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Barbara Berkeley
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by Barbara Berkeley, MD Imagine I had a magic pill. And imagine I told every overweight person in America that this pill could keep each one of them at the lowest weight he or she could achieve. All each had to do was diet down to that low weight and this wondrous little pill would prevent regain forever. I believe that if I could promise such a pill, pretty much every overweight person would be able to achieve a very... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Refuse To Regain
Moving and socializing appears to perk up the aging brain. So for the new study, which was published this month in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, researchers from the University of Illinois in Urbana and other schools decided to look at the effects of several different types of exercise on the wiring and the function of older people’s brains. They began by recruiting 174 healthy people in their 60s and 70s with no signs of cognitive impairment. Most were sedentary, although... Continue reading
Reblogged Apr 5, 2017 at Refuse To Regain
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by Barbara Berkeley, MD (Originally posted on RTR as "Simple Life, Simple Body", 2015) I was intrigued by David Brooks’ column in the New York Times recently. It speaks to a renewed interest in an old idea: simplifying life. Living in a less complicated way is not a new concept (think Walden Pond), but it has gained a greater magnetism in the setting of the hugely complex and acquisitive world in which we now find ourselves. I personally have enjoyed... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2017 at Refuse To Regain
Consider a quarterback’s passing game: throw the ball too soon and his receiver isn’t in place; throw the ball too late and he risks getting sacked. Either way, he isn’t in sync with his team to move the ball up field. A similar scenario may occur when eating and sleeping habits are out of sync with the body’s circadian clock, leading to metabolic disturbances. Over the past 20 years, scientists have assembled a clearer picture of the circadian clocks that... Continue reading
Reblogged Mar 17, 2017 at Refuse To Regain
by Barbara Berkeley, MD It's in the headlines. It's on your mind. It's health care. As of December, 2016 the United States was spending 17.8% of its gross domestic product on health care. That's 3.2 trillion dollars or about $9,990 per person each year. The imbroglio over Obamacare is the direct consequence of our enormous health care problem. Proper coverage is too expensive for many of us and beyond any reach for truly sick people unless there is a contribution... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2017 at Refuse To Regain
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by Barbara Berkeley, MD The short answer: it depends. Do you want to lose the extra weight that is bothering you? Do you want to get rid of, or greatly reduce, the medicines you take for blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol? Do you want to finally keep the weight off without having to deal with soul-crushing bouts of regain? If so, an understanding of how your body reacts to carbohydrate is essential. Let's begin here: Weight warriors, I love you.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2017 at Refuse To Regain
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by Barbara Berkeley As you know, I generally prefer to write about issues of weight maintenance. But it would be foolish to ignore the fact that on January 1st, most Americans thoughts turn to dieting. It's well known that our country's top New Year's resolution is weight loss. Diet programs, gyms, personal trainers, and fitness equipment companies all bank on it. But they also know that the boom is short lived. The vast majority of those who toast the New... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2017 at Refuse To Regain
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by Barbara Berkeley, MD Holiday parties getting you down by boosting your weight? Here are some tips for negotiating those difficult moments. 1.Make it a Game! Serious weight maintainers are planners, so figure out the challenges of each party beforehand. Then set definite strategies and endpoints for yourself and give yourself a score afterwards. Make it fun! Got a low score last night? There's always tomorrow. Here are some things you can try working on: Specific amounts and types of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2016 at Refuse To Regain
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by Barbara Berkeley, MD You're up against it now. The period that begins just before Thanksgiving and ends on January 1st is without doubt the most challenging part of a maintainer's year. Here are some thoughts and guidelines I've found to be successful. First, and most importantly, make it your priority to "maintain, not gain". Hopefully, you are already staying at stable weight by following successful and consistently applied maintenance rules. If so, these most likely include eating a diet... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2016 at Refuse To Regain
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by Barbara Berkeley, MD The huge ship that moved weightily and inevitably toward low fat eating and calorie counting has finally started to change course. This week, the Harvard Health Blog published an article titled, "There's no sugar-coating it: All calories are not created equal." As readers of Refuse to Regain, you already know that calories are simply one attribute of food....and not the most important one. Despite this, we have come to rely on calories as the sum total... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2016 at Refuse To Regain
An "aha moment" finally makes it to the front page of the NY Times Sunday Review. Just kidding. We've been talking about this in my practice for 30 years. Giving up most carbs (except fruits and vegetables) works!!! For weight loss. For diabetes. Why is it such a radical idea? It's not! It just seems that way for two reasons: 1. we are all EUI ("Eating Under the Influence". Carbs are addictive and we'll do anything not to give them... Continue reading
Reblogged Sep 11, 2016 at Refuse To Regain
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by Barbara Berkeley, MD Because of my interest in the potentially toxic effects of too much sugar on the body, I became fascinated with the work of one Otto Warburg back in 2010. At that time, I published this blog about him. Warburg believed that cancer cells were unable to live by normal cellular processes and that they relied on sugar...and large amounts of it---to live. The thought was that cancer cells might be able to be starved to death... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2016 at Refuse To Regain
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by Barbara Berkeley, MD Weight maintenance is in the news. Finally. Not to say I told you so, but this blog has been talking about the vital importance of studying and learning about successful weight maintenance since 2008. When I wrote Refuse to Regain that year, there was only one other book on the shelves that was focused on how to avoid regain after weight loss. Nothing much has changed. You still can't find any books on the subject. Although... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2016 at Refuse To Regain
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by Barbara Berkeley, MD I spend a lot of time thinking about techniques that might help people maintain weight. Of course, I don't see what my patients do when they leave the office. In the occasional instance that I wind up at a dinner or event with someone I've treated, that person is always on his/her best behavior. It's one of the two major burdens of being a weight loss doc: 1. Everyone asks you about diet all the time... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2016 at Refuse To Regain
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by Barbara Berkeley, MD We physicians live in the shadow of rising health care costs. Hospitals want us to cut length of stays and somehow become more efficient. Insurance companies ask us to accept less money for patient visits, forcing us to see more people in fewer hours. The government wants us to check a slew of electronic boxes to prove that we’ve performed what they deem to be “best practices”…. even though there is little evidence that any of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2016 at Refuse To Regain
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by Barbara Berkeley, MD This is a bad week for me. I'm on a rant. In fact I feel (for those of you who are old enough to remember) like Howard Beale, the news anchor from the movie "Network", who went crazy and started screaming, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!!" OK, maybe I'm exaggerating. But just a little. This week brought a double whammy. First, the USDA released its new eating guidelines. Why... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2016 at Refuse To Regain
Your Resolution to Lose Weight This Year - YouTube In the best of all possible worlds we would all be maintaining successful weight losses. In the real world though a great many of us are making the traditional New Year's resolution: to finally lose weight this year. If you are one of these people, or you know one, learn to start with the basics. Click the link above for some starter suggestions. Continue reading
Reblogged Dec 31, 2015 at Refuse To Regain
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by Barbara Berkeley, MD At the end of the year I like to look back at what has changed in my field and how I have changed in my practice and beliefs. Has new information about weight and weight loss come to the fore? Am I using different techniques than I used to? And most importantly, what have I learned from my patients this year? My interactions with patients are always the most powerful teachers. This fact reflects what is... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2015 at Refuse To Regain
Imagine sitting at a table. Someone places a pencil in front of you. OK. Someone puts a piece of paper in front of you. Alright. Someone puts a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie in front of you with the steam still rising off. Now that's a different story. Why? Because a pencil, a piece of paper, a stapler, a box of thumbtacks are all objects that are incapable of creating a hormonal response in your body. The cookie, on the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2015 at Refuse To Regain
Mirko Trajkovski's team, at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, demonstrated few weeks ago that the absence of gut microbiota can be linked to increased brown fat activation as a mean of limiting obesity. Today, pursuing their research, the scientists show that mice exposed to cold experience a sharp shift in their microbiota composition, rendering them leaner and more sensitive to insulin. Transplantation of this cold-modified microbiota to germ-free mice is sufficient to enable complete tolerance to cold. Indeed, it... Continue reading
Reblogged Dec 4, 2015 at Refuse To Regain
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by Barbara Berkeley, MD Take a deep breath. We got through Thanksgiving. But just as we are recovering from too many mashed potatoes and the extra pie we didn't even want, it's time for the real storm to begin. Yup. The forecast calls for fattening food. A blizzard of it. Even worse, this food is all wrapped up in a bow and gilded with a lacquer of emotion and memory. No doubt about it, this is the hardest time of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2015 at Refuse To Regain
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by Barbara Berkeley, Do you feel like you can gain weight from eating air? Overweight individuals often feel that they gain weight just by looking at food, yet our culture disbelieves this. " No", it says, "the reason you are overfat is because you are weak and have no willpower. Look at that thin person over there, now there is a role model." This is utter nonsense as far as I'm concerned. While we debate about whether different people store... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2015 at Refuse To Regain
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by Barbara Berkeley, MD Happy Thanksgiving to all! Today is the day that the holiday eating season begins for real so I hope you've got your plan together and are ready to go! For those of you who want to continue an active weight loss or for those who seek to maintain-not-gain between now and the new year, here are are few basics to review: At this time of year, we are often asked what we give thanks for. We... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2015 at Refuse To Regain
Dear Subscribers, My blog feed has apparently been down for some time. Unfortunately, I was unaware. I have changed to a new feed service and hope that all will run smoothly from here. If you are being prompted to come back as reader after many months, please take a look at all the posts you have missed! With apologies, Barbara Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2015 at Refuse To Regain