Men’s Health and Weight Loss: Why a Salad is Cool

A few months ago I wrote about some challenges women face when it comes to weight loss – menopause, pleasing your family, and post-partum weight retention. Obesity is linked to cancer, so it’s important to think about how we can all maintain a healthy weight to decrease our cancer risk. With this being National Men’s Health Week, I’d like to focus on ways to overcome some unique challenges I hear from men who are working to lose weight and stay healthy.canstockphoto

1. “There’s usually lots of beer, nachos or other unhealthy foods when I go out with my friends.”

Whether its watching sports or other get togethers, it’s hard to eat healthy when you’re surrounded by indulgences. Distractions like TV make it even harder to pay attention to what (and how much) you’re eating.

Solution: There are a few ways to make a situation like this easier. First, you can eat before you go. If you aren’t hungry, enjoy the event and the company around you without all the eating and drinking. If you want to drink alcohol, make sure to have a tall glass of water before or after a drink. That’s a good way to stay hydrated and just slow down a bit to limit the number of drinks. Another strategy if you’re at a house gathering, bring healthier foods like raw cut veggies and salsa, and drinks like seltzer water.

2. “A salad isn’t cool.”
You might know what the healthier option is, but it’s hard to select the greens if your friends give you a hard time for ordering something healthy. Continue reading


Water and Diet Soda: What Matters for Cancer Prevention

In the battle of beverages, diet drinks made the headlines this week, beating out water as a weight loss aid according to a new study. Understanding how our food and beverages may affect weight gain or loss is important to cancer prevention, because being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for eight cancers, including colorectal and post-menopausal breast.

The study adds to the limited, but growing body of human research on diet beverages. The role of diet beverages in weight control is controversial, but the role of sugary beverages is not. AICR recommends avoiding sugary sodas and drinks because they are strongly linked to weight gain, overweight and obesity.http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-glass-water-cola-image21449207

The study, published online in Obesity, found that of the approximately 300 overweight participants, those consuming the diet beverages lost more weight over 12 weeks than the group consuming water. The difference was small, but significant, with the diet drink group losing an average of 13 lbs and the water group, 9 lbs.

For the trial, one-half of the participants were instructed to drink at least 24 ounces of water daily and not to consume any diet beverages. The other half were told to drink at least 24 ounces of diet drinks, but they could also drink water. Continue reading


Calories or Carbs? Weight, Health and Cancer Prevention

A calorie is a calorie – eat too many and you’ll gain weight; eat less and you’ll lose weight. Sounds simple, but a New York Times article by two obesity researchers is making headlines, and they question whether focusing on calories alone is really the answer for weight loss. It’s an important issue because obesity links to eight different cancers.Healthy versus unhealthy.

Their hypothesis, published last Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, proposes that the driving force for obesity in America is because we eat too many refined carbohydrates – chips, cakes, soft drinks, sugary foods and refined grains – rather than just too many calories. They say eating these foods can lead to higher insulin levels and an environment in our body that promotes fat storage. Their proposal that type of food is more important than total calories for both becoming obese and for losing weight is interesting, but does need more research.

What research is clear on – we know that cutting back on sugary foods and drinks and other refined carbohydrate foods is one important strategy in a total program for health and weight loss. And substituting whole plant foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains can help lower cancer risk. Continue reading