One of my favorite magazines to read is FitnessRX. They have posted several tips to fat loss. I picked out the few that I feel helped me lose weight and decided I’d share with everyone.
1) Why Nuts Promote Weight Loss
Eating nuts to lose weight doesn’t make any sense. They are calorie dense and high in fat. Only one ounce of mixed nuts contains 174 calories and 15.9 grams of fat. Why do nutritionists recommend nuts as part of a healthy diet?
Richard Mattes and Mark Dreher from Purdue University, in a review of literature, concluded that nuts contain many healthy nutrients and antioxidants that prevent degenerative diseases such as coronary artery disease and cancer. Large population studies found a link between high nut consumption and reduced body fat. Nuts prevent hunger and are poorly absorbed in the gut. They also increase the energy cost of digestion and improve dietary compliance during weight loss. Nuts are valuable for weight loss, as long as you don’t eat too many of them. (Asia Pacific Journal Clinical Nutrition, 19:137-141, 2010)
2) Diet Plus Exercise Best For Long-Term Weight Loss
Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Weight-loss studies don’t offer much hope for a long-term solution to the obesity epidemic.
Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health pooled the results of 18 weight-loss studies using a statistical technique called meta-analysis. They compared the effect of exercise plus diet versus diet alone on weight loss and body mass index (BMI, a measure of the proportion of weight to height). People lose about 2.5 pounds more by combining diet and exercise, compared to dieting alone, in studies lasting as long as two years. Unfortunately, the average weight loss in these studies was less than 15 pounds— and most people regain some of the weight regardless of which weight-loss program they follow. Just like in real life, the dropout rates in these studies were as high as 65 percent.
There is hope! In one study, people sustained a 5.6 percent decrease in BMI for six years. ‘Successful losers’ should cut calories, exercise consistently and receive regular encouragement from professionals or support groups to maintain weight loss. (Obesity Reviews, 10: 313-323, 2009)
3) Weight Training Promotes Abdominal Fat Loss
Most health-related organizations, such as the American Heart Association, American College of Sports Medicine, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recommend aerobic exercise for promoting metabolic health and weight control. Increasing evidence shows that weight training is an essential part of an exercise program. Weight training builds strength, but it also improves metabolic health and promotes fat loss.
East Carolina University researchers, led by Robert Hickner, showed that a weight-training workout cause marked increases in energy expenditure and fat use in lean and obese subjects. Weight training was particularly effective for mobilizing fat in the abdominal region. However, abdominal fat mobilization was greater in lean than obese people. Weight training increases energy expenditure and fat loss in lean and obese people, but a variety of approaches is best for promoting weight control. (Journal of Applied Physiology, in press; published online March 5, 2009)
4) Whey Protein Supplement Speeds Fat Loss
Drinking a whey protein shake 20 minutes before a meal will help you lose fat and preserve muscle mass. A 12-week study on weight loss from the Minnesota Applied Research Center in Minneapolis found that a pre-meal protein supplement helped decrease appetite during lunch or dinner. Consuming a whey protein beverage (Prolibra) 20 minutes before breakfast and dinner caused greater fat loss than a placebo (fake Prolibra; 8 pounds versus 3.5 pounds) and helped maintain muscle mass.
Substituting proteins for carbohydrates is a good strategy for weight loss. The amino acids from whey protein circulate in the blood, and the liver converts them to blood sugar. They work like tiny blood sugar timed-release capsules to maintain blood sugar levels, which decrease appetite. Health experts are scrambling to find techniques to help people eat less and lose weight. Drinking a whey protein shake before meals might help. (Nutrition & Metabolism, published online March 27, 2008)