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Doctor: You get fit in the gym, but you lose weight in the kitchen

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Reporter Arielle Hines asks for readers to share tips about healthy eating.
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WAUSAU – A Wausau doctor says sugar, not saturated fat, is one of the main reasons two-thirds of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese. 

Dr. Timothy Logemann is the medical director of Aspirus Ideal Weight Solution. Patients in the program learn to eat healthier, including by eating food provided by the program, while being medically supervised. The program has treated about 2,200 people in the past five years, all of whom are adults.  Some participants want to lose 30 pounds for a high school reunion, Logemann said, and some have lost 200 pounds.

RELATED: I tried to give up junk food and failed. Any tips?

RELATED: Nutrition expert: You don’t have to give up everything

Logemann spoke about his program and his thoughts on the obesity epidemic. The answers below have been edited for length and clarity. 

What made you want to treat obese patients? 

I like treating people in the prime of life when we can make a difference. This is a disease that’s striking people in their 30s, 40s and 50s. You can make a lifetime of a difference if you help them then. 

In medicine, we are taught to treat the primary problem. If someone has a bad appendix, you don’t give the patient pain medicine: you take it out. For obesity, we were treating their diabetes and high blood pressure, but we were not treating the primary problem. 

If we can get people to follow our program or a similar program, we give them less medicine, not more. And when they lose weight, they feel better. When patients are obese, their life is just tough.  It’s hard to treat, but when you are successful, it’s pretty rewarding. 

How is your program different than other programs? 

In our program, you eat a lot of your own food. You eat a lot of green vegetables, low-carb vegetables and protein. We really strike out carbohydrates, because they cause your insulin levels (a hormone that regulates blood-sugar levels) to come down. When your insulin levels are high, you can’t lose weight. 

The key to obesity is sugar. So you have to learn to eat differently. You have to learn to get your low-starch vegetables and your protein. (In a lot of commercial plans,) you don’t really begin to understand what causes the problem. You just eat their spaghetti instead of your spaghetti. But you don’t realize you shouldn’t eat spaghetti. 

Why are so many people obese? 

Most people think the current obesity epidemic is brought on the change of dietary patterns, and the most common theme is probably sugar. When I was a kid, we had soda once a week. Now people have three sodas a day. Many people’s main vegetable are french fries, which have no nutritional value. 

It’s not saturated fat. That was a myth from the ’90s. (The cause) is sugar, carbohydrates and processed foods. 

What are the biggest obstacles people have to overcome when they are trying to lose weight?

You have to get people to learn to realize why they pick their foods. Why am I eating these cookies?  Am I hungry or is everyone else eating a cookie, so I want to have a cookie?  You have to think about why you are doing what you are doing. The culture in this country is obesogenic (causing obesity).  

I do think, too, there are a lot of bad myths out there. For example, exercise is not a weight loss tool. You get fit in the gym, but you lose weight in the kitchen. 

People always look at us like we have three eyes when we say we don’t really care about exercise. To lose weight, you need to change your diet. Exercise is a good tool to maintain weight loss and we encourage exercise. But this idea if you can’t exercise, you can’t lose weight is bad.

Arielle Hines: [email protected] or 715-845-0658; on [email protected]

Learn more about Aspirus Ideal Weight Solution

To find out more about the program, visit http://bit.ly/2siFYGo or call 715-847-2380.  

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NAFLD update: NAFLD diet plan, liver fibrosis risk, NAFLD treatment

By: Bel Marra Health | Liver | Sunday, June 25, 2017 – 05:00 AM


NAFLD Diet PlanNAFLD—non-alcoholic fatty liver disease—is the most common liver disease in the United States. It is associated with a high rate of death among Americans today. The condition is the result of abnormal fat accumulation within the liver, leading to scarring and abnormal function. Long-term complications of liver disease may result in gastrointestinal bleeding, mental status changes, and even cancer.

To help equip you with the tools you need to better understand this condition, we have compiled a list of informative articles on the subject. You will find current information on NAFLD treatment, liver fibrosis risk, and an NAFLD diet plan to better keep your liver healthy and working efficiently.

NAFLD diet plan: Dietary guidelines for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by the abnormal accumulation of fat within the liver. When fat accumulates in the liver, it prevents the liver from performing its many functions, potentially leading to scarring and further damage. Complications associated with NAFLD include liver cancer, fluid accumulation, gastrointestinal bleeding, and mental changes.

Following a healthy NAFLD diet plan can help reduce the liver damage and slow down the progression of NAFLD. This is because anything we take into the body is filtered through the liver. Eating unhealthy foods further sickens the liver and contributes to further progression of the disease. Continue reading…

High-calorie diet, not sugar intake, promotes non-alcoholic fatty liver diseaseHigh-calorie diet—not sugar intake—promotes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

High-calorie diet, not sugar intake, promotes the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to research findings. The researchers conducted a double-blind study of healthy but centrally overweight men to compare the effects of two types of sugar—glucose and fructose—in two conditions: weight maintaining and weight gaining.

In the weight-maintaining period, men did not develop any significant changes to the liver, regardless of their diet (moderate-calorie vs. high-calorie diet). In the weight-gaining period, however, both diets produced equivalent features of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Continue reading…

Non alcoholic fatty liver diseaseNon-alcoholic fatty liver disease and diabetes together may increase liver fibrosis risk: Study

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease develops when fat accumulates in the liver. This can occur in individuals who don’t drink alcohol or who drink in moderation. In some people, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) causes no symptoms or complications. However, if it progresses, it can ultimately lead to liver failure.

If you’re diabetic you should also be concerned about your liver health. Diabetes can put a person at an increased risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The Mayo Clinic reports that at least half of diabetics with type 2 diabetes will develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Other contributing factors of non-alcoholic liver disease include being overweight, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Continue reading…

Non-alcoholic fatty liver diseaseNon-alcoholic fatty liver disease, new treatment found in a study

New treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been uncovered in a study. The researchers found a new pathway in the liver, shedding light on a new potential means of treating NAFLD.

The researchers found that a protein TRPV4, part of the defense system of the body, can activate the release of nitric oxide. Why is this significant? Nitric oxide blocks the enzyme CYP2E1 that largely contributes to the progress of NAFLD. The protein TRPV4 has previously been found to help protect against cardiovascular disease.

With this new discovery, the next step is to try harnessing TRPV4’s abilities in preventing and treating the liver disease.
Research lead Saurabh Chatterjee explained, “There are currently no clinically proven drugs to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Our goal is to find novel pathways in the liver that will result in a road to a cure, and this novel internal defense mechanism within the liver offers a very promising route.” Continue reading…

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease risk can be lowered with exerciseNon-alcoholic fatty liver disease risk can be lowered with exercise: Study

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) risk can be lowered with exercise. NAFLD is becoming the most common form of liver disease in the Western world as rates of obesity continue to rise. NAFLD has long been associated with diabetes and obesity and there are currently no approved treatment methods for this disease. For this reason, it’s important to prevent NAFLD as best as possible which can be done by effectively managing diabetes and your body weight.

Weight loss is a known tactic to combat both obesity and diabetes. Weight loss if often recommended for NAFLD patients as a means to slow down disease progression. Aerobic and resistance exercises are effective for reducing liver fat and visceral fat. What is unclear is how much of exercise is required to start improving NAFLD. Continue reading…


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NAFLD progression to fibrosis and cirrhosis identified by combining multiple non-invasive measures: Study

NAFLD may be an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis and heart disease: Study

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HEALTH AND FITNESS: From worse to bad

It is no secret that smoking has serious negative health effects. Cigarette smoking more than doubles the risk of heart disease and stroke, is by far the leading cause of lung cancer and other lung diseases and is responsible for nearly 500,000 deaths per year. If you smoke, quitting now is probably the most important step you can take to improve your health.

But quitting smoking is difficult. Nowadays, many smokers turn to electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, to help them quit. The research on the effectiveness of using e-cigarettes to quit smoking is mixed, with some studies showing a benefit, some showing no real effect and others suggesting that e-cigarettes actually lower the quit rate.

Even though most smoking restrictions also apply to e-cigarettes, this form of smoking seems to be more socially acceptable than tobacco cigarettes. This is largely because e-cigarettes are thought to be less dangerous to the smoker and to people around the smoker. While there isn’t much conclusive evidence on the health effects of e-cigarettes, a conservative interpretation is that e-cigarettes are better than smoking tobacco cigarettes but worse than not smoking at all.

So, switching from smoking cigarettes to e-cigarettes is making a move in the right direction, from worse to bad. And if using e-cigarettes helps a smoker start the quitting process, it is probably a good idea. Obviously, not smoking at all is the goal, but this may not be reasonable for everyone, especially in the beginning. When it comes to improving your health, doing something is better than doing nothing, even if it isn’t perfect.

This obsession with being perfect extends beyond smoking cessation. There is a perception that if the diet or exercise program aren’t the “best,” they won’t be effective. So, many people struggle to find the perfect diet before trying to lose weight or wait to identify the best workout before starting an exercise program. This can lead people who need to become more active or change the way they eat to delay starting the process. And it is almost always a long process.

There are very few people who can change difficult habits quickly and easily. Even the people who make it look easy will tell you that developing a healthy lifestyle is a series of steps and missteps and that positive changes accumulate over time. The lesson is that getting started on improving your health now is more important than achieving the perfect outcome right away. Just like switching from tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes isn’t the ultimate goal, making positive changes to your diet and exercise habits can have benefits now and give you a foundation from which to make more significant changes later.

For example, drinking water instead of sweet tea or soda when you eat lunch at a fast food restaurant is a good start. Obviously, the goal would be not to eat fast food meals, but modifying those meals will cut out some unhealthy choices.

Similarly, going for a 10-minute walk after dinner instead of watching television is a step (literally!) toward a goal of less sedentary time longer exercise sessions. Neither are perfect, but you should recognize both as positive changes that move you away from behaviors that are worse.

Brian Parr, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Exercise and Sports Science at USC Aiken where he teaches courses in exercise physiology, nutrition and health behavior. You can learn more about this and other health and fitness topics at http://drparrsays.com or on Twitter @drparrsays.

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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.”

A new path for weight loss

A relatively new weight-loss procedure offered in Topeka could kick-start the process for those who have struggled to drop waistline inches or shed pounds.

Gastroenterologist Shekhar Challa was the first in Kansas to offer the ORBERA intragastric balloon — a balloon that sits in the stomach, decreasing the amount of room so patients feel fuller sooner and eat less. Unlike a gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery, the procedure is temporary and completely reversible.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the Orbera in 2015, and Challa began performing the procedure for qualified patients about 10 months ago. The procedure is part of a program that spans 12 months, so Challa said patients are now beginning to see the kind of weight loss he expected — about a 10 percent drop in weight.

Paired with diet and exercise, the program is designed to help patients consume less while learning how to eat better. The balloon is best suited for patients with a body mass index of about 30 who have tried diet, exercise and other weight-loss techniques, Challa said.

Patients shouldn’t expect dramatic results, he said. The procedure is designed to reduce weight by 10 to 15 percent, with the idea that patients will continue to gradually reduce weight with new eating habits.

Changing diet and lifestyle are key to successful weight loss, even with the balloon, said Mary Beth Haney, a registered dietitian at St. Francis who works with Challa’s patients.

During the six months the balloon is inside the stomach, Haney works with patients on portion control and eating healthier. Patients learn not only how to eat less, but how to replace fatty proteins with lean proteins and complex carbohydrates.

“When we’re growing up, we’re taught to finish our plate, or ‘You took that food, now you have to eat it all,’ ” she said. “We overrode our innate sense of feeling full.”

After the balloon is removed, Haney continues to encourage healthy eating habits.

“A lot of it is a lifestyle change. People get used to eating out every day with their coworkers,” she said. “Instead, I want them to think about maybe packing a lunch or cooking at home.”

Orbera is just one more tool to fight obesity, Challa said. More than a third of American adults are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“When you curtail obesity, you curtail heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, so many other things that go with it,” he said.

The procedure, or one like it, has been performed internationally for nearly 30 years. According to Orbera’s website, doctors have performed more than 220,000 implants.

Though it is nonsurgical, patients are briefly sedated while Challa inserts the balloon and fills it with a sterile saline solution. There are some side effects and risks.

Patients will likely feel nausea for a few days following the procedure, but Challa said that can easily be treated with medication. If the balloon decompresses or shifts, it could become lodged against the opening to the small intestine, causing a bowel obstruction.

Challa said such a complication is “extremely unlikely.”

Here’s What You Need To Know About CSIRO’s New ‘Flexi’ Diet


Image: life-in-the-lofthouse.com

While fad diets come and go (we’re looking at you, taco diet!), there’s one that has stood the test of time — the CSIRO Total Wellbeing diet. Developed by Dr. Manny Noakes in 2005, the 12-week eating plan has always been known for its science-backed, realistic approach to dieting. So much so, that nutritionists and dieticians often cite it as their diet of choice. The high protein, moderate carb, and low-fat weight loss plan is all about sensible eating and moderation.

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That’s why the launch of the CSIRO’S latest diet, Flexi, took us by surprise. Unlike the CSIRO’s previous diets, It’s based on the concept of intermittent fasting (ie. cycling between periods of extreme kilojoule restriction and eating normally). The diet was released following an extensive study into its effects on weight loss and overall health. Participants in the 16-week trial lost an average of 11kg and saw improvements in cholesterol, insulin, glucose and blood pressure. 

How the ‘Flexi’ Diet works

A post shared by Impromy – Winmalee Chemmart (@impromy_winmalee) on Jan 3, 2017 at 8:00pm PST

The CSIRO ‘Flexi’ diet consists of the following:

  •  Three days of fasting or ‘control’ days, consisting of two meal replacements and a ‘control’ meal (consisting of vegetables.)
  • Three days of two meal replacements, two snacks, one normal meal.
  • One ‘flexi’ day per week, where you can eat or drink whatever you like.

The program is a collaboration between CSIRO and weight loss company Impromy, who provide the meal replacement shakes, recipe book and personalised meal plans. The diet itself is quite similar to 5:2, which has long been the subject of controversy due to its intermittent fasting principles. So, is this a healthy and sustainable way to lose weight? We asked nutritional medicine practitioner and diet myth-buster, Fiona Tuck, to weigh in.

Intermittent fasting can be an effective way to manage weight and positively assist health conditions such as insulin resistance and high cholesterol. Intermittent fasting can be extreme or subtle, depending on the number of hours of fasting take place and the number of kilojoules consumed. Modest fasting such as having one low calorie day per week can be beneficial or managing weight and health and sustainable for many people. However, fasting is not suitable for everyone including those with extremely active lifestyles that requiring energy dense diets. But for the average person, the health benefits of intermittent fasting look very promising.

In an article about the Flexi diet, CSIRO acknowledges that the diet isn’t suitable for everyone’s preferences and lifestyle. Think it’s right for you? As with any new diet plan, make sure you do your research and consult your GP first.

You can find out more about the Flexi diet here.

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