Healthy Life, June 2017

New Research Provides INSIGHT into MAINTAINING WEIGHT LOSS

 

New research provides
Insight
into
MAINTAINING
WEIGHT LOSS

Keeping off the pounds for good once they’re gone can often be even more challenging than losing the weight—but what if an accountability partner could increase your chances of staying trim?

New research shows that maintaining weight loss may be improved through regular contact with someone who can help keep you accountable

In a research study published in the journal Obesity , scientists found that people who received regular telephone calls with a specialist could better overcome barriers to weight maintenance, and keep weight off more successfully than people who did not receive regular counseling.

LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center was one of four U.S. sites that participated in the Weight Loss Maintenance Trial, aimed at comparing three different strategies for maintaining weight loss. The study was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

During phase one of the study, volunteers participated in a six-month weight loss program. Those who lost more than 8.8 pounds during that time continued on to phase two of the program, a two and a half year weight maintenance phase. During those two and a half years, participants were assigned to one of three groups.

The first group was encouraged to continue using the tools they received during the weight loss phase —calorie counting, adherence to the DASH diet and physical activity monitoring. The second group had around-the-clock access to a website where they could check in regularly to report their weight status and receive advice. The third group received monthly telephone calls from an interventionist who provided motivational counseling and helped participants try to overcome barriers to maintaining their weight.

At the end of those two and a half years of weight maintenance, researchers found that without personal
contact, participants tended to regain lost weight; while participants with access to personal help and support kept the weight off better than the other two groups. Continuing personal support beyond two and a half years did not further improve weight maintenance.

The concept of personal motivation and support in maintaining weight loss may seem elementary. “After decades of research, scientists have learned how to produce highly effective methods for weight loss, but we still have not completely cracked the code on maintaining that weight loss. This study provides a foundation for us to move forward in improving ways in which we help people prevent weight regain,” said Dr. Phil Brantley, associate executive director for scientific education at Pennington Biomedical and an author on this study,

“This study is unique in that it had one of the largest and most diverse populations to take part in it. We looked at weight maintenance among people of varying genders, races, ages and risk factors. It was also one of the longest-running studies of its kind, so it provided us with a closer look at how different weight loss strategies can work over time,” added Brantley.

Pennington Biomedical is continuing its work to better understand the triggers of chronic disease such as obesity, and seek sound strategies for losing weight and keeping it off. For more information on how you can volunteer for one of Pennington Biomedical’s research studies, please visit www.pbrc.edu/healthierLA or call 225-763-3000.

Doctor

Dr. Phillip Brantley is the Associate Executive Director for Scientific Education for Pennington Biomedical Research Center. He earned his bachelor of science degree from Georgia College and State University,
Masters and Ph.D., University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 1980, Clinical Psychology, and completed his clinical psychology internship at Medical University of South Carolina and Charleston VAMC. His research interests include Weight loss techniques that promote long term weight management and their impact on biomarkers and health outcomes.

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Healthy Life, June 2017

Sesame Spiced Chicken with Chickpea Salad

 

Sesame Spiced Chicken with Chickpea Salad

Serves 4 / Prep time 15 min / Total time 35 min

Recipe from RealSimple.com

Chickpea Salad Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup torn basil leaves
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • kosher salt and black pepper

Sesame Spiced Chicken Ingredients

  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 8 bone-in, skinned chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds)

Directions

  • In a medium bowl, toss the chickpeas, cucumber, basil, and shallot with the oil, vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  • Heat grill to medium. In a small bowl, combine the sesame seeds, paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  • Sprinkle the chicken with the sesame seed mixture, pressing gently to help it adhere.
  • Grill, covered, until cooked through, 9 to 10 minutes per side.
  • Serve with the chickpea salad

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Healthy Life, September 2016

A Burden Lifted

With 100-Pound Weight Loss, He Gains New Perspective

by Lisa Tramontana
Pedro before (left) and after (right) his dramatic weight loss.
Pedro before (left) and after (right) his dramatic weight loss.

Pedro White is a changed man. Just a year ago, he was 100 pounds heavier, completely out of shape and depressed about his health. Today, he feels great and has a positive outlook on life.

As a young man, White’s weight was normal, but over the years, his lifestyle and eating habits had caused a slow but steady weight gain. When he was brave enough to finally step on the scale, he saw the number 290 staring back at him, and was shocked. He decided it was time to take control of his life before he ended up with a heart attack or stroke.

A delivery driver for SAIA, White’s job kept him on the road all day long, every day. During his breaks, he often sat in his truck and ate fast food and more sweets than he could count. “Fried chicken, fried fish, cookies, cakes, pies … it was doing me in,” he said. “It got harder to get in and out of the truck. I was having trouble climbing stairs. I was out of breath all the time. I hated feeling that way.”

Pedro holds a pair of his old pants showing just how much weight he has lost.
Pedro holds a pair of his old pants showing just how much weight he has lost.

He was also on medication for his cholesterol and blood pressure, and at only 38, hated the idea of it. “I was too young to be on medicine,” he said. “I just decided I was tired of it,” he said.

His solution was simple. He cut all fried foods and all sugar from his diet. It was a sacrifice, he said, but he started seeing results immediately. He first noticed it when his clothes fit more loosely. Then he felt motivated to start working out. Four months into his diet, he started going to the YMCA to exercise on a regular basis. He preferred the elliptical and did 35-minute cardio workouts every day. “It really kept me motivated,” he said.

His diet was a work in progress. As he lost more weight, he became more interested in eating healthy. He educated himself on simple and complex carbohydrates, learned how to decipher food labels, and started substituting healthy alternatives for the foods he enjoyed.

TIPSThese days, a typical dinner is a grilled chicken breast with steamed vegetables and brown rice or roasted potatoes. He has grown to like his new diet and has even started experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes.
“I feel so much better now,” he said. “I feel stronger and healthier. I have more energy. And people tell me that I look like a different person. I know I feel 10 years younger.” The medication is also a thing of the past, he added.

White is most proud of the fact that he was able to lose the weight naturally. “I did it on my own without any pills or cleanses or special products,” he said. “I didn’t sign up for some trendy Hollywood diet. I just made up my mind that I was going to do it, and then I started being smart about what I was eating. It really has changed my life.”

He admits there was a significant fear factor in the back of his mind. “Several of my relatives have diabetes,” he said. “One of my cousins actually lost her eyesight at 35 because of diabetes. I saw what it does to people and I didn’t want to go through that.”

White says his new lifestyle is no longer a sacrifice, and he encourages others to get healthy whether that means losing weight, quitting smoking or starting a fitness routine. “The way I look at it now, if it doesn’t benefit me, I’m not going to do it,” he said. “If it can help me be a better person, I’ll give it a try.”