Posts Tagged “Diet”

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According to the latest Gallup Poll.

Americans’ self-reported healthy eating habits dipped slightly in 2011, after improving in 2010. The percentage of Americans reporting they ate healthy all day “yesterday” declined to 66.1% in 2011 from 67.7% in 2010. Likewise, 56.0% of Americans reported eating five or more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables on at least four days in the previous week last year, down from 57.1% in 2010. As a result, the gains observed from 2009 to 2010 were essentially undone last year.

This is not good news.

Come on folks, spend a little time in preparing an appropriate, nutritional diet and exercise a little bit.

It is for better health!

Healthy eating can help reduce people’s risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, and several types of cancer, as well as help them maintain a healthy body weight. Good eating habits mean consuming various nutritious foods and beverages, especially vegetables, fruits, and low-fat and fat-free dairy products; limiting intake of saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium; and balancing caloric intake with calories burned to manage body weight.

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Yes, actually doubling the risk of memory loss, according to a new study.

New research suggests that consuming between 2,100 and 6,000 calories per day may double the risk of memory loss, or mild cognitive impairment (MCI), among people age 70 and older.

The study was just released and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 64th Annual Meeting in New Orleans April 21 to April 28, 2012. MCI is the stage between normal memory loss that comes with aging and early Alzheimer’s disease.

“We observed a dose-response pattern which simply means; the higher the amount of calories consumed each day, the higher the risk of MCI,” said study author Yonas E. Geda, MD, MSc, with the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

At my current weight of 230 pounds, I am eating around 1900 net calories. Of course, this will decrease, with my reduction in body weight.

But, at least I am under the threshold of daily calories at present.

The odds of having MCI more than doubled for those in the highest calorie-consuming group compared to those in the lowest calorie-consuming group. The results were the same after adjusting for history of stroke, diabetes, amount of education, and other factors that can affect risk of memory loss. There was no significant difference in risk for the middle group.

“Cutting calories and eating foods that make up a healthy diet may be a simpler way to prevent memory loss as we age,” said Geda.

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Yes, according to a new study.

Supersized portions and high-calorie dishes in restaurants are often blamed for contributing to America’s obesity epidemic, and for good reason. People tend to carry more body fat if they eat out frequently, and they tend to consume more calories and fat in restaurants than they do when eating at home, studies suggest.

Eating 200 or 300 extra calories in a restaurant once or twice a week may not seem like a big deal, but those calories can add up.

“The restaurant is a high-risk food environment,” says Gayle Timmerman, Ph.D., a nursing professor at The University of Texas at Austin who studies eating patterns. “There’s a pretty good chance if you eat out frequently you’re likely to gain weight over time.”

How can people fend off these extra calories? We can stay away from restaurants altogether, of course, but for most of us that’s not a viable — or particularly appealing — option. A small new study, led by Timmerman and published this week in the Journal of Nutrition and Education Behavior, offers another potential strategy: mindful eating, a series of dining techniques that stress close attention to the enjoyment of eating and feelings of hunger and fullness.

I use My Fitness Pal for all of my meals, but scan the database at a restaurant to scout out the number of calories in a selection. Does this mindfulness work?

Apparently, as I now have lost 31 pounds in the past 200 days, while suing this technique. I, now weigh 231 pounds on the way down to a medically appropriate weight of around 180.

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Here I am running up the Santa Monica Pier

Tara Parker-Pope has an interesting piece in the New York Times exploring obesity, and weight loss.

In this week’s New York Times Magazine, I explore new research that helps explain why most dieters who lose weight end up gaining it all back.

“If anything, the emerging science of weight loss teaches us that perhaps we should rethink our biases about people who are overweight. It is true that people who are overweight, including myself, get that way because they eat too many calories relative to what their bodies need. But a number of biological and genetic factors can play a role in determining exactly how much food is too much for any given individual. Clearly, weight loss is an intense struggle, one in which we are not fighting simply hunger or cravings for sweets, but our own bodies….”

Read it all and especially the comments about others’ personal stories of weight loss trials and tribulations.

There is a critic of her New York Magazine piece over at the Atlantic and I agree – albeit somewhat.

I’m not a scientist, but I have lost roughly a quarter of myself. I’ve done it at a glacial pace–almost eight years. So glacial in fact that I wouldn’t even call it a “diet.”: I’ve gained some in that time, but never yo-yoed back to the heights of my girth. The pattern has been more like lose lot, gain a some, lose some gain a little, lose a lot etc.

Obviously I wish this had happened faster and smoother. But the upshot of taking the long way is that I’ve learned a lot about how to negotiate  world where, at almost every step, cheap high calorie food is at the ready. You can’t get that understanding in a lab and you’re unlikely to get if your trying to burn of 3-4 pounds a week. That sounds like masochism.

I, now weigh 233 pounds, on my way down to 180 (I am 5-11). 9 years ago I weighed as much as 370 pounds.

Exercise, diet and accountability to myself and others (spouse and friends) have all helped.

It has been a lifestyle change.

There will be NO relapse – after all it is MY health at stake.

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According to the latest Gallup Poll.

As is typical during the winter season, Americans report exercising less. The percentage of adults who reported exercising frequently — for at least 30 minutes three or more days per week — fell to 49.8% in November, from 52.2% in October and from the year’s high of 54.5% in July. Fewer Americans exercised frequently last month than did in November of last year (50.5%).

Americans typically exercise more in the spring and summer and less in the fall and winter. Frequent exercise usually drops to its lowest point in December of each year and beings to improve again in January.

The percentage of Americans reporting that they exercise frequently was relatively low through the fall of 2008 and much of 2009, amid the worst of the economic crisis. However, the percentage who reported frequent physical activity was generally higher in 2010 and has since remained at somewhat higher levels. The average percentage of Americans who exercised frequently was 51.5% in 2010, 49.6% in 2009, and 51.4% in 2008.

It is all about the weather in the United States. I am blessed with year around temperate weather here in California for running, although it is cold in the morning and evening.

With regards to healthy eating, it is MORE expensive to eat fresh produce and vegetables in the winter. This could be a function of the economy, but more than likely, the cultural year end holidays also play a role.

One good thing is that healthy habits do rebound when spring arrives.

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