad habits is a distinct possibility with Noom as well.

Noom knows all of this, partly because you told them about your past failures in the sign-up process. In each communication, it acknowledges the desires you may be feeling to deviate or quit. And then Noom delivers accountability solutions to keep you on track and motivated, whether via periodic check-ins from your coach or pairing you with a virtual support group of Noomers.

Borrow this: Changing a health behavior is hard. Whether vis--vis medication adherence or lifestyle changes, its not reasonable to think theres only a one-way, one-track approach to success. Keep your audience engaged and on-track by acknowledging that there will be stalls, setbacks, and side excursions along the way, and provide support for those moments.

Lisa Varshney is EVP, strategic capabilities at Heartbeat

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Weight loss app Noom has entered healthcare and marketers can learn from its approach - Opinion - MM&M - Medical Marketing and Media

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