Archive for the ‘Weight Loss Goals’ Category

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Green Tea Improves Weight Loss and Heart Health

April 9, 2012
Green Tea Boosts Metabolism to Aid Weight Loss

Green Tea Boosts Metabolism to Aid Weight Loss

Green tea (and its less refined cousin, white tea) has been a part of the ancient Chinese tradition for countless generations, in large part due to its rich endowment of bioactive catechins. Many studies over the past decade have shown that green tea is a powerful tool to improve metabolism in a way that is supportive of weight loss.

Scientists publishing in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry demonstrate that it activates genes associated with fat burning while also helping to reduce absorption of fat from the digestive tract. Further evidence on the gene-altering activity of green tea is reported in the International Journal of Cardiology, as polyphenols from the drink lower free radical damage to help maintain telomere length in heart cells. Drinking several cups of green tea each day may hold the key to effective weight management and cardiac health.

Green Tea Supplementation Assists Weight Loss by Reducing Abdominal Fat Stores

EGCG in Green Tea Inhibits Lipid Metabolism to Assist Weight Loss

EGCG in Green Tea Inhibits Lipid Metabolism to Assist Weight Loss

Researchers from the Departments of Chemical Biology and Pharmacology and Toxicology at Rutgers University in New Jersey examined the effect of green tea supplementation on obese mice, known to exhibit similar metabolic characteristics to humans. The animals were broken into two groups and both were fed a traditional high fat/Western style diet. One group received water supplemented with the green tea bioactive catechin EGCG, while the second group acted as a non-supplemented control.

The study determined that EGCG supplementation significantly reduced body weight gain associated with increased fecal lipids and decreased blood glucose levels compared to those of the control group. Scientists further found that fatty liver incidence, associated liver damage and liver triglyceride levels were also decreased by the EGCG treatment. Treated animals also experienced improved insulin response as well as lowered C-reactive protein (CRP) and interlukin-6 (IL-6) levels, both strong indicators of systemic inflammation and immune response.

EGCG is a Powerful Antioxidant Shown to Increase Heart Muscle Lifespan

Green Tea Improves heart Muscle Function to Prevent Heart Disease

Green Tea Improves heart Muscle Function to Prevent Heart Disease

The study authors concluded “Our results demonstrate that the high fat/Western diet produces more severe symptoms of metabolic syndrome and that the EGCG treatment can alleviate these symptoms and body fat accumulation. The beneficial effects of EGCG are associated with decreased lipid absorption and reduced levels of inflammatory cytokines.” Green tea helps our cellular engines (mitochondria) to better metabolize calories more efficiently, providing a significant weight management tool.

Additionally, supporting research documents the effect of green tea catechins on extending the lifespan of heart muscle cells. Scientists found that EGCG supplementation exerted a potent antioxidant effect that lowered free radical damage to preserve telomere length and reduce heart cell death. Nutrition experts recommend two to four cups of fresh brewed green tea daily or an organically compounded and standardized EGCG supplement (300 to 500 mg daily) to assist weight management goals and improve cardiovascular health.

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Blueberries, Cocoa and Resveratrol Help Weight Loss

August 22, 2011
Natural Compounds From Fruits and Chocolate Assist Weight Loss Efforts

Natural Compounds From Fruits and Chocolate Assist Weight Loss Efforts

A wealth of new scientific evidence shines a critical light on the importance of natural foods and nutritional compounds in the fight against overweight, obesity and weight maintenance. Virtually all alternative health experts agree the current epidemic of weight control issues plaguing western society are the result of excess consumption of highly processed convenience foods that have replaced vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds in the diet.

Three independent studies conclude that blueberries, resveratrol from red grapes and cocoa flavanols exert a potent effect on fat cell formation that can aid in weight loss and management goals when included as part of your daily diet.

Blueberries Inhibit the Formation of New Baby Fat Cells

Blueberries Inhibit Formation of New Fat Cells for Storage

Blueberries Inhibit Formation of New Fat Cells for Storage

Blueberries have been well documented for their cognitive and cardio-protective benefits, due in large part to the potent complex of anthocyanins that give the berry its deep blue color. Researchers reporting the results of a study to the Experimental Biology 2011 conference have found that blueberries may hold the key to resolving one of the largest threats to human health this century: overweight and obesity.

Scientists determined that extracts of the berry compound inhibited the formation of new baby fat cells (adipocytes) in a dose-dependent manner. Less adipocytes means there are fewer `containers` to store triglycerides from the blood, and ultimately a powerful mechanism to lower or help maintain body weight. Not only did blueberry extract supplementation reduce the number of adipocytes up to 73 percent, but the compound was also found to assist in the breakdown of lipids and fats for removal from the body.

Cocoa Polyphenols Slow the Breakdown of Carbohydrates to Fuel Weight Loss

Cocoa From Dark Chocolate Cuts Carbohydrate Brreakdown to Help Weight Maintenance

Cocoa From Dark Chocolate Cuts Carbohydrate Brreakdown to Help Weight Maintenance

Polyphenols from the cocoa plant have been shown to promote cardiovascular, skin and brain health in recent studies. Research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry provide evidence that extracts of the cacao bean, particularly the flavanol epicatechin is a potent inhibitor of enzymes that break down carbohydrates during digestion.

Study authors determined the compound exerted an effect in a dose-dependent fashion, noting “the more consumed, the greater the effect.” They were also careful to conclude that chocolate and cocoa are two very different terms with the distinction that cocoa is the non-fat component of cocoa liquor, and the carbohydrate-inhibiting effect is not seen when sugar-infused milk chocolate sources are used. A minimum cocoa content of 55% is necessary for health and weight management concerns.

Resveratrol, the bioactive compound found most commonly in the skins of red grapes is shown to reduce body fat formation by preventing the formation of fat tissue in a study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism. The compound is known to positively affect cognitive functions and extend natural lifespan by regulating the longevity gene SIRT1. Researchers explain that ingesting resveratrol at supplemental doses (50 mg per day) for a period of six weeks caused a significant reduction in the activity of enzymes linked to fat production in the body.

Effective weight loss and management requires a combination of lifestyle and dietary modifications. Natural foods and dietary nutrients such as blueberries, resveratrol and cocoa compounds provide a safe and powerful mechanism to achieve long-term weight reduction goals.

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Blueberry Extract Assists Weight Loss and Halts Atherosclerosis

August 1, 2011
Blueberries are Packed with Health Promoting Polyphenols

Blueberries are Packed with Health Promoting Polyphenols

Multiple nutritional studies have demonstrated that blueberries exert a powerful cardio-protective effect due to the high concentration of polyphenols found in the berry. Researchers from the Texas Woman`s University examined the role this amazing fruit plays in the initial development of fat cells that could have a significant impact on weight reduction efforts and obesity. The result of a study presented to the American Society for Nutrition found that blueberries inhibit the creation of new fat cells by altering lipid metabolism. A daily dose of fresh blueberries may hold the key to natural weight reduction.

Researchers at TWU set out to evaluate whether blueberries play a role in the development and differentiation of new baby fat cells or adipocytes that are the primary vehicle for fat storage in the body. In the past, studies have shown powerful natural polyphenols found in plants to inhibit the formation of fat cells and induce lipolysis, which is the breakdown of fats from cellular storage.

Blueberry Extract is Shown to Inhibit Baby Fat Cell Formation

Blueberries Help Prevent Baby Fat Cell Development

Blueberries Help Prevent Baby Fat Cell Development

The study used different concentrations of a wild blueberry extract performed on tissue cultures to determine the effect on fat cell initiation. The blueberry polyphenols showed a dose-dependent suppression of fat cell differentiation. Fat cells exposed to the highest polyphenol concentration showed a 73% decrease in lipid breakdown. Cells exposed to the lowest blueberry concentration exhibited a 27% decrease in lipids.

The lead study author, Shiwani Moghe, MS determined that blueberry polyphenols can inhibit a critical path leading to obesity at the molecular level and may play a significant role in blocking the development of new fat cells. The berry may also play a part in releasing fat from adipocytes that will help millions with the desire to lose weight. She noted “This is a burgeoning area of research. Determining the best dose for humans will be important. The promise is there for blueberries to help reduce adipose tissue from forming in the body.”

Blueberries Prevent Deadly Arterial Plaque and Atherosclerosis

Blueberry Extract Prevents Arterial Plaque Formation and Atherosclerosis

Blueberry Extract Prevents Arterial Plaque Formation and Atherosclerosis

Polyphenols from blueberries have been shown to be effective in the fight against arterial hardening or atherosclerosis. Researchers writing in the Journal of Nutrition found that regular blueberry consumption can help prevent harmful plaques and lesions from increasing in size in coronary arteries. A diet containing blueberries for 20 weeks was shown to reduce arterial plaque lesions from 39 to 58 percent, dramatically lowering risk for a deadly heart attack.

Blueberries have been a natural part of the human diet for countless generations and provide a tasty source of plant polyphenols that prevent coronary artery disease and can assist with weight loss efforts. Include four to eight ounces of fresh blueberries to your diet each day or take an organically produced concentrated extract supplement to naturally improve health and prevent fat cell development.

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Green Tea Polyphenols Assist Weight Loss Goals

July 25, 2011
Green Tea Helps Boost Weight Loss by Increasing Metabolism

Green Tea Helps Boost Weight Loss by Increasing Metabolism

Compelling evidence presented in the journal Nutrition Research makes the firm connection between green tea consumption, lowered body weight and reduced levels of dangerous belly fat. Drinking between 5 and 8 cups of green tea each day was shown to lower body weight by 5.6% and decrease abdominal fat stores by 17.8% over a period of 8 weeks.

Green tea consumption has long been associated with lowered risk of cancer, metabolic syndrome and heart disease. This research provides compelling evidence that green tea boosts metabolism to target fat stores and assists weight loss efforts.

Green Tea is Shown to Help Weight Management Goals

Green Tea Powers Weight Loss is a Dose Dependent Manner

Green Tea Powers Weight Loss is a Dose Dependent Manner

Green tea extracts have been researched extensively over the past decade and are shown to dramatically lower the risk of Alzheimer`s disease and dementias, cardiovascular disease and many forms of cancer. Additional studies have shown that the polyphenols in green tea are a significant factor in improved oral health and can provide necessary support for weight management and control. Green tea is composed of four primary polyphenols (epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epicatechin) that are shown to influence genetic signaling and metabolic rate.

The study was conducted by Polish researchers and used an animal model to determine weight loss and fat accumulation characteristics. The researchers also analyzed cardiovascular risk factors and atherogenesis over an 8 week period. The animals were fed a high fat diet and drank green tea made from either a 1.1% or 2% extract of the active phenolic compound. The results indicate that body weight and fat reduction are dose dependent with maximum results (5.6% lower body weight, 17.8% fat reduction) achieved with the 2% extract.

Green Tea Improves Arterial Elasticity and Reduces Cardiovascular Risks

Green Tea is Shown to Improve Arterial Elasticity to Lower Heart Disease Risk

Green Tea is Shown to Improve Arterial Elasticity to Lower Heart Disease Risk

Researchers also found that both concentrations of green tea extract reduced atherogenesis (initial loss of coronary artery elasticity leading to artery hardening and future heart disease) by 14.3% compared to non-supplemented subjects. The study authors did not determine the mechanism for cardiovascular risk reduction. Prior research has shown that the potent antioxidant content of green tea is responsible for significantly lowered levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol and increased particle size that are consistent with reduced heart disease risk.

This study used the equivalent of 5 to 8 cups of green tea consumed each day to achieve optimal weight management, fat reduction and cardiovascular risk reversal. Researchers found that the green tea concentration is important to achieve optimal weight lowering results. Drink 6 cups of fresh brewed, non-fluoridated green tea daily (or take a standardized green tea extract supplement) to help prevent coronary artery disease, assist weight loss and boost fat reduction efforts.

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Food Journal Essential to Successful Weight Loss

December 31, 2010

(Article first published as Food Journal is Key to New Year Weight Loss Success on Technorati.)

Ensure the Success of Your Weight Loss Resolution

Ensure the Success of Your Weight Loss Resolution

Millions of people struggle with weight loss each year and most will be unsuccessful in their goal. With the New Year almost upon us, many will yet again make a well-intended resolution to drop weight gained during the past year and reach their ideal weight range. Making the decision to lose weight is an important first step, yet 95% of those with the desire to drop pounds will fail because they don’t have the appropriate tools to accomplish the task.

Making a Plan to Lose Weight

The reason most weight loss programs don’t succeed is because there is no firm plan in place that will deliver the desired results. Many people rely on fad diets that exclude different food groups or rely on pills or other unnatural supplements that only work in the short term. In order to permanently lose weight, you must have a viable and demonstrated methodology in place. This includes a reduced calorie, well-balanced meal plan, regular physical activity and a way to keep track of your progress.

Keeping a Food Diary Helps Many Achieve Weight Loss Goal

Keep a Simple Food Journal and Update Daily

Keep a Simple Food Journal and Update Daily

The best laid plan to lose weight can quickly become unraveled the first time you make an inevitable dietary stumble. It’s been shown that dieters are much more likely to stay with a dietary regimen when they keep a food journal to track their daily progress.

After years of working with overweight and obese patients, weight loss management specialist Dr. Christopher J. Mosunic from Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut has found that people keeping track of daily food consumption in a journal are considerably more likely to remain with their plan and keep weight off for good. He provides essential tips from his experience to achieve successful weight loss using a food journal.

Tip 1: Keep Your Journal Simple

A Food Journal Helps You to Stay Focused on Weight Loss Success

A Food Journal Helps You to Stay Focused on Weight Loss Success

One of the keys to maintaining a good food journal is to keep your entries simple. If it becomes a burden to record your daily details you are much less likely to keep it up for the long run. One of the biggest mistakes is to rely on complex internet-based programs that over analyze data and can take a half hour or more each day to maintain.

Try using a simple journal that you keep by hand. Record the date, time and food eaten with quantity before each meal. Also include a simple detail of physical activity for each day including the type of exercise and duration.

Tip 2: Be Thorough, Don’t Cheat

It’s important to be responsible for every item you eat, including each handful of chips or piece of chocolate. Every item adds up, as between meal snacks and unrecorded food binges can make up 30 to 50% of your daily caloric intake.

Tip 3: Share Your Food Journal

A food journal is not like a personal dairy. You want people to be able to take a look and see your progress. It should be an accurate reflection of your personal journey to achieve a very special goal, and you should be proud to share your accomplishments with family and friends.

After you have charted your food and fitness progress for 30 days, you will be able to quickly see the reasons for success or failure. If you are losing weight more or less than the recommended 1 to 2 pounds per week, you will need to adjust calories and physical activity up or down to compensate. Once you have made the resolution to lose weight, ensure your success by maintaining a daily food journal.

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Six Tips to Drive New Year Weight Loss

December 22, 2010

(Article first published as Six Tips to Jump Start Your New Year Weight Loss Resolution on Technorati.)

Six Tips to Help with Weight Loss in the New Year

Six Tips to Help with Weight Loss in the New Year

As another year draws to a close, many people begin to think about making New Year Resolutions. As the number of overweight and obese individuals continues to skyrocket in epidemic proportions, many resolutions will evolve around the pursuit of an elusive weight loss goal. Reducing calories and exercising more are well known strategies to pursue. In addition, nutrition experts at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have compiled the top research-based weight loss tips designed to help you jump start your new journey to a slimmer waistline.

Tip 1: Keep Moving Each Day

Plan 30 - 60 Minutes of Physical Activity Each Day

Plan 30 - 60 Minutes of Physical Activity Each Day

Research confirms that physical activity is essential to human health and is also an important catalyst in your weight loss efforts. Exercise doesn’t have to be in the form of a grueling 5 mile run or lifting heavy free weights. The key to using exercise to fuel your weight loss efforts is that you need to do something to stay moving each day.

Set 30 to 60 minutes aside each day for some type of aerobic or resistance activity. The best part is that your time can be broken down into convenient 10 or 15 minute segments and you’ll still receive the same health and weight loss benefits.

Tip 2: Keep a Detailed Food and Exercise Journal

This may be one of the most important tips that many people on a weight loss mission fail to undertake. Keep a detailed record of each bite of food and drink, including the time and amount consumed. Don’t cheat. Record every food item including between meals snacks and sneaking a bite of your favorite chocolate bar. Write down your physical activity also, including type of exercise and the duration of each segment during the day. Many people are amazed to find out the number of calories eaten outside of normal meal time.

Tip 3: Set Realistic Goals

Often in our zest to reach an imaginary weight goal, we set an unrealistic target and timeframe. When it becomes clear that the goal can’t be met, our best intentions are forgotten and any lost weight returns with a few extra pounds to discourage us from trying again. Permanent weight loss must be accomplished slowly, with a plan to drop no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week. This allows our body time to adjust naturally and make the necessary metabolic changes to maintain our lower weight.

Tip 4: Set Specific Goals

Set Specific and Realistic Goals to Fuel Your Success

Set Specific and Realistic Goals to Fuel Your Success

Make a plan to achieve your weight loss goal. Chart your day to include 3 well balanced meals and develop a calorie controlled menu that will allow you to hit your target. Schedule physical activity at a specific time as you would a business appointment. Avoid generalizations about diet and exercise, and be specific with regard to intent and end result.

Tip 5: Allow Yourself Room for an Occasional Slip

Everybody is human and inevitably you will make a small slip in your dietary plan. Fortunately your body is very forgiving and does not assess caloric intake for a single meal or even an entire day. Allow yourself an occasional treat when you really need it to keep yourself moving forward toward your weight loss goal.

Tip 6: Take Up Yoga

There’s more to yoga than just burning calories through physical activity. Researchers from the Hutchinson Cancer Center have “found that regular yoga practice is associated with the prevention of middle-age spread in normal-weight people and the promotion of weight loss in those who are overweight.” Yoga practice leads to mindful eating and healthy weight loss.

The New Year is approaching quickly and health conscious people will be thinking about losing weight gained during the past year. The best way to drop excess pounds is make a structured plan and set appropriate goals that will help you reach your weight target and improve your health and quality of life.

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Eliminate Sugar to Drive Weight Loss

October 19, 2010

(Article first published as Study Shows Source of Calories Important to Weight Loss Efforts on Technorati.)

Calorie Source Critical to Weight Loss Efforts

Calorie Source Critical to Weight Loss Efforts

Is it true that a calorie is just a calorie, regardless of whether it comes from a fat, protein or carbohydrate source? A basic physics class will demonstrate that in a laboratory setting, all calories require the same amount of energy to burn regardless of type.

Our body uses a highly evolved energy management system that takes cues from the total number of calories consumed, as well as the calorie source to adjust our metabolic rate and determine fat storage patterns. A successful weight loss plan must include the right balance of nutrients to ensure weight loss success.

All Calories Are Not Created Equal

Our body regulates our genes based on the food we eat. Long standing research has shown that the quantity of foods we consume influences special genes that regulate longevity and the onset of disease. In the same fashion, the type of food we eat affects our metabolism and the effectiveness of insulin to control blood sugar. A diet high in refined carbohydrates that quickly convert to glucose results in insulin resistance and a host of metabolically mediated diseases.

Excess Carb Calories Stored as Fat

Sugar Calories Found to Triple Fat Storage

Sugar Calories Found to Triple Fat Storage

In his book Living Low Carb, nutritionist Dr. Jonny Bowden explains the results of a Swedish study where volunteers were given 20 extra calories from candy or peanuts each day for each half pound of body weight. That amounts to an extra 18,200 calories for a 150 pound individual over the course of 2 weeks or slightly over 5 pounds of additional weight from a simple calorie conversion. The group eating high protein peanuts gained a slight amount of weight, but the candy eating subjects packed on 3 times as much weight from the extra sugar calories.

Simple Carbs Raise Blood Sugar, Fuel Fat Storage

Calories from processed carbohydrate foods including candy, bread, pasta and baked goods cause blood sugar levels to surge after every meal. Eventually this leads to insulin resistance as glucose is not efficiently used for energy and remains in the blood. The body responds by converting the sugar into triglycerides or blood fats which are then easily stored in your fat cells.

Eating Protein Increases Base Metabolism

Protein Increases Base Metabolic Rate

Protein Increases Base Metabolic Rate

Protein has a much different effect on metabolism than simple carbohydrates. Proteins such as lean meats, nuts, seeds and whey do not stimulate blood sugar and help to maintain ideal insulin levels. Protein calories are converted to energy as long as total calories from all sources are not extreme. The body is much less likely store calories as fat since triglycerides are not formed in excess and insulin remains effective in managing blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that protein consumption increases metabolic rate at rest which burns more calories throughout the day.

Successful weight loss remains out of reach for the vast number of people who begin the journey. Many more people would be able to achieve their goal by eliminating refined carbohydrates and substituting healthy protein choices in addition to calorie restriction. By working to control blood sugar levels, you’ll improve your health and ensure your weight loss success.