Author Archives: By Jake Weathers

How Does Diet Soda Prevent Weight Loss?


For years, weight loss centered on simple math: if you burned more calories than you ate, you would inevitably shed unwanted fat. While this basic principle may still be true, recent studies have demonstrated that getting and keeping a lean body could be more complicated than once thought. Most of these studies focus on how certain foods affect the body’s metabolism. Now research suggests even zero-calorie diet soda may prevent weight loss for this reason.

Diet Soda Prevents Weight Loss: Study

According to a research paper published in Obesity Reviews, scientists believe that artificial sweeteners may prompt gut flora to adapt in unhealthy ways which promote weight gain. The study found that this adaptation could cause the body’s metabolism to slow down, which may lead it to burn fewer calories. Additionally, a slower metabolism can lead to unexplained fatigue and an increased appetite, all of which tend to promote weight gain.

This latest study is especially interesting, especially since past studies have also found that probiotics may have the ability to enhance stomach fat loss by balancing the body’s natural gut flora.

Healthy Weight Loss Takes Time

This latest study is just another in a long line proving there’s no shortcut to weight loss. Although sugar substitutes may drastically reduce the amount of calories a dieter consumes on any given day, research suggests they still promote weight gain by slowing the body’s metabolism.

If you want to successfully lose unwanted fat and keep it off, you should focus on eating healthy natural foods that speed the metabolism, while providing plenty of energy to help fuel exercise. This includes lots of lean meats, fibrous vegetables and whole grains, as well as foods rich in healthy omega fatty acids. In the end, because diet soda has shown a propensity to prevent weight loss, dieters are likely to see much better results when they stick to drinking boring old water.

Common Weight Loss Drug Dangerous: Study

Thin women (photo by David Merrett )

Obesity is a huge problem in America, where it’s estimated that approximately 60 percent of the U.S. population is overweight. This has created huge business opportunities for pharmaceutical companies, which make billions selling weight loss drugs to desperate consumers. Unfortunately, a new study suggests that one of these drugs may cause serous organ damage.

Severe Toxicity

Research out of the University of Rhode Island indicates that the popular weight loss drug orlistat may have the potential to cause kidney and liver damage. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the study looked at several cases of toxicity related to use of the drug and found that an overwhelming connection existed.

Sold under the brand names Alli and Xenical, orlistat was shown to interfere with important natural enzymes that detoxify internal organs. It was also shown to inhibit the effectiveness of other pharmaceuticals, including anti-cancer medications.

A Smarter Way to Lose Weight

Approved for over-the-counter sale in 2007, orlistat isn’t the first weight loss drug to come under fire in recent years. Unfortunately, as dieters continue to search for quick ways to shed unwanted weight, pharmaceutical companies line up to satisfy demand.

According to health and fitness expert Paul A. Achoa, not only do many of these drugs pose a threat to a user’s long-term health; they don’t usually provide lasting results.

“More often than not, these drugs will lead to quick results that don’t last very long,” he said. “On the other hand, when dieters make strategic long-term lifestyle changes that promote healthy weights; they tend to see results that last for years.”

Achoa says people can attain leaner physiques by eating more fibrous whole grains and vegetables. According to him, this is one fundamental step that many ignore.

“Most people focus on calories when trying to lose weight,” he said. “While this is an important part of any weight loss plan; it’s not the only thing that matters. To promote fat loss, you need to eat high-fiber, low-glycemic foods that take a long time to digest. This helps control appetite and prevents big insulin spikes that promote fat accumulations.”

Could New Diet Pill Let You Lose Weight, Eat Sugar?


Most people accept that dieting depends on giving up foods that are high in sugar and fat; however, a recent study suggests a new diet pill might allow us to lose weight while eating whatever we want.

All in the Brain?

Past studies have found that opioid receptors inside our brains help determine how our bodies process sugars and fats. What’s more, by blocking these receptors in mice, scientists have been able to promote weight loss even when the mice ate diets high that were in sugar and fat.

In this most recent study, researchers out of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology went so far as to delete the opioid receptor genes from mice, resulting in the increased production of brown adipose tissue, a special kind of fat that helps mammals generate body heat at the expense of more calories.

New Diet Drug on the Way?

According to experts, these types of studies are likely to lead to a new diet pill that will block opioid receptors. Theoretically, this would allow humans to maintain healthy body weights despite eating foods which are high in sugar and fat.

Unfortunately, it may take years before you can lose weight with the help of such a pill. According to health and fitness expert, Paul A. Achoa, such a pill might actually do more harm than good.

“Obviously, obesity promotes all sorts of health problems, including cardiovascular disease,” he said. “However, it’s important to remember that high fat intake can also promote disease by increasing cholesterol levels. Additionally, high sugar diets have been shown to promote insulin resistance, which can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.”

To lose weight safely, Achoa recommends that dieters forget diet pills and concentrate on eating more protein and fiber.

“High protein and high fiber diets promote fullness, while preventing the big insulin spikes that cause fat production,” he said. “It may not be sexy, but it is the best way to get a sexy, healthy body.”

Dropping Fat without Any Help?


Research conducted at Loyola University Chicago suggests that people who have overweight friends tend to have difficulty dropping fat. Likewise, the study also found that those who have thin friends tend to maintain slimmer figures.

What it Means

In conducting their study, researchers looked at groups of high school students throughout suburban Chicago neighborhoods. Ultimately, they found that thinner students tended to have thinner friends and vice versa.

The researchers were quick to suggest their findings indicate that social pressure aids in dropping fat; however, according to our in-house health and fitness expert, the study is likely a result of something else.

“The study isn’t really all that interesting, when you consider the common sense reality of adolescence,” said health and fitness expert, Paul A. Achoa. “In my opinion, the researchers falsely attribute their results to social pressure. For instance, the lead researcher suggests that the study proves that friends can help friends lose weight. While this may be somewhat true, the reality is that high school students are prone to associating with like individuals. In other words, thin, popular students have no desire to associate with overweight students.”

Do You Need a Friend?

While Achoa doesn’t discount the value of working out with a friend, he believes weight loss is usually an individual goal.

“It’s a fine idea to think that you and a close friend will lose weight together,” he said. “In a perfect world, you would help push each other, with one motivating the other in times of weakness. Unfortunately, what is more likely to happen is that one will either quit or cheat, and the other will follow suit.”

Achoa says dropping fat is about making individual long-term lifestyle changes that promote a trimmer figure.

“If you want to look and feel better, you have to make your own choices,” he said. “In the end, you are going to be alone the majority of the day and night, and this is when temptation is going to hit. The vast majority of weight loss happens when no one is looking; so relying on a friend to help see you through isn’t really all that practical.”

Weight Loss Dependent on Long-term Attitude

Obese woman (photo by Mallinaltzin)

Obesity is a common problem in America, where fast food and sugary snacks can be found in bulk around nearly every urban corner. Nutritional supplement companies have made a killing marketing fad diet products that typically yield little to no results. Even when people are able to shed unwanted weight, they tend to gain it back once their motivation spike tails downward. Before you try another gimmick or throw your hands up in frustration, learn why weight loss is so dependent on having a long-term attitude.

The Motivation Spike

More often than not, people decide to lose weight in response to a life event. For many, this can be a health scare; for others, it may be a seasonal or social event, such as a reunion or bikini season. At this point, motivation spikes, and gym memberships fly off the shelves. Unfortunately, this artificially-induced kick in the rear is usually fleeting. Once it goes away, people almost always fall back into old habits.

Changing Habits

The only way to encourage long-term weight loss is to make lifestyle changes you can realistically maintain for years. Instead of going on a crash diet centered on eating strange foods, you’d be much better served if you focused on eating foods that promote a healthy weight. This means eating tasty, fibrous and protein-rich meals, such as lean chicken, turkey and whole grain foods.

These foods are ideal for promoting leaner bodies, because they have low glycemic indexes. A high protein, low GI diet has proved to encourage weight loss by preventing insulin spikes and encouraging stomach satiety.

If you want a reasonable chance at a leaner body, your best bet is to forget a short-term approach and adopt a long-term strategy you can live with. Instead of starving yourself or sacrificing foods you love, create a menu consisting of tasty foods that are high in protein and fiber and low in fat and high GI foods.

High Protein, Low GI Diet Aids Weight Loss: Study

High protein, low-gi-diet

According to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a high protein, low GI diet promotes better long-term weight loss in most people.

Conducted in Europe, the research demonstrated that dieters who ate lean meats, fibrous vegetables and whole grains tended to stay trim much longer than those who ate less meat and foods with high-glycemic-indexes.

An Effective, Healthy Strategy

When dieters attempt to drop unwanted fat, they tend to go on crash diets that cut calories substantially. Unfortunately, this can lead to all sorts of problems, including fatigue, nutritional deficiencies and muscle loss. Studies have shown that a high protein, low GI diet can help people lose fat without losing muscle in two ways: first, lean meats provide the building blocks that help maintain muscle mass; second, because they prevent insulin spikes and promote stomach satiety, fibrous foods tend to prevent the formation of new fat, while curbing hunger at the same time.

By eating these types of foods, people don’t only tend to experience successful weight loss; they usually are able to keep from gaining the weight back.

What to Eat

According to health and fitness expert, Paul A. Achoa, dieters should focus on lean meats instead of beef and pork.

“You don’t want to start eating a lot of fatty meats,” he said, “Instead, look for fish or lean chicken and turkey breast meat. If you don’t like meat, you can take a supplement; however, you should be aware of potential protein powder side-effects before you buy a particular product.”

Although it may sound limiting, Achoa says there are a variety of tasty foods that can be included in a high protein, low GI diet.

“Basically, anything that has a lot of fiber is going to have a low glycemic index, because the fiber slows down digestion,” he said. “So whole grain cereals are a good choice. Most types of vegetables and beans are also perfect. Additionally, dieters can enjoy nuts and seeds as long as they don’t overindulge.”

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