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Barbara Berkeley
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
by Barbara Berkeley, MD It's a problem. All those parties. All that wine and beer. Like the carbs we eat, alcohol can co-opt our brain and starting talking for us. Who hasn't had that experience?? A few suggestions: Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2015 at Refuse To Regain
by Barbara Berkeley, MD In our practice, we try to see our patients every week. It's a lot of personal contact, but we've found over the years that people who are working on healthy weight behaviors need an "island", a place where it's ok to see the world differently from the view of their friends, family and co-workers. And they need to have a moment on that island frequently. More so over the holidays. Our eating behaviors are directly related... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2015 at Refuse To Regain
by Barbara Berkeley I notice that despite the unseasonably warm temperatures in Cleveland, our stores are suddenly trimmed in fake snow, silvery branches, and glittering ornaments. It happened overnight in the invisible seam that separates fall from winter and almost always seems premature....until the flakes start to swirl for real. What this means, of course, is that we are about to launch into that season that is supposed to be so wonderful, so giving and so warm but which often... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2015 at Refuse To Regain
by Barbara Berkeley, MD OK. So you have to be as old as I am to get the title of this post. It comes from the incredibly silly 60s comedy "F Troop", a show about the misadventures of a remote US Army outpost somewhere in the Wild West around the end of the Civil War. It featured dumb jokes, broad slapstick and politically incorrect Indians. If you grew up in the New York area, you were only too familiar with... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2015 at Refuse To Regain
by Barbara Berkeley, MD I was intrigued by David Brooks' column in the New York Times today. 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 and benefited from Marie Kondo's "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2015 at Refuse To Regain Continue reading
Reblogged Oct 31, 2015 at Refuse To Regain
You will probably be seeing media coverage of this meta-analysis comparing the effectiveness of low-fat dieting to other diet types. Conducted by Harvard's Joann Manson and others, the study showed what those of us who work in the weight loss world have already observed, that weight loss works better under low carb conditions and that low fat diets are generally not helpful for sustained weight loss. (I actually believe they could be, but the problem is that the lack of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2015 at Refuse To Regain
by Barbara Berkeley, MD Are you driven crazy by the daily dietary directives that scroll beneath the news and pop up on the front pages of the papers? I am. The internet has given us the ability to learn of every speculation about diet and every study...whether small, large, well-constructed, or poorly run. Media reporting does not discriminate between these. Pretty much everything is offered with equal weight, which leaves it to us to figure out if the latest dietary... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2015 at Refuse To Regain
by Barbara Berkeley, MD What is the definition of insanity? Albert Einstein put it this way: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." Who are we to disagree with the greatest of mind of the 20th century? This week we were treated to the latest data on the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States. We sure talk a lot about obesity and we sure claim that we... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2015 at Refuse To Regain
by Barbara Berkeley, MD Whether or not my beloved Cleveland Cavaliers are able to prevail as champions this year, there is no question that they have delivered a gutsy performance in this year's NBA finals. When LeBron was in Cleveland during his first stint, I frequently wrote about him in this blog. I thought, and still think, that there was a lot to be learned from someone who pursued his goals with such single-minded intensity. In my own "sports career"... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2015 at Refuse To Regain
by Barbara Berkeley, MD Those who set out to lose weight view the process as a project and want a goal. Thus, it is rare that a new patient does not conclude our first visit by asking: "What should I weigh?" Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) there is no simple answer to this question. You are a work in progress with no specific ending point. How does an artist know when a painting is done? The understanding of when to put... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2015 at Refuse To Regain