Weight Loss Programs Produce Bigger Results than Standard Care

September 9, 2011 By: office 7 Comments

Have you participated in a weight loss program, such as Shane Diet Resorts weight loss camp for adults or Weight Watchers? If you have, you most likely saw successful results. A new study finds that dieters may be more likely to slim down if they are referred to a commercial weight loss program than if they use a primary health care provider alone, as described in a recent Health Day article.

Weight Loss Programs Produce Big Results

Research finds that weight loss programs produce bigger weight loss results than standard care alone.

Overweight adults in Germany, Australia, and the United Kingdom who were referred to Weight Watchers by a primary health care provider lost about twice as much weight over a year as dieters assigned to standard weight-loss care, according to the study funded by Weight Watchers.

In this study, 772 overweight and obese adults were randomly assigned to a year of diet care overseen by a primary care professional or to 12 months’ free membership to a local Weight Watchers group. Of the dieters involved in the study, 54 percent of the standard-care dieters completed the 12-months, compared to 61 percent of the Weight Watchers group.

Those who stuck with their standard diet lost an average of about 7 pounds, while those who attended Weight Watchers shed nearly 15 pounds on average. The Weight Watchers participants were also more than three times as likely to have dropped 5 percent or more of their body weight compared to the standard dieters.

This research suggests that the structure of the commercial program, including group support, weekly weighing, instruction about diet and physical activity, and motivation, can be a clinically useful tool for battling overweight and obesity on a large scale. Further research is needed to see if the gains can be maintained over time.

The researchers also said the findings suggested that overweight people were more likely to lose weight if they were referred to a commercial weight-loss program by a physician or another primary care provider, rather than if they enrolled on their own.

If you’re looking to lose weight and keep it off, consider a weight loss program for adults such as Shane Diet Resorts. Weight loss programs are excellent because they instill good lifestyle habits in the participants through the simple formula of healthy eating in combination with regular exercise. Have you had success with a weight loss program? We would love to hear about your experience!

Weight Loss Quick Fixes…Or Are They?

July 2, 2011 By: afeldman 2 Comments

The advancement of technology and enhancement of electronic resources can be a double edged sword when looking at health and wellness information.  While it is easy to find the answers to various questions about exercise and nutrition, there are also an abundance of sources that are giving out information.  Some of these sources are credible and some are not.  There are many products being marketed on both the Internet and in stores.  It is important to avoid making unhealthy decisions just because someone has given a product their false stamp of approval.  Some common examples of “Quick Fix” weight loss solutions follow.  Use these examples to educate yourself on some of the self proclaimed health and fitness products on the market.

Ephedra – Ephedra is a natural grown herb that is used for many different purposes.  An ingredient in Ephedra is ephedrine, which has been associated with both short term weight loss and long term health detriments.  Even though ephedrine products were effectively banned in 2004 throughout the United States, it is still in use by various athletes and people trying to lose weight.  A series of studies conducted throughout the 1990’s and into the 2000’s demonstrated great risk from supplementing with ephedrine.  Side effects include high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, heat stroke, seizures and sometimes even death.  The benefit of using ephedrine is that it may increase performance levels and calorie expenditure by speeding up the body’s regulatory system.  The benefits that come from using it are greatly outweighed by the consequences.  If you know someone that may be using ephedrine, advise them to stop.

Appetite Suppressants- There are various appetite suppressants on the market.  One drug, known as Sibutramine, has been shown to decrease feelings of hunger by adjusting hormone levels in certain areas of the brain.  Side effects have been reported such as insomnia, blood pressure increases and constipation.  There are also other appetite drugs on the market but this area of weight loss remedy is one that is still fairly new.  Much research is being conducted with suppression drugs, especially in long term use.  There has been much evidence of these drugs influencing blood pressure and possible heart disease risk.  An issue that an appetite suppressant won’t help is binge eating disorder.  Something to also keep in mind is that when using appetite suppressants, it may be possible for the body to build up a tolerance to them after long term use causing the drug to be ineffective.

Fat Blockers – The term “fat blocker” usually refers to products such as Alli or Xenica with the principal ingredient being Orlistat.  These have been developed to block both the digestion and absorption of fat.  Calories from fat are then passed through bowels instead.  While patients taking it have successfully lost weight in short term periods, there are also long term health detriments involved.  Some of the side effects include increased flatulence, incontinence and regular abdominal pain.  If dietary modifications are not made there has also been an increased risk of vitamin deficiencies shown.  Many people that have lost weight on the drug have done so because they removed fat from their diet.  Fat removal was done to get rid of the stomach issues that take place when fat calories are consumed.  The bottom line is that whether you are taking a fat blocker or not, you will still have to modify your diet, so why mess with it?

Quackery Pills – There is no specific ingredient in these pills but they are all over the place.  They used to always be featured in late night infomercials, but luckily, society has wised up to the commercials.  Now you may see “Weight Loss Pills” gracing the pages of magazines and mostly dominating the internet in the form of pop up windows and ad banners.  These pills basically have no active ingredient for effective weight loss and they are falsely advertised to suggest otherwise.  Common phrases you’ll see in advertisements for quackery pills include the following: “Lose 30 lbs in 30 days without exercise!”, “Finally get rid of the fat in your stomach!”, and “You’ll be toned in a matter of a week!”.  As I always say, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Fat Burners - These are pills that utilize ingredients containing some of the following items: Caffeine, yohimbe extract, green tea extract, black tea extract, taurine or vitamin B.  Most fat burners combine natural ingredients such as the ones I listed with numerous processed ingredients.  While things like caffeine and taurine are okay in moderation, it is better to get them from other sources.  Drinking something like a glass of green tea or a cup of coffee in the morning is better than subscribing to fat burners.  Even when caffeine from natural sources is used, it must be used in moderation because it speeds up the body and it is also addictive.  When it’s all said and done the best way to burn fat is to move around more.

Anything that uses the phrase “negative calories” - According to various diet companies, a negative calorie food is one that causes more calories to be burned in the digestive process than those that come from the food itself.  It is true that all foods cost energy to go through the digestive process.  After all, the organs like your stomach and small intestine use energy just like everything else.  The truth is, though, no food will give you a net loss of calories.  At its highest, the energy cost of food digestion may reach levels close to 30 percent of the calories in.  So even if a diet company is telling you that asparagus will make you lose weight, that is a myth.  It can help you lose weight by taking the place of a higher calorie food, but you will not magically shed pounds just by consuming it.

There are more and more weight loss advances coming to light every day.  With every piece of new information discovered, false information also makes its way into the limelight.  Unfortunately, new pills also pop up every day. Some get banned from the market and some slip under the radar of federal regulation.  Just because something is on the shelves or legal does not make it safe.  Before popping any kind of pill into your mouth, make sure you do your research and that you are familiar with all of the ingredients.  The nice thing about the Internet is that you can find anything.  So, if you are really curious about a product, type in each of the ingredients on a search engine and learn about what they do.  Educating yourself is the best way to avoid getting scammed by a false weight loss supplement. Instead of a “quick fix,” eat healthy and exercise regularly. This is the philosophy followed by Shane Diet Resorts weight loss camp for adults!

Lap-Band Surgery: Is it as Good as Everyone Thinks?

June 18, 2011 By: afeldman 8 Comments

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding surgery, or lap-band for short, was FDA approved in February to be used  by a wider range of patients. Before, patients had to have a BMI of 40 to have this procedure done and now, it can be as low as 30. BMI is a formula that calculates an individuals weight to height ratio and is expressed as Weight (kilograms)/ Height (cm)2. For someone that is 5 ‘6 to have a bmi of 30, their weight would be 186 pounds.

When a patient gets the lap-band surgery, there is an inflatable silicone band placed around the upper stomach. The concept is that this band lessens the stomach stretching that normally takes place when food is eaten. With this stretching of the stomach minimized the feeling of being full takes place more quickly after eating smaller meals. The FDA only approved this surgery in 2000 so it is still relatively new.

While most studies have been favorable of weight loss with the lap-band, there is a new study that has been released showing some potential detriments. The study, which was conducted by a hospital group in Belgium, followed up with patients who had the surgery done between 1994 and 1997. Tests were done in 2009 that assessed surgical complications, post-surgery weight loss, overall satisfaction, quality of life and side effects. While surveys showed a 60% satisfaction rate, there are some other numbers that are troubling. It was said that about 40% of subjects experienced major complications from the surgery and an additional 22% experienced minor complications. That means that 2 out of every 3 subjects had surgical complications. At some point after the lap banding, almost half of the subjects had to have the band removed and 17% of the subjects ditched their lap-band to get gastric bypass. This data does not show us a positive outlook for weight loss surgery.

I realize that this is just one study. However with gastric banding recently getting the green light to be used on more patients, I think we will see more studies like this one popping up that show negative statistics. Even though it is true that many studies have good things to say about weight loss surgery, the problem is that many of the people conducting these studies are surgical groups or they are funded by surgical groups. Why would a surgical professional want to conduct a study that will go against the product they are trying to sell? When looking at studies, it is important to find unbiased sources. A study can sometimes be manipulated to express the beliefs that the experimenter has about what they are studying.

Another important thing to consider when looking at weight loss surgery is the fact that most people who get it probably don’t need it. The recent approval by the FDA states that a person with a BMI of 30 can undergo this surgery. From my experience, clients with a bmi of 30 are still fully functional which means that an exercise program supplemented by healthy eating and lifestyle should be the focus, not surgery. My fear is that next, they will lower that number even more which is sad because I do not think that weight loss surgery is necessary except for in extreme circumstances. These circumstances have to do with medical issues that prevent weight loss even with hard work.

The weight loss trend of late seems to be a flocking to these surgeries. False advertising leads to the belief that surgery is a fast and painless fix but that is not true. Even with a surgery, eating and nutrition habits have to change so why not see what happens by changing them without surgery? At Shane Diet Resorts weight loss camp for adults, we can give you a jump on a healthy lifestyle and at the same time, enjoying a fitness retreat.  We pride ourselves on working with individuals, such as yourself, to overcome your weight boundaries. We must remember that a little effort and discipline can go a long way. If people get lap-band surgery without correcting unhealthy eating and activity habits, the lap band can stretch out and stop doing what it is supposed to. When that happens, welcome to post surgery weight-loss relapse.

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