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Old 04-15-2010, 11:58 AM
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Default Low Calorie Dieting Increases Cortisol.

Low Calorie Dieting Increases Cortisol.
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Abstract
Objective: To test the hypothesis that dieting, or the restriction of caloric intake, is ineffective because it increases chronic psychological stress and cortisol production-two factors that are known to cause weight gain; and to examine the respective roles of the two main behaviors that comprise dieting-monitoring one's caloric intake and restricting one's caloric intake-on psychological and biological stress indicators.

Methods:
In a 2 (monitoring vs. not) x 2 (restricting vs. not) fully crossed, controlled experiment, 121 female participants were assigned randomly to one of four dietary interventions for 3 weeks.
The monitoring + restricting condition tracked their caloric intake and restricted their caloric intake (1200 kcal/day);
the monitoring only condition tracked their caloric intake but ate normally;
the restricting only condition was provided 1200 kcal/day of food but did not track their calories,
and the control group ate normally and did not track their intake.
Before and after the interventions, participants completed measures of perceived stress and 2 days of diurnal saliva sampling to test for cortisol.

Results:
Restricting calories increased the total output of cortisol, and monitoring calories increased perceived stress.

Conclusions:
Dieting may be deleterious to psychological well-being and biological functioning, and changes in clinical recommendations may be in order.

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Old 04-15-2010, 12:00 PM
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Default Low-Cal Diets May Make You Gain Weight

Low-Cal Diets May Make You Gain Weight
Restricting calories increases stress hormone, making it harder to keep weight off, researchers say.
By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

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If losing weight feels like a never-ending battle, new research may explain why: Diets that restrict calories can actually make it harder to lose weight and keep it off.

Cutting calories increases production of cortisol, the stress hormone, which is linked to added belly fat, a new study finds.

"For the first time in humans, we are finding out that cutting your calories increases cortisol," said lead researcher A. Janet Tomiyama, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco.

"We think this may be one reason dieters tend to have a hard time keeping weight off in the long term," she said.

People who count calories feel stressed, she said, but it's the reduction in calories that increases cortisol, which, in turn, stresses the body and leads to weight retention.

"No matter how you cut calories, whether that's doing it on your own, or doing something like Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig, it doesn't matter, it's still going to increase your cortisol level," she said.

At any given time, 47 percent of U.S. adults are dieting, but up to 64 percent gain back more weight than they lost, according to background information in the report published online April 6 in Psychosomatic Medicine.

For the study, Tomiyama's team randomly assigned 121 women to one of four diets. One group tracked their calories, keeping them to 1,200 a day; another group ate normally but recorded the number of calories they consumed; a third group ate 1,200 calories a day, but did not have to record them, and the fourth group ate normally without any calorie-tracking.

At the start and end of the three-week trial, the researchers measured each woman's cortisol and stress levels. When calories were restricted, cortisol levels increased. In addition, calorie-counting also increased the women's perceived stress, the researchers found.

"The term 'dieting' brings to mind deprivation, starvation, being miserable and uncomfortable and ultimately failing in weight-loss efforts," said Samantha Heller, a dietitian, nutritionist and exercise physiologist who is familiar with the study.

Burning more calories than you consume is how your body loses weight, she said. "However, severe calorie restriction, diet fads, pills and potions, detox cleanses and other quacky approaches to weight loss only contribute to people's diet failures and, in fact, may increase the likelihood of regaining even more weight than what was lost—if any," Heller added.

The best way to drop unwanted pounds is to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors that include eating a variety of healthy foods, physical activity, patience and a game plan, she said.

"Many people want to lose weight and do not know how to begin. Creating a step-by-step plan is one piece of the puzzle a lot of people forgo," Heller said.

Starting a weight-loss program takes discipline, motivation and a desire to make behavioral changes, and finding support can be very helpful, Heller added.

Another expert, Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., said while dieting isn't easy, certain strategies can help reduce stress and achieve a healthier lifestyle.

"Food itself, a reliable source of immediate gratification, may be used to relieve stress," Katz said. "When food intake is restricted, something else should replace it."

In general, dieting alone is not all that useful, Katz added. "Eating well and being active for life is the way to go," he said.

"By eating foods of higher overall nutritional quality, fullness can generally be achieved on fewer calories, eliminating the need for deprivation," Katz said. "In addition, physical activity can accelerate weight loss, promote health and alleviate stress in the bargain
I certainly found that The low carbohydrate program I followed That didn't involve calorie or carbohydrate counting, or extra exercise, worked for me. Others will probably find the New Atkins equally effective.
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:06 PM
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I did the Atkins diet some years ago and I'm thinking of a repeat this summer. I didn't count calories just carbs which is way easier to do.

I never felt stressed cause at lunch time and dinner time I got to sit down with a big steak! and I had bacon or ham or salmon for breakfast.

I guess a lot of types of stress are created around our perceptions.
It took 8 years go gain the weight back and not all of it has come back at that, of course I've been off the Atkins diet for a long time now.
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Old 04-16-2010, 05:54 AM
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Thank you for the article, Ted. Personally, I think exercise and
portion control are beneficial for weight loss. Of course, by possibly
cutting portions, that would be a form of calorie counting, I guess.
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Old 04-16-2010, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyBird View Post
Thank you for the article, Ted. Personally, I think exercise and
portion control are beneficial for weight loss. Of course, by possibly
cutting portions, that would be a form of calorie counting, I guess.
I think the evidence that reducing calorie consumption generally leads to longer life and lower incidence of cancer is irrefutable. But forcing yourself to go against the signals your body is creating is bound to cause unnecessary stress.

For millions of years while human DNA evolved refined carbohydrates were not available. It's only over the last 150yrs that we have had access to nutritionally depleted refined grains and seeds. The explosion of Diabetes matches increased use of HFCS particularly sweetened beverage consumption. If we prevented kids becoming addicted to sweetened foods by limiting sweetener use in baby foods, by taxing sodas, we could reduce the demand for addictive foods. We don't allow the promotion of addictive substances like tobacco and alcohol to kids we shouldn't allow them to become hooked on sugar by the purveyors of sweetened drinks and foods.

Avoiding those foods that caused enhanced appetite not by limited regular consumption of small quantities but eliminating wheat, sugar, hfcs entirely from the diet allows longer intervals before hunger and a less urgent requirement for more food. Not HAVING to eat all the time, or even at regular intervals, reduces the stress of calorie counting and the necessity of having to eat a meal right now.

The answer is not to limit or ration food but to eat only those foods that don't make you hungry.
If you are not hungry you naturally eat less and you avoid the dissonance between what your body is telling you to do and what you mind knows is required, that way you avoid stress. I'm not against exercise but it certainly wasn't a part of my weight loss strategy and I feel the insistence by health professionals on exercise as a necessary part of a weight loss plan is I believe counterproductive.
I know that exercise helps insulin sensitivity and control, it is therefore a good thing to exercise, But the kind of punishing boring regimes that those thinking x miles on the treadmill + x calories burnt indulge in is pointless and doomed to failure.

When people stop eating carbohydrates and burn fat they naturally become more active and at that point any enjoyable physical activity they care to perform will enhance their mood and lead to stress reduction. Being screamed at by a bully in a tracksuit, to force yourself to do stressful exercises you don't enjoy and wouldn't naturally do is bound to only make matters worse.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:53 PM
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This is the healthy way to not only control weight, but stay healthy. Couldn't have said it better. Almost every health guru will either tell you to eat a raw food diet, macrobiotic,or low carb and/or low fat. If that isn't good enought add some super foods. However, it's really basic knowledge and common sense that will work for the majority of the population.

Being active beats getting a hour long gym workout. There are studies that back that up. We are meant to move, but not push ourselves for long periods of time.

We have not adapted well to the new processed foods. You got it right, we really don't have to reinvent the basics.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:15 PM
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Studies also show that exercise can promote weight loss, not through aerobics, treadmill, walking, etc, but by pumping iron.

Muscle mass is critical for burning food.

With the couch potato lifestyle most obese people have surcumb to, muscle mass building is essential to restore normal weights and metabolism.

Not only have we not had refined foods previously to 150 years ago we actually had to do some physical labor, the further back in time you go the more labor we did
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