Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Weight Loss Causes Dramatic Immune System Improvement

It is very clear that extra pounds are an inflammatory burden to your body that accelerates aging in multiple ways. Not only are there immune cells within your white adipose tissue getting all bent out of shape, the problem is spreading all around your body. A new study shows that obese people in poor metabolic condition who lose 15 pounds can drastically improve their immune system function simply by getting in a constant trend of weight loss.

This means that you don’t have to lose all of your weight before you get health benefits that slow the onset of poor health and accelerated aging. It is important for any overweight person not to get discouraged but to do what it takes to actually get in the process of weight loss. When your body gets into a mode that is actually shedding pounds then you have created an internal environment wherein your immune system begins to function remarkably better.

We know that if you can then maintain that trend as you reach your goal weight that health problems associated with obesity are minimized. On the other hand, if you hit a plateau and don’t progress or worse, you start to regain weight, then all the immune system problems start coming back again.

It was very obvious with the last round of swine flu that overweight, especially obese people, got the worst cases of the flu – a clear example of how obesity interferes with healthy immunity.

The really good news is that you can make a lot of health improvements long before you lose all of the weight you may need to lose. All you have to do is make an effort to get started and then consistently keep going.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

2 Killer Moves for a Flat Tummy

A toned stomach is like an amazing Chanel bag. It looks good, feels great and takes a ton of work to get it. Some of us were born with it, and some of us spend our whole lives vying for it. Plus, it's sexy.We can't give you tips on buying a Chanel bag (other than save, save save!) but we can tell you the killer moves to get your stomach into shape. Just keep in mind that these exercises alone won't do it. Click here for fat-burning cardio ideas and metabolism-boosters."A toned core will help your body age well in the decades to come, so it's crucial to build a strong one early on," says Valerie Orsoni, founder of LeBootCamp.com. "Also," adds Geralyn Coopersmith, senior national manager at Equinox Fitness Training Institute, "developing a fit core early in life sets you up for amazing posture and a pain-free lower back." (See: 4 Weeks to a Better Body)

Killer Move: The PlankGoal: To condition your entire coreFrequency: Four times a weekDirections:- Get into a push-up position with your forearms on the floor.- Lift your legs and torso up off the ground so that only your toes and the flats of your forearms remain on the floor.- Keeping your back neutral and your belly button pulled in, hold this position for 20-60 seconds.- Repeat for 3-5 sets.(See: 45 BEST Body Secrets)

Killer Move: Butterfly ’Goal: To work your deep abs while getting a
flat, sexy stomachFrequency: Four times a weekDirections:- Sit comfortably on a gym mat or carpet with your legs crossed. Using your arms to support you, slowly lie back until your body is flat, keeping your legs crossed.- Place your hands under the nape of your neck for support. Inhale through your nose, and raise your chest a few inches off the floor while exhaling through your mouth. Your chest should be moving up toward the ceiling, not bending forward to your knees. This should be a smooth, controlled motion.- Repeat 25 times, and as you progress, move up to 50 times.- Tip: Do not push your head with your hands as this puts you at risk of injuring your neck. The purpose of your hands is to keep your head in alignment with your back and shoulders. You don't want to curve your back.

SOURCE: shine.yahoo.com

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Appetite Suppressed By 'Starving' Fat

Peptides that target blood vessels in fat and cause them to go into programmed cell death (termed apoptosis) could become a model for future weight-loss therapies, say University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers.

A research team led by Randy Seeley, PhD, of UC's Metabolic Diseases Institute, has found that obese animal models treated with proapoptotic peptide experienced decreased food intake and significant fat loss. The study was published online ahead of print Jan. 26, 2010, in Diabetes, the official journal of the American Diabetes Association.

White adipose (fat) tissue is vascularized, much like a tumor, and growth of fat tissue is highly dependent on the tissue's ability to build new blood vessels - a phenomenon called angiogenesis. Inhibiting adipose angiogenesis - essentially "starving" fat tissue - can reverse the effects of a high-fat diet in mice and rats, says Seeley. "The body is extremely efficient at controlling energy balance," says Seeley, a professor in UC's internal medicine department and recipient of the 2009 Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award from the American Diabetes Association. "Think of fat tissue like a bathtub," he says. "To keep the amount of water the same, you have to make sure that the speed of the water coming in and the water going out match. If the water is coming in faster than the water is going out, eventually you have to build a bigger bathtub. "Obesity is the same. People who eat more calories than they burn have to build a bigger fat tissue 'bathtub,' and building new blood vessels is crucial to building this bigger bathtub. For each additional pound of fat tissue, you need to build a mile of blood vessels.

"What we found is that if we can target these fat tissue blood vessels, animals eat less and lose weight as their 'bathtubs' get smaller." Seeley and his team treated lean and obese mice and rats with the proapoptotic peptide for periods of four or 27 days. They measured energy intake and expenditure daily in all animals - some on low-fat diets, others on high-fat diets. The team found that the peptide completely reversed high-fat-diet-induced obesity in already obese mice and also reduced body weight in the mice and rats placed on high-fat diets. No changes were recorded in animals on low-fat diets. Seeley's team found that fat loss was occurring without major changes to energy expenditure, but with reduced food intake. The authors noted that there were no signs of illness with this treatment and results were independent of the actions of the appetite-controlling hormone leptin.

"These experiments indicate that there is a novel system that informs our brains about the size of our fat tissue 'bathtubs' and can influence how much we eat," says Seeley. "The findings highlight the ability to provide new therapeutic strategies for obesity based on these dynamics of blood vessels in our fat tissue." The next step, Seeley says, is to figure out the important signals that come from fat that cause the weight loss.

This study was supported by grants from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Co-authors include Dong-Hoon Kim, PhD, and Stephen Woods, PhD, both of the University of Cincinnati.

Source: Dama KimmonUniversity of Cincinnati Academic Health Center

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sticking To Diets Is About More Than Willpower, New Research Finds That Complexity Matters

Many people think the success of dieting, seemingly a national obsession following the excesses and resolutions of the holiday season, depends mostly on how hard one tries - on willpower and dedication.

While this does matter, new research has found that a much more subtle aspect of the diets themselves can also have a big influence on the pounds shed - namely, the perceived complexity of a diet plan's rules and requirements.

Cognitive scientists from Indiana University and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin compared the dieting behavior of women following two radically different diet plans and found that the more complicated people thought their diet plan was, the sooner they were likely to drop it. "For people on a more complex diet that involves keeping track of quantities and items eaten, their subjective impression of the difficulty of the diet can lead them to give up on it," reported Peter Todd, professor in IU's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Jutta Mata, now a professor of psychology at Stanford University, said this effect holds even after controlling for the influence of important social-cognitive factors including self-efficacy, the belief that one is capable of achieving a goal like sticking to a diet regimen to control one's weight. "Even if you believe you can succeed, thinking that the diet is cognitively complex can undermine your efforts," she said.

Dieting is not all in one's head -- environment matters, too, the professors say. The physical environment has to be set up properly, such as putting snack foods out of sight to avoid mindless eating. But the cognitive environment, they say, must also be appropriately constructed, by choosing diet rules that that one finds easy to remember and follow.
For people interested in following a diet plan, Mata suggests they take a look at several diet plans with an eye toward how many rules the plans have and how many things need to be how many things need to be kept in mind. "If they decide to go with a more complex diet, which could be more attractive for instance if it allows more flexibility, they should evaluate how difficult they find doing the calculations and monitoring their consumption," she said. "If they find it very difficult, the likelihood that they will prematurely give up the diet is higher and they should try to find a different plan."

About the study:
The study examined both the objective and subjective complexity of two diet plans. Brigitte, the cognitively simpler of the two, is a popular German recipe diet that provides shopping lists for the dieters, thus requiring participants to simply follow the provided meal plan.
Weight Watchers assigns point values to every food and instructs participants to eat only a certain number of points per day. The 390 women involved were recruited from German-language Internet chat rooms dealing with weight management and were already in the midst of using one of the two diet plans. They answered questionnaires at the beginning, mid-point and end of an eight-week period.

While losing weight initially isn't rocket science, keeping it off remains a challenge to dieters. It generally is believed that the longer people can adhere to their diet plan, the more successful they will be long-term with their weight loss maintenance. And the more like rocket science one's diet plan feels, Todd and Mata report, the less likely that long-term adherence and maintenance is to succeed.