TUESDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) — If you’re looking to lose those extra pounds, you should probably add reducing stress and getting the right amount of sleep to the list, say researchers from Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research in Portland.
In fact, although diet and exercise are the usual prescription for dropping pounds, high stress and too little sleep (or too much of it) can hinder weight loss even when people are on a diet, the researchers report.
“We found that people who got more than six but less than eight hours of sleep, and who reported the lowest levels of stress, had the most success in a weight-loss program,” said study author Dr. Charles Elder.
Elder speculates if you are sleeping less or more than recommended and if your stress levels are high, you will not be able to focus on making behavioral changes.
These factors may also have a biological impact, he added.
“If you want to lose weight, things that will help you include reducing stress and getting the right amount of sleep,” Elder said.
The report, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, is published in the March 29 online edition of the International Journal of Obesity.
In this two-step trial, 472 obese adults were first counseled about lifestyle changes over a 26-week period. Recommendations included cutting 500 calories a day, eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains by following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet approach, and exercising at least three hours a week.
In addition, the researchers asked the participants questions about sleep time, depression, insomnia, screen time and stress.
During this part of the trial, the participants lost an average of almost 14 pounds. The 60 percent of the participants who lost at least 10 pounds went on to take part in the next phase of the trial. Those in the second phase of the trial continued their diet and exercise program.
Elder’s team found the right amount of sleep and stress reduction at the start of the trial predicted successful weight loss. Lower stress by itself predicted more weight loss during the first phase of the trial, they added.
Declines in stress and depression were also important in continuing to lose weight during both phases of the trial, as were exercise minutes and keeping food diaries, Elder’s group found.
Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine, said that “while we often tend to look at health one condition at a time, the reality is that health is best viewed holistically.”
“People who are healthy and vital tend to be healthy and vital not because of any one factor, but because of many. And the factors that promote health — eating well, being active, not smoking, sleeping enough, controlling stress, to name a few –promote all aspects of health,” he added.
This study shows that people are more likely to lose weight when not impeded by sleep deprivation, stress or depression, he said.
“Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight probably could have said much the same from personal experience. Similarly, weight loss reduced stress and depression. This, too, is suggested by sense and common experience, as it is affirmed by the science reported here,” Katz said.
The important message is that weight loss should not be looked at with tunnel vision, Katz said.
“Improving sleep may be as important to lasting weight control efforts as modifying diet or exercise. Managing stress is about physical health, as well as mental health. This study encourages weight loss in a more holistic context,” he said.
Another study presented earlier this month at the American Heart Association scientific sessions held in Atlanta found that people of normal weight eat more when they sleep less.
Columbia University researchers discovered that sleep-deprived adults ate almost 300 calories more a day on average than those who got enough sleep. And the extra calories mostly came from saturated fat, which can spell trouble for waistlines.
The researchers came to their conclusions — which should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal — after following 13 men and 13 women of normal weight. They monitored the eating habits of the participants as they spent six days sleeping four hours a night and then six days sleeping nine hours a night (or the reverse).
“If sustained, the dietary choices made by people undergoing short sleep could predispose them to obesity and increased risk of cardiovascular disease,” the researchers wrote in an American Heart Association news release.
Make a double batch of this quick vegetarian chili, full of black beans and sweet potatoes, and eat it for lunch the next day or freeze the extras for another night. We love the smoky heat from the ground chipotle, but omit it if you prefer a mild chili.
4 servings, about 2 cups each
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Tips & Notes
Per serving: 307 calories; 8 g fat ( 1 g sat , 5 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 51 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 12 g protein; 14 g fiber; 494 mg sodium; 947 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (213% daily value), Vitamin C (48% dv), Iron (32% dv), Folate (29% dv), Potassium (27% dv), Calcium (16% dv).
Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2
Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat
When I’m not in top form, conserving energy = Crock Pot. This is an easy healing soup with cabbage- so soothing to the tummy- and lots of garlic- a natural immune booster and cold fighter.
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil into the bottom of a Crock Pot or slow cooker. Lay the chicken breasts in the bottom; top with half the chopped garlic. Season with sea salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, bell pepper, yellow and zucchini squashes, potatoes, and green chiles; and toss them with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt, ground pepper, herbs and a shake or two of hot red pepper flakes. Toss to coat. Pour the veggies into the crock in an even layer. Pour on the diced tomatoes. Add the chicken broth and a dash of balsamic vinegar, to taste. The liquid should just about cover the veggies. If you like more of a brothy soup than a stew, add more broth.
Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours, until the chicken is tender and easily breaks apart into pieces with a large spoon [my chicken was thawing from the freezer, and very cold when it went into the pot, so adjust your cook time accordingly, if you need to]. Taste test for seasoning adjustments. I added a pinch of brown sugar to mine to balance the tomato-garlic and spice. Stir in any seasoning adjustments and serve. Makes four hearty servings to soothe you- body and soul.
Ask most women what they consider their most serious health threat and the answer is likely to be cancer, especially breast cancer. In fact, in a survey conducted by the National Center of Health Statistics, 65 percent of women said cancer was their most serious health threat.The reality is that nearly six times as many women die annually from heart attacks as from breast cancer. And nearly two-thirds of the deaths from heart attacks in women occur among those who have no history of chest pain. For most, the first warning sign of a heart attack is a sudden onset of extreme weakness that feels like the flu.
And there are many other differences in heart disease in women than men, which Dr. Dennis DeSilvery, a cardiologist for over 30 years, will talk about in a forum titled, “Heart Disease for Men and Women: The Similarities and the Differences.”
The forum is set for Thursday, April 14, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the hospital’s Education Center.
Find out why:
• women wait longer than men to go to an emergency room when having a heart attack. And once there, heart attacks in women are more difficult to diagnose;
• one-and-half-times more women die than men within one year after suffering a heart attack;
• men’s plaque distributes in clumps whereas women’s distributes more evenly throughout artery walls, which can be misinterpreted; and
• diabetes doubles the risk of a second heart attack in women but not in men.
Favorite exercise mantras:
* Do it for those who can’t.
* You know your limit and this is NOT it. (Meaghan)
Healthy Eating Mantras:
* The food you eat today is the body you wear tomorrow. (Katie)
* You can’t judge a run by the first mile. (Michelle)
2 lbs. beef, cut into cubes
First- salt the cubes of beef on all sides. Turn on the Crock Pot to High. Heat a dash of light olive oil in a deep heavy pot over medium-high heat. Brown the beef cubes on all sides to sear in the flavor, using long tongs to turn the pieces. This doesn’t take but maybe five minutes, or so. Remove the beef and add it to the Crock Pot. Add in the garlic, pearl onions, potatoes, carrots and celery. Pour in the wine and broth. Stir. Add the balsamic, herbs and ground pepper. Cover and let the magic happen. The stew is ready when the beef and vegetables are tender- about 4 to 5 hours if cooked on High. Remove the bay leaf. Taste test the broth and adjust for your taste buds- does it need a tad more salt? More ground pepper? The flavors should be balanced, warm and inviting.
Serves 4 to 5.
Fourth and fifth grade classes in RSU 20 recently attended a district-wide health fair called, “Tobacco Free…A Passport to Health.” Among the things they did was to sing and dance to the words below, designed to increase their self-esteem and refusal skills.
My Mind is Mine
Some people in the world
Are messin’ up their minds,
They’re messin’ up their lives with
All that JUNK! The stuff
Is in control, It’s takin’ all the
Souls of people who were once like
YOU and Me. Got to stand my
Ground. Lookin’ all around.
Pressure comes from people
Not my Real Friends.
I’m in charge of me. No one else
Can be. Smokin’ is Stupid.
Say no! (No!)
My mind is mine (5x) I respect myself.
My mind is mine (5x) I respect myself
My mind is mine (5x) I am in control. NO!!!
The second annual fair was based on the tobacco/drug unit from the Great Body Shop curriculum used in the school. During the day, students visited seven stations that focused on various aspects of tobacco and on ways to make healthy choices. Those stations were:
The event was put together by RSU 20, Waldo County YMCA and Healthy Waldo County, with assistance from Athena Health, Hannaford and Organic Valley. Students attended for one day with the fair running for three days to accommodate all the students. Students from schools in different areas of the region were put together on small teams to give them an opportunity to meet students with whom they will be attending middle school.
Linda Hartkopf, the school health coordinator in RSU 20, said, “The timing for the fair is perfect. Recently, reports were released about tobacco usage among Maine youth. The numbers are alarming and climbing. The State of Tobacco Control 2009 report shows that between 2007 and 2008, self-reported rates of smoking in Maine adolescents and teens rose from 14 percent to more than 18 percent, which is the first increase since 1997, when the rate was more than 39 percent. We look forward to providing students strategies for making good, healthy choices around tobacco.”
Waldo County General Hospital is offering an American Red Cross CPR and standard first aid class that is open to the public. The class will be held on Saturday, March 26, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Hospital’s Education Center on Northport Avenue in Belfast and will cover adult CPR and first aid techniques.
Lonie Brown, a certified American Red Cross Instructor, will conduct the course which is ideal for day care providers, care givers or any interested persons. Participants will receive a certification card upon successful completion of the class.
Call the hospital’s education department at 338-2500 extension 4154 to register and pick up the CPR book. The fee is $55 and should be paid when picking up class materials.
According to a recent dailySpark poll, 75% of you do not work out with a buddy. I’m more of a solo exerciser myself, but sometimes—especially when I need a little entertainment or motivation—I like working out with a friend. I don’t strongly take one side or the other on this issue. I think different things work for different people. But some new research is showing that pairing up to work out might have more benefits than you realized…
In 2007, a small University of Virginia study of 34 students yielded some interesting results about friends and physical challenges. Participants stood at the base of a hill wearing a weighted backpack. Some of them were all alone. Others were paired up with a friend. Researchers then asked them to estimate how steep the hill in front of them really was. The students who stood with a friend estimated that the hill was less steep than students who stood alone did. And the longer the friends had known each other, the less steep the hill appeared to them.…
2 tablespoons olive oil
5-6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 red onion, diced
2-3 teaspoons red curry paste (Thai Kitchen makes a good one, available at Hannaford), to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 head white or purple cabbage, shredded
2 large carrots, peeled, sliced or chopped
1 large sweet potato, diced
2 apples – 1 tart, 1 sweet – cored, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1 14-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 cups broth, more if needed
To add in later:
1 cup light coconut milk, more if needed
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
A squeeze of fresh lime to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro, to taste
Pour the oil in the bottom of the Crock Pot.Add the garlic, onion and spices. Stir to coat. Add the rest of the ingredients in the first list. Stir briefly to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for six hours or until the vegetables and potato are tender. I stirred the curry once during the afternoon to make sure all the veggies were moist and mingled.
Before serving, add in the coconut milk, seasoning and lime. Add some chopped cilantro. Taste test and adjust seasonings, balancing the sweet tartness with the fiery creaminess. If you need more liquid, add broth or coconut milk.
Makes 4 servings.