These two economists used ‘meta rules’ to drop 120 pounds

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“Meta-rules” are a small but powerful way to change your eating habits and keep off unwanted pounds, according to former obese economists Christopher Payne and Robert Barnett. The friends, who once worked together at Bloomberg, used the philosophy to drop a combined 120 pounds.

Payne and Barnett have written a book about their weight loss journey: “The Economists’ Diet.” They say their philosophy, which they adopted from behavioral economist Dan Ariely, applies their knowledge about economics to mindful eating.

“There’s a glut of food, we’re eating too much,” Payne tells NBC News BETTER. “This is how we have to impose eating austerity in order to get our bodies back.”

“META-RULES” ARE SMALL RULES YOU ESTABLISH THAT DICTATE HOW YOU EAT

Whether you make it a rule to only eat dessert once a week, or to ban sugary drinks, “meta-rules” help you lose weight because they reduce decision making about what goes in your stomach, Payne and Barnett say.

“It’s almost like an oath to yourself to take decision and choice out of it,” Payne says. “But in another sense, what we’re talking about is just habits.”

The men give the following tips in addition to applying “meta-rules” to weight loss.

  • Weigh yourself every morning. This will force you to be conscious of how your eating habits are affecting your weight.
  • Never waste calories on food you don’t love.
  • Have two light meals and one square meal per day.
  • If you know you’re going to eat a large meal later, skip a meal earlier in the day.
  • Become calorie conscious. You may even want to keep a food ledger and count your calories.

LOSING WEIGHT TAKES TIME

Payne and Barnett insist “meta-rules” are not a fad diet: they won’t help you lose weight quickly.

“It’s a long-term process about changing behavior for the good,” Payne says.

You do something quick, and then you almost toss it out and go back to your old ways.

You do something quick, and then you almost toss it out and go back to your old ways.

Payne says it took him 18 months to lose 45 pounds, or about 2.5 pounds a month. Barnett says it took him over a year to lose 75 pounds.

“We would generally caution against [losing weight quickly] because we don’t think it gives you enough time to instill the habits you’re going to need to [keep the weight off] for the rest of your life,” says Barnett. “You do something quick, and then you almost toss it out and go back to your old ways.”

DEVELOPING MINDFUL EATING HABITS IS MORE EFFECTIVE THAN EXERCISE

You might think that exercise is enough to maintain a healthy weight, the authors say, but developing positive eating habits through “meta-rules” outperforms the gym.

“For many of us, [exercise] is not something we’re going to keep up forever,” Payne says. “You need to be able to keep up the sustainable habits.”

“META-RULES” ARE ABOUT CHANGING YOUR BEHAVIOR FOR THE LONG-HAUL

Both men say “meta-rules” helped them lose weight and keep it off.

“There’s plenty enough to worry about in life, and it just so happens for me the one thing I don’t have to worry about is my weight,” says Payne. “But it’s not that I have some perfect physique — far from it — it’s just good enough, and that’s great.”

Barnett says his blood pressure has gone down and he no longer takes medication.

“I think whenever you can sort of naturally control something like that as opposed to needing a pill, that’s great,” says Barnett. “So hopefully I’ll be around for my children for more years and that kind of thing because of losing weight.”

HOW TO CHANGE YOUR EATING HABITS WITH “META-RULES”

  • Make some rules: Creating “meta-rules” for mindful eating will help reduce decision making about what you’re going to eat. For example, you might make a rule that you’re only going to drink your coffee black, or that you will only eat out twice a month.
  • Practice patience: “Meta-rules” are not a fad diet. Losing weight is a slow process. Remember: it’s not about being thin, but rather, changing your behavior, which will help keep the weight off.
  • Eat well first, exercise second: While exercise is great, it probably won’t help you stay in shape if you’re not also watching what goes in your mouth. “Meta-rules” help keep the weight off even when you can’t make it to the gym.
  • You have to be in it to win it: Whether you’re tired of being overweight or just want to be healthier, “meta-rules” will help you develop healthier habits for the rest of your life.

Article Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/pop-culture/these-two-economists-used-meta-rules-drop-120-pounds-ncna855206

by Julie Compton / 

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One hidden culprit behind weight gain: fruit juice

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Fruit juice isn’t doing any favors for your waistline, a new study reports.

People who drink a small glass of fruit juice daily can expect to steadily gain a bit of weight over the years, according to data from a long-term study of women’s health.

It’s about the same weight gain you’d expect if someone drank a similar amount of sugary soda every day, the study authors noted.

On the other hand, someone who increases consumption of whole fruit by one serving a day can expect to lose about a pound over three years, the researchers found.

A single 6-ounce daily serving of 100-percent fruit juice every day prompted an average weight gain of about half a pound over three years, said lead researcher Dr. Brandon Auerbach, a doctor at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.

“The numbers might not seem like they’re that large, but this is in the context of an average American gaining about one pound every year,” Auerbach said. “In terms of weight gain, there’s a striking difference between fruit juice and whole fruit.”

The large load of sugar contained in fruit juice is contributing to the United States’ obesity epidemic, the researchers concluded.

A 6-ounce serving of pure fruit juice contains between 15 and 30 grams of sugar, and 60 to 120 calories, the study authors noted.

Whole fruit also contains sugar, but that sugar is stored within the pulp and fiber of the fruit, Auerbach said. Even high-pulp 100-percent orange juice is not a significant source of fiber.

Without that added fiber, the sugar in fruit juice hits your bloodstream much faster, inducing an insulin jolt that alters your metabolism, Auerbach said.

“Fruit juice does have the same vitamins and minerals as whole fruit does, but it has hardly any fiber,” he said. “The sugar in fruit juice gets absorbed very quickly, and we think that’s why it acts differently in the body.”

This new report relied on data from more than 49,000 post-menopausal American women who were part of the Women’s Health Initiative, a national health study, between 1993 and 1998.

On average, participants gained a little more than 3 pounds during three years of follow-up, the researchers reported.

After controlling for other factors in weight gain—for example, exercise, total calories consumed a day, education and income—the researchers found that women who frequently drank fruit juice were more likely to  .

Sugary fruit juice is a contributing factor to obesity, said Dr. Reshmi Srinath, but “it’s hard to pinpoint as a single culprit” responsible for weight gain.

“Generally, the association is with the pattern of healthy eating and healthy lifestyle,” said Srinath, an assistant professor of endocrinology, diabetes and bone disease with Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine in New York City.

“Those who eat more fresh fruit are generally having a healthier or more active lifestyle than those who are drinking juice,” Srinath added. She wasn’t involved in the study.

Srinath noted that, on average, women in the study drank less than one serving a day of pure fruit juice from the beginning, “which makes it even harder to find a significant difference, and makes it a more challenging study to interpret.”

Both Srinath and Auerbach agreed that moms should limit kids’ fruit juice, and instead pop a piece of whole fruit in their lunches.

“I would say to limit juice, especially through childhood, because those patterns can continue into adulthood,” Srinath said.

The study was published online recently in the journal Preventive Medicine.

More information: Brandon Auerbach, M.D., MPH, doctor, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle; Reshmi Srinath, M.D., assistant professor, endocrinology, diabetes and bone disease, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City; Jan. 9, 2018, Preventive Medicine, online.

Article Source: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-02-hidden-culprit-weight-gain-fruit.html

February 14, 2018 by Dennis Thompson, Healthday Reporter

 

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7 Weight Loss Strategies That Actually Worked For Real People

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Losing weight is hard. Sometimes, the best form of inspiration is hearing what actually worked for other people with the same goal.

Recently, one Reddit user turned to the Internet to scope out this very question: “What are some weight loss diet and workout tips/tricks that actually work?”

The response wasn’t huge , but the thread was loaded with tips from people looking to dish out their own advice. The surprising part? Many of the tips they shared actually have a pretty strong backing in science. Here, seven weight loss strategies that helped them shed pounds—and why they might work for you, too.

“DRINK WATER INSTEAD OF SODA.”

It’s a simple swap, but an effective one. If you need to cut calories, nixing them in their empty, liquid form — like soda, booze, and sugary coffee drinks — will make a big impact.

Soda is loaded with sugar and potentially sketchy ingredients. For instance, one can of Coke contains 39 grams of added sugar (more than your daily recommended max of 36 grams) and 140 calories. Just one a day will save you nearly 1,000 extra calories a week.

Plus, drinking the sweet stuff might be upping your risk of some serious health conditions, too. One study published in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that people who sip sugary drinks like soda have 10 percent more visceral fat — the fat you can’t see hiding deep within your body around your organs — than people who avoid the stuff. This type of fat has been linked to heart disease and diabetes.

 

“MEAL PREP WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.”

This tip comes from the same user as above. If you have a hard time making healthy food choices in the moment, prepping meals ahead of time can save you from those impulsive not-so-great decisions.

When you have a hectic work schedule or kids to take care of, it’s a lot harder to turn down fast food or frozen meals you can heat up in 5 minutes. Taking a day or two out of your week to prep will ensure that your meals are full of muscle-building protein, filling fiber, and healthy carbs and fats — all essentials when you’re looking to drop pounds.

“INTERMITTENT FASTING. IT’S BEEN 8 WEEKS. I’VE LOST 18 POUNDS.”

More than one person in this Reddit thread gave a shout out to intermittent fasting, a weight-loss strategy that has surged in popularity. Basically, your eating is restricted during set times and you eat as normal — or even more than you would otherwise — during others.

In fact, intermittent fasting is just as effective for weight loss as daily calorie restriction, according to a study from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In this experiment, people who fasted ate 25 percent of their daily calorie needs every other day, known as “fast days.” On their “feast days” they ate 125 percent of their calorie needs. So if you typically eat 2,000 calories a day, you’d eat 500 calories one day, followed by 2,500 the next.

Any diet can work — as long as you’re consistent and able to stick with it. “The people who can benefit from this type of alternate-day fasting are those who would rather feel like they aren’t restricting food intake 3.5 days out of the week,” Men’s Health nutrition advisor, Alan Aragon, M.S. told us. That means you find it hard to stick to a diet all the time, and you’d like the flexibility that feast days can give you.

“ALL YOU REALLY NEED IS DECENT MOVEMENT EVERY DAY.”

“I lost 40 kg a few years ago,” one user wrote — that’s the equivalent of 88 pounds. “The only thing that really worked for me was to do cardio every single day, just 30 min of good cardio a day.”

The user added: “All you really need is decent movement every day. Jumping jacks are really effective for weight loss, they helped me most.”

Cardio can feel like a chore (unless you try one of these awesome indoor cardio workouts), but according to a study in BMC Public Health, overweight people who included both cardio and weight training into their 12-week exercise program lost more body fat than those who stuck to just one or the other.

“COOK ALL YOUR OWN FOOD.”

“Don’t eat anything that comes out of a bag, box, or restaurant,” one user pointed out in the thread.

It’s a good point: One study from the U.K. found that people who ate more than five home-cooked meals per week were 28 percent less likely to have an overweight body mass index (defined as anything above 25) and 24 percent less likely to have excess body fat than those who ate less than three home-cooked meals per week.

That’s because people who whip up their own meals tend to use healthier prep methods, eat a larger variety of foods (like fruits and vegetables), and eat less processed foods, which tend to be higher in added sugar and calories, the researchers note. What’s more, cooking at home motivates you to add other healthy habits into your daily routine, like exercising regularly.

“INCLUDE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES WITH EVERY MEAL.”

You’re probably not eating enough fruits and vegetables, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Only 12 percent of Americans eat at least 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit, while only 9 percent down a minimum of 2 to 3 cups of vegetables a day.

But filling your plate with fruits and vegetables is crucial if you want to eat more food while downing fewer calories. (Two cups of broccoli serves up only 109 calories. Compare that to just one cup of white pasta, which gets you around 200 or more.) Fruits and vegetables also contain lots of gut filling fiber, which will help keep your hunger at bay between meals.

Plus, packing in colorful produce can reduce your risk of chronic health issues, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and even come cancers, says the CDC report.

Try this: Fill half your plate with fruits or vegetables, and split the other between quality carbs (like whole grains) and lean protein for a satisfying meal, Wesley Delbridge, R.D., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told Men’s Health recently.

“KETO HAS WORKED FOR ME. BUT MOSTLY BECAUSE IT HELPS ME REDUCE MY CALORIE INTAKE.”
The ketogenic diet is all anyone can talk about lately—but it’s not exactly new. The keto model is similar to the Atkins diet of the early 2000s, but focuses more heavily on carb restriction. When you go keto, 60 to 80 percent of your diet is composed of fat, 10 to 15 percent comes from protein, and less than 10 percent is made up of carbs.

Here’s the thing: Keto is extremely restrictive, which automatically means it won’t work for everyone. But if you can stick with it, you should go into in a ketogenic state, which will theoretically force your body to run on fat rather than glucose (a type of sugar found in carbs), helping you burn fat by default.

Plus, as the Reddit user noted, you’re forced to eat a limited number of foods, which means you have less of any opportunity to rely on unhealthy options. Plus, you can’t really eat carbs, so you will immediately eliminate refined carbs, like sugar cereals and packaged snacks, which can help you reduce your calories.

ALISA HRUSTIC

Article Source: https://www.menshealth.com/weight-loss/reddit-weight-loss-tips-that-work

 

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Vitamin D-3 could ‘reverse’ damage to heart

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By probing the effect that vitamin D-3 has on the cells that make up the lining of blood vessels, scientists at Ohio University in Athens, OH, have identified for the first time the role that the “sunshine vitamin” plays in preserving cardiovascular health.

In a paper published in the International Journal of Nanomedicine, they describe how they used nanosensors and a cell model to identify the molecular mechanisms that vitamin D-3 can trigger in the endothelium, which is the thin layer of tissue that lines blood vessels.

It was previously believed that the endothelium served no other purpose than to act as an inert “wrapper” of the vascular system, allowing both water and electrolytes to pass in and out of the bloodstream.

However, advances over the past 30 years have revealed that the endothelium acts more like an organ that lines the whole of the circulatory system from the “heart to the smallest capillaries,” and whose cells carry out many unique biological functions.

Changes to the endothelium have been linked to several serious health problems, including high blood pressure, insulin resistance, diabetes, tumor growth, virus infections, and atherosclerosis, which is a condition wherein fatty deposits can build up inside arteries and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Vitamin D-3 has role beyond bone health

The new study suggests that vitamin D-3 — a version of vitamin D that our bodies produce naturally when we expose our skin to the sun — plays a key role in preserving and restoring the damage to the endothelium that occurs in these diseases.

Some other natural sources of vitamin D-3 include egg yolks and oily fish. It is also obtainable in the form of supplements. Vitamin D-3 is already well-known for its role in bone health.

“However,” explains senior author Tadeusz Malinski, a professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry, “in recent years, in clinical settings people recognize that many patients who have a heart attack will have a deficiency of D-3.”

“It doesn’t mean that the deficiency caused the heart attack,” he adds, “but it increased the risk of heart attack.”

Nanosensors probed effect of D-3 on cells

For their study, Prof. Malinski and colleagues developed a measuring system using nanosensors, or tiny probes that are 1,000 times smaller than the thickness of human hair and can operate at the level of atoms and molecules.

They used the nanosensors to track the impact of vitamin D-3 on molecular mechanisms in human endothelial cells that had been treated to show the same type of damage that occurs from high blood pressure.

The findings suggest that vitamin D-3 is a powerful trigger of nitric oxide, which is a molecule that plays an important signaling role in the control of blood flow and the formation of blood clots in blood vessels.

The researchers also found that vitamin D-3 significantly reduces oxidative stress in the vascular system.

They note that their study “provides direct molecular insight to previously published observations that have suggested that vitamin D-3 deficiency-induced hypertension is associated with vascular oxidative stress.” The effects of vitamin D-3 were similar in both Caucasian and African American endothelial cells.

Could D-3 reverse cardiovascular damage?

The study authors note that while their findings came from tests performed on a cellular model of high blood pressure, “[T]he implications of the influence of vitamin D-3 on dysfunctional endothelium is much broader.”

They suggest that vitamin D-3 has the potential to significantly reverse the damage that high blood pressure, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and other diseases inflict on the cardiovascular system.

“There are not many,” Prof. Malinski adds, “if any, known systems which can be used to restore cardiovascular endothelial cells which are already damaged, and vitamin D-3 can do it.”

 

Article Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320802.php

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The Power of Glutathione

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WHAT IS GLUTATHIONE?

Glutathione is produced naturally in the liver. It is made up of three amino acids, and it is vital for cellular metabolism. It protects against oxidative stress caused by free radicals, is required for the immune system to function properly, and is a potent detoxifier.

The importance of glutathione has been validated by over 92,000 scientific articles, more than twice the amount that has ever been published about vitamin C. In fact, nutrition experts believe that it is just as necessary for our health as oxygen, food and water.

Glutathione is the body’s most powerful and important antioxidants, present in each and every cell in the body. It plays a pivotal role in detoxifying our cells, removing heavy metals, toxins and free radicals. All of which can damage our cells and significantly damage the quality of our cells, including skin cells.

Benefits:

1. Increase the energy

2. Slows down ageing process

3.  Reduces muscle and joint discomfort

4.  Strengthens immune system

5. Detoxifies the liver and cells

6. Improves mental focus and clarity

7. Improves quality of sleep

8. Reduces the effects of stress

9. Improves the skin

10. Athletic performance and recovery

WHAT DOES GLUTATHIONE DO IN OUR BODIES?

Antioxidant – GSH is the body’s master Antioxidant, our bodies depend on GSH for the removal of toxins and GSH is at the heart of all immune functions. Other antioxidants in our body depend on GSH to function properly.

Detoxification – GSH detoxifies a large number of pollutants by binding to carcinogens, heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides and radiation by forming a soluble compound with the toxin that can then be excreted through the urine or bile.

Immune system – Healthy growth and activity of immune cells depends on the availability of GSH. The protective activity of GSH is two-fold – it enhances the activity of immune cells and also functions as an antioxidant within them.

Increased Energy – Our energy levels are a result of many factors – everything from the biochemical reactions taking place within our cells, to muscle function and even your sense of well-being. GSH enables the mitochondria of a cell to remain fully charged, enhancing muscle strength and endurance. Clinical trials have shown that lowering GSH in the mitochondria results in cell death.

Repair – Our body is constantly under attack from free radicals, some from external sources and some generated in our own body. Free radicals attack the nearest stable molecule, “stealing” its electron. A molecule that loses an electron then becomes a free radical itself and attacks the next nearest stable molecule, this begins a chain reaction. Once the reaction is started it can cascade through hundreds of molecules. As this occurs over and over again the cell eventually dies or mutates. Sometimes the mutated cell mutates to a point that we know as cancer. GSH performs a vital role in repairing the damaged DNA by replacing the missing electron. Normal to elevated GSH keeps the repair of our cells at a maximum and reduces the number of cell mutations that would occur otherwise.

Lightens Skin – By supplementing with a high quality Glutathione supplement, namely one containing Acetyl Glutathione, you can not only improve your complexion, but improve the quality and health of your skin. Supplementing with a Glutathione pill or injectable can help to improve the health of every cell in the body, particularly apparent in the skin, hair and nails. Giving people a radiant glow which is caused by healthy cells and reduced toxicity in the body.

Article by:  Bon Heur

Article Source: https://www.healthdigezt.com/the-power-of-glutathione/

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What Are Liquid Calories? Know How They Help In Losing Weight

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Whenever we hear the word ‘Calories’, we associate it with a negative connotation. We start thinking, weight gain/obesity/health issues – not fair guys! Calories are actually an energy measure and are needed by our bodies to stay alive! Taking it from here I would like to play the devil’s advocate for liquid calories – couple of words that almost always lead to a cautionary article or talk about how they derail our calorie count. Hmmm.

Okay so calories are present in almost every food that we consume. Some come with other nutrients making it a healthy choice, others come by themselves, pushing the food down the list of must haves. Liquids we consume also come with the same rules. While choosing liquid calories, keep your health goals in mind.

Weight loss/ maintenance: If you are on a weight loss diet or want to control those extras to remain within the right weight range then choose from the list below.
list

Active life style: If you are into exercising daily or are a serious sports /workout athlete then you need fluids for meeting two essential needs.

Hydration:Fluids are extremely essential during exercising. Good hydration helps improve performance and prevents fatigue, protects against overheating of the body and thereby elevated heart rates. A standard thumb rule for your fluid needs is – Each kilogram (kg) of weight lost post a work out is equivalent to approximately one litre of fluid. For choosing the right fluid, sport science research has recommended that though water is a good choice, but depending on your intensity, duration and sport, you may very well need some carbohydrate and electrolytes to. Australian institute of sports nutrition states that for “brief” exercise lasting 45minutes or less there is no need for any supplement. Workouts of longer duration and intensity need a hydration plan and research has shown that cool beverages with some flavour and sodium are better tolerated as compared to water. The recommendations for choosing the right fluid are fluids or sports drinks that contain 4-8% carbohydrate, 10-20 mmol/L of sodium. While carbohydrates have been shown to enhance performance, excess of carbohydrates may cause abdominal discomfort.

Enhancing Nutritional intake: Intensive training needs more nourishment, but exhaustion and extended workouts may interfere with adequate intake. The guidelines for the Olympic committee’s Nutrition for athletes states that if you want to increase your energy intake and build muscle mass then “Drinks such as fruit smoothies, liquid meal supplements and fortified milkshakes and juices can provide a substantial source of energy and nutrients that are quick and compact to consume, and less likely to cause gastrointestinal discomfort than bulky foods.” A healthy carbohydrate and protein combination would provide 50-75 gram of Carbs and 15-20 gram protein.

Choose healthy options and enjoy your drinks. Consuming nutrient rich liquids for whatever health goals you want to achieve is possible.

Article Source: https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/what-are-liquid-calories-know-how-they-help-in-losing-weight-1785293

Written By: Dr. Rupali Datta , Chief Clinical Nutritionist, SmartCooky

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How to lose weight by having sex

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With more than half of the United States population on a diet, weight loss is clearly on our minds. But should you include sex in your weight management plan? We investigate.

A healthy weight is part and parcel of a healthy lifestyle. Keeping our pounds in check is good for our ticker, our bones, and our lungs. It might even keep cancer at bay, as we found out this week.

But a staggering 73.7 percent of men and 66.9 percent of women in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Perhaps it comes as no surprise, then, that 66 percent of us are currently on a diet.

Whether opting for a tried-and-tested Mediterranean diet or a relative newcomer, like intermittent fasting, as a nation we understand that our diet, our weight, and our health are intricately linked.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “physical activity is an important part of maintaining healthy weight, losing weight, and keeping extra weight off once it has been lost.”

The HSS recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week, but less than 25 percent of adults manage to hit this target.

Where does sex fit into this?

Well, sex is good for our health, it burns calories, and it makes us happy. You are, of course, unlikely to burn as many calories between the sheets as during a heavy gym session, but exercise alone may not be the panacea for weight loss we give it credit for, according to a recent study.

So, get ready to look at the obvious and some of the more surprising reasons why sex should be firmly integrated into our plan to reach and maintain a healthy weight, regardless of whether you are a gym buff or not.

Sex is exercise

In 2013, Prof. Antony D. Karelis — along with colleagues from the Université du Québec à Montréal in Canada — studied exactly how many calories we burn when we get our groove on.

Prof. Karelis explains in his article in the journal PLOS ONE that only a handful of studies have attempted to shine the spotlight on the physiological effects during partnered sex with human subjects. All previous studies showed an increase in heart rate.

For his study, Prof. Karelis worked with 21 heterosexual couples, aged between 18 and 35.

The couples were asked to have sex once per week for a period of 4 weeks, while wearing an activity tracker that allowed the research team to calculate how much energy they spent each time.

A sexual encounter included foreplay, intercourse, and at least one orgasm by either partner, then “ended at the couple’s discretion,” as the authors explain.

Here is what the team found.

Men burned on average 101 calories and women 69 calories when they had sex. The average intensity was higher than walking but lower than jogging, Prof. Karelis explains, putting it firmly in the category of moderate-intensity exercise.

This means that each time we have sex, it counts toward our 150 minutes of weekly exercise recommended by the HSS.

If that’s not appealing enough, the data revealed more.

‘More pleasant’ than a gym workout

The range of calories burned during sex varied considerably. At the lower end, men burned 13 calories and women 11.6, while at the top of the range, men shifted 306 calories and women 164.

Let’s look at these numbers into the context of how long each sexual encounter lasted. While the average duration of foreplay, intercourse, and orgasm was 24.7 minutes, the actual time the couples spent having sex ranged from 12.5 to 36.9 minutes.

Whether the top calorie-burners had more vigorous sex or just took their sweet time isn’t clear from the data, but we can draw some conclusions. If we want to increase our calorie loss during sex, we can either get more actively involved, keep at it for longer, or a combination of both.

Prof. Karelis also compared sex with regular gym exercise. He found that men burned between 149 and 390 calories during a 30-minute, moderate-intensity session on the treadmill, while women burned between 120 and 381.

When asked to compare the two activites, all of the men and 95 percent of the women in the study said that sex was more pleasant than pounding the treadmill.

So, we are not only making considerable headway toward reaching our 150-minute weekly exercise goal when we have sex, we also stand to gain more pleasure than from a gym visit.

Exercise may not equal weight loss

While some may argue that a study on healthy, young individuals may not be representative of the general population, the participants included a wide spread of weight categories.

Body mass index (BMI) for men varied between 19.5 and 31, putting at least some of the men in the overweight and obese category. For women, the range was from 16.9 to 26.6, meaning some of the women were underweight and some were overweight.

The study doesn’t reveal anything about the participants’ weight during the 4 weeks they took part. But if you’re looking to shift some pounds, exercise alone may not be the answer to weight loss we once thought it was, as we reported last week.

Researchers from the University of Bangor in the United Kingdom found no discernible weight loss in women who had taken part in three sessions of circuit exercise training per week for either 4 or 8 weeks, despite burning around 3,400 calories in total during this time period.

On the contrary, the team identified changes in hormones that control appetite in overweight and obese study participants after exercise.

“[…] Someone undertaking more physical activity may experience increased appetite as a result,” senior study author Hans-Peter Kubis, Ph.D., explains.

Sex might fill a useful gap here because hormones released during our amorous experiences cause us to eat less.

Sex curbs food intake

The “love hormone” oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus in our brain as well as in our gastrointestinal tract, and it has been accredited with key functions in sex, empathy, relationship-building, childbirth, and breast-feeding.

Oxytocin levels shoot up when we have sex – specifically, when we experience orgasm. But that’s not all the love hormone can do.

Dr. Elizabeth A. Lawson — from the Neuroendocrine Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston — explains in an article in the December edition of Nature Reviews Endocrinology that “experiments in rodents, nonhuman primates and humans consistently show that oxytocin reduces caloric consumption.”

She adds that men ate fewer calories, particularly in the form of fat, after receiving 24 international units (IU) of oxytocin in a nasal spray in one study.

“The authors found that oxytocin reduced consumption of a postprandial snack, particularly chocolate cookies,” Dr. Lawson explains.

It’s important to note that oxytocin doesn’t stick around in our bodies for very long. Within 2–8 minutes of being released, half of hormone will be gone.

The after-effect of a single sexual encounter on our food intake will therefore only ever be transient. Still, every little helps, and a temporary curb on eating after sex is sure to contribute to overall weight loss.

Sex and weight management

Now that we’ve looked at the benefit of sex when it comes to burning calories and temporarily putting a halt on eating, how likely is it that we are going to lose weight by having sex?

That probably depends on how easy it is to incorporate sex into your personal schedule. Finding time to be romantic sounds easy, but the stark reality of busy lives make it less tenable for some.

However, it is worth reminding ourselves that sex has a plethora of health benefits, and, unlike a gym visit, you don’t have to stray far from your bedroom — or other location of personal preference — to make it happen.

So, if you are looking to shed a few pounds in the lead up to the peak holiday season, why not make the time to spend with your partner, enjoy sharing some intimate moments, and bask in the full effect that all that oxytocin and calorie loss will hopefully have on your scales.

You might find that your 2018 diet plan will easily accommodate sex as an indispensable component.

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Article Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320235.php

 

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