How worried should we be about the extra pounds we’re putting on while stuck at home?
With the effects of the pandemic stretching on far longer than most people had any idea that it would, a lot of us have begun to worry about the extra pounds that we are putting on. It was kind of fun to joke about a common experience in the beginning. Some were playfully calling it the COVID-5 or referring to COVID curves, but, as the months have gone by, COVID-15 doesn’t seem quite as amusing.
Should we be worried? Have we stepped out on a slippery slope that there may be no getting off of? How important is it to try and stick to healthier food choices or even dive into a full-fledged weight loss regimen?
First of all, give yourself a break. This is not a situation in which any of us have the benefit of training or experience. Whatever your life was like before, it’s very different now. And not just for you. For everyone. Stress levels are off the charts. People are afraid. And isolated. No one really knows what to do or how long this is going to last.
Eating As An Emotional Coping Aid in Los Angeles during Covid-19
Is a little emotional eating such a terrible way to cope? No, but…
Science tells us that when anxiety and stress levels go up, so does the production of the hormone cortisol, which has the effect of increasing our appetite. This has us reaching for cake, cookies, bread and other high sugar or high carb foods. Not just because they are our go-to comfort foods, but because they trigger the release of dopamine, which makes us feel better, at least temporarily.
In normal times, if this is a common occurrence, it can certainly be a problem. In a global crisis, it helps to keep some perspective. According to Mary Anne Cohen, a psychotherapist and the director of the New York Center for Eating Disorders, “This is not a normal time that we’re in. Your eating will not look normal. And we need to cultivate some humor about our foibles and a lot of self compassion.”
Perhaps the best approach is one that generally serves us well; balance. This would mean not beating ourselves up for reaching for a cookie while watching the evening news and, at the same time, developing other ways of dealing with our stress and anxiety.
Suggestions for Reducing Overeating During the Pandemic
Make sure you are eating enough so that you aren’t hungry and anxious at the same time
Practice being kind to yourself and avoid negative “self-talk”
Try to consistently get enough sleep
Do something physical every day, if only a walk around your neighborhood
Find a new hobby or take an online class
Lessen feelings of isolation by staying connected to family, friends and co-workers with email, text, phone and internet-based technologies
Take advantage of the super-popular Zoom for sharing mealtime, having a book club, poker game or other types of group activity
The more you stay engaged and connected, the less likely you will be to rely solely on food to cope with the current situation. And remember that “this too shall pass”. If you do end up with a few extra pounds, the Southern California Center for Anti-Aging is here to help with a weight loss program designed specifically for you.
The Southern California Center for Anti-Aging focuses on the practice of advanced, preventive and regenerative medicine. We strongly believe correcting imbalances and deficiencies in nutrition, along with improving fitness and balancing and restoring hormones with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, can help with creating the foundation for a healthier and happier life. To learn more about our holistic approach or if you have questions about any of our services, take advantage of our Free Consultation by clicking here to use our convenient online form.
Why Is Weight Loss Treated As An Option Or Luxury?
We usually focus on weight loss because of how we look but should I be more concerned with health issues? We may not all want the near-emaciated look of a supermodel, but who doesn’t want a body that makes going to the beach comfortable and fun rather than anxiety-laden and traumatic? All of the “fat is beautiful” movements aside, how we look matters to us, and few of us are happy when we are carrying a significant amount of extra body weight. It is really counterproductive to try and minimize this. Unfortunately, no matter how important appearance is, there are issues associated with being overweight and obese that should take center stage.
What Constitute Obesity?
Healthcare professionals consider obesity an issue of epidemic proportion in the U.S., and it is continuing to grow. Ten years ago, the obesity rate in this country for adults was 34 percent. The latest research, conducted in 2016 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), showed an increase to 40 percent. That means that 2 of every 5 adults in the U.S. are not merely overweight, they are obese.
It would seem that the terminology used to discuss such an important issue would be easy to understand. Unfortunately, most of us have difficulty understanding the difference between being overweight and being obese. In the past, there were weight charts that gave you a target weight based on height, gender, and age. Now, you have to know your BMI (body mass index). That being said, even if you do understand what that means and learn how to use the BMI calculator, this doesn’t take into account mitigating factors like fat versus muscle, ethnicity and where the fat is located on the body.
Frequently Asked Questions About Weight Loss
Of course, most of us know whether we need to lose weight or not, even if we don’t know the exact number of pounds. Knowing it and navigating the incredibly confusing advice coming from countless directions every day is nothing short of overwhelming.
What’s the best diet?
Which foods are truly healthy (and do they have to be so expensive)?
What kind of exercise should I do?
How do I find the time to plan, shop, prepare and cook every meal?
Where do I find help that I can trust?
What usually happens? Our favorite fast food restaurant shows up in a commercial or as we are driving down the street and makes the choice extremely easy. Pull in, pay far less than for healthy options and be on our way. Quicker. Easier. Cheaper.
Importance of Breaking the Obesity Cycle
Conditions and Symptoms Stemming from Obesity
There really is a lot at stake when it comes to body weight. Yes, the effort required to lose and then maintain a healthy weight is considerable, but the cost of not doing so is far greater. Pollution in our air, water, and ground may be responsible for a great percentage of our current health concerns but the effect of obesity is staggering. Years of research has linked obesity to an almost unbelievably long list of health issues. Some of the most common include:
Diabetes – obesity increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes by a factor of 10
High blood pressure
Cancer – obesity is thought to be linked to nearly 90,000 cancer deaths yearly
Cerebrovascular Disease and Stroke
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
Scary, right? The good news is that losing weight can have a dramatically positive effect on your health. Even just getting started and reaching a goal of 5 percent of body weight can show improvement that you can feel and lower your risk for some of these life-threatening diseases. Do not let feeling overwhelmed or confused prevent you from making the changes that are so important. Make an appointment with a healthcare professional to set up a plan that is right for you and get started today.
At the Southern California Center for Anti-Aging, we know how important weight control is to health and well-being, and we believe that safe and life changing weight loss can be attained and maintained when properly supervised. Weight control is extremely important, but our bodies must also be well-nourished in order to function properly and keep our immune systems at the ready. Once we have diagnosed your particular case through carefully administered tests, we prescribe the diet, or combination of diets, that we know will work for you. To learn more about our programs or if you have questions about any of our services, take advantage of our Free Consultation by using our online form below
The adrenal glands, which are located on top of the kidneys, secrete hormones in response to stress. Most notably, cortisol and adrenaline are hormones which help mobilize quick energy for a ‘fight or flight’ response. Cortisol is designed to let you know that you are in danger.
How Does Cortisol Work?
Cortisol initially helps break down fat for energy, increases blood sugar and blood pressure. Adrenaline production increases alertness, energy level, and metabolism (releases energy from fat cells). These functions are crucial for survival in the face of danger. For example, this response was essential for our ancestors who were faced with threats such as running from a lion. When the immediate stress ends, adrenaline quickly returns to normal and cortisol takes over to get the body back into balance. One way cortisol aids the body in returning to equilibrium is by increasing appetite. Increased appetite and food intake allows carbohydrates and fats burned during the flight or fight response to be replenished. Therefore, this leads to cravings for simple carbohydrates like sugar as well as for fats.
More About Cortisol
Cortisol is known as “the stress hormone” because it’s secreted by the adrenal glands in response to stress and prepares the body for “fight or flight.” Cortisol functions to regulate blood pressure, blood sugar, metabolism, and inflammation. Small increases of cortisol produce positive effects like improved memory, reduced sensitivity to pain, increased immunity, and increased energy. However, elevated cortisol levels from prolonged or chronic stress can cause decreases in thyroid function, bone density, muscle mass and cognition. In addition, it can also lead to increased blood pressure, abdominal fat, and blood sugar imbalances.
High levels of cortisol can also lower immunity and inflammatory responses as well as slow down healing processes. Sustained high levels of cortisol will gradually tear down the body (called catabolism). Excessive acute or chronic stress can impair the functioning of the adrenal glands, eventually causing a decrease in the output of cortisol. This leads to adrenal fatigue or adrenal exhaustion. The main symptom of adrenal exhaustion is overwhelming fatigue that is not relieved with rest.
All forms of stress produce the same physiological sequence of events as mentioned above. The body reacts the same way to emotional or physical stress so, fat and glucose get released into the blood stream along with everything else from the ‘fight or flight’ response.
In modern society, this response is not necessarily beneficial if the stress is emotional, i.e. an unhappy relationship, worry about paying bills, work pressure, sitting in a traffic jam, smog, worrying about children, to name a few. These stressful events do not require flight or fight and we don’t need all those calories our body makes available. Therefore, the extra calories get deposited as fat.
More must know tips about cortisol and weight loss in Los Angeles
In today’s world, the stress response is activated so often that the body doesn’t always have a chance to return to normal. As a result, this leads to elevated circulating cortisol which continually releases glucose into the system. Next, insulin rises to drive the glucose into the cells. If this is not needed for extra energy it gets stored as fat. Stress induced cortisol weight is usually gained around the waistline and is known as belly fat. This is because fat cells in that area are more sensitive to cortisol. This is a perilous place to gain weight, as it can lead to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease. Paul Chek refers to belly fat as Syndrome X
Prolonged physical and emotional stress causes elevated cortisol. Elevated cortisol causes high blood sugar, increased belly fat, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and muscle loss. While undergoing chronic episodes of prolonged stress, adrenal glands continue to pump out cortisol. This happens many times at the expense of other hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone). In peri-menopausal and menopausal women, this further disrupts hormones that are already out of balance. As a result, this can cause even more weight gain issues. Sleeping disturbances, which are common in peri-menopause and menopause can elevate cortisol levels. That being said so can drinking too much caffeine.
Here are a few tips about cortisol and weight loss
get regular exercise, cardio for 45 minutes daily
Eat frequent small meals with protein at each meal
Find stress reduction techniques that work for you, such as meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises.
Improve time management skills so life won’t be so hectic
Looking to avoid holiday weight gain? You’re not alone. The average American gains five pounds during the holiday season. This may seem inevitable with all those family gatherings, workplace events and other food- and drink-laden social engagements. However, with a little planning, adding those extra pounds can be avoided
Set realistic Weight Loss goals
Come holiday season, it’s easy to set lofty goals about weight loss. Write down your goals—keep them specific and attainable—and post them somewhere highly visible. If your goal is “stick to two cookies at every holiday party” seeing it periodically may help you commit.
Don’t starve yourself before a holiday meal or party.
You’ll only show up hungry and eat too much. Keep your hunger in check with a few small meals throughout the day. Also, be sure to eat a small snack about 1 hr. before the holiday dinner.
Take snacks wherever you go
Without snacks comes hunger that lead you right over to the hors d’oeuvre table, which is usually hunks of cheese and other high-fat, calorie-dense fare. Bring healthy snacks with you — in your glove compartment, purse, gym bag, and brief case. Whenever hunger hits, you’re ready. If you’re hungry at the party, reach for the vegetables, fruit or rye crackers.
Select low calorie density foods first
A huge green salad, a plate of fresh fruit, and a side of roasted vegetables add up to a lot of food, but not a lot of calories.
Don’t stand by the food at the party
You will be less likely to partake in unconscious snacking all night if you instead move, mingle and socialize with friends. The closer you are to the food, the more you will eat.
Face away from the dessert spread and listen to cues from your gut rather than your eyes.
MORE WEIGHT LOSS TIPS!
Eat and chew slowly
It pays off to pace yourself. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to register a “full” sensation and signal the brain that it’s had enough. In addition, the quicker you eat, the less time the body has to register fullness. Thus, slow down and take a second to savor each bite of food.
It’s best to go for a walk or chat with friends before dishing up seconds.
Stick to a regular routine with sleep and exercise.
Many times, feeling tired or stressed is mistaken for hunger.
The holiday season is full of cheer, but it can also be stressful keeping up with family get-togethers. Stress can trigger increased eating and cravings, especially for sugary carbohydrates. Thus, if the holidays have you feeling overwhelmed, try out one of these ways to reduce stress. Meditation—using techniques like muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and mindfulness may work wonders when attempting to avoid holiday weight gain.
Stay consistent with exercise routine
Exercise is especially critical during this time of larger-than-usual meals. In addition to your regular exercise schedule, plan activities like walks, hikes, bicycle rides, and dances with family and friends. Seek out a professional to help you with your program if you need motivation.
Watch alcohol intake
Alcoholic beverages contain empty calories, offering little to no nutritional value and contributing to excess weight gain. Try having a seltzer with a lime twist or a glass of water between alcoholic drinks to help cut calories and remain well hydrated. In addition, drinking too much alcohol can cause us to lose inhibitions around food and start eating irresponsibly.
OUR FINAL 5 WEIGHT LOSS TIPS =)
Use tall, thin glasses for drinks
People pour less liquid into tall glasses than into shorter glasses. With a taller glass, you’re likely to down less in one sitting (which is especially helpful when drinking booze).
Use smaller plates
Plate sizes have expanded significantly over the years. Whenever possible, choose the smaller salad plate instead of a large dinner one. Using smaller plates can make it seem like you are eating more than you are.
Dealing with Cravings
It’s smart to acknowledge a few cravings instead of pushing them away completely. Forbidding a specific food or food group during the holiday season may only make it more attractive. Still want more of that apple pie after a couple of bites?
Wait before grabbing seconds.
Try thinking of a favorite holiday activity, like opening presents, watching Christmas movies, or playing in the snow. Daydreaming about pleasant activities or distracting yourself with just about any activity can reduce the intensity of food cravings. Try small tastes of the desserts you’re truly craving.
Water helps people feel full, and therefore consume fewer calories. Rather than guzzling calorie- and sugar-laden sodas and juices (which are associated with increased body fat and blood pressure) treat yourself to a glass of wine with dinner and keep your allegiance to water for the rest of the day.
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The latest diet craze has many women and men injecting themselves with a substance that suppresses the appetite. It is so effective doctors say you can lose up to one pound a day. But not everyone believes it’s safe. Inside her El Segundo home Karen Coran injects herself, plunging a needle into the folds of her stomach.
“You make sure that the syringe doesn’t have any bubbles in it… Inject the needle straight in,” dieter Karen Coran said while demonstrating how she prepares her injections.
She is not a drug addict or a diabetic — she is an extreme dieter.
“I’ve done Lindora, I’ve done Weight Watchers,” she said.
She tried almost everything. At 5 foot-3 inches and more than 250 pounds, she was considering lap band surgery.
“I was frustrated, because it seemed like my body, no matter what i did, wanted to hold on to the weight,” Coran said.
Then her doctor told her about the HCG Diet. HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is a hormone used for fertility treatments. It’s found naturally in the bodies of pregnant women. Some doctors believe HCG tricks the body into pulling fat from the body while suppressing appetite.
Dr. Judi Goldstone weighs in on The HCG Diet Craze
“Have you ever seen anything that works this well?” I asked Dr. Judi Goldstone.
“There was so much patient demand. They were calling asking if i did it. I started researching it and I tried it. And I was just shocked by how phenomenal the results are,” Goldstone said.
She now has 20 patients on HCG. Most of them are women, but she says it works just as well for men.
Patients on the HCG diet are restricted to 500 to 800 calories a day. The diet is limited, consisting of plenty of protein with some fruits and vegetables.
“I’ll get tomatoes and strawberries, which are great this time of year,” Coran said.
Doctors say that many patients lose a half pound to a pound a day for the first six weeks. Because the caloric intake is so low, doctors actually urge their patients not to exercise.
“Is there ever a point where the patients are losing too much weight and too fast?” I asked the doctor.
“Yes. I’ve said no you have got to maintain your weight for the next week,” Goldstone said.
A typical lunch consists of three ounces of chicken, a few strawberries and a piece of lettuce.
Opponents say that eating like that of course dieters will lose weight. They warn it can be dangerous, causing vitamin deficiencies or other serious health problems.
“It’s risky to get injections of a substance one a week,” said Dr. Sharon Orrange, an internist at
The Doctors of USC, who specializes in women’s health. HCG first became popular as a diet drug in the U.S. in the 1970s. But recently it has exploded on the Internet. Dozens of websites advertise pharmaceutical or homeopathic HCG.
More About HCG
HCG is FDA approved for fertility treatment, but not for weight loss. To get it, you need a prescription from your doctor.
If you buy it without a prescription over the Internet, there is no way to determine what is really in the product.
“I think the FDA will perk up and I know they have in the last couple of weeks and start to really cut down on what’s sold on the Internet,” Orrange said.
Dr. Orrange recommended asking yourself the follow questions before starting any extreme diet.
Is it nutritionally adequate?
Has it been researched?
Is this diet sustainable?
Coran says that with the help of her doctor, she is starting her second phase of the diet.
“A diet is sort of a personal thing. What works for me may not work for you or somebody else,” Coran said. She hopes to lose another 30 pounds in the next few weeks.
“I’m not where I need to be yet, but I know I’m on the path and I know I can continue the journey and get to where i need to go,” she said.
The HCG Diet costs almost $400 for a six-week treatment and it is not covered under insurance since it is considered preventative health.
For More Information on the HCG Diet:
Judi Goldstone, MD
Southern California Center for Anti-Aging
Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement
Medically Supervised Weight Loss
23823 Hawthorne Blvd.
Torrance, CA. 90505
(424) 247-4962 phone
(310) 375-1120 fax