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Cutting Carbs Boosts Calorie Burn
Losing weight is challenging, and keeping it off is even harder. But a new study sheds light on a path to success. Researchers at the Harvard-affiliated Boston Children’s Hospital tested three different diets for maintaining weight loss and found that restricting carbs works best because it increases natural calorie burning and helps to control hunger.
The study enrolled 164 people, ages 18 to 65, who had recently lost 10 percent of their body weight. For the next 20 weeks, researchers put them on one of three diets: a high (60 percent), moderate (40 percent), or low (20 percent) carbohydrate diet. All diets contained the same number of calories.
People on the low-carb diet burned 209–278 more calories per day than those on the high-carb diet. The difference was even greater among those with the highest insulin levels at the start of the study: up to 478 more calories per day. Hormone tests showed that the low-carb diet also lowered levels of hunger hormones.
A study of more than 25,000 American men and women, age 50 and older, has found that taking fish oil daily dramatically reduces risk for heart attacks. Risk dropped by 77 percent among African Americans, and 40 percent among others who ate less than 1.5 servings of fish per week.
How to Get Enough Exercise
It may be easier than you think to stay fit. The latest guidelines recognize that any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity during your day—even a few minutes here and there—will enhance your health. Walking to do errands, vacuuming, dusting, climbing stairs, or cleaning out a cluttered closet or garage could be moderate or even vigorous. This is how much activity it takes to improve health:
- Adults: 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity per week (which averages out to 21.5 minutes per day), plus muscle-strengthening movement twice a week.
- Ages 6–17: 60 minutes of moderate-to- vigorous activity every day.
Knitting is as Relaxing as Yoga
Knit for Peace, a British charity, surveyed over 1,000 people who regularly knit, and found that not only is the craft as relaxing as yoga, but it also:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces depression and anxiety
- Distracts from pain
- Reduces loneliness, when done in a group
- Reduces dementia
- Increases well-being
In the Middle Ages, before machines were invented, men did the knitting and formed guilds (unions of the day) that didn’t admit women. Today, more men are knitting as a hobby.