четверг, 16 декабря 2010 г.

Can Meditation Help Me To Lose Weight?

Normally when we think about some weight losing activity, we think about burning calories or sweating off the fat. When you meditate you have to sit very still, without making a move. Can meditation, therefore, be helpful in losing weight? Although you won't burn many calories during a typical meditation session, meditation may be one of the most important practices you will do in your effort to lose weight.
Weight loss is not just a physical activity. Sure, if you eat less and you exercise more, you will lose weight. However, all of our actions begin in our minds. If you are going to walk for forty five minutes every day, in order to increase your daily exercise, then you first have to decide to do it, and at the right time, you have to think and then go for your walk. These are all mental activities.
Similarly, if you realize that junk food is only making your waistline expand, and you want to stop eating it, you first have to make a decision to change your eating habits and then you have to walk past and not stop at the doughnut shop on your way to work. Again, these are mostly mental activities.
If you are trying to lose weight you probably already "know" that you have to exercise more, and change some of your eating habits. You "know" this to be a fact, yet you are unable to do it. All people, whether fat or slim, have this same dilemma. We "know" many things intellectually, but we are not always able to put our best intentions into action.
Meditation is one of the best methods to take control of your own self. During meditation you will learn how to make your mind stronger. A weight lifter typically exercises certain muscles, making them stronger and stronger. Similarly someone who meditates is exercising her "mental" muscle by directing her mind away from the noise of the world outside toward the calm within. Following the meditation instructions takes a bit of effort, but that effort will be rewarded.
If anyone meditates on a daily basis, she will not only become more able to concentrate during the meditation session but also more able to put her good intentions into practice and make positive changes in her life.
It is not a question of mind over matter, or having to do anything that you don't want to do. Meditation is an activity that changes you from the inside out. Instead of forcing yourself not to eat the doughnut in between meals, the very desire to eat it will vanish. Instead of fighting with yourself to go out for a walk, exercise will become something that you enjoy doing. If you get into the practice of meditation, no one will have to twist your arm to make you live a healthy lifestyle, it will become your natural choice.
Therefore, while you will not sweat off any pounds during your periods of meditation, the daily practice of meditation could be one of the most important parts of your effort to lose weight and live a long, healthy and happy life.

суббота, 11 декабря 2010 г.

National Weight-Loss Effort Targets Black Community

The Washington Post on Saturday examined the 50 Million Pound Challenge, which seeks to reduce obesity and encourage healthy lifestyles in the black community. Two of every three men, four out of five women and one in five children in the black community are overweight, according to the challenge’s Web site.
Fitness expert and physician Ian Smith said he began the program last year to provide a “national platform” for healthier living among blacks (Thomas-Lester, Washington Post, 10/4). Smith said that the campaign’s challenge for 50 million pounds of weight loss can be met if 25% of the 20 million blacks in the U.S. who are considered overweight or obese each lost 10 pounds (Kaiser Health Disparities Report, 4/5/07). More than 690,000 people across the nation have joined the challenge since April 2007, and almost three million pounds have been lost.
Smith said, “What we are trying to do is not only to get people to lose weight, but to get them to take a better look at the choices that are directly impacting their physical and spiritual health.” He added, “Poor lifestyle choices and cultural entrenchments have, unfortunately, made African-Americans extremely vulnerable to a wide range of diseases that are in many cases life-threatening” (Washington Post, 10/4).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

вторник, 7 декабря 2010 г.

Gastric Bypass Surgery - Last Resort for Weight Loss


Weight Loss

In response to the story "Weight loss and gastric bypass surgery" I'd like to remind your audience that surgery should always be the last resort for any injury, condition, or disease.
Obesity is no exception. It's a mistake for anyone to abandon, or worse, sidestep the proven behavioral solutions of exercise and a balanced diet. The risks of invasive bariatric surgeries (such as gastric bypass, adjustable gastric banding, duodenal switch, etc.) are substantial and their benefits can be achieved with less cost, no risk, and less
aggravation, using natural means.
Mortality rates for bariatric surgical procedures can be as high as 1 in 100, according to estimates by Virginia Commonwealth University. That means that 1,500 of the projected 150,000 Americans that will undergo the procedure this year will die as a result.
The survivors can expect months of difficult recovery, common complications such as vomiting, ulcers, hernias, and internal bleeding, and the surgery's dirty little secret-the cruel irony of a nightmarishly strict diet for the rest of their lives.
Most patients are restricted from eating certain foods ever again (which vary depending on the person). In addition, patients are often required to take a variety of supplements and medications to combat 'predictive malabsorption,' a serious side-effect that stops the body from digesting crucial nutrients.
After gastric bypass, naughty indulgences that contain excess fats and sugars can become life-threatening transgressions because they take up crucial stomach space, but have no nutritional value.
Sadly, many of these patients could lose their extra weight without surgery, given a well-designed fitness program that includes diet, exercise, and proven behavior modification techniques.
In over twenty years of treating obesity, I have� � rarely recommended bariatric surgery, and when I have, it has only been in the very most extreme cases and with great trepidation. Even in the most extreme cases, behavioral therapies can be as effective and rewarding as invasive procedures. Yet, behavioral programs are always more flexible, not to mention safe.
With a well-planned approach, and the help of a medical professional, anyone can lose their excess weight, without losing the freedom of a normal lifestyle.

пятница, 26 ноября 2010 г.

Daylight and cold for weight loss

Researchers are conjuring up ways to harness the power of daylight and cold temperatures for helping with weight loss. Recent discoveries about brown fat, also known as brown adipose tissue (BAT), have brought a research focus on how to stimulate production of brown fat in humans to help with weight loss.
Scientists at The University of Nottingham have now found that daylight and cold are factors that greatly contribute to controlling brown fat, and they are trying to find ways to help humans lose weight by promoting BAT activity.
Brown fat burns energy instead of storing it, making us overweight. White fat is the kind that hangs over our belts, and jiggles under the arms.
Research led by Michael Symonds, Professor of Developmental Physiology in the School of Clinical Sciences at The University of Nottingham found that brown fat activity correlates closely with daylight, and to a lesser degree with ambient temperature. Brown fat is activated by cold.
The scientists say that global warming and indoor heating has diminished out ability to produce energy burning, beneficial brown fat, leading to obesity. Brown fat produces heat. Because our heat requirements have decreased, our bodies produce less brown fat, making it harder to lose weight.
Professor Symonds says, “Our research demonstrates a very strong seasonal variation in the presence of BAT. The study focused on the impact of daylight and ambient temperature as these are two key factors in determining BAT function in small mammals. Our exciting new findings may help us find novel interventions aimed at promoting BAT activity particularly in the winter.” The findings, published in the journal Diabetes, studied over 3500 patients, leading to the findings that stimulating brown fat could be a useful tool to help with weight loss.
If the researchers can find a way for the body make more brown fat (BAT), it would be easy to burn calories and lose weight. Brown fat is capable of producing up to 300 times more heat per unit mass compared with all other tissues.
The scientists feel they may have found a novel mechanism that could use daylight to help with weight loss and fight obesity. The researchers say promoting brown adipose activity in humans could provide a new treatment for losing weight.
Symonds says, “Our research has suggested a previously unknown mechanism for controlling BAT function in humans and this could potentially lead to new treatments for the prevention or reversal of obesity.” The obesity epidemic could become a reason to fight global warming. We need to lose weight.

понедельник, 22 ноября 2010 г.

Here Is Another Piece Of The Weight-Control Puzzle

Controlling body weight is a complicated process, as any frustrated dieter might attest. But as scientists continue to investigate the brain’s intricate neurocircuitry and its role in maintaining energy balance, they are forming a clearer picture of the myriad events that lead to weight gain and weight loss.
In the August 10 on-line issue of Nature Neuroscience, a study led by scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) identifies another piece of this complex puzzle, demonstrating that the neurotransmitter GABA –one of the master communicators among neurons – plays a role in controlling energy balance.
“Body weight maintenance is made up of three basic stages,” explains the paper’s senior author Bradford Lowell, MD, PhD, an investigator in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at BIDMC whose laboratory is working to identify the specific neurocircuits responsible for controlling food intake and/or energy through functional neuroanatomical mapping studies.
“In the first stage, the brain receives sensory input from the body [including information provided by circulating hormones such as leptin and ghrelin and from fuels such as glucose and fatty acids],” says Lowell, who is also a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
In the second stage, he adds, the brain integrates this sensory information with cues it has received from the environment (such as aromas and other enticements) along with information gathered from the organism’s emotional state. Then, in the final stage, the brain’s neurocircuitry takes over, enabling the brain to make appropriate alterations in food intake and energy expenditure in order to maintain energy balance – and prevent weight gain and obesity.
Previous work had primarily focused on identifying the neuropeptides involved in this process. And indeed, this group of neurotransmitters often proves essential to maintaining energy balance – but not always.
“It is well known that AgRP [Agouti-related protein] neurons play a critical role in feeding and energy balance regulation,” explains Qingchun Tong, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Lowell laboratory and the study’s first author. “However, the deletion of AgRP and NPY [two neuropeptides released from the AgRP neurons] produces little metabolic effect.”
An alternate theory proposed that release of the GABA neurotransmitter was mediating the function of AgRP neurons, an idea that had long been postulated but never examined.
To test this hypothesis, Tong and his colleagues generated a group of mice with disrupted release of GABA specifically from the AgRP neurons. As predicted, the genetically altered mice exhibited profound metabolic changes.
“The mice with AgRP neuron-specific disruption of GABA release were lean, had higher energy expenditure and showed resistance to diet-induced obesity,” says Tong. “We also found that these animals showed reduced food intake response to the hormone ghrelin. This suggests to us that the neurocircuit engaging GABA release from the AgRP neurons mediates at least part of ghrelin’s appetite-stimulating action.”
A series of studies to examine the function of glutamate and GABA release from other groups of neurons are currently underway as investigators continue to dissect the brain’s neurocircuitry.
“As these new findings demonstrate, GABA release is an important component that mediates the function of AgRP neurons,” says Tong. “Discoveries such as this will ultimately help us to design an efficient strategy to tackle the current epidemic of obesity and metabolic disease.”