Your Road to Wellness

Weight loss

What’s important for the cardiovascular system is also important for the immune system.

Posted by on 9:00 am BMI, Body fat, Body mass index, Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular disease & waist-hip ratio, Diet, Eating, General Health, Health Risk, Inflammation, Weight, Weight loss | 0 comments

obese man with burgers

 

In this study, participants taking berberine when compared to the placebo group saw a
reduction in triglycerides by 35.9% total cholesterol by 18.1% and LDL (low-density lipoprotein),
the so-called bad cholesterol by 21.1% (Zhang Y, et.al., 2008).

Patients with metabolic syndrome treated with berberine for 3 months showed a decrease in
their BMI (body mass index) from 31.5 to 27.4 in this study (Yang J, et.al., 2012).
Patients diagnosed with the metabolic syndrome usually have several symptoms, they are
insulin resistant, have increased waist circumference and high blood pressure.
The same research also showed that berberine decreased leptin levels from 8.01 to 5.12 μg/L.
Leptin is a hormone that suppresses food intake and induces weight loss. Obese patients are
usually leptin-resistant.

 

 

When 10 studies were reviewed both BMI and waist circumference decreased in participants
taking berberine (Xiong P, et.al.,2020).

It is important to produce a balanced immune response when needed.
An overreaction of the immune system will cause damage and is harmful. It can actually kill us.
Some people are killed by an overreaction of their immune system, not from the invading virus
or bacteria.

This research showed that berberine had an anti-inflammatory effect and initiated a more
balanced immune response (Kalmarzi RN, et.al.,2019).
Inflammation is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

When researchers treated patients with the acute coronary syndrome with berberine, they found
that several inflammatory markers were reduced, C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 were 2 of
them (Meng S, et.al., 2012).

Berberine has shown to be a very useful plant-derived compound benefitting important
functions from blood glucose metabolism, cardiovascular function, fat storage, immune
system and inflammation.

These functions are interconnected, that is why berberine is such a valuable substance.

 

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References:

Kalmarzi RN, Naleini SN, Ashtary-Larky D, Peluso I, Jouybari L, Rafi A, Ghorat F, Heidari N,
Sharifian F, Mardaneh J, Aiello P4, Helbi S, Kooti W.Anti-Inflammatory and Immunomodulatory
Effects of Barberry ( Berberis vulgaris ) and Its Main Compounds.Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2019
Nov 19;2019:6183965.

Meng S, Wang LS, Huang ZQ, Zhou Q, Sun YG, Cao JT, Li YG, Wang CQ. Berberine
ameliorates inflammation in patients with acute coronary syndrome following percutaneous
coronary intervention. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2012 May;39(5):406-11.

Zhang Y, Li X, Zou D, Liu W, Yang J, Zhu N, Huo L, Wang M, Hong J, Wu P, Ren G, Ning
G. Treatment of type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia with the natural plant alkaloid berberine.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jul;93(7):2559-65.

Yang J, Yin J, Gao H, Xu L, Wang Y, Xu L, Li M. Berberine improves insulin sensitivity by
inhibiting fat store and adjusting adipokines profile in human preadipocytes and metabolic
syndrome patients. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:363845

Xiong P, Niu L, Talaei S, Kord-Varkaneh H, Clark CCT, Găman MA, Rahmani J, Dorosti M,
Mousavi SM, Zarezadeh M, Taghizade-Bilondi H, Zhang J. The effect of berberine
supplementation on obesity indices: A dose- response meta-analysis and systematic review of
randomized controlled trials. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2020 May;39:101113.

 

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Is a high protein weight loss diet the best approach if you want to lose weight?

Posted by on 9:00 am Body fat, Body mass index, Calories, Diet, Fat, General Health, Get in shape, Lose fat, Stay healthy, Weight, Weight loss, Women, Womens health | 0 comments

Is a high protein weight loss diet the best approach if you want to lose weight?

 

 

pretty girl holding a tray with high protein food

 

In this study, two diets containing different amounts of protein were compared (Smith GI, et al., 2016).

The participants, obese postmenopausal women lost 10% weight using a diet providing either 0.8 g of protein per kg of body weight or a diet providing 1.2 g of protein per kg of body weight.

 

Weight loss usually results in several metabolic benefits, one is improved insulin sensitivity, which means that the transfer of blood glucose into the cells is improved.

 

 

The researchers found that when compared to the low protein diet, the high protein diet prevented the weight loss-induced improvements in muscle insulin signaling and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake.

Not only that but induced adaptations in oxidative stress and cell structural biology pathways, which also are benefits accompanying weight loss, did not take place on the high protein diet.

 

One of the benefits of the high protein diet was that it reduced the weight loss induced a decline in lean tissue mass by 45%.

You don’t want to lose lean muscle mass, but that can be prevented by including exercises, which any good weight loss program will recommend.

 

There are many ways to lose weight, but not all approaches give you the same benefits, so choose wisely.

 

a table with high protein food

 

References:

Smith GI, Yoshino J, Kelly SC, Reeds DN, Okunade A, Patterson BW, Klein S, Mittendorfer B, High-Protein Intake during Weight Loss Therapy Eliminates the Weight-Loss-Induced Improvement in Insulin Action in Obese Postmenopausal Women.Cell Rep. 2016 Oct 11;17(3):849-861.

Is a high fat, ketogenic diet good for your cardiovascular system?

Posted by on 8:39 am Cholesterol, Diet, Diet, Lose fat, The Learn to Eat Plan, Weight loss | 0 comments

 

Is a high fat, ketogenic diet good for your cardiovascular system?

 

Let’s see what science says about the effect of the ketogenic diet on the cardiovascular system.
The goal of this study was to measure changes in glucose, lipid, and inflammation (Rosenbaum
M, et al., 2019).
17 men were put on a baseline control diet for 4 weeks and then switched to a ketogenic diet for
4 weeks.
This is what the researchers found.
Total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and C-reactive protein were significantly
increased on the ketogenic diet.
These are all cardiovascular disease risk markers. Especially LDL cholesterol and C-reactive
protein which is an inflammatory marker.

 

 

Flow-mediated dilation is another indicator of vascular health.
In this study, obese participants were either consuming high fat or low-fat meals for 6 weeks
(Varady KA, et al., 2011).
After 6 weeks, flow-mediated dilation improved in the low-fat group with a 32% increase and was
impaired in the high-fat group with a 19% reduction.
When 42 participants consumed a ketogenic diet for 6 week LDL cholesterol increased
significantly with 10.7% (Urbain P, et al., 2017).

 

 

Research, in general, has shown an increase in LDL cholesterol with a high-fat diet.
Negative effects on the cardiovascular system seem to be a concern with high-fat diets even if
some people may respond more favorably to a ketogenic diet than others.

References:

Rosenbaum M, Hall KD, Guo J, Ravussin E, Mayer LS, Reitman ML, Smith SR, Walsh BT, Leibel
RL, Glucose and Lipid Homeostasis and Inflammation in Humans Following an Isocaloric
Ketogenic Diet. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2019 Jun;27(6):971-981.

Urbain P, Strom L, Morawski L, Wehrle A, Deibert P, Bertz H, Impact of a 6-week
non-energy-restricted ketogenic diet on physical fitness, body composition and biochemical
parameters in healthy adults. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2017 Feb 20;14:17.

Varady KA, Bhutani S, Klempel MC, Phillips SA. Improvements in vascular health by a low-fat
diet, but not a high-fat diet, are mediated by changes in adipocyte biology. Nutr J. 2011 Jan
20;10:8.

 

Learn to eat program

  • How and why different foods affect you
  • How to put together meals that will produce the results you’re looking for
  • How to lose weight effortlessly by eating the foods your body needs
  • How to gain muscle and improve sports performance.
  • How to reduce inflammation and pain
  • How to stabilize your moods so you feel happier
  • How to lower cholesterol and triglycerides

 

How does a high fat, ketogenic diet affect your muscles?

Posted by on 9:00 am Blood triglycerides, Body fat, Body mass index, Diet, Diet, Exercise, Fat, General Health, Get in shape, Health Risk, Muscles, Sports performance, The Learn to Eat Plan, Weight loss | 0 comments

ketogenic diet

 

How does a high fat, ketogenic diet affect your muscles?

 

There is a lot of promotion and talk about the benefits of restricting carbohydrate intake and eating a high fat, ketogenic diet.

When you read things like that, always ask, where is the evidence? Is there any science supporting the claims?

There is agreement on that more lean muscle mass and a lower body fat percentage are beneficial. This is true for everybody, but especially athletes.

Before you go on a high-fat diet, you want to know how a regime like that will affect your lean muscle mass.

The following research included 42 healthy individuals that followed a ketogenic diet for 6 weeks consisting of the same calorie intake as their regular diet (Urbain P, et.al., 2017).

They were tested for several things at the start of the study and after 6 weeks.

 

 

VO2peak and peak power decreased after the ketogenic diet.

The participants lost equal amounts of fat and fat-free mass, which means they lost some muscle mass.

Total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol increased significantly, LDL by 10.7% which is quite a lot, especially since LDL is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Glucose, insulin, and IGF-1 (a growth factor) dropped significantly by 3.0, 22.2 and 20.2%.

Another non-significant change was also seen.

 

ketogenic diet 2

 

Similar results were found when seventeen overweight or obese men were admitted to metabolic wards where they consumed a high-carbohydrate baseline diet for 4 weeks followed by 4 weeks of a ketogenic diet (Hall KD, et.al., 2016).

 

Body fat loss slowed during the ketogenic diet and coincided with increased protein utilization and loss of fat-free mass. These participants also lost muscle mass, and this study was done under very strict control.

 

Apparently a high-fat diet is not producing the amazing results some would want you to believe.

 

References

 

Hall KD, Chen KY, Guo J, Lam YY, Leibel RL, Mayer LE, Reitman ML, Rosenbaum M, Smith SR, Walsh BT, Ravussin E. Energy expenditure and body composition changes after an isocaloric ketogenic diet in overweight and obese men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Aug;104(2):324-33.

 

Urbain P, Strom L, Morawski L, Wehrle A, Deibert P, Bertz H.Impact of a 6-week non-energy-restricted ketogenic diet on physical fitness, body composition and biochemical parameters in healthy adults.Nutr Metab (Lond). 2017 Feb 20;14:17

Learn to eat program

  • How and why different foods affect you
  • How to put together meals that will produce the results you’re looking for
  • How to lose weight effortlessly by eating the foods your body needs
  • How to gain muscle and improve sports performance.
  • How to reduce inflammation and pain
  • How to stabilize your moods so you feel happier
  • How to lower cholesterol and triglycerides

How much do you have to exercise to improve your endurance and aerobic fitness?

Posted by on 7:28 am Exercise, Health, Intensity Training, Research, Sports performance, Vigorous Activity, Weight loss, Wellness | 0 comments

 

A lot of people don’t exercise because they think they have to spend a lot of time doing it every week, and that does not appeal to them.  Let’s see what research has found.

Several years ago research was conducted on what was called high intensity short interval training. Since the start of that, a lot of research has been published on that topic, experimenting with different durations of exercise.

The original research started using a stationary bike doing 30 seconds intervals, peddling as hard as possible, then resting for up to 4 minutes. This was then repeated 4 to 6 times.

This regime was very effective documenting that just 2 minutes of actual exercise time produced the same results as an hour of regular intensity aerobic exercise.

So how little can you exercise and still improve your performance? Is 30 seconds interval as low as you can go?

The following research tested six sub elite triathletes comparing them with 6 endurance-trained sub elite athletes maintaining their normal training routine .(Jakeman J, et.al., 2012).

These athletes were already in good shape. It’s harder to improve the performance at that level, compared to starting with people out of shape.

6 of the participants did 10, 6 seconds sprints on a stationary bike with a resting period of 1 minute in between, 3 times a week for 2 weeks. The resistance on the bike was set to 7.5% of the body weight.

Two weeks of the high intensity short interval training resulted in a 10% decrease in a 10-km time trial.

The time taken to reach the onset of blood lactate accumulation, defined as the point where blood lactate reaches 4 mmol·L⁻¹) was significantly increased. This is another way of measuring improved aerobic fitness.

The actual exercise time was only 1 minute 3 times a week.

It is amazing, spending only 3 minutes a week for 2 weeks can improve aerobic performance.

If you want to improve cardiovascular fitness, but want to spend as little time as possible exercising, this is the way to do it.

You need a stationary bike to implement this protocol, but if you have that at home, you don’t necessarily even have to do the 10 sprints at one time. You can split them up throughout the day depending on what’s most convenient for you.

Other studies has documented that it is more beneficial to be active several times a day compared to exercising longer only once a day.

Lack of time is no longer a valid reason not to exercise. Most people would most likely have 3 minutes a week to spend on exercise considering the benefits.

Reference

Jakeman J, Adamson S, Babraj J.Extremely short duration high-intensity training substantially improves endurance performance in triathletes. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012 Oct;37(5):976-81.

 

Research has shown that sitting for a long time can be bad, but you don’t have to be active for very long to reap huge benefits.

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How do you think stress affects your metabolism?

Posted by on 8:55 am Diet, Eating, Exercise, Fat, Insulin resistance, The Learn to Eat Plan, Tissue Recovery Blog, Weight loss | 0 comments

 

Fotolia,fatYou don’t want to have a slow metabolic rate because that would make it harder to maintain a lean body composition.
You can probably also agree that most of us are exposed to plenty of stress during a average day.
 

I think you will find the reviewed research interesting because it investigated how stress may affect our metabolic rate (Kiecolt-Glaser JK, et al. 2014).
 

Fifty-eight healthy women, with the average age of 53.1 years, participated in the study and were given high fat test meals. The day prior to eating the test meals, stressors were also assessed using a standard test. Fat and carbohydrate oxidation, triglycerides, cortisol, insulin and glucose were measured before and after the 2 high fat meals.

It was found that greater numbers of stressors were associated with lower fat oxidation after the meals and also higher insulin levels. The difference between stressors the day before and no stressors turned out to be 435 kj which is approximately 104 calories. The researchers estimated that it could add up to almost 11 pounds per year in weight gain.

This means that stress can contribute to weight gain.

You may not be able to control the factors contributing to stress, but you can, with some training, control how you react to stress.

In other words you can make yourself more stress resistant.
Meditation is a great tool for that.

 

 

 

Kiecolt-Glaser JK1, Habash DL2, Fagundes CP3, Andridge R4, Peng J4, Malarkey WB5, Belury MA6. Daily Stressors, Past Depression, and Metabolic Responses to High-Fat Meals: A Novel Path to Obesity. Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Jul 9. pii: S0006-3223(14)00385-0. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.05.018. [Epub ahead of print]