Weight Loss Motivation

Weight Loss Motivation Blog

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Monday, March 31, 2008

Bigger Belly Linked to Dementia

Having a big belly in your 40s can boost your risk of getting Alzheimer's disease or other dementia decades later, a new study suggests
It's not just about your weight. While previous research has found evidence that obesity in middle age raises the chances of developing dementia later, the new work found a separate risk from storing a lot of fat in the abdomen. Even people who weren't overweight were susceptible.

That abdominal fat, sometimes described as making people apple-shaped rather than pear-shaped, has already been linked to higher risk of developing diabetes, stroke and heart disease. "Now we can add dementia to that," said study author Rachel Whitmer of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California.
She and others report the findings in Wednesday's online issue of the journal Neurology.

The study involved 6,583 men and women who were ages 40 to 45 when they had checkups between 1964 and 1973. As part of the exam, their belly size was measured by using a caliper to find the distance between their backs and the surface of
their upper abdomens. For the study, a distance of about 10 inches or more was
considered high.

The researchers checked medical records to see who had developed Alzheimer's or another form of dementia by an average of 36 years later. At that point the participants were ages 73 to 87. There were 1,049 cases.Analysis found that compared with people in the study with normal body weight and a low belly measurement:

  • Participants with normal body weight and high belly measurements were 89 percent more likely to have dementia.
  • Overweight people were 82 percent more likely if they had a low belly measurement, but more than twice as likely if they had a high belly measurement.
  • Obese people were 81 percent more likely if they had a low belly measurement, but more than three times as likely if they had a high measurement.


Whitmer said there's no precise way to translate belly measurements into waist circumference. But most people have a sense of whether they have a big belly, she said. And if they do, the new study suggests they should get rid of it, she said.
It's not clear why abdominal fat would promote dementia, but it may pump out substances that harm the brain, she said.

Dr. Jose Luchsinger of the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, who studies the connection between obesity and Alzheimer's disease but didn't participate in the new work, cautioned that such a study cannot prove abdominal fat promotes dementia. But the study results are "highly plausible" and "I'm not surprised at all," he said. High insulin levels might help explain them, he said.
Dr. Samuel Gandy, who chairs the medical and scientific advisory council of the Alzheimer's Association, said the results fit in with previous work that indicates a person's characteristics in middle age can affect the risk of dementia in later life.
And it's another example of how traits associated with the risk of developing heart disease are also linked to later dementia, he said.
Quoted from CNN


Excessive body fat at any body part can be harmful. It is widely known that a big belly is a main cause of all sorts of back problems. Having a big belly is like constantly carrying a heavy watermelon, that over the long run, puts a lot of stress on the spine.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Binge Eating

Here is an interesting story about a young woman's battle against the binge eating disorder. She was overeating because food had become a source of comfort to her. An eating disorder is often the manifestation of some psychological problems, such as low self-image and self-esteem. Eating disorders can't be fixed simply by weight loss, since if the psychologic issues are not solved, the weight will come back. There are treatments for eating disorders. Such treatments are effective in losing weight when combined with weight loss.
Morgan Wylie doesn't know how much she weighs. She says that the last number she knew was frightening to repeat. Yet although she's 6 feet tall with broad shoulders and a hefty figure -- what we gamely call "a big girl" -- she's nowhere near the behemoth you're led to expect from reading her blog, Fatgrrl.

Wylie, 27, is a recovering binge eater, and while it's going to be one day at a time for a long time, she recently experienced an amazing success -- if only it could have felt that way in the moment.

Binge eating is about eating alone, eating secretly. "I didn't want people to know how much I was eating," Wylie said, aware that her eating was abnormal. She thought about eating all the time, obsessively planning what to have, where to get it, how to fix it, what to do when it was gone. The ritual gave her comfort, slowed her thoughts.

Her mind has raced for years, always in pursuit of perfection. She was raised by a mother who served in the military, which meant a lot of moving and being the new kid. She was always bigger than the other students, or as she refers to them, "the little bastards on the playground."After a disastrous first job, Wylie was hired by the Walker, but needed a second job to pay her food bills. Life was up and down. She read "The Fat Girl's Guide to Life" by Wendy Shanker and laughed, an emotion she'd never associated with the food she kept hidden in her filing cabinets. Then she ran across Big Fat Blog, a Chicago-based blog about fat acceptance, notable for founder Paul McAleer's coining of the term Fatosphere. She began blogging herself, finding a voice and a community.
... ...
Bring up eating disorders and most people think "15-year-old suburban white female with anorexia," said Jillian Croll, director of education, research and program development for the Emily Program. Yet anorexia affects about 1 percent of the U.S. population and bulimia affects 4 percent, while the portion of binge or compulsive overeaters is closer to 10 percent, she said.

"The tricky thing is that many people have no idea that there's help for it," Croll said. "They think it's just how they live their lives. 'Oh, I emotionally overeat.' So do lots of people."

Treatment involves identifying the feelings that are masked or soothed by overeating, so that as people improve their attitude about eating, they improve their attitude about themselves.

Sessions are intensive, especially the experiential meals in which clients learn not only nutrition, but also "how" to eat. Take the pizza dinner. The dietitian was urging people to pick up the slices with their hands, while everyone was stubbornly using their knives and forks. Why? Because eating with a fork lessened the chance that something would drip onto their shirts. "There's a huge thing of not wanting to spill on yourself, because then you'll appear slovenly and disgusting, which you already think you are," Wylie said.

Breaking such chains of behavior is a prime goal, Croll said. "There's a lot of black-and-white thinking: I had one doughnut, so I might as well eat the whole box.' We help people to realize that you don't have to go to that black-and-white thinking, that there is a gray area where you can say, 'I had one, I wonder what it would feel like to stop now. Or to stop at two,' then move on and not feel as though they've committed a mortal sin."

Warning signs of bingEing or compulsive overeating
  • Overeating or eating uncontrollably, even when not physically hungry
  • Eating very rapidly
  • Eating alone due to shame or embarrassment
  • Feelings of guilt and shame due to overeating
  • Depression or mood swings
  • Isolation, often from activities involving food, due to embarrassment about weight or eating
  • Eating very little in public, but maintaining a high weight
  • Preoccupation with weight, dieting and food
  • Chronic dieting
  • Typically, awareness that eating patterns are abnormal


Quoted from: http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/16086527.html

Friday, March 14, 2008

Boost Metabolism

B vitamins: B vitamins are key players in DNA synthesis, the central nervous system, metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein and energy production. Inadequate amounts of B6, B12, folate, thiamin and niacin can leave you feeling depressed and fatigued, slow the body’s metabolism and increase your risk for chronic diseases. Get the bulk of your B’s from food, where they pair up with other vitamins and minerals for a complete synergy of action. Foods high in the B’s include: spinach, asparagus, beans (navy, soy, black beans), melon, broccoli, fish, poultry and eggs.

Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral needed by every cell in your body and is used in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including proper muscle, nerve and heart function, protein synthesis and energy metabolism. The National Institutes of Health reports that most Americans are not getting enough magnesium in their diets for optimal health. Boost your intake of high magnesium foods to give your metabolism a boost. Go green with your vegetables. Green vegetables such as spinach provide magnesium because the center of the chlorophyll molecule contains magnesium. Other excellent sources of magnesium include: halibut, nuts such as almonds, cashews and peanuts, soybeans (edamame), whole-grain cereals, oatmeal, and legumes such as black-eyed peas and lentils.

Snacking can help ignite your energy by giving your body a fuel boost. Eating healthy snacks, in snack-size portions, can help you avoid the overhungry-overeating syndrome that often leads to overweight and can leave you feeling lethargic. Be sure to include healthy carbs and protein in each snack such as: peanut butter and banana, trail mix, hummus and baby carrots, or an apple with low-fat Cheddar cheese. The protein/carbohydrate combination help regulate blood sugar, energy levels and feelings of satiety.

Want to increase your metabolism? Eat breakfast. Studies indicate that eating breakfast may increase resting metabolism by 10 percent and reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes. Make sure it’s a healthy morning with whole-grain cereal and fruit, whole-wheat toast and peanut butter or fat-free yogurt and a handful of granola.

Speed play (aka Fartlek) — Fartlek, commonly known in the U.S. as interval training, is the Swedish word for “speed play.” Interval training or speed play is a great way to pump up your metabolism and make your workouts more fun. Interval training alternates short bursts of intense activity with lower intensity activity. For example; alternating sprints with a slow jog, or powering up a hill followed by an easy downhill lope. Interval training teaches the heart and muscles to use oxygen more efficiently. A few studies have found that interval training alters the mitochondria (the enginelike organelles that produce energy in cells) to burn more fat. You will likely burn more calories, increase your metabolic rate and your level of fitness at a faster rate than with your old familiar workout.

Strength training — As we get older we tend to lose muscle, gain fat and our metabolism slows down as a result. One way to combat this metabolic slowdown is with regular strength or resistance training. Resistance training stimulates muscles to become stronger and healthier, providing your body with beneficial improvements in strength and function. Resistance training also reduces fat mass and increases muscle mass. Research suggests that resistance training may even increase life expectancy.

Depriving your body of fuel is a surefire way to slow it down. Food stimulates energy metabolism needed for digestion in a process called “dietary induced thermogenesis.” When you slash calories, the calories burned by eating are greatly diminished and so is your metabolic rate.

Restricting calories also signals the body that there is no food available, so it tries to conserve stores of carbohydrate and fat by slowing down its metabolism. The best way to keep your metabolism revved is to eat regular meals with snacks when necessary to give your body a constant supply of healthy fuel.
Quoted from: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/23547010/