If you’re looking to lose some weight, eating earlier in the day and intermittently fasting could help, new research suggests. According to a paper published in the journal Obesity, the timing of meals and intermittent fasting influences metabolism, which can have an impact on weight loss. Researchers discovered this following a trial involving 11 men and women, all of who were in good health, aged between 25 and 45 years and carrying some excess weight. The trial participants were split into two groups: one who ate breakfast at 08:00 and then ate their last meal of the day at 14:00, and another who ate breakfast at 08:00 and had their last meal of the day at 20:00. Both groups ate the same meals each day. At the end of the trial, participants underwent a battery of tests in a respiratory chamber to assess their metabolism. The number of calories, fat, carbohydrates and proteins burned were all measured. It was revealed that the participants who ate their last meal of the day at 14:00 and, therefore, fasted longer overnight, burned more fat than the other group. They also had lower levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. “Eating in sync with circadian rhythms by eating early in the daytime appears to reduce body weight and improve metabolic health,” the authors of the paper wrote.
If you’re trying desperately to lose weight, you’ll know that diets are difficult. But did you also know that the old trick of using a smaller plate when you eat to reduce portion sizes also (apparently) doesn’t work? That’s the finding of a new study that analysed how tricking the brain with a smaller plate doesn’t work when someone is hungry. According to the study by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), “plate size doesn’t matter as much as we think it does” – especially when people are food deprived. For the study, the results of which were published in the peer-reviewed journal Appetite, the researchers set to out to see if people could identify pizza portion sizes when they were placed on plates of differing sizes. They found that people who had not eaten for at least three hours prior to the test were more likely to identify the pizza portions on both smaller and larger plates than their counterparts who were not hungry. Interestingly, this only happened when applied to food, with both groups similarly inaccurate when asked to compare the size of black circles placed within different sized circles. The researchers say this shows that hunger plays a role in heightening the analytical abilities of individuals. "Over the last decade, restaurants and other food businesses have been using progressively smaller dishes to conform to the perceptual bias that it will reduce food consumption," says Dr. Ganel, head of the Laboratory for Visual Perception and Action in BGU's Department of Psychology. "This study debunks that notion. When people are hungry, especially when dieting, they are less likely to be fooled by the plate size, more likely to realize they are eating less and more prone to overeating later."
Millions of people all over the world struggle with their waistlines. A constant battle that sees them diet, lose weight and then put it all back on again - sometimes more than they had originally. It's a pattern known as "yo-yo dieting", and a new study suggests that it can be hard on the hearts of older women. According to study leader Dr. Somwail Rasla, who's an internal medicine resident at the Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island in Pawtucket (US), "Women with a normal [weight] who experience yo-yo dieting throughout their adult life are at increased risk of sudden cardiac death and coronary heart disease death". Last week's American Heart Association conference in New Orleans heard that older women who are not necessarily overweight, but continue to strive for that so-called "perfect figure", increase their risk of sudden cardiac death by as much as 66%, which is 3.5 times higher than women who maintain a stable weight. It's long been known that being overweight as you reach middle age is linked with a higher risk of mortality due to heart disease, but the risks associated with yo-yo dieting have had much less research. For the study led by Rasla, the weight histories of 158,000 older, postmenopausal women were analysed. The women who were deemed to be yo-yo dieters - characterised as a cycle of gaining and losing 10 pounds or more - were also found to have a greater risk of coronary heart disease. Until further research is conducted, the message for now from Rasla is that "maintaining a stable body weight is best for overall health."
Christmas is just around the corner and for many people that means gorging themselves on all manner of delicious food and drinks. But all that festive feasting can play havoc with people's waistlines, which is why so many individuals make dieting one of their New Year's resolutions. However, the effects of overeating might not be as disastrous for a person's health as we may think, as long as people keep exercising. That's the findings of research presented at the American Physiological Society (APS) Integrative Biology of Exercise VII meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. For their study, researchers from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, wanted to find out what would happen to people's fatty tissue if they continued to exercise while undertaking a week-long food blowout. The researchers got study participants to consume 30% more calories over the course of a week than they would usually. The participants also exercised for at least two and a half hours spread over at least 6 days of the week. What the study team found was that the participants' fatty tissue showed no signs of inflammation and no change was witnessed in their glucose tolerance or chemical breakdown of fat. In people who do not exercise, the markers of inflammation in fat tissue would normally increase after a week of overeating.
Every week, there seems to emerge new advice on dieting which contradicts previously accepted methods. This week is no different and it’s the turn of the protein-packed diet to get a meaty dressing down. An international team of researchers voiced their concerns about diets high in protein at the European Congress on Obesity in Prague. The research team looked at data collected from over 7,000 men and women over the age of 55 who had no previous history of heart disease. When quizzed about their eating habits, the individuals divulged their dietary trends over the last five years. The results showed that when carbohydrates were replaced with protein, the risk of gaining 10% more body fat was increased by 90%. Furthermore, higher protein intake was also linked to a 59% greater risk of death from any cause. When fat was replaced by protein, the risk of death rose even further to 66% said the researchers. "These results do not support the generalised use of high-protein diets as a good strategy for losing weight," said the study’s lead researcher Monica Bullo, of Pere Virgili Health Research Institute in Reus. She added: "Long-term efficacy and safety of these diets deserve more attention.” With 69% of the population of America overweight, high-protein diets have been favoured because they often provide quick results. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that American adults are already eating enough protein and the American Heart Association website says it “doesn’t recommend high-protein diets for weight loss.” Photo credits: Guardianlv, Fawesome.ifood
According to a recent study by the National Bariatric Surgery Registry (NBSR), almost 40% of people in the UK who undergo weight-loss surgery are, in fact, super-obese. Not only is this startling reality hard to comprehend but it also threatens to cripple the NHS in the future, unless this trend is curbed. However, the research also discovered that bariatric surgery actually has a significant effect on some of the chronic illnesses that are associated with being overweight; something that will help alleviate the overstretched NHS. Conditions such as type 2 diabetes are often linked with obesity and the study showed that after bariatric surgery two thirds of sufferers showed no sign of the condition two years later. Bariatric surgery, which usually involves gastric bands or reducing stomach sizes, is now actively being seen as a highly beneficial weight-loss solution as highlighted by the NBSR’s chairman Richard Welbourn: “For severely obese people, medical therapy, lifestyle changes and attempts at dieting rarely succeed in maintaining long-term, clinically beneficial weight loss due to the hormonal effects of being obese”. The NBSR’s report is based on over 18,000 operations conducted between 2010 and 2013, but NHS cuts could mean that the number of bariatric surgeries in the UK next year is restricted. It’s still the case that prevention is better than cure when it comes to medicine, but the NBSR’s study demonstrates that bariatric surgery, when required, is an effective and safe procedure for losing weight. Find out more about how we can facilitate bariatric surgery for you here in France.
Any type of surgery, whether minimally invasive or more drastic in nature, will leave your body needing a certain period of time to recover. And during this recovery period it is important that you take good care of your wounds by changing dressings where necessary and taking any medication prescribed as part of your post-surgery care. However, many people don’t realise that the foods you eat following surgery can also have a significant effect on your recovery. Here are 5 top foods that should definitely be part of your post-surgery diet: High fibre foods Foods that are high in fibre aren’t just healthy but they also help to prevent constipation. Eat whole grain cereals, bread, fruits and vegetables to aid your recovery. Lean protein Protein is the building block of muscles and it’s therefore important to get a decent supply following surgery. Choose turkey, pork and chicken if you’re a meat eater or tofu, soy and beans if you’re not. Fresh fruit and vegetables As well as being a great source of fibre, fruit and vegetables contain key vitamins and minerals, plus immune boosting antioxidants. Consume dark green, leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach. Low-fat dairy products Some people may advise against dairy products because of their tendency to sometimes cause constipation. This shouldn’t be an issue, however, if you’re eating lots of fibre too. The high levels of calcium and protein make dairy products great additions during your recovery period. Low-fat yogurts and cottage cheese are the order of the day. High-calorie foods That’s right, while the dieting world is telling us to consume less calories, the opposite is true following surgery. After all, your body is healing and needs all the energy it can get. A well-balanced diet is the key to a speedy recovery. And what better place to recover and eat yourself healthy than in a country famed for its cuisine like France. Photo Credit: Flickr
There are many reasons why you should opt to lead a healthy life. Not just for your own benefit, but for that of those around you. In today’s modern life, a combination of lack of time and processed foods are all too commonplace, making it ‘acceptable’ to take the easy road when it comes to your health. But at what cost? The stats say it all - a recent UK Think Tank survey states that the number of overweight and obese adults in the developing world has almost quadrupled to around one billion since 1980. But it’s not too late to start leading a healthier lifestyle. By putting simple steps in place, you and your family can enjoy a long and healthy life together. Top 5 reasons to choose a healthier lifestyle: 1. To be able to fight infections more easily. By eating a healthy balanced diet your body is getting the full range of nutrients it needs to build a solid defence against harmful bacteria. 2. To have reduced body fat. Eating a healthy balanced diet regularly throughout the day will mean your body is continually getting the right proportion of carbs, fats and protein. This in turn ensures your metabolism runs efficiently without the need to store fat – which can occur through dieting or missed meals – so your body fat levels remain normal. 3. To have more energy. As a result of eating a balanced diet and maintaining normal body fat your energy levels will soar. Your body’s internal organs are being given the correct nutrients to function at an optimum level which in turn keeps you alert, active and energised. 4. To sleep better. When your body remains active and alert throughout the day it will naturally need time to recharge at night, so you get a great night’s sleep! 5. To have reduced stress. A combination of a balanced diet, eating regularly, reducing your body fat and having increased energy levels, will calm the body and mind to reduce stress. Photo credit: © kikkerdirk - Fotolia.com