Archive Monthly Archives: August 2018

man with abs smiling after successful weight loss program, Cenegenics helps man achieve his long term weight loss goals

How Cenegenics Programs Differ from a Typical Weight Loss Program


Weight loss has become a priority for a growing portion of the population. According to the CDC, more than a third of U.S. adults are considered obese, while a whopping 70% of adults are considered overweight.[1]

In addition, while many people seek out weight loss programs for aesthetic reasons, the impact of excess body fat extend far beyond appearance alone. Dangers of being overweight include increased risk for developing serious health issues, including Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease, and even certain types of cancer.[2]

It is therefore no surprise that an increasing number of individuals are pursuing weight loss goals to look and feel better. The only problem is that many approaches are built on flawed diets, or the belief that exercise routines alone can achieve sustained weight loss. To further complicate the matter, adults in their middle ages and beyond face unique weight loss challenges requiring strategic, tailored solutions. That is where Cenegenics comes in.

Cenegenics is an age management medicine clinic featuring 100% personalized programs to help patients lose weight and keep it off for good. The program takes an all-encompassing approach to wellness and, beyond weight loss, patients also experience boosted energy, improved cognition, and better sleep, among other health improvements. Here, we examine what the Cenegenics weight loss program entails, and why it works so well.

Cenegenics Patients – Weight Loss Success

Dr. Ledda and Dr. Chavez have achieved long term weight loss with the Cenegenics Program, physicians lose significant amount of fat with Cenegenics Elite Health Program

Popular Diets – Why They Are Flawed

Nutrition is a significant factor in long term weight loss, Supplementation for weight loss is sometimes essential even with a solid diet

While there is no shortage of weight loss methods popular today, many of them are flawed in a number of ways. At the most basic level, people often pursue dieting without first developing an understanding of the ways in which nutrition impacts overall health. Indeed, nutrition is inherently complex: phytonutrients produce specific yet significantly different effects in the body.

Age management physicians have an in-depth understanding of how phytonutrients impact the body, as well as how their intake can be manipulated for long-term success in spite of slowing metabolisms and other factors affecting older adults. Additionally, these specialists can pinpoint the flaws in previous attempts made to enact dietary changes, including the shortcomings of many popular diet plans.

For one, they often fail to address the precise nutritional and caloric needs of the participating individual. Without an in-depth assessment of one’s health, it is impossible to pinpoint one person’s dietary needs compared to the next. Moreover, many individuals are unaware of how phytonutrients impact weight loss and health in general.

Not all calories are created equal, and in order to succeed with sustainable weight loss, people need foundational knowledge of recommended intake of both key nutrients and portion sizes. They need a prescribed plan that eliminates guesswork and takes into consideration the importance of the right phytonutrient mix.

The Problem with Lose Weight “Fast” Solutions

Perhaps most importantly, diets tend to fail because they are viewed as a short-term solution to a problem. Thus, the ways in which we view diets is inherently flawed: dietary changes are often sought out as a quick fix to losing weight, so the eating habits prescribed by many diets naturally fail to hold long-term value.

According to UCLA research based on analyses of more than 30 long-term studies, the majority of people participating in diets lost five to ten percent of their body weight, only to regain it later. Moreover, one- to two-thirds of people regain more weight than they originally lost within four to five years of dieting.[3]

Long-term compliance and a caloric deficit are the two components every nutrition plan needs for success. The first component is the one with which many subjects struggle. Highly restrictive diets are generally unsustainable over the long-term. While there are many different approaches that can be used to achieve weight loss, including high-protein eating plans, the one that will have the best odds of success is the one that the subject can maintain over a long-term basis.

In other words, individuals seeking permanent weight loss must begin to rethink the role of food to make lasting changes. Making healthy choices to promote nourishment based on a person’s lifestyle and preferences is far more effective than the traditional approach to dieting, which is often based on eliminating entire food groups or other restrictions, which make it increasingly difficult to maintain long-term compliance.

How Cenegenics Is Different for Long Term Weight Loss

We established in the previous section that the majority of weight loss endeavors often result in failure – or worse, added weight gain. What makes Cenegenics different from the rest? According to a recent study, Cenegenics members record an average decrease of 30% in body fat percentage.

How, then, does the program ensure compliance and actually deliver on its promises? Unlike diets, which tend to focus on a single facet of life (changes to eating patterns), the Cenegenics program takes a comprehensive approach to weight loss to achieve lasting lifestyle improvements. Specifically, the robust program encompasses the following key elements:

Cenegenics physicians specialize in long term weight loss

Expert Age Management Doctors

As mentioned above, nutrition can be a complex and challenging feat – but only if you lack the proper guidance. Cenegenics physicians are specifically trained and certified in age management medicine. They complete specialized training outside of their mandatory schooling and are therefore armed with the competency to administer exceptional care in all realms of age management, including nutrition and hormone regulation.

Unlike other wellness coaches or nutritionists, Cenegenics physicians do not simply prescribe plans and leave patients to their own devices. They monitor your program medically, based on follow-up lab results and phone conversations. Whether by phone, email, or in person, you can always contact your physician to discuss what is working or what may need to be refined based on lifestyle changes.

The Cenegenics team knows that sustainable weight loss is not a “one and done” activity; but instead, it must be continuously revisited to meet the evolving needs of the patient. This level of support cannot be found anywhere else, which is one of the primary reasons why Cenegenics is so vastly different from any other weight loss program.

How to Start with Cenegenics Weight Loss – The Cenegenics Elite Health Evaluation

The Cenegenics program begins with an Elite Health Evaluation to determine your metabolism, endocrine functionality, and overall physiology – all of which contribute to the ways in which your body processes nutrients. Based on these findings, Cenegenics physicians take corrective actions to help your body process at its highest possible level.

Your doctor will prescribe a low-glycemic food plan to eliminate or significantly reduce factors leading to increased inflammation, harmful insulin responses, fat production, and other negative impacts on health. Unlike fad diets, Cenegenics food plans are based on scientifically proven results. Not only do the plans promote sustained weight loss and management, but they also minimize the risk of developing serious conditions including cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and hypertension.

Hormone Imbalances – Why They Matter for Weight Loss

Another reason traditional dieting falls short is because it overlooks possible hormone imbalances. Hormones, including those that influence metabolism such as cortisol, human growth hormone (hGH), and thyroid hormone, decline with age. Additionally, hormones such as testosterone impact muscle tone and development, while estrogen can affect digestion. Thus, hormones contribute to weight management in diverse and complex ways.

Following the Elite Health Evaluation, Cenegenics physicians make recommendations based on detected hormone levels. If clinically indicated, hormonal optimization may be encompassed by your treatment to achieve a balanced endocrine system to support a strong foundation for weight loss.

Personalized Cenegenics Exercise Plans for Weight Loss

Man high-fiving coach as he works toward his long term weight loss, Cenegenics customizes exercise and nutrition plans as a part of the Elite Health Program

One fallacy permeating today’s perception of weight loss is that one can simply exercise their way to a healthy body composition. Again, in order to achieve sustainable weight loss, a caloric deficit is essential. It is far easier to control calorie intake than it is to “out-exercise” poor dietary choices.

Nonetheless, exercise is essential to lasting wellness and permanent weight loss, and it can indeed spur further weight loss in individuals who are already making the right eating choices. Using exercise in combination with certain dietary choices – increasing protein intake, for instance – can have beneficial impacts in people seeking sustained weight loss.

Regular exercise can increase metabolic rates and improve body composition. Moreover, it can also lower heart disease risk. In fact, poor fitness levels are the deadliest risk factor for death among all – including hypertension, diabetes, obesity, heart arrhythmia, high cholesterol, and even smoking.

To support boosted efforts to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, along with a broad range of additional wellness outcomes, the Cenegenics age management program pairs patients with an appointed exercise physiologist to develop a plan fitting their personal lifestyle and health goals. They will balance exercises across three main categories: flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, and resistance/weight training.

Cenegenics Supplements for Weight Loss

Supplements for weight loss are available on the Cenegenics program and our online store

In addition to the phytonutrients we obtain through food sources, there are many additional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants the body needs to support essential functions, including weight management. Some vitamins may even aid directly in weight loss.

For example, in a weight loss study of postmenopausal women, participants who achieved healthy or replete levels of vitamin D lost more weight than those who did not reach the same levels.[4] It is suspected that more than 40% of the U.S. population is deficient in this critical nutrient alone, which is precisely why Cenegenics physicians perform comprehensive blood work to determine individual deficiencies upon which supplement recommendations are made.[5]

To support better overall wellness, Cenegenics physicians prescribe a personalized regimen of nutraceutical supplements. As Cenegenics supplements are distributed for clinical use, manufacturing and quality assurance testing is held to higher regulation, surpassing the common standards observed in the retail supplement industry.

From raw material acquisition and manufacturing, to capsulation, bottling, and labeling, our facilities and team undergo multiple quality assurance checkpoints during the product development process. Prior to releasing finished nutraceutical products to our physicians and teams, Cenegenics testing confirms the final product meets label claims and passes United States Pharmacopeia testing for biomicroorganisms and heavy metals.

All aspects of manufacturing and product development are completed in our FDA-registered, NSF/NSF for Sports-certified facilities that are also awarded with the international Therapeutic Goods Association certification.

How It Works: The Science Behind Cenegenics’ Weight Loss Program

The previous section provided a comprehensive overview of the pillars behind Cenegenics’ powerful weight loss program. Here, we will dive deeper into the precise science of how Cenegenics helps patients achieve their weight loss goals.

Cenegenics Blood Analysis for Weight Loss

The highly comprehensive blood testing performed during the first phase of the Cenegenics Elite Health Evaluation yields invaluable insights. It is also performed frequently to measure compliance and program effectiveness. Below are the key insights pertaining to weight loss revealed in the patient’s blood work.

Insulin Sensitivity for Dietary Recommendations

One factor blood work determines is the patient’s insulin sensitivity, including fasting glucose, fasting insulin, hemoglobin A1c levels, and more. These findings will shape the precise dietary recommendations set forth in the patient’s food plan.

Reductions in insulin levels allow fat to be selected as the preferred fuel for the body’s energy supply, and the most direct way to achieve this is through carbohydrate restriction. The patient’s insulin sensitivity will therefore determine carbohydrate selection. For instance, some patients may need to limit carbohydrate intake to only vegetables, while others may benefit from a mix of vegetables, fruit, sweet potatoes, and/or whole grains.

Cholesterol Levels Reveal Lipid Metabolism

A patient’s blood analysis also reveals their lipid metabolism, or their body’s ability to break down or store fats for energy. Cholesterol levels, including high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or the “good” cholesterol), low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or the “bad” cholesterol), triglycerides, and coronary risk ratios are measured.

These findings will aid in fat selection for the individual and will confirm whether high-intensity exercise is being performed as directed throughout the course of the program. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) increases fat burning due to higher exercise intensity and long-lasting excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).

Additionally, blood work results will help physicians provide recommendations for fat intake. Like other phytonutrients, there are different types of fats, some of which have better health properties than others. Another common misconception is that fat intake is directly linked to weight gain.

In reality, excess carbohydrate consumption is the main culprit behind obesity. This falsehood is, in part, why low-fat diets tend to produce poor results. Cenegenics physicians support patients in incorporating healthy fats from whole food sources into their diets, including nuts, avocados, and oils.

Inflammatory Markers Can Indicate Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Inflammatory markers are strong risk indicators for cardiovascular disease.[6] Blood tests may measure C-reactive protein, among others. These will confirm whether sufficient compliance with food and exercise plans is being achieved or if there are any new issues requiring attention.

Body Composition Assessment – Measuring Body Fat%, Muscle Mass and Bone Density

Cenegenics physicians perform a complete body composition assessment via dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan, the most trusted method for determining body fat and lean mass. The testing can determine trunk body fat, android body fat, and visceral fat, providing a far more comprehensive picture of body composition than other methods.

While body mass index (BMI) was once the leading measure of being overweight, its calculations can be misleading. It takes into consideration only height and weight, thereby failing to account for how body composition breaks down into fat, bone, and lean tissue.

They can also determine measures of visceral adipose tissue (VAT), or the body fat, which, in excess, is linked to cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. DXA scans thus provide a far more accurate measurement of specific types of fat content, helping physicians provide targeted recommendations for diet and exercise. With routine scanning, they can track trends to see if nutrition and exercise programs are achieving correct intensity and frequency levels needed to push changes in biometrics.

Measuring Oxygen Consumed for Weight Loss

Man taking VO2 Max Test to help optimize long term weight loss, Understanding your fitness level helps Cenegenics physicians plan for long term weight loss

As part of the age management evaluation, Cenegenics physicians perform a cycle test using the sophisticated VO2 max to evaluate oxygen consumption. VO2 max measures the cardiac output and volume of oxygen consumed and is dependent on sex, age, and weight. Oftentimes, body fat loss leads to improved VO2 max.

The findings revealed through routine VO2 max testing will confirm whether sufficient compliance is achieved to improve cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness to reduce risk of all-cause mortality. In addition, the results offer insights to ensure exercise intensity is prescribed correctly for each individual.

Ongoing Clinical Support for Weight Loss

Finally, Cenegenics patients will receive ongoing support from their physicians through every step of their wellness journey. This team of specialists routinely ensures their patients have the tools, resources, and information needed to maintain better health for life. They also reinforce lifestyle changes – instead of simply prescribing them – to build accountability, thereby facilitating lasting results.

Is Cenegenics the Right Fit for Your Long Term Weight Loss Goals?

Man cheering having achieved long term weight loss goals

It is never too early – nor too late – to pursue a weight loss journey with age management specialists. Cenegenics physicians provide evidence-based exercise and diet prescriptions based on your body’s unique needs and lifestyle factors to support lasting weight loss and better overall health. If you have been frustrated by ineffective diets and exercise plans in the past, do not hesitate to contact your nearest Cenegenics location to finally get the results you have always wanted.

Get Started Now on Your Weight Loss Journey

Key Resources

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

References

[1] “Obesity and Overweight. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 13 June 2016. Retrieved from URL: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-overweight.htm

[2] “Health Risks of Being Overweight.” National Institutes of Health. Feb. 2015. Retrieved from URL: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/health-risks-overweight

[3] Wolpert, Stuart. “Dieting does not work, UCLA researchers report.” UCLA Newsroom. 03 Apr. 2007. Retrieved from URL: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/Dieting-Does-Not-Work-UCLA-Researchers-7832

[4] Mason et al. “Vitamin D3 supplementation during weight loss: a double-blind randomized controlled trial.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1 May 2014. Retrieved from URL: https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/99/5/1015/4577359

[5] Forrest, KY and Stuhldreher, WL. “Prevalence and correlates of vitamin D deficiency in US adults.” Nutritional Research. Jan. 2011. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21310306

[6] Kritchevsky et al. “Inflammatory markers and cardiovascular health in older adults.” Cardiovascular Research.

Natural sugars have been shown to help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, Artificial sugars increase risk of cardiovascular disease and is therefore not considered a food for weight loss

Building a Nutritional Plan: Food for Weight Loss

Nutrition is the single most important factor in achieving sustainable weight loss. While it is widely accepted that a healthy diet is the foundation for weight regulation, an abundance of conflicting information about the “perfect” approach to eating seems to leave most individuals perplexed about what their bodies really need to stay healthy. In reality, what works for some won’t necessarily work for others, because every diet requires long-term compliance from the person pursuing it.

With that said, there are some indisputable truths about nutrition which can be used to form a general framework for eating well. By reviewing these principles, you can begin to lay the groundwork for an effective lifestyle of healthy eating that allows you to control your weight over the long term. Here are a few of the most important factors to bear in mind.

Not All Calories Are Created Equal

Apples are considered a good food for weight loss as they provide a natural source of sugar which is associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes

A calorie is not simply a calorie. The macronutrients in our food produce nuanced but significantly different effects. In order to achieve and sustain weight loss, we must understand the roles macronutrients play in overall nutrition.

One barrier to weight loss has been the idea that high levels of fat intake contribute to obesity. While this school of thought took hold decades ago, it has since been dispelled through numerous studies. In fact, high-fat (and similarly, high-protein) diets are more effective for achieving and sustaining body fat reduction than low-fat or low-protein diets. Reducing carbohydrates, on the other hand, has shown to make favorable improvements in reduced lipogenesis, or formation of fat. The effect of carbohydrates is largely inflammatory, driven by increased insulin activity due to demand and later insulin resistance. Carbohydrates contribute more to cardiovascular disease than any other macronutrient.

To follow a healthy eating plan, one must develop some basic knowledge of portion sizes and daily recommended intake of macronutrients. Healthy portion control can be practiced by equating one cup to the size of a closed fist, a half cup to an open, cupped hand, a flat palm to 3 ounces, and one teaspoon to the size of a thumb.

The Problem with Short-Term Dieting

Cenegenics whey protein can be used as a meal supplement and may be a good source of protein for weight loss, Short term dieting deprives the body with extreme restrictions which may eliminate foods that help with weight loss

In order to be effective, any diet plan requires two key elements: the subject’s compliance, and a caloric deficit. While a low-carbohydrate dietary approach will yield the most success, any diet plan can be used to achieve fat loss with compliance.

Sustainability is essential for long-term weight reduction and maintenance. When comparing four different dietary approaches (high-carbohydrate, high-carbohydrate and low-glycemic index, high protein, and high-protein and low glycemic-index), a high-protein diet was favored most among participants. Thus, not only does a high-protein approach to nutrition achieve short-term body fat reduction, but it is also likely easier to maintain over the long-term, due to its sustainability. It can also increase insulin sensitivity, which is a critical marker of health. While there has been minimal concern over the safety of a high-protein diet, research suggests that as long as a subject does not have compromised renal function, the addition of protein is not harmful.

There are many different unique approaches to healthy eating. Plans like Weight Watchers, Atkins, and the Paleo and Mediterranean diets each have their own benefits. The most important common theme in all of them is the avoidance of processed foods. Other dieting tactics, such as intermittent fasting, are also used to spur weight loss. Ultimately, the approach that is most successful is the one individuals can adhere to over a long-term basis.

Oftentimes, the perception of a diet plan being impermanent is one of the factors that sets individuals up for failure. In order for both short- and long-term results to take shape, it is important to instead change the entire way one thinks about food. When we implement small changes, such as avoiding processed foods, we begin to see the complex ways in which macronutrients affect our overall wellness. This establishes a foundation for more thoughtful eating and a longstanding commitment to making healthy choices.

The Role of Macronutrients: What is a Carbohydrate?

Avocados are considered a good food for weight loss as they have a low glycemic index and will not raise your blood sugar levels

Each type of macronutrient has its own unique properties with specific metabolic consequences. The consumption of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins can be mixed appropriately to affect a low insulin level for fat loss promotion, and ultimately, to maintain healthy body composition. Here is a brief look at how each primary category of macronutrients affects body composition.

Am I Allowed to Eat Carbs?

Grains are not a good food for weight loss as they are considered the primary offender that contributes to inflammatory conditions such as eczema and fatigue, People often ask “what is a carbohydrate” due to a common misconception that all carbs are good or all carbs are bad

Carbohydrates are one of the main macronutrients consumed as a source of energy. They are mainly sugar and starches that the body breaks down into glucose for energy and to feed cells. Carbohydrates can also be converted to fat for use as an energy source later.

Glucose, fructose, and galactose are the simplest form of carbohydrates. Glucose is used as a primary energy source, but factors such as the size of the sugar molecule consumed and presence of other nutrients contribute to important aspects of carbohydrate processing, including the rate at which it is processed and the elevation of blood sugar. Glycemic index, or the blood sugar level produced by a food, is determined by several factors, but generally, foods with low glycemic index are considered favorable for their ability to lessen cardiovascular disease risks, promote satiety, and increase fat oxidation. Other measures, including glycemic load and food insulin index, are also used to assess insulin response. In general, inflammatory factors parallel glycemic load and insulin sensitivity, so it is recommended that individuals maintain a food plan consisting of carbohydrates with reduced glycemic indexes, such as fibrous vegetables, to maintain a healthy body composition.

Drastically reducing carbohydrate intake is often the first step for individuals pursuing weight loss goals, and while results are consistent initially when motivation is highest, the approach is impractical over the long term. Thus, for the sake of longevity, individuals should instead restore complex carbohydrate sources while maintaining a low glycemic load, ultimately establishing their own carbohydrate intake to maintain desired body composition.

Glycemic control is important not only for weight management, but also for controlling inflammation. Grains, in particular, are considered the primary offenders leading to inflammatory conditions such as eczema, joint pain, dry skin, and fatigue. Thus, the majority of carbohydrates should come from vegetables, and perhaps limited servings of fibrous fruits. Athletes, who require more carbohydrates, could consider adding brown rice and sweet potatoes if needed.

Lipids, also known as Fats, and their Role with Weight Loss

Saturated fats can be considered a good food for weight loss when consumed appropriately, Carbohydrates have been largely linked to obesity over saturated fats

“Lipid” is an all-encompassing term used to describe the group of molecules that includes fatty acids, glycerolipids, sterol lipids, and more. Fatty acids can be classified into saturated and unsaturated, and while each type produces its own specific response, it is most important to note that, in general, saturated fats are not the culprit in obesity – carbohydrates are. Likewise, carbohydrates, especially those with a high glycemic index, increase cardiovascular related disease most significantly.

Most sources of saturated fatty acids come from animal products, including milk, butter, cheese, and beef, but they are also found in certain plants, including coconuts and avocados. While previous dietary recommendations were built on the belief that these fats caused cardiovascular disease, this idea has since been disproven. This is not to suggest that saturated fats are healthy, but rather, that they are not the most critical element to monitor for reduced cardiovascular disease risks.

Fat intake should be approached by also considering the amount and type of carbohydrates and protein in a person’s diet. By following a low-carbohydrate approach emphasizing vegetable intake, for instance, would allow the individual to also emphasize whole food sources of omega-3 (anti-inflammatory) fats.

The absence of processed foods also aids in achieving reasonable levels of saturated fat intake. Most critically, however, it must be understood that carbohydrates play the largest role in obesity.

Fats are perhaps the most complex macronutrient, and while achieving a healthy omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is important, it is also critical to ingest fats that come from a quality source. Free-range animals are consistently much healthier than farm-raised animals, for instance.

Proteins: Essential and Nonessential Amino Acids

Proteins are considered foods that help with weight loss when consumed in moderation, the quality and source of protein are also essential when determining if a certain protein is a good food for weight loss

Proteins are made up of a sequence of amino acids. There are both essential and nonessential amino acids, and an individual’s dietary protein needs change with age, exercise patterns, and coexisting pathologies. Protein quality, which is determined by the existing nitrogen balance and a mixture of nonessential amino acids consumed with essential amino acids, contributes to a person’s disease risks.

To control weight and risks of cardiovascular disease, consuming animal proteins in moderation is recommended. Again, the quality of the source is critical: wild fish and poultry are preferred over beef and pork. Leaner cuts, including range-fed or wild animals, are also healthier.

What About Appetite Regulation?

Determining foods that help with weight loss is essential and avoiding foods that trigger increased appetite is important, Processed foods can increase the level of ghrelin in your system and can lead to overeating

The decision to eat is not based on the mere need to survive. There are both physiological needs, which drive us to maintain a homeostatic energy state, as well as non-homeostatic influences. The latter encompass environmental cues, psychosocial desires (hedonics), and genetics.

In modern times, meals are no longer initiated by hunger; instead, they are prompted by established routines. Moreover, the “luxury of liking,” or the fulfillment of hedonic drives, often leads people to choose energy-dense but nutritionally deficient foods, which has played a significant role in the obesity epidemic.

Mealtime signals are related to satiation, or the sensation of fullness, and satiety, which is the absence of hunger between meals. The desire to take in food is largely driven by peripheral signaling performed by hormones, including insulin, leptin, and ghrelin, among others. These key hormones contribute to satiation signals in complex ways. For instance, the gastrointestinal hormone peptide responds to ingested macronutrients, which ultimately mediates satiation signals.

Also found in the gastrointestinal tract, ghrelin increases during fasting and decreases after eating, but if feeding patterns change, ghrelin levels can, too. While a higher body mass index is associated with higher ghrelin levels, lower ghrelin levels are linked to reduced appetite, even in fasting states.

In addition to hormones, processed foods may also contribute to appetite regulation. A diet with a high content of processed foods is also linked to higher inflammatory biomarker levels and is therefore best avoided. Certain macronutrients may also contribute to either an increased or decreased appetite. Thus, in terms of not only nutritional value but also of creating feelings of fullness, all calories are created equally, and different foods can trigger different brain mechanisms. By fueling the body with what it needs versus what it wants, however, people can essentially outsmart these brain responses and avoid overeating, as well as choosing nutritionally deficient foods.

Failed diets are often a result of failure to address hedonic influences. The acts of liking and wanting certain types of food tend to eventually overwhelm most dietary plans. Thus, an individualized approach to eating well is critical to success and depends entirely on the patient’s willingness to change their thinking about eating.

If there is one key piece of information individuals should understand about appetite regulation, it’s this: humans simply cannot consume food exclusively based on desire, because most of the foods to which we would be drawn are dangerous to our long-term health. One must therefore eat based on what we need, which primarily includes whole, unprocessed foods.

Additional Foods That Help With Weight Loss

With so many different diet plans to choose from, many individuals are familiar with eating plans that completely eliminate entire food groups like dairy, sugars, or alcohol. What’s important to bear in mind is that, as mentioned above, processed foods, and especially carbohydrates, are the leading agents in weight gain. Restricting consumption of these foods is most beneficial not only for short- and long-term weight loss, but also for long-term health outcomes such as lowered disease risks.

Aside from processed foods, it is largely up to the individual to determine whether an entire category of food should or shouldn’t be restricted from their diet. Here, we’ll review some key considerations to help guide your decision making.

Is Dairy Considered Healthy?

Certain dairy products can be benefits as a food for weight loss and may promote weight management, Greek yogurt is considered beneficial for weight management

In their quest to maintain wellness, many individuals seeking a healthy eating plan wonder whether or not they should eliminate dairy from their diets. Whether or not dairy can be considered healthy depends on a number of factors. Thus, there is no definitive answer; instead, a more appropriate approach might be to develop the understanding that some forms of dairy are healthier than others. Whole milk, for instance, is high in vitamins A and D. Skim milk, however, has these nutrients removed when fat is removed. Likewise, products produced by free-range animals in a drug-free atmosphere are considered healthiest. In general, milk tends to produce an insulinogenic effect, while cheese is not because it is comprised primarily of fat and protein. Ultimately, future studies must be conducted to assess impacts of dairy products more closely.

Dairy does have some noteworthy nutritional qualities, including high levels of calcium and vitamin D. Moreover, a clear link between dairy and increased risks of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes has not been established. Interestingly, patients without metabolic syndrome show reduced inflammation with dairy intake. However, because the nutritional properties in dairy can be acquired through other means, anyone who experiences an allergenic response or discomfort after consuming it should avoid it.

Dairy should be viewed as a carbohydrate rather than a protein. Select types of dairy, such as foods like cottage cheese and Greek yogurt (unsweetened and plain), can be beneficial in promoting weight management. Cheese and butter, however, should be eaten sparingly. Vitamin K can be consumed through leafy green and cruciferous vegetables, while healthy vitamin D levels can be achieved through short time frames of daily sun exposure.

As there is an array of dairy products, each fit into a macronutrient profile differently.  Overall, dairy is not viewed as a carbohydrate – milk is.  Cottage cheese and plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt is treated as protein and cheeses/butter are utilized as a fat source.

Additionally, to have a more comprehensive understanding of how different types of dairy affect the individual, food sensitivity and nutrient testing is recommended.

How Alcohol Affects Weight Los

Moderate alcohol consumption can be beneficial in reducing cardiovascular risks, Moderate alcohol consumption can easily turn into binge drinking and should not be considered as beneficial for weight loss

Another subject of conflicting viewpoints is alcohol. The American Heart Association recommends a daily allowance of 1-2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink for women. Moderate alcohol consumption may produce benefits such as an improved cardiovascular risk factor profile and reduced mortality. Nonetheless, alcohol consumption is also linked to elevated cancer risks. Moreover, moderate alcohol consumption can also easily turn into episodic binge drinking, and is also often socially coexistent with other harmful behaviors, such as smoking. The benefits of alcohol are easily achievable through sound nutrition and exercise.

While alcohol can have mild cardiovascular benefits with light to moderate drinking, individuals should understand that they are making an allowance for a toxin if they choose to drink. Alcohol increases number of calories consumed, so anyone pursuing weight loss goals may benefit from avoiding it.

Dietary Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea can help promote a healthy immune system and fat oxidation in the liver

Green tea is one of the most valuable dietary additions individuals can choose. Its properties have been shown to reduce cold and flu symptoms, protect against cognitive decline, and promote fat oxidation in both liver and muscle.

Sugars: Natural Benefits vs. Artificial Consequences

Green tea can help promote a healthy immune system and fat oxidation in the liver

Diets high in added sugars are associated with increased markers of cardiovascular disease. Sweetened beverages, in particular, are among the worst offenders and should be avoided altogether. Natural sugars, on the other hand, such as those found in fruit, are associated with reduced risks of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Fruits with low glycemic indexes (cherries, citrus fruits, and apples, for instance) may deliver the greatest advantage.

Any artificial sugars should be avoided in food sources, as they suggest negative health consequences. Artificial sweeteners in particular facilitate an unhealthy relationship with food by supporting an inclination towards excessively sugary tastes.

Sodium (salt): Essential to Cell Functionality

Salt is essential for daily cell functionality and is thus considered a good food for weight loss when consumed in moderation

The daily recommendations of salt, like those determined for fat, are misguided. Sodium is essential to cell functionality, and following a restrictive low-salt diet will inevitably lead to a low adherence rate. For most individuals, consuming 4-6 grams of salt per day is considered healthy.

Understanding Nutrition

Obesity and poor nutrition can increase risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses

Nutrition is an integral component of weight management, but due to its inherent complexity, it must be approached with careful consideration. Despite an abundance of fad diets and an overwhelming amount of literature on weight management, obesity continues to be a global epidemic, with rates continually rising across all classes of society. It is the most preventable disease in the U.S., but left unaddressed, it is linked to elevated insulin levels, increased inflammation, and ultimately, metabolic syndrome, which leads to chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus II and cardiovascular disease.

On a global level, more energy is being consumed than expended, but the issue of excess food intake is far more complicated than that. Factors such as the availability of processed, nutritionally poor food products and a limited understanding of the role of macronutrients, among other factors, present barriers to long-term nutrition. More importantly, nutrition is often sought after as a “quick fix” to lose weight – not necessarily maintain body fat loss – via approaches that are not sustainable. Long-term compliance and a deeper understanding of nutrition are required to maintain healthy eating habits.

Additionally, it has become too easy to be misled by conflicting or unreliable information on nutrition. To verify that a source of literature is trustworthy, individuals should seek information from controlled, unbiased studies and those that address absolute (instead of relative) risk. Then, it must also be determined that the information presented in the study is applicable to a patient’s unique circumstances.

Ultimately, although there is a shared desire to enjoy food, the reality is that we cannot simply eat what we want. In order to enjoy the other activities of life, we must eat to nourish our bodies. This includes avoiding processed foods and added sugars, maintaining a healthy balance of macronutrients, and avoiding overindulgences. By altering our mindset towards food, we can begin to enjoy what we need.

Best Food for Weight Loss – In Conclusion

Nutrition is the single most important factor in achieving sustainable weight loss, and every diet requires long-term compliance from the person pursuing it. The complexity of nutrition requires careful consideration of not only the type of diet you are on, but the role of each component (carbohydrates, lipids, protein, sugar, sodium) being consumed.

There are additional nutrition topics to consider in your journey to weight loss. Alcohol increases number of calories consumed, so anyone pursuing weight loss goals may benefit from avoiding it. Dairy does have some noteworthy nutritional qualities, including high levels of calcium and vitamin D. Select types of dairy, such as foods like cottage cheese and Greek yogurt (unsweetened and plain), can be beneficial in promoting weight management. Green tea is one of the most valuable dietary additions individuals can choose as its properties have been shown to reduce cold and flu symptoms, protect against cognitive decline, and promote fat oxidation in both liver and muscle.

The reality is that we cannot simply eat with we want. Instead, we must eat to nourish our bodies. Avoid processed foods and added sugars, and verify that a source of literature is trustworthy should you seek information on specific nutrition components.

Next Steps for Sustainable Weight Loss with Cenegenics

FREE Consultation

Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

Key Resources

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

Individuals who often ask how to exercise for weight loss also need to include a healthy diet for the best results, High intensity interval training is often the best type of exercise for achieving sustainable weight loss

Exercising Is Just The First Step In Weight Loss. Cenegenics Can Help You Conquer Your Goals

There are many health benefits to exercising. Reduced inflammation, improved coordination and balance, and reduced risks of serious diseases are just some of the reasons we now consider exercise the “greatest pill ever.” It is perhaps the least used but most effective and most thoroughly studied therapy we have against chronic disease and ailments of age.

Yet, the reason we see so many individuals exercising today is often to pursue weight loss goals. One important concept that must be understood is the fact that one cannot exercise one’s way to weight loss. The idea that exercise alone can lead to weight loss or long-term weight regulation is a fallacy.

The term “weight loss” is often used synonymously – albeit erroneously – with fat loss. It is typically fat loss that people are striving to attain, not weight loss. While basal metabolic rate is indeed impacted by exercise and therefore contributes to fat loss, a reduction of body fat is primarily attained through conscious control of caloric intake. This is why the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen” is so often spoken in the worlds of nutrition and fitness.

The good news is that exercise can accelerate body fat loss when combined with a healthy diet. Certain types of exercise, in particular, have a greater ability to drive weight loss than others. Here, we examine the effects of exercise on weight loss to help you understand how fitness contributes to a healthy lifestyle.

Sedentary Lifestyle


sedentary lifestyles can aid in weight gain, standing and walking throughout your day in order to break up sedentary habits is an easy way to exercise for weight loss

Sedentary lifestyles are more common nowadays than they ever were before. Contemporary conveniences remove a large portion of physical work from daily life, which is why we must now reincorporate activities such as resistance training and endurance exercises into our routines. Humans are hardwired to burn energy, use muscle, and move frequently, and the better we are able to do this, the better condition our bodies will be in as we age.

Researchers have argued that declining physical activity in both occupational and home settings have played a role in weight gain over recent decades. There is also statistical evidence linking increased weight gain to lower activity levels. [1] To combat weight gain, individuals must achieve a caloric deficit, which can be pursued through nutrition and exercise together.

Compliance is Key to Weight Loss


Creating a workout regimen is often the best exercise for weight loss, creating an enjoyable routine of 3 or more days a week can help you lose weight

As with diet, the critical factor for sustainable weight loss with exercise is compliance. Because each person is unique, everyone should have an individual need analysis performed to develop an effective training program. This starts with learning how to train effectively based on starting fitness levels. Once exercise techniques are consistent and being performed correctly, individuals can then add volume and intensity to accomplish personal goals.

Every person is different, from muscle fiber types to metabolic tendencies and capacities, and even response to training. Thus, the most important factor in any exercise regimen is creating a personalized approach. If someone enjoys activities such as yoga, for instance, this can serve as a good starting point for developing an individualized routine.

Every mobile person with a BMI under 30 can become an athlete. Individuals can benefit most from pursuing a sport they enjoy, as it presents the greatest likelihood of long-term compliance. The sport can either be a sport the participant played in the past, or an entirely new one with which they have developed an interest. By choosing an activity they are fond of, participants will understand that training has more context than weight loss alone. Goals such as becoming stronger, completing new milestones such as races or events, and refining or developing skills can be integrated into any fitness program to support long-term success.

How to Exercise for Weight Loss?


HIIT training is one of the best exercises for weight loss, High Intensity Interval Training can aid in weight loss with shorter exercises at higher intensities

The answer for the best weight loss exercise varies widely. It depends on a few critical factors, including caloric intake and the type of activity being performed. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity in overweight or obese individuals to support weight loss. To simply maintain and prevent weight gain, it is shown that most individuals need between 150 and 250 minutes of moderate activity each week. For long-term weight loss, 200 to 300 minutes of exercise are recommended. [2]

It is important to note, however, that program goals should be made based on the individual’s specific needs as well as the fitness levels and the type of exercise being performed. For instance, high intensity interval training (“HIIT”) is often performed for substantially less time, but shows significant cardiovascular benefits. It can be performed for as little as 14 minutes three to four times per week, but because it is more intense than longer periods of training, it delivers similar cardiovascular improvements.

Most individuals who are first embarking on a personal fitness journey can benefit from beginning with moderate intensity exercises, then gradually increasing training frequency and intensity. Simple aerobic exercises can be performed first, with resistance training being introduced as the athlete becomes more advanced.

Does Exercise Help You Lose Weight – In Conclusion


exercise paired with a sound nutritional plan is necessary for sustainable weight loss

As we have noted, no one can out-exercise a poor diet. Thus, using exercise to pursue weight loss goals must also factor in nutrition. There are certain approaches which prove to be more effective than others.

Increasing protein intake, for example, is shown to have beneficial results in most subjects seeking sustained weight loss. Combining this eating plan with a varied exercise regimen incorporating activities such as resistance training, high-intensity interval training, stretching, and endurance exercises will have the greatest impact on weight loss, as well as reducing risks of metabolic syndrome.

The “5210” rule is also useful: each day, individuals should aim for 5 servings of vegetables, 2 hours of bluescreen entertainment (at maximum) – television, computer, or phone entertainment, 1 hour of exercise, and 0 simple sugars, such as those found in processed foods and beverages. Additionally, reducing the intake of processed foods and carbohydrates will have even greater results, but as with all endeavors related to diet and exercise, long-term compliance is the necessary component for effectiveness.

Like nutrition, individuals who wish to support weight management through exercise must rethink their approach. Fitness should not be viewed as punishment for a bad diet: not only is this mentality ineffective, but it also causes us to form a negative relationship with exercise. Instead, physical activity should be enjoyed and embraced. While it certainly is an agent in promoting fat loss, caloric restriction is also required for losing weight. What exercise can do is make a positive impact across many markers of health over the long-term and help support a more comprehensive approach to complete wellness.

Next Steps for Weight Loss with Cenegenics

FREE Consultation

Our world class physicians create a personalized plan to help you feel 10+ years younger. You'll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our physicians. It's quick + easy. 

Key Resources

This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources: 

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation  

The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 2: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy

Click to purchase

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.

Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS

Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

References

[1] Swift, et al. “The Role of Exercise and Physical Activity in Weight Loss and Maintenance.” Progress in Cardiovascular Disease. Jan 2014. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3925973/

[2] Donnelly, et al. “American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. Appropriate physical activity intervention strategies for weight loss and prevention of weight regain for adults.” Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise. Feb 2009. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19127177

>