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With obesity rates continuing to rise in the United States, and with more than 40% of Americans reporting undesired weight gain since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are seeking tools to help them shed the extra pounds. While the focus on dieting and weight loss has historically been on what and how much to eat, many companies are now turning their attention to the why and how of our eating behaviors: they are taking a more nuanced approach to help people understand why they eat the way they do, and how to make improvements in their eating routine.

A search for "weight loss" in any web browser or app store reveals hundreds of apps and programs designed to help people lose weight. While by no means a comprehensive review, the following weight-loss apps and programs are notable for some of the nuances in the features and program options they offer:

A 2016 study of data analyzed from nearly 36,000 Noom users determined that 77.9% of participants reported a decrease in body weight while using the app, and 22.7% of users experienced greater than a 10% body weight reduction compared to their baseline weight.

WW was found to be more effective for sustained weight loss (up to 12 months) compared to physician counseling, professional behavioral programs, and other commercial programs.

A 2017 study of Eat Right Now demonstrated a 40% reduction in craving-related eating, which correlated with weight loss.

There is a plethora of data on the effectiveness of intermittent calorie-restricted eating, such as that recommended in Reset for effective weight loss and improved metabolism.

A 2018 study of Livongo participants demonstrated significant improvements in blood sugar and weight loss for participants with type 2 diabetes, with weight reduction proportionate to the level of coaching intensity.

These programs take a more holistic and mindfulness-based approach to weight loss, whereas traditional apps such as Lose It or MyFitnessPal tend to focus solely on food tracking. Rather than simply providing caloric and nutritional data, psychology-based tools seek to guide subscribers understanding of their own eating habits and behaviors, from the initial trigger to the craving that follows, to the ultimate result of eating a particular food or treat. The premise is that, if people can understand the cognitive processes that drive their eating behaviors, perhaps they can interrupt those processes and improve those behaviors.

The above-mentioned 2016 study of Noom users determined that certain factors were associated with better weight loss: male gender, younger age, higher baseline body mass index (BMI), higher weight input frequency, breakfast and dinner input frequency, and exercise input frequency.

Although you cant change your own personal demographics when embarking on a weight-loss plan, psychology-based weight-loss programs can provide you with some insight, structure, and accountability key advantages when it comes to weight-loss success.

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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Jun 22nd, 2021 | Filed under Weight Loss

Remember that you are worthy of your own love, no matter how you look or feel.

While most symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are invisible, weight loss is an extremely visible one that takes a physical and mental toll on those who experience it.

Maintaining adequate weight is often an ongoing challenge because weight can fluctuate easily in people with IBD. In a culture that praises smaller bodies, we are sometimes even complimented for weight loss, which is perceived as a sign of health, rather than a sign of a chronic invisible illness flaring.

Losing weight and struggling to maintain a healthy weight with IBD is something I worked to balance for many years. During that time, I lacked self-confidence and self-love.

Even at times when I felt really well, I could not get past a certain number on the scale. I often felt like I was disappearing into thin air. I felt bones that people are not supposed to feel because they are normally protected by fat, which was scary and unnerving.

However, I did manage to gain weight and keep it on long-term using the strategies outlined below.

The small intestine is where most of our nutrients from food are absorbed. Since the small intestine is involved with Crohns disease, this can be a significant hurdle to gaining and maintaining weight.

Even though ulcerative colitis (UC) is only in the large intestine, it does not mean that those with UC shouldnt focus on healing inflammation. Thats because inflammation can occur from gut permeability, bacterial and fungal overgrowths, food sensitivities, and more not just from inflammation directly from having IBD. Additionally, inflammation in the large intestine presents its own concerns.

The more inflammation you have, the more your body will struggle to absorb nutrients. That hurts your chances of achieving an adequate weight.

I saw improvements in my weight when I made my diet simple but nutrient-dense. I left out some of the fun gluten-free snacks I enjoyed and zeroed in on proteins, grass-fed butter and extra virgin olive oil, bone broth, teas, and herbs.

I even swapped out some of the products I used on my skin and in my home to eliminate them as a potential source of stress for my body.

To start healing inflammation, focus on eating an anti-inflammatory diet and incorporating the best foods for gut health.

In general, an anti-inflammatory diet is low in sugar and free of refined grains. The focus should be on whole foods like quality proteins, fats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds as tolerated, and water as the main source of hydration.

You may consider additional supplements like collagen, ginger, turmeric, tart cherry juice, and other foods or herbs that have been shown to improve inflammation.

Its important to evaluate what you are eating on a typical day and see how you can optimize the types and quantities of your food. Not eating enough macronutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, or fat, can be detrimental, especially if you are already underweight.

When youre looking to gain weight, its not the right time to cut any macronutrients (Im looking at you, keto.)

Try to prioritize whole-food macronutrients. What I mean is, pick sweet potatoes over bread. Choose chicken, beef, and fish over protein powders. Opt for extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed butter (if tolerated), and coconut oil over vegetable oils. This provides nutrients that are much more easily usable and have health benefits.

Give yourself a mental checklist and make sure there is always protein, fat, and carbohydrates on your plate. You may want to work with a dietitian or nutritionist to make sure your portions are adequate for your goals.

Some foods have more calories than others, which can be a great thing when you are trying to gain weight.

Fats have the most calories per gram compared to protein and carbohydrates. Foods with higher fat content like coconut, avocado, nuts and the products made from them are foods to consider daily.

Start to think about how you can add more of these high-calorie foods to your diet.

When I needed to gain and maintain weight, I was adding sliced avocado onto dishes, having smoothies in between meals, and snacking on rice cakes with nut butter.

An extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or slices of avocado will add up when you make these choices consistently.

These are just a handful of ways you can start including high-calorie (but still nutrient-dense) foods to your plate.

Its common for larger meals to cause gastrointestinal distress in IBD. Larger meals during the day could trigger diarrhea in some, which is not helpful for weight gain.

If you are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms while trying to gain weight, eating smaller meals and snacks throughout the day will likely feel better for you and not cause additional symptoms in the long run.

To ensure you have access to plenty of food options that you can reach for daily, buy and prepare some easy-to-grab foods. Some extra snacks I have stocked up on are:

Be sure to leave extra snacks where you work or wherever you spend time outside your home.

It can be hard to get in enough calories without feeling like youre eating all day long.

Not only that, but not everyones job or lifestyle can accommodate eating so frequently.

Thats where liquid nutrition can be a helpful supplement to support a nutrient-dense diet or to temporarily replace solid food when needed.

An important note: Do some research on liquid nutrition supplements before you buy or start incorporating them. Some popular liquid nutrition supplements on the market use poor ingredients. Remember, you want to heal inflammation at the same time as gain weight, so avoid things like corn fillers, vegetable oils, and artificial ingredients.

Use these as a supplement to your diet. They can be consumed in between meals, when you dont have the time to eat a full meal, or as a replacement for solid food to give your digestive system a break.

For so long, I did not move my body in a productive way. Aside from occasional short walks, exercise was not part of my lifestyle.

I was either too tired or afraid that the exercise would burn calories that I could not afford to lose. At that time, it did not occur to me that I should try exercising with intention.

Strength training helps build muscle, which will benefit your body composition goals. Additionally, it is important to maintain muscle mass, which being sedentary and having nutrient deficiencies puts you at risk for losing.

I did not start strength training with weights, and I dont recommend you do either if you are in or recovering from a flare or generally feel weak. Bodyweight exercises are great to start with and include in your routine down the line.

Try anything from lunges, squats, pushups, planks, and more. Start slow and gradually increase your reps as tolerated.

You dont need a lot of time to do these exercises. Start your day with some of these exercises or taking breaks during your workday and pumping out a few reps.

This is a more drastic option and considers your health and vitality in the big picture. You should consider the pros, cons, and state of your health.

I list this as an option because having a bowel resection surgery is what allowed me to make leaps and bounds with my weight and overall health.

How does this work? A surgeon will remove the parts of your intestine that have been scarred from inflammation and maybe other very inflamed areas. Without these compromised areas, you are able to absorb nutrients much easier and experience less pain.

For me, this was like being given a clean slate. I was able to gain weight and have maintained that weight more than 2 years into remission so far.

The surgery gave me other added benefits, like abundant energy and a reduction in symptoms.

Is bowel resection surgery right for you? This is a question you need to bring up with your doctor and discuss with a gastrointestinal surgeon. If you have a hard time getting out of flares, maintaining weight, or managing pain that interrupts your life daily, your doctors may feel this is a good option for you.

Keep in mind that every body and every case of IBD works differently. People gain and maintain weight in different capacities.

Weight gain also takes time, especially when youre working with inflammation and pain. Be gentle with yourself and your journey and reach out to your doctor and other health professionals that can guide and support you through this.

The most important thing I want you to take away is that you are worthy of your own love, no matter how you look or feel.

Looking back, I can see how I did not love myself in the times I really needed it. Have an appreciation for the challenges your body is pushing through and dont lose sight of what you can accomplish.

Alexa Federico is an author, nutritional therapy practitioner, and autoimmune paleo coach who lives in Boston. Her experience with Crohns disease inspired her to work with the IBD community. Alexa is an aspiring yogi who would live in a cozy coffee shop if she could! Shes the Guide in the IBD Healthline app and would love to meet you there. You can also connect with her on her website or Instagram.

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Jun 22nd, 2021 | Filed under Weight Loss

It's well established that coffee can add a boost to your metabolism, based largely on the fact that caffeine revs the body to help you burn more calories. However, it only makes sense that this depends on how you take your coffee (since a mocha Frappuccino with extra whipped is likely to counteract the effect you think?). It's worth checking out what a registered dietitian has just revealed as the coffee drink that's ideal for weight loss.

This week, Donald Mankiea registered dietitian at Florida's Sarasota Memorial Bariatric and Metabolism Centershared, via Sarasota Magazine, insights on whether coffee supports weight loss. Put simply, Mankie told the outlet that coffee "definitely" has the capability to stimulate metabolism. Read on to learn which coffee is great for losing weight, and sign up for the Eat This, Not That! newsletter for nutrition and wellness news you need.

RELATED:The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone To Take Right Now

In addition to giving you energy that can amp up exercise and more physical activity in general, Mankie attributed coffee's weight loss effect to a fascinating physiological process known as thermogenesis. (You can read more about that here.)

Coca-Cola with Coffee is just one of many examples of the fact that if a maker adds sugar to a coffee beverage for flavor, in terms of its affect on nutrition, it becomes more of a sweet treat than a coffee drink.

RELATED:20 Coffee Drinks with More Sugar Than a Can of Coke

A Dunkin's seasonal butter pecan iced coffee and Starbucks latest Frappuccinowith cakeare other prime examples.

According to Mankie, when it comes to shedding pounds, "Black coffee is the best way to go for weight loss." Mankie added that coffee "only contains two calories per serving" and contains Vitamin B12 and magnesium, both which some experts have credited with support in helping the body process food for fuel. But, of course, Mankie added, "The more sugar, cream or milk you add, the more calories you add." Noted.

RELATED:One Major Side Effect Eating Sugar Has on Your Heart, According To Experts

Some diets, like those that employ intermittent fasting, call for black coffee or sometimes plain black or green tea as the only beverages besides water to sip between meals. Coffee has been shown to hold down the appetite and keep the body energized when it's low on fuel from food, along with some other powerful benefits.

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Jun 22nd, 2021 | Filed under Weight Loss

I never ever thought that I could feel as healthy or as good as I do now. I mean, Ive been running 5Ks and 10Ks for the last two years and never in my life did I think Id be able to do that.

Cassandra Altringer of Killdeer, North Dakota, didnt always feel this good. Just a few short years ago, she weighed 302 lbs. Then she decided to make some changes.

I wanted to lose weight because I just felt crappy. I couldnt get below 228 [lbs.] on my own. For some reason I just couldnt do it, Altringer said. I had already switched my lifestyle. So I was measuring foods, I was eating healthier, I was exercising every day. When I had the surgery, actually now, I work out half the amount of time.

On May 13, 2019, Altringer had weight loss surgery performed at Sanford Health in Bismarck.

This is Cassies procedure: a sleeve gastrectomy, once again, done laparoscopically, so with small incisions and cameras, said Dr. Bree Dewing, a weight loss surgeon at Sanford Health in Bismarck. Basically what we do is separate a large portion of the stomach, which is removed, creating this narrow gastric pouch that helps patients feel full faster, and less hungry during the day.

Two years after her procedure, and the woman who once weighed over 300 lbs. now weighs almost half that 152 lbs. to be exact. And while the surgery helped lower her weight, she wants everyone to know it was not a cosmetic choice.

I think people dont understand that this is not a quick fix, Altringer said. What Ive noticed in the last year, especially, is that if Im not eating or on the ball like I usually am, or should be, my weight will go up within like a week or two.

Thats why Dr. Dewing says weight loss surgery is not a cure for obesity, but a tool to be used by those who have trouble getting below a BMI of 40, or a BMI of 35 with other illnesses, yet still adhere to a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

Cassie is definitely a superstar patient, said Dr. Dewing. This is just a classic example of when patients use the tool appropriately, how they can have really excellent results.

The first year after weight loss surgery is referred to as the golden period where its especially important for patients to develop healthy habits. Thats why Sanford offers support long after the procedure is complete, just like Dr. Dewing does with Cassandra.

I still ask her questions about, you know, my carbohydrates, how many calories I eat, is this okay? Is this okay for me to consume? Altringer said. So theyve really helped guide me as far as education goes and helping me stay on the ball, especially nutrition-wise.

Still, weight loss surgery isnt for everyone. Even Altringer says she waited until she felt she had enough information and was truly committed to change.

When you do it for the wrong reasons, youre not going to sustain that healthy lifestyle, you know? So Id say, especially to anyone thats considering it, it has to be something youre doing for you to feel better and be healthier. And if its not, then maybe its something you need to revisit. Because if I wouldve done the surgery two or three years before I did, I truly dont think I would have done well, and I do not think that emotionally I was in a spot in my life that I would have done as well as Im still doing now.

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Jun 22nd, 2021 | Filed under Weight Loss

Here's what's happening on the ranch: Ree Drummond, a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman, is living her best, healthiest life with Ladd and the kids. The blogger and cooking show host, 52, is opening up about her 43-pound weight loss journey on her website.

"I'm writing this not as a self-celebration (since it's still very recent, and since I'm still working on it), but (hopefully) as inspirationbecause as a 52-year-old lover of food and avoider of exercise, I just really want to share what worked for me," she wrote.

Ree got real with her readers about her health and fitness goals: "'Skinny' has not been my primary goal," she wrote. "What motivated me the most was just wanting to feel better and have more energy."

So, how exactly did she do it? Here are the 10 tips and tricks that helped Ree lose weight, build muscle, and see real results.

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Ree was honest when she told her readers that diets like Keto and intermittent fasting didn't work for her. Instead, she maintained a calorie deficit, meaning "I expended more calories (through exercise and just basic daily activity) than my body required to maintain my then-weight."

Ree said she used an online calculator to get a rough estimate of her daily calorie count and tried to undershoot it each day. "I'd completely lost track of the calories I was consuming on a daily basis, so it was very helpful to get a handle on what I was looking at," she said.

Ree also used a digital food scale to weigh everything she ate. "It really woke me up to the portions I had grown accustomed to eating!" she wrote. As she lost more weight and had a better idea of what portion sizes looked like, Ree stopped relying on the scale.

"I still ate good food," she said. "I just ate less of it, and I valued the calories more and made sure I ate things that offered more nutritional bang for the buck."

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Ree also said she made exercise part of her day-to-day. "I learned that making time each day to exercise simply had to be done," she wrote. She stopped letting her busy schedule get in the way and instead focused on small moments in her day when she could exercise, like walking her dogs.

"During the past few months, I just chose to be late on a deadline or put off work until the next day so that exercise could happen. It was a simple shift in mindset, but it was important!" she said.

Her favorite ways to get moving? Walking, using a rowing machine, and Pilates. "I exercised 6 days a week," she said. "Sometimes twice a day (morning walk, evening rowing machine), sometimes just once."

One of Ree's fitness goals included muscles, so she started building strength training into her workout routine. Ladd (her husband) helped her come up with a rotation of exercises that targeted Ree's legs and butt.

"I had zero strength in my lower body and my legs trembled and gave out," she said. "And I couldn't walk for the first few days!" But now, after lunging, squatting, and deadlifting for four days a week, Ree is seeing real improvement.

"It feels good (as someone who isn't a spring chicken) to actually see and feel new muscles in my bod," she said.

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Once she was comfortable with her calorie deficit, Ree also started tracking how much protein she was eating. "Turns out that on a typical day, I had been landing at around 15% to 20% of my calories from I pivoted and steered my eating so that I was around 30% to 40% protein," she wrote.

Some of her favorite new high-protein foods are low fat plain Greek yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, lean meats, fish, egg whites, and almonds.

Ree wanted to get the most out of the foods she was eating. "Most days, I made choices that didn't involve a lot of sugar," she said. "Over time, it really resulted in quite a reduction of wasted calories."

She still treated herself to a slice of cake every once in a while, "but the piece of cake was the size of Rhode Island instead of Texas."

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That's right: Ree went dry. She lists a few reasons for going booze-free. Alcohol is a bunch of empty calories, she reasoned and Ree wanted to give her body a break from drinking while she ramped up her daily exercise.

"Bottom line, I didn't drink a sip of alcohol for over four months," she said. Now, she still drinks occasionally, but she steers clear of high-calorie cocktails.

Ree also used Happy Scale, a weight-loss-tracking app that shows you your progress toward your goal weight. "It doesn't tell you how to lose weight, and it doesn't track calories, exercise, or anything other than your daily weigh-in," she said.

She says Happy Scale was a big part of her motivation. "It's not ideal if you just want to lose five or ten pounds, but since I had a larger target to hit, it was the right kind of tool for me," she wrote.

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The Pioneer Woman CooksSuper Easy!

As part of her plan to make exercise part of her daily routine, Ree set up a standing desk. "The sheer amount of time I had to be on the computer at my desk was shocking," she said. "I knew that would translate to a lot of sitting, so I dragged an old standing desk out of our mud room and stuck it squarely in our living room."

She says the desk helped remind her to take more breaks and move around throughout the day. "It made a huge difference," she said. Fun fact: Ree was writing another cookbook while losing the weight.

Ree says her journey won't be ending any time soon. "I'll keep weighing in every day to have all the information I need going forward, but the number isn't what I'm paying attention to now."

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Jun 22nd, 2021 | Filed under Weight Loss

If you're looking to lose weight , conventional wisdom for decades has been to eat less calories and to move more.But experts question this approach.

Increased high rates of chronic illness and obesity, which haven't budged despite efforts to help people eat less calories, suggests there is more to weight loss and health than caloric intake.

Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist and author of "Metabolical," a new book on the health risks of our industrialized food system, told Insider the calorie is an outdated and misleading concept for healthy eating.

Other nutrition experts, however, say it's a powerful tool for some people to take control of their health and to strengthen their relationship with food. While calories are a limited, sometimes inaccurate metric for assessing food, the tool can help people to understand what, and how much, they're eating.

Relying on calorie counts to manage weight and health is misleading, because it doesn't account for the damaging effect processed foods has on our bodies, according to Lustig.

"The entire disaster that we're dealing with is built on this notion that a calorie is a calorie.It's just not true," he told Insider.

Processed foods, particularly refined sugar, can damage cells and cause inflammation, which can to a whole host of potential health issues, Lustig said.

In contrast, whole foods like produce contain compounds that reduce inflammation and stave off oxidation and stress.

Both types of food may have the same number of calories, but dramatically different effects, making the concept of calories an unhelpful way to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy foods, according to Lustig.

Lustig argues that conventional science miscalculates how much energy we absorb from foods. During digestion, our bodies rely on beneficial bacteria, known as the gut microbiome, to help process nutrients. A portion of what we eat feeds these microscopic critters, helping them to thrive and keep us healthy.

"How do you know whether any individual molecule of nutrients is going to you or the bacteria?" Lustig said.

He compared it to "eating for two" while pregnant except in this case, each of us is eating for 100 trillion friendly bacteria in our gut.

While not all calories are equal from a health perspective, that's not a reasonto scrap the whole system,according to Layne Norton, a nutrition and fitness coach, bodybuilder, and power lifter with a PhD in nutrition.

"Calories are the same because calories are a unit of measurement. What is different is that sources of calories are not equal in how they affect energy intake and energy expenditure," he said.

For instance, a dieter might find that snacking on chips leaves them feeling hungry and tired, while the same amount of calories from chicken and broccoli is more filling and energizing. They can then change their habits accordingly.

One of the major advantages of calories, according to Norton, is that it offers a neutral way for people to measure and assess their food.Labeling foods as "good" or "bad" may be well intentioned, but it can backfire into excessive restriction and ultimately bingeing behavior, he said.

Calorie data, combined with other information about food, can help people make a more informed decision about what works best for their unique lifestyle and goals.

"This is the advice that no one wants to hear because it's not sexy: you should choose the diet that's easiest for you to sustain in the long term, and that depends on the individual," Norton said.

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Jun 22nd, 2021 | Filed under Weight Loss

With more than 50,000 dietary supplements on the market, you can just imagine how many of those are marketed as weight-loss products. It's a multi-billion-dollar industry. So, trying to find agreement on what the #1 best dietary supplement for weight loss is a toss-up.

Most weight-loss supplements contain such common ingredients as vitamins, minerals, caffeine, fiber, protein, herbs, and other plant compounds purported to burn fat, boost energy, build muscle, lower blood sugar or simply improve nutrition. Many nutritionists and other weight-loss experts have their favorite ingredients, while others think whole foods are the way to go. So, choosing the one pill, powder, gummy, or drink that may work best for you will require some trial and error. The #1 dietary supplement that works for others may not work for you, which is why it's important to peruse your optionsand talk to your doctorto make a decision that makes sense for your body.

Many nutritionists and weight-loss coaches sell their own formulations of their favorite ingredients or certain manufacturers' products; that alone should make you wary when considering weight-loss supplements recommended by them.

Recent studies have called the efficacy of weight-loss supplements into question, including a large review of 121 placebo-controlled trials of herbal and dietary supplements involving nearly 10,000 adults over 16 years presented recently at The European Congress on Obesity.

"Our rigorous assessment of the best available evidence finds that there is insufficient evidence to recommend these supplements for weight loss," said Erica Bessell, a practicing dietitian, PhD candidate from the University of Sydney in Australia, and lead investigator of the studies, in a statement. "Even though most supplements appear safe for short-term consumption, they are not going to provide weight loss that is clinically meaningful," she said.

A similar study published in the International Journal of Obesity Supplements in 2019 focused on efficacy and possible drug interactions of common ingredients used in dietary supplements. That research determined that the effectiveness of weight-loss dietary supplements "is still inconclusive and the cost of these products can be considerable." Study researchers concluded that "healthy diet and physical activity remain the first-line intervention for weight loss."

Here's what some dietitians and other nutrition coaches we surveyed recommend as the best supplements for weight loss. Then, be sure to read up on our list of 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.

The best way to ensure weight loss is getting enough dietary fiber from fruits and vegetables, says Morgyn Clair, RD, a nutritionist for Sprint Kitchen. Problem is, most people don't eat enough fiber-rich plants to get the recommended minimum of 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day, so she recommends supplementing.

"People can easily get this through an over-the-counter supplement like Benefiber," she says.

That product is made from a soluble fiber called Inulin (chicory root fiber). Another popular soluble fiber supplement, Metamucil, uses psyllium fiber. If you don't want to take a fiber supplement, you can boost your fiber intake by adding flax meal to your soups, salads, and smoothies. "It's an excellent source of fiber for those who have low fiber intake and it's tasteless," says Fiorella Di Carlo, RD, CDN, cooking video host of Living in Italian.

Related: Best Supplements for a Longer Life.

While most supplements produce mild results at best, a good multivitamin containing polyphenols that fight free radicals and support a healthy metabolism may help your weight loss efforts, says Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN, CEO of NY Nutrition Group, and one of our medical expert board members. She recommends a particular polyphenol multivitamin called Oh Grape by Groove.

"With 500 milligrams of resveratrol, this supplement offers antioxidant properties that fight against free radical damage, supports healthy hormone balanceespecially insulinand decreases inflammation in the body," Moskovitz says.

This supplement also contains 2,000 IU of vitamin D, which studies show can be directly linked to weight and metabolism and magnesium that may support blood sugar stabilization, appetite, and energy.

"Oh Grape also packs in vitamin C, which is not only supportive of the immune system but helps fight against inflammation in the body that along with other factors, can contribute to weight gain over time," she says.

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EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is a powerful catechin (natural flavonoid) found in green tea.

"EGCG supplements can help you burn more calorieseven at rest, and studies show the compound can result in weight loss," says nutrition counselor Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN with Zhou Nutrition.

She points to a study in the Journal of Nutrition that links drinking green tea with enhancing exercise to accelerate belly fat loss in obese adults.

Check out the #1 Best Green Tea to Drink, According to Experts.

Berberine is a chemical compound found in some plants that has been shown to help regulate blood sugar and blood fats so it is commonly taken for type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.

"It works in a variety of ways to help with weight lossminimizing absorption of carbs and sugars with food, helping reduce insulin spikes and activating AMP-activated protein kinase to support metabolism, which is why I use it in our Carb & Sugar Blocker supplement," says Stephanie Redmond, PharmD, CDCES, co-founder of

Some people who take berberine complain of stomach upset or constipation, but it's generally well tolerated, says Dr. Redmond, who notes that it can be used in combination with common type 2 diabetes medications such as metformin for added benefits since it works by a different mechanism.

"The best vitamins for increasing metabolism are those that work to help your body create energy from the food and nutrients you take in," says nutritionist Lisa Richards.

She recommends a B-complex supplement (which contains 8 B vitamins) to help your body metabolize stored carbohydrates and fat for fuel, aiding in weight loss and increasing metabolism.

"Magnesium and iron are two minerals used by the body to create energy from food," she says. "Taking these two supplements in the morning will help your body to use nutrients for energy rather than storing them as fat."

If you want to lose weight, "my tip is to get your gut health in order because it is at the core of all bodily functions involved with the process of weight loss;probiotics can help with this," says rheumatologist Anthony S. Padula, MD,at the Northern California Arthritis Center in Walnut Creek, CA.and a "Gut Council" member for JetsonProbiotics. "Your gut bacteria (your microbiome) can affect how you digest food, store fat and chemicals that make you feel full or hungry. Probiotic foods contain live strains of bacteria that increase the population of good bacteria in your digestive system, while prebiotic foods contain types of fiber that act as food for good bacteria. Both sources are designed to increase the number of bacteria in your gut and improve your microbiome."

The gut bacteria play many roles in both weight loss and weight gain, adds Trista Best, RD, MPH, a registered dietitian at Balance Once Supplements. "When gut bacteria is off the short-chain fatty acid production in the gut is amped up which triggers appetite hormone production." Probiotics in supplement form are living bacteria that provide countless health benefits when ingested, including improving appetite regulation, she says.

Inflammatory foods like fried and highly processed foods can trigger inflammation in the body, which can impair the ability of the hormone insulin to work properly. That often leads to insulin resistance, which in turn may cause higher blood sugar and fat accumulation in the liver. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to reduce inflammation.

"Turmeric can be an excellent addition to an existing weight-loss regimen due to its anti-inflammatory capabilities," says Best. It can be taken in either capsule or powder form.

Collagen peptides are very small pieces of protein from animal collagen. Studies have shown that this protein supplement can help us feel fuller longer, leading to fewer overall calories consumed throughout the day, says Mackenzie Burgess, RDN, a nutritionist and recipe developer at Cheerful Choices. "As a dietitian, one of my favorites to use is Naked Nutrition Collagen Peptides Protein Powder. I love how it contains only one ingredientbovine hide collagen peptidesand provides 9 grams of protein per scoop." She recommends adding it to coffee, a smoothie or overnight oats to pump up the protein and satiety effect.

Anxiety has been linked to weight gain because the stress hormone cortisol, which is released when you are tense, increases insulin levels, causing a blood sugar drop that triggers cravings for carbs and junk food. The problem with many weight loss supplements is that they are "fat burners and energy supplements, all of which cause a certain level of stress on our bodies and activate cortisol," says Jacyln Bauer, PhD, a clinical psychologist and founder of Virtue Supplements. Because she believes "the real reason someone can't lose weight is stress," Dr. Bauer developed a stress-relieving supplement that combines pharma-GABA, with lavender oil, lemon balm, flaxseed, and theanine, an amino acid with anti-stress effects that is found in green and black tea.

As we suggested earlier, the effectiveness of most weight-loss supplements has not been definitively proven. But that doesn't stop millions of people from buying them to hopefully boost their chances of slimming down. There is, however, one indisputable key to sustainable weight control: learning to eat right.

According to Medical News Today, supplements that help to suppress your appetite still don't teach you how to eat, so it's important to learn the proper healthy eating habitsfor weight loss instead of simply relying on supplements to do it for you.

This may help: Ways Intuitive Eating Can Help You Lose Weight, Say Dietitians.

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Jun 22nd, 2021 | Filed under Weight Loss

Weight loss: A few nutritional hacks can help you prevent skin issues during weight loss

If weight loss is not being done in the right manner, it can rob your face of that lovely glow that makes you look bright and happy. And nutritionist Pooja Makhija has said that it is common for people losing weight to also lose the glow on the face. However, the expert has said that there are simple ways to ensure that this does not happen. A few changes in diet can help keep your skin healthy when trying to lose weight. Here are some of these expert-recommended tips that can help you save your skin.

She explained that all you have to do is follow a few simple lifestyle tips. In a video titled "Steps to maintain your face glow during weight loss" shared on Instagram, the expert has elaborated on the "nutritional hacks" that are fundamental to any weight loss journey. In her first tip, she says, "Never forget water is the most important nutrient in any diet." She also advised viewers to stay away from very low-calorie diets as they cause "irreparable muscle and collagen loss."

Drinking enough amount of water is essential to maintain healthy skinPhoto Credit: iStock

With regard to diet, she asked viewers to include vegetable juice in their daily menu and also include some good fats such as coconut oil, nuts, seeds. She also warned them against exercising too much.

She added in the video, "Remember your skin is but a reflection of what your gut is from the inside. Eat with thought."

Also read:Post-Workout Meal: Nutritionist Shares Tips That Can Help You Make Right Food Choices

Watch the video here:

Also read:Weight Loss: Zero Equipment, Full Body Workout That You Can Perform Anytime, Anywhere

In the caption of the video, she further explained, " So many I know lose their charm and glow along with the weight they so badly want to lose. Healthy fat loss doesn't have to strip the face of its inherent glow and shine. If you use food intelligently it can help you lose unhealthy fat and, in fact, improve the quality of your skin and hair."

Also read:Is Blue Light Harmful To Your Skin? Dermatologist Shares Tips To Prevent Damage

Follow these tips and say hello to healthy skin and a healthy body weight.

(Pooja Makhija is a nutritionist, dietitian and author)

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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Jun 22nd, 2021 | Filed under Weight Loss

While the time-tested weight loss practices of diet and exercise see real results, some have tried to speed up the process by introducing some weight loss supplements into their regular eating plan. While these pills, shakes, teas, and more all claim they can help you trim down the fat, many of these products hide some unexpected side effects.

According to the Mayo Clinic, most of the products that claim to help you drop the pounds don't receive any kind of oversight from the FDA, meaning that the claims they make don't have any substantial value. Even if some of these supplements make bold claims, many of the tested weight-loss nutritional add-ins did not perform any better than placebos, making them utterly pointless to take.

While some supplements don't affect your overall physiology, others hide some seriously surprising side effects that you could never see coming. Here's what you need to know, then be sure to read our list of the 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.

If you have taken supplements in the past that can help speed up weight loss, you may have experienced digestive issues, bloating, or constipation. All of these expected consequences might not shock anyone who has some history of exploring these supplements. According to the Mayo Clinic, any kinds of weight loss supplements featuring the active ingredient orlistat commonly cause oily anal discharge. Be aware of this particularly unattractive side effect if you use products like Alli and keep an eye out for even more severe issues, like liver failure, associated with orlistat.

Related:Get even more healthy tips straight to your inbox by signing up for our newsletter.

No one can argue that stimulants can get your metabolism working and can help you burn off the pounds. While this kind of chemical helps jump start and weight loss goals, you can expect to feel severe bouts of anxiety, especially if you take high doses of this style of supplement. According to the National Institutes of Health, bitter orange, caffeine, the notorious weight loss stimulant ephedra, and more can seriously derail any weight loss goal thanks to this unexpected consequence. You can't help your body if you send your mind spiraling, so make sure to avoid this psychological side effect next time you search for weight loss aid.

If you want a way to boost your diet with some dietitian-approved add-ins without risking any strange side effects, check out the 4 Best Weight Loss Pills and Diet Supplements of 2020: Reviewed by the Experts.

When you want to get serious about weight loss, you might opt to go straight to your physician and request some prescription weight loss medication. These appetite suppressant pills have received the nod of approval from the FDA, but if you go this route, you might encounter a side effect you might never associate with supplementsinsomnia.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, a wide range of prescription appetite suppressant medications can severely affect your sleep cycle and keep you awake all night long. When you want to look and feel your best, you don't want to look like you haven't slept in days.

Don't take your good night's sleep for granted. If you have issues getting a quality night's rest, make sure to check out 20 Ways to Double Your Sleep Quality to get the most out of your bedtime.

When you think of vitamin D, you may not immediately associate it with weight loss, but this vitamin has somehow turned into a weight loss supplement. While the vitamin has no bearing on weight, some obese individuals have been found to lack the nutrient, causing several companies to use it as an active ingredient in their weight loss medications. If you take a supplement that relies on vitamin D, expect to experience arrhythmia, an unintended side effect you do not want to mess with.

When you want to look your best, nothing can put a damper on your image goals like developing kidney stones. Just like vitamin D, some intense dieters have made the flawed connection between calcium intake and losing weight. As a result, these individuals increase their supplements that contain the mineral, putting them at the direct risk of contracting kidney stones. No one wants to experience the pain of passing these calcium deposits, especially when calcium has no ties to weight loss. Avoid this unexpected side effect and avoid any calcium-based supplement masquerading as a weight loss solution.

If you want to up your calcium gains while avoiding kidney stones, make sure to indulge in The 20 Best Calcium-Rich Foods That Aren't Dairy.

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Jun 22nd, 2021 | Filed under Weight Loss

Its a well known fact that in order to lose weight, you have to be in a calorie deficit. This can be achieved in a number of ways, from slightly lowering your food intake, to making healthier eating choices, or even making small changes to your diet in combination with increased exercise. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine can boost your calorie expenditure, ultimately making it easier to maintain a deficit if you continue to eat your regular amount of calories while burning more in addition. This can come in the form of intense weight lifting, HIIT cardio, or even yoga.

But exercise isnt enjoyable for everyone, so its important to find little ways to increase your movement throughout the day which may be able to give you a leg up for weight loss without dedicating your busy day to working out. If you would rather simply increase your step count to create your calorie deficit for weight loss, a personal trainer weighs in on how many steps you should be aiming for, and the results you can expect in turn.

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First and foremost its important to remember that nutrition plays a major role in weight loss, and you simply cannot out-exercise a bad diet. A holistic approach to wellness is going to be one which sees you getting plenty of sleep, staying hydrated, and eating well in combination with your workout plan, so if you expect to see results, these other areas must stay in check as well. Once those aspects have been controlled, you can turn your attention to your steps.

If you really want to lose weight or body fat through walking at a moderate pace, then you should aim for around 10,000 to 12,500 steps per day. That amount of daily activity paired with a nutrient-dense diet will set you up for continued success on your weight loss journey, says fitness and nutrition coach, Ashlee Van Buskirk.

If walking is your preferred workout of choice, youll need to increase the intensity of your typical stroll to promote calorie burn and improve your cardiovascular health. To do this, Van Buskirk suggests keeping in mind your pace and incline for ramping up your basic walk. An elevated or brisk pace will increase your heart rate and help you burn more calories. Walking uphill will also add another layer to your walking workouts and contribute to greater weight loss too, she says.

Its worth noting that your regular walking throughout the day will likely not be enough to make a real impact on your appearance, and you will still have to carve out time in your day to hit your step goal, just like any other form of exercise.


Walking is a great way to increase your daily calorie burn, but there are other factors to keep in mind when assessing the ease of weight loss. From your body composition and genetics to your daily routine, responsibilities, and lifestyle, we are all very different from one another, says Van Buskirk. While the 10,000-12,500 steps per day is a good goal to make for your weight loss efforts, that doesn't mean you need to reach it every single day. Instead, find a number that works for your lifestyle and keeps you sane. That approach will be much more sustainable for your physical and mental health.

Keeping in this range is a great place to start as you ramp up your energy output for weight loss, but remember you may have to adjust and increase your steps as time goes on and your body grows used to walking as a form of exercise instead of simply getting you from point A to point B.

Finding a form of exercise that doesnt feel like a chore is one of the most effective ways to see visible weight loss results. While a more traditional route would be weight training or running, walking is also a perfectly valuable form of exercise which can allow you to achieve progress by simply increasing your daily step goal to 10,000-12,500 steps.

While it may take adjustment and you still need to be following a well-rounded diet in order to lose weight in a healthy way, boosting your step count is an easy and effective plan for walking off extra weight without ever stepping foot in the gym.

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Jun 22nd, 2021 | Filed under Weight Loss
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