Why People Regain Weight by Dr. Jennifer Landa

It’s a widely quoted statistic: 95 percent of people regain lost weight. Such a statistic makes you wonder if you should even bother with the workouts and the healthy eating. Before you turn your treadmill into a sanctuary for unfolded laundry and hang-dry only clothing, you should know a few facts about why people regain weight and exactly where that astonishing statistic originated.

The year is 1959 and a small study out of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders concludes that 95 percent of people regain weight within a few months to a year of losing it. The study included only 100 participants and made a catchy headline that rapidly became a centerpiece in the mythology of obesity.

regain weight

In 1999, two doctors set out to determine if this discouraging fact was indeed a fact. Dr. Wena Ring and Dr. James O. Hill conducted an analysis of the National Weight Control Registry and quickly identified more 2,000 success stories of weight loss and maintenance. This surprising information spurred them to compile more detailed data and survey the successful dieters. They found that on average, most dieters maintained a loss of 67 pounds for five years and 12 to 14 percent maintained long-term losses of more than 100 pounds – proving that the 95 percent failure rate was poorly founded.

So if success isn’t so futile, then why do so many people regain lost weight?

The wrong mindset

The number one reason people regain weight is the diet mentality. The word “diet” earned its reputation as a four-letter word because it has become associated with a period of deprivation and what some would classify as torture. For many, “diet” means a set span of time during which you must exercise superhuman willpower to resist delicious temptation and overwhelming pains of hunger at the end of which you can finally reward yourself with junk food favorites.

Very few individuals perceive the concept that healthy eating is not finite – it’s a lifelong commitment. Fad diets don’t work, because you can’t sustain that way of eating forever.  Choose a healthy eating plan that incorporates whole, nutritionally balanced foods

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/07/22/why-people-regain-weight/?intcmp=features#ixzz2Znoa1PlB

3 Big Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight by Raquel Vasallo

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Most people think about weight loss in terms of calories, food groups, and exercise. But getting to your ideal weight and maintaining it requires a deeper level of understanding of your body, mind and spirit.

Here are three things that prevent you from looking and feeling great in your body:

1. You have food sensitivities and you don’t know it.

Food sensitivities cause inflammation in the body, which leads to weight gain and a whole array of conditions such as headaches, low energy, indigestion, constipation, bloating, diarrhea, skin conditions, mental fogginess, loss of libido.

Food sensitivities are not the same as allergies. Symptoms can be very subtle (such as bloating, indigestion or constipation), and it can be difficult to make the connection between what you’ve eaten and how you feel. Over the years, this sensitivity takes a toll on the immune system, which is mostly located in your gut.

Inflammation is one of the biggest causes of weight gain and disease. So why not test yourself with a detox and elimination diet?

During an elimination diet, you’ll remove the main food triggers for a week. These include:

Sugar
Gluten
Grains
Nuts
Soy
Dairy
Beans

During a transition phase, you reintroduce these foods in a guided and planned way, one at a time, so that you can discover your sensitivities. This will give you your personal blueprint to your health, happiness and weight.

Read the rest here: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-10353/3-big-reasons-youre-not-losin-weight.html

10 Reasons Why Exercise Makes You Better at Your Job by Reine Farhat

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Sports have always been a big part of life, beginning when I was a kid. My father’s way of teaching me how to swim was by throwing me in the water and telling me to fight and try every possible way to get to the surface. This approach has actually helped me overcome any potential fears I may have had, and ever since, I have used sports to get through long study nights and long working hours.

For entrepreneurs who are working hard to build startups, and their employees, exercise is crucial for keeping you in good health. According to many studies, it also improves your mood and reduces depression. The road to building a company is rocky enough; an even mood will help.

Here are 10 reasons why exercising will make you a better performer at work:

It makes you determined. If you play a sport on a regular basis, then you probably have a coach who is always pushing you and shouting at you to help you get the best out of yourself. If you don’t have one, then you probably have your own ways to keep yourself motivated. Athletes always strive to push their limits; any obstacle in front of them is just another challenge. The same thing applies at work. If you stumble upon a difficulty and have too much work to do at the office, if you can’t get any investment or if your startup idea needs some adaptation, you will learn not to give up. You will work it out, because, it’s just another challenge for you.

It reduces stress. Stress is an undesired companion, especially if you are an entrepreneur. “I do exercise in the gym before work, then I do some cardio, like taking a long walk or jogging after work,” says Lebanese entrepreneur Mark Malkoun, the co-founder of ReachFast, an application that helps iPhone users call and message their recent contacts more easily. “Entrepreneurs endure a lot of stress due to the nature of their work, and exercising can help a lot to reduce this stress and offset the harm that it’s causing to our bodies and minds.”

It makes you a better team player. Whether in the gym, in the pool or outdoors, workout buddies always encourage each other to perform better. If you’re involved in a team sport, like basketball or football, this increases your team work ethic. Team players are also a great addition to any startup. By team players, I mean those co-workers who help each other and collaborate to get a specific task done efficiently, and who work hand in hand to take their startups to a whole new level.

It makes you more accepting of failure. Team sports not only make you a better team player, but also help you accept failure. When playing against another team, one of the two teams will fail. Acknowledging that you failed is good, as it helps you reconcile with yourself. In the workplace, accepting that you failed when accomplishing a task or when launching an idea or making an important decision, will first, help you understand the mistake you made and learn from it, and second, work even harder to avoid it in the future.

It makes you more responsible. George Washington Carver who once said, “Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.” In team sports, just as at work, admitting that you broke the rules lets your colleagues, your teammates and your boss realize that you are a straightforward person who takes mistakes seriously and doesn’t cover them up. This will make them trust you more and maybe rely on you more often.

It gets your creative juices flowing. A study has shown that aerobics are more likely to boost your creativity. Exercising doesn’t train your muscles only, but also your brain. That is why sometimes when you are out of ideas and go out for a jog, you feel much better afterwards and the ideas start coming.

It replaces your morning coffee. Have you tried working out super early before coming to work? If not, try it. It fuels your body with energy and jump starts your metabolism, to get you ready for a long day at work. And if you’re bootstrapping, it’ll be a good way to cut down on your coffee expenses.

It makes you a good listener and teaches you self-discipline. Hind Hobeika, a competitive swimmer and the brain behind Instabeat, acknowledges that swimming has taught her self-discipline, “which is SUPER important as an entrepreneur”, she wrote in an email. It has also made her a good listener. “Swimming has taught me to listen to a coach and train with a team, which is the similar to listening to mentors and working with a team,” she says.

It gives you time to reflect. I personally enjoy swimming a lot, and I try to do it four times a week. During that time, I’m able to stop thinking about the outside world and focus on my technique, endurance and pace. It’s also a good time to collect my thoughts and reflect. Hobeika agrees: “Swimming is my alone time, the only time I’m not connected to anything but myself, so I’m obliged to listen to my thoughts and do a lot of reflection.”

It lets you meet potential partners or customers. Last but not least, exercising is a social activity. It allows you to meet new people or to get to know your colleagues, employees or co-founders better. “Sports give employees an opportunity to meet both colleagues and friends through a healthy medium,” said Derv Rao, co-founder of Duplays, a Dubai-based platform that connects players to sports in their local city. “Relationships are built above and beyond those formed by conducting business together.” (Disclosure: Wamda Capital has invested in Duplays).

Companies should offer sports to their employees, he says, because these companies “have demonstrated a direct impact on the bottom line through lower sick days, better employee performance at work and a healthier social life, leading to increased employee happiness and retention.”
Sometimes it is good to just throw your laptop away, get out there and enjoy a well-deserved workout. Not only will it make you feel better, it might help you come up with the next best idea. And just like kids fight their way in the pool to reach the top, entrepreneurs and employees should do the same too, but not only in the pool.

http://www.wamda.com/2013/07/10-reasons-why-exercise-makes-you-better-at-your-job

Reine is the Arabic Editor at Wamda. You can reach her at Reine[at]wamda.com, on Twitter @farhatreine or connect with her on LinkedIn.

The Mindset that Doubles Your Heart Attack Risk by: Cassie Shortsleeve

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Don’t dwell on it: People who think their stress levels negatively impact their health have double the risk of heart attack than those who shrug it off, finds new European research.

Scientists asked more than 7,000 people how much their life stress affected their health, then followed them for 18 years. At the end, those who originally said stress had an extreme impact on their well-being—about 8 percent—were twice as likely to have experienced or died from heart failure. While those people tended to have higher overall levels of angst, the results held even after the researchers accounted for biological and psychological risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

“It could be that anxious people also have this sense that [their stress] is going to do them in,” says Eric Topol, M.D., director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute. And the worrywarts might be right: “Stress does increase the incidence of heart disease,” Dr. Topol adds, “but your reaction can modulate that risk.”

Work strain riling you up? Put the extra energy toward upping your intensity at the gym. In a recent BMJ Open study, people who worked out harder instead of longer were more likely to ward off metabolic syndrome, a combo of risk factors like obesity and high blood pressure that raises your risk for heart disease.

http://news.menshealth.com/the-mindset-that-doubles-your-heart-attack-risk/2013/06/26/

13 Mental Health Benefits Of Exercise

By Sophia Breene

Many people hit the gym or pound the pavement to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle, and of course, get a rockin’ bod, but working out has above-the-neck benefits, too. For the past decade or so, scientists have pondered how exercising can boost brain function. Regardless of age or fitness level (yup, this includes everyone from mall-walkers to marathoners), studies show that making time for exercise provides some serious mental benefits. Get inspired to exercise by reading up on these unexpected ways that working out can benefit mental health, relationships and lead to a healthier and happier life overall.

1. Reduce Stress
Rough day at the office? Take a walk or head to the gym for a quick workout. One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. Working up a sweat can help manage physical and mental stress. Exercise also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. So go ahead and get sweaty — working out can reduce stress and boost the body’s ability to deal with existing mental tension. Win-win!

2. Boost Happy Chemicals
Slogging through a few miles on the ‘mill can be tough, but it’s worth the effort! Exercise releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Studies have shown that exercise can even alleviate symptoms among the clinically depressed. For this reason, docs recommend that people suffering from depression or anxiety (or those who are just feeling blue) pencil in plenty of gym time. In some cases, exercise can be just as effective as antidepressant pills in treating depression. Don’t worry if you’re not exactly the gym rat type — getting a happy buzz from working out for just 30 minutes a few times a week can instantly boost overall mood.

3. Improve Self-Confidence
Hop on the treadmill to look (and more importantly, feel) like a million bucks. On a very basic level, physical fitness can boost self-esteem and improve positive self-image. Regardless of weight, size, gender or age, exercise can quickly elevate a person’s perception of his or her attractiveness, that is, self-worth. How’s that for feeling the (self) love?

4. Enjoy The Great Outdoors
For an extra boost of self-love, take that workout outside. Exercising in the great outdoors can increase self-esteem even more. Find an outdoor workout that fits your style, whether it’s rock-climbing, hiking, renting a canoe or just taking a jog in the park. Plus, all that Vitamin D acquired from soaking up the sun (while wearing sunscreen, of course!) can lessen the likelihood of experiencing depressive symptoms. Why book a spa day when a little fresh air and sunshine (and exercise) can work wonders for self-confidence and happiness?

5. Prevent Cognitive Decline
It’s unpleasant, but it’s true — as we get older, our brains get a little… hazy. As aging and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s kill off brain cells, the noggin actually shrinks, losing many important brain functions in the process. While exercise and a healthy diet can’t “cure” Alzheimer’s, they can help shore up the brain against cognitive decline that begins after age 45 Working out, especially between age 25 and 45, boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain for memory and learning.

6. Alleviate Anxiety
Quick Q&A: Which is better at relieving anxiety — a warm bubble bath or a 20-minute jog? You might be surprised at the answer. The warm and fuzzy chemicals that are released during and after exercise can help people with anxiety disorders calm down. Hopping on the track or treadmill for some moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise (intervals, anyone?) can reduce anxiety sensitivity. And we thought intervals were just a good way to burn calories!

7. Boost Brainpower
Those buff lab rats might be smarter than we think. Various studies on mice and men have shown that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells (aka neurogenesis) and improve overall brain performance. Ready to apply for a Nobel Prize? Studies suggest that a tough workout increases levels of a brain-derived protein (known as BDNF) in the body, believed to help with decision making, higher thinking and learning. Smarty (spandex) pants, indeed.

8. Sharpen Memory
Get ready to win big at Go Fish. Regular physical activity boosts memory and ability to learn new things. Getting sweaty increases production of cells in hippocampus responsible for memory and learning. For this reason, research has linked children’s brain development with level of physical fitness (take that, recess haters!). But exercise-based brainpower isn’t just for kids. Even if it’s not as fun as a game of Red Rover, working out can boost memory among grown-ups, too. A study showed that running sprints improved vocabulary retention among healthy adults.

9. Help Control Addiction
The brain releases dopamine, the “reward chemical” in response to any form of pleasure, be that exercise, sex, drugs, alcohol or food. Unfortunately, some people become addicted to dopamine and dependent on the substances that produce it, like drugs or alcohol (and more rarely, food and sex). On the bright side, exercise can help in addiction recovery. Short exercise sessions can also effectively distract drug or alcohol addicts, making them de-prioritize cravings (at least in the short term). Working out when on the wagon has other benefits, too. Alcohol abuse disrupts many body processes, including circadian rhythms. As a result, alcoholics find they can’t fall asleep (or stay asleep) without drinking. Exercise can help reboot the body clock, helping people hit the hay at the right time.

10. Increase Relaxation
Ever hit the hay after a long run or weight session at the gym? For some, a moderate workout can be the equivalent of a sleeping pill, even for people with insomnia. Moving around five to six hours before bedtime raises the body’s core temperature. When the body temp drops back to normal a few hours later, it signals the body that it’s time to sleep.

11. Get More Done
Feeling uninspired in the cubicle? The solution might be just a short walk or jog away. Research shows that workers who take time for exercise on a regular basis are more productive and have more energy than their more sedentary peers. While busy schedules can make it tough to squeeze in a gym session in the middle of the day, some experts believe that midday is the ideal time for a workout due to the body’s circadian rhythms.

12. Tap Into Creativity
Most people end a tough workout with a hot shower, but maybe we should be breaking out the colored pencils instead. A heart-pumping gym session can boost creativity for up to two hours afterwards. Supercharge post-workout inspiration by exercising outdoors and interacting with nature (see benefit #4). Next time you need a burst of creative thinking, hit the trails for a long walk or run to refresh the body and the brain at the same time.

13. Inspire Others
Whether it’s a pick-up game of soccer, a group class at the gym, or just a run with a friend, exercise rarely happens in a bubble. And that’s good news for all of us. Studies show that most people perform better on aerobic tests when paired up with a workout buddy. Pin it to inspiration or good old-fashioned competition, nobody wants to let the other person down. In fact, being part of a team is so powerful that it can actually raise athletes’ tolerances for pain. Even fitness beginners can inspire each other to push harder during a sweat session, so find a workout buddy and get moving!

Working out can have positive effects far beyond the gym (and beach season). Gaining self-confidence, getting out of a funk, and even thinking smarter are some of the motivations to take time for exercise on a regular basis.

What inspires you to stay fit?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2013/03/27/mental-health-benefits-exercise_n_2956099.html

Is Your Personality Making You Fat?

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by Wendy Walsh

Debating the battle of the bulge is America’s favorite pastime. In fact, the weight-loss industry is a cash cow simply because losing weight is so darn difficult and keeping that weight off is often harder.

Until recently, weight-loss experts have focused on behavior as the biggest factor in weight gain and obesity. The conventional wisdom is that people who have weight problems simply eat too much and move too little. But now psychologists have taken an educated look at a long-term study to ask questions about what underlying psychological forces motivate such self-destructive behavior. Could weight gain have less to do with bad habits and more to do with personality type?

Are you prone to weight gain?

The answer is yes. Using data from an ongoing 50-year study that monitors health, researchers from the National Institute on Aging found that a number of personality traits are directly linked to those prone to weight gain. People with neurotic tendencies — those prone to anxiety and aggression — were likely to pack on extra pounds, as were those who enjoy taking risks. Gives new meaning to the “dangerous” dessert cart.

Another group who tended toward plump were cynical, aggressive and competitive people. Picture Wall Street power brokers shoveling in pasta at New York’s Cipriani’s, or riled-up tailgaters stuffing in Texas barbecue outside Reliant Stadium. Come to think of it, didn’t the Grinch have a paunch too?

But the study, which compared personality to weight- and body-mass index, found that, by far, the most powerful personality trait that causes belt loosening across the lifespan is being impulsive. In fact, highly impulsive people in the study packed on an average of 22 extra pounds over the years. Can I say “duh” here? Poor impulse control is the very feature that has people overloading at buffet tables and easily distracted from a weight-loss program. The key to losing fat and maintaining a healthy body weight is consistency. Impulsive people are less likely to stick to healthy routines long enough to maintain weight in the long term.

Does culture have anything to do with it?

Some other points about the study are interesting to note. The group of nearly 2,000 were equally divided by gender but were disproportionately white (71 percent) and highly educated (most were college educated or held graduate degrees). This leads me to consider cultural factors. Might the weight gain of whites be largely linked to psychology and the weight gain of some minorities be linked to Mom’s Sunday dinners? Family dynamics and food are clearly another piece to the puzzle.

But this fascinating study begs the question: Would psychotherapy be better for sustained weight management than crash diets and sudden workout kicks? I think the answer is a resounding “yes” for those with impulse-control problems.

http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/healthy-living/201303/your-personality-making-you-fat