Behavior Change

Poor sleep linked to buildup of dangerous plaques throughout body, study says

Here’s another reason why getting a good night’s sleep should be on your must-do list: Sleeping fewer than six hours a night or waking frequently raises your risk of developing damaging plaque in arteries throughout your body, not just your heart.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/14/health/poor-sleep-plaque-buildup/index.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=fbCNN&utm_term=link&utm_content=2019-01-15T07%3A00%3A17&fbclid=IwAR2mbHXvHWTb1KfqcfpnM_pcYsqDKvFldS3DEPDUk1e14hpYoLKZ5vIFSzM

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Fermin RedondoPoor sleep linked to buildup of dangerous plaques throughout body, study says
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Stress at work may contribute to weight gain.

You are having problems at work or at home. Stress is beginning to show — in more ways than one. You have noticed a bulge around your mid-section that was not there before. Where are these extra pounds coming? One of the culprits is stress. Stress temporarily dampens the appetite, but long term it can boost hunger.

Fight and Flight Reaction

When we feel pressured, we are a risk to become overeaters. The fight-or-flight response does what it feels it needs to survive, once your body reaches a certain stress level, most cases, will cause you to eat not mindfully. Why? Because our bodies believe it used up calories to deal with the stress, even though it has not, and as a result, it thinks you need to replenish those calories, though you do not.

Cortisol and Comfort Foods

Tension filled times increase Cortisol levels the stress hormone, which causes sugar and fatty foods cravings that leads to overeating. Overeating then will stimulate insulin secretion the insulin cause sugar to drop, so crave sugar and fatty foods. This cycle of tension, the stress hormone, craving sugar, overeating, sugar dropping, craving sugar turns into a habit.

More likely, you will reach for cookies or mac and cheese instead of healthy fruits and vegetables. These “comfort foods.” makes the body releases chemicals in response to the food that might have a direct calming effect.” Jason Perry Block, MD, says eating can be a source of comfort and solace. Stress puts a person at risk in choosing the wrong kind of foods such as fatty and sugary foods. As a result, stress can lead to more stress hormones, junk food cravings, more storage of belly fat.

Long term effects of unhealthy weight :

Carrying the extra weight can lead to other, more severe problems, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • some cancers

Tips to Relieve Stress:

  1. Massage therapy reduces stress, helps alleviate anxiety, depression and improve sleep.
  2. Exercise, but don’t overdo it. An activity like yoga and Tai Chi are examples of mindful breathing exercises. The intensity workouts can raise cortisol levels. Try brisk walking instead.
  3. Try to get enough sleep and Meditate. These methods can help clear your mind and curb those comfort-food impulses.
  4. Have a supportive family and friends who listens and understands. When you are feeling tense, it is always good to have someone you can trust and talk.
  5. Others stress relieving factors:
    Read
    Listen to music
    Pray

If you are gaining weight due to stress, tackle some good habits that can help you get back to your old self. Eat healthily, get active, and do things that make you relaxed and happy.
We have a day to day struggles and challenges which caused the stress. We have to take charge and manage our stress as best as we can. One way to deal with tension is to resist overeating.

At Doctor for Life, our staff recognizes the importance of stress management. Whether you, your child or your whole family want to embrace a healthy lifestyle, we can help. Doctor for Life has a full team dedicated to creating a doctor-guided, patient-centered program individualized to your needs. We address all aspects related to living a healthy lifestyle, including nutrition, exercise, behavior, and pharmacotherapy. Always, our physicians, coaches, and dietitians are here to help you along the way. We offer expert help here at Doctor for Life in getting you started on your Healthy Weight Lifestyle program. 864-640-0009

Cheryl SarmientoStress at work may contribute to weight gain.
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Thousands of cancer diagnoses tied to a poor diet, study finds

FACTS: *1 in 6 deaths worldwide is due to cancer *40% of people in US will be diagnosed with cancer during their life.
An estimated 80,110 new cancer cases among adults 20 and older in the United States in 2015 were attributable simply to eating a poor diet, according to the study …
https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/22/health/diet-cancer-risk-study/index.html

Fermin RedondoThousands of cancer diagnoses tied to a poor diet, study finds
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Life lessons from the native tribe with the healthiest hearts in the world

… On average, the Tsimane (Bolivian native tribe) take about 17,000 steps a day. While there is so much advice we all get about the optimal types of exercise — cardio, high-intensity interval training (aka HIIT), resistance training — those with the healthiest hearts in the world are constantly active but not intensely active. And they hardly ever sit…
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/19/health/bolivia-heart-disease-chasing-life-gupta/index.html

Fermin RedondoLife lessons from the native tribe with the healthiest hearts in the world
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Are you heavier or shorter than the average American?

BMI, a formula involving height and weight increased. In 2015-16, the average BMI was 29.1 for men and 29.6 for women. Both numbers have increased since 1999-2000 when they were 27.8 in men and 28.2 in women.
https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/20/health/us-average-height-weight-report/index.html

Fermin RedondoAre you heavier or shorter than the average American?
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Food security is the answer to a healthy weight

The government obsession in fixing poverty makes Americans too fat. Among the states, the prevalence of food insecurity ranged from 14.1% in Kansas to 24.9% in Alabama. South Carolina, had a prevalence of >20% according to the study done by the Borgen project.org.

Food insecure adults had a significantly higher incidence of obesity. Approximately 1 in 3 US adults are obese, and they are at increased risk of adverse health consequences, including premature death, coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Food insecurity implies a limited ability to secure adequate food due to insufficient household resources. They are more prevalent among low-income populations because:

  1. Individuals could overcompensate when food is readily available, and so the overall food intake is higher. Studies found that food expenditure and energy intake increased dramatically after food stamps are received. 
  2. In response to food shortage, the body increases its fat storage. When food is restricted periodically, not only there’s an increase in body fat, but also a decrease in lean body muscle mass, and a quicker weight gain. Weight cycling due to food insecurity could make the body use dietary energy more efficiently. 
  3. Energy-dense foods such as high in added sugar and fat, are often less expensive. Overconsumption of low-cost, energy-dense foods may result in higher energy intake and lead to obesity. Food insecurity correlates with low food expenditure, low fruit and vegetable consumption, and a less-healthy diet. 
  4. Food insecurity independent of socioeconomic status is also related to negative psychological consequences, such as anxiety and depression, these may also contribute to obesity.

Therefore to lower the prevalence of food insecurity for all adults that will help maintain a healthy and active life is to increase not only access to affordable healthy foods that is safe and nutritious but also include safe environments, adequate income, meaningful and valued social roles, secure housing, higher levels of education, and social support.

At Doctor for Life, our staff recognizes the importance of Food Security. Whether you, your child or your whole family want to embrace a healthy lifestyle, we can help. Doctor for Life has a full team dedicated to creating a doctor-guided, patient-centered program individualized to your needs. We address all aspects related to living a healthy lifestyle, including nutrition, exercise, behavior, and pharmacotherapy.

Work cited

  1. https://borgenproject.org/what-is-global-food-insecurity/
Cheryl SarmientoFood security is the answer to a healthy weight
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Fire in the belly, burn fuel efficiently.

For us to survive and function, our body converts what we eat into energy, called metabolism. Metabolism powers everything from breathing to blinking, even during sleep, our body works continuously. What causes metabolism to slow down or burn fast? Charge it to individual genetic differences in metabolism, muscle mass, and physical activity.

  1. Fan the flames – While it’s true that genetics help determines our metabolism, we can boost metabolic rate by proper nutrition and through exercise, build muscle. Muscle is active metabolically, which means that people who are muscular burns more energy than those with high-fat percentage.
  2. Age is just a number – As we age, our muscle decreases in size and slows down the metabolic rate. But you can counteract this process by increasing physical activity through exercise.
  3. The real deal – No magic food will speed up metabolic rate. Only a well-balanced nutrient-dense diet will help boost metabolism.
  4. The deal breaker – A circadian rhythm is an internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Nighttime is for resting, not eating; the GI tract has to rest from digesting food. Studies showed when researchers tracked the eating habits of 52 adults; they found that those who ate past 8 p.m. consumed more total calories than earlier eaters. People are more likely to snack in the evenings while watching television. The extra calories consumed by late eaters could lead to weight gain over time.
  5. Survival of the fittest – In an attempt to lose weight, people skip meals or fast and only eat one meal a day, can backfire if not under direct supervision by a physician. One of our bodies defense mechanism is trying to survive hunger, by storing energy and so will slow down metabolism to conserve energy and save it as fats.

What is the takeaway? Avoid dieting and instead prioritize healthful nutrient-dense foods, including whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits, and fun physical activity. Eat at least three meals a day. Be mindful of your diet and chew your food slowly. Practice a healthy weight lifestyle that includes stress management and get enough sleep.

At Doctor for Life, our staff recognizes the Fire in your belly!!!. Whether you, your child or your whole family want to embrace a healthy weight lifestyle, we can help. Doctor for Life has a full team dedicated to creating a doctor-guided, patient-centered program individualized to your needs. We address all aspects related to living a healthy lifestyle, including nutrition, exercise, behavior, and pharmacotherapy.

Work Cited
1. https://www.eatright.org/health/weight-loss/tips-for-weight-loss/metabolism-myths-and-facts

2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eating-at-night

Cheryl SarmientoFire in the belly, burn fuel efficiently.
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Can Stress Cause Weight Gain?

You’re having problems at work or at home. You’re stressed, and it’s beginning to show — in more ways than one. You’ve noticed a bulge around your mid-section that wasn’t there before. Where are these extra pounds coming from?

Stress could be one of the culprits. It plays a role in weight gain. While it can make you have less of an appetite at first, long-term “chronic” stress actually boosts your hunger.

Fight and Flight

Most of us become over eaters when we’re feeling a lot of pressure. This happens thanks to your fight-or-flight response, a.k.a. survival mode — once your body reaches a certain stress level, it does what it feels it needs to. In most cases, that means overeat.  Why? Because your body thinks you’ve used calories to deal with your stress, even though you haven’t, and as a result, it thinks you need to replenish those calories, even though you don’t.

Cortisol and Comfort Foods

Levels of “the stress hormone,” cortisol, rise during tension-filled times. This can turn your overeating into a habit. Because increased levels of the hormone also help cause higher insulin levels, your blood sugar drops and you crave sugary, fatty foods.

So instead of a salad or a banana, you’re more likely to reach for cookies or mac and cheese. That’s why they’re called “comfort foods.”

Jason Perry Block, MD, an assistant professor of population medicine at Harvard, says eating can be a source of solace and can lower stress.

“This happens, in part, because the body releases chemicals in response to food that might have a direct calming effect.”

Fatty and sugary foods are usually the big culprits, because lots of us have such a strong love for them.

The bottom line? “More stress = more cortisol = higher appetite for junk food = more belly fat,” says Shawn M. Talbott, PhD, a nutritional biochemist.

Lingering Effects of Weight Gain

Carrying around extra pounds can lead to other, more serious problems, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke

If you think your weight has gone up due to stress, tackle some good habits that can help you get back to your old self. Eat healthy, get active, and do things that make your relaxed and happy.

Tips to Ease Your Stress

Exercise, but don’t overdo it. High-intensity workouts can raise cortisol levels. Try a brisk walk.

Meditate, or try other mindful breathing exercises like yoga and tai chi. These can help clear your mind and curb those comfort-food impulses.

Get support from family and friends. It’s always good to have someone to talk to or lean on. If you’re feeling tense, speak with someone about it.

You could also:

  • Read
  • Listen to music
  • Pray

Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep, too.

We all struggle with stress once in a while. It’s up to you to take charge of your tension as best you can. Resisting the urge to overeat is a great start.

As always, our physicians, coaches and dietitians are here to help you along the way as well at Doctor for Life.  We offer expert help here at Doctor for Life in getting you started on your Healthy Weight Lifestyle program. 864-640-0009

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Benefits of Eating Healthy Snacks for a Healthy Weight Lifestyle

Snacking plays an important role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you’re having trouble getting all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs from your main meals, healthy snacks can fill in the gaps. Snacking can help you manage hunger in between meals and keep blood sugar at proper levels. Consuming healthy snacks at the right time and in the right proportion is the key to getting the most from your snacking habits.

Unfortunately, many people defer to packaged junk food like cake, doughnuts, chips, cookies and sodas for their typical snack in between meals. Such foods have little to no nutritional value. In order to benefit from the snacks you eat, you need to think healthy. What does healthy look like? If you were to make a healthy snacks list, foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains which are rich in vitamins, fiber and antioxidants would definitely be on it. When you commit to eating healthy office snacks, healthy movie snacks, healthy party snacks, healthy school snacks and healthy bedtime snacks, you’re well on your way to living a healthier lifestyle. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

1. Plan Your Snacks

Poor planning is one of the greatest deterrents to healthy snacking. Grabbing whatever is in sight to feed the intense hunger can lead you to consume empty calories excessively. Planning snacks can help to assure that there is some nutritional value being consumed.

2. Distinguish between Snacking and “Grazing”

Eating a healthy snack from time to time is one thing; continually snacking without giving much thought to what you’re eating, aka “grazing”, is another. Grazing can quickly add up to extra pounds and excess spending.

3. Serve Reasonable Proportions

It’s better to eat small portions from a plate or bowl than snack directly out of a box or bag. By snacking directly from the bag, you risk overeating and gaining extra pounds. Serving small portions gives you better control over the quantity of food you consume.

Benefits of Snacking

Healthy snacking should provide some benefits, either physically, mentally or emotionally. Physically, healthy snacking will improve your overall health, increase energy levels and help you lose weight loss. Mentally, healthy snacks can improve concentration, increase memory and enhance mental alertness and awareness. Emotionally, yummy snacks are a source of joy and inspiration. Whether you favor healthy sweet snacks or healthy spicy snacks, you have much to gain by choosing healthy snack options.

Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss  

There’s no need to avoid snacks in order to lose weight. In fact, eating healthy snacks can actually help you lose weight by stimulating your metabolism and filling you up so you eat less during meals. Healthy snacking doesn’t require spending lots of money. By shopping around, you can find a variety of cheap healthy snacks for any occasion. You can also make inexpensive and easy healthy snacks at home.

The best healthy snacks are those that are filling, nutritious and appeal to you and your family. Everyone has different tastes, so be sure to add family favorites to your healthy snacks list before you go shopping. Having a list makes it easier to get exactly what you and your kids want. Healthy kid snacks may differ from healthy snacks for teens or even what you would prefer to eat in the way of healthy easy snacks for adults.  What are some healthy snacks for weight loss? Here are some popular nutritionist approved choices.

Greek yogurt with berries and honey, grapes and walnuts, gluten-free whole grains bar, wheat crackers and cottage cheese, Mediterranean hummus platter, cooked oatmeal with blueberries, banana with peanut butter, natural jerky

 Low Carb Healthy Snacks    

One of the best ways to lose weight is to control your appetite. A ravenous appetite can be a big hurdle to weight loss. Low carb and no carb healthy snacks that are rich in good fats will sustain you longer in between meals, giving you less of an appetite for large meal portions. Low carb, low sugar foods make great options for heart healthy snacks for people who are prone to heart problems and need to be careful with their diet.

What makes a good low carb snack? A snack that’s rich in protein, low in sugar or sugar free, low in calories and rich in healthy fats. Cheese, nuts and seeds, lean meat, eggs and fish all fall under this category. Some popular low carb foods include:  Hard boiled eggs, nuts, Cheese, tuna salad, berries, dark chocolate, raw veggies (celery, cucumber, carrots) with cream cheese dip, avocado

There are numerous benefits to making healthy snacks a permanent part of your diet. A healthy snacking lifestyle can change your life for the better as you reap countless health benefits both now and in the years to come.  

At Doctor for Life, we believe adding high-quality plant foods such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to your diet can only be beneficial to your health in the long run.  We offer expert help here at Doctor for Life in getting you started on your Healthy Weight Lifestyle program.  Give us a call today to schedule your first step.  864-640-0009

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Healthy Benefits of Eating Breakfast: The case for a healthy morning meal.

Breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day. Whether your goal is weight loss or simply to be healthy, it is imperative that you make eating breakfast a regular habit. The benefits are numerous, ranging from lower rates of diabetes to increased satiety and weight loss. 

When you skip your morning meal, you are telling your body that food may be hard to come by and that it should conserve energy. Thus, what happens is, is your metabolism slows and your body attempts to store fat.  

Fortunately, we are no longer attempting to survive in the wild and we have a plentiful source of food and calories. However, your body does not know this. By eating breakfast to start your day, you will jump-start your metabolism and be well on your way to reach your health goals.

But why is breakfast so important? Quite simply, eating breakfast supports good health.  Coming as it does after the day’s longest period without food, breakfast seems to influence metabolism more strongly than lunch or dinner. Failing to break your fast with a meal shortly after rising might strain your body, which could in theory lead to insulin resistance, and perhaps even other heart risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol problems

A healthy morning meal also appears to be helpful in maintaining a good body weight. It may be a coincidence, but the downward trend in breakfast consumption over the last 40 years has coincided with the surge in obesity rates over the same period. In contrast, breakfast eaters are about a third less likely to be overweight or obese, and tend to be more successful in maintaining weight loss after dieting. They also show greater restraint when it comes to impulse snacking and overeating at other meals.

A well-crafted breakfast should include lean protein, whole-grain carbohydrates, healthy fat, and fresh fruit. These components can be assembled to make a variety of quick and tasty meals, such as a serving of Greek yogurt topped with fresh berries and a handful of nuts; a whole-wheat English muffin spread with a dollop of peanut butter; or an egg scrambled in extra-virgin olive oil along with some spinach, mushrooms, or other vegetables.

As you can see, eating a healthy breakfast has numerous health benefits. If you are serious about your health and want to lose weight, it is important that you make regular breakfast consumption a regular aspect of your daily routine.

At Doctor for Life, we believe adding high-quality plant foods such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to your diet can only be beneficial to your health in the long run.  We offer expert help here at Doctor for Life in getting you started on your Healthy Weight Lifestyle program.  Give us a call today to schedule your first step.  864-640-0009

rfosterHealthy Benefits of Eating Breakfast: The case for a healthy morning meal.
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