DIET AND EATING SAFELY WITH HRT
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WHY IS IT SO HARD TO LOSE WEIGHT AND KEEP IT OFF?
Written by , Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D.
Published on 01 June 2018
Most people in America today have been concerned about their weight at least once in their lives. Millions of men and women have turned to diet and exercise to lose weight, frequently with success. The biggest issue that folks have when trying to maintain a new goal weight is that the human physiology makes it difficult to maintain weight loss.
This is the reason why modern humans have such issues with Weight Cycling—also known as Yo-Yo Dieting. Through effort and conscientiousness, it's a challenge to lose weight, but not impossible. While most people can lose weight, the hardest part is maintaining a healthier weight after reaching a goal weight.
Metabolism Slows Down In Response to Weight Loss
At first, losing weight isn't that hard. Your body reacts to increased activity levels and dietary restriction by burning calories as a response. Over time, however, the body will recognize continued weight loss and register it as a potential threat. In response to that threat, the body slows down metabolism to maintain existing stores of body fat. This also means that if you return to your old habits, you will gain the weight back more quickly. Often, people will achieve their weight loss goals only to return to their former weight, even adding on a couple of extra pounds. How frustrating!
That's because the human body is obsessed with homeostasis. If you've been overweight for a long time, your body is fine-tuned to operate under those conditions. Losing weight causes a strain on that balance, and your body will react against it, attempting to gain the weight back and return to its prior state of (unhealthy) balance. Your body can eventually adapt to your new weight, but it puts up a fight which causes most diets to ultimately be unsuccessful.
Our bodies are designed to store fat and ward off starvation. For millions of years, human beings and their ancestors have dealt with food scarcity, and evolution has not prepared us for the life of nutritional excess that we have achieved in the 21st century. Our bodies are designed to operate under a feast or famine cycle. The human metabolism treats body fat as if it is highly precious because it once was. That's what makes dieting such a struggle—we're literally fighting millions of years of evolutionary programming.
Weight Loss Triggers Hormonal Changes
As you likely know, our Hormones are largely responsible for maintaining physiological balance. As metabolism slows down, it triggers a cascade of hormonal changes. It triggers changes in Digestive Hormones which encourage increased intake of calories. While Serotonin and other hormones play a role in digestion, the two biggest culprits are Leptin and Ghrelin. Leptin is responsible for triggering the feeling of satiation, while Ghrelin activates hunger response. If you've recently lost weight, your body will not produce as much Leptin, which leaves you susceptible to overeating.
Weight Loss also leads to increase production of Ghrelin, which causes you to get hungry more often, and to experience stronger feelings of hunger. There is even evidence that losing weight makes you respond to the sensations of eating more positively. Food just tends to taste better, which further encourages you to overeat and cancel out all that you've achieved with your diet.
Achieving Weight Loss Goals Often Leads to Lax Habits
By their nature, humans are goal-oriented, which is beneficial to weight loss. The problem is that, once we've achieved a goal, the inspiration often fades, which can have consequences for maintaining positive change. It's a lot of work to lose weight, and as we said, the human body doesn't like change. The combination of lack of motivation, slowed metabolism, and hormone imbalance is incredibly difficult to overcome, which has disappointed millions of men and women across the world.
Once you achieve your weight loss goals, your brain remembers your old habits and wants to return to the past, comfortable ways. Maintaining a new goal weight requires hard work and diligence. The National Weight Control Registry follows the lives of individuals that achieved and maintained significant weight loss for more than a year.
By studying the habits of successful dieters, we can help more people achieve their long-term goal of maintaining a healthy weight. Researchers discovered that keeping the weight off actually required more work than losing it in the first place!
What Steps Can I Take To Preserve My Weight Loss Results?
It's important to recognize that good habits and hard work don't end once you've achieved your goal weight. The fight never ends. Acknowledging that fact will arm you for the road ahead. It's essential to maintain an atmosphere of encouragement and support. Let your friends and family hold you accountable for your weight loss. Your loved ones want you to be healthy, and it doesn't take a lot of effort for them to show their support.
You can also look for outside clinical and social support. There are weight loss clinics nationwide that work with patients just like you, as well as nutritionists and dietitians. Consider joining a weight loss support group! Surrounding yourself with other people with the same goals works wonders for long-term success.
Understand that the diet doesn't end when you've lost the weight. Continue to make the concerted effort to live a healthy and conscientious life, and you'll find that keeping the weight off is easier than it seems. It's all about education, psychology, and perseverance!
DRINK RIGHT TO LIVE WELL
Written by , Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D.
Published on 30 May 2018
When it comes to living well, everything that we put into our bodies affects our wellness. While most people pay attention to the food that they eat, they may be less conscientious about what they drink. Even if you're eating well, your beverage habits may be having an adverse effect on your diet, your teeth, your heart, and your health.
While alcohol is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to poor drinking choices, sodas, juices, energy drinks, and other beverages all have their downsides as well. If you're looking to improve your health or just preserve your wellness, it would be wise to think about your beverage choices.
Should I Drink Alcohol For My Health?
As we learn more about the effects of alcohol on the body, it becomes clear that there are both benefits and drawbacks to the regular consumption of alcohol. While those with addictive tendencies should forgo alcohol altogether, having a drink or two per day can provide some cardiovascular benefits, though the downsides of alcohol may somewhat outweigh them. If you enjoy the occasional pint or glass, there's little harm in continuing the tradition.
On the other hand, most, if not all of the benefits of alcohol can be sought after from other sources, so there's no reason to drink more alcohol to get more benefits or start drinking if you're not a regular drinker already.
Excess alcohol consumption does have a negative impact on Testosterone Levels. That's because alcohol encourages the conversion of Testosterone into Estrogen. This is one reason why alcoholics tend to be overweight and suffer from gynecomastia, known colloquially as man-boobs. Alcohol suppresses Testosterone and contributes to Low-T.
Are Fruit Juices Healthy?
One of the biggest misconceptions about a healthy diet is that fruit juices are good for you. While apple juice, orange juice, pomegranate juice, and other fruit beverages are better than drinking soda, you have to be careful. Many fruit juices contain more sugar than your average can of pop! Also, many fruit juices have loads of added sugar, such as cranberry juice. Without the added sugar in cranberry juice, most people wouldn't be able to stomach the sour flavor.
When it comes to fruit, eating fruit will always provide better health benefits than drinking fruit juice. A lot of the vitamins and most of the fiber in fruit come from the pulp, which is usually processed out of most juices. Fruit will also help fill your stomach, whereas fruit juices can still leave you hungry. There's nothing wrong with treating yourself to a glass of fruit juice occasionally, or even daily, but be aware that you're better off pairing a nice glass of water with a snack of fruit than relying on fruit juice in your diet.
Limit or Eliminate Sodas From Your Diet
Carbonated, sugary sodas contribute more to the obesity epidemic than almost any other single factor. Not so long ago, sodas were treated like a dessert or a special treat. Now they are a staple of tens of millions of people's lives across America. The average can of soda contains 150-200 caloriesYou'd have to run 13-17 minutes at 6 miles per hour to make up the cost of a single can of soda. That means if you drink four cans of soda per day, you would have to run for about an hour to make up for the calories that you consumed.
Furthermore, our bodies are designed to break down complex nutrients. Simple sugars and carbohydrates are very bad for your teeth because they eat away at enamel and lead to cavities, root canals, and other unfortunate dental mishaps. Even diet sodas can contribute to these risks because the acids in soda are also corrosive.
While Diet Sodas are much healthier for you than regular sodas, you're still better off drinking water. Diet Sodas contain sugar alternatives that can have adverse effects on your digestive tract. Artificial sweeteners make it harder to feel full, which can contribute to overeating. This is because the taste of sugar primes the brain to expect incoming calories. When the body doesn't receive calories from soda, the brain amps up feelings of hunger to compensate.
Do Sodas and Coffees Contribute to Dehydration?
Many people believe that drinking beverages high in caffeine can have a negative effect on hydration levels. While this has been widely accepted for decades, there is little truth in the belief. While caffeine does have some diuretic effects, they are minimal in comparison to the amount of liquid that you consume.
Alcohol, on the other hand, does lead to dehydration. Alcohol suppresses the production of Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH), which significantly increases the amount of liquid evacuated during urination. Any time you do go out to have a few drinks, remember to drink lots of water, and you'll minimize the nasty effects of dehydration on the body, which is one of the prime factors in the dreaded morning-after hangover.
How Much Water Should I Drink Per Day?
The commonly accepted wisdom regarding hydration is that you should drink 64 ounces of water per day to stay hydrated. In reality, you may need to drink quite a bit more water to that to stay hydrated. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, how much water you need depends on many factors, even your gender. The National Academies suggest that men consume around 15-16 cups of water per day and that women consume 11-12 cups daily.
This, of course, includes water that you absorb as a result of your food intake, but this still means that men need around 12 cups of water per day and women need roughly nine. If you're sick, active, or in a hot climate, you'll need even more! Listen to your body. Chronic dehydration doesn't necessarily lead to feelings of thirst. Often, it presents itself fatigue. If you've been feeling tired lately, you may need to drink more water!
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT COQ10
Written by , Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D.
Published on 11 April 2018
What You Should Know About CoQ10
CoQ10 is one of many new supplements on the market. Our knowledge of the inner workings of the human body has led to new options with regard to health and longevity. CoQ10 is an antioxidant that the human body produces naturally. CoQ10 not only wards off damage from free radicals, but it is also an essential factor in the body's underlying metabolic processes. Though the human body can produce its own CoQ10, there is much evidence that CoQ10 supplementation can be quite beneficial for many people.
As with Vitamin D, Testosterone, and Human Growth Hormone, the human body slowly loses its ability to produce adequate levels of CoQ10 as we grow older, meaning that older patients may benefit significantly from increased CoQ10 consumption through diet or supplementation. There are also many health issues which can deplete reserves of natural CoQ10, such as depression, heart disease, and diabetes.
CoQ10 also has a tremendous risk-reward ratio for patients interested in the nutritional supplement, because the side-effects, if any, are incredibly mild, meaning that there's negligible risk for most patients interested in adding additional CoQ10 to their routine.
Why Do People Take CoQ10?
Many doctors and wellness specialists recommend that their patients increase their CoQ10 consumption for a variety of reasons. Patients are often advised to take CoQ10 as an aspect of their blood pressure maintenance, as CoQ10 can help bring elevated blood pressure down to a healthier range, especially when combined with other changes and treatments.
CoQ10 is often billed as an energy supplement or included in supplemental energy formulations. For patients with low CoQ10 levels, the supplement can provide additional energy, but for patients with normal CoQ10 levels, these benefits are believed to be negligible.
Many doctors prescribe CoQ10 for patients struggling with cardiac conditions or heart failure because there is modest evidence that CoQ10 supplementation can help reduce the risk of major heart events. CoQ10 should never be considered an alternative to other medications but used in conjunction with them.
More research needs to be conducted, but CoQ10 may be beneficial to patients taking statins to control their cholesterol. Some patients experience liver issues, and muscle pain resulting from their statin regimen, and CoQ10 may provide some relief from these medical problems.
One area in which CoQ10 supplementation is particularly exciting is for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease. This condition has ravaged the minds of millions of patients, and scientists are working hard to find effective means to treat the disease. CoQ10 may have the ability to slow down the advance of Alzheimer's Disease.
CoQ10 is also a candidate for the treatment of a range of other medical ailments. For example, CoQ10 may be useful to prevent or reduce the frequency of migraine headaches. Researchers are also surveying CoQ10 for potential benefits with regard to gum disease, Parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, HIV, cancer, and more.
What is the Recommended Dosage for CoQ10?
Because CoQ10 is an upstart supplement, there are few guidelines regarding its ideal dosage. CoQ10 studies have used a wide range of doses, from as low as 50 milligrams to as much as 1200 milligrams. CoQ10 supplements usually come in 100-200 mg doses. Larger CoQ10 regimens are often split and taken multiple times per day. Talk to your nutritionist or doctor about how much and what formulation will likely benefit you the most for your money.
In order to get the most for your money, you should opt for a CoQ10 supplement that is offered in an oil-based capsule. Powdered CoQ10 has a much lower bioavailability. Furthermore, you should take CoQ10 with meals, not on an empty stomach, because CoQ10 is a fat-soluble nutrient.
Ubiquinol vs. Ubiquinone
There are two primary forms of CoQ10 supplement, Ubiquinol and Ubiquinone. Advertisers will often tout one over the other, but medical trials have shown no appreciable difference in the bioavailability of these two forms of CoQ10. Both are found naturally in the human body. Ubiquinone is the oxidized version of CoQ10 and is converted into Ubiquinol as needed by the body.
Natural Sources of CoQ10
There are lots of ways to increase your intake of CoQ10 naturally, both through meat and vegetable sources. Coldwater fish such as mackerel, sardines, and herring are high in CoQ10, and beef products are also a reliable source for the nutrient. Many vegetables provide CoQ10 as well, such as cauliflower, broccoli, and spinach. Other quality sources include many seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils.
It's worth noting that even quality sources of CoQ10 don't provide the same levels of the nutrient as CoQ10 supplements. For that reason, you likely want to include CoQ10 supplementation even if you are trying to increase your natural absorption of the nutrient.
What Are the Side-Effects of CoQ10
For most patients, there is minimal downside to even aggressive CoQ10 supplementation. Reported CoQ10 Side-Effects include heartburn, nausea, and diarrhea. Of course, as with any supplement, certain at-risk groups should be particularly cautious, such as those struggling with diabetes, liver problems, kidney issues, or heart failure. It's also important to recognize CoQ10's ability to lower blood pressure, and blood sugar, which may not always be ideal.
CoQ10 Dosage of up to 300 mg has the lowest risk of side-effects. Higher levels of supplementation may alter levels of certain liver enzymes. If you are currently on chemotherapy or are taking thyroid treatments or blood thinners, check with a medical professional before including CoQ10 in your daily regimen.
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