Archive for the ‘Weight Loss’ Category

In the News: The duvet diet

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

The latest research has suggested that the secret to losing weight may be as simple and pleasurable as a good night’s sleep.

Scientists at the European Centre of Taste Science found that people who had eight hours of sleep at night ate less than those who had four hours of sleep a night. Feeling tired increased appetite and made people want to eat less healthily than those who woke feeling refreshed and energetic. It sounds too good to be true, but it really does seem that it might be possible to boost weight loss by getting a good night’s sleep.


Another study from Maastrict University in Holland found that people who slept for less during their teenage years than they did as children gained more weight than those whose sleep patterns did not change when they got older.

In the News: Lose weight and reduce your cancer risk

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Carrying excess weight has often been linked with an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, and now recent research has confirmed the link with cancer. Scientists believe that thousands of lives could be saved from cancer each year if people simply lost some weight.

The World Cancer Research Fund study found that being overweight is linked to around 19,000 deaths from the disease each year – deaths that could have been prevented if these people had just been at a healthy weight. Researchers involved in the study believe that people could avoid getting cancer if they managed to maintain a body mass index (BMI) of between 19 and 25. The cancers that could be prevented include breast, bowel, oesophagus, kidney, pancreas, endometrium and gall bladder.


The cancer research fund is advising people to aim to be as lean as possible without becoming underweight. It stresses that after quitting smoking, a healthy weight is the most important thing a person can do for cancer prevention. The scientists believe that about a third of the most common cancers could be prevented if people ate healthily, were physically active and maintained a healthy weight.


This study comes one month after research revealing that a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables has also been shown to significantly reduce the risk of cancer. Other studies have shown that a daily portion of mushrooms and a handful of walnuts were shown to help reduce breast cancer risk by up to a third; eating oily fish rich in omega 3 was shown to prevent prostate cancer and eating broccoli can prevent stomach cancer.

Are you getting enough of the get-slim vitamin?

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Medical researchers make important discoveries about the connection between healthy eating and weight loss all the time and then every now and again they stumble across something really significant. That’s what happened when Brazilian researchers from the University of Sao Paulo set out to prove that fruits and vegetables speed weight loss; along the way they discovered just how important vitamin B6 is for sustained weight loss. They found that for each extra mg of B6, people can lose up to 3 pounds (1.36 kg).


B vitamins are associated with metabolism, stress reduction and reducing triglycerides stored in fat – all of which are essential for weight loss and B6 in particular has properties that can significantly boost weight loss. This is because B6 helps metabolise foods and turn the calories into energy, so when B6 levels are low more calories are stored as fat. However, when B6 levels are good more calories are burned as instant fuel. B6 has also been shown to help us sleep better and studies have shown that a good night’s sleep can increase the production of the hunger-killing hormone leptin by up to 15 percent and decrease production of the appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin by 15 per cent. Moreover, levels of cortisol are also lowered by a good night’s sleep – cortisol is the stress hormone that promotes excess abdominal fat by up to 45 per cent according to University of Chicago experts. Finally, without enough vitamin B6 your body can’t make enough feel-good brain chemicals, like serotonin, which are linked to an improved mood and an increased sense of well being – all of which are factors that are linked to a decreased risk of comfort eating.


To boost your chance of weight loss aim to eat foods rich in vitamin B6, e.g. bananas, brown rice, sunflower seeds, baked potatoes and oily fish and you can also include a supplement of vitamin B6 (total 50mg per day including whatever is in your multivitamin and mineral). Always get the B6 in the form of pyridoxal-5-phosphate (rather than the cheaper form of pyridoxine) because this is the biologically active form of B6 and your body can use it more efficiently. (See the Resources Page for information on how to get a good vitamin B6 as pyridoxal-5-phosphate).