Category Archives: Fitness

How Does Diet Soda Prevent Weight Loss?

diet-soda

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.”

Burning Belly Fat: Weight Loss Expert Gives 3 Keys

burning-belly-fat

Burning belly fat is one of the most difficult weight loss goals anyone can take on. Thanks to genetic tendencies, most of us hoard fatty tissue around the midsection. Unfortunately, for most people, love handles or stubborn spare tires tend to be the last things to go. Only after you’ve thinned out your face, arms, back and thighs will you see results around your midsection. To hasten the process consider the following:

Avoid Sugar

According to health and fitness expert Jake Weathers, sugar is a real no-no for dieters who are hoping to burn belly fat.

“Anything that causes a surge in insulin levels is going to cause your body to create stomach fat,” he said. “Truthfully, any sort of high glycemic foods are going to encourage the development of fatty tissue; however, sugar is the mother of all evils.”

Time Your Exercise

Any sort of aerobic exercise will encourage weight loss; however, Weathers says well-timed exercise does the most good.

“If you want to ensure that you are burning fatty tissue, you need to work out when your glycogen reserves are empty,” he said. “Otherwise, you will just be burning what you ate a few minutes or hours before.”

According to Weathers, dieters will have more success burning belly fat when they workout in the morning on an empty stomach or immediately after lifting weights, when their glycogen reserves are depleted.

Eat More Fiber

It may sound silly, but eating is a fundamental part or weight loss. Weathers says high-fiber foods help promote smaller waists by preventing surges in insulin and promoting stomach satiety.

“High fiber foods are low in calories,” he said. “That said, they also aid weight loss by taking a long time to digest. This means they enter the blood stream slowly, which promotes better energy levels and prevents the brain from telling the body to make more fat. They also make you feel fuller, which helps to curb overall appetite.”

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

new-diet-pill

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?

thin-women

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.”

Sleep Apnea Worsens during Winter Months

sleep-apnea-winter

Countless Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a dangerous sleep disorder that causes sufferers to stop breathing numerous times throughout the night. Most people suffering from the condition must cope with frequent waking, daytime fatigue and snoring. Now, a recent study out of Brazil suggests these symptoms may worsen when the mercury drops.

More Severe During the Winter

According to research conducted at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, weather changes can have a very real impact on the way patients experience sleep apnea. Over the course of a decade, researchers tested 7,500 patients for at least one night to see how many times each stopped breathing. Ultimately, they found that subjects who were tested during the coldest months of the year experienced more nighttime disturbances (18) than those who were tested during the warmer months (15).

Additionally, the study found that, while only 28 percent of subjects were found to have severe sleep apnea during the warm season, 34 percent suffered from severe sleep apnea during the colder parts of the year.

Although researchers weren’t able to determine why cold weather might make the sleep disorder worse, they theorized that wood burning might irritate the condition, as might heating units which can dry the air and dehydrate the sinuses.

Seeking Treatment

Regardless of the season, sleep apnea remains a serious condition that can drastically reduce the quality of a sufferer’s life. The condition has also been linked to numerous health problems, including obesity and dementia. Normally, people find 100 percent relief when they receive CPAP treatments; however, many people suffer unknowingly with the sleep disorder for years before they get help.

In the end, only a sleep physician can diagnose a patient with sleep apnea. Typically, patients are expected to sleep overnight at a sleep clinic; however, these days, more and more physicians are using at-home sleep testing equipment that allows patients to be tested while in the comfort of their own beds.