Effect of Higher-Intensity Exercise on Weight Loss and Waist Circumference

From Annals of Internal Medicine, American College of Physicians

What is the problem?
Obesity is an important and prominent risk factor for diabetes, which is a disease that increases the risk for cardiovascular disease. While researchers know that exercise is important to help reduce waist circumference and improve cardiovascular health, the effects of high-intensity exercise are still not solidified. The researchers conducted this particular study in order to determine whether it makes a significant difference if an exercise regimen involving the same total amount of exercise is completed at a lower or higher intensity.

How was the study completed?
The researchers gather 300 adults with abdominal obesity, who did not currently have diabetes. They were then randomly assigned to complete five exercise sessions each week that involved either a lower or higher total amount of low- or high-intensity exercise. A trainer supervised each session in order to monitor the amount and intensity of exercise. Throughout the study, researchers measured: waist size, weight, cardiovascular fitness and the body’s response to blood sugar.

What did the researchers find?
Compared to the control group, which was asked not to engage in any structured exercise, each exercise group reduced wait circumference and greater reduction in body weight. According to the study, performing the same amount of exercise at a higher intensity did not result in a significantly greater reduction in waist size or more weight loss. However, the participants in the high-intensity exercise group did have a greater increase in cardiovascular fitness and there was an improvement in how well the body controls blood sugar.

The research conducted suggests that waist size may be reduced by both low and high intensity exercise as long as the same amount of exercise is performed (i.e. walking the same distance in either 60 or 40 minutes). While this research is enlightening, it is still unknown what the long-term health benefits are of the improved blood sugar control seen in people without diabetes.

Source: Annals 

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On April 23, 2015, posted in: News, Recent research by

Weight Loss In The Digital Age

In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, PC Magazine wrote a great article detailing the truth about losing weight in the digital age through fitness trackers and apps. While fitness trackers may be the latest fad, you’ll still need a few more things to successfully lose weight including: a plan, a toolkit and a great support system to keep you motivated. Part of the weight loss problem is that too many people wearing activity trackers stop using their new gadgets within just six months. So, how do we suggest staying on track?

Self-Monitoring: One of the key components of effective technology-based weight loss intervention is self-monitoring. In order to see changes, you must be involved and committed to your life-style changes. The great thing about technology is that it can help to simplify the monitoring process including recording food intake and tracking physical activity.

Remember, it is important to go beyond just tracking your daily steps. To get the most out of your fitness trackers, you’ll also want to be mindful of the calories you consume on a daily basis and be sure to stay under a target caloric goal, individualized for your body and goals. Several trackers actually have food-logging apps to complement your activity efforts.

Add A Heart Rate Monitor: In order to get more accurate calorie burn estimates, we highly suggest incorporating a heart rate monitor into your daily life and while you exercise.  Monitoring your heart rate allows you to focus on keeping your heart rate lower than where you might think it should be, so that you can exercise for a maximal amount of time and actually expend the greatest number of calories. While some fitness trackers have built-in heart monitors, you can also buy a device that only does heart rate monitoring.

Join A Community: In this digital age, social engagement has a huge effect on weight loss. Some smart activity trackers have apps that allow you to connect with other users, also working to lose weight. Today, there are a number of online forums for both men and women that are looking to share their stories, in need of encouragement and available to provide support for others. Additionally, friendly competition can often be enough to keep you actively monitoring your own data and maintaining your determination to reach your weight-loss goals.

Don’t Give Up: No matter how much technology you have available, none of it will truly help unless you keep your promise to yourself to commit to your long-term goals. Losing weight can be difficult, so remember to always be patient with yourself and work to find what techniques work best for you. Medical Metabolic Specialists is here to provide you with accurate information, consistent encouragement and healthy, creative ideas to help you reach your weight-loss goals.

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On January 12, 2015, posted in: News by

CAUTION: Misleading Weight-Loss Supplements

There is no magic pill or silver bullet when it comes to weight loss – no matter what advertisers and infomercials might say. However, a new Consumer Reports survey has found that many Americans are misinformed and inevitably persuaded to purchase ineffective and potentially dangerous supplements. The report shows that based on 3,000 participants, 20 percent of respondents believed that the U.S Food and Drug Administration guarantees the safety and effectiveness of these weight-loss supplements.

Why are we falling for these misleading supplements? Because companies are now making the labels on weight loss drugs look like those on regular, over-the-counter medications. The supplemental facts appear like nutrition facts, making it increasingly more difficult for the average consumer to be able to tell the difference and make an educated decision. While the labeling may look official, the FDA actually plays no role when it comes to these supplements.

The same Consumer Reports survey found that more than a quarter of respondents had tried a weight-loss product and believed the product was safe and would help them. However, about half of those polled also said they tried a weight-loss supplement and developed at least one symptom including: rapid heart rate, jitteriness, constipation or diarrhea and dry mouth.

To make matters worse, these weight-loss products may contain drugs that are actually banned by the FDA. Because there is no regulation process, there is no real way of knowing what is in the supplements. Moreover, none of these drugs have been proven to actually help burn more fat or calories.

At Medical Metabolic Specialists, we believe in a natural and well-rounded approach to weight loss. As we stated at the beginning, there is no magic pill to help you lose weight. Genuine transformation comes from committing to a lifestyle change, following a proper diet and building an exercise program that works for you. While prescription medications may be necessary for some with unique medical situations, drugs promising to help you “Shed 50 lbs in just 5 days” are not safe. Schedule an appointment with us to begin your journey towards a happier and healthier you – without dangerous supplements.

Source: Consumer Reports

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On January 5, 2015, posted in: News by

Medical Metabolic Specialists on Pinterest

Medical Metabolic Specialists is thrilled to announce that we are now on Pinterest!

Why are we so excited about Pinterest? Not only does this unique platform give us the opportunity to share even more great content with our clients, but it also gives our clients the ability to share their knowledge with friends and followers! Be sure to follow us on Pinterest for infographics, behind the scenes photos, healthy recipes and much more!

Check out our very first Pin and don’t forget to share with friends!


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On October 27, 2014, posted in: News by

Three Mindset Shifts To Help Weight Loss

The majority of us would agree that as a society we consume too much food, too much sugar and processed foods and just too much in general. TIME magazine writer, Ted Spiker, eloquently notes that the diet dilemma facing our nation “has everything to do with food. And nothing to do with food.”

What exactly does he mean by this? Weight loss and dieting have everything to do with adjusting our mindsets so that healthy life choices feel good rather than feeling like punishment. The following three mindset shifts should help you get started:

  1. Take ownership of you weight loss goals. People who are looking to lose weight usually fall into two categories: hiding from the world, fighting an uphill battle against all the forces that will make them gain weight or diligently taking in every piece of advice from the doctor, the nutritionist, the trainer and the author – the experts. However, leadership needs to ultimately come from within. When working towards weight loss goals, we must take charge of our own actions – only then will our new lifestyle feel like our own.
  2. Conquer your fears. Committing to a completely new lifestyle is scary – but necessary for healthy weight loss. Unfortunately, the more we fear the more we are prone to retreat. Setting attainable goals is a major component to breaking down the fear of building a healthier life. Every month, set one physical and mental challenge that scares you just enough to help you make good choices. This can be anything from running your first 5k to taking up Spinning.
  3. Patience is a virtue. The choices we make over time, not one meal, dictate the way our bodies will look, feel and respond. During exercise, we do need high-intensity training but more importantly we need to sustain an exercise program over time. Still, exercise and eating right should not feel like chores. For healthy life choices to work in the long run, they have to feel like rewards to your body.

Fully committing to a balanced diet and a sensible exercise plan should excite you enough to get out of your own head and make you want to keep doing it! At Medical Metabolic Specialists, we believe in a complete lifestyle changes rather than easy, quick fixes. For more information on our process and philosophy, look through our website or contact us today.

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On October 21, 2014, posted in: News by

Realistic Tips to Avoid Weight Gain After Weight Loss

The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition reports that less than five percent of adults in the US participate in the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity each day. The PCFSN also reports that while about 45 million Americans attempt to diet each year, weight loss and keeping that weight off can be extremely challenging.

We understand that changing your entire lifestyle is difficult, which is why Medical Metabolic Specialists is dedicated to helping patients achieve and maintain a healthy weight and healthy lifestyle. However, we also understand that old habits die-hard and that life happens. While we’re always here to help, lifestyle choices can ultimately only be controlled by you. To help you stay healthy, the PCFSN complied a list of common pitfalls and ways to combat them.

  1. Make sure to set attainable goals. 1-2 pounds per week is both healthy and realistic. Decreasing consumption of fats, sugars and salt along with at least 30 minutes of exercise is a great place to start.
  2. Cut down or cut out alcohol. Though maybe not as obvious as other foods, alcohol packs a lot of calories and provides almost no nutritional value. It can simultaneously interrupt your sleeping patterns, which slows your metabolism.
  3. Steer clear of “fad diets.” Instead, discuss healthy and scientifically accurate plans with MMS that are specifically modified for your body and goals.
  4. Do not be afraid to try new things! Explore the different cardio class options at your gym such as Spinning, kickboxing, Zumba and more. Everyone is different, so be sure to take advantage of the many workout options.

To help stick to your new lifestyle, consider these extra tips: plan your meals and schedule in time for exercise every day, do not skip meals, continue to be active even after you begin to start losing weight and most importantly – never give up!

Remember, losing weight and keeping it off is a commitment to a full change in lifestyle. Contact Medical Metabolic Specialists for tips to avoid weight gain and to begin your healthy journey towards a healthier lifestyle!


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On October 6, 2014, posted in: News by

Low-Carb versus Low-Fat Diets: Which is Right For You?

These days, when we hear the word “diet” we cringe.  We all hate the idea of denying ourselves the satisfaction of a bagel with cream cheese on a Monday morning or those slices of turkey bacon on a Sunday morning.  However, a recent study reveals that all sensible diets do actually show results and that people should pursue the one that is easiest for them.

The study by Dr. Bradley Johnston pooled nearly 7,300 individuals, specifically overweight to obese adults.  During the trials, Dr. Johnston randomized the adults and gave them each a specific diet to follow for a three-month period or longer.  The analysis showed that both low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets revealed weight loss.

Multiple studies have been conducted and are on going regarding the value and limitations of these specific diets.  This research has shown that for a diet to succeed it must match the individual’s goals and personal challenges. But above all else, consistency is key.

The good news is, there isn’t one specific miracle diet.  However, your diet does depend entirely upon you and the effort you put in to guaranteeing a healthier and happier life style.

To read more about this study, visit Boston.Com.

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On September 23, 2014, posted in: News by

More States Reach Historic Highs of Obesity

In a recent article, TIME reveals the painful truth about obesity in America.  According to the annual report from Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, obesity rates are increasing in six states and decreasing in exactly zero states.

The study shows that the six states whose obesity rates increased in the last year include: Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, New Jersey, Tennessee and Wyoming.  However, two states have excelled beyond the rest.  Mississippi and West Virginia are tired for the most obese state, with rates at 35.1%.

We are proud to report that Colorado is the least obese state with a rate of 21.3%.  However, this number is still high compared to the 15% obesity rate just 30 years ago.

How and why do obesity rates increase?  This can be attributed to both worsening eating habits and lack of exercise.  Thanks to an influx of fast-food restaurants, low accessibility of affordable healthy foods as well as our sedentary lifestyles, the obesity epidemic continues to grow.

Ginny Ehrlich, the director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s childhood obesity team, says: “If we don’t reverse these trends, the nation will stay on course toward disastrous health and cost outcomes.”

To read more, visit TIME.

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On September 9, 2014, posted in: News by

Exercise Your Heart and Your Mind


A recent study from the University of Montreal shows that aerobic exercise may help keep our bodies as well as our minds healthy as we continue to age. This study by Dr. Claudine Gauthier was recently published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging and gives a unique look into the link between aerobic fitness and brain function.

According to Dr. Gauthier, “Our body’s arteries stiffen with age, and the vessel hardening is believed to begin in the aorta, the main vessel coming out of the heart, before reaching the brain…the hardening may contribute to cognitive changes that occur during a similar time frame.” Simply, Dr. Gauthier believes that as we age it becomes increasingly difficult for blood to reach the brain, disrupting normal brain function.

To test this hypothesis, Dr. Gauthier and her fellow researchers studied a group of adults ages 18-30 and a group of older adults ages 55-75.  Both groups underwent physical and mental tests in addition to three MRI scans which measured blood flow to the brain, brain activity during the mental test and stiffness of the aorta.  The researchers focused on the aorta since this vessel carries oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to the rest of the body, including the brain.

Ultimately, the study helped to confirm that a healthy lifestyle, incorporating aerobic exercise, helps to maintain the elasticity of the aorta, thereby preserving blood flow and cognitive abilities as we age.

To read more about this study visit Medical News Today.

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On August 26, 2014, posted in: News by

Study Shows Low Sodium Intake Linked to Health Problems


The Wall Street Journal recently published an article stating that people who consume less than 3,000 milligrams of sodium per day are at a higher risk for heart attack and stroke within the period of low sodium intake. The claim is based on a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study tracked 100,000 people, from 17 different countries, over an average period of three years. And while participants who consumed less than 3,000 milligrams of sodium per day were at higher risk for disease, so were participants who consumed more than 6,000 milligrams. Suzanne Oparil, professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is an expert on high blood pressure and claims this new study “adds a pretty big weight on the side that low salt intake is associated with harm.”

While this study is bringing new material to the table, The American Heart Association is not convinced of the new findings due to how the study was conducted and continues to recommend people reduce their sodium intake.

To read more about the study, visit The Wall Street Journal.

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On August 15, 2014, posted in: News by