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Mindfulness Improves Weight Loss

Posted By NWI, Monday, October 3, 2016

Surprising few in the wellness community, new research has found that a weight loss program that focuses on personal goals and mindful decision making is more effective than other diets that do not include mindfulness.


People in the study who used the mindful approach to weight loss averaged a loss of 13% of their initial weight, in comparison to the control group who lost an average of 5 – 8% of their initial weight. The researchers attribute this significant difference in outcome to bolstering the dieters’ abilities to resist temptation by making food choices consciously, compared to impulsively.


Find the full findings of this study in the online journal Obesity.



Tags:  health  Mindfulness  Obesity  Weight Loss  Wellness 

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Simple, Long-Term Weight Loss

Posted By NWI, Friday, May 1, 2015
Updated: Thursday, April 23, 2015

The results of a study released by Tufts University in early April 2015 may make understanding and implementing long-term weight control easier.

In a nutshell (excuse the pun) the study (conducted over a 16-year period, involving more than 120 people) found the following:

  • Increasing intakes of red meat and processed meat were most strongly associated with weight gain
  • Increasing intakes of yogurt, seafood, skinless chicken, and nuts were most strongly associated with weight loss—the greater percentage people ate, the less weight they gained
  • Increasing other dairy products, including full-fat cheese, whole milk, and low-fat milk, did not significantly relate to either weight gain or weight loss.

In addition, changes in refined carbohydrates enhanced the weight-gain or weight-loss effects of certain protein-rich foods. For example, it is better to get our carbohydrates from vegetables and whole grains than it is to get them from refined white bread, potatoes, or sweets.

Further, small changes over time in these areas had a big impact on long-term weight gain or loss.

The study, Changes in intake of protein foods, carbohydrate amount and quality, and long-term weight change: results from 3 prospective cohorts was conducted by the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University. The results were published on-line in the The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

JSmith, J.D. et al. Changes in intake of protein foods, carbohydrate amount and quality, and long-term weight change: results from 3 prospective cohorts. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2015; DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.114.100867

Tags:  May 2015  Physical  Weight Loss 

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The Company We Keep: How Good Health Near Us Means Good Health for Us!

Posted By NWI, Monday, January 5, 2015
Updated: Monday, December 22, 2014

A December 2014 Tufts University and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) collaborative study found that school-based obesity interventions had unintended yet beneficial consequences. The students' parents also saw a small decrease in their Body Mass Indexes (BMIs).

The study was part of an analysis of the two-year long Shape Up Somerville: Eat Smart Play Hard™ intervention program (out of Somerville, Massachusetts) and was published in the American Journal of Public Health. Parents were engaged with the Shape Up Sommerville lessons and helped to decide what their children ate and how active they were at home. The program targeted first- through third-graders.

The parents, teachers, school food service and health care providers, and city departments and local media outlets participated in and promoted intervention initiatives: overhauling school lunch menus; introducing nutrition education curriculum in schools; attempting to increase energy expenditure through in-school and after-school physical activity programs; and working with area restaurants to offer healthier menu items.

Unlike the control group, every month, Somerville parents received a Shape Up Somerville newsletter with recipes, coupons for healthy foods, and articles. Readership was high. Many parents (about a third) also reported walking more during the intervention, and more than half self-reported choosing healthier snacks and healthier menu options when eating out during the intervention.

The study’s authors say the results confirm that creating an environment where healthier choices are easy choices will positively impact overall wellness. Many times, the authors continued, a community approach is needed to make the healthy choice the easy choice.


Journal Reference:

Edward Coffield, Allison J. Nihiser, Bettylou Sherry, Christina D. Economos.Shape Up Somerville: Change in Parent Body Mass Indexes During a Child-Targeted, Community-Based Environmental Change Intervention. American Journal of Public Health, 2014; e1 DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302361


Tags:  Children  January 2015  Nutrition  Social  Weight Loss 

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When You Lose weight, Where Does the Fat Go?

Posted By NWI, Monday, January 5, 2015
Updated: Monday, December 22, 2014

In honor of Healthy Weight Week, January 18–24 (www.healthyweightnetwork.com), we'd like to point to a study that aims to correct common misconceptions about fat loss.

From fat cells shrinking, to fat being turned into energy or heat, to fat being turned into muscle…there are many people, even health professionals, who don’t know what happens to fat.

So where does it go? Most of the fat you lose is breathed out in the form of carbon dioxide. The authors of the study (see below) report the following: “If you follow the atoms in 10 kilograms of fat as they are 'lost', 8.4 of those kilograms are exhaled as carbon dioxide through the lungs. The remaining 1.6 kilograms becomes water, which may be excreted in urine, feces, sweat, breath, tears and other bodily fluids.”

The authors did note that breathing alone cannot cause weight loss and individuals cannot breathe in someone else’s exhaled fat. Thank goodness!


With a worldwide obesity epidemic, the authors hope this information will be used to enrich health and nutrition information and understanding.


Visit The British Medical Journal at http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g7257 for the full abstract. 

Tags:  January 2015  Nutrition  Physical  Weight Loss 

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App Spotlight: My Fitness Pal

Posted By NWI, Saturday, November 1, 2014
Updated: Monday, October 20, 2014

Technology has had both good and bad impacts on wellness. To balance out the negativity of screen time and loss of face-to-face social connections, there are many technologically driven tools to help us lead healthier lives.

This month, Wellness News focuses on one weight loss app that is getting great reviews. The app, "MyFitnessPal" is available for download on Apple and Android devices. It is a calorie counter, diet tracker, and exercise logging app that allows users to enter food consumed and exercise performed. The app boasts the largest database of foods (constantly growing with additions from more than 4,000,000 users) and the ability to fully sync with the website http://www.myfitnesspal.com/. Plus, it is a free app!

For other lauded fitness and wellness apps, CIO magazine online (Chief Information Officers) did a list of 2014’s top fitness and wellness apps. To see, more visit the website here: http://www.cio.com/article/2369248/healthcare/138681-12-Top-Fitness-and-Wellness-Apps-for-2014.html.


Tags:  Apps  Dieting  November 2014  Nutrition  Physical  Social  Weight Loss 

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Wellness In 10: New Year's Resolutions Better Than Losing Weight

Posted By NWI, Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Updated: Monday, December 23, 2013

Small StepsAt one time or another many people have wanted to lose weight. Some even go so far as to dump that one wish on a hopeful January 1st (or very late December 31!). If resolutions were all it took to accomplish what we wanted, we would make resolutions every day. As it is, most of us be-grudge the annual time of year when we are supposed to vow to do better, knowing that accomplishing those lofty goals are easier said than done.

What we know from years of study is that smaller goals are often easier to accomplish than large lofty goals, so here are 10 goals that are better than "I want to lose weight.” Just pick one. If you "master” it, add another one.

1. I will eat a high protein, low-fat breakfast.

2. I will not have a second helping (at least on weekdays).

3. I will try one new healthy recipe each week. (allrecipes.com has a great selection)

4. I will make sure each meal includes a green vegetable.

5. I will drink water throughout the day.

6. I will replace a half hour of TV time with movement (The TV can still be on!).

7. For those who sit at desks = I will get up and move around at least once an hour.

8. I will learn about strength training and how to do it safely. Here’s a great site: http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2013/02/28/strength-training-101/

9. I will reward myself when I accomplish little goals.

10. I will look for at least five opportunities each week to move more.

Tags:  Intellectual  January 2014  New Beginnings  Physical  Weight Loss  Wellness In 10 

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Weight Loss, Menopause, and Reduced Inflammation (May 2012)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New research released by the American Association for Cancer Research found that postmenopausal women who were overweight or obese and lost at least 5 percent of their body weight had a measurable reduction in markers of inflammation. The study was published in the organization's journal, Cancer Research.

According to the researchers, both obesity and inflammation have been shown to be related to several types of cancer, and this study shows that if you reduce weight, you can reduce inflammation as well. Women in the trial who were assigned to a weight loss intervention had a goal of 10 percent weight reduction during the course of one year achieved through a diet intervention with or without aerobic exercise. The study's authors further note that the research looked at small amounts of weight loss making the program and its goals very achievable. In addition, the research showed that exercise alone, without a dietary weight loss component, had little effect on inflammation markers

For more information, visit The American Association for Cancer Research .

Tags:  May 2012  Menopause  Physical  Weight Loss  Women 

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Why Diet Soda Could Be Your "Un-healthy" Label (April 2012)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Sunday, April 1, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, December 18, 2012

While evidence is clear that sugary sodas are causing waistlines to increase in addition to other health issues, what do we really know about diet sodas? Are they good or bad for you? The jury is still out, but a new study sheds light on the impact that zero-calorie drinks may have.

Previous studies have linked diet soda consumption as a cause of cardiovascular disease. However, others have suggested such drinks may be a viable tactic for people who are trying to lose or control their weight. The past research generally focused on individuals' consumption patterns or their overall dietary habits, but failed to distinguish how those two aspects interact to affect people's health.

To address this problem, a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill examined not only people's beverage consumption patterns but also the diets of those who consume diet and sugar-sweetened beverages. Researchers studied data collected over 20 years from more than 4,000 young adults who participated in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. In terms of eating habits, participants fell into two groups: people who ate what researchers dubbed a "prudent" diet (one with more fruit, fish, whole grains, nuts, and milk) and individuals who consumed a "western" diet (which had higher amounts of fast food, meat and poultry, pizza, and snacks. The findings appear in the April issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The results? Similar to previous studies, the new analysis found that people who consume diet beverages tend to be less healthy than people who do not consume them. People who were healthiest tended to be those who ate a prudent diet and did not consume diet beverages. They had a lower risk of high waist circumference, high triglyceride levels and metabolic syndrome (22 percent, 28 percent, and 36 percent lower, respectively, than people who ate a western diet and did not drink diet beverages. But the second healthiest group was individuals with a prudent diet who also consumed diet beverages. In contrast, individuals who consumed the western diet had increased risk of heart disease, regardless of whether or not they drank diet beverages.

The UNC researchers found that many dietary factors contributed to a person's overall health. Without taking diet beverage consumption into account, people who ate the prudent diet had significantly better cholesterol and triglyceride profiles and significantly lower risks of hypertension and metabolic syndrome than those who ate the western diet.

The bottom line: Drinking diet soda is not a substitute for a balanced, healthy diet. To be truly healthy, focus on the food first, add water, and if you must, drink diet soda in moderation.

Reference: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2012, March 28). Health impact, interplay of diet soft drinks and overall diet unraveled. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120328172257.htm

Tags:  April 2012  Diet  Nutrition  Physical  Weight Loss 

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As if Fried Food Wasn't Bad Enough . . . Enter Toxic Aldehydes (March 2012)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Thursday, March 1, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A study released in February 2012 by researchers at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU, Spain), uncovered yet another reason individuals might want to avoid fried foods: toxic aldehydes.

The researchers discovered the presence of certain aldehydes in food, which are believed to be related to some neurodegenerative diseases and some types of cancer. These toxic compounds can be found in oils that are heated to a frying temperature.

The scientists already knew that at frying temperature oil releases aldehydes that pollute the atmosphere and can be inhaled, so they decided to research if these harmful aldehydes remain in the oil after they are heated. They do. The toxic aldehydes are a result of degradation of the fatty acids in oil, and although some are volatile, others remain in food after frying. Because aldehydes are reactive compounds, they can impede the correct functioning of proteins, hormones, and enzymes in organisms when present. Sunflower oil, specifically, as well as linseed oil, were shown to produce a great number of these aldehydes. Olive oil, which has a higher concentration of monounsaturated fats (such as oleic), generates these harmful compounds in a smaller amount and later.

While the study falls short of making a "dose" recommendation, the scientists do state that it is the dose that individuals should regulate.

Reference: Plataforma SINC (2012, February 22). Fried food risks: Toxic aldehydes detected in reheated oil. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 24, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120222093508.htm">ScienceDaily.com.

Tags:  Fried Foods  March 2012  Nutrition  Physical  Weight Loss 

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Mid-Morning Snacking May Sabotage Weight-Loss Efforts (Dec.2011)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Monday, December 19, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, December 19, 2012

While many of us have heard about the benefits of several small meals a day, new research warns against mid-morning mindless eating.

Specifically, the study found that women dieters who grab a snack between breakfast and lunch lose less weight compared to those who abstain from a mid-morning snack. The study was done by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and led by Anne McTiernan, MD, PhD, a member of the Hutchinson Center's Public Health Sciences Division and director of its Prevention Center. The results will be published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

In the course of the year-long study, the researchers found that mid-morning snackers lost an average of 7 percent of their total body weight while those who ate a healthy breakfast but did not snack before lunch lost more than 11 percent of their body weight. For the study, a snack was defined as any food or drink that was consumed between main meals. The researchers hypothesized that mid-morning snacking might be a reflection of recreational or mindless eating habits rather than eating to satisfy true hunger.

However, while snacking too close to a main meal may be detrimental to weight loss, waiting too long between meals also may sabotage dieting efforts, the study found. The study, part of a larger randomized clinical trial designed to test the effects of nutrition and exercise on breast cancer risk, involved 123 overweight-to-obese postmenopausal Seattle-area women, ages 50 to 75, who were randomly assigned to either a diet-alone intervention (goal: 1,200 to 2,000 calories a day, depending on starting weight, and fewer than 30 percent of daily calories from fat), or diet plus exercise (same calorie and fat restrictions plus 45 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise per day, five days a week). The women received nutrition counseling but were not given any specific instructions or recommendations about snacking behavior.

Overall, the study suggested that snacking may actually help with weight loss if not done too close to another meal, particularly if the snacks are healthy foods that can help you feel full without adding too many calories.

Nationwide surveys indicate that 97 percent of U.S. adults report snacking, and such behavior is consistent across age groups. For a woman on a weight-loss diet, a healthy snack should be nutritional and low in calories. The best snacks for a weight-loss program are proteins such as low-fat yogurt, string cheese, or a small handful of nuts; non-starchy vegetables; fresh fruits; whole-grain crackers; and non-calorie beverages such as water, coffee, and tea.

The National Cancer Institute funded the research and participated in the study, which also involved investigators from the University of Washington and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Tags:  December 2011  Diet  Physical  Weight Loss 

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