WEDNESDAY, July 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Middle-aged and older adults who start eating better also tend to live longer, a large new study shows.
The findings, reported in the July 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, might not sound surprising. Health experts said they basically reinforce messages people have been hearing for years.
But the study is the first to show that sustained diet changes — even later in life — might extend people’s lives, the researchers said.
“A main take-home message is that it’s never too late to improve diet quality,” said lead researcher Mercedes Sotos-Prieto, a visiting scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston.
“Most participants in our study were 60 years or older,” she noted.
The findings are based on nearly 74,000 U.S. health professionals who were part of two long-running studies that began in the 1970s and 1980s.
Between 1998 and 2010, almost 10,000 of those study participants died. Sotos-Prieto and her team looked at how people’s risk of early death related to any diet changes they’d made in the previous 12 years (1986 to 1998).
It turned out that people who had changed for the better — adding more fruits and vegetables and whole grains, for example — had a lower risk of premature death than those whose diets stayed the same.
In contrast, people who let their eating habits slide faced a higher risk of dying during the study period — 6 percent to 12 percent higher — compared to stable eaters, the findings showed.
How much of a difference did diet improvements make?
It varied a bit based on the measure of diet quality. The researchers used three scoring systems: the Alternate Healthy Eating Index; the Alternate Mediterranean Diet score; and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet score.
The scoring systems differ somewhat, but all give more points to foods such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains, fish, low-fat dairy and sources of “good” fats, such as olive oil and nuts. Processed foods, sweets, red meat and butter, meanwhile, get lower ratings.
Overall, the study found, a 20-percentile improvement in diet quality was linked to an 8 percent to 17 percent decrease in the risk of early death from any cause. There was a similar dip in the risk of dying from heart disease or stroke, specifically.
That 20-percentile shift is a fairly minor change, according to Sotos-Prieto.
Swapping out one daily serving of red meat for one serving of legumes or nuts, for example, would do the trick, she said.
“Our results underscore the concept that modest improvements in diet quality over time could meaningfully influence mortality risk,” Sotos-Prieto said.
Alice Lichtenstein is a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association and a professor of nutrition science at Tufts University, in Boston.
“This study reinforces what we’ve been saying for a long time,” she said.
Ideally, healthy eating is a lifelong habit. But you’re never “too old” to make changes for the better, Lichtenstein noted.
“The key is to make changes that you can stick with for the rest of your life,” she stressed.
There are no magic-bullet foods or nutrients, Lichtenstein added. Instead, the new study “validates” the concept that it’s overall diet that matters, she explained.
Connie Diekman, a registered dietitian, agreed. A general guide, she said, is to start eating more plant foods.
When people do eat meat, Diekman suggested choosing leaner cuts.
“Shifting one meal from meat and potatoes to sauteed veggies, quinoa and a topping of grilled chicken or lean flank steak would be one way to move to a healthier eating pattern,” said Diekman, head of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis.
The good news, according to Lichtenstein, is that it is getting easier to eat healthfully. She said Americans generally have more access to a variety of whole grains and fruits and vegetables — fresh or frozen, which can be more economical.
Fox News spoke with Lauren Blake, a dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and Angel Planells, a Seattle-based dietitian and spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, about some common diet mistakes people make at work, and how to fix them:
1. You sit for hours on end. Sitting too long can really sabotage weight loss goals because every movement counts, Blake said. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or go for a brief walk around the office every 30 – 45 minutes, Planells recommended.
2. You aren’t prepared for a hunger attack. If you don’t have healthy snacks on hand, you’re more likely to head for the vending machine or mindlessly reach into the office candy jar. Blake and Planells recommended keeping healthy snacks like fruit and nuts on hand.
3. You suffer from on-the-job stress. Chronic stress can trigger cortisol, a stress hormone that leads to fat storage and sugar cravings, Blake said. Try taking deep breaths, giving yourself small breaks, or going for a walk to manage your stress levels, she recommended.
4. You eat at your desk. Eating at our desks “is a big no-no,” Planells told Fox News. When you do so, you’re not as mindful of what you’re eating, and you may overeat, he explained. Opt for a common dining area instead.
5. You don’t get enough sunshine. Studies have shown sun exposure is associated with a lower BMI, so try to get some sunlight throughout the day, Blake recommended.
6. You forget to pack your lunch. If you don’t pack your lunch, you’re more likely to rely on fast food, Blake explained. Commit to packing a lunch one to two days per week. If you do eat out, “look for any way you can add vegetables,” Blake said, whether that’s a salad or lean protein and veggies. Or, opt for a soup and salad, Planells suggested.
7. Your coworkers’ bad habits rub off on you. Sometimes, you may be tempted to go out more with your coworkers, or else partake in some of the decadent treats or snacks they bring, Planells said. Even if you can’t abstain from the treats, Planells said, try just taking a small portion — a half or a quarter of a donut, for instance.
Eliminating trans fat in your diet is a healthy way of living
Trans Fat Bans Tied to Fewer Heart Attacks and Strokes
By NICHOLAS BAKALAR
Laws that restrict adding trans fats to foods have had immediate beneficial effects on heart health, new research has found.
The Food and Drug Administration plans to restrict the use of trans fats in foods nationwide in 2018, but between 2007 and 2011, some counties in New York State, but not others, banned trans fatty acids in restaurants, bakeries, soup kitchens, park concessions and other public places where food is served. In a natural experiment to test the effect of the ban, researchers compared nine counties with trans fat restrictions to eight that had none.
Cardiovascular disease has been declining nationwide in recent years, but the decline was even steeper in counties where trans fats were banned. Three years after restrictions were imposed, there was an additional 6.2 percent decline in hospital admissions for heart attacks and strokes in counties that banned trans fats compared with those that did not. The study, in JAMA Cardiology, accounted for age and other demographic factors.
“The most important message from these data is that they confirm what we predicted — benefit in the reduction of heart attacks and strokes,” said the lead author, Dr. Eric J. Brandt, a fellow in cardiovascular medicine at Yale. “This is a well-planned and well-executed public policy.”
High blood pressure is from high Soduim diets in America
Americans With High Blood Pressure Still Eating Too Much Salt
Average sodium intake more than double the recommended daily limit for these patients, study finds
WEDNESDAY, March 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) — For Americans with high blood pressure, cutting back on salt is an important way to help keep the condition under control. Yet, new research shows that these patients are getting more salt in their diet than they did in 1999.
Between 1999 and 2012, salt (sodium) consumption rose from about 2,900 milligrams a day (mg/day) to 3,350 mg/day. That’s more than double the ideal upper limit of 1,500 mg/day of sodium recommended by the American Heart Association for people with high blood pressure (or “hypertension”).
One teaspoon of table salt contains about 2,300 mg of sodium. Salt also contains chloride, but it’s the sodium that’s concerning for heart and blood pressure problems.
Sodium is an essential nutrient that helps control water balance in the body. But too much can cause excess water to build up, increasing blood pressure, and putting a strain on the heart and blood vessels, according to the heart association.
“You really need to watch the salt in your diet, especially if you are hypertensive,” said study senior author Dr. Sameer Bansilal. He is an assistant professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
“People who eat too much salt are more likely to have uncontrolled hypertension, and they may suffer from complications of hypertension, like heart and kidney dysfunction, and heart attack and stroke,” he said.
According to Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, “These findings question the effectiveness of interventions to reduce salt consumption among hypertensive adults.”
For the study, Bansilal and colleagues collected data on more than 13,000 men and women who took part in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2012. All of the participants had high blood pressure. Their average age was 60.
Daily sodium intake increased among people with high blood pressure by more than 14 percent overall from 1999 to 2012, the findings showed.
Among Hispanics and blacks, sodium consumption increased 26 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Among whites, sodium consumption increased 2 percent, the researchers found.
“Whites always had a higher salt consumption, so it’s not like they’re in a good place, it’s more like they were in a bad place and stayed there, and blacks and Hispanics caught up from being in a better place to being in a bad place as well,” Bansilal said.
People with the lowest salt consumption included those who had already had a heart attack or stroke, those taking blood pressure medications, people with diabetes, obese people and those with heart failure, he said.
“At least these people seemed to have taken the message to heart and have lowered their salt intake, so that’s reassuring,” Bansilal said.
For people without high blood pressure, U.S. dietary guidelines recommend a daily maximum of one teaspoon of salt a day (2,300 mg of sodium), Bansilal said.
Samantha Heller is senior clinical nutritionist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. She said, “You may not think you are eating too much salt, but consider this: just one teaspoon of table salt has about 2,300 mg of sodium.”
And, she added, most of the sodium in your diet probably doesn’t come from your salt shaker.
“Over 75 percent of the salt we eat comes from packaged and prepared foods. Only about 15 to 20 percent comes from the salt shaker,” Heller said.
Sources of high-salt foods include highly processed, store-bought and prepared foods, such as soups, pizza, breads, sauces and cold cuts. Sodium is also in products such as baking soda, baking powder, monosodium glutamate (MSG), disodium phosphate, garlic salt, sodium benzoate and other additives, she said.
“Because some of these compounds are added to foods for shelf-life, texture and as a preservative or flavor enhancer, the food may not taste salty,” Heller said. “That does not mean that the salt content is not high.”
The World Health Organization predicts that an estimated 2.5 million deaths could be prevented each year if global salt consumption were reduced to the recommended level.
Heller suggested that “cooking from scratch at home more often is the easiest way to slash salt in our diets.”
The results of the study are scheduled to be presented March 19 at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting, in Washington, D.C. Findings presented at meetings are generally considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
It is clear that the sodium consumption increases as the years go on. This is due, in large to the processed food that is being done in my opinion. My advice would be to get into the habit of not adding salt into your diet, well this is a habit I have been doing for three years and it has done wonders to my health. I also Advice substituting bread with veggie or brown rice as these are a healthier way of living.
When you go to the supermarket, you’ll see labels that appeal to all kinds of consumers, from the environmentally-conscious (“organic”) to the allergic (“dairy-free”). You’ll also see a label – “kosher” – originally intended to appeal to people who choose to eat that way to honor their religion. The label means the foods have been prepared in accordance with a set of specific, intricate biblical laws that detail not only which foods people of the Jewish faith can eat, but also how the food is prepared and processed.
Apparently, plenty of folks of all religions are gravitating toward the label. According to a report citing data from the market research firm Mintel, “kosher” was the top label claim on new foods and beverages launched in 2014, with 41 percent of such products donning the tag. Why? Likely because consumers seem to believe kosher items are safer, since they are produced under stricter supervision than the basic food supply, which is overseen by government inspection. Food safety, however, has more to do with how a food is handled (cleanliness) and stored (proper cooking and storage temperatures) than a religious practice.
So what is unique about kosher foods, and how can “kosher” on the label benefit you? Here’s what we know:
You can be assured that the overseeing and certification of kosher food is done under rigorous conditions and by the use of guidelines that are never abandoned. Unlike government regulations, these are laws that will not change. Once a kosher label is placed on a food, there is no negotiation about certain characteristics of that particular product.
If you are lactose intolerant, have an allergy to dairy products or follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you can be sure that if a product is marked “pareve” or “parve,” it absolutely does not contain any meat, milk or dairy, nor has it come in contact with such products. There is not a chance that there will be a mistake.
Kosher foods will not contain some colorants like carmine that are derived from insects, even though such additives may be considered “natural” in other products.
Kosher pareve products are permitted to contain eggs, honey and fish. These foods may not correspond with the dietary laws of Hinduism or a vegan diet, so be sure to read the ingredient list carefully.
Kosher salt is lower in sodium content than table salt. By comparison, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt contains 1,120 milligrams of sodium, while the same amount of table salt provides about 2,400 milligrams. This is not an invitation to start shaking things up at the table. The only reason kosher salt is lower in sodium is because it has a larger grain. The larger the grain, the more space it takes up, therefore kosher salt has less sodium by volume, not by weight. By weight, all forms of salt contain about the same amount of sodium. (Meat and skin of kosher poultry, however, can have four to six times as much sodium as non-kosher poultry due to the salt that’s used in the process of making them kosher.)
Interestingly, the word “kosher” means “fit.” Although kosher foods are carefully watched over and controlled, that doesn’t mean choosing kosher foods will automatically keep you fit. The “kosher” label tells us nothing about the calorie, sugar, fat or nutritional profile of a food, so try to keep the preservation of health in mind while preserving tradition.
It can be as difficult as losing weight for some people
Just like losing weight is a goal for some people, gaining weight is a goal for many others. And figuring out how to gain weight can be equally as difficult, for many different reasons. Factors like genetics, medications, stress, chronic health problems, and mental health struggles like depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder, can all make putting on weight a physical and mental challenge.
“We constantly hear about the obesity epidemic, and our society places such an emphasis on weight loss and dieting, but there are so many individuals out there who are struggling with the opposite problem,” Marla Scanzello, M.S., R.D., director of dietary service at Eating Recovery Center, tells SELF. “It is essential for [those individuals] to recognize that their needs are different and to tune out the unhelpful dieting and weight loss messages surrounding them,” Scanzello adds.
The truth is that for some people, being their healthiest self means gaining some weight. “Being underweight puts you at risk for a variety of health issues, including fragile bones, fertility issues, hair loss, a weakened immune system, fatigue, and malnutrition,” Alissa Rumsey, M.S., R.D., C.S.C.S., spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, tells SELF.
Of course, healthy weight ranges will be different for every person. If you’re not sure what that means for you, definitely talk with your general physician or a registered dietitian. This is tricky, and what works for your friends won’t necessarily work for you, so it’s essential to do what’s right for your body and keeps you nourished, happy, and healthy.
(If you have an eating disorder, seeking help from a treatment center, or just a trusted doctor, is essential. You should not change your diet, count calories, or try to put on weight on your own before speaking with a professional who can help you come up with the right plan for you.)
If you are looking for ways to make weight gain easier, here are some tips for doing so in a healthy way.
Go get a physical.
If you don’t already know why weight gain is tough for you, it’s a good idea to see your doctor. Some chronic health conditions like hyperthyroidism and some digestive issues like Crohn’s disease can cause weight loss. You may also just have a very high metabolism, Rumsey says. Figuring out the underlying cause (if there is one) and treating that will help you reach your goals.
“Some people may lose weight during times of stress or depression and need to regain weight for optimal health,” Scanzello says. “In these cases, it may also be helpful for them to see a therapist to address the underlying emotional issues contributing to lack of appetite and/or weight loss.”
Weight problems can be a physical symptom of stress, so check in on yourself and assess your stress levels. If you realize you need to get them in check, or that you’re struggling with other things like depression or anxiety, seeing a therapist can help you sort things out.
Eat smaller meals throughout the day.
“Often it can feel overwhelming to sit down to a large plate of food, so start out by eating more frequent meals,” Rumsey suggests. “Eating every two to three hours can help you get a lot of calories in without feeling stuffed.” It can also help mitigate some of the GI discomfort you may feel. “When individuals who have lost a significant amount of weight start increasing their food intake, they often experience uncomfortable physical symptoms, such as constipation, gas, bloating, and stomach pain,” Scanzello says. It may just be more comfortable physically to spread out the extra food needed to gain weight throughout the day.
Energy-dense liquids are an easy way to take in more calories without feeling too uncomfortably full. “It is often easier to drink a lot of calories than to eat those calories via real food,” Rumsey notes. You can also pack them with vitamins and nutrients, and drink them on the go. Other calorically dense drinks can help, too. “Caloric fluids like milk and juice can also be added or used to replace fluids, such as water and diet drinks, to help meet energy needs for weight gain,” Scanzello says. Just be cautious of how much sugar you’re drinking—excess sugar can have negative health consequences, and you don’t want to fill up on sugar instead of nutrient-rich foods.
Focus on calorically dense but healthy foods.
It’s really important that you’re getting a healthy mix of nutrients, not just calories. “Weight gain due to more calories from unhealthy food sources like large amounts of salty, greasy, sugary, highly processed foods can cause other health problems down the road, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease,” Rumsey says.
Also, if you’re not loading up on healthful foods, you run the risk of remaining malnourished even after putting on weight. “It is best to increase food intake with a variety of foods and balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to help replenish nutritional status,” Scanzello says. She suggests focusing on energy-dense foods, such as nuts, oils, dried fruit, granola, peanut butter, and other spreads and fats.
Cut back on cardio.
Scanzello emphasizes that for some people, exercise can be dangerous until you’ve reached a certain weight. “It is best to be medically cleared for exercise if underweight,” she says. If you’ve talked to your doctor and are given the go-ahead, Rumsey says stick to strength training over cardio. “For people looking to gain weight, I recommend an exercise regimen of mostly strength training, with very little cardio,” she says. Yes, you’ll still burn some calories lifting weights, but you will also put on muscle mass. Exercising a bit may also help stimulate your appetite, giving you an extra nudge toward reaching your goals.
Most people are only familiar with loosing weight, this leave the other population unaware of how they can gain weight. This overlooking of gaining weight leads to the belief that only being over weight is a problem. However it is vital to know that being underweight is just as dangerous as being over weight. Having a small body from a young age I can attest to the fact that it is extremely difficult to gain weight in a healthy way as the popular belief is that one needs to indulge in fatty foods to accomplish such feat. This is what leads to young people having conditions such as high cholesterol.
‘Misophonia’ is a disorder that can make a person’s brain go into overdrive, researchers report
Most people can recall a time when a certain sound annoyed them — say when your office mate was repeatedly clicking his pen — but some people find such sounds utterly unbearable. And new research suggests that brain abnormalities may explain why.
People with a disorder called misophonia have an intense hatred of specific sounds, such as chewing, breathing or repeated pen clicking. These triggers can cause an immediate and strong “fight or flight” response in those with the disorder.
“I hope this will reassure sufferers,” the study’s senior author Tim Griffiths said in a news release from Newcastle University.
“I was part of the skeptical community myself until we saw patients in the clinic and understood how strikingly similar the features are,” he added. Griffiths is a professor of cognitive neurology at Newcastle University and University College London in the United Kingdom.
The researchers conducted brain scans of 20 people with misophonia. They also conducted brain scans on 22 healthy people for comparison. Among those with the condition, brain scans showed an abnormality in their emotional control mechanism that puts their brains into overdrive when they hear trigger sounds.
The scans also revealed that brain activity in people with the disorder originates from a different connectivity pattern in the frontal lobe. This area normally suppresses an abnormal reaction to sounds, the study authors explained.
In addition, the researchers found that trigger sounds had physical effects, such as increased heart rate and sweating in people with misophonia.
The findings may help eventually lead to treatments for this condition, said Griffiths. The study may also prompt researchers to look for similar changes in the brain in other disorders associated with “abnormal emotional reactions,” he said.
Study leader Sukhbinder Kumar added that “for many people with misophonia, this will come as welcome news, as for the first time we have demonstrated a difference in brain structure and function in sufferers.” Kumar is also from the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University and University College London.
Kumar said people with this disorder had very similar signs and symptoms. “Yet, the syndrome is not recognized in any of the current clinical diagnostic schemes. This study demonstrates the critical brain changes as further evidence to convince a skeptical medical community that this is a genuine disorder,” he said in the news release.
“My hope is to identify the brain signature of the trigger sounds — those signatures can be used for treatment, such as for neuro-feedback for example, where people can self-regulate their reactions by looking at what kind of brain activity is being produced,” Kumar said.
The findings were published Feb. 3 in the journal Current Biology.
healthy living doesn’t have to include high expensive fitness costs
Why You’re Paying So Much to Exercise
Millennials are turning the fitness industry upside down.
On a frigid Sunday this month, Rianka Dorsainvil, a 29-year-old financial planner outside Washington, D.C., found herself running up a steep, snowy hill wearing a 20-pound vest and dragging a 215-pound man behind her.
She was paying for the privilege. The man harnessed to her was her personal trainer, who runs a studio out of his home and micromanages not just Dorsainvil’s workouts but her meals, too. She calls him the “mad scientist.”
“It’s great to have an expert pushing you in the right direction,” she said.
A growing segment of the U.S. population is making a significant sacrifice for physical fitness, and not just in sore muscles and pre-dawn wake-ups. More and more people are paying hundreds of dollars a month, or thousands a year, for personal workouts, special classes, and ever more luxurious gyms.
Dorsainvil and her husband, a technology consultant, spend about 10 percent of their monthly budget getting fit, she figures. That includes training, memberships to a gym where she starts her day at 4:30 a.m., and the bulked-up grocery bills, including supplements, that fuel all that exercise.
By contrast, the average American spends a minuscule amount on getting in shape. Almost one-fifth of Americans are health club members, and the average U.S. club dues are $54 a month, or 1.2 percent of median household income, according to the latest data from the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, or Ihrsa, the fitness industry trade group.
Even if you stick with a regular gym, though, your dues have probably been going up. Traditional health clubs held off on price increases in the years after the recession but are now feeling squeezed by rising costs and new competition robbing them of longtime members.
Thousands of boutique gyms have opened, each with a niche. Studios feature one-on-one training and group classes in CrossFit, cycling and spinning, kickboxing, barre, boot camp training, yoga, pilates, martial arts, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), indoor rock climbing, and countless others hoping to be the next fitness fad
They aren’t cheap. SoulCycle, the popular cycling studio brand, costs $34 a class, or a discounted $850 for 30 classes, in New York. Go three times a week for a year and that’s at least $4,420.
Luxury gyms are also seeing brisk business. Equinox opened 10 new clubs last year, bringing its total to 86. In New York, where a third of Equinox clubs are located, monthly memberships can start above $200 a month.
Many of the most enthusiastic exercisers are millennials, a generation that would appear least able to cover the extra costs. Weighed down by student debt and living in cities with skyrocketing rents, young urban dwellers still shell out $20 to $40 for an hourlong class and $50 to $100 or more for a personal training session.
One way they save money is disloyalty. Ihrsa estimates that 86 percent of patrons of studio gyms also visit or are members of other gyms. You could mix your SoulCycle with some equally pricey kickboxing or CrossFit, but there are also many new cheaper options. Even as Dorsainvil pays up for a trainer, her main gym costs her just $10 a month.
Hers is one of a wave of budget gyms, costing $20 or less a month, that have swept across the U.S. since the recession. The idea is to offer exercise equipment without extras. Planet Fitness, for example, has 1,200 locations in 47 states and has plans to grow to 4,000 clubs in the U.S.
While midmarket clubs barely gained members, the number of budget club members grew 69 percent in 2015 alone, Ihrsa estimated last year. Much of this growth is driven by franchising, a trend that has brought outside money to the fitness industry. Entrepreneurs who might have opened a sandwich shop are opening a franchise of Planet Fitness or Blink Fitness, which is a budget brand owned by Equinox.
Fitness was already a cutthroat industry. Clubs face a constant churn of members. About 30 percent of the people who signed up for clubs in 2014 were gone a year later, Ihrsa estimates.
“There are more former club members than there are present ones,” Stephen Tharrett, co-founder and principal of the consulting firm ClubIntel, said.
January is the most popular month to join a gym. It’s also when many clubs raise their dues, a process that risks prompting members to leave. “It’s always scary when you raise dues, because you don’t know how many members you’re going to lose,” said Bill McBride, a fitness club consultant and chief executive officer and co-founder of Active Wellness LLC, which runs more than 60 fitness facilities across the U.S.
Many clubs have no choice. Unless they constantly renovate and reinvent themselves, older clubs won’t attract new members to replace those who are leaving, McBride said. Many health clubs are also facing higher rents and rising labor costs thanks to increases in the minimum wage in many parts of the country. The arrival of new studios and budget clubs makes the competition even more intense.
“The number of health club members has been increasing,” McBride said, “but the number of clubs has been increasing exponentially more.”
Expect more clubs to close and consolidate, said ClubIntel’s Tharrett. Even studio clubs could feel squeezed. In some cities, you see “four or five different studios on the same block,” he said. “Something has to give.”
Studios have plenty of advantages. They’re designed to be social. Customers keep coming back because of personal relationships with instructors and other clients. Serious exercisers need to be constantly challenged, and personal attention makes that easier.
Studios can also make extra money off customers by selling merchandise, like T-shirts and hats, or energy snacks and drinks. With “highly specialized, tribal experiences,” Tharrett said, a studio “creates a sense of belonging.”
Still, fashions change. If customers get bored of cycling or rock climbing, there’s no membership contract to keep them from trying something new. A notorious example is the fitness chain Curves, which rapidly opened, and then shut, thousands of locations across the U.S.
In fitness studios, “the barriers to entry might be very low, but the barriers to success are very high,” said IBISWorld analyst Andrew Alvarez. Plus, “there’s only so much money you can extract out of your core demographic before your revenue flatlines.”
So far, there’s little evidence that members of studios and luxury gyms are tightening their belts. Overall, Ihrsa estimates the health club industry’s revenues jumped 6.1 percent in 2015, to $25.8 billion. Veterans of the fitness industry sound surprised that gyms’ youngest clients are acting less price-sensitive than older generations. Why are millennials willing to pay hundreds of dollars a month?
“I have no idea,” except that “they’ve made fitness a priority,” said Rick Caro, a consultant at Management Vision and former club owner with 43 years of experience.
Dorsainvil has a theory. “Our generation is a generation of multitaskers,” she said. “It’s only when we’re working out that we really get to concentrate on one thing.”
Debbie Freeman, a 35-year-old financial planner in Denver, agrees. “I use exercise as a way to pull myself away from the day-to-day grind,” said the mother of a 4-year-old and 6-year-old. “It’s the one time of the day when I can do something by myself and for myself.”
Freeman spends significantly less than Dorsainvil on exercise. She’s not interested in crowding into a group studio or meeting up in the park for a boot camp. Instead, she mostly runs outside. Her only expenses are a $20-a-month gym and the occasional entry fee for a half marathon or 10K race.
Are people who spend thousands of dollars on fitness wasting their money? Neither of the two financial planners thinks so.
If you’re meeting your retirement and other savings goals, “who am I to say you’re spending too much?” said Dorsainvil, who started her own planning firm, Your Greatest Contribution, about a year ago. “You only get one body.”
Freeman, the director of tax and financial planning at Peak Financial Advisors, has a friend who pays more than $200 a month at a CrossFit gym. “It keeps her accountable,” she said. “The money is a motivator for her to go do it.”
Whatever works for you, Freeman said. “The shape you’re in from your 30s to 50s is going to affect the shape you’re in in your 70s and 80s.” If clients need to cut their budgets, she advises them to start with alcohol or restaurants or cable.
Exercise? “That’s one of the last places I’m going to tell them to slice,” she said
Eating late at night could be more worse in your diet than you think
Late-night snack attack: There are ways to fight back
It’s worse than Dracula sucking blood, the power that cookies, candies, pies, chips and ice cream have over us after the sun goes down and the dinner dishes have been washed.
New Year’s resolutions are no match for the late-night snack attack: People who count every calorie at breakfast, faithfully avoid fast-food burgers for lunch and fix nutritious evening meals suddenly lose all resolve and find themselves face-planted in the refrigerator or snack drawer in the hours between dinner and bedtime.
This after-dinner/late-night snacking is so common, dietitians have a name for people who cave in to the evening munchies.
“We call them nighttime nibblers,” says Lisa Herzig, associate professor and director of the Dietetics and Food Administration Program at Fresno State. “They’re finding themselves all of a sudden in the kitchen and all of the good habits they’ve kind of built up so far go out the door.”
Some even refuse to face facts that they’ve sabotaged their diet, believing that the calories from the snacks they consume after dinner don’t count, Herzig says.
But oh, the calories do add up.
One bag of potato chips (about 160 calories) crunched between dinner and bedtime can undo a 42-minute after-work walk. Two chocolate-chip cookies (because who eats only one?) can wipe out an hour’s walk, packing as much as 220 calories apiece – or more – if they’re the big, gooey, home-baked kind.
Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article128265804.html#storylink=cpy
For Joyce Mayhew, 42, of Clovis, her nighttime snack of choice: cereal. “Tons of bowls,” she says. And, there were bowls of popcorn and lots of cheese. “I loved cheese and leftovers.”
Before she knew it, Mayhew says, “I would double the calories I ate in the whole day at nighttime.”
A drama teacher and theater director, Mayhew turned last year to Herzig, a registered dietitian, for help to stop the snacking. She has lost 20 pounds by following the advice, which includes saving out something during the day to eat before bed “because I know I’m going to want it.”
People have emotional attachments to food, Herzig says. People eat when they’re angry, sad, lovelorn, hurt, stressed. Instead of testing your snack-control willpower, let yourself eat a small amount or substitute a less-caloric item for the salty, sweet or chocolatey-smooth item that you’re craving, she says. For example: “If you want to have a candy, take it out and pre-portion it. You can still have that familiarity.”
Mayhew says she also is following another tip from Herzig. “She told me to go to bed. Go to sleep.”
Studies have shown a possible link between sleep deprivation and obesity. When you’re tired, give into it, Herzig says. “Don’t fight through the fatigue with food because the food is going to wake you up. We don’t need to wake up. We actually need to sleep.”
And Herzig has her own method for avoiding snacks. “I am probably the slowest eater on the planet.” She takes 45 to 50 minutes to eat a meal. “I think we’re all in such a fast-paced world that we forget to savor our food.”
The Bee also asked people through Facebook for ways to curb after-dinner/late-night snacking.
Here are some of the tips:
▪ Take a long soak and read in the bathtub.
▪ “Eat about a handful of pine nuts. AMAZING to curb my appetite in the evening. They are full of protein and help you feel full, on fewer calories. Many more benefits as well.”
▪ “I have a bag of carrots in the fridge that I munch on. The crunching and chewing signal my brain that I am full (I eat far less) unlike the processed junk that I would normally turn to.”
▪ “Get braces – too much trouble to eat and clean the food stuck in them (lol).”
▪ “I don’t watch TV stations with food commercials. PBS, videos and on demand movies are good alternatives if you want to veg in front of the TV.”
▪ “One cup of hot decaf tea with honey helps when I’m hungry late at night.”
▪ “Eating nutritious organic food so the body doesn’t need to keep eating to get the nutrients it needs.”
▪ “Brushing teeth or chewing mint-flavored gum…the mint flavor makes food less desirable as it would ruin the flavor of many foods.”
And another suggestion, “romance,” got a nod of approval and a chuckle from Herzig.
fatty foods are never a healthy lifestyle and can endanger your health for good in one serving
A single cheeseburger can trigger changes in body linked to diabetes and fatty liver disease, study warns
Fatty food can reduce sensitivity to insulin and raise levels of fats linked to heart disease
Just one fatty meal, such as a cheeseburger and chips, is enough to alter the body’s metabolism and trigger changes associated with liver disease and diabetes, researchers have found.
In bad news for anyone who enjoys the occasional greasy overindulgence, scientists have warned that consuming a big helping of rich, fatty food can reduce sensitivity to insulin and immediately raise levels of fats linked to heart disease.
While the bodies of those who keep fit may be able to recover from a fried chicken or pizza blow-out, lasting damage is likely to take place if it becomes a regular occurrence.
Researchers at the German Diabetes Centre in Dusseldorf, Germany, gave 14 lean and healthy men aged 20 to 40 either given a vanilla-flavoured palm oil drink or plain water.
The palm oil drink contained a similar amount of saturated fat as an eight-slice pepperoni pizza or a regular cheeseburger served with a large portion of chips.
Tests showed that consuming the palm oil resulted in an immediate increase in fat accumulation and reduced sensitivity to insulin, the vital hormone that regulates blood sugar.
It also raised levels of triglycerides – a type of fat linked to heart disease – altered liver function and led to changes in gene activity associated with fatty liver disease.
A single high-fat meal “would probably be sufficient to induce transient insulin resistance and impair hepatic [liver] metabolism,“ wrote the team in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
“We presume that lean, healthy individuals are able to compensate adequately for excessive intake of saturated fatty acids, however, sustained and repeated exposure to such nutrients will ultimately lead to chronic insulin resistance, and NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease).”
Palm oil was found to reduce insulin sensitivity by 25 per cent in the whole body, while the mechanism that generates glucose sugar from non-carbohydrate foods became 70 per cent more active.
Levels of glucagon, a hormone that stops blood sugar falling, were also raised. Similar effects were seen in mice given the same palm oil treatment.
Emily Burns, research communications manager at Diabetes UK, recommended following a balanced diet while further research took place.
“We know that eating too much saturated fat might be linked to insulin resistance and this study gives us some insight into what’s actually happening inside the body,” said Dr Burns.
“While this study suggests that fat has a real impact on the liver, we need to be careful how we interpret the results.
“The research didn’t involve any women and didn’t compare the effects of saturated fat to other foods like protein or unsaturated fat.”