Posts tagged with "Weight Gain"

How to Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally

Cholesterol is discussed so frequently, and sometimes flippantly, it has become somewhat of a medical buzzword. To some, it may seem like a nonconsequential item and for others it is one of bigger deals floated across their plate. The reality is that cholesterol is worth both understanding and managing well in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Like with anything involving the world of science and medicine, there is always more than what meets the eye. For example, with cholesterol, there are actually good and bad kinds of it. A fact like this makes it immediately apparent that taking the time to educate oneself on the ins and outs of the fat within human blood is wise. Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, put it best, “The human body is the most complex system ever created. The more we learn about it, the more appreciation we have about what a rich system it is.”

There are more than a few ways of lower said bad cholesterol naturally. In order to gain insight on these practices, we spoke with people who have experience doing so.

Dietary Changes

Chris Vaughn is the CEO of Emjay, a brand offering the delivery of marijuana products. He suggests making some adjustments to the types of food consumed regularly. 

“The long and short of it is the food digested by the stomach winds up in the bloodstream. Seeing as an overabundance of fat, or cholesterol, in the bloodstream poses a litany of issues, it stands to reason you should be filling your stomach with foods which will benefit your bloodstream. These are things such as beans, oatmeal and fruits. You should also be sure to remove food from your diet which adds saturated or trans fats as they’re the number one source of high cholesterol. It’s easier said than done but your body will thank you in the long run.”

Exercise

Physical activity promotes healthier blood flow which high cholesterol is responsible for harming. Lifeforce is a business providing subscribers the ability to understand and improve their body like never before. Their Founder, Joel Jackson, advises being proactive about fighting off that high cholesterol.

“When we look at the science of cholesterol, there are two basic terms to understand, HDLs and LDLs, or high-density lipoproteins and low-density lipoproteins. Simply put, HDLs are healthy cholesterol while LDLs are not. One of the most direct ways of influencing the count of these two lipoproteins is exercise. The good news for everyone is that it doesn’t take much – even just a couple of hours each week will cause a noticeable rise in HDLs paired with a reduction of LDLs. When you think about everything else exercise can do for you on top of this, it would be foolish to make it part of your routine.”

Be Intentional and Patient

Greater Than specializes in hydration for pregnant women. Their Chief Marketing Officer, Bryan Alston, considers it necessary to approach any high-cholesterol with mindfulness.

“It’s incredibly important to realize that for any recognizable changes to take place in the body, time must pass. Along similar lines, no real change will take place if a person sits in complacency hoping their situation comes to pass. If you’re dealing with high cholesterol, these are the two important ideas to keep at the forefront of your mind as you work towards health – Intentionality and patience. It’s hard work to return and stabilize your cholesterol at doctor recommended levels. And, it doesn’t take place overnight. I’m certain these two realities will become frustrating at some point but I urge you to continually push through.”

Stop Smoking

Natalia Sadowski is the Director of Aesthetics of Nourishing Biologicals, a brand offering skincare products. She cautions others against the continued use of tobacco products. 

“Nobody said that getting healthier was going to be a walk in the park or even easy for that matter. The same can be said about giving up smoking. But, as most are well aware, both are beneficial to ourselves. This is especially true of smoking as it relates to high cholesterol. Nicotine in the body sends a rush to the heart, causing it to work harder while also slowing down the flow of blood throughout the rest of the body. Both of these things hinder your body’s ability to both process and eliminate good and bad cholesterol.” 

Take a Break

Running any system at one hundred percent capacity all the time will result in a decrease in productivity accompanied by a shorter life span. This is true of the body as well. Nue Life is a business providing mental health assistance paired with psychedelics. Their Co-Founder and CEO, Juan Pablo Cappello, proposes being cautious of this. 

“There are so many different causes of stress that if I sat here and named them all we may never leave. Regardless of who you are or what you do, you’ve experienced stress. Are you aware that higher levels of stress induce higher levels of cholesterol? That means it’s up to you to take a break and relieve some of that stress. If you don’t, you’ll only continue to compound both problems. High stress is one thing, high cholesterol is an entirely different beast.”

Focus on Weight Loss

Zizi specializes in an at-home kit to help lower cholesterol. Their Co-Founder, Reece Kresser, believes shedding any excess weight could be more impactful than one might imagine. 

“If we think about it logically, a person with a larger body mass will require more effort to move blood throughout their body as there’s more area that requires coverage. If that person can healthily focus on weight loss, they’ll see a significant difference in their cholesterol levels. Think of it this way, if said person is spending less energy on blood movement, they’ll have more energy to identify and dispose of any cholesterol. Overall, it’s a win across the board so go the extra mile here. Ideally, your body will be around for a long time and treating it right is how you ensure it’s ready for that.”

With only one body meant to live for 70 or so years, it is critical to get ahead of the health curve. Actress and musician Jennifer Hudson spoke to this, “Gaining control over your health and well-being is one of those times in your life that you get to be completely selfish and not feel bad about it. If you want to meet your goals, you have to make it about you. You have to make it work for you and you alone. Anything less is a setup for failure.”

NEW OBESITY STUDY

From the creators of these global stories, The Breast Forces Study, The Backpack Study and Text Neck Study.

A New Study publishing in Surgical Technology International correlates belly fat per waist circumference and defines spine forces, by the pound.

In the America, more than two-thirds of adults (220 million-plus) are overweight or obese, and childhood obesity affects 13.7 million children. As of 2016, 1.9 billion adults were overweight or obese globally. People now know that obesity is bad for their health.

Obesity, or the fat content of the belly, is associated with inflammation, diabetes, hypertension, heart conditions, metabolic syndrome, and back pain. Adipose tissue is linked to an increased risk of and aggressiveness of cancer.

Our study sought to assess the forces that belly fat exerts on the spine with an increase in waist circumference. Using data from the Dallas Heart Study, Grundy et al. calculated belly fat mass according to waist circumference by ethnicity and sex. Using a finite element analysis, our study specifically placed the abdominal fat masses into position in the abdomen. Then, we calculated the levered forces seen by the spine.

For women, the magnitude of forces generated by abdominal fat to the lumbar spine ranged between 5 to 170 pounds of force in our measurements. By the standard set by the American Heart Association, abdominal obesity in women starts at a thirty-five-inch waist circumference.

For men, the magnitude of forces generated by abdominal fat to the lumbar spine ranged between 3 to 120 pounds of force in our measurements. According to the American Heart Association, abdominal obesity in men begins at a waist circumference of forty inches.

You have to imagine what it feels like to lift this much weight to put these numbers in perspective. The magnitude of these forces is significant. If you are a man with a thirty-eight-inch waist, the excess fat in your abdominal area is equivalent to having nearly thirty pounds of pressure on your spine. For women, a thirty-six-inch waist is close to having forty-eight pounds of pressure on her spine. Imagine walking around all day carrying dumbbells that weighed nearly fifty pounds. That would be equivalent to carrying a large bag of dry dog food, six gallons of water, two cinder blocks, or, as the chart shows, a twin mattress. Not only would it be exhausting but carrying those weights would also cause significant wear and tear on your back.

Your spine is designed to carry your body’s weight. When you are overweight, your spine must assimilate the burden, which may lead to damage. The lower back is most vulnerable to the effects of obesity. In addition, abdominal fat interferes with good posture. Excess weight around the middle can alter the natural curve of the spine. The weight presses on the shock-absorbing discs between vertebrae, which can cause them to become dehydrated, herniated or pinched, or create pressure on nerves that travel through the central canal. In addition, carrying extra weight can strain the muscles and ligaments that support you’re back, and you know what that means, pain.

A literature review shows that fat cells comport an essential variety of metabolic influences. Our waist circumference is related to our metabolic health risks. Abdominal fat is a critical player in health problems. The fat around the abdominal organs, called visceral fat, is more disease-causing than the fat under the skin, called subcutaneous fat, that a person can pinch by hand. This visceral fat is linked to metabolic disturbances, increased cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. The visceral fat leads to an apple-shaped abdomen, while the subcutaneous fat leads to a pear-shaped body.

Fat itself is considered an endocrine organ that is biologically active. Abdominal fat cells disrupt the balance of the body’s normal hormones. Fat cells play a role in inflammation, secrete tumor necrosis factors and interleukin-6, increasing heart disease risk. Furthermore, fat cells blunt the body’s sensitivity to insulin and propagate high blood pressure. Data suggests that adipose tissue has been linked to increased risk and aggressiveness of carcinoma.

Regular physical exercise can help one to lose belly fat. A moderate-intensity physical activity for 30 minutes per day shifts body weight and diminishes belly fat. Proper nutrition and food choices also help.

This paper helps people plan the stress forces seen by the spine as related to the abdominal size. Obesity is then a better-defined factor in the calculus of back pain. The link to abdominal circumference is predictable and relatable to the general public.

Eating disorder illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Eating Disorders × Covid-19

Eating Disorders and Covid-19

More than 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from eating disorders

COVID-19 can be a nightmare for thembecause of the following triggers:

  • Empty grocery shelves
  • Feelings of uncertainty and loss of control
  • Social media messages about avoiding the “Quarantine 15” pound weight gain are especially harmful to those with existing eating disorders.

A recent study conducted by the International Journal for Eating Disorders found that symptoms worsened across the board for people with anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorders nationwide since the lockdowns in March. Among respondents, 62% of people with anorexia have experienced more severe restriction and food fear during the pandemic, while 30% of those with bulimia and binge-eating disorder reported experiencing more binge-eating episodes, and a greater urge to binge.

Some of the facts about eating disorders are sobering:

  • 9% of the US population will suffer from an eating disorder in their lifetime
  • Almost 1% of us suffer from anorexia nervosa
  • Between 2-3% of us have bulimia nervosa
  • Binge eating disorder (BED) is experienced by between 2-3% of us
  • 10% of those with eating disorders lose their lives as a result
  • Eating disorders are second only to opioid overdose as the deadliest mental illnesses
  • About 26% of people with eating disorders attempt suicide

Eating Recovery Center is the nation’s largest eating disorder treatment center (with offices around the country, & virtual treatment options).  Eating Recovery Center provides comprehensive treatment for anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and other unspecified eating disorders.

Banana illustration by Mina Tocalini

3 Quarantine Nutrition Hacks

Are your clothes fitting more tightly on you than what you are comfortable with these days? If you indulged in “The Quarantine Diet” of added sugar, refined carbohydrates and more sugar, you are not alone. There isn’t a person on the planet who hasn’t been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in some way. There are memes about Zoom meetings in pajamas. We’ve seen the jokes about annoyed pets who are ready for their owners to get back into the office. The most popular subject…drum roll, please… has been COVID weight gain, or “The Quarantine 15.” With some of us gaining upwards of 10 to 15 pounds at this point, these particular memes aren’t quite so funny anymore.

While some things are more difficult to control, like job loss, financial dips or getting sick, take advantage of the variables you do have control over. One of the easiest things you can master right now is your nutritional health. Making healthier food choices is more important than ever as we are collectively less active these days. Many places in the U.S. still have closed gyms and workout facilities, and home workouts aren’t for everyone. That leaves a lot of us with a perfect storm of weight gain, too little movement and too much snacking at home.

Life has disrupted us in a major way, and yet, there are still things we can do to reverse some of the damage. At 360 Magazine, we have rounded up 3 strategies from Los Angeles Nutrition Coach Natasha Maxwell to help get you back on track if the quarantine weight gain has claimed you as a victim. Nobody knows when COVID-19 lockdowns will end. If this is going to be the “new normal,” you will have to reincorporate the healthy habits from your old life into this new one. If you are totally new to nutritional habit building (the food choices practiced consistently in your daily life), these tips are still a great help. Stick with us through the end for a bonus summer recipe!

How to Reclaim Your Body during Quarantine:

  1. Drink More Water!: This one is often overlooked as a weight management tool although it is as equally as important as the food choices we make. According to Natasha, “As a nutrition coach, I cannot express the number of times I encounter new clients who scoff at the amount of water I suggest. That number should be at least half of your body weight; in the summer I recommend upwards of 100 ounces. Yes, that’s right, 100 ounces minimum. The lack of sufficient water is harmful to your body and can affect it in a number of ways including salty food cravings, waste buildup and digestion problems. That waste buildup can mimic true weight gain, also known as “water weight”. Bloating from dehydration is no fun either and is likely the reason that it’s sometimes hard to button your pants.” As Natasha stated: Drink your water, please!
  2. Be mindful of your sugar intake this summer!: What comes to mind when you envision summertime treats? Maybe it’s popsicles, banana pudding or key lime pie. These are all fine in moderation, but too much sugar can lead to weight gain and excess puffiness. For those looking to lose weight from our extended stay indoors, we will have to keep track of our sugar intake, even when lounging happily by the pool. Some ways around overindulging in sweets include substituting fruits for other sweets, avoiding sodas and packaged fruit juice and being more mindful of limiting foods with labels listing corn syrup, glucose, sucrose, etc.
  3.  Seek out new and healthier recipes!: The likelihood of entertaining guests during summer or being invited to someone else’s party or backyard BBQ is relatively high. Either way, food will be high on the list of priorities. Think produce, lean meats and fewer refined snacks when debating over a menu. Natasha especially urges the consumption of produce. Fresh vegetables and fruit are higher in water content, and an ample water supply can come in handy when you’re feeling a little dehydrated from the heat! Sliced cucumbers and carrots with a homemade dip are a win. Seafood and lean poultry options on the grill with veggies are also a great combo. For plant-based options, think stuffed pepper recipes, veggie hummus wraps and rainbow-colored salads with incredible ingredients and flavor. Who said healthy recipes can’t be tasty, too?

This pandemic is stressful and has affected us in a multitude of ways. Emotional eating is understandable, given our current circumstances. We don’t have to be rigid around everything we eat, but being more aware of what we are indulging in and how often is the key to weight maintenance and weight loss. Make a plan for your nutritional habits and find the balance that works best for you. We wish you luck!

As promised, here’s that bonus recipe you’ve been waiting on. It’s Summer Ceviche!

Let us know what you think with a comment down below!

Tips to Control Food Cravings When Stuck at Home

We’ve all felt hunger. It’s the sensation we get when we want to eat food. It’s a physiological mechanism designed to tell us when we need to have sustenance. However, in the Western world, food is in plentiful supply all around us and our interpretation of hunger has become confused.

Broadly speaking, hunger can be viewed in two ways. Firstly, physiological, also known as stomach or true hunger, is where you are genuinely hungry because you feel low in energy and haven’t eaten for a long time. In other words, your body needs food. Secondly, psychological, or mouth hunger, is where you fancy something to eat. This is when you have a craving.

What are cravings?

Cravings can lead to a preoccupation with food. We want food, especially ‘bad’ foods, more than we did before. When we restrict ourselves from eating the foods we desire, it can have a bad effect on our mood. This increases temptation and when you then eat something you’re craving, you enjoy it even more. This can cause a negative cycle of mood changes that lead you to want to snack more, and then you recognize the intense pleasure next time you have a craving. Cravings become harder to curb.

Food triggers

The trap continues. Just thinking about food triggers the behavior you want to avoid, i.e. eating. It’s especially hard as food is constantly around us, especially as we are spending more time than ever at home. It’s such an important part of our social lives, we see advertisements for tasty foods everywhere, and it’s frequently the topic of conversation. None of this is helped when your always around family and they may be snacking around you when you’re trying not to think about food. Harder still, we often use food as a reward. We treat ourselves, and junk food is a frequent reward of choice!

How to curb cravings

The nutrition team at Huel (Huel.com), the world’s best-selling complete nutrition brand, has put together a list of a few practical tips to help you curb your cravings. As you take control of your cravings, over time you’ll realize that you don’t actually need the food that you’re craving, it’s just a mindset. The frequency, duration and intensity of the cravings will soon diminish.

Eat regular meals and stick to a schedule – get into the habit of not skipping meals even if you are trying to be ‘good’ or because you feel guilty about what you ate earlier.

Listen to your body – eat regularly and only when you are genuinely hungry. Learn the difference between physiological and psychological hunger.

Identify what’s causing your cravings – keep food and feelings diary by jotting down what you eat and when, and how you feel before and afterward. This may help you identify triggers and problem times of the day, and to recognize if you’re snacking for comfort, boredom or loneliness.

Find a hobby or interest – if you are snacking for comfort, eating will not make the problem go away. Do something to occupy yourself to avoid nibbling. Try chatting with a friend, exercising, watching a movie, or having a relaxing bath.

Make eating a separate activity – many people snack while doing certain things, and consequently, the activity then becomes a signal for a craving. For example, watching TV and snacking, eating popcorn at the movies. To curb this, only eat at mealtimes, get out of the habit of eating while watching TV and when at home, confine eating to the kitchen or dining room.

Have regular drinks – this will help to keep you feeling full. Hot drinks are particularly useful as hot liquids empty from the stomach slower than cooler ones, and occasional sugar-free sodas can help to satisfy your taste buds.

If you get the urge to eat, look at the time and wait half an hour before having something.

Brush your teeth or use minty mouthwash after meals. The minty taste will help curb cravings. This is especially useful after your evening meal, as we often associate cleaning our teeth with the last thing we do with our mouth for the day.

Adopt an eating strategy to help with discipline and to maintain a routine. For example, some people find intermittent fasting useful as it minimizes the window for permitted eating.

Snack sensibly – fruit and berries are a great choice and will help curb sweet cravings. Sugar-free jello is also a great snack.

Don’t let a slip-up lead to more – if you do succumb to a craving, avoid the mindset “now that I’ve eaten that, I may as well make the most of it”.

New York Town Goes On Diet to Combat COVID-19

NEW YORK OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND TOWNWIDE DIET TO STOP WEIGHT GAIN DURING QUARANTINE

A New York Town has become the nation’s first to be put on a diet to combat COVID-19, according to Obesity Specialist and Director of Bariatric Surgery at Northwell Health-Huntington, Dr. David Buchin, Suffolk County Legislature Health Committee Chairman Dr. William Spencer, and Town of Huntington Clerk Andrew Raia.  The first-of-its-kind Town-wide diet was announced at a news conference on Wednesday.

The diet will include a healthy lifestyle and exercise program to combat the weight-gain nicknamed the “quarantine-15” that residents may have experienced during the pandemic lockdown. Over a decade ago, the Borough of Brooklyn put residents on a diet.  The Town’s diet will be the first in America to do the same in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, with over 200,000 residents eligible to participate.

The rate of obesity in the United States now exceeds 35% in nine states and these obesity-related conditions are very serious risk factors in COVID-19. This initiative will work with local merchants who specialize in health and fitness, including a local fitness center.

Four Ways to Lose Belly Fat

Although it can be hard to target fat in order to burn it off your body, it is essential to your health to get rid of belly fat. This fat, also known as visceral fat, accumulates inside the body around vital organs. Fortunately, several ways to reduce belly fat exist, including those below.

Learn to De-Stress

One of the main causes of weight gain is stress. Many people eat when they are under stress, and their choice of snacks is usually salty, sugary, or processed foods. When people are under great amounts of stress, their body’s release cortisol, which in turn triggers insulin.

The insulin acts to lower your blood sugar, which can make you feel ravenously hungry, so you reach for anything that’s close at hand. It’s seldom healthy food that people binge on, so they end up gaining fat.

By learning to de-stress with yoga or meditation, you can stop the triggers that get you to eat unhealthy foods and gain fat around your middle.

Skip Sugary Drinks

Research has found that sugary drinks, like sodas, sweet tea or added sugar to coffee, can lead to having more visceral fat on your body. Visceral fat accumulates in the organs like the liver or heart, which can block it and result in heart attacks or strokes.

Instead of drinking sugary drinks, try replacing sodas with water and drink tea and coffee without sugar. Another cause of hunger can be dehydration, so if you’re craving food, drink a glass of water to hydrate your body to keep it healthy.

Add Supplements to Your Diet

Fat burning supplements and protein powders with fat burning ingredients like collagen can help reduce the fat gathering around your middle. Also, doing exercises targeting visceral fat will also reduce the fat in your abdominal area.

Losing this fat can prevent several serious diseases and help you live longer. Studies show that people with normal weight but with fat around their middles have shorter life spans than some people who are overweight. It’s not a bad idea to get more information about fat burning supplements.

Get a Good Night’s Rest

Studies show that younger people who sleep less than five hours a night can have much higher levels of cortisol and ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone that can make you feel hungry, which along with cortisol, makes it easier to gain weight, especially around the middle.

Getting more good quality sleep, about eight hours or more, can stop triggering these two hormones. It can also keep your metabolism running at a good pace. Poor sleep habits can lead to the body slowing the metabolism to conserve energy, which also causes weight gains.

Visceral or belly fat is bad for your health because it can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and fatty liver disease. Even if you are young and in good shape, having just a small amount of visceral fat around your abdomen can shorten your life.

However, if you follow these four tips and eat a healthy diet and exercise, then you can lose the fat around your middle and live longer.