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Experts suggested how to save the result at the end of the diet

Keep the desired weight is no easy task.

It would seem that there is nothing harder than to lose weight. Actually, the most difficult is to maintain such a long-awaited desired weight. Not to relax and not to get hateful extra pounds will help the recommendations of nutritionists.

Cherished numbers on the scale, and the storm of joy! I want to eat something delicious and to congratulate ourselves for this achievement. But it is not necessary to do this. After the diet comes the important step is to save the result.

Now most of the diets designed for the very small number of calories. It turns out that during the diet, your body starves, loses an important and much needed vitamins and minerals. Food when such diets are balanced, which leads to the desire to eat after the hunger strike. The body requires to fill the shortage of nutrients.

Diet an unbalanced diet will give quick results on the scales. However, to rejoice in him is not necessary, because the weight loss is due to the reduction of muscle mass, and this slows down the metabolic rate. The results can be obtained by the following process: desired weight – joy – lunch with a variety of sharp and inevitable weight gain.

In order to properly lose weight you need to set a goal. First and foremost, you should lose weight for yourself. When this is understood and realized, the result will be achieved easily and quickly. And all because when the person loses weight for themselves, he rebuilds not only thinking, but also feeding behavior.

Not just nutritionists say that the diet should become a way of life. You must learn to control himself and learn self-discipline. To be in the desired weight and tone should try to cope with stress, daily positive emotions actively and move a lot, as well as moderately and eat right.

Not adhering to these principles you can get into a vicious cycle of continuous weight loss and new weight gain. But such experiments will not pass in vain for health. Such jumps have lead to the failure of hormonal background, the menstrual cycle, which entails a serious disease which is difficult to fight.

To save the resulting weight result will help only the new program of eating behavior. It is best to contact an experienced dietitian, who will help you to lose weight and keep the weight off. Food habits need to change once, not several times a year. Before settling on a particular way of eating, you need to examine it for effectiveness and health benefits.

We all have our favorite dishes that I want to eat after dieting. It is quite possible to do without compromising the shape. Just need a small trick. You need to take the usual batch of your favorite Goodies and separated from it by the third part for themselves. Eat this in the morning after the main meal.

We must remember not only about food but also about water. Be sure to follow the daily quantity of its use.

© 2017, micetimes.asia. All rights reserved

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Celebrate Independence by Not Gaining Weight on the 4th and Start Dieting on the 5th

Submitted by Don Doman

It is estimated that the average person puts on 10 pounds during the holiday season. We eat more often and we eat much richer foods during the holidays, so it is easy to put on pounds without realizing it. Most people think that they don’t have to worry about gaining weight on the 4th of July, because it’s only one day. But so are Thanksgiving and the other big bird stuffing days. This year with the 4th being on Tuesday, we have Saturday, Sunday, and possibly Monday to get through before we ever arrive at the day of celebration.

Most of us could benefit by dieting. Different people have different reasons in going on a diet. Some people need to do it to improve their health conditions, while others simply want to fit into their small sized clothing. Whatever your reasons are, you should always remind yourself of them, so that you become more motivated in going through your diet.

A Ball Park frank with bun and condiments is 260 calories.

A Ball Park – All Beef Hot Dog (With Bun, Ketchup, Mustard) has 260 calories. 459 calories is the count for a 1/4 pound burger with a bun. Who eats just one of these backyard delicacies? Add in potato salad, deviled eggs, green bean casserole, ambrosia whip cream fruit salad, various pies, ice cream with toppings and you have a mountain of calories to overcome. That’s just part of the problem.

Let’s say you’re going to Aunt Amy’s house for the gathering of family and friends. You’ve already sampled your own items to share. You know she always serves late, so you stop in at Arby’s for a Smokehouse Pork Belly sandwich on the way to fortify yourself with 860 calories (550 from fat alone). If you add fries and a coke, you’ve already had more than some people in the world eat in a day . . . or several days. So, what should you have done?

The object of celebrating is to enjoy yourself, your family, and your friends.

First of all, you need a good night’s sleep and a decent breakfast. When you eat your breakfast, it is best if you include eggs in it. This is because eggs are filled with quality protein called albumin. Aside from that, it can also provide you with energy giving nutrients. Thus, it can help you attain higher metabolism, and could make you more energetic throughout the day.

You’re going to bring a dish or two to share of course. Forget the canned Bush’s baked beans to which you always add maple syrup, brown sugar, Grey Poupon Dijon, and half a pound of cooked bacon from Metro Market.

I recommend sliced cucumbers and apples soaking in rice vinegar with a touch of sea salt and ground pepper. Make plenty, so you can snack on them yourself. Food/salad dressings that contain vinegar actually help you in burning more fats. This is because they contain acetic acid, which can speed up your body’s ability of processing calories and fats.

You might also create a little fresh fruit salad. Chunks of cantaloupe, melon, and pineapple are fairly cheap currently. Throw them in a large bowl. With a little more rice vinegar and a couple tablespoons of frozen orange juice you can make a healthy dressing. Top off your mixture with a small container of blackberries for color and tartness and you are ready to go.

Eating fruits and vegetables is one of the best things to do to lose weight since they are filled with vitamins and minerals, as well as enzymes. However, it is best if you consume them in their raw form. This is because processing or cooking them would kill the essential nutrients and enzymes. After snacking on your own preparations you can still stop in at Arby’s and even order the Smokehouse Pork Belly sandwich by itself. Eat the two or three strips of pork belly and throw the rest away. The pork belly has all the flavor anyway.

The 4th of July is a major holiday, but you don’t have to overeat!

At the party go ahead an have a lite beer or two, or a glass of red wine, but nurse them. Don’t bother with drinking lots of water unless the weather is really, really hot. Water can bloat you and make you feel uncomfortable. The object of a celebration is to enjoy yourself. Snack on your own items, enjoy a hot dog or two and a hamburger, but forget the buns and you might be able to have a piece of pie and still feel like you earned it. Consider that you’re really just combining lunch and dinner.

If you have two or three parties like this from the first through the fourth, you should be able to walk away without much gain . . . if at all. Whenever I’m confronted by a buffet meal, I always ask myself, “Do I really like this food?” Often the answer is, “No.” If the answer is no for you, then your decision to eat sparingly should be easily swallowed. Enjoying the food and the company should be your goal. Enjoying your food does not necessarily mean that you eat it as fast as you can. It means that you should savor it. Try to appreciate its looks, smell, taste, and texture. When you do that, you will have a more pleasant experience in eating. I have no solutions for annoying cousins and friends.

On the fifth of July you might even start thinking about a weight loss plan. If you need a little help, we have local author Dana Luchini who supervises diet plans. She says, “Our Healthy-Aging Diet™ HCG Weight Loss Program is safe, effective and it offers consistent weight loss. Patients will also experience a reduction of risk factors for chronic health conditions.” You can also visit the website www.live2agewell.com, which has approximately one hundred articles on food and nutrition. Each article is vetted by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. With excellent local produce and fresh seafood almost at our doorsteps, the prospect of eating well and enjoying it more, while celebrating a holiday and a wonderful summer in Western Washington is a great possibility.

Lakewold Gardens - MayFest 2017

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He wants to sell you a $300 ‘fasting diet’ to prolong your life. It might not be as crazy as it sounds

L

OS ANGELES — He knows he sounds like a snake-oil salesman.

It’s not every day, after all, that a tenured professor at a prestigious university starts peddling a mail-order diet to melt away belly fat, rejuvenate worn-out cells, prevent diseases ranging from diabetes to cancer — and, for good measure, turn back the clock on aging.

But biochemist Valter Longo is convinced that science is on his side.

Longo has spent decades studying aging in yeast cells and lab mice. He now believes he’s developed a diet that may boost longevity — by mimicking the effect of periodic fasting. So he’s packed precise quantities of kale chips, quinoa soup, hibiscus tea, and other custom concoctions into boxes that go for $300 a pop.

Longo’s ProLon diet (it stands for “pro-longevity,” he says, and not “Professor Longo”) reflects a growing interest in episodic fasting, which has been touted by celebrities such as Jimmy Kimmel and Benedict Cumberbatch and in best-selling books like “The Alternate-Day Diet.” His approach stands out because he insists he can use certain combinations of nutrients to trick the body into thinking it’s fasting without actually being on a punishing, water-only diet.

Intrigued, STAT reviewed dozens of scientific studies and talked to a half-dozen aging and nutrition experts about fasting in general and ProLon in particular. We visited Longo’s lab at the University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute, where slender black and white rodents pass their days in clear plastic boxes labeled “DO NOT FEED.” We even tried Longo’s diet for one long and rather hungry week.

Our conclusion? Fasting does appear to boost health — certainly in mice, and preliminary evidence suggests it might do so in humans as well, at least in the short term. It’s not yet clear whether that’s because abstaining from food prompts cellular changes that promote longevity, as some scientists believe — or because it simply puts a brake on the abundant and ceaseless stream of calories we consume to the detriment of our health. Either way, it can be a powerful force.

“We’re not meant to eat three meals a day — and snacks,” said Mark Mattson, a pioneer in studying the effects of intermittent fasting on the brain who runs the neuroscience lab at the National Institute on Aging.

Mice and rats on fasting regimes are slimmer, live longer, and stay smarter and physically stronger as they age. They resist tumors, inflammatory diseases, and the neurodegeneration that characterizes diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. They handily fight off infection and can even sprout new neurons. They don’t end up with diabetes, autoimmune disease, high cholesterol or fatty livers.

Longo, who runs labs at both USC and at at the IFOM cancer institute in Milan, believes he knows why. Fasting, he and others argue, gives cells a break to rest, renew, rebuild themselves and, essentially, take out the trash as the body shifts from storing fat to burning it. They can’t do that when the body is constantly ingesting food, stockpiling excess calories and pushing cells and organs to exhaustion.

“The animal data is very striking,” Mattson said. “These aren’t trivial effects on health.”

Of course, many exciting findings that hold true for lab mice don’t translate to more complex human biology. Small, short-term studies in humans do show that periodic fasting reduces weight, abdominal fat, cholesterol, and blood glucose, as well as proteins like C-reactive protein and IGF-1 that are linked to inflammatory diseases and cancer.

But it’s not clear how long these effects last or whether they translate into any lasting clinical advantage — such as fewer heart attacks or longer lifespan.

So some experts say there just isn’t enough clinical data to prove the diet does everything Longo claims. “These are only animal studies. There isn’t a big body of evidence in humans,” said Kristen Gradney, a dietician in Louisiana and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “It could work, but I can’t confidently say that it will.”

“We’re not meant to eat three meals a day — and snacks.”

Mark Mattson, National Institute on Aging

Yet even some scientists who fully understand the limitations of the data are sold.

Satchidananda Panda, a researcher at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., compared mice that were allowed to eat whenever they wanted to mice that only had access to food during a 10- to 12-hour period each day. The differences were profound. The mice that fasted intermittently had no gray fur and weren’t lethargic, even as they neared 2 years of age, the average mouse life span.

The results were so striking, Panda and his family have adopted the practice. He also undertakes a water-only fast for a week each year.

“Once you see these animals,” Panda said, “it’s hard not to follow.”

Mattson, too, eats all of his roughly 1,800 calories per day in a six-hour window in the late afternoon and early evening. He hasn’t eaten breakfast in 40 years.

As for Longo, he uses his own diet every few months — especially to lose weight after returning from stays in Italy. Otherwise, he often eats just two meals a day and is passionate about natural, healthy, and plant-based food.

As one of his senior researchers, Sebastian Brandhorst, put it: “Valter always gives us crap when there’s junk food in the lab.”


Longo keeps the mice for his research in plastic bins, some of which are marked “DO NOT FEED.”

‘They thought it was crazy science’

Valter Longo was born to study aging.

Italian by birth, he spent summers in his family’s ancestral home, a town called Molochio in southern Italy that’s home to an unusually high percentage of centenarians. His father is 91. Exactly why the villagers live so long is a question that’s always simmered in the back of Longo’s head.

Now 49, Longo originally came to the U.S. to be a rock star. He enrolled at the University of North Texas, which has an acclaimed jazz guitar program. But he soured on the program when he was forced to run a marching band and turned instead to biochemistry — as a way to study aging.

He moved on to UCLA to pursue a Ph.D. with Dr. Roy Walford, who had become something of a celebrity scientist while pushing the idea that severely restricting caloric intake would extend life.

While he calls Walford a pioneer, Longo soon grew disenchanted with the extreme regimen he espoused. First, it was brutal to maintain. Then, there was what it did physically to Walford, who had been among a Biosphere 2 crew that restricted food intake dramatically during their stay in the experimental habitat. “When they exited Biosphere, they looked liked hell,” Longo said. “Walford looked like a skeleton.”

Walford, a colorful character known for walking across Africa and paying for med school by gaming roulette tables in Reno, Nev., had hoped to live to 120. But he died in 2004 at age 79 of ALS, a disease a number of researchers assert was exacerbated by, or even caused by, his severe diet.

At UCLA, Longo was growing frustrated with Walford’s attempts to study longevity in humans, and even mice, without having adequate tools to drill down into the genetic mechanisms underlying aging. So Longo turned back to biochemistry.

He transferred to a genetics lab focused on yeast, figuring that would let him study the mechanisms of aging in the simplest of organisms.

“If someone said, ‘What are you working on?’ we would say oxidative chemistry. You couldn’t say aging. That was viewed as a joke.”

Valter Longo, University of Southern California

Few people took his early results seriously. Studying aging was still considered flaky. And many scientists at the time were deeply skeptical that you could learn much about human biology by studying simple yeast.

“If someone said, ‘What are you working on?’ we would say oxidative chemistry,” Longo said. “You couldn’t say aging. That was viewed as a joke.”

Convinced his work was important, Longo kept his head down and kept going. “I didn’t pay attention to what people were saying,” he said. In just a year, Longo was able to work out a genetic pathway to describe aging in yeast and show that food — proteins and sugars — could speed aging. It was 1994.

“I was so excited, I thought people were going to say, ‘This is the discovery of the century,’” he recalled. “Of course, it was sent back — rejected.”


Research materials in Longo’s lab.

He rewrote the paper and resubmitted. No luck. He couldn’t get any of the work published without taking out every last reference to aging. The discovery he thought most important — the aging pathway — he published only in his UCLA thesis. “We would get insults from reviewers. The yeast world was the worst. They thought it was crazy science,” he said.

As years passed, other groups started publishing work detailing, as Longo had, specific aging pathways, first in worms and eventually in flies. “The frustrating thing is,” Longo said, “we had all of these things figured out and no one was listening.”


Frank Madeo, a yeast researcher at the University of Graz in Austria, had seen Longo being dismissed at conference after academic conference. Now, he said, the work is finally being embraced. “Valter for sure is a fighter. He doesn’t care what others think,” Madeo said. “He did something that at first was considered weird and he was attacked. Now, it’s the basis of work in so many labs.”

The turning point, Longo said, came when an editor at Science recognized that his rejected paper was part of the new paradigm to understand the genetics of aging. The paper was published in 2001, seven years after he’d first submitted it. It has since been cited hundreds of times.

Once he had the aging pathway worked out, Longo went on to look more deeply at what restricting calories did to yeast cells. He found withholding food “completely reprogrammed” the yeast — cells lived longer and were resistant to threat after threat. “You could throw in any toxin you could think of and it wouldn’t die,” he said.

Fasting “is at the foundation of the body’s ability to protect, repair, and rejuvenate itself,” he said. “We started to wonder: What can we use it for?”

So he started experimenting with limiting rodents’ intake of the proteins and sugars that he’d seen activate the aging pathways. (His lab cooks up a diet by hand for the animals; it’s also the inspiration for the the five-day diet he sells for humans.) His team has found that the diet shows promise in restoring pancreatic cells that keep diabetes in check, boosting immune cells, and helping prevent the deterioration of myelin, which plays a role in multiple sclerosis.

San Diego computational biologist Karmel Allison, who blogs at the diabetes lifestyle site ASweetLife, took a deep dive into Longo’s paper on pancreatic cells and found the data unconvincing. She thinks the improvements in mice could have simply come from their weight loss, not from any cellular change brought on by fasting.

Other scientists agree that’s a key question for further study, in both mice and people. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this May startled some diet researchers by showing alternative day fasting was no better at decreasing cardiovascular health risk factors than normal dieting — and was harder to maintain. (Longo maintains that the popular alternate day and 5:2 diets, where people eat up to 800 calories on their so-called fasting days, are not true fasting, just calorie reduction, and therefore don’t cause the metabolic shifts and cellular improvements of his diet. He thinks at least three days of fasting are needed, though other researchers disagree.)

“In humans, is intermittent fasting only effective for weight loss because we’re restricting calories? In my mind, that’s the big question,” said Grant Tinsley, an assistant professor of kinesiology at Texas Tech University who studies sports nutrition. “Is this just about eating fewer calories or are there unique cellular changes?”

“In humans, is intermittent fasting only effective for weight loss because we’re restricting calories? In my mind, that’s the big question.”

Grant Tinsley, Texas Tech University

Tinsley himself practices intermittent fasting: He restricts himself to eating during a six- to nine-hour period each day or does a 24-hour fast once a week. He likes the idea of Longo’s diet. Yet he’d still like more data. “There really are no side-by-side comparisons of different fasting programs in humans,” he said.

He knows firsthand, though, how hard it would be to conduct such a study. For one thing, it’s hard to get corporate funding for a study involving abstaining from food. For another, human beings are prone to cheat on diets. “Obviously it’s not ethical to keep people in cages for a year and feed them what you want,” he said.

Longo can, however, do that with mice. And he and his lab are excited about new studies showing that fasting seems to strengthen normal cells in rodents while making cancer cells more vulnerable. Longo thinks this means fasting may increase the potency of chemotherapy while reducing its side effects.

And, indeed, small clinical trials in humans have shown patients report less fatigue and fewer gastrointestinal symptoms while fasting during chemotherapy treatments. Longo now has clinical trials underway at several cancer centers worldwide to see if his diet improves outcomes as well.


Longo has found that mice on fasting diets reap a number of health benefits.

A diet that mimics fasting with beets and cider vinegar

Longo came up with the idea for the fasting mimicking diet about 10 years ago. He was trying to test the effect of a water-only diet for cancer patients. But most patients refused to fast and oncologists were worried about their already thin patients participating.

So Longo decided to devise a diet with minimal calories that would provide the nutrition the patients needed, but also confer the benefits of fasting. His lab worked out the precise amounts and types of calories, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats by testing various diets on mice.

The cancer fasting diet amounts to just 200 to 500 calories a day for four days. The ProLon diet allows 1,100 calories the first day and 800 for the next four. (Longo recommends doing the diet under a doctor’s supervision and notes that it’s not appropriate for people with certain health conditions, such as diabetes.)

His diet is low in protein and fat; he gets furious when he sees doctors advocating the opposite, a trendy practice he believes speeds aging.

He gets really fired up when nutritionists call fasting a fad. “Fasting is as old as it gets,” he said, noting that our hunter-gatherer ancestors likely went long stretches between meals. “If 70 percent of America is obese or overweight, you would think they’d have figured out their [more traditional] interventions don’t work.”

“He said, ‘I need to have something that’s going to have almost no calories but still have taste.’ ”

Ambra DiTonno, cafe owner

To devise fasting diets that people would actually want to eat, Longo turned to Ambra Ditonno, a longtime friend who runs a popular Italian cafe in Hollywood.

The two worked together after hours in Ditonno’s panini shop concocting extremely low-calorie soups — some just 30 to 45 calories per serving — out of pumpkin, beets, tomatoes, and broth. “He said, ‘I need to have something that’s going to have almost no calories but still have taste.’ It was really hard,” Ditonno said.

It’s not typical work for a scientist, but was typical for the hands-on Longo, who’s not married, has no children, and is used to working long hours (though he’s prone to pulling out his guitar when asked, and also does a lot of bike riding).

“He doesn’t have any other interests. He’s married to his job,” Ditonno said. And, she added, he had a natural flair for the work:  “He’s Italian, so he has some idea of cooking.”

They’d then freeze individual portions of the soups for delivery to cancer patients. (The soups are now manufactured in a facility and freeze-dried so they can be easily shipped and stored.) The diets include additional ingredients — algal oil supplements, specific proteins, trendy additions like flax seed, inulin, glycerol, and cider vinegar — that Longo believes act to improve health or trick the body into thinking it is fasting.

After cooking so many fasting soups, Ditonno tried the diet herself last year. She lost weight, got rid of the extra tummy fat she’d carried since having a child and eased several digestive issues. The benefits have persisted long after that initial fasting period. Like many who work with Longo and have tried the diet, she’s become a convert. “I believe in it like 1,000 percent,” Ditonno said.

The idea of a professor marketing his own longevity diet has raised eyebrows. “It’s a tricky spot to be in,” said Allison Dostal, a registered dietitian and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. She was part of a watchdog team that wrote a scathing review of a press release touting one of Longo’s studies that was put out by USC, which also stands to profit if the diet is a financial success. “It’s not something I’ve generally seen.”

The cost of ProLon has also raised questions, especially since there’s no proof this particular combination of foods works better than any other ultra-low-calorie diet or episodic fast.

“The diet’s OK,” Mattson said. “I’m just thinking about the people who can’t afford it. A lot of obese people are of low socioeconomic status. That’s the target population that could really benefit most.”

Longo created a company, L-Nutra, to market the diet, and retains majority ownership. He intends to funnel any personal profits into a nonprofit to fund research. For now, not much money is rolling in, though he says about 5,000 people have used ProLon — some paying customers, some research subjects. He hopes to one day receive FDA approval to market the diet as a tool to help prevent diabetes, but that’s well in the future.

Panda, the Salk Institute researcher, calls Longo’s approach a smart business move.

“The general public wants something encapsulated, they want a prescription,” he said. “Valter’s done a very smart thing. He’s encapsulated fasting.”

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the location of the University of Graz.

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Sun’s Out, Supplements Out


Be a Pill

If you’re trying to get in shape this summer, consider boosting your efforts with a few of these natural aides.

By Devon Hodge, Western Washington University


It’s common knowledge that staying healthy means regular exercise, a balanced and nutritional diet and proper self-care and hygiene.

However, there are other things that people do to keep (or get) themselves in top form for summer. One important aspect of health that people tend to overlook during the summer months is proper nutrition. A balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, grains and lean proteins is one way to get most of the nutrients that you need. But even the best diets often lack certain nutrients.

As the days grow longer, the sun hotter and the hours spent outside more plentiful, it’s important to know which supplements to take to keep your body functioning in the heat. A study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine found that vitamin C and vitamin E supplements can help protect skin against harmful ultraviolet radiation. This means less DNA damage, fewer sunburns and decreased risk of skin cancer. However, to reap the shielding benefits of these vitamins, these supplements must be taken together. Only taking vitamin C can increase immune function, and vitamin E on its own is an antioxidant that takes out potentially damaging free radicals. But if you want to enjoy the anti-ultraviolet effects of these supplements, it’s critical to take them both.

Even if you decide not to take vitamin E, vitamin C also has many health benefits apart from helping protect skin from sunlight. An article on the University of Berkeley California’s website explains how vitamin C can decrease inflammation, leading to a decreased risk of many diseases, such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and even some cancers.

Vitamin C can also aid with weight loss. A study posted on the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s website explains that taking vitamin C supplements can encourage weight loss through exercise. However, without exercise, it is unlikely that taking vitamin C will do all that much to help anyone lose weight.

Although vitamin C seems to be the most renowned immune-support vitamin, vitamin A can also help boost immune function. In addition to that, Organic Facts’ website suggests that consuming a small amount of vitamin A improves daylight and nighttime eyesight, slows the natural aging process of skin and can even decrease or prevent acne. Since many people are regularly exposed to the aging forces of sunlight during the summer, which can also damage eyesight (especially if a person looks right at the sun), these are welcome health benefits. As the heat rolls in and short sleeves (or no sleeves), shorts and swim suits come into style, taking a vitamin that actively improves skin health and decreases acne is another plus.

However, there is a warning that comes with excessive vitamin A consumption. Apparently, taking too much of this vitamin can lead to issues such as blurred vision, nausea or even an enlarged liver. Like all the vitamins mentioned here, taking too much can be just as dangerous (if not more so) than not taking enough.

Vitamin D is another critical nutrient that everyone should be taking; well, everyone who isn’t in regularly exposed to direct sunlight year-round, that is. According to an article on Health U.S. News, a fair-skinned person wearing very little clothing only needs to spend ten minutes in the sun every day during the hot summer months for their body to produce enough vitamin D. But for people with darker skin, as well as older people (who don’t produce as much vitamin D naturally), taking a supplement is critical.

Swimmers getting vitamin D (Image via Vita Council)

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to several major health risks. One of the biggest is multiple sclerosis. Decreased amounts of vitamin D in the bloodstream have been linked to increased risk for MS in individuals, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Another consideration is the skin cancer risk of exposure to direct sunlight. While a little bit of sun exposure can be good for many individuals, direct exposure to ultraviolet radiation—which is needed to stimulate vitamin D production in the human body—every day of the year for ten or more minutes a day is too much. So, even for people with year-round access to direct sunlight and skin fair enough to absorb plenty of ultraviolet radiation, it makes more sense to take a vitamin D pill than to risk too much direct exposure. There’s no point upping your risk for skin cancer when vitamin D supplements are readily available.

Vitamins aside, anyone who plans to spend their summer in action should remember to drink plenty of water. Without water, vitamins can’t be absorbed properly. If a person is dehydrated, no number of supplements can stave off the inevitable headaches, weakness, nausea and even heatstroke that drinking too little brings. Drinking plenty of water is an incredibly important part of any supplement or diet program. If you’re not drinking enough, there’s no point throwing supplements at your problems.

For anyone trying to gain muscle weight over the summer, it’s also important to make sure that your supplement program includes plenty of protein. Protein comes in many forms, but if you’re tired of eating fish and chicken at every meal, there are whey and protein shakes, powders and bars that can provide avid weightlifters and athletes with the protein that they need. Beware, however, of the many protein supplements with very high sugar contents. These supplements can do more harm than good.

Another thing to look out for when eating lots of protein is not to consume an excessive amount. If you’re not exercising hard for an hour or more every day, then you probably shouldn’t be drinking a protein shake every day. There are many stories of people buying protein supplements and eating them without exercising in the hopes of magically gaining muscles. This isn’t how it works. The people who did this gained plenty of weight, but their muscles didn’t grow at all.

Of course, before taking any supplements, even natural ones, it’s best to check in with your doctor. Remember to take everything in even moderation. Don’t take too much of any supplement, follow the warnings and instructions on the supplement bottles and never expect vitamins and supplements to act as a medicine or cure for any disease or ailment. Also, don’t think that supplements can replace regular exercise and a healthy diet. If you take all your supplements but never work out or eat well, there’s no point. Fitness is a balancing act. Take the right supplements for summer, but don’t forget to get off the couch and run around occasionally.

And while vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A might be good for skin health, they are in no way intended to act as a replacement for sunscreen. For full protection against the sun, supplements and sunscreen are the best way to go.

A Summer Weight Loss Program That’s Free

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    Diet Center
    at 25 Rahling Circle in West Little Rock is offering a no strings attached free weight loss program for the month of June. It’s for new clients only and offers access to Diet Center’s diet programs, education and weight counseling for a full month. There is no contract or obligation to continue after June. Owner Tara Doyle says her best “contract” is the results her clients see after just a week on her program. Customers lose weight quickly on the Center’s diet and keep it off with a lifestyle-changing education and counseling program.

    Diet Center offers several weight loss programs depending on the client’s goals. It can be as simple as a list of portion controlled foods one buys at the grocery store to Diet Center pre-prepared meals or meal supplements. Regardless, the counseling and support one gets from Tara is an important part of what makes your Diet Center weight loss program work. Think of her as sort of a private trainer who helps keep you motivated and focused on your weight loss goals.

    For more information call Tara at 821-5673 or email her at [email protected]. Prepared meals and supplements are not included in the free offer but counseling from Tara, along with unlimited visits and check-ins are. Summer’s here!

    The Health Reporter Is In: June 7, 2017 – Champaign/Urbana News

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    Submit your questions here

    Q: Is the keto diet safe? A diet that seemingly includes so much bacon seems too good to be true!

    A: There are a lot of posts out there by ketogenic dieters talking about eating bacon and cheese and even cooking with bacon grease. But if you’re going to add more saturated fat and sodium to your diet, I sure hope you’re thinking about heart disease risk along with weight loss.

    The keto diet is one of the low-carb, high-fat diets out there. If you follow the actual ketogenic, or keto, diet, you’d be taking in 75-85 percent of your daily calories in fat, compared to the average American who takes in 45-55 percent of an average day’s calories in carbohydrates, according to Ladonna Aebischer, a dietician and pediatric nutrition specialist at Carle.

    Compare the keto diet to the USDA’s current dietary guidelines that advise making half your plate fruits and vegetables, half your grains whole grains, moving to low-fat and fat-free milk or yogurt, varying your protein and eating and drinking less sodium, saturated fat and added sugars.

    The ketogenic diet is intended to work by placing your body in a metabolic state called ketosis, in which its forced to burn fat for energy because it has no carbohydrates to burn. Normally, our bodies break down carbs into glucose and use them for energy, “and that’s our main source of fuel,” Aebischer said.

    The keto diet is trendy, Aebischer said, but it was really designed for children and young adults who have epilepsy to help with seizure management.

    Any kind of restrictive diet in which a food group is eliminated will likely achieve some initial weight loss, Aebischer said. But long-term success won’t be easy to maintain.

    Not only that, she sees risks to cardiovascular health with so much fat consumption, plus nutrition deficiencies because of all the foods that are left out of the diet, she said.

    “I don’t ever recommend this diet for anyone unless it’s a medically supervised program for individuals who are interested for seizure management,” she said.

    For those who might wonder, Christie Clinic’s Transformations Medical Weight Loss program is also a low-carb plan that uses ketosis for weight loss, but it’s not exactly the same as the ketogenic diet described above.

    It’s a medically-supervised diet with coaching, and clients eat largely lean protein and vegetables along with some foods they purchase through the program.

    It also includes supplements to make up for foods clients aren’t getting on the diet, such as fruit and dairy, according to Ashley Quinlan, the medical weight loss program manager.

    The Transformations diet removes nearly all carbs because it helps achieve the weight loss sooner, she said. What many people don’t realize is they can still get carbohydrates from vegetables, Quinlan said. Maybe not in quantity, she said, but “you can get enough.”

    “We have a really high success rate to help them keep the weight off if they get to goal,” she said.

    The struggle is similar to that in other diet plans, Quinlan said, “but we have support and accountability through a person, your health coach, so that helps keep people on track.”

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