A recent study by American and Italian neuroscientists sheds new light on why it may be so difficult to lose weight. Research results show that complex processes in the brain’s hypothalamus instruct you to eat enough to maintain your current weight, regardless of whether it is healthy or not. Once a heavier weight is the norm, your brain resets, accepting it as the norm. Continue reading
Tag Archives: weight loss
It has always been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We are told to eat breakfast like a king and lunch like a pauper. However, if you seem to have reached a weight loss or fitness plateau and nothing is moving those last few pounds, skipping breakfast may not be such a bad idea.
Intermittent fasting goes against the ever-popular and longstanding dieting approach of eating five or six small meals all day long. The premise behind the small meal technique is to keep blood sugar stable and avoid spikes of hunger.
Advocates of intermittent fasting claim that is a far-superior method of weight loss and muscle gain. There is very little evidence to support that eating small meals frequently keeps metabolism elevated or that it makes weight loss easier.
Natural health expert Dr. Andrew Weil states that contrary to popular thought, eating small bites all day long has two negative impacts. The first is that people who eat extra meals may not be eating healthy meals, but rather sugar-laden energy bars or power drinks.
These put an unnecessary burden on the liver and digestive system. The second reason why eating frequently is not such a good idea is that many people have a hard time distinguishing between eating many small meals and eating all the time.
This can lead, for some, to compulsive overeating. Interestingly enough, obesity began to skyrocket once the concept of ‘many meals’ was put into practice.
The Healthier Option
What may, in fact, be a healthier option involves allowing more time than usual to pass between meals. This may mean skipping breakfast and eating only two meals at, say, 1pm and 7pm. Of course, these meals need to be nutritious and packed with vegetables, healthy fat and plenty of fresh foods prepared the ‘old fashioned way.’
Intermittent fasting is not an excuse to eat high salt, high fat and high sugar meals; that will not work. But rather, intermittent fasting allows the digestive system time to rest; it gives the body a chance to dump toxins and re-balance.
Over the course of history, down through the ages, mankind has always been on some kind of intermittent fast. As food supplies came and went, the body responded by building muscle and fatty tissue during a time of plenty and utilizing the stores for energy during the lean times. Fasting for periods of time allows for the elimination of waste left by dead and damaged cells. This is thought to delay the signs of aging.
Research demonstrates that the benefits of intermittent fasting are like those seen in caloric restriction diets, when normal meal times are followed but with smaller portions allowed. The body, however, seems to respond well to short periods of intense hunger versus a low gnawing hunger pain all day long.
Animals studies have revealed some amazing health benefits of denying food for every third day. Male rats who were denied lived 20% longer and females 15% longer. In addition, researchers noted that intermittent fasting may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, decrease cancer risk, lower diabetes risk, improve cognitive function and protect against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
People who have undertaken periodic episodes of fasting report an increase in overall energy, mental clarity, fewer problems with insomnia and a general sense of balance both physically and mentally.
Not For Everyone
Intermittent fasting is not the answer for everyone. Children under 18, pregnant or lactating women or diabetics should not consider fasting. However, for most people, missing a meal from time to time can be incredibly beneficial as a healthy weight is maintained.
-The Alternative Daily
Belly fat is a “BIG” topic of conversation these days. More and more people want to know how they can deflate the spare tire that has grown around their midsection. These may even be people who claim to eat well and get plenty of exercise. So what gives? Continue reading
Do you ever put pressure on yourself to lose a certain amount of weight or keep off what you’ve already lost? Without realizing it, we sometimes stress about our weight goals and fear any kind of mistake, failure or disappointment. The biggest reason we struggle to lose weight and keep it off is because of this toxic mentality. Continue reading
Is your weight doing an off-again, on-again tango? Do you regain what you lost (and then some), so you’re as plumped up as Renee Zellweger in “Bridget Jones’s Diary”? (She added 30 pounds.) Continue reading
“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones,” says an oft-quoted Chinese proverb. It’s encouraging to use this analogy when you’re facing a difficult challenge, such as remodeling a home or embarking on a new career. But this strategy is also useful when you’re trying to make positive changes in your diet to achieve better health. Small steps in your diet that may seem to fly under the radar can add up to noticeable benefits. Continue reading
Q: I’m getting desperate. I need to lose weight, but it never happens. I want to exercise, but I can’t seem to stay motivated. I want to be healthier. How can I get on track? – Katie P., Foxboro, Mass. Continue reading
Insulin resistance is a state in which the body cannot use insulin effectively. Insulin is needed to help control the amount of sugar in the body. As a result, blood sugar and fat levels rise. Continue reading
This past fall, the Canadian Medical Association Journal published a study that suggested that lack of adequate sleep may be a key indicator to why it is difficult for many people to lose and keep off weight. The authors suggest that increased physical activity levels may improve the quality of sleep and provide other health benefits. Continue reading