Hi everyone. Want a royal win win? Next time you start feeling like nodding off in the afternoon grab some healthy protein (Greek yogurt, protein shake, 2-3 oz chicken/turkey/fish, peanut butter on apple slices, nuts, low fat cheese, hard boiled eggs, low fat cottage cheese) and you'll not only stay awake but you'll be more likely to drop weight as well. Pretty cool, eh?
New research published in the Nov 17 issue of Neuron helps us understand how weight, health and sleep are intertwined. It turns out that special cells in the brain, orexin cells, send electrical impulses stimulating wakefulness as well as telling the body to get busy and burn calories. Whatever we do, we want to keep these cells really happy.
In this latest study, reseachers found out that it was not fat or carbs that optimally stimulated the orexin cells. Instead, it was amino acids, the building blocks of protein. For that matter, the amino acids blocked the effect glucose has on orexin--- that is, it's glucose that increases sleepiness. Protein blocks this effect and keeps you more awake and cookin' your calories.
Here's another valuable lesson from this new science. It turns out, it's not about the calories, but instead nutrient balance. When you have a choice of jam on toast or a protein rich Greek yogurt, head for the yogurt for sure. The brain is sensing nutrients, not calories, as it reacts to what you're eating. Even if the yogurt had more calories, the end result of choosing to eat it over the toast is you'll have a greater sense of satiety, wakefulness (great for the afternoon), and more calories burned. This is also another reason to make sure to finish eating your dinner at least 2 hours prior to going to bed. For many people, it's hard to sleep when you've just eaten protein, so watch your nocturnal timing as well.
Finally, plan your day so that your protein-rich mid-afternoon snack is handy while you're at work or running about doing your thing all afternoon.
This afternoon, give it a healthy protein whirl and let us know how you did!
Hi everyone. Here's a very simple tip to help you drop your excess pounds of fat. Eat enough protein! This is especially relevant for women who are often more partial to carbs throughout the day. Researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia found that when men and women consumed only 10% protein in their diet, they overate by a factor of 12% compared to people who'd been consuming 15% protein in their diets. What does this mean to you? Here are some real life tips you can use to drop that extra fat weight: (If you have any medical condition especially kidney disease, clearly you must always have your diet approved by your medical team)
1) Eat between 15-30% of your daily food intake as lean protein. That means if you're consuming 1400 cal/day and you want 20% to be protein, 1400 x .20= 280 cal/4 cal per gram = 70 grams of protein. Another quick way to determine how much protein you may need is to multiply .8g of protein per kilogram of your body weight. If you weigh 200 pounds/2.2= 91 kg x .8 = 72.8 grams of protein needed daily. These are, of course, rough estimates but they get you in the right ball park. The more physically active you are, especially in endurance activities, the more protein you need, driving the protein intake requirement from .8 to 1 or 1.2. Consult a registered dietitian if you're unsure how much protein you really need. They're terrific guides. Also use the WebMD Food and Fitness Planner to map out how much protein you need on a daily basis. It's a great resource.
2) Read food labels. Most people only look at calories, fat and carb when reading food labels. Add protein to you label reading. A regular yogurt has only 6 grams of protein while a Greek yogurt has 16 grams. Know what you're eating.
3) Spread your protein intake throughout the day. Don't wait until evening to have your protein. Your body needs protein throughout the day. Have some protein at every meal (lean poultry, fish, dairy, beans, nuts, eggs, soy) and try to eat your meals and snacks every 3-4 hours keeping portion sizes under control.
4) Add fiber to your protein to feel really satisfied longer. Research has shown that protein + fiber is the recipe for success for reining in appetite and cravings and keeping you feeling full and satisfied for 3-4 hours. Peanut butter on a banana or apple or multigrain cracker; carrots and hummus; low fat cheese and an apple; omelet and veggies; grilled chicken or fish and veggies. You get the point.
Good Luck and here's to your new best friend, protein!
Hey, before you write off prunes as something old folks take for digestive irregularity, listen up. There's brand new science showing that prunes (aka dried plums) are a simple and effective way to help prevent osteoporosis and fractures. Who knew?Scientists believe that the prunes decrease bone breakdown and this is especially important for women who are just now entering menopause. Over the course of the first 5-7 years post menopause, bone loss can occur at a rate of 3-5% per year. And guys, this is your issue too. Although 8 million women per year will be diagnosed with osteoporosis, 2 million men are found to be losing significant enough bone to carry the diagnosis. It turns out prunes are also emerging as a heart healthy fruit. What we already knew is that prunes reduce LDL and the fruit's pectin fiber is associated with reductions in cholesterol. Some even refer to prunes as a super-food due to its nutrient rich composition, including Vitamin A, fiber, potassium, magnesium and copper. The new news comes from a recent animal study in which mice highly prone to atherosclerosis had a significant reduction in their plaque development with prune powder. How much should you consume? If you want to try it out for yourself, a simple thing to do is to take one prune along with each meal. Then, as tolerated, increase to 5-6 per day. 5 prunes are about 100 calories, so this is a good incentive to stay active and use this glucose fuel as you lift weights to strengthen your bones and keep you heart healthy as well. Dr Peeke
Hi everyone. This posting stream says it all. This is a major problem for so a significant number of people. Avoiding refined and processed carbs is key. Once you consume some, your insulin shoots up and then comes crashing down creating the appetite from hell for more. Non starchy vegetables are usually safe and frankly their fiber really helps you fill up with few calories. Combine that with lean protein and you'll feel more satisfied at dinner and be less likely to forage afterwards.
Keep up with the great tips. This is a wonderful discussion.
HI Gerry and thanks for your posting. You're 5'2" and I'd love to know what your weight is as well as your age which I assume is over 60 years "senior". Here are thoughts:
1) As you drop fat, you will notice that your age-related decrease in skin elasticity will show up. Yes, you may see more wrinkles. However, you'll see a lot less of them the more physically active you are. For instance, at your age it is imperative that you do some level of strength training at home. It's easy and it pays off. Your muscles will give you a better overall body shape and you'll have less problem with the skin hang, unless you have over 50 pounds to shed. Please walk more than 15 minutes per day. Get out and do 30-45 minutes every day that you can, and split it up any way you want to.
2) You're dropping 1.5 pounds per week but that won't last if you're only eating 1000 cals per day. If you're more physically active, you can eat 1200 cals as a minimum and do fine. If you undereat, then at some point your metabolism will drop and you'll come to a grinding halt.
3) Staying on top of your weight in general is good, and once a week is wonderful. The more physically active you are, the more real changes in your shape (inches) you'll notice. Also, it's not just about weigfht. Your strength and stamina will improve if you combine eating a healthy nutrition plan with whole foods in combination with regular daily physical activity. Also, those cals you burn with your activities of daily living are important as well. Stay up and activie as much as you can in your "senior" years. It's so easy to lose muscle. Remember you want to do anything you can to avoid frailty.
H iand thanks for your posting. That's quite a story about your decades of garment wearing. Here are some thoughts:
1) You can get the same effect by wearing more form fitting clothes, especially those with a zipper, buttons and belt. When you do, you're aware of your body and will be more conscious of what you're eating. That's why I am not a big elastic fan!
2) What about your daughters who are obese--- "60-75 pounds overweight" is obese. They need to pick up on healthy lifestyle habits, not crowbar their bodies into shapewear. It's time for them to shed those pounds so that they can live to 80 like you.
3) The garment is providing support for your back and abs, but as Eunice noted, you need to be physically active and strong as well. If you want to stay vertical and independent, you need to be doing simple strengthening exercises. Check out the WebMD videos and resources to guide you.
Hi and thanks for your posting. At 5'4" and 112 pounds you are completely normal. Your problem is not your weight. It's your dissatisfaction with your body fat distribution. You're shaped like a pear and you'd rather be more like an hour glass. You want more slender hips, thighs and buttocks. Look at the women in your family. What do they look like? There's a pretty good chance you're the spittin' image of one of them and she's a pear.
Your goal is to be the best pear you can. That means the best shape shifting comes from a concerted and combined effort with cardio (intensity intervals) and weight lifting. Meet up with a trainer just once and have them show you what you need to do to trim the thighs and buttocks and become more lean and fit. You'll be a lean and fit pear because that is your genetic destiny. Many top level female athletes have this shape and they've done just fine.
Beware getting too hung up on this, as you'll develop a body image problem in a major way. If you're really having issues with this, sit down with a body image expert (licensed social worker or psychologist who specializes in this) and have them help guide you. Meanwhile, get to your physical training and nourish your body with whole foods.