Daily Dose News
The surprising trick to losing weight effortlessly
Whether you've been told to count calories, "points," or carbs, trying to shed pounds can often feel like a numbers game.
If you want to lower your number on the scale, you've got to do the math about what you put in your mouth.
And on some popular diet plans, that means that you can polish off a pack of M&M's or a super-size soda -- as long as the arithmetic works out at the end of the day!
Well, I'm here to tell you that the QUALITY of the food you eat -- not the QUANTITY -- is the real secret to weight loss.
In a new study, Stanford University researchers assigned about 600 overweight folks to follow either low-fat or low-carb diets.
But no matter which group they joined, all of the participants took nutrition courses that trained them to choose WHOLE foods over PROCESSED foods.
In the low-fat group, that meant selecting foods like fresh fruit, steel-cut oats, and quinoa over soda, white rice, and sugary snacks.
In the low-carb group, it translated to choosing "good" fats and proteins like olive oil, salmon, avocados, nut butters, and grass-fed beef instead of trans fats and processed meats.
Both groups were allowed to eat as MUCH as they wanted -- with no set carb, fat, or caloric limits -- as long as they focused on eating real, minimally processed foods.
After one year, both groups lost about the same average amount of weight, and it was pretty significant: 13 pounds in the low-carb group and nearly 12 pounds in the low-fat group.
Imagine losing a DOZEN pounds without counting a single thing!
All you have to do is wean yourself off of heavily processed foods, especially those made with refined starches and added sugars.
Now, even though the low-fat and low-carb groups in the study shed roughly the same number of pounds, that doesn't mean that the diets are equally healthy.
If you've been reading my eTips for a while, you know that I'm not a fan of low-fat diets -- because our bodies and our brains NEED fat to function properly.
And studies consistently show that low-carb diets have the edge over low-fat diets when it comes to reversing diabetes... reducing the risk of stroke and early death... and keeping weight off over the long haul.
That's why I recommend that my patients follow the Paleo (a.k.a. "caveman") diet, which dispenses with ALL grains, sugars, and processed foods.
You'll feel plenty full by eating as much fresh produce, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, and seeds as you want!
I'll have more about processed foods for you in tomorrow's edition of eTips. Keep an eye on your inbox.
Could sitting around make your brain cells DIE?
Use it or lose it.
That old saying may sound trite -- but when it comes to staying spry as we age, nothing could be truer.
You can't keep up your tennis game if you rarely play... or be the toast of the dance floor if you don't stay on your toes.
And to stay sharp as a tack, you've got to keep challenging your brain, too.
Because according to a new study, if you don't "use" your body... you could literally "lose" your mind.
Well... at least a very key part of it.
In a study out of the University of Texas, researchers scanned the brains of older folks -- some of whom had memory loss or mild cognitive impairment -- and measured their fitness levels with an "oxygen uptake" test.
Researchers also assessed brain function by giving participants a bunch of memory and cognitive tests, and they found something alarming: The lower the participants' physical fitness levels, the more that their brains had wasted away!
Specifically, it was something called the "white matter" in their brains.
Now, I've shared plenty about your "gray matter" with you in the past, but this part of your brain is different -- it refers to the millions of bundles of nerve fibers that you have in your brain that help neurons in different areas communicate with one another.
And here's the kicker: The thinner the participants' white matter, the lower their cognitive function.
This means that PHYSICAL inactivity could chip away at your MENTAL abilities!
The results also help explain why everything from light activity to heavy weight lifting has been shown to slash your risk of cognitive decline.
The theory is that exercise gets blood flowing to every nook and cranny of your brain AND "beefs up" its thickness in key areas -- both of which are known to keep your mind sharp.
And if there's anything in your body you want to be THICK, it's your BRAIN!
Staying active keeps your blood pressure in check, too, lowering your risk of dementia.
ANYTHING that gets you up and moving -- even just tending your garden or walking the dog -- can perk up your brain.
But in the study, "cardiorespiratory fitness" was key, which means that if you can do some aerobic activity that gets your heart and lungs pumping, you'll reap even more brain benefits.
You can try brisk walking... jogging... bicycling... ballroom dancing -- whatever floats your boat!
Plus, when you work up a sweat, you also get rid of toxins... so less wind up between your ears!
It's ideal to aim for about 30 minutes of activity, five times a week, but you'll even get a brain boost from twice-weekly workouts.
For heart health, let the sunshine in Call it Old Faithful. Vitamin D has been working its healing powers ever since the first rays of light came out of the sun. And with all we already know that D can do, it's clear that we've only begun to scratch the surface. This morning, I shared with you how folks who...
Bask in the sunshine to soothe your gut When you've got irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), getting out the door each morning can be a non-starter. Between your dietary restrictions... painful cramps... and the urge to dash to the toilet... it probably feels safer to stick close to home. But if you stay inside all day, you could be missing out...
Pass the salt... instead of passing on it It's a fixture on every dinner table... but the mainstream has practically slapped a skull and crossbones on it. I'm talking about the salt shaker. For years, salt has taken the blame for blood pressure problems -- and there's no denying that if your BP is truly dangerously high, shoveling in mountains...
The surgery-free secret to clearing cataracts -- FOR GOOD Q: Is there a natural way to remove cataracts without surgery? GR: Sometimes, as we age, we get used to holding the newspaper a mile away... whipping out pocket flashlights to read restaurant bills... and wearing sunglasses so dark that we look like "senior" members of the Secret Service. What I...
Is your cleaning spray as dangerous as a cigarette? Now that winter is drawing to a close, it's almost time for a good spring cleaning. And if you roll up your sleeves to clean, you know that making things spic-and-span isn't just about getting rid of dirt, grime, and dust bunnies. It's also about waging war on those INVISIBLE germs...
These are the 'breaks' of prolonged steroid use Let me breathe! When you've got chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), that's what your lungs are screaming every time you choke in some air. And no matter how big of a breath you take, it feels like you can never get enough into your pulmonary passageways. Not only that, but all your...
An urgent warning about 'bug bombs' As it starts to get warmer out, we can look forward to the snow melting... the flowers blooming... and baby birds hatching in their nests. Who doesn't love spring? It's so... ALIVE! But bears aren't the only creatures that hibernate for the winter and wake up with the rising temperatures. Because while we escaped...
Save your sight with these easy tricks Every life stage comes with its own stresses and anxieties. But as we age, things are supposed to get a little easier. By the time you hit your "golden years," you're done raising your kids (if you've had them)... you're done clocking in every day... and it's finally time for some R&R. You...