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Archive for the Category »How to Diet «

The Pioppi Plan: how to follow the delicious 21-day diet from the world’s healthiest village

In southern Italy, two hours south of Naples, there is a sleepy little village called Pioppi (population: 197), where the average man reaches 89, outliving his British counterparts by an additional eight years.

The Pioppians do not just live long, they live well; without contracting the chronic diseases of ageing such as type-2 diabetes and dementia, that the rest of the world accepts as inevitable.

And this tiny village, with no gym, no supermarket, has asserted a greater influence on global nutritional and health policies than anywhere else on the planet.

It was here, in the 1970s, that American scientist, Prof Ansel Keys, conducted research that ultimately framed our modern, albeit skewed, interpretation of the Mediterranean Diet.

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Lose weight and live longer: Dr Aseem Malhotra reveals the secrets of the world’s healthiest village

Although a talented cricketer, he had been drawn to medicine, cardiology in particular, due in part to the death of his older brother at 13 from heart failure, caused by a virus.

“Amit, who was two years older than me, had Downs syndrome and he taught me about compassion. His death was just bad luck, but it had a real impact on me.”  

Both of their parents were GPs; in fact his father later taught Dr Malhotra to cook, meaning he enjoyed a reputation at Edinburgh University where he began medical studies, as “the guy who cooks the best chicken curry”. He adds: “But I didn’t appreciate how impactful and important food was to health. And we didn’t learn anything about it at medical school. I always ate dessert and chocolate.”

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Why our new motto should be: Riots, not diets…

I heard something the other day, and it’s my new motto. It was ‘Riots Not Diets’…

Suddenly I pictured it on a million T-shirts, flags, mugs, mouse mats and tattooed lower backs. It’s never been so apt, what with the spirit of revolution in the air, and the fact women are filling their heads with trying to diet for their ‘summer body’.

It made me think, because we really do spend so much time obsessing about our weight when we could spend that valuable time doing something constructive. You know, like changing the world and rioting (politely, of course, we wouldn’t smash anything).

Cuban rebel Ernesto Che Guevara (1928 - 1967) w. lit cigar clenched between his teeth  his left arm in a sling

If we didn’t spend so much time thinking about calories, we might be able to get a revolution started…
(Photo: Getty)

I know this is a fact because I have been both very fat and very slim. Currently I am somewhere between Fatland and Skinnyville. I know that when I live in Fatland, I am constantly thinking about trying to get rid of the weight, and when I am in Skinnyville, my mind is freed up for having interesting and clever thoughts, or figuring out how to reset the tiny clock on my cooker. That’s how all-consuming it can be.

I also know that the slimmer I am, the more compliments I get from women, but the more jiggly I am, the more attention I get from men. That just shows what women think is important.

I’ve been fat and I’ve been thin, and I know that it frees up a lot of brain space when you’re not thinking about losing weight

I also know that, even in these times of female empowerment (mostly), saying, ‘You’ve lost weight,’ can still be the single most effective compliment you can give a girl. Even though nowadays, the slightly more socially aware part of our brain kicks in and we add, ‘I mean, you look well! That’s the most important thing!’ Or, ‘If you feel healthier that’s what counts.’

We say all that, and yet… and yet we STILL believe thinning is winning. We still can’t help but instinctively blurt out that fateful, ‘Oooh, have you lost weight? You look great,’ and still praise each other when someone has so much as lost 3lb from doing a big poo.

Because we are still so brainwashed into thinking losing weight is the most interesting thing a woman can do and talk about.

So I’ve had enough. Do what you like, diet if you want, but don’t fill your head with it. There are riots to organise.

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I Followed Khloé Kardashian’s Diet for a Week and This Is What Happened

Have you ever wanted to have a body like a Kardashian sister? Whether or not you’d actually admit it, you probably have. They have curves for days! And if you’ve ever wondered how they got that way, they’ll tell you it’s through diet and exercise (though most suspect that plastic surgery plays a significant role).

So, when Khloé Kardashian’s nutritionist Dr. Philip Goglia detailed her diet in an interview with Healthista earlier this month, I decided to give it a whirl and see just how these ladies live. Honestly, reading through it, it didn’t seem that insane.

After losing 40 pounds last year and then sort of falling off the weight-loss wagon, I figured eating like Khloé could be a decent way to jumpstart my healthy eating habits once again. I mean, what could go wrong?! Sure, eating a cup of celery and 12 almonds for a “meal” is downright sad, but when you think of it as a snack, it’s fine… or so I thought.

Before my diet even officially started, I ran into some speed bumps. It probably goes without saying, but eating like a Kardashian is insanely expensive. I followed Khloé’s diet plan and stocked up on fresh fish, fruits, vegetables, and almonds. It cost me about $90 for five days’ worth of groceries, and I didn’t even shop organic. Normally, I try to do my grocery shopping on a tight budget, like $50 a week for me and my husband. It may surprise you, but an online journalist doesn’t make nearly as much as… a socialite/Instagram advertiser/occasional TV host. (Seriously, what does Khloé’s business card say?)

The greenest grocery belt I’ve ever had.

Also, Khloé has a chef who will prep her meals for her, but once again, I don’t have her money, so it was up to me to cook. Working full-time and coming home to cook is a goal I always have, but like many New Yorkers, it’s one I rarely achieve.

Day 1:

Meal 1: I’ve never been a breakfast person. Even as a kid, getting me to eat a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch was a daily struggle for my dad. And Cinnamon Toast Crunch is delicious! So I’m not looking forward to having to get up early and make myself something for breakfast — especially something in which one of the main ingredients is ice. But I persist and make my smoothie. Because I’ve already totally busted my grocery budget and because I hate the taste and texture, I forgo the protein powder — so I have a “shake” of strawberries, almond butter, and ice. My husband thinks the sound of the blender in the morning is reminiscent of farts, and the taste of this shake is only slightly better than that.

This was taken after I’d already taken a sip, hence why it looks so sloppy.

Meal 2: An apple isn’t typically thought of as an entrée. But, for Khloé, it is a complete meal. My pomme of choice is a Golden Delicious. Granted, it is fairly delicious. But I’m hungry. Eating in the morning is supposed to help fuel your day, but this just makes me ravenous.

Meal 2.5: You know what Khloé doesn’t necessarily drink? Coffee. That is a big no-no in my book. I work an office job, and even the idea of forgoing coffee is exhausting. I do some journalistic research (i.e., “Google it”), and find that, in a former diet plan, Khloé did indulge in a cup of black coffee every morning. I think this means I didn’t even make it five hours on the #KhloeDiet, but I’m allowing myself this small indulgence.

I never said I was a role model.

Meal 3: I heard that Khloé will eat a Chinese chicken salad for lunch, and lucky for me, that’s one of my favorite lunches too! I find a low-calorie ginger sesame salad dressing at the store and pour it on top of my salad. It tastes surprisingly good! The texture of raw spinach always makes my teeth feel weird, but it’s a small price to pay for a #revengebody.

Meal 4: Now I face the true test: the infamous cup of celery and 12 almonds. It’s so depressing, and I am so excited to eat it because it is awful. The celery is fine, but it tastes weirdly bitter in a way that makes me think I don’t know how to properly wash my vegetables. The almonds, on the other hand, are the first things that have made me feel mildly satiated all day.

Meal 5: More fresh vegetables. Since I was chopping up a bell pepper for my salad the night before, I cut some extra slices for my fifth meal. I am not going to stomach raw tomatoes. Raw tomatoes are gross, and bell peppers have tons of vitamins, too, so it balances out (in my mind). I’m also a little sad because I forgot to shock my hard-boiled eggs when I made them, so they’re a little gray. I swear I know how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs. I’m only human, though, and I messed up.

I KNOW these eggs are gross. Don’t @ me.

Meal 6: I arrive home from work tired and hungry. Normally, I would order some takeout pizza on a long Monday like this one, but I channel the strength of Khloé after her divorce from Lamar and cook a meal. Despite the blistering NYC heat, I bake a salmon steak in the oven and sauté asparagus. I deviate a bit from Kardashian’s dairy-free lifestyle and use some butter in my dinner. (I’m counting only about 900 calories for the day, which is dangerously low. I have to pad it with some lovely fats, so I go with a classic.) I pair it with another Asian salad.

Meal 7: Dinner keeps me full for like 45 minutes, but then I am famished again. It’s 9 p.m. and I cut up a mango as my final meal. It’s the fruit of my choice! It tastes alright, but doesn’t do nearly enough to cut my hunger. I’m tired, and it’s easiest to just go to bed at this point.

I Followed Khloé Kardashian’s Diet for a Week and This Is What Happened

Have you ever wanted to have a body like a Kardashian sister? Whether or not you’d actually admit it, you probably have. They have curves for days! And if you’ve ever wondered how they got that way, they’ll tell you it’s through diet and exercise (though most suspect that plastic surgery plays a significant role).

So, when Khloé Kardashian’s nutritionist Dr. Philip Goglia detailed her diet in an interview with Healthista earlier this month, I decided to give it a whirl and see just how these ladies live. Honestly, reading through it, it didn’t seem that insane.

After losing 40 pounds last year and then sort of falling off the weight-loss wagon, I figured eating like Khloé could be a decent way to jumpstart my healthy eating habits once again. I mean, what could go wrong?! Sure, eating a cup of celery and 12 almonds for a “meal” is downright sad, but when you think of it as a snack, it’s fine… or so I thought.

Before my diet even officially started, I ran into some speed bumps. It probably goes without saying, but eating like a Kardashian is insanely expensive. I followed Khloé’s diet plan and stocked up on fresh fish, fruits, vegetables, and almonds. It cost me about $90 for five days’ worth of groceries, and I didn’t even shop organic. Normally, I try to do my grocery shopping on a tight budget, like $50 a week for me and my husband. It may surprise you, but an online journalist doesn’t make nearly as much as… a socialite/Instagram advertiser/occasional TV host. (Seriously, what does Khloé’s business card say?)

The greenest grocery belt I’ve ever had.

Also, Khloé has a chef who will prep her meals for her, but once again, I don’t have her money, so it was up to me to cook. Working full-time and coming home to cook is a goal I always have, but like many New Yorkers, it’s one I rarely achieve.

Day 1:

Meal 1: I’ve never been a breakfast person. Even as a kid, getting me to eat a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch was a daily struggle for my dad. And Cinnamon Toast Crunch is delicious! So I’m not looking forward to having to get up early and make myself something for breakfast — especially something in which one of the main ingredients is ice. But I persist and make my smoothie. Because I’ve already totally busted my grocery budget and because I hate the taste and texture, I forgo the protein powder — so I have a “shake” of strawberries, almond butter, and ice. My husband thinks the sound of the blender in the morning is reminiscent of farts, and the taste of this shake is only slightly better than that.

This was taken after I’d already taken a sip, hence why it looks so sloppy.

Meal 2: An apple isn’t typically thought of as an entrée. But, for Khloé, it is a complete meal. My pomme of choice is a Golden Delicious. Granted, it is fairly delicious. But I’m hungry. Eating in the morning is supposed to help fuel your day, but this just makes me ravenous.

Meal 2.5: You know what Khloé doesn’t necessarily drink? Coffee. That is a big no-no in my book. I work an office job, and even the idea of forgoing coffee is exhausting. I do some journalistic research (i.e., “Google it”), and find that, in a former diet plan, Khloé did indulge in a cup of black coffee every morning. I think this means I didn’t even make it five hours on the #KhloeDiet, but I’m allowing myself this small indulgence.

I never said I was a role model.

Meal 3: I heard that Khloé will eat a Chinese chicken salad for lunch, and lucky for me, that’s one of my favorite lunches too! I find a low-calorie ginger sesame salad dressing at the store and pour it on top of my salad. It tastes surprisingly good! The texture of raw spinach always makes my teeth feel weird, but it’s a small price to pay for a #revengebody.

Meal 4: Now I face the true test: the infamous cup of celery and 12 almonds. It’s so depressing, and I am so excited to eat it because it is awful. The celery is fine, but it tastes weirdly bitter in a way that makes me think I don’t know how to properly wash my vegetables. The almonds, on the other hand, are the first things that have made me feel mildly satiated all day.

Meal 5: More fresh vegetables. Since I was chopping up a bell pepper for my salad the night before, I cut some extra slices for my fifth meal. I am not going to stomach raw tomatoes. Raw tomatoes are gross, and bell peppers have tons of vitamins, too, so it balances out (in my mind). I’m also a little sad because I forgot to shock my hard-boiled eggs when I made them, so they’re a little gray. I swear I know how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs. I’m only human, though, and I messed up.

I KNOW these eggs are gross. Don’t @ me.

Meal 6: I arrive home from work tired and hungry. Normally, I would order some takeout pizza on a long Monday like this one, but I channel the strength of Khloé after her divorce from Lamar and cook a meal. Despite the blistering NYC heat, I bake a salmon steak in the oven and sauté asparagus. I deviate a bit from Kardashian’s dairy-free lifestyle and use some butter in my dinner. (I’m counting only about 900 calories for the day, which is dangerously low. I have to pad it with some lovely fats, so I go with a classic.) I pair it with another Asian salad.

Meal 7: Dinner keeps me full for like 45 minutes, but then I am famished again. It’s 9 p.m. and I cut up a mango as my final meal. It’s the fruit of my choice! It tastes alright, but doesn’t do nearly enough to cut my hunger. I’m tired, and it’s easiest to just go to bed at this point.

Changes to diet, physical activity, behaviour may reduce obesity in children, adolescents

Two Cochrane Reviews published today are the last in a series of related systematic reviews summarizing evidence on the effects of different interventions for treating obesity and overweight in childhood and adolescence.

The reviews summarize the results of 114 studies which involved over 13,000 children and young people. They show that a combination of diet, physical activity and behavioural change interventions may reduce weight in children aged six to 11 years and in adolescents aged 12 to 17, but there are limitations in the studies and variation in the results.

Childhood and adolescent obesity is one of the leading global public health concerns. Rapid weight gain in children as young as six years old has increased globally, and has significant mental and physical health consequences such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, sleep problems and low self-esteem. Obesity in childhood and adolescence can persist into adulthood, increasing the risk of poor health in later life.

Both these latest Cochrane Reviews will inform ongoing work by the World Health Organization. The two reviews look at the effects of diet, physical activity and behavioural interventions in treating children with overweight or obesity from six years old to early adulthood. They are the last two reviews in a series of six that covers surgery, drug therapy, interventions targeting parents only, and lifestyle interventions for children of pre-school age.

The childhood review looks at evidence from 70 studies conducted in over 8,000 six to 11 year olds from Europe, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Malaysia. Most studies compared behaviour-changing interventions with no treatment or usual care. The majority of trials (65/70) involved both the child and their parents or caregivers.

The quality of the evidence was low but suggests that compared to no treatment or usual care, interventions incorporating combinations of diet, physical activity and behaviour change may have a small, short-term effect in reducing children’s weight and body mass index-z score (a proxy measure of body fat based on weight in relation to height, sex and age). The researchers know less about the effects of diet, physical activity and behaviour change on self-esteem and quality of life, because few of the trials looked at these outcomes. There was a very low occurrence of side effects; two studies reported a small number of side effects but these were not considered to be related to taking part in the studies.

The review of adolescents found 44 completed studies including just under 5000 young people with overweight or obesity aged between 12 to 17 years. 50 further studies are still ongoing and have not yet reported their results. Most studies assessed the combined effects of diet, physical activity and behavioural change interventions, but there was variation in the content and duration of the interventions and their delivery, and the comparators used. There was moderate quality evidence that combinations of diet, physical activity and behaviour change reduce an adolescent’s weight by about three and a half kilos, and low quality evidence that these interventions may reduce body mass index by just over one kg/m2. These effects were maintained in longer term trials which lasted for up to two years. The findings from this review also suggest a moderately improved quality of life but did not find firm evidence of an advantage or disadvantage for improving young people’s self-esteem, physical activity and food intake.

The results of the studies varied in both reviews and the authors looked at possible reasons for this. However, they could not definitively explain the variation in the results of the studies. They could not find differences in the results when looking at different types of intervention, the setting of the intervention or whether parents were involved in the interventions. Both reviews highlight the need for more research to explore the variation between the study results more fully.

Dr Emma Mead, who led the six to 11 years old review as part of her PhD at the School for Health and Social Care, at Teesside University, UK, says these findings complete a very complex picture on a globally important health topic: “These reviews are important because they provide the most up-to-date evidence to show that behaviour changing interventions can help treat children with overweight and obesity. However, we need to do more work to understand how to maintain the positive effects of the intervention after it has finished, and understand which interventions work best in lower income countries, and for families from different socio-demographic backgrounds.”

Dr Lena Al-Khudairy, Research Fellow from the Division of Health Sciences at the University of Warwick, UK, who led the review of adolescents, said: “Approaches that combine several interventions can be effective to tackle overweight and obesity in teenagers, but we still need to know more about what specific components are most effective and in whom, and importantly learn more about adolescents’ views about the interventions.”

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