Archive for Obesity


This One Big Easy Change Can Improve Your Life!

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OK, so you just came back from your yearly physical and your provider told you that  your blood pressure and cholesterol are too high, your are in the obese category, and you need to lose 30 lbs.

On top of all this, you are menopausal, hot all the time, tired all the time and can’t think straight. Your head is screaming WHERE DO I START?

Oh, and did I mention you did not get any advise on how to accomplish all this!

Don’t give up and throw in the towel, letting it all go. You can start with changes, one at a time. It will be slow, but steady progress with a result in a lower blood pressure, cholesterol and weight. Oh, and you may get rid of those troubling menopausal symptoms as a side benefit!

OK, lets get started.

First is diet. Throw out the sugar and go just 3 days, only 3 days without sugar. This means no sodas, no sweet tea, no candy, desserts. It ALSO means no dairy as this has lactose which is a type of sugar, and yes that includes cheese. No fruit, as this has sugar. No starches as these cause spikes of blood sugar and fuel cravings for sugar. REMEMBER, this is only 3 days.

What good will this do you may wonder? It gives you control over your blood glucose, it detoxifies your system, and it lessens food cravings. And it may just make you feel better! Exercise is important, but diet needs to come first. Food is like a medicine, it profoundly affects your body system and can heal you, or kill you.

Sugar and refined packaged foods are the most destructive things to our health, other than cigarettes. Choose these 3 days of no sugar to eat as much natural food as you can. Go for salads, fresh cooked vegetables, and water…lots of water. You can eat small amounts of nuts, this will give you some healthy fats which will help you feel full. You can eat protein, pick leaner cuts of meat not hot dogs or sausages as these are processed and very high in fat. You can have a few eggs. Try an omelet with veggies for breakfast, salad with some meat and a light salad dressing for lunch, a lean meat and 2 cooked vegetables for dinner. Snack on nuts, raw veggies and humus. Drink water, water, water; you can squeeze some lemon in it for flavor.

Ok, so you have detoxed from sugar for 3 days. What’s next?

You may be surprised what the scale has done and hopefully this will motivate you to continue with some diet changes. For the next few weeks, slowly add in some cheese, then other dairy and some fruit. Not all at once, but 1-2 things every day. As you do this, you should continue to notice a benefit in how you feel. It is still important to avoid processed foods and sweets.

Some strategies to avoid complete deprivation of the foods you like is to pick one day a week, and allow yourself some foods that you enjoy. Don’t go overboard, and get right back on track the next day. If you feel yourself really craving these foods, you may need to avoid doing this and pick only one day a month. You may actually find though, that your stomach does not like these fatty processed foods after you haven’t eaten them for a while. This is progress!

This is a start, it will not solve all of your problems but it is a significant help. Blood glucose spikes fuel cravings making us eat more. Eating more causes weight gain which makes the heart work harder, and what isn’t used for energy is stored as fat or cholesterol. Blood glucose spikes can also trigger hot flashes and make them more powerful. A higher plant based diet can provide you with the plant version of estrogen called phytoestrogens; which can help lessen menopausal symptoms.

Coming home from your medical providers office needn’t make you feel dome and gloom. Make this one small change to start and see what happens. Check in with me later to see other changes that can help you reverse any negative biological process going on!


Is Weight Gain Inevitable?

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What can you do about your health and weight if you come from a family where obesity, or being overweight, is the norm? Is it inevitable that you will be obese also, pre-destined to gain weight as you age?

Years ago, researchers found the fat gene, called the Fat Mass and Obesity Association Gene (FTO). They project that an astounding 65% of people from European or African descent have this gene, as well as  upwards of 44% of people of Asian descent carry some form or part of this gene. The presence of this fat gene increases the risk of obesity or being overweight, by 12%.

If you feel that obesity is your future, what are you capable or willing to do in order to avoid this? Will you throw in the towel and eat to your hearts content, and would it even make a difference?

According to some recent studies, physical activity can decrease the effect of FTO by almost 30%.

Researchers theorize that the FTO gene is most active in the brain and affects appetite and behavior-both eating and exercising. It appears to be active in areas of brain that regulate the balance of energy intake and energy expenditure, and it is the loss of this energy balance that can cause weight gain.

Researchers are not certain how exercise attenuates the expression of the FTO gene, but analysis of data from multiple studies reveal an almost 30% reduction of gene expression (not 30% of weight!) as measured by body fat percentage and waste circumference. This indicates that even a small amount of exercise have helped people control their weight.

So what does this mean for you?

It means that physical activity will help you regardless of your genetic code and family body type. This knowledge can give you the power to change what you may now believe to be your “health destiny”, by making changes to avoid diabetes, hypertension, joint problems. It gives you the reason to take action so that you can achieve your goals of fitness and health.

We have many articles within Female Menopause Mentors that can help and guide you on making changes and initiating an exercise program. We will have a special program within the next few months,that will help guide you step by step through initiating and maintaining these changes. As a result of the many years of medical experience in family practice, I have seen the damage that poor health can cause to women, in the form of onset of diseases and loss of mobility and independence. I am committed to helping women through the process of health improvement and I am certain our program can help you!

I have created a video on this subject. It is posted to YouTube but can only be accessed via this link Control Menopause Weight Gain. If you want to have access to videos as I produce them you need to sign up for a membership on the home page. I give memberships away so that ability to pay is not a factor in receiving my information.

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How many of us depend on news reports to give us the information we need?  Many of us scan the headlines daily, and if a topic catches our interest, we read the article. For the most part, we probably take what we read at face value. We believe what we read to be unbiased and true. Be careful what you believe to be true!

A recent article published about the cost benefit analysis of gastric bypass surgery caught my eye. As I read the article, I heard my inner voice saying “now wait a minute… I am not so sure about that“.  This article was published in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases and reviewed in Medical News. The author  states that a recent study revealed that the cost of surgery was re-couped for diabetic patients after 2.5 years through savings in medication and the cost of care when gastric banding was the procedure used. Here is  link to the article: Gastric Band Surgery

So on the face of this article, it sounds great. Pay your money, get your gastric banding done and you or your insurance company will recover your costs within 2.5 years. While I agree that gastric banding and other forms of gastric bypass grafting have their place in the treatment of obesity, it should not be taken lightly! This procedure results in a MAJOR change of lifestyle, and it should be considered seriously and thoroughly. It does not always work for the long term either! To maintain any weight that is lost, you must continue with calorie restriction and exercise. It may very well result in significant cost reduction of medical care in some people, but I have seen plenty of patients that would not come under this characterization.

The problem with these studies are that they are often funded by groups in which there may be a conflict of interest. In the case of this article, the study looks to be funded by Duke University researchers. Duke University Medical Center has begun to perform many gastric bypass surgeries, although I will admit that gastric banding is not the procedure used most frequently by their surgeons. The article linked here, is written by the manufactorer of the gastric banding device! Hence, the possible issue with veracity.

Obesity is a problem in our country and the world, no doubt about it. Many people are desperate for help to gain control over their weight and it can be  frustrating and even frightening for some. It is important to keep in mind that there really are no short cuts that work. Whatever you utilize to help you lose weight, proper diet with help and guidance if needed, as well as a program of activity is the cornerstone of achieving control.

There are many programs such as Weight Watchers available to help people gain control over their choices. We have designed a program here that can be used in conjunction to other programs. I would like to help people learn to make good decisions, learn to combat stress related choices, and how to put a program in place and keep it in place. Try it out and see if it helps, just click on The Menopause Guide above….and please give me your feedback!

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Tricks to use when you are at a party:

  • Don’t park yourself next to the food table
  • Use a small plate and start with vegetables and healthier dips
  • Choose lower fat desserts
  • Avoid the rich drinks or drinks that are very sweet such as egg nog, punches; and have wine or seltzer based drinks
  • Circulate around the room so that you are distracted in order to avoid too much eating

Fitting exercise in:

  • Try shorter workouts if you are feeling pressed for time
  • Try strength training and leave the aerobics for when you shop or are cleaning your house.
  • If you need to reduce number of workouts, increase the intensity and add 5-10 minutes to the workouts you can fit in
  • Get plenty of sleep so you have lots of energy
  • Park in a space farthest away from where ever you are going, this can add a few minutes of extra exercise to your errands.

Another study performed through The National Institute of Health (NIH) illustrated the importance of
having a consistent eating plan and sticking to it during the holidays. Their study revealed that people
defined as being at a healthy weight averaged a weight gain of 1-2 pounds. This was primarily due to the
fact that these people had a firm regimen of healthy eating which helped to avoid added weight gain.

Those people defined as overweight gained an average of 5 pounds or more. These pounds were less
likely to subsequently come off during spring or summer months. This weight gain is then added to in
subsequent holidays and becomes a cumulative problem.

While the holidays may not be a time to lose weight, they need not be a time to gain weight. For some
people, the idea of moving through the holidays with health as a goal may seem impossible. For some
it may not be a way they care to enjoy the holidays. The above measures can be easy, small ways to
remain reasonably healthy and can also be a start for a new or renewed health program for the New

Anne V. PAC

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So the holiday season is upon us and many people feel
it is an impossible task to remain on a healthy

Anne V. PAC

program of eating and exercising during the holidays.
While this is probably not the time to attempt
weight loss, there are many measures you can take to
remain at your current weight and not gain
additional pounds.

Many people wonder why they should even bother.
A recent analysis of several studies performed in
past years concerning obesity and its effects on longevity of life
has indicated that obesity does shorten life.
Past studies have been inconclusive regarding this supposition.

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine addresses link between the increase
of early death and obesity. The study found that a BMI of 25 or above was associated with an increase in
early death from all causes including cancer, heart attack or stroke.

What is BMI? BMI stands for Body Mass Index and it is a measurement which combines weight to
height. Normal is felt to be 18.5 to 24.9, overweight is 24.9 to 29.9, obese is 30 to 35 and severely obese
is over 35.

Currently, 17% of American women are obese and 11% of American men. This is a major health
problem for our country and the question is whether you are a part of this health epidemic and do you
want to do something about it on a personal level.

Are you an overweight woman with a BMI of 25 to 30? Your risk of early death is increased by 13%. If
you have a BMI of 30 to 35 your risk is increased 88% and 250% of your BMI is over 40. So what does
this mean to you?

It means that being significantly overweight does more than makes you tired, hurts your joints, and
causes you to feel bad about how you look. It means that there is a very good chance you will die early.
The studies recently published illustrate the need to control weight for overweight and obese people
in this country. The increased rate of heart disease and diabetes will create a health burden in coming
years that could prove difficult for our country and health care system to sustain.

So what measures can you employ to avoid weight gain?

  • Plan your meals so that you can control your calories while not socializing.
  • If you are going to a party or a dinner, eat very lightly for your other meals that day
  • Have a stock of healthy meals you have cooked, frozen, so that you may pull these out when you get home late after shopping.
  • Try shopping in a place where you will park once and walk quite a bit between stores, instead of making frequent short trips.
  • Bring healthy snacks with you as well as a water bottle, so that you are not tempted to buy fast foods.

Obesity – Which camp are you in?

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Ramit Sethi is author of the blog I will Teach You to be Rich and author of the NYTimes best seller of the same name has something to say about how our attitude about money and food are much the same. We would rather spend an hour doing research about the best thing to do to get the weight off rather than actually take action on the problem. We would rather see a documentary with very thin science than read and apply principles that have been proven over and over. The Key: Do something that is right now! Don’t wait until you are an expert. Don’t wait until you know everything perfectly. DO SOMETHING NOW AND REPEAT IT REGULARLY! It does not have to be a lot, or really intense, or extreme, just a little regular exercise and a little less food each and every day. This video is not great. It does give you the visual message.  You really ought to ask Anne in the comments section for examples and then take those examples and do something with them. Enjoy this 5 minute video.

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Obesity, Fitness and Women

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Fitness requires regular movement

How many of you struggle with motivation to exercise?

Perhaps you feel that because you are overweight, it will not have any positive effect. Maybe you feel you have to loose weight first before you can be fit or you feel there is no point to exercising since you are already overweight. Many of you may feel, or know some one who feels that they cannot exercise for some reason.

A new study published in the journal- Medicine and Science, evaluated the effect of cardiovascular fitness on rate of death in women considered overweight. This study can easily give overweight women the encouragement they need to begin any sort of exercise program. The study revealed that cardiovascular fitness was a better determinant for risk of death from all causes, rather that being overweight.

11,335 women were followed from 1970 to 2005, degree of obesity was determined by measurement of waist to hip ratio, BMI, waist to height ratio and body fat percentage. Degree of fitness was determined by performance while walking on a treadmill to their fullest effort.

Researchers found that those women who had higher cardiovascular fitness despite higher body fat percentage or weight, had similar low death rates as compared to women with lower body fat and similar levels of cardiovascular fitness. This suggests that cardiovascular fitness is a stronger predictor of health than weight or body fat. This is one of the only studies which included cardiovascular fitness in determining risk of death in overweight or obese women. It suggest that being fat does not necessarily mean that a woman is unhealthy. The researchers also state however, that morbid obesity was not included in this equation. A BMI over 40 significantly increases risk of death regardless of cardiovascular fitness.

So what does this study mean for you? It means that regardless of your weight, you can improve your health with modest exercise. Something as simple as brisk walking. Remember, these women were asked to walk as briskly as they could on a treadmill. You can do that on a street, mall, track at a local school! The important thing  is to move, increase your heart rate to get your blood moving, use those muscles you have!

How do you talk to your medical provider about this? Ask them for an eating plan or guideline if they have one; or a referral to a nutritionist. Ask your medical provider if it is safe for you to start exercising by walking. Discuss this study with your health care provider and ask them how it relates to you.

Many work places have programs to help employees start an exercise or health program. Check with your human resource person at work and ask them about this. There are many affordable exercise facilities that provide opportunities to improve fitness without being an intimidating  gym. Check out what is in your community by searching the yellow pages and asking friends and co-workers.

What is your plan? Discuss it with me in the comments section here.I look forward to discussing this with you.

How many of you would like to talk on the phone with me, as a group call? Tell me in the comments section.

One last thing use the widgets at the end of the post to recommend it to friends on Facebook, Twitter and other places you meet people online.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Join our membership site to gain access to more information (audio and video are all there) by signing up on the home page.

Anne V. PAC

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Obesity costs Women more than Men

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Bruce Bair PA-C

There are costs to OBESITY! Many of those are hidden costs and are paid by employers or the government. Eventually, all those costs are paid by you and me in higher fees and taxes.  This nothing compared to the cost to the obese person in self-esteem, health related problems and lost wages. There has been anecdotal evidence of this phenomenon but now there is solid research on this subject.

Guess what – women lose more financially when they are obese. George Washington University’s Department of Health Policy did a study on this subject. They found that:

The overall, tangible, annual costs of being obese are $4,879 for an obese woman and $2,646 for an obese man. The overall annual costs of being overweight are $524 and $432 for women and men, respectively. For both genders, the incremental costs of obesity are much higher than the incremental costs of being overweight.
Adding the value of lost life to these annual costs produces even more dramatic results. Average annualized costs, including value of lost life, are $8,365 for obese women and $6,518 for obese men.

The study is easy to read but more difficult to understand. If you would like to read it I have included a link to download it at the very end of this article.
It is no surprise that obesity costs women more. They have generally earned less and with lower self esteem and being perceived in our society as less attractive – are offered lower wages and do not seek out higher wage jobs. They feel less worthy of reward. This is bunk, but we usually get paid what we think we are worth because we go after jobs at our level or above. Obese people are less likely to compete and less likely to be picked for these positions.

You are obese if your are more than 20% above your ideal body weight. A better measure, if you are a women,is a relaxed waist measurement at the umbilicus (belly button) of more than 35 inches (90 cm). If this is you, then you need a team to help you improve your health. I would suggest you get a coach, a health care provider familiar with patients who make weight changes and a dietitian with similar experience. You need a team, a written plan and someone – the coach – to keep you real and help you not be discouraged. Habit got you where you are. Habits are caused by thinking and you have to change your core beliefs about you, food and your potential. Look at those costs above – 4-8 thousand dollars per year in extra expenses and lost wages.
If you need a place to start, begin with becoming a member of our site – its free – and get our free report on controlling your weight. Begin to implement some of those strategies and then think about what you want and how you are going to get it. You don’t need to and should not try to do this all alone.

OK, time to take up to three actions. First tell me your story or comment on this post. Do it in the comments section.  Second, get the report and look it over. The link is at the bottom of the page. It is labeled “Heavy Burden Report”. Third, join our community and get our Tips Booklet on Controlling Your Weight. Both are free, you just use the form on the home page to sign up


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Obesity and health risks associated with it is at an epidemic level in the US. The risks of hearth disease and diabetes, as well as joint disease are frequently discussed in medical society meetings as well as medical offices through out the country. Most people who are obese would dearly love not to be, and in my medical experience, obese people are often the most sophisticated of dieters. So why is our country getting fatter and more unhealthy with each passing year? Much research is currently being done to look at the issues which cause obesity and the issues which seem to prevent so many people from loosing weight.

Research at the Center for Integrated Systems and Biology of Aging and Nutrition at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom has published a study on how a low calorie diet can extend a persons’ lifespan. This study is purported to provide new insight into why this can occur even if adopted later in life. The research looks at how a restricted diet affects the senescence (point at which a cell can no longer replicate) if cells in mice. Demonstrated were reduced accumulation of senescent cells in liver and intestines, both organs which can demonstrate aging in this fashion. Also noted were protection on the ends of chromosomes, thereby having increased protection from errors of replication. Theoretically then, not overeating can  protect the healthy maintenance of our bodies tissues.

Next of interest, a study recently published in the Journal of American Geriatric Society evaluated data from the Women’s Health Initiative regarding the association of weight and cognitive decline. 8,745 women between ages 65-79 were included in this evaluation. They found there was a 1 point drop in memory score as measured by the Modified Mini-Mental Status Exam, with each point increase in BMI. The pattern of fat deposition also had an impact, with pear shaped deposition (hip) having more of an impact on memory. It is speculated that different types of fat produce different cytokines, which cause inflammation. This inflammation may very well affect  cognitive decline, more so than fat deposited around the waist.

Studies continue to evaluate the deleterious effects of obesity on health and longevity.

While “getting thin” may be a goal for many women, it is often not a reasonable goal. Medical studies have shown that, in certain situations, a mere 10% loss of weight can extend life for up to a decade. Anything you can do to improve health and life style habits are well worth the effort.

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