How Many Extra Calories Are You Getting From Food At Work – Bruce Y. Lee

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Apparently a fair number of people take a lot of %#$% at work and eat it too.

Yesterday at the Nutrition 2018 meeting in Boston, Stephen Onufrak, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), presented what he described in a press release as “the first national study to look at the food people get at work.” Nutrition 2018 is the American Society of Nutrition’s annual meeting. Onufrak also indicated that “our results suggest that the foods people get from work do not align well with the recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.” This is a polite way of saying nutritionally some of it may be %#$%.

For the study, Onufrak and his colleagues analyzed data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Acquisition and Purchasing Survey (FoodAPS), administered to a nationally representative sample of American households. The data included what food and beverages 5,222 employed adults had indicated they had purchased and “acquired” for free at work over a 7-day period.

During the week, 8% of respondents had purchased food or beverages at work during the week, and 17% had acquired it for free. Those of you skilled in the art of acquiring food for free know that potential sources include the communal coffee machine, catering for meetings, birthdays and other celebrations, and that person or persons in the office for whom baking is a hobby or emotional outlet.

Free food may sound good but it accounted for 71% of all of the calories acquired at work. (Those who got food or beverages at work, got an average of 1277 calories from work). Also, food from work, whether purchased or obtained for free, tended to be “high in empty calories, sodium, and refined grains and low in whole grains and fruit.” And surprise! The leading foods were “pizza, soft drinks, cookies/brownies, cakes and pies, and candy.” Not exactly broccoli florets and kale.

Thus, with all the pizzas and pies around, what this study suggest is that you may want to shut your pie (you know what) at work. There are a lot of distractions around you such as the conversations that you are having, the other people that are walking around, the cat videos on your computer screen, and oh, of course, the work that you have to do. You may not realize or be keeping track of the extra calories, salt, fat, sugar, and other bad stuff that is going into your mouth.

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Remember, you spend a lot of your waking hours (and in some cases sleeping hours) at work. Thus, workplace food can really affect your diet. What, then, do you do besides convincing the baker in your office to find a different emotional outlet? Here are some possibilities:

  • Don’t talk to or interact with anyone: You can reduce your chances of getting free food by hissing at everyone when they see you. Of course, this could have other negative consequences.
  • Eat selectively: When food comes around, pay attention to its nutritional content.
  • Don’t position yourself close to food: If your desk is in the office kitchen, then that not only is a bit odd (assuming that you don’t do kitchen-related work) but also makes you more likely to eat unconsciously.
  • Convince your workplace to bring or offer healthier options: It may not seem appealing to be known as “that kale guy who took our pizza away” or the woman who “made the workplace grapes again instead of cakes the workplace again.” But in the long run people may thank you.
  • Be careful about drinking at work: Not just drinking alcohol but anything sugar-sweetened. Beverages can be a prominent source of empty calories and sugar.
  • Eat when you are not at work: Don’t regularly rely on free food for your meals.
  • Pack and bring your food: This requires some time, planning, and organization. That’s why fast food is called fast food. One possibility is to form a “foodpool” with some co-workers and take turns preparing food for each other. Just make sure that your “foodpool” doesn’t have more than a hundred people because it may be overwhelming when it is your day to bring the food.
  • Scout out places around the workplace that serve healthy food: This could also get you to walk around more.

Finally, keep in mind, you often get what you pay for nutritionally. Workplaces may try to save money by getting cheaper and more convenient foods and beverages, which tend to be highly processed and higher in salt, sugar, fat, and artificial ingredients. You may still be able to find healthy food at work but may have to work at it.

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10 Women Discuss The Crazy Ways They’ve Tried To Lose Weight Fast – Fizzation

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Unless by some genetic miracle you’re able to eat whatever you want and not look a pound over tweenage Victoria’s Secret angel, you’ve probably tried a special diet… or three.

Even if we’ve been down that road before — and back again — there’s something about the promise of seeing results quickly (coupled with the glamour of eating like a waif celebrity) that makes us keep wanting to test it out for ourselves.

We’re a goal-oriented society, after all. Who cares that the process sucks if it’s only temporary?

In the spirit of female solidarity and all the Blueprint cleanses we’ll be back-ordering until the first beach day (and then regretting after the first BBQ), we’ve rounded up our favorite, hilarious and horrific diet stories.

Because we all have at least that one time*…

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of contributors.

1. The Spoon Diet

“In college, right before spring break, my roommate and I decided to go on the Spoon Diet. We were literally allowed to eat anything that we could put on a spoon — soup, parfaits, yogurt, pudding.

“You’d think it would be fun (my preferred utensil is spoon), right? But it was the most miserable two weeks of my life.

“Instead of slowing down to eat, enjoying what I was eating or eating more of the right types of foods, I was literally shoveling parfait after parfait into my mouth as often as possible because I spent most of the day famished and angry at everyone.

“Plus, chugging Natty Lights every night didn’t exactly fall on the Spoon Diet, but it was a liquid so, whatever, okay?”

– Katie, 26.

2. The South Beach Diet

“I just moved to Miami for work and was having trouble making new friends (Miami is cliquey like that). Between that, everyone around me walking around half-naked and having amazing bodies, and I was going through a breakup when I just moved to Miami. I was a prime diet candidate (Did I mention I was dating someone I worked with long distance to only have him break up with me when there was no distance?).

Needless to say, it was a rough time, and I dived deep into working out EVERY DAY.

“My diet of course was the South Beach diet. There are three phases to the South Beach diet: Phase 1 is mostly lean proteins, low-sugar vegetables, and nuts in moderation. No carbs or added sugar whatsoever. Phase 2 adds some grains back in, and Phase 3 shows you how to eat like a normal human being, but I never got this far. I told myself I’d make more of an impact if I stayed in Phase 1 forever.

“This diet was super easy to follow in Miami, as everyone is super healthy, but if I ever left Miami, I’d have to explain my psychotic substitutes when eating out.

“I recall coming back to NY for a work trip with a co-worker/best friend who was also on the South Beach diet. We went for a morning coffee at Starbucks together and both ordered our sad, nonfat cappuccinos. We started to add the cinnamon into our coffee when we saw it appeared unusually shiny.

“Turns out the barista put cinnamon sugar in the cinnamon containers, and we were having a tachycardia in the Starbucks at the thought of consuming sugar in our coffee and were desperately trying to scoop it out. The baristas and customers on line were looking at us like we were crazies.”

– Melissa, 32.

3. The Weekend Diet

“I go on a new cleanse/diet every week, then the weekend comes, and I blackout eat mac and cheese. Every time. All the time. I have no shame.”

– Ashley, 25.

4. The Bee Pollen Diet

“I took bee pollen pills in college before going on spring break. They were amazing, and I lost 10 lbs, so I eventually started taking an extra pill… then I started blacking out randomly midday and having vertigo, and my mom found my pill bottle and the fact that it was made in China and made me swear to stop so I did.

– Karen, 26.

5. The Mono Diet

“It’s definitely not a fad, but anyone looking to drop half of his or her body weight in a matter of hours should definitely acquire mononucleosis.

“When I got mono in 11th grade I dropped three pants sizes. It’s really effective, and it doesn’t cost any money. All you have to do is make out with a bunch of people.”

– Sam, 27.

6. The Dukan Diet

“One year after moving back home to NYC I gained like, 20 pounds. I turned to the Dukan diet, which was created by this French doctor, and supposedly, Kate Middleton had followed it. Between my love of France and Kate Middleton, I figured why not give it a try?

“This diet has multiple phases, which have fun names like “Attack” and “Cruise” phase. The Attack phase had you eating lots of lean protein and 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran a day. I’d have the oat bran in fat-free Greek yogurt with as much cinnamon to make the yogurt palatable. My coworkers were really grossed out with the amount of Greek yogurt that I was consuming.

“I definitely lost weight and looked great, but with summer approaching and all this amazing tasty fruit around like strawberries and watermelon, I had to forget about the diet. Another after effect of Dukan was that I couldn’t look at yogurt for at least an entire year afterwards.”

– Dana, 24.

7. The Gummy Diet

“One time I tried taking these gummy diet supplements. I thought they were too innocent and cute-looking to ever cause me any harm. You were supposed to take two shortly before each meal, but they just made me feel jittery and on edge.

“I’m not sure if they worked because after almost a week on this gummy bear binge, I decided I felt too weird and stopped taking them cold turkey. The next day I woke up at 3 am and vomited about once every half hour for the rest of the day.

“‘First they’re sour, then they are sweet’ is just a myth; those things are straight evil.”

– Caroline, 23.

8. The Homemade Juice Cleanse

“About three summers ago (before it was cool, OBVI), I read about juice cleansing and tried to do one.

“I didn’t have a juicer, and I just used my mom’s old blender. The kale and spinach never ground up quite right, so I ended up half drinking/half chewing nasty green mush for a week.

“I did lose weight, but that could have been because my juices were so disgusting I didn’t touch them.”

– Emma, 23.

9. The No-Diet Diet

“Dieting… it’s really not a part of my vocabulary. I try to do the whole gluten-free thing for health purposes. Back in high school, I tried taking garcinia cambogia, but that stuff made me feel strung out.”

– Natalie, 31.

10. The Organic Juice Cleanse

“I had done the occasional Blueprint cleanse and thought it tasted great. It didn’t bother me that the first day my mind would crash, and I couldn’t process simple decision-making. By the time the three days were over, I’d feel great and get so many compliments on how glowing my skin looked that it didn’t matter.

“When I was about to purchase another juice cleanse, I bumped into my uber-holistic, healthy sun salutation friend. We were chatting, and she insisted that I try Organic Avenue instead of Blueprint because it was way better.

“I took her advice and got the juices for the following day.

“Organic Ave is just plain gross. I don’t mind green juices — provided that they have LOTS of apple or some sort of fruit. Their juices tasted like straight-up vegetable, baby food puree. I told myself to hang in there.

“Second day comes along, and I had SoulCycle planned with String at 6:30pm. He’s notorious for flipping out if anyone is “not on point” or riding “janky.” I had taken his class for a couple months and was finally in a good place.

“This second day on the juice cleanse, however, was a different story. Midway through the class, the dumb candles they had lit were moving, and the room started to spin.

“He kept calling me out for not being on point. I could barely function. No idea how I got through that class.

“The next day, when I had the shakes around midday, I threw in the towel and got a chicken wrap across the street. Last time I juice cleansed.

“When I started to eat carbs again I realized I was such a nasty person before carbs. Carbs make me happy.”

– Erica, 28.

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Unfit in Middle Age & You Doomed – Alex Therrien

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Are you someone in middle age who keeps putting off that planned health kick for another day?

If so, a couple of new studies may give you a sense of urgency.

One paper found that elevated blood pressure in middle age increases the risk of dementia, while another says being frail at this time raises your chances of an early death.

So how bad is a lack of fitness in mid-life and is it condemning you to bad health in the future?

What’s the dementia risk?

A study published in the European Heart Journal found those who were aged 50 with a systolic blood pressure of 130mmHg or above were nearly one-and-a-half times more likely to develop dementia than those with ideal blood pressure.

It’s noteworthy that this is below the level of blood pressure considered to be high in the UK (140mmHg).

Researchers suggested a possible explanation for the link was that raised blood pressure could cause damage from “silent” or mini-strokes which can easily go un-noticed.

It’s worth pointing out that the study of 8,639 people shows a link between elevated blood pressure at 50 and dementia but cannot prove cause and effect.

Researchers found no such association for people who were aged 60 or 70.

And any increase in risk needs to be seen in the context of your overall likelihood of getting dementia at some point in your life.

It is estimated that the risk of getting Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, is one in 10 for men and one in five for women from the age of 45.

Nevertheless, Alzheimer’s Research UK said it added to the evidence of a link between high blood pressure and dementia.

What about frailty?

Frailty is known to be a health risk to people in later life because, among other things, it increases the likelihood of falls.

But a new paper, which examined data from 493,737 people involved in the UK Biobank study, found that being frail earlier in life also appeared to be a predictor of ill health and early death.

The study, published in the Lancet Public Health journal, defined frailty as anyone who had at least three of the following health problems:

  • Weight loss
  • Exhaustion
  • Weak grip strength
  • Low physical activity
  • Slow walking pace

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After accounting for other factors (including socio-economic status, a number of long-term conditions, smoking, alcohol and BMI), researchers found men between the ages of 37 and 45 were over two-and-a-half times more likely to die than non-frail people of the same age.

The figures were similar in all the other age groups (45-55, 55-65, and 65-73).

Similar associations were found in women who were judged to be frail and were 45 or older.

Frail people were also far more likely to have conditions such as multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Lead author of the study, Prof Frances Mair, from the University of Glasgow, said the findings suggested there was a need to both identify and treat frailty much earlier in life.

So what can we do?

Dr Peter Hanlon, a co-author on the frailty study, said the good news is that frailty might be reversible in people, particularly if it is identified early.

The key for those who are unfit in middle age is making healthy changes “as soon as possible”, says Ilaria Bellantuono, professor of musculoskeletal ageing at the University of Sheffield.

“The key is a healthy diet and exercise. It’s the only thing we know that works,” she says.

Losing weight, stopping smoking, cutting back on alcohol, exercising regularly and eating less salt are just some of the things you can do to lower your blood pressure.

And similar advice applies to reducing your risk of dementia and helping to keep your brain healthy as you age, says Dr Laura Phipps from Alzheimer’s Research UK.

But the million pound question is how do you get people to change their habits?

Prof Bellantuono said that for some, health warnings won’t be enough.

Instead, finding an “internal motive that speaks to them” will be key to getting some people to exercise and be healthier.

“That could be picking up the grandchildren or going to watch the football,” she adds.

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The Dangers of Belly Fat – Jane E. Brody

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If you do nothing else today to protect your health, consider taking an honest measurement of your waist. Stand up straight, exhale (no sucking in that gut!) and with a soft tape measure record your girth an inch or two above your hip bones.

The result has far greater implications than any concerns you might have about how you look or how your clothes fit. In general, if your waist measures 35 or more inches for women or 40 or more inches for men, chances are you’re harboring a potentially dangerous amount of abdominal fat.

Subcutaneous fat that lurks beneath the skin as “love handles” or padding on the thighs, buttocks or upper arms may be cosmetically challenging, but it is otherwise harmless. However, the deeper belly fat — the visceral fat that accumulates around abdominal organs — is metabolically active and has been strongly linked to a host of serious disease risks, including heart disease, cancer and dementia.

You don’t even have to be overweight or obese to face these hazards if you harbor excess fat inside your abdomen. Even people of normal weight can accumulate harmful amounts of hidden fat beneath the abdominal wall. Furthermore, this is not fat you can shed simply by toning up abdominal muscles with exercises like situps. Weight loss through a wholesome diet and exercise — activities like walking and strength-training — is the only surefire way to get rid of it.

Until midlife, men usually harbor a greater percentage of visceral fat than women do, but the pattern usually reverses as women pass through menopause. Few females seem to escape a midlife waistline expansion as body fat redistributes and visceral fat pushes out our bellies. Even though in my eighth decade I weigh less than I did at age 13, my waist is many inches bigger.

Here’s why visceral fat cells are so important to your well-being. Unlike the cells in subcutaneous fat, visceral fat is essentially an endocrine organ that secretes hormones and a host of other chemicals linked to diseases that commonly afflict older adults. One such substance is called retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) that was found in a 16-year study of nurses to increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease. This hazard most likely results from the harmful effects of this protein on insulin resistance, the precursor to Type 2 diabetes, and development of the metabolic syndrome, a complex of cardiac risk factors.

The Million Women Study conducted in Britain demonstrated a direct link between the development of coronary heart disease and an increase in waist circumference over a 20-year period. Even when other coronary risk factors were taken into account, the chances of developing heart disease were doubled among the women with the largest waists. Every additional two inches in the women’s waist size raised their risk by 10 percent.

Cancer risk is also raised by belly fat. The chances of getting colorectal cancer were nearly doubled among postmenopausal women who accumulate visceral fat, a Korean study found. Breast cancer risk increases as well. In a study of more than 3,000 premenopausal and postmenopausal women in Mumbai, India, those whose waists were nearly as big as their hips faced a three- to four-times greater risk of getting a breast cancer diagnosis than normal-weight women.

A Dutch study published last year linked both total body fat and abdominal fat to a raised risk of breast cancer. When the women in the study lost weight — about 12 pounds on average — changes in biomarkers for breast cancer, like estrogen, leptin and inflammatory proteins, indicated a reduction in breast cancer risk.

Given that two-thirds of American women are overweight or obese, weight loss may well be the single best weapon for lowering the high incidence of breast cancer in this country.

Perhaps most important with regard to the toll on individuals, families and the health care system is the link between abdominal obesity and risk of developing dementia decades later. A study of 6,583 members of Kaiser Permanente of Northern California who were followed for an average of 36 years found that those with the greatest amount of abdominal obesity in midlife were nearly three times more likely to develop dementia three decades later than those with the least abdominal fat.

Having a large abdomen raised dementia risk in the women even if they were of normal weight overall and lacked other health risks related to dementia like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Among other medical problems linked to abdominal fat are insulin resistance and the risk of Type 2 diabetes, compromised lung function and migraine headaches. Even asthma risk is raised by being overweight and especially by abdominal obesity, a study of 88,000 California teachers found.

Over all, according to findings among more than 350,000 European men and women published in The New England Journal of Medicine, having a large waist can nearly double one’s risk of dying prematurely even if overall body weight is normal.

All of which raises the question: How best to shed abdominal fat and, even more important, how to avoid accumulating it in the first place?

Chances are you’ve periodically seen ads on the internet for seemingly magical ways to reduce belly fat. Before you throw good money after bad, let it be said that no pill or potion has been scientifically shown to dissolve abdominal fat. You have to work at it. And that means avoiding or drastically limiting certain substances in your diet, controlling overall caloric intake and engaging in exercise that burns calories.

Perhaps the worst offender is sugar — all forms and especially fructose, which makes up half of sucrose and 55 percent of high-fructose corn syrup. One of the best ways to reduce your sugar intake is to stop drinking sodas and other sweet drinks, including fruit juices. Limiting alcohol, which may suppress fat-burning and add nutritionally empty calories, and avoiding refined carbohydrates like white bread and white rice are also helpful.

Make sure your diet contains adequate amounts of protein and dietary fiber, including vegetables, beans and peas and whole grains.

Get enough sleep — at least seven hours a night. In a study of 68,000 women followed for 16 years, those who slept five hours or less were a third more likely to gain 32 pounds.

Finally, move more. In a major national study, inactivity was more closely linked to weight gain and abdominal obesity than caloric intake.

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