I don’t usually recommend fruit juice because it is too sweet. Research has however documented that tomato juice provides several health benefits (Ghavipour M, et al. 2012).
The reviewed research investigated the association between tomato juice and the reduction of inflammation in overweight or obese women since an increased level of body fat leads to an increase in inflammatory mediators. The women consumed 330 ml of tomato juice per day for 20 days and were compared with a placebo group. Several inflammatory markers were tested at the beginning of the study and after 20 days.
The results showed that the inflammatory markers Il-8 and TNF-alpha decreased significantly in the group that drank the tomato juice when compared to the control group for the overweight women. In the group of obese women, the inflammatory marker Ii-6 was reduced.
So, if you drink juice, use tomato juice instead of fruit juice.
Exercise is a necessity if you want to stay healthy, but how effective is it for losing weight if that is the only thing you change, and for how long do you have to exercise? The reviewed research was an attempt to clarify that, and you may find the results surprising.
The researchers investigated the effect of aerobic exercise dosed two different ways (Rosenkilde M, et al. 2012). One group exercised for 30 minutes daily corresponding to 300 kcal/day, and another group exercised for 60 minutes daily corresponding to 600 kcal/day for 13 weeks. These 2 groups were compared to a control group which did not exercise. The participants were healthy, sedentary, moderately overweight young men. Body composition, accumulated energy balance, and the degree of compensation (lower metabolic rate, increased appetite) were measured.
The results showed that even if the exercise induced energy expenditure was twice as high in one group, the fat loss in the group that exercised for 30 minutes was 4 kg and the fat loss for the group that exercised for 60 minutes was 3.8 kg. No statistically significant changes were found in energy intake or none exercise physical activity that could explain the different compensatory responses associated with 30 vs. 60 min of daily aerobic exercise.
Unless you really enjoy exercising, spending hours doing it seems to be a waste of time, the body will just compensate by lowering the metabolic rate.
The smart way of losing weight would however be to also change the way you eat, that way you would see much better results. A very effective way to lose weight is to follow the program you find at Learn to Eat. There you will find an even more effective way of exercising and a way of eating that produce results both when it comes to weight loss and health.
The research reviewed here investigated the effect of 2 types of exercises involving participants with the metabolic syndrome (Stensvold D, et al. 2012). The metabolic syndrome is associated with chronic low grade inflammation. Several inflammatory cytokines were measured including interleukin-18 (IL-18) which seems to be the best marker of inflammation among people with metabolic syndrome.
The participants, inactive men and women with the metabolic syndrome were assigned to either high intensity aerobic interval training or strength training or a control group. The exercises were carried out 3 times per week for 12 weeks.
The results showed that high intensity aerobic interval training reduced interleukin-18 (IL-18) with 43%. Strength training did not have the same effect.
This does not mean that strength training is not valuable, it is, but this is another interesting example of the benefits of high intensity interval training.
If you in addition make specific changes to your meals, you will receive even more amazing benefits. None of these things need to take a lot of time. Download the program Learn to Eat for explanations and recommendations.
Low vitamin D levels are commonly found with obesity. The first study reviewed here investigated the effect of weight loss through diet and exercise on serum levels of vitamin D (Mason, et al. 2011). Vitamin D concentration was measured at the start of the study and 12 months later.
The results showed that greater weight loss was associated with increased vitamin D. As weight loss increased vitamin D levels increased.
The next study reviewed evaluated vitamin D levels in normal weight, overweight and obese cancer patients (Vashi PG, et al. 2011). The participants were both females and males with different kinds of cancer.
The conclusion of the research was that obese cancer patients had significantly lower levels of serum vitamin D when compared with the other groups.
If your body mass index is on the high side you need to supplement with more vitamin D, but what is interesting is that your vitamin D level would increase somewhat just by losing some weight.
It has been a belief for a long time that starving yourself would slow down the thyroid and not be productive in the long run if you want to lose weight, especially if you want to lose fat.
This was now confirmed in a recent study where the participants were randomly assigned to either a caloric restriction group, an exercise induced weight loss group, or a placebo group for 12 months (Weiss EP, et al, 2008).
The fat mass decreased significantly in both the caloric restricted group and the exercise group, but not in the placebo group. There were not a significant difference in fat loss between the caloric restriction group and the exercise group. What was interesting however was that the plasma concentration of the thyroid hormone T3 decreased in the caloric restricted group, but not in the exercise group even if both of the groups lost about the same amount of fat.
The lesson is that if you want to lose weight and stay healthy, exercise should be a part of the program in addition to a healthy diet.
Weiss EP, et al. Caloric restriction but not exercise-induced reductions in fat mass decrease plasma triodothyronine concentrations: a randomized controlled trial. Rejuvenation Res. 2008 Jun;11(3):605-9.