You Can’t Outrun Your Fork But That Doesn’t Mean Exercise Can’t Help You Lose Weight

1Every January, millions of individuals make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight or eat healthier, if not both. To achieve this goal, many individuals will begin strenuous exercise programs that incorporate too much exercise too soon, leading to fitness burnout or injury. Overtraining can actually prevent you from losing weight.

As a health neuroscientist, I have been studying the brain and cognitive mechanisms underlying dietary behaviours and the role exercise plays in helping people improve their diets for over 10 years.

Energy and exercise

The truth is that you simply cannot exercise away a poor diet and expect to lose weight (if that is your goal). Humans are very good at conserving energy and will account for any calories burned through exercise by consuming more calories later in the day or by being less physically active throughout the rest of the day.

That being said, you can — and should — use exercise to help you lose weight and maintain your weight loss. But not to offset calories consumed.

If you are looking to lose weight, the only way to do it is by controlling your calorie intake. The best and most effective way of doing that is limiting the consumption of ultra-processed foods — typical “junk foods” and fast-food meals. Even if you are not trying to lose weight, reducing ultra-processed food consumption is good for mental and physical health.

Regular exercise makes it easier to do this by improving the brain and cognitive processes that help us regulate junk food consumption, and by reducing stress. And the best part is, as little as 20 minutes of brisk walking is all you need to get the beneficial effects.

Why we over-consume junk foods

We know that we shouldn’t overeat candy, cookies, cake and chips, or drink sugary sodas. Diets that are high in these ultra-processed foods cause us to gain weight. But they are just so hard to resist.

Ultra-processed junk foods have been designed to be as tasty and rewarding as possible. When we are exposed to media advertisements, or actual food items (for example, chocolate bars in the checkout lane at grocery stores), brain activity in regions associated with reward processing increases. This reward-related brain activity results in increased food cravings and the drive to eat, even when we are not hungry.

A brain region known as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) helps us limit the consumption of ultra-processed foods by both decreasing activity in these reward regions to reduce food cravings and by initiating the cognitive processes needed to exert conscious control over food choices.

When using functional brain imaging to examine brain responses, neuroscientists have shown that increased activity in the dlPFC helps us control food cravings and select healthier food items by decreasing activity in the reward regions of the brain. Conversely, when activity in the dlPFC is decreased, we have a harder time resisting the temptation of appealing junk foods and will consume more snack food.

Exercise can help regulate food consumption

Exercise boosts brain plasticity, which is the brain’s ability to adapt its functions based on new input. Boosting brain plasticity makes it easier to change our habits and lifestyle. More and more evidence has shown that regular physical activity can increase prefrontal brain function and improve cognition.

These exercise-induced increases in prefrontal brain function and cognition makes it easier to regulate or limit our consumption of junk foods. And we can see the effects with as little as 20 minutes of moderate intensity exercise.

I have shown that people consume less ultra-processed food such as chips or milk chocolate after 20 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (in our study, this was a brisk walk at 5.6-6.1 kilometres per hour on a treadmill with a slight incline). Research has also shown that both a single session of high-intensity interval training and a 12-week high-intensity aerobic exercise program can reduce preferences or appetite for high-calorie junk foods. Similar effects are seen when people engage in moderate aerobic exercise or strength training.

The key takeaway here is that regular exercise can reduce how much people want junk foods and improve their ability to resist the temptation of these appealing foods by improving brain function and cognition. This makes it easier to limit the consumption of these foods to achieve healthier eating and weight loss goals.

Exercise also helps reduce stress

When people are stressed, the body releases a hormone called cortisol, which activates what is known as the fight-or-flight response. When cortisol levels are high, the brain thinks it needs more fuel, resulting in increased cravings for sugary or salty ultra-processed foods.

Participation in regular exercise or a single bout of exercise reduces perceived stress levels and cortisol levels. Exercise also helps reduce unhealthy drink and food consumption when people are stressed.

Stress can also impact how the brain functions. Research has shown that stress can result in decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex and increased activity in reward regions of the brain when looking at pictures of food. This makes it harder to resist the temptation of appealing junk foods.

By offsetting the impact of stress on prefrontal brain function, exercise makes it easier to maintain your goals of healthier eating or reducing junk food consumption. Twenty minutes of brisk walking can help the prefrontal cortex recover from temporary changes in activity, like the ones seen when people are stressed.

Next time you are feeling stressed, try going for a brisk 20-minute walk. It could prevent you from stress-eating.

What exercise is best?

Researchers often get asked what is the best exercise and how much exercise to do.

At the end of the day, the best exercise is one you enjoy and can sustain over time. High-intensity interval training (HIIT), aerobic exercise, meditation and mindfulness, yoga and strength training are all effective in helping improve diet by targeting prefrontal brain function and reducing stress.

If you are beginning a new exercise routine this new year, ease into it, be kind to yourself, listen to your body and remember that a little goes a long way.

By: Cassandra J. Lowe

I am a CIHR and Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF; BrainsCAN) funded Postdoctoral Fellow at Western University. My research examines the cognitive and neural factors that increase the likelihood individuals will over consume appealing “junk foods” (e.g., chips, chocolate, candy, fast-food meals)….

Source: You can’t outrun your fork. But that doesn’t mean exercise can’t help you lose weight or change your diet.

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4 Japanese Dieting Tricks I Used To Lose 20 Pounds

For someone who played sports throughout the majority of her life, I admit I was never good at portion control or exercising for weight loss. My teammates were extremely lean while I looked — as my brother would say — chonky.

I didn’t have the best relationship with my body so I wanted to slim down and feel better about it, but I couldn’t find anything in the U.S that I felt like I could realistically accomplish. To be honest, the fitness culture in this country scares me. I knew I didn’t want to drink Kombucha every day or attend expensive SoulCycle classes for the rest of my life.

When I lived in Japan for a couple of years, I was shocked by the not-so-intense fitness culture. None of my peers went to the gym, drank protein smoothies, or ate granola bars for meals. Throughout my time learning about their culture, I realized that the health culture in Japan gravitates towards prevention rather than cure, which is different from the US philosophy.

Rather than overworking the body to compensate for the overconsumption of high-calorie food, Japanese people eat balanced meals and walk miles for commute every day. Not many people go to the gym or buy expensive products to sustain their because their daily routine is already healthy.

I’m going to introduce 4 Japanese dieting tricks I’ve picked up while living with my family in Japan for a few years. These were all so easy to implement in my day-to-day routine, and they’ve helped me lose 20 pounds in a year without doing anything rigorous that my peers in the U.S were doing. I also believe these tricks will be helpful for those who can’t exercise due to physical injuries or those who find themselves constantly thinking: “I never have time in my day to do something more.”

1. Relax in a half-body bath every other day

A half-body bath may sound silly, but it’s essentially taking a bath while immersing only half of our bodies. The key is to take a relatively longer and warmer bath, which helps speed up our metabolism. The recommended bath time is typically 20~30 minutes — anything longer than that can burden your body and have counter effects.

A long bath of 20~30 minutes is a similar concept to a spa, which is also a large part of Eastern culture. A longer bath usually makes me start sweating after 5~10 minutes into the process, and similar to a spa, it can start to feel uncomfortable. To make this easier, I take my phone or a book to read to the bathtub so the 30 minutes don’t feel too distressing. Taking a half-body bath has become my favorite part of the day when I get to relax and spend time alone.

Americans tend to prefer showering over bathing, but the opposite is true in Japan. I used to shower every day, but I switched to bathing a few times a week and showering the other days. The trick is to take a bath in 100~106 degrees Fahrenheit water as opposed to the 92-degree bath that is recommended in the U.S.

I immerse half of my body until the water level sits right below my chest. A full-body bath in hot water feels constricting on my lungs and heart, but a half-body bath is comfortable enough to take for half an hour, if not less.

If the temperature goes down during the duration of the bath, I like to add some more hot water to bring the temperature back up to the stated range. Japanese bathtubs typically come with a thermometer that allows me to easily set the water temperature. In the U.S where this isn’t the case, I fill up the bath then add hot or cold water to adjust the temperature.

You may ask, why is this a common dieting technique in Japan? Well, taking a half-body bath makes it easier to stay in the bath longer while the hot temperature of the water heats up the body and accelerates the calorie-burning process. The total calories burned per bath are not high enough to be effective for weight loss on their own, but doing it consistently (like every other day of the week) will speed up the metabolism, improve the skin, and get rid of bloatedness. I’ve found it a great way to detox my body and experienced gradual weight loss after a couple of weeks of consistently trying out this method.

When I first started taking half-body baths, all the sweating made me feel uncomfortable and dehydrated. Drinking lots of water before doing this is important to stay hydrated and avoid passing out in the bathtub!

2. Replace rice or spaghetti with konjac

I learned this trick from my Japanese mom who highly encouraged me to eat konjac, also called yam cake. She herself lost over 15 pounds from integrating konjac in two of her meals per day, which she started doing as she could not exercise due to her asthma. This diet has boosted her confidence as she started to feel self-conscious of her stomach that came with age. To this day, my 52-year-old mom is often mistaken to be in her early 40’s, and she attributes it entirely to her konjac diet.

Konjac tastes pretty much like nothing or just a little bit salty, so it’s easy to cook konjac with pretty much anything as a substitute for rice or wheat noodles and it’ll take on the flavor of whatever you cook with.

When I cook rice, I mix the rice grains with konjac and cook it together in a rice cooker. This has helped me easily integrate konjac into my daily diet. Another option would be to buy konjac rice, which is konjac noodles in the form of rice. Konjac rice is made of , bringing down my daily carb consumption.

Konjac is also a great alternative to wheat noodles, which are high in carbohydrates and eventually get converted to sugar in the body. My personal favorite is containing very low carbs and are rich in glucomannan fiber. Glucomannan is recognized as an solution for patients with diabetes or high cholesterol.

Konjac is widely used in the Eastern world for weight loss and cholesterol management. The reason is that it is rich in water-soluble fiber that helps . Konjac also tends to expand in the stomach, slow down the speed at which the digestive system empties, and keep me fuller for longer. This is similar to the feeling of eating vegetables as they also tend to help us gain the satisfaction of feeling full while also not increasing sugar and calorie intake. Konjac is inexpensive too ($1.69 for 255 grams), which means I can skip out on all the expensive Sweetgreen meals.

3. Chew your food more, almost excessively

This trick is most effective for people who tend to binge eat or struggle with portion control. Chewing a lot helps the feeling of “full” last longer.

Chewing food promotes digestion in a timely manner. If we swallow our food without chewing it properly, there are two side effects: 1) The stomach has a difficult time digesting food, and 2) The saliva cannot break down the food. Saliva has amylase and lipase that help break down food and, on top of that, has an antibacterial effect. Chewing food almost excessively lets our saliva do its job, which can be extremely powerful.

In addition, chewing alone releases histamine to the brain that tricks it into thinking that we’re full. It’s a simple mind trick, but I found myself eating smaller portions when I remind myself to keep chewing. The trick is to chew at least 30 times for each bite of food, alternating between chewing on the right and left sides of your mouth. We tend to have a “favorite” side to chew on, but chewing with only one side is tougher on your jaw and is said to cause an imbalanced body.

In Japan, it’s a common understanding that there are two types of bodies: 1) a healthy body that can lose weight, and 2) an imbalanced body that is more resistant to weight loss. The first step to weight loss is building a body that can easily lose weight. To do this, Japanese people speed up their metabolism by taking half-body baths and chewing at least 30 times.

4. Eat vegetables first

This is ingrained in Japanese culture, in which your favorite aunties will insist that you eat your vegetables before consuming other foods. Japanese meals traditionally come in a healthy balance of grains, protein, and vegetables, and Japanese people always start tackling their vegetables before indulging in the protein and grains.

This trick is partially psychological, as eating vegetables first makes us feel fuller before eating other foods. Again, this helped me a lot with portion control. Vegetables also have a lot of fiber, which is known to help with digestion.

That’s not why Japanese people eat vegetables first, though. They actually eat vegetables first because they say there is a strong correlation between insulin and weight loss. My Japanese mom explained it to me like this:

When the body absorbs sugar from the food that we eat, the sugar level spikes up. Then the sugar that we consume gets converted into energy, helping us get tasks done and go about our day-to-day. Then our pancreas releases insulin into our bodies.

Insulin plays a role in bringing down sugar levels and turning the sugar that hasn’t been converted to energy, into fat. In other words, if the sugar level spikes too quickly and too much insulin is released, it becomes easier for our bodies to build up fat. That’s why when we eat rice, bread, or snacks when we’re on an empty stomach, our sugar levels rise up too quickly and an abundance of insulin is pushed out into our bodies.

This trick works because eating vegetables on an empty stomach, before eating other foods, prevents the sugar level from spiking up and insulin from being mass released. Japanese people say that eating vegetables first helps create a body that is more resistant to weight gain.

Some find it easier to lose weight while others find it more difficult. This was an interesting argument to me because I never thought about how people have different body types. While there are multiple explanations for this, Japanese people say that our habits dictate whether we have a body that is “easy to lose weight” versus the opposite.

Doing yoga, having a good posture, and walking often— these Eastern health habits all play a part in building a body that can lose weight.

What really surprised me the most was that these habits were common sense to people living in Japan. None of my friends or colleagues went to the gym — in fact, none of them carved out a time in their day to become skinny. They all ate healthily, walked a few miles per day, and remembered these simple tricks to maintain their health and wellness.

I didn’t see drastic results in the short term because I wasn’t forcing my body to go through drastic changes. But I trusted the process, focused on consistency, and I feel like I have a much better relationship with my body now.

I think of food and exercise as a way to treat and show love to my body. Eating protein-rich food and drinking lots of water make my body happy. If I start out with a mile and gradually work my way up to 5 miles, my body feels great after the run. I don’t want to make my body go through drastic changes and stress it out too much because it’s the one and only vessel for our soul. So let’s start small and make long-lasting effects through these 4 tricks:

  1. Take a half-body bath a few times a week to speed up metabolism.
  2. Replace carbs with konjac to lower sugar intake.
  3. Chew every bite at least 30 times to make sure the saliva is doing its work.
  4. Eat vegetables first to become resistant to weight gain.

By: /

Source: 4 Japanese Dieting Tricks I Used to Lose 20 Pounds | by Project HBE | May, 2021 | Ascent Publication

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Critics:

Japanese cuisine encompasses the regional and traditional foods of Japan, which have developed through centuries of political, economic, and social changes. The traditional cuisine of Japan (Japanese: washoku) is based on rice with miso soup and other dishes; there is an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. Side dishes often consist of fish, pickled vegetables, and vegetables cooked in broth.

Seafood is common, often grilled, but also served raw as sashimi or in sushi. Seafood and vegetables are also deep-fried in a light batter, as tempura. Apart from rice, a staple includes noodles, such as soba and udon. Japan also has many simmered dishes such as fish products in broth called oden, or beef in sukiyaki and nikujaga.

Historically influenced by Chinese cuisine, Japanese cuisine has also opened up to influence from Western cuisines in the modern era. Dishes inspired by foreign food—in particular Chinese food—like ramen and gyōza, as well as foods like spaghetti, curry, and hamburgers, have been adapted to Japanese tastes and ingredients.

Traditionally, the Japanese shunned meat because of Buddhism, but with the modernization of Japan in the 1880s, meat-based dishes such as tonkatsu and yakiniku have become common. Japanese cuisine, particularly sushi and ramen, has become popular throughout the world.

In 2011, Japan overtook France to become the country with the most 3-starred Michelin restaurants; as of 2018, the capital Tokyo has maintained the title of the city with the most 3-starred restaurants in the world. In 2013, Japanese cuisine was added to the Unesco intangible heritage list.

See also

How to Lose Weight Fast: 3 Simple Steps, Based on Science

It’s hard to lose weight. A doctor shares 6 essential tips to make it easier. A Harvard doctor shares her best strategy for measuring progress — and it has nothing to do with the scale. Choosing unhealthy foods can also lead to weight gain. And it’s not as simple as just eating too many calories.

An unhealthy diet triggers changes in the way your brain, gut, and hormones work together. “An unhealthy diet will lead to more inflammation. That includes inflammation in the brain, and adverse effects on hormones that influence brain function,” Manson said.

Ever notice how you can burn right through an entire bag of potato chips or a sleeve of cookies? Highly processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and sugar don’t make you feel full. “In fact, they lead to a sort of rebound hunger where you’re eating many more calories than you would need if you had a high-quality diet,” Manson said.

Processed foodsoften have the nutrients and fiber stripped out of them. They are more likely to be absorbed into the bloodstream quickly, which leads to an insulin surge. That’s what makes you feel hungry and can lead to overeating and weight gain.

If your doctor recommends it, there are ways to lose weight safely. A steady weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is recommended for the most effective long-term weight management. That said, many eating plans leave you feeling hungry or unsatisfied. These are major reasons why you might find it hard to stick to a healthier eating plan.

However, not all diets have this effect. Low carb diets and whole food, lower calorie diets are effective for weight loss and may be easier to stick to than other diets. Here are some ways to lose weight that employ healthy eating, potentially lower carbs, and that aim to:

  • reduce your appetite
  • cause fast weight loss
  • improve your metabolic health at the same time

How to Lose Weight Fast in 3 Simple Steps

1. Cut back on refined carbs

One way to lose weight quickly is to cut back on sugars and starches, or carbohydrates. This could be with a low carb eating plan or by reducing refined carbs and replacing them with whole grains.

When you do that, your hunger levels go down, and you generally end up eating fewer calories (1Trusted Source).

With a low carb eating plan, you’ll utilize burning stored fat for energy instead of carbs.

If you choose to eat more complex carbs like whole grains along with a calorie deficit, you’ll benefit from higher fiber and digest them more slowly. This makes them more filling to keep you satisfied.

A 2020 study confirmed that a very low carbohydrate diet was beneficial for losing weight in older populations (2).

Research also suggests that a low carb diet can reduce appetite, which may lead to eating fewer calories without thinking about it or feeling hungry (3Trusted Source).

Note that the long-term effects of a low carb diet are still being researched. It can also be difficult to adhere to a low carb diet, which may lead to yo-yo dieting and less success in maintaining a healthy weight.

There are potential downsides to a low carb diet that may lead you to a different method. Reduced calorie diets can also lead to weight loss and be easier to maintain for longer periods of time.

If you opt for a diet focusing instead on whole grains over refined carbs, a 2019 study correlated high whole grain with lower body mass index (BMI) (4Trusted Source).

To determine the best way for you to lose weight, consult your doctor for recommendations.

2. Eat protein, fat, and vegetables

Each one of your meals should include:

  • a protein source
  • fat source
  • vegetables
  • a small portion of complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains

To see how you can assemble your meals, check out:

Protein

Eating a recommended amount of protein is essential to help preserve your health and muscle mass while losing weight (5Trusted Source).

Evidence suggests that eating adequate protein may improve cardiometabolic risk factors, appetite, and body weight, (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).

Here’s how to determine how much you need to eat without eating too much. Many factors determine your specific needs, but generally, an average person needs (9Trusted Source):

  • 56–91 grams per day for the average male
  • 46–75 grams per day for the average female

Diets with adequate protein can also help:

  • reduce cravings and obsessive thoughts about food by 60%
  • reduce the desire to snack late at night by half
  • make you feel full

In one study, people on a higher protein diet ate 441 fewer calories per day (10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).

Healthy protein sources include:

  • meat: beef, chicken, pork, and lamb
  • fish and seafood: salmon, trout, and shrimp
  • eggs: whole eggs with the yolk
  • plant-based proteins: beans, legumes, quinoa, tempeh, and tofu

Low carb and leafy green vegetables

Don’t be afraid to load your plate with leafy green vegetables. They’re packed with nutrients, and you can eat very large amounts without greatly increasing calories and carbs.

Vegetables to include for low carb or low calorie eating plans:

  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • Swiss chard
  • lettuce
  • cucumber

Healthy fats

Don’t be afraid of eating fats.

Your body still requires healthy fats no matter what eating plan you choose. Olive oil and avocado oil are great choices for including in your eating plan.

Other fats such as butter and coconut oil should be used only in moderation due to their higher saturated fat content (12Trusted Source).

3. Move your body

Exercise, while not required to lose weight, can help you lose weight more quickly. Lifting weights has particularly good benefits.

By lifting weights, you’ll burn lots of calories and prevent your metabolism from slowing down, which is a common side effect of losing weight (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).

Try going to the gym three to four times a week to lift weights. If you’re new to the gym, ask a trainer for some advice. Make sure your doctor is also aware of any new exercise plans.

If lifting weights is not an option for you, doing some cardio workouts such as walking, jogging, running, cycling, or swimming is very beneficial for weight loss and general health.

Both cardio and weightlifting can help with weight loss.

What about calories and portion control?

If you opt for a low carb eating plan, it’s not necessary to count calories as long as you keep your carb intake very low and stick to protein, fat, and low carb vegetables.

If you find yourself not losing weight, you may want to keep track of your calories to see if that’s a contributing factor.

If you’re sticking to a calorie deficit to lose weight, you can use a free online calculator like this one.

Enter your sex, weight, height, and activity levels. The calculator will tell you how many calories to eat per day to maintain your weight, lose weight, or lose weight fast.

You can also download free, easy-to-use calorie counters from websites and app stores. Here’s a list of 5 calorie counters to try.

Note that eating too few calories can be dangerous and less effective for losing weight. Aim to reduce your calories by a sustainable and healthy amount based on your doctor’s recommendation.

Breakfast ideas

Lunch ideas

  • smoked salmon with avocado and a side of asparagus
  • lettuce wrap with grilled chicken, black beans, red pepper, and salsa
  • kale and spinach salad with grilled tofu, chickpeas, and guacamole
  • BLT wrap with celery sticks and peanut butter

Dinner ideas

  • enchilada salad with chicken, peppers, mango, avocado, and spices
  • ground turkey bake with mushrooms, onions, peppers, and cheese
  • antipasto salad with white beans, asparagus, cucumbers, olive oil, and Parmesan
  • roasted cauliflower with tempeh, Brussels sprouts, and pine nuts
  • salmon baked with ginger, sesame oil, and roasted zucchini

Snack ideas

Source: How to lose weight: A doctor shares 6 essential tips to make it easier

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References

Ruiz, F. J. (2010). “A review of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) empirical evidence: Correlational, experimental psychopathology, component and outcome studies”. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy. 10 (1): 125–62.

How To Lose Weight Fast

Whatever the latest diet or exercise trend, whatever bullshit lines the personal trainer at the gym is feeding you, and whatever the latest scientific research is telling us, losing weight revolves around one factor and only one… CALORIES. Consume more than your body burns in day, whether through your natural basal metabolic rate, your day to day activities or exercise and you will gain weight. This is known as a calorie surplus. Burn more than you consume and you will lose weight. A calorie deficit. It really is as simple as that.

The more significant gulf between energy consumed and energy used you are capable of generating, the more quickly you will lose weight. Whilst the component parts of the equation are simple, the way you go about solving it is a little more complicated, particularly if it is to be sustainable. It’s very easy to tell yourself to eat less and be more active, but a lot harder to actually do it consistently for long enough to see results.

There are of course lots of ways in which you can manipulate both your diet and exercise regime in order to give yourself the best opportunity to both lose weight and then maintain those losses as part of a healthy lifestyle.

The Why?

You can’t help but be aware of the health risks associated with being overweight. Whether it be online, on the TV or in magazines and newspapers, the information is everywhere. As a society we have become increasingly concerned with healthy living and in particular diet and exercise. And rightly so. These areas represent an enormous challenge to millions of people all over the world.

Excess weight, and in particular, obesity, negatively impacts almost every facet of health. As well as the widely known increases in the risk of life altering and deadly diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancers, your reproductive and respiratory functioning, memory and mood can also be severely compromised.

I think the motivation for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight are pretty clear.

The How?

This is where we get back to that all important important equation:

Calories consumed – Calories burned = Energy balance

Negative energy balance = calorie deficit = weight loss

Positive energy balance = calorie surplus = weight gain

The two easiest ways to influence your energy balance? Diet and exercise!!

Diet:

There should be little surprise that what you eat (and drink) and how much of it you eat (and drink) determines your calorie intake for a period of time. Consequently, one of the simplest ways in which you can alter your energy balance is by consuming fewer calories. Over an extended period of time, provided the adjustments are significant enough to create an energy deficit, you should lose weight.

Eating less than your body is used to all of a sudden, unfortunately, is easier said than done. There are, however, a few strategies you can implement in order to give you the best chance of success.

  • Ditch the sugar:

Sugar is the devil. It is addictive. Eat more of it than you can burn off and your body stores it as… FAT! Excess fructose (sugar) in your blood causes elevated insulin levels. This prevents the body from accessing stores of fat for its energy demands and results in the brain telling you that you are hungry.

Moreover, sugar also causes leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone which helps us release fat from stores to be used as energy. Ergo it tells the brain that we have enough energy supplies and we don’t need to eat. Increased levels of fructose in the blood raises the level of triglycerides, which block the transmission of leptin from the blood to the brain. The brain thinks the body is starving and tells us to eat more than our energy demands require. Thus we gain weight.

Sugar has also been shown to have very little effect on our feeling of fullness relative to the number of calories being consumed. That my friends is a slippery slope. One which isn’t going to help anyone lose weight, nevermind lose it quickly.

See, I told you sugar was the devil!

The good news is, the less sugary foods you consume, the less your brain craves them and the less you eat. All YOU need to do is break the cycle.

Here are a few top tips to help you cut back your daily sugar intake:

  1. Avoid drinking calories. That means fruit juices as well as the more obvious sodas.
  2. Reach for an apple rather than the candy. Whilst fruit obviously contains sugar, your body responds very differently to fructose in comparison to heavily processed, sucrose rich foods. Fruit can also be a great way of satisfying any cravings for sweet foods you may have without the drawbacks of regular chocolate binges.
  3. Avoid pre packaged ‘convenience’ type foods which are often high in added sugar. The best way of knowing exactly what you’re putting in your body is by making your meals from scratch as much as possible.
  • Up the protein, fat and veggies:

When it comes to losing weight, protein is king. Studies have demonstrated that protein may boost the metabolism by up to 100 calories per day. That’s energy you’re burning simply sitting on the sofa twiddling your thumbs.

What’s more, high protein diets have also been proven to reduce cravings and make you feel fuller for longer. All of which are going to help you achieve the all important calorie deficit required for meaningful weight loss.

Low carbohydrate vegetables (normally the green ones), like broccoli, spinach, lettuce, cucumber (you get the idea) are a great way of filling out your meals without adding excess calories. Vegetables have a high fibre content which means they not only provide volume but also take longer to digest meaning you stay fuller for longer. They also provide you with some really important vitamins and minerals which will help keep your immune system in tip top shape. It’s a win all round really.

Whatever you do, don’t neglect fat. This is probably one of the most counterintuitive aspects of weight loss nutrition. Eating foods high in fat surely makes you fat? Provided you’re consuming the right kinds of fat (unsaturated and naturally occurring) rather than those found in heavily processed foods then they are a hugely important part of a balanced healthy diet and can help you lose weight.

By upping your fat intake in relation to your carbohydrate intake you can create an environment in which fat loss is actually more optimal. As already discussed, our consumption of carbohydrates releases insulin. The more carbs you eat, the more insulin your body produces and the harder it is for your body to access fat stores for energy purposes. Therefore, by replacing some of the calories you consume through carbohydrates with fat, you will reduce your insulin levels which will in turn make it easier for your body to access fat stores for energy at the same time as allowing fat to enter and fuel your muscles. Winning!

All low fat diets do is reduce your body’s capacity to burn fat and increase its ability to burn carbohydrates. Hormones such as adiponectin, which help boost your metabolism and break down fat cells are also inhibited.

Foods high in fat are also much better than those high in carbohydrates at making you feel full for longer. When the fat you eat enters the small intestine it releases hormones including cholecystokinin and peptide tyrosine tyrosine, which both play a major role in the regulation of your appetite. The more full you feel after eating, the less inclined you will be to dip into the snack cupboard or go for seconds, all of which is going to help you consume fewer calories in the long run!

As with anything in life, moderation is the key. Foods high in fat are calorie dense. So whilst upping your intake in replacement of carbohydrates is definitely a good idea if you want to lose weight, if you don’t take care of the all important energy balance then you won’t see the changes you want to.

Cutting carbs from your diet all together is simply not sustainable. They are after all the most prolific source of energy for our bodies. There are, however, some sources of carbohydrate which will make it much easier for you to lose weight than others. Complex carbohydrates, such as those found in foods like oats, beans, brown rice, quinoa and lentils take much longer for your body to breakdown than simple sugary carbs. Whilst all carbs are eventually broken down into glucose, the longer this process takes, the longer you will feel full and the more nutrients your body will absorb from what you eat.

Feeling fuller for longer means you’re more likely to eat fewer calories and thus more likely to achieve that all important calorie deficit.

  • Fuel regularly:

One of the most common mistakes people make when they are looking to lose weight quickly is to adopt a very low calorie diet. Whilst this will obviously achieve the negative energy balance required, there are some significant disadvantages to such a strategy.

Your metabolism goes up for two to three hours after any meal as a result of the extra metabolic processes required to digest food and absorb its nutrients. Consequently, the less you eat the slower your metabolism becomes.

Your body has a tendency to treat huge reductions in calorie intake as a period of food scarcity (that’s evolution for you). As a result your body becomes more efficient at performing the basic functions which keep you alive and thus you burn less energy and your metabolism slows.

Moreover, you hold on to more fat in order to increase your chances of survival. Even worse, as muscle takes more energy to support than fat, your body will break it down before it breaks down it’s stores of fat.

Eating regularly and ensuring your body never enters this survival mode will help to keep your metabolism ticking along at an optimal level.

  • Drink more water:

Drinking more water can help you lose weight in a number of different ways. Most fundamentally, it increases the number of calories that you burn at rest. In fact, energy expenditure has been shown to increase by up to 30% within 10 minutes of drinking water.

Are you hungry or just thirsty? You would be surprised at the number of occasions when you feel hungry but are actually just dehydrated. Next time you feel the urge to eat, have a drink of water and see if it satisfies your ‘hunger’. The signals from our brain which tell us if we are hungry or thirsty can get a little confused, which means we have tendency to eat when we actually need to drink.

As water is completely free of calories, making sure we are suitably hydrated before we resort to grabbing a snack is a great way of reducing excess calorie intake and finding the negative energy balance which is so fundamental to weight loss.

Exercise:

Whilst thinking carefully about what and when we eat and drink should be one of the cornerstones of any weight loss strategy, there is another key way in which you can ensure your body is operating in a calorie deficit. EXERCISE.

Controlling what we eat takes care of the energy we consume, but upping how much exercise we do is the easiest way to increase the amount of energy we use.

  • HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training):

The more active you are the more calories you burn and the greater your potential calorie deficit will be. This doesn’t mean, however, than you need to spend hours and hours on the treadmill or spin bike each day in order to give you the best chance of losing weight.

In fact, most research suggests that engaging in shorter burst of high intensity exercise is far more beneficial to both overall health and weight loss. Intense activity will increase your basal metabolic rate for up to 24 hours after exercise; increase levels of fat oxidation in the muscles; and lead to significant jumps in growth hormone levels, which help to burn fat.

As a result, a 20-30 minute HIIT session is actually going to be more beneficial to both your health and weight loss goals than an hour plodding on the treadmill at steady state. Efficiency is the name of the game here.

Circuit based training is a great way of introducing yourself to HIIT based workouts, particularly if you don’t necessarily want to fork out for a gym membership. Click here for a great whole body workout perfect for helping you shift that excess weight!

Larger muscles burn more calories. Simple as that. The more lean muscle you have the more calories your body will burn at rest. In other words, having more muscle increases your everyday base metabolic rate. The metabolic demand of muscle is greater than it is for fat.

Muscle is constantly being broken down, recreated, and synthesized, all of which requires energy. So not only will you be increasing the number of calories you burn during exercise, but you will also increase your energy demands at rest, both of which will make it much easier for you to achieve the negative energy balance required for weight loss.

The best way of building muscle is to ensure you include some resistance based strength training in your regular exercise routine.

Studies have shown that your metabolism can be elevated for up to 38 hours after strength training, which means you’re energy use will be elevated for the best part of 2 days after your session. Boom!

Key Takeaways:

If it isn’t already clear, the single most important factor in the management of your weight is the relationship between the amount of calories you consume through eating, and the amount you burn through staying alive and exercising.

If you consistently exist within a calorie surplus, you will gain weight. If you consistently exist within a calorie deficit, you will lose weight. It really is as simple as that. If you eat unhealthily but maintain a negative energy balance then you will lose weight just as if you eat healthily but maintain a positive energy balance you will gain weight. It’s all about calories in and out.

However, from a nutritional perspective, you will obviously give yourself the best possible chance of losing weight if you stick with some of the simple tips already discussed like ditching sugar, upping your protein intake and ensuring you drink enough water.

Your calorie consumption is, however, only one side of the equation. For most efficient weight loss results, you should definitely pay some attention to how much energy you burn too. The most efficient way of increasing the energy demands you place on your body? Probably some kind of combination of HIIT and strength training. Remember, this type of training will not only allow you to burn calories whilst you exercise, but will also help you burn more when you’re chilling on the sofa. That, my friends, is what we call a win win! Post navigation

How To Squat ProperlyParkour: The Ultimate Guide For Beginners

Source: https://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com

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BRIGHT SIDE

Are there any ways to lose weight besides diet and exercise? There are many tricks that can help you lose a bit of excess weight in just 2 weeks. We’re going to share with you 15 tips that can help you get rid of excess belly fat. Most people don’t even know about these tricks! Science proves that people burn less fat when they sleep during the day and are active at night. A group of researchers from the University of Colorado studied 14 healthy people for 6 days. During the first 2 days, subjects slept during the night and didn’t have daytime naps. Then they changed their sleeping patterns to imitate owls’ sleeping schedules. It turned out that when people took a nap, their metabolism worsened since their biological clocks didn’t completely flip to fit their schedules.

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Weight Loss Drug Belviq Pulled From Market Over Cancer Risk

The maker of a weight loss drug pulled it from the market Thursday at the request of federal regulators, who said it posed a slight increased risk of cancer.

Japan’s Eisai Inc. said it was voluntarily withdrawing the drug, Belviq. (The company’s U.S. headquarters is in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.) However, the company said in a statement that it disagreed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s interpretation of new data on the drug’s safety and still believes Belviq’s benefit outweighs the risk.

The FDA said patients should stop taking Belviq immediately, dispose of leftover pills and contact their doctor for advice on alternatives. The agency also told doctors to notify their patients to stop taking the drug.

Belviq was approved in 2012, roughly the same time that a couple of other promising weight loss drugs hit the market. None became the blockbusters they were expected to be, but they offered an option for the many people struggling with excess weight or obesity and related health problems.

Belviq was the first drug proven to help people lose weight and keep it off for several years without raising their risk for heart problems. That was the conclusion of a five-year, 12,000-patient study of the drug’s heart safety, which the FDA required Eisai to conduct as a condition of approval.

A recently completed FDA analysis of the data from that study showed 7.7% of participants who took Belviq were diagnosed with cancer, slightly more than the 7.1% who developed cancer in a comparison group given dummy pills. There was a range of cancers, with pancreatic, colorectal and lung cancer reported more often in the patients who took Belviq, the FDA said.

The agency said no special cancer screening is needed for anyone who took Belviq. It noted the increased risk was only seen after extended use of the drug.

Eisai said its assessment is that Belviq has more benefit than risk for its intended patients. It’s specifically approved for adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and adults with a BMI of 27 who have other conditions that carry heart risks, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or Type 2 diabetes.

An extended-release version called Belviq XR also is being pulled from the market.

In testing before Belviq was approved, nearly half of participants given Belviq lost at least 5% of their weight over a year, and nearly one-quarter lost at least 10%. Those results were more than two times better than those of participants given dummy pills.

Of the competing drugs launched about the same time, Qsymia produced more weight loss than Belviq. Contrave, approved in 2014, produced similar weight loss to Belviq but carried a strong warning about the risk of increased suicidal thoughts and behavior.

The drugs’ costs hurt sales. Belviq and Contrave retail for roughly $300 per month without insurance, and Qysmia sells for about $200 per month, depending on the pharmacy.

Several older diet drugs were previously withdrawn from sale after they were found to raise the risk for heart valve damage, suicidal thoughts or other problems.

By Linda A. Johnson / AP February 14, 2020

Source: Weight Loss Drug Belviq Pulled From Market Over Cancer Risk

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