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Diet & Weight Loss Archive


Hidden causes of weight gain

The reason for weight gain isn't always as obvious as inactivity or a poor diet. Weight gain can stem from many other causes. For example, it might reflect age-related physiological changes such as muscle loss, poor sleep, or changes in sex hormone levels; underlying conditions such as diabetes or sleep apnea; side effects from taking certain medications, such as antidepressants or beta blockers; or possibly the effects of eating late at night or the makeup of gut bacteria. Recent or excessive weight gain warrants a visit to a doctor to help pinpoint the issue.

An inside look at body fat

As men age, their metabolism naturally slows, and they burn calories more slowly. They can be less active and consume extra calories. The result is a buildup of visceral fat inside the abdominal cavity and around vital organs. This can raise heart disease risk factors, such as blood pressure, blood sugar, and total cholesterol levels. The best way to fight visceral fat is with aerobic exercise, strength training, and a healthy diet that includes plenty of protein.

Overcoming heart health obstacles

Men often confront obstacles that keep them from managing heart disease or lowering their risk for it. Harvard cardiologists share the advice they give patients who face challenges in the areas of weight loss, medication management, exercise, and diet. These include thinking about their future health goals, monitoring blood pressure, scheduling workouts, joining group weight-loss groups, and learning portion control for meals.

Higher BMI associated with greater odds of joint disease

A higher body mass index (BMI) is a major risk factor for osteoarthritis, but a 2023 study suggests it is also associated with inflammatory joint conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, and inflammatory spondylitis.

Can apple cider vinegar curb appetite?

Drinking apple cider vinegar before bedtime isn't proven to curb appetite or promote weight loss. Doing so can also lead to heartburn or reflux and erode tooth enamel. To consume it more safely, people can blend apple cider vinegar with water or into salad dressings.

Some obesity-related brain changes similar to those with Alzheimer's

A 2023 study suggests that some brain changes in people with obesity appear similar to those that occur in people with Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia.

6 natural ways to lower blood pressure

Medication to lower high blood pressure is a proven way to reduce a person's risk for heart disease. But adopting lifestyle changes may let people maintain healthy readings and perhaps even avoid drug therapy. Six lifestyle changes have the most significant influence on blood pressure: diet, exercise, weight control, limiting sodium and alcohol, and managing stress.

Junk food addiction more common in women

A 2022 nationally representative poll indicated that nearly one in five older women reported symptoms of addiction to highly processed foods and drinks over the prior year.

The weighty issue of heart disease

The rates of heart disease among men are predicted to rise significantly by 2060. The primary reason is America's rising rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes. While controlling calorie intake and increasing activity are the two best strategies for weight loss, another effective method is hospital-based weight management programs that offer a team of physicians, nutritionists, exercise physiologists, life coaches, and counselors who provide instruction, guidance, and support for weight management.

Short on slumber

Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but more than one-third consistently sleep fewer than seven. Reasons for poor sleep include pregnancy, menopausal night sweats, medication use, sleep disorders, and various illnesses. Sleep deprivation can raise the risks for such conditions as diabetes, certain cancers, obesity, dementia, depression, and heart disease. To promote sounder sleep, people can keep consistent sleep-wake schedules, reduce intake of caffeine and alcohol, and avoid using electronic devices before bed.

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