Being overweight or obese is associated with several risks such as developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and even mortality. Despite these well documented risks federal statistics indicate that obesity in America has increased from 35% in 2007-08 to being 40% in 2015-16 and that number is still climbing.
This doesn’t mean that Americans are not making an effort to lose weight as a report by the Boston Medical Center suggests around 45 million embark on diets every year, spending over $33 billion annually on the pursuit of dropping extra weight. The sad reality is that only a small portion of those dieters will reach their goals, as for many the process is too difficult and what they can and can’t eat proves to be too much of a struggle for them to sustain long term.
Weight loss doesn’t have to be unsustainable and an unachievable dream, research is showing that self tracking methods such as an app or diary are the most effective ways to successfully lose weight. Some may feel that self tracking is time consuming, but research from the University of Vermont has found that it can be quick and easy, taking about 15 minutes a day.
As published in the journal Obesity results were examined from 142 self tracking participants. The most successful participants spent on average 14.6 minutes per day online based on their logged in activity in the behavioral weight loss program in which they recorded calories, fat, portion sizes, and preparation methods for all food and beverages consumed; and met weekly for 14 weeks in an online group session with a trained dietician.
The most successful dieters were determined to be those that lost at least 10% of their body weight, who spent 23.2 minutes a day logged in for the first 6 months, then on average 14.6 minutes logged in afterwards. Successfulness was not revolved around how much time was spent logged in, rather it was the number of times they logged in to report what they ate.
“Those who self-monitored three or more times per day, and were consistent day after day, were the most successful,” explained lead author Jean Harvey, chair of the Nutrition and Food Sciences Department at the University of Vermont. “It seems to be the act of self-monitoring itself that makes the difference — not the time spent or the details included.”
The key to weight loss success may well be to start a food journal or download a self monitoring app in which to briefly, but no less than 3 times a day report the details of the food and beverages which have been consumed.
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Dropping excess pounds may not only improve your physical health, it might also help you feel more awake and happy, a new study shows.
The research, presented this week at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society in Chicago, included 390 obese women and men who were assigned to one of three programs meant to help them lose weight through diet and exercise.
One group received usual care, in which they were given printed educational materials during visits every three months with their primary care provider. The second group saw their primary care provider every three months, and also had brief meetings with lifestyle coaches. The third group met with their primary care providers and lifestyle coaches, and also received meal replacements and weight-loss medications.
Changes in the participants’ weight, amount and quality of sleep and mood were assessed after six and 24 months. The average weight loss in the usual care group was 4.4 pounds, compared with about 8 pounds in the second group and close to 15 pounds in the third group.
However, no matter which group they were in, participants who lost at least 5 percent of their weight after six months slept an average of nearly 22 minutes more each night than they had before, the study found.
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Many research studies have shown that lifestyle interventions, such as exercise programmes or weight loss, in people with impaired glucose tolerance (those at high risk of diabetes) can prevent progression to overt type 2 diabetes.
The risk of death from all-causes and cardiovascular diseases among people with type 2 diabetes is more than twice that of people of a similar age without diabetes. Logically, if lifestyle interventions reduce the risk of diabetes they should also reduce the excess risk of death, particularly from cardiovascular disease. However, without proof that lifestyle interventions will lead long-term health benefits such as reducing death rates in high-risk people, it is difficult for doctors to recommend it to their patients as an effective preventive therapy.
In new research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal, Professor Guangwei Li of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing, China, and colleagues, present the results from the 23-year follow-up of the Da Qing Diabetes Prevention Study, a randomized controlled trial, which showed that people in China with impaired glucose tolerance randomized to lifestyle interventions had significantly reduced death rates from cardiovascular disease and all-causes, compared to those patients randomized to the control arm.
The investigators enrolled 438 patients assigned to intervention clinics, and 138 patients were assigned to control clinics. The study intervention lasted for 6 years, and patients were then followed up for 23 years. At the end of the follow-up period, cumulative incidence of death from cardiovascular disease was 11.9% in the lifestyle intervention group, versus 19.6% in the control group, and death from all causes was 28.1% in the lifestyle group versus 38.4% in the control group. The difference between groups for both outcomes was statistically significant.
Source: Medical News Today.