Two individuals, each of the same size/weight, but one who had lost a substantial amount of weight to arrive there, end up with significantly different resting metabolisms, such that it becomes impractical to maintain the weight loss. The alternative for those people is to devote substantial amounts of time to exercise to maintain caloric burn rates that counter their abnormally low metabolisms. That’s part of the lifestyle change – crash/fad diets do not work for the long term.
Fat cells secrete the hormone leptin as a means of signaling the brain when we’re full after eating. But new research indicates that leptin may also play a role in motivating us to exercise as well—possibly contributing to the phenomenon of “runner’s high.”
I don’t know about other runners, but I start feeling the effects of a runners high between 15 and 20 minutes of the start of a run and the effects last well through the day. If other folks experience their runners highs around the same point that I do, they can still get three highs a week doing 45 minute jogging sessions.
The need to find fuel to generate energy is a profound drive within the biology of all living organisms: we all need food to survive. So it’s not surprising that our bodies have such a complex system to control food intake, driven by hormones.
In grade school, we were told that “You snooze, you lose.” Now as adults, we know sleep is important, but when life gets hectic it’s often the first thing we cut out. That’s truly our loss. In fact, crappy z’s could be a big reason you aren’t losing weight. Here’s why.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that despite an awful lot of money thrown at this by pharmas (it’s potentially the holy grail of a weight loss pill) while we have some interesting correlates on leptin and ghrelin and sleep and appetite, we haven’t really begun figuring out their mechanisms yet.
In fact, one of the more interesting bits of research that came out after that Chicago study was that that a population with untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has levels of leptin far above what their BMI should indicate, yet they are entirely resistant to its effects on appetite.
It’s also why any study involving leptin or ghrelin should be screening participants for potential sleep disorders, as the latter can wildly skew data. Unfortunately, almost nobody does that.
Maybe you grew so fast it left stretch marks on your legs. Or your voice started cracking every time you got on the phone. Or you hated needing to wear a bra. Growing up means going through puberty. It’s an integral part of becoming an adult. But we still don’t know how our bodies start the process.
A lot of people point to hormones in meat, dairy & eggs for precocious puberty – especially in girls – I don’t think that’s been proven at all. But I have seen studies suggesting that girls without a father/father figure tend to undergo puberty earlier than those who do.
Years ago I remember lamenting (and writing somewhere) that I was fairly sick of reading research papers on how eating more fiber was good for people, how it was time for nutritional science to move into relatively more interesting things than a topic that had literally been beaten to death.
Thankfully, soon thereafter leptin was discovered and nutritional researchers could start looking at things more interesting than why eating high-fiber vegetables were good for you (a nutritional tidbit that I file under the ‘Grandma was right’ category).
Even so, there is still some confusion regarding fiber out in the world of nutrition regarding fiber. And boring or not, it’s a topic worth clearing up. So today I want to take a fairly comprehensive look at dietary fiber, what it is, what it does in the body, how it impacts on things like body composition (and health to a lesser degree) and finish by looking at some (admittedly vague recommendations).
When it comes to weight loss, people often think that you need to spend countless hours in the gym, pounding away at the treadmill while you watch reruns of How I Met Your Mother. Not only do you not need much time in the gym, it might be optimal to spend it elsewhere. Here’s why.
But if it makes you happy, you can do it. The only exercise plan that’s right for you is the one you can stick to where you do something.
If you’re struggling with exercise, try to keep that in mind. If you despise your workout, then you need to find something else. Clinical studies aside, anything you’ll actually do consistently is going to be more effective than anything you don’t.
Because of leptin and ghrelin’s actions, we annoyingly feel more hungry when dieting and less so when gaining mass. The horrible irony of this means we need some ways to control our appetite, so without further ado:
Before anything else, make sure you’ve covered the basics:
You should not feel hungry at the very start of a well-designed diet.
It might be a good idea to keep your diet flexible, because rigid dieting may lead to binge eating tendencies. Even if you’ve been doing everything perfectly, fat loss increases hunger for biological reasons.
If you still find yourself straying on your diet, binge eating, or fighting your own willpower to stay on track, relax, practice mindfulness and some self-compassion, and discover the root causes.