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Posts Tagged ‘articles’

WebMD – Expert Q&A: Fighting Midlife Weight Gain

Posted by 4love2love on July 26, 2011

An interview with Pamela Peeke, MD
By Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

First, you notice shopping for clothes isn’t as fun or simple as it used to be. Next comes the “muffin top” spilling over the jeans. Then the scale delivers dire news: You’re 10, 15, maybe 20 pounds beyond your “normal” weight.

Midlife weight gain is common. Many Americans gain a pound or so every year as they make their way through young adulthood, ending up fat and flabby at age 40 and beyond.

But it is not inevitable, says Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, the author of the best-seller Fight FatAfter Forty. Peeke also serves as the chief medical correspondent for Discovery Health TV and often appears as a medical commentator on television news and talk shows.

Why do so many people gain weight in midlife?

Blame it on hormones in convergence with poor lifestyle choices, overeating, not exercising enough, and stress.

But hormones only account for about 2 to 5 pounds. The rest is the result of overeating, poor lifestyle choices — such as not exercising enough — and stress.

How can I not be one of those people who gains?

The keys are three: mind, mouth, muscle.

Use your mind to control stress. If you walk around and everything is stressful, you have a problem. You may respond to stress by making poorer lifestyle choices, such as not eating healthfully and not exercising enough.

Look at your nutrition — in terms of quality, quantity, and frequency of eating. You should eat often.

Quality is all about eating whole foods, fruits, and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein.

Processed foods are bad. Anything that comes in a family-size bag, turn in the opposite direction and run.

Quantity is where a lot of people fall. The majority are baffled by what a serving size should look like. When eating out, and in doubt, eat half of it or less.

Be accountable for calories. You need a general idea of how many calories you need. An average woman, not an athlete, in her 40s or 50s, needs about 1,500 to 1,600 calories a day, on average, if she is exercising. A middle-aged man, average height and not an athlete but exercising, needs about 1,800 to 2,000.

Muscle, of course, refers to the need to exercise and, of course, to weight train.

Should my goal weight increase when I hit midlife?

A better goal than focusing on scale weight is to keep track of body fat. The goals should be to decrease body fat and optimize bone strength.

For a man, a body fat percentage of 18% to 25% is not bad for 40-plus. For women 40-plus, 22% to 27% is not bad.

To get that body fat percentage, you need to have excellent fitness to maintain a good muscle base.

Also, a man should have a waist circumference below 40 inches and a woman below 35 inches.

I’m 40-plus, eating right, and exercising but not losing weight. Why do I have midlife weight gain?

If you have tailored your portion sizes to ones that are appropriate, look at the frequency of your eating. Eat every three or four hours. But not too late at night. The later you eat, the lighter you eat is a good rule.

Eat a balance of lean protein, fats, and carbs. Make the fat good fat, not palm oil or hydrogenated oil, but high-quality good fats [such as those in nuts]. The protein should be lean — a turkey burger or a veggie burger.

Most people have been doing the same exercise routine for years, and your body acclimates. Fat cells at 40 are reticent to give it up. Mix up the exercise routine. Exercise at least five times a week, and I mean cardio.

Add intensity. Add some level of weight training, and challenge yourself with the weights. [Getting professional instruction is advised if you’re a novice.] Weight train two or three times a week.

Building muscle gives you that metabolic edge, since muscle mass burns more calories than fat.

Does HRT cause midlife weight gain, is that the culprit?

You can’t blame the low doses of HRT in use today for midlife weight gain, at least not for any more than a few pounds. You do get a little more bloated on it, but it does not cause body fat accumulation. Overeating, not exercising, and stress do.

What’s up with this belly? I never ever had one before.

I call it the menopot. On a man, it’s the manopot.

Excess body fat occurring in the lower abdomen is associated with aging, after 40. This excess body fat in the normal range is usually only 2 to 5 pounds. And you do get a little pooch.

How can I lose this belly?

You minimize it by following the mind-mouth-muscle concepts.

But it’s probably unrealistic to expect a stomach as flat as your 20-something stomach.

Can I boost my metabolism?

Absolutely. You can optimize your metabolism throughout life relative to your age by maintaining the highest level of training you can, within the limits and constraints of your life.

If you lose muscle mass [by not exercising], obviously your metabolism is going to drop.

Of course strength or weight training is crucial.

What workout or workouts are best for midlife people?

Creative cardio. Burn 400 to 500 calories a day in cardio. On the elliptical, for instance, you can burn about 400 calories in about 35 minutes. Cross train as much as you can. Burn the 400 to 500 calories all at once or accrue it.

And don’t forget the weight training.

What’s your weakness? What’s the hardest part, for you, of staying on track and fighting flab after 40?

Because of long days and all my commitments, getting enough sleep. I remind myself: the poorer your sleep, the wider your girth.

Eating dinner not too late. Sometimes I am on a plane or a train, I don’t have the control I want over how late I eat. In general, do not eat dinner past 8:30. I like to eat right about 7.

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FDA Alert – Public Notification: Slim Forte Slimming Capsule and Slim Forte Double Power Slimming Capsules – Undeclared Drug Ingredient

Posted by 4love2love on July 24, 2011

July 8, 2011

ISSUE
: FDA is advising consumers not to purchase or use Slim Forte Slimming Capsule and Slim Forte Double Power Slimming Capsules. FDA laboratory analysis confirmed that these products contain sibutramine. Sibutramine is a controlled substance that was removed from the U.S. market in October 2010 for safety reasons. These products pose a threat to consumers because sibutramine is known to substantially increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some patients and may present a significant risk for patients with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, or stroke. These products may also interact in life threatening ways with other medications a consumer may be taking.

BACKGROUND: Slim Forte Slimming Capsule and Slim Forte Double Power Slimming Capsules are products marketed for weight loss, sold on various websites and distributed by LA Beauty Store, Inc. This notification is to inform the public of a growing trend of products marketed as dietary supplements or conventional foods with hidden drugs and chemicals.

RECOMMENDATION: Consumers should stop using these products immediately and throw them away. Consumers who have experienced any negative side effects should consult a health care professional as soon as possible.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

[07/08/2011 – Public Notification – FDA]

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Lifescript – Fight Arthritis : 10 Foods That Help & Hurt

Posted by 4love2love on June 8, 2011

Fight Arthritis: 10 Foods That Help and Hurt
By Dorothy Foltz-Gray, Special to Lifescript
Published May 23, 2011
Food can’t cure arthritis, but it can make the disease less painful – or worse. Find out which 7 foods will ease your aching joints and help you lose weight, how much to eat and the 3 noshes that are making matters worse. Plus, what’s your osteoarthritis IQ? Take our quiz to find out… People who suffer from arthritis are familiar with the pains, cracks and pops define the condition. But small changes in your diet can yield big rewards in managing the disease.“Food isn’t a panacea, but some can make your joints healthier,” says Leslie Bonci, R.D., director of Sports Nutrition in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh.

You may not be able to toss your Tylenol, but a diet rich in these foods can make you healthier and maybe lighter. After all, every pound you carry around your belly puts 10 pounds of pressure on your joints.

Here are 7 foods to stock up on:

Good food #1: Fatty fish (salmon, herring sardines) or any other food with omega-3 fatty acids, such as walnuts, soy beans, flax seeds, canola oil and pumpkin seeds

Why it helps: Omega-3s decrease the production of chemicals that spread inflammation, plus they inhibit enzymes that trigger it – “a dual benefit,” Bonci says.

Fatty fish also contain vitamin D, which helps prevent swelling and soreness.

When the Women’s Health Study followed 30,000 women for 11 years, researchers found that those who got less than 200 international units (IU) – about 3 ounces of sardines – of vitamin D a day from their diet were 33% more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than women who got more.How much to eat: Get at least one gram of omega-3s a day. Four ounces of salmon, for example, has 1.5 grams of omega-3.

Another easy healthy fix: Add walnuts (2.27 grams per quarter cup) to a salad or flaxseed (two tablespoons has 3.51 grams) to your cereal.

Boost your vitamin D intake by drinking two glasses of low-fat milk (200 IUs) on days you’re not eating omega-3s. And spend 10-15 minutes a day in the sun – sunlight triggers vitamin D production in your body.

Good food #2: Extra-virgin olive oil

Why it helps: Olive oil contains oleocanthal, which blocks enzymes involved in inflammation.

About 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil acts like one-tenth of a dose of ibuprofen, according to a study at the Monnell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. That may not be much, but small dietary changes add up.

“Since olive oil’s not calorie-free (one tablespoon has 119 calories), don’t douse your food with it,” Bonci warns.

How much to eat: One tablespoon a day on salads, bread or vegetables.

Good food #3: Sweet peppers, citrus fruits and other vitamin C-rich foods

Why it helps: Vitamin C protects collagen, a major component of cartilage. Inadequate amounts may increase your risk for some kinds of arthritis.

A Canadian study of 1,317 men found that those who got 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C through food or supplements daily had a 45% lower risk of gout (a painful condition also known as gouty arthritis) than those who consumed less than 250 milligrams a day.

But don’t shoot for such high doses if you have osteoarthritis. Duke University researchers found that animals who took high doses of vitamin C – the equivalent of 1,500-2,500 milligrams a day in humans – over eight months suffered worse knee osteoarthritis. So moderation is key.

How much to eat: Try for 200-500 milligrams a day. An orange and a cup of broccoli will net you about 200. And focus on foods, not supplements:

“Foods that are high in vitamin C have other plant nutrients that you won’t get from a vitamin C supplement,” Bonci says.

Broccoli and cauliflower, for instance, have a chemical – indole-3-carbinol – that may protect us from certain cancers, including breast cancer.

Good food #4: Brazil nuts

Why they help: Brazil nuts contain huge amounts of selenium – 272 micrograms in just three or four nuts, compared to 63 micrograms in 3 ounces of tuna.

For example, a 2005 University of North Carolina study found that the participants with the highest levels of selenium had a 40% lower risk than those with the lowest levels.

Low selenium may also be linked to rheumatoid arthritis. The mineral helps antioxidants clear out cell-damaging free radicals, aids the regulation of the thyroid gland and may prevent cancer.

How much to eat: 55-200 micrograms a day. If you don’t like Brazil nuts or tuna, you can get 32-35 micrograms in 3.5 ounces of beef or turkey or 12 micrograms in a cup of cooked oatmeal.

Good food #5: Onions and leeks

Why they help: Onions and leeks contain quercetin, an antioxidant that may inhibit inflammatory chemicals, much like aspirin and ibuprofen do. But research is limited, Bonci says.

Worried about onion breath? Boost your intake of kale, cherry tomatoes or apples – all are high in quercetin.

How much to eat: One-half cup of a high-quercetin food a day.

Good food #6: Tart cherries

Why they help: “This wives’ tale now has science to back it up,” Bonci says.

A University of Michigan study suggests that a diet plump with tart cherries can cut inflammation in animals by 50%. And a 2009 study at Baylor Research Institute in Dallas found that 56% of patients with osteoarthritis had more than 20% improvement in pain and function after taking cherry pills for eight weeks.

The magic ingredient is anthocyanins, the pigments that give cherries – and grapes, black raspberries and eggplant – their vibrancy. They’re also powerful antioxidants that cut inflammation.

How much to eat: Half-cup of tart cherries – fresh, frozen, canned or dried – or 8 ounces of juice.Good food #7: Green teaWhy it helps: Studies show that certain antioxidant compounds in the brew lessen the incidence and severity of arthritis.

One University of Michigan study found that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) lowers production of inflammation-causing substances in the body that cause joint damage in arthritis sufferers.

How much to drink: 3-4 cups a day. Skip the decaffeinated version, which robs the tea of some of the helpful nutrients. “Green tea won’t take all your pain away,” Bonci says, but it can help.

Foods to Avoid

Bad food #1: Shellfish, red meat (only if you have gout)

Why they hurt: Gout results from the build-up of uric acid in the blood, which forms crystals that painfully settle in the joints.

Purine, a compound that’s abundant in shellfish, meats, high-fat dairy foods and beer, converts to uric acid. These foods are no-nos for people at risk for or suffering from gout: clams, oysters, mussels, anchovies, herring, mackerel, liver, brain, kidney and sweetbreads. (But is that last onereally a hardship?)

Swap them for: No more than 5-6 ounces of lean meat, poultry or fish a day. Need protein? Serve up some beans instead; they offer muscle-relaxing magnesium and bone-building calcium.

Bad food #2: Sunflower, safflower, corn and soybean oils
Why they hurt: They’re high in omega-6 fatty acids, which increase inflammation. Watch out: These oils are prevalent in U.S.-made baked goods and snacks.Swap them for: Switch to healthy olive or nut oils.Bad food #3: Sugar 

Why it hurts: Some studies suggest that sugar may increase inflammation. Although it offers a quick energy boost, the high doesn’t last, which can be a drag for arthritis sufferers who already suffer from fatigue.

Sugar is also high in calories, which leads to weight gain and added pressure on your joints.

Swap it for: An occasional sweet is fine, but most days enjoy the natural sweetness of fresh fruit instead. Aim for 2-4 half-cup servings a day.

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