Monthly Archives: March 2016
Weight loss advertisements lead people to consume MORE junk food

A recent study conducted by researchers from Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pennsylvania and Dartmouth College has revealed that advertisements and marketing messages designed to help people lose weight may actually have the opposite effect, causing individuals to engage in unhealthy eating habits instead. Even though they know that they need to shed excess pounds and are aware that not eating junk foods paves the way toward a slimmer body, when certain weight-loss advertisements enter the picture, they still gravitate toward unhealthy foods without hesitation.

Blame it on what the study researchers call the “boomerang effect,” whereby efforts to change behaviors backfire because people decide to do the opposite of what’s advised.

In the study, which has recently been accepted into the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, researchers provided 134 participants with two different messages. Some of the people read about the health hazards of eating a high-fat diet and then read nothing more. The other participants not only read about the dangers of eating unhealthy foods, but then were exposed to messaging about a weight-loss aid that said it was “capable of absorbing up to 60 percent of the fat” in food. Next, the volunteers were given a plate of 30 cookies.

The results?

How the boomerang effect causes people to choose unhealthy foods

Those who were exposed to the weight-loss aid messaging ate significantly more than those who were not. In some instances, people ate all 30 cookies. According to authors of the study, “Weight management remedies that promise to reduce the risks of being overweight may undermine consumer motivation to engage in health-supportive behaviors.

Marketing professor at Penn State and study author Lisa Bolton, pointed to the aforementioned boomerang effect, saying, “People see the drug as a sort of get-out-of-jail-free card” that reduces not only overall weight-loss motivation but the feeling that people have the power within themselves to lose weight on their own. “Why make healthier food choices to manage weight if a weight-management drug can manage your weight for you?” the authors conclude.

The fact that people tend to engage in unhealthy eating behaviors once the promise of a weight-loss aid becomes part of the equation can be dangerous. First, it reinforces a kind of false dependency on the power of a diet pill, pills which already have a less-than-favorable perception in the public eye due to the fact that some, such as Meridia and Fen-Phen, have been taken off the market because of the severe health risks that they pose. Furthermore, reliance on weight-loss aids creates the feeling that people can easily undo bad eating habits while at the same time continue to keep at it; popping a pill, many think, cancels out the junk foods that they consumed prior and makes the behavior acceptable.

Bolton uses finance to illustrate how the quick-fix solution of a wight-loss aid can be detrimental. “Just being exposed to marketing for a debt-consolidation loan makes you think, ‘Hey, the risks of my credit-card spending aren’t too bad, because if I do get into trouble, I can get one of these debt-consolidation loans,'” she said.

She went on to explain that such thinking diminishes the perceived severity of risks while also creating the feeling that it’s alright to engage in more risky financial behaviors. In the same manner, weight-loss aids create a security blanket, a place where people think they can turn to when the issue becomes too much for them to manage on their own.

The growing challenges of weight gain and loss

So begins a vicious yo-yo lifestyle that too many dieters understand.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that over one-third of adult Americans are obese, and the Boston Medical Center notes that about 45 million Americans diet annually, spending over $30 billion as part of their effort. Still, statistics show that many people regain a great deal of the weight they lose, a cycle that continues to fuel the weight-loss industry and toy with Americans’ health. Being overweight can lead to physical and mental conditions such as diabetes, stroke, heart problems, low self-esteem, depression and anxiety.

Furthermore, other findings show that even in the victory of weight loss, emotional shifts occur that reflect anything but elation; one study found that 78 percent of those who lost weight developed feelings of depression likely due to the fact that they no longer experienced the same comfort that other foods once provided them and also because, unlike what advertising images convey, all aspects of their life had not become full of happiness.

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Health Basics: How do MSG, artificial sweeteners and gluten cause fast weight gain?

People want that fast track to “fit,” but there’s a price to pay for tricking your body into losing weight, since tricks sometimes involve losing water weight and just postponing bad food habits. There is no fast track to losing weight, but there is a permanent way to achieve and maintain your ideal body weight. The first and most important step involves eliminating three major poisons that are commonly found in today’s “Big Food” industry — yes it’s your turn to turn the tables on Big Food and perhaps your big gut or “chunky” thighs, or maybe you’ve just got some “junk in the trunk” that you want to drop off. Let’s talk about the top three realms of FDA-approved carcinogens and why they drive so many people into obesity and compounded health misery.


MSG is short for “monosodium glutamate,” which is a highly concentrated sodium additive produced by genetically modified bacteria. The flavor enhancer is often associated with migraine headaches, vomiting and… wait for it… weight gain. One of the world’s most widely used food additives, MSG was engineered to manipulate the central nervous system of humans, including deregulating hormones. That’s right; this excitotoxin, as it has been described by scientists and nutritionists, pushes people to eat larger helpings! Oops. Too much soy sauce? Too much BBQ sauce or buffalo sauce? Too much Chick-Fil-A this week? That spicy KFC deep-fat-fried “original” recipe will get you every time. Addicted to Doritos or Cup-O-Soup? What’s that concentrated salt that’s interfering with your signaling systems in your brain and making you nauseous? Guess who (Big Food) is regulating your appetite (junk science addiction)? Eating just 5 grams a day of MSG could put you 30 percent more “at risk” of becoming overweight, according to a comprehensive study done in 2011.

Aspartame deranges your metabolism

Artificial sweeteners are the Trojan horses of the food industry and will invade your cells, causing mutation and oxygen deprivation. Aspartame contains chemicals that increase your fat storage. Imagine that. This interferes with insulin and leptin, which control how your “fat” is handled, including whether it is stored, HOW it’s stored, WHERE and then, of course, how it is utilized. Metabolism literally becomes DERANGED by aspartame, causing people to pack on pounds, the exact opposite of why they ever chose an artificial sweetener in the first place. Aspartame may have no calories, but weight loss is about a lot more than calories! You can get fat easily when you’re hungry all the time, even after you just ate. That’s aspartame. It prevents you from knowing that you’ve eaten enough, a skill that Mother Nature gave us at birth.

Gluten is glue-food stuff

Carcinogenic gluten remains stuck in your digestive tract for days or even weeks, turning to poison and ruining your gut flora. GMO studies reveal that 18 million Americans suffer from gluten and GMO toxicity. You yourself right now may be wondering how your digestive tract got so screwed up. Chronic health conditions don’t just happen. You’ve become chronically “unwell,” and research shows that it’s in your control. Gluten is robbing you of essential nutrients. If your digestive system can’t function effectively, you’re welcoming chronic conditions. The overuse of antibiotics could be adding to your “gluten intolerance.” Antibacterial hand wipes and doctors’ prescriptions of antibiotics can kill your good bacteria that’s almost already wiped out by gluten, especially bleached gluten.

This poor daily diet of conventional and bleached bread, pasta, rice and cereal could be driving your chronic infections, by actually stimulating bacteria, fungi and viruses. This all contributes to malabsorption of vital vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Add in some food intolerances, allergies and GMOs and you’re calling your Obamacare (sick-care) “specialist” to double check your co-pays.

Fact: Having healthy gut bacteria is key to finding and maintaining your ideal weight. It’s time to burn some fat and rejuvenate your enzymes! It’s time to supplement your energy with superfood and herbal tinctures. It’s time to take that extra weight off for good and look fantastic for the rest of your life.

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Diet soda contributes to weight gain and belly fat research shows

New research reports that drinking diet sodas cause people to gain weight and develop more belly fat than others. Belly fat is associated with increased risk for heart disease and diabetes. This fat, called visceral fat, is located between the abdominal muscles and the skin. Research shows that people who drank diet sodas developed three times the amount of belly fat as those who did not drink diet sodas. Other research has discovered that gut flora is changed in people who drink artificially sweetened diet sodas, probably due to acidity.

Research on diet soda and weight gain

The research study was conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio with research participants who lived in the area. The research involved 749 people. Participants were all age 65 and older. They were interviewed about what types of sodas they consumed and how often they consumed them. Those who drank diet sodas gained 3.2 inches of belly fat. Occasion drinkers of diet soda gained 1.8 inches, and those who drank no diet soda gained less than 1 inch, about .8 inches. Those who already were overweight had the largest gain in belly fat. One reason that drinking diet sodas increases weight gain is that artificial sweeteners lower levels of the appetite suppressing hormone, leptin. Leptin is responsible for telling your body when to stop eating. Sugar triggers a feeling of being full and not hungry, but artificial sugar sends confusing messages to the brain so the natural message to stop eating is suppressed. When the hormone that directs hunger is suppressed, the body can continue to crave carbohydrates and other sweets.

Research conclusion

The research concluded that low calorie and no-calorie sweeteners cause health concerns. They labeled their findings as “striking.” The Calorie Control Council disagrees with these findings and believes that using low calorie sweeteners is beneficial to weight loss. While diet foods and diet sodas do contain fewer calories than products sweetened with sugar, honey, or natural types of sweeteners, the calorie loss may be offset by other factors such as injury to the gut flora and alterations within the hormone system governing hunger. Staying hydrated is important for health and it encourages weight loss. Drinking water, especially clean and pure water, is the best way to stay hydrated.

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Woman too fat to fit in airplane seat decides to get fit, loses 100+ pounds with exercise

Lose weight with exercise. Yes, it works, that is for most people who do not have a metabolic disorder. Sharon Smith lost over 100 pounds, going from a 280 pounds to around 126 pounds by changing her lifestyle. She began by watching her diet, and then added exercise and walking daily during her lunch breaks.

Sharon’s weight loss journey begins
Sharon Smith from West Midlands, England, started her journey to weight loss in December 2012. She was 42 years old and weighed almost 300 pounds. Her job as a children’s clothing designer had her commuting and sitting at a desk, allowing for little exercise. Starting during her commutes to work in 2012, her size began to bother her, as she had trouble fitting into train seats. In December of that year, she had to travel to Hong Kong, and was concerned for her comfort and that of her fellow passenger. “I remember being rammed in my seat with a lady next to me. I felt uncomfortable not just for me but for her too.” This was the tipping point for Sharon. Because she barely fit into the airline seat, she stood up for most of an 11-hour plane ride. “I was genuinely worried I might hurt the woman in the next seat because of my weight. She didn’t say anything but I just didn’t think it fair for her to suffer because of my size.” The stewardess offered to let her use their take-off and landing seats, but Sharon found it easier to stand.

Weight loss life style change
After standing for most of that trip, Sharon began life style changes. She started walking instead of taking the subway whenever possible. Quitting her high-powered job, she began working from home. This cut out her time sitting and commuting, and allowed her to take walks around her neighborhood during her lunch breaks. She joined Weight Watchers Online and reduced her weight to about 13-14 stones (about 190 lbs.). She then hit a roadblock in her weight loss. She could not lose more weight, so she upped the ante by joining an organization for beginning runners called “Couch to 5K.” She trained for a 5K race and ran it in 40 minutes in July of 2014. Sharon found additional support online. She joined a blog called The Running Blog. “The site, especially the members’ forum, gave me so many tips and so much encouragement.” She changed her diet, removing all processed foods, eating more fruits and veggies, and adding healthy fats like nuts. She stopped eating chocolates and potato chips. Last year, she ran two 10K races. Sharon has found that running made a big difference to her weight loss and fitness goals. “Once I started training for my first 10k race last summer, the pounds really dropped off,” she said. Now, Sharon makes most of her food from scratch and weighs about 9 stones, or about 126 pounds.

Metabolic syndrome and weight loss
Some people have more difficulty losing weight than others, and this can be caused by metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms that can lead to weight gain and difficulty losing weight. It is estimated that over 47 million Americans have this condition, which is also associated with insulin resistance and can lead to type 2 diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is defined as having a waist of more than 35 inches for women and 40 for men, high blood pressure, fasting blood sugar over 150, HDL cholesterol below 50, and triglycerides over 150. The cause of metabolic syndrome is not definitively known, but a variety of stressors can contribute, such as obesity, stress, aging and a sedentary lifestyle. Treatments for metabolic syndrome include dietary change and exercise, along with nutritional therapy, such as adding vitamins to the diet.

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Three teas that are proven to aid weight loss

In the field of nutrition, it is common for natural health researchers to disagree with each other. Whether it’s about the benefits of a vegetarian diet or the potential health risks of whole grains, you’re going to find conflicting opinions on various sides.

However, one area in which virtually all health researchers agree on is that teas – whether they be herbal, black or otherwise – are good for you. This is even the case with many commercial health sources, who often recommend certain teas to treat common ailments, such as insomnia, low moods, gastrointestinal complaints and compromised immunity. In this article, however, we’ll take a look at three teas that are proven to assist with one of the most desirable benefits of all: Weight loss.

Hibiscus tea

Hibiscus tea, which is made from the magenta-colored sepals of the West African Hibiscus sabdariffa plant, is a popular tea with a distinct, tart flavor. Rich in beneficial flavonoids and anthocyanins, hibiscus tea is proven to help reduce blood pressure in patients with type 2 diabetes as well as patients with pre-hypertension and mild hypertension.

However, a study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine has also found that hibiscus extracts can block adipogenesis (fat cell development) in cells. According to the researchers, cells treated with hibiscus extracts experienced a significant weakening of “key adipogenic transcription factors” when compared to the control cells, which were not treated with hibiscus.

Yerba mate tea

Popular in South America, yerba mate tea is a beverage made from the dried leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant. It is one of the most nutrient-dense teas around and, according to, contains approximately 90 percent more disease-fighting antioxidants than green tea. Moreover, yerba mate is high in three xanthines, namely caffeine, theobromine and theophylline, which can stimulate our nervous system and relax muscles.

Yerba mate has enjoyed a lot of research in recent years, including research into its alleged weight loss properties. Perhaps the most robust of these studies was published in the journal Laboratory Animal Research in March 2012, which sought to determine whether yerba mate extracts could treat obesity and diabetes in mice fed a high-fat diet.

The results were positive: Yerba mate had a beneficial effect on lipid metabolism in the mice, thus reducing their serum triglycerides, serum cholesterol and glucose concentrations. “In conclusion, yerba mate can potentially be used to treat obesity and diabetes,” wrote the authors.

White tea

White tea is made from the leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant. It is the least processed of all teas, and is characterized by its subtle taste and minimal caffeine content. Like black and green teas, which are also derived from the same plant, white tea is rich in catechins, a group of polyphenols that are known to reduce cholesterol, improve blood vessel function and lower blood pressure.

White tea is also proven to inhibit fat cell development in cells. A study published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism in 2009, for instance, showed that “white tea extracts significantly decreased triglyceride incorporation during adipogenesis in a dose-dependent manner” in human cells. The researchers also discovered that white tea extracts stimulated lipolysis (the breakdown of lipids), suggesting that drinking white tea could inhibit fat storage.

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Breast Cancer Linked to Obesity in Women of All Ages, Leptin Probable Culprit

The link between breast cancer and obesity has strengthened with two new studies showing that body mass index is correlated with the disease. These finding apply to women of all ages with breast cancer, not just those who are postmenopausal. Lipid profile and estradiol levels correlating with high body mass index were shown as additional determinative factors.

Scientists at Geneva University in Switzerland conducted a population-based study in which they evaluated the impact of obesity on presentation, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Among all women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in Geneva between 2003 and 2005, they identified those with available information on body mass index and categorized them into groups they identified as normal/underweight (BMI <25kg/m), overweight (BMI >/=-30kg/m), and obese (BMI >30kg/m).

They compared tumor, diagnosis and treatment characteristics between the groups. They found that obese women presented significantly more often with stage III and stage IV disease, with an odds ratio of 1.8. This means they were 180% more likely to have later stage breast cancer than those women in the normal/underweight group. Women in the obese group were 240% more likely to have tumors that were equal to or greater in size than 1 centimeter compared to the women in the normal/underweight group. They were also a whopping 510% more likely to have positive lymph nodes suggesting their cancers may have spread to other parts of their bodies.

Another team of scientists carried out a comparative study to investigate the effect of lipid profile, estradiol and obesity on the risk of a woman developing breast cancer. Assessment of 200 women for lipid profile, estradiol level and BMI was completed on 100 breast care patients (43 pre and 57 postmenopausal) and 100 controls (45 pre and 55 postmenopausal). Their ages ranged from 25 to 80 years.

They found a significant increase in BMI, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) in the breast cancer patients compared to the controls. With the exception of estradiol that decreased, the lipid profile generally increased with age in both patients and controls, with the patients having a much higher value than the corresponding controls. There was also a significant positive correlation between BMI and total cholesterol, and between BMI and LDL cholesterol. BMI, total cholesterol and triglycerides were increased in both pre-menopausal and post menopausal phases with HDL cholesterol remaining unchanged.

Not only does obesity clearly increase breast cancer risk, other research has shown it shortens the time between return of the disease and lowers overall survival rates. In 2007, Italian researchers went a long way toward explaining why. They presented evidence that a hormone found in fat cells called leptin significantly influences breast cancer development and progression in mice.

Leptin, a hormone derived from fat cells, is best known for its efforts to send messages to the body that its time to stop eating. This process may go awry in many people with obesity. Dr. Sebastiano Ando, lead researcher, has noted that leptin is also involved in many other processes in the breast, from reproduction and lactation to cell differentiation and proliferation. Leptin is activated by signals from the leptin receptor, and it is this partnership gone wrong that has previously been shown to be involved in the development of breast cancer. Leptin has been found in 86.4% of primary breast tumors.

Previous studies in Dr. Ando’s laboratory found that leptin played a significant role in promoting breast cancer in obese women by increasing the amount of estradiol in breast tissue. In their 2007 study, the researchers found that leptin up-regulates or increases the production of E-cadherin, an intercellular adhesion molecule generally viewed as a tumor suppressor.

The researchers grafted human breast cancer tissue in “nude” mice (genetically bred to be unable to reject tumors and used frequently in cancer research) and also in a three dimensional tissue culture closely mimicking biological features of tumors.
Their results were the same in both media. Combined exposure to leptin and estradiol increased tumor size as much as 100%. These changes correlated with an increase in E-cadherin. Dr. Ando and his team concluded that the tumor suppressor E-cadherin may serve as a tumor enhancer when exposed to leptin and estradiol. It may be that the ability of E-cadherin to help cells aggregate enhances the transformation of normal cells to cancerous ones, thereby stimulating the growth of a tumor mass. This theory gained additional weight when the researchers used an E-cadherin antibody or a calcium-chelating agent to block E-cadherin function in the presence of estradiol. The enhanced cell growth stopped.

When a leptin inhibitor is given to mice, it reduces the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and its receptor, and growth of breast cancer cells. Researchers at Morehouse School of Medicine used a leptin antagonist to evaluate whether the inhibition of leptin signaling has a differential impact on the expression of molecules leading to angiogenesis (creation of blood supply for tumors) and on cell proliferation and growth of human estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) and estrogen receptor-negative (ER-) xenografts hosted by immuno-deficient mice.

They found that the leptin antagonist reduced the growth of the ER+ human breast cancer cells by more than 40 fold, or a mind-bending 4000%, while the growth of ER- human breast cancer cell growth was reduced by 2 fold, or 200%. Expression of pro-angiogenic and pro-proliferative molecules were reduced to a greater degree in the ER+ cells than in those that were ER-. The results suggest that leptin signaling plays an important role in the growth of both ER+ and ER- negative breast cancer that is associated with the leptin regulation of molecules controlling tumor blood supply and proliferation rate. The researchers endorsed the use of leptin signaling inhibition as a treatment for breast cancer.

Normalized leptin functioning may produce happy breasts

All this research implies that the regulation and function of leptin must be restored in anyone wanting to be protected from breast cancer or its return. Health guru Byron Richards, one of the first nutritionists to recognize the importance of leptin, describes it as the single most important hormone for body weight control. Leptin regulates thyroid hormone, insulin, growth hormone, and adrenal hormones. When leptin is dysfunctional, all the other hormones regulating metabolic processes become dysfunctional too. He sees an understanding of leptin as basic for anyone trying to get and keep optimal metabolic function.

Leptin is made in white adipose tissue, commonly known as stored fat. Its release is stimulated by consuming a meal. Leptin flows through blood vessels to the brain where it delivers the message that it is time to stop eating. If people consistently overeat they become leptin resistant, a condition in which leptin becomes unable to deliver its message to the brain. This condition develops into a vicious circle in which overeating continues and the brain becomes even more resistant to the leptin message. This is about the time true obesity sets in.

To regain a healthy metabolism and keep eating under control, proper leptin function must be normalized. This requires a drastic reduction in consumption of processed carbohydrates and the embracing of a diet comprised of whole foods. This does not have to be a grueling dietary upheaval that produces feelings of deprivation and lack of satisfaction. Abandoning processed carbohydrates can be as simple as making a switch from pretzels to full fat potato chips. It can mean getting satisfaction from a chocolate bar with nuts rather than from a piece of cake. The key is the change from a diet in which processed carbohydrates play a large part, to a diet in which they play almost no part.

Getting a full nine hours of sleep in a fully darkened room is the also necessary for restoring leptin function. This means going to the bathroom in the dark, no TV, and no trips to the refrigerator unless you have removed the inside light. Daily exercise is also important, and will become desirable as energy levels improve along with leptin. Stress reduction is the fourth component in a leptin normalizing program.

Richard’s book The Leptin Diet gives the low-down on how to get leptin working for you instead of against you. For those trying to kick the sugar habit as part of ousting processed carbohydrates from the diet, he suggests using supplements of the bitter herbs Gymnema sylvestre, and Inula racemosa. He calls these herbs “sugar busters”. They help reduce the desire for sweet tasting foods and help bring the taste system back to natural balance.

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Obesity: Trouble is Caused by Eating Quickly

Have you ever been told to eat your food slowly? Parents often encourage their children to eat at a moderate rate and chew their food completely. It turns out that this is good advice. Recent research, conducted by three independent groups, suggests that eating slowly actually reduces caloric intake and may help curb the growing problem of obesity. Fast Eaters Eat More In 2008, Andrade published a study in the Journal of American Dietetic Association, which shed light on the question of eating quickly. According to Andrade`s research, the rate at which a person eats affects how many calories he ingests. Two test groups were used in the study. Each group was given a large portion of food and told to eat as much as wanted. However, one group got to use a big spoon and was advised to eat quickly. The other group, however, used a small spoon and was told to eat slowly, taking the time to chew each bite twenty or so times. The result was clear: the slow eating group consumed fewer calories than the fast eating group. Interestingly, Andrade`s research also revealed an interesting fact. It turned out that the slow eaters reported feeling more full after the meal, while the fast eaters reported feeling less full. Fast Eaters and Obesity In another study published in the 2008 British Medical Journal by Maruyama et al., it was found that there is a significant link between eating speed and obesity. It turns out that fast eaters are significantly more likely to be overweight or obese. Additionally, those who continue eating until they feel full are also more likely to be overweight. Eating quickly until feeling full is likely the most potent combination for gaining weight. Fast Eating and Hormones Perhaps the most intriguing research is this year`s study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism by Kokkinos et al. This research gives us a better understanding of the underlying physiological effect of eating speed. According to research findings, eating speed affects certain hormone levels in our body, which in turn interact with the hypothalamus to create the feeling of hunger or fullness. The hormones PYY, GLP-1, and Ghrelin all play a role. Kokkinos found that levels of both PYY and GLP-1 are significantly higher in the body when a person eats slowly. These two hormones cause a person to feel full. It was found that Ghrelin levels were higher two hours after eating for those who ate quickly. Ghrelin causes the feeling of hunger. This research supports the previous studies. It seems hormone levels are responsible for the fullness slow eaters feel and the hunger fast eaters feel. What`s interesting is that fast eaters feel both less full after eating more food and hungrier just a couple hours after eating than do slow eaters. Eating Speed and Dieting These studies can prove useful resources for those trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Do you eat quickly? Do you eat until you feel full? If you answered yes to either of these questions, chances are you are overweight. Of course, if you can change your eating habits and begin to eat more slowly, chewing your food 20-30 times before swallowing, then you will likely begin to eat fewer calories. More importantly, you will actually feel full after your meal, and you will go longer before feeling the need to eat again. It could be that modifying eating speed is the best dieting tip anyone could give. So take a hint from these studies and start eating slowly!

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Obesity causes over 100,000 cancers per year

As it turns out, fat tissue isn’t just a dormant storage depot for calories. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, more than 100,000 cancer cases in the U.S. are linked to excess body fat – most of them are preventable.

The data shows that on top of the list of obesity-linked cancers is endometrial cancer, followed by esophageal, pancreatic and kidney cancers, among others. Increased body fat is linked to:


    • 49% of endometrial cancers (20,700 cases/year)


    • 35% of esophageal cancers (5,800 cases/year)


    • 28% of pancreatic cancers (11,900 cases/year)


    • 24% of kidney cancers (13,900 cases/year)


    • 21% of gallbladder cancers (2,000 cases/year)


    • 17% of breast cancers (33,000 cases/year)


    • 9% of colorectal cancers (13,200 cases/year)

A groundbreaking – and startling – study published in ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research proved that fat cells actively secrete dozens of hormones that act as chemical messengers in various parts of the body. Scientists suspect that these chemical signals may promote not only cancer, but also a wide range of other chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.

“The evidence is clear,” said Laurence Kolonel, MD, PhD, Deputy Director of the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii and member of the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) expert panel. “If people sustain a normal body weight and remain physically active throughout life, it will have a major impact on cancer incidence.”

The recent research adds to the growing body of evidence concerning the many negative effects of obesity on cancer incidence. Previous studies have shown that excess fat tissue causes increased levels of inflammation compounds in the bloodstream and promotes oxidative stress on the body, leading to DNA mutation and diminished immune function. Both of these factors are conductive for not only the formation of diseased cells, but also their multiplication.

Reducing Your Risk
If you don’t want to fall prey to a chronic degenerative disease such as cancer, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress and choosing alkaline forming foods will do wonders in maintaining optimum health.

The American Cancer Society recommends at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days per week or more. Shedding excess weight can be beneficial even after diagnosis. “An increasing number of studies suggest that regular physical activity improves cancer survival, even among survivors who are overweight or obese,” explained Melinda Irwin, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Yale School of Medicine. “That’s really the take-home message here.”

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How to lose belly fat – real weight loss tips that work

Easy access to convenient food without the hassle of preparation may well be the reason of the rising obesity trend. The ubiquity of fast food restaurants offering instant tasty meals with sweetened carbonated drinks and other high calorie snacks have encouraged abnormal eating patterns for all hours of the day. Processed food rich in chemical additives plus sedentary lifestyles has made the Western lifestyle the unhealthiest in the world.

In an EU report backed by Britain’s own National Health Service (NHS), it was shown that 24 percent of British women were found to be overweight compared to only 15.6 percent in Germany, 12.7 percent in France and just 9.3 percent in Italy. This report raised concerns regarding the obesity trend among younger women in the UK which has almost doubled over the last decade.

Time-tested weight loss methods

The best way to lose weight is not necessarily the fastest one. With all the diet trends, accessories and supplements on the market, we are bombarded by testimonials of people sporting flat abs and six packs endorsing the latest fad diet. They swear by how effective it has been for them and how they are having the time of their lives.

Truth be told, who wouldn’t want flat abs or a six pack? Unfortunately, short-term gains are difficult to sustain unless the individual actually decides to make the personal decision to want to live a healthy life.

The best approach to losing weight is to choose a system that, once initiated, can be sustained in the long run. Below are some tips that you can slowly incorporate into your everyday activities. If you have been practicing them already, congratulations! If not, it’s not yet too late to give it a try:

1. Practice Mindful Eating– Recently, the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior revealed that individuals can still lose weight even if they eat out.

Researchers from the University of Texas observed 35 healthy pre-menopausal women who ate out frequently. Test subjects took part in a six-week program called “Mindful Restaurant Eating.” The focus of this program was on preventing weight gain and not weight loss. Test findings revealed that participants in the intervention group lost more weight, had a lower percentage of fat and a lower average daily caloric intake, and experienced increased self-efficacy in managing diet when eating out.

The message here may simply be to eat in moderation, or, not eating in excess. Depriving yourself of your favorite food may no longer be necessary if you reduce your normal serving to a smaller portion so your body can burn it faster and avoid weight gain.

2. Learn to handle stress – Stress, especially stress related to work, is found to increase the chances of obesity. Researchers from the University of Rochester studied the causes of and solutions to obesity in employees from a manufacturing facility in New York. The study looked at 2800 professional male employees and discovered that those in more stressful positions had a BMI unit of weight more than those in less demanding jobs.

The same finding also holds true for women. In 2000, a study conducted by Yale University showed that non-overweight women vulnerable to the effects of stress were more likely to have excess abdominal fat with higher levels of cortisol, a hormone related to stress. Studies have shown that cortisol can affect fat distribution by causing it to be stored in the abdomen around the organs.

3. Drink plenty of water – Recent studies have now shown that drinking water is an effective weight loss strategy. In a study, it was discovered that dieters who drank water before eating three times a day over the course of roughly three months lost five pounds more than those who did not have increased water consumption. Water has no calories and consuming it before meals makes less space for food in the stomach.

Researchers also noted that consuming water was better than soda and other sweetened drinks, which are packed with sugar or artificial sweeteners, additives that have found to contribute heavily to weight gain.

Moreover, it is suggested that six to eight glasses of water be taken daily to maintain the water content of the bile, according to Michael Murray, N.D., and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D., in their book “The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods.” Fresh fruit, pure water and vegetable juices are the preferred methods of meeting the body’s water requirements.

4. Get a sufficient amount of sleep – Not getting enough sleep may increase your chances of becoming overweight in the long run. A recent study from Uppsala University revealed that the brain’s response to food is more active after one night of sleep loss.

Researchers from Uppsala University together with researchers from other European universities studied the brain of 12 males with normal weights while the subjects viewed images of food. They examined regions in the brain involved with appetite sensation using magnetic imaging and compared results after a night with normal sleep and one obtained after one night without sleep. According to Christian Benedict, the lead researcher in the study, “After a night of total sleep loss, these males showed a high level of activation in an area of the brain that is involved in a desire to eat.”

Insufficient sleep appears to be a problem that plagues modern society. Being able to get at least eight hours a night may be crucial in maintaining health and avoiding cardiovascular and weight-related conditions.

5. Exercise your way to health – In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, maintaining weight and fitness levels as we grow older may be enough to see significant benefits.

According to Duck-chul Lee, a lead researcher in the study, if you’re overweight, losing weight and improving your fitness may be the best combination for health maintenance. The study discovered that people who kept up or improved their fitness levels lowered their risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and their risk to metabolic syndrome (a term used to refer to a group of risk factors for heart disease such as unhealthy cholesterol level, abdominal obesity and high blood sugar.)

At the onset, people who are overweight often fail to notice their weight loss because they get hungrier and start eating more. This shouldn’t discourage them, according to Dr. Lee. What is essential is to use exercise to get fit, and one way to decipher progress is to see how you feel when going through your exercise routine. If it’s getting easier, you are getting fitter.

Don’t settle for the quick fix

The best way to lose weight is not necessarily the fastest way. Resorting to fad diets may not be feasible in the long run, especially if no exercise is incorporated into the program. Furthermore, if moderation in food intake is not learned, the subject may be subject to binging episodes, leading to the regaining of more weight than what was originally lost.

What then is the best strategy for those earnestly looking for an authentic weight loss program?

The best strategy should be something that can be sustained in the long run. The five tips offered above can be incorporated into any lifestyle with no cost to the individual. These can produce incremental changes that eventually add up to the desired result: a better option for weight loss than quick fixes that only provide temporary relief.

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Compound in apples fights obesity, diabetes and fatty liver disease

Overweight and obesity continue to plague a majority of men, women and children alike, placing them at considerable risk for heart disease, diabetes and fatty liver disease as a result of chronic metabolic dysfunction. Alternative health practitioners understand that the problem is the result of much more than a simple ‘calories-in, calories-out’ equation, as refined, synthetic foods provide the dominant source of calories in most modern diets. Our genetic structure does not support a high yield of calories from unnatural sources, and we rapidly become metabolically ‘broken.’

Researchers from the University of Iowa, publishing the result of their work in the journal PLoS ONE, have found that a substance known as ursolic acid reduces obesity and its associated health problems by increasing the amount of muscle and brown fat, two tissues recognized for their calorie-burning properties. Ursolic acid is highly concentrated in the skin of apples, and can now be added to the growing list of natural compounds (including green tea and green coffee bean extracts) that increase metabolism and directly influence gene expression to aid weight management and health issues.

Ursolic acid from apple skins triggers weight loss and improves metabolic dysfunction

The study, conducted on mice that have demonstrated similar metabolic characteristics to humans, involved feeding a high-fat diet over a period of three weeks to test for weight gain or loss, and comparing to a control group. Prior studies have shown that the active natural compound, ursolic acid, increases muscle mass and also stimulates the production of metabolically active brown adipose tissue. Recent studies have shown that this type of fatty tissue is associated with reduced body weight as compared to white adipose cells known to expand and store excess body weight.

The lead study author, Dr. Christopher Adams commented “Since muscle is very good at burning calories, the increased muscle in ursolic acid-treated mice may be sufficient to explain how ursolic acid reduces obesity. However, we were surprised to find that ursolic acid also increased brown fat, a fantastic calorie burner.” The mice that received a high-fat diet along with ursolic acid derived from apples gained less weight and their blood sugar level remained near normal. Ursolic acid-treated mice also failed to develop obesity-related fatty liver disease, a common and currently untreatable condition.

Dr. Adams concluded “Our study suggests that ursolic acid increases skeletal muscle and brown fat leading to increased calorie burning, which in turn protects against diet-induced obesity, pre-diabetes and fatty liver disease.” The researchers used a low concentration of ursolic acid equivalent to eating one or two apples each day to conduct their study. An apple a day, along with a natural food diet void of refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated fats may be just what the naturopathic doctor ordered to control obesity and prevent metabolic syndrome and fatty liver disease.

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