Study: Former Biggest Loser Contestants’ Metabolisms Are Wrecked, Leading to Weight Gain

Contestants lost hundreds of pounds during Season 8, but gained them back. A study of their struggles helps explain why so many people fail to keep off the weight they lose.

Source: After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight

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.

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Parents’ Bad Diets May Mess With Genes, Boost Kids’ Risk of Obesity, Diabetes

A crummy diet can obviously have a lasting impact on the waistline—but for parents, it may also have a lasting impact on DNA and the family line, a new study suggests.

Source: Parents’ bad diets may mess with genes, boost kids’ risk of obesity, diabetes

It’d be interesting to test if the epigenetic changes are permanent, or if they can be reversed by the fat mouse loosing weight.

The Surprising Health Benefits of Hot Springs and Mineral Baths

In Japan, soaking in natural hot springs is a treasured pastime that’s steeped in thousands of years of tradition, and during my stay there, I visited a few. The experience opened my eyes (and pores) to a world of good-feeling benefits, many of which (but not all) are backed by a plethora of research.

Source: The Surprising Health Benefits of Hot Springs and Mineral Baths

I think heat is part of the stress relief.  It doesn’t have to be a hot spring – a warm blanket/etc can do wonders.  Wrapping up in one, insulating ourselves from what’s around – it’s a physical barrier.

Older People May Have Trouble Staying Athletic, But Not for the Reason You Think

The older I get, the faster I was.

If you wanted to spend two weeks cycling through Denmark, you’ve just missed a good chance. A research team at the University of Copenhagen arranged just a 2700 kilometer cycling trip, to study how older people respond to exercise. The scientists measured the metabolism of the bikers and found a problem, although not necessarily the problem most people would have anticipated.

Source: Older People May Have Trouble Staying Athletic, But Not for the Reason You Think

The article makes light of what’s considered “old people” – which in most sports falls into the category of “masters”.  Swimming and cycling uses the terminology…

The current hypothesis for what is demonstrated in the study – as you get older, you need less food.  But I wonder how that is compared to say top level athletes… Olympians as I understand have an unbelievably strict diet for competition, and understandably look forward to after the race because they can then eat 😉

This Video Explains What Can (and Can’t) Affect Your Metabolism

The only strictly genetic component to an “increased” metabolism is the amount of “Uncoupling Protein” you have on the inner cell membrane of your mitochondria. The more of this protein you have, the less efficient your body is at turning calories into energy so to speak. The calories are just turned into heat energy. This requires more calories to support body function.

A high concentration of these mitochondria with a high levels of UCP are located within what’s called brown fat. This brown fat is strictly used to generate and maintain body heat. The amount of brown fat that you have decreases with age, contributing to 90 y/o men wearing cardigans in the summer and a slower “metabolism.”

Also, the “eat smaller meals more frequently” is actually a fallacy. Much like “always eat breakfast,” it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Healthy people hear it’s healthy, attach themselves to the habit, and it becomes consequentially associated with health.

‘Metabolic Switch’ Toggles Our Cells to Store or Burn Fat

It seems like cruel fate that some folks are naturally thin, while others have to work tirelessly to control their weight. But in the future, we may be able to level the playing field, because scientists have just discovered a ‘metabolic master switch’ that determines whether fat-producing adipocytes store or burn energy.

Source: ‘Metabolic Switch’ Toggles Our Cells to Store or Burn Fat

It’s a potential avenue for medication, which would be years or even decades from reality.  While it’d be interesting to get confirmation why some have more difficulty than others with loosing weight, I think ignorance is bliss so I think time is better spent dieting for actual results.

Study: Eating Habits Impact Gut Bacteria for Carb Metabolism

Obesity is associated with the intestinal microbiota in man but the underlying mechanisms are yet to be fully understood. Our previous phylogenetic study showed that the faecal microbiota profiles of non-obese versus obese and morbidly obese individuals differed. Here, we have extended this analysis with a characterisation of the faecal metaproteome, in order to detect differences at a functional level.

Source: Colonic metaproteomic signatures of active bacteria and the host in obesity

The researchers describe this as “the chicken-or-the-egg question”: Is the microbiota causing a difference in metabolism that leads to an energetic misbalance, or are differences in metabolism and/or eating habits causing a change in microbiota?

It is like a very fast form of evolution going on in there. As you eat a certain type of food, the bacteria that is best suited to thrive off of that food will reproduce like crazy. So the more you eat of something, the better you get at processing it.  This means two things: eat like crap, and your body gets better at absorbing all of that shit (that’s bad). But if you eat healthy, even though your body may fight it initially, eventually it will refine itself to process the healthy food (that’s good).

This research unfortunately doesn’t lead immediately to any kind of clinical recommendation. What it does suggest is that what the bacteria in one’s gut are doing, and what genes they express, is more diagnostically relevant than who they are–so hopefully by focusing on this distinction, future research could more quickly come up with an answer to how to manage weight.

You Need to Burn 7,000 Calories to Lose a Pound, Not 3,500

You’ve probably heard the number-one “rule” of weight loss: It takes a 3,500-calorie deficit between calories consumed and calories burned to produce a one-pound drop in body weight. This old chestnut is more than 50 years old. Problem is, it’s wrong.

Source: The Biggest Weight-Loss Myth Revealed

Is the reverse is true? Would it take more than 3,500 extra calories to equal a pound gained?

Body Fat Can Signal the Brain, Affecting Stress Response

The brain’s effect on other parts of the body has been well established. Now, a group that includes two University of Florida Health researchers has found that it’s a two-way street: Body fat can send a signal that affects the way the brain deals with stress and metabolism.

…“The big question is the nature of that signal to the brain. We need to learn how to go in and break that cycle of stress, eating and weight gain,” Herman said.

Source: Researchers: Body fat can send signals to brain, affecting stress response

Fat releases estrogen as well.  Estrogen causes increased body fat which increases estrogen which increases body fat.  They actually found treating middle-aged men with testosterone therapy helped them to reduce their belly fat inches.  Keep in mind, the belly fat was lost from caloric restriction. The body was just not in “STORE FAT” estrogen mode so the fat came off easier and was not automatically restored upon eating.

Original research: Adipocyte glucocorticoid receptors mediate fat-to-brain signaling

How to Free Yourself from Food Cravings with Intermittent Fasting

Fasting for weight loss might sound as silly as drinking water for thirst, but it’s not exactly the same thing. Let’s look at a special kind of fasting, called intermittent fasting (or IF), that can be a powerful tool on your fitness journey.

Source: How to Free Yourself from Food Cravings with Intermittent Fasting

I would say IF has become a buzzword, and the hype around it has been inflated over the mild benefits. Much like any other fad diet, if you can be hungry for a while but not eat, you lose weight! It works for some people who just go hungry, but likely will result in poor long term weight loss like most fad diets.