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The Struggle with Weight

WeightStruggleJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Like other scientific fields, the science of weight loss is continually evolving. What’s true is that no single diet approach, whether low-carb, low-fat, paleo or vegan, with no or varying amounts of physical activity, will work for every individual. It’s also true that within each approach, there are people who will lose weight, as well as people who will gain weight. Even more confounding is the fact that those who successfully lose weight have an extremely high failure rate when it comes to maintaining that weight loss. This dichotomy leaves scientists baffled, as the search for the ideal diet and weight loss maintenance strategies continues. One commonality that most can agree on is that everyone who loses weight and maintains weight loss has had to make changes in their everyday behaviors. In addition to dietary changes, this could mean watching less television, eating breakfast every day, not eating after dinner or exercising daily.

The “eat less, move more” strategy makes weight loss sound simple and stress free. Losing weight and keeping it off is never easy, but it is possible. One great motivator for weight loss and maintenance is a significant health scare or the diagnosis of a chronic disease. For some, it’s the realization that maintaining a healthy weight can add healthy years to a life, and precious time to spend with loved ones, friends and pets. Highly motivated people who start again each time they fail are the most likely to be successful at finding a diet and exercise plan that works for them. A holistic approach to weight loss, accounting for biology, behavior, psychology and budget, may help reveal the specific impediment to an individual’s achieving and sustaining a healthy weight. Some experts argue that pigeonholing people into one type of diet, or pushing people toward a number on a scale, rather than focusing on health goals, may set people up for failure.

-Unrealistic expectations of ideal weights are often enough to keep people from losing any weight at all. A healthy sustainable weight is often a higher number on the scale than one would tend to think. Accepting that a 10% weight loss can improve blood pressure and blood sugar and reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes may help overweight people to take small steps towards that goal.

-Unfortunately, many view weight loss as a quick fix as opposed to a long-term solution for improved health. Clearly, a change of mindset is necessary not only for weight loss but for long-term weight maintenance, especially in an environment where unhealthy food is plentiful.

-Diets that are too calorie restrictive are destined to fail. In addition to increased hunger, your body works against you, which makes losing weight even harder. To save energy, any weight loss stimulates hormones that slow the basal metabolic rate, reducing daily calorie expenditure, increasing appetite and encouraging overconsumption along with fat storage.

-There are different philosophies regarding weight loss and exercise. Whether or not experts agree on exercise as a weight loss method, exercise is necessary for overall health and disease prevention or management. Thirty to sixty minutes of daily exercise not only burns calories, it helps to speed up the metabolic rate, encouraging higher calorie burn while at rest.

-Biology, genetics and hormones are all players in the weight loss and maintenance game. A person who weighs 200 pounds and was never overweight will have an easier time maintaining weight than a person who was once 300 pounds but has lost 100 pounds. Though the body subverts weight loss maintenance, one should know that although vigilance is necessary, the body will reset to a new normal weight and the resting metabolic rate will stabilize. Building muscle mass through aerobic exercise and weight training will help to determine your resting energy expenditure.

-Continued use of behavioral strategies and a “no surrender” attitude is necessary to maintain weight once a desired weight is reached. Gradually adding small amounts of healthy nutritious calories can help determine the right balance of daily caloric intake and exercise needed to maintain a healthy weight and avoid regain.

Whatever your diet choice, recognizing that we often eat in response to stress, boredom or emotions may help to avoid setbacks. Sustainable lifestyle changes are actually easier to follow than unrealistic caloric intake or deprivation. If you are serious and determined to lose weight and keep it off, take a slow but steady pace. Avoid “cheat” days and stick to healthy eating habits all the time including weekends. Studies have shown that inadequate sleep can significantly affect weight control, so put some of your efforts into improving your sleep habits. Tracking your food intake helps to monitor calories, and more importantly, nutrition. Be sure you are hydrating sufficiently and feeding your body the nutrients necessary for energy production and the maintenance of overall good health.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality products to support health and nutrition:

Weight Loss Support...Weight Loss Support Packets by Designs for Health®: One daily packet provides optimal fat burning and hormone balancing ingredients for improved fat metabolism and effective weight loss support. Gluten, wheat, soy, dairy and yeast free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

SlimStyles Weight...SlimStyles Weight Loss Drink Mix by Natural Factors: This clinically proven appetite and weight control drink mix provides healthy high protein, low carb, low glycemic index ingredients that may improve adherence to a calorie restricted diet. Taken daily as a meal replacement, this highly purified proprietary fiber blend helps to maintain satiety and support healthy blood sugar levels. Natural double chocolate flavor.

PGX Weight Loss Meal...PGX® Weight Loss Meal Replacement by Bioclinic Naturals: This proprietary clinically studied meal replacement complex helps to reduce appetite, ease cravings and safely support weight loss. Highly viscous fibers help to normalize blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity and support regularity.

References:
Long-term weight loss maintenance. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/1/222S.long
The 17 Best Ways to Maintain Weight Loss. https://authoritynutrition.com/maintain-weight-loss/
Sifferlin, Alexandra. Why Your Diet Isn’t Working. Time, Inc., June 5, 2017.
Maintaining Weight Loss. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/diabetes/maintaining_weight_loss_85,P07862/
Here’s Why It’s So Hard to Maintain Weight Loss. http://www.livescience.com/53942-weight-loss-biology.html
4 Reasons It’s So Hard to Lose Weight – and How to Bust Through Them. http://health.usnews.com/wellness/articles/2016-06-10/4-reasons-its-so-hard-to-lose-weight-and-how-to-bust-through-them

 

Super Bowl Flu

SuperbowlFluJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

 

 

If you’re heading out to a Super Bowl party, you may want to skip the dip. People who double dip at parties during flu season appear to be spreading the influenza virus. Although this year’s flu season is predicted to be a relatively mild one, a Tulane University study published in the American Journal of Health Economics found that cities who had teams in the Super Bowl typically see an 18% rise in flu transmissions and an increase in flu deaths in the high risk over age 65 populations. The study found that fans whose teams are in the game are more likely to attend a party and crowd into small bars, living rooms or other close quarters, prime settings for transmitting the virus. The study also found the same does not hold true for the city hosting the Super Bowl, as the game is usually played in warmer climates in an environment less favorable to flu transmission.

Super Bowl Sunday is a big party day even when you’re not all that interested in the game. Food is a huge part of Super Bowl celebrations and people often bring dishes to share. Touching serving utensils that are used by everyone can also help to spread the virus, so frequent hand washing is essential. And watch how you handle those chips and dips. Double dipping is a serious no-no, but it’s not only the double dipping that spreads the flu virus, it’s the close contact at the height of flu season. Coughing, sneezing, talking, cheering in support or shouting in frustration can spread the flu virus to others up to 6 feet away.

You may come home disappointed if your team doesn’t win, but you definitely don’t want to come home with the flu. To help prevent getting or spreading the flu, practice good hygiene and be mindful of others.

  • The flu is highly contagious and can be spread beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to 7 days after becoming sick
  • If you are sick, do yourself and everyone else a favor and watch the game at home
  • The best preventative is frequent hand washing with lots of soap and water
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer
  • To avoid spreading the virus, completely cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze and wash your hands afterward
  • Avoid touching your face during flu season

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other fine products that provide temporary relief of symptoms associated with colds and flu:

ReBoost Cold/Flu Relief (Reformulation of ReBoost Flu by Heel)ReBoost Cold/Flu Relief by MediNatura – This non-drowsy formula supplies natural homeopathic support for the temporary relief of multiple minor flu symptoms such as body aches, cough, fatigue and headache.

 

Clear Cold and FluClear Cold and Flu™ by Clear Products, Inc. – This combination formula provides homeopathic and botanical ingredients in easy to swallow capsules for natural relief of symptoms associated with the common cold and flu. Gluten free.

 

Hevert Cold & Flu ReliefHevert Cold & Flu Relief by Hevert Pharmaceuticals – Use at the first sign of cold and flu symptoms for the temporary relief of runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, fever and body aches. Non-drowsy homeopathic formula.

 

Sinol - M Headache Relief

Sinol–M Cold & Flu Relief by Sinol USA – This all natural homeopathic nasal spray provides fast relief from headaches, congestion, fever, sneezing and runny nose.

 

References:
Super Bowl celebrations spread the flu, according to Tulane Researchers. http://tulane.edu/news/links/super-bowl-celebrations-spread-flu.cfm
Skip the dip! Super Bowl team cities see spike in flu deaths. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150130092707.htm
Your Team Made the Super Bowl? Better Get a Flu Shot. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/02/upshot/super-bowl-denver-broncos-carolina-panthers-flu.html?_r=0

Are You Getting Your Fill of Fiber?

fiberJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 

Those of us who consume the Standard American diet devoid of nutrients and fiber may simply be asking for health problems. Genetics aside, largely preventable lifestyle diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, result from poor lifestyle choices and a steady diet of processed foods, which lack nutrients but have plenty of sodium, chemicals and added sugars. Many of us may try to include a healthy daily intake of fiber and nutrient filled whole foods, but what actually constitutes a high fiber diet? How much fiber do we need to keep our digestive system working properly, to lower our blood glucose and lipid levels, to achieve a healthy weight or prevent chronic disease? The answer is very likely more than you are getting. Macronutrients necessary for good health include proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Although dietary fiber is technically not a “nutrient,” it is nonetheless a very important dietary component that plays a huge role in disease prevention.

Both the Institute of Medicine and the American Heart Association recommend adult women get a minimum of 25 grams of fiber daily and adult men 38 grams, with slightly lower recommendations for adults over 50 years old. The current average intake is approximately 15 grams daily, only about half the recommended amount. The best way to increase your fiber intake and improve your general health is to eat fiber and nutrient rich whole plant foods, as opposed to processed foods labeled “added fiber.” In fact, we need only to look at our Paleolithic dietary past to see that our hunter gatherer human ancestors were largely vegetarians who consumed upwards of 100 grams of fiber daily. There is plenty of scientific evidence to suggest that a plant-rich diet promotes health and, in some cases can actually reverse cardiovascular disease without drugs or surgery. Our finely tuned evolutionary heritage is not based on excessive amounts of animal foods or refined, processed junk foods but on plant foods, the only dietary source of natural fiber.

Dietary fibers, categorized as soluble and insoluble, are the edible portions of plant cell walls that are resistant to digestion. Soluble fiber attracts water, turning it into a gel-like substance, slowing digestion and allowing additional time for nutrient absorption. Soluble fiber is found in oats, nuts, beans, certain fruits and vegetables and psyllium, a common fiber supplement. Found mostly in whole grains, salad veggies and the outer peel of fruits, insoluble fiber does not absorb or dissolve in water and passes through the digestive system largely intact, pushing out waste and helping to keep the digestive system at optimal function. Many fruits and vegetables contain both soluble and insoluble fibers. Ensuring that you consume enough fiber means eliminating processed foods, including more beans, nuts, legumes and whole grains and getting your minimum allotment of at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

  • Soluble fiber is believed to slow down carbohydrate digestion, thereby slowing glucose absorption and aiding blood sugar control.
  • Studies show those who eat a high fiber diet may have a significantly reduced risk of developing heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and certain gastrointestinal diseases.
  • High fiber intake is associated with lowered blood pressure and improved insulin sensitivity in both non-diabetic and diabetic individuals.
  • Dietary fiber intake benefits children as well as adults. A child’s healthy diet should include lots of water and fiber to promote healthy bowel function and protect against constipation. Children with high fiber diets tend to consume more nutrient dense foods, are more likely to meet recommended daily requirements for key nutrients and are more likely to have a healthy weight.  
  • A high fiber diet or fiber supplementation promotes weight loss. Because fiber is filling, adequate fiber intake discourages overeating, while the fiber itself adds no additional calories.
  • As fiber ferments in the colon, it provides prebiotics that support healthy intestinal flora and in turn more optimal immune function.

Tried and true supplements for increasing your fiber intake include:

TruFiber™ by Master Supplements, IncTruFiber. – This non-gritty, tasteless powder contains soluble fiber along with bifidogenic enzymes uniquely formulated to enhance probiotic colonies in the digestive tract. Mix one level scoop daily in a non-carbonated beverage of your choice for improved intestinal comfort and regularity and improved nutrient absorption. Gluten, soy and diary free vegetarian formula.  
 
Organic Fiber-Clear
 
Organic Fiber-Clear by Advanced Naturals – This flavor and grit free natural acacia fiber dissolves quickly in room temperature liquid or in soft foods for a convenient fiber boost. It may be used in cooking or baking without altering the texture or flavor. Contains 100% organic fiber, nothing more, nothing less.
 
Fiber Plus Caps
 
Fiber Plus Caps by Ortho Molecular – These easy-to-take capsules provide a proprietary blend of organic psyllium husk powder along with rice bran, apple pectin and fig with the added benefit of the probiotic, lactobacillus acidophilus. Gluten-free.
 
 
 
MediBulk (SP621)MediBulk (SP621) by Thorne Research – This unflavored soluble fiber formula provides a proprietary blend of psyllium husk powder along with prune powder and apple pectin in support of a healthy GI tract and optimum digestive health.   Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-
GMO formula.

 

References:
Health benefits of dietary fiber.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19335713
Increasing Fiber Intake.  http://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/increasing_fiber_intake/
Dietary Fiber – what’s its role in a healthy diet? http://www.eufic.org/article/en/nutrition/fibre/artid/dietary-fibre-role-healthy-diet/
Sources of Insoluble Fiber. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/sources-insoluble-fiber-1413.html
Fiber and Your Child. http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/feeding/fiber.html
Nutrition Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x/full