Did you go through a weight loss regime recently? One serious problem faced by people getting rapid weight loss is loose skin. You might have loose skin on your stomach or on the thighs or arms. It is very important to tighten skin after weight loss. A certain amount of loose skin is present in the body of each and every person but you need to make sure that it is not excessive.
There are certain products like skin tightening creams such as skin tight, body sculpt and no more double chins and so on for this purpose. Body wrap is the other option available. But it is always better to use natural methods in the beginning because they are safe. In extreme cases you might have to go for surgery.
The surgery meant for tightening the skin after weight loss is risky as well as costly. Therefore, you should wait for at least 2 years before you consider the surgery. Here are certain tips which can help you start the process to tighten skin after weight loss.
1. Start with the right kind of exercises to tighten skin after weight loss. If you start toning your muscles it will make your skin firm. Some of the weight training exercises which can be of help are crunches, pushups, squats, sit-ups and lunges. You can even lift weights to build muscles. But before doing these exercises you need to talk to a fitness trainer. It is important to find out the right way to do these exercises. You might get injured if you do not know the right way.
2. Do you know you can use loofah to tighten your skin? Loofah is an inexpensive product which can exfoliate your skin. It has the power to dig deep inside the pores on the skin and clean the dirt, dead cells, grime and toxins. If you have loose skin then you should always keep it clean. It will also ensure a better absorption of the creams and moisturizers.
3. You need to pay attention to the food you eat. To keep your skin firm and elastic you need to stimulate the development of elastin and collagen. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, soy products and artichoke hearts have antioxidants, vitamins and biotins which are necessary for the production of collagen. You can also eat high protein food like legumes, fish, nuts, milk, beans and yogurt.
4. You can massage your skin with cocoa and shea butter to tighten it after weight loss. You need to cover the loose areas of your skin with organic cocoa butter. This is one of the ways to keep your skin moist as well as elastic. Shea butter can be massaged on the loose skin during the night as well as in the morning.
5. You must understand that you need to have patience to tighten skin after weight loss. Plastic surgery is an option but do not take hasty decisions regarding that. But surgery is one of the permanent ways of getting rid of loose skin.
How to tighten loose skin on your stomach is a common question among people who have recently lost lots of weight or among women who have been pregnant. If you are worried about the loose skin on your stomach then you need to find the best ways on how to tighten loose skin on stomach.
Some people have the idea of giving a call to the plastic surgeon to get rid of the skin but this is not the right decision. Instead of going the painful way you can always look up to some of the best abdominal exercises and yoga to get a perfectly shaped tummy.
Weight loss is a major issue and you need to deal with it cleverly. There are different kinds of weight loss programs available on the internet these days from diet.com, beachbody.com, fast track to weight loss, fit over 40, fat loss 4 idiots and the diet solution programs and much more.
But each of these programs might not offer the desired result in weight loss. When we are talking about the abdominal skin then it is important for us to find out some important facts.
The skin on the abdomen is different from the other parts of the body. This skin is known to contain subcutaneous tissue which stores fat. The skin can store at least 7 inches of fat. This is actually a natural method of storing food for the body in case a famine strikes.
A small amount of cushioning for the tummy skin is important for everybody even for the fittest of people. There are people who take up an excessive dieting routine to get rid of the loose stomach skin, and might fall seriously ill after a certain period of time.
Make sure you do not confuse the loose skin with excessive fat. You must always stay away from rapid weight loss programs. Rapid weight loss programs might be responsible for excessive loose skin on the stomach.
You should allow less than three pounds of weight loss every week. Do you know that you can help your stomach skin tighten with the help of a loofah? You can use the loofah twice every day. Lifting weights can also be a way to get rid of loose skin.
You can lift weights even as a method of weight loss. Practice stomach crunches because it is an important way to lose excessive stomach fat and tighten up the skin. There are yoga exercises which can tighten the skin just below the navel.
The two top exercises are cobra yoga which is the abdominal exercise and the upward facing dog exercise. The exercises might seem difficult in the beginning. In both these exercises you need to lie on your stomach and push yourself upwards with your hands.
Natural methods for how to tighten lose skin on stomach will have no side effects. You must follow a diet without sugar or sweet products. There are number of treatments available like the sagging skin treatment but the treatment can have bad impact on the body.
How to lose stretch marks is a common question these days. If you have stretch marks on your body then there can be two reasons for it. You might either have lost a considerable amount of weight recently or you have been pregnant. Women can have the marks for both the reasons while men will have the stretch marks only for the first reason.
We all are afraid of these marks because we know that it is not at all easy to get rid of them. These marks can either be reddish in color or even purple. When these marks start coming up they are not very bright but with time they tend to become visible. You should use methods to get rid of the stretch marks early because in the later stages it might not only become difficult to get rid of them but can also be expensive.
Rapid weight gain and loss can be a cause of these marks. The middle layer of the skin or the dermis is put under strain which in turn damages the supporting fibers. You must stay away from food which might result in rapid weight gain as well as from the rapid weight loss programs.
A balanced diet full of vitamin C and E can help you achieve a stretch mark free skin. Online programs like fast track to fat loss, 7 minute muscle, total body makeover and many more might offer great solution for weight loss but stretch marks might be common problem. Here are certain tips that can surely be helpful in losing stretch marks naturally.
1.) Self maintenance is the key for getting rid of or preventing these marks. First of all, you need to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water daily to keep your body hydrated. You need to start the process from inside out. Drinking enough water will ensure that the toxins in your body get removed and the tissues remain hydrated.
2.) Other than vitamin E and C your diet must also contain loads of protein and zinc. These nutrients will stimulate the creation of collagen in the body which can help you stop the growth of stretch marks after weight loss.
3.) A number of anti stretch mark creams are doing the rounds in the market. Using the right kind of cream and lotion can be of some help. It is important to keep your skin moisturized regularly. Some of the top stretch marks removal creams are Revitol, TriLastin SR, Zenmed Stretta, Heal Stretch Marks, StriVectin – SD and many more.
4.) To find out how to get rid of stretch marks naturally you just need to get vitamin E oil and massage it on the affected areas. Vitamin E has antioxidants which can prevent the damage. You can also use wheat germ, avocado and rose hip to get rid of the marks. Now you surely know how to get rid of stretch mark. Cocoa butter can also be used.
5.) Aloe Vera gel can work because of its anti inflammatory effects.
Are you worried about the loose skin on your body? Do you want to have a firmer skin? This is a common issue and lots of people want an answer to this problem. You usually get loose skin after sudden weight loss.
But loose skin is quite a common phenomenon and therefore you need not worry. There are various methods which can be effective in getting rid of loose skin. To get a firmer skin you need to follow certain tips. You must always try to stay in shape and follow some easy suggestions for a firm skin.
1. Do you think you take the right vitamins to maintain a firm skin? Vitamin C and E must be on your regular diet chart because they offer elasticity to the skin. Vitamin B is also helpful because it keeps the skin cells hydrated. You can tone your skin with the help of fatty acids, specially omega 3. You should eat lots of vegetables. Fruits like apples and oranges can also be of help.
2. Firming skin is not possible without exercise. Blood circulation is necessary for skin firming. To tighten the facial skin you need some facial exercises. There are exercises for the forehead, lips, eyes, neck, cheeks as well as double chin. Similar exercise routine should be followed for the rest of the body with loose skin.
3. Use of moisturizers is a good process for firming skin. Skin tight body firming lotion, emu moisturizing lotion and nivea skin firming moisturizer are some of the products which are used. Firming facials can also help you tone the skin and make it firm. It is important to choose the facial according to the need of your skin. It is therefore necessary to find out the skin type before applying the facial.
4. Flushing out the toxins from your skin can make your skin look firm and toned. Steam is one of the best ways to do this. You can either check out a steam room or even choose to go for a sauna bath.
5. Proper blood circulation on the skin can help you achieve firming skin. A good massage on the areas having loose skin can be helpful. The right kind of massage will also help in tightening the muscles and tissues under the skin.
6. Skin exfoliation is necessary for a firming skin. You should exfoliate your skin on a regular basis. You can use a loofah for this. This will not only remove the dead cells but will open the pores so that the skin can absorb the moisture.
7. Eat raw fruits like tomato, cucumber, coconut and olives to improve the elasticity of your skin. Losing elasticity can be one of the major reasons for getting loose skin.
8. Yoga exercises like lying on the stomach and pushing up with the help of your hands can have an effect on the loose skin. Yoga is also a great way to relax and get rid of stress.
9. You need to differentiate between loose skin and excessive fat to start with the process of firming skin.
Having extra skin after weight loss is a common problem among men and women these days. There are people who misunderstand the loose skin as excessive fat. Having a little bit of loose skin on your body is normal but you need to make sure that it is under control.
You need to work hard to get rid of the extra flab. Loose skin can be present in the stomach, face, neck, thighs as well as in the arms. You need to get rid of the extra skin after weight loss through a good diet regime, regular exercise and massage and moisturizers.
There are some more factors which can be responsible for the decrease in the elasticity of the skin. Age, amount of weight loss, genetics, sun exposure, water intake and nutrition are the factors that might affect your skin.
When you start off with your weight loss procedure you need to make sure that you move ahead slowly. Rapid weight loss programs must be avoided because they not only create loose skin but also has other harmful side effects. You can lose 1 to 2 pounds of weight every week and not more than that. This will help you stay away from extra skin after weight loss. Slow weight loss will allow the skin to adjust with the loss of the excessive fat.
Do you nourish your skin properly? To take proper care of your skin you need to exfoliate your skin to remove the dead cells and remove the dirt and toxins from the pores. Proper circulation of the skin is important to maintain the elasticity. A number of skin tightening creams and moisturizers are available these days such as skin tight body firming lotion, emu moisturizing lotion and nivea skin firming moisturizer and many more. Taking a hot bath with minerals and sea salts can also help you improve the condition.
To stop your skin from losing elasticity you need to stay away from certain things like harsh shampoos and soaps and detergents. Make sure you do not expose your skin too much to the sun as well as to chlorinated water. You must also stay away from hot water.
Hyaluronic acid is an important element found in the tissues of the body. This acid tends to decrease with time. It is important to maintain the elasticity of the body. The acid is also necessary to grow muscles. Therefore, make sure you include this acid in your diet and you should also include magnesium along with it because it helps synthesizing the effect of the acid. People who smoke regularly lack in hyaluronic acid.
To differentiate loose skin from fat you need to find out the percentage of fat that must be present in your body. This will help you find out regarding the growth of extra skin after weight loss. The fat percentage of the body is determined after you reach your desired weight.
Increase the intake of vitamin E and C to develop collage and elastin in your body.
It’s 3 p.m. on a Tuesday and you’d do anything for a donut… with chocolate filling… and those rainbow sprinkles on top. Are you hungry? Bored? You may just have a case of the “sleep munchies.” According to a recent study published in the journal SLEEP, a lack of zzz’s stokes your appetite just like marijuana might. Seriously! When you don’t get enough shut-eye, your brain lights up with the same chemicals that cause stoners to giggle over Funyuns and chomp on Twinkies.
While sleep deprivation has long been linked to overeating and weight gain, researchers at the University of Chicago were able to link it to endocannabinoids, our bodies’ version of THC, marijuana’s active component. Like THC, this chemical can make you want to eat “super-palatable foods” that are high in fat, sugar and salt, says lead author Erin C. Hanlon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Endocrinology at the university’s Sleep, Metabolism and Health Center. In fact, getting just 4.5 hours of sleep could mean 33 percent more endocannabinoids than are present after a restful eight-and-a-half hours of sleep. In the study, that resulted in eating double the amount of fat and 46 percent more calories (despite eating a dinner that met 90 percent of their daily caloric requirements only two hours before the snacking session commenced). Yikes!
1. Assess your plate. Even if you know that you run best on, let’s say, seven and a half hours of sleep, does that mean that you’re always going to hit the mark? Nope. If you had a less-than-stellar night of sleep, “anticipate your extra appetite boost and head it off by planning on extra large portions of vegetables, staying fully hydrated, and ensuring you get a lean protein source with each meal to aid in satiety,” says Georgie Fear, R.D., author of Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss. You’ll want at least 30 percent of your calories for each meal to come from protein, says Fear, and fill up half your plate with veggies. (That means less pasta and more broccoli, folks.)
2. Stock your desk drawers. Healthy snacks on hand can help beat cravings before the munchies hit. Find yourself jonesing for some sweets? Appease your taste buds with natural sugars from fruit instead of those from high-octane sweets like candy and cookies, she says. (When your body is low on energy, it naturally craves high-sugar foods for a quick hit of energy.)
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3. Seek out healthy fats. Odds are good that your body’s going to crave high fat foods in addition to sugary snacks. In the University of Chicago study, participants rated their cravings for high-carb and high-fat foods like those to be the highest, Hanlon says. Call it your taste buds seeking out energy for your sleep-starved body. FYI, if you’re all about fatty foods when you’re sleepy, try focusing on whole sources like avocados and even Greek yogurt over deep fried everything, Fear says.
Bottom line: Your brain might be to blame for your afternoon vending machine runs. But luckily, you don’t need to white-knuckle it through the cravings in order to stay healthy you just need some more zzz’s.
A study that followed up on 14 contestants from the weight loss reality show “The Biggest Loser” confirms what some previous participants have been saying for years: The massive weight loss depicted on the show can be almost impossible to maintain perfectly, and in fact it is frighteningly easy to re-gain all the weight they lost — and then some.
That’s not surprising on its own. After all, contestants dedicate themselves wholly to weight loss for about seven months in an artificial environment that is impossible to maintain after the show ends. What’s more, the public scrutiny, as well as the financial incentives, make their success difficult to translate into post-show maintenance. But the reason for weight re-gain goes deeper than willpower, according to Kevin D. Hall, lead author of the study and a scientist at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.
Hall found that former “Biggest Loser” participants had slower metabolisms than people of comparable age and body composition who never lost an extreme amount of weight. These slowed metabolisms persisted even years after appearing in the competition, according to the study, published Monday in the journal Obesity.
The researchers also found a key factor related to the “satiety hormone” leptin, which lets your body know when you’ve eaten enough. In line with past research that shows people who lose weight suffer a decline in leptin, the leptin levels of “Biggest Loser” contestants plummeted after the show and never fully returned to their pre-weight loss numbers.
These two factors, the researchers argue, create a perfect storm for weight re-gain because the body is slow to burn calories at the same time that hormone levels make a person feel like they need to keep eating. Indeed, the findings as they were first reported in the New York Times were accompanied by distressing testimony from former contestants who spoke of an overwhelming hunger and food cravings they couldn’t control.
“What people don’t understand is that a treat is like a drug,” Erinn Egbert, a season eight contestant, told the New York Times. “Two treats can turn into a binge over a three-day period. That is what I struggle with.”
The study participants were part of season eight of “The Biggest Loser,” which has run for 17 seasons. When researchers checked in with the former contestants six years after their competition, all but one had regained at least some of the weight they had lost during the 30-week TV competition, andfive of them were within one percent or above the weight they had originally started with before the show. On average, the participants had re-gained an average 90 pounds — about 70 percent of the weight they had lost.
While in theory people who lose smaller amounts of weight may go through the same metabolic slowdowns and leptin deficits, it is much more difficult for a person to maintain a massive weight loss if they start at a BMI of 50 than a BMI of 30. This first number falls into the most extreme category of obesity, called “super obese.” For perspective, a person crosses over into “overweight” territory with a BMI of 25.
First, a caveat: The study doesn’t demonstrate that there is anything inherently harmful about being on the show that contributes to metabolic slowing and leptin deficiencies. Instead, experts say, the profound obesity that can land someone a spot on the show is responsible for this physiological difference in the first place.
Rather than simply raise questions about the health consequences of being a contestant on “The Biggest Loser,” the study highlights several startling truths about why it’s so hard to lose weight and keep it off for the approximately 71 percent of American adults who are overweight or obese. Here are six lessons anyone who doesn’t have a show to help them lose weight should take away from the study:
1. Losing weight can lower your metabolism — but that shouldn’t stop you.
Most people regain at least some of the weight they’ve lost. There are many possible reasons for this, like returning to one’s previous unhealthy levels of exercise and eating due to fatigue or boredom with the new healthy routine. But as the Obesity study illustrates, the more weight you have to lose, the more your metabolism rate and leptin levels decline. These two factors alone, along with other physiological processes that are not captured in the research, are relentless forces essentially trying to pull your body back to its previous unhealthy weight.
These physiological processes are relentless forces essentially trying to pull your body back to its previous unhealthy weight.
The metabolism decline makes sense; a person who loses weight is smaller than they used to be, and so requires fewer calories to fuel their body’s processes. But the researchers note that the study participants had a resting metabolic rate that was about 500 calories lower than you’d expect based on their body composition and age. And in fact, over time, that metabolism kept getting slower, especially in people who maintained the most weight loss. This is because the participants started off at very high weights (the average BMI was almost 50).
“We expect patients to have a reduction in their basal metabolic rate,” said Dr. Holly Lofton, an assistant professor of medicine and the director of the medical weight management program at NYU Langone Medical Center. “This is congruent with other studies that have looked not only at metabolism but changes in hormones that affect appetite, desire for food and hunger in people who have lost weight from diet and exercise.”
One thing the study does illustrate, poignantly, is that weight problems are not simply a failure of will but instead a chronic medical condition. These “Biggest Loser” contestants have heart and drive in spades as they demonstrated on the show, and if weight loss was only a matter of self-control, they would have no problem maintaining it.
2. Re-gaining some lost weight isn’t necessarily a failure
If this crop of “Biggest Loser” contestants is representative of the entire alumni, the show’s intensive diet and exercise resources weren’t for naught: While all but one regained weight in the intervening six years, it was also true that 57 percent of the 14 participants maintained at least a 10 percent weight loss, noted the study researchers. This is a significant amount of weight loss for anyone to sustain, but this number is all the more impressive considering that participants in this study started off with an average BMI of almost 50.
“The good thing about [“The Biggest Loser”] is that these individuals did manage to keep a significant amount of their weight off,” said Aaron Roseberry, an assistant biology professor and a member of the Center for Obesity Reversal at Georgia State University. “Yes, they did gain weight back, but they are still lighter and ultimately healthier than when they started the show.”
True as that may be, not every doctor agrees with the show’s methods.
“From what I’ve seen of clips of the show, I have concerns about ‘the support’ — if you will — that is offered to the patients,” said Lofton. “It seems at times to be punitive, which is not what I support when I try to induce weight loss in my own patients.”
While all but one regained weight in the intervening six years, it was also true that more than half of participants maintained at least a 10 percent weight loss.
3. We know that hormones control hunger cues, but there’s not much we can do about it right now.
The more weight you lose, the lower leptin levels get, leaving you hungry. The study notes that leptin levels in “Biggest Loser” participants plunged from a starting average of 41.1 nanograms per milliliter to 2.6 ng/mL at the end of the contest. Six years later, those decimated leptin levels had recovered somewhat, but only up to 27.7 ng/mL.
Currently there are five FDA-approved medications on the market to aid in weight loss, but none of them is a replacement for leptin, one of the key hormones that create feelings of fullness. The New York Times notes that the pharmaceutical company Pfizer is conducting animal trials for a medicine that imitates leptin, but they’re still ongoing. If scientists achieve a replacement for leptin in people who have lower levels due to genes or weight loss, it would be an obesity gamechanger, says Lofton.
“If we had a medication that would help patients who have leptin deficiencies, that would be a breakthrough,” she said. “And then for the rest of us, who lose weight and have lower leptin, it would be something that could improve our weight maintenance results.”
4. Obesity is a chronic condition that requires lifelong maintenance.
A few key components to help maintain weight loss include a new way of eating that you can stick to for life, a sustainable exercise routine that doesn’t put you at risk of injury, at least seven hours of sleep a night and stress management strategies, said Morton. Finally, following up with a professional as you figure out your new life are crucial — at first on a monthly basis, and then down to quarterly meetings if you feel you’re getting a handle on things.
It takes a village of medical professionals to help a person lose weight safely, says Dr. Lawrence Cheskin of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. But the work doesn’t end once you hit goal weight: Cheskin’s weight loss patients continue to check with their clinicians at least once a month for an extended period of time so that they can iron out any post-program bumps in the road.
“The more frequently you follow up with people, the better their chance of sustaining weight loss,” he said. “As far as I know with ‘The Biggest Loser,’ when you’re done with the show, you’re done.”
Dr. Robert Huizenga, the show’s doctor told HuffPost that contestants are invited to periodic conference calls with both him and the show’s nutritionist. Huizenga also said he began counseling contestants that they would be “metabolically different” after their weight loss starting in 2011, after the show’s own studies revealed that metabolic slowing does occur in “Biggest Loser” contestants.
5. Perhaps we should focus on health and weight maintenance, not weight loss.
The danger in waiting to take action against weight gain is that your body’s weight control processes are like a thermostat, explains Roseberry. Set it too high (by gaining weight) and you run the risk of that temperature becoming your new normal. If the room manages to get colder (through weight loss), that thermostat will kick in and work to get those temperatures up again.
“Your body actually fights you to go back to that weight you were at,” says Roseberry. And as “The Biggest Loser” study suggests, that “fight” can go on for at least six years.
It’s probably best to think about obesity as a something akin to high blood pressure, which can go down with the proper medications but will shoot back up if you stop taking the medicine, Morton added. Or think of obesity in terms of cancer: it’s better to nip it in the bud when the problem is small, instead of stalling treatment and letting the tumor spread.
“Don’t let yourself get too far,” Morton said. “If your BMI is about 30, it’s time to do something about your weight.”
While weight loss should be the goal if your BMI starts to reach unhealthy levels, even taking steps to maintain your weight accomplishes a great deal, because it prevents your body from getting used to that higher “set point” weight that could soon become its metabolic norm, Roseberry added.
“If we can find new ways to prevent more people from gaining weight and becoming overweight and obese, that would be a huge step forward,” he said. “And if we can focus more on health parameters than weight per se, I think whatever you can do to help increase your overall health is more important than your absolute weight.”
6. Don’t lose hope.
It would be tempting to read the findings of the Obesity study and throw your hands up. If people who are the best at losing weight are at risk of gaining it all back, what’s the point?
But that would be the wrong message to take away from the findings, said Morton. A full continuum of obesity care is out there, and these weight loss methods include dietary counseling, medication, temporary gastric balloons and bariatric surgery. The sooner you reach out for help, the more chance you have of losing the weight for good.
“If you do have an issue with your weight, please don’t wait, and please don’t despair,” he concluded. “There’s a lot of solutions out there that can help folks, and what this study shows is that people can be helped if they seek out treatment sooner and they have lifelong maintenance help.”
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Its 3 p.m. on a Tuesday and youd do anything for a donut with chocolate filling and those rainbow sprinkles on top. Are you hungry? Bored? You may just have a case of the sleep munchies. According to a recent study published in the journal SLEEP, a lack of zzzs stokes your appetite just like marijuana might. Seriously! When you dont get enough shut-eye, your brain lights up with the same chemicals that cause stoners to giggle over Funyuns and chomp on Twinkies.
While sleep deprivation has long been linked to overeating and weight gain, researchers at the University of Chicago were able to link it to endocannabinoids, our bodies version of THC, marijuanas active component. Like THC, this chemical can make you want to eat super-palatable foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt, says lead author Erin C. Hanlon, Ph.D., assistant professor of endocrinology at the universitys Sleep, Metabolism and Health Center. In fact, getting just 4.5 hours of sleep could mean 33 percent more endocannabinoids than are present after a restful 8.5 hours of sleep. In the study, that resulted in eating double the amount of fat and 46 percent more calories (despite eating a dinner that met 90 percent of their daily caloric requirements only two hours before the snacking session commenced). Yikes!
And if you have just one sleepless night, it could influence your food choices the next day. In a Mayo Clinic study, people who cut 80 minutes from their regular sleep schedule ended up eating an extra 549 calories the next day. If we had enrolled participants that usually slept six to six and a half hours a night, we may have seen different effects, Hanlon says.
No, not everyone can hit 8 hours of sleep each night just to keep that appetite in check. And not everyone has to, Hanlon says. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults get between seven and nine hours a night, she says. Didnt get your personal Rx for shuteye last night? Heres how to cope if youve feel a case of the sleep munchies coming on.
1. Assess your plate. Even if you know that you run best on, lets say, 7 hours of sleep, does that mean that youre always going to hit the mark? Nope. If you had a less-than-stellar night of sleep, anticipate your extra appetite boost and head it off by planning on extra large portions of vegetables, staying fully hydrated, and ensuring you get a lean protein source with each meal to aid in satiety, says Georgie Fear, R.D., author of Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss. Youll want at least 30 percent of your calories for each meal to come from protein, says Fear, and fill up half your plate with veggies. (That means less pasta and more broccoli, folks.)
2. Stock your desk drawers. Healthy snacks on hand can help beat cravings before the munchies hit. Find yourself jonesing for some sweets? Appease your taste buds with natural sugars from fruit instead of those from high-octane sweets like candy and cookies, she says. (When your body is low on energy, it naturally craves high-sugar foods for a quick hit of energy.)
3. Seek out healthy fats. Odds are good that your bodys going to crave high-fat foods in addition to sugary snacks. In the University of Chicago study, participants rated their cravings for high-carb and high-fat foods like those to be the highest, Hanlon says. Call it your taste buds seeking out energy for your sleep-starved body. FYI, if youre all about fatty foods when youre sleepy, try focusing on whole sources like avocados and even Greek yogurt over deep-fried everything, Fear says.
Bottom line: Your brain might be to blame for your afternoon vending machine runs. But luckily, you dont need to white-knuckle it through the cravings in order to stay healthyyou just need some more zzzs.
Everybody is born beautiful. Unfortunately, Tess Holliday, a gorgeous, size-22 and self-proclaimed plus-size model, hasrecently been facingbacklash about her pregnant body from the cruelest corners of the internet.
She explains: As I enter my 8th month, my body overall looks the same other than my belly & I’m okay with that.
What I’ve had to be learn to be okay with (WHICH IS NOT COOL) is the fact that people still think it’s okay to comment on my body: ‘you don’t look pregnant,’ ‘you must be having quadruplets,’ ‘you are putting your baby at risk’ and a slew of other uneducated statements that are very far from my reality.
Holliday continues: I’m not the first plus-size woman in the public eye to have a baby and share it with the world, and I certainly won’t be the last.
However, I’m part of a small minority that’s telling you it’s okay to not have a perfect baby bump, or not show at all, to be plus-size and have a healthy child, and most importantly to find a care provider that doesn’t shame you about your size.
Ten years ago, after her gastric bypass surgery at age 22, Katie Pritchard became an alcoholic and a drug addictand, she says, lost sight of who she really wanted to be. If she could go back in time, she’s not sure she would have had the surgery. This is her story, as told to Aviva Patz.
It’s not that there were medical complicationsmore like emotional complications. You’re supposed to undergo psychotherapy before and after gastric bypass surgery (here are 8 things you need to know about weight loss surgery before you get it), but I didn’t do that. And I desperately needed to. I’ve suffered from mental illness all of my life. My childhood was full of abuse, trauma, and bullyingby my peers, my brother, and my own dad. Gaining weight early, being insecure, and having poor social skills made me an easy target. Every day I got called things like “you ugly fat a**” and “you worthless pile of sh**,” and never had positive affirmations and validation, especially in the looks department.
I had tried to lose weight fast many times. I tried Atkins, the South Beach diet, veggies and fruit, you name it, but nothing ever worked. I blame my poor mental health at the time. The depression and anxiety were so debilitating that there was just no motivation to give it my all. I felt hopeless.
The bariatric surgery did help me drop pounds146, to be exact. But it didn’t solve my problems. It actually made them worse. After I began losing weight, when men started telling me I was “pretty” (even calling me “hot” and “stunning”), I became promiscuous, wild, and irresponsible. I was finally getting the attention I craved and the love I wanted. I ate the attention up! I would do anything to keep that attention and prove to everyone who ever treated me poorly, “See! I am worth something! I’m not worthless! I’m not fat and ugly! I’m stunning! I’m beautiful!” (Heres what happened when 3 sisters underwent gastric bypass surgery.)
What I didn’t realize was that I was giving sex to get love, while the men I dated were giving love to get sex. And even as they lavished attention on me, my identity and self-worth remained firmly rooted in the toxic soil of pain, heartache, and loss. I may have looked pretty on the outside, but on the inside, I was still ugly from the damage, abuse, and trauma from my childhood. I still felt worthless.
I went on dates and began drinking. Eventually I would show up early to the dates to drink, stay after to drink, or go out and drink when I had no dates at all. (Could you have a problem? Here are 6 sneaky signs youre drinking too much.) I became addicted to painkillers after the surgery, as well; long after the pain was gone, the recreational high was irresistible.
At the time of my operation, I was 274 pounds (size 24/26). I went down to 127 pounds (size 6/8) in a year. But over the next 5 years, my drinking and drug use put back 100 of the 146 pounds that I had lost.
I hit rock bottom 5 years after the surgery. I was an alcoholic, a drug addict, extremely mentally ill, unemployed, bankrupt, single, STD-infected, and homeless. I cut my wrists to try to kill myselfI was very, very drunk at the time and didn’t care if I lived or died. I did it in the kitchen of the house I used to share with my ex-boyfriend. We had a three-tiered garden with a fountain in the back of the house. I remember holding my arm up in the moonlight in the kitchen after I slit my wrists and watching the blood drip down my arm. I remember thinking how pretty it looked, and I felt a strange peace come over me. My ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend called 911. I refused to go to the hospital, but the paramedics said I had no choice.
A week later, I got arrested for driving while intoxicated. Having handcuffs around my slashed wrists was the last straw. I’m a Christianthat’s an important part of my lifeand I believe it was God’s way of saying, “She’s had enough. She’s been through everything she needs to go through.”
I started getting better mainly because I finally wanted to. But also for a practical reason: The treatment centers at the homeless shelter where I was stayingthe Union Gospel Mission Homeless Shelter for Womenprohibited alcohol and drug abuse, so I would have gotten kicked out if I’d continued using. That rule, and the shelter’s amazing classes and counseling, are in large part what helped me get back on my feet.
Ten years later, I’m losing weight on my terms: through ballroom dancing, which is a passion I’ve had for years and never had a chance to pursue. I also gave up Mountain Dew and fast food. I’ve lost 31 pounds since January.
For many people, bariatric surgery is a lifesaver. For me, it just deepened my heartache, increased the number of memories I wish I could forget, and broadened the spectrum of the people I had to forgiveincluding myself. I needed time, therapy, processing, forgiveness, acceptance, and my relationship with God to do the deeper healing that has gotten me to the place I am today.
On April 28, I will be 2 years sober, and I’m entirely, completely, and utterly happier and more content than I’ve ever been.
A compound found in hops may actually help reverse that beer belly. (iStock)
When it comes to health benefits and alcohol, antioxidant-rich red wine is usually the drink drawing all the praise.
But beer carbs and calories notwithstanding also has its upsides, with studies showing the beverage can help prevent kidney stones, strengthen bones, and aid your digestive system.
Now, scientists have discovered another health advantage in your brew: A compound called xanthohumol, a flavonoid naturally found in hops, can be a boon for weight loss and may help scientists create a novel approach to addressing obesity. Tests have also shown xanthohumol can lower cholesterol and blood-sugar levels.
No, drinking beer wont help you lose weight. A pint of IPA contains only 0.0757 mg of xanthohumol, says Cristobal Miranda, a research assistant professor with Oregon State Universitys Linus Pauling Institute and lead author of the study, published in a special issue of Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics.
To derive any benefits of xanthohumol from beer, youd have to do the impossible and guzzle 3,500 pints per day.
But, researchers say, in the future, a concentrated amount of xanthohumol could be packed into a supplement and taken once a day. The supplement could be a low-cost and effective treatment for metabolic syndrome, the set of factors that increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other health problems. About one in three Americans have metabolic syndrome, estimates the American Heart Association, so this could be a welcome innovation.
Studies on the health benefits of xanthohumol so far have been carried out in laboratory animals and in cell culture, Miranda says. The results have shown the compound holds promise, potentially reducing risk of cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. Before we know its safety and real efficacy for fighting obesity and more, though, studies will have to be conducted on humans.
For the study, lab mice were fed a high-fat diet and given varying levels of xanthohumol. The rats given the highest dosage of xanthohumol cut their LDL or bad cholesterol by 80 percent and their insulin levels by 42 percent. Their levels of IL-6, a biomarker of inflammation, was reduced by 78 percent. The lab animals were all fed the same rich diet and given the same amounts of food, leading them to gain weight.
But weight gain was 22 percent less in the mice receiving xanthohumol in their diets.
Researchers have long been interested in the health benefits of flavonoids, exploring the compounds found in tea, garlic, chocolate, apples, blueberries, and other foods. Miranda says xanthohumol found in hops is unique because of its potential to address so many health problems, and to do so dramatically.
Xanthohumol is only found in the hop plant, and is not naturally present in any other plant, Miranda says. Any product like beer, hop tea, or a beverage or dietary supplement in which hops, or hop extracts, are used may contain xanthohumol, he says.
For now, we’ll hang tight until we can apply for a human beer-drinking trial.
By: Rachael Rettner Published: 04/25/2016 11:12 AM EDT on LiveScience
Dining out or eating canned foods might not actually be so bad for your waistline, a new study from Spain suggests.
In the study, researchers at the Autonomous University of Madrid analyzed information from more than 1,600 people ages 18 to 60 who answered questions about their weight and typical eating habits, and were then followed over the next 3.5 years.
During the study, about a third of the participants (528 people) gained at least 6.5 lbs. (3 kilograms). People who said they ate while watching TV at least two times a week, or didn’t plan how much to eat before they sat down to a meal, were more likely to gain weight, compared with people who didn’t report engaging in these unhealthy eating behaviors.
But many other behaviors that are typically thought of as unhealthy — including eating pre-cooked or canned foods, buying snacks from a vending machine, and eating at fast food restaurants more than once a week — were not linked to weight gain.
These findings are not necessarily surprising, said Lauren Blake, a registered dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, who was not involved in the study. That’s because, although canned foods, fast foods and vending machine snacks can be unhealthy, there are often healthier options within those categories that people can choose, like canned vegetables or a small package of nuts from a vending machine, Blake said. And if people plan ahead before eating out, by looking at the restaurant menu ahead of time, they may be able to avoid overeating, Blake said. [Lose Weight While Dining Out: Study Reveals 6 Tips]
On the other hand, the two behaviors that were most strongly tied to weight gain — eating in front of the TV and failing to plan what to eat — both involve a lack of mindfulness during eating, Blake noted. If you’re sitting in front of the TV with a bag of chips, “you’re not mindful, and you don’t even know how much you’re eating,” she said.
A greater amount of mindfulness about eating is often important for long-term weight loss, Blake said. “If we’re more aware of what and how much we’re eating, that’s where I see people make a lot more progress with weight loss and with maintenance,” she said.
But it’s still hard to say from this study that certain behaviors don’t lead to weight gain, said Dr. Vincent Pera, director of weight management at The Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. Although the study took into account a number of factors that might affect weight gain — including physical activity, alcohol consumption and certain chronic diseases — there are a number of other factors that the study wasn’t able to account for, such as whether people experienced periods of high stress that could have led to overeating and weight gain, Pera said.
What’s more, people in the study self-reported what they ate, and how much they weighed, and it’s possible that they didn’t report everything that they consumed, or didn’t report their weight correctly, which could affect the results, Pera said.
“Where do you draw the line in saying these certain behaviors for sure impact weight, and these don’t — I think you have trouble saying that,” based on these findings, Pera said.
And canned, processed and fast foods can be unhealthy even if they don’t lead to weight gain. These foods are often high in salt, which is linked to a high blood pressure. Looking just at weight gain, as the study did, “doesn’t encompass the whole picture of health,” Blake said.
The study also found that if people engaged in five or more of these “unhealthy” eating behaviors, they were more likely to gain weight than were people who engaged in zero to two of these behaviors. This finding suggests that “interventions designed to address several [unhealthy eating behaviors] together could be more efficient” than those that target just one unhealthy eating behavior, the researchers said.
Pera said that this finding makes sense, because there are often a number of factors in people’s lives and environment that affect their weight. If people get some of these factors under control, but not others, they may still gain weight, he said.
The study was published online March 31 in the journal Obesity.
About 12 percent of American women of childbearing age have trouble getting and staying pregnant, and about 7.5 percent of sexually experienced men under 44 have seen a fertility doctor, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet despite the fact that infertility is so common, there’s a lot we don’t know about it.
Silence about the condition contributes to the sense of shame people feel about being unable to conceive, and infertility’s status among other medical conditions leaves researchers struggling to win funding that can help advance the field.
Stigma about infertility is so strong that it gets in the way of even basic scientific research about the human reproductive system, says Richard Stouffer, a fertility scientist at Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine. Just as infertile couples are sometimes told they’re “not meant to be parents,” fertility specialists are told their medical research is not a priority.
“Some people would actually say infertility is not a significant problem relative to other diseases like cardiovascular disease or cancer, because it’s not life-threatening,” Stouffer told HuffPost. “But if you’re a young woman who has been trying to get pregnant for a year and is willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to try to get pregnant through [fertility treatments], you obviously don’t agree with that.”
And it’s not just about the ability to get and stay pregnant. Thinking of infertility as a non-fatal medical condition ignores the fact that people who are infertile are also at higher risk of major diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes than the general population, says Dr. Marcelle Cedars, director of the division of reproductive endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco.
“To look at [fertility] in isolation and decide whether it has value to society or for research is really pretty narrow, because reproduction is such a fundamental process of how all animals survive that it has to be key to our overall general health,” Cedars said. “We need to look at it in a bigger perspective, rather than focusing on if you get a baby or don’t get a baby.”
We need to look at it in a bigger perspective, rather than focusing on if you get a baby or dont get a baby.
While scientists and clinicians have vastly improved fertility treatments since the first baby was born through in vitro fertilization in 1978, the truth is that there is still a lot we don’t know about what causes infertility, or how to help people conceive. HuffPost talked to four fertility scientists who each discussed what they wish they knew about infertility, and which pieces of knowledge could potentially help the most people.
1. We still don’t know what causes the most common infertility-associated condition for women in the U.S.
PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, is the most common cause of infertility in women. Women with PCOS produce abnormally high levels of androgens — hormones that are naturally high in men, such as testosterone — and this hormone imbalance has a wide variety of symptoms, including excess hair growth and acne. Most importantly for infertile couples, PCOS prevents ovulation, or the release of an egg from the ovary. This results in irregular or missed monthly periods and prevents couples from effectively timing sex for conception. Women with PCOS are more likely to lose pregnancies when they do manage to conceive.
The condition may affect as many as 10 percent of all women in the U.S. and increases their risk of endometrial cancer, Type 2 diabetes and heart attack.
If scientists could figure out why PCOS starts in the first place, it could empower women to take steps to prevent the syndrome from taking root. It’s thought to be at least partially genetic, as women are more likely to have PCOS if they have relatives that also have the condition. Some research has also found a link to high body fat and BMI. What research has not been able to determine is which comes first: Does being overweight and having large amounts of fat tissue lead to hormone imbalance, or does an initial hormone imbalance lead to weight gain?
What’s more, there is a phenomenon of “lean PCOS,” in which women of normal weight have elevated androgen levels and do not ovulate regularly.
To get to the bottom of these questions, Stouffer is conducting a years-long randomized controlled trial involving rhesus monkeys to see whether elevated androgen levels, obesity or a combination of both things sparks PCOS in the animals. He hopes over the five-year experiment to see which monkeys develop PCOS and stop ovulating regularly, and then see if he can cure them of the syndrome by scaling back on the hormones, making them lose weight or a combination of both.
“Let’s presume there is a genetic component for the onset of PCOS. We’re not going to be able to change those genes,” said Stouffer. “But at least if we know how those symptoms develop, and then we can prevent those symptoms, then that would be a novel treatment.”
2. We don’t even really understand how normal sperm production works.
There are many diagnoses for male infertility, including misshapen sperm, sperm that are unable to “swim,” and sperm with damaged DNA. Alternately, there simply may not be enough sperm to normally fertilize an egg. While some sperm volume problems relate to physical obstructions, other “sperm genesis” problems don’t have a clear cause. This is particularly challenging because researchers don’t understand the underlying molecular causes of this lack of production, according to Dolores Lamb, an expert in male infertility diagnosis and research at the Baylor College of Medicine.
“There’s a lot we don’t understand about the controls for the production of sperm by the testes,” said Lamb. “Since we don’t understand the normal process, it’s impossible to properly diagnose the cause of why this doesn’t work properly in infertile men.”
Lamb is most interested in learning why, in some men, there is a complete failure of any sperm production, resulting in zero sperm cells in the testes. Understanding why this happens could unlock not only the cause of male infertility in general, but could lead to clues about cell problems in other parts of the body.
3. We know a lot about how to improve egg and embryo quality. We don’t know that much about the uterus where it implants.
Almost two-thirds of IVF cycles don’t result in pregnancy, and it’s partly because the implantation of a viable embryo remains a mystery to doctors, according to Milan Bagchi, head of the molecular and integrative physiology department at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
While researchers have learned a lot about how to improve egg and embryo quality with diet and supplement modifications, as well as genetic testing to discard embryos with chromosomal abnormalities, there hasn’t been a comparable rise in knowledge about how to manipulate the uterine environment, said Bagchi.
Almost two-thirds of IVF cycles dont result in pregnancy, and its partly because the implantation of a viable embryo remains a mystery to doctors.
There are many factors involved in making sure the uterus and the uterine lining is receptive to an embryo for implantation, and genes regulate these factors. But scientists know hardly anything about these genes or how to manipulate them, said Bagchi, which means doctors don’t have many resources for creating the perfect host environment for embryos. The maternal immune system also plays a role in a uterus’ receptivity, but scientists know “almost nothing” about how a woman’s immune system changes with age, and how that affects implantation rates.
“These are some of the things that can be researched and would help us understand how to improve IVF rates and pregnancy rates,” said Bagchi.
“[The uterus] is sort of this big black box we put the embryo in, and either it works or it doesn’t work,” Cedars agreed. “We know very little, not only about the uterus, but the interaction between the uterus and the embryo.”
4. Infertile people are in dire need of more low-cost, low-tech treatment options.
Fertility care is not treated as a medical necessity so much as a luxury good, as parenting blogger Lindsay Cross put it. IVF, the most effective form of fertility treatment, costs an average of $12,400 per cycle in the U.S., according to the American Society for Reproductive medicine, and this may or may not include the costs of medications and additional procedures like genetic screening or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, which can add thousands more dollars to the total bill.
Currently, only 15 states in the U.S. have laws that require insurance companies to offer some kind of coverage of infertility treatments, which means that most Americans who need IVF have to pay these high fees out-of-pocket. Indeed, a 2015 survey of women who underwent some kind of fertility treatment revealed that 70 percent went into debt to afford it.
Fertility care is not treated as a medical necessity so much as a luxury good.
It’s going to take a two-pronged approach to change this, said Cedars. Americans need to demand that infertility coverage be standard across insurance companies, and researchers need to continue basic scientific work on how to create low-cost infertility treatments to expand access.
“We need to find out how to do it less expensively, with less medications and less procedures,” she said. “Are there ways to achieve the same things without the expense of the laboratory?”
There’s some indication scientists are making progress on lowering the costs of IVF. Belgian researchers achieved comparable IVF success rates to traditional clinics with an experimental lab that cost about 90 percent less than a typical IVF lab, reported the Economist. And a Swiss non-profit is working with the Zambian government to set up an IVF program that uses a much cheaper ovulation stimulation drug compared to standard injectables.
The more people can understand infertility’s place in the spectrum of human health conditions and as part of the continuum of reproductive rights, the more opportunities there will be for coverage and treatment, Cedars concluded.
“You don’t have to have children if you don’t want to, but you should be able to have children if you do want to,” she said. “Helping couples conceive is critical.”
Golovkin defends middleweight titles with dominant performance against mandatory challenger
Gennady Golovkin has retained his multiple middleweight world titles and continues to be one of the most dominant and exciting boxers on the planet.
Saturdays fight against unheralded challenger Dominic Wade took less than six minutes. In the first round, Golovkin, of Kazakhstan, dropped Wade with a right to the temple. It didnt appear to be a clean shot, but Wade didnt seem overly committed to continuing. In round two, as the crowd chanted Triple G!, Golovkin dropped Wade again with a clean right hook. Wade rose tentatively. Golovkin pounced again, hitting his overwhelmed opponent with another right hook and Wade dropped to his knees. After the third knockdown, the American couldnt beat the count.
In the lead-up to the fight, Wade, 25, was petulant in his comments, obviously irritated that he was considered a lamb to the slaughter (he was installed as a 15-1 underdog). He hinted that he would play defense, pick his spots to gain points and frustrate Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs). He muttered that he would shock the world, predicting an upset on the order of Buster Douglas defeat of Mike Tyson in 1990.
Instead, he looked timid from the outset of Saturdays spectacle, and will now be counted as another victim of Golovkins powerful hands and perfect distance control.
His power is real, said Wade (18-1, 12 KOs). I tried to get comfortable. Once he started hitting me, I couldnt do that. He is a great champion. He does everything well.
The fight was held before 16,353 fans at the Forum and televised on HBO. It was Golovkins 16th consecutive middleweight world title defense now four short of Bernard Hopkins division record GGGs 22nd consecutive knockout, extending a streak dating back nearly a decade. His sublime performance will put pressure on Saul Canelo Alvarez to agree to boxings next super-fight. Alvarez faces Amir Khan on 7 May. Khan fans aside, the boxing public hope Alvarez will win, then agree to a fight with Golovkin.
Alvarez is an icon in boxing-mad Mexico and holds the WBC middleweight belt, which means if he doesnt fight Golovkin he will be stripped of his title and it will go to the 34-year-old Kazakh. Golovkin wants to unify the middleweight division (he currently holds the WBA, IBF, IBO titles and WBC interim belt) and is itching to fight the Mexican. Give me my belt! Golovkin told the Forum crowd, who cheered and laughed. I want my belt!