Can eating Spinach curb your appetite & make you lose weight? absolutely!!

A spinach extract containing green leaf membranes called thylakoids decreases hedonic hunger with up to 95% -- and increases weight loss with 43%. This has been shown in a recently published long-term human study at Lund University in Sweden.

Hedonic hunger is another term for the cravings many people experience for unhealthy foods such as sweets or fast food, a common cause of obesity and unhealthy eating habits. The study shows that taking thylakoids reinforces the body's production of satiety hormones and suppresses hedonic hunger, which leads to better appetite control, healthier eating habits and increased weight loss.

"Our analyses show that having a drink containing thylakoids before breakfast reduces cravings and keeps you feeling more satisfied all day," says Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson, Professor of Medicine and Physiological Chemistry at Lund University.

The study involved 38 overweight women and ran for three months. Every morning before breakfast the participants had a green drink. Half of the women were given 5 grams of spinach extract and the other half, the control group, were given a placebo. The participants did not know which group they belonged to -- the only instructions they received were to eat a balanced diet including three meals a day and not to go on any other diet.

"In the study, the control group lost an average of 3.5 kg while the group that was given thylakoids lost 5 kg. The thylakoid group also found that it was easier to stick to three meals a day -- and they did not experience any cravings," said Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson.

The key is the feeling of satiety and suppression of hedonic hunger, vs homeostatic hunger that deals with our basic energy needs. Modern processed food is broken down so quickly that the hormones in the intestines that send satiety signals to the brain and suppress cravings cannot keep up. The green leaf membranes slow down the digestion process, giving the intestinal hormones time to be released and communicate to the brain that we are satisfied.

"It is about making use of the time it takes to digest our food. There is nothing wrong with our digestive system, but it doesn't work well with the modern 'pre-chewed' food. The thylakoids extend digestion, producing a feeling of satiety. This means that we are able to stick to the diet we are meant for without snacks and unnecessary foods like sweets, crisps and such," says Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson.


is there a link between Obesity and cancer?

Obesity has been linked to increased risk for over a dozen different types of cancer, as well as worse prognosis and survival. Over the years, scientists have identified obesity-related processes that drive tumor growth, such as metabolic changes and chronic inflammation, but a detailed understanding of the interplay between obesity and cancer has remained elusive.

Now, in a study in mice, Harvard Medical School researchers have uncovered a new piece of this puzzle, with surprising implications for cancer immunotherapy: Obesity allows cancer cells to outcompete tumor-killing immune cells in a battle for fuel.

Reporting in Cell on Dec. 9 2020, the research team shows that a high-fat diet reduces the numbers and antitumor activity of CD8+ T cells, a critical type of immune cell, inside tumors. This occurs because cancer cells reprogram their metabolism in response to increased fat availability to better gobble up energy-rich fat molecules, depriving T cells of fuel and accelerating tumor growth.

"Putting the same tumor in obese and nonobese settings reveals that cancer cells rewire their metabolism in response to a high fat diet," said Marcia Haigis, professor of cell biology in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS and co-senior author of the study. "This finding suggests that a therapy that would potentially work in one setting might not be as effective in another, which needs to be better understood given the obesity epidemic in our society."

The team found that blocking this fat-related metabolic reprogramming significantly reduced tumor volume in mice on high-fat diets. Because CD8+ T cells are the main weapon used by immunotherapies that activate the immune system against cancer, the study results suggest new strategies for improving such therapies.

"Cancer immunotherapies are making an enormous impact on patients' lives, but they do not benefit everyone," said co-senior author Arlene Sharpe, the HMS George Fabyan Professor of Comparative Pathology and chair of the Department of Immunology in the Blavatnik Institute.

"We now know there is a metabolic tug-of-war between T cells and tumor cells that changes with obesity," Sharpe said. "Our study provides a roadmap to explore this interplay, which can help us to start thinking about cancer immunotherapies and combination therapies in new ways."

Haigis, Sharpe and colleagues investigated the effects of obesity on mouse models of different types of cancer, including colorectal, breast, melanoma and lung. Led by study co-first authors Alison Ringel and Jefte Drijvers, the team gave mice normal or high-fat diets, the latter leading to increased body weight and other obesity-related changes. They then looked at different cell types and molecules inside and around tumors, together called the tumor microenvironment.

Fatty paradox

The researchers found that tumors grew much more rapidly in animals on high-fat diets compared to those on normal diets. But this occurred only in cancer types that are immunogenic, which can contain high numbers of immune cells; are more easily recognized by the immune system; and are more likely to provoke an immune response.

Experiments revealed that diet-related differences in tumor growth depended specifically on the activity of CD8+ T cells, immune cells that can target and kill cancer cells. Diet did not affect tumor growth rate if CD8+ T cells were eliminated experimentally in mice.

Strikingly, high-fat diets reduced the presence of CD8+ T cells in the tumor microenvironment, but not elsewhere in the body. Those remaining in the tumor were less robust -- they divided more slowly and had markers of decreased activity. But when these cells were isolated and grown in a lab, they had normal activity, suggesting something in the tumor impaired these cells' function.

The team also encountered an apparent paradox. In obese animals, the tumor microenvironment was depleted of key free fatty acids, a major cellular fuel source, even though the rest of the body was enriched in fats, as expected in obesity.

These clues pushed the researchers to craft a comprehensive atlas of the metabolic profiles of different cell types in tumors under normal and high-fat diet conditions.

The analyses revealed that cancer cells adapted in response to changes in fat availability. Under a high-fat diet, cancer cells were able to reprogram their metabolism to increase fat uptake and utilization, while CD8+ T cells did not. This ultimately depleted the tumor microenvironment of certain fatty acids, leaving T cells starved for this essential fuel.

"The paradoxical depletion of fatty acids was one of the most surprising findings of this study. It really blew us away and it was the launch pad for our analyses," said Ringel, a postdoctoral fellow in the Haigis lab. "That obesity and whole-body metabolism can change how different cells in tumors utilize fuel was an exciting discovery, and our metabolic atlas now allows us to dissect and better understand these processes."

Hot and cold

Through several different approaches, including single-cell gene expression analyses, large-scale protein surveys and high-resolution imaging, the team identified numerous diet-related changes to metabolic pathways of both cancer and immune cells in the tumor microenvironment.

Of particular interest was PHD3, a protein that in normal cells has been shown to act as a brake on excessive fat metabolism. Cancer cells in an obese environment had significantly lower expression of PHD3 compared to in a normal environment. When the researchers forced tumor cells to overexpress PHD, they found that this diminished a tumor's ability to take up fat in obese mice. It also restored the availability of key free fatty acids in the tumor microenvironment.

Increased PHD3 expression largely reversed the negative effects of a high-fat diet on immune cell function in tumors. Tumors with high PHD3 grew slower in obese mice compared to tumors with low PHD3. This was a direct result of increased CD8+ T cell activity. In obese mice lacking CD8+ T cells, tumor growth was unaffected by differences in PHD3 expression.

The team also analyzed human tumor databases and found that low PHD3 expression was associated with immunologically "cold" tumors, defined by fewer numbers of immune cells. This association suggested that tumor fat metabolism plays a role in human disease, and that obesity reduces antitumor immunity in multiple cancer types, the authors said.

"CD8+ T cells are the central focus of many promising precision cancer therapies, including vaccines and cell therapies such as CAR-T," Sharpe said. "These approaches need T cells to have sufficient energy to kill cancer cells, but at the same time we don't want tumors to have fuel to grow. We now have amazingly comprehensive data for studying this dynamic and determining mechanisms that prevent T cells from functioning as they should."

More broadly, the results serve as a foundation for efforts to better understand how obesity affects cancer and the impact of patient metabolism on therapeutic outcomes, the authors said. While it's too early to tell if PHD3 is the best therapeutic target, the findings open the door for new strategies to combat cancer through its metabolic vulnerabilities, they said.

"We're interested in identifying pathways that we could use as potential targets to prevent cancer growth and to increase immune antitumor function," Haigis said. "Our study provides a high-resolution metabolic atlas to mine for insights into obesity, tumor immunity and the crosstalk and competition between immune and tumor cells. There are likely many other cell types involved and many more pathways to be explored."

Additional authors on the study include Gregory Baker, Alessia Catozzi, Juan García-Cañaveras, Brandon Gassaway, Brian Miller, Vikram Juneja, Thao Nguyen, Shakchhi Joshi, Cong-Hui Yao, Haejin Yoon, Peter Sage, Martin LaFleur, Justin Trombley, Connor Jacobson, Zoltan Maliga, Steven Gygi, Peter Sorger and Joshua Rabinowitz.

This study was supported by the National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (grants U54-CA225088, R01CA213062, R01DK103295, P01AI56299, 5F31CA224601 and T32CA207021), the Ludwig Center at Harvard Medical School, the Evergrande Center for Immunologic Disease, the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research and the American Cancer Society.


How dangerous is belly fat?

If your waist measures 35 or more inches for women or 40 or more inches for men, chances are you’re harboring a potentially dangerous amount of abdominal fat.

If you do nothing else today to protect your health, consider taking an honest measurement of your waist. Stand up straight, exhale (no sucking in that gut!) and with a soft tape measure record your girth an inch or two above your hip bones.

The result has far greater implications than any concerns you might have about how you look or how your clothes fit. In general, if your waist measures 35 or more inches for women or 40 or more inches for men, chances are you’re harboring a potentially dangerous amount of abdominal fat.

Subcutaneous fat that lurks beneath the skin as “love handles” or padding on the thighs, buttocks or upper arms may be cosmetically challenging, but it is otherwise harmless. However, the deeper belly fat — the visceral fat that accumulates around abdominal organs — is metabolically active and has been strongly linked to a host of serious disease risks, including heart disease, cancer and dementia.

You don’t even have to be overweight or obese to face these hazards if you harbor excess fat inside your abdomen. Even people of normal weight can accumulate harmful amounts of hidden fat beneath the abdominal wall. Furthermore, this is not fat you can shed simply by toning up abdominal muscles with exercises like situps. Weight loss through a wholesome diet and exercise — activities like walking and strength-training — is the only surefire way to get rid of it.

Until midlife, men usually harbor a greater percentage of visceral fat than women do, but the pattern usually reverses as women pass through menopause. Few females seem to escape a midlife waistline expansion as body fat redistributes and visceral fat pushes out our bellies.

Here’s why visceral fat cells are so important to your well-being. Unlike the cells in subcutaneous fat, visceral fat is essentially an endocrine organ that secretes hormones and a host of other chemicals linked to diseases that commonly afflict older adults. One such substance is called retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) that was found in a 16-year study of nurses to increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease. This hazard most likely results from the harmful effects of this protein on insulin resistance, the precursor to Type 2 diabetes, and development of the metabolic syndrome, a complex of cardiac risk factors.

The Million Women Study conducted in Britain demonstrated a direct link between the development of coronary heart disease and an increase in waist circumference over a 20-year period. Even when other coronary risk factors were taken into account, the chances of developing heart disease were doubled among the women with the largest waists. Every additional two inches in the women’s waist size raised their risk by 10 percent.

Cancer risk is also raised by belly fat. The chances of getting colorectal cancer were nearly doubled among postmenopausal women who accumulate visceral fat, a Korean study found. Breast cancer risk increases as well. In a study of more than 3,000 premenopausal and postmenopausal women in Mumbai, India, those whose waists were nearly as big as their hips faced a three- to four-times greater risk of getting a breast cancer diagnosis than normal-weight women.

A Dutch study published last year linked both total body fat and abdominal fat to a raised risk of breast cancer. When the women in the study lost weight — about 12 pounds on average — changes in biomarkers for breast cancer, like estrogen, leptin and inflammatory proteins, indicated a reduction in breast cancer risk.

Given that two-thirds of American women are overweight or obese, weight loss may well be the single best weapon for lowering the high incidence of breast cancer in this country.

Perhaps most important with regard to the toll on individuals, families and the health care system is the link between abdominal obesity and risk of developing dementia decades later. A study of 6,583 members of Kaiser Permanente of Northern California who were followed for an average of 36 years found that those with the greatest amount of abdominal obesity in midlife were nearly three times more likely to develop dementia three decades later than those with the least abdominal fat.

Having a large abdomen raised dementia risk in the women even if they were of normal weight overall and lacked other health risks related to dementia like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Among other medical problems linked to abdominal fat are insulin resistance and the risk of Type 2 diabetes, compromised lung function and migraine headaches. Even asthma risk is raised by being overweight and especially by abdominal obesity, a study of 88,000 California teachers found.

Over all, according to findings among more than 350,000 European men and women published in The New England Journal of Medicine, having a large waist can nearly double one’s risk of dying prematurely even if overall body weight is normal.

All of which raises the question: How best to shed abdominal fat and, even more important, how to avoid accumulating it in the first place?

You have to work at it. And that means avoiding or drastically limiting certain substances in your diet, controlling overall caloric intake and engaging in exercise that burns calories.

Perhaps the worst offender is sugar — all forms and especially fructose, which makes up half of sucrose and 55 percent of high-fructose corn syrup. One of the best ways to reduce your sugar intake is to stop drinking sodas and other sweet drinks, including fruit juices. Limiting alcohol, which may suppress fat-burning and add nutritionally empty calories, and avoiding refined carbohydrates like white bread and white rice are also helpful.

Make sure your diet contains adequate amounts of protein and dietary fiber, including vegetables, beans and peas and whole grains.

Get enough sleep — at least seven hours a night. In a study of 68,000 women followed for 16 years, those who slept five hours or less were a third more likely to gain 32 pounds.

Phentermine will curb your appetite and help you lose weight

Finally, move more. In a major national study, inactivity was more closely linked to weight gain and abdominal obesity than caloric intake.



14 Steps to a Healthy Lifestyle

14 Steps to a Healthy Lifestyle

It’s a common myth that getting fit is only about eating healthy and exercising. In reality, creating a healthy lifestyle and maintaining it isn’t about just those two factors—it’s also about being able to keep a positive attitude, strong mental health and a healthy self-image. Although there is a ton of advice out there on how to achieve a healthy lifestyle, here are some key factors to keep in mind:

1. Drink more water. Most of us don’t drink enough water every day, but it is essential for our bodies to work properly. Water is absolutely necessary for carrying out our bodily functions, removing waste, and transporting nutrients and oxygen throughout our bodies. Since water is expelled every day through urination, bowel movements, perspiration and breathing, we need to replenish the amount of water in our bodies constantly. The amount of water we need depends on a variety of factors, but generally an average adult needs two to three liters a day. A good way to tell if you are getting enough water is by your urine—which should be either colorless or pale yellow.

2. Get enough sleep. When you don’t sleep, You tend to eat more. Usually only junk food.

3. Exercise. Not just a few times a week, but every day. By moving your body in some way for 30 minutes a day, you will lower your risk of disease, create higher bone density and potentially increase your life span.

4. Eat more fruits and vegetables. All fruits and vegetables carry vitamins and minerals, components essential to your health. It’s suggested that we consume 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day to maintain health.

5. Eat the rainbow. Pick brightly-colored foods in the produce aisle. These are high in antioxidants (antioxidants remove free radicals in our body that damage our cells) and make a more appealing plate. Here are a few examples to look out for:

• White (Bananas, Mushrooms)

• Yellow (Pineapples, Mangoes)

• Orange (Oranges, Papayas)

• Red (Apples, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Watermelons)

• Green (Guavas, Avocados, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Celery)

• Purple/Blue (Blackberries, Eggplants, Prunes)

6. Cut down on processed foods. Processed foods are simply not good for you. Most nutritional value is lost in the making of processed foods and the added preservatives are bad for our health. These foods contain a high amount of salt, which leads to high blood pressure and heart disease. In general, the more ingredients on the label, the more processed the item.

7. Avoid negative people in your life. A positive mentality is key for a healthy life. You don’t need negativity in your life. If you feel that a person or friend is negative, just let him or her go.

8. Avoid negativity within yourself. You don’t need negativity from yourself, either. Let go of all negative thoughts within yourself. Overeating tends to happen when one feels unhappy, so by staying in a positive state of mind, you cut out an unhealthy dependence on food to be happy.

9. Avoid trigger foods. These are foods you can’t put down after one bite. Everyone’s trigger foods are different, but typically they consist of candy bars, chocolate, chips, cookies, or anything with high levels of refined sugar, salt, fat or flour.

10. Take your time eating. Your brain, not your stomach, is the organ responsible for feelings of hunger and fullness. If you take your time during meals and eat more slowly, you allow your brain adequate time to send the “full” message to your stomach and allow your food to be fully ingested. Don’t rely on a clean plate to tell you when it’s time to stop eating.

11. Prepare your meals. When you prepare meals yourself, you control exactly what goes in to them. This makes it easier for you to make the right healthy choices for your body.

12. Move toward low calorie and low fat alternatives. There are many low-fat or non-fat alternatives readily available in all grocery stores. Try switching your full-fat pantry staples for low-fat versions over a period of time.

13. Stop smoking. Smoking is bad, period. If you’re a smoker, quit for better health—not just for yourself, but for your family and friends. If you don’t smoke, stay that way.

14. Have healthy snacks on hand. Eating small meals throughout the day is good for your metabolism, but eating the right things is what matters most. When turning to snacks during your day, look for things like fruit, salad, or freshly squeezed juices not from concentrate. These are nutritional and won’t give you a sugar crash.




the shocking truth about HcG and weight loss

Has the HCG diet been shown to be safe and effective?

No on both counts. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised consumers to steer clear of over-the-counter weight-loss products that contain HCG. Read here HCG is human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone produced during pregnancy.

As a prescription medication, HCG is used mainly to treat fertility issues. HCG is not approved for over-the-counter use, nor has it been proved to work for weight loss. HCG medications are required to carry a label from the FDA noting that the medication is not effective for weight loss. Some over-the-counter HCG weight-loss products are labeled "homeopathic" — but the FDA says they're still not safe. Companies that sell over-the-counter HCG weight-loss products are breaking the law.

So why has there been so much talk about the HCG diet? Perhaps it's because the diet recommends severe calorie restriction — typically just 500 to 800 calories a day. People who follow diets so low in calories are likely to lose weight, at least in the short term. Some research has linked HCG weight-loss products to a possible increase in cancer risk. HCG might encourage the production of androgen cells, which could result in the growth of certain types of cancers.

However, diets that so severely limit calories have risks, such as gallstone formation, irregular heartbeat, limited intake of vitamins and minerals, and an imbalance of electrolytes.

Side effects have also been reported with the HCG diet and include fatigue, irritability, restlessness, depression, fluid buildup (edema), and swelling of the breasts in boys and men (gynecomastia). Another serious concern is the risk of blood clots forming and blocking blood vessels (thromboembolism).

If weight loss is your goal, there are safer ways to lose weight. Take phentermine and also make healthy changes that lead to permanent weight loss, such as eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.





Sitting Vs Smoking : which kills faster?

You might want to stand up to read this article: too many people are sitting for too long each day. There is a growing consensus that excess sitting is having serious effects on peoples’ physical and mental health, and that companies could be less productive as a result.


The problem could be bigger than many realize. A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that those who sit – for example watching TV – for an hour reduce their lifespan by 22 minutes, whereas smokers shorten their lives by 11 minutes on average per cigarette. One study in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, confirmed the danger by comparing those who spent the most time sitting versus those who sat the least. Those who sat the most faced a 112 percent increase in diabetes, a 147 percent increase in death from cardiovascular events, a 90 percent increase in death from cardiovascular causes, and a 49 percent increase in death from all causes.


Sitting has also been linked to obesity, backache, dementia, and muscle degeneration. In the UK, the Trades Union Congress estimates that back pain costs businesses £5 billion per year in employee absenteeism.


Some studies have found excessive sitting to be so widespread, and to have such a negative impact on health, that comparisons with smoking are becoming increasingly common. It is a problem that is increasingly being recognized, and research is underway to incorporate healthier habits into office layouts. In 2013, the American Medical Association adopted a new policy: encouraging employers to offer standing workstations.


But what can both individuals and organizations do to reduce the potential harm of too much sitting?


IN DEPTH

Worldwide, about 40 percent of the people who have cardiovascular disease, diabetes or cancer do not achieve the minimum health recommendation of 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity. In Europe and North America, that figure is about 70 percent. As many as 25 percent of Americans are primarily sedentary in their daily lives, according to Stephanie Pronk, Senior Vice President and leader of Aon’s U.S. National Health Transformation Team. “They just do a bare minimum of activity each day.”


Public Health England, the government body responsible for public health issues in England and Wales, recently commissioned an expert statement on the status and impact of prolonged sitting in the office, which compiles some eye-opening research. On average, Brits walk sixty fewer miles a year than they did in 1975. They burn up 175 fewer calories each day than they did in 1960, which represents a 20 percent drop in physical activity. They walk or cycle less often and spend more time at home sitting in front of computer or television screens. Worse, over the same period, manual jobs have been replaced by sedentary office-based jobs.


Consequences Of Sitting For Too Long


In recent years, a growing body of research has linked sitting for more than four hours a day to reduced calorie burning (metabolic rate), disrupted blood sugar levels, increased insulin and blood pressure levels, and leg muscles ‘switching off’ through inactivity. “If people sit for more than six hours per day, studies show that about 20 percent of men and 40 percent of women are more likely to die prematurely than those who are more active,” says Pronk.


Sitting for too long can also take its toll on mental and emotional health. According to a paper published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, women who sat for more than seven hours a day and did no physical activity were three times more likely to show depressive symptoms than women who sat for less than four hours a day and did some physical activity.


The Cost Of Sitting


These activities are bad for budgets too. Pronk says that research has shown that inactive American adults pay $1,500 a year more in healthcare costs compared to those who are active.


There is also a cost to businesses. More health issues for their employees can reduce their performance in the workplace, and increase the number of sick days taken, having a significant cumulative impact on overall productivity. With sick days costing employers £29 billion a year in the UK alone, according to one study, and losing employers around 2.8 percent of working time, according to another, this is a significant concern in today’s uncertain economic environment.


Organizations that pay for their employees’ health insurance will suffer financially if ill health means they need to make claims against it. One study published in health journal The Lancet found that sedentary lifestyles resulted in healthcare issues that cost global health services $67.5 billion a year. This propensity for sitting to raise companies’ health insurance costs gives firms an immediate financial incentive to ensure that their employees behave in a healthier way.


Sitting is just one of the causes of non-contagious health issues, of which business leaders are increasingly aware. Aon’s 2015 Health Care Survey, for example, found that many US employers want to implement “more opportunities and support to connect health and wealth” in their rewards system.


Creating Healthy Cultures: 4 Ways to Rethink the Workplace


Like smoking, change is likely to be gradual, and happen at four levels: cultural attitudes, individual activities, organizational practices, and physical changes to office layouts.


1) Changing Corporate Cultural Attitudes


Pronk says that a major – and perhaps subtle – challenge is in changing an organizations’ attitude. She describes one large company that invested in a gym to encourage healthier habits among its workforce. However, the culture of the organization was that of “presenteeism” – the expectation that employees are seen to be working during office hours – so very few actually used the gym, and those who did felt obliged to hide their gym gear. The corporate culture was such that sitting at one’s desk meant that one was working. Not being at the desk – for whatever reason – could be interpreted as slacking off. “Unfortunately, there is negative perception with not being at a desk. If someone takes ten minutes to go out and take a walk, the assumption might be that they’re not a hard worker,” she explains. The first step toward encouraging healthier behavior is to address these attitudes, and educate teams that time away from the desk can have a real business benefit in reduced absenteeism and reduced healthcare costs.


2) Encouraging Individual Activities


For most employees, moving more means making small changes to daily routines, such as altering posture regularly, taking a walk to a colleague downstairs rather than emailing them, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, or regularly breaking up periods of seated work by working standing up, at a higher desk if necessary.


3) Revising Organizational Practices


Reminders from managers and HR teams may be necessary to encourage this small, but important, first step to a healthier lifestyle for individual employees. Companies can shift their culture toward one that encourages more movement at work as well, by encouraging people to stretch, perhaps by incorporating it at the start or end of meetings, and moving towards having short meetings while walking.


Companies might encourage physical activity by recommending that employees walk or move every ninety minutes. They might consider raising the perceived seriousness of the issue by combining information about the potential dangers of excessive sitting with other health issues, such as cutting down on drinking and smoking and eating a nutritious diet.


4) Creating Physical Changes To Office Environments


Employers can also encourage employees to stand by making changes to the workplace itself. They can remove chairs from meeting rooms to force meetings to be held standing up, which often makes them shorter as well, further boosting focus and productivity. Some companies introduce walking treadmills, pedals under the desk to encourage employees to move their legs, or even invest in a gym. The layout of the office might also make a difference – can meeting rooms and desks be arranged in a way to encourage staff to walk a little further?


Introducing ‘sit to stand’ work stations – desks which can be adjusted upward easily so that the user can alternate between sitting and standing – can make a surprising difference. One recent study found that stand-capable work stations can boost productivity by up to 53 percent. The American Medical Association recommends that people take walking meetings and sit on fitness balls at their desks if possible. And a study in the Oxford Journal of Public Health found that sit-to-stand desks were effective in reducing children’s sitting In Scandinavia, more than 90 percent of workers who use computers work at sit-stand adjustable desks but currently, only 1 percent of UK workers have access to them. Users are 78 percent more likely to report a day without pain than those without.


Next year, research at the Well Living Lab – a lab built to conduct sophisticated and reproducible scientific studies on how workplace design affects human health and performance – will research the healthiest ways to avoid sitting too much while working.


Sitting Versus Smoking: The Scale Of The Risk


Employers and employees alike are only beginning to understand the full extent of the risks of sitting for too long each day, and medical research is ongoing.


Considering that everyone sits while only some smoke, sitting may be an even greater threat to global public health than cigarettes. But while research into the health impact of smoking has been going on for decades, research into the impact of sitting is still in its infancy, and the evidence is not yet conclusive.


Is sitting really the new smoking? The evidence is certainly growing that it is harmful – but it is often just one element of a broader challenge of tackling sedentary lifestyles. This isn’t as simple as just getting everyone to stand up more often – but taking that first step towards a healthier way of living and working is always the most difficult. Support and encouragement from employers to live healthier lives could be the first step that’s needed.


Talking Points


“The chair is out to kill us.” – James Levine, endocrinologist, the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine


“It’s becoming more well known that long periods of sedentary behaviour has an adverse effect on health, so we’re looking at bringing in standing desks.” – GE Engineer, Jonathan McGregor


“There are benefits to standing. But there are also issues to prolonged standing… What we know is that prolonged postures need to be changed and staff need to move around.” – Jane Pierce, Work Recovery


Health tip: Second best way to lose weight besides Phentermine

Intermittent fasting (IF) is currently one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends.

People are using it to lose weight, improve their health and simplify their lifestyles.

Many studies show that it can have powerful effects on your body and brain and may even help you live longer.

What Is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?


Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating.

It doesn’t specify which foods you should eat but rather when you should eat them.

In this respect, it’s not a diet in the conventional sense but more accurately described as an eating pattern.

Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week.

Fasting has been a practice throughout human evolution. Ancient hunter-gatherers didn’t have supermarkets, refrigerators or food available year-round. Sometimes they couldn’t find anything to eat.

As a result, humans evolved to be able to function without food for extended periods of time.

In fact, fasting from time to time is more natural than always eating 3–4 (or more) meals per day.

Fasting is also often done for religious or spiritual reasons, including in Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism.


Intermittent Fasting Methods


There are several different ways of doing intermittent fasting — all of which involve splitting the day or week into eating and fasting periods.

During the fasting periods, you eat either very little or nothing at all.

These are the most popular methods:

The 16/8 method: Also called the Leangains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1–9 p.m. Then you fast for 16 hours in between.

Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.

The 5:2 diet: With this methods, you consume only 500–600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.

By reducing your calorie intake, all of these methods should cause weight loss as long as you don’t compensate by eating much more during the eating periods.

Many people find the 16/8 method to be the simplest, most sustainable and easiest to stick to. It’s also the most popular.


How It Affects Your Cells and Hormones


When you fast, several things happen in your body on the cellular and molecular level.

For example, your body adjusts hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible.

Your cells also initiate important repair processes and change the expression of genes.

Here are some changes that occur in your body when you fast:

  1. Human Growth Hormone (HGH): The levels of growth hormone skyrocket, increasing as much as 5-fold. This has benefits for fat loss and muscle gain, to name a few.


  1. Insulin: Insulin sensitivity improves and levels of insulin drop dramatically. Lower insulin levels make stored body fat more accessible.

  2. Cellular repair: When fasted, your cells initiate cellular repair processes. This includes autophagy, where cells digest and remove old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells

  3. Gene expression: There are changes in the function of genes related to longevity and protection against disease.

  4. These changes in hormone levels, cell function and gene expression are responsible for the health benefits of intermittent fasting.



A Very Powerful Weight Loss Tool

Weight loss is the most common reason for people to try intermittent fasting.

By making you eat fewer meals, intermittent fasting can lead to an automatic reduction in calorie intake.

Additionally, intermittent fasting changes hormone levels to facilitate weight loss.

In addition to lowering insulin and increasing growth hormone levels, it increases the release of the fat burning hormone norepinephrine (noradrenaline).

Because of these changes in hormones, short-term fasting may increase your metabolic rate by 3.6–14%

By helping you eat fewer and burn more calories, intermittent fasting causes weight loss by changing both sides of the calorie equation.

Studies show that intermittent fasting can be a very powerful weight loss tool.

A 2014 review study found that this eating pattern can cause 3–8% weight loss over 3–24 weeks, which is a significant amount, compared to most weight loss studies.

According to the same study, people also lost 4–7% of their waist circumference, indicating a significant loss of harmful belly fat that builds up around your organs and causes disease.

Another study showed that intermittent fasting causes less muscle loss than the more standard method of continuous calorie restriction

However, keep in mind that the main reason for its success is that intermittent fasting helps you eat fewer calories overall. If you binge and eat massive amounts during your eating periods, you may not lose any weight at all.

Health Benefits


Many studies have been done on intermittent fasting, in both animals and humans.

These studies have shown that it can have powerful benefits for weight control and the health of your body and brain. It may even help you live longer.

Here are the main health benefits of intermittent fasting:

  • Weight loss: As mentioned above, intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and belly fat, without having to consciously restrict calories (1, 13Trusted Source).

  • Insulin resistance: Intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance, lowering blood sugar by 3–6% and fasting insulin levels by 20–31%, which should protect against type 2 diabetes

  • Inflammation: Some studies show reductions in markers of inflammation, a key driver of many chronic diseases

  • Heart health: Intermittent fasting may reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar and insulin resistance — all risk factors for heart disease

  • Cancer: Animal studies suggest that intermittent fasting may prevent cancer

  • Brain health: Intermittent fasting increases the brain hormone BDNF and may aid the growth of new nerve cells. It may also protect against Alzheimer’s disease

  • Anti-aging: Intermittent fasting can extend lifespan in rats. Studies showed that fasted rats lived 36–83% longer



Keep in mind that research is still in its early stages. Many of the studies were small, short-term or conducted in animals. Many questions have yet to be answered in higher quality human studies


Makes Your Healthy Lifestyle Simpler


Eating healthy is simple, but it can be incredibly hard to maintain.

One of the main obstacles is all the work required to plan for and cook healthy meals.

Intermittent fasting can make things easier, as you don’t need to plan, cook or clean up after as many meals as before.

For this reason, intermittent fasting is very popular among the life-hacking crowd, as it improves your health while simplifying your life at the same time.


Who Should Be Careful Or Avoid It?


Intermittent fasting is certainly not for everyone.

If you’re underweight or have a history of eating disorders, you should not fast without consulting with a health professional first.

In these cases, it can be downright harmful.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to the most common questions about intermittent fasting.

1. Can I Drink Liquids During the Fast?

Yes. Water, coffee, tea and other non-caloric beverages are fine. Do not add sugar to your coffee. Small amounts of milk or cream may be okay.

Coffee can be particularly beneficial during a fast, as it can blunt hunger.

2. Isn’t It Unhealthy to Skip Breakfast?

No. The problem is that most stereotypical breakfast skippers have unhealthy lifestyles. If you make sure to eat healthy food for the rest of the day then the practice is perfectly healthy.

3. Can I Take Supplements While Fasting?

Yes. However, keep in mind that some supplements like fat-soluble vitamins may work better when taken with meals.

4. Can I Work out While Fasted?

Yes, fasted workouts are fine. Some people recommend taking branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) before a fasted workout.

You can find many BCAA products on Amazon.

5. Will Fasting Cause Muscle Loss?

All weight loss methods can cause muscle loss, which is why it’s important to lift weights and keep your protein intake high. One study showed that intermittent fasting causes less muscle loss than regular calorie restriction

6. Will Fasting Slow Down My Metabolism?

No. Studies show that short-term fasts actually boost metabolism

7. Should Kids Fast?

Allowing your child to fast is probably a bad idea.

Getting Started

Chances are that you’ve already done many intermittent fasts in your life.

If you’ve ever eaten dinner, then slept late and not eaten until lunch the next day, then you’ve probably already fasted for 16+ hours.

Some people instinctively eat this way. They simply don’t feel hungry in the morning.

Many people consider the 16/8 method the simplest and most sustainable way of intermittent fasting — you might want to try this practice first.

If you find it easy and feel good during the fast, then maybe try moving on to more advanced fasts like 24-hour fasts 1–2 times per week (Eat-Stop-Eat) or only eating 500–600 calories 1–2 days per week (5:2 diet).

Another approach is to simply fast whenever it’s convenient — simply skip meals from time to time when you’re not hungry or don’t have time to cook.

There is no need to follow a structured intermittent fasting plan to derive at least some of the benefits.

Experiment with the different approaches and find something that you enjoy and fits your schedule.


Should You Try It?

Intermittent fasting is not something that anyone needs to do.

It’s simply one of many lifestyle strategies that can improve your health. Eating real food, exercising and taking care of your sleep are still the most important factors to focus on.

If you don’t like the idea of fasting, then you can safely ignore this article and continue to do what works for you.

At the end of the day, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to nutrition. The best diet for you is the one you can stick to in the long run.

Intermittent fasting is great for some people, not others. The only way to find out which group you belong to is to try it out.

If you feel good when fasting and find it to be a sustainable way of eating, it can be a very powerful tool to lose weight and improve your health.

Health tip: Healthy eating


These 8 practical tips cover the basics of healthy eating and can help you make healthier choices.

These 8 practical tips cover the basics of healthy eating and can help you make healthier choices.

The key to a healthy diet is to eat the right amount of calories for how active you are so you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use.

If you eat or drink more than your body needs, you'll put on weight because the energy you do not use is stored as fat. If you eat and drink too little, you'll lose weight.

You should also eat a wide range of foods to make sure you're getting a balanced diet and your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.

It's recommended that men have around 2,500 calories a day (10,500 kilojoules). Women should have around 2,000 calories a day (8,400 kilojoules).

Most adults in the US are eating more calories than they need and should eat fewer calories.

1. Base your meals on higher fiber starchy carbohydrates

Starchy carbohydrates should make up just over a third of the food you eat. They include potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals.

Choose higher fiber or wholegrain varieties, such as whole-wheat pasta, brown rice or potatoes with their skins on.

They contain more fiber than white or refined starchy carbohydrates and can help you feel full for longer.

Try to include at least 1 starchy food with each main meal. Some people think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram the carbohydrate they contain provides fewer than half the calories of fat.

Keep an eye on the fats you add when you're cooking or serving these types of foods because that's what increases the calorie content – for example, oil on chips, butter on bread and creamy sauces on pasta.

2. Eat lots of fruit and veg

It's recommended that you eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced.

Getting your 5 A Day is easier than it sounds. Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a piece of fresh fruit?

A portion of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables is 80g. A portion of dried fruit (which should be kept to mealtimes) is 30g.

A 150ml glass of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie also counts as 1 portion, but limit the amount you have to no more than 1 glass a day as these drinks are sugary and can damage your teeth.

3. Eat more fish, including a portion of oily fish

Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals.

Aim to eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, including at least 1 portion of oily fish.

Oily fish are high in omega-3 fats, which may help prevent heart disease.

Oily fish include:

salmon

trout

herring

sardines

pilchards

mackerel

Non-oily fish include:

haddock

plaice

coley

cod

tuna

skate

hake

You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned, but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt.

Most people should be eating more fish, but there are recommended limits for some types of fish.

Find out more about fish and shellfish

4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar

Saturated fat

You need some fat in your diet, but it's important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat you're eating.

There are 2 main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.

On average, men should have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day. On average, women should have no more than 20g of saturated fat a day.

Children under the age of 11 should have less saturated fat than adults, but a low-fat diet is not suitable for children under 5.

Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as:

fatty cuts of meat

sausages

butter

hard cheese

cream

cakes

biscuits

lard

pies

Try to cut down on your saturated fat intake and choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils and spreads, oily fish and avocados.

For a healthier choice, use a small amount of vegetable or olive oil, or reduced-fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee.

When you're having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off any visible fat.

All types of fat are high in energy, so they should only be eaten in small amounts.

Sugar

Regularly consuming foods and drinks high in sugar increases your risk of obesity and tooth decay.

Sugary foods and drinks are often high in energy (measured in kilojoules or calories), and if consumed too often can contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.

Free sugars are any sugars added to foods or drinks, or found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices and smoothies.

This is the type of sugar you should be cutting down on, rather than the sugar found in fruit and milk.

Many packaged foods and drinks contain surprisingly high amounts of free sugars.

Free sugars are found in many foods, such as:

sugary fizzy drinks

sugary breakfast cereals

cakes

biscuits

pastries and puddings

sweets and chocolate

alcoholic drinks

Food labels can help. Use them to check how much sugar foods contain.

More than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g means the food is high in sugar, while 5g of total sugars or less per 100g means the food is low in sugar.

Get tips on cutting down on sugar in your diet

5. Eat less salt: no more than 6g a day for adults

Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.

Even if you do not add salt to your food, you may still be eating too much.

About three-quarters of the salt you eat is already in the food when you buy it, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces.

Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1.5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt.

Adults and children aged 11 and over should eat no more than 6g of salt (about a teaspoonful) a day. Younger children should have even less.

Get tips on cutting down on salt in your diet

6. Get active and be a healthy weight

As well as eating healthily, regular exercise may help reduce your risk of getting serious health conditions. It's also important for your overall health and wellbeing.

Read more about the benefits of exercise and physical activity guidelines for adults.

Being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. Being underweight could also affect your health.

Most adults need to lose weight by eating fewer calories.

If you're trying to lose weight, aim to eat less and be more active. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Check whether you're a healthy weight by using the BMI healthy weight calculator.

Start the NHS weight loss plan, a 12-week weight loss guide that combines advice on healthier eating and physical activity.

If you're underweight, see underweight adults. If you're worried about your weight, ask your GP or a dietitian for advice.

7. Do not get thirsty

You need to drink plenty of fluids to stop you getting dehydrated. The government recommends drinking 6 to 8 glasses every day. This is in addition to the fluid you get from the food you eat.

All non-alcoholic drinks count, but water, lower fat milk and lower sugar drinks, including tea and coffee, are healthier choices.

Try to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks, as they're high in calories. They're also bad for your teeth.

Even unsweetened fruit juice and smoothies are high in free sugar.

Your combined total of drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies should not be more than 150ml a day, which is a small glass.

Remember to drink more fluids during hot weather or while exercising.

8. Phentermine

You can lose weight faster by taking phentermine



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