Self-control does not mean sacrificing pleasure

Happiness is pleasure without the regret

Carrot cake or carrot sticks?

… sometimes it’s a difficult choice.

… sometimes it’s an easy one.

If we are trying to reduce our size and change our shape, choosing the cake may feel like a fialure of self-control.

But not always.

Researchers at City University London have discovered that feeling of having “given in to temptation” doesn’t depend on whether you choose the cake or the vegetable: it depends on if you think you will regret your choice in the future.

If someone, who is weight conscious, ate a slice of carrot cake, they might think they had a “self-control failure” but only because they imagined they would regret that choice later.

But if that same person only ate a small piece of cake, that might not be enough to trigger the future feelings of regret. And therefore they would not see it as a “failure” – they’d just seeing it eating a small piece of nice cake.

Its not lack of self-control if you don't feel bad about it
It’s not lack of self-control if you don’t regret it.

“If a person is comfortable with their weight and does not anticipate to regret in advance their food consumption choices, then we cannot say that person lacks self-control.”

Dr Irene Scopelliti, associate professor of marketing at Cass Business School.

“It is not the consumption of cake that automatically signals a self-control failure, it is whether consumers believe that they may regret their food choice in the future; our research demonstrates that health and pleasure are not necessarily in conflict.”

Dr Irene Scopelliti, associate professor of marketing at Cass Business School.

This plays into the false perception that food is either “good” or “bad, which is an incorrect over-simplification.


Souce: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191029080726.htm

Photos: Happiness is a piece of cake by Antonio Quagliata at Pexels.com


 

Does lack of sleep cause weight gain?

Not enough sleep causes our bodies store fat

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have discovered that just a few days of sleep deprivation can make us feel less full after eating.

After spending a week getting plenty of sleep at home, 15 healthy men in their 20s checked into the sleep lab for the ten-night study. For five of those nights the men spent no more than five hours in bed each night.

The researchers gave participants a standardized high-fat dinner – a bowl of chili mac – after four nights of sleep restriction.

Most participants felt less satisfied after eating the same rich meal while sleep deprived than when they had eaten it well-rested.

A bowl of mac and cheese only feels filling and satisfying if you are well rested

If you are tired and sleep-deprived, you’ll want a second helping

Lack of sleep also changes the way our bodies metabolize the fats from our food

Researchers also found that men who were sleep deprived tended to store the fat from their evening meal. But when the person was well rested, less fat was stored from their food.

The experimenters had a simulated work week – five nights of only 5 hours of sleep. And a whole weekend of 10 hours sleep per night, to catch up on the lost shut-eye.

But even after the weekend rest, the volunteers biological reaction to food did not revert back to what it was before the experiment.

After the first night of good sleep they ate a bowl of chili mac and cheese. Although participants’ metabolic handling of fat from their food was slightly better after one night of recovery sleep, they didn’t recover to the baseline healthy level.


In other news : It’s not what you eat but when you eat, that makes a difference

Read more …

The experiment shows that the effects of lack of sleep continue, even when we have got back into a good sleep pattern. But the researchers did not find how many nights of good sleep, it takes, to get back to a healthy reaction to high fat food.

It might take several, continuous nights, of good sleep for our bodies to return to what they were before the sleep deprivation period.

Or maybe, or bodies never recover from a period of poor sleep. The experiment ended after 10 days, so the researchers don’t have those answers.

But one thing is clear; for those of us who want to reduce the fat on our bodies, we need to get to bed and get some quality shut-eye. Sweet dreams!


Source: https://www.jlr.org/content/60/11/1935

Photos: Feet in bed at Pexels.com | Baked mac and cheese by Ronmar Lacamiento at Pexels.com


 

Traditional vegetable diet reduces risk of premature babies

Eating vegetables before getting pregnant reduces risks of premature birth

It turns out we should follow our parent’s advice when we’re thinking about becoming parents ourselves, with a study finding eating the traditional ‘three-veggies’ before pregnancy lowers the risk of a premature birth.

University of Queensland PhD candidate Dereje Gete analysed the diets of nearly 3500 women and found high consumption of carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, pumpkin, cabbage, green beans and potatoes before conception helped women reach full term pregnancy.

Eating vegetables before conception can reduce the risk of premature birth.

It’s important to start eating vegetables long before conception, for it to have any benefit on the pregnancy.

“Starting a healthier diet after the baby has been conceived may be too late, because babies are fully formed by the end of the first trimester,” he said.


Source: https://medicine.uq.edu.au/article/2020/04/traditional-vegetable-diet-lowers-risk-premature-babies

Photos: Woman holding leaves by Daria Shevtsova at Pexels.com | Pills and thermometer on bed by Polina Tankilevitch at Pexels .com


Throw away the bathroom scales; pick up a tape measure instead

Throw out the bathroom scales - use a tape measure instead

For years, women have been told that weight gain could lead to heart disease. It’s true there is a link between heart disease and the amount of fat on the body.

A study by The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) indicates it’s the location of the fat that matters most.

Not all fat is the same

Research shows it’s abdominal fat – fat around the middle or what doctors call “central obesity” – is the most dangerous.

“The findings of this study are consistent with what we know about the detrimental effects of central obesity.

Not all fat is the same, and central obesity is particularly dangerous because it is associated with risk for heart disease, the number one killer of women. Identifying women with excess abdominal fat, even with a normal BMI, is important so that lifestyle interventions can be implemented,”

Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director.

So rather than using weight or BMI as a measurement of health, women should be measuring their waistline as an indicator of progress.

“Inches off the waist” are more important for heart health that “pounds off the scales”.


Source: https://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/Abstract/2019/11000/Association_between_obesity_type_and_obstructive.8.aspx

Photos: Tape measure on scales at Pexles.com


What words can strengthen a relationship in financially stressful times?

Financial stress can sometime strengthen a relationship

These current huge financial challenges can put a significant strain on romantic relationships.

So how to maintain and even strengthen your relationship in times of financial stress?

Researchers at the University of Arizona have discovered how relationships survive financial pressure, and even become stronger.

“Financial stressors happen to everyone. They happen more often and to a greater extent to some people than others, but everyone experiences financial stress,” sayd Ashley LeBaron, a doctoral student in the University of Arizona. “If they use that stress as a catalyst to make positive changes in the relationship, it can be an opportunity to grow closer together, instead of having that stress tear you apart.” LeBaron added.

LeBaron found that the strongest relationships were those in which partners remembered to practice “relationship maintenance behaviors,” including respecting one another, being there for one another, and showing love and affection for one another.

Some examples of
“Relationship Maintenance Behaviours”

  • Being grateful for each other’s efforts
  • Listening without distraction
  • Listening without judgement

Surprisingly, the best words are not “I love You”


The best words to strengthen a relationship? Although “I love you” might seem like the best contender.

But research, by the Open University, has shown that the best words to use, for longer lasting relationships are

…… drumroll please ….

“Thank you”.

The best words to strengthen a relationship.

Research reveals that showing gratitude towards your partner and appreciating what they do, is the most important part of a strong and stable relationship.

Just thanking your partner helps strengthen a relationship. Even if your partner’s efforts weren’t successful, thanking them for trying, creates a stronger bond.

Couples that have a stronger bond, are more likely to survive a financial crisis, with their relationship intact.

Thanking your significant other for the smallest thing, strengthens a bond.

They bring you a cup of coffee? Try looking at them in the eye and saying, sincerely, “Thank you. That’s kind of you.” You might be amazed at how good it feels and how well it’s received.


Source: https://uanews.arizona.edu/story/what-helps-couples-weather-financial-storms

Photo: Couple in bed Photo by Jack Sparrow from Pexels.com | I love you words by Photo by Řaj Vaishnaw from Pexels.com


Japanese doctors found seeds from a Southeast Asian tree may improve obesity and diabetes

melinjo tree seeds on tree

Medical researchers have known for a long time that the hormone adiponectin improves obesity and diabetes and that the compound resveratrol increases the production of this beneficial hormone.

Researchers from Kumamoto University, Japan who study plants from around the world for useful medicinal properties have found that Melinjo seed extract (MSE) stimulates the production of adiponectin, a beneficial hormone that improves obesity and diabetes. They also discovered that individual genetic differences were responsible for variations in its efficacy.

In Southeast Asia, the fruit, flowers, and leaves of Indonesia’s “Melinjo” tree are traditional foods.

Melinjo tree seeds

The resveratrol compounds in the seeds of Melinjo tree may help with obesity and diabetes.


Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-61148-2


Yo-yo dieters’ brains and drug addicts’ brains have similar behaviours

Desperate for another hit?

According to Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) the yo-yo pattern of overeating followed by undereating, reduces the brain’s ability to feel reward.

An estimated 15 million people compulsively eat in the U.S. It is a common feature of obesity and eating disorders, most notably, binge eating disorder. People often overeat because it is pleasurable in the short term, but then attempt to compensate by dieting, reducing calorie intake and limiting themselves to “safe,” less palatable food. However, diets often fail, causing frequent “relapse” to overeating of foods high in fat and sugar (palatable foods).

Desperate for another hit? Or going “cold turkey”?

Yo-Yo dieters’ brains eventually show “drug-addict” like reactions.

“We are just now beginning to understand the addictive-like properties of food and how repeated overconsumption of high sugar — similar to taking drugs — may affect our brains and cause compulsive behaviors,”

Pietro Cottone, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology & experimental therapeutics at BUSM and co-director of the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders.

In the experiment half the people were given a high sugar, chocolate-flavored diet (exciting food) for two days each week. For the remaining days of the week they were given a standard control diet (dull food). Essentially they “yo-yo’ed” between exciting food and dull food.

The other half of the people were given the standard, dull, food all the time.

Yo-yo dieters’ brains became immune to the effects of amphetamines. They needed a “bigger hit” to feel rewarded.

When these people were given amphetamines, (yes, the researchers gave them all drugs – under medical supervision of course!) the amphimines did not have as much effect on the yo-yo dieters as it did on the people who ate the standard, dull diet.

Researchers found that the yo-yo dieters’ brains behaved similar to drugs addicts’, specifically a “crash” in the reward system.

When people become used to eating highly rewarding, sweet foods, when they can no longer get those rewarding foods, they have a similar “downer” to drug addicts who are going cold turkey.

Drug addicts eventually become immune to the “reward feelings” caused by the drug, which leads to drug addicts needing a bigger and bigger “high” every time. Similarly yo-yo dieting, leads to a constant search for a “bigger high” with more rewarding food, after a period of dull, unrewarding standard food.

“Compulsive eating may derive from the reduced ability to feel reward. These findings also provide support to the theory that compulsive eating has similarities to drug addiction.”

The researchers hope these findings spark new avenues of research into compulsive eating that will lead to more effective treatments for obesity and eating disorders.


Source: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191017125240.htm

Photo: Hand reaching for donut by Tijana Drndarski at Pexels.com


Dutch scientists find that kids are twice as likely to eat healthier after watching cooking shows with healthy food and healthy portion sizes

Healthy TV cookery shows leads to healthy food choices by younger viewers

This lockdown might be benefiting children’s eating habits if they watch healthy cooking on TV.

Just as Joe Wick’s virtual PE lessons have got the nations kids jumping around their living rooms, and improving their health, healthy cooking TV shows can be a key ingredient in nudging children towards healthier food choices now and into adulthood.

In other news: People who compulsively check their phones,
tend to be fatter than people who don’t

Read more …

Researchers asked children to watch 10 minutes of a television cooking program designed for children, and then offered them a snack as a reward for participating. Children who watched the healthy program were far more likely to choose one of the healthy snack options — an apple or a few pieces of cucumber — than one of the unhealthy options — a handful of chips or a handful of salted mini-pretzels.

“The findings from this study indicate cooking programs can be a promising tool for promoting positive changes in children’s food-related preferences, attitudes, and behaviors.”

Frans Folkvord, PhD, of Tilburg University,Tilburg, Netherlands.
Watching healthy TV cookery shows leads to healthy food choices by younger viewers

Watching healthy TV cookery shows leads to healthy food choices by younger viewers

Visual prominence of healthier options in both food choice and portion size on TV cooking programs leads young viewers to want healthier options.

It also makes them freely choose those healthier options too.

So watching TV can be good for you!


Source: https://www.elsevier.com/about/press-releases/research-and-journals/kids-twice-as-likely-to-eat-healthy-after-watching-cooking-shows-with-healthy-food

Photos: Children slicing vegetables by Gustavo Fring at Pexels.com | Baby chef eating yellow pepper at Pexels.com


When does clean eating become an unhealthy obsession?

When healthy eating becomes an obsession it can become unhealthy
When healthy eating becomes an obsession it can become unhealthy

Although eating healthy is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, for some people this preoccupation with healthy eating can become physically and socially impairing.

When it becomes a pathological obsession with healthy eating or consuming only a limited range of food it is known as known as orthorexia nervosa 

 healthcare providers as well as members of the public should recognise … that so-called healthy eating can, in fact, be unhealthy. It can lead to malnourishment or make it very difficult to socialize with people in settings that involve eating. It can also be expensive and time-consuming.”

Jennifer Mills, associate professor in the Department of Psychology and senior author on the study

“When taken to the extreme, an obsession with clean eating can be a sign that the person is struggling to manage their mental health.”

Previous research has shown that unlike individuals with anorexia nervosa who restrict calories to maintain very low body weight, people who have the condition have a fixation with the quality of food eaten and its preparation rather than the number of calories.

Over time, people with orthorexia nervosa  spend increasing amounts of time and effort purchasing, planning, and preparing pure and healthy meals.

Eventually this planning and obsessing becomes all-consuming that interferes with other areas of life and results in weight loss.

Other eating habits such as being a vegetarian or vegan also put individuals at higher risk for developing orthorexia nervosa. Lacto-vegetarians were at highest risk for developing orthorexia nervosa and people who are on a strict eating schedule, spending large amounts of time preparing meals, were also at greater risk.

“In our research, we found equal rates of men and women who struggle with symptoms of orthorexia nervosa,” said Mills. “We still think of eating disorders as being a problem that affects mostly young women. Because of that assumption, the symptoms and negative consequences of orthorexia nervosa can fly under the radar and not be noticed or taken seriously.”

In short, it’s good to be careful about what you eat.
But also take care about being too careful!


Source: Materials provided by York UniversityNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

Photos: Woman slicing vegetables by Retha Ferguson at Pexels.com


Proof: “device addiction” is making us fatter

Device addiction is making us fatter

New research from Rice University indicates that mindless switching between digital devices is associated with increased susceptibility to food temptations and lack of self-control, which may result in weight gain.

“Increased exposure to phones, tablets and other portable devices has been one of the most significant changes to our environments in the past few decades, and this occurred during a period in which obesity rates also climbed in many places,” said Richard Lopez, a postdoctoral research fellow at Rice and the study’s lead author.

People who compulsively check their phones,
tend to be fatter than people who don’t

The research found that people who used their phone compulsively or inappropriately (such as wanting check their phone for messages while they were talking to someone else) as well as more passive behaviors (like media-related distractions that interfere with your work) found that they had a with higher body mass index (BMI) and greater percentage of body fat.

When media multitaskers/compulsive phone users were shown pictures of food, whilst they were in a fMRI brain scanner, researchers saw increased activity in the part of the brain dealing with food temptation.

Compulsive phone user’s brains react
differently to images of tempting foods

Overall, Lopez said these findings suggest there are links between media multitasking, risk for obesity, brain-based measures for self-control and exposure to real-world food cues.


In other news: It’s not just WHAT you eat but also WHEN you eat

Read more …

“Such links are important to establish, given rising obesity rates and the prevalence of multimedia use in much of the modern world,” he said of the findings.

Lopez and his fellow researchers hope the study will raise awareness of the issue and promote future work on the topic.

The study was co-authored by Todd Heatherton of Dartmouth College and Dylan Wagner of Ohio State University.

“This study supports our research at MindfullyTrim” says Matt Walker-Wilson, lead researcher at MindfullyTrim, who did not contribute to the study.

“Automatic behaviour – or automaticity – is often the quickest and easier, but not always the best for our health.

Being mindful about what we are doing – being mindful about our eating and also being mindful about other activities – can lead to better choices and a healthier lifestyle.”


Source: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11682-019-00056-0

Photo: People using devices by fauxels at Pexels.com


 

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