With the holidays fast approaching, this is the season when
Americans really pack on the pounds! From Halloween candy
consumption, through Thanksgiving's pigout, Christmas,
Hanukkah and Kwanzaa parties
and cookies and culminating through a New Years celebration
and then planting ourselves in front of the TV laden with
snacks to watch all of the Bowl games, the average American
gains 5 - 7 pounds over the holiday season! This certainly
explains the unfortunately short-lived increase in attendance at
gyms come January. While I'm not interested in ruining all of
your fun, I am going to give you some great tips so that you
can enjoy yourself with your friends and family and still fit into
your jeans come January! Cultivate gratitude and have a
Happy Healthy Thanksgiving!
Fructose, weight gain, and the insulin resistance syndrome
The prevalence of obesity in the United States and worldwide is
increasing (1, 2). More than one-half of US men and women
aged 20 y are considered overweight [ie, a body mass index
(BMI; in kg/m2) 25], and nearly one-fourth are clinically obese.
From the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Fast-food habits, weight gain, and insulin resistance (the CARDIA study): 15-year prospective analysis.
Fast-food consumption has increased greatly in the USA during
the past three decades. However, the effect of fast food on risk
of obesity and type 2 diabetes has received little attention. We
aimed to investigate the association between reported fast-food
habits and changes in bodyweight and insulin resistance over a
15-year period in the USA. METHODS: Participants for the
CARDIA study included 3031 young (age 18-30 years in 1985
-86) black and white adults who were followed up with
repeated dietary assessment. We used multiple linear
regression models to investigate the association of frequency
of fast-food restaurant visits (fast-food frequency) at baseline
and follow-up with 15-year changes in bodyweight and the
homoeostasis model (HOMA) for insulin resistance. FINDINGS:
Fast-food frequency was lowest for white women (about 1.3
times per week) compared with the other ethnic-sex groups
(about twice a week). After adjustment for lifestyle factors,
baseline fast-food frequency was directly associated with
changes in bodyweight in both black (p=0.0050) and white
people (p=0.0013). Change in fast-food frequency over 15
years was directly associated with changes in bodyweight in
white individuals (p<0.0001), with a weaker association
recorded in black people (p=0.1004). Changes were also
directly associated with insulin resistance in both ethnic groups
(p=0.0015 in black people, p<0.0001 in white people). By
comparison with the average 15-year weight gain in
participants with infrequent (less than once a week) fast-food
restaurant use at baseline and follow-up (n=203), those with
frequent (more than twice a week) visits to fast-food
restaurants at baseline and follow-up (n=87) gained an extra
4.5 kg of bodyweight (p=0.0054) and had a two-fold greater
increase in insulin resistance (p=0.0083). INTERPRETATION:
Fast-food consumption has strong positive associations with
weight gain and insulin resistance, suggesting that fast food
increases the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Vegan Tofu Pumpkin Pie
Yes, I know! With a dessert recipe at the end of a weight
control issue I am at risk of being just like a cheesy women's
magazine. However no November newsletter would be
complete without a recipe
for pumpkin pie! And it is an organic vegan pumpkin pie! Eat
in moderation (all those carbohydrates
I've been railing against!) and enjoy!
While I'm not into sounding like one of those cheesy women's
magazines with the latest fad and crash diet, I am interested in
helping you to keep your health commitments to yourself by
offering some common sense strategies that really work to
help prevent some of that weight gain from creeping into your
1. Take smaller portions. You can eat everything,
just don't eat so much of it. And remember, it takes your body
20 minutes to register fullness, so wait a little before taking
seconds and see if you are really still hungry.
2. Eat larger
portions of lean proteins and vegetables (turkey, tofurkey,
salad) and smaller portions of carbohydrates (stuffing, mashed
potatoes and gravy, squash and desserts).
3. Eat your
Thanksgiving meal in the middle of the day, not in the evening.
I usually recommend starting to eat around 3 PM. Then take a
long walk with friends and family afterwards.
Carnitine helps with carbohydrate metabolism and thus aids in
maintaining lean muscle mass. 500 mg/day is a good amount
for most people.
5. Fish Oils will help balance your blood
sugar as well as modify your food cravings (as well as helping
your brain). Find a highly purified one that has been distilled
so that it contains no metal contamination. You may contact
me for specific recommendations.
6. Continue your
exercise program. Even boosting it will help counteract holiday
stress and release those endorphins to keep your mood
elevated. Also exercise acts as an appetite modulator helping
to curb overeating.