Friday, January 14, 2011

On a Research Roll


Quite a lot of research is catching my eye while crossing my desk and my email inbox again this week.  Blogging pre-supposes that which interests me may interest you, so I submit to you the following digests:

This appeared in IDEA Fitness Journal… a recent animal study published in the journal Molecular Neurodegeneration concluded that mice fed a high protein diet had lighter brains.  Mice which were fed conventional, high-fat, and high-carbohydrate diets all had heavier brains than the mice with the high-protein/low-carbohydrate diet.  Researchers theorized that lower brain mass leaves neurons more vulnerable to the plaque buildup commonly associated with Alzheimer’s.

Personal Fitness Professional magazine reports on a study from the University of Missouri, where researchers found that exercising during weight regain can maintain improvements in metabolic health and disease risk.  Study participants followed a diet and aerobic exercise program for four to six months and achieved weight loss.  They then embarked on a specific weight regain program, with one group continuing to exercise and the other group prevented from exercising.  The sedentary regain group backtracked on all their measurements of metabolic health benefits.  However, the exercise regain group maintained their improvements in LDL and HDL cholesterol, VO2max, blood pressure, and glucose.  Their total blood cholesterol and abdominal fat did increase.

(I remember sitting in a symposium 10 years ago listening to a researcher insisting that being clinically obese is not directly linked to disease as much as inactivity is.  He displayed a slide of a woman who was easily 100 pounds overweight while he made that statement, and 90% of the fitness professionals in the room gasped at the same instant.  The point being, if that individual was exercising regularly, she was likely to be very healthy.  Yes, it’s true, people who are obese are most likely also sedentary.  But it’s the sedentary part that’s so very detrimental to your health!)

Also published in IDEA Fitness Journal…Ways to Win at Losing, From Top Athletes (from Energy to Burn: The Ultimate Food and Nutrition Guide to Fuel Your Active Life)…
  1. Don’t try any fad, crash, or omission-style diet.  Stick with a balanced approach that includes more unprocessed, high-fiber foods.
  2. Find your motivator (a photo of yourself, a tight pair of pants you’d like to fit into).
  3. Eat smaller, more frequent meals instead of two or three large ones.
  4. Organize your kitchen so that healthy foods are visible.
  5. Diet at night.  It’s easier to sleep through hunger than to be awake all day through it.
  6. Keep a food log.
  7. Fuel yourself adequately so you don’t have post-exercise pig-outs.
  8. Limit liquid calories.
  9. Get on the scale.  Better yet, have someone else weigh you weekly.
Be Well!

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