Foods with strong aroma appear to have the potential to help lose weight. In fact, two studies describe two different ways of using aroma to achieve that goal.
Above all, people naturally eat smaller bites of food that isn’t very tasty or food that is not familiar. Therefore, we associate smaller bites with food having low flavor or taste.
In addition, research shows that people take smaller bites when food aroma is strong. Indeed, our unconscious self-regulating mind tells us that because the food has strong aroma, it must be rich with calories. As a consequence, we take smaller bites. In addition, the self-regulating mind subconsciously tells us to take fewer number of bites to feel satiated. As a result, we eat less which, in turn, helps with our weight.
On the other hand, when food has very little or no aroma, our unconscious self-regulating mind tells us the food doesn’t have too many calories. As a consequence, we take bigger bites. In addition, our subconscious mind tells us that since the food likely doesn’t have too many calories, it’s OK to take many bites. As a result, we likely eat more, which, in turn, causes us to put on weight.
In fact, a similar effect occurs with taste. For example, we eat small amounts with each “bite” of a very salty soup. And likely we won’t take too many such “bites” of the soup. On the other hand, if the soup isn’t salty, we eat larger amounts of the soup with each “bite”. And likely we take too many “bites” of the soup.
Incidentally, the “bite” size reduction with salty soup is about 5%. Similarly, the “bite” size is reduced by about 5% for foods with aroma.
Indeed, the key here is self-regulation. That you are consciously trying to not overeat. A similar thing happens, when you have a mouth-watering aromatic chocolate cake in front of you. No doubt, you would want to eat the biggest piece of mouth-watering cake. However, your self-regulating mind causes you to take a smaller piece. Then, eat that by further taking small bites while reducing the number of bites.
Or, if you have a low aromatic salad, you associate the low aromatic salad with fewer calories. Consequently, you not only take bigger bites of the salad but you take more of them.
On the other hand, this method does not work for someone whose eating habits are not self-regulated. In fact, you may be just the kind of a person, who, if they see a chocolate cake in front of you, you may eat not one slice, but even two or three slices. And if you have some very tasty and mouth-watering aromatic foods, you are tempted to take bigger bites and more of them.
In conclusion, the method works for anyone who has a self-regulating mind when it comes to food.
Meanwhile, a new study reports that breathing the strong aroma of indulging high-calorie foods for more than two minutes satisfies your taste buds and your stomach. And, this reduces the temptation to eat the high calorie indulging food.
So, the next time you come across the strong aroma of indulging food, wait for two minutes or more before deciding on taking a bite. Or if the strong aroma of indulging food doesn’t reach your nostrils, carry a nebulizer with you. And, take a whiff with a nebulizer that gives off the scent of strong aroma indulging food. After waiting for two or more minutes, your desire for the indulging food may disappear.
On the other hand, since non-indulging foods don’t give off as much aroma, they do not affect our rewards system so much. As a result they have less influence on what we eat.
In fact, studies done at a school cafeteria and a supermarket demonstrated these effects. In the study, participants were exposed to the aroma of indulging cookies for more than two minutes as well as lack of aroma from the non-indulging strawberries. As a result the purchases of cookies were lower than the purchases of strawberries. Indeed, the prolonged exposure to the indulging cookies induced pleasure in the brain’s reward system resulting in a diminished desire for the actual eating of the indulging cookies.
On the other hand, when exposure to the aroma of indulging cookies was less than 30 seconds, more cookies were purchased than the strawberries. So, next time you come across strong aromatic indulging foods, soak the aroma for two or more minutes before deciding on eating the indulging food.
Above all, olfactory fatigue is the common experience of losing sensitivity to smells after prolonged exposure. In fact, your body adapts to the smell. As a consequence, the effects of the smell weakens over time. And, eventually you won’t be able to recognize the smell. After prolonged exposure, olfactory fatigue allows your body to adapt to the smell so as not to overload your nervous system.
For example, smelling a cookie activates smells cells, located at the end of your nasal passage. As a result, the smell cells send chemical messages to the brain. And the brain interprets these messages before relaying them to the mouth. Indeed, this entire process is known as the olfactory referral.
Moreover, the olfactory referral happens with each breath exposing us to the smell. And, our bodies adapt to the smell with continued stimulation. As a consequence the effect of the smell weakens. In fact, our brains are programmed to tell us when smell changes. And not to tell us when things smell the same as they did a few minutes ago.
First of all, retronasal olfaction refers to acquiring smell related information through the back of the mouth. And, orthonasal olfaction refers to acquiring smell related information through the nostrils. In fact, both methods influence flavor. For example, food aroma such as vanilla causes something perceived as sweet, to taste sweeter. And, once you experience the smell of food along with its flavor, the two become associated; thus, smell influences taste and taste influences smell.
So when you smell food aroma for two or more minutes, you get the effect of having tasted it. And having tasted it satiates you. So the desire to actually eat it lessens.
Advances in automation and technology has changed the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world. One of the consequences of these advances, has been that people spend more time sitting at home and work. In fact, millions of people spend nearly 8 hours a day sitting while at work. And, while sitting is definitely more comfortable, prolonged sitting is detrimental to your health.
In fact, studies show Americans spend an average six to eight hours every day sitting in their free time. And, we are watching television, playing video games, listening to music, resting, reading or working on computer while sitting.
Actually, a survey of 5,900 adults, reported that in 2018, almost 26 percent of respondents sat for more than eight hours a day. Also, another 45 percent didn’t get any moderate or vigorous exercise. And, about 11 percent were physically inactive, sitting for more than eight hours a day.
Indeed, too much sitting, causes your large leg muscles to become inactive. And, this has harmful metabolic consequences.
Also, sitting too much slows down your circulation causing blood to pool in the legs and feet, leading to varicose veins, swollen ankles, or even dangerous blood clots like deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
In addition, sitting too much decreases lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity, which negatively impacts the body’s ability to burn fat. Because the body starts to use carbohydrates for fuel (instead of fat), fat stores increase. As a result the body continues to gain fat even while consuming a low-calorie diet.
Next, prolonged sitting weakens muscles in the midsection, glutes, and legs. As a result, you are at risk of injury because your lower body has a hard time holding you up when you are sitting down or keeping you stable when you are walking.
Also, prolonged sitting and slouching causes your neck and shoulders to curve and stiffen, your spine loses its flexibility as it absorbs pressure, and your pelvis rotates the wrong way.
And, the longer you sit and maintain bad posture, the more likely you are to experience chronic pain in areas such as your neck, shoulders, back, hips, and legs.
Lastly, another side effect of prolonged sitting is anxiety and depression. Those who sit all day don’t get to enjoy the health and mood-boosting benefits of staying fit. And, being in front of the computer all day limits sun exposure and social interactions.
Above all, sitting too much affects your metabolism, interferes with healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. In fact, research shows that sitting too much causes obesity, high blood sugar, increased blood pressure, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. Incidentally, all of these conditions make up what is known as metabolic syndrome.
And not to be forgotten, too much sitting results in weight gain.
Most noteworthy, a survey of 125,000 adults by the American Cancer Society found that those who sat six or more hours a day were 19 percent more likely to die over the next 21 years than those who spent less time on the couch or at a desk after the workday is over.
In fact, risks were significantly higher for 14 of 22 specific causes of death. And, these 14 causes were: Alzheimer’s, suicide, kidney disease, COPD (such as emphysema), Parkinson’s disease, nervous disorders, peptic ulcer and other digestive disease, stroke, liver disease, pneumonitis, diabetes, cancer, coronary heart disease, and musculoskeletal disorders. Indeed, over the next 21 years, 48,000 people who responded to the survey died.
Meanwhile, thirteen studies on sitting time and activity levels found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day, with no physical activity, had a risk of dying which was the same as that from obesity or smoking.
Yet, another study followed 8,000 American adults, over the age of 45, from 2009 to 2017. Furthermore, the study monitored physical activity of these adults between 2009 and 2013 and their deaths up to the year 2017. Above all, the study found that adults, in this group, who replaced 30 minutes of sitting each day with low-intensity physical activity had their risk of early death reduced by 17 percent. In addition, adults who replaced 30 minutes of sitting each day with moderate-to-vigorous exercise had their risk of early death reduced by 35 percent.
Paradoxically, the higher risk of death holds even when people say they are trying to exercise. So, the recommended 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily does not eliminate risk of sitting rest of the day.
In fact, over the last 25 years, lack of physical activity is one of the leading causes of premature death in the United States. Furthermore, ten percent of early deaths in the United States were from being inactive.
On the other hand, there are ways to counteract the negative effects of prolonged sitting.
Meanwhile, the United States Department of Health and Human Services publishes a guideline of physical activity for Americans. And this guideline recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week. Also, the National Institutes of Health’s Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute publishes a guide on physical activity. And this guide gives you examples of things you can do around the house. In addition, the guide describes workouts providing moderate intensity physical activities.
First and foremost, dementia is a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Furthermore, Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. In fact, Alzheimer’s accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Most of all, alzheimer’s effects worsens over time. It is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment.
Especially relevant, Alzheimer’s effects include poor sleep.
Also, nearly 10% of Americans age 65 and older and one-third of Americans age 85 and older have Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, of those with Alzheimer’s, 81 percent are age 75 or older.
First and foremost, in one study, scientists studied 119 adults aged 60 and older. Also, 80% of these adults had no thinking or memory problems. While, the others had only mild thinking or memory problems.
In any case, among these adults, the study found that adults with reduced slow-wave sleep (also known as deep sleep) or poor sleep had higher levels of the brain protein tau. Incidentally, these elevated levels of tau are one of Alzheimer’s effects. Moreover, brain damage and mental decline caused these elevated tau levels.
Hence, Alzheimer’s effects include poor sleep or reduced slow wave sleep in older adults. So, poor sleep is a warning sign for the presence of Alzheimer’s.
First of all, observational studies also found reduced slow-wave sleep as a common factor among adults, over age 65, who had amyloid beta plaques in their brain. In fact, amyloid beta plaques in the brain, are a physical sign of Alzheimer’s effects. Yet these adults did not show signs of Alzheimer’s effects, such as memory loss and cognitive decline.
Incidentally, slow-wave sleep (which is part of deep sleep phase) consolidates your memories. As a result, reduced slow-wave sleep hurts the memory consolidation process.
Especially relevant, amyloid beta proteins accumulate in the brain every day. Also, amyloid beta proteins are thought to be a waste product from the energy used by brain cells to communicate with each other. However, your brain sweeps out the excess amyloid beta proteins every night during slow-wave sleep.
Regrettably, some studies suggest that, interrupted slow-wave sleep causes build up of amyloid beta proteins to form plaque in brain tissue. Incidentally, scientists believe, this sign of Alzheimer’s effects, is also the first stage in the development of Alzheimer’s. Indeed, plaque can build up two decades before symptoms of memory loss and confusion appear.
Meanwhile, a 2015 study in Nature Neuroscience imaged the brains of 26 adults, between the ages of 65 to 81. Also, these adults had not been diagnosed with dementia and did not report any sleep problems. First, PET scans on the adults measured their brain’s amyloid beta levels. Then they were asked to memorize 120 pairs of words and tested on how well they remembered a portion of them.
The adults then slept for eight hours. During this time their brain waves were measured. And these brain waves searched for sleep disruptions, as well as to find out if they woke up during the slow-wave phase. The next morning, as they tried to recall the memorized words, their brains were scanned again.
Over all, adults with the highest amyloid beta levels in their brain had the poorest quality of sleep. Moreover these adults performed worst on the memory test. In fact, some forgot more than half of the words. In conclusion, then, improving the quality of your sleep results in the brain’s lowest amyloid beta levels.
Also, the high amyloid beta levels still remaining in the brain after sleep, likely turns to plaques. Therefore, these high residual amyloid beta levels are another growing sign of Alzheimer’s effects.
Lastly, 119 people aged 60 and over participated in a study to discover how sleep causes Alzheimer’s effects. Therefore, researchers related the participants measured brain waves, amyloid beta and tau levels with sleep. And, researchers found that decreased slow-wave sleep coincided with higher levels of tau in the brain along with a higher tau-to-amyloid ratio in the cerebrospinal fluid. Moreover, total sleep wasn’t a factor. In fact, people with high tau levels were sleeping longer, even taking afternoon naps, but they weren’t getting enough slow-wave sleep.
In the meantime, other studies report that aerobic exercise helps you get better sleep quality. Also, because overweight people tend to have more sleep problems, it’s important to lose weight.
In conclusion, exercising, losing weight, and practicing good sleeping habits helps you improve your sleep. Which in turn protects you from both amyloid beta plaques as well as tau proteins, both of which are growing signs of Alzheimer’s effects. In addition, good sleeping habits, like sleeping 8 hours every day, also protects you from all the other bad consequences.
Regrettably, sleeping less than 6 hours or a disturbed sleep where you were awake off and on during the night, has detrimental effects on your body. Therefore, it’s important for you to take recovery action the following day. However, to make that decision, it is useful for you to be able to recognize your sleep loss symptoms.
First and foremost, your body’s signs are listed below.
Next, your cognitive related sleep loss symptoms are listed below.
Next, your food related sleep loss symptoms are listed below.
Also, your sleep related symptoms are listed below.
And, your mood related sleep loss symptoms are listed below.
Finally, the other signs of sleep loss.
First and foremost, sleep loss increases the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Most of all, more than a third of Americans routinely suffer from sleep loss because they don’t sleep the recommended 7 to 8 hours.
In addition, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2017 reported that more than 100 million Americans either have diabetes or are prediabetes. Also, the CDC reports that nearly 1 in 4 Americans with diabetes don’t know they have it. And lastly almost 90 percent of prediabetes Americans aren’t aware of their condition.
When your body causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal, you have diabetes (or hyperglycemia). Also, type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.
First and foremost, the pancreas produce the hormone insulin. Also, insulin enables cells in tissues and muscles to absorb glucose from blood in circulation. Most of all, tissues and muscles use the glucose to generate energy.
Regrettably, cells can become resistant to insulin. As a result, the cells are less able to absorb the glucose in the blood. And, this is called insulin resistance. As a consequence, the pancreas make extra insulin.
But, if this continues for a long time, the pancreas aren’t able to make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose levels normal. As a result your blood glucose levels rise. And you have what is called type 2 diabetes.
On the other hand, sometimes the pancreas stop producing enough insulin. And because there isn’t enough insulin, cells can’t absorb enough of the blood glucose. Which also results in blood glucose levels to stay high.
In conclusion, Type 2 diabetes develops, if over time, blood glucose levels continue to stay high, cells continue to stay resistant to insulin, or the pancreas stop producing enough insulin.
Persistent sleep loss affects the circadian rhythm. In fact, disruptions to the circadian clock reduces the effectiveness of insulin and over time contributes to insulin resistance.
Moreover, the latest research indicates that insulin also operates on a daily cycle. And the circadian clock controls this cycle by changing the timing of production and release of insulin by the pancreas. In addition, there are times of the day when cells are more sensitive and less sensitive to insulin.
Sleep loss also appears to affect the health of cells in the pancreas. In fact, sleep loss creates stress in pancreatic cells and also disrupts blood glucose levels.
And, research shows that sleep loss and poor-quality sleep:
First of all, a study of 54,000 adults, reported that those who slept less than 6 hours or more than 9 hours are significantly more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
In addition, a meta-analysis of 11 studies reported that the risk of type 2 diabetes goes up as sleep loss increases as well as when they sleep become longer than 9 hours. In fact, the risk of getting type 2 diabetes was least with regular 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
Finally, four large studies reported a strong relationship between frequent sleep loss and risk of developing diabetes.
Above all, studies show that those who suffer from frequent sleep loss take up to 40% longer to properly regulate blood sugar after a high-carb meal. As a result, over time, the pancreas are subjected to added stress. And this can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Most of all, if you suffer from frequent sleep loss, you can exercise. In fact, a study reported that combining aerobic workout with resistance training improved glycemic levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Moreover, the study reported that combining aerobic exercise with resistance training had better results that each workout on its own.
Following up on the combination concept, another study looked at the effect on potentially preventing or at least delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes caused by frequent sleep loss episodes. So, the study, in the Journal of Diabetes Investigations, reported that the combination resulted in at least delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Meanwhile, the study involved 10,680 Japanese women with an average age of 57.8 years. Also, these women had a mean BMI of 23.2 kg/m2. And these women participated in an exercise program with 24 minutes of combined aerobic workout and resistance training followed by 6 minutes of stretching.
In addition, the women were grouped into four categories, depending on the number of exercise sessions they attended over a 5 month period.
And, the study reported that women in category 1 had the lowest risk of getting diabetes. Next, women in category 2 also had low risk of getting diabetes. Finally, women in category 3 had about the same risk of getting type 2 diabetes as the women in category 4.
Most noteworthy, researchers found a negative linear relationship between number of sessions and risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Moreover, this negative linear relationship applied to women in all four categories. Which means that the more they worked out, the lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore, in each category, researchers found that women with lower BMI had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than women with higher BMI.
Above all, resistance training increased skeletal muscle mass. And, the aerobic workouts used those larger muscle mass to absorb and convert to energy, more blood glucose. As a result, blood glucose levels fell and more fat was burned.
In conclusion, going on an aerobic workout combined with resistance training program is a good way to counteract the downsides from sleep loss. Moreover, the workout program may help make sleep loss less frequent.
Belly fat, along with fat elsewhere in the body, is a source of energy for your intense workout. So, the more you exercise the more belly fat burned. And, more intense workout similarly causes more belly fat to burn. Meanwhile, a signaling molecule called interleukin-6, also known as IL-6, causes the transfer of energy from belly fat to exercising muscles, needing the energy, during an intense workout.
First and foremost, visceral fat surrounds the abdominal cavity’s internal organs. Regrettably, visceral fat is really bad for you because it is responsible for cardio-metabolic diseases, cancer, dementia, and mortality. Also, visceral fat accumulates around your mid-section – resulting in an apple shaped body.
First and foremost, contracting skeletal muscles, during an intense workout, produces IL-6. Next, IL-6 enters the blood stream. Next, the liver and the white adipose tissue absorb IL-6 from the blood stream.
Upon entering the liver, IL-6 triggers conversion of glycogen to glucose. Next, the blood stream absorbs the glucose. Furthermore, the blood stream transports and releases the glucose to the starving exercising muscles.
Also, IL-6 receptors, on the white adipose tissue cells, capture IL-6 in the blood stream. And this triggers the hydrolysis of triacylglycerol. As a result, the adipose tissue cells release energy-rich free fatty acids and glycerol — a process known as lipolysis. Next, the blood stream absorbs the free fatty acids. And the blood stream transports and delivers them to the exercising muscles where they provide energy.
Above all, the amount of IL-6 produced depends directly on the intensity, duration and mode of the exercise. For instance, an intense workout like rowing, doubles the amount of IL-6 in plasma relatively quickly. On the other hand, with an endurance aerobic workout, like long distance running, the IL-6 doesn’t peak until later.
In addition, the amount of IL-6 produced is inversely related to the glycogen levels in contracting muscles. So, the glycogen starved muscles release huge amounts of IL-6. On the other hand, glycogen rich muscles release very little IL-6. Most of all, a huge and immediate release of IL-6 occurs when you exercise for a long time and/or you have an intense workout.
For instance, levels of IL-6 in blood are significantly enhanced after 30 min on a treadmill, with peak levels occurring after 2.5 hours on the treadmill. Other studies didn’t measure IL-6 levels while running but at several times after running stopped. These studies reported the highest IL-6 levels immediately after the running stopped. This was, then, followed by a rapid decline.
Most noteworthy, the kinetics of the IL-6 response differs in strength training exercises such as concentric and eccentric exercises. First of all, a concentric exercise is one where contractions shorten the muscle, while eccentric exercise is one where the contractions lengthen the muscle.
In most exercises, the targeted muscle is working to perform the action. And the muscle does the work by shortening itself – known as concentric focused action. While during the return the targeted muscle relaxes. And the muscle does so by returning to its original length – known as eccentric focused action.
For example, in an intense workout like the biceps curl, the concentric portion occurs when you bend your elbow and bring the weight toward your shoulders. And the muscles do this by shortening themselves. While the return is eccentric focused because when you relax your muscles, they lengthen to go back to their previous length.
So, when you do concentric exercises, the increase in IL-6 is related to the duration of the exercise. Most noteworthy, there is logarithmic relationship between the increase in IL-6 and duration of the exercise. And, IL-6 levels decline after completion of the concentric exercise to reach original levels within a few hours.
On the other hand, eccentric exercises cause only a modest increases in IL-6 levels. And the IL-6 levels peak at some time after the exercise ends. However, IL-6 levels stay elevated for several days after.
This role of IL-6 was recently demonstrated with obese adults doing an intense workout. In fact, exercise bikes were used, in the intense workout, to burn fat. As a result, these adults saw a decrease in their visceral abdominal fat. Above all, the demonstration clearly showed that IL-6 played a key role in the loss of visceral abdominal fat.
In fact, the before and after amounts of visceral fat was measured using magnetic resonance imaging techniques. And, a noticeable loss of visceral fat was measured. Regrettably, using a weight scale to measure body weight changes would lead to invalid results. This is because exercising increases muscle mass while also decreasing body fat. So a better approach to measuring visceral fat is to use a tape to measure waist circumference.
So what’s the takeaway.
First, it’s not any particular exercise that’s important but whether you get an intense workout doing the exercise. In fact, an intense workout is one where you sweat during the workout. Because if you don’t break a sweat, the intensity of the workout is low. Which means the body is expending little energy during the workout. And while you will burn some fat, the amount burned would be very little.
So what kind of exercises qualify? Most of us can easily name running, bicycling, fast walking, rowing, or paying tennis. But there are many others that may not be obvious because it’s not clear you can do them with intensity. For example, strength training with weights lower than your maximum, especially if you go through your workout fast enough to feel your muscles getting tired. While, on the flip side, even running wouldn’t qualify for an intensive workout, if you only do a leisurely jog that doesn’t even cause you to breathe much quicker than your normal rate.
By the same token, you also have to exercise for a sufficiently long duration. For example, because your muscles can’t take it anymore, you may finish your particular weight workout quickly. So if that happens, do a weight workout using different muscles. And, because you are doing several such workouts in sequence, you are effectively doing an intense workout over a long period of time.
Now, going back to the example of jogging. You can make up for your slow jog by jogging for a long period of time. For instance, jogging for at least one hour, would definitely tire you out, meaning you expended a lot of your energy.
In conclusion, it’s not enough to only workout. Indeed, to successfully lose belly fat, it’s necessary to also change your diet so that you don’t eat back the fat you lost by your workouts.