Friday, May 12, 2023

What Is The Best Cardio Machine For Weight Loss?

This one is easy to answer. The elliptical trainer is by far the best cardio machine for weight loss.

Here is why:

1) It is an upright form of exercise, so it burns a lot of calories. When using an elliptical trainer, you are supporting your own body weight. This burns more calories than if your weight is supported, as it is on a bicycle.

2) It is very low impact and easy on the joints. This is important for my older clients and those with orthopedic concerns.

3) There are inexpensive home models available. Exercising outdoors is great. I do it as much as possible. However, rain, snow and cold can sometimes keep you inside. Consistency is key when it comes to cardio. Having a home elliptical makes it easy to hit your cardio goals no matter what the weather is doing.

Sleep Deprivation And Energy Intake In Children

The Study

In this interesting study, 105 children between the ages of 8 and 12 went to bed 1 hour earlier for 7 days and then 1 hour later for 7 days. They had their food intake measured throughout the study period. 

Here is what they found:

-During sleep restriction, children consumed 86 more calories per day then when well slept. This does not sound like much, but if consumed over a full year, would result in 9 lbs. gained.

-During sleep restriction, children consumed significantly more total sugars, ultra-processed foods and sugar sweetened beverages.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2023; 117:317-25.

Take Home Message

For the last several decades, the research on the importance of sleep in weight maintenance has really started to build.  There is evidence that sleep deprivation influences hormones that dictate appetite, such as leptin and ghrelin. There is also evidence that metabolism slows down and you burn fewer calories when under slept.

Proper sleep is also really important for your energy, mood and immune system. For adults, hit a minimum of 7 hours per night. The number varies for children. This study looked at 8-12 year old’s and the range for them is 8 to 11 hours per night.

Eating At Restaurants And Weight Gain

The Study

The average American consumes 3 meals per week at restaurants. These meals are usually nutritionally inferior to what would be cooked at home. In this investigation, nearly 100,000 U.S. adults from The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Cohort had their weight and restaurant visits measured over a 3 year period.

Here is what they found:

Subjects who maintained their number of fast food and full-service restaurant visits gained weight over the 3 years.

Subjects who reduced their level of fast food and full-service restaurant visits had a statistically significant weight loss over the 3 years.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2023; 117:392-401.

Take Home Message

This is a really simple study with a powerful message: Eat out less if you are trying to lose weight.

Restaurant meals are almost always higher in fat, sugar, salt and calories than food prepared at home. Keep in mind that a chef’s goal is to make food taste good, not to make it as healthy as possible.

I give my clients 2 cheat meals a week to go off their diets. A great strategy is to save your restaurant trips for these splurge meals. The rest of the time, cook healthy meals at home. You’ll be surprised how much this can influence your rate of weight loss.