Posts Tagged ‘Weight Loss’

Protein for Weight Loss

June 24, 2013

eggs1In the 40 years that I have spent in the fitness world, one group of athletes above others demonstrates an incredible ability to control their weight. Whether they want to gain but more likely lose body fat. Bodybuilders are very detailed oriented as to how their bodies appear. So when it comes to weight loss can there be a lesson learned? For years the bodybuilder trainers that I have been around can often be heard telling their clients to increase their protein. Including at breakfast time.  So why aren’t we listening to the ones who have perfected their craft of changing their body fat levels? Let’s look at some research.

University of Missouri researchers have found that eating a breakfast high in protein reduces hunger throughout the day. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) they found that a protein-rich breakfast reduces the brain signals that control food motivation and reward-eating behavior. Heather Leidy, assistant professor in the MU Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology assessed physiological hunger and satiety by measuring perceived appetite sensations and hormonal markers using fMRI to identify brain activation in specific regions.

In a study presented at the 2007 Experimental Biology meeting, researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center compared weight loss in two groups of women. One group ate two eggs for breakfast and the other group had a bagel. Both breakfast meals were identical in calories and volume. “Compared to the bagel eaters, overweight women who ate two eggs for breakfast five times a week for eight weeks as part of a low-fat, reduced-calorie diet, lost 65% more weight.” Reports researcher Nikhil V. Dhurandhar, PhD.

Another study, reported in Obesity Research, found that women who added a little lean protein to their breakfast (a slice of Canadian bacon added to an egg sandwich made with an English muffin) felt less hunger during the next four hours than those who ate a breakfast with no protein.

A report published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggests that consuming more protein above the RDA improves adult weight loss. Two groups were followed. One used the dietary recommendations as defined by the USDA Food Guide Pyramid. The other group was given as much as 30-33grams of protein for breakfast. After using these diets for ten weeks, the group that consumed the higher protein meals lost more weight, more body fat and less lean muscle mass.

It is important to note that lean muscle mass is more metabolically active, which then helps with weight management.

Now don’t mistake these reports to say no carbs. All of these groups that were followed had carbohydrates as part of their meals as well. What they did, as noted is increase the amount of protein they consumed. So it’s not about taking carbs out of your diet completely. But what appears to be working here is changing the ratio of carbs to protein by increasing the amount of protein.

So what do you say? What are you having for breakfast? How can you increase your levels of protein?

For more Health & Fitness information please visit our ongoing blog at


Exercise and Arthritis

July 26, 2010

Nearly 27 million Americans are affected by arthritis. So what is arthritis and where does exercise come into the picture?

When the cartilage, which is the cushion at the ends of your bones breaks down. It causes the bones to rub up against each other. This can cause stiffness, pain and loss of movement in the joint. This is known as osteoarthritis.

Although arthritis is seen as something that happens in the normal course of aging, there are ways to manage this disease. One way this is done, yes you guessed it, is through exercise.

The John Hopkins Arthritis Center states that “Regular physical activity can keep the muscles around affected joints strong, decrease bone loss and may help control joint swelling and pain. Regular activity replenishes lubrication to the cartilage of the joint and reduces stiffness and pain. Exercise can enhance weight loss in those with arthritis who are overweight.”

The Arthritis Foundation says that –

  • For every one pound of weight loss, there is a four pound reduction in the load exerted on the knee for each step taken
  • Losing as few as 11 pounds can cut the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis by 50 percent for some women
  • Physical activity keeps joints flexible and maintains or improves muscle strength.

That information was directed towards the knee. But the same can be said for your ankles, hips, shoulders and elbows. If you keep the muscles that support your joints strong then they can support these joints while they are going through their range of motion.

So what about you? Has arthritis showed up in one or more of your joints? How has it affected your daily life? For me I can feel it in my hands, so I do exercises that help me with my grip. If you want ideas as far as what exercises will help with certain joints please feel free to ask me here or email me.

For more Health & Fitness information please visit our ongoing blog at

Meta WHAT?!?!?!

October 4, 2009

When we talk about metabolism and metabolic rate the first thing that comes to mind is energy. We all know people who have “slower” (gain weight easy) and others who have “fast” (can almost eat whatever they want without gaining) metabolisms.

But how do you measure this? Is there a numeric scale?

The answer to what your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is comes down to how many calories you need to survive to maintain your weight.

And yes once you attain that number you then apply your activity level and then that changes your calorie needs to what you require.

Up until recently in order to get an accurate number you would spend time in an atmospheric controlled chamber known as a calorimeter. The amount of heat that you produced at rest would then be measured. Problem is this chamber was quite expensive. So it was very difficult to find one.

Technology is a wonderful thing. Recently, a hand held device has come on the market. This device is called a MetaCheck and it can calculate your RMR in about 10 minutes. You breathe into its mouthpiece where lung gases are collected and their oxygen content analyzed. Formulas are applied and your answer is given in calorie requirements.

So why is Resting Metabolism so important? Don’t we speed it up through exercise?

Our metabolism absolutely increases while we are active. But we don’t spend the bulk of hour 24 hour day exercising. Most people burn 70 to 80% of their calories at rest.

So how does this apply to weight loss?

Sometimes weight loss plateaus occur because excessive calorie restriction causes your metabolism to slow down to conserve energy. When you know your RMR then your diet can be adjusted so that the maximal amount of calories can be taken in without risking weight gain.

For more Health & Fitness information please visit our ongoing blog at