Heart-healthy weight: secrets of the always-slim

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

By middle age,  65% of women and 52% of men in Canada are considered overweight. And we know that being overweight has a direct result on our heart health. But an enviable minority stay slim throughout their whole lives. We hate those people . . . 

Are these types just genetically blessed? Or do they, too, have to work at keeping down their weight? To find out, the Consumer Reports National Research Center surveyed over 21,000 subscribers to Consumer Reports about their lifetime weight history and their eating, dieting and exercising habits.

Turns out that people who have never been overweight are not sitting around  in their La-Z-Boys scarfing down gooey Tim Hortons maple dips like I always imagined they could do if they felt like it.  Here’s what Consumer Reports did find out about how their always-slim respondents compared to people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off:  Continue reading “Heart-healthy weight: secrets of the always-slim”

Here’s your basic heart-smart grocery shopping list

Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days! Drop One Dress Size a Day!

Rapid weight loss can be so quick and easy – if you believe all those fad diet advertising claims. A fellow heart attack survivor, for example, tells of losing nine pounds in the past five days. She has accomplished this feat, she explains, thanks to a miracle diet she heard about while watching the Dr. Phil show on television.

Phil is always a font of reliable evidence-based health information. (I’m kidding about that last part, my heart sisters).

She was so inspired by this TV interview with a telegenic, fit and very convincing young author of yet another miracle diet book that she went out and bought the expensive best-seller, and says she is now “thrilled” with her resulting nine-pound weight loss results. She does confess, however, that she’s already had to “cheat” on the strict diet a few times in the past five days, and is “struggling” to stay on it so far, but she still seems thrilled nonetheless.

Trouble is, strict weight loss diets typically result in regaining that lost weight – and more.  Continue reading “Here’s your basic heart-smart grocery shopping list”

Cardiologist’s plan: “Fat people need not apply for jobs at Cleveland Clinic”

cleveland clinic

by Carolyn Thomas @HeartSisters

For the past two years, the Cleveland Clinic has refused to hire smokers.  This non-profit American research and treatment health centre (consistently rated as the #1 heart institute in North America) introduced this groundbreaking no-smoking hiring initiative as a way to walk the talk about the health and wellness of not only the 50,000 patients admitted each year, but of its 1,800 employees.

But now the head of the Cleveland Clinic says he wants to take this bold hiring policy one step further – and some are saying this would be going too far.  Dr. Delos (Toby) Cosgrove, the heart surgeon who is the Clinic’s CEO, told the New York Times that if it were up to him, he would not only stop hiring smokers. He would also stop hiring overweight people. Continue reading “Cardiologist’s plan: “Fat people need not apply for jobs at Cleveland Clinic””

Body fat: brown, white, visceral, belly, butt

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

There’s fat. And then there’s fat.  Who knew that fat comes in different colours and characteristics depending on where it lives in our bodies? Here are your fat basics:

  • Brown fat – When stimulated, brown fat can actually burn calories. Children and very lean people have more brown fat than the rest of us, and it’s what helps them keep warm. Brown fat stores decline in all adults, but are more active in winter months so still help with body warmth. Brown fat is now thought to be more like muscle than like white fat. When activated, brown fat burns white fat.
  • White fat – This type of body fat is much more plentiful than brown. Its job is to store energy and produce hormones that are then secreted into the bloodstream. When we lose weight by reducing calorie intake, we lose white fat, evenly all over. read more about other types of fat