Archive for the ‘Weight Loss’ Category

Lipo-suck-tion

June 7, 2011

To those of you pinching pennies in hopes of paying for liposuction, listen up. 

A recent study found that a year after getting the fat sucked out of their hips and thighs, women who underwent the procedure gained all the fat back.  Butt But the fat didn’t reappear where it once was.  Instead, the lost flab returned to the belly, back and triceps. 

So what gives?  Here’s what doctors tell the New York Times:

The body, they say “defends” its fat. If you lose weight, even by dieting, it comes back. And, the study showed, if you suck out the fat with liposuction, even if it’s only a few pounds — it was about 5.8 pounds for subjects in the study — it still comes back.

“It’s another chapter in the ‘You can’t fool Mother Nature’ story,’ ” said Dr. Rudolph Leibel, an obesity researcher at Columbia University.

That lipo-SUCKS!

So in the end you stay fat, but so does your wallet.  Only one of those is a good thing.

SOURCE: Liposuction Study Finds That Lost Fat Returns

 

Another exercise myth busted

June 2, 2011

Pop quiz time!

True or False: You’ll burn more fat if you skip breakfast before your morning workout.

FALSE!

No matter whether you eat breakfast before or after your AM trip to the gym, you’re going to burn the same number of calories.  (3 miles on an empty stomach is the same as 3 miles with a full tank)  The myth stems from the (misguided) belief that by skipping that first meal of the day you’ll force your body to burn fat for fuel.  While your body will turn to its energy stores when running on empty, it won’t tap those jiggly thighs or flabby abs for fuel.  Instead, the body uses a different kind of fat that’s stored in your muscles. 

Bottom line: Don’t skip the Wheaties!  In fact, you may find a light meal before a workout leads to a more intense session because your body is fueled and ready to go.

Why losing weight is so hard

February 3, 2011

Fat Cells

Stumbled across something interesting today regarding how the body stores (and loses) fat.

Apparently the body doesn’t store fat in layers.  That’s to say if you were to take a cross-section of your stomach the fat stored there wouldn’t look like the rings of a tree trunk.  Instead, our body has fat cells which expand to hold more of the stuff when we need them to.  (which for a lot of people is always)

As for losing fat, it’s doable, but our bodies make it hard to.  (Not that I had to tell you that).  But get this, the fat hormone produced when fat cells shrink is produced more rapidly than the actual shrinkage rate.  This means our brains are getting the message that we’ve lost more weight than we actually have.  Talk about sabotaging yourself!

And here’s one more sobering morsel to chew on…like all cells, fat cells shrivel up and die, BUT the number of them in our bodies at any given time always remains constant.

Obviously, evolution is the reason our bodies are hardwired to hold onto fat.  Food wasn’t so plentiful back in our hunter/gatherer days and our bodies had to develop a way to store energy for those times when a meal wasn’t forthcoming.

Who knows…maybe millennia from now getting rid of that excess fat won’t be as hard as it is now!

Acid Reflux (but not the kind you’re thinking)

January 18, 2011

I have a confession to make.  I haven’t been to the gym in ages.  That is until last Friday when I took a cardio/weight class that kicked my butt.  Not that I realized it at the time.  But boy did I feel it on Sunday.  The pain made even the simple act of stepping on the scale hurt.  And what I saw when I got on the scale hurt even more…I had gained two pounds! 

Impossible, I thought. I mean I had kept to my diet all week and even exercised a couple of times including that Friday class.  But I got to wondering if that Friday class and the lactic acid it had created was the problem.  Could  it possibly be causing me to weigh more?

A quick search of the weight loss/fitness forums finds I”m not the only one who suspects this.  There are some who say the weight gain is just a natural weight fluctuation.  Others say that muscles retain water after a hard workout so that they can rebuild, which leads to the weight gain.  Try as I might, I can’t find a solid answer to this nagging question.

So tell me, have you noticed this same annoying phenomenon?  Or maybe you can finally answer my question — does a build up of lactic acid cause temporary weight gain?

When overweight isn’t heavy enough

December 3, 2010

A lot of people who pin their hopes on weight loss surgery to drop pounds go to the doctor only to find out they’re not heavy enough for the procedure.

Current guidelines only allow people with a BMI of 40 and above (or 35 and above if a person has a serious health problem like diabetes) to get the surgery.  So if you’re 5 foot 2 and weigh 200 pounds, your BMI is 36.6…below the 40 required.  If you weighed another 20 pounds, you’d be over the 40 BMI mark.

How Lap-Band surgery works

However, this could soon all change.

Allergan, the pharmaceutical company that makes the popular Lap-Band is today petitioning the FDA to lower how obese someone must be to qualify for surgery.  If the FDA goes along with it, it’s estimated the number of people eligible could double.  Naturally, this would be a great move for Allergan.  Their profits would grow as American waistlines shrink.

But is this the right thing to do?

Sure Lap-Band surgery keeps you from over eating, but you still have to eat right.  And I tend to think people who want to surgery just see it as a quick way to achieve the results they want without the work.  Weight loss isn’t easy and yet we buy into the hype that there’s a quick fix.

If the guidelines are altered, I hope that people are not only offered the surgery, but the therapy and help that’s needed to make it successful and lasting.

Keeping it simple

September 16, 2010

I comb through a lot of magazines and newspapers for inspiration for this blog.  One of my resources is a website that publishes recent scientific studies ranging in everything from health and fitness to astrophysics and biochemistry.  Usually, I find some great new discovery worth highlighting.  Usually.

A current headline on this unnamed website reads:  “Reading Food Labels, Combined With Exercise, Can Lead to Weight Loss, Study Finds”.  Really?  I understand that everyone wants of piece of the billion dollar weight loss industry pie, but come on.  By now anyone and everyone trying to watch their weight has to know that watching what you eat and moving around more is the key to weight loss success.  Right? 

Then again, maybe the only way to get people to stop chasing the next quick weight loss product is by beating them over the head with study after study after study touting the benefits of eating less and exercising more.  Losing weight is simple, but not at all easy.  It took years to get where you are now and it’s going to take a long time and some hard work to get where you want to be.  Don’t give up and don’t give in to all those weight loss gimmicks out there. 

Let this latest study be the last one it takes to convince you.

Why losing weight can be bad for you

September 9, 2010

It seems like America is on one big diet.  Everyone is in some way trying to lose weight or keep it off.  And it’s hard not to see why.  Everyday we’re bombarded with messages about how being thin is desirable.  Sure there are health reasons for dropping pounds (high blood pressure, diabetes) and one can’t deny the feeling of fitting into a smaller pair of jeans, but believe it or not there could be a downside to losing weight.

New research finds people who have lost weight (not maintained or gained it) have higher levels of a blood substance known as persistent organic pollutants or POPs.  It’s believed the presence of these POPs can cause heart disease, cancer, dementia and diabetes.  Why are the levels higher in people who’ve shed pounds?  Apparently, POPs are stored in fat tissue and when you lose weight (i.e. reduce the amount of fat tissue on your person) you’re releasing the pollutants into your bloodstream.

So if you’re an overweight person who was told by your doctor to lose weight to prevent heart disease, you could get it anyway.  At least that’s what this new study suggests.  (It hasn’t been proven yet). 

This new research doesn’t mean you should ignore doctor’s orders.  The benefits to losing weight certainly outweigh the cons…and those HAVE been proven.   I’m also left wonder whether if a combination of dieting and exercising instead of dieting alone would prevent the risk associated with higher POPs.

Vinegar Redux

April 8, 2010

So back in February I wrote about the supposed wonders of vinegar, especially the apple cider variety.  A couple of the home remedies I mentioned included drinking a tablespoon of it before meals and mixing it with water to make a toner to clear up acne.  I tried both.  Here’s what I found.

The pounds didn’t drop after a few weeks of drinking a tablespoon of vinegar mixed with water or vegetable juice.  Like I said earlier, I think the method is just another way to make you feel fuller before sitting down to a meal.  If this trick works for you, then great!  If not, you’re stuck sucking down vinegar everyday with no results.

I experienced much better results with the vinegar facial toner.  I use a mixture of one part vinegar to two parts green tea once a day (usually before bed).  My skin has cleared up dramatically.  Combined with a non-soap cleanser and an over-the-counter acne med to tame flare-ups, I’ve finally gotten the acne under control.  (It’s about time, I’m waay past being a teenager!)

I’ve also got a recipe for a great exfoliating mask that I use once a week that combines the powers of green tea, apple cider vinegar and honey…another miracle product hiding in your pantry.  But more about that later.

Just because O says so, doesn’t mean it’s true

February 26, 2010

I was flipping though TV channels yesterday and happened across Oprah’s sit down with Kirstie Alley.  Of course, the topic was her weight and in their discussion O asked her what her ideal weight would be.  She then told her the number wasn’t really crucial because muscle weighed more than fat.  Wroooong! (Best done in sing-songy Oprah voice) Since so many people take what Oprah says as bible, I thought it might be worth revisiting an old post that debunked that myth.

The Health Miracle in Your Pantry

February 2, 2010

This past weekend, I was browsing the web looking for home remedies to treat a cat with an irritated stomach.  One suggestion I happened across suggested diluted apple cider vinegar.  But the more I read, the more I was astonished to find this pantry item can supposedly be used to cure a wide variety of ills. 

The website I found suggested mixing 3 parts vinegar to four parts water to use as an astringent to fight acne.  Another, claimed that mixing one tablespoon of vinegar with a full glass of water and then drinking twice daily before meals would promote weightloss.  (I’m not convinced it’s the vinegar, but the water taking up space in your stomach.)  And yet another remedy said applying a water/vinegar solution to a bump would stave off a bruise.  (So that’s why my grandmother always poured vinegar my head when I bumped it!)

Now, I don’t claim any of these rememdies actually work, but they might be worth a try if you’ve exhausted all other (and likely more expensive options.)  Check them out for yourself here.

The cat, by the way, is feeling much better.