Category Archives: Weight Loss

Brown Fat: What’s That?

The Joslin diabetes blog has an interesting article on brown fat and its effect on metabolic rate and insulin sensitivity. Brown fat is just a type of body type different from the more plentiful white fat (which is actually more pale yellow). If there are other colors of body fat, I don’t know.

If you can “activate” your brown fat, it helps you burn more calories, which could be helpful if you’re trying to lose weight. It also improves insulin sensitivity: beneficial if you have type 2 diabetes or are prone to it.

From Joslin:

“When brown fat is fully activated, it can burn between 200 and 300 extra calories per day. It is most successfully activated through cold exposure. A recent study of people with type 2 diabetes had volunteers sit in a 50 degree room for a couple of hours a day for 10 days in shorts and short-sleeved shirts.

“When I say cold, it’s not icy cold, it’s not like the winter in Boston,” she says. “It’s more or less like the temperature we have here in autumn. After this mild cold exposure, all ten volunteers with type 2 diabetes, as shown in that study, displayed increased brown fat activity and improved insulin sensitivity. This is very exciting.”

Dr. Tseng is working on understanding exactly what is happening on a cellular level to activate brown fat in the cold to see if she can create a drug that will mimic the effects. “Although cold works, it’s just not pleasant,” she says. “If you had to sit in a cold room for a few hours every day, perhaps not everybody could accept that.”

Source: How Your Body Temperature Can Affect Your Metabolism | Speaking of Diabetes | The Joslin Blog

Another way to activate brown fat is exercise (at least if you’re a man or a mouse).

Steve Parker, M.D.

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Over Three Years, Gastric Bypass Beats Intensive Medical Therapy in Obese Type 2 Diabetes

…in terms of weight loss, lowering of HgbA1c, and weight-related quality of life. The specific gastric bypass surgery used in the study is the Roux-en-Y version.

bariatric surgery, Steve Parker MD

Band Gastric Bypass Surgery (not the only type of gastric bypass): very successful at “curing” T2 diabetes if you survive the operation

Average initial weight of participants was 104 kg (229 lb). Bypass patients dropped their weight by 25 kg (55 lb)and HgbA1c decreased by 1.8% (absolute decrease), compared to intensive medical management participants who lost 10.3 kg (32 lb) and dropped HgbA1c only by 0.4%.

I doubt that intensive medical therapy included a low-carb Mediterranean or paleo diet.

Source: Clinical and Patient-Centered Outcomes in Obese Patients With Type 2 Diabetes 3 Years After Randomization to Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery Versus Intensive Lifestyle Management: The SLIMM-T2D Study | Diabetes Care

 

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Cut the Crap: Are You Serious About Weight Loss in 2018?

To improve your odds of success, read my series on preparing for weight loss.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

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Is Type 2 Diabetes Reversible?

Seems to be, at least for some folks who are overweight. Nine of 10 T2 diabetes are overweight or obese

Science Alert has the story.

The “cure” at hand involves reduction of daily calories to 800 for four weeks. Average weight loss of those in the experimental group was 10 kg (22 lb). I look forward to the published scientific journal report. I bet the drop-out rate was high.

 

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Tips on Fasting From Dr. Fung, But Beware Hypoglycemia

This guy had long spans of time between meals, perhaps days

This guy had long spans of time between meals, perhaps days

Yet another good post from DietDoctor! Why fast? Among many reasons is that fasting turns on autophagy, which helps clear the debris of daily living out of your cells, probably leading to longer life.

Click here for P.D. Mangan’s post on fasting and autophagy.

Dr. Fung at DietDoctor also warns about the danger of hypoglycemia for certain folks with diabetes. Read that part carefully (click the Source link below).

Anyway, here are Dr. Fung’s top eight tips (direct quotes):

  • Drink water: Start each morning with a full eight-ounce glass of water.
  • Stay busy: It’ll keep your mind off food. It often helps to choose a busy day at work for a fast day.
  • Drink coffee: Coffee is a mild appetite suppressant. Green tea, black tea, and bone broth may also help.
  • Ride the waves: Hunger comes in waves; it is not continuous. When it hits, slowly drink a glass of water or a hot cup of coffee. Often by the time you’ve finished, your hunger will have passed.
  • Don’t tell anybody you are fasting: Most people will try to discourage you, as they do not understand the benefits. A close-knit support group is often beneficial, but telling everybody you know is not a good idea.
  • Give yourself one month: It takes time for your body to get used to fasting. The first few times you fast may be difficult, so be prepared. Don’t be discouraged. It will get easier.
  • Follow a nutritious diet on non-fast days: Intermittent fasting is not an excuse to eat whatever you like. During non-fasting days, stick to a nutritious diet low in sugars and refined carbohydrates.
  • Don’t’ binge: After fasting, pretend it never happened. Eat normally, as if you had never fasted.

Source: More Practical Tips for Fasting – Diet Doctor

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: I don’t feature fasting in any of my books, but I’ve gradually come around to seeing the potential benefits.

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Julianne Figured Out Why the French Aren’t Fat

Julianne Taylor has a fascinating blog post based on a trip to France and Great Britain. Julianne is a dietitian living in New Zealand.  Please read the entire article.

Her conclusions:

“What can we learn from the French way of eating?

Don’t snack. At all. Eat 3 balanced meals, and snack only if needed.

Planned snacks are fine, children always have an after school snack, or small meal in France. Treat the snack with the same respect as you would a meal.

Don’t eat anywhere other than at a table. Don’t eat walking around, at your desk, in front of the TV, or snack out of the fridge. Prepare, then eat a meal at a table, preferably with company and actually experience the process of savoring your food. Eat slowly.

Choose food freshly prepared from whole ingredients like protein, fruit and vegetables.

Model eating like this to your children, and don’t push them into our bad habits. Enjoy family meals together at the table without any screens or phones.

Treat food is fine, savor a small portion as part of a meal if you wish.

Water should be the main drink, wine in moderation can be enjoyed with meals if desired,”

Source: Eating habits in France, what we should copy | Julianne’s Paleo & Zone Nutrition

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Low-Carb Diet Works In Overweight Japanese Type 2 Diabetes

This meal is low-carb, and probably low-calorie too

This meal is both low-carb and low-calorie

A randomized controlled clinical trial found superior results in diabetes with a moderate low-carb diet, judging from weight loss and hemoglobin A1c.

I don’t know how many carbs the typical Japanese person eats in a day. In the U.S., it’s 250-300 grams. Here’s how the study at hand was done:

“This prospective, randomized, open-label, comparative study included 66 T2DM patients with HbA1c >7.5% even after receiving repeated education programs on Calorie-Restricted Dieting (CRD). They were randomly allocated to either the 130g/day Low-Carb Diet (LCD) group (n = 33) or CRD group (n = 33). Patients received personal nutrition education of CRD or LCD for 30 min at baseline, 1, 2, 4, and 6 months. Patients of the CRD group were advised to maintain the intake of calories and balance of macronutrients (28× ideal body weight calories per day). [If I understand correctly, a 170-lb (77.2 kg) person would be recommended to eat 2160 calories/day.] Patients of the LCD group were advised to maintain the intake of 130 g/day carbohydrate without other specific restrictions. Several parameters were assessed at baseline and 6 months after each intervention. The primary endpoint was a change in HbA1c level from baseline to the end of the study.

At baseline, body mass index (BMI) and HbA1c were 26.5 and 8.3, and 26.7 kg/m2 and 8.0%, in the CRD and LCD, respectively. At the end of the study, HbA1c decreased by −0.65% in the LCD group, compared with 0.00% in the CRD group (p < 0.01). Also, the decrease in BMI in the LCD group [−0.58 kg/m2] exceeded that observed in the CRD group (p = 0.03).

Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that 6-month 130 g/day LCD reduced HbA1c and BMI in poorly controlled Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes. LCD is a potentially useful nutrition therapy for Japanese patients who cannot adhere to CRD.”

Source: A randomized controlled trial of 130 g/day low-carbohydrate diet in type 2 diabetes with poor glycemic control – Clinical Nutrition

The calorie-restricted diet did nothing for these folks in terms of glycemic  control.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: In case you’re wondering, the Low-Carb Mediterranean reduces digestible carbs to 20-100 grams/day.

low-carb mediterranean diet

Front cover of book

 

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