How to Naturally Lose Weight Fast (2023)
What is Fructose? Effects of Changing Habits
Best Keto Recipes For Weight Loss 2023
Belly Fat and Fatty Liver
Your liver is the second-largest organ in your body. It helps process nutrients from food and drinks and filters harmful substances from your blood. Too much fat in your liver can cause liver inflammation, which can damage your liver and create scarring. In severe cases, this scarring can lead to liver failure.
What are the symptoms of fatty liver disease?
Fatty liver disease usually doesn’t cause symptoms. People who have symptoms may:
- feel tired or generally unwell
- have pain in the upper right part of their abdomen
- lose weight
Fatty liver can progress through four stages:
- Simple Fatty Liver: There’s a buildup of excess fat in the liver. Simple fatty liver is largely harmless if it doesn’t progress.
- Steatohepatitis: In addition to excess fat, there’s also inflammation in the liver.
- Fibrosis: Persistent inflammation in the liver has now caused scarring. However, the liver can still generally function normally.
- Cirrhosis: Scarring of the liver has become widespread, impairing the liver’s ability to function. This is the most severe stage and is irreversible.
Are you pear-shaped or apple-shaped?
Fat accumulated in the lower body (the pear shape) is subcutaneous, while fat in the abdominal area (the apple shape) is largely visceral. Where fat ends up is influenced by several factors, including heredity and hormones. As the evidence against abdominal fat mounts, researchers and clinicians are trying to measure it, correlate it with health risks, and monitor changes that occur with age and overall weight gain or loss.
The fat you can pinch is subcutaneous fat. The fat inside your belly (the visceral fat) can be seen and measured, but not pinched.
Causes and Risk Factors
The cause of belly fat or fatty liver disease is not entirely clear. However, genetics may play a role. In fatty liver disease, excess fat is stored in liver cells, where it accumulates. A variety of factors can cause this fat buildup.
Some health conditions can increase the risk of developing NAFLD.
- having overweight or obesity
- high blood pressure
- type 2 diabetes
- metabolic syndrome, which is a group of medical conditions and characteristics linked to obesity.
- insulin resistance
High levels of fat in a person’s blood, such as high cholesterol and triglycerides, can also contribute to the risk of developing fatty liver disease.
The main risk factor for AFLD is drinking heavy amounts of alcohol. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines heavy drinking as:
- 15 or more drinks per week for men
- 8 or more drinks per week for women
It can be difficult for a person to know when to seek advice from a doctor because fatty liver disease often has no symptoms. Doctors will consider a person’s medical history, diet, and lifestyle habits. They will also carry out a physical examination and do other tests to help diagnose fatty liver disease
How is fatty liver treated, and is it reversible?
There are no medicines to treat fatty liver disease. Treatment involves making changes to your lifestyle. This can improve the condition and even reverse it. If your fatty liver is caused by alcohol, then the most important thing to do is give up alcohol. This will prevent you from developing a more serious condition.
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Insulin Resistance and Weight Loss
If you’ve tried restrictive diets that “should” work but don’t, you are not alone. Most research agrees that diets based on calorie restriction fail, even for the most diligent and dedicated participants. This is because calories and weight loss are more sophisticated than the addition/subtraction rules behind many diet programs. Weight loss can be influenced by the microscopic characteristics of your cells and your body’s messengers – the hormones. You may need to consider the relationship between insulin resistance and weight loss.
What is Insulin?
Many people know insulin as the hormone that responds to glucose in the blood. But insulin is important for more than just that. Insulin also helps build muscle, helps electrolytes keep blood pressure in balance, and even helps support brain functions for learning and memory.
What is Insulin Resistance?
Insulin resistance starts out as too much insulin, which is often released to manage glucose from the diet, but also in response to stress. If the levels of insulin stay high constantly and over time, the cell will attempt to dampen the response to meet its needs by reducing the number of gates available for glucose to pass through, thus creating the state of insulin resistance. This means the circulating glucose isn’t used for energy. The glucose must go somewhere, so it’s placed in the fat cells as a triglyceride to be stored for later. As fat cells grow with more stored triglycerides, they can also develop their own insulin resistance.
Remember, this is in response to glucose and insulin and not calories. So, when insulin is rising, body fat will increase, even though the number of calories may stay the same or even drop.
How Do I Know If I am Insulin Resistant?
You can’t exactly feel insulin resistance, and it doesn’t occur suddenly, so you might not know if you have it. Signs of insulin resistance might be:
- Waist circumference equal to or greater than the hip circumference
- Extreme thirst or hunger
- Increased urination
- Feeling more tired than normal, especially after a meal
How Do You Lose Weight if You are Insulin Resistant?
How your body responds to insulin is partly due to your age & genetics, but also things you can control, such as stress and intakes of simple carbohydrates and sugars. When it comes to weight loss with insulin resistance, it doesn’t work to simply reduce calories. Instead, you’ll have a better chance at meeting your goals by making some manageable changes to your diet and lifestyle that support insulin sensitivity for your cells.
Diet Changes to Support Insulin Resistance
Reduce your intake of processed grains. Bread, pasta, and crackers will raise glucose, and therefore insulin, more than whole grains like rice, amaranth, or quinoa.
Avoid snacking between meals. Eating throughout the day keeps insulin constantly circulating around the cells.
Boost fibers in your diet from fruits and vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Fiber will improve satiety and make you feel full longer, so you’ll be less likely to want to snack between meals.
Use fasting wisely and deliberately. If you want to try fasting, start with at least getting 12 hours of fasting overnight between dinner and breakfast. There are many fasting programs, and their success depends on finding the right one for you. We can help if you’re not sure how to get started.
Avoid concentrated fructose and sucrose. Foods and drinks that contain concentrated sources of fructose, like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, or sucrose – such as some fruit juices, soda, candy, or ice cream – have been shown to increase insulin resistance.
What Are Some Lifestyle Changes One Can Make to Reverse Insulin Resistance?
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. When you’re not rested, the body struggles to respond to stress and increases cravings for more glucose to meet perceived energy demands for fight & flight.
Balance stress. All kinds of stress promote insulin to make you ready to fight or run away. Balancing stress with breathing, meditation or yoga will help with insulin sensitivity.
Move your body. Even if you have to sit a lot during the day, try to move by standing, walking around your space, or flexing your muscles. Exercise regularly and with increasing intensity. Building more lean muscle will help clear glucose.
Intermittent Fasting: What is it, and how does it work?
Intermittent fasting is an eating plan that switches between fasting and eating on a regular schedule. Research shows that intermittent fasting is a way to manage your weight and prevent — or even reverse — some forms of disease. But how do you do it? And is it safe?
What is intermittent fasting?
Many diets focus on what to eat, but intermittent fasting is all about when you eat.
With intermittent fasting, you only eat during a specific time. Fasting for a certain number of hours each day or eating just one meal a couple days a week, can help your body burn fat. And scientific evidence points to some health benefits, as well.
Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Mark Mattson, has studied intermittent fasting for 25 years. He says that our bodies have evolved to be able to go without food for many hours, or even several days or longer. In prehistoric times, before humans learned to farm, they were hunters and gatherers who evolved to survive — and thrive — for long periods without eating. They had to: It took a lot of time and energy to hunt game and gather nuts and berries.
Even 50 years ago, it was easier to maintain a healthy weight. Johns Hopkins dietitian Christie Williams, M.S., R.D.N., explains: “There were no computers, and TV shows turned off at 11 p.m.; people stopped eating because they went to bed. Portions were much smaller. More people worked and played outside and, in general, got more exercise.”
Nowadays, TV, the internet and other entertainment are available 24/7. We stay awake for longer hours to catch our favorite shows, play games and chat online. We’re sitting and snacking all day — and most of the night.”
Extra calories and less activity can mean a higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses. Scientific studies are showing that intermittent fasting may help reverse these trends.
How does intermittent fasting work?
There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting, but they are all based on choosing regular time periods to eat and fast. For instance, you might try eating only during an eight-hour period each day and fast for the remainder. Or you might choose to eat only one meal a day two days a week. There are many different intermittent fasting schedules.
Mattson says that after hours without food, the body exhausts its sugar stores and starts burning fat. He refers to this as metabolic switching.
“Intermittent fasting contrasts with the normal eating pattern for most Americans, who eat throughout their waking hours,” Mattson says. “If someone is eating three meals a day, plus snacks, and they’re not exercising, then every time they eat, they’re running on those calories and not burning their fat stores.”
Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat.
Intermittent Fasting Plans
It’s important to check with your doctor before starting intermittent fasting. Once you get his or her go-ahead, the actual practice is simple. You can pick a daily approach, which restricts daily eating to one six- to eight-hour period each day. For instance, you may choose to try 16/8 fasting: eating for eight hours and fasting for 16. Williams is a fan of the daily regimen: She says most people find it easy to stick with this pattern over the long term.
Another, known as the 5:2 approach, involves eating regularly five days a week. For the other two days, you limit yourself to one 500–600 calorie meal. An example would be if you chose to eat normally on every day of the week except Mondays and Thursdays, which would be your one-meal days.
Longer periods without food, such as 24, 36, 48 and 72-hour fasting periods, are not necessarily better for you and may be dangerous. Going too long without eating might actually encourage your body to start storing more fat in response to starvation.
Mattson’s research shows that it can take two to four weeks before the body becomes accustomed to intermittent fasting. You might feel hungry or cranky while you’re getting used to the new routine. But, he observes, research subjects who make it through the adjustment period tend to stick with the plan, because they notice they feel better.
What can I eat while intermittent fasting?
During the times when you’re not eating, water and zero-calorie beverages such as black coffee and tea are permitted.
And during your eating periods, “eating normally” does not mean going crazy. You’re not likely to lose weight or get healthier if you pack your feeding times with high-calorie junk food, super-sized fried items and treats.
But what Williams likes about intermittent fasting is that it allows for a range of different foods to be eaten — and enjoyed. “We want people to be mindful and take pleasure in eating good, nutritious food,” she says. She adds that eating with others and sharing the mealtime experience adds satisfaction and supports good health.
Williams, like most nutrition experts, regards the Mediterranean diet as a good blueprint of what to eat, whether you’re trying intermittent fasting or not. You can hardly go wrong when you pick complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains, leafy greens, healthy fats and lean protein.
Intermittent Fasting Benefits
Research shows that the intermittent fasting periods do more than burn fat. Mattson explains, “When changes occur with this metabolic switch, it affects the body and brain.”
One of Mattson’s studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed data about a range of health benefits associated with the practice. These include a longer life, a leaner body and a sharper mind.
“Many things happen during intermittent fasting that can protect organs against chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, age-related neurodegenerative disorders, even inflammatory bowel disease and many cancers,” he says.
Here are some intermittent fasting benefits research has revealed so far:
- Thinking and memory. Studies discovered that intermittent fasting boosts working memory in animals and verbal memory in adult humans.
- Heart health. Intermittent fasting improved blood pressure and resting heart rates as well as other heart-related measurements.
- Physical performance. Young men who fasted for 16 hours showed fat loss while maintaining muscle mass. Mice who were fed on alternate days showed better endurance in running.
- Diabetes and obesity. In animal studies, intermittent fasting prevented obesity. And in six brief studies, obese adult humans lost weight through intermittent fasting.
- Tissue health. In animals, intermittent fasting reduced tissue damage in surgery and improved results.
Is intermittent fasting safe?
Some people try intermitting fasting for weight management, and others use the method to address chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol or arthritis. But intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone.
Williams stresses that before you try intermittent fasting (or any diet), you should check in with your primary care practitioner first. Some people should steer clear of trying intermittent fasting:
- Children and teens under age 18.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- People with diabetes or blood sugar problems.
- Those with a history of eating disorders.
But, Williams says, people not in these categories who can do intermittent fasting safely can continue the regimen indefinitely. “It can be a lifestyle change,” she says, “and one with benefits.”
Keep in mind that intermittent fasting may have different effects on different people. Talk to your doctor if you start experiencing unusual anxiety, headaches, nausea or other symptoms after you start intermittent fasting.
Do Waist Trainers Work? A Look at the Benefits and Risks
Do waist trainers work? They’re certainly popular, but it’s a question I hear a lot as a health and fitness professional. You might be curious about what the benefits of a waist trainer would be, and also the possible risks that go along with wearing a waist trainer. It is important to know and consider these points before deciding to wear a waist trainer. First, let’s start with the basics. What exactly are waist trainers, and how do they work?
What is a Waist Trainer?
Waist trainers are essentially modern-day corsets. Unlike the fashionable garment that was popular during the 16th and 17th centuries to give the appearance of a smaller waistline, the waist trainer is marketed to specifically target the ever-loathed belly/mid-section fat. They are designed to help supplement your fitness goals. Most waist trainers consist of neoprene, a thick rubber, or latex that wraps around the torso and then attaches with Velcro or some hooks. A variety of waist trainers use this material to make you sweat by stimulating thermal activity.
Both women and men wear waist trainers. They’re widely used inside the gym as a waist trimmer and to target belly fat during a workout. Waist trainers gained massive popularity after high-profile celebrities like the Kardashians, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, and Snookie of Jersey Shore gave their endorsements and testimonials via social media.
But aside from the obvious question of “do waist trainers work?”, the idea of tightly compressing our abdomen for an extended period of time raises more questions. Are waist trainers actually safe? Fortunately, we’re going to cover the answers to both of those questions in this article.
Claimed Benefits of Using a Waist Trainer
Among the claims made by various companies and celebrities who endorse waist trainers, there’s one that the extra insulation around the midsection induces extra perspiration. Excess perspiration around the midsection will inevitably cause fat burning in that region. Additionally, companies have made claims that the sweat waist trainer will increase body temperature. This results in a thermogenic effect that ultimately leads to fat loss. No studies have actually backed these lofty claims. While sweat accumulation increases and ultimately compression of the contents within your waist, those results appear only to be short-term.
One benefit that many people who use waist trainers will report is that it suppresses appetite by compressing the stomach. This could be one of the reasons why wearers of this product have noticed weight loss results. The question then becomes, what will their appetite be once the waist trainer is taken off? A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care was conducted to find out whether the use of waist trainers could maintain weight loss after participants followed a low-calorie diet. Participants were told to wear the waist trainer for at least five hours a day, five days a week, for nine months.
Unfortunately, the researchers were unable to come to a definitive conclusion. This is because most study subjects found the waist trainer to be too uncomfortable to comply with the study’s guidelines. Therefore, the researchers concluded, “corset treatment doesn’t appear to be an option for sustained weight control.” (1).
Aside from the claimed fat loss benefits, many have reported that the waist trainers have improved their posture. It’s no secret that compressing your waist in any fashion will yield a more upright standing/sitting posture. However, the issue here is that by using external aid to improve posture, the muscles that are meant to improve posture could begin to atrophy because they no longer have a demand.
In the long-term, this reliance on any external object to improve posture could be dangerous during functional lifting, bending, or moving heavy objects. This is because the core and spinal erector muscles may no longer have the ability to maintain proper body mechanics during such tasks. Therefore, the person would require a waist trainer to perform all his or her daily activities or would otherwise need to follow a core strengthening program that maintains safe functional biomechanics
Potential Risks Associated with Waist Trainers
When you wear a waist trainer, you wrap your midsection starting at your lower rib cage and spanning down to the top of your hips. While it is worn, your midsection is compressed approximately two inches. Although this is reinforcing the desired effect of creating a slimmer waistline, the issue lies in compression of the internal organs that live in the midsection being compressed. Like the corsets of the past, donning a waist trainer can cause shallow respirations.
So finally, do waist trainers work? It’s no secret that the waist trainer is a product with raving fans and big-name celebrities alike who have given it their endorsement. Some might ascribe this perceived benefit to a placebo effect at play. Others might be more concerned about the negative effects and not want to use waist trainers at all.
In looking at the benefits, the effects are often temporary due to rehydration post-removal and unsustainable due to potential appetite resurgence. Additionally, upon removal of a waist trainer, stomach size may normalize again and you might say bye to that initial girl curve. Other factors to consider include potential discomfort that could lead to disuse.
It’s important to note that limited research backs these short-term benefits. Also, there have been several cases where medical professionals have stated their concerns due to the harm this extra compression places on internal systems. Ultimately, the decision is yours. However, if you’re going to utilize this as a way to improve your body composition, monitor your body to ensure that the adverse effects aren’t too invasive AND that you’re giving yourself time without it. Listening to your body can go a long way in many cases but especially in this one.
If you’ve already had good (or bad) experiences, please let us know your waist trainer results in the comments below. We greatly appreciate your feedback!