5 Reasons Most Diets Fail (and How to Succeed)

How to Achieve Your Diet Goals

It is very important to know the facts of how to properly diet. On average, a person gains about 11 pounds for every diet they go on. In addition, the person loses both muscle and fat while on a diet, only to gain back the fat. Ultimately, this leads to a slower metabolism and more difficulty maintaining weight.

There are 2 crucial components to sustaining weight loss through a healthy diet.

  1. Reduce appetite in a slow and measured way by regulating the neurotransmitters in your gut and brain that drive hunger and overeating.
  2. Increase your metabolism so you are burning more calories throughout the day than you are consuming.

Here are 3 simple ways to achieve these 2 components:

Eat the Right Food at the Right Time:

Eating whole, fresh food to satisfy your appetite can cut down on the carbs and sugary foods that increase hunger and slows metabolism. Never skip breakfast and avoid eating 3 hours before bed.

Less Calories is not Always Good:

Eating fewer calories to lose weight is an idea that is quickly fading. Recent studies have shown that some calories make you fat while others can make you thin. The staples of your diet should be low-glycemic foods. For example, nuts, seeds, chicken, fish, grass fed meat and greens. Grains and bean consumption should not exceed more than half a cup once a day each. Use sugar sparingly in small doses and avoid artificial sweeteners.

Low-Fat is not Always Good:

Eating fat is not what makes you fat but eating sugar does. Studies have shown that low-carb, high-fat vegan diets were more effective at weight loss than a low-fat vegan diet. Also, eating more fat and less carbs is shown to increase metabolism. Good fats makes you feel full faster and should be eaten at every meal. Examples of good fats include avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, organic eggs, chicken, grass fed meats and fish.

Are you Overweight or Obese? Here is what you should know

Know your body mass index (BMI) so you can improve it.

You BMI is a measurement of body fat that is based on your height and weight. Your BMI is a major factor that your healthcare provider considers when determining treatment protocols. A person with a BMI of between 25 and 29.99 is classified as ‘overweight,’ and a BMI of 30 and above is classified as obese. People who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk for chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Click here to calculate your BMI.

What is causing the obesity epidemic?

Simply put, too many calories. If you are eating more calories than you are burning throughout the day, you will inevitably gain weight. The increased availability and accessibility of energy dense foods is contributing to an unhealthy increase in weight across the world. Combine that with a steady decline in physical activity and the results are fatal and very costly.

Can the course of obesity be changed?

For most people struggling with obesity, the answer is yes! Unfortunately the process is not simple, as reducing calories and increasing physical activity is not easy and not always the answer.

If you are looking to improve your diet try reading this post. Drastically reducing calories is not the best answer, because not all calories are bad. There is no quick fix to obesity, but rather micro lifestyle changes that are implemented daily and maintained for long periods of time.

To simplify your journey to a healthier you, try starting with these tips:

  1. Avoid eating saturated fats
  2. Increase the amount of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts you eat daily.
  3. Cut out sugars and sodium from your diet gradually.
  4. Exercise 15 minutes every day for the first two weeks, then push to 30 minutes every day for the next two weeks, then try an hour every day.

Enjoy the process and don’t go at it alone! Work in teams to meet your goals.

Quick Diet Tips to Naturally Boost Metabolism

Tip # 1 – Eat More Whole Grains

Why? Because your body burns twice as many calories breaking down whole foods, especially those rich in fiber such as oatmeal and brown rice, than processed foods.

Tip # 2 – Eat More Lean Meats

Why? Because protein has a high thermogenic effect, helping you burn about 30% of the calories the food contains during digestion (so a 300-calorie chicken breast requires about 90 calories to break it down).

Tip # 3 – Eat Low-fat Dairy Products

Why? Because dairy is rich in calcium and vitamin D, which help preserve and build muscle mass, an essential part of maintaining a robust metabolism.

Tip # 4 – Try Drinking Green Tea Daily

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, drinking four cups of green tea each day can help you lose weight over time. Why? Because a compound called EGCG in the brew can temporarily speed up your metabolism. Try keeping a jug of iced green tea in the fridge for easy access.

Tip # 5 – Add Lentils to your Daily Diet

Why? Because one cup of lentils can pack up to 35% of your daily iron needs in addition to fiber which helps you feel full for longer periods of time.

Tip #6 – Eat Some Hot Peppers (or Hot Sauce) When You Can

Why? Because hot peppers contain a compound called capsaicin. This helps give chili peppers their kick that heats up your body, helping you burn additional calories. Try adding cayenne or hot sauce to soups, eggs, and meats for the added effect.

Is exercise better than drugs for cancer fatigue?

March 7, 2017

A recent study suggests that cancer patients may ease fatigue more effectively with exercise and psychotherapy than with medications.

Researchers conducted a meta study, which looks at data from 113 previously published studies involving more than 11,500 cancer patients with fatigue.

According to the data, exercise and psychotherapy were associated with a 26 percent to 30 percent reduction in fatigue during and after cancer treatment, the study found. Drugs, however, were tied to only a 9 percent decline in fatigue.

Cancer-related fatigue is common and may be tied to the effects of tumors or treatments. Unlike other types of exhaustion, just getting more sleep or giving aching muscles a break from strenuous activities can’t address fatigue associated with tumors.

Fatigue tied to cancer can persist for years and may be worsened by other cancer-related health problems like depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance and pain.

Most participants in the studies were female, and almost half of the studies involved women with breast cancer.

Age, gender, cancer type and forms of exercise didn’t appear to influence how effective exercise or psychotherapy was relative to medications, researchers found.

Overall, the analysis included 14 drug studies, mostly looking at stimulants or drugs designed to promote wakefulness.

Among the 69 evaluations of exercise, most looked at aerobic activity alone or in combination with other types of movement.

Of the 34 psychological interventions tested in the studies, most involved therapies focused on behavior and education.

One benefit of the current study is that researchers were able to pool the data from several individual research efforts that were, alone, too small to draw meaningful conclusions about the relative advantages of different treatments, the authors note.

Limitations include the varied designs in the studies, which made it difficult to assess how factors such as race, education, income or other demographic differences might have impacted the results, the researchers also point out.

Exercise and/or psychological interventions are beneficial for treating cancer-related fatigue and based on the results of this meta study both appear superior to current pharmaceutical treatments.

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/2mUd4Yv JAMA Oncology, online March 2, 2017.

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The Dangers of Sleep Aids

Quality sleep is necessary not only for proper concentration and daytime alertness, but impacts health a variety of positive ways, including improved immune function, better memory, and decreased risk of obesity.[1]  Commonly used sleep aids such as Benzodiazepines and Zolpidem, help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, but do not improve deep sleep or REM (dream) sleep and often leave people groggy in the morning.[2]

Benzodiazepines are a type of hypnotic medication that is used by the body to increase the rate at which GABA is used.  GABA is a neurotransmitter that is known for inducing sleep and reducing anxiety.  Short term, these drugs have been shown to be an effective and helpful way to facilitate sleep.  Long term, on the other hand, the use of these medications is not recommended by doctors.  Benzodiazepines are associated with many risks including drug dependence, withdrawal symptoms, drug tolerance, dizziness, and risks of falling.  Rebound insomnia, which causes the symptoms of insomnia to worsen after stopping medications, is also common when people stop taking benzodiazepines.  According to the American Geriatric Society BEERS Criteria, a clinical tool that addresses potentially inappropriate medication use in older adults, the use of benzodiazepines should be avoided due to geriatric patient’ increased sensitivity to benzodiazepines and decreased metabolism of long-acting agents.[3]

The most commonly prescribed sleep aid in the United States is zolpidem (ambien).  The FDA has recently issued additional warning for drugs containing zolpidem (ambien, ambien CR, Edluar, and zopimist) recommending the bedtime dose be lowered especially for women. New data shows that blood levels in some patients can still be high enough in the morning to impair activities that require alertness including driving.

The impact of AM grogginess on function cannot be understated.  Kevin Wright, PhD published a study in JAMA in 2006, showing that patients who suffered with AM grogginess scored worse on cognitive and memory tests than patients who had stayed awake for more than 24 consecutive hours.[4]

Options to improve the quality of sleep without causing AM grogginess are more prevalent now than ever before and are a much safer and more effective way to manage insomnia and other sleep disorders.  Studies show that people can improve their insomnia by changing sleep habits.  Examples of this include going to bed consistently at the same time, having a darkened room, not using your bedroom for non-sleeping activities, and avoiding stimulants about 3 hours before bedtime.

Medical foods are a safe and effective option for patients with insomnia and other sleep disorders. Medical foods are amino acids and other nutrients, that when combined, correct the metabolic deficiencies of diseases and conditions.  They provide a solution that cannot be obtained from diet alone or supplements. They have been found to improve the quality of sleep without the morning grogginess or side effects of other prescription sleep medications. Medical foods may make getting a good nights’ sleep an achievable goal.



[1] Arch Dis Child 2006;91:881-884 doi:10.1136/adc.2005.093013

[2] Zolpidem Containing Products: Drug Safety Communication- FDA Requires Lower Recommended Doses (2013). Retrieved April 23, 2014. http://www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch/safetyinformation/safetyalertsforhumanmedicalproducts/ucm334738.htm

[3] AGS BEERS Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication use in Older Adults (2012). Retrieved April 23, 2014. http://www.americangeriatrics.org/files/documents/beers/PrintableBeersPocketCard.pdf

[4] Adam T. Wertz, BS; Joseph M. Ronda, MS; Charles A. Czeisler, PhD, MD; Kenneth P. Wright, PhD

JAMA. 2006;295(2):159-164. doi:10.1001/jama.295.2.163.