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  #76   ^
Old Tue, Aug-25-09, 23:50
SidC's Avatar
SidC SidC is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 1,955
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 160/103/115 Female 62 inches
BF:
Progress: 127%
Location: Edmonton, AB Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ValerieL
It really is quite a personal journey, different for all of us, isn't it?
Tis. Hey, long time no see.

I have profound sympathy for people who bash their heads against the wall trying to lose weight. There's no magic formula, and it seems likely that most of the advice we get on weight is useless - the standard mantra of "calories in, calories out" oversimplifies and then backfires when it doesn't work.

It's like trying to quit smoking, which I have still not succeeded at despite multiple attempts. Psychiatrists finally realized that quitting is complicated, often requiring multiple strategies tailored to the individual. "Just say No" doesn't cut it for most people, whether it's diet or smoking.
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  #77   ^
Old Wed, Aug-26-09, 07:35
GlendaRC's Avatar
GlendaRC GlendaRC is offline
Posts: 8,787
 
Plan: Atkins maintenance
Stats: 170/120/130 Female 65 inches & shrinking
BF:
Progress: 125%
Location: Victoria, BC Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SidC
Tis. Hey, long time no see.

I have profound sympathy for people who bash their heads against the wall trying to lose weight. There's no magic formula, and it seems likely that most of the advice we get on weight is useless - the standard mantra of "calories in, calories out" oversimplifies and then backfires when it doesn't work.

It's like trying to quit smoking, which I have still not succeeded at despite multiple attempts. Psychiatrists finally realized that quitting is complicated, often requiring multiple strategies tailored to the individual. "Just say No" doesn't cut it for most people, whether it's diet or smoking.

My doctor had some pretty good advice for me when I was trying to quit smoking and I sympathize with your struggle. You're right, losing weight and quitting smoking are very similar and both require a change in mind-set.

The "aha" moment in quitting smoking came for me when I realized that I had to quit "trying" and "just quit" period! Sunflower seeds in the shell helped with the hand-to-mouth thing without adding a bunch of pounds - one at a time slows down the munching wonderfully. But also, you have to be prepared for a period of mourning - whether it's junk food or smokes, you're abandoning your best friend, the one you always turn to for help celebrating good things and to help console you when you're unhappy, the one thing in your life that was always there when you needed it.

Just thought I'd share what worked for me.
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  #78   ^
Old Mon, Aug-31-09, 14:20
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
Posts: 21,978
 
Plan: LCHF/IF
Stats: 217/192/160 Female 5'10"
BF:
Progress: 44%
Location: UK
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Quote:
August 30, 2009

Muscle: It’s the Real Deal

By Barbara Berkeley


The common wisdom tells you to build it. Most people think they don’t have enough of it. Fitness experts tout it as something almost magical. But what’s the real deal with muscle?

I have the strange habit of reading certain research papers repeatedly. The tendency to read things over and over may be inherited. My father loves to read certain books dozen of times. We have a copy of “Shogun” at my house that is literally falling apart; ditto “Prizzi’s Honor,” “Lonesome Dove,” and “The Godfather.” But research papers? I can only say that there are just some articles that I enjoy as much as a novel! When I found myself re-reading (for the umpteenth time) my favorite paper on muscle, it occurred to me that perhaps I should share the love.

My dog-eared, underlined, thinning favorite paper is called “The Underappreciated Role of Muscle in Health and Disease.” It was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2006 and is one of the only reviews I’ve ever read that focuses on exactly what muscle does. We talk an awful lot about muscle, but its real importance – the vital role that muscle plays – is virtually never discussed. For those of you who would like to slog through the scientific jargon, I’ve provided a link to the paper. If you’d prefer the CliffsNotes version, read on.

The story of muscle starts and ends with protein. Proteins, made up of various amino acids, are the materials that build our organs and repair the damage we incur every day just from living. We cannot survive without a steady supply of proteins because this daily wear and tear causes unavoidable organ breakdown. Proteins repair this damage. Think of yourself as a building that is exposed to the environment 24/7. As your paint starts to wear away and your façade starts to weather, there are workmen who are constantly repairing the damage. They are fixing you up with buckets of protein.

Eating foods with proteins provides a flood of amino acids to your body. These are reassembled into new combinations to form the exact proteins needed for that day’s repair. The need for amino acids is a 24 hour-a-day situation. So here’s a question: Where do amino acids come from if you’re not eating or if you are asleep? The answer is: from muscle. Muscle is a bank. Your body withdraws protein from muscle to accomplish repairs. When you eat, most of the protein you ingest actually goes to replace what’s been “borrowed” from your muscle in the hours before.

People who are obese actually have larger stores of muscle than lean people. Studies have shown that these big banks of muscle can keep protein levels normal after as many as 60 days of fasting! On the flip side, when muscle shrinks to about half of its normal amount, life can no longer be supported. Observation of people who have undergone starvation conditions has shown that it is the critical loss of muscle mass that leads to death. Once there is no longer enough protein in the bank, repair ceases and so does life.

Muscles are even more important protein “lenders” when we suffer from conditions that greatly accelerate the body’s need for protein. Injuries, illnesses, operations, burns, cancer, chemo, and other physical stresses greatly increase demands for repair proteins. Sometimes, a seriously ill person can have protein needs that can be as much as four times those of a healthy person. These can’t be met through diet alone, so the muscle bank is accessed for massive withdrawals. Those who start out with a large amount of muscle mass will have a greater likelihood of getting through such an event.

Since our muscular bank account is so vital, we need to worry about that fact that we can lose muscle as a consequence of aging. Loss of muscle is called “sarcopenia” (sarco=muscle, penia=impoverished) and it is a common problem for older people. Sarcopenia is estimated to occur in about 30% of those over 60. Sarcopenic people are frail, tend to have more falls, and have more difficulty with daily activities. As we saw above, decreased muscle mass not only means weakness, but an inability to fight off serious illness.

What about the much touted ability of muscle tissue to burn calories? Muscle burns calories when it remodels itself by either adding to or breaking down its mass. These processes take energy and, as we’ve discussed, are constantly occurring because of the withdrawal and redeposit of protein which is normal operating procedure. However, larger muscle masses have higher rates of turnover and calorie burn than smaller masses. A young man, for example, might have about 80 pounds of muscle which burns 485 calories per day. An elderly woman is likely to have just 30 pounds of muscle, providing only 120 calories of burn. This calorie burn is independent of exercise, by the way. It is part of the “resting metabolism”; calories which are burned when we simply sit still. You can see that the metabolic difference between the young man and the older woman is quite large. Now you know why your 17-year-old son can eat seemingly endless amounts of food without weight gain. You can also understand why building extra muscle might help you to maintain weight loss. Even at rest, the extra muscles and their turn over will burn extra calories for you. The problem is that building extra muscle is not all that easy, especially if you are a woman or are older.

When people become obese, they do not gain fat alone. They also gain muscle which supports the heavy fat tissue. This can potentially be used to the overweight person’s advantage. Theoretically, if this extra muscle can be preserved during weight loss, the calories it burns will make weight maintenance more likely. We also know that we can increase the rate of muscle turnover by providing a stream of amino acids in the diet. These amino acids start the muscles to work, but the fuel the muscle uses to build and rebuild itself actually comes from FAT. In fact, fat is “the preferred energy substrate of resting muscle.”

Thus, we have the rationale for recommending higher protein diets for weight loss. Theoretically, the hefty amount of amino acids gets that big muscle mass turning over. Turn-over then contributes to fat burning. In addition, dietary protein keeps muscle mass from disintegrating as weight is lost. The idea is to get fat to burn preferentially while leaving the dieter with a hefty amount of calorie-burning muscle. In our clinic, we use high-protein liquid drinks and one dinner meal to get weight loss. We find that the combination works very well, perhaps for this reason. We might also extrapolate that continuing to eat diets that focus on goodly amounts of protein will stimulate muscle to maintain itself, turn over actively, and burn fat calories in the process.

Muscle also plays a pivotal role in insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes. Normally, insulin tells the muscles to accept sugar from the blood. This is one of the ways that insulin keeps blood sugar controlled. As weight gain progresses, many people develop insulin resistance; an inability of the muscle to take up sugar when insulin calls. The body compensates by making too much insulin which in turn leads to high blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride problems and eventually, high sugar in the blood.

The question is, why should muscles become resistant to insulin?

While we’re still not sure, this paper notes that people with insulin resistance have muscles which have become filled with fatty globules, visible on MRI. This inappropriate fat storage seems to be linked to insulin resistance and may reflect a problem with the muscle mitochondria, small cellular engines which normally burn fat. Instead of fat being burned, it is being deposited within the muscle. Physical activity seems to tell the mitochondria to work properly. “…As little as a single bout of exercise…can transiently reverse insulin resistance,” the paper reports. This is crucial information for those of you who either have or have experienced insulin resistance. Keep exercising to keep your mitochondria burning fat rather than storing it. This will lessen resistance problems.

What about ways to preserve or build the muscle mass you have? Once you become sarcopenic , it is very hard to reverse the loss. Efforts should focus on preserving the mass you have as a young- or middle-aged person. Remember that the goal of exercise should not be simply to grow big muscles. The effect that exercise has on getting the muscles to work efficiently at a cellular level is just as important even though it can’t be seen with the naked eye.

The bottom line? No one seems to have exact recommendations for protein intakes. Don’t be afraid to add some low-calorie protein shakes or bars to your regimen if you are trying to build and maintain muscle. Make sure that you are getting adequate protein, particularly if you are vegetarian and most specifically if you are vegan. Keep up your exercise, not only to preserve the muscle you have, but to assure that it works properly. Keep exercising throughout your life in order to minimize your chances of sarcopenia as you age. Maintain muscle at good levels in order to give yourself the best chance of weathering unintended storms like illness or injury.
Like most of our body parts, muscle is not as simple as it seems. We will benefit greatly by feeding it, building it and taking care of it. If I fall in love with any other research papers anytime soon, I’ll be sure to share them.
http://refusetoregain.com/my_weblog...ey-dont-ha.html
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  #79   ^
Old Thu, Sep-03-09, 05:53
camaromom's Avatar
camaromom camaromom is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 5,280
 
Plan: Atkins/lowering cals
Stats: 187/143.6/135 Female 64
BF:35.2/ 20%/20%
Progress: 83%
Location: Lafayette, IN
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Hmmmmm! Interesting Demi.

I only wish that my metabolic rate would increase. I do lift and do cardio, but I can't seem to balance out my calories along with that in order to make myself lose any more weight.
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  #80   ^
Old Thu, Sep-03-09, 06:21
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
Posts: 21,978
 
Plan: LCHF/IF
Stats: 217/192/160 Female 5'10"
BF:
Progress: 44%
Location: UK
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Quote:
September 02, 2009

Shawna’s Savin’ All Her Carbs For You!

By Lynn Haraldson-Bering


I don’t remember this, but apparently sometime last week I changed my name to Shawna, moved to Austin, Texas, and became a spokesmodel for a resveratrol weight-loss product.

No wonder I’ve been so tired.

This is the third time (that I’m aware of) that a “weight-loss company” has stolen a photo from my website and used my image to sell their crazy products. The first time, a “lose belly fat by obeying one rule” scam cropped a photo of my (fully clothed) stomach. I was appalled and flattered at the same time, like I’d been whistled at by construction workers. The second time, a weight-loss “blog” selling acai berry pills included a link to my website, inferring that I used their product to lose weight. Of course anyone who clicked on the link would soon learn that I didn’t use a product to lose weight, but I was still bothered by the reference. (I wrote about it in January. Click here to view.)

This time, the before/after shots from the homepage of my original website, Lynn’s Journey, are being used to sell something called ResV. I know I shouldn’t “promote” the site by giving out the address here, but I want you to see just how ballsy these folks are. Click here to see the site. Scroll down…you’ll see me halfway down on the right. Honestly, I’m not sure what offends me more: that they’re using my image to sell a product I would never use or endorse, or that the “testimonial” they attribute to me is so poorly written. The image is clearly me, but the writing? Not so much.

I’m not as ticked this time as I was the first two times. First of all, there’s little I can do to have my images removed from these fake sites. I tried, ad nauseum, in the past to contact someone, but all they want is your credit card number. Second, I’ve come to accept that it’s just my photo, not my story or real name. I know who I am. I know my story. My image is nothing without my story. Besides, if someone is buying ResV or acai berries or belly fat weight-loss products to lose weight, my story of losing weight through a healthy diet and NO supplements won’t interest them much.

I’m also posting this blog on Lynn's Weigh because I’d like to reach as many readers as I can for feedback. The Internet is, in many ways, a free-for-all for cheaters, scammers and plagiarists. I’d like to know: 1) If you have a website, has your image been stolen to promote a product you did not endorse; and 2) How did you handle the situation (or how would you handle it if it were to happen)? As always, leave a comment or send an email to lynnbering~verizon.net.

Now on to the carb love. Whitney Houston’s voice was in my head last Sunday morning, as she is every time I anticipate lunch with my oldest daughter at our favorite western PA restaurant: North Country Brewing Company. Thank god Slippery Rock is no longer a “dry” town because this place serves up some mighty fine beer and PA wine. (The new Rosabella Pinot Grigio from Narcisi Winery is to die for, and I’m not usually a sweetish kind of wine lover.)

But I don’t love North Country for the drink. Oh no, my friends. I love North Country for the pita and hummus and field green salad with feta, walnuts, artichokes and green beans.

The salad is self-explanatory…and secondary, actually. It’s the hummus and pita….oh my….that make me so happy and have me singing my version of a Whitney Houston song.

Their chef makes a new hummus every day and every one I’ve had is gooooood (said in my best Elaine Benes accent). And I don’t know if it’s homemade, but the pita they serve with it is gooooooood, too. I mean “worth-every-carb-calorie” good.

The chef isn’t afraid to combine hot with mellow and savory with sweet. His hummus is always a taste explosion. And the pita is thick and white, grilled and a little sweet. It fills you up real quick, but it’s worth saving every last calorie you allot for the day just to savor more than a quick sample.

Carbs like this have become a once-in-awhile treat, unlike when I was obese and didn’t give carbs a second thought. I ate them regularly – and often primarily – as though they were a right. I bought whole wheat bagels and whole wheat English muffins and whole wheat pizza dough thinking I was eating “healthy,” but they were wreaking havoc with my body. It was only when I broke down my food intake into food groups (something I did months after I’d reached goal, not while I was losing weight), that I saw and felt the affects of carbohydrates on my body. Too many breads, crackers, cereals or fruits and I bloat up and gain weight. That’s why they’ve become once-in-awhile or tightly controlled foods. And that’s what makes the pita and hummus so special.

With my apologies to Ms. Houston, here’s the song (my adaptation) that goes through my head every time I anticipate the hummus and pita at North Country – a place, I assure you, I only eat at once a month at the most. It would be too dangerous otherwise.

Savin’ All My Carbs For You (aka Savin’ All My Love For You)

A few stolen moments is all that we share
You’ve got your calories, and they feel like air
Though I try to resist, I put you on my list
Cause no other carb’s gonna do
So I’m saving all my carbs for you

No other woman, is gonna love you more
Cause this lunch is the lunch, that I’m ready to munch
We’ll be eating carbs the whole hour through
So I’m saving all my carbs
Yeah I’m saving all my carbin’
Yes I’m saving all my carbs for you
For you, for you
http://refusetoregain.com/my_weblog...bs-for-you.html
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  #81   ^
Old Sat, Sep-12-09, 07:41
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
Posts: 21,978
 
Plan: LCHF/IF
Stats: 217/192/160 Female 5'10"
BF:
Progress: 44%
Location: UK
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Quote:
September 12, 2009

Is Obesity a Disease?

By Barbara Berkeley


Recently, Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove made some news by being outrageous. He told the New York Times that if it were up to him and if there were no legal impediments, he would not hire obese people.

“We should declare obesity a disease and say we’re going to help you get over it,” he said.

Hmmmm. The Clinic banned the hiring of smokers two years ago without legal repercussions. But no one ever made the claim that smoking was a disease. If obesity is different, if it is a bona fide disease, then Cosgrove must be saying that it’s OK to deny employment to people with certain diseases. Let’s see how that plays out: How about a ban on employees with diabetes or a hiring freeze on those with coronary disease? Seems to me that such policy would be a bit…dare I say it…discriminatory?

As it turns out, I was in attendance as the Clinic hosted its annual Obesity Summit this week. The Obesity Summit is a conference which gives practitioners a chance to see researchers and clinicians from all over the country and to hear about their latest theories and studies. This year, however, Cosgrove’s remarks set the tone. At the beginning of the conference, Cosgrove was asked if he regretted the Times interview. Here’s how the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported the exchange:

On Wednesday, a legal advocate accused Cosgrove of demonizing overweight people, and characterized the remarks as "unfortunate and misguided."

"Do you wish you hadn't said it?" asked Walter Lindstrom Jr., an invited panelist and founder of the Obesity Law & Advocacy Center in California, which fights insurance and job discrimination.

Cosgrove did not retract the comment, but said it was meant to stimulate discussion on the growing costs of obesity. He said the same urgency behind reducing tobacco use is needed to remedy America's weight problem.

"If we are going to deal with this pandemic, the first thing we have to do is recognize it," he said. "We have to raise understanding in the community this is a major social, economic and medical problem."

In response to another questioner, Cosgrove said, "I think a lot of people misunderstood what the point was…I never considered not hiring obese people, but I think we have to do something bold to address the problem."

Readers: Is obesity a disease? And whether it is a disease or not, do employers have the right to deny employment on the basis of a person’s weight? These are real issues, because obesity has the potential to cost employers a fortune. And because of the question of choice, if the Clinic can say no to smokers simply because they “choose” a bad habit, why can’t they say no to those who “choose” to eat too much? I’m sure you will have opinions. I certainly did. What follows is my response to the Plain Dealer article.

To the Editor:

While I am an admirer of Dr. Toby Cosgrove’s forward-thinking approaches to prevention and wellness, I must respectfully disagree with his assessment of obesity as a disease. I have specialized in the care of obese patients since 1988. If obesity is a disease, it is a disease that one out of three people has contracted in the past twenty years. Simple disease generally does not behave so explosively.

While it is easy to attach the disease label, obesity is actually something far more complex. Inappropriate weight gain represents the interaction of a susceptible genetic makeup with an unhealthy food environment. Unfortunately, the majority of human beings appear to have this susceptibility to a greater or lesser degree. Data from Johns Hopkins University predicts that 86% of us will be overweight or obese by the year 2030.

The problem with our current obesity strategies is that they place the burden for treatment on the ability of the overweight person to change and to sustain that change. At the same time, they completely ignore the other (completely crucial) half of the equation: the environment. Exerting control over calories and food choice is nearly impossible in a hyperstimulatory environment that glorifies and encourages overconsumption.

It is true that behavior can change. We need only look to America’s declining smoking rates as an example. However, those who wanted to quit the cigarette habit were aided by many cultural and attitudinal changes toward smoking over the past number of years. Cigarettes became much less readily available. Cigarette machines in restaurants and theaters disappeared. Smoking was banned in public venues and in workplaces. Cigarette ads were taken off TV. Big tobacco companies were examined and legally challenged and their motives aired in public. The government placed warning labels on tobacco. All of these changes combined to make smoking – once glamorous and glorified – a negative behavior. We are very far from creating a similar attitudinal shift toward the habit of food overconsumption.

We will not be able to solve the obesity epidemic as long as the contribution of food producers, restaurants, fast food outlets and food sellers goes unexamined and uncontrolled. Until we do, we are asking individual persons to make changes that are opposed by the messages of an entire culture. Changes such as banning food ads for kids and running health warnings below ads for junk foods (as is currently done in France) are still far in the future. One step that we can take right now, however, is to work for menu labeling in food establishments. We should do this in Cleveland and surrounding areas as soon as possible. Menu labeling laws are in place in many American cities, most notably New York City. Such laws require the posting of calories on menus and menu boards. In addition, calorie information must be displayed in print that is as large as the description of each food item. What has been the result? Initial data collected in New York City shows that food choices have changed, calories purchased have declined, and food sellers have changed the calorie content of some of their items to make them more acceptable to purchasers.

Defeating obesity involves personal choice. It also involves cultural choice. One cannot succeed without the other. Let us make a start with simple education and accountability. There is no room for penalizing obese persons until we have made the task of losing weight and keeping it off a reasonable, possible goal. This will not occur without major changes in the food industry and in our modern cultural attitudes toward eating.
http://refusetoregain.com/my_weblog...-a-disease.html
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  #82   ^
Old Thu, Sep-17-09, 06:11
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
Posts: 21,978
 
Plan: LCHF/IF
Stats: 217/192/160 Female 5'10"
BF:
Progress: 44%
Location: UK
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Quote:
If You Could Change Health Care, What Would You Do?

By Lynn Haraldson-Bering

Dr. Andrew Weil was a guest on NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show yesterday discussing his latest book, “Why Our Health Matters.” Although I’m somewhat of a Dr. Weil skeptic, I believe he’s spot on in his assessment of our current health care system, which he says isn’t “health” care at all, but disease treatment with no emphasis on prevention.

In his “Call To Action,” published recently online at the Huffington Post, he lists seven suggestions for overhauling our nation’s approach to health care. I was most drawn to this one:

“Create an Office of Health Promotion within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and fund it appropriately. We spend 40 times more on the health risks of terrorism than we do on the health risks of obesity, which kills about 400,000 people a year. There is too much emphasis on treating disease rather than on protecting health in the first place. We need to invest real dollars and ingenuity in educating people about nutrition, exercise and other healthy activities. It’s the single most effective way to defeat the epidemic of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and conditions that lead to life-threatening diseases.”

When I was 300 pounds and deciding how to lose weight, gastric bypass crossed my mind for a few seconds. My insurance company would pay for it. The cost? About $20,000. I decided to join Weight Watchers online instead. My insurance company would NOT pay for it. The cost? $17 a month.

It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in mathematics to see those numbers don’t add up, and yet nearly five years later, my insurance company has done little to combat the growing obesity epidemic and still refuses to pay for my WW or gym membership, even though I saved them more than $20,000.

What has my insurance company done? Last year they developed a “wellness program” and threatened its members with higher premiums if they didn’t participate.

Members start by filling out an online health assessment. There are so many things wrong with this, namely that it relies on the honest SELF assessment of the member himself. No professional health care worker visits your house or follows up. It’s strictly online. If this was implemented when I was 300 pounds, I wouldn’t have truthfully answered many of the questions for two reasons: 1) I would have been embarrassed to put that information online not knowing who had access to it; and 2) I was lying to myself about how much I weighed and how little I exercised. If I couldn’t see the forest for the trees, I certainly couldn’t give directions out of the woods, now could I?

I joined their little “program” last summer, only because of the threat, and it’s turned out – as I suspected it would – to be a big waste of time. I’ve gotten little more than a flier twice a year in the mail with “tips” on “wellness.” I put these words in quotes because what my insurance company sends out is nothing that isn’t reported in mainstream media every day. “Eat more fruits and vegetables!” Duh. Even when I was obese I knew that was good advice. And what they call “wellness” isn’t my idea of wellness at all. I understand wellness as covering the entire body, not just what we eat or what our blood pressure is. Wellness is prevention AND innovative and alternative health care options such as acupuncture and massage, as well as exercise programs and hands-on nutritional counseling. Simply sticking a program online and saying, “Read this! Or we’ll raise your premium!” is NOT the right approach to disease (or obesity) prevention.

Nor is our current health care mentality of "take a pill/have surgery and you'll be fine" approach. However, how do we implement this kind of enormous change? It will take a national effort, but what concerns me is that the easy way out (fast medicine as well as fast food) is so ingrained in our culture and the lack of physical activity (i.e. no phy-ed or recess) is so standard in our schools that I don't know how such a change can occur. Throw in powerful pharmaceutical companies and the food industry and change seems even more a dream.

If you could offer advice to insurance companies or the National Institutes of Health if they were to create policy for obesity treatment and prevention, what would you tell them in regard to the following questions:

1. What kind of, if any, obesity treatment/education program would have enticed you to lose weight when you were overweight/obese?

2. What would you like to see implemented on a national level to encourage weight loss and healthier eating?

3. What kinds of support would you like to see offered to people who reach their goal weight and are wanting to maintain their weight?

Also, let us know if your insurance company has established innovative programs to support its members to get and stay physically fit. I hope you have better support than the members of my insurance company do.

Leave a comment or email us at refusetoregain~gmail.com.
http://refusetoregain.com/my_weblog...uld-you-do.html


I've also posted this over in the main media forum as I thought it deserved a wider audience.
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  #83   ^
Old Thu, Sep-24-09, 08:02
ValerieL's Avatar
ValerieL ValerieL is offline
Bouncy!
Posts: 9,388
 
Plan: Atkins Maintenance
Stats: 297/173.3/150 Female 5'7" (top weight 340)
BF:41%/31%/??%
Progress: 84%
Location: Burlington, ON
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Hi Sid! I missed your earlier post here. Nice to see you again.

My sister gave up smoking after 25 years of it, I'm still *so* proud of her, probably as proud as she is of me for losing my weight. They are both epic struggles. And epic achievements.
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  #84   ^
Old Sat, Sep-26-09, 01:55
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
Posts: 21,978
 
Plan: LCHF/IF
Stats: 217/192/160 Female 5'10"
BF:
Progress: 44%
Location: UK
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Quote:
September 25, 2009

The Baby. The Bathwater.

By Barbara Berkeley


Ever feel like you’re running a mad dash just to keep up with the latest diet and exercise recommendations? Instant communication is a wonderful thing, but it can be frankly overwhelming when every day brings a new study, a new conclusion and something new to worry about.

The most damaging period in my personal dietary history was the “fat-free” era. It was during these years that I gained 20 pounds while eating “healthily.” For me, the no-fat craze was manna from heaven; the ultimate opportunity to eat unlimited bread and large plates of pasta. So long as the spaghetti sauce was fat-free and the bread had fat-free jelly, I was golden. At first, I was bewildered by the scale. Had a microgram of fat snuck into my diet somewhere? Were the labels wrong? Were those Entenmann’s Fat Free cookies a sham? I was doing it all correctly, following all of the latest rules, yet I was getting fatter by the day!!!!

The fat-free era picked up steam in the 1980s after research pointed to the idea that saturated fat might be making us sick. But since dietary concepts are so complicated, we invoked our usual response to lifestyle advice: throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It was easier to cut out ALL fat thus demonizing one dietary element while elevating another. Suddenly fat was bad. Very bad. And carbs were good. Very, very good.

Of the fat-free days, Dr. Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health has observed: “This campaign to reduce fat in the diet has had some pretty disastrous consequences...One of the most unfortunate unintended consequences of the fat-free crusade was the idea that if it wasn't fat, it wouldn't make you fat. I even had colleagues who were telling the public that you can't get fat eating carbohydrates. Actually, farmers have known for thousands of years that you can make animals fat by feeding them grains, as long as you don't let them run around too much, and it turns out that applies to humans. We can very easily get fat from eating too many carbohydrates, and the public was really directed to only focus on fat calories, when we really have to keep an eye on calories no matter where they're coming from.” (The underlining is mine)

My body certainly recognized the fat-gaining properties of carb loading. Like the fat cells of a corn-fed steer, my adipose tissue responded by swelling exponentially. Now, 20 years later, it’s turned out that we need fat. We don’t have to throw it all overboard. Why do we have to be such diet lemmings? Someone announces a finding and we all run to follow. We really should check to see if we’re going over a cliff before we join the mad dash.

I had a feeling of déjà-vu-all-over-again when I saw the cover of Time magazine on August 9th. At first, I was excited by the topic: The Myth About Exercise.

For years I had been telling my patients to stop putting so much stock in exercise as a weight-loss tool. A steady stream of overweight patients who were also tennis players, weight lifters, and aerobic steppers had taught me that exercise was not the driving force in weight loss. Weight loss was created by caloric restriction and by proper food choice. Period. Finally, a major news source was reporting this observation. In the article, Dr. Eric Ravussin, a well-known exercise researcher from Lousiana State University was quoted as saying, “In general, for weight loss, exercise is pretty useless.” I was gleeful. This sounded like me talking.

To support its point, the article cited a study of 464 overweight women who were divided into four groups. One group was to stay sedentary, while the other three were to exercise with a trainer at various levels (72, 136 and 194 minutes per week). No dietary changes were made. At the end of six months, there was no weight difference between groups. Exercise had not caused weight loss. Other similar evidence bolstered the contention that exercise did not help dieters lose pounds.

Time concluded: “All this helps explain why our herculean exercise over the past 30 years—all the personal trainers, StairMasters and VersaClimbers; all the Pilates classes and yoga retreats and fat camps—hasn’t made us thinner…From a weight-loss perpective, you would have been better off sitting on the sofa knitting.”

This is just the kind of major media pronouncement that gets behavioral stampedes going. After the cover story appeared, I noticed that a number of patients began to reference it as a reason to give up exercise. Did I hear the patter of little lemming feet?

The fact that exercise alone does not cause weight loss says absolutely nothing about the value of exercise to dieters and maintainers. In my experience, exercise is absolutely vital to successfully flipping the lifestyle switch. Exercise builds cardiovascular resilience, improves mood (some studies show it is as good as antidepressant medication), decreases insulin resistance problems, refocuses our attention on staying well and keeps us in a particular kind of connection with our bodies. Like most elements of wellness, the truth about exercise is nuanced rather than obvious.

The month after the Time article came out, a much quieter and less heralded piece appeared in the Mayo Clinic Proceeding. Several major medical centers had cooperated on a study of 3044 women and had followed their fitness since 1971. Each of these women had an early sugar problem, either undiagnosed diabetes or something called “impaired fasting glucose.” The latter term refers to those who have a morning blood sugar of between 100-125. Such sugar problems are extremely common in overweight people.

As I’ve written before, most of the patients I care for have problems processing blood sugar. Patients who I’ve seen in the past, and who return to me years later, will often have developed impaired fasting glucose in the interim. If you are (or were) very overweight, the chances are good that sugar issues were involved somewhere along the line. As you probably already know, sugar-processing problems cause the body to over-secrete insulin: the fat storage hormone. At the same time, muscles (which usually burn sugar) stop accepting sugar as fuel. The result of these two derangements is that blood sugar is diverted to fat . Weight gain escalates and can continue unchecked. For overweight and obese people, studies that look at sugar problems are highly relevant.

The multicenter study followed these sugar-challenged women for 16 years and evaluated their level of fitness by determining how long and intensely they could perform a treadmill test. In the end, less fit women had a greater risk of death from all causes. Most fit women had the lowest risk. This protective effect held true even for women of higher weights. The least fit overweight women had more than twice the death rate of the most fit overweight women. In fact, the importance of fitness was so great that it trumped the effect of BMI as a predictor of death from all causes.

This study is just one of a sea of reports that confirm the profound benefit of exercise. Yet if we focus our sites solely on weight loss, we might easily conclude that exercise is worthless.
With fully two-thirds of us overweight, diet studies make good headlines. But studies were never meant to be read in isolation. In research, each theory and each conclusion must be weighed against the body of evidence that has come before. Individual conclusions may be diametrically opposed. Over time, the weight of one perspective will outbalance another. We must be patient. Unfortunately, this long view is not included in the way diet and nutritional studies are currently promoted. Each new pronouncement makes the front page and is heralded on the crawl under the nightly newscast. Then, we are off chasing the latest theory and the baby is gone with the bathwater.

So, here is some advice for all interested parties. When the latest diet discovery hits, take a deep breath, do your homework. Use common sense. Don’t let the diet-tip du-jour move you from your well-considered strategy. Stick with a life plan that closely mirrors the way man has always eaten and behaved; one that includes plenty of simple, unadorned, natural foods, and simple, unadorned, natural physical movement. Change course only when the weight of significant evidence compels you to institute a thoughtful change of heart.
http://refusetoregain.com/my_weblog...bathwater-.html
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Old Mon, Sep-28-09, 21:49
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SidC SidC is offline
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Originally Posted by demi
So, here is some advice for all interested parties. When the latest diet discovery hits, take a deep breath, do your homework. Use common sense. Don’t let the diet-tip du-jour move you from your well-considered strategy. Stick with a life plan that closely mirrors the way man has always eaten and behaved; one that includes plenty of simple, unadorned, natural foods, and simple, unadorned, natural physical movement. Change course only when the weight of significant evidence compels you to institute a thoughtful change of heart.

That pretty much sums it up. Find what works for you, what does not, and steer the course, using your paddle to bash anyone who tries to talk you into straying from your discovered course. Take no prisoners.

I think this is also the essence of what Michael Pollan has recommended (at least on the diet part): Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.

Staying active is also so important, even if it is just walking. I'm watching my parents now. My mom is doing OK, but my father has trouble getting out of chairs or just walking a few steps because he is carrying so many pounds. That would be me in 20 years if I wasn't mindful -

Last edited by SidC : Mon, Sep-28-09 at 22:11.
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Old Wed, Sep-30-09, 05:09
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Demi Demi is offline
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September 28, 2009

The Duplicity of Exercise

By Lynn Haraldson-Bering


I’d like to continue the discussion about exercise that Barbara started in her last entry (The Baby. The Bathwater.”), mostly because when I first read the Time magazine article Barbara referred to (The Myth About Exercise.”) I wasn’t sure how to think about it.

If exercise alone OR in addition to lowering calorie intake doesn’t (the experts believe) help us lose weight, then if I take that theory one step further, I could surmise it does nothing to help maintain weight loss, either.

Both arguments make me the odd man out – an aberration – because exercise definitely played a roll in my weight loss, and exercise keeps me at my maintaining weight.

I didn’t begin a formal exercise program (or even walking further than I absolutely had to) until I weighed about 187 pounds (down from 300). So yes, I was able to lose 110 pounds without exercise. But at 187 I had small, weak calves, a flabby stomach (underneath the fat that still covered the surface) and a lower back prone to aches and pains even when working under the least amount of stress. The arthritis pain in my knees was just as bad, if not worse, than it was when I weighed 300 pounds.

I began walking for exercise in April 2006 and my measurements were 44-38-49. In September, five months later and just before joining the gym, they were 41-36.5-45.5 and I weighed 164. Two months later, after adding strength training to my routine and upping my cardio routine by implementing the elliptical and bike, and by walking at higher inclines on the treadmill, my measurements were 39-33.5-42.5 and I weighed 152.7. Eight inches in five months and an additional 7.5 in two months. I was NOT seeing those kinds of results just by restricting my food intake. Not to mention my overall well being – physically and mentally – was much more positive.

But here’s the kicker. What makes me (at least according to the experts) “different” from the average loser is this: exercise doesn’t make me hungry AND it doesn’t make me feel entitled to eat a donut or french fries after a workout. I eat the same amount of food every day, regardless if I work out or not. Only if my body says it’s hungry after a particularly strenuous workout/hike/bike ride/what-have-you do I eat more than I normally would, and then what I eat is healthy. No donuts or french fries, bagels or chocolate cake. Just fruit or Wasa or egg whites or a salad.

This is why what Barbara wrote in her last blog makes so much sense to me: “The fact that exercise alone does not cause weight loss says absolutely nothing about the value of exercise to dieters and maintainers. In my experience, exercise is absolutely vital to successfully flipping the lifestyle switch.”

So how do we get the rest of the weigh-losing public to balance exercise with caloric responsibility?

I have no clue. I only know what worked for me: Death. Or at least potential early death.

Do I “love” to exercise? Most days, no. There are times (more than I care to admit) when I’d rather write/play WordTwist/vacuum/just about anything other than exercise. I’m not fond of sweat. It itches. Makes me look awful. But damn if it doesn’t clear out demons, make the back ache go away, the flab around my middle tighten up, the knees move more fluidly. That’s more important than any donut.

Reader Dee knows what I mean. In a comment to Barbara’s last blog she wrote: “…I find I can't live without exercise for other reasons, a main one is that I am prone to "moodiness", and without fail, exercising at least every other day keeps the moodies away. Your explanation helps me realize I don't have to be confused, just keep exercising and keep paying attention to what I eat.”

The equation is so simple, yet implementing it is hard. There’s no doubt about that.

So let’s talk about this. What was your switch? How does exercise impact you in maintenance?

I fear that as more research emerges negating the effects of exercise on weight loss, fewer people will exercise. They will lose out on all its non-weight-loss benefits: feeling better, being more toned, and if arthritis is the issues, feeling less pain.

This is something our obese nation can’t afford.
http://refusetoregain.com/my_weblog...f-exercise.html
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Old Wed, Sep-30-09, 05:23
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Demi Demi is offline
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Originally Posted by SidC
Staying active is also so important, even if it is just walking. I'm watching my parents now. My mom is doing OK, but my father has trouble getting out of chairs or just walking a few steps because he is carrying so many pounds. That would be me in 20 years if I wasn't mindful -
Funnily enough, this is something that I've been posting about here in my journal recently.

One of my biggest fears as I grow older is the loss of my mobility. I don't want to be sick and doddery, relying on various drugs to get me through, and on other people to look after me. However, I do feel that by following a low carb woe, exercising and using weights as I do, supplementing with Vitamin D and getting out in the sun and fresh air as much as I can, I'll hopefully avoid such a nightmarish fate.

If anyone is interested, here are several articles explaining why being active and doing some sort resistance training is such a good idea as we get older:

Study suggests it’s never to late to be active

'Pumping iron' helps pensioners live longer

At 86, great-grandmother Morjorie Newlin keeps pumping iron

Old broads: the golden years of pumping iron

Last edited by Demi : Wed, Sep-30-09 at 06:34.
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Old Wed, Sep-30-09, 06:28
Cleveland Cleveland is offline
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it seems to me in countries where people are living long, that in addition to good healthcare, they are really active!
I have been to a few of the Scandanavian countries and seen octogenarians riding bikes up hills through town, toting snow shoes and skis and so on. I hardly think they are slaving at the gym, but they are active and mobile.

While not a fan of running on a hamster wheel, I think resistance training, some moderate cardio, and streching are really important. I get my heart rate up by moving from set to set with weights quickly. I know there is lot of debate about whether exercise is good for weight loss, but shouldnt we be most concerned about the impact on our health?
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Old Wed, Sep-30-09, 07:28
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Judynyc Judynyc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berkely
So, here is some advice for all interested parties. When the latest diet discovery hits, take a deep breath, do your homework. Use common sense. Don’t let the diet-tip du-jour move you from your well-considered strategy. Stick with a life plan that closely mirrors the way man has always eaten and behaved; one that includes plenty of simple, unadorned, natural foods, and simple, unadorned, natural physical movement. Change course only when the weight of significant evidence compels you to institute a thoughtful change of heart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid
That pretty much sums it up. Find what works for you, what does not, and steer the course, using your paddle to bash anyone who tries to talk you into straying from your discovered course. Take no prisoners.

I think this is also the essence of what Michael Pollan has recommended (at least on the diet part): Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.

Staying active is also so important, even if it is just walking. I'm watching my parents now. My mom is doing OK, but my father has trouble getting out of chairs or just walking a few steps because he is carrying so many pounds. That would be me in 20 years if I wasn't mindful -


I was just reading an aritcle written by the author of the book about why French women don't get fat. She was talking about women who exercise in the gym for hours on end to compensate for their poor eating habits.
It came down to a difference in lifestyle choices. French women find ways in their lives to move more, they do isometrics as part of their day. I need to find that article and bring it here. I'm not doing it any justice.

I too, saw myself becoming an old and sick obese woman and couldn't deal with that as my possible reality. I've been looking for more ways to move without formally going to the gym...cuz I just aint a gym rat. I'ver been riding my bike more than ever and having fun doing it...using it for running errands has been great!

I know that I need to do resistance training....
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  #90   ^
Old Fri, Oct-02-09, 12:44
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Quote:
October 02, 2009

Insulin and Dementia: Taming the Spider

By Barbara Berkeley


It’s funny how we tend to think of the brain as a different kind of organ, one that has jobs that are quite distinct from the activities going on in the rest of us. But nothing could be further from t truth. The brain is fed by the same blood vessels and blood supply as the rest of the body. It is completely and intimately connected to the moment to moment choices made by that body. If you don’t believe me, just think of what happens a few minutes after you take a shot of tequila. The alcohol started in your stomach but suddenly it’s right there in your brain urging you to join the conga line.

In the same vein, we tend to believe that Alzheimer’s disease is a mysterious ailment that appears out of the blue and has no connection to the rest of our body. After all, it’s a brain disease, and in our conceptual framework the brain is mysterious, foreign and disconnected.

Recent research refutes this idea and forces us to look, yet again, at the effects of the Standard American Diet (SAD) on every aspect of our human form. This time, the subject is dementia. Researchers at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease held in Vienna predicted that by 2040 one third of the 81 million expected cases of AD will directly result from obesity and the diabetes it spawns.

Let me digress here for a moment and give you my thoughts about diabetes. We waste far too much precious time setting cut-offs for where diabetes begins. We pay far too little attention to warnings about diabetes if we have normal blood sugar. Any time we become insulin resistant (meaning that our insulin system stops sending effective signals and begins to compensate with insulin overproduction), we are part of the diabetes continuum. This is true whether blood sugar is “normal” or not. Millions of people have insulin resistance with normal sugars and are never even labeled pre-diabetic. This situation can go on for years while they continue to eat insulin stimulating diets and do untold harm to their bodies. Insulin resistance is likely if you are overweight or have been overweight. It also becomes more common as we age. The SAD encourages and promotes this problem by asking our body to secrete so much insulin so constantly (in response to the massive amount of starch and sugar we consume). So let’s look at the research below in the following light; if you are reading this as a dieter or maintainer, there is a good chance that you are or have been insulin resistant.

Here’s what was reported by Dr. Susan Craft, an AD researcher and what you need to know:

“A large body of work now suggests that insulin resistance increases the risk of Alzheimer’s by multiple mechanisms, Dr. Craft said. Far from being active only in the periphery, insulin binds to receptors located throughout the brain….High levels of insulin in the brain can induce a brain insulin-resistance by removing the insulin receptors from the nerve cell membranes.”

In the rest of the body, insulin resistance starts off a cascade of problems that affect the health of blood vessels. It’s not surprising that recent findings point to the same phenomenon in the brain. Brain insulin resistance seems to lead to vascular dysfunction. Blood supply to all tissues is critical, but particularly so to the brain, where blockages in the delivery of oxygen via the blood stream can lead to multiple small mini-strokes. These small areas of damage can add up to a larger picture of dementia.

Dr. Zaldy Tan of Harvard Medical School reported additional startling findings at the Alzheimer’s Conference. Subjects with insulin resistance and elevated insulin production had decreases in the actual volume of their brains. These decreases were equivalent to 6 years of brain aging!These subjects didn’t have to be technically diabetic to show such changes.

If you are an RTR reader, you’ve undoubtedly noted my preoccupation with what I call “S Foods” (starches and sugars) . This preoccupation is really just another way of saying that I’m very, very fixated on insulin. And for good reason. Read any research on obesity, diabetes, cholesterol, heart disease, cancer and the word INSULIN will be present. Insulin is a spider sitting in the middle of the web of modern disease. Modern eaters have a problem with insulin and they certainly don’t need any more of it. Eating excessive starches and sugars asks the body to continue deploying the struggling insulin system. It’s simply foolish. And foolhardy.

This discussion also gives us the opportunity to revisit the vital importance of exercise in a maintainer’s life. We all should recognize that exercise sensitizes muscles to insulin, allowing a fragile system to work better. Says Dr. Craft, “Exercise is the most potent insulin-sensitizing agent we have. A single bout of aerobic exercise improves insulin sensitivity for 24 hours. It’s much more potent than any medication.” She goes on: “Caloric restriction also lowers hyperinsulinemia and improves insulin sensitivity.”

So what can we do to protect ourselves from Alzheimer’s Disease? We can eat small amounts of high quality foods. We can make sure that these foods are quite low in starches and sugars. We can exercise. Sound familiar? It should, because the same prescription could be given to prevent and defeat diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, obesity, high blood pressure, premature aging, increased cancer risk and most of man’s other modern diseases. Maybe we could put it this way: we simply need to tame the spider. It’s all quite simple and elegant, not the twisted conundrum that optimal diet is made out to be. Luckily, all of the things that we maintainers are doing to keep weight at bay turn out to have the added benefit of chasing away our other metabolic demons. It’s a nice little extra, isn’t it?
http://refusetoregain.com/my_weblog...the-spider.html
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