Tag Archive for 'american obesity'

Vitamin C and a high protein diet can help you lose weight

It is no secret that one of the biggest problems all of us are faced with today is the sheer abundance of information on all topics, including weight loss. It is just too easy for very valuable articles (even those published in prestigious scientific journals) to disappear amongst all the other articles, blogs and advertisements all claiming that they have found the cure to all your weight loss problems. It is a rare pleasure then to stumble upon a research article published in a well known scientific journal that explains how and why a few changes to your lifestyle can help you lose weight and maintain your optimal body weight.

The article I am referring to, Strategies for Healthy Weight Loss: From Vitamin C to the Glycemic Response, was published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2005 by Carol Johnston from the Department of Nutrition at the Arizona. This article may have been published over three years ago; but all the strategies suggested are still valid. They are also easy to follow and understand. What follows is a discussion of this research paper.

The two most obvious factors contributing to the obesity problem faced by the American public are reduced physical activity and increased energy intake. Of course, while most people recognize these two factors as the real causes for the obesity epidemic, it is also becoming increasingly clear that there is more to this very serious health problem than meets the eye. The fight against obesity is further complicated by a number of other influences, including psychological issues, cultural differences, lifestyle choices, environmental factors and then of course individual differences. The good news is that there are a number of strategies available to improve your chances of losing weight permanently.
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An overview of the Zone Diet

Dr Barry Sears, a biochemist, first popularized the Zone diet in his 1995 book, “The Zone”. While this diet has not been developed specifically for weight loss, it is probably more well-known for its weight loss benefits than for any of the other advantages it promises, all thanks to solid media exposure. The popularity of this diet reached its peak in the late 1990s, slipped a bit, and then made a comeback recently following the endorsements of Hollywood A-listers and models such as Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sandra Bullock and Cindy Crawford.

The Zone diet is often classified as a low-carb diet, but Dr Sears describes it as a moderate carb, moderate fat, and moderate protein diet, and regards it as superior to low-carb diets due to the improved hormonal responses. He goes on to say that the Zone diet can not be regarded as a protein rich diet since you never consume more low-fat protein during any meal than you can fit on the palm of your hand.

Many scientific studies are finding that weight management is a lot more complex than simply balancing calorie intake and calorie usage. The Zone approach suggests that inflammation precedes obesity. If that is true, any obesity problem can only be addressed by resolving the underlying inflammation.
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Long live the Atkins Diet….

One cannot help but be astounded by how easily and effectively government agencies, large food corporations and the media succeeded in leading us to believe that a particular view of our nutritional needs is indeed a fact of life. This subtle “brain washing” was (and still is to a large extend) so effective that it subconsciously impacts all of our decision making regarding our family’s nutritional needs. It is, in fact, ingrained in our very fabric of being.

With many of us still finding it extremely difficult to even consider the idea that a diet high in fat can be good for you, it is interesting to remember that the idea of a low-fat diet only really took hold in the 70’s. Up until then, the generally accepted wisdom was that fat and protein were the foundations of good nutrition, and that carbohydrates were responsible for making you fat! Of course the low-fat dogma turned this age old wisdom on its head and carbohydrates suddenly became the most important source of food depicted at the base of the famous Food Guide Pyramid!

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