Sleep: The Surprising Reason You May Not Be Losing Weight

Sleep: The Surprising Reason You May Not Be Losing Weight

By Lisa Lillien, a.k.a. Hungry Girl | Article Featured on Verywellfit

Sleep: Many of us know we need more of it, but we don’t make it a priority. We’d rather stay out that extra hour, watch one more episode, or get more done before calling it a night. But if weight loss is important to you, add a good night’s sleep to your to-do list!

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every three adults is sleep deprived. On average, we need at least seven hours of sleep a night.

Why Is Sleep So Important for Weight Loss?

  • There are obvious reasons why sleep deprivation could prevent weight loss. You’re less likely to hit the gym if you’re tired, and late nights often lead to more eating and poor food choices. But there’s an actual biological reason too. Less sleep leaves you physically hungrier. This is because of two hormones: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin signals hunger, and leptin stops it. But studies show that when you’re sleep deprived, you produce more ghrelin and less leptin. And when this happens, your body can’t properly use insulin. Excess insulin = extra fat storage.
  • Need proof? Countless studies have shown the correlation between obesity and a lack of sleep. For example, a study out of Harvard shows that women who slept 5 hours or less per night had a 15 percent higher risk of becoming obese then the test subjects who slept 7 hours a night.

So, don’t sabotage your weight-loss efforts by skimping on sleep!

4 Ways to Help You Get a Good Night’s Rest

Eat Sleep-Inducing Foods at Dinnertime

We’ve all blamed turkey for our exhaustion after a big Thanksgiving meal. Turkey has that reputation because it contains the amino acid Tryptophan, which is known to cause drowsiness. And you’ll become even more drowsy when you pair that turkey with carbs, because they’re also known to make you sleepy.

Try making meatloaf minis with turkey and oats to get yourself into that sleepy state-of-mind. Other foods that contain tryptophan include shrimp, chia seeds, and eggs.

Exercise

I know; you’re too tired! But the cycle has to be broken. Exercising will actually help you sleep more soundly at the end of the day. Pick whichever time of day works best for you, but it’s usually best to avoid a vigorous workout right before bedtime. If you’re not the gym type, do some housewalking! Or squeeze in some calorie burning right in your kitchen.

Establish a Wind-Down Routine

Become a creature of habit—this way, your body will recognize when it’s time to go to sleep! Maybe sip a cup of tea or take a warm bath—both will raise your body temperature and then bring it down, signaling to your body that it’s time to hit the hay. Spray lavender scent in your bedroom—it’s been shown to induce sleep. And power down your devices! Our brains are stimulated by the bright lights of our iPads, iPhones, iPods, and I-need-to-watch-one-more-episode agendas.

Don’t Eat a Heavy Meal Close to Bedtime

You don’t want your body working overtime to digest your meal when you lie down. This could lead to discomfort, making it harder for you to doze off. Just like with exercise, avoid eating a big meal two to three hours before you go to sleep. If you have one of those days (we all do) and find yourself starving right before you want to go to sleep, eat something light.
Nighty night!

Why It's Harder to Lose Weight as You Age

Why It’s Harder to Lose Weight as You Age

By Ruben Castaneda | Article Featured on US News

DOES YOUR FAVORITE PAIR of jeans fit more snugly around the waist with each birthday? Is your favorite dress a little tighter with each passing year?

Research suggests that many people gain weight as they advance in age from young adulthood into middle age. Between ages 29 and 39, women typically gain about 7 pounds, and men put on an additional 15 pounds, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Conversely, losing weight in your 30s and 40s is more difficult than when you’re a young adult. (Men and women tend to put on little or no weight after age 40 and lose weight in their 70s, according to HHS.) For a variety of reasons, it’s tougher for men and women to drop pounds as they transition from young adulthood into middle age than it is to shed weight during young adulthood, experts say. The factors behind middle-age weight gain are biological and related to lifestyle.

Beginning in your 30s, you lose muscle mass every decade, research suggests. That muscle mass is replaced with fat. This happens even if you exercise regularly, whether it’s working out at the gym, running, swimming or playing in a pickup basketball, softball or volleyball game. Since muscles use more calories than fat, less muscle mass and more fat slow your metabolism, which means you need fewer calories, says Kimberly Gomer, a registered dietitian and director of nutrition at the Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa in Miami. “As we age, unless we work at it, we lose muscle mass,” Gomer says. “Fat needs very few calories to exist.”

Women and men face other biological challenges to losing weight in their middle-age years. Because of changing hormones and a loss of estrogen, women typically gain 15 pounds around the time of menopause, says Dr. Kathryn Boling, a primary care physician with Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. She’s also board-certified in obesity medicine. Women going through menopause tend to gain weight around their tummy, Boling says. Men going through middle age face a different issue: the loss of testosterone, which can cause the diminution of muscle mass, Boling says.

In addition to biological issues, changes in lifestyle can be a factor that causes some people to put on pounds in their 30s and 40s. Many people become parents during that phase of their life, and they’re less physically active because of family responsibilities. Career demands can also cause many people to become more sedentary than they were when they were young adults, says Jessalynn Adam, a primary care sports medicine physician with Orthopedics and Joint Replacement at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. “Your schedule isn’t your own at that point,” Adam says. Gomer agrees. “Many of us are very active when we’re younger, running around carefree with few responsibilities,” she says. “In grade school, high school and college, we participate in sports, walk more and run more. As we age – maybe get a desk job, have a family – our free time/leisure time gets decreased.”

Exercising less can lead some people to bad eating habits, Gomer says. Physical activity releases endorphins, neurotransmitters in the brain that block pain and can help you feel calmer and happier. Eating foods that are salty, fatty and sugary can have a similar effect. Consuming such foods leads the brain to produce surges of dopamine, a brain chemical that’s released when we experience pleasure. Some people who miss the feelings of well-being associated with exercising may turn to unhealthy foods as a substitute.

While you can’t do anything to slow the passage of time, there are steps you can take to lose weight as you age. Experts recommend these strategies:

In Your 30s, 40s and 50s

Learn to cook and plan your meals. Have you ever picked up a quick dinner of burgers and fries from the nearest fast-food outlet because you had to work late to meet a deadline? Fast food is typically highly processed and poor in nutrients. It’s also often high in calories, sugar, sodiumand unwanted additives, Adam says. Consequently, eating meals from fast-food outlets won’t help your efforts to shed pounds. If you learn to cook and to plan your meals out a few days in advance, you can avoid impromptu stops at greasy burger joints, Adam says. She suggests taking a cooking class to learn how to prepare healthy meals that focus on fresh vegetables and healthy sources of protein. Learn how to make enough food for more than one day at a time; you can refrigerate the food so you’ll have healthy meals prepared, and no need to make a spur of the moment fast-food run.

Do weight-bearing exercises. Lifting weights helps you maintain muscle mass, which becomes increasingly important as you move from young adulthood into middle age, Boling says. Maintaining your muscle mass helps you burn more calories. “If you have less muscle mass, you burn fewer calories,” she says. Maintaining your muscle mass also helps cut down the chances of sustaining injuries. She recommends doing exercise with free weights and resistance machines.

Make physical activity a family affair. Having a spouse and children doesn’t have to interrupt your exercise regimen, Adam says. For instance, if you’re part of a pickup hoops game, shoot baskets with your significant other or child before or after the contest. You can ride bikes with your partner or with your kids. Look for opportunities to make exercise a family activity. For example, some triathlons also have a “fun run” for kids. Introducing your kids to exercise could also encourage them to adopt their own workout regimens that they’ll continue into adulthood. In the long run, this can lead to lower obesity rates, Adam says.

Monitor your caloric intake. You might be able to get away with not counting your calories in your 20s. But as you move into your 30s and 40s, and the number of calories you need drops, it’s a good idea to keep track of your caloric intake, says Audra Wilson, a clinical dietitian with the Northwestern Medicine Metabolic Health and Surgical Weight Loss Center. A typical sedentary 60-year-old woman should consume 1,600 calories daily, while a sedentary man of the same age should have 2,200 calories a day, according to federal government dietary guidelines. Your ideal weight range depends in part on your height. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has an online tool that you can use to calculate your BMI and check whether you’re overweight for your height. To keep track of calories, read food labels and check restaurant menus for calorie counts per item. Some grocery store hot bars and salad bars also post calorie counts for prepared items. There are free apps, like MyFitnessPal, that help keep track of daily calorie intake.

In Your 60s, 70s and Beyond

Split entree portions at restaurants. Going out to eat remains a major part of socializing for people in their 60s, 70s and beyond. Unfortunately, many restaurant portions are large, particularly if you’re at an age where you need fewer calories, Gomer says. “Eating out is a disaster,” she says. “Restaurants give us giant portions laden with salt, sugar and fat. (They offer) lots of (highly caloric) wine, bread, fried foods and dessert.” When you dine out, split your entree, particularly protein servings, with a fellow diner, she advises. If you’re eating alone, ask for a half-portion and take the rest home in a box. Servings of animal protein shouldn’t be more than 4 ounces per meal.

Don’t dine out when you’re (too) hungry. Hunger can sabotage the best intentions, so before you go out for a meal, eat something healthy, Gomer advises. Munching on a piece of fresh fruit or a handful of nuts can help you avoid temptation while you’re hungry. Or, “order something healthy as soon as you’re seated, such as a salad, a crudité (a raw vegetable) or fruit as soon as you’re seated,” she says.

Order a healthy dessert. You don’t have to abstain from dessert while your fellow diners order cake, pie or ice cream, Gomer says. Many restaurants have healthy dessert options, like fresh berries, a fruit cocktail or sorbet with fresh fruit. Order a healthy dessert option “to avoid tasting from other people’s high-fat and sugar-laden choices,” Gomer says.

Remain active. As they move beyond middle age into their later years, many men and women have to contend with chronic health issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and depression, Adam says. In that phase of life, you may not be able to maintain the same level of physical activity you did in middle age, but you can and should keep moving, Adam says. You can make adjustments, like playing half-court hoops instead of full-court or walking vigorously in place of running. Take advantage of special discounts for older athletes. For example, some ski facilities offer free lift tickets for skiers older than 70. And you should continue to do weight work.

Maintain good eating habits. Whether you’re still cooking or not, you should keep a healthy eating regimen. That means consuming lots of fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, healthy carbohydrates (like whole-grain foods) and adequate amounts of protein, Adam says. Don’t give up on the idea of staying in shape. “I’ve seen lots of super-healthy 90-year-olds,” Adam says.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque, New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

What Makes a Healthy Diet?

Top 10 Best Diets Ranked

Article Featured on US News

A healthy diet doesn’t require a lot of money, newfangled appliances or subsisting on any kind of scheme that sounds like a gimmick. Because it’s true what they say about what seems too good to be true: Eating well means listening to that little voice inside that knows what healthy foods generally look like – fresh and recognizable in nature – and what they don’t – prepackaged and processed.

That sensibility may not fit so well with our on-demand culture, where we want results now – be it dinner or weight loss. But if you want a program that works for the long run, you’ll need a lifestyle you can live with and like. That means a diet that’s nutritious and delicious, but one that will take a bit of planning and commitment from you.

While staying lean is a big part of good health, weight lost doesn’t always equal health gained. That new diet that took inches off your waistline could be harming your health if it locks out or severely restricts entire food groups, relies on supplements with little scientific backing or clamps down on calories to an extreme.

“People are so desperate to lose weight that it’s really weight loss at any cost,” says Madelyn Fernstrom, founding director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center. And when that desperation sets in, Fernstrom says, “normal thinking goes out the window.” Who cares how wacky or unhealthy a recommendation sounds to you? Pounds are coming off. You’re happy. But your body might not be. And that approach always guarantees weight regain.

With our Best Diets 2019 rankings, you can check the nutritional completeness and safety of 41 popular diets, from Atkins to the Fertility Diet to WW (Weight Watchers), in a detailed profile crafted for each one. (The profiles also cover scientific evidence, typical meals and much more.) And U.S. News’ Best Diets for Healthy Eating rankings give each diet a “healthiness” score from 5 (best) to 1 (worst) for safety and nutrition, with safety getting double weight; while you can modify a diet to some degree to adjust for nutritional imbalances or deficiencies, mere tweaking won’t make an unsafe diet safe.

Behind these scores are ratings by a panel of diet and nutrition experts assembled by U.S. News. They assessed the diets across seven categories, including the safety and nutritional completeness categories, for a series of nine different rankings lists. The Best Diets for Healthy Eating rankings overlap significantly with Best Diets Overall. Both give especially high marks to the DASHMINDTLCMediterraneanMayo Clinic and Volumetrics diets.

“The ones that get high scores in safety and in nutritional value – they’re very similar to each other,” says Andrea Giancoli, a registered dietitian who serves on the U.S. News expert panel. The recurring theme across the diets that excelled in healthiness is adequate calories supplied by a heavy load of vegetables, fruits and whole grains; a modest amount of lean protein, nonfat dairy and healthy fats; and an occasional treat. Plants are the foundation, and the menu is always built around minimally processed meals made from scratch.

Because plant-based eating patterns are so healthful and growing in popularity, U.S. News also offers a Best Plant-Based Diets category. And given the rise of food intolerances and sensitivities, we’ve included profiles of diets that are said to ease digestive distress – the gluten-free and low FODMAP diets. These are not ranked, however, as they are not intended for general dietary needs.

Very few diets on the Healthy Eating list are overtly unsafe or severely deficient nutritionally. Ten plans received healthiness scores below 3; these included the PaleoRaw FoodFastDukanAtkins and Whole30 diets. They’re simply too restrictive, say our experts, who call their nutritional qualities into question. The meat-heavy Paleo diet bans grains and dairy, so getting adequate calcium and vitamin D isn’t easy. Atkins, by severely curbing carbs, blows past recommended caps for total and saturated fat. Depending on your personal approach to the Raw Food Diet, you may shortchange yourself on calcium, vitamin B12 and vitamin D; its restrictive cooking rules also could put you at risk for eating raw or undercooked ingredients.

If you have reservations about a diet’s nutritional content or safety, listen to your body. Fatigue, sleeplessness, dizziness, aches – they’re all red flags. Says Fernstrom: “Losing weight is for good health, so you should feel more vital – not bad.”

Best Diets for Healthy Eating

RANKDIET NAME
#1Mediterranean Diet
#2DASH Diet
#3The Flexitarian Diet
#4(tie)MIND Diet
#4(tie)TLC Diet
#6(tie)Mayo Clinic Diet
#6(tie)Nordic Diet
#6(tie)Volumetrics Diet
#6(tie)WW (Weight Watchers) Diet
#10Asian Diet

DIET Ranking information as of January 2nd, 2019Updated on Jan. 2, 2019: This is an updated version of a previously published story.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

5 Best Low Impact Cardio Exercises for People with Bad Knees

5 Best Low Impact Cardio Exercises for People with Bad Knees

Article By Francesca Menato | Featured on Women’s Health

Anyone with a knee injury, new or old, will know how easy it is to feel it flair up with extreme cardio. Running, in particular, is very tough on the knees – so what exercises can you do to get the heart rate up, without hurting already bad knees?

We caught up with Lorraine Furmedge, Fitness First PT Ambassador, to find out the best workouts and exercises for bad knees.

Before you lace up your running shoes and risk another niggle, try these.

1. Swimming

If you’re on the search for cardio exercises for bad knees, head to the pool. Swimming provides a great workout that is low impact, versatile and burns calories fast. Whether you’re doing the butterfly or backstroke you’ll work all major muscle groups in your body including your glutes, abdominals and chest muscles.

Wondering which is the best stroke?

Freestyle, which tends to be the fastest stroke, can burn 100 calories every 10 minutes – more than jogging – but all of them will work your whole body.

2. Elliptical

Opt for an elliptical over a treadmill for minimal risk of knee injury. Your feet never leave the pedals, which means there is less of a chance to injure your knees, back, neck or hips. You’ll also get your heart rate up, making you work up a sweat! Increase the resistant to really test your endurance.

There’s a lot of discussion around which cardio machines burn more calories, and generally, the treadmill does tend to come out on top given you are moving whilst also supporting the full weight of your body but elliptical trainers are fantastic for getting in a great cardio workout with a bit more support.

With any form of exercise, you get out what you put in so it all depends on how hard you push and challenge yourself.

3. Stationary rowing

Rowing is a great way to burn calories without placing stress on your knee joints. Not only will you get a total body workout, you’ll also maximise your core strength with every pull.

Amp up the intensity by increasing the resistance while maintaining speed for a real cardiovascular challenge.

The more you train on a certain machine, the more stamina and strength your body will gain in that particular area, meaning the harder you have to work each time to continue challenging yourself.

If calorie burning is your main aim, switch up your routine and use a mixture of machines and freestyle training – it will keep your body guessing and will test you in different ways.

4. Cycling

Whether you prefer hitting a stationary bike indoors or riding your bicycle outside, you’ll get a fantastic fat-burning workout that will gradually improve your knee flexibility and strength.

To ensure you don’t put pressure on your knees, avoid hills and stick to a flat terrain. Raise your seat level slightly to decrease any pressure on your kneecap.

Wondering what resistance you should use? When it comes to cycling with resistance, there is no right or wrong answer.

Low resistance is great for those people who are just getting into fitness as it allows you to start building up your stamina without over-exerting yourself. Likewise, those suffering with knee injuries may find this an effective and low impact way of getting their regular exercise sessions in without causing further damage.

Medium and high resistance is more suited to those with higher fitness levels and works really well when it comes to building strength in your legs and lower body. If you’ve recently recovered from a knee injury consider using resistance to increase your strength and safeguard against any further damage.

To combine cardio and strength try some interval training and switch between low resistance sprints and medium-high resistance climbs.

Wondering about spin classes? Don’t fret. All good spin instructors will check for injuries before the class begins so let them know and they’ll be able to advise on how to best tackle the session.

Plus, the beauty of spin is that you can carry out the class at your own pace. Remember, you are in control and can adjust your pace according to your ability.

5. Step ups

For a low-impact cardio workout, turn to an aerobic step bench.

Step up onto the step with your right foot. Tap your left foot on the top of the step and then lower.

As you step up, your knee should be directly over your ankle to ensure you’re protecting your knees.

Repeat 10 times for a great calorie burn.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

orthopaedic care, albuquerque doctors

The Link Between Weight Loss and Knee Pain

Article Featured on Healthline

Why does my knee hurt?

Knee pain is one of the most common complications of being overweight or obese. If you’re among the millions of people who experience chronic knee pain, even a small weight loss can help reduce pain and lower the risk of osteoarthritis (OA).

According to a 2011 report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), of the roughly 100 million American adults who experience common chronic pain, nearly 20 percent, or 20 million people, have knee pain. This is second only to the number of people with lower back pain.

More than two-thirds of people in the United States are either overweight (with a BMI between 25 and 29.9) or obese (with a BMI of 30 or higher).

Those extra pounds increase the stress on your knees. That stress can cause chronic pain and lead to other complications such as OA.

How weight loss affects knee pain

Maintaining a healthy weight has many health benefits, including reduced risk of a number of diseases that include:

  • heart disease
  • type 2 diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • certain types of cancers

Losing weight benefits knee pain in two ways.

Decreases weight-bearing pressure on the knees

Each pound of weight loss can reduce the load on the knee joint by 4 pounds. Lose 10 pounds, and that’s 40 fewer pounds per step that your knees must support. And the results add up quickly. Less pressure means less wear and tear on the knees. This lowers the risk of OA.

Reduces inflammation in the body

For years, OA was considered a wear and tear disease caused by prolonged excess pressure on the joints, particularly the knees, which, in turn, caused inflammation.

But recent research suggests that inflammation is a key OA risk factor, rather than a consequence of OA. Being overweight may increase inflammation in the body that can lead to joint pain. Losing weight can reduce this inflammatory response. One study suggests that just a 10 percent reduction in weight can significantly lower inflammation in the body. Another study found that even simply overeating triggers the body’s immune response, which increases inflammation.

The link between weight gain and OA

Being overweight or obese significantly increases a person’s risk for developing OA.

According to John Hopkins Medicine, women who are overweight are four times more likely to develop OA than women who are a healthy weight. And men who are overweight are five times more likely to develop OA than men who are a healthy weight.

But losing even a small amount of weight can be beneficial. For women who are overweight, every 11 pounds of weight loss can reduce the risk of knee OA by more than 50 percent. Men who drop into the overweight category (BMI below 30) and men who drop into the normal weight category (BMI below 26) can reduce their risk of knee OA by 21.5 percent.

Easy ways to lose weight

There are steps you can take to start shedding pounds, including:

  • reduce portion sizes
  • add one vegetable to your plate
  • go for a walk after a meal
  • take the stairs rather than the escalator or elevator
  • pack your own lunch instead of eating out
  • use a pedometer

Taking the necessary steps to manage your weight can help protect your knees from joint pain and reduce your risk of OA.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.