19 Effective Tips To Lose Belly Fat (Backed by Science)

Jovo Jovanovic

Too much belly fat can increase your risk of certain chronic conditions. Drinking less alcohol, eating more protein, and lifting weights are just a few steps you can take to lose belly fat.

Too much belly fat can increase your risk of certain chronic conditions. Drinking less alcohol, eating more protein, and lifting weights are just a few steps you can take to lose belly fat. Belly fat is more than a nuisance that makes your clothes feel tight. It’s seriously harmful.

One type of belly fat — referred to as visceral fat — is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions (1Trusted Source). Many health organizations use body mass index (BMI) to classify weight and predict the risk of metabolic disease.

However, this is misleading, as people with excess belly fat are at an increased risk even if they look thin (2Trusted Source). Though losing fat from this area can be difficult, there are several things you can do to reduce excess abdominal fat.

Here are 19 effective tips to lose belly fat, backed by scientific studies.

1. Eat plenty of soluble fiber

Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel that helps slow down food as it passes through your digestive system. Studies show that this type of fiber promotes weight loss by helping you feel full, so you naturally eat less. It may also decrease the number of calories your body absorbs from food (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).

What’s more, soluble fiber may help fight belly fat. An observational study in over 1,100 adults found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber intake, belly fat gain decreased by 3.7% over a 5-year period (6Trusted Source).

Make an effort to consume high fiber foods every day. Excellent sources of soluble fiber include: flax seeds , shirataki noodles ,Brussels sprouts, avocados , legumes & blackberries

2. Avoid foods that contain trans fats

Trans fats are created by pumping hydrogen into unsaturated fats, such as soybean oil. They’re found in some margarines and spreads and also often added to packaged foods, but many food producers have stopped using them.

These fats have been linked to inflammation, heart disease, insulin resistance, and abdominal fat gain in observational and animal studies (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).

A 6-year study found that monkeys who ate a high trans fat diet gained 33% more abdominal fat than those eating a diet high in monounsaturated fat (10Trusted Source).

To help reduce belly fat and protect your health, read ingredient labels carefully and stay away from products that contain trans fats. These are often listed as partially hydrogenated fats.

3. Don’t drink too much alcohol

Alcohol can have health benefits in small amounts, but it’s seriously harmful if you drink too much.

Research suggests that too much alcohol can also make you gain belly fat. Observational studies link heavy alcohol consumption to a significantly increased risk of developing central obesity — that is, excess fat storage around the waist (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).

Cutting back on alcohol may help reduce your waist size. You don’t need to give it up altogether, but limiting the amount you drink in a single day can help.

One study on alcohol use involved more than 2,000 people. Results showed those who drank alcohol daily but averaged less than one drink per day had less belly fat than those who drank less frequently but consumed more alcohol on the days they drank (12Trusted Source).

4. Eat a high protein diet

Protein is an extremely important nutrient for weight management. High protein intake increases the release of the fullness hormone PYY, which decreases appetite and promotes fullness. Protein also raises your metabolic rate and helps you to retain muscle mass during weight loss (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).

Many observational studies show that people who eat more protein tend to have less abdominal fat than those who eat a lower protein diet (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).

Be sure to include a good protein source at every meal, such as: meat , fish , eggs , dairy , whey protein & beans

5. Reduce your stress levels

Stress can make you gain belly fat by triggering the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone. Research shows that high cortisol levels increase appetite and drive abdominal fat storage (19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source).

What’s more, women who already have a large waist tend to produce more cortisol in response to stress. Increased cortisol further adds to fat gain around the middle (21Trusted Source).

To help reduce belly fat, engage in pleasurable activities that relieve stress. Practicing yoga or meditation can be effective methods.

6 . Don’t eat a lot of sugary foods

Sugar contains fructose, which has been linked to several chronic diseases when consumed in excess. These include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver disease (22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source).

Observational studies show a relationship between high sugar intake and increased abdominal fat (25Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source). It’s important to realize that more than just refined sugar can lead to belly fat gain. Even healthier sugars, such as real honey, should be used sparingly.

7. Do aerobic exercise (cardio)

Aerobic exercise (cardio) is an effective way to improve your health and burn calories. Studies also show that it’s one of the most effective forms of exercise for reducing belly fat. However, results are mixed as to whether moderate or high intensity exercise is more beneficial (27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source, 29Trusted Source).

In any case, the frequency and duration of your exercise program are more important than its intensity. One study found that postmenopausal women lost more fat from all areas when they did aerobic exercise for 300 minutes per week, compared with those who exercised 150 minutes per week (30Trusted Source).

8. Cut back on carbs — especially refined carbs

Reducing your carb intake can be very beneficial for losing fat, including abdominal fat. Diets with under 50 grams of carbs per day cause belly fat loss in people who are overweight, those at risk for type 2 diabetes, and women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) (31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source).

You don’t have to follow a strict low carb diet. Some research suggests that simply replacing refined carbs with unprocessed starchy carbs may improve metabolic health and reduce belly fat (34Trusted Source, 35Trusted Source).

In the famous Framingham Heart Study, people with the highest consumption of whole grains were 17% less likely to have excess abdominal fat than those who consumed diets high in refined grains (36Trusted Source).

9. Perform resistance training (lift weights)

Resistance training, also known as weight lifting or strength training, is important for preserving and gaining muscle mass. Based on studies involving people with prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease, resistance training may also be beneficial for belly fat loss (37Trusted Source, 38Trusted Source).

In fact, one study involving teenagers with overweight showed that a combination of strength training and aerobic exercise led to the greatest decrease in visceral fat (39Trusted Source).

If you decide to start lifting weights, it’s a good idea to get advice from a certified personal trainer.

10. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages

Sugar-sweetened beverages are loaded with liquid fructose, which can make you gain belly fat. Studies show that sugary drinks lead to increased fat in the liver. One 10-week study found significant abdominal fat gain in people who consumed high fructose beverages (40Trusted Source, 41Trusted Source, 42Trusted Source).

Sugary beverages appear to be even worse than high sugar foods. Since your brain doesn’t process liquid calories the same way it does solid ones, you’re likely to end up consuming too many calories later on and storing them as fat (43Trusted Source, 44Trusted Source).

To lose belly fat, it’s best to completely avoid sugar-sweetened beverages such as: soda , punch , sweet tea , alcoholic mixers containing sugar

11. Get plenty of restful sleep

Sleep is important for many aspects of your health, including weight. Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to gain more weight, which may include belly fat (45Trusted Source, 46Trusted Source).

A 16-year study involving more than 68,000 women found that those who slept less than 5 hours per night were significantly more likely to gain weight than those who slept 7 hours or more per night (47Trusted Source).

The condition known as sleep apnea, where breathing stops intermittently during the night, has also been linked to excess visceral fat (48Trusted Source).

In addition to sleeping at least 7 hours per night, make sure you’re getting sufficient quality sleep. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, speak to a doctor and get treated.

12. Track your food intake and exercise

Many things can help you lose weight and belly fat, but consuming fewer calories than your body needs for weight maintenance is key (49Trusted Source).

Keeping a food diary or using an online food tracker or app can help you monitor your calorie intake. This strategy has been shown to be beneficial for weight loss (50Trusted Source, 51Trusted Source).

In addition, food-tracking tools help you to see your intake of protein, carbs, fiber, and micronutrients. Many also allow you to record your exercise and physical activity.

You can find five free apps/websites to track nutrient and calorie intake on this page.

13. Eat fatty fish every week

Fatty fish are incredibly healthy. They’re rich in high quality protein and omega-3 fats that protect you from disease (52Trusted Source, 53Trusted Source). Some evidence suggests that these omega-3 fats may also help reduce visceral fat.

Studies in adults and children with fatty liver disease show that fish oil supplements can significantly reduce liver and abdominal fat (54Trusted Source, 55Trusted Source, 56Trusted Source).

Aim to get 2–3 servings of fatty fish per week. Good choices include:

salmon , herring , sardines , mackerel & anchovies

14. Stop drinking fruit juice

Although fruit juice provides vitamins and minerals, it’s just as high in sugar as soda and other sweetened beverages. Drinking large amounts may carry the same risk for abdominal fat gain (57Trusted Source).

An 8-ounce (240-mL) serving of unsweetened apple juice contains 24 grams of sugar, half of which is fructose (58). To help reduce excess belly fat, replace fruit juice with water, unsweetened iced tea, or sparkling water with a wedge of lemon or lime.

15. Add apple cider vinegar to your diet

Drinking apple cider vinegar has impressive health benefits, including lowering blood sugar levels (59Trusted Source). It contains acetic acid, which has been shown to reduce abdominal fat storage in several animal studies (60Trusted Source, 61Trusted Source, 62Trusted Source).

In a 12-week controlled study in men diagnosed with obesity, those who took 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of apple cider vinegar per day lost half an inch (1.4 cm) from their waists (63Trusted Source).

Taking 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 mL) of apple cider vinegar per day is safe for most people and may lead to modest fat loss. However, be sure to dilute it with water, as undiluted vinegar can erode the enamel on your teeth. If you want to try apple cider vinegar, there’s a good selection to choose from online.

16. Eat probiotic foods or take a probiotic supplement

Probiotics are bacteria found in some foods and supplements. They have many health benefits, including helping improve gut health and enhancing immune function (64Trusted Source).

Researchers have found that different types of bacteria play a role in weight regulation and that having the right balance can help with weight loss, including loss of belly fat.

Those shown to reduce belly fat include members of the Lactobacillus family, such as Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus amylovorus and especially Lactobacillus gasseri (65Trusted Source, 66, 67Trusted Source, 68Trusted Source). Probiotic supplements typically contain several types of bacteria, so make sure you purchase one that provides one or more of these bacterial strains.

17. Try intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting has recently become very popular as a weight loss method. It’s an eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating and periods of fasting (69Trusted Source).

One popular method involves 24-hour fasts once or twice a week. Another consists of fasting every day for 16 hours and eating all your food within an 8-hour period. In a review of studies on intermittent fasting and alternate-day fasting, people experienced a 4–7% decrease in abdominal fat within 6–24 weeks (70).

There’s some evidence that intermittent fasting, and fasting in general, may not be as beneficial for women as for men. Although certain modified intermittent fasting methods appear to be better options, stop fasting immediately if you experience any negative effects.

18. Drink green tea

Green tea is an exceptionally healthy beverage. It contains caffeine and the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), both of which appear to boost metabolism (71Trusted Source, 72Trusted Source).

EGCG is a catechin, which several studies suggest may help you lose belly fat. The effect may be strengthened when green tea consumption is combined with exercise (73Trusted Source, 74, 75Trusted Source)

19. Change your lifestyle and combine different methods

Just doing one of the items on this list won’t have a big effect on its own.If you want good results, you need to combine different methods that have been shown to be effective.

Interestingly, many of these methods are things generally associated with healthy eating and an overall healthy lifestyle. Therefore, changing your lifestyle for the long term is the key to losing your belly fat and keeping it off. When you have healthy habits and eat real food, fat loss tends to follow as a natural side effect.

There are no magic solutions to losing belly fat.Weight loss always requires some effort, commitment, and perseverance on your behalf. Successfully adopting some or all of the strategies and lifestyle goals discussed in this article will definitely help you lose the extra pounds around your waist.

Source: 19 Effective Tips to Lose Belly Fat (Backed by Science)

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Feeling Cold: Why Some People Feel Cold All The Time

Feel freezing cold all the time? Can’t seem to warm up? We explain why some of us feel colder than others, even when the heating is on full blast. With so many of us working from home, deciding when to turn on the central heating is a now a crucial part of the day. You get to 10am and you start to wonder why you’re still freezing… and if it’s too early to switch the dial on.

I’m freezing pretty much all the time, winter or not. I can’t feel my fingers in spring and I still need a jacket during July’s heatwave evenings. I won’t even begin to tell you how many layers I wear when I go skiing. Yet, my housemate can walk down the street in shorts in December, and others sweat the second they put a coat on.So why do some people just seem to feel the cold more than others – and what does it mean?

Finding out what is ‘normal’ when it comes to our temperature is pretty tricky though, explains Dr Clare Eglin from the Extreme Environments Laboratory in the Health and Exercise Science department at the University of Portsmouth. While our core temperature should ideally not change, “our perception of whether we find somewhere warm or cool is very individual and usually down to our skin temperature,” Dr Eglin says.

“This is what gives our body feedback, and lots of things can affect that from the clothes that we are wearing to the activities we are doing – and also the wind and dampness of the environment.” However, there are genetic and personal factors that can mean that two people, wearing the same thing, in the same environment feel different temperatures.

Why do some people feel colder than others?

Everyone’s body has a slightly different reaction to cold and some people feel cold more often than others, which is known as cold intolerance.

There are many factors  that contribute to this, including:

  • Overall body size can impact how cold you feel, as smaller people have less cells in their body that produce heat
  • People with higher levels of body fat and/or muscle mass have more insulation and a higher resting metabolic rate so burn energy faster
  • Being active not only warms the body immediately but can have a long-term effect on temperature regulation
  • Older people also tend to have a slower resting metabolic rate, so may feel the cold more

These factors do mean that gender is a big divider, as women are generally smaller than men and carry less muscle mass. We’ve all fought over the thermostat in the office (or central heating while at home) but the fact is that “the temperature deemed comfortable for most people is meant to be about 21 degrees. Actually, that’s ideal for a man in a suit, but women generally do better with a higher temperature,” says Dr Eglin.

Interestingly, we feel this disparity internally too. “Estrogen and progesterone, which change throughout the menstrual cycle, affect how quickly our blood vessels constrict to the cold. So depending what part of the menstrual cycle you’re in, you might find your hands and feet get colder, affecting your overall temperature perception,” says Dr Eglin.

Plus, your temperature perception can change throughout the day. “For instance, at six o’clock in the morning your core temperature is at its lowest, and from midday to mid-afternoon, it’s at its highest,” she adds.

Why do my hands feel cold?

Don’t panic if, like me, you have hands like ice cubes on a summer’s day. “It is a very typical thing, particularly for women, as our hands are really good for regulation,” says Dr Eglin. Our hands have a large surface area but a small volume and are filled with lots of blood vessels very close to the surface of the skin. “They’re very good for losing heat and so therefore, when you’re slightly cool, the blood flow shuts down,” she says.

While “peripheral temperature is generally nothing to worry about”, it can be a sign of Raynaud’s syndrome, an extreme response to cold or stress where arteries narrow to the point that fingers and toes turn white or blue and feel cold and numb – but circulation returns to normal when warm again.

Is it bad to be cold all the time?

Generally, being cold is simply down to our body type, and as long as we take precautions it’s not a bad thing. But if constant coldness is mixed with other symptoms it could be a sign of something more serious. For example, coldness paired with tiredness or dizziness could be a symptom of an iron or B12 deficiency, or even anaemia.

Constantly being cold coupled with hair loss, a change in your digestive system and weight gain could also be a sign of a low thyroid – when the gland stops producing enough thyroxine (a hormone which regulates your metabolism).

Ultimately, your body is pretty good at regulating itself, so trust what it’s telling you. “Our behaviour is the most important thing when it comes to keeping warm. I think quite often we underestimate the weather in the UK. You always hear people say ‘It’s not that bad, it’s not like we’re in the Arctic!’, but with the windchill and dampness it can be very cold. We don’t pay enough attention to that,” says Dr Eglin. So, bundle up when you’re feeling the chill.

By: 

Chloe Gray is the senior writer for stylist.co.uk’s fitness brand Strong Women. When she’s not writing or lifting weights, she’s most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).

Source: Feeling cold: why some people feel cold all the time

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Related contents:

Wellbeing of Women, registered charity no. 239281. Charity Commission for England and Wales.

“Your Wellbeing”. Wellbeing of Women. Retrieved 4 November 2012.“Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex becomes Royal Patron”.

Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: The Countess of Wessex discusses taboos around women’s health. YouTube.

“Ambassadors Wellbeing of Women”. Wellbeing of Women. Retrieved October , 2022.Our achievements”. Wellbeing of Women. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2016-12-14.

“Vitamins and minerals – B vitamins and folic acid – NHS Choices”. Nhs.uk. 2015-02-18. Retrieved 2016-12-14.

“Epidural anaesthesia – NHS Choices”. Nhs.uk. 2016-11-24. Retrieved 2016-12-14.“Our history”. Wellbeing of Women. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2016-12-14.

“100 WHF Late Summer Garden Party” (PDF). 100womeninhedgefunds.org. Retrieved 2016-12-14.“Prince William to become Patron of the 2008 Lord Mayor’s Appeal”. Archived from the original on 2016-03-08.

“Baby Biobank”. Ucl.ac.uk. 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2016-12-14.“Wellbeing of Women”. Pwc.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-12-14.

“The British Home Store”. BHS. Retrieved 2016-12-14.“The British Home Store”. BHS. Retrieved 2016-12-14.“Events”. Wellbeing of Women. 2016-12-05. Retrieved 2016-12-14.

“Events”. Wellbeing of Women. 2016-12-05. Retrieved 2016-12-14.“The Inaugural Annual Sir George Pinker Memorial Address”. Wellbeing of Women. Retrieved 4 November 2012.

“BBC Radio 4 – Radio 4 Appeal, Wellbeing of Women”.“Employers must help staff going through the menopause, says Sophie”. The Times. Retrieved October 19, 2022.

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOnLnys5OZk&t=1045s. (help)https://www.wellbeingofwomen.org.uk/campaigns/menopausepledge.

“BBC, Tesco and Royal Mail sign pledge to help female staff during menopause”. The Times. Retrieved October 19, 2022.BBC News https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-61792540. Retrieved October 19,

Wellbeing of Women https://letschatmenopause.wellbeingofwomen.org.uk/. Retrieved October 19, 2022.“Penny Lancaster among famous faces fronting menopause awareness campaign”. Evening Standard. Retrieved October 19, 2022.

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Two Harvard Students Revolutionize Diabetes Treatment On A Regular Basys

Long-term health management of metabolic and chronic diseases is the largest cost burden on the U.S. healthcare system. Basys.ai, founded by Amber Nigam and Jie Sun in June 2021, is a “B2B SaaS platform supporting clinical decision-making for doctors at hospitals” by using deep learning algorithms. Currently, the startup has been bootstrapped since inception. Basys is based in Cambridge, MA.

The startup has six employees. Basys’s main competition are firms like Omada Health, Virta Health and Innovaccer. Their business model is tailored to meet the needs of B2B customers such as providers and payors by selling access to their software. John L. Brooks III, Founder of Insulet and a Basys.ai advisor, says, “Diabetes remains a global crisis, despite the many advances in new therapeutics and smart devices.

AI is poised to deliver a profound impact in the treatment of diabetes. The surge in relevant healthcare data can now be harnessed to provide insights and clinical decision support recommendations that enable individuals and their clinical team to optimize their treatment. basys.ai is strongly positioned to lead this effort, given their strong team and robust AI platform, and they have already achieved great traction in a short time.”

Frederick Daso: What drives the significant share of diseases caused by metabolic health issues?

Amber Nigam and Jie Sun: It starts with the food that we eat here in the U.S. American-style diet doesn’t help as people gorge on burgers, fries, and soda. Diabetes is one factor that drives a significant share of diseases as it is usually concurrent with other chronic diseases like cardiovascular diseases and chronic kidney diseases.

Daso: What impact are these metabolic health issues impacting the greater U.S. healthcare system?

Nigam and Sun: At a macro level, metabolic health issues burden the U.S. healthcare system. Also, the doctors and hospitals are swamped with avoidable work, and patients have long queues to be treated, directly contributing to bad patient outcomes. The total spending on metabolic health issues (including chronic conditions and mental health) is 90% of the total spending on US healthcare. At a micro level, patients and their caregivers do not have personalized guidelines. So, they face anxiety and stress managing their or their loved ones’ diseases.

Daso: How do doctors and hospitals leverage AI-based solutions in their standard of care for patients today?

Nigam and Sun: There are legacy Electronic Health Record (EHR) companies that provide some boilerplate services. Although, doctors and hospitals are increasingly becoming more aware of the importance of data. Many hospitals we work with have been proactively searching for AI collaboration and accounted for that in their annual budgets. Interventions at the providers’ side, or ‘prescriptive analytics,’ is the key to this paradigm shift in managing metabolic health.

On another note, we should also remember that payors are indispensable players in this paradigm shift. Payors will benefit greatly from AI-based solutions, especially those derived from a large amount of clinically-validated data—the insights from both EHR data and claims data complete a patient’s profile. We understand individual patients’ progression patterns better by adding longitudinal depth to their health history.

Daso: Specifically, how much money is spent annually through insurance or out-of-pocket costs for treating metabolic diseases such as diabetes?

Nigam and Sun: The annual cost of diabetes in the US is $327 billion. Most of that cost is borne by payors in the US, which means a great unmet need for more cost-effective solutions based on prescriptive analytics. The solution will come from combining insights from the EHR data with the claims data, i.e., we understand individual patients’ progression patterns better by adding longitudinal depth to their health history.

Daso: How have you built Basys to seamlessly integrate with providers’ existing workflows and processes to treat patients suffering from metabolic diseases?

Nigam and Sun: We have been conscious that our service can be used with/without EHRs, given the long wait time for integrating with traditional incumbent EHRs. We have a scalable and interoperable platform that can integrate with any hospital and payor system.

Daso: What are the challenges in validating Basys’s deep learning algorithms concerning how a patient’s metabolic health evolves with proper treatment?

Nigam and Sun: The first adoption of good habits – although to derisk it, we are partnering with the changemakers, the doctors, and the insurance. The second is gathering microdata like food and exercise – one derisking strategy is partnering with device and hardware companies, although food is still a tough entity to measure. Our access to the largest and most clinically validated healthcare datasets gives us an essential competitive moat.

Besides, the founders’ backgrounds in health Data Science from Harvard and their work experience in the health ecosystem of Boston is a strong value add too. Last, we have attracted some of the best people in healthcare, including business leaders who have led the largest diabetes institute globally and have founded multi-billion dollar startups. All these factors help drive down the challenges and risks typically associated with the slow and regulated nature of the healthcare industry.

Daso: For Basys’ company culture, how will the startup maintain its flat hierarchy and autonomy-driven environment while scaling up to address the needs of a heavily-regulated and structured industry?

Nigam and Sun: We have a hiring policy that places integrity and ethics on top. In addition, the passion for innovating and creating an impact in healthcare is crucial. It is about teaming up with the right people and providing them with the right platform to shine.

We spent significant time with our team members in building their capacity and being aligned. The vision is to forge a resilient company culture, fearless of challenges, and always on the forefront of creating excellent solutions. Most importantly, we are united by our commitment to making healthcare better for everyone.

I write extensively on college students’ triumphs and failures in their journeys in entrepreneurship. I graduated from MIT with my Bachelor’s and Master’s in

Source: Two Harvard Students Revolutionize Diabetes Treatment On A Regular Basys

.

Critics by Anne Peters, MD, Professor of Medicine

Imagine standing on a ledge with your eyes closed, not knowing if your next step forward is to go plummeting downwards or continue climbing up a wall. That is what it is like to have insulin-requiring diabetes and monitor your blood sugar levels just 4 times per day. Insulin is one of the most powerful medications we use, yet is subject to more variation in response than almost any other treatment.

Inject too much, exercise more than usual, or eat too little and blood sugar levels can fall fast and hard, at times to the point of a loss of consciousness. Too much carbohydrate causes glucose levels to skyrocket back up. Any patient taking insulin will tell you that it is tough being a surrogate pancreas. An emerging technology called continuous glucose monitoring is making life a little easier.

Patients insert a small sensor under the skin which beams an infrared signal to a receiver where the blood sugar levels are displayed. The pager-like receiver reveals what the blood sugar level is and in which direction it is going. A “normal” blood glucose level of 100 mg/dL that is rising quickly requires a different action than a blood glucose level of 100 mg/dL that is falling quickly. More importantly, these devices alarm at night, alerting patients to potential hypoglycemic reactions.

However, all advances come with a price, which includes taking the time to learn and understand this device. Continuous glucose monitoring suddenly provides up to 1440 daily blood glucose values and it might not reduce A1C levels, because both rates of highs and lows are reduced, leaving the average blood sugar the same. But this technology is worth the price of learning.

It is new, imperfect, and somewhat cumbersome, yet it stands to help patients with diabetes lead less precarious lives. And ultimately it may evolve into a true “closed loop” system that will make the guesswork of insulin administration a thing of the past. That’s my opinion. I’m Dr. Anne Peters, Professor of Medicine at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine.

Related contents:

Study: Better Blood Sugar Control in Teens Limits Diabetes-Related Brain Damage Pharmacy Times

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Hydrogel Injected Into Fat Stores Fights Obesity From Within

Next-generation therapies that fight obesity could come in many forms, but one example from Nanyang Technological University that uses a unique combination of light and metabolic function to break down fat has some unique advantages.

The team’s solution consists of a hydrogel that can be injected into fat deposits and subjected to near-infrared light, with obese mice showing up to a 54-percent fat reduction following treatment.

The function of this new technology hinges on a protein called TRPV1, which plays an important role in our metabolism. This protein can trigger the conversion of white fat, the type that stores excess calories in beer bellies and love handles, into brown fat.

This is the type of fat that the body readily burns for energy and warmth, and as such a lot of anti-obesity research focuses on therapies that can initiate this conversion.


TRPV1 activity also promotes the breaking down of fat droplets into fatty acids that can be used by the converted brown fat to burn calories, or be broken down in the bloodstream through a process called lipolysis. Further, the protein stimulates the secretion of a hormone that improves metabolism of glucose and lipids in the liver and muscles, while also improving insulin sensitivity.

Setting out to develop a therapy that targets TRPV1, the researchers created a hydrogel containing copper sulphide nanoparticles that activates the protein in response to light, and a drug approved by the FDA that can stimulate browning of fat tissues.

A biocompatible polymer was also added to keep the hydrogel in a gel-like state after injection, slowly releasing its contents over several days. Obese mice with hallmarks of metabolic disease had the hydrogel injected into their subcutaneous fat, with near-infrared light then shone onto the site of the injection for five minutes.

This took place each day for three days, followed by four days of rest, for a two-week period, leading to a 5.5-percent reduction in the animals’ body weight, compared to a 9.5-percent increase seen among a control group.  The treated mice also showed a 40-percent reduction in subcutaneous fat, a 54-percent drop in visceral fat, a 54-percent reduction in cholesterol and 65-percent drop in insulin resistance.

“Through lab experiments, we found that this approach not only resulted in 40 to 54 per cent fat reduction in obese mice, but also significantly improved their metabolism, which is key to reducing the risk of metabolic conditions such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes,” said study author Chen Peng.

“Though this method makes use of heat converted from near infrared light to burn subcutaneous fat, we found no thermal injury to the skin.” The scientists still have much to do to convert these promising results into therapies to tackle obesity and metabolic dysfunction in humans.

However, the early signs indicate that it could come to fill a gap in existing treatments for these conditions that carry a risk of side effects or are prohibitively expensive. “All FDA-approved medications for obesity indirectly act on the brain to suppress appetite or on the digestive system to reduce fat absorption,” said Peng.

Most of them have been withdrawn from the market due to their serious side effects. Procedures performed in clinics to remove fat in targeted areas have shown to be effective, but they come with risks and high cost, and do not improve body metabolism. In contrast, our therapeutic approach focuses on remodeling white fat tissue, which is the root of the evil.”

Source: Hydrogel injected into fat stores fights obesity from within

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How Your Healthy Lifestyle Can Be Making You Tired

Let me guess: You’re eating clean, enjoying lots of fruits and vegetables, cutting out meat and are much more plant-based. You’ve also banned bread, cookies and cake from the house. There is just one problem: You can’t seem to stay awake and alert during the day.

On the surface this lifestyle may seem healthy, but it may include some behaviors that are actually zapping you of energy.

“Healthy eating can sometimes turn into something that is not so healthy and can drain you of energy if you are too restricted,” said Yasi Ansari, a registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson.

Here are a few ways a so-called “healthy” diet can make you sluggish — and what you can do to get your energy back on track.

Cutting too many calories

“If you are trying to lose weight and you reduce your calories too dramatically, this can leave you without the right amount of energy or fuel that you need to get through the day,” said Elizabeth DeRobertis, a registered dietitian and director of the Nutrition Center at Scarsdale Medical Group, White Plains Hospital.

Food provides the energy you need to stay focused and productive throughout the day. And though sometimes people think if they want to lose weight, they should eat as little as possible, this doesn’t work for the long term, said DeRobertis, the creator of the GPS Weight Loss Program, an online self-paced weight loss program. When someone becomes too restrictive with their intake, metabolism can slow down, and you may feel drained of energy. “You also end up too hungry … and end up overeating as a result,” DeRobertis said.

“If you are feeling low in energy, check in on the energy you’re taking in,” said Melissa Majumdar, an Atlanta-based registered dietitian and certified obesity and weight management specialist. “Start with adding an additional 1 to 2 ounces of lean protein, a half cup of whole grains, or 1 tablespoon of a healthy fat and reanalyze.”

Eating too infrequently

Going too long without eating can also make you feel tired. “Some people experience sleepiness or sluggishness as a sign to eat more instead of the traditional hunger cues,” said Majumdar, who is also the metabolic and bariatric coordinator at Emory University Hospital Midtown. “If two or three hours after a meal you are low in energy, plug in a balanced snack of fiber and protein, like fresh fruit with a handful of nuts or a small bag of edamame.”

“Identifying when your body starts to get hungry can help you better understand how to be most consistent with your nutrition and its timing to ensure your energy is stable throughout the day and you’re supporting your body in meeting its needs,” Ansari said.

Cutting too many carbs

Going low carb can also make you feel lousy. Not only can eating too few carbs make you feel tired and irritable from low blood sugar; it can also lead to dehydration, which can cause fatigue. “For every gram of carbohydrate stored in the body, there is approximately 2 to 3 grams of water retained,” DeRobertis explained. But when someone reduces their carbohydrate intake too dramatically, water is released, and it’s possible to become dehydrated.

“When someone feels a dip in energy in the afternoon, I always think of a plant that is wilted, and in need of water,” DeRobertis said. “When we water the plant, it perks back up. And I picture that is what happens to our cells when we are not well-hydrated enough during the day.”

Cutting carbs, especially cookies and sugary treats, is perfectly fine, but make sure you’re not skimping on fiber-rich carbs, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Not eating a balanced vegetarian diet

Banning animal proteins as part of a vegetarian diet isn’t necessarily unhealthy, but it’s important to be conscious about consuming a balanced intake of all nutrients.

“If someone chooses to eat in a vegetarian or vegan style, but they are not careful about obtaining enough vitamin B12 and iron (from supplements and plant sources), they may end up with anemia and a resulting feeling of fatigue,” DeRobertis explained.

Foods high in iron include beef, iron-fortified cereals, spinach and beans. If you consume plant sources of iron, it’s wise to add some vitamin C to enhance absorption. “An example might be a spinach salad with a small glass of orange juice or a lentil soup with chopped tomatoes,” Ansari said.

Vegans should also be aware of a possible vitamin B12 deficiency. “A B12 deficiency may take years to develop, so supplementing in advance if you don’t eat animal foods like meat, fish, eggs and dairy is key,” Majumdar said. Nutritional yeast can also add some vitamin B12 but would need to be eaten daily to provide enough, Majumdar added.

Eating too many carbs

Having too many carbohydrates in one sitting can also contribute to sluggishness.Even healthy carbohydrates turn to sugar in the body, and our pancreas, in response, produces insulin, to keep our blood sugar stable.

“If someone has too many carbohydrates in one sitting — even if it’s healthy carbs, like brown rice, beans, sweet potato, whole grain pasta, or quinoa — for some, too many can raise blood sugar, and high blood sugar makes us feel tired and lethargic,” DeRobertis said. (While this often happens among individuals with diabetes, it can happen to anyone who eats too many carbs in one sitting, she said.)

Pay attention to how you feel after different meal combinations, and if you notice that you feel tired after a high-carb meal, consider spacing out your carbohydrates during the day, DeRobertis advised.

Exercising too much

Overexercising can also make you feel tired. “How much is too much depends on the person, other demands in their life, stress levels, overall health and fitness levels, and the types of exercise,” Majumdar said.

Underfueling for a workout can also be a contributor to fatigue. “During exercise, the body typically burns a combination of fat and carbohydrates. If you are not eating enough carbohydrates, it is more difficult to fuel the workout, and if this pattern progresses, the body’s stored carbohydrates, called glycogen, aren’t restocked,” Majumdar said. This can leave you feeling drained, frustrated and demoralized with your workout, according to Majumdar.

“Take inventory of how you feel before and after exercise sessions and consider adding carbohydrates or calories to your intake, or reducing your exercise to keep energy levels balanced,” Majumdar said.

If exercise is eating into sleeping time, this can also impact energy levels. Getting an adequate amount of sleep not only gives you energy, it also helps the body to actively repair muscles and tissues used during exercise, according to Majumdar.

By: Lisa Drayer, CNN

Source: How your ‘healthy’ lifestyle can be making you tired

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Related Links:

Vitamin and mineral requirements in human nutrition

Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Vegetarian Diets

Food information to consumers – legislation

WHO | Promoting fruit and vegetable consumption around the world

Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Developing Vegetarian and Mediterranean-style Food Patterns

Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective

American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention

Added Sugars and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Children

Choose a fiber-filled diet, rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits

Chief medic calls for food taxes to cut salt and sugar intake

The Nutrition Source Healthy Beverage Guidelines

  The Surprising Fallacy at the Core of Nutrition Fads and a Guide to Healthy Eating for the Rest of US

Your Guide To Lowering Your Blood Pressure With DASH

Comparison of weight-loss diets with different compositions of fat, protein, and carbohydrates

Effects of dietary fatty acids and carbohydrates on the ratio of serum total to HDL cholesterol and on serum lipids and apolipoproteins

 

 

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