Posts tagged with ‘weight loss’

01 apr

How To Lose Weight By Eating Breakfast

MattDenosHow To Lose Weight By Eating Breakfast

By Matthew Denos, Ph.D.

You may have been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but if you’re like most people you probably don’t give your morning meal much attention. If you’re trying to lose weight, skipping breakfast might even seem like an easy way to cut a few calories. In reality, it turns out that only about 4% of people who have been successful in losing a significant amount of weight and keeping it off report skipping breakfast. That’s right—you’re more likely to lose weight if you start your day off eating.

Why Does Skipping Breakfast Make You Fat?

  1. Breakfast-eaters eat less overall. Studies have found that people who eat breakfast actually take in fewer calories over the course of the day. If you eat breakfast, you’ll be less likely to feel extremely hungry by lunchtime. This is important because people tend to be less satisfied by food eaten in the afternoon and evenings, meaning that it will take more food to satisfy your hunger later in the day. One study found that eating more of a particular macronutrient in the morning—carbohydrates, fat, or protein—led to eating less of that macronutrient over the course of the day. In the study participants, eating more carbs or fat in the morning resulted in eating 108 fewer calories overall—amounting to an 11 pound fat loss over one year just by eating breakfast!
  2. Skipping breakfast leads to high-calorie cravings. An interesting new study has found that skipping breakfast actually leads to changes in brain activity that make you crave higher calorie foods. Participants in the study had their brain activity monitored while they looked at pictures of high- and low-calorie foods. When participants skipped breakfast, the brain’s reward center was more active in response to pictures of high-calorie foods; when they had eaten breakfast, there was no significant difference in the brain’s response to high- and low-calorie foods.
  3. Fasting increases your insulin response. Skipping breakfast can mean going 16 hours without food, which your body interprets as fasting. Prolonged fasting can prompt your body to increase insulin levels, which increases fat storage and your likelihood of gaining weight.
  4. No breakfast equals less energy. Your body gets its energy from glucose (blood sugar), and your glucose levels drop significantly overnight. In response, your body releases glycogen (stored glucose). When you skip breakfast, your body doesn’t have the fuel necessary to replenish your glycogen stores, and your energy suffers. You’ll have enough energy to make it to your next meal but not much available for extra activities—making it unsurprising that people who skip breakfast tend to be less physically active.

The Ideal Breakfast For Weight Loss

Now that you know eating breakfast can help you lose weight, you may be wondering if there are particular foods you should eat to maximize breakfast’s benefits. While common-sense choices are always a good idea—choosing oatmeal instead of a doughnut, for instance—some healthy meals do appear to be more effective than others when it comes to weight loss. In particular, studies have found that eating a healthy breakfast rich in carbohydrates appears to be most effective for long-term weight loss.

The popularity of low-carb diets in recent years has given carbohydrates a bad name, but in actuality carbs can play an important role in weight loss. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfasts rich in carbohydrates tend to have a lower BMI than those who skip breakfast or eat a high-protein breakfast. Another study suggests that a breakfast rich in both carbohydrates and protein may be ideal. In that study, obese women were assigned to either a low-carb breakfast of 290 calories or a 610-calorie breakfast rich in both carbs and protein. Big-breakfast eaters lost 21% of their body weight over the course of the study, compared to only 4.5% in the low-carb group. They also reported feeling less hungry and having fewer carbohydrate cravings. So instead of cutting carbohydrates out of your diet, consider eating them as part of your morning meal.

Not thrilled with the idea of fixing yourself breakfast every morning? The good news for you is that your breakfast doesn’t have to be elaborate to be effective. In fact, several studies have found that regular eaters of cold cereal have fewer weight problems than those who eat cereal infrequently, and children who eat breakfasts cereals that are high in carbohydrates tend to have lower body weights. Choose a cereal that is low in added sugar and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

With scientific evidence so clearly in favor of eating a morning meal, there are few excuses left for skipping breakfast. Don’t be fooled into thinking that skipping the most important meal of the day is going to help you lose weight—as you can see, the opposite is true. Just making time for a bowl of cold cereal in the morning is a relatively simple lifestyle change that may have a significant impact on your weight and overall feeling of well-being.

A science freelance writer, Matthew Denos, enjoys presenting in an easy to understand fashion newsworthy research findings related to diet and weight loss. His passion for reading and learning more about obesity treatments and best rated diets for weight loss mirrors the content of his website; There you can find a discount code for BistroMD and a coupon code for Diet-To-Go.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Susan Brown on April 1st, 2010 in Diet and Fitness | 1 comment Read related posts in , , , , ,

29 mar

Can You Sleep Off the Pounds?

MattDenosBy Matthew Denos, Ph.D.

It may sound too good to be true, but a number of scientific studies are finding a relationship between sleeping habits and weight that suggests getting enough sleep may help you stay slim. This is good news for many of us, who have room to improve when it comes to our sleeping habits. Just a few decades ago Americans slept at least eight hours per night; today almost one-third of Americans report getting fewer than six hours of sleep. While there’s no question that diet and exercise are essential to staying healthy and trim, today’s obsessions with carbs, supplements, and fancy exercise equipment cause many of us to overlook a basic building block to a healthy life: a good night’s sleep. Placing a bit more importance on healthy sleeping habits may just be an easy way to lose a few pounds.

Studies Show Those Who Sleep Less Weigh More
Researchers in several different studies have found that people who get less than 7-8 hours of sleep per night tend to weigh more than those who get more shut-eye. One particularly large study found that a difference of just one hour per night was enough to predict weight gain among middle-aged women. Information collected from nearly 70,000 women over the course of 16 years showed that in every point in time, women who slept 7 hours per night weighed less than those who slept fewer hours. Those who slept 5 hours or less per night were 32% more likely to experience major weight gain (33 pounds or more) and 14% more likely to become obese over the course of the study. Those who slept an extra hour—6 instead of 5—fared a little better, but were still 12% more likely to experience major weight gain and 6% more likely to become obese.

The link between sleep and weight isn’t just true for women—it has also been found in men and even children. A study of adults 65 and older reported that men who slept fewer than 5 hours per night had an average Body Mass Index (BMI) 2.5 points higher than those who slept 7-8 hours and were 3.7 times more likely to be obese. Differences for women weren’t quite as great, but were still significant: average BMI was 1.8 points higher and they were 2.3 times more likely to be obese. And for both sexes, the difference in weight was a result of more fat, not more muscle.

The Role of Hormones
Scientists don’t know all the details about what causes this relationship between sleep and weight, but many point to the influence sleep has on hormone levels. Hormones are responsible for many of our physical responses, including appetite and eating behavior. Studies have found that being sleep-deprived affects ghrelin and leptin, the hormones responsible for regulating our eating behavior. Ghrelin is the chemical that tells your brain your body’s hungry, while leptin is the one that lets you know you’ve had enough to eat. Being sleep deprived causes your ghrelin levels to increase at the same time your leptin levels decrease. As you might guess, this leads to feeling hungrier.

Being hungrier might not make such a difference if sleep deprived people snacked on carrots and celery sticks, but it turns out that not getting enough sleep influences the kind of food we want to eat as well as the amount. When we’re sleepy, we tend to reach for foods that are high in fat and carbohydrates. Next time you get only a few hours of sleep, pay attention to the food you crave the next day—you’ll probably find that potato chips sound even better than usual. And even as you’re craving carbohydrates, sleep deprivation is interfering with your body’s ability to metabolize them, increasing insulin levels and promoting fat storage.

Combine higher levels of the hunger-causing hormone with a preference for high-calorie foods and decreased metabolism and it’s easy to see how sleeping too little can lead to weight gain.

Sleeping To Lose
It can be a struggle to fit everything into a 24-hour day, and too often a full night of sleep is one of the first things we sacrifice. But if you’re trying to lose weight, hoping to avoid the extra pounds that come with aging, or just want to maintain optimum health, you should make sleeping well a priority. This means getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble sleeping, here are a few tips you can try:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  • Limit activities like computer use and television for an hour or two before bed.
  • Keep your room dark and cool—sleep experts recommend about 68 degrees F.
  • Use your bed only for sleeping, not for activities like reading, working, or watching television.
  • If you get plenty of sleep but still feel tired, visit your doctor to rule out conditions like sleep apnea.

Of course, sleep is just one part of keeping your weight in control—diet and exercise are still important. But with a good night’s sleep, you just may find that you’re less inclined to make poor food choices, have more energy to exercise, and simply feel better during the day—all while decreasing your risk for becoming overweight or obese. You have nothing to lose except the weight!

Matthew Denos is a medical scientist and writer who provides valuable diet and weight loss tips based on studies from peer-reviewed scientific journals. His website offers a coupon for Medifast and a Nutrisystem promotion discount, two clinically proven weight loss programs.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Susan Brown on March 29th, 2010 in Diet and Fitness, Health | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , ,

25 jan

A Healthy Diet for Life

Whether or not you are dieting for weight loss it is important that you consume a healthy diet for life. Never ever deprive your body from the delicious food once in a while. Instead do everything you can possibly can in order to stay healthy through following certain guidelines and instructions as recommended by your nutritionist or dietician.

Be very meticulous about the food you take. Remember to avoid those types of foods that can trigger or add up to problem later. Being choosy with foods does not mean you can’t eat delicious and sumptuous meals; all you have to do is to compliment these foods with healthy ones like fruits and vegetables in order to have balance.

So if you are keen to lose weight or simply maintain a healthy body, here are few tips that you can apply to your day-to-day living and achieve your goals:

1. Taking in enough calories for your body to burn. Too much or too few calories intake is not good. You should always remember to take in just enough calories to keep you up the whole day and do your routine. In order to know what the recommended calorie intake is you should ask a nutritionist about this matter. Since, every person’s calorie intake differs.

2. Eat in moderation. If you think eating one whole meal will give you what you need, then you are wrong! This will just trigger your body to crave for more and experience hunger much longer. If you eat in proportions and in a slow manner, then you are going to train your body to get full easily and not crave for more food.

3. Daily servings of fruits and vegetables. You would probably have remembered the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, this is very well true to this present day. It might sound a little bit childish but this can go a long way. There are a lot of nutrients and vitamins found on every fruit and vegetable. It does not hurt if you are going to add up couple of fruits and vegetables on your diet.

4. Slow down and don’t rush in. Like any other things in life, you need to slow down the process in order not to ruin the momentum. In this way, your body will get attuned to the change that is going on and show certain symptoms or signs of bad effects of drastic diets.

Treat your body as a temple. Be sure you are giving your body all it needs in order to keep up with the daily routine without having to show signs of weakness in the long run.

Whether you are dieting for weight loss or just want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, the above-mentioned tips will definitely do wonders for you.

Posted by Susan Brown on January 25th, 2010 in Diet and Fitness | 1 comment Read related posts in ,