Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Self Motivation and Weight Loss

The CDC's Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) has become the gold standard for weight loss programs. The program was put in place by the CDC to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. It has been shown that weight loss can lead to improvements in prediabetes. And helping the program participants become self-motivated to lose weight is an important element of the program.

The program is a one year program, in which the first six months are the core sessions, where participants learn the basics of healthy eating, physical activity, and lifestyle modification. And the last six months are the core maintenance sessions, where what was learned in the first six months is reinforced. The DPP program sessions are facilitated by coaches who work with program participants to help them learn how to motivate themselves to set goals, eat healthy, exercise, and lose weight.

It appears that many of the people who succeed at weight loss are self-motivated. These individuals can  lose at least 5% of their weight without guidance from weight loss professionals or weight loss programs. And one study has pinpointed characteristics of those individuals who are able to motivate themselves to lose weight.

These individuals are able to add lifestyle change to their daily routine, they are able to learn from past experiences with weight loss attempts, and these individuals don’t need a lot of support from others to achieve their goals.

Specifically, the investigators concluded that “Overweight or obese individuals with strong internal motivation, problem‐solving skills and self‐reliance are more likely to be successful at achieving self‐directed weight loss. The patients identified with these characteristics could be encouraged to self‐manage their weight‐loss process, leaving the places available in more resource‐intensive professional‐led programmes to those individuals unlikely to succeed on their own.”

And one thing is obvious: for patients who are not self-motivated, providers need to learn to collaborate with these patients, and empower these patients to take action. This will enable the patients to learn to hold themselves accountable in their weight loss efforts. So when there ceases to be outside help, the patients will know that they can achieve their weight loss goals. The DPP program can give an individual the skills to do this.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Time Restricted Eating as a Treatment for Metabolic Syndrome

The combination of physical activity, a healthy eating pattern, and lifestyle modification are the most employed treatments for weight loss, weight management, and other metabolic conditions. One important metabolic condition is metabolic syndrome. A modified eating pattern or diet is being looked at for addressing the syndrome. That modified eating pattern is an adaptation of intermittent fasting (IF). The modified eating pattern is called time restricted eating.

Metabolic syndrome is a set of unhealthy conditions. The Mayo Clinic defines metabolic syndrome as a cluster of conditions that "include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels."

Intermittent fasting, typically, is where an individual follows a very low calorie diet on some days of the week, and a normal calorie diet on the other days of the week. An adaptation of the IF idea is time restricted eating. It's where an individual only eats during a specific number of hours per day, while eating nothing during the other hours of the day. An individual would only eat between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM, for example.

Researchers in a small study of nineteen participants investigated the effects of a time restricted eating pattern on the metabolic syndrome. In the twelve week study, the participants only ate during a period of about ten hours, and fasted for about fourteen hours.

The researchers concluded that for the study participants, there was a lowering of blood pressure, an average three percent weight loss, and improvements in blood glucose and cholesterol. This leads one to believe that time restricted eating could be an effective treatment for metabolic syndrome, since there was improvement in components that are usually included in the cluster that defines the syndrome.

The above mentioned study was a small study. Therefore, more research is needed into the effectiveness of time restricted eating patterns in the treatment of metabolic syndrome. Still,  considering time restricted eating patterns as a possible treatment for metabolic syndrome may not be a bad idea.

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