Category Archives for Weight Loss

What are the Best Sources of Micronutrients for Weight Loss & Optimal Health?

Article at a Glance

  • Essential micronutrients for weight loss and optimizing health includes a number of animo acids and antioxidants.
  • Although you can find most micronutrients in food, antioxidants such as alpha lipoic acids, are often taken as a supplement.
  • Cenegenics micronutrient food allergy testing can help you determine nutritional gaps as well as the next steps toward optimizing your health.

As discussed previously, a large portion of adults in the United States are considered overweight or obese. When majority of people pursue their weight loss goals, they often attempt fad diets which promise the greatest results in the shortest amount of time. However, fad diets are often extremely restrictive and can leave large nutritional gaps, which when not addressed can result in a diminished state of health.

Although macronutrients are a large portion of daily consumption which are necessary for energy production and cellular functioning, micronutrients are often overlooked and underrated. They play a large role in essential functions and are only needed in small amounts.

Simple deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D can have minor to devastating effects from symptoms such as weak or soft bones, to serious conditions like breast, colon and prostate cancer. While neither vitamins nor minerals, the following micronutrients are all essential in unique ways and are therefore also deserving of attention when it comes to pursuing weight loss and optimizing overall health:

  • Asparagine – eliminates waste created during the breakdown of proteins
  • Glutamine – acts as building block for protein synthesis, and is essential for immune health
  • Serine – essential for brain and central nervous system functioning
  • Oleic Acid – helps reduce disease risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid – beneficial for individuals with type 2 diabetes, helps reduce blood pressure
  • Coenzyme Q10 – improve immune function, combat chronic fatigue, and lower high cholesterol
  • Cysteine – essential for detoxification and metabolic functioning
  • Glutathione – reduce oxidative stress and damage
  • Selenium – helps combat free radicals, and defend against heart disease and cancer
  • Chromium – important in the fight against diabetes by reducing insulin resistance
  • Choline – crucial for DNA synthesis
  • Inositol – used for nerve pain, panic disorders and other neurological issues
  • Carnitine – plays a role in energy production

Essential Amino Acids


The following amino acids play critical roles in optimize your health including:

  • Eliminating waste
  • Acting as a building block from protein synthesis
  • Assisting in immune function
  • Reducing disease risk
  • Participating in the production of energy

Asparagine

This non-essential amino acid is involved in the biosynthesis of glycoproteins. It also carries and aids in the elimination of ammonia, which is a waste product created during the breakdown of proteins to amino acids. A deficiency is rare in individuals with normal eating patterns, and the only true deficiency is genetic and known as Kegg disease.

As an amino acid, it can be found in almost any food containing proteins such as:

  • Dairy
  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Asparagus
  • Potatoes
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Seeds
  • Soy

Glutamine

Glutamine is an amino acid produced by the body but also found in abundance in foods. It is a multifaceted amino acid in that it acts as a building block in protein synthesis but is also critical for immune function and digestive health. It can be taken as a supplement as well but should be taken with the amino acid L-Alanine to avoid being broken down completely by the stomach.

Glutamine can be found in:

  • Meats
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Fermented foods

Serine

An amino acid synthesized from other amino acids, glycine or threonine, serine is essential for the biosynthesis of purines and pyrimidines and acts as a precursor to other amino acids. It is essential for proper brain and central nervous system functioning as it helps to form the phospholipids needed for cell creation. A deficiency is a result of a neurometabolic disorder that affects the synthesis of serine itself.

Foods dense in serine include:

  • Fish
  • Beans
  • Dairy
  • Carob seeds
  • Soy
  • Peanuts
  • Asparagus
  • Lentils

Oleic Acid

A non-essential fatty acid, oleic acid is linked to reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure. It may also improve mood, slow aging, and potentially aid in cancer prevention. Oleic acid may also aid in controlling inflammation and pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, as well as chronic nerve pain. Because it is prevalent in western diets, a deficiency is quite rare. In fact, there is a concern over consuming too much oleic acid. The body needs to maintain a balance of omega 3, 6, and 9 acids, and too much oleic acid can significantly increase omega 9s, thereby impacting the ratio. An imbalance could contribute to a number of diseases, and too many omega 9s could lead to a deficiency in the other conditionally essential fatty acids (3 and 6).

This monosaturated fat is found primarily in:

  • Oils:
    • Olive
    • Almond
    • Peanut
    • Grapeseed

Cysteine

Cysteine is a non-essential amino acid containing sulfur. It can be used to form taurine or cystine. It is involved in protein synthesis, detoxification, and a host of other metabolic functions. Cysteine crosslinks proteins (making them more rigid) and helps to protect against protein breakdown when necessary. Deficiencies are identified as inherited metabolic disorders, which are typically associated with impaired antioxidant defense, decreased ability to metabolize drugs and toxic compounds, and depressed immunity.

The nutrient is found in:

  • Soy
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Oats
  • Pork
  • Fish
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Legumes

Carnitine

This nutrient is an amino acid with a primary function of transporting fatty acids to be broken down for energy in the mitochondria. Carnitine supplementation is useful in individuals with deficiencies. With that said, deficiencies are extremely rare so it isn’t necessary for most people to supplement with carnitine. Although carnitine supplementation is deemed unnecessary unless there is a deficiency, it may be useful for increasing androgen receptor sensitivity (Carnitine Tartrate) and improving cognitive function (Acetyl-L Carnitine).  

Carnitine is found in:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Milk
  • Some vegetables

Benefits of Antioxidants as Micronutrients


These antioxidants or micronutrients with strong antioxidant properties are beneficial for weight loss and optimize overall health, as benefits can include:

  • Lowering blood sugar
  • Treating blood pressure and heart failure
  • Improving immune function
  • Reducing oxidative stress and damage

Alpha Lipoic Acid

An antioxidant that has shown to be beneficial in lowering blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, alpha lipoic acid also reduces symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Due to its strong antioxidant properties, it may also deliver benefits in terms of reducing inflammation and decreasing hepatic fibrosis, though it is not commonly used for either.

It can be found in foods such as:

  • liver
  • broccoli
  • potatoes
  • yeast

Although alpha lipoic acid is found in some food, it is most commonly taken as a supplement.

Coenzyme Q10

This micronutrient is a naturally-occurring nutrient with strong antioxidant properties. It is regarded as beneficial in treating high blood pressure and heart failure. Coenzyme Q10 can also improve immune function in immune disorders, improve symptoms such as chronic fatigue, and lower high cholesterol. Symptoms of an acute deficiency include muscle or joint pain and frequent headaches. The symptoms of a chronic deficiency can resemble those seen in heart failure.

The nutrient can be found in:

  • organ meats
  • fish
  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • oranges
  • strawberries
  • legumes

It is also taken as a supplement and is best taken with fats as it is a fat-soluble nutrient.

Glutathione

This antioxidant encompasses three amino acids: cysteine, glutamate, and glycine. It is made in the body but declines naturally as a result of stress, age, and exposure to toxins. Interestingly, one of its greatest abilities is its power to reduce oxidative stress and damage. While it can be found in a few foods containing sulfur, including broccoli and cauliflower, it is also effective to supplement in the diet. One way to supplement for this antioxidant is to take N-Acetyl Cysteine, as it acts as a precursor to glutathione production in the body.

Selenium

Another antioxidant that helps to reduce oxidative stress, selenium also fights free radicals and may help defend against heart disease and cancer. Selenium is also needed for thyroid and immune functioning as well. A deficiency is primarily observed in the thyroid and manifests as symptoms of hypothyroidism including fatigue, mental slowing, goiter, cretinism, and recurrent miscarriage. If ingesting too much, toxicity is possible and can lead to nausea, vomiting, hair loss, nail discoloration, irritability, and “garlic breath.”

It can be found in:

  • seafoods
  • lean meats
  • eggs
  • legumes
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • soy

Other Essential Micronutrients for Optimizing Health


Although these micronutrients are neither antioxidants nor amino acids, they play a critical role in:

  • Reducing insulin resistance
  • DNA synthesis
  • Treatment of nerve pain and neurological issues

Chromium

A mineral required in trace amounts, chromium reduces insulin resistance and is directly involved in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. A deficiency impairs the body’s ability to use glucose and raise insulin sufficiently. Deficiencies are very rare, as it is found in many food sources including:

  • meat
  • seafood
  • vegetables
    • broccoli
    • cauliflower

It is also available as a supplement but should not be taken in excess, as it could lead to low blood sugar, gastrointestinal distress, and potentially even kidney or liver damage.

Choline

Choline is a water-soluble nutrient and is a source of methyl groups needed for metabolic processes. It is used to create phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin, two major phospholipids, which are major components of cell membranes. Choline is also needed for DNA synthesis as well as homocysteine reduction (homocysteine buildup is seen in the serious condition, liver cirrhosis). Inadequate choline intake may lead to fatty liver, a precursor to cirrhosis or death. Choline can be found in:

Some forms of choline can have a profound effect on neurological functioning as they increase levels of acetylcholine, which functions as a neurotransmitter in the brain.

Inositol

Mainly used to treat nerve pain or panic disorder and other neurological issues, this nutrient has a host of cognitive benefits. It is a vitamin-like substance found in plants and animals, but it can also be produced synthetically. Inositol can be commonly found in many types of:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Leafy greens
  • Whole grains

Although it has many different benefits, among its most notable strengths is its abilities to reduce anxiety and address mental health issues by balancing chemicals leading to mental health conditions. While deemed safe, it does carry potential side effects including nausea, tiredness, headaches, and dizziness.

How Cenegenics Micronutrient Testing Can Make the Difference You Need


Cenegenics Micronutrient Food Allergy Testing is a blood draw that tests multiple allergens to assess what symptoms are being triggered by food, food allergies can cause immune system responses that range from a runny nose to life-threatening anaphylaxis

With so many different micronutrients – and their respective roles – to consider, it’s easy to see how deficiencies could be impacting your health. Unfortunately, these deficiencies are very hard to detect and pinpoint without specific testing.

Whether it is in your quest to lose weight or to simply become healthier, in many cases the smallest factors can make the biggest difference. That’s precisely why Cenegenics offers micronutrient testing that encompasses all of the nutrients listed above. In addition, we also measure fructose sensitivity, glucose-insulin metabolism, total antioxidant functioning, and immune response score through SpectraCell to determine if there are any other underlying barriers impeding your journey towards optimal nutrition.

Upon taking the test, you will be paired with a Cenegenics physician who can go over your results in detail and develop a plan to correct and account for any deficiencies that are present. A noticeable improvement could be made by simply changing some aspects of your diet or adding supplements to make up for missing nutrients. Whatever the case, you can’t identify any potential gaps in your diet without help. Take the first step in becoming a healthier version of yourself today – contact your nearest Cenegenics location to get started.

Next Steps to Schedule Your Micronutrient Food Allergy Test


Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources of Micronutrients


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

Austin Zechman MS, CSCS

Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics Dallas

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation

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

Available for purchase here

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

Available for purchase here

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 Education 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.

Additional Information on Micronutrients


What is Cenegenics?

What is Age Management Medicine?

Defy Your Age with Cenegenics

Low Energy: How the Cenegenics Program Boosts Energy & Combats Fatigue

The Dangers of Processed Foods

Understanding Mental Acuity: Improving Focus, Memory and Concentration with Cenegenics

How Cenegenics Can Help Relieve Stress in Executives & Professionals

How Weight Loss on the Cenegenics Program Differs from Your Typical Weight Loss Program

Nutrition for Weight Loss

The Role of Vitamins and Minerals as Micronutrients

Micronutrients: Learn Why Your Diet is Failing

Psychology of Weight Loss: The Problem with Fad Diets

The Role of Vitamins and Minerals as Micronutrients

Article at a Glance

  • Micronutrients are required in small amounts for normal functioning and a deficiency can manifest as a number of symptoms including: fatigue, depression, and a weakened immune system.
  • Micronutrient deficiencies can be caused by dietary choices or food allergies.
  • Cenegenics Micronutrient Food Allergy Testing can help you determine which foods you should be avoiding and if supplementation may be required.

Micronutrients, as previously discussed, are chemical elements/substances required in small amounts for normal functioning.

Micronutrient deficiencies can manifest in a large array of symptoms and are often attributed to other health issues or even simply lifestyle factors, making it easy for a deficiency to go unnoticed.

Below, we identify key micronutrients and their critical roles to help you develop an in-depth understanding of them and to showcase just how far-reaching and complex the impact of your dietary choices can be.

 

Essential Vitamins and Their Role as Key Micronutrients

Micronutrient

Role

Symptom of Deficiency

Vitamin A

  • Maintain teeth, skeletal tissue, mucus membranes, and the skin
  • Produces pigment in the eye
  • Night blindness

Vitamin B1

  • Supports brain and central nervous functioning
  • Significant contributor to proper digestion
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Numbness in the extremities

Vitamin B2

  • Breaks down macronutrients
  • Maintains the body’s energy supply
  • Weakness/fatigue
  • Dry skin around the nose and mouth
  • Skin rashes

Vitamin B3

  • Nicotinic Acid: used to treat high cholesterol and heart disease
  • Niacinamide: used to treat type 1 diabetes, skin conditions, and schizophrenia

Pellagra (condition that causes):

  • Skin inflammation, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and fatigue

Vitamin B6

  • Healthy brain development in children
  • Supports overall function of individuals
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Cracked or sore lips
  • Sore or glossy tongue
  • Mood changes
  • Weakened immune system
  • Tiredness or low energy levels
  • Tingling or pain in extremities
  • Seizures

Vitamin B12

  • Keeps nerve and blood cells healthy
  • Contributes to creation of DNA
  • Helps prevent megaloblastic anemia
  • Tiredness/ Weakness
  • Constipation and/or weight loss
  • Nerve problems
  • Depression/ Confusion
  • Balance issues
  • Anemia

Vitamin B7

  • Helps convert food into energy
  • During pregnancy: plays crucial role in fetal development
  • Supports healthy skin, nails, and hair
  • Can cause metabolic disorder
  • Lead to more than 140 different genetic defects

Vitamin B9

  • Helps develop red blood cells
  • Aids in synthesis and repair of DNA and RNA
  • Anemia

Vitamin B5

  • Red blood cell production
  • Metabolizing food/macronutrients
  • Similar to B6 and B3 deficiencies

Vitamin C

  • Protects cells against free radicals
  • DEFICIENCIES ARE RARE

Vitamin D

  • Promote bone growth
  • Proper hormone functioning
  • Softer bones
  • Breast, colon, prostate cancer

Vitamin E

  • Reduce free radical damage
  • Slow the aging of cells

Vitamin E OVERDOSE:

  • Diarrhea, headache, fatigue, weakness, blurry vision, problems with reproductive organs

Vitamin E DEFICIENCY:

  • Disorientation, vision problems, muscle weakness

Vitamin K

  • Essential for blood clotting
  • Reverses arterial stiffness
  • Easy bruising, excessive bleeding
  • GI bleeding, heavy periods
  • Increased prothrombin time

 

Vitamin A

This vitamin is fat soluble which means it is absorbed in the small intestines and stored in the liver and the body’s fat deposits. Water soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are easily absorbed into the body and when consumed in excess, will be secreted instead of stored. Vitamin A helps to maintain teeth, skeletal tissue, mucus  membranes, and the skin. It also produces pigment in the eye. Night blindness is typically the first symptom of a deficiency.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B1

Also known as thiamine, vitamin B1 supports brain and central nervous functioning. It is also a significant contributor to proper digestion. Loss of reflexes and numbness in the extremities are associated with deficiency.

Vitamin B2

Referred to as riboflavin, B2 breaks down macronutrients and maintains the body’s energy supply. Deficiencies are characterized by weakness/fatigue, dry skin around the nose and mouth, and skin rashes.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3, or niacin, has two forms: nicotinic acid (used to treat high cholesterol and heart disease), and niacinamide (used to treat type 1 diabetes, skin conditions, and schizophrenia). Symptoms of a deficiency, when severe, can include pellagra, a condition associated with skin inflammation, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and fatigue.

Vitamin B6

Pyridoxine, a lesser-known name for vitamin B6, is needed for healthy brain development in children and to support overall function in all individuals. It aids in the production of the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine. A deficiency can lead to seborrheic dermatitis, cracked or sore lips, sore or glossy tongue, mood changes, weakened immune system, tiredness or low energy levels, tingling and pain in the extremities, and seizures.

Vitamin B12

An essential nutrient that must be consumed through food sources or supplements, vitamin B12 assists in keeping the nerve and blood cells healthy and contributes to the creation of DNA. B12 is essential in preventing megaloblastic anemia, in which the bone marrow produces abnormal and unusually large red blood cells, causing weakness and tiredness. B12 requires intrinsic factor, also referred to as gastric intrinsic factor (GIF), a glycoprotein produced in the stomach, to be absorbed. A deficiency can produce a series of significant symptoms, ranging from tiredness, weakness, and constipation, to weight loss, nerve problems, depression, confusion, balance issues, and anemia.

Vitamin B7

B7 or biotin, like other B vitamins, helps convert food into energy. It is even more important during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as it plays a crucial role in fetal development. Biotin is also known for its ability to support healthy nails, skin, and hair. A deficiency is extremely rare. A deficiency in the enzyme biotinidase is considered a metabolic disorder in which biotin cannot be released from proteins during digestion. It can lead to more than 140 different genetic defects.

Vitamin B9

Folate, or vitamin B9, is often seen in its synthetic form, folic acid. Because folic acid has a better bioavailability in the body, it is often used in processed foods and supplements. It is an important contributor for developing red blood cells and also aids in the synthesis and repair of DNA and RNA. Deficiencies, while rare, most often lead to some form of anemia.

Vitamin B5

Also known as pantothenate or pantothenic acid, vitamin B5 is necessary for red blood cell production and metabolizing food/macronutrients. Symptoms of a deficiency are similar to those seen in B6 and B3.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C: Sometimes referred to as ascorbic acid, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant which protects cells against free radicals, which are produced when we convert food into energy and are also found throughout the environment. Deficiencies are rare. It is believed that vitamin C can help prevent immune deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal issues, eye diseases, and skin wrinkling.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D: This vitamin is available in two forms, D3 and D2. D3 is better absorbed and utilized by the body and is, therefore, more commonly seen. The body also requires vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. It is also required for adequate hormone functioning. A deficiency would lead not only to weak, softer bones (a condition called Rickets in children), but can also lead to breast, colon, and prostate cancer. Other complications associated with vitamin D deficiencies include heart disease, depression, and weight gain. Our bodies can produce vitamin D but only with adequate sunlight exposure. It is therefore essential to ensure you are taking in enough vitamin D through diet or supplementation, if necessary, or if living in a northern state where there is limited sun exposure.

Vitamin E

A powerful antioxidant which can reduce free radical damage and slow the aging process of cells, vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be found in foods such as seeds, nuts, leafy greens, oils, and swordfish. It may also protect the skin against aging, inflammation, and sun damage. Potential side effects of a vitamin E overdose include diarrhea, headache, fatigue and weakness, blurry vision, and problems with the reproductive organs. A deficiency can cause disorientation and vision problems as well as muscle weakness.

Vitamin K

An often-underrated vitamin, K is essential for blood clotting and reverses arterial stiffness by preventing the calcium buildup that causes it. A vitamin K deficiency can cause easy bruising, excessive bleeding, heavy periods, GI bleeding, and increased prothrombin time (a measure of how quickly your blood clots). Vitamin K is found in many leafy green vegetables as well as fish, liver, meat, and eggs.

Role of Minerals as Micronutrients

Micronutrient

Role

Symptom of Deficiency

Calcium

  • Development of healthy bones and teeth
  • Produces pigment in the eye
  • ​Hypocalcemia (condition that causes):
  • Confusion, muscle spasms, numbness, depression, hallucinations, weak/brittle nails, and weak bones

Magnesium

  • Facilitates over 300 different chemical reactions
  • Regulating muscle & nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure
  • Muscle twitches/cramping
  • Mental disorder
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness
  • High blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Irregular heartbeat

Manganese

  • Supports formation of connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones
  • Fat and carbohydrate metabolism
  • Calcium absorption
  • Blood sugar regulation
  • Normal brain and nerve functioning
  • Poor bone growth and skeletal defects
  • Slow/impaired growth
  • Low fertility
  • Low glucose tolerance
  • Abnormal fat/carbohydrate metabolism

Zinc

  • Proper function of immune system
  • Cell division and growth
  • Wound healing
  • Carbohydrate breakdown
  • Proper hormone function
  • Acne, eczema, xerosis, seborrheic dermatitis, and alopecia
  • Impaired vision, sense of smell and taste, immune function, appetite, and cognitive function

Copper

  • Red blood cell formation
  • Maintains healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune function
  • Supports iron absorption
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Frequent sickness
  • Weak/brittle bones
  • Memory/ learning impairment
  • Pale skin
  • Difficulty walking
  • Premature gray hair

 

Calcium

A mineral essential for the development and health of bones and teeth, calcium also plays vital roles in cell signaling, blood clot formation, and muscle/nerve functioning. A deficiency in the mineral, known as hypocalcemia, could lead to a vast array of symptoms such as confusion, muscle spasms and cramps, numbness and tingling in the extremities, depression, hallucinations, weak and brittle nails, and bones that fracture easily. While most dairy foods are rich in calcium, they aren’t the only source of it. Calcium can also be found in seafood, leafy greens, legumes, certain fruits, and even dairy substitutes such as almond milk.

Magnesium

Another mineral, magnesium, facilitates more than 300 different chemical reactions in the body. It is important for regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. It also contributes to the development of bones, proteins, and DNA. A magnesium deficiency can lead to muscle twitches or cramping, mental disorders, osteoporosis, fatigue and muscle weakness, high blood pressure, asthma, and irregular heartbeat. Foods containing high amounts of magnesium include leafy greens, fruits, nuts and seeds, legumes, and seafood. There are many variations of magnesium supplements, so it is recommended to speak with a health professional to determine which is best for you.

Manganese

This mineral supports the formation of connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones. It can also be a contributor in fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Manganese could also play a role in calcium absorption, blood sugar regulation, and normal brain and nerve functioning. Deficiency symptoms include poor bone growth or skeletal defects, slow/impaired growth, low fertility, impaired glucose tolerance, and abnormal fat/carbohydrate metabolism. Manganese is found in whole grains, nuts, leafy green vegetables, and tea.

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral which is required by the immune system for proper functioning but also plays a role in cell division and growth, wound healing, carbohydrate breakdown, and hormone function. In addition, zinc supports the senses of smell and taste. Some symptoms of a deficiency may be acne, eczema, xerosis, seborrheic dermatitis, and alopecia. It can also impair vision as well as the sense of smell and taste, immune function, appetite, and cognitive function. Zinc is found in meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds, nuts, dairy, eggs, and whole grains. When supplementing with zinc, it is critical to avoid overdose. When taken in excess, zinc can suppress copper and iron absorption and may also lead to nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, cholesterol issues, and flu-like symptoms.

Copper

A metal/mineral that is incorporated into proteins and metalloenzymes to support essential body functions, copper is used in conjunction with iron to form red blood cells. It also maintains healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune function while simultaneously supporting iron absorption. It is suspected that consuming ample copper may aid in preventing cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, which is no surprise given its function in the domains of the body affected by those conditions. Some symptoms of a deficiency include weakness and fatigue, frequent sickness, weak or brittle bones, memory and learning impairment, pale skin, difficulty walking, and premature gray hair. Copper can be found in oysters and other shellfish, beans, nuts, potatoes, dark leafy greens, and dried fruit, such as prunes. Like zinc, however, it can be dangerous if consumed in excess. If used as a supplement, it is important to take copper in safe amounts.

The Importance of Vitamins and Minerals as Micronutrients


The role of micronutrients is often overlooked, since macronutrients receives so much of the world’s attention in regard to nutrition and weigh loss. However, the severity of symptoms caused by deficiencies, and sometimes vitamins or minerals taken in excess, can be the reason you can’t achieve optimal health.

Micronutrient food allergy testing through Cenegenics can give you the boost you need to meet your personal goals. Performed under the direction of a clinician, this blood analysis tests for 35 vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and amino acids inside the body, which are important to its optimal functioning. Don’t let a simple imbalance, caused by a food allergy or fad diet, get in the way of your personal health goals!

Next Steps in Understanding The Role of Micronutrients


Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources of Micronutrients


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

Austin Zechman MS, CSCS

Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics Dallas

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation

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

Available for purchase here

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

Available for purchase here

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 Education 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.

Additional Information on Micronutrients


What is Cenegenics?

What is Age Management Medicine?

Defy Your Age with Cenegenics

Low Energy: How the Cenegenics Program Boosts Energy & Combats Fatigue

The Dangers of Processed Foods

Understanding Mental Acuity: Improving Focus, Memory and Concentration with Cenegenics

How Cenegenics Can Help Relieve Stress in Executives & Professionals

How Weight Loss on the Cenegenics Program Differs from Your Typical Weight Loss Program

Building a Nutritional Plan: Food for Weight Loss

Macronutrients and Micronutrients: What’s the Difference?

Article at a Glance

  • Most popular fad diets can leave nutritional gaps due to extreme restrictions. This often causes dieters to return to their original eating habits and gain all, or even more, of their weight back.
  • Macronutrients are in almost everything we eat and are required in large quantities. This includes carbohydrates, fats (lipids) and proteins.
  • Micronutrients are chemicals or substances required in small amounts for normal bodily functions.
  • A micronutrient deficiency can lead to a large array of symptoms including: weakness/fatigue, depression, anxiety, increased stress, mood changes, weakened immune system, and decreased energy.

Today, more than a third of U.S. adults are obese, and roughly 70% of the population is considered overweight. These figures have been increasing steadily throughout recent decades, with the most dramatic increases occurring within the past 20 years. As a result, we’ve seen a significant push to increase efforts to combat obesity and promote weight loss, especially within the past five to ten years. It should therefore come as no surprise that the U.S. weight loss market is worth a whopping $66 billion. The consumer base for this market comprises more than 95 million people seeking to make some degree of change to their overall health or body composition.

Naturally, with such a vast market, there are bound to be virtually limitless options for diet, weight loss programs, fat-burning pills, and so forth. With so many different options to consider, it is far too easy for anyone pursuing weight loss to get caught up in the next big diet plan, workout program, or supplement. After all, most people looking to lose weight are seeking the means that will help them reach their goals as quickly as possible, and when a particular program is trending, no one wants to miss out on its promised results.

Among the most popular diets right now are low-carb/high-fat keto diets, plant-based, or strictly “carnivore-based” diets. Some individuals do experience success with these diets or other alternatives. More often than not, however, these extreme approaches cause people to burn out too quickly and drop off, which leaves them to return to their former eating habits. Therefore, many people wind up hopping from one program to another in an endless quest for measurable, lasting results, believing each program or diet to be superior to the other. As we’ve seen, however, this usually isn’t the case.

There are many reasons why diets fail. The person often fails to commit to it long enough to see results, the prescribed approach to eating is too restrictive, or the diets followed lack scientific evidence to prove their effectiveness. Oftentimes, failure results from a combination of these reasons. With that being said, there is almost always one common theme among unsuccessful diets: those who try them often lack an understanding of what the body truly needs, why it needs it, and how to get the most from their food choices. That’s where understanding the role of macronutrients and micronutrients comes into play.

What Are Macronutrients?


Macronutrients play an integral part in providing the body with the energy necessary to perform essential processes on a cellular level, Micronutrients are often overlooked since the role of micronutrients is more widely known

Everything we eat is made up of macronutrients, or chemical substances the body needs in large quantities. The three macros include carbohydrates, fats (lipids), and proteins, all of which play an integral part of providing the body with the energy and materials needed for essential processes performed at a cellular level. Each macronutrient is responsible for specific functions and metabolites.

Are Carbs Bad for You?

Carbohydrates are essential for fueling the body and, more specifically, the brain. They are the primary source of fuel used during high-intensity exercise and can be stored in the muscles as glycogen. Yet, a more sophisticated look at the macronutrient constituents of food reveals not all are the same. In fact, each subtype of macronutrient can have substantially different metabolic consequences. Fats, for instance, are categorized into essential and nonessential fatty acids. While essential fatty acids include anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and largely pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, fats can also be found in various forms, from saturated to mono, poly, and unsaturated.

Eating Fat Will Not Make You Fat

Contrary to common belief, eating fats will not make a person fat as most fats actually contain many qualities that contribute to health benefits. While saturated fatty acids were once believed to be the major culprit in cardiovascular disease, it was later found that carbohydrates are actually the more likely causative agent behind this and many other diet-related health issues. Since fat reduction efforts have been in place, carbohydrate content has replaced fat content, largely in the form of store-bought foods which contain high amounts of processed sugars. Thus, high glycemic index carbohydrates have emerged as the real cause for concern.

In fact, diets rich in monounsaturated fats and omega acids can actually prove to be beneficial for lowering cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. Fat is also a very calorically-dense nutrient which can help you feel sated and provide ample energy for the body to use. Additionally, fats are essential for absorbing and utilizing vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as neural functioning and optimal hormone responses.

Proteins Help Fight Muscle Breakdown

Proteins are likewise essential, and are made up of amino acids which the body uses to build and repair muscle tissue inside the body. They extend far beyond the muscles, however, as they are also required for maintaining the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s organs and tissues. Protein that comes from other sources also provides the nine essential amino acids that our body cannot create, meaning they must be acquired from foods.

With a deeper understanding of how various carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins signal metabolic function and appetite regulation, it becomes possible to control the results of our eating habits. Yet, there’s more to nutrition than macronutrients alone.

What Are Micronutrients?


Micronutrient deficiencies are often undiagnosed as their symptoms include stress and tiredness, Micronutrients play a central role in metabolism and disease prevention

With macronutrients receiving so much attention in the world of nutrition and weight loss, the role of micronutrients is often overlooked. Indeed, macronutrients are the primary nutrients and are often the factors that are prioritized when it comes to meal planning and helping individuals understand the association between dietary consumption and health outcomes. Nonetheless, they only make up one piece of the puzzle in nutrition and overall health.

Micronutrients are just as important as macronutrients and deliver many benefits to the body. Micronutrients are chemical elements/substances required in small amounts for normal functioning. Oftentimes, micronutrient deficiencies are overlooked and are instead diagnosed as symptoms of other conditions. Because symptoms of a micronutrient deficiency can include tiredness, and/or depression, which may result in stress – all of which can be attributed to other health issues or even simply lifestyle factors – it is easy for a deficiency to go unnoticed.

The Crucial Role of Micronutrients

The importance of micronutrients cannot be overstated. They play a central role in metabolism, as well as disease treatment and prevention [1]. It can therefore be argued that, when attempting to lose weight or maintain a healthy body composition, as well as optimizing overall wellness, one should also consider their micronutrient levels and adjust their intake appropriately. There are many gaps in the modern American diet which leave individuals susceptible to deficiencies – even in people who eat a varied diet primarily consisting of unprocessed, whole foods.

Moreover, if you have a known or undiagnosed food allergy, it’s possible that your body is further experiencing a loss of nutrients. For instance, a milk allergy can leave you with lower levels of calcium, riboflavin, phosphorous, and vitamins A, D, and B12 [2]. This is only one example of a nutritional gap caused by an avoidance of a specific food; there are many other deficiencies which can go undetected even after performing a careful analysis of a person’s diet.

Thus, the best way to determine a micronutrient deficiency is to take a micronutrient test. Performed under the direction of a clinician, this blood analysis tests for 35 vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and amino acids inside the body, which are important to its optimal functioning.

Macronutrients and Micronutrients – In Conclusion


Today, roughly 70% of the U.S. population is considered overweight or obese. Anyone trying to lose weight will stumble upon various “fad diets” that promise to help you lose the weight with minimal effort. However, these fad diets leave gaps in you nutritional plans and the deficiencies could set you back.

In order to understand why your current diet may be failing, you need to recognize the different components of your nutritional plan: macronutrients vs. micronutrients. Macronutrients make up almost everything you eat and include three major groups: carbohydrates, fats (lipids), and proteins, all of which play an integral part of providing your body with the energy it needs to perform essential processes on a cellular level. Micronutrients are chemical elements/substances that are only required in small amounts to maintain normal functioning.

Next Steps in Understanding What Micronutrients Are


Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources of Micronutrients


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

Austin Zechman MS, CSCS

Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics Dallas

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation

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

Available for purchase here

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

Available for purchase here

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 Education 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.

Additional Information on Micronutrients


What is Cenegenics?

What is Age Management Medicine?

Defy Your Age with Cenegenics

Low Energy: How the Cenegenics Program Boosts Energy & Combats Fatigue

The Dangers of Processed Foods

Understanding Mental Acuity: Improving Focus, Memory and Concentration with Cenegenics

How Cenegenics Can Help Relieve Stress in Executives & Professionals

How Weight Loss on the Cenegenics Program Differs from Your Typical Weight Loss Program

Building a Nutritional Plan: Food for Weight Loss

Sources of Micronutrient Food Allergy Testing


  1. Shenkin, A. “The key role of micronutrients.” Clinical Nutrition. 10 Jan. 2006. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16376462
  2. “Replacing Lost Nutrients Due to Food Allergies.” Kids With Food Allergies, A Division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. March 2013. Retrieved from URL: http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/page/replacing-lost-nutrients.aspx

Psychology of Weight Loss: How to Lose Weight & Make Your Results Last

Table of Contents

Tips for Sustainable Weight Loss 

Psychology of Weight Loss – In Conclusion 

Next Steps to Long-Term Sustainable Weight Loss 

Before taking on any weight loss journey, the reasons for the change need to be plainly stated. However, people who look towards outside sources for those reasons or use external sources to uncover their reasons tend to fail. They tend to lose themselves in the process and become so consumed in their journey to lose weight that they overlook the person for whom the changes should be made in the first place: themselves.

Tips for Sustainable Weight Loss 


Making lasting, positive changes for yourself is incredibly challenging, and it is arguably the most difficult thing humans in modern society can undertake. We are surrounded by a myriad of images and social representations, which enforce a certain ideal and demand that we make changes for a predetermined reason outside of our own motivators. As a result, we forget the real reasons behind “getting a six-pack” or achieving a certain number on a scale. Even for the fittest individuals who eat exceptionally well, these results are often impossible to achieve. True success in weight loss can therefore only be achieved when we look past airbrushed nonsense and instead look inwards.

While this means something different for everyone, there are some overarching principles, which may be beneficial in starting your internally-motivated weight loss journey. Here are a few of the factors, which many people who lose weight and keep it off have credited to their success:

Take time to define your goals as well as how to reach them, planning your goals in small increments can help increase your chances of achieving sustainable weight loss
  • Take some time to yourself. 

Before you even begin to purse weight loss, take some time to sit down and really think about why you want to lose weight. Define your goals, but be realistic with them. Your weight loss goals can also encompass more than a number. For example, “trying more healthy recipes” or “finding an exercise class I love” can also be encompassed by your weight loss journey.Once you’ve defined your goals, it’s okay to reach out to external sources for help. Yet, the initial goals and reasons must come from you.

Keeping your goals in mind with small reminders can help ensure your reach your goals, Sticky notes or alarms on your phone can keep you on track for sustainable weight loss
  • Keep your goals at the forefront of your mind.

It’s easy to get distracted by day-to-day responsibilities and priorities, but this should now be one of your priorities. The decisions you make every day will enable you to meet your goals, so give yourself ample reminders of what it is that you’re pursuing. If you need to set an alarm on your phone to remind you to exercise, or you want to stick a note on your computer reminding you to eat more vegetables, then do it!

Remember, these types of goals don’t take “breaks.” Achievement is a result of the culmination of your everyday decisions. Set yourself up for the best odds of success by thinking ahead. This could include planning your meals out for the week in advance and only purchasing the ingredients needed for them when you’re grocery shopping. Or, perhaps you feel like it’s easier to stick to your healthy eating plan when you prepare your breakfasts and lunches for the week in advance. Determine which strategies work best to help you reach your goals, then stick with them.

Celebrate your small achievements with healthy rewards such as new workout clothing, Rewarding yourself with food can be dangerous for sustainable weight loss
  • Give yourself positive reinforcement.

Don’t wait for someone else to give you encouragement. People are often consumed with their own priorities – and that’s okay. Remember your reasons for why you started this – they are yours and yours alone.

Celebrate the small wins you achieve in your pursuit towards bigger milestones. Whether it’s eating a balanced breakfast, working out five days on a given week, or another small victory, recognize these achievements and give yourself praise. You might even want to incorporate healthy rewards along your journey, such as new workout clothing.

Being selfish during your weight loss journey is okay, Being your influence for exercise and nutrition will ultimately positively affect the people around you
  • Be selfish in your endeavor.

This is for you! You may have to sacrifice other things in your life to make time for healthy eating and exercise. Keep in mind that you must put yourself first in order to be a good friend, parent, employee, sibling, or any other role you may take on. Your success will ultimately have a positive effect on the people around you, but the process is all yours.

An occasional cheat meal can help maintain psychological balance, A simple cheat meal should not be the end of your weight loss journey
  • If you fall off a bit, get back on immediately.

Going into your journey, you should expect to have slip-ups. From special occasions to vacations, there may be moments where you indulge here and there. You can give yourself the freedom to enjoy these moments without guilt – as long as you know you’ll get right back into your healthy habits the next day. Research has actually shown that having the occasional “cheat meal” can satisfy appetite while maintaining psychological balance. Falling off every once in a while isn’t the problem, but staying off is. Just get back into it and focus your efforts on moving forward – it won’t do any good to look to the past and shame yourself for a mistake.

Enjoy the weight loss process, Sustainable weight loss is a lifelong endeavor
  • Enjoy the process and take it slow.

Weight loss is a journey, but weight management is a lifelong endeavor. Every meal, training session, and day full of healthy choices is a win. Enjoy these wins – you’ll have a lot of them during a lifetime of health and wellness!

Achieving lasting weight loss isn’t simple, but understanding the psychological influences behind weight gain and failed diets is an important first step towards success. Once you know why it is that you want to lose weight and find ways to combat the influencers that have held you back before, you’ll have the greatest tool available for becoming healthier – and you can’t find that in any fad diets.

Psychology of Weight Loss – In Conclusion


Sustainable long term weight loss is achieved through mental toughness and being able to enjoy the process, Following fad diets for instant gratification can detour you from your long term weight loss goals

Weight loss is one of the most commonly sought-after goals in our society. However, many fail because of stress, increased appetite through a release of ghrelin, and the outside influence of TV shows, movies, and people may have on our behavior.

Long term weight loss is achieved by making lasting, positive changes for yourself instead of others. It is arguably the most difficult thing humans in modern society can undertake. Once you understand the reason(s) you want to lose weight and find a way to combat your external influencers, you’ll have the greatest tool available for becoming healthier!

Next Steps to Long-Term Sustainable Weight Loss


Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources on Weight Loss


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

Joshua D’Alessandro MS, CSCS, CISSN 

Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics New York City

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation 

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

Available for purchase here

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

Available for purchase here

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.

Additional Resources On How to Lose Weight 


Why Am I Gaining Weight?

Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs) and Food Preparation Tips for Reducing Inflammation in Your Diet

The Dangers of Processed Foods

How Weight Loss on the Cenegenics Program Differs from Your Typical Weight Loss Program

Building a Nutritional Plan: Food for Weight Loss 

What is Cenegenics?

What is Age Management Medicine?

Bariatric Surgery Alternative

Anti-Aging vs. Age Management

Psychology of Weight Loss: The Problem with Fad Diets

Table of Contents

The Dangers of Fad Diets 

Fad Diets Are Not Good for Sustainable Weight Loss 

Next Steps to Achieving Long-Term Weight Loss 

When someone sets out on a new fad diet such as an extreme low-carb diet or one with another aggressive restriction, many negative thoughts begin to manifest in the person’s mind. Stress, apprehension, and even fear are often the guiding principles of these diets and the means by which they are enforced. These feelings are developed intrinsically – but, it’s important to note that they’re a response to an external demand. What can someone learn from an aggressive weight loss plan? Nothing but what is told to them or even demanded of them.

Don’t have this; you can’t have that; stay away from this food group – all of these negative phrases make it challenging to walk into a store, read a menu, or look into your refrigerator without feeling understandably overwhelmed. These feelings of anxiety can spur the stress-eating cycle we discussed previously, which is just one of many problems with fad diets. Moreover, being so limited can make you more inclined to just give up and return to a pleasure-driven diet.

The Dangers of Fad Diets


The demands of fad diets, which come from an external source, often overlook or are perhaps completely at odds with your intrinsic qualities. For instance, if you’re a person who enjoys eating meat and has for your entire life, how will a raw vegan diet suddenly become sustainable for you? The same could also apply to exercise-based weight loss programs: if you’re someone who has always enjoyed cycling, how will weight training be a fitting choice for you? Certainly, it’s possible that you could find you actually enjoy going vegan or incorporating weight training into your lifestyle. Yet, unless you’re exploring healthy options because of your own personal motivators, they’re unlikely to stick.

Lack of Long-Term Results

Fad diets can cause mental anguish and physical anguish due to extreme restrictions, When fad dieters return to their normal eating habits they tend to gain back all of the weight and sometimes even more

One of the pillars of a fad diet is its promise to deliver short-term results. Yet, in exchange for weight loss results, which can be noticed quickly, fad dieters are giving up any hope for long-term success.Oftentimes, fad diets advise taking in far fewer calories than what’s considered safe or healthy. As a result, people are delighted as they watch the weight “fall off” – not realizing that what they’re losing is probably water and lean muscle mass instead of fat. Starving the body in this way is impractical over the long-termand when dieters return to their normal eating patterns, they tend to gain back all of the weight and perhaps even more. This makes lack of long-term success one of the dangers of fad diets.

Nutritional Gaps in Fad Diets

Fad diets can cause major nutritional gaps causing cravings for other foods, Severe calorie restrictions or nutritional gaps cause by excessive food group restrictions can cause anxiety and make you cheat on your diet

Many fad diets also encourage people to pick from the same, extremely selective food choices day after day. Limiting food choices and discouraging a balanced approach to nutrition is a flawed approach for a few reasons. For one, it can lead to boredom. Excluding an entire group could leave you with cravings or cause you to grow tired of the same choices. This may spur you to “cheat” on the diet and actually overeat to satisfy your craving.

For another, extremely restrictive eating plans may advise severe calorie restrictions or leave nutritional gaps in your diet. In some cases, these can have adverse health effects. Even if there aren’t any risk factors associated with your chosen fad diet, it’s unlikely to be sustainable over the long term.

What to Avoid in a Weight Loss Program

Any weight loss program, plan, or product with the following features is best avoided:

  • Promises to help you lose more than two pounds per week
  • Results that sound too good to be true; i.e, “eat whatever you want without exercising and still lose weight”
  • Advice from weight loss or nutrition “experts” who lack credentials
  • Conclusions that aren’t backed by clinical research
  • Severe restriction against eating a variety of healthy foods
  • Requirements of purchasing packaged meals or meal plans

Ultimately, the hazards of taking any diet to the extreme include slowing down your metabolism, increasing anxiety over food choices, and potentially even suffering from malnutrition or depleting energy levels due to a thyroid condition. Any short-term results you may witness simply aren’t worth risking your mental and physical wellbeing for – especially when there’s a better, more sustainable way to approach weight loss.

Fad Diets Are Not Good for Sustainable Weight Loss


Fad diets are the first mistake many individuals make on their journey to long-term weight loss. Lured by the temptation of instant gratification, these fad diets promise to deliver short-term results. Oftentimes, fad diets take in far fewer calories than what is considered normal or healthy, giving up any hope for long-term success.

Because of the nutritional gaps in fad diets, from extremely restrictive eating plans, fad dieters tend to gain back all of the weight, and perhaps even more, when they return to their original diet. Fad dieters also run the risk of:

  • slowing down their metabolism
  • increasing anxiety over food choices
  • potentially suffering from malnutrition
  • suffering from depleted energy levels due to a thyroid condition

Short-term results are not worth the mental and physical turmoil. Contact Cenegenics to learn more about how our program can help you achieve your long-term weight loss goals!

Next Steps to Achieving Long-Term Weight Loss


Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources on Weight Loss


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

Joshua D’Alessandro MS, CSCS, CISSN 

Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics New York City

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation 

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

Available for purchase here

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

Available for purchase here

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.

Additional Resources About the Problem with Fad Diets


Why Am I Gaining Weight?

Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs) and Food Preparation Tips for Reducing Inflammation in Your Diet

Low Energy: How the Cenegenics Program Boosts Energy & Combats Fatigue

The Dangers of Processed Foods

How Weight Loss on the Cenegenics Program Differs from Your Typical Weight Loss Program

Building a Nutritional Plan: Food for Weight Loss

What is Cenegenics?

What is Age Management Medicine?

Bariatric Surgery Alternative

Anti-Aging vs. Age Management

Majority of people attempting to lose weight turn to fad diets which are not sustainable for long term weight loss, Cenegenics helps patients understand how to lose weight and keep it off

Psychology of Weight Loss: Why Am I Gaining Weight?

Psychology of Weight Gain 

Next Steps to Lose Weight

 

Losing weight is one of the most commonly sought-after goals in our society. Oftentimes, when we think of improving health, the first thing that comes to mind is weight loss. Research shows that roughly half of Americans are trying to lose weight, with the majority of this group employing dietary changes as a means of doing so [1].

Yet, when they are first confronted with the puzzle of how to lose weight, most people don’t step back and analyze their approach to eating as a whole. Instead, they explore which fad diets promise the best results – whether that’s the quickest weight loss or greatest number of pounds lost. This is the first mistakemany people make on their journey towards sustainable weight loss – and overall health.

A recent statistic shows that 98% of dieters gain at least some, all, or even more weight than they lost while dieting [2]. This has been a well-known trend for quite some time, and yet, more extreme diets continue to emerge and gain popularity. How can this be? What societal constructs have led us to believe that strict restriction and near happiness are the key criteria needed for success in health? Here, we dive into the reasons why people turn to fad diets, and how to not only avoid falling into this common trap, but also how to lose weight the right way and keep it off for good.

Psychology of Weight Gain

Poor stress management can result in weight gain, Cenegenics aids in stress management to promote long term weight loss

According to research, there are a few key reasons why people gain weight. However, these reasons can vary significantly from one person to the next. In order for healthy, sustainable weight loss to take effect, one must first assess and understand the drivers that led to weight gain in the first place. Below are some of the most common factors why people gain weight.

 

Stress

Stress is indeed a factor in gaining weight, but it is not the stress itself that causes weight gain; rather, it is how stress is managed. For most individuals, stress is a natural aspect of daily life. In fact, stress is normal and, to some degree, even healthy. It keeps us alert and helps us avoid danger. For an upcoming event such as an important work presentation, your body may elevate its heart rate through an increase in catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine).

This increase in heart rate increases blood distribution to your brain, thereby enabling you to become hyper-focused and perform the task at hand successfully. This only occurs successfully, however, if you’re able to control that stress and use it for its true purpose: to become productive and overcome obstacles. Problems begin to arise with prolonged, elevated stress and lack of control. This leads to a fluctuation in hormone levels – specifically, cortisol.

 

How Does Cortisol Relate to Appetite?

The body’s immediate response to stress is to produce adrenaline. On a short-term basis, adrenaline suppresses appetite. As the blood flows away from your internal organs and to your muscles to prepare for “fight or flight” mode, you begin to feel less hungry. Once that adrenaline subsides, however, it leaves cortisol in its wake. On an occasional basis, spikes in cortisol aren’t bad. Yet, chronic stress can lead to frequent, severe increases in cortisol, also known as “the stress hormone.”

Cortisol doesn’t wear off as quickly as adrenaline; instead, it lingers and signals the body to replenish its food supply. After all, in the wild, fighting off predators would require an immense expenditure of energy. Yet, modern humans that are exposed to consistent stress without control are aggressively conserving fuel – without having a real need to do so.

Cortisol is a catabolic hormone, which means “breakdown.” However, in addition to regulating metabolism, controlling blood sugar levels, and performing other key functions needed for survival, it can also increase fat storage over time. In other words, our neuroendocrine system is still designed to function as it did for our ancestors and does not take into consideration that most modern individuals lead sedentary lifestyles. Thus, cortisol will still prompt you to reach for extra food when you’re unable to control elevated stress, even though your body doesn’t need it.

 

Stress Induced “Pleasure” Food Cravings

Stress can trigger increased levels of ghrelin which increases your appetite, stress eating can cause people to crave highly processed and unhealthy foods which can lead to weight gain

Another factor that plays a role in weight gain is pleasure. While consistent stress spikes cortisol levels, it can also increase appetite through a release of ghrelin. This hormone is released as the body anticipates a need for more fuel to prepare for the impending “danger.” To satisfy our appetite, we understandably reach for food. Yet, the problem lies in the fact that it is not healthy foods we seek. Instead, we crave the foods that provide immediate pleasure.

Foods that are easy to eat, highly processed, and high in sugar or unhealthy fats tend to quell appetites driven by stress-related factors. They release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that aids in controlling the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. The dopamine momentarily relieves our stress, almost allowing us to forget that it’s there. Yet, it isn’t long before the cravings come back – often even stronger than they were in the first place. This cycle sets the foundation for poor behaviors, which comprise the third reason behind weight gain.

 

Influence on Individual Behavior

External factors such as TV shows and movies can influence behaviors we implement to combat weight gain, Weight loss can be influenced by external factors such as life events and physical activity

Behavior should be the first point of focus for anyone pursuing weight loss. Yet, behavior is influenced in so many ways that it often becomes dependent on external factors. From magazines to TV shows, movies and the people around us, there are a number of outside sources which influence our actions. The behaviors we implement to combat weight gain are often a product of someone or something else – the latest fad diet recommended by a coworker, an ad for a weight loss supplement, and so forth – but are rarely spurred by intrinsic motivators. This is a major reason why even individuals who do lose weight successfully tend to gain it back.

In an article published in Obesity Reviews[3] numerous aspects of human personality were examined in relation to weight loss and failure to maintain weight loss. These components included:

  • physical activity,
  • eating patterns,
  • weight loss goals,
  • life events and social support, and
  • self-efficacy, among others.

What most of these components have in common is that, when they are changed intrinsically, they yield better results. More often than not, if the decision to change came from an external source, quick results were achieved. However, once that external factor was no longer relevant, the weight was gained back rapidly. This sheds light on one of the chief components of weight loss and weight management which is also, quite frankly, the hardest one to master: self-accountability.

Thus, in order to enact lasting change, individuals must start by identifying their true purpose for pursuing their goals. Fad diets do not cater to these goals, but there are other shortcomings beyond that which we’ll discuss next.

Understanding Why People Gain Weight – In Conclusion

Losing weight is a highly sought after goal. With over 70% of the U.S. population being obese or overweight, it is not uncommon to stumble upon various websites that promise the best solution with minimal effort. However, fad diets and exercise programs is the first mistake many people make on their journey to sustainable weight loss.

Understanding the reasons behind your weight gain is where you should start. There are three common factors to why people gain weight: stress, pleasure eating induced by stress, and outside influences on individual behaviors. Stress releases cortisol, a hormone that tends to linger and trigger signals to the body to replenish its food supply.

Chronic stress can consistently spike cortisol levels, forcing us to crave “pleasure foods”: foods that are highly processed, and high in sugar or unhealthy fats. Lastly, outside influences such as TV shows, movies, or the people around us, tend to influence our individual behaviors including our amount of physical activity, our eating patterns, and our goals. This is why your next weight loss plan should be custom tailored to your specific needs and with your health in mind – Cenegenics will help you accomplish long-term, sustainable weight loss.

Next Steps to Lose Weight

Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

 

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources on Weight Loss

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

 

Joshua D’Alessandro MS, CSCS, CISSN 

Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics New York City

 

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation 

 

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

Available for purchase here

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

Available for purchase here

 

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.

Additional Resources on Weight Management with Cenegenics

Cenegenics Elite Health Program: Why You Should Consider Age Management Your Next Investment

What is Cenegenics?

What is Age Management Medicine?

Bariatric Surgery Alternative

Anti-Aging vs. Age Management

Weight Loss: Role of Exercise

Nutrition for Weight Loss

How Weight Loss on the Cenegenics Program Differs from Your Typical Weight Loss Program

Defy Your Age with Cenegenics

Sources on Weight Loss

[1] Ducharme, Jamie. “About Half of Americans Say They’re Trying to Lose Weight.” 12 Jul. 2018. Retrieved from URL: http://time.com/5334532/weight-loss-americans/

[2] Elfhag, K., and S. Rossner. “Who Succeeds in Maintaining Weight Loss? A Conceptual Review of Factors Associated with Weight Loss Maintenance and Weight Regain.” Obesity Reviews, vol. 6, no. 1, 2005, pp. 67–85.

[3] Elfhag, K et al. See above.

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Recognizing Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Table of Contents

Risk Factors of Type 2 Diabetes

Preventing and Controlling Type 2 Diabetes

Next Steps to Reduce Your Risk and Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Previously, we discussed the factors that comprise metabolic syndrome and place individuals at a greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Nonetheless, conditions encompassed by metabolic syndrome are not the only factors which determine a person’s risk for type 2 diabetes. Frustratingly, some individuals seem inherently more inclined to develop the disease than others. While researchers still do not understand the precise interplay among risk factors, it is clear that certain criteria do increase risk.

Risk Factors of Type 2 Diabetes


being overweight is an important risk factor for type 2 diabetes, a DXA scan can give a physician better insight into a patient’s risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome

Here are some of the factors to consider when analyzing your risk for developing type 2 diabetes:

  • Weight: Being overweight is an important risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Specifically, the greater the amount of fatty tissue a person has, the more resistant their cells are to insulin. Moreover, fat distribution is also a telling indicator as patients whose body fat is concentrated in the abdomen face a greater risk than those who store it elsewhere, such as the hips. Visceral fat, or the deep abdominal fat surrounding your organs, also has an inflammatory impact on the body, increasing risk factors for heart disease, cancer, and potentiating other age-related risk factors.One obstacle that has impeded physicians’ ability to determine weight-related risks is the fact that measuring fatty tissue and its distribution is not as simple as calculating BMI and, in fact, determining what is considered “overweight” might not be as simple as we once thought it was. Body mass index was historically the golden standard for determining healthy weight ranges by height. However, there are patients who do not meet BMI criteria for obesity but do have excess body fat. Conversely, some individuals may have a higher composition of muscle and are considered overweight for their height according to BMI. For this reason, using a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan is the best way to measure actual body fat and thereby give physicians insight into a patient’s risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. DXA scans are encompassed by the initial testing performed for all Cenegenics patients.
  • Inactivity: Leading a sedentary lifestyle can be a precursor for type 2 diabetes. It is well-established that regular exercise contributes to reducing obesity and, in turn, diabetes. Sedentary activities such as watching TV for long periods of time are strongly associated with a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes. In fact, research confirms men who watch more than 40 hours of TV per week face a nearly threefold increase in risk compared to those who watch less than one hour [1]. Thus, while diet plays an important role in controlling risk factors, physical activity cannot be overlooked.
  • Genetic Factors: If a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes, you face a greater risk of developing the disease. However, the disease does not have a clear pattern of inheritance, and researchers suspect that while shared genetic factors may contribute, the increased risk is also a result of shared behaviors [2].
  • Poor Eating Habits: Perhaps one of the most obvious risk factors for type 2 diabetes is poor diet. Sugary drinks, processed carbohydrates, red and processed meats, and trans fats should all be avoided or consumed sparingly, and alcohol consumption should also be controlled.
  • Poor Lipid Metabolism: Your body’s ability to break down the storage of fatty acid molecules (lipids) for energy is referred to as lipid metabolism. Lipids can signal many cellular responses, and the more inflammatory fatty acids eaten, the more they shift the inflammatory balance and gene transcription. Poor lipid metabolism can lead to high cholesterol, contributing to an elevated risk for type 2 diabetes.
  • Age: While the risk of type 2 diabetes increases with age, some researchers believe this is largely due to increased inactivity that comes with aging. Lost muscle mass and weight gain can increase diabetes risk [3].

In the final section, we will discuss some of the ways Cenegenics helps you address these risk factors, as well as how our clinicians help type 2 diabetes patients regain control over their disease to enjoy an improved quality of life.

Preventing and Controlling Type 2 Diabetes 


Exercise not only facilitates weight loss but also helps improve insulin sensitivity, Exercise and nutrition can help facilitate a healthy insulin response

While examining diabetes risk factors can be overwhelming for adults in their middle ages and beyond, it is important to remember that, again, type 2 diabetes is often preventable – even for patients who have been diagnosed with prediabetes. With proven approaches backed by science, Cenegenics clinicians promptly establish an all-encompassing exercise and nutrition plan. The first priority is not necessarily to facilitate weight loss, but instead to improve the all-important measure of insulin sensitivity.

To decrease high levels of insulin caused by insulin resistance, Cenegenics physicians will develop a tailored nutrition program with an emphasis on whole food sources. Vegetables, nuts, beans, fish, and other lean sources of protein are some examples of foods that can facilitate a healthy insulin response.

The clinical team will also compose an exercise program based on your current physical fitness levels. High-intensity interval training is considered most effective for losing and controlling weight as it requires a minimal time investment yet pushes the body to burn calories, boost metabolism, and improve heart health. With that said, patients who have been sedentary for long periods of time may be eased into exercise with appropriately challenging routines.

Following the initial assessment and plan development, Cenegenics collects lab values from blood draws at specific intervals to closely monitor insulin resistance and ensure improvement is being made. Once high levels of insulin are brought under control, then the body can improve the utilization of fuel sources during exercise, allowing weight loss to occur more appropriately.

Those with type 2 diabetes or near diagnosis can also benefit from the proactive and attentive care provided by Cenegenics clinicians. By processing lab work and regularly observing patients’ biomarkers, our clinical team is able to dynamically adjust the approach needed to facilitate the best possible outcome to control diabetes or drastically reduce your risk.

Research shows lifestyle changes are enough to reduce the risk of progressing from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes by more than 58% [4]. Yet, while most individuals know that avoiding or controlling diabetes demands a reassessment of certain lifestyle factors, they are often left unsure of the best place to start. Cenegenics provides a 100% personalized, physician-developed program with the ultimate objective of minimizing disease risk. It is based on proven principles and gives you a detailed roadmap for addressing age-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Thus, no matter where you currently stand in relation to diabetes risk, Cenegenics can help you lead your healthiest possible life.

Understanding Type 2 Diabetes – In Conclusion


Nearly 10% of the population suffers from diabetes, a growing epidemic in the United States. Type 2 diabetes is typically diagnosed later in life and is most common for those who are obese or overweight.

Cenegenics custom-tailored programs help combat diabetes and are especially useful in reversing prediabetes. Cenegenics clinicians establish an all-encompassing exercise and nutrition plan to facilitate weight loss, but more importantly to improve insulin sensitivity. Cenegenics physicians help patients make important lifestyle changes to help reduce their risk of progressing from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.

Next Steps to Reduce Your Risk and Manage Type 2 Diabetes 


Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources for Understanding Type 2 Diabetes 


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

Available for purchase here

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

Available for purchase here

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 Education 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.

Additional Information about Cenegenics and Treating Type 2 Diabetes 


What is Cenegenics?

Anti-Aging vs. Age Management

What is Age Management Medicine?

Defy Your Age with Cenegenics

The Dangers of Processed Foods

How Weight Loss on the Cenegenics Program Differs from Your Typical Weight Loss Program

Building a Nutritional Plan: Food for Weight Loss

Weight Loss: Role of Exercise

Sources on Type 2 Diabetes 


[1] Hu, FB. Sedentary lifestyle and risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Feb. 2003. Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12733740

[2] “Type 2 Diabetes.” U.S. National Library of Medicine. Nov. 2017. Retrieved from URL: https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/type-2-diabetes#inheritance

[3] “Type 2 diabetes.” Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from URL: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20351193

[4] MacGill, Markus. “What’s to know about insulin resistance?” Medical News Today. 17 Feb. 2017. Retrieved from URL: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305567.php

Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

How is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed?

What are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

Next Steps to Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

Nearly 10% of the population is afflicted with diabetes making it among the most common diseases in the U.S. While type 1 diabetes is commonly diagnosed in children, type 2 diabetes is typically diagnosed later in life. It is more common among overweight or obese populations, as well as individuals over the age of 45. The illness is chronic meaning that while it can be controlled through medication and lifestyle, it cannot be cured. Although many people do indeed continue to lead fulfilling, active lives following a diagnosis, disease management is indeed essential as diabetes remains the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S [1]. The serious nature of the disease, combined with its overwhelming prevalence, has led it to become a critical focus for physicians, especially age management specialists.

While addressing the type 2 diabetes epidemic may seem like a monumental feat given the above statistics, there is in fact some good news. People almost always have prediabetes before developing type 2 diabetes, and while more than 84 million American adults (or roughly one in three) have prediabetes, the condition can be reversed [2]. Moreover, for individuals who already have received a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, the medical advancements and resources available today have made disease management more effective than ever.

As the nation’s leader in age management medicine, Cenegenics is committed to helping adults lower their disease risk and achieve optimal health. Here, our clinicians provide an in-depth look into this common disease including how thorough and accurate health care can help you lower risk or manage your condition more effectively. We will begin with a brief overview of type 2 diabetes to help you develop an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms behind the disease.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes goes beyond just understanding blood sugar levels, Insulin resistance and glucose play a large role in type 2 diabetes

Despite its commonality, few people understand the specific characteristics of type 2 diabetes, including its causative agents. While most people understand that the condition involves blood sugar, there is a more complex interplay among food sources and the body’s functions than you may realize. Learning about the roles of insulin, glucose, and the pancreas can help you better understand what truly causes type 2 diabetes to develop.

What is Glucose? 

Glucose is a sugar which serves as an energy source for cells that make up the muscles and other types of tissues. It is produced by the liver and is also found in the food we eat and is absorbed into the bloodstream with the assistance of insulin. When glucose levels dip too low, the liver will transform stored glycogen into glucose to keep the levels within normal range. However, in people with type 2 diabetes, this process does not work as it should because the cells have developed a resistance to insulin.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin is a key player in both diabetes and metabolic syndrome (we will cover more on that condition later). It is a hormone, which is produced by the pancreas, and it is responsible for controlling the amount of glucose within your bloodstream. As your blood sugar level drops, this naturally causes the level of insulin secreted from the pancreas to drop as well.

Problems begin to arise when cells become insulin resistant. While the precise cause for insulin resistance remains unknown, it is suspected that genetics and environmental factors, including being overweight, are contributing factors. Insulin resistance prevents cells from being able to use insulin effectively, leaving blood sugar levels higher than they should be. As a result, the pancreas produces more insulin to reduce blood sugar. This can ultimately leave the pancreas depleted of insulin-producing cells, which is a trend commonly observed in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Metabolic Syndrome 

Oftentimes, you will hear diabetes discussed in conjunction with metabolic syndrome. While the two are linked, they are not the same. Metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of conditions, such as high blood pressure and abdominal obesity, which places an individual at higher risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. On their own, conditions such as high blood pressure are serious, but when experienced in combination with the other factors that make up metabolic syndrome, they increase disease risk even more.

It is estimated that nearly a quarter of all Americans have metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by three or more of the following metrics:

  • Systolic blood pressure of 130 mm HG or greater, or diastolic blood pressure of 85 mm HG or greater
  • HDL cholesterol of less than 40 mg/dL in men or less than 50 mg/dL in women
  • Triglyceride level of 150 mg/ dL of blood or greater
  • Waist circumference of greater than 40 inches for men, or 35 inches for women
  • Fasting blood sugar of 100 mg/dL or greater [3]

To put it into perspective, a fasting blood sugar level of 100 to 125 mg/dL is considered prediabetes, which is one reason why individuals with this indicator of metabolic syndrome are also at a greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

How is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed? 

The A1C blood test is the best-known method for testing diabetic risk factors

The National Institutes of Health recommends all individuals age 45 or older, as well as younger adults who are overweight, obese, or have other diabetes risk factors, be tested for type 2 diabetes on a routine basis, such as every year. While the A1C blood test is perhaps the best-known method for testing, it only measures average levels of blood sugar over the last three months. An emerging test is the HOMA2-IR test, which measures the actual levels of insulin resistance and is also used to identify metabolic syndrome. In studies, the test has been found to be a more effective predictor of diabetes and can actually evaluate functionality of cells in the pancreas [4]. All Cenegenics patients’ lab work includes this measurement. While it is not the only basis on which a prediabetes or type 2 diabetes diagnosis is made, it is valuable when included into a number of diagnostics reviewed by our clinicians.

What are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes? 

Type 2 diabetes develops gradually. In the disease’s early stages, symptoms can be mild and difficult to recognize, which may partially account for the prevalence of undiagnosed cases; in 2015, an estimated 7.2 million people were found to have the disease but had gone undiagnosed [5]. Nonetheless, some patients do experience the following symptoms:

  • Frequent Urination: Excess glucose spurs the kidneys to flush it out of the blood resulting in more urine production and the need to urinate more often. This also doubles the risk of urinary tract infections in people with type 2 diabetes [6].
  • Increased Thirst: With increased urination, you will also begin to feel dehydrated. Dry mouth and intense feelings of thirst could be signs of type 2 diabetes.
  • Feeling Very Hungry: Insulin resistance causes the body to create more insulin which sends signals to the brain that you are hungry.
  • Exhaustion: When the cells are starved of sugar, you may find yourself experiencing fatigue.
  • Delayed Healing of Sores: Type 2 diabetes impedes your body’s ability to heal and fight off infections so, in addition to delayed healing, patients may experience frequent infections.
  • Unexplained Weight Loss: Without the ability to provide enough glucose for your cells, you may begin to lose weight. This can also result from lost water weight caused by frequent urination.
  • Blurred Vision: Rapid changes in blood sugar are associated with blurred vision, but once the disease is controlled, this symptom (as with many others on this list) should go away.

While there may be additional side effects in either the early phases of disease development or after it has been diagnosed, this list represents some of the most common initial indicators.

Recognizing Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes – In Conclusion

Type 2 diabetes develops gradually and the symptoms are often hard to recognize. In 2015, an estimated 7.2 million people with diabetes had gone undiagnosed. But it still remains the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

People almost always present as prediabetic before progressing to type 2 diabetes; a surprising statistic considering that prediabetes is reversible. Cenegenics is committed to helping adults lower their risk of disease and achieve optimal health. Our physicians provide an in-depth look into this common disease, recognizing that symptoms such as frequent urination, increased thirst, delayed healing of sore, unexplained weight loss and blurred vision are not simply symptoms of aging.

Next Steps to Understanding Type 2 Diabetes

Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources on Type 2 Diabetes 

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

Available for purchase here

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

Available for purchase here

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 Education 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.

Additional Information about Cenegenics and Treating Type 2 Diabetes

What is Cenegenics?

Anti-Aging vs. Age Management

What is Age Management Medicine?

Defy Your Age with Cenegenics

The Dangers of Processed Foods

How Weight Loss on the Cenegenics Program Differs from Your Typical Weight Loss Program

Nutrition for Weight Loss

Weight Loss: Role of Exercise

Sources on Type 2 Diabetes 

[1] Statistics About Diabetes. American Diabetes Association. 22 March 2018. Retrieved from URL: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/

[2] “Did you know type 2 diabetes can be prevented?” CDC. Retrieved from URL: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/takethetest/

[3] Statistics About Diabetes. American Diabetes Association. 22 March 2018. Retrieved from URL: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/

[4] “Did you know type 2 diabetes can be prevented?” CDC. Retrieved from URL: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/takethetest/

[5] Statistics About Diabetes, see above.

[6] Masters, Maria. “7 Warning Signs of Type 2 Diabetes.” Everyday Health. Retrieved from URL: https://www.everydayhealth.com/type-2-diabetes/symptoms/warning-signs-of-type-2-diabetes/#increased-thirst-or-a-dry-mouth-may-signal-diabetes

Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs) and Food Preparation Tips for Reducing Inflammation in Your Diet

What Are AGEs and the Impact of Inflammation?

What Causes AGEs?

Which Foods Are Naturally Low in AGEs?

How Do We Strike a Healthy Balance?

What Can You Do to Lower AGEs and Inflammation? – In Conclusion

Next Steps to Reduce AGEs and Inflammation

 

Today, conflicting information about the best approach to nutrition and food preparation is rampant. While magazines, websites, and social media sources in both the fitness and food industries tend to publish contradictory pieces of advice, one source which continues to be a definitive resource for credible information is science. Specifically, scientifically-proven, definitive dietary recommendations provide insight into the things we can do to improve our eating habits and, subsequently, our overall health.

One emerging area of interest in the food science research community is that of advanced glycation end-products, also known as AGEs. While further research must be conducted to confirm the precise role these agents play in our nutrition and overall health, this guide will examine some of the conclusions, which have been drawn from completed studies.

What Are AGEs and the Impact of Inflammation?


sugar contributes to an increase of AGEs in the body, sugars combined with free amino acids or fats to create chemical reactions

AGEs are a multifaceted array of compounds produced by the body as a result of various chemical reactions. They are typically formed when sugars (such as glucose and fructose) combine with free amino acids or fats. This process serves as a natural function of daily metabolism and is not inherently harmful. In healthy adults, it occurs at normal rates; however, a certain set of both controllable and uncontrollable factors can increase AGEs content in the body, causing them to reach unhealthy levels. Specifically, the process is more likely to occur when blood sugar levels are elevated; thus, individuals with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes tend to have higher AGEs levels.[1][2]

Beyond affecting metabolism, elevated AGEs can also lead to an increase in oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are key contributors to long-term chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. In general, an accumulation of AGEs wreaks havoc on the cells, leading to premature aging. Although researchers have yet to determine whether AGEs play a causative role in the following conditions, they have been linked to insulin resistance, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, rheumatoid arthritis, cataracts, kidney disease, and even certain types of cancer. Moreover, AGEs can clog tiny blood vessels, known as the microvascular system, all throughout the body. This is especially dangerous in the heart, kidneys, and brain, and could contribute to the complications many diabetes sufferers experience.[3]

While the body has its own ways to filter out AGEs, including through enzymes and the kidneys, it simply is unable to keep up with a surplus of AGEs. And, those formed in the body are more likely to accumulate when individuals fail to control the ways through which they are consumed.

What Causes AGEs? 


To further understand AGEs and their potential role in the development of chronic disease, we must first understand what proliferates them. Time is one known factor which leads to a rise in AGEs. With age, the body undergoes years of routine metabolic breakdown, which ultimately leads to the elevation of AGEs. Nonetheless, research shows that in healthy individuals – including older adults – the level of AGEs is normal and expected. Thus, outside of the typical proliferation of AGEs which occurs with age, we must assess other variables which can lead to the increase in AGEs. From what researchers have found, nutrition is among the most powerful causes of increased levels of AGEs.[4]

 

How Does Nutrition Impact the Level of AGEs?

The Western diet can increase the level of AGEs, The Western diet is high in saturated fat and sugar

Some foods are inherently higher in dietary AGEs than others. The typical Western diet, for instance, is high in:

  • Saturated fats (including non-grass-fed meats and other poor-quality sources of animal products)
  • Added sugars
  • Fried foods
  • Processed foods

These foods and their preparation methods can have a significant impact on the concentration of AGEs in the body, in addition to many other negative health markers. For instance, in a meta-analysis, fatty meats (specifically, low-quality red meats) and processed carbohydrates such as cakes, cookies, and crackers had the highest AGEs content. Dairy and other cheeses showed high AGEs content as well. Sources of lean protein, such as seafood and white meat poultry, had a lower concentration of AGEs than red meat and dairy. The lowest levels were featured in whole food, non-processed carbohydrates, including plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains.[5]

Beyond the food source itself, research also tells us that the ways in which we prepare our food also accounts for a variance in AGEs level. Exposure to high heat for an extended period of time can lead to an increased level of AGEs, for instance, especially in animal products. Boiling, steaming, and stewing meat can reduce the level of AGEs by 50%, compared to frying, searing, roasting, and sautéing. In the aforementioned study, all common preparation methods for meat and poultry were compared, and the findings were telling: broiling meat and chicken can increase the content of AGEs to 5,800 kU/100g. Boiling or stewing, on the other hand, brings that figure down to 1,200 to 2,000 kU/100g.[6]

Additionally, findings have shown that marinating food in vinegar, lemon juice, and other acidic substances activates the compound aminoguanidine. This compound inhibits the formation of AGEs in food as it cooks. Specifically, marinating meat in an acidic base up to an hour before cooking has shown to significantly lower the overall AGEs content of the food.

Which Foods Are Naturally Low in AGEs? 


Foods that are naturally low in AGEs, Consuming plants and whole grains helps reduce AGEs

In addition to reducing the AGEs content in the meat we consume, it is also a wise practice to consume foods which have inherently low levels of AGEs. As mentioned previously, these food sources consist primarily of plants, including vegetables and fruits, as well as whole grains and legumes.

While they do not contain meats, processed carbohydrates including breads, cookies, crackers, and cakes tend to be much higher in AGEs. This is due to the fact that they are prepared with solid fat sources, such as non-organic and non-grass-fed dairy butter, and baked at temperatures known to increase AGEs levels.

How Do We Strike a Healthy Balance? 


While it might seem simple to cut out all animal products from our diet to lower the AGEs levels in our food intake, this simply isn’t realistic for many modern Americans. In fact, doing so could cause us to miss out on critical nutrients needed to support optimal health and bodily functioning.

Essential amino acids, in particular, are needed to build lean mass when combined with a well-balanced training program. While it is possible to substitute plant proteins for meat products to some degree, fish, eggs, and meat are highest in these critical nutrients. Some essential amino acids cannot be created by the body and therefore must be consumed. Animal protein has the highest ratio of essential amino acids; therefore, consuming high-quality animal protein is the most effective way to ensure healthy muscle protein synthesis.

When it comes to consuming meat, many medical professionals would argue that the benefits received from high-quality sources, especially when prepared in ways that reduce AGEs levels, outweigh the potential risks of the remaining AGEs left in the food. However, the same cannot be said for processed foods. Cakes, cookies, crackers, and processed meats are the greatest offenders in terms of increasing AGEs, as well as other inflammatory markers. These foods tend to have high levels of simple sugars, are cooked at high temperatures, and have little to no nutritional value. They are typically low in micronutrients, or vitamins and minerals. Moreover, these foods present the greatest threat to one’s health in virtually all areas. While cutting them out of the diet to lower AGEs is a worthwhile endeavor, many individuals also reduce their intake of nutritionally deficient processed foods to achieve other goals as well, such as lower blood sugar levels (A1C) to reduce the risk of or control diabetes, or to simply lose weight.

What Can You Do to Lower AGEs and Inflammation? – In Conclusion


Further research must still be done for experts to understand the effect of AGEs on the proliferation of chronic inflammation, stress, and disease. Nonetheless, based on what we have seen so far, it is clear that lowering AGEs through healthy dietary approaches can only help individuals reduce inflammation and minimize the risk of deadly diseases. Here are some key takeaways to bear in mind.

Weight training and protein sources help outweigh AGEs and inflammation, Man weight training to maintain lean muscle and lower AGEs

Weight training is essential to building and maintaining lean muscle mass and, in order to support this process, individuals must have ample amino acid protein sources in their diet. This facilitates muscle protein synthesis. While animal protein is considered highest in AGEs, when consumed in proper amounts according to individual needs and prepared in a way to minimize AGEs, its benefits are believed to outweigh any long-term risk of disease. Individuals should focus on consuming high-quality protein sources, such as lean animal protein, high in essential amino acids. Cooking meat slowly and marinating in vinegar, lemon or other citrus can lower the AGEs content. Minimizing consumption to red meat sources is also suggested and, when it is consumed, grass-fed beef is best. Solid fat sources, such as butter, should be from organic, grass-fed dairy and should be consumed in moderation.

While processed carbohydrates, such as those found in cookies, cakes, and breads, are high in AGEs; whole, unprocessed carbohydrates support long-term health. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are not only low in AGEs but also high in fiber, micronutrients, and phytochemicals. All of these components enable the body’s ability to remove free radicals and oxidative metabolites, strengthening its natural antioxidant system and subsequently lowering inflammation and disease risk. Although further studies must be conducted surrounding AGEs in these and other food sources, the research on AGEs supports what we already know about whole food carbohydrates, which is that they are essential to long-term health, exercise performance, and wellness.

In terms of exercise, individuals can benefit from combining cardiovascular activity, weight training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and flexibility exercises. Pursuing a balance among these activities is the best way to maintain the strength and elasticity of the muscles. It also helps to maintain healthy blood pressure levels and resting heart rate. These exercises, when combined, also increase cardiovascular capacity and decrease the rate of oxidative stress development as we age.

Ultimately, nutrition is among the most important factors in healthy aging, and optimizing one’s diet is the most powerful approach we have at our disposal to minimize inflammation and control risk factors for serious diseases. While readily available, processed foods have the worst impact on our health; they are nutrient-poor but calorie-dense, and typically high in AGEs.

While lowering AGEs is not the only way to minimize inflammation and lower the risk of chronic illness, it stands out as an important one. As the medical field evolves its understanding of these harmful agents, it is likely proactively made attempts to control them through optimizing diet and following a balanced exercise regimen that we will see the best long-term health outcomes..

Next Steps to Reduce AGEs and Inflammation


Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

 

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources on AGEs and Inflammation 


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

 

Joshua D’Alessandro MS, CSCS, CISSN                                                                                                                                                                                               Nutrition & Exercise Counselor at Cenegenics New York City

 

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation

 

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

Available for purchase here

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.

Additional Information on Effectively Managing Your Diet


What is Cenegenics?

What is Age Management Medicine?

What Does Cenegenics Cost?

Nutrition for Weight Loss

Cenegenics Alternatives: Why the Original Age Management Program Reigns Superior

The Dangers of Processed Foods

Sources on AGEs


[1] Uribarri, Jaime, et al. “Advanced Glycation End Products in Foods and a Practical Guide to Their Reduction in the Diet.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol. 110, no. 6, June 2010, pp. 911–916., doi:10.1107/s0108768107067079/bk5067sup1.ci

[2] “What Are AGEs (Advanced Glycation End-Products)?” Berkeley Wellness. Retrieved from URL: www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/food-safety/article/abcs-ages-advanced-glycation-end-products.

[3] Berkeley Wellness, see above.

[4] Uribarri, Jaime, et al, see above.

[5] Uribarri, Jaime, et al, see above.

[6] Uribarri, Jaime, et al, see above.

VO2 Max Testing and Training Applications in Age Management Programs

Importance of VO2 Max Testing at Cenegenics

Why Do a VO2 Max Test?

Maximizing Results at Cenegenics with VO2

Next Steps to Schedule VO2 Max Testing with Cenegenics

 

One of the unique advantages of Cenegenics’ Age Management program is the comprehensive testing performed by our clinical team. With a full panel of age management experts, we thoroughly screen each patient to achieve as robust a measurement of overall wellness as possible. While each test we perform holds tremendous value in terms of directing our physicians in developing an individualized program, one of the most significant parameters analyzed is a patient’s ability to utilize oxygen during exercise. This is measured through VO2 max testing.

Importance of VO2 Max Testing at Cenegenics


VO2 max testing assesses the maximal oxygen consumption of an individual during periods of intense, strenuous exercise. It is currently considered to be the gold standard of measuring cardiovascular fitness among medical experts and is hailed for its ability to accurately assess cardiorespiratory functioning. Not only does this test indicate aerobic fitness levels of a specific individual, it also provides a wealth of useful information on which specific directions can be provided for training purposes. Additionally, VO2 max testing unlocks powerful insights into overall wellness, including warnings of potential cardiac or respiratory disease symptoms.

At Cenegenics, VO2 max testing is a primary component of each Elite Health Evaluation, and our clinical team uses the results of this test to create your individualized program for optimal results.

 

What is VO2 Max Testing?

VO2 Max Testing at Cenegenics, Exercise room with VO2Max Test cycling equipment

There are various ways to perform a VO2 max test, the most common including use of a treadmill or cycle ergometer, both of which measure energy expenditure. Through the treadmill method, the participant begins by walking on a treadmill at a 10% grade. Every two minutes, both the treadmill’s speed and grade will increase until a maximal work output or volitional failure is achieved. While this is considered to be the most thorough means of testing, as it requires the use of the entire body, it also presents significant risk of injury. This is a maximal exercise test that is intended to push participants to reach levels of exhaustion, which, on a treadmill, can lead to the risk of falling. The proper precautions must therefore be implemented to ensure the safety of participants.

As an alternative to the treadmill test, the cycle ergometer is used as a safer option. At Cenegenics, we perform VO2 max tests via cycle as it is a much more efficient and less dangerous method for our clients. Additionally, it still provides valid, valuable results and information.

 

How Does a VO2 Max Test Measure? 

A VO2 max test employs the use of a mask, which is worn by the participant during the exercise and connected to a metabolic cart where biometric measurements are recorded. As the participants breathe, the air is collected in a mixing chamber where the gas is analyzed. When the air enters the chamber, both the volume of air and the ratio of carbon dioxide to oxygen are measured. The testing system uses specialized software, which can determine the energy expenditure of the exercise.

As the level of exercise intensity increases, the amount of carbon dioxide expelled while breathing also increases. These readings allow physicians to determine which fuel sources are being used in the body, (fats or carbohydrates) during a given point of time throughout the test. This proves to be beneficial for assigning customized training values for patients.

 

How to Read VO2 Max Test Results

Our cutting-edge VO2 max software provides a host of extremely useful information. Here, we will discuss the practicality and application of the data derived from the testing. One of the most outstanding qualities of this test is its ability to track all of the following data in 15-second intervals for the duration of the entire test, allowing our physicians to observe not only the changes that occur but also how quickly physiologic markers shift as the exercise intensity increases.

 

Relative and Absolute VO2 Max 

Absolute VO2 max (L/min) is a total value, while relative VO2 max (ml/kg/min) takes body weight into consideration. The relative value is therefore a more precise indicator of overall health than the absolute value. For example, an individual may have a high absolute value, but when factoring in body weight, it is determined that they have a very low relative value which indicates less than ideal health. See the below chart for Relative VO2 Max Norms from the American College of Sports Medicine.

METS identify the amount of oxygen consumed at rest, graph of metabolic equivalent ranges for men and women

 

Metabolic Equivalents (METS)

Also known as metabolic equivalents, METS identify the amount of oxygen consumed at rest. One MET is defined as 3.5 ml/kg/hour, which is equivalent to the energy cost of sitting idly. This measurement provides a simple and straightforward means of measuring exercise intensity via oxygen consumption, and may be particularly beneficial for training. Most treadmills now have a feature that will display the METS of a certain intensity level. An exercise physiologist or similar professional may prescribe an exercise plan using METS as a frame of reference for appropriate levels of intensity during physical activity.

 

Carbon Dioxide Expelled (VCO2)

VCO2 (L/min) is a value that goes hand-in-hand with VO2. As exercise intensity increases, so too does oxygen consumption (VO2). Thus, as more oxygen is consumed, more CO2 is created and expired through breathing. The volume of carbon dioxide expelled after transporting oxygen throughout the body is measured by VCO2. CO2 is also created as a byproduct of energy production inside the body during rigorous exercise; we will cover that in greater detail in an upcoming section.

 

Ventilation (VE) 

VE (L/min) refers to ventilation. In simpler terms, VE defines the movement of air via breathing. Ventilation therefore increases with exercise intensity, as the need to supply the body with oxygen and remove carbon dioxide increases. VE can also be correlated with the ventilatory threshold (described below) and used for training purposes.

 

Tidal Volume (VT) 

VT (L) is tidal volume.  It is the volume of air that is transported into and out of the lungs with each respiratory cycle or breath.  As exercise intensity increases, a larger oxygen demand is placed on the working tissue, demanding a larger volume of air per breath, more breaths per minute and an increased heart rate.

 

Respiratory Rate (RR) 

Respiratory rate, or RR, is measured in breaths per minute. At rest, an adult averages 12 to 20 breaths per minute. As activity intensifies, respiratory rate will increase. With that said, elite athletes have the ability to maintain a lower RR even while performing high-intensity exercise, due to optimal cardiovascular conditioning.

 

Heart Rate (HR) 

Heartrate (HR) is measured in beats per minute (bpm). Increased exercise intensity requires an increased oxygen demand to the body. In order to meet that demand, heart rate must increase to facilitate the transportation of oxygen to the working muscles. Both resting and exercising heart rate can be influenced by factors such as medication, stress levels, hormones, weight, and fitness level. Most individuals have a resting heart rate between 60 and 100 bpm, but trained athletes may have a resting HR as low as 40 bpm. In general, physicians tend to recommend a target heart rate during moderate exercise of roughly 50-70% of maximum HR, or 70-80% of maximum HR during vigorous exercise. Keep in mind that maximum heart rate may vary by age and other factors, so physician oversight is essential to ensuring patients are exercising within safe HR zones [1].

 

Respiratory Exchange Ratio (RER) 

RER stands for respiratory exchange ratio. It is among the most valuable pieces of information derived from a VO2 max test. RER determines the ratio of CO2 to O2 used, and it is indicative of the fuel source being used by the body. RER operates on a scale of 0.7 to upwards of 1.0, with 0.7 indicating utilization of fats for fuel and a measure of 1.0 or higher designating use of carbohydrates. This can be determined by the amount of CO2 in the air exhaled by the subject.

During periods of rest, we utilize fats as a fuel source and would therefore have an RER of 0.7. This is because breaking fat down for fuel requires oxygen and time. It is a slow process, so while at rest or during low-intensity exercise, our bodies are able to get enough oxygen to break down fats for fuel. As exercise intensity increases, however, the body is no longer able to break down fats quickly enough to provide energy. It therefore needs to pull from carbohydrates stored in the muscles, known as glycogen stores. Carbohydrates require little oxygen to be broken down as fuel, and compared to breaking down fats, the process is completed fairly quickly. As more carbohydrates are utilized to keep up with energy demands, however, fewer fats are used. The RER will then begin to shift up to 1.0. Typically, around the 1.0 mark the individual is anaerobic, meaning energy production depends fully on carbohydrates and there is a lack of oxygen to create energy.

Why Do a VO2 Max Test? 


Man cycling for cardiovascular health, Vo2 Max Testing is the most effective predictor of long term health

With all of the aforementioned data points provided by a VO2 max test, participants are provided with a better understanding of their overall health, potential disease risk factors, and fitness levels. The VO2 max test is one of the most effective predictor methods of long-term health and significant disease risk – so much so, in fact, that the American Heart Association (AHA) has released a statement on the reliability of cardiorespiratory fitness (synonymous with VO2 max) as an effective indicator of health risk factors. Additionally, emerging evidence is increasingly linking low VO2 max values with high risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality. It is even proving to be a more dependable indicator than other risk factors, including smoking, hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

When evaluating overall health, the relative VO2 max and METS are the values of most importance. The relative value provides an accurate determination with oxygen consumption levels with regards to weight, which provides greater insight into an individual’s overall wellness. Meanwhile, per the AHA, METS can be used as an indicator of high-risk mortality, with a measure of less than five indicating high risk, and a METS of 8 to 10 associated with a better chance of survival.

woman running to improve her cardiovascular health, Vo2 Max Test helping woman shape her training plan to further improve fitness and health

Not only does VO2 testing accurately assess health, but it also measures overall fitness levels and provides practical information, in order to prescribe precise training plans to further improve fitness and health. While not all exercise equipment or fitness trackers have the ability to analyze VO2, one of the best ways to apply this data to an individualized training program is by using a common, accessible value such as heart rate (HR). Most modern exercise equipment, fitness trackers, and smartphones have the ability to measure heart rate and provide the user with instant feedback. By using heart rate as a method of prescribing exercise, patients can match a heart rate zone to a desired intensity to elicit a specific result.

How, precisely, is this done? If a lower training intensity or steady-state cardiovascular exercise is ideal for the patient’s need, the physician would match the RER of roughly 0.85 to the patient’s respective heart rate value and recommend that they stay in that range. Likewise, if high-intensity interval training (HIIT) would best support the patient’s goals, the physician would recommend a heart rate value that could be achieved in accordance with an RER of 1.1. (If not 1.1., the patient might aim for the highest value over 1.0 prior to cooling down). That heart rate value is the target HR to shoot for when doing HIIT to achieve an anaerobic state, which ensures the full benefits of this style of training are realized. If the heart rate is too low, on the other hand, there may be insufficient stimulus to truly achieve the benefits of HIIT training.

Maximizing Results at Cenegenics with VO2 


At Cenegenics, we do not simply use VO2 max testing as a means of assessing health; we also use the data derived from the test to continuously support a demanding, comprehensive program to potentiate real results and minimize risk factors for age-related disease. After completing a VO2 max assessment at a Cenegenics facility, the patient’s data is then analyzed by an age management physician, as well as a qualified exercise and nutrition counselor, and used to assess risk and develop a training program created exclusively for that individual. Using the aforementioned process and associating heart rate values with target RERs, a target heart rate zone will be prescribed as a goal to reach during exercise. By working within this target range, the patient will achieve anaerobic exercise and stimulate the EPOC response.

EPOC stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, which refers to the period of time following physical activity during which the body uses oxygen to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), clear out lactate, return normal oxygen flow to the rest of the body, and restore the body temperature to a normal level. During this time frame, the body will be more metabolically active and continue to burn additional calories as a result. HIIT training is the most effective way to achieve EPOC, whether through running, rowing, biking, or using resistance exercise.

Man performing HIIT training on track, Man sprinting during HIIT training workout

HIIT training involves short bursts of exercise performed at an all-out intensity level, typically lasting from 10 to 30 seconds, followed by a short 45 to 60 second rest period. These durations vary based on fitness level. For instance, after a five-minute warmup, a HIIT routine might involve a 15-second max sprint followed by a 45-second rest, repeated for a total of ten minutes and followed by a five-minute cool down. In just 20 minutes, the amount of work done and caloric expenditure can exceed that of a 30 to 45 minute low-intensity steady state workout. It is for this reason that HIIT is widely recommended by Cenegenics physicians and favored by Cenegenics patients.

The results of using VO2 max testing to prescribe exercise programs and implement wellness measures to lower disease risk speak for themselves. Cenegenics patients are not only better able to achieve their weight loss goals and maintain their results; they are also more energized, alert, and healthier overall. If you are interested in discovering the power of VO2 max testing firsthand, contact your nearest Cenegenics location today.

Next Steps to Schedule VO2 Max Testing with Cenegenics 


Register for your complimentary phone consultation.

We hope the information above assisted you in your research process.

Key Resources for VO2 Max Testing


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

The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation

Cenegenics: The Complete Guide to Healthy Aging

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

Available for purchase here

 

Textbook Authors:

Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT

Dr. Jeffery 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.

Additional Information For Cenegenics Age Management Program with VO2 Max Testing


What is Cenegenics?

What is Age Management Medicine?

What Does Cenegenics Cost?

Cenegenics Elite Health Program: Why You Should Consider Age Management Your Next Investment

Anti-Aging vs. Age Management

Weight Loss on the Cenegenics Age Management Program

Defy Your Age with Cenegenics

Maximizing Your Health Potential

Healthy Heart: What is Heart Disease? Preventative Steps and Recognizing Symptoms

Sources of VO2 Max Testing

[1] “Know Your Target Heart Rates for Exercise, Losing Weight and Health.” American Heart Association, Inc. 2018. Retrieved from URL: http://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/target-heart-rates

 

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