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40 Ways to Stop Gaining Weight

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Let’s face it, plenty of people have gained weight during the pandemic and lockdowns. While you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself about it—it was a really, really tough year—you may be itching to lose some of it in an effort to feel lighter and happier with your body. But how? We talked to plenty of experts in the field—nutritionists, dietitians, personal trainers and doctors—to get simple tips to get the scale moving. In fact, you may be surprised at just how easy it is to avoid gaining weight!

1. Don’t skimp on protein

“Protein is vitally important to keep your muscles happy and healthy, which is important because muscle is one of the main drivers of calorie expenditure,” says Nick Peters, a certified personal trainer with QuickHIT Fitness Labs.

2. Keep sipping

Many people find it daunting to realize just how much their bodies need to stay hydrated and healthy. “One way to make sure you’re consuming enough water every day is to get a water bottle with clear volume measurements on it,” says Peters. “Keep it next to you while you’re working as a constant reminder to take a sip and stay healthy.” A good rule of thumb is to aim for half your body weight in ounces per day (for example a 200-pound person should aim for 100 ounces of water).

3. Make activity a consistent priority

This past year many of us learned that regular physical activity is crucial for our bodies to stay in shape. “Make sure you find something that works for you, and stick with it for the long haul,” says Peters. “Whether that means long walks, regular bike rides or a workout routine at the gym, staying consistent is key.”

4. Add resistance to your workout

Strength training is one of the most effective ways for people of any age to stay in shape. “It’ll help you build lean muscle, increase bone density and burn fat even when you’re not working out,” says Peters.

5. Fill up on fiber

Like protein, fiber helps us to keep feeling full, longer—so you’ll be less likely to want to reach for a snack shortly after a major meal. “Fiber is also generally found in foods naturally lower in calories like fruits and vegetables, so it’s a great nutrient to focus on when trying to maintain your weight,” says Kylie Morse, Registered Dietician at Fit Body App.

Related: 20 Foods High in Soluble Fiber

6. Prepare meals and snacks ahead of time

Being prepared with some of your meals and snacks can help you to make more nourishing food choices, says Morse. It also helps to avoid skipping meals, which can result in overeating later in the day.

7. Utilize tools to help stay on track

While tracking calories shouldn’t turn into an obsession, it is a good way to start noticing patterns. “As a dietitian, I like to remind everyone that calorie tracking is simply another tool in the tool chest,” says Morse. “When it comes to weight loss, calorie and macronutrient awareness is the key.” It’s good to know how calories are calculated for food. 

8. Choose lower-calorie alcohol options

“If you drink alcohol, avoiding sugary or high-calorie drinks can help you to maintain your weight while still enjoying a drink or two every now and then,” says Morse. She notes that some lower-calorie drink options include red wine, seltzers, vodka and tequila. Here are four rules to follow for low-calorie cocktails.

9. Don’t drink your calories

“This can help to save you hundreds of ‘empty calories’ and tons of added sugar,” says Dr. Josh Axe author of the best-selling book Ancient Remedies. Make plain water your beverage of choice followed by coffee (unsweetened), teas, sparkling water and clear broth.

10. Cut out added sugar and refined carbs

“Neither of these are filling; in fact, they tend to make you eat and crave more and more, contributing to a higher calorie intake,” says Dr. Axe. Reduce your intake by avoiding things like sweetened dairy products, cereals, granola, desserts, ice cream, breads, rolls and pasta.

11. Figure out your calorie needs

“First learn about the calories your body needs based on your age, gender and activity level, then learn about the calorie content of foods you eat repeatedly so you can make swaps for lower-calorie items where needed,” says Dr. Axe.

12. Keep a food journal

“This can be an eye-opening habit that helps you better grasp how much you’re really eating each day, plus it points out patterns such as times you may be snacking out of boredom or stress rather than due to real physical hunger,” says Dr. Axe.

13. Consider trying intermittent fasting

“This tool involves shortening your ‘eating window’ to about 8 or 9 hours each day, meaning you fast (you only drink water, coffee, tea) for the other 16+ hours,” says Dr. Axe. “Fasting can help promote healthy blood sugar levels, boost your body’s ability to burn fat and stabilize your appetite.”

Related: 21 Tips to Help You Succeed at Intermittent Fasting

14. Cook more often at home

One of the simplest ways to nix calories and processed ingredients from your diet is to make your own meals rather than relying on take-out, frozen, packaged foods or restaurants, notes Dr. Axe.

15. Flavor your food with low-calorie ingredients

The better that healthy food tastes, the less likely you’ll be to stray and crave junk foods. Dr. Axe suggests boosting the taste of healthy meals with ingredients like good quality sea salt and spices, herbs, vinegars and quality olive oil.

16. Add high-intensity intervals to your workouts

“Rather than always doing steady-state cardio exercises like running or biking, try adding challenging intervals into your routine in which you really push yourself hard for short bursts—such as 1 or 2 minutes at a time before resting and repeating,” suggests Dr. Axe. This can help give your metabolism a boost, challenge your muscles and may promote fat loss.

Related: 8 Best At-Home HIIT Workouts on YouTube 

17. Sip on vegan broth throughout the day

“I like this one from Grace’s Goodness Organics which is packed full of nutrients,” says Christina Towle, a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and Founder of Hudson Valley Nutrition. “It is so satisfying yet still low in calories.” She explains that it helps the body rest between meals so that it can play ‘catch-up” in processing previous meals. This results, she explains, in faster metabolization, which ultimately results in weight loss.

18. Be cautious of your sugar intake

“High-sugar foods and beverages are usually high in calories and fat that result in weight gain,” says Towle. “If you desire something sweet, take a teaspoon of high-quality raw, manuka honey like this one from Manukora that is packed full of antioxidants and also tastes delicious to satisfy cravings.”

19. Sleep

Many studies confirm that sleep helps with weight loss. “To help sleep, sip on a sleep tea at night,” suggests Towle. “It will help calm you down and keep you out of the kitchen.”

20. Go the extra mile

“Walking is a great way to keep off the pounds—in fact, walking over 10,000 steps a day can assist you in losing up to a pound a week,” says Steph Boll, a certified personal trainer and founder and editor of Spikes and Heels. Parking at the furthest point from the entrance of the shop, doing a few laps around the office, or walking to fetch the kids from school instead of driving can contribute to your daily goal of ten thousand steps.

21. Buy healthier everyday essentials

“Of all the things in your kitchen, there are two items most households consume on a daily basis: bread and milk,” says Boll. “By switching from full cream to fat-free milk and from white bread to whole wheat, your daily carb and fat intake will dramatically drop.”

22. Use smaller plates

“This helps you have more control over the portions you eat,” says Dr. Ahmed Helmy, a plastic surgeon. “You serve up a smaller amount of food which reduces the risk of overeating.”

23. Drink sparkling water

“The carbonation helps to make you feel full, while the water content provides hydration to your body,” says Dr. Helmy. “This acts as an appetite suppressant and gives you an excuse to skip on the sugary soda.”

24. Start with a salad

“Try to focus on eating fresh fruits and vegetables first before other foods, so start with a big salad before lunch or dinner,” says Heather Hanks, a nutritionist with Instapot. She notes that vegetables are high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber to support weight loss naturally. They are very filling and will help you consume fewer calories during the rest of your meal.

25. Take a brief walk after meals

Not only is this a great way to sneak in some more exercise, but walking after meals helps with digestion so you can avoid bloating,” says Jen Hernandez, a Registered Dietitian board-certified in renal nutrition. When focusing on weight loss, it’s good to make sure you’re not keeping on weight simply from water or constipation. She suggests aiming for 10-15 minutes after your meal.

26.  Make substitutions

“If you enjoy chips and salsa between meals, substitute carrot sticks in place of chips,” says Hernandez. “If you like sweeter snacks, top your favorite low-sugar yogurt with some cherries.”  She suggests sautéing some sliced apples with a little coconut oil and cinnamon for a warm and satisfying dessert.

27. Drink coffee to stimulate your metabolism

“Research has shown that caffeine and coffee can increase your metabolic rate in both normal and obese individuals,” says Dr. Allen Conrad, owner of Montgomery County Chiropractic Center in North Wales PA. He explains that your metabolism slows down as we age, and stimulating your metabolism will help you maintain a constant weight.

28. Avoid eating really big meals at one time

“Eating a lot of calories in one meal can lead to your body storing the extra calories as extra weight,” says Dr. Conrad.

Related: What is the Paleo Diet?

29. Pack your gym bag the night before

“When you are tired in the morning, you may find excuses why not to go to the gym,” says Dr. Conrad. Getting everything packed and ready to go will help you keep consistent with your exercise program.

30. Sign up for a morning class with a friend

“Working out with a friend helps motivate you, and signing up for a morning class will help get you in a routine,” says Dr. Conrad.  Make it a class you like, so you look forward to it.

31. Walk at lunch

“The most common reason someone stops exercising is that they say they can’t find time,” says Dr. Conrad. By creating ways to keep active, like a lunchtime walk, you will help prevent weight gain.

32. Eat all meals and snacks at a table on a plate without screens

“When we eating standing up or while on the phone our body does not recognize
that we are eating and we tend to have too much or not feel full,” says Dr. Lori Fishman, a psychologist specializing in weight management and an attending psychologist in the Optimal Wellness for Life Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital. Eating mindfully and paying attention to our food will help us feel more satisfied and help maintain a healthy weight.

33. Avoid getting to the point where you feel starving

“If you allow too many hours to go by without eating, your body will crave high-glycemic or processed foods for a quick fix,” says Dr. Fishman. You’ll end up feeling hangry. Instead, she suggests trying to eat on a schedule, consuming a meal or snack every three hours.

34. Get out of the diet mindset

“When we go on a strict diet and then eat something not approved, we call it cheating,” says Dr. Fishman. “This often makes us feel terrible about ourselves and we tend to keep eating poorly, feeling that we already ruined the diet so what is the point?” A healthier mindset allows for treats on occasion because you live a healthy lifestyle most of the time. Losing weight safely helps keep it off.

35. Minimize triggers in the home

If you’re about to pick up a box of cookies at the grocery store and say to yourself, “If I buy these they will disappear in 5 minutes” then do not buy them,” advises Dr. Fishman. Avoid having foods in the home that are difficult to control. “It is better to go have one good ice cream cone out than to have a gallon of ice cream in your freezer for instant access at all times,” says Dr. Fishman.

36. Doing something is better than doing nothing

“If you say to yourself, I don’t have time to exercise so I can’t do it today you’re missing an opportunity to do maybe a 10-minute walk or workout instead,” says Dr. Fishman. It is better to do 10 minutes of moving than no moving at all.

Related: 25 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight

37. Schedule exercise in advance

If you make your moving time part of your daily routine or schedule it like a work meeting or appointment, you are more likely to make it a priority and get it done, notes Dr. Fishman.

38. Watch out for hidden sugar

Dr. Fishman warns that just because something says organic, 100% fruit, or all-natural does not mean it won’t cause weight gain. Check the grams of sugar in the drinks you are ordering.

39. Eat whole, nutrient-dense foods 90% of the time

“Unprocessed, unrefined foods like whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean proteins and healthy fats provide nutrients and phytochemicals that optimize metabolism and cellular health, minimizing fat gain,” says Michelle Tierney, a Registered Dietitian and certified personal trainer.

40. Exercise for 30-60 minutes per day at least 4 days a week

Consistent exercise not only burns calories while you’re engaging in it, but it also builds muscle, which burns more calories at rest, contributes to metabolic health, and helps balance energy input and output explains Tierney.

Up next: A healthy diet doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are 80 Delicious, Affordable Foods to Try Today.

Sources

  • Nick Peters, certified personal trainer with QuickHIT Fitness Labs
  • Kylie Morse, Registered Dietician at Fit Body App
  • Dr. Josh Axe, author of Ancient Remedies
  • Christina Towle, Certified Clinical Nutritionist and Founder of Hudson Valley Nutrition
  • Steph Boll, certified personal trainer, founder and editor of Spikes and Heels
  • Dr. Ahmed Helmy, plastic surgeon
  • Heather Hanks, nutritionist with Instapot
  • Jen Hernandez, Registered Dietitian and board-certified in renal nutrition
  • Dr. Allen Conrad, owner of Montgomery County Chiropractic Center
  • Dr. Lori Fishman, psychologist specializing in weight management and an attending psychologist in the Optimal Wellness for Life Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Michelle Tierney, a Registered Dietitian and certified personal trainer
  • Sleep Foundation, “Weight Loss and Sleep”

Whole Grains Health

Fun, on-the-go health hacks – The Fort Morgan Times

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(Family Features) As many people return to their normal routines, they return to their usual on-the-go lifestyle by getting back to work, traveling to new destinations, and enjoying time with loved ones.

Remember, as you go back to discovering and meeting with family and friends, you need fuel for your adventures. According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, most Americans don’t get enough whole grains every day and opt for mostly refined grains instead.

Foods like delicious whole grain popcorn offer an easy health hack to make every bite count. Get in the habit of popping 9 cups of popcorn in the morning and dividing it into two containers. Season one container with salt and herbs, the other with a pinch of sugar and cinnamon so you can switch between sweet and salty throughout the day. Bringing delicious options like these along with you on the go will help satisfy your hunger pangs while adding the fiber your body needs.

Because delicious whole grain popcorn is versatile and 3 cups are the equivalent of a serving of whole grain, it’s a simple but tasty option for meeting dietary recommendations. It can be a breeze to add to snacks like Blueberry and Pomegranate Power Bars, Crunchy Popcorn Trail Mix, or Sweet and Savory Curry Popcorn. You can even satisfy children’s cravings with Grab and Go Pizza Popcorn, a six-ingredient recipe that prepares in minutes.

Visit popcorn.org for more nutritious snack ideas.

Sweet and savory curry popcorn

Yield: 8 cups

  • 8 cups of unsalted, unbuttered popcorn
  • 1/3 cup of ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt flakes
  1. Put the popcorn in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the ghee, brown sugar, honey, curry powder and cumin; stir until dissolved. Bring to a light boil; take it off the stove.
  3. Mix the ghee mixture and salt with the popcorn; Transfer to a serving bowl.

Crunchy popcorn trail mix

Yield: 9 cups

  • 5 cups of popcorn
  • 3 cups whole grain oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup peanuts or other nuts
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
  • 6 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  1. In a large, microwaveable bowl, stir together the popcorn, granola, raisins, nuts, and seeds; put aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup to a boil; Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour over the popcorn mixture and stir evenly.
  3. Microwave 3-4 minutes, stirring and scraping bowl after every minute.
  4. Spread on a greased baking sheet; cool. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Blueberry and pomegranate power bars

Yield: 12 bar

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 8 cups of popcorn
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup of dried blueberries
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup whole natural almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, melted
  1. Line 13 x 9 inch pan with foil; Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the popcorn, oats, blueberries, pomegranate seeds, and almonds together.
  3. In a small saucepan over low heat, cook honey, brown sugar and butter for 2 minutes. Pour over the popcorn mixture and mix thoroughly.
  4. With wet hands, squeeze the mixture firmly into the prepared pan. Chill until firm, about 2 hours. Cut into 12 bars.
  5. Dip the bottom of the bars in melted chocolate. Place on a pan lined with waxed paper; Chill until ready to serve. Store in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator.

Grab yourself and go pizza popcorn

Yield: 6 liters

  • 6 liters of popped popcorn
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
  1. Place popcorn in a large, resealable plastic container or 2 1/2 gallon resealable plastic bag.
  2. Spray the popcorn lightly with olive oil cooking spray.
  3. Sprinkle cheese, garlic salt, paprika, and Italian condiments over the popcorn and shake it to distribute it evenly.
  4. Place popcorn in reusable plastic cups to serve.

SOURCE:Popcorn board

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Whole Grains Health

What is gluten? A nutritionist explains everything you need to know

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Gluten has become a popular topic, and there is a lot of confusion as to whether going gluten-free is a legitimate pursuit or just an unfounded fad. Let’s clear it up. Here’s what gluten is, why it may need to be eliminated from your diet, and the common pitfalls to avoid when opting for gluten-free.

What is gluten

Gluten is a type of protein found naturally in wheat (including spelled, kamut, farro, and bulgur), barley, rye, and triticale. However, as an additive, gluten acts like a binder that holds food together, so you can find it in products that range from salad dressings to vitamins; it can even be in lip balm.

Credit: Wesual Click / Unsplash

Is Gluten Bad For You?

There are legitimate medical conditions that make people intolerant to gluten. The most common is celiac disease, an autoimmune disease in which eating gluten causes damage to the small intestine (more on this below).

Some people believe that gluten is harmful to everyone and should generally be avoided. So far, there isn’t a lot of research to support this. A 2017 study published in the BMJ followed over 100,000 people without celiac disease for 26 years. The researchers found no link between long-term consumption of gluten through food and the risk of heart disease, a concern that people in and outside of the medical community had.

Another study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology in 2019 looked at over 160,000 women without celiac disease. The scientists concluded that dietary gluten intake in adulthood was not linked to a risk of microscopic colitis, also known as inflammation of the colon lining, which was another potential problem.

However, some people may want to avoid gluten even if they don’t have a condition that causes gluten intolerance. As a nutritionist, I agree that a customer can become gluten-free as long as they consume a variety of nutritious whole-food sources of carbohydrates. In short, you don’t need gluten, but you do need a wide range of nutrients and energy-supporting carbohydrates that are easily obtained while avoiding gluten.

Why do people go on a gluten-free diet?

Gluten is found in many foods, so killing it entirely can be a huge obligation, but there are medical conditions that call for strict gluten avoidance. Again, someone with celiac disease must completely cut gluten from their diet. This is because even consuming small amounts of gluten can trigger serious symptoms such as abdominal pain and gas. However, celiac disease isn’t the only condition that warrants a gluten-free diet. Some doctors recommend that people with other autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, psoriasis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis avoid gluten.

There is also gluten sensitivity without celiac disease. In people with this condition, eating gluten causes bothersome side effects due to an inflammatory reaction. Symptoms can include flu-like feelings, gas and other gastrointestinal problems, mental foggy, and tiredness. The remedy is to avoid gluten.

Another condition, dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), is a skin rash that results from eating gluten. While people with celiac disease can also have DH, you can have DH without being diagnosed with celiac disease.

Finally, if you have a wheat allergy, you need to avoid some sources of gluten. Sometimes mistakenly referred to as a gluten allergy, a wheat allergy can lead to a serious reaction to any of the proteins found in wheat, including gluten. Wheat must be avoided if you have a wheat allergy, but you may not need to cut out non-wheat grains that contain gluten. Swelling or itching in the mouth or throat, hives, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal problems and, in severe cases, anaphylaxis are possible symptoms of a wheat allergy.

Even for people without any of these conditions, eliminating gluten can improve health, energy, and weight management – but only if it means replacing highly processed foods that traditionally contain gluten with whole, naturally gluten-free foods. For example, if switching to gluten results in a change, such as replacing a dense bagel of refined white flour with a bowl of oatmeal with fruit and nuts, you may see benefits even if your body isn’t specifically gluten-sensitive.

Are Gluten Free Foods Healthy?

Gluten-free and high-carbohydrate foods, including sweet potatoes and fruits, are nutritious and healthy. (Photo credit: Louis Hansel / Unsplash)

Gluten-free foods can be healthy, but they can also be highly processed and lacking in nutrients. Whole grain gluten-free products like brown rice and quinoa are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, and have research-backed health benefits. Other naturally gluten-free, high-carbohydrate foods such as sweet potatoes and fruit are also nutritious and healthy.

Unfortunately, the gluten-free craze has sparked a boom in highly processed foods made with refined versions of gluten-free grains like white rice. From pizza crusts to cupcakes, you can buy practically anything in a gluten-free version these days. The fact that a product is gluten-free doesn’t automatically make it healthy; it just makes it acceptable to someone who needs or wants to avoid gluten.

In my practice, I’ve seen people gain weight after becoming gluten-free from eating too much processed gluten-free foods like muffins, donuts, crackers, bread, and cookies. If diet is your priority, check out the ingredients list. Unless it’s an occasional treat, a product’s ingredients should read like a recipe you might have made in your own kitchen. And if grains are included (some gluten-free products are made with other starches like potatoes or cassava) they should be whole (like brown or white rice), which means they haven’t been stripped of their fiber and nutrients. In other words, there are packaged gluten-free foods that are healthy, like chickpea noodles, but you need to look beyond “gluten-free” on a package to isolate it.

Beware of the gluten myths

Since going gluten-free became mainstream, I’ve heard a lot of myths about this protein, and I’ve seen some common gluten-free missteps. For example, I’ve met a lot of people who say they’re gluten-free, but in reality they’ve only eliminated wheat-based foods like bread, pasta, and bagels. As mentioned earlier, wheat is just a source of gluten.

Photo credit: Pille R. Priske / Unsplash

Some people also think that gluten is found in all types of grain. In fact, there are several naturally gluten-free grains, including rice, corn, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, sorghum, teff, and oats – that is, as long as they have not been contaminated with other gluten-containing grains during processing. (Note: this is why some oatmeal is specifically labeled gluten-free. It is not a different type of oat, and the gluten has not been removed; they simply have not been exposed to gluten.) Also, some people believe that all high-carb foods contain gluten, which results in them eliminating carbohydrate free foods like potatoes or even fruits. The truth is, most whole foods are naturally gluten-free, with the exception of a handful of grains.

Bottom line

Going gluten-free shouldn’t be dismissed as a trend. Some people have to go without gluten in order to feel good. Others may choose to avoid gluten as it helps them make healthier choices, such as snacking on fruits and nuts instead of pretzels. If you choose to go gluten-free, be sure to avoid some of the pitfalls mentioned. And if you need more personal advice on how to meet your nutritional needs on a gluten-free diet or how to treat a chronic condition, contact a registered nutritionist who can advise you individually.

Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is the nutrition editor for Health, a New York Times best-selling author, and a private performance nutritionist who has advised five professional sports teams.

This story first appeared on www.health.com

Main and Feature Image: Courtesy of Getty Images

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The MedWalk diet: A step closer to walking away from dementia

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PICTURE: A Mediterranean diet is high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fish, while low in saturated fats, red meat, and alcohol. view More

Credit: Unsplash

It has been named the best diet in the world for weight loss, but now researchers at the University of South Australia are confident that the Mediterranean diet – when combined with daily exercise – can also ward off dementia and slow the decline in brain function that is common with old age.

In the world’s first study, starting this week, researchers from the University of South Australia and Swinburne University, along with a consortium of partners *, will examine the health benefits of older people who adhere to a Mediterranean diet while taking daily walks.

Called the MedWalk Study, the two-year, $ 1.8 million NHMRC-funded study will enroll 364 senior Australians – 60 to 90 years of age who live independently in a village and without cognitive impairment – in 28 residential locations in South Australia and Recruit Victoria.

It’s a recent study, especially given Australia’s aging population, where around a quarter of all Australians will be over 65 by 2050.

UniSA lead researcher, Associate Professor Karen Murphy, says combining the nutritional benefits of the Mediterranean diet with the health benefits of exercise intervention could yield significant benefits.

“Dementia is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, behavior, and ability to perform everyday tasks. While it is more common in older Australians, it is not a normal part of aging, ”says Assoc Prof. Murphy.

“Around 472,000 people live with dementia in Australia. It costs the economy more than $ 14 billion each year and is projected to grow to over $ 1 trillion over the next 40 years.

“While there is currently no prevention or cure for dementia, there is a growing consensus that a focus on risk reduction can have positive results. This is where our study starts.

“Early pilots of our MedWalk intervention demonstrated improved memory and thinking in a subset of older participants who followed a combination of a Mediterranean diet and daily walking for six months.

“We are now expanding this study to a broader group of older Australians and using carefully designed behavior modification and maintenance strategies in hopes of significantly reducing the incidence of dementia across Australia.”

A Mediterranean diet is high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fish, while low in saturated fats, red meat, and alcohol.

The 24-month study randomly assigns residences to the MedWalk intervention or their usual lifestyle (the control group) so that all participants who live in a facility are in the same group. Changes in diet and walking are supported by organized and regular motivational, diet and exercise units.

Professor Andrew Pipingas, head of neurocognitive aging research at the Center for Human Psychopharmacology in Swinburne and lead investigator, says this study is about preventing dementia from occurring.

“Since finding a cure and treating people in the later stages of the disease is extremely difficult, our focus is on helping people at risk of dementia stay healthy to ensure that Australians do well The future is going well. ”

###

Notes for editors:

  • May is National Month of the Mediterranean Diet
  • The full list of partners involved in this study are: Swinburne University; University of South Australia; Deakin University; La Trobe University; RMIT University; Murdoch University; University of Sheffield Hallam, UK; University of East Anglia, UK; University College Cork, Ireland.

Media contact: Annabel Mansfield T: +61 8 8302 0351 M: +61 417 717 504 E: Annabel.Mansfield@unisa.edu.au

Researcher: UniSA: Associate Professor Karen Murphy T: +61 8 8302 1033 E: Karen.Murphy@unisa.edu.au

Swinburne: Professor Andrew Pipingas T: +61 3 9214 5215 E: apipingas@swin.edu.au

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of press releases sent to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of information via the EurekAlert system.

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