Archive for the ‘Weight Gain’ Category

Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

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With holiday season just around the corner, it is important to realize how the food you eat this time of year affects your health. We tend to put on weight around the time of Thanksgiving and Christmas which shouldn’t be surprising at all, but there are ways for you to avoid gaining weight this time of year.

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Choosing to maintain healthy habits during the holiday season doesn’t mean you will be eating a bowl of vegetables while your family is indulging in your favorite dishes. You can start by modifying the recipes of these dishes with healthier ingredients or the cooking technique, this can go a long way. You may also decide to eat smaller portions so you can enjoy a little bit of everything without overeating. It is important that you eat slowly, it can be easy to get carried away and eat your food fast so you can get to the next dish. Pacing yourself allows your body to really register how full you are, which prevents overeating. You should also drink water, low fat milk, or unsweetened tea as opposed to alcoholic or sugary beverages. Your choice of beverage is often responsible for many of calories you get from your holiday meal. Lastly, don’t try to starve yourself all day prior to your holiday meal because this will actually cause to overeat. Instead of preventing weight gain, it might actually cause you to gain weight.

Remember to be conscious of what and how much you eat this holiday season and you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite dishes without the burden of weight gain. Holiday season shouldn’t have to mean you’ll put on a few extra pounds, as long as you make healthy eating choices.


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Do You Have Carb Phobia?

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When you are trying to lose weight you often try to reduce or eliminate all carbohydrates from your diet, but in the process you will also be eliminating some vitamins, minerals, fibers and phyto-nutrients. It is important to not group all carbs as the same because there are different types; some are more beneficial than others.

Everyone knows that bread, pasta, cereal, etc. are high in carbs; but so are some vegetables, fruits, and dairy products. Carbs have such a negative connotation so it’s important for you to be able to differentiate the “good” vs “bad” carbs.

Why Do People Avoid Carbs?

Generally, carbs are avoided by many people because they are thought to cause weight gain; and in some cases that is true. All carbs are equivalent to 4 carbs per gram, but the quality of the carb you eat can determine whether it will make you gain or lose weight. Any sugar sweetened foods or refined grains such as white bread are related with weight gain. On the other hand, consuming whole grains, dairy, fruits, and non-starchy vegetables are associated with weight loss.

Furthermore, the quality of the carbs consumed may also increase or decrease risk of type 2 diabetes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating quality carbs like total fiber, grain fiber, and fruit fiber decreased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 20 percent. It also showed that consuming a lot of starchy carbs like white bread, corn, and white potatoes are related with 23 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Consuming carbohydrates is an important part of your diet, without them you may even struggle with everyday activities. They are like fuel for your muscles. It is important for you to choose quality carbs instead of completely cutting all carbs out of your diet.

 

 


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Why Am I Gaining Weight? Maybe It’s The Weather

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In many parts of the country, hibernating animals are busily preparing for the winter, eating and eating and eating as they build up the energy stores that will sustain them until spring. And many humans are doing something similar!

What happens during hibernation?

During hibernation, animals’ metabolism, oxygen consumption, heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature all decrease to ensure that the animal burns as few calories as possible thus extending their energy stores. In this state of decreased metabolism, the animal’s body uses lipids (fatty acids) rather than carbohydrates to produce energy. During the hibernation period, an organism will lose about 40% of its body weight.

Can humans hibernate in winter?

As much as some humans might want to curl up in a ball and hibernate during the cold months of the winter, our bodies are not made to undergo the drastic metabolic changes necessary to enter a true hibernation. Many humans, however, do notice bodily changes associated with the drop in temperatures.
People who suffer from a specific kind of depression called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, often liken their condition to hibernation, and researchers have suggested that SAD is in fact a bodily reaction to the shorter daylight hours in winter. But unlike major clinical depression, where people typically lose their desire to eat and have trouble sleeping, people with SAD frequently sleep more than average and note an increase in their appetite and food consumption, often leading to weight gain.

Have you put on some extra “insulation” for winter?

As winter approaches, if you find you are putting on pounds, be sure to consult with your doctor. In addition to talking with you about a healthy diet and exercise, your doctor may want to run some blood tests to see if there is any cause for concern related to your weight change. Some of the tests your healthcare provider may recommend include:

  • Cortisol: Also called the “stress hormone” or the “fight or flight hormone,” cortisol increases adrenaline production in stressful situations. While it can benefit the body, increasing awareness and immunity as well as reducing pain in the short-term, too much cortisol on an ongoing basis can damage the thyroid, bone, and muscle. It can also decrease long-term immunity and contribute to the production of belly fat.
  • Homocysteine: A risk factor for heart disease, this protein is typically elevated in people with insulin resistance.
  • Insulin and Glucose: Those with diabetes do not produce sufficient insulin to process the body’s glucose. But high insulin is also problematic, causing the body to accumulate glucose as stored fat but not allowing the body to metabolize that stored fat for energy.
  • Liver Function:  If liver function is compromised, the body can struggle to remove hormonal waste and burn fat.
  • Testosterone: This hormone (found in both males and females) is responsible for sexual function and development, but it is also crucial for brain, bone, muscle, and vascular health, as well as fat dispersal.
  • Thyroid Tests: The “master gland,” the thyroid produces hormones that are crucial for healthy metabolism. If it is not functioning properly, the body will not be able to properly process food’s energy.
  • Vitamin B-12 and Folate (also known as Folic Acid): In order for the body to work effectively as a fat burner, insulin levels must be steady, and these are key ingredients for creating that stability.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency can cause the body to accumulate belly fat, as well as improperly process food. It is also a crucial element for bone health.

While there are many potential causes of weight gain, the results of these lab tests can help your healthcare provider assess the condition of your body and offer suggestions on the best approach to weight loss.

Learn more about these and other value-priced blood tests available through www.HealthOneLabs.com


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