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Dr. Eric Duncan Blog

Duncan Chiropractic Group P.C.


Monday, December 27, 2010

The Lazy Person's Way to Weight Loss...

Study Says: SLEEP MORE To Drop Pounds!

Are you lazy? Come on - it's just the two of us. You can admit it and it will be our little secret!
Well, even if you aren't "lazy," I'm sure you look for the quickest and easiest way to get things done.

For example, if you had these two weight loss programs - that work equally as well - which one would you pick...
1. You have to wake up at 5:00 a.m. every day and run 5 miles, then you eat almost nothing for breakfast, then almost nothing for lunch, then you workout like a dog for 2 hours after work, and eat a teeny tiny dinner. Then, you go to bed and do it all over again tomorrow. And you do this every day. Or...
2. You take a pill, sleep late... and wake up skinny.
Obviously, you'd probably choose #2. Any sane person would - as long as the "pill" was safe.
Anyways, you get the point.
Well, there is no "pill" that works like that. But, a study has just been published that claims sleeping is a very important part of weight loss.
In fact, research from the University of Chicago showed dieters who slept for 8.5 hours lost 55 percent more body fat than dieters who slept only 5.5 hours.
The authors of the study stated, "Lack of sufficient sleep may compromise the efficacy of typical dietary interventions for weight loss and related metabolic risk reduction."
Researchers think sleep may affect levels of a hormone called ghrelin. Increased levels of this hormone have been shown to increase appetite and increase fat retention. The subjects in this study who slept less claimed to be hungrier than those who slept more. According to the study's authors: "Together, these results suggest that the loss of sleep at times of limited food intake amplifies the pattern of ghrelin-associated changes in human hunger, glucose, fat utilization, and energy metabolism." It should be noted the sample size in this study was small and further research on this subject is needed to make definitive conclusions. While we are on the weight loss topic, here's another study you might find interesting...

Diet & Exercise?
USA Today reports two-thirds of people in the United States are overweight. "Overweight" is defined as being 30 or more pounds over a healthy weight. This means 66% of Americans, because of their weight, are at higher risk for Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and even some types of cancer. That's why it is so important to lose weight if you are overweight. New research published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association compared exercise combined with diet versus diet only.

Here's what researchers found... At six months, people in the diet-and-exercise group lost an average of 24 pounds and had better reduction in belly fat and liver fat than those in the delayed-exercise group, who lost an average of 18 pounds. After a year, people in the diet-and-exercise group lost 27 pounds compared to 22 pounds in the delayed-exercise group. "This shows that a traditional diet-and-exercise program can work for people who are very obese," says lead author, Bret Goodpaster, an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Most participants in the study lost between 30-40 pounds... but a handful lost nearly 100.

Recently, a study published in the September 2008 Journal of Obesity raised a few eyebrows. The study contrasted diet versus exercise for weight loss and concluded that, even though exercise may be good for strengthening bones and muscles, improved mental health and mood, lowering blood pressure, improved cholesterol levels and reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, breast cancer and colon cancer... it may not be the best thing for weight loss. According to one of the study's authors: "We would love to say that physical activity has a positive effect on weight control, but that does not appear to be the case." This obviously contradicts the previous study mentioned in this newsletter, at least on the surface. This is one of the problems with studies - they are often conflicting, which is why common sense must enter into your decision-making process.

Researchers in the last study mentioned the reason exercise may not have been effective in weight less is because an increase in exercise may cause people to eat more. This clearly does not mean exercise is not effective - it means people were unable to control what they ate. Just because some people use a little exercise as an excuse to eat whatever they want does not mean exercise is not effective.

"All Natural" Foods That Are Far From All Natural

We all want to eat as healthy as possible, but with time constraints and money issues, eating right can be very difficult. Now there is one more hurdle you must watch out for...

And that hurdle is: Food companies making blatantly false claims about their products. For example, Ben & Jerry's seems to be a great company. They contribute greatly to many causes such as family farmers, climate change, etc. - all great stuff. But, their claim that their ice cream is made from "all natural" ingredients is false.

According to food.change.org; "The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) recently asked Ben & Jerry's to remove the 'all natural' stamp from its ice cream containers, claiming that ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, alkalized cocoa, and hydrogenated oil are far from natural. These ingredients are, in fact, quite heavily processed." Ben & Jerry's heeded CSPI's demands and agreed to remove the "all natural" label from its ice cream containers.

Ben & Jerry's may be the one taking heat from CSPI, but the ice cream maker is hardly alone in its misuse of the "all natural" label. Other ice-cream makers like Edy's/Dreyer's, Breyer's, Friendly's, Turkey Hill, and more do the same exact thing. This problem is not isolated to just ice cream. The real problem is that while the U.S. Department of Agriculture regulates the "all natural" claim, they have no real definition of what an "all natural" food item is.

Ben & Jerry's voluntarily removed the "all natural" label from its products. Others have not.

Do You Or Your Kids Eat McDonalds?

This is a shock - but not surprising. Manhattan artist, Sally Davies, photographed a McDonald's Happy Meal every day for 6 months. The results? The Happy Meal did not appear to age. There was no mold or evidence of decay. In fact, the pictures at 6 months show it to look as fresh as the day it was bought.

Here's something even more shocking: Wellness educator and nutrition consultant, Karen Hanrahan, has kept a McDonald's hamburger since 1996 to illustrate its nonexistent ability to decay. Aside from drying out a bit and having "the oddest smell," it apparently hasn't changed much in the past 12 years.

Something to think about before stopping at the drive-thru...

And don't forget, if you ever have any questions or concerns about your health talk to us. Contact us with your questions. We're here to help and don't enjoy anything more than participating in your lifelong good health.

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