Is Alternate-day Fasting Beneficial?

The obesity epidemic has spawned many novel approaches to weight loss. One such  increasingly popular approach today is alternate-day fasting. A randomized clinical trial of 100 obese, but healthy individuals, divided the participants into alternate-day fasting, daily caloric restriction, and a control group. At the end of one year weight loss in both treatment groups was about 5%, while…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Do Your Genes Make You Fat?

Many people who are overweight or obese often blame it on their genes. In a meta-analysis of nearly 10,000 subjects, researchers from England found even those with genetic risk factors for obesity respond as well as anyone else to diet and exercise. This data strongly suggests that obesity-linked genes do not affect the ability to lose weight.…

Read MoreLong right arrow

“Successful” MyFitnessPal Users

MyFitnessPal, a popular smartphone app with 150 million users, has released some interesting data about "successful users" who lost weight. All users ate similar amounts of carbs, fat and protein. However, the successful ones ate 29% more dietary fiber--but not near the recommended amount. Successful users also ate 11% less meat, 13% fewer eggs, but…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Knee OA Pain and Weight Loss

A community-based study found a clear dose-response relationship in symptom improvement in overweight and obese people suffering with knee osteoarthritis (OA). Each subject was likely to require referral to an orthopedic surgeon for possible knee joint replacement. Those who lost more than 10% of their body weight saw the greatest improvements in knee pain and…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Weight Gain in Pregnancy

Researchers have found more than 2/3 of pregnant women in the U.S. gain too much weight or too little weight during their pregnancy. Only 32% of pregnant ladies experienced appropriate weight gain, while 48% were excessive, and 20% were inadequate. Those obese or overweight before pregnancy had the highest risk of excessive gain, and those underweight…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Greater Fat Loss by Cutting Fats

A small study of body fat loss found cutting dietary fat lead to significantly more loss than cutting carbohydrates. All participants were fed a 5-day energy-balanced diet, then randomized to the two dietary groups for 6 days. Following a washout period, each group was crossed over to the other diet for 6 days. The low…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Thin Results for Weight Loss Programs

Researchers compared results from 45 commercial weight loss trials focused on 11 well-known programs (including Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, and SlimFast) with controls based on counseling and education. At one year, only Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers showed a very modest loss compared with controls. Structure and strong social support seem to be key ingredients…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Benefits of a Low-Carb Plant-based Diet

Researchers wanted to find a heart healthy alternative to the typical low-carb Atkins-style weight loss diets. This small, randomized, controlled trial used 23 participants. Those on a low-carb, plant-based diet lost 4 more pounds and had 10% lower LDL (bad cholesterol) than those on a high-carb, plant- based diet. Most low-carb diets increase the intake of…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Exercise Intensity and Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, both high and low-intensity workouts are beneficial. Researchers randomized 300 abdominally obese adults to four groups: controls maintained baseline activity level, low (30 minutes)-low (intensity) group, high-low exercise, and high-high exercise. Each exercise group received 5 weekly sessions of the assigned intervention. After 24 weeks all in the exercise groups had smaller…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Popular Diets May Waste Your Time

The American Heart Association systematically reviewed the impact of several popular diets on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors: Weight Watchers data showed modest weight loss in year one, but people regained weight later Atkins data was inconsistent South Beach was ineffective after 12 months Comparing all 4 diets found minimal differences in improving cardiovascular…

Read MoreLong right arrow