How to Lose Weight on a Part-Time Diet

You know what dieting demands: cut calories, go hard on veggies, exercise, and repeat, well, forever. But what if you could hit pause on dieting once in a while, but still reap weight-loss benefits?

That’s the premise of part-time diets. “ ‘Part-time dieting’ is an umbrella term for eating styles that let you be flexible with the hours, days, even weeks that you cut calories,” explains Courtney Peterson, PhD, assistant professor in the department of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. And recent research is starting to uncover how different methods may make it easier to shed pounds and improve health.

No, dieting part-time doesn’t mean you can go crazy on burgers and fries when you’re not watching your calories as closely—and there’s no one-size-fits-all plan. Here, our experts dive into ways you can try this trend and how to customize it just for you.

The fasting-mimicking diet

Despite the name, the fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) doesn’t actually involve fasting. You restrict your calorie intake for five consecutive days, every three to four months, on average. The evidence behind the method: In a clinical trial, when healthy adults did FMD (eating around 1,100 calories on the first day, and about 750 calories on days two, three, four, and five) once a month for three months, they saw drops in body weight, total body fat, and blood pressure, while the people who followed a normal diet did not. How does it work? FMD puts the body in a fat-burning, ketogenic mode over the "fasting" period, explains Valter Longo, PhD, professor and director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California and author of the new book The Longevity Diet ($27; amazon.com). "The average healthy adult can do an FMD cycle a few times a year and reap the benefits,” says Longo, who worked on the aforementioned trial. The caveat: Any diet that involves fasting or major eating changes is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. And it’s always a good idea to talk to your doc before making significant diet changes.

Time-restricted feeding

The time-restricted feeding (TRF) concept is simple: Narrow the window when you consume food. A recent small study conducted by Peterson with the Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center suggests that eating within a six-hour window may boost fat burn. Two other small studies found that even eating meals within an eight-hour period may promote fat loss. If this narrow time frame sounds like a freaky fad diet, don’t worry—Peterson says that a 10-hour window, like 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., is very doable and still works.

Keep in mind that shifting your entire meal schedule can be a tricky behavioral change. “Fasting isn’t for everyone,” says Stephanie Middleberg, RD, owner of Middleberg Nutrition in New York City. “I am a fan of people working on eating less at night. Even stretching your fasting period from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. could have tremendous benefits.”

Two-week cycling

A study in the International Journal for Obesity found that obese men who dieted two weeks on, then two weeks off for 30 weeks lost more weight than those who dieted continuously. These intermittent dieters kept the weight off for the long term, too. The mechanism at play isn’t totally clear, but it’s possible that “the body may not fully adapt to intermittent dieting in a way that would permanently slow down your metabolism,” Peterson says.

You don’t even have to do two-week cycles. "We don’t know at this point what the ideal schedule is," Peterson notes. “To a degree, I think the scheduling depends on the person and her preferences.” So if, say, one week on, two weeks off seems more realistic for you, it’s fine to tweak the format to fit your needs. Peterson recommends giving it a couple of months for your body to adapt.

Before you try this on-off strategy, remember this: You can’t eat whatever you want during your no-dieting period. "Consuming 5,000 calories just because it’s a ‘free’ week is not efficient. You still want to think about filling your body with whole foods," says Jennifer Cholewka, RD, senior clinical dietitian at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

Going vegan… until dinner

Popularized by the book Eat Vegan Before 6:00, by Mark Bittman, this scenario eliminates all animal products and focuses on eating vegan protein sources, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats until your evening meal. Plus, swapping animal protein for vegan sources slashes calories and saturated fat and has real weightloss potential. "When my clients break from consuming animal protein at all meals, they also realize how full they get when reintroducing it, so they often have a lot less at one sitting," Middleberg says.

On the flip side, she points out that you need to make sure you’re still getting enough protein, carbs, and fat during the day so you aren’t ravenous at dinner and end up overeating.

The 5:2 diet

This plan is named after a book by the same name. (Benedict Cumberbatch and Jimmy Kimmel have both tried it.) A few studies have linked the regimen—which calls for eating normally five days of the week and only 25 percent of your typical calorie intake for two days of your choice—to weight loss and lower insulin levels. “If I were to try any part-time diet, the 5:2 plan would be my pick,” says Cholewka.

"You’re responsible for remembering your eating schedule and keeping an eye on calorie counts, but you aren’t burdened by strict food lists." However, keep in mind that, as your body adjusts, you may feel the effects of hunger more acutely, she adds.

Worried that severe restriction will get to you? Peterson reversed the plan a bit for herself. "In the past, when I lost weight, I did an approach where five days a week I would cut down about 15 percent of my calories," she explains. "Then I would eat healthy but normal for two days each week."

Source: http://www.health.com

704-Lb. Woman Goes for Weight Loss Surgery After Finding Maggots in the Folds of Her Skin

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Lisa Fleming was already overweight when she gave birth to her first child at 15, and her weight only went up from there. But she knew it was absolutely time to make a change when, bedridden and weighing 704 lbs., she found maggots in the folds of her skin.

For the first time in years, Fleming, 49, is going to leave her bed — the same bed where her mom died due to obesity — and make the six-hour trip to get weight loss surgery.

“I’m tired, I’m hungry, and I’m not looking forward to having the paramedics move me out of this bed,” Fleming says in this exclusive clip from Wednesday’s episode of My 600-Lb. Life. “Lord, give me strength.”

Seven paramedics arrive with multiple emergency vehicles to get Fleming out of her bed, down a ramp and into an ambulance.

“The paramedics have to reinforce the ramp they’ll use to get me out of the house,” she says. “I can’t believe it’s come to this. But at least I’m doing something about it before it gets to be too late.”

And when they ask Fleming if she’s ready to go, she says that she “ain’t ever gonna be ready,” but tells them to go for it, because she knows “for a fact” that she’s “sick of this damn bed.”

Using her bed sheets and a dolly, the paramedics painfully lift Fleming out of her bed.

“Oh lord, please don’t let them kill me,” she says.

My 600-Lb. Life airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on TLC.

Source: http://www.health.com

People Who Lost a Combined 6,818 Lbs. Struggle with Excess Skin on My 600-Lb. Life: Skin Tight

Losing hundreds of pounds is tough enough, but for many people it comes with the added complication of excess skin. That challenge is the focus of My 600-Lb. Life: Skin Tight, which starts its third season on March 7.

This season features 29 people who have lost a whopping total of 6,818 lbs. But instead of celebrating their accomplishment, many are frustrated with the loose layer of skin covering their bodies.

“My skin makes me look like a circus freak,” says one woman in this exclusive clip from the new season.

“It looks like I’ve melted,” adds a man.

“This extra skin is a punishment worse than death,” says another woman.

“I lost 320 lbs., but I’m still reminded of being the fat girl,” adds a third.

With the help of Dr. Younan Nowzaradan and other plastic surgeons, those 29 people will get skin removal surgery and, hopefully, will finally feel comfortable in their bodies.

“I’m one step closer to being able to live a real life,” says one woman.

My 600-Lb. Life: Skin Tight premieres March 7 at 10/9c on TLC.

Source: http://www.health.com

FDA approves new treatment for non-metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Erleada (apalutamide) for the treatment of patients with prostate cancer that has not spread (non-metastatic), but that continues to grow despite treatment with hormone therapy (castration-resistant). This is the first FDA-approved treatment for non-metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Source: http://www.news-medical.net

Demi Lovato Says She Quit Dieting: 'I Gained a Little Weight but I'm Happier'

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Despite what the titles of her hit singles “Confident” and “Sorry Not Sorry” might indicate, Demi Lovato struggles with body positivity like so many of her Lovatics fan base.

“It’s a daily battle. Some days I feel great and some days I don’t feel great. And sometimes it’s periods of times,” the singer, 25, tells PEOPLE. “I stopped dieting and have gained a little weight so it’s been a struggle but at the same time, I’m happier because I’m not restricting myself from certain foods and I’m no longer food shaming myself.”

Lovato, who recently launched her third capsule collaboration with Kate Hudson‘s activewear company Fabletics, told fans and social media followers in January via Twitter that she has “given up dieting and in exchange has “given up the chronic stress” of food shaming herself.

“I think that’s something in our society we get caught up in diet culture. Every commercial on TV is either about a weight loss pill or piece of fitness equipment or it’s all food-based,” says Lovato, who credits Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which she has been practicing for two years, as her go-to workout and source of empowerment.

RELATED: Demi Lovato’s Swimsuit Selfies Have Helped Her Take the Power Away from Her Online Haters

“As someone recovering from a food disorder, it’s something that I want to put out there that you don’t have to diet in order to be happy. I don’t think I’ve heard that message out there in the public and of course, it’s important to be healthy and everything in moderation is fine,” Lovato shares.

Her tweet about no longer dieting was specifically timed, according to the Tell Me You Love Me hitmaker.

“I wanted to put that message out there for other people especially with the new year coming in because it’s very triggering for people that are in recovery because everything is about weight loss,” Lovato explains.

Adding, “Because new year’s resolutions are about going to the gym and it’s really important that there’s somebody out there to speak up and say, ‘Hey your weight doesn’t define your self-worth and it definitely doesn’t define your beauty inside and out.’ ”

RELATED GALLERY: From Bikinis to Bedhead: See All of Demi Lovato’s Sexiest Social Media Snaps

After candidly discussing her eating disorder in her YouTube documentary, Simply Complicated, the Grammy nominee reveals a positive update on her recovery.

“I think every day I work towards a better version of myself. It’s recovery so I don’t think it’s something that there’s a cure or anything like that,” Lovato says. “I work towards a better life. And I’m definitely in a great place.”

RELATED: Demi Lovato Is Offering Free Mental Health Counseling to Fans on Tour: ‘I’m Here For Them’

Honest about body positivity and the own struggles with her eating disorder, Lovato is now embracing her curves with bikini and one-piece-clad selfies on social media.

“I think posting sexy pictures are so empowering and liberating,” she says about never hesitating to share sultry photos.

“Anytime you can put yourself out there the more empowering I feel. Also it doesn’t hurt when you look good and you have a good bathing suit on and then a cute guy likes your picture. Doesn’t hurt,” she shares.

Source: http://www.health.com

Common Chemicals in Nonstick Pans and Food Wrappers Could Hurt Your Health–and Your Waistline. Here's How to Avoid Them

A common class of chemicals that’s been linked to cancer, fertility problems, and thyroid dysfunction has now been tied to another major health issue: According to a new study in PLOS Medicine, women who have high levels of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in their blood tend to gain back more unwanted weight after dieting.

The new study included both men and women who’d been enrolled in a two-year clinical trial and who lost weight by following a heart-healthy diet. But when researchers factored in the levels of PFAS in participants’ blood at the start of the study, they found that people with high levels tended to gain more of that weight back after initially losing it.

The association was found almost exclusively in women, and the researchers say that PFAS’ effects on estrogen in the body may be one reason why. But the study also found that people with high PFAS concentrations had lower resting metabolic rates; in other words, their metabolism was slower and they burned fewer calories doing daily activities.

RELATED: Best Superfoods for Weight Loss

The researchers concluded that PFAS may play a role in body weight regulation, and therefore in the country’s current obesity epidemic. “We all know it’s feasible to lose weight through diet or physical activity; however the challenging part is that almost no one can maintain that weight loss,” says senior study Qi Sun, assistant professor in the department of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Now we’ve shown that PFAS level may actually determine how much weight people regain.”

But what exactly are these chemicals, and why are they in our bodies to begin with? Here’s what you need to know, and how you can reduce your exposure.

Ditch fast food and microwave popcorn

PFAS chemicals have water- and oil-repellant properties, which makes them valuable to the fast-food industry and for packaged foods like microwave popcorn. In a 2017 study published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters, researchers found that about half of the 400 food wrappers and containers they analyzed contained fluorine, an indicator of PFAS.

Previous studies have found that PFAS have the potential to leach into food—and that once PFAS enter the body, they stay there for years. That’s reason enough to avoid exposure whenever possible, says Laurel Schaider, PhD, an environmental chemist at the Silent Spring Institute and lead author of the food-wrapper study.

“I think we all already have some reasons to reduce how much fast food we consume, and this may be another one,” Schaider told Health in 2017. “If you’re going to eat it, you could try to get the food out of the wrapper as quickly as possible—that might help a little bit.”

RELATED: Another Reason to Never Eat Fast Food Again (That Has Nothing to Do With Fat)

Think twice about stain- or water-resistant products

Another common use for PFAS is making clothing, carpets, upholstery, and other textiles stain- or water-resistant. (Think of advertisements where spilled wine on a sofa beads up and wipes right off.) And while some older PFAS have been phased out of textile production because of associated health and environmental risks, some newer ones have taken their place, says Tom Brutton, PhD, a fellow and PFAS researcher at the Green Science Policy Institute—and their health effects are not yet known.

To be safe, Brutton recommends avoiding stain-, water-, soil-, or grease-repellant products whenever they’re not necessary. And when they are—in the case of a raincoat, for example—look for gear labeled PFAS-free or fluoro-free. “You’re starting to be able to find rain jackets and outdoor gear without these chemicals,” he says, “and I think there will be many more options in as little as two or three years.”

If you already own fabrics with PFAS, don’t panic. “The harm that’s going to happen to one person from the exposure of wearing a raincoat or sitting on a stain-resistant carpet is probably quite minimal,” says Brutton. “What we’re really concerned about are the chemicals released when these products are manufactured and also when they’re disposed of and end up in a landfill." If consumers can make smarter choices so there are fewer of these products in circulation, he says, it will be better for our health, and for the environment as a whole.

RELATED: 13 Worst Jobs For Your Lungs

Don’t buy another nonstick pan

The same advice goes for nonstick cookware: If you already own pots and pans with these chemicals, you don’t have to stop using them or throw them away—at least not until they’re scratched or damaged. But don’t buy a new set either. “The exposure to you from your use of that pan isn’t going to be so huge that it represents a significant health threat,” says Brutton. “But when it’s time to buy a new one, perhaps look for one that doesn’t contain PFAS.” Many experts recommend stainless steel, ceramic, or cast-iron cookware, or you can look for brands that advertise being PFAS-free.

RELATED: 6 Reasons You Need a Cast-Iron Skillet in Your Kitchen

Be smart about seafood

Because they’re so prevalent in the environment, PFAS can also accumulate in the tissue of animals that humans then consume for food. The chemicals have been found in contaminated seafood, for example, and Brutton says that buying organic won’t necessarily reduce your exposure.

What will help, however, is choosing fish that are lower on the food chain. You may already be doing that if you’re concerned about mercury and other heavy metals in seafood, says Brutton. Following those same rules will also help you avoid PFAS. “Instead of buying swordfish, for example, choose salmon,” he says.

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Check on your water supply

PFAS released during industrial and manufacturing processes can also accumulate in water supplies, especially near industrial sites, wastewater treatment plants, and military fire-training areas. A 2016 study found that drinking water supplies for at least 6 million Americans may exceed the Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory limit for lifetime exposure to certain PFAS from drinking water.

Unfortunately, there may not be an easy way to know if your community’s drinking water is contaminated with PFAS, since the EPA does not currently require municipalities to notify residents about these chemicals. But if you’re concerned, it’s worth asking your local supplier.

“In a lot of cases when water utilities find that their levels are high, they’ve taken action and installed filters and alerted consumers, although there’s no guarantee,” Brutton says. Consumers who are concerned about contaminant levels can also install activated carbon filters in their homes. “These products do a fairly good job at removing a lot of these chemicals from drinking water,” he adds.

Source: http://www.health.com