Posts Tagged Weight loss

What Is Your Real Age? Dr. Oz Wants You To Change It.

English: Hair scissor for thinning hair Deutsc...

English: Hair scissor for thinning hair Deutsch: Modellierschere (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I took the Real Age test.  It’s available from Dr. Oz’s site.

If you want to know your real age, figure out what year you were born, and figure out what year it is.  Subtract the year you were born from this year, and you have a rough estimate of your real age.

If you want a medical gimmick for your real age, feel free to give a computer program your contact information, your birthdate, and an enormous amount of personal medical information highly tailored to your previous answers.  I knew I was in trouble when the computer asked me who had diagnosed my thinning hair and I checked self rather than saying a licensed professional had diagnosed it.

The problem with any sort of computer simulation is that it only asks questions about known or reasonable risk factors.  There should have been a great deal more on family history.  If you want to know how long you’ve got, look at when all your grandparents died.  Factor in whether they smoked like chimneys or drank like a waterfall, and you have a good idea of how long you’ll live.  Knowing that I’m officially RealAge 37.7 (I like the .7) isn’t much help if all my family kicked off in their early forties.

I had an irrational urge to cheat on the Real Age questions.  What if I claimed to be a svelte female me?  Would I live longer?  What if I claimed I smoked like a chimney?  Would that age me overnight?  What difference did it make that I checked thinning hair rather than the tempting “no illnesses.”  Why did they even ask about thinning hair?  Is it really an aging factor?  Did it age me because of the “thick haired men look younger” gene?

I think they should add a section to the Real Age answer sheet where they explain what the “right” answers would have been.  How are you supposed to improve your real age if you don’t have a clear picture of what you’re missing?  Oh, that’s right.  I’ll get pieces of my “right” answers in the mail, tailored to keeping me hooked on an endless supply of pamphlets and overpriced supplements.  Even as we speak, a pamphlet for thinning hair is winging its way through the internet ether to land with a solid thud at my email door.  Now that I’ve given my health information away, all I can expect is an endless parade of people who want to fix the boxes I checked.

So what’s my real age?  It’s not 37.7.  First I take the current year, then I deduct the year I was born…


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Dr. Oz And the Thirty Day Flat Belly Diet. Just Add Hot Coals.

Sweet potatoes, 12-27-08

Sweet potatoes, 12-27-08 (Photo credit: polkadotpup)

Dr. Oz is promoting a thirty-day flat belly diet.  “In only 30 days, you can have the flat belly you’ve always dreamed of! That’s the promise made by Brett Hoebel, a weight-loss guru who’s designed a miracle formula for flat abs.”

Doesn’t it sound like every infomercial you’ve ever heard?  With before and after photos of ex-models who’ve gained  a few pounds and worked them off in thirty days?  So now it works for everyone!  You, yes you mr. oxygen dependent emphysema patient, can get a flat belly in thirty days!  And you, lady who now weighs a thousand pounds because she’s trying to win some personal record, drop all that weight in thirty days!  Not gonna happen.

So let’s change it to “healthy people being slightly healthier in thirty days.”  Less catchy, but attainable.

Next we have the shopping list, which looks like the shopping list for every New York model.  If you eat only these foods, you will definitely be dropping weight.

Shopping List


  1. Chicken
  2. Turkey
  3. Eggs

Complex Carbs

  1. Sweet Potato
  2. Brown Rice Cakes
  3. Oatmeal
  4. Leafy Greens (broccoli, spinach, asparagus, lettuce, kale, chard etc.)

Simple Carbs

  1. Apples
  2. Berries


  1. Raw Nuts & Nut Butter (almonds, cashews, walnuts, almond butter, peanut butter)

Bonus Food: Beans. Legumes are a great source of protein, carbs, good fats and fiber.

Then we start the day with an anti-bloat smoothie.  But look at the ingredients.  My shopping list didn’t include my fresh mint garnish!  And my probiotic straws, where are my probiotic straws!  (Oh, for crying out loud.  Dip a regular straw in yogurt and call it probiotic.)

The meals are all from the “starve-u-R-us” recipe book.  Try adding a bit of cinnamon to your one sweet potato.  You might just forget you’re starving.  But what is this?  I need ten grams of glutamine and not just CLA but Tonalin CLA?  Doggone it, now I’ve got to hit the all-night GNC to get my fat burning supplements.

And exercise?  Where’s that component?  Oh, I can do the five-minute fat burning workout three times a week and that will cover me.  Of course, if that’s all I do, I’ll end up tearing something or hurting something by week two, but never mind that.  Jump and dance.

The only way this plan will give you a flat belly in thirty days is to heat it up, with my new Hot Coals Oompa Loompa! (patent pending).  Do all of the above, but add a ten-by ten foot bed of hot coals (recycled food logs from fair marketed renewable crops).  Every day, twice a day, spend ten minutes on a bed of hot coals.  There’s no instructional tape.  You just do what comes naturally on a bed of hot coals, and watch those pounds literally melt away!


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The Feeding Tube Diet: A Magical Weight-Loss Solution? | The Dr. Oz Show

With her feeding tube

With her feeding tube (Photo credit: jystewart)

The Feeding Tube Diet: A Magical Weight-Loss Solution? | The Dr. Oz Show.

I have a question about getting a feeding tube inserted down your nose and into your stomach.  Is that a covered medical expense, or strictly out of pocket?

(The following is HUMOROUS.  That means don’t do it.  But think about it before you have a feeding-tube inserted.)

The layman’s feeding tube diet:

1) long piece of duct tape.

2) one straw.


Pierce duct tape.  Insert straw through duct tape.

Place duct tape with straw over mouth.

Drink only one 800 calorie shake through straw.  Have as much water as you’d like.

Do not remove duct tape until weight loss is achieved.

Duct tape.  It’s what’s good about America.

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Do-It-Yourself Gastric Bypass: For The Desperate Dieter.

Diagram of a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

Image via Wikipedia

Warning: The following is meant to be humorous.Fat?  No health insurance?  Then Roca Labs has a cure for you!  The do-it-yourself gastric bypass!

Don’t worry, you don’t have to open up your own belly.  Sewing that back together can be tricky, especially if you can’t see over the top.

Instead, you get to drink something that halves your stomach size!  That’s right, we’ve got something so caustic your belly will basically shrivel up.  Side effects?  Well, we’re bypassing studies because it’s a diet supplement.

As you can imagine, I was pretty interested in what they were going to put in a drink to make the stomach shrivel up.  It wasn’t nitric acid (you’d need to put that in capsules) or cayenne (that would just burn, period.  If you wanted that it’s called the Malaysian diet.)  It turns out to be relatively boring, really.

What Roca Labs is selling is basically non-digestable gum that fills your stomach and makes you less hungry.  This will work as long as you keep filling your stomach and don’t force more food in.  If you did, your stomach would expand.  Then you’d eat MORE food without being hungry as soon as you stopped the gum.

So, the only really shocking thing about this diet is the price.  $480 for some gum.  Yikes!

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Eat More, Weigh Less. Dr. Oz Talks About the All Calories Are Equal Myth.

English: Macro photograph of a pile of sugar (...

Image via Wikipedia

Ranting and venting, with some humor.

In the fallout from the sugar is evil news, now we’ll find out that different foods make a difference in how much weight you put on from Dr. Oz.

One of my favorite things to suggest to the calories in=calories out folks is that they consume all of their calories for a week as straight sugar.  I have not found any takers, despite the ubiquitous “just eat less and exercise more” broken record.

There are, however, a number of sites that talk about going off sugar.  They are worth going to just for a “but for the grace of God…” ogle.  I love this Valentine’s Day post about the joys of unsweetened carob chips.  It won’t fly in Whoopie Pie country.

If you’re familiar with my writing, you’ll know I’ve literally put my body where my mouth is.  Online, you can read a year of my weight.  That’s right, a year, with notations on what makes a difference for me.  What did I find?  That my weight fluctuates far more than fat accumulation would address.  It also DOES NOT correlate to calories in=calories out.

I wish it did.  I really do.  It would be so simple to just avoid food for a while, but it doesn’t work.  So when I see M.D.s peddling that to their patients, I just want to hand them a five pound bag of granulated sugar and say:  “Here you go!  Think of the cost savings for this week!  You get this and water.  At the end of the week if you still have a liver and haven’t succumbed to an insulin coma we’ll talk about how food isn’t all equal.”

How do we tell how many calories a food has?  We burn it.  That’s right.  Then measure the amount of heat it gave off.  That’s the science behind it.  How is that even close to the body process?  Maybe if we were tin woodpeople with furnace stomachs it would be accurate.

So could we all legitimately just drop the calories thing?  It doesn’t work, it’s never worked.  When people lose weight they do so my choosing different foods that do a variety of different things to their bodies.   If they lose weight due to those foods, it has much more to do with an extraordinary dance of complexity as the biochemistry of their body shifts than it has to do with what that food gives off as heat when exploded.


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The Pistachio Diet: Diets We Can Live With.

Diet and Nutrition

The Pistachio Diet:  Diets you can live with.


In honor of the new year, and fad diets of all kinds, I hereby create a new one.  (Patients note:  this is on my humor page, it is a joke diet.  But unfortunately it is no more of a joke diet than all the ones flying off the shelves right now.  Diets -altering your food intake for a short period- leads to weight loss – for a short period.  I recommend life-long diet change you can live with.  Something like 80% anti-inflammatory diet, 20% relax. )


But here it is, straight from the Football man-caves of America:


The Pistachio Diet


Before every meal and for snacks, consume 53g of pistachios.  That’s it.


It will reduce your body weight by altering your glycemic index and alter your triglyceride levels.   (Really.  Research provided below).

We’ll be selling the pistachios in 53g packs, and you can buy a special, really expensive scale that reaches 53g and says “Good Boy!

There are also pistachio shaped dumbbells you can purchase for the pistachio workout .™

T-shirts, logo hats, celebrity endorsements, and infomercials to follow.



J Am Coll Nutr. 2010 Jun;29(3):198-203.


Pistachio nuts reduce triglycerides and body weight by comparison to refined carbohydrate snack in obese subjects on a 12-week weight loss program.


Li Z, Song R, Nguyen C, Zerlin A, Karp H, Naowamondhol K, Thames G, Gao K, Li L, Tseng CH, Henning SM, Heber D.





Center for Human Nutrition, Warren Hall, Room 12-217, 900 Veteran Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.







There is a widely held view that, due to high fat content, snacking on nuts will lead to weight gain, ultimately causing unhealthy changes in lipid profiles. This study is designed to study the effects of pistachio snack consumption on body weight and lipid levels in obese participants under real-world conditions.




Participants were randomly assigned to consume 1 of 2 isocaloric weight reduction diets for 12 weeks, with each providing 500 cal per day less than resting metabolic rate. Each diet included an afternoon snack of either 53 g (240 cal) of salted pistachios (n  =  31) or 56 g of salted pretzels (220 cal; n  =  28).




Both groups lost weight during the 12-week study (time trend, p < 0.001), but there were significant differences in the changes in body mass index between the pretzel and pistachio groups (pistachio, 30.1 ± 0.4 to 28.8 ± 0.4 vs. pretzel, 30.9 ± 0.4 to 30.3 ± 0.5). At 6 and 12 weeks, triglycerides were significantly lower in the pistachio group compared with the pretzel group (88.04 ± 9.80 mg/dL vs. 144.56 ± 18.86 mg/dL, p  =  0.01 at 6 weeks and 88.10 ± 6.78 mg/dL vs. 132.15 ± 16.76 mg/dL, p  =  0.02 at 12 weeks), and there was a time trend difference between the 2 groups over the 12 weeks (p < 0.01). There were no significant differences in total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, insulin, or glucose between the 2 groups.




Pistachios can be consumed as a portion-controlled snack for individuals restricting calories to lose weight without concern that pistachios will cause weight gain. By comparison to refined carbohydrate snacks such as pretzels, pistachios may have beneficial effects on triglycerides as well.



PMID: 20833992

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011 Jun;65(6):696-702. Epub 2011 Mar 2.


The impact of pistachio intake alone or in combination with high-carbohydrate foods on post-prandial glycemia.


Kendall CW, Josse AR, Esfahani A, Jenkins DJ.





Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.







Dietary strategies that reduce post-prandial glycemia are important in the prevention and treatment of diabetes and coronary heart disease (CHD). This may be achieved by addition of high-quality protein and fat contained in pistachio nuts, to carbohydrate-containing foods or meals.




A total of 10 healthy volunteers (3 males, 7 females); aged 48.3±6.4 years; Body mass index (BMI) 28.0±4.8 kg/m(2) participated in two studies. Study 1 assessed the dose-response effect of 28, 56 and 84 g pistachios consumed alone or co-ingested with white bread (50 g available carbohydrate); Study 2 assessed the effective dose (56 g) of pistachios on post-prandial glycemia consumed with different commonly consumed carbohydrate foods (50 g available carbohydrate). Relative glycemic responses (RGRs) of study meals compared with white bread, were assessed over the 2 h post-prandial period.




The RGRs of pistachios consumed alone expressed as a percentage of white bread (100%) were: 28 g (5.7±1.8%); 56 g (3.8±1.8%); 84 g (9.3±3.2%), P<0.001. Adding pistachios to white bread resulted in a dose-dependent reduction in the RGR of the composite meal; 28 g (89.1±6.0, P=0.100); 56 g (67.3±9.8, P=0.009); 84 g (51.5±7.5, P<0.001). Addition of 56 g pistachios to carbohydrate foods significantly reduced the RGR: parboiled rice (72.5±6.0) versus rice and pistachios (58.7±5.1) (P=0.031); pasta (94.8±11.4) versus pasta and pistachios (56.4±5.0) (P=0.025); whereas for mashed potatoes (109.0±6.6) versus potatoes and pistachios, (87.4±8.0) (P=0.063) the results approached significance.



Pistachios consumed alone had a minimal effect on post-prandial glycemia and when taken with a carbohydrate meal attenuated the RGR. The beneficial effects of pistachios on post-prandial glycemia could, therefore, be part of the mechanism by which nuts reduce the risk of diabetes and CHD.


PMID: 21364607

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