New 'Festive Five' Weight Loss Tips Include Sleep, Food Pusher Advice

With the holidays around the corner, there are more news reports about battling the “festive five” during the heavy meals of winter, and the new idea is to avoid gaining weight by making better choices as opposed to putting weight loss on your New Year’s resolutions list. About the term “festive five,” a commonly cited source for the phrase is a 2007 NY Times article. In it, they discuss a New England Journal of Medicine study that shows that approximately five pounds of weight is gained during the holidays. Worse, this weight often sticks around significantly longer than a pound gained during other times of the year. Since 2007, a bumper crop of tips have appeared about ways to avoid gaining weight during the holidays. For example, Centre Daily writes that the latest idea for avoiding the festive five is to consider avoiding as many problem foods as possible so that “lose weight” is not on your list of New Year’s resolutions. Some of their advice also includes implementing portion control, and this means eating everything you love, but in smaller amounts. They also state that the 5-2-1-0 system is helpful to avoid holiday weight gain and clarified with the following. “During the holidays and every day, aim for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, a maximum two hours of TV time, at least one hour of physical activity and zero sugar-sweetened beverages.” In another example of preventing the festive five, My Daily Record published an article on November 1 about a “holiday weight gain” challenge from November 22 to January 2. In Harnett County, the Holiday Challenge Program is free, and is sponsored by the health department. One of the biggest tips for avoiding holiday weight gain is by keeping portions small. [Image Courtesy of Alcinoe via Wikimedia Commons] Along with weekly classes that focus on nutrition and physical fitness tips, they are also giving away prizes. About the program’s goals for avoiding the festive five, public health educator, Belinda Rayner, stated, “Rather than focusing on trying to lose weight — a difficult task at this time of year — this free six-week challenge provides participants with tips and ideas to help them maintain their weight throughout the holiday season.” Villages News in Florida says the state is part of an initiative that partners with North Carolina State University, and their program is called the “Maintain, Don’t Gain! Holiday Challenge.” 2016 is their third year for the program, and it was initiated to address the high percentage of obesity in the state. Seattle Times guest author, RDN and CD, Christine Stirparo, of Pacific Medical Centers, writes on November 6 that advice about not gaining weight from holiday treats means eating smaller portions, but also getting enough sleep. About the problem with getting less sleep and holiday weight gain, Stirparo says, “fatigue can make it much more challenging to feel energized for a workout or resist tempting holiday treats.” If you cannot eat sweets, consider bringing an alternative. [Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images] Consumer Reports published an article on October 21, and their unique advice about avoiding the festive five included tips for dealing with “food pushers.” In instances where it is considered rude to refuse a second portion, Brian Wansink, Ph.D., recommends “just take smaller portions” for every portion. Wansink also said you will not look rude because he has found “hosts recall who asked for second helpings but that they don’t notice the serving size.” Although avoiding the festive five holiday weight gain is a concern for many Americans, there are certain instances where portion control is not a solution, and the food must be avoided altogether. For example, Lexington Herald-Leader gives food-refusing etiquette advice for diabetics on November 4, and stated that if you have an issue with blood sugar, it is not rude to “bring your favorite dish to share” to holiday events. When all else fails, Benzinga says that creating holiday meals from scratch to avoid winter weight gain is the best idea. For example, in Pembroke Pines, Florida, CardioMender published a press release stating they would have an open house that “features all new holiday, but also any day recipes, products and ideas on how to lose weight safely and effectively while celebrating the holiday season.” [Feature Image by Peggy Greb via Wikimedia Commons]

Bone Broth Diet: 21-Day Program From Dr. Kellyann Petrucci Caused 15-Pound Weight Loss

There is a new fat-burning diet that incorporates the soup made from the broth of bones that’s striking a nerve in the world. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek, and Kobe Bryant have even been called fans of the new 21-day diet that adds a quirky ingredient to the diet. The book titled Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet: Lose Up to 15 Pounds, 4 Inches–and Your Wrinkles!–in Just 21 Days by Rodale Press shows why there is such a fuss over the book. The best-selling diet by Dr. Kellyann Petrucci is called the “Bone Broth Diet,” and the basis of the diet includes the notion that making a broth out of the bones of meat such as chicken, beef, turkey — and even fish — can help the body in a variety of ways. Not only can weight loss be experienced, but the diet is being credited with helping to improve the skin as well. As reported by Fox LA, the new “Bone Broth Diet” claims that certain grains can irritate your gut, but that healthy fats can help you. Healthy fats keep you healthy and give you beautiful hair, nails and skin, says Dr. Kellyann. She dispels the notion that all fats can make a person fat. Slurping on bone broth – Metro #paleo #diet — Natural Juice Cafe (@NatJuiceCafe) June 2, 2016 Instead, Petrucci says that healthy fats help the membranes remain healthy. You have to eat fat to burn fat, she says. But she’s not talking about the bad fats like French fries and chips. She means the healthy fats like avocados that are eaten with healthy proteins at every single meal you eat each day. She also says that fermented foods eaten once per day are recommended. “Energy vegetables” like sweet potatoes and carrots should be added to your plates to offer energy. Certain fruits like blueberries also work better for their fat-burning potential. One handful twice per day would work well. Eat almonds instead of potato chips, Dr. Kellyann says, and tells her followers to turn to coconut chips instead of sweets. You can outsmart the craving for sweets, since they only last from two to three minutes by redirecting your attention. Dr. Kellyann also touts mini-fasts to help reduce inflammation and make you look younger. One of the oldest foods and healing nutrients on the planet, the broths from bones are the basis of the diet. It is something that brings people back to our roots in eating good foods. Bone broth is her Botox, she says. A couple of days per week, the bone broth can be consumed with healthy snacks. The other days out of the week, folks can focus on eating the healthy foods she recommends. Bone broth helps you 10x the paleo diet! @drkellyann @PaleoFX #PFX16 — Azat Mardan (@azat_co) May 28, 2016 Don’t focus on every little wrinkle, she says. The broth from the bones will help you sleep better and look younger, claims the trained scientist. When she wanted more research to prove that her 21-day bone broth diet worked, she discovered that some study participants lost up to 15 pounds and four inches in their measurements during three studies conducted in Los Angeles, Detroit and New York. Two diabetic patients no longer required insulin. Nuts and clarified butter are also touted as healthy snacks in the diet. Reviews for the “Bone Broth Diet” are glowing on Amazon, like the one below. “After my husband purchased the book and suggested we do it together, I decided why not. He was offering to do the cooking, so I sat back and did what he told me to. I wasn’t too thrilled with the idea, but since he did the hard work, what could I lose? The first two days were bloody hell. I had body aches and fell like absolute crap! So I starting reading the book and found out this was called the carb flu. Despite of doing the Paleo before and not having these symptoms (I chalk it up to having too much carb storage after the binge eating of the holidays), I decided to stick it out since Dr. Kellyann said this was normal and stay the course! So glad that I did! We have 9 days left of the 21 days and I feel amazing!” [Image via Shutterstock]

Green Tea Health Benefits: Improving Cognitive Abilities in People with Mental Disabilities.

Everyone is talking about green tea health benefits, but a new case study according to The Medical Express, is showcasing a chemical that has been found inside of the leaves that had an ability that we didn’t know about, until just recently. Droves of scientists and doctors are claiming that this natural chemical has the ability to improve the cognitive ability for people with Down’s syndrome and other forms of mental disabilities. Imagine that a simple drink such as tea, something that many of us already drink on a daily basis can possibly aid our loved ones in their battle with mental illness. During the clinical trial that lasted for a year, members were given tea on a regular basis, those that drank it religiously demonstrated an increase and improvement on memory and behavioral tests. The study was published in The Lancet Neurology. How’s that for green tea health benefits? After the trial ended and the subjects quit their religious intake of green tea, the effect still lingered for nearly half-a-year. With effects that are as strong as this, just from ingesting a few cups of green tea a day, it should be easy to execute. Drink clean #healthy #greentea — Steven Pastores (@stevenpastores) June 10, 2016 When it was accessible to take brain scans of the subjects, the scans drew a picture for the researchers on how a compound known as epigallocatechin gallate, changed the way the neurons in the brain interlocked. Down’s syndrome also known as trisomy 21, is caused by the presence of an extra, or third, copy of chromosome number 21. It is still a rare condition with a ratio of 1:1000. Ready for a fast fact? An average human being contains23 pairs of chromosomes, which contain up to 25,000 protein-coding genes. All of these little mini things just hanging out inside of your body. In the trials, 84 young adults with Down’s syndrome were split into two groups. One was given a decaffeinated tea supplement containing 45 percent epigallocatechin gallate, paired with weekly cognitive tests to gauge if the green tea health benefits would work. The final group had the same training but ingested a placebo in lieu of the supplement. David Nutt, head of the Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, had a little to add to this study, saying: “It’s exciting that an understanding of the genetic neurobiology of Down’s syndrome is leading to the possibility of disorder-specific treatments,” Marie-Claude Potier, a Down’s syndrome specialist at the Brain and Spine Institute in Paris, said the results were a “leap forward,” but that safety and efficacy need to be confirmed especially if some of the subjects are sensitive or allergic to green tea. This idea will do wonders for the homeopathic world and spreading its concepts. I run on matcha! ???? #matcha #greentea — Eric Ho (@NinjaRAWLegend) June 9, 2016 Web MD lists numerous green tea health benefits such as weight loss in the form of 50,000 calories per year when swapping it for soda. Web MD also reported on a Swiss study where it showed that green tea helped increase the blood flow in the brain. Which means green tea can potentially safeguard you from Alzheimer’s and other forms of mental illness. Earlier on the Inquisitr, we reported on a certain type of health benefits coming from Matcha, a Japanese powdered green tea and it being considered as the newest miracle elixir with its potent antioxidant levels. Are you a tea drinker? What kind of tea do you drink? What do you think about the health benefits offered from it? Feel free to comment below and let us know if you believe in green tea health benefits or not. [Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images]

'Why Are Salads $7 And A Burger Is $1' Meme Asks: Answer, They Don't

A new meme has been circulating online, asking that writers “please don’t write another article on obesity in America until until you explain why salads are $7 and a burger is $1.” The meme became popular enough to be shared by Chris Rock on Twitter, where it spawned thousands of retweets and likes. The origins of the meme are a little unclear; many people and groups online, including Anonymous, claim credit. [Image by Chris Rock/Twitter] So, as responsible writers, we’re going to do exactly as asked; because, while relative pricing in America is a very complex subject, the answer here is pretty simple: they don’t. More importantly, it probably wouldn’t matter a whole lot if they did. The meme provides no context or sources for its assertions, so let’s start by looking at the most obvious culprit, McDonald’s. According to Secret Menus, which tracks pricing at the most common fast food franchises in America, the most popular McDonald’s burgers are more in the neighborhood of $4 to $5. McDonald’s meal-sized salads, while slightly more expensive, run from about $4.60-$5.40. Sure, you can get a basic burger for a little over a dollar. But you can get a side salad for a dollar even, so that’s essentially meaningless. For the sake of argument, though, let’s pretend that the salad were significantly more expensive – and ask, instead, if that’s affecting America’s health, using information from McDonald’s and SelfNutritionData. A Big Mac costs $3.99 and weighs 219g. It contains 540 calories, 28g of fat, 25g of protein, and 46g of carbohydrates. Ok, it’s not exactly a nutrition overload. Let’s compare that to the Southwest Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Salad. It costs $4.79, weighs a whopping 342g (yes, almost double what the Big Mac does,) and contains 520 calories, 25g of fat, 28g of protein and 46g of carbohydrates. In other words? It’s pretty much identical to the Big Mac nutritionally – at least when you aren’t accounting for the additional weight. Of course, not too many people order their burger without fries. Which add another 230 calories and another dollar and some. In the interest of fairness, let’s compare our two low-cost items as well. A basic McDonald’s hamburger – no cheese, no fries, no bacon – costs $1.29, weighs 105g, and contains 250 calories, 8g of fat, 12g of protein, and 32g of carbohydrate. The side salad costs $1, weighs 87g, and – with ranch dressing – has 210 calories, 17g of fat, 3g of protein and 14g of carbohydrate. Personally, I think I’ll take the burger. But that’s McDonald’s. It’s the ubiquitous fast food. We all expect them to find a way to make everything unhealthy, right? So let’s head next to Applebee’s and look at a more mid-range option. At Applebee’s, we’re going to order the “American Standard” burger and the fiesta chicken chopped salad. No, not this American Standard. Probably. [Image by vchal/iStock] We can’t tell you what each weighs in this case, but we can tell you that the burger is $9.99 and the salad is $10.49, so again, we’re not exactly breaking the bank by choosing the “expensive” salad over the “cheap” burger. The “American Standard” clocks in at 1030 calories, 71g of fat, 50g of protein and 48g of carbohydrate. Yikes! The chicken salad actually does a lot better this time, at 340 calories, 17g of fat, 24g of protein, 24g of carbohydrate. So we do have to hand it that. But it’s hardly as if it costs much more than the burger; certainly not 700%. All this isn’t to say that there isn’t an essential price break between “cheap” and “healthy” foods in America; there absolutely is, and it absolutely needs to be addressed. We could talk about food subsidies, basic marketing, public perception, political lobbies and so much more connected with this; we could even talk about the fact that preparing edible healthy food at home requires a lot more time, effort and skill. It’s a very complex issue. But it doesn’t seem as if restaurants and “$1 burgers, $7 salads” are in any way culpable here – due to their essential non-existence – and we’d be a lot better off focusing on the things that do. [Featured photo by teimurazart/iStock]

Turns Out Gluten-Free Folks Aren't Crazy: Scientists Find Wheat Proteins That Make People Sicker

Scientists has provided vindication for people without celiac disease who say that they feel better when they avoid foods that contain wheat and gluten. A group of relatively unknown wheat proteins has been shown to worsen a whole host of medical conditions even among people who do not have a wheat allergy or celiac disease. Researchers presenting at the 2016 United European Gastroenterology conference have identified a group of non-gluten proteins that can trigger symptoms of many health conditions such as asthma, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain, Mental Floss reports. The scientists found that a group of wheat proteins called amylase-trypsin inhibitors, or ATIs, can have powerful affects on the body. While ATIs only represent about 4 percent of wheat proteins, consuming them can cause severe reactions throughout the body. These reactions can trigger inflammation in the digestive tract, lymph nodes, kidneys, spleen and brain. New study links wheat protein wheat to inflammation of chronic health conditions – ATI's more concerning than gluten? — Fat is our Friend (@fatisourfriend) October 17, 2016 They also found that this inflammation can worsen symptoms of autoimmune conditions such as asthma, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease. Lead researcher Detlef Schuppan of Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany says that ATI and gluten produce similar reactions in the human body, “thereby potentially worsening the symptoms of pre-existing inflammatory illnesses,” he said in a statement through the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s EurekAlert. The study shows that the consumption of ATIs can lead to the development of inflammation in tissues beyond the gut, including the lymph nodes, kidneys, spleen and brain. Evidence suggests that ATIs can worsen the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, asthma, lupus and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as inflammatory bowel disease. These ATIs can also lead to the development of gluten sensitivity even when people do not have celiac disease, the researchers noted. They added that non-celiac gluten sensitivity is now an accepted medical diagnosis for people who do not have celiac disease but benefit from a gluten free diet. Patients who have non-celiac gluten sensitivity report symptoms such as abdominal pain, headaches, joint pain and eczema after consuming gluten-containing foods. These symptoms tend to improve rapidly on a gluten-free diet, even though they do not seem to be allergic to gluten. Scientists now plan to begin clinical studies to explore the role that ATIs play on chronic health conditions in more detail. “We are hoping that this research can lead us towards being able to recommend an ATI-free diet to help treat a variety of potentially serious immunological disorders” says Dr. Schuppan. The researchers also hope that these findings lead to a better term for non-celiac gluten sensitivity. “Rather than non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which implies that gluten solitarily causes the inflammation, a more precise name for the disease should be considered,” added Dr. Schuppan. Many people on gluten-free diets report that they feel much better when they stop eating wheat products, but they get tired of being mocked and told that their issues are all in their heads. “Gluten Sensitivity is Probably Just in Your Head #marketing #branding" — ¡¡¡José González!!! (@Aguila76_) September 30, 2016 Naysayers frequently belittle people who go gluten-free, especially as headlines have often reported on a lack of scientific research to back up claims that patients felt better when they gave up wheat products. @ilfornobakery absolutely. Unless someone is gluten intolerant there are no science-proven ill affects. Most stuff out there false. — BigChefLittleKitchen (@BigChefLilKitch) October 15, 2016 This research follows another report issued last summer, where scientists at Columbia University Medical Center found evidence that wheat products lead to a weakened gut lining in some people, even though they did not have celiac disease. This weakened intestinal barrier can lead to a body-wide inflammatory immune response that causes a number of issues such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, depression, fatigue, inflammation and cognitive issues shortly after they consume wheat products. Co-author Peter H. Green, the director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center, reported that the findings demonstrate that there is a biological basis for these symptoms in a significant number of patients. Our study shows that the symptoms reported by individuals with this condition are not imagined, as some people have suggested. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of the small intestine after a person eats gluten, which is primarily found in wheat, rye and barley products. The intestinal damage that results leads to a range of gastrointestinal symptoms, including abdominal pain, diarrhea and bloating. It eventually leads to many other health problems as a result of the damaged intestines’ inability to properly absorb nutrients. Many people who do not have celiac disease report that health issues improve after they eliminate wheat and gluten products from their diets. I lived with chronic pain for years—until I cut gluten from my diet — Cosmopolitan (@Cosmopolitan) September 16, 2016 An estimated one in five people actively choose gluten-free foods for health reasons, says Gluten-Free Living, although only about one percent of the population has celiac disease. Now science may finally be catching up to what many people have already known. [Featured Image by Julia Sudnitskaya/iStock]

Canola Oil May Help Combat Belly Fat, New Study Finds

For those who may be looking to shed a few unwanted pounds, a new study suggests that canola oil might be worth a serious look. Canola oil, which is made from a plant known as rapeseed, is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. According to the study, monounsaturated fatty acids have been shown to have a positive effect on body composition, specifically among those who battle obesity. Want to reduce belly fat? Include #CanolaOil in your diet #obesity #bellyfat — HT Life&Style (@htlifeandstyle) November 3, 2016 This particular study shows that canola oil may be an effective tool in combating abdominal fat. Over the years, belly fat is something that seems to have developed a bit of a reputation for being stubborn and difficult to get rid of, especially as people get older. In the study, in which there were 101 different participants, it is described how researchers at Pennsylvania State University tested the effects of “five different vegetable blends.” They were the following: “conventional canola,” “high-oleic acid canola,” high oleic acid canola with an omega-3 known as DHA, “corn/safflower,” and “flax/safflower.” According to the study, each of the participants struggled with belly fat and were at risk for a number of health issues. “All of the participants had abdominal obesity, or increased waist circumference, and were either at risk for or had metabolic syndrome — a group of conditions including obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low HDL (also known as good cholesterol) and excess body fat around the waist.” In the study, which was presented at The Obesity Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting, researchers found that canola oil produced noticeable results in as little as a four-week period. After just one month of following diets that consisted of canola oil, participants had roughly a quarter pound less belly fat than they did prior to beginning their treatment regimens. Moreover, the weight that was lost from the mid-section did not reappear in other areas of the body either, according to the study. Targeted weight loss appears to be a difficult thing to accomplish, but it seems that using monounsaturated fats may provide an exception to the rule. “As a general rule, you can’t target weight loss to specific body regions,” Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Penn State Professor of Nutrition, said in the study. “But monounsaturated fatty acids seem to specifically target abdominal fat.” At random, the participants, whose treatments were carefully customized based on calorie and energy needs, were then assigned to drink two smoothies per day over a four-week period. They were then given a four-week break before entering into the next phase. To add canola oil to your diet, Kris-Etherton recommends using it to bake, saute food, mixing it into smoothies, or tossing it on salads. The study concluded with the researchers saying that in the future, more studies should be conducted on the effects of diets high in monounsaturated fatty acids. In addition to canola oil, there are other sources of monounsaturated fats as well. According to The American Heart Association, other “plant based liquid oils” that meet this description include olive oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, and sesame oil. The American Heart Association also describes how monounsaturated fats can help lower bad cholesterol levels, too. Canola oil with Omega-3 may cut heart disease risk: Study – — News24 (@news24tvchannel) November 3, 2016 Nicole Lyn Pesce of The New York Daily News reported that over this past summer, a JAMA Internal Medicine study discovered that swapping out saturated fats with monounsaturated fats, including canola oil, may reduce death risk from certain diseases. Among these were heart and respiratory disease, dementia, and cancer. America’s obesity epidemic, which has rightfully received a great deal of coverage in recent years, is a big cause of concern among many. According to The New York Times, Americans now feel that obesity is tied with cancer as the country’s biggest health threat. If the research holds, it will be good to know that something as simple as incorporating canola oil into a daily diet routine may be enough to make a small difference. In addition to exercise, other diet routines and weight-loss methods, canola oil may just be another small, but helpful, tool to keep in mind in the fight against obesity. [Featured Image by David McNew/Getty Images]