Dieting Done Right: Healthy Weight-Loss Strategies

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Oh yes, this is it: the last few days of the holidays, meaning that after midnight Wednesday, when the New Year rings in, several tens of millions of Americans will start thinking about how to take off the pounds they started putting on back in November — or before that.

When I googled “diet” just now, I got more results than there are people in this country. No surprise that weight loss is pretty much “everyone’s No. 1 resolution,” said Dr. Jennifer Slovis, who leads the weight management program at Kaiser Oakland. She joined a discussion about weight loss on KQED’s Forum Monday morning.

The first thing they did on the show was dispatch the idea that fad diets can work for you long term. “We really only support evidence-based therapies,” said Katie Ferraro, a registered dietitian and professor at the UC San Francisco School of Nursing. “Unfortunately, those are kind of boring: ‘Eat less and exercise more’ are not the sexiest messages out there.”

While you should avoid fad diets, the Forum guests all agreed that individuals have flexibility in how they get to “eating less and exercising more.” Continue reading

Study: Does A Junk Food Diet Make You Tired?


UCLA psychology professor Aaron Blaisdell studied what happened to rats when they were fed a junk food diet. (Photo/Chris Richard)

UCLA psychology professor Aaron Blaisdell studied what happened to rats when they were fed a junk food diet. (Photo/Chris Richard)

By Chris Richard

A new UCLA psychology study has found evidence that being overweight may make people tired and then become more sedentary, not the other way around.

The rats on the junk food diet rested nearly twice as long as the lean rats.    
 Researchers got the proof from testing rats, whose physiology is similar to that of human beings.

A team led by psychology professor Aaron Blaisdell of UCLA’s Brain Research Institute put one group of 16 rats on the standard lab diet, largely ground corn, wheat, soybean and fish meal. A second group got a highly processed and refined diet, with casein as the main protein source, soybean oil, sugar and a little starch: a rat’s version of junk food.

It may be no surprise that after three months, the junk food eaters got fat. Continue reading

Mark Bittman Talks Up Part-Time Veganism (and Delivers 3 Easy Recipes)

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

It all started with a prescription from his doctor, but not for a drug.

“You should probably become a vegan,” New York Times food writer Mark Bittman says his doctor told him. That was six years ago. Then 57, Bittman says he was 40 pounds overweight, and his cholesterol and blood sugar which had always been normal, had moved into the “danger zone.”

Bittman had built his career around food, and being a vegan didn’t appeal to him, as he recounted this week on KQED’s Forum. “I wanted … something do-able, something I could stick with,” he said.

He hatched the idea of being vegan until dinner — “you’re only postponing gratitude” until then.

It seems to have worked. Today, he’s 35 pounds lighter and he says his blood sugar and cholesterol are back in the normal range.

Now he has recounted his experience in a new book, “VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Restore Your Health and Lose Weight … for Good.Continue reading