Weight Management Still the Heavyweight Health Problem

how-to-lose-fatHealth professionals have long debated the best approach to maintain an ideal weight. And it is safe to say that most agree you need to find the right balance of calories and activity to stay at a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight will not only help you look great all year long, it will also go a long way to offset the risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and other diet-related conditions. The number of calories you need to maintain a weight that is right for you depends on several factors.

Before we get into those factors, it is important to note that while excess calorie intake may mean weight gain and consuming fewer calories may result in weight loss, try to stay away from calculating the exact balance of caloric intake and expenditure daily as this could lead to a negative outcome. Instead, calculate for caloric balance over a week and weigh yourself once a week, on the same day, to track your success.

As I mentioned earlier, in an effort to maintain your ideal weight, your intake of calories will depend on several factors. Daily calorie needs vary by individual, based on factors such as gender, lifestyle and age. Do you lead a sedentary lifestyle?  Are you moderately active? Or do you have a physically rigorous job or workout daily. These factors will help you to determine your calorie intake.

While calorie restriction may work for some people in the fight for maintaining an ideal weight, physical activity and consuming anti-fat nutrients plays a more prominent role in weight maintenance.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 minutes of exercise daily may be enough to prevent weight gain, as long as your caloric intake is in check. However, I recommend at least 60 minutes of exercise at least 5 times per week that is a strategic mix of resistance training and cardiovascular exercise for optimal results.

That said, it is vitally important to implement a long-term approach to consuming nutritious food. And this approach must do much more than simply take off unwanted pounds. It must help you feel good, as well as look good. And the objective of this type of diet is that the result should be permanent.

Your diet must include making changes to body composition and metabolism that increase the body’s ability to burn calories. And these changes do not depend on a large reduction in the calories consumed. The changes depend on adjustments made to the foods eaten and on the addition of certain supplements to the diet.

The result will be a decrease in fatty tissue and an increase in the ratio of lean muscle tissue to adipose (fat) tissue in the body. And an increase in lean tissue not only burns calories, but also gives women their shapely figures and men their muscle tone. In any successful weight-loss regimen, you will be able to judge yourself by how you look in the mirror and how your clothes fit rather than by how much you weigh.

Fiber is Fiiine!

When people think about foods the promote weight loss, the thinking goes back to low-calorie foods. Well, it is much more than that. And one of the keys to losing weight or maintaining an ideal weight is including fiber into your diet. While not a magic bullet, fiber significantly helps with satiety.  And this makes perfect sense. One of the key weight control challenges is to control hunger. Appetite is affected by many things, including when you eat and the composition of meals— the amount of fats, carbohydrates, protein, fiber and water. Consuming healthy high-fiber foods makes you feel full. Additionally, fibrous foods also take longer to chew, which signals the brain that you have had enough to eat.

fiber-rich-diet

In fact, a 2009 study in the journal Appetite compared the satiety of apples, applesauce, and apple juice with added fiber before lunch. People who ate an apple before lunch ate 15% fewer calories than those who ate the applesauce or drank apple juice. And, as previously mentioned, crunching and chewing a whole piece of fruit takes longer to eat, a signal to the brain that you have had enough to eat.  Interestingly, chewing also produces saliva and the production of abdominal juices that help fill the stomach.

How many times have you heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? I’d like to change this statement to “A fiber-rich breakfast is the most important meal of the day”!

Never skip breakfast. Health professionals always recommend eating a nutritious breakfast as it has a profound impact on people’s physical and mental condition throughout the day. A healthy breakfast must always include dietary fiber of some sort that may be in the form of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Cereal such as Raisin Bran, oatmeal and bran flakes are also rich in fiber.

Toast is often a favorite at breakfast. Be sure the bread is whole grain bread that is rich in fiber. And be aware of misleading bread packaging. A label that says “wheat” doesn’t necessarily translate to a high fiber bread. Breads such as whole grain, multi-grain and whole wheat are very high in fiber.

Just say “No!” to Sugars and Refined Foods

Sugar and refined carbohydrates are directly responsible for the obesity epidemic in the US. How prevalent is obesity nationwide?  According to the American Heart Association, among children ages 2–19, about 1 in 3 are overweight and obese. Overweight adolescents have a 70% chance of becoming overweight adults. This increases to 80% if 1 or both parents are overweight or obese. Among US adults age 20 and older, 149.3 million are overweight or obese.

The problem with sugars and refined foods is that they are so addictive and exist in a wide range of processed foods. And processed foods are all around us. While there are plenty of reasons to avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates, is it realistic to think we can eliminate them from our diet? That said, people must educate themselves about nutritious foods and understand the labels on every food product purchased. And this is easier said than done. Sugars alone are too numerous to list here. Naturalbias.com provides a great list of sugars to avoid here: http://naturalbias.com/types-of-sugar-by-name/

Another point to consider is that a vast majority of people have sacrificed health for convenience. As lives get increasingly more hectic, we all love the convenience of processed foods. Who has time to prepare a truly healthy meal? That said, we must look inward and assess the truly important priorities in life. Does it truly make sense to sacrifice health for convenience?

Green Coffee Bean Extract for Weight Loss

Pure Green Coffee Bean Extract has generated significant buzz in recent months for its ability to improve energy levels, fat metabolism and weight loss. In fact, Dr. Oz has featured this natural food supplement on his very successful TV show.

Pure-Green-Coffee-Bean-ExtractResearchers have discovered that unroasted green coffee beans possess a natural polyphenolic antioxidant called Chlorogenic Acid, which is related to chlorophyll. This substance gets destroyed in the process of roasting the coffee beans we use every day in our coffee.  This is why only raw, unroasted coffee beans must be used in the Chlorogenic acid extraction process. This active ingredient is the primary reason for the remarkable weight loss effects of green coffee beans. The Chlorogenic Acid inhibits the release of glucose into the bloodstream. The presence of Chlorogenic Acid in the body then triggers the body to convert stored fat in the body into energy, rather than using glucose in the liver to create energy. This essentially melts the fat off the body while increasing metabolism and lowering blood pressure. And studies show efficacy!
In fact, according to a recent study on green coffee bean published in the Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity journal, a group of 16 adults supplemented with green coffee bean for only 12 weeks. Over the course of the study, the subjects lost an average of 17 pounds each. This was 10.5% of their overall body weight and 16% of their overall body fat!  There were no side effects reported. These results are very compelling and could be an effective weapon against the obesity epidemic moving forward.

Interestingly, Green Coffee Bean is not a stimulant. And it doesn’t make you jittery, nervous or raise your heart rate like roasted coffee or ephedra.

As previously discussed, including fiber into your diet significantly helps with satiety.  However, believe it or not, another way to reduce hunger is to add Green Coffee Bean to your diet. Studies have shown that Green Coffee Bean extract helps with satiety which is a key contributor to losing weight safely without having to go on a starvation diet or strenuous exercise regimen.

While, Green Coffee Bean extract has received a lot of fanfare recently, there are other supplements that will help with weight management. Currently, most reputable health professionals do not recommend many products marketed as weight loss supplements because of the minimal or complete lack of science. However, there are some documented supplements that promote weight loss and weigh management. Consider the following:

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA): Conjugated linoleic acid is a fatty acid that occurs naturally in small amounts in dairy products and red meat. Some studies have found that CLA can help you lose body fat and increase lean body mass. Some experts believe more quality studies are needed.

Fiber: If including fiber-rich food into your diet is a key to losing weight, why not a fiber-rich supplement? A fiber supplement, such as bran or psyllium, can delay gastric emptying and stay in the stomach longer, which helps with satiety. And there is plenty of research. In fact, a recent study found that overweight and obese people who took a fiber diet supplement daily reported less hunger after meals than people taking a placebo. If you decide to begin taking a fiber supplement, drink plenty of fluids to avoid constipation. Consult your healthcare professional for appropriate fiber intake.

Green tea extract: Studies show that substances in green tea may offer several weight-loss-promoting effects, such as speeding up your metabolism and suppressing your appetite. Green tea contains caffeine, which is known to increase thermogenesis (a biological process involved in burning calories). According to a 2007 report from the American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, green tea may fight the decrease in metabolism that typically accompanies weight loss. According to the report’s authors, green tea may also inhibit the effects of catechol-O-methyltransferase (an enzyme known to trigger the breakdown of brain chemicals involved in regulating appetite).

As the obesity epidemic rages on, the topic of weight management will continue to be a hot button on several health fronts. That said, I encourage everyone to not lose sight of what really matters: maintaining a healthy weight will go a long way toward offsetting the risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions. And, if this way of thinking translates into positive nutritional habits, the likelihood of enjoying a long and fulfilling life will dramatically increase.

About Mark Becker

Mark Becker has worked as a natural products sales and marketing executive for 15 years. He has written more than 250 articles and has hosted or been a guest on more than 500 radio shows. He obtained a bachelor's in journalism from Long Beach State University and did his master’s work in communications at Cal State Fullerton. For almost 30 years he has participated in numerous endurance events, including more than 150 triathlons of Olympic distance or longer, 100 marathons and numerous other events including ultramarathons and rough water swims from Alcatraz to the mainland. He has relied on a comprehensive dietary supplement and homeopathic regimen to support his athletic, professional and personal endeavors.

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