News to Lose
Keep Informed, read up on how weight control affects you,
about new techniques, diet trends and more!
September 19, 2008
Water Rich Foods
In the October Issue of Nutrition, Dr. Murakami et al demonstrated that subjects having self-directed diets
who ate foods containing more water had a lower waste circumference and body mass index--basically
they were thinner. Water content consumed in separate beverages, however did not seem to correlate in
the same fashion.
Take home message: Though drinking eight glasses a water a day may not help you lose weight,
water-rich foods will. But the old advice of the eight-glass-a-day prescription may still have other benefits.
September 3, 2008
High Protein Diets: Load Up for Breakfast
If you're on a high protein diet, and ever wondered whether the timing of your food was important, in the
British Journal of Nutrition, dieters whose protein was more concentrated during breakfast felt more full
throughout the day compared to more protein rich lunches or dinners. Studies like these again and
again point to how important breakfast is for dieters and non dieters alike.
Photographing Meals Makes for Healthier Eating
The University of Wisconsin-Madison asked volunteers to photograph everything they ate. As a result,
perhaps because of more awareness of the foods they were going to eat, the dieters were able to more
effectively change their eating patterns to more healthy ones. This supported earlier research that
keeping food diaries also helped dieters lose more weight.
August 8, 2008
Diets go Head to Head
In the New England Journal of Medicine (July 2008) Dr. Shai and his group reported on the DIRECT trial
(Dietary Intervention Randomized Controlled Trial). Obese patients were randomly selected to undergo
one of three popular diets:
1)Low Fat (restricted calorie)
2)Meditarranean (restricted calorie)
3)Low Carb (calories not restricted) (Atkins based)
The results showed a high rate of adherence even after 2 years (85% made it through the study). The
Med diet group consumed the most fiber and had the best ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fat. The
low carb group consumed the least carbs (no surprise) but the most fat, protein and cholesterol, and had
the highest urinary ketones. Weight loss was about 3.5 kilos for the low fat group, and 5 Kilos for the
other two groups for those who completed the whole program. Cholesterol levels were higher in the Low
Carb group, reflecting their higher intakes of fats and cholesterol, and about half as much in the low fat
group. Changes in glucose and insulin levels favored the Med diet group; perhaps due to the higher fiber
intake. Leptin levels decreased during the trial for all three groups, but started increasing slowly over the
two year period. This could explain the higher hunger levels we feel as we commence to lose weight.
Take home message: Any diet program is effective if you stick to it. If you are very concerned about your
cholesterol, or are diabetic, talk to your doctor about your choice of diet as one type of diet may have better
results for you. However, if you have difficulty counting carbs, a non-calorie restricted diet may be for you.
Still, over a two year period, sticking to just one diet may be hard, so another strategy is to try recipes from
different diets--be bold!
June 21, 2008
Hunger and the Brain
Michael Rosenbaum of the Columbia University Medical Center reported in the Journal of Clinical
Investigation that Leptin levels may have a correlation with how dieters' brains work.
Dieter's MRIs showed more brain activity with emotional responses to food and less activity if they had
thoughts related to appetite suppression. After administration of leptin, this was normalized. Appetite
suppression lit up more of the brain.
What does this mean? Suppression of appetite may be more difficult compared to appetite stimulation
because leptin levels are lower in obese people.
In other words, be aware that when you begin to lose weight, your appetite may increase dramatically.
Eventually appetite suppression will become stronger with time. In the meantime, avoid triggers for
appetite. Don't sample food in the kitchen. Wait until dinner. With time, you'll have better control.
June 20, 2008
Weight Loss helps fight Cancer
Dr. Nicolas Christou from McGill University reported his findings at the American Society for Metabolic
and Bariatric Surgery. The use of a gastric band led to significant weight loss which paralleled a
decrease in the incidence of cancer, reducing breast cancer by 80%, colon cancer by 70%. This news
demonstrates profound repercussions in the relationship between obesity and cancer, and the need to
avoid being overweight.
This news is an astonishing breakthrough because until this point, though it made common sense, no
direct evidence of weight loss and decreased cancer had been presented.
Take home message: Weight loss means less chances of cancer for you!
June 20th, 2008
Big Breakfasts Surprisingly Lead to More Weight Loss
Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz at the Medical College of the Virginia Commonwealth University and researchers
in Caracas Venezuela demonstrated their findings at the Endocrine Society's 90th Anniversary Meeting in
Sanfrancisco. They showed that a big breakfast-- containing about eight times the carbs and half as
much protein as a low carb breakfast--lead to less weight loss after four months of dieting. But after eight
months, dieters lost 16.5 pounds on the big breakfast diet, while the low carb breakfast club gained an
average of 18 pounds!
Take home message for dieters: don't skip breakfast. Don't even skimp breakfast. You won't lose. You'll
gain. And for those who attest to low carb high protein diets, consider switching to a better well balanced
plan after the first few months, or else! Cravings for carbs with lower metabolic rates at that point
together with lower leptin levels spell out tough times for dieters.
June 20th 2008
In the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism Dr. Dennis Villareal showed that exercisers had
about a 3% loss of calcium in their bones, despite exercise.
Take home message? Take calcium and vitamin D supplements. Dr. Villareal recommends 1000 and
1100 to 1500 mg respectively if you are dieting to counteract the loss.
June 19th 2008
Flavor Crystals called "tastants" helped volunteers in Dr. Hirsch's Chicago based study. In the Smell and
Taste Research Foundation, volunteers lost about 30 pounds while a control group lost only 2 pounds
with the aid of flavor crystals they sprinkled on their food.
Dr. Hirsch noticed that people who lost their sense of smell and taste tended to gain weight (about 10 to
20 pounds). He reversed this process in these overweight volunteers.
Take home message? Dieters need to make their diet fun. Dieters may be eating foods they tended to
avoid such as vegetables. Spices and flavors can make eating a more pleasurable experience. Dieters
just need to take the extra effort to find teh right spices that will make food tastier--a proven method to
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Lighten for life does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.