Maintaining Weight Loss Beneficial for People with Type 2 Diabetes

People with Type 2 diabetes who regained weight forfeited the initial benefits of reduced risk of heart disease or stroke compared to those who maintained their weight loss, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the open access journal of the American Heart Association.

Regaining weight previously lost is common and can deteriorate the initial benefits of lowered heart disease or stroke risks. Few studies have directly compared cardiometabolic risk between people who successfully lost weight and maintained the weight loss to those who regained weight, particularly among people with Type 2 diabetes.

Researchers analyzed data from nearly 1,600 participants with Type 2 diabetes in an intensive weight loss study who lost at least 3% of their initial body weight. They found that among those who lost 10% or more of their body weight and then maintained 75% or more of their weight loss four years later saw a significant improvement in risk factors, such as improved levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, blood pressure, waist circumference and diabetes control. However, those benefits deteriorated among those who regained weight.

“Our findings suggest that in addition to focusing on weight loss, an increased emphasis should be placed on the importance of maintaining the weight loss over the long-term,” said Alice H. Lichtenstein, D.Sc., senior study author and director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. “The bottom line is that maintaining the majority of the weight loss is essential to reducing cardiovascular risk.” Lichtenstein is a member of the American Heart Association’s Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health – Lifestyle Nutrition Committee.

The researchers used data from the Look AHEAD study, which assessed a year-long intensive lifestyle intervention program to promote weight loss, compared to standard care for heart disease and stroke risk, among people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and who were overweight. The intensive lifestyle intervention program focused on achieving weight loss through healthy eating and increased physical activity, while standard care consisted of diabetes support and education. A three-year maintenance phase included monthly group meetings and recommendations to replace one meal per day with something similar to a replacement shake or bar, and to continue engaging in regular physical activity.

Source: American Heart Association


Today’s Comic

Best Breakfasts for Losing Weight

Zawn Villines wrote . . . . . . . . .

Some people believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that eating breakfast increases weight loss. But is this true? And, if so, which are the best breakfast foods for weight loss?

There is little evidence to support the idea that eating breakfast can increase weight loss. Breakfast is just another meal. That said, eating breakfast can give a person energy for the day. This may reduce the risk of overeating and, in this way, support weight loss efforts.

This article explores the best breakfast foods to eat to aid weight loss. It also discusses breakfast options to suit vegetarian, vegan, and restricted diets. Read on to learn all there is to know about eating breakfast and losing weight.

Breakfast food tips

To get the most out of breakfast, it is best to eat nutrient dense foods. These foods offer more nutritional value per calorie, which may help a person feel fuller longer.

Here are some breakfast food tips that may support weight loss:

Eat fiber-rich foods

People trying to lose weight may benefit from eating fiber-rich foods for breakfast and throughout the day.

A 2015 study found that diets rich in fiber helped people lose more weight and improved symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a risk factor for diabetes.

Other studies link fiber to better health and more weight loss. For example, a 2012 study found that adolescents who ate more fiber had less visceral fat and less inflammation.

Eat more protein

Eating more protein for breakfast or at any other time of day may support weight loss.

Numerous studies link higher protein diets to more weight loss. A 2014 analysis suggests that protein may help people feel fuller, reducing overeating. People may also burn more calories when they eat protein.

Protein-rich foods are generally rich in other nutrients, allowing a person to get a wide range of nutrients without consuming lots of calories.

Avoid high calorie options

Try to avoid foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients. Reducing calorie intake at breakfast time and throughout the day may help a person lose weight.

To cut down on calories, avoid adding sugar to breakfast foods. A healthy oatmeal breakfast can become a sugar-laden, high calorie meal when a person adds lots of brown sugar. Select cereals that contain less sugar and avoid pancakes and pastries that contain lots of sugar.

Avoid sugary drinks

Be mindful of the role of drinks in calorie content. A glass of orange juice typically contains more than 100 calories but offers little nutritional value. Opt for eating the whole fruit rather than drinking juices.

Eat whole foods

Eating whole foods instead of processed foods may help a person lose weight. Try replacing white bread, pasta, and bagels with whole grain options.

Whole grain offers more nutritional value and may reduce the risk of some types of heart disease. Because whole grains are rich in fiber, they may support weight loss and reduce constipation.

Should you eat breakfast?

With interest in intermittent fasting increasing, some people are now opting to skip breakfast altogether. But does skipping breakfast support weight loss?

Not eating breakfast may support weight loss because it means a person goes longer without consuming calories, which may lead to a lower total calorie intake throughout the day.

However, skipping breakfast may not support weight loss for everyone. For some people, skipping breakfast leads to overeating at lunchtime. In this way, skipping breakfast may lead to higher overall calorie consumption, undermining weight loss.

Research around breakfast and weight loss is inconclusive. A 2019 BMJ meta-analysis and systematic review suggests that skipping breakfast may support weight loss. Examining 13 trials, researchers found that not eating breakfast offered modest decreases in weight.

However, the study’s authors also note that the data is not strong. Other factors might account for the difference. Scientists need to do more research to fully understand whether avoiding breakfast is an effective weight loss strategy.

Breakfast foods for vegans

As for all people, it is essential for people who follow a vegan diet to consume sufficient protein. Consuming protein helps people to feel full, which may support weight loss.

Vegan breakfast foods may be a healthful option for anyone wanting to limit meat consumption or add variety to their diet. Also, eating more vegetables increases a person’s fiber and nutrient intake.

Many vegan breakfast options are rich in protein, fiber, and other nutrients. Here are some vegan breakfast foods to try:

  • vegan scramble (using tofu instead of eggs) and kale, broccoli, or spinach
  • peanut or almond butter on whole grain toast
  • oatmeal with blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries and an optional teaspoon of honey
  • whole grain cereal with soy or almond milk
  • avocado toast on whole wheat bread, seasoned with lemon juice and sea salt
  • tofu omelet
  • vegan BLT made from soy bacon, lettuce, tomato, and whole grain buns
  • mixed nuts
  • rolled oats with peanut butter
  • smoothie with avocado, banana, frozen berries, and a teaspoon of honey

Breakfast foods for vegetarians

Vegetarians can choose from a wide variety of delicious breakfast foods. Adding dairy products makes it easy to get plenty of protein to support weight loss.

A 2011 study compared the diet of vegetarians to nonvegetarians. Researchers found that vegetarian diets were more nutritionally dense. This may be because vegetarians eat more fruits and vegetables than meat eaters. The study’s authors also suggest that a vegetarian diet may support weight loss.

Here are some vegetarian breakfast ideas:

  • whole grain cereal with 1% milk
  • Greek yogurt with berries
  • plain vanilla yogurt with bananas
  • two slices of white cheddar cheese with a handful of mixed nuts
  • hard boiled egg sprinkled with salt
  • avocado with cottage cheese and hot sauce
  • poached eggs on whole grain toast
  • scrambled eggs with hot sauce instead of cheese or salt

Breakfast foods for meat eaters

While meat is high in many nutrients, it is also a high calorie food due to its fat content. Lean meats and poultry contain less fat and calories than red meats, so choosing these types of meat is a good option for meat eaters hoping to lose weight.

Reducing the amount of meat in each meal and replacing it with nutrient-rich, high fiber vegetables may also help.

The following meals can support healthy weight loss:

  • grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce on whole grain bread
  • Canadian bacon with yogurt or eggs
  • turkey sausage scramble with lots of vegetables

Breakfast for people with dietary restrictions

Having allergies or an underlying health condition need not affect a person’s enjoyment of breakfast. There are plenty of alternatives available.

Here are some breakfast options for people with dietary restrictions:

Food allergies

Many people have food allergies or sensitivities to lactose, nuts, and eggs, which many breakfast foods contain. Fortunately, there are many substitute options available:

  • Lactose intolerance: Lactose free milk and milk substitutes, such as almond milk, can be good options for people with lactose intolerance.
  • Nut allergies: Lentils, chia seeds, and quinoa can be healthful options for people with nut allergies.
  • Egg allergies: People who cannot eat eggs should consider lean meats, nut butter, and nuts instead.

Celiac disease

For people with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, finding breakfast options that do not contain gluten is essential.

Many food stores sell gluten free versions of common breakfast items, including:

  • bagels
  • pancakes
  • cereals

Another gluten free breakfast idea involves serving high protein foods, such as eggs or lean meats, with wilted spinach and cooked tomatoes.

Diabetes

People with diabetes must keep their blood sugar levels consistent. Skipping breakfast may not be healthful for people with diabetes, particularly if they take medication for their condition. People who take medication for their diabetes typically need to consume some carbohydrate to manage their blood sugar levels.

Here are some breakfast options for people with diabetes:

  • scrambled eggs with wilted spinach
  • hard boiled eggs
  • a handful of nuts
  • lean meats with spinach or kale

Summary

Breakfast habits can support weight loss but how this works varies from person to person. Eating breakfast may aid weight loss for some people as they stay fuller for longer, which prevents snacking during the day. For others, skipping breakfast supports weight loss because it leads them to consume fewer calories overall.

Losing weight requires a person to burn fewer calories than they eat. To sustain weight loss, a person must stick to a reduced calorie diet and pair this diet with more activity. To make sustainable dietary changes, it is vital that a person finds healthful foods they enjoy eating.

Highly restrictive diets are often difficult to follow. Instead, incorporate a few treats and find nourishing, low calorie foods that taste good. A dietitian or doctor can help a person develop the right meal plan for their needs.

Source: Medical News Today

Study: Exercise Key to Staying Slim After Weight Loss

Serena Gordon wrote . . . . . . . . .

If you’ve lost a bunch of weight and want to keep those pounds from piling back on, you’ll need to make regular physical activity a part of your life.

New research looking at people who lost 30 pounds or more and kept it off for a year or longer found that regular exercise was key.

“These people rely on physical activity to maintain their weight rather than restricting calorie intake. This shows how critical physical activity is for maintaining weight,” said lead author Danielle Ostendorf. She’s a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center.

But Ostendorf was quick to point out these findings don’t mean that people shouldn’t pay attention to their diet. “Diet is very important, especially for weight loss,” she said.

To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you use during the day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of calories someone needs depends on several factors, including age and activity level.

Generally, a 40-year-old woman needs between 1,800 and 2,200 calories a day, the U.S. government’s dietary guidelines recommend. A man the same age usually needs about 2,400 to 3,000 calories daily. The more you move, the more calories you can eat.

The current study looked at three groups of people.

The weight maintainer group included 25 adults who had lost about 30 pounds or more and kept it off for more than a year. Another group included 27 adults at a normal weight. The final group had 28 adults who were either overweight or obese.

All three groups were monitored over a week while they were living as normal. No one gained or lost weight.

The volunteers weren’t given any specific instructions on diet or exercise. They gave urine samples at the beginning and end of the study to measure how many calories they used (energy expenditure).

Each participant also wore a fitness device to measure their activity. It could differentiate whether people were standing or stepping and determine intensity level, Ostendorf said.

The study found that people who maintained their weight loss burned about 180 more calories a day during physical activity than other participants.

People who are overweight and obese use more calories normally, just to move a larger body throughout the day, the researchers explained. So, the fact that the maintainers used more calories than people who were still overweight or obese suggests they were more physically active.

Data from the fitness devices suggested the same. Maintainers clocked about 12,000 steps per day. Normal-weight adults had about 9,000 steps daily, and those who were overweight or obese had 6,500.

The maintainers spent about 95 minutes a day doing moderate to vigorous activity, Ostendorf said. Moderate activity might be walking up a hill; you can still talk but you might be a little out of breath. Running is an example of vigorous activity, she said.

Compared to the normal-weight group, both the maintainers and the overweight and obese group ate and used 300 calories more a day. But the maintainers appeared to compensate with more activity, researchers said.

The takeaway: You have to be active to stay at a healthy weight.

“People can lose weight and maintain the weight loss. There are people who have done this successfully. And it doesn’t have to be an extreme workout,” Ostendorf said.

Current U.S. physical activity guidelines call for at least 150 to 300 minutes weekly of moderate-intensity activity. Any physical activity counts toward that goal.

Dana Angelo White, a registered dietitian and clinical assistant professor of athletic training and sports medicine at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., agreed with the study’s conclusion.

“If you manage to successfully lose weight, there’s a certain level of maintenance required. And, you can’t just rely on diet or exercise by themselves,” said White, who wasn’t involved with the study.

She emphasized that everyone — regardless of weight status — needs to be physically active for good health.

“Commit to moving more. That doesn’t mean you need to go from zero to a hundred overnight. But find some sort of enjoyable exercise routine, and increase your activity outside of exercise as well. Make extra steps wherever you can. Walk around on your lunch break, or if you can, walk your kids to school. Anything to keep moving,” White suggested.

The study was published in the March issue of Obesity.

Source: HealthDay


Today’s Comic

Study: Exercise Is More Critical than Diet to Maintain Weight Loss

A new study from the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center (AHWC) at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus revealed physical activity does more to maintain substantial weight loss than diet.

The study, published in the journal Obesity, was selected as the Editor’s Choice article.

“This study addresses the difficult question of why so many people struggle to keep weight off over a long period. By providing evidence that a group of successful weight-loss maintainers engages in high levels of physical activity to prevent weight regain – rather than chronically restricting their energy intake – is a step forward to clarifying the relationship between exercise and weight-loss maintenance,” said Danielle Ostendorf, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center.

The findings reveal that successful weight-loss maintainers rely on physical activity to remain in energy balance (rather than chronic restriction of dietary intake) to avoid weight regain. In the study, successful weight-loss maintainers are individuals who maintain a reduced body weight of 30 pounds or more for over a year.

Key findings include:

  • The total calories burned (and consumed) each day by weight-loss maintainers was significantly higher (300 kcal/day) compared with that in individuals with normal body weight controls but was not significantly different from that in the individuals with overweight/obesity.
  • Notably, of the total calories burned, the amount burned in physical activity by weight-loss maintainers was significantly higher (180 kcal/day) compared with that in both individuals of normal body weight and individuals with overweight/obesity. Despite the higher energy cost of moving a larger body mass incurred by individuals with overweight/obesity, weight-loss maintainers were burning more energy in physical activity, suggesting they were moving more.
  • This is supported by the fact that the weight-loss maintainer group also demonstrated significantly higher levels of steps per day (12,000 steps per day) compared to participants at a normal body weight (9,000 steps per day) and participants with overweight/obesity (6,500 steps per day).

“Our findings suggest that this group of successful weight-loss maintainers are consuming a similar number of calories per day as individuals with overweight and obesity but appear to avoid weight regain by compensating for this with high levels of physical activity,” said Victoria A. Catenacci, MD, a weight management physician and researcher at CU Anschutz Medical Campus.

The study looked at successful weight-loss maintainers compared to two other groups: controls with normal body weight (Body Mass Index (BMI) similar to the current BMI of the weight-loss maintainers); and controls with overweight/obesity (whose current BMI was similar to the pre-weight-loss BMI of the maintainers). The weight-loss maintainers had a body weight of around 150 pounds, which was similar to the normal weight controls, while the controls with overweight and obesity had a body weight of around 213 pounds.

This study is one of the few to measure total daily energy expenditure in weight-reduced individuals using the gold standard doubly labeled water method. This method allows researchers to precisely determine an individual’s energy expenditure through collecting urine samples over one to two weeks after people are given a dose of doubly labeled water. Doubly labeled water is water in which both the hydrogen and the oxygen atoms have been replaced (i.e. labeled) with an uncommon isotope of these elements for tracing purposes.

The measure of total daily energy expenditure from doubly labeled water also provides an estimate of energy intake when people are weight stable, as they were in this study. Prior studies used questionnaires or diet diaries to measure energy intake, which have significant limitations.

The researchers also measured each individual’s resting metabolic rate in order to understand how much of the total daily energy expenditure is from energy expended at rest versus energy expended during physical activity. Prior studies used self-reported measures or activity monitors to measure physical activity, which are techniques that cannot provide the same accuracy.

The findings are consistent with results from the longitudinal study of “The Biggest Loser” contestants, where physical activity energy expenditure was strongly correlated with weight loss and weight gain after six years.

Source: University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus


Today’s Comic

What Is the Dopamine Diet?

Sarah Lienard wrote . . . . . . . . .

Famed as the Tom Kerridge diet, the ‘happy’ weight loss plan is making headlines. But does the dopamine diet work? Our dietitian investigates…

What is the dopamine diet?

Billed as the weight loss regime that boosts mood too, this diet is all about increasing levels of the ‘happy hormone’ dopamine in the brain at the same time as shedding pounds. Certain celebrities such as TV chef Tom Kerridge have boosted this diet’s popularity in recent years. There are several different versions of the diet, but all are based around foods that are thought to boost dopamine. These can include:

  • Dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt
  • Unprocessed meats such as beef, chicken and turkey
  • Omega-3 rich fish such as salmon and mackerel
  • Eggs
  • Fruit and vegetables, in particular bananas
  • Nuts such as almonds and walnuts
  • Dark chocolate

Most versions of the diet recommend avoiding alcohol, caffeine and processed sugar, while some also recommend cutting out or severely restricting starchy carbohydrates. So what is the science behind the dopamine diet? Dietitian Emer Delaney explains…

What is dopamine and how does food affect it?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter – a chemical that is responsible for transmitting signals between nerve cells in the brain. Dopamine directly affects the reward and pleasure centres in the brain, which in turn affects mood. Its activation occurs for a number of reasons, including the sudden availability of food.

There is emerging evidence to show that people who are overweight may have impairments in dopamine pathways which could have been blunted through constant exposure to highly palatable (sugary and fatty) foods. This blunted response could potentially lead to increased reward seeking behaviour, including over-eating – however, this is an area that needs more research. Currently, we do know that all eating increases dopamine, especially the intake of high fat and sugar foods, both off which can lead to an increase in appetite, overeating and weight gain in the long term.

So how can you boost your dopamine without resorting to high fat and sugar foods?

Protein foods are made from the building blocks of amino acids (including tyrosine), which are essential to the production of dopamine. It has therefore been suggested that upping protein intake may also boost dopamine production without increasing appetite. A recent study looked at this theory and concluded that eating a high protein breakfast including eggs, lean meats and dairy was best at reducing mid-morning cravings whilst increasing dopamine levels.

Dietitian Emer Delaney’s top tips

  • Eat regular meals. This will prevent a sudden swing in hormones and help to regulate your appetite. It also reduces the chance of overeating in the evening.
  • Try eating more lean protein at breakfast such as eggs, smoked salmon, mackerel, or a high-protein yogurt with added nuts, seeds or fruit. Try our high-protein recipe collection for breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes.
  • Some versions of this diet ask you to completely restrict starchy carbohydrates, which I wouldn’t recommend. Carbohydrates are important components of the diet, so ensure you include some at every meal. Aim for low-GI carbohydrates such as rye bread or porridge. Both will encourage blood glucose levels to remain steady, which will have a positive effect on appetite.
  • Choose healthy fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in olive, safflower, sesame or rapeseed oils in addition to avocado, walnuts, flaxseeds and oily fish such as herring, fresh tuna and trout.
  • Include lean protein foods at lunch and dinner by eating chicken, lentils, pulses, fish, or lean beef.
  • Increase activities such as yoga as we know this can also increase dopamine levels.
  • Keep things simple and look at the quality of foods you eat, reduce processed salty foods, keep sugary treats to a minimum and make sure you’re eating your five-a-day.

Source: BBC