Testosterone Therapy is associated with reduction in pain in men

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Testosterone Replacement Therapy Doctors

New studies have associated a reduction in pain in men undergoing testosterone replacement therapy.  The results were presented at The Endocrine Society’s 95th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

“In this study, we attempted to determine whether testosterone replacement improves pain perception and tolerance, and quality of life in men with low testosterone levels due to narcotic analgesics,” said the study’s lead author Shehzad Basaria, MD, Medical Director, Section of Men’s Health, Aging, & Metabolism at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, in Boston, MA. “We found that testosterone administration in these men was associated with a greater reduction in several measures of pain sensitivity during laboratory pain testing compared with men who were on placebo.”

In addition to being highly addictive, opioid use is associated with a number of side effects, including suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in both women and men, resulting in decreased testosterone production. Low testosterone, in turn, can result in sexual dysfunction, decreased muscle mass, increased fat mass and decreased quality of life.

Previous animal research has demonstrated that castration of rodents is associated with increased pain perception while testosterone replacement reduces pain perception, suggesting an analgesic effect of this sex steroid. Whether these beneficial effects can be replicated in humans, however, remained unclear.

In this study, investigators found that, compared to placebo, testosterone therapy significantly improved pain perception and tolerance during laboratory pain testing. Testosterone therapy also improved some aspects of quality of life.

“If larger studies confirm these findings, testosterone therapy in this patient population may be beneficial in improving pain perception,” Basaria said.

The study included 84 men ages 18-64 years old with opioid-induced testosterone deficiency. Their average age was 49 years. Of this group, 65 participants completed the study. Investigators randomly assigned participants to receive either testosterone gel, applied to the skin, or placebo, for 14 weeks. Thirty-six men received the testosterone gel, and 29 received a placebo.

At the beginning of the study, and then again at 14 weeks, the investigators assessed pain measures and quality-of-life parameters.

For more information on our unique Men’s Testosterone and Wellness therapies visit us athttp://www.BostonTestosterone.com or http://www.Facebook.com/BostonTestosterone.

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Boston Testosterone Partners
National Testosterone Restoration for Men
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Testosterone; Male or Female you need it!

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We don’t have to be miserable as we age like many want us to believe.  Find out where your levels are and get them balanced.

Testosterone; Male or Female you need it! 

by: Michelle LeSueur

 

It is amazing how many people are suffering from low testosterone.   What is concerning is how young they are both male and female. Many are in their 20′s and early 30′s. So I decided that I would write on this in hopes to enlighten people and give them a direction.

When you talk about testosterone we tend to think that it is a male hormone.  Testosterone is considered a male hormone but both men and women have it.  For men it is primarily produced in the testes, women only make one tenth of what men do and it is made in smaller amounts in the ovaries.  Both male and female produce smaller amounts in the adrenal glands.  Testosterone is the main component when it comes to a sex drive for both men and women.

Many people believe that low testosterone only affects older men but,  According to the FDA, more than 4 million men suffer from low testosterone levels.  Yet, 95 out of 100 men fail to seek treatment.  Many believe that low hormone levels are just a part of getting older.  What men and women don’t realize is if you replace your hormones with Bio-identical natural hormones you don’t have to age!!

Research shows that by the time we get to 70 and 80 there is an increased risk of obesity, brittle bones, muscle loss, impotence and you are at higher risk for a heart attack, because of low testosterone.  When women finish menopause, they usually have low testosterone levels and it can be even worse for those using synthetic estrogen replacement.  Many find they have no energy, muscle tone or libido.  Testosterone increases the metabolic functions, which contribute to faster healing and lower total body fat.

If you are training and working to build muscle and shed fat, you need healthy testosterone levels.  One of the first things many notice when their levels start to drop is midsection weight.  Once levels have been restored many find that they are able to lose that unwanted belly fat.

When we are born we have so many fat cells.  At puberty and for women, pregnancy are two times in your life that you can actually increase the amount of fat cells you have.  Once you have increased fat cells you can never get rid of them.  You are able to shrink them, but never get rid of them.  These fat cells can expand mach larger than what they were originally if we over eat and need to store more and more fat.  But again, you can shrink them.  Hormones affect fat cells in two different ways, depending on the message they get.  A lipolytic or beta hormone tells the body to in crease fat burning energy and lipogenic or alpha hormones tell the body to store fat.  In different parts of our bodies we have alpha or beta-receptors and that is why it is easier to lose weight in some areas over others.  The name of the game is for our fat cells to have more beta-receptors than alpha.  By increasing testosterone, we increase beta-receptors. I have seen men with high cholesterol levels drop into normal range after they started replacing their testosterone.

Testosterone is necessary for sperm to mature and contributes to the overall quality of the sperm.  In the last 15 years male infertility is on the rise.  But here is the problem; it takes 3 months for sperm to develop verses one cycle with women, so male infertility is more of a problem than when a woman has fertility issues.  There is a lot of research that supports that we are seeing a rise in this because of all the estrogen’s in our environment.  You can find out more about environmental factors in the book, “Willing to Change! Can You Beat Genetics”.

So what are the symptoms of low testosterone?

Here is a little test to take, if you think you may have low levels.   The Saint Louis University Androgen Deficiency in Aging Men (ADAM) Questionnaire. Dr. John Morley, a researcher with the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, developed the self-screening tool to help identify symptoms of low testosterone in men. Choose the responses below that best describe how you have been feeling.

1. Do you have a decrease in libido (sex drive)?

2. Do you have a lack of energy?

3. Do you have a decrease in strength and/or endurance?

4. Have you lost height?

5. Have you noticed a decreased “enjoyment of life”?

6. Are you sad and/or grumpy?

7. (MEN) No longer wake up with a morning erection?

8. (MEN) Are your erections less strong?

9. Have you noticed a deterioration in your ability to play sports?

10. Are you falling asleep after dinner?

11. Has there been a recent deterioration in your work performance?

12 Do you have a hard time sleeping through the night?

13. (WOMEN) Do you have a hard time getting aroused?

If you answer yes to question one or seven, or at least three of the other questions you may have low testosterone levels.

What is the side affects from low testosterone?

Increased body fat, Gyneomastia, Weak erections, Loss of muscle mass, Lack of libido, Lack of motivation, depression, memory loss, irritability, low self esteem, heart disease, diabetes, Hypertension, Osteoporosis, and even premature death.  We need our hormones!!

We don’t have to be miserable as we age like many want us to believe.  Find out where your levels are and get them balanced.

For more information and appointments, please contact Clinic Director Charlie Blaisdell at CBlaisdell@CoreNewEngland.com

BTP/CORE New England
www.BostonTestosterone.com
CBlaisdell@CORENewEngland.com
Clinic: 781-269-5953
Direct: 617-869-796

The Desk Jockey Workout: 8 Ways to Stay in Shape at the Office

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For most of human history, work has been a physically demanding activity. Our cavemen ancestors chased down mastodons and hurled spears into their tough, but tasty flesh, American homesteaders tamed the wilderness into productive farms with nothing but grit and sweat, and just 60 years ago, the majority of men in America flexed their muscles on factory floors or construction sites.

Fast-forward to today.

Instead of feeding ourselves by the sweat of our brows, most of us just slouch in a chair all day in a climate-controlled building while we push buttons and send documents through the ether. And the sitting doesn’t end after work. When we get home, we plop down in front of the TV to watch reality shows of men performing the kind of virile, physical, and often dirty work we fantasize about doing while answering emails in our cubicle.

Man’s transition from callused-handed, blue-collared laborer to soft-handed, white-collared desk jockey has done a number on us physically and mentally. Not only have our desk jobs made us weak, flabby, and stiff,sedentary work is sapping the very hormone that makes a man a man: testosterone.

What’s more, all this sitting is slowly eating away at our life meters. One study showed that men who sit for more than six hours of their leisure time each day had a 20% higher death rate than those who sat for three hours or less. For the desk jockey, death comes wrapped in a Successories Poster and waving a USB drive.

“Ah-ha!” you say. “I work out out like a beast in the gym every day and have a physique that rivals Eugen Sandow’s. My hour-long, herculean effort counteracts all the sitting and slouching I do at work!”

Sorry to break it to you Mac, but your visits to the gym aren’t doing much to mitigate the damage that accumulates from all that desk jockeying.

Studies have shown that consistent, vigorous workouts don’t do much to offset the damage we do to our bodies by sitting down all day at our cushy Dilbert-esque jobs.

So what’s a modern man to do?

If you want to live to see your future grandkids and maintain your manly physique and sense of well-being, you’re going to need to stay active throughout the day.

That can be tough when you’re chained to a desk filling out TPS reports or attending unproductive brainstorming sessions on how to build more “synergy.” But with a little creativity, and a bit of gusto (along with a thick skin about what other people think of you), you can easily find ways to sneak some exercise into your work routine and flip the Physicality Switch of Manliness. Below we offer a few simple suggestions on how to stay active all day even if you’re a white-collared desk jockey. Incorporate them into your schedule and you’ll find yourself with hips as limber as an Olympic powerlifter and more energy than you had as a teenager.

1. Make Getting to Your Office a Challenge

Look for ways to make getting to work and into the corporate cave a challenge. Biking to work is of course ideal. If you have to drive, park at the far end of the lot so you have to walk further to the building, carry a giant Saddleback Briefcase (those suckers are heavy) filled with your laptop and small boulders, and hurdle over small hedges as you make your way to the door. For extra challenge, throw in some parkour and scale the walls like AoM reader Jeremiah Jacques.

2. Take the Stairs. While You’re At It, Run Up Them

Instead of using the elevator to move between floors, take the stairs. Start off walking, but work your way up to a full out sprint. Don’t worry about looking like a crazy person. Most stairs in office buildings are hidden away as fire escapes and hardly anyone uses them. Once you reach your floor, pause outside the door to catch your breath, straighten your tie, and mop your forehead with a handkerchief. You just literally leveled up on your high intensity training!

3. Get a Standing Desk

One of the best things you can do to mitigate the health-sapping effects of your desk jockey job is to get a standing desk. The drain on your weight and health, including hip and back stiffness and pain, that comes from sitting down all day will disappear. While you might not be able to convince your boss to spring for an expensive hydraulic-powered standing desk (though I’d at least try lobbying him for it), you can jerry-rig your own standing desk in various ways (search Flickr.com for “standing desk” for ideas).

To learn more about the benefits of standing to work (and its manly history), check out this article from the archives on standing desks.

4. Maintain Good Posture Throughout the Day

If you want to avoid the Quasimodo shoulder slump that seems prevalent among desk jockeys, make the effort to practice good posture throughout the day. Yes, it’s hard and tiring at first, but the struggle is well worth it. Practicing good posture while sitting and standing can reduce tension in your neck, shoulders, and back, improve organ function, and strengthen your all-important core.

5. Do 10 Push-Ups and 10 Squats Every Time You Take a Bathroom/Coffee Break

When I clerked at a law firm here in town, my office sat adjacent to that of the firm’s sole surviving founding partner. He was one of the coolest old guys I’ve ever met. He was sort of like Teddy Roosevelt in a lot of ways. The walls of his office were covered with stuffed and mounted wildlife from his many hunts; dropping memos off in his office was like stepping into the Museum of Natural History. Despite being nearly 80 years old, this old partner was spry as a young buck. I asked him his secret to his youthful vigor at lunch one day, and this is what he said:

“Maintain a sense of humor. You need it in the legal business. And do lots of push-ups while you’re at work. I always do ten anytime I get up from my chair.”

And he did.

Every now and then, when I walked by his office, I’d see a short, bald old man on the floor, cranking out push-ups in his waistcoat.

That little old man inspired me. I started a similar routine that summer at the law firm. Anytime I got up from my chair, I’d do 10 push-ups. I also added 10 bodyweight squats for good measure. The result? I felt more energized and less stiff. More importantly, I started losing some of the summer intern lunch chub that I had gained over the summer.

Stay active throughout the day by incorporating a similar routine.

6. Get Up and Walk Outside for 15 Minutes Every 45 Minutes

I’ve noticed that I’m more productive when I work in shorter increments and take frequent, small breaks throughout the day than if I slog through a project in a single sitting. Taking frequent breaks isn’t only good for your brain, it can also be good for your body, too. To keep your brain and body running on all six cylinders, use the Pomodoro Technique when you’re working.

Set a timer for 45 minutes and work non-stop. When the 45 minutes are up, take a break for 15. Instead of surfing the web or chatting with Mark in HR, go outside and take a leisurely 15 minute stroll (unless of course you have a job where your boss expects you to be at your desk every minute). Plain old walking provides a surprising amount of health and mind benefits such as lowering our resting blood pressure, reducing obesity, and improving our working memory.

Doing your walk outside will also help you activate the Nature Switch of Manliness, which will reduce stress, keep you mentally sharp, and even boost your testosterone.

You can even make your walks productive by holding meetings with co-workers as you stroll. There’s something about walking and talking that gets the creative juices flowing. Steve Jobs was famous for his walking meetings. Instead of sitting at a table in a stuffy conference room, he’d ask the person he wanted to meet with to take a walk with him outside. Co-workers would go on to say that those “walking meetings” were some of the most productive meetings they ever experienced. Jobs was likely inspired by Aristotle’s peripatetic teaching. Instead of standing in front of a large group of students to lecture, Aristotle preferred to walk and talk to his students.

If it worked for Jobs and Aristotle, maybe it will work for you. Even if you don’t come up with a breakthrough business idea during your walking meeting, you’re at least staying active.

7. Perform 15 Dips When Leaving for and Returning from Lunch

Work those tri’s before and after lunch by cranking out a quick set of 15 dips when you leave for and return from lunch. Just place your hands on your chair and walk your feet out in front of you. I like to keep my legs stretched straight out while I perform the dips. Lower yourself until your arms form a 90-degree angle and then press up. Repeat 14 more times.

8. Perform 30-Second Grok Squats Throughout the Day

Mark Sisson from Mark’s Daily Apple introduced me to one of the best exercises to help alleviate the back, groin, and hip tightness that comes from sitting in a chair all day: the Grok Squat.

Also known as the Asian Squat or Indigenous Person Squat, the Grok Squat is a sitting position that you find in cultures that don’t have sofas or chairs like we do in the West. It’s something you did as a tot, and have forgotten; our almost two-year-old son, Gus, gets down into some really amazing Grok Squats all the time.

The Grok Squat is very similar to a catcher’s stance in baseball. Simply squat down until your butt touches your ankles. Keep your heels firmly on the ground and back straight. Hold that position for 30 seconds to a minute. You should feel your hamstrings, quads, Achilles tendons, lower back, and groin gently stretching. If you’re super stiff, it may take a few days of practice to sink into a full-on Grok Squat. Keep at it. Your back and hips will thank you.

To avoid the stiffness that comes from sitting and standing all day, incorporate several short Grok squats into your daily routine. A great time to do them is right after your 15-minute long walks. Before you resume working, simply crouch into a Grok squat and hold it for 30 seconds to a minute. For added effect, do the Grok Squat on top of your desk while holding a stapler above your head like that monkey hoisting the bone at the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5933366/the-desk-jockey-workout-8-ways-to-stay-in-shape-at-the-office

For more information on our therapies please contact Clinic Director Charlie Blaisdell at CBlaisdell@CoreNewEngland.com

BTP/CORE New England/ Core Medical Group
920 Washington Street
Norwood, MA 02062
Clinic: 781-269-5953

Calculate Your “Positive Emotion Score” to Boost Your Mood

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In the last 24 hours, how many positive emotions did you feel? How many negative? The ratio of positive to negative emotions could clue you in on how resilient you are to life’s stresses.

Jane McGonigal, developer of the SuperBetter game designed to help you work towards your goals, offers some “power-ups” you can use to increase your positive emotion (PE) ratio. For example:

Press reset: Having a bad morning? Close your eyes for one minute. When you open them, imagine your day is starting over.

Look to the future: For a quick jolt of optimism, think of something you’re looking forward to in the next 24 hours and a month from now.

If your positivity score is low, try physical power-ups like getting more sun.

These little exercises could be the difference between a great day and a bad one.

Source: http://lifehacker.com/calculate-your-positive-emotion-score-to-boost-your-m-1747118172?utm_campaign=socialflow_lifehacker_facebook&utm_source=lifehacker_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow&utm_expid=66866090-68.Rvuykf2qT9qOAx_axtw3_w.0&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F

Contact us for information on all of our therapies.

Boston Testosterone Partners / Core Medical Group

www.btpwellness.com
BTP/CORE New England
Men’s Health Centers
781.269.5953

 

Testosterone, Sleep And Sexual Health

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When it comes to sleep, testosterone may be the somewhat forgotten hormone. We know a great deal about the importance of testosterone as the male sex hormone, its role in the body and the effects of testosterone deficits, particularly for men. But there’s been relatively little attention paid to the effects of testosterone on sleep, for both men and women. A recent review of research seeks to bring some much-needed attention to the role that testosterone plays in sleep.

  • The effects of sleep (and lack of sleep) on testosterone levels in men and women.
  • The role that testosterone plays in obstructive sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing.
  • The relationship between testosterone levels and sexual dysfunction, and how sleep may affect both.

Changes in testosterone levels occur naturally during sleep, both in men and women. Testosterone levels rise during sleep and decrease during waking hours. Research has shown that the highest levels of testosterone happen during REM sleep, the deep, restorative sleep that occurs mostly late in the nightly sleep cycle. Sleep disorders, including interrupted sleep and lack of sleep, reduces the amount of REM sleep and will frequently lead to low testosterone levels. And this is important for men and women.

There’s strong evidence of a relationship between testosterone and sleep disordered breathing, including obstructive sleep apnea. Studies have shown that low testosterone levels frequently occur in men with obstructive sleep apnea. Men with obstructive sleep apnea are also more likely to suffer from complications to their sexual function, including low libido, erectile dysfunction and impotence.

  • Men with erectile dysfunction were more than twice as likely to have obstructive sleep apnea as those without erectile dysfunction, according to one study. This study also showed that the more serious a man’s erectile dysfunction, the more likely he was to also have obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Another study showed that men with obstructive sleep apnea and erectile dysfunction also exhibited highly-fragmented sleep that reduced or eliminated their REM sleep.

Men are more likely than women to suffer from sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing — though there is widespread belief that sleep apnea in women remains significantly under-diagnosed — and testosterone deficiencies may play a role.

What does this mean for men suffering from sleep problems or problems with sexual function? It’s time to explore the connection between the two. First off, guys, you’ve got to go to the doctor. Making the decision to consult a physician is the first important step, one that unfortunately can still be a difficult one for some men. Men who are struggling with issues related to sexual function should have their sleep evaluated by their physician. The good news is that treatments for obstructive sleep apnea — particularly the CPAP — are safe and effective. In some cases, hormone replacement therapy for conditions such as erectile dysfunction may be appropriate, independently or in conjunction with treatment for a sleep disorder.

What are the implications for women of low testosterone levels from lack of sleep? Women are particularly vulnerable to sleep problems related to hormone changes and deficiencies throughout their lives. We talk most frequently about estrogen and progesterone, the primary hormones involved in menstruation. But testosterone should be added to the list of hormonal factors to consider when thinking about hormone-related sleep problems in women.

Women, like men, are also likely to find their sexual lives negatively affected by obstructive sleep apnea. Several studies have found strong correlations between obstructive sleep apnea and sexual dysfunction in women. As obstructive sleep apnea grows worse, problems with sexual function — including sensation and desire — become more serious, according to this research. Women are particularly at risk for un-diagnosed sleep problems, including sleep-disordered breathing. Women who are experiencing problems with sexual function should have their sleep evaluated. This works in both directions: Women who are being treated for sleep problems — particularly obstructive sleep apnea — should work with their physician to assess the potential effect of their sleep disorder on their sexual health.

We know that sleep deprivation poses a greater risk of cardiovascular problems for women than for men. It’s just possible that the resulting lower testosterone levels may have something to do with this. Testosterone has a protective effect on the heart, reducing inflammatory proteins that can cause heart damage.

The more we know about how testosterone affects sleep and sexual health in men and women, the better clinicians will be able to help restore healthy functioning to two critical aspects of our lives.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-michael-j-breus/testosterone-sleep-sexual-health_b_981121.html

For more information on our therapies please contact Clinic Director Charlie Blaisdell at CBlaisdell@CoreNewEngland.com

BTP/CORE New England/ Core Medical Group
920 Washington Street
Norwood, MA 02062
Clinic: 781-269-5953

Planning For A Baby? Obesity Linked To Changes In Sperm DNA Associated With Appetite

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Listen up fellas: If you’re not going to get in shape for your own good, at least do it for the good of your future children. That’s because a new study has found obesity can change the genetic makeup of sperm cells in a way that may influence the appetite of future offspring. The same study found these changes may be reversed by losing weight, further highlighting how important good health is for not only moms-to-be, but also expectant fathers.

For the study, researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark looked at the sperm of 13 lean men and 10 obese men in an effort to find biomarkers that would affect weight. Sperm samples from both groups turned up epigenetic markers in regions of the genome associated with the control of appetite, although they appeared differently between the two groups.

Epigenetic changes in the genome occur when lifestyle and the environment affect the way in which genes are expressed. Dr. Ida Donkin, co-author of the study, explained to Medical Dailyin an email that our knowledge of epigenetic changes is still limited, but she believes these changes affect all of our genes differently. “Some features are more stable and others more susceptible to changes in the parent’s pre-conceptual lifestyle,” she wrote.

The epigenetic changes identified in the sperm suggests a parent’s lifestyle could affect their offspring’s appetite, and possibly even their body shape.

Change Is Possible

During the same study, researchers investigated whether significant weight change could also affect epigenetic markers. The team followed six men before and after they underwent gastric bypass surgery, and found an average of 4,000 structural changes to sperm cell DNA during the time period before surgery, directly after, and up to one year later.

Donkin explained that it’s difficult to say if the exact same effect would be seen in weight loss without surgery, she did note that her yet to be published research shows that just six weeks of exercise could bring about epigenetic changes in human sperm cells.

“Something tells us that weight-loss — no matter the tool you use to obtain it — will change the information of the sperm cells, and most likely influence the development, and risk of disease, of your children,” Donkin wrote.

Co-author Romain Barres, meanwhile, said such changes make sense from an evolutionary perspective. Extra weight has historically been advantageous and protected our ancestors from infections and famines. In the past, it would have been highly valuable for males to pass on their weight information to their offspring. “It’s only recently that obesity is not an advantage,” Barre said in a statement .

Father’s Health Is Important,Too

Although we know that a mother’s lifestyle, both before and during pregnancy, has an effect on the health of her unborn baby, this new study as well as others, have suggested the same may be true for fathers. A 2013 study from Duke University, for example, found fathers’ obesity could also contribute to epigenetic changes that increased their child’s risk of cancer. Another 2013 study on male mice, meanwhile, found that litters of male mice who were purposely denied folate experienced a 30 percent increase in birth defects.

“We have been telling mothers-to-be for years that they have to take care of their diet, to exercise and stay away from cigarettes and alcohol when pregnant or wanting to become so,” wrote Donkin. “This study tells us that the dads should also improve their lifestyle before conception, as their bad behavior might as well affect their children.”

It’s important to note that the study is small. In addition, although the researchers identified epigenetic changes in obese sperm associated with appetite, they did not actually prove that these changes were the reason children of obese men sometimes became obese. Still, the findings are significant in that they show not only does a man’s lifestyle affect the health of his future children, but also that weight loss can affect the way these genes are expressed.

Further research is needed to better understand the role that a father’s pre-conceptual health plays in that of their future offspring, but the team hopes their findings will help raise awareness of how important lifestyle factors are for both men and women prior to conception.

Source: Donkin I, Versteyhe S, Ingerslev LR, et al. Obesity and Bariatric Surgery Drive Epigenetic Variation of Spermatozoa in Humans. Cell Metabolism . 2015

source: http://www.medicaldaily.com/planning-baby-obesity-linked-changes-sperm-dna-associated-appetite-363972

For for more information on our therapies please contact Clinic Director Charlie Blaisdell at CBlaisdell@CoreNewEngland.com

BTP/CORE New England/ Core Medical Group
920 Washington Street
Norwood, MA 02062
Clinic: 781-269-5953

Are Your Scales Lying To You? | The Best 3 Ways To Measure Fat Loss Progression

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The simple answer here is no, they’re not lying to you. That is how much you weigh at this exact moment of time. But there’s much more to it than that, so allow me to explain to you in a bit more detail.

It’s really tough to feel discouraged when you jump on the scales and the needle (or number if you’re all new age and digital) doesn’t go down as much as you feel it should have done, based on how hard you worked last week. Don’t worry, all is not lost!

There’s so many reasons why that could happen, which we’ll go through in this article, as well as other, better methods of tracking your progress.


Lose weight or tone up?

First of all, when you say you want to lose weight, what you probably mean is that you want to look better, less ‘flabby’ and more toned. Which more specifically means that you want to lose fat. There’s a massive difference between weight loss and fat loss. And to explain that, let’s define what weight in this context actually is.

Weight is the total mass of your bones, organs, muscle, fat, and even water and undigested food… amongst other things.

Literally speaking, you could lose a very sizeable amount of weight by chopping off your arm, or going to the toilet. Would that mean you have a lower level of body fat? Absolutely not.


Guess what…Muscle DOESN’T weigh more than fat

This is something we need to get out of the way early on – a pound of feathers and a pound of bricks still weigh the same, but they’ll take up different amounts of space. It’s the same case with muscle and fat; muscle is more dense which means it takes up less space (in your body).

Which looks better when it comes to looking more ‘toned’.

 

Muscle is very useful for helping us lose fat – think about your muscles as a car engine; they burn fuel. The bigger your engine, the more fuel you’ll burn. In this case, your body’s fuel is calories, and to burn body fat we need to burn more calories than we consume (eat/drink). The more muscle you have (and I’m not talking about extremes here, just more than you’ve currently got), the more calories your body needs to function. That’s essentially your metabolism!

When you first start weight training, you’re very likely to build some muscle (only a little – not enough to look like a bodybuilder!) So if you lose some fat, and build some muscle, it’s very possible that you might weigh the same, but actually look more toned!


Why does my weight fluctuate so much?

You’ll know that by weighing yourself at different times of the day, week or month, the number on the scales can be vastly different.

And again, there’s a number of reasons for that, of which fat gain/loss isn’t the most probable factor.

 

Let’s explore some of the higher likelihoods:

✓ Food weighs something…

Food has weight, and when you eat it that weight doesn’t magically go away – it’s stored in your digestive system. Jump on the scales before and after a big meal and you’ll notice that you’ll weigh more. Conversely, go to the toilet and you’ll weigh less. Nothing more needs to be said there right?

✓ Water retention

On the topic of food, both carbs (carbohydrates) and sodium (AKA salt) will hold onto water. For every 1 gram of carbs, your body can retain 3 grams of water. So if you eat some carb-rich foods, you’ll be heavier on the scales but won’t have any more body fat.

✓ Time of the month

For ladies – the menstrual cycle has an affect on your weight too, through changes in water retention. For this reason it’s best that women weigh themselves monthly (at the same time every month), or compare each week of their cycle (e.g. Week 1 vs. Week 5, Week 2 vs. Week 6, etc.)

✓ Alcohol

Booze doesn’t help you lose fat. I’ve seen people posting statuses of joy on Facebook the morning after the night before, immediately concluding that they should just start drinking more often. As incredible as that would be, unfortunately the explanation is again down to water, this time due to alcohol dehydrating us, therefore we’d weigh less.


…What are the best ways measure your fat loss?

There are alternative methods for measuring your progress, with varying degrees of accuracy.

 

Here are the ones I recommend that my clients use, under consistent conditions which is explained below:

#1: Tape measurements

Because you can’t choose where you lose fat from (a myth known as spot reduction), I recommend taking measurements around the waist (belly button), hips (widest point), thigh and upper arm.

It’s really important here to make sure it’s always from exactly the same point. To ensure this, I measure 5 inches up from the elbow and 5-10 inches up from the knee (depending on the client).

#2: How your clothes fit 

This is slightly less accurate, but there’s no denying when you need to go shopping because every pair of jeans is falling off you is there? Some of my clients actually prefer this method as it takes less effort.

Just be sure to always compare the same garment (until it’s too big and you need to buy something smaller!)

#3: Progress pictures

I could write another whole article on before and after pictures, but that’s beyond the scope of this post so I’ll be as concise as possible. You see them plastered everywhere when it comes to the fitness industry. However, unfortunately they can be deceiving due to lighting or water retention (or dare I say Photoshop!)

Again, in the interest of consistency, be sure to take these in the same place, same time, under the same lighting, wearing the same clothes.

The one absolute necessity with all of these is consistency. Whichever method you use, measurements need to be taken in exactly the same situation.


A better way to use the scales

Despite what we’ve said so far, the scales can still be a useful, convenient way of tracking for many people.

However, I’d like to suggest a better way of using them – by taking average weight.

 

Take 3-7 weight measurements over a certain period of time, add them all together and divide them by the number of measurements to find your average weight.

As long as there is a gradual downward trend you’re heading in the right direction.

For example, you weigh yourself on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, at 48kg, 52kg, and 50kg. 

48kg + 52kg + 50kg = 150kg / 3 (measurements) = 50kg

For most people, taking your weight once a week will be more than adequate to keep you accountable to your goals.


Take Home Message

As with most things, there’s no black and white here, no right or wrong answer. Different people will prefer different methods of tracking.

Hopefully this article has explained enough for you to make an informed decision about how to track your own progress!

Source: http://www.myprotein.com/thezone/training/best-ways-measure-fat-loss-progression/

For for more information on our therapies please contact Clinic Director Charlie Blaisdell at CBlaisdell@CoreNewEngland.com

BTP/CORE New England
920 Washington Street
Norwood, MA 02062
Clinic: 781-269-5953

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