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Support At Work Can Inspire Successful Weight Loss Results

Want Successful Weight Loss Results? Get Support At Work!

In an article by Marilyn Kennedy Melia in Philly.com, I read that the Tuft’s Energy Metabolism Laboratory at Tufts University, recently conducted a six month study on weight loss.  Specifically, they sent health professionals to conduct weekly or bi-weekly lunch hour sessions on hunger management and reduced calorie diets at two Boston area firms.

The researchers tracked 133 employees, with a third of them in a “control group”, from two other firms that didn’t receive the informational sessions at lunch hour.

On average, the weight loss was 18 pounds, which is about three times better than other workplace diet efforts, according to Susan Roberts, co-author of the study.  “This was different because we asked for volunteers for the study, other diet programs were given to all workers and we also had advice on behaviors,” says Roberts.  “At the end of the program, people were crying, saying it changed their life.”

Additionally, many workers who hadn’t volunteered also lost weight, inspired by their participating co-workers.

successful weight loss

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, that recently published the same study, it “demonstrates the first effective corporate weight loss program which combines nutritional counseling with behavioral change management.” says Norman Gorin, CEO of Wellesley, Mass, Instinct Health Science, which is planning to expand the program.

I urge all of you to start our weight loss program for greater success! -Dr. Sass

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Trouble sleeping linked to weight gain

Weight Gain Can Cause Sleeping Problems

CPAP - weight gainI read, recently, in a study out of the University of Colorado, that researchers found those who average only five hours of sleep, on a nightly basis, had weight gain of almost two pounds a week.  It’s not believed that sleep loss is the direct cause, but that insufficient sleep can lead to changes that will trigger the weight gain.

“Just getting less sleep, by itself, is not going to lead to weight gain,” said Kenneth Wright, PhD, director of CU-Boulder’s Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory in a press release.  “But when people get insufficient sleep, it leads them to eat more than they actually need.

Researchers evaluated 16 healthy young adults for about two weeks in a University of Colorado Hospital “sleep suite” which is a controlled environment for monitoring and studying sleep.

After three days of sleeping approximately nine hours a night and consuming an average number of calories, they were split into two groups:  One group continued with the nine hours or sleep, while the other reduced theirs to five.  After five days, the groups switched their sleep schedules and were observed for another five days.

Although both groups had identical access to food, those who were sleeping only five hours a night were found to consume an average of six percent more calories.  A great number of these calories came from snacking and the lighter sleepers consumed more of their calories snacking than at any single meal.

Sleep Restriction = Weight Gain

“When people are sleep-restricted, our findings show they eat during their biological nighttime when internal physiology is not designed to be taking in food,” said Wright.

This study shows that fewer hours of sleep seem to have a notable effect on eating habits and weight gain.  It appears that self-awareness, an important quality to a healthy eater, is lessened with a lack of sleep.  Proper diet and rest have been the mantra of many health professionals over the years.  According to this research, healthy sleep habits deserve top billing, right up there, next to Smart food choices like Smartforlife®.

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4 Ways to Build Your Willpower for Successful Weight Loss

Build Your Willpower For Weight Loss Success

I recently read an article by Jennifer Cohen in Forbes Magazine.  In it she explains that you must train and build your willpower if you want it to serve you in your weight loss journey. Studieshave shown that the brain has limited power to make decisions, and that minor decisions add up throughout the day, eventually depleting your reserves and undermining your efforts.  This can lead to stress-eating and other poor decisions.  The advice is to make it easier on yourself by incrementally increasing your willpower strength by taking the following steps:

4 Ways To Build Your Willpower

1.  Call in positive reinforcements. Routine wins out 99% of the time, so build a consistent routine that will become a part of your life within 4 weeks.  Eventually, these tasks of working out and eating right are enjoyable and you’ll feel weird if you go against them.

build your willpower2.  Write down everything. Self awareness is key to changing a habit.  One study by Kaiser Permanente found that people who wrote down everything they ate doubled their weight loss.  Avoid or limit alcohol and get plenty of rest to keep a keen level of self-awareness.  If you are using Smart for Life products, this part is easy.

Click To Download Free Food Tracker

3.  Set realistic goals. Don’t set yourself up for failure.  Keep goals within reach.  Set short and long term goals and build gradually toward a routine of good habits.  According to Dr. Kevin Hall, a doctor at the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the gradual changes may be more effective than a sudden change.

4.  Relax. Stress depletes your willpower reserves.  Take the effort of decision out of your day by scheduling your routine and following it.  Plan your meals, schedule workouts with a friend.  When the decisions are already made, you won’t deplete your brain power.

Keep a positive attitude.  Experiment and find out what works best for you to build your willpower.  Stay tuned in to various sources for the latest in weight loss research…knowledge is key!

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Weight Loss Drugs Wreak Havoc on Liver and Kidneys

Weight Loss Drugs Can Kill You

weight loss drugsIt’s recently come to my attention that a study at the University of Rhode Island, funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) found that Alli (the over-the-counter name) also known as Orlistat or the prescription brand name Xenical is a weight loss drug that can cause “severe toxicity”.  Orlistat, even in low doses, limits the function of key enzymes which are important in detoxifying the liver, kidneys, and the entire gastrointestinal tract which can result in severe toxicity of internal organs.

Continuing in this article, written by Dr. Dale Brown for the Maximized Living Health Center, Marathon Chiropractic, researchers reported that this drug causes cancer cells to multiply faster and that Orlistat also increases the anti-clotting effects of aspirin which raises the possibility of internal and external bleeding.

Other weight-loss stimulants speed up metabolism but can cause strokes, heart attacks and cardiovascular problems.  The list of dangerous drugs in this category are long: Meridia (heart attacks, strokes) Fen-phen (heart risk), Rimonabant (suicidal thoughts), Ephedra (heart attacks, strokes).

Weight Loss Drugs Have Massive Health Risk

Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of the Health Research Group has said that, “the possibility that the drug will only do the good things like lose weight and not have myriad effects on the body-is zero.”

Drugs are simply not the healthy answer to your weight loss concerns.  Significant changes in diet and life style are needed to make the transition to a healthy body weight and the preferred amount of activity that will truly make a difference toward a healthier you.

Stay away from weight loss drugs. Do your research, make your plan, and stick to it! Join our great health programs at SmartforLife® today for best results the HEALTHY way! -Dr. Sass

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Obesity Rivals Smoking as Major Health Risk

Obesity – Major Health Risk

obesity - major health riskRecently, I came across a report published in the American Journal of Medicine. It reports that obesity is becoming a major health risk and global epidemic that is comparable to cigarette smoking in its level of hazardous effect.  He notes that obesity is the leading avoidable cause of type 2 diabetes in the U.S. which is on the rise, globally, as well.  Hennekens has published these findings with co-author Felicia Andreotti, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine at Catholic University in Rome, Italy.

“I am deeply concerned that the United States is the fattest society in the world and likely to be the fattest in the history of the world.” said Hennekens.  “Unfortunately, most people prefer prescription of pills to proscription of harmful lifestyles.  I am, however, optimistic that weight loss of 5 percent or more combined with a brisk walk for 20 or more minutes daily will significantly reduce cardiovascular and total deaths.”

Hennekens continues to explain that this generation of adolescents are more obese and less physically active than their parents and are already showing higher rates of type 2 diabetes thus under a major health risk.  The current generation of children and adolescents in the U.S. are likely to be the first since 1960 to have higher mortality rates than their parents.

As this type of report hits home with all of us; now, more than ever before, we need to be teaching our children (and re-training ourselves) to be our own best advocates of a healthy diet and more active lifestyle.  It may seem like a huge task, but every positive change you embrace is an investment in your future, and theirs. -Dr. Sass

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Unforeseen Updates on Weight Loss Research

Weight Loss Research On Obesity

For decades, we’ve been doing weight loss research to find solutions to obesity and we are still a considerable distance from knowing what works best.

I just read that a paper was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, examining long-held advice about weight control.  The authors concluded that some of this advice is not supported by science.

Previously, small changes in behavior were considered to be able to produce great change, over time.  Since these long-term plans don’t factor in that as you lose weight, you require a reduction in calories to maintain your new, smaller size, it was surmised that small changes really can’t be expected to have the effect once promised.

Weight-Loss-Research-Infographic

It was believed that losing a large amount of weight quickly would not be as effective as a slower, gradual loss.  The authors cited research suggesting that there’s really no significant difference between the fast vs. slow approach.

It was once considered important to set moderate, realistic goals to avoid the frustration of failure.  On the contrary, they cited examples where bigger goals reaped bigger results.

What can we take away from this?

Nutrition science is ever-evolving.  Make it your priority to rely on the latest research and tailor your findings to best serve your unique circumstances.

In other words, be smart,  Smart for Life. Get started today with our world-class weight loss products. -Dr. Sass

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Government Now Stepping In and Urging Doctors To Screen For Obesity

The Need To Screen For Obesity

screen for obesity

A few weeks ago, a government health task force has urged doctors to screen for obesity, renewing the call.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force called for every adult to be screened for obesity duringcheckups, including calculating body-mass index (BMI) for each patient.  Obese patients should be referred to intensive nutrition and fitness help, says the panel, instead of just being directed to go on a diet.

Two-thirds of American adults are either overweight or obese. About 17 percent of children and adolescents are obese and on track for diabetes, heart disease or other health problems.

Few doctors are trained to treat obesity, they’re discouraged by yo-yo dieting but they don’t know what to advise, says Dr. Glen Stream, President of the Physicians’ Group.  His Spokane, Wash., practice uses electronic medical records that automatically calculate BMI when a patient’s height and weight is entered.

“Our American culture is always looking for an easy fix, a pill for every problem,” Stream says. “The updated recommendation is important because it makes clear exactly what doctors should do to help.”

The task force concluded high-intensity behavioral interventions are the best non-surgical advice for the obese, citing insufficient evidence about lasting effects from weight-loss medications.

The task force says a good program:

-Includes 12 to 26 face-to-face meetings over a year, most in the first few months.
-Makes patients set realistic weight-loss goals. Losing just 5 percent of your initial weight — 10 pounds for a 200-pound person — can significantly improve health.
-Analyzes what blocks each patient from reaching those goals. Do they eat high-calorie comfort foods to deal with depression? Spend too much time at a desk job?
-Tailors ways to help people integrate physical activity into their daily routine.
-Requires self-monitoring, such as a food diary or a pedometer to track activity.

Medicare Now Pays For A Screen For Obesity

Last year, Medicare started paying primary care doctors for a screen for obesity and weight-loss counseling for seniors for a year, including weekly meetings for the first month.

By the numbers: A normal BMI is less than 25. Obesity begins at 30.  In between is considered overweight. To calculate yours: http://smartforlife.wpengine.com/bmicalculator.aspx.

The Smart for Life® Cookie Diet makes losing weight and keeping it off a lifestyle you can live with.  A healthy and nutritious success you can enjoy! -Dr. Sass

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Spoiling Your Grandkids Is Normal But Please Keep It Healthy!

Spoil The Grandkids, But Keep It Healthy

keep it healthyJunk food is now everywhere on our planet.  High in calories but low in nutritional value, junk food is available in the most unlikely places:  museums, cruise ships, city parks, and school hallway vending machines.  It is inescapable in grocery stores and fast-food restaurants.

In all children 12-18 years old, critical growth, bond building and amassing of nutrients such as calcium are taking place.  Your grandchild’s body will never be as efficient at performing those functions to ensure a healthy future as it is while they are teens.  Eating large amounts of junk food has far-reaching consequences.  Here are just a few:

-Teens have greater access to junk food and more control over how they spend money than your younger grandchildren.  Teens who fill up on empty calories will have less appetite for a nutritious main meal, and it’s unlikely they are taking in all the nutrients necessary for growth and development.  Key nutrients such as calcium from dairy and protein from meats help bones and muscles strengthen and grow.
-Teens who don’t consume enough of the needed nutrients tend to feel fatigued and can’t keep it healthy.  This can lead to poor concentration and test performance.  Instead, encourage them to eat “brain foods” such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables and dairy foods that are rich in vitamin D and calcium.
-Weight gain is a consequence of regularly consuming high-fat, high-sugar and high-calorie junk food.  Kids who become overweight or obese during adolescence are likely to maintain an unhealthy weight as adults, with associated healthy consequences that include heart disease, diabetes, joint problems, poor self-esteem and even cancer.  By encouraging healthy food choices during your grandchild’s teenage years, you can give them a higher chance of a healthy adult life.

Tips To Keep It Healthy

Tips to help your teen grandchild eat more healthfully:

  1. If you must have fast-food, choose a fast-food restaurant that offers healthier choices.  And no matter where you are, opt for food and beverages that are high in nutrients.  Avoid sweetened beverages and fried foods.  Good choices include: freshly squeezed orange juice, whole-wheat bagel, bean burrito, pizza topped with veggies, grilled chicken sandwich on a whole grain bun.
  2. Look for products low in sugar, high fructose corn syrup, refined grains and partially hydrogenated oils.  Choose a 100 percent whole-wheat cracker made with canola oil, for example or snack on a cheeses and fruit plate instead of a bowl of cheese puffs.
  3. Limit TV viewing when the grandkids visit.  Certain shows seem to attract more junk food commercials than others, so you might want to discourage your grandkids from watching these shows.
  4. Smart for Life has a terrific Kid’s Program that makes it easier and convenient to keep it healthy and delicious tasting snacks!

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Can a diet in high-fructose corn syrup make you “dumb”?

What Is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)?

Though we may not have fully come to terms with it, in theory we know that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is an adversary of health.  Lots of work has been done looking at the effect of fructose on weight, liver function, diabetes risk, and even the growth of cancer cells.  But not much has been looked at the role of fructose in brain function, until now.  Researchers have just reported that among the list of bodily illnesses fructose contributes to, it  may also “make you dumb.”  Luckily, eating a diet rich in the healthy omega-3 fatty acids seems to counteract this phenomenon.

High-Fructose-Corn-Syrup_infographic

In the new study, UCLA researchers had rats spend a few days learning to navigate a maze. Then some of the rats ate diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids or deficient in them; some rats also drank a fructose solution in the place of their regular drinking water. After six weeks on their respective diets, the team put the rats back in the maze to see how well they recalled it.

High Fructose Corn Syrup Affects You In Many Negative Ways

The rats that had eaten omega-3-deficient diets were slower at completing the maze than the ones who ate diets rich in omega-3s. Those who drank the fructose solution instead of water were the worst-off of all when it came to their cognitive capabilities.

The rats also had important differences in how their bodies – and brains – were metabolizing sugar and functioning overall. The rats that had eaten diets without omega-3s had higher triglyceride levels as well as higher glucose and insulin levels. In fact the rats seemed to enter a state of insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes), but this too was reversed by the addition of omega-3s.

Perhaps most interesting was the fact that the brains of rats without omega-3s showed a decrease in synaptic activity, the means by which brain cells “talk” to one another and which is critical in learning and memory. “The DHA-deprived animals were slower,” said study’a author, Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, “and their brains showed a decline in synaptic activity. Their brain cells had trouble signaling each other, disrupting the rats’ ability to think clearly and recall the route they’d learned six weeks earlier.”

Insulin influences not only blood sugar, but it also affects the ways in which brain cells function. So being in a state of insulin-resistance might be what’s behind the problems in brain function. Gomez-Pinilla suggests that fructose might somehow block insulin’s effect on brain cells, and specifically how it signals neurons to store and release the sugar that is needed for the brain to function efficiently – and for us to think crisply and clearly.

The study also points to the fact that metabolic syndrome, which is plaguing so many Americans these days, can also adversely affect our cognitive abilities.

The important thing to remember is that not all fructose is created equal. “We’re not talking about naturally occurring fructose in fruits, which also contain important antioxidants,” explained Gomez-Pinilla. “We’re more concerned about the fructose in high-fructose corn syrup, which is added to manufactured food products as a sweetener and preservative.”

Luckily, omega-3s seem to counteract the effect of fructose in part, although it’s probably a good idea to cut down on highly processed, high-fructose foods in the first place. And since our bodies are not very good producers of DHA and EPA, taking in the healthy fatty acids through diet or supplements may also be wise. The best sources of DHA/EPA are cold-water fish like tuna and salmon, and for the vegetarians out there, these forms may also be found in seaweed and algae (in small amounts), or in concentrated seaweed/algae supplements.  Gomez recommends consuming about one gram of DHA every day.

The bottom line is that omega-3s may protect our brains – not just now, but in the years to come. “Our findings suggest that consuming DHA regularly protects the brain against fructose’s harmful effects,” said Gomez-Pinilla. “It’s like saving money in the bank. You want to build a reserve for your brain to tap when it requires extra fuel to fight off future diseases.”

Remember that Smart for Life® products contain no sugar alcohols or high fructose corn syrup and are made with natural ingredients that are 60% organic.  I created Smart for Life products to keep your body in a low glycemic index, which in turn keeps your sugar and insulin low, in a fat burning no- hunger zone.

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Dr. Sass

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