Dieting for workplace dollars

By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer Mike Stobbe, Ap Medical Writer

ATLANTA — How much money would it take to get you to lose some serious weight? $100? $500?

Many employers are betting they can find your price. At least a third of U.S. companies offer financial incentives, or are planning to introduce them, to get their employees to lose weight or get healthier in other ways.

“There’s been an explosion of interest in this,” said Dr. Kevin Volpp, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Health Incentives.

Take OhioHealth, a hospital chain whose workforce is mostly overweight. The company last year embarked on a program that paid employees to wear pedometers and get paid for walking. The more they walk, the more they win — up to $500 a year.

Anecdotal success stories are everywhere. Half of the 9,000 employees at the chain’s five main hospitals signed up, more than $377,000 in rewards have already been paid out, and many workers tell of weight loss and a sudden need for slimmer clothes.

But does will this kind of effort really put a permanent dent in American’s seemingly intractable obesity problem? Not likely. [Read more...]

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Good health should begin in youth

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The friendly side of certain fats

The guidelines for fat intake are that we consume no more than 20 – 35 % of calories from fat.

A little fat in food adds more than flavor to your meal. It also helps satisfy your hunger by making you feel full after eating. Why? Because fats take longer to leave your stomach than either carbohydrates or proteins do.
 

A certain amount of body fat serves several functions: to cushion and position your body organs, to protect your bones from injury and to form a layer under your skin. This fat layer offers insulation, helping you stay warm. And the soft fat pads on your buttocks and the palms of your hands protect your bones from bumps, bangs and jolts.  A VERY useful chart follows so make sure to read the rest of this article. [Read more...]

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Don’t fall for those ’shortcut’ diets

by Holly Robinson Peete, Shine staff

You’ve heard about them in email forwards and late-night infomercials, but these five “miracle diets” just plain don’t work. From straight-up starvation to a steady diet of boiled cabbage, here are diets to steer clear of:

#1 The Grapefruit Diet

The claim is that eating grapefruit with protein triggers a “magical” fat burning process. We’re always wary of the word “magic” in regards to a diet, and this one is no exception. While grapefruit is loaded with vitamin C and fiber and is a great way to start your morning, there’s no evidence to support its reputation as a “fat-burner.”

#2 Juice Diets

While a liquid diet has the potential to starve your body into shedding excess pounds, a super low-calorie diet like this one kicks your metabolism into survival mode. Unsure where the next meal is coming from, your body hangs on to the nutrients it has, slowing your metabolism, and burning fewer calories overall. The minute you switch back to solid foods, there’s a good chance those pounds will “magically” reappear. [Read more...]

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Gaining muscle rather than fat

From DrMirkin.com

If you think you’re too thin and want to gain weight, don’t just sit on the couch and stuff yourself with food. Weight gain should always be in the form of muscle, not fat.

To build muscle, start a weight-bearing exercise program. Go to a gym and learn how to do the weight training circuit. Build up those arms and legs! As you exercise, your appetite will respond to meet your needs. It only takes 15 extra grams of protein a day to build a pound of muscle a week — so you really won’t need to eat a lot more.

(Remember that muscle weighs more than fat and also burns calories while fat simply stores calories. Think of a car engine versus a car trunk — Lori)

It’s never too late to start a weight training program. Underweight older people look and feel frail because they have lost most of their muscles, not because of lack of fat.

If you are inactive, you lose muscle mass to the point where you are unable to carry out daily activities — climbing stairs, getting up out of a chair — because your muscles are not strong enough to move the weight of your own body. [Read more...]

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Gut bacteria may cause weight gain

The following article is one more bit of information explaining how amazing our bodies are but also points to the fact that our bodies can get out of balance because of the foods we eat, antibiotics we take or those that are in our food supply and by other environmental factors. This imbalance can start a domino effect leading to a multitude of health-related issues.

I know first-hand the ill effects of having a gut imbalance but also have found the solution to restoring my good health. Imbalances in the gut called dysbiosis can be hard to recognize if you don’t know the signs or symptoms for which to look. When the digestive system is out of balance, the following symptoms may occur:

* Bloating, belching, burning, flatulence after meals
* A sense of fullness after eating
* Indigestion, diarrhea, constipation
* Systemic reactions after eating
* Nausea or diarrhea after taking supplements
* Rectal itching
* Weak or cracked finger nails
* Dilated capillaries in the cheeks and nose in the non-alcoholic
* Post-adolescent acne or other skin irritations such as rosacea
* Iron deficiency
* Chronic intestinal infections, parasites, yeast, unfriendly bacteria
* Undigested food in the stool
* Greasy stools
* Skin that’s easily bruised
* Fatigue
* Amenorrhea (absence of menstruation)
* Chronic vaginitis (vaginal irritation)

(This list borrowed from Women to Women; accessed 3/7/10)

If your experiencing any of the above signs or symptoms, you might have dysbiosis of the intestinal tract. Some simple steps can help you restore your health. For the help you need, contact me at Lori@goodhealthconsulting.com to set up an appointment to help you find solutions and get back to good health.

By ALICE PARK of Time magazine

If you’re fighting the battle of the bulge, most of your attention – and frustration – is probably aimed at your midsection. It makes sense, since that’s where the extra pounds tend to gravitate, especially with the creep of middle age, piling on to form that dreaded spare tire.

But a growing body of research suggests there’s another, less visible reason to focus on your gut if you want to lose weight. Scientists led by Andrew Gewirtz at Emory University reveal that your intestines harbor a universe of bacteria – the so-called gut microbiota – that may play an important role in whether your body will store the food you eat as extra pounds. [Read more...]

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The whole grain truth

In my business, I see a lot of diabetics or folks that just want to lose weight and want to know the best foods to eat. When it comes to grains, I always let them know that the less processed the better because whole grains provide more nutrients such as vitamins, minerals plus more fiber than ground grains. The following is an excellent article explaining the digestive benefits of whole grains — Lori

By Diana Mirkin
co-author of The Whole Grains Cookbook

When grains are processed into flour or cereals, the primary concern is loss of nutrients. However, if you grind your own grains or use products that are made from the whole grain without discarding anything, you get all or most of the nutrients of the original grain. But grains that have been broken apart in any way will be digested quicker. That’s a big disadvantage for diabetics and dieters.

Carbohydrates are long chains of sugars, and only single sugars can be absorbed from your intestines into your bloodstream. The foods that cause rapid rise in blood sugar are those that are digested most quickly; the worst offenders are sugar and anything made from flour.

When you eat whole grains (seeds), it takes a long time to break apart the capsule, separate the carbohydrates from the fiber, and completely digest each grain. Your blood sugar rises slowly, stays slightly elevated for a long time (so you don’t feel hungry again soon after eating) and never reaches the high levels that come from sugar or flour. [Read more...]

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Do the math, prevent the gain

Here is a simple article to help you balance your bread intake with your weight management goals. You don’t need a genius IQ to manage this topic. Just some self-discipline since good bread is SO good to the taste.

Johns Hopkins University

By Margaret Furtado, M.S., R.D. 

Those super-heavy, “all-natural” loaves of bread may look and sound like they’re healthy, but their density signals that they probably contain more calories than most other loaves. Plus, they’re typically made with simple sugars like high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and maltose that will add even more calories.

If you’re watching your weight and wondering, “Can I eat bread?”–don’t despair. I’m here to tell you that you really can have your bread and eat it too without automatically putting on weight. There’s a simple rule–the weight and starch connection–that will help you choose a loaf wisely.

What’s the weight and starch connection?  [Read more...]

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Study: Processed food feeds depression

Can healthy eating habits combat depression? According to recent research from the University College London it’s very possible.

Many people eat diets that are high in fat, but are comprised mainly of trans fat or saturated fat from fried or fast foods. Not good, says Dr. Martinez-Gonzalez.

“The membranes of our neurons are composed of fat, so the quality of fat that you are eating definitely has an influence on the quality of the neuron membranes, and the body’s synthesis of neurotransmitters is dependent on the vitamins you’re eating,” Martinez-Gonzalez said.

It’s important to eat fats, but choosing the right type of fats is key. In simple language, fats are essential for the utilization of vitamins that assist with proper brain function. Our brains use fatty acids from fat to create the specialized cells that help us to think and feel.

We need a balance of fats so that our diets are comprised of 20% of total fats, with only 10% of total fat coming from the saturated kind like milk, coconut oil, butter or fats that are solid at room temperature. (Read more by Lori on this topic after the article below).

LONDON (AFP) – A diet heavy in processed and fatty foods increases the risk of depression, according to British research published on Monday.

Researchers at University College London also found that a diet including plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit and fish could help prevent the onset of depression. [Read more...]

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Beans do more than you think

One thing I’ll never forget and often share with clients is a line from one of my college professors. She would always say, “A day without a bean is a bad day.” Our student dietetic association even used this line for our T-shirts!

Tip of the week — A New Twist on an Old Saying

Beans, beans, the magical fruit! The more you eat, the more you … may reduce your cholesterol.

It may not be as catchy as the popular children’s rhyme, but beans (that are actually vegetables) may indeed be magical for your health. Rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus, folate and iron, popular dried beans include black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, pink beans and pinto beans.

The 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating 3 cups of dried beans per week to reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 16 percent. Most Americans eat about a third of this amount. Recent research shows eating one-half cup of pinto beans daily can reduce serum cholesterol by 8 percent.

Full of complex carbohydrates yet fat-free, beans can play a role in weight management by making you feel full without a lot of calories.

Beans are a great source of insoluble and soluble fiber, with 6-8 grams in a half-cup. They promote a healthy digestive tract, may reduce your risk of some types of cancer and can help control diabetes and maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

Produced by American Dietary Association

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