The scientists ferried 20 overweight, middle-aged men by train and cable car to a research station perched 1,000 feet below the peak of Germany's highest mountain, Zugspitze. During the week-long stay, the men could eat and drink as much as they liked and were forbidden from any exercise other than leisurely strolls. The team measured the men's weight, metabolic rate, levels of hunger and satiety hormones before, during, and after their mountain retreat After a week up high, the subjects lost an average of 3 pounds. A month later, they were still 2 pounds lighter. The scientists' data showed this was likely because they ate about 730 calories less at high altitudes than they did at normal elevations. They may have felt less hungry, in part, because levels of leptin, the satiety hormone, surged during the stay, while grehlin, the hunger hormone, remained unchanged. Their metabolic rate also spiked, meaning they burned more calories than they usually did. A high-altitude weight loss strategy could be viable, though studies have shown peoples' appetites bounce back after about six months at high elevation, Leissner said. “If you could do intermittent periods for one week, then go down, and then go back up, this might actually be helpful.”
When your body gets sick, it creates antibodies to the illness so that the next time, the immune system is prepared. Unfortunately, it reacts in a similar way to weight loss. If you’ve lost weight in the past due to exercise or diet changes and attempt those same strategies again to lose weight, your body – again, mainly hormones and metabolism – will adjust to prevent similar damage and you’ll see fewer weight loss results.
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"When going out for fast food, I used to get the large-size value meal. Now, I satisfy a craving by ordering just one item: a small order of fries or a six-piece box of chicken nuggets. So far, I've shaved off 16 pounds in seven weeks, and I'm on track to being thinner than my high school self for my 10-year reunion later this year." —Miranda Jarrell, Birmingham, AL
Your weight impacts your hormones, immune system, and factors that regulate cell growth—all of which are tied to cancer risk. That’s why being overweight or obese may increase your chances of getting the disease. “The relationship between cancer and weight is complex, and several different mechanisms are involved,” Dr. Webster says. “According to research from the American Cancer Society, excess body weight is thought to be responsible for about 8 percent of all cancers in the United States, as well as about 7 percent of all cancer deaths.” Just avoid these 17 weight-loss “tricks” that don’t actually work.
Not eating enough fiber may be a major reason women are getting fatter and flabbier. To ditch the fat and show off firm, beautiful abs, you need to eat at least 25 grams of fiber daily, says leading fiber researcher David J.A. Jenkins, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., professor of nutrition at the University of Toronto, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Food and Nutrition Board. Fiber, which is the indigestible part of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods, helps you achieve flat abs for three reasons:
Interval training can also be a very effective weight-loss tool. It's pretty easy to incorporate into any fitness plan because it can be applied to a variety of settings, and different types of equipment can be used. Choose an activity that you can do at a high intensity (greater than 80 percent of your maximum heart rate) for 30-60 seconds, then follow it with 30-60 seconds of rest.
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