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The weekend is finally here! Had a awesome back day with my beautiful girl @tarajuneperrin

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Postworkout selfie, did you really workout?
And of course -- if you didn't take a #postworkout selfie, did you really workout?

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Biketoberfest 2015
Saturday October 17, 2015

2900 Griffith Street , Charlotte, NC 28203 USA
Participants: 1 attending · 0 maybe · 0 declined

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Wellness Challenge

Take the
30 Day Lunge Challenge 22. Dec 2015

Take up this 30 Day Lunge Challenge this month and tone up and boost your leg and butt muscles and body strength to the max.

This is one of our most popular challenges to date and gives off the best results – if you stick to it and complete all 30 days !

The 30 day lunge challenge can help to tone up your butt and leg regions, and is a simple challenge to complete whilst watching TV and requires no equipment.
You can count “1 lunge” as being either 1 leg or both legs, by counting it as both legs you get twice the benefit, however if you want to count it as 1 lunge per leg you will still see a great result after the 30 days.

The 30 day lunge challenge has 1 exercise which you have to do each day, and the time spent doing the exercise slowly increases day by day to help you build up your leg muscle strength gradually, ensuring you are able to complete the final day of the challenge easily.

You only have to do the amount of time shown on the challenge chart once per day, however if you are feeling brave then you can repeat each days challenge as many times as you like – however remember by day 30 it will be very hard to do multiple times.

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Developing a Healthy Strategy for Happier, More Productive Teams
In the quest for efficiency, employee wellness is something that often gets overlooked. And at first thought, it might not seem like a company's responsibility to keep employees healthy and happy. After all, the bottom line is primarily concerned with keeping costs low and productivity high.

But, a variety of research is suggesting a different conclusion -- that policies and corporate cultures in support of healthy habits and wellness result in a workforce that gets more done, proves more loyal, and actually reduces overall costs.

How Your Team's Well-Being Affects Your Bottom-Line

Think about the last time you were sick or feeling sluggish, frustrated with your work, felt like you weren't appreciated, or felt like your job was negatively impacting your health or personal life. Were you motivated to work harder? Did you feel distracted? Try to avoid your co-workers? Did you ultimately feel satisfied with your situation?

Although we can recognize these things in ourselves, it can be easy for a leader to forget how the fundamental things like health and happiness can influence their team's ability and motivation to work and perform well in their jobs.

Well-being takes into account both the physical health and mental health of a person as well as life satisfaction. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), people with higher well-being have less illness, live longer, and are more effective at work and in their communities -- and both hereditary and environmental factors like workplaces play a role in an individual's well-being.

For companies, the concept of well-being is immensely important in the long run, with several studies showing that the mental and physical health of employees impacts efficiency, cost and efficacy in a variety of ways.

Absenteeism and Presenteeism

Missed workdays are the bane of many in management, as they not only cost money, they cost time. Research conducted by consulting firm Mercer suggest that employee absences impact workplaces by adding workload and disrupting the work of others, increasing stress, lowering morale and reducing quality of work output.

A report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) estimates that paid time off accounts for a little over 20 percent of payroll (not factoring in unpaid absences), based on outright costs as well as things coworker and supervisor productivity losses.

Reducing paid and unpaid absences is a key focus of management. Some of the strategies suggested by the SHRM report to manage absences include defining clear policies, implementing wellness programs, monitoring hours, and offering flexibility. Wellness is important as the two most common reasons for short-term absences are brief illnesses, like colds and flus, and stress.

It's estimated that the flu costs American companies 111 million workdays and over $7 billion in expenses, while the common cold costs 150 million workdays (about 40 percent of total missed work time in the U.S.).

While absenteeism is costly, it's also typically counterproductive to have sick people come into work, as they can infect others and likely aren't working at their full capacity anyways. So how to reduce absences from the common illnesses then? Aside from keeping the environment sanitary and encouraging handwashing, one solution may be encouraging your team to get adequate sleep.

A recently published study from the journal SLEEP tracked participants' rest for a week, then exposed them to the common cold and a five-day quarantine. After controlling for other factors, they found that people who slept less than six hours on average were four times more likely to get sick.

By the study's conclusion, 39 percent of of short sleepers got sick compared to just 18 percent of people who averaged more than six hours of sleep. Illnesses like the common cold tend to spread easily in work environments, so this dramatic difference in immunity could have significant implications for a sleep-deprived workforce.

Aside from boosting people's immune systems, a well-rested staff also generally performs better. A survey of 7,400 employed people found insomnia in about 23 percent of the sample, and that those with insomnia were more likely to report "presenteeism", defined as attending work but with reduced performance. Study authors estimate that insomnia-induced presenteeism costs nearly eight days of lost work performance per individual, and represents a loss of over $63 billion to U.S. companies.

Another large study found that people with insomnia showed higher levels of physical and mental impairment, more absenteeism and presenteeism, and lower productivity compared to people without insomnia.

Stress also plays a significant role in absenteeism and presenteeism, and is estimated to be directly responsible for about 12 percent of workplace absences in the U.S. In many ways, stress is a normal part of work and life, however when stress levels are high, it can lead to emotional burnout and even depression. In a Monster.com survey of over 7,000 workers, 61 percent attributed workplace stress as the cause of an illness and 46 percent said they'd missed work time to due to job-related stress. Stress is known to contribute to higher risk of illness and to sleep problems as well, meaning it can compound and worsen both physical and mental well-being.

Engagement and Turnover

Employee engagement is an important measure, as it looks at how committed people are to their organization's values and success and to their jobs.

Ongoing Gallup polls suggest that less than one-third of U.S. workers are considered engaged, while half are not engaged and the remainder are "actively" unengaged. However, smaller and locally-owned businesses have happier, more loyal employees compared to large companies, making it a potentially important area of focus for entrepreneurs and startups.

People that are unengaged or unsatisfied with their jobs are more likely to have the intent to leave their job. The rate at which employees leave their jobs is known as turnover. Turnover is important in business, as replacing employees proves costly, and high turnover can signal problems within the business, such as ineffective hiring, training or management practices. High turnover can also cause problems with customer service, morale and productivity.

A Cornell research review of over 80 studies found that higher turnover negatively affected things like customer satisfaction, efficiency and errors, sales and absenteeism. Factors like intensive electronic monitoring and job routinization were associated with higher turnover. Factors like internal mobility, training, promotion rates and positive attitudes toward the job and team were associated with lower turnover.

The previously mentioned Monser.com poll also found that 42 percent of American respondents left a job due to stress, and 35 percent had at least contemplated leaving to due a stressful environment. In a large European study, researchers found that higher stress levels were generally associated with increased intention to quit in the next year. The things most likely to contribute to stress include pay, commute, workload, and coworkers, according to Nielsen research.

Well-being is ultimately important to keeping people satisfied with their jobs and committed. Factors like having some control, flexibility, and room to grow all tend to make people happier at work.

Having good relationships with immediate supervisors and coworkers may be the most influential engagement factors however, according to surveys by SHRM and the Human Capital Institute.

Efficiency, Productivity and Accuracy

Employee well-being also proves significant to how much work people get done and how well they perform.

Happiness, both on with the job and related to personal situations, can influence productivity. One study from University of Warwick researchers looked at four experimental situations, including one with a focus on life events, finding that happier people consistently performed better than less happy people.

Sleep quality is another significant factor in workplace productivity. When researchers conducted a phone survey of nearly 5,000 people, they found that people with insomnia symptoms for at least 12 months were significantly more likely to be involved in costly workplace accidents (costing over $500) or errors. Insomnia-related accidents were costlier on average compared to other accidents.

Overall, researchers estimate that insomnia is responsible for 7.2 percent of all workplace errors and accidents, and for 23.7 percent of the total costs of errors - an estimated cost of $31 billion overall, making it the most costly of all other chronic health conditions and of particular interest for businesses.

So how much are people sleeping? The 2008 Sleep in America survey from the National Sleep Foundation polled 1,000 full-time workers on their sleep and work to find out. On average, employed people reported sleeping 6.7 hours on work nights and 7.4 hours on non-work days.

Those who slept less than six hours were more likely to say they avoided social interactions with coworkers, and people with poor sleep quality were more likely to report difficulty concentrating and impatience. Nearly one-third of respondents felt extreme sleepiness or fell asleep at work in past month, and about a quarter reported difficulty falling asleep a few nights a week.

From the sample in the NSF survey, 37 percent were identified as at risk for a sleep disorder, and people in the at risk group reported more problems with work performance and absenteeism. Insomnia symptoms in particular were tied with increased reports of cognitive and mood problems, missed work, and doubled incidence of workplace accidents. Sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome symptoms were also linked with increased impairments and decreased productivity.

How people feel about their workplace may also in turn affect sleep. One large review of studies on the effect of workplace environments on sleep found consistent evidence that work factors can influence rest. Better sleep was associated with environments where workers felt they had social support, control and organizational justice. More sleep disturbances were associated with environments where workers experienced high demand jobs, strain, bullying, or an imbalance of effort and rewards.

Implementing Workplace Strategies for Better, Healthier Teams

Taking into consideration the influence of mental and physical health as well as sleep can be helpful when developing management strategies and wellness programs for workplaces of any size. The CDC says that companies supporting employee health have less absenteeism and presenteeism, reduced costs, better morale, better retention, and better commitment.

Based on research above, here are a few potential ways workplaces can help their teams be healthier and happier.

Allow for Some Flexibility.

When people have freedom to adjust hours when needed or to set a schedule that works for them, studies show that turnover is reduced and employees not only miss work less, they are more satisfied and even sleep better at night, too.

Flexibility can refer to a variety of things, including the ability to adjust hours, flexible break times, some control over shifts and scheduling, the ability to telecommute, or working from alternate locations. Managers worried about telecommuting may want to reconsider, as some research suggest it may actually improve productivity.

Spruce up the office.

The work environment can play a role in people's moods and even their sleep. While not possible in all locations, letting as much natural sunlight in as possible can help support healthy circadian rhythms, supported by a study that showed office workers with the most exposure to natural light slept best at night.

Research has also found that green plants indoors may offer a small boost for attention span and attention restoration. Another potential boost may come from offering sit-stand desks, which have been shown to reduce discomfort and to have either no effect or a positive effect on productivity.

Make Physical Exercise Accessible.

Physical exercise is important for overall health in a couple ways. First, it helps prevent chronic illnesses like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. Second, it helps alleviate stress and improve mood. Exercise has also been shown to promote better sleep over time, with results on par with medications for insomnia treatment.

It may not be feasible to have onsite facilities for most companies, but things like encouraging lunch walking groups or partially subsidizing gym memberships could be a better fit. The CDC offers helpful resources and guides on implementing fitness programs in the workplace.

Promote Healthy Sleep Habits.

Research has shown that when people are taught better sleep habits, they are more likely to implement them in their routines. Having a sleep specialist come speak to the office or integrating training on sleep hygiene into existing workplace health programs can be a simple way to encourage better habits.

A recent Swedish study surveyed 4,800 people at two different times on both their sleep and work characteristics. They found that people who weren't sleeping well during the initial survey were more likely to perceive higher stress and work demands, less control and less social support during the followup survey. And likewise, people who initially reported higher work demands in the first survey were also more likely to report disturbed sleep later. Combined with previously mentioned effects of sleep on workplace outcomes, it proves important and relevant for managers.

Allow for napping.

Sleeping on the job is generally frowned upon, but napping can actually have real benefits for workers and employers. Studies have found that after a brief midday nap, people are more creative, less prone to frustration and impulsivity, and have better moods.

If you have a small room that's unused, a designated nap room is a great perk. Nap pods can work for larger offices, or smaller spaces might allow naps at desks or unused conference rooms during break times. Laying out clear rules can allow people to receive the benefits of napping without abusing the perk.

Offer decaf and healthy foods.

Caffeine is a significant sleep stealer, and the office coffee pot is major source for many people. Offering decaffeinated coffee, herbal teas, water, or other beverage options, especially after lunch time, may be helpful in getting people to moderate their intake of caffeine.

Research has also shown that eating healthy during the day improves job performance, as well as absenteeism. Workplace health programs are identified by the World Health Organization as effective at promoting a range of healthy behaviors. From training on nutrition to catering healthier meals and offering fresh fruits and vegetables in the breakroom, there a variety of ways workplaces can support better nutrition.

Be conscious of corporate culture and burnout.

A 2015 survey by Deloitte says that culture and engagement ranks as the most important issue facing companies around the world. They suggest that defining culture at the top levels of management, being flexible, and speaking to modern employees' passions and motivations are the key considerations in developing engaging cultures.

Some studies have also found that social responsibility aspects of workplace culture can influence happiness. For example, one study found that offering people the ability to donate to a charity increased productivity, and another found that prosocial bonuses in form of donations to charities led to happier and more satisfied employees.

Taking inventory of employees' attitudes and concerns from time to time can be a good way to catch problems like burnout early and correct course. This could involve surveys, occasional meetings or interviews, or keeping managers tuned into their staff's needs.

Many approaches to improving wellness in the workplace take relatively little money, but the rewards can be significant. A company that offers a caring, positive environment is a company that will likely have happier employees, greater productivity, and a better competitive position.

What does your workplace do to promote health, or what changes do you think would be most effective at improving your team's well-being?

Firas Kittaneh is the CEO of Amerisleep, an eco-friendly luxury mattress company. Firas writes more posts on the Amerisleep blog about getting better sleep, healthy living and being eco-friendly. Follow him on Twitter. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Top Leptin and Weight Loss Stories of the Past Year
Leptin continues to be the key to weight management and healthy weight loss.  Below is a handy index so you can quickly look up articles of interest to you.  To see the full article, click on the headline.  The first three links are basic articles explaining leptin.  Then there is a section of feature length articles that explain leptin in the context of various important health issues.  Following that is the interesting news stories of the past year.  Numerous scientific references are embedded within articles as links.

What is Leptin?
(Monday, January 12, 2009) - I have spent more than twenty years on the front lines of clinical nutrition helping thousands of people solve very difficult health problems – naturally.  In all these years I have never encountered more powerful principles of health than those relating to leptin. 

The Five Rules of The Leptin Diet®
(Monday, January 12, 2009) - There are five simple rules that form the core of the Leptin Diet®.  The quality of the food you eat is of course important.  What is interesting about the Leptin Diet is that it is just as important when you eat as what you eat. 

The Mastering Leptin Lifestyle
(Monday, January 12, 2009) - In order to really take charge of leptin you have to actively manage it.  Think of leptin as the conductor of your orchestra; will you play beautiful music or does your body suffer from out of tune noise?

Key Leptin and Weight Loss Feature Articles

Insulin, Leptin, and Blood Sugar – Why Diabetic Medication Fails
(Thursday, January 22, 2009) - Type II diabetes is a difficult metabolic problem.  It is a national embarrassment that so many of our young people are becoming type II diabetic.  It is a national disgrace that millions of type II diabetic patients are being injured with commonly used diabetic medications that are known to make their metabolic situation worse.

Leptin, Thyroid, and Weight Loss
(Thursday, January 15, 2009) - It is very common that individuals who are overweight have a majority of the symptoms associated with a hypothyroid-like condition.  This is especially true for those who have a history of yo-yo dieting or have difficulty losing weight by cutting back on calories and trying to exercise more.

Oprah’s Thyroid Problem Explained
(Wednesday, January 14, 2009) - Oprah is creating a lot of buzz after gaining forty pounds and simultaneously claiming she solved her thyroid problem.  Her statements sent internet bloggers into a frenzy.  How did she get off her thyroid medication?  Did she really solve her thyroid problem?  Isn’t this just a temporary break from a sinister and permanent thyroid illness?  If her thyroid is in such great shape why did she pile on forty pounds? 

How Protein Helps Weight Loss
(Monday, December 15, 2008) - The amount of quality protein in your diet is the single most important calorie that influences your metabolic rate, favorably influencing weight loss.  Quality protein also helps you sustain muscle during weight loss, improve muscle fitness, improve immunity, improve antioxidant function, build HDL cholesterol, and enhance insulin and leptin function – all of which contribute toward optimal weight management efforts over time.

Fiber, Leptin, and Weight Loss
(Saturday, January 10, 2009) - Dietary fiber is one of the fundamentals of a healthy diet.  In terms of using fiber to support weight management, I recommend 35 – 50 grams of fiber per day (men on the higher side), based on information presented in this article.  A lack of adequate dietary fiber will eventually stall any weight-loss efforts.

Jump Start Your Weight Loss in 2009
(Sunday, January 11, 2009) - It’s time now to clear out the holiday sludge, get your appetite back under control, and kick your metabolism into gear.  There is no better way to do this than my favorite quick weight loss plan, a modified diet plan that is high in quality protein and fiber.

Tips to Solve Common Weight Loss Issues
(Tuesday, May 20, 2008) - The Leptin Diet, consistent exercise, a healthy lifestyle, and stress management skills are the foundation for successful weight loss.  In many cases dietary supplements can be used to augment various metabolic problems that otherwise slow or impede progress.  The following is a list of the typical challenges you are most likely to encounter while trying to lose weight, along with the most common reason for the problem and the basic solution that usually helps. 

How to Control Food Cravings
(Sunday, April 20, 2008) - Staying on a healthy diet is based on your ability to stay in charge of what goes into your mouth.  As most people know, this is easier said than done.  Just about every person needing to lose weight knows what they are supposed to be eating.  When you do it right you don’t have to worry about eating too much because you simply don’t want to.

Leptin Breaking News and Leptin-Related Nutrient Articles

Guar Gum: The Fiber with a Swagger
(Friday, January 09, 2009) - Guar gum is a unique soluble fiber, a type of non-digestible complex carbohydrate that holds water as it forms a gel in your digestive tract.  This may have some rather profound effects on your metabolism, including the reduction of total cholesterol, lowering triglycerides, increasing HDL cholesterol, stabilizing blood sugar response to a meal, reducing digestive inflammation, curbing appetite, and assisting efforts at weight loss.

Leptin Problems Cause Psoriasis
(Sunday, December 21, 2008) - How leptin works in your body has a profound influence on many aspects of your health.  Individuals with psoriasis have leptin resistance (higher than normal levels of leptin in their blood), regardless of their body weight. 

Oprah’s Weight Is National News – Again
(Wednesday, December 10, 2008) - I have warned repeatedly that no person can win a willpower battle with out-of-control leptin.  Oprah is the living proof, the yo-yo dieter who is the poster child for leptin problems.

Sweet Taste and Food Obsession
(Monday, December 08, 2008) - New research confirms that the more sweets you eat the more likely it is that your tongue’s sweet sensors are disturbed, causing you to eat even greater amounts of sweets just to get a satisfied sweet sensation.  Unfortunately, this craving for sweet pleasure is accompanied by eating too many calories in general and thus weight gain is likely.

Liver Fat is a Super-Size Problem
(Sunday, December 07, 2008) - The progressive and improper accumulation of fat in your liver is a key marker that accurately reflects obesity-related disease risk.  This is true regardless of where you gain fat. 

Obesity Punches Thyroid Gland in the Nose
(Saturday, December 06, 2008) - Many believe that a sluggish thyroid has led to obesity.  A new study in children shows the opposite – that obesity inflames the thyroid leading to potentially life-long thyroid problems if the weight is not lost.

Higher Protein Helps Weight Loss
(Tuesday, November 25, 2008) - A new study shows that ensuring a higher percentage of calories from protein, when you are trying to lose weight, helps your body burn fat more efficiently.  Controlling for glycemic index did not provide additional benefits; a stable base of protein was the key.

Is Resveratrol the Fountain of Youth?
(Monday, November 24, 2008) - There are a lot of great anti-aging and metabolism boosting nutrients: DHA, pantethine, acetyl-l-carnitine, carnosine, R-alpha lipoic acid, grape seed extracts – the list goes on and on.  In fact, most nutrients help cells function better and thus live longer.  So, why is resveratrol vying for the position as King of the anti-aging nutrients – with a potent fat-burning twist thrown in for good measure?

The Obesity-Leptin Path to Heart Disease
(Thursday, November 20, 2008) - New research shows that obesity causes heart disease even if the obese person does not have high cholesterol or diabetes.  Using advanced nanosensor technology researchers at Ohio University were able for the first time to pinpoint several mechanisms in humans that link obesity to heart disease.  The findings center around the fat-hormone leptin, which I have written extensively about in several books.

The Larger Your Stomach the Sooner You Die
(Wednesday, November 19, 2008) - Obesity is no laughing matter.  A European-wide study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine leaves no doubt about the risk of your waistline to your health – regardless of any other health issues you do or don’t have. 

Grape Seed Extract’s Powerful Cardio Protection
(Friday, November 14, 2008) - Red Grape Seed Extracts (GSE) are a powerful cardio-protective compound.  It has been known for some time that they strengthen arteries/capillaries, offer rather dramatic antioxidant protection for your arteries and heart, and through a number of mechanisms reduce the likelihood that plaque will form in your arteries. 

Lack of Sleep Raises Obesity Risk 4 Fold in Kids
(Wednesday, November 05, 2008) - A new study looking at sleep duration in 1138 children age 6 found that less than 10 hours of sleep on a regular basis increased the risk of obesity 420%. 

Pleasure, Brain Pain, and Food Desire
(Monday, October 20, 2008) - Dopamine is an important nerve transmitter involved with reward.  It is released when you eat, so that you know eating is good and thus you will survive.  Some individuals don’t release a normal amount, thus they eat more to get the same feeling of satisfaction that someone else gets eating less food.  A new study with advanced brain imaging while milkshakes were being consumed has proved this point.

Solve Snoring, Cut Fat and Increase Exercise
(Sunday, October 19, 2008) - Snoring is a common problem that interferes with the health of the person who snores and the person who is disturbed by their partner snoring.  A new study indicates that those with the worst problems eat the most junk fat, whether they are overweight or not.

How High Fructose Corn Syrup Causes Obesity
(Friday, October 17, 2008) - I have repeatedly stated that high fructose corn syrup should be banned from the food supply.  A new study confirms the diabolical nature of this substance to induce leptin resistance and consequent obesity – and future heart disease and diabetes. 

Preventing Obesity-Related Fatty Liver Damage
(Tuesday, October 14, 2008) - Your liver is the metabolic brain of your body, the workhorse that processes, stores, and distributes every calorie you consume.  Your liver must also work right for you to clear toxins of any kind, as well as to make bile for digestive purposes.  As your liver function deteriorates, so goes your health in general.  A new study shows that the nutrient NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) can prevent the adverse progression of liver deterioration that would be typical in any person that is overweight.

Keeping Weight Off
(Saturday, October 11, 2008) - Losing weight is hard enough, keeping it off is even harder.  New research shows that even after maintaining an amount of weight loss for greater than one year, basal metabolism may still be in “hibernation” mode.

Lacking Friendly Flora Linked to Obesity
(Friday, October 10, 2008) - An emerging body of scientific data suggests that a lack of friendly flora in your digestive tract contributes to storing excess fat and becoming overweight.  Researchers tested this in pregnant women, measuring the gut flora over the course of their pregnancy (in both overweight women and normal weight women).

Colon Cancer, Obesity, and Inflammation
(Sunday, October 05, 2008) - Several new studies into colon cancer have identified early changes that turn on wrong gene switches that in turn cause colon cancer.  One study links obesity to colon cancer, the other study links digestive inflammation to colon cancer.  The good news is that by taking proactive steps these adverse changes can be easily stopped.

Viral Infections and Weight Loss, Breaking News
(Saturday, October 04, 2008) - New research proves for the first time that viral infections activate the synthesis of fatty acids in human metabolism.  In turn these fatty acids are used by the viruses to build the envelope that protects them, a process that is vital for viral replication.  The researchers found that reducing fatty acid synthesis with drugs dramatically reduced viral replication.  I find this study fascinating, but for different reasons.  The information helps to explain why some people have very resistant weight problems, as low grade viral infections would keep a person’s metabolism making fat instead of breaking it down to use for fuel.

Circulatory Health and Baby Fat Cells
(Saturday, September 27, 2008) - New research indicates that problems with endothelial cells may trigger baby fat cells to grow up too fast, regardless of diet, opening up a whole new angle on the weight loss issue.

What Are Your Baby Fat Cells Doing?
(Friday, September 26, 2008) - Until recently nobody knew exactly where your baby fat cells lived.  In a new study clever scientists engineered mice so that baby fat cells would glow green, allowing them to pinpoint their exact location and to follow their development.

Lack of Sleep, Stress, Adrenals, and Obesity
(Thursday, September 25, 2008) - A new study points out that the lack of sleep, all by itself, is enough to inappropriately raise cortisol later in the day.  As I explained last week, too much cortisol turns off fat burning gene switches in your liver, leading to obesity risk.

How Stress Causes a Fatty Liver
(Wednesday, September 17, 2008) - New research has for the first time pinpointed the precise mechanism explaining how excess cortisol results in a fatty liver. 

Pregnancy Nutrition Influences Future Obesity
(Saturday, September 13, 2008) - Mother’s have a profound affect on the future health of their children, including the risk for obesity.  Fetal programming and early infant development are times when the nervous system is “hard wiring” patterns that will have heavy influence for a lifetime.

A New Leptin Link to Fertility
(Thursday, September 04, 2008) - Brand new research has established that when leptin registers properly in your brain, signifying nutritional adequacy, an energetic gene switch is thrown called TORC1.  TORC1 then activates multiple genes associated robust energy use, including genes that enable a woman to become pregnant (KISS1).

Obesity and Brain Aging
(Sunday, August 31, 2008) - This week the New England Journal of Medicine published a groundbreaking study linking low levels of BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) to obesity.

Do You Have Sick Fat?
(Wednesday, August 27, 2008) - After a detailed molecular analysis of the fat of obese individuals compared to the fat of lean individuals it was discovered that the obese fat contained so many abnormalities relating to poor metabolic function that the researchers described it as “sick fat.”

A Whole New Meaning of Fatty Arteries
(Monday, August 25, 2008) - A new study shows that fat around your arteries is a direct predictor of plaque within your arteries.

The Prenatal Programming of Diabetes
(Sunday, August 24, 2008) - A new study in mice indicates that a diet too high in fat programs several generations of mice to be at higher risk of diabetes even if they do not eat a high fat diet. 

Food Pyramid Found Guilty
(Saturday, August 23, 2008) - The government-sponsored food pyramid has been linked to the obesity epidemic for some time.  I have said for many years that if you want to look like a pyramid then eat like one.  The refined and excess carbohydrate plan that is the food pyramid has just been dealt a death blow.
Ear Infections Set the Stage for Future Obesity
(Wednesday, August 20, 2008) - Researchers at the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting presented multiple studies linking the frequency of childhood ear infections to the risk of obesity.

Your Sweet Tooth and Obesity
(Monday, August 18, 2008) - Individuals are deluded to think that drinking beverages containing no-calorie sweeteners will help them lose weight or at least not gain weight.  A new study continues to debunk this myth. 

MSG Intake Linked to Human Obesity
(Sunday, August 17, 2008) - The near-useless FDA has said for a long time that the ingestion of MSG was safe, and so it is used as an addictive flavor additive in countless processed and branded foods in the United States.  A new study of Chinese citizens says otherwise, showing that ingestion of MSG is directly linked to obesity.

Coordination, Thyroid, and Obesity
(Friday, August 15, 2008) - Early impairment of nerve-related function is a clear risk for developing later-life obesity, so concludes new research published in the British Journal of Medicine. 

Obese Southern States Drive Drug Costs
(Wednesday, August 13, 2008) - In the politically correct egalitarian world of “health care for everyone” very little attention is paid to the concept of personal responsibility, much less how any such plan would actually be paid for.  If you take care of yourself should you be obligated to pay for those who intentionally do not? 

Appetite Drives Obesity in Children
(Thursday, July 17, 2008) - A new study closely tracks the relationship of appetite to the development of obesity in children, hoping to shed light on why some kids don’t get fat and others do.  The researchers found that as a child’s waistline gets larger, the full signal is blunted or delayed and the desire for food intake increases.

Calcium and Vitamin D for Fat Burning
(Thursday, July 03, 2008) - A new study in overweight women shows that 900 mg per day of supplemental calcium increases their ability to burn fat for fuel.  This ability is enhanced by vitamin D status.

Train Your “Bitter Tooth” to Prevent Obesity
(Wednesday, July 02, 2008) - Too many Americans are addicted to sweet taste and have an adversely altered taste perception.  On the flip side of this coin is a more neutral reaction to bitter-tasting vegetables.  New research in children shows that those with an increased aversion to bitter taste are six times more likely to become obese – a problem that is aggravated if their mother is also overweight.

Weekends Add Pounds – Healthy Tips for the 4th
(Tuesday, July 01, 2008) - New research confirms what many of you already know: whatever weight you managed to lose during the week is gained back on the weekend, resulting in Monday morning gloom as you look at the scale.  Saturdays are king of fat intake, topping all other days of the week.

Obesity, Immunity, and Premature Death
(Friday, June 27, 2008) - It is convenient for modern medicine to separate a patient’s problems into neatly divided specialty areas so that problems can be micro-analyzed by various specialists.  This is convenient for treating, diagnosing, referring, and drug dispensing.  This system generates income for the sickness industry but it often fails to understand the highly integrated nature of any problem you may be having. 

Waist to Height Ratio – Is your Stomach Too Large?
(Thursday, June 26, 2008) - A new simple way to judge waistline size and health has emerged that applies to children, adults, and either sex.  The goal is to keep your waist size to less than ½ your height.  Just figure out your height in inches and divide by two.

Does Low Leptin Doom Dieting?
(Sunday, June 22, 2008) - The drug industry is doing everything in its power to get leptin drugs on the market for some type of widespread weight-loss angle.  The problem is that such drugs don’t work, because just about everyone who is overweight makes too much leptin.  This was apparent back in 2002 when there were only 5000 leptin studies, now there are 14,000.  Consumer beware – researchers paid by Big Pharma are actively and intentionally creating a twisted misrepresentation relating to how leptin works, solely to sell drugs.

Regular Aerobics Decreases Appetite, Boosts Brain
(Wednesday, June 18, 2008) - Researchers documented that a potent brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was significantly boosted by 3 months of aerobic exercise – and the higher its level the less a person wants to eat and the greater their weight loss.  This is the first time BDNF levels have been linked to appetite suppression – a significant finding.

Hunger Hormone Helps Alleviate Stress and Depression
(Monday, June 16, 2008) - In a strange twist of events your stomach’s hunger hormone, ghrelin, may help to protect you against stress-induced anxiety and depression.  This “gift” of protection comes at a price – eating too much food in response to stress.  This new information shows just how powerful stress eating can be, as this type of survival signaling is wired to your core subconscious brain.

Lack of Sleep Causes Excess Carbohydrate Consumption
(Thursday, June 12, 2008) - Fail to get enough restful sleep and the next day you will crave and eat too many carbohydrates – even getting drawn into the evil of snacking. 

High Protein Meals Reduce Appetite
(Monday, June 09, 2008) - Studies detailing the effects of protein on rat brain neuro-circuitry have shown that higher protein meals increase your subconscious brains satiety signals, helping you feel full. 

Dairy Prevents Bone Loss During Weight Loss
(Friday, June 06, 2008) - A diet of lean protein and low fat dairy, along with vegetables and fruit, was able to stop bone loss during weight loss – something that our government’s food pyramid guidelines could not do.  Study participants consume 30% of their calories from protein, while the food pyramid recommends only 10% of calories from protein.

Sugar Addiction Drives Childhood Obesity
(Wednesday, June 04, 2008) - It’s obvious to just about anyone that excess sugar consumption makes you fat.  Now we even have data to prove that excessive sugar consumption, mostly from sweetened drinks like soda, is up at a rate that would require a 1 hour jog per day just to burn of the extra calories.

Pine Nut Oil Reduces Food Desire
(Monday, June 02, 2008) - Two new studies confirm the helpful role of Pine Nut Oil to reduce the desire to eat larger portions. 

Q10 Boosts Muscle Function and Exercise Performance
(Sunday, June 01, 2008) - Researchers at Baylor University tested 200 mg per day of Q10 in a group of trained and unconditioned male and female participants.  A single dose of Q10 boosted the level of this important energizing nutrient in the blood, which correlated directly to muscle levels of Q10 and the ability of muscles to use oxygen. 

Do You Eat What You Know You Should Be Eating?
(Saturday, May 31, 2008) - There appears to be a very large disconnect between what a person knows they should be eating and what they tend to eat.  New research is demonstrating that emotional states of feeling, otherwise known as stress eating, take priority over logic when it comes to consuming food.

Refined Carbohydrates and the Fast Track to Disease
(Thursday, May 29, 2008) - A new study shows just how deadly refined carbohydrates are – even for a healthy person.  One serving given to a lean and healthy young adult is adequate to triple the inflammatory response to the surge in glucose.

MSG Can Make You Fat
(Wednesday, May 28, 2008) - A new study involving Chinese citizens found that MSG intake of 330 mg a day doubled the risk for obesity, independent of diet and exercise.

Stress, Subordination, and Cravings
(Saturday, May 17, 2008) - Research on female monkeys shows that those in a subservient role and under chronic stress ate significantly more food resulting in weight gain, compared to the female monkeys in the dominating role.  New research on humans does show that women with poor stress management skills will keep eating after they are full simply to make negative emotional feelings go away. 

Your Stomach and Cardiovascular Health
(Thursday, May 15, 2008) - Just about everyone now realizes that the size of your waistline reflects your degree of cardiovascular risk.  A new angle on the issue has emerged and it has to do with your stomach itself, as opposed to the amount of extra belly fat.  It has to do with your stomach’s hunger signal, ghrelin.

Digestive Inflammation and Food Cravings
(Thursday, May 15, 2008) - Several new lines of research are showing that ghrelin levels are elevated during digestive distress in an effort to coordinate repair of your digestive tract. 
The adverse side effect of elevated ghrelin is that your appetite will elevate and you will eat more food, making you gain weight.

Looking Back for Answers on Stress Eating
(Wednesday, May 14, 2008) - A great deal of eating behavior is buried in subconscious brain circuitry that was developed in your early life.  Such programming is more like computer hardware than software, which is why many of us struggle to “change the eating programs.”

Obesity Increases the Risk for Mental Decline
(Monday, May 12, 2008) - A new study shows that obese individuals have a 40% increased risk for dementia and an 80% increased risk for Alzheimer’s.  Significant mental decline affects 10% of the elderly population and rates of Alzheimer’s are up 20% - consistent with the increase in obesity.  There is no reason this has to happen.

Ghrelin Elevated by Sluggish Thyroid Function
(Monday, May 12, 2008) - When you eat less food, especially on a diet, there comes a time when weight loss slows down.  At this time you will start getting an increase in hunger that is coming from a hormone signal in your stomach called ghrelin.  New research shows that ghrelin levels go up (meaning increased hunger) as thyroid function is impaired and becomes sluggish.

Big Pharma Eyes Your Stomach
(Monday, May 12, 2008) - Scientists inject ghrelin (pronounced GRAY-lin) into the blood of normal weight people.  While measuring their brain activity these subjects are shown pictures of food and the ghrelin makes them drool.  Core animal pleasure is activated.  Yes, they must have it.  Stimulus-response, a modern Pavlovian dog experiment.

The Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup Path to Disease
(Saturday, May 10, 2008) - In a recent study it came as a surprise to researchers when they found that sucrose and high fructose corn syrup elevated blood triglycerides much higher than did fructose over a 24-hour period.  This little problem throws a monkey wrench in the idea that all simple sugars are more or less the same.  It explains one main contributor to obesity and heart disease.

Detoxification During Weight Loss
(Thursday, May 08, 2008) - Every person in American is being exposed to a wide variety of fat soluble toxins that tend to bio-accumulate in their fat as they get older.  Managing your detoxification systems properly as you lose weight can be an important determining factor in how much progress you make and whether of not you reach an optimal goal weight.

Calcium, Fat, and Weight Loss – Resolving the Confusion
(Monday, May 05, 2008) - A variety of reports in the past decade have indicated that calcium may be a helpful weight loss nutrient.  This prompted the dairy industry to widely promote milk as a weight loss food.  On May 5, 2008 a press release reports on an article that will soon appear in the Nutritional Reviews journal that states “neither dairy nor calcium intake promotes weight loss.” For consumers this simply becomes another “butter vs. margarine” or “are eggs good or bad” dilemma.  Extra calcium is one tool that can actually help many people to lose weight in a healthy way.

Obesity, IL6, and the Cause of Heart Failure
(Saturday, May 03, 2008) - Extra fat does a lot more than clog arteries.  Inflammatory proteins coming from fat directly damage the heart – whether you feel just fine or not.  That is the conclusion of new John Hopkins Medicine research tracking 7000 obese men and women across the United States – watching them descend from no heart disease into poor cardiovascular health.

Living by Fast Food is Dangerous to Your health
(Wednesday, April 30, 2008) - The data is now in and it is not good for the junk food industry.  The more fast food and convenience store outlets in your neighborhood the more likely you are to be obese and diabetic.  The study, Designed for Disease: the Link Between Local Food Environments and Obesity and Diabetes, was conducted in California but certainly applies though out U.S.

Leptin, Adiponectin, and Kidney Disease
(Sunday, April 27, 2008) - New research now shows that the drop in a fat hormone called adiponectin is associated with an inflammatory-driven decline in kidney function.  By fixing leptin problems adiponectin can be elevated to natural levels and the risk for kidney disease can be lowered.

Is Obesity the Chicken or the Egg for Disease Risk?
(Tuesday, April 22, 2008) - Novel mice experiments carried out by researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center are helping to clarify the relationship of fat and disease.  Mice bred not to be able to store fat, which were then fed a high fat diet, became diabetic and diseased much faster than the mice who could store the surplus calories as fat.

The Key Foods to Eat Organic
(Sunday, April 20, 2008) - It remains a considerable challenge for the American public to find fresh food of adequate quality.  We all know we should eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, but many of them are contaminated with pesticides, fungicides, and insecticides.  Virtually all chemicals used work by poisoning the nervous system of the pest, meaning they are fat-soluble and able to irritate the lining of your arteries and cross your blood brain barrier.  Levels far below what causes cancer are able to initiate metabolic disruption, thyroid dysfunction, and cardiovascular irritation.

Guess What? - A Fat Stomach Craves Food
(Thursday, April 17, 2008) - It was just discovered that belly fat cells make an appetite signal which increases as you become overweight, causing you to crave more food, which makes you even fatter in the abdominal area, in turn causing you to crave even more food.

How to Get Rid of Cellulite
(Sunday, April 13, 2008) - While there is no quick fix for cellulite, there are definite things you can do to stop the problem from getting worse and even improve the appearance of the problem.
Birth Weight & Early Weight Gain = Heart Disease
(Sunday, April 13, 2008) - A new British study links inflammation from the womb (low birth weight babies) through early life weight gain and shows that this issue sets the stage for cardiovascular disease in later life.

A Mother’s Leptin Problems Linked to Autism Risk
(Thursday, April 03, 2008) - The importance of a mom being healthy body weight prior to pregnancy and having good nutritional status and eating habits has now been driven home by a new autism study.  The study showed that children who develop early autism have significantly higher blood levels of leptin.  Those levels are high because of adverse fetal programming due to a leptin resistant mother.

Mother’s Healthy Choices Influence Obesity in Offspring
(Tuesday, April 01, 2008) - A wide range of cutting edge obesity research was presented at a Conference held March 28, 2008 in Great Brittan.  The conference focused on the importance of prenatal, postnatal, and early childhood eating as a determinant for later life food choices and obesity risk.

Food Addiction and Stress Eating Mechanism Identified
(Tuesday, April 01, 2008) - By experimenting with mice that were bred to have no sweet-taste ability, a direct link of food intake to pleasure has been identified for the first time.  This mechanism is important because it links food acquisition directly to addictive or stress-related eating “solutions.”

A Fat Stomach Sets the Stage for Cognitive Decline
(Tuesday, April 01, 2008) - A three decade study looked into the relationship between abdominal fat and the risk for developing dementia.  The findings are not good news for any person with extra weight around the middle.  It was revealed that the larger your waistline in your 40s, the greater the risk for developing dementia in later life.

Reducing Inflammation to Help Solve Obesity
(Monday, March 17, 2008) - A new study involving twins helps to document the precise nature of inflammation as a major causative factor in obesity.  This information can help you focus on what you really need to work on to improve the situation.

Bone Research Leads to Big Fat Discovery
(Monday, March 17, 2008) - Scientists are now linking precise mechanisms showing how immune cells stimulate new fat cells, causing obesity.

Obesity Increases Risk for Aggressive Breast Cancer
(Monday, March 17, 2008) - A wake up call has been issued to women.  If you are overweight and you get breast cancer it is more likely to be life threatening, and you have significantly poorer odds of being alive 5 or 10 years following treatment if weight issues are not corrected. 

Major Blood Sugar Discovery Validates Leptin Diet
(Sunday, March 09, 2008) - Problems with elevated blood sugar lead to obesity, difficulty losing weight, diabetes, accelerating aging (due to caramelization of body tissues), and a host of other serious problems.  Researchers have now identified the switch that must work right in order to correctly maintain normal function of blood sugar metabolism.  Following the Leptin Diet naturally promotes fitness and correct function of this switch.

An Imbalanced Digestive Tract Contributes to Obesity
(Sunday, March 09, 2008) - A fascinating study shows that children lacking good digestive bacteria at birth were much more likely to become overweight by age 7 compared to children with healthy levels of friendly digestive bacteria. 

New Obesity Link to Breast and Prostate Cancer
(Tuesday, February 19, 2008) - New information helps to explain how breast and prostate cancer are linked to obesity.  Two hormones that come from fat, leptin and adiponectin, are involved in the problem.

Cold-Induced Gene Mutations & Obesity
(Saturday, February 16, 2008) - Numerous genes are different in those whose ancestors came from more Northern climates, especially changes in the leptin receptors.  This clearly means the stronger your ancestry is linked to colder climates the more you are genetically predisposed to obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease.

Tips on Dealing with Abdominal Fat and a Sluggish Liver
(Wednesday, February 13, 2008) - It has been known for some time that an expanding waistline is directly reflective of improper fat accumulation in the liver.  Instead of looking like a lean cut of beef the liver looks more like a slab of bacon.  Even worse, this bacon fat “cooks” under the influence of free radicals and can eventually turn the liver crispy – as happened to Mickey Mantle (alcohol excess makes the problem worse).  This improper accumulation of fat in the liver throws a monkey wrench into metabolism and is a significant factor in almost all difficult weight loss problems. 

Obese Lacking Key Basic Nutrients
(Monday, February 11, 2008) - Norwegian researchers found that obese individuals were significantly lacking in vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E.  This lack of nutrients was associated with a mild elevation of C-Reactive protein, an important inflammatory marker.

Sleep Problems and Obesity in Children
(Monday, February 11, 2008) - A February 2008 meta analysis regarding children and their lack of sleep is driving home an important point:  children who do not get enough sleep are much more likely to gain excess weight.  Children with the least amount of sleep had a 92% higher rate of being overweight compared to the best sleepers. 

Brain Development Link to Obesity and Heart Disease
(Wednesday, February 06, 2008) - The latest finding in a considerable body of evolving knowledge shows that poor development of leptin-related brain circuitry while in the womb is one common cause of later-life obesity.  Individuals who have this developmental weakness (which is no fault of their own) have little or no margin for error in how they live their life, unless they wish to place themselves on the fast track of accelerated aging and early onset of the diseases of aging….

Inflammation Links Abdominal Fat as Source of Heart Disease
(Tuesday, January 22, 2008) - The circumstantial evidence has been in for quite some time, the larger the abdomen the greater the risk for heart disease…

Higher Dietary Protein Helps Control Appetite
(Tuesday, January 22, 2008) - A new study shows that ghrelin, your stomach’s very own appetite signal, is much more under control for a longer period of time in response to a high protein meal.  When carbohydrates are eaten alone ghrelin is temporarily happy, but comes back with a vengeance 3 hours later (causing you to be more hungry).

Whey Protein Improves Muscle, Reduces Body Fat, and Promotes a Natural Full Feeling
(Tuesday, January 08, 2008) - A variety of new studies regarding the health benefits of whey protein, especially for middle aged and older Americans, are now being reported in the scientific literature.  Whey protein stands out as the very best protein to build muscle strength, even superior to red meat.  A new scientific review finds this is a very important issue for older Americans trying to maintain their health…

Tame Your Cravings with Pine Nut Oil
(Wednesday, January 02, 2008) - Each year countless Americans make the New Years resolution to lose weight and each year the best dieting efforts of many are met with frustration and mediocre, if any, success.  Public health pundits keep preaching to exercise more and eat less – a message everyone already knows.  What can you do?

Quality Sleep is a Weight-Loss Key
(Wednesday, January 02, 2008) - I have long reported that sleep is the primary fat-burning time, especially when a person does not eat food before bed.  Of course if you exercise you will burn more calories during and following exercise; but in terms of the ideal time of the day to simply burn more fat it is during sleep.  Between meals during the day (assuming you do not snack) you will burn 60% glucose and 40% fatty acids.  After 6 hours of not eating (such as during sleep) this ratio flips around and you begin to burn 60% fatty acids until you wake up, your prime fat-burning time if you have managed your daily eating patterns according to the Leptin Diet.

Bad Breath more Common in Overweight People
(Wednesday, December 26, 2007) - Researchers at Tel Aviv University are the first to identify a link between bad breath and being overweight.  Alcohol intake was also a problem.  While it is well known that poor dental hygiene is a typical factor in bad breath, it can now be understood that poor metabolism and/or poor digestive health may be large factors in this issue.

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Salmon Cakes with Olives, Lemon & Dill
Salmon Cakes with Olives, Lemon & Dill
Studded with briny olives, bright lemon zest and a touch of dill, this healthy, easy salmon cake recipe is perfect for dinner and for freezing. Whether you serve the salmon cakes on a bun like a burger with lettuce and tomato or paired with a mixed green salad, try a dollop of reduced-fat mayo mixed with lemon juice on top.

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