Gems from a weight loss conference

We can all benefit from these little gems from a weight loss conference held in Berlin in 2024. Titled the "Battle of Experts," top researchers and medics debate the benefits of lifestyle, exercise and medication for those suffering from type-2 diabetes and obesity.

In addition we make a plug for the even greater benefits of nutritious food in overcoming obesity and type-2 diabetes.

Exercise is omnipotent

Whale trail group

Dr Christine Joisten kicked for with the provocative statement that exercise in omnipotent; meaning that it has unlimited power. She is a sports and nutrition physician at a university in Cologne. She points out that it helps in so many fields far beyond weight loss.

My own experience confirms this; a brisk 10 minute walk after a starchy meal completely ameliorates my blood sugar surge after a starchy meal. And since I started just short periods of exercise regularly each day I can now remember my cellphone number; a fact that had both me and my family seriously worried. Was Alzheimer's Disease setting in?

But to actually lose fat she recommends three things.

  • Prolonged activity like a long hike.
  • Short, intense exercise.
  • Not eating or enjoying an "energy drink" straight after exercise.

However she acknowledges that exercise is not likely to lessen the very dangerous visceral fat that collects around the organs by more than 500 grams.

To achieve that we have to strongly limit refined carbs and sugar.

SUMMARY

  • Start walking daily; for the rest of your life. You choose for how long.
  • No food after exercise; no energy drinks.
Jean walking fastGardening is physical activity


"Every step counts. As sports physicians, we consider physical activity to be any form of energy expenditure achieved through muscle activity."

Dr Christine Joisten.



So gardening, mowing the lawn and sweeping your kitchen floor would all contribute to weight loss.

Lawnmower B struggling with cordMowing the lawn contributes to weight loss

Stigmatized and discouraged

Every doctor has patients who have become seriously discouraged at the thought of losing 20kg or more. They have tried every diet in the book and failed. They have become unmotivated and unable to stick to any exercise programme.

Joisten points out the immediate benefit of standing up regularly, walking around and climbing the stairs; a "clear advantage over the weight loss injection." An increase of 1000 steps per day, "exercise snacks," reduces overall mortality by 15%; that's massive.

On a personal note just adding an "exercise snack" after dinner in the evening, twelve circuits around the pool amounting to about 500 steps enabled me to get my surging blood glucose back where it belongs; and contributed to lowering the dreaded HbA1c down to a very respectable 5.4%.

I won't pretend it was easy; even after six months the first circuit is still faced with a groan. Has it helped with weight loss? Very little I must confess. But I know I am fitter, stronger and have more zest for life; and my memory has improved.

SUMMARY

  • Get up regularly from the stool and couch.
  • Daily take exercise snacks of your choice; make it sustainable.
  • Use the stairs.

Moderate to strong effects

Dr Stephen Kress from Vinzentius Hospital points out that exercise has a powerful influence on reducing the progression of 26 different conditions far beyond the expected metabolic and cardiovascular diseases; even if there is no weight loss or reduction of the HbA1c levels.

His research found that longer duration with lower intensity exercise was more beneficial; strolling or slow jogging "without panting." The very first walk improves the condition of the coronary arteries.

Dr Bente Pedersen pointed out that exercise stimulates muscles to release myokines, a group of cytokines normally associated with inflammation; with positive influences on pneumological, neurological and psychiatric conditions too.

She describes myokines as the "good cytokines."

SUMMARY

  • Walk longer and don't fret over the speed; slow is also good.
  • Start with something very doable; a period of time that you can sustain.

Even better

Building a compost heap BRLThe compost heap is at the centre of every organic garden

Whilst there may be benefit from the first step around the block and taking the stairs instead of the lift, there was general agreement that one should aim for about an hour long walk each day to lose weight, improve blood pressure and cardiorespiratory fitness.

And that a combination of various types of exercise such as strength training, dancing and skipping was the best for shedding fat, lowering blood lipid and sugar levels. Shoveling snow and building compost heaps would qualify too. 

SUMMARY

  • Once you are definitely in the slot, gradually start upping the time towards one hour walks; that's what it takes to actually shed weight from exercise.
  • Don't overreach; keep it sustainable.

Medication for weight loss

Dr Matthias Blüher made the case for weight loss medication, referring to a study which showed that after a year those receiving liraglutide injections lost significantly more weight (6.8 vs 4.1 kg) as compared to the exercise group.

Neither of those two groups actually lost an impressive amount of weight over a whole year. The ketogenic diets for example claim at least double that of the medication group.

SUMMARY

  • The new weight-loss drugs are effective; but you have to take them for ever if you do not also make serious lifestyle changes. Exercise and food choices are omnipotent.

Caloric restriction diets

Reference was also made to the Look-Ahead study which weighed the long term cardiovascular benefits of a programme of exercise plus a caloric restriction diet. However the patients regained the weight lost and there was little difference compared to the control group after one year.

In retrospect though it has become increasingly apparent that caloric restriction diets leave patients constantly ravenous. They inevitably start eating more; it's not sustainable and the pounds soon return.

SUMMARY

  • Caloric restriction diets are hopeless; they leave you constantly hungry.
  • Don't be afraid of the fat; it brings satiety.

Combination of exercise plus incretin-based medication

All three of the doctors agreed that a combination of exercise plus incretin-based medication achieved the best results; 9.5 kg of body weight.

The incretin hormones delay stomach emptying, send messages to the pancreas to start producing insulin and others to the hypothalamus that we have satiety; stop eating.

SUMMARY

  • A combination of medication plus exercise is effective; but only if you continue for the rest of your life. Otherwise don't start.

Further thoughts

Never start any weight-loss programme that you are not prepared to continue for the rest of your life. Strong research indicates that losing pounds and then regaining them is far worse than never having started.

Are you willing to take medications like semaglutide or tirzepatide for ever; if not, then don't start. They are extremely expensive.

Similarly do not start a vigorous, time-consuming exercise programme that you know you will not be able to sustain.

Nor make dietary changes such as giving up bread or sugar completely unless you are willing to commit to them for the rest of your days; remembering that artificial sweeteners cause weight gain due to loss of satiety.

These gems from a weight loss conference emphasise that we should only take on what we can sustain. Otherwise we are doomed to become despondent and discouraged.

Our weight loss plan

Forget the dirty four-letter word DIET; none of them work though some have good features. Think rather about these gems from a weight loss conference.

For example the longevity diet is one of the few that I would recommend you consider; it is sustainable.

  1. Start walking daily; as much as you can. Every single day is the rule. Remember that just 1000 additional steps, about 15 minutes will dramatically reduce the all-cause of disease.
  2. Choose just one of the refined carbs that we all know are the problem; and cut it out for ever. And if that is a "bridge too far" then don't start. White rice, cake flour and sugar are the biggies; but pasta, potatoes from cold storage and commercial bread are big contenders.
  3. After a few months of drastically reducing sugar say to less than 6 tsp daily, the Heart Association's recommendation then choose another. You can relax and enjoy them on "high and holy days."
  4. Start looking for high-fibre foods; they slow gastric emptying in a not dissimilar way to the very expensive incretin hormone drugs. That means you are satiated sooner.
  5. Right across the Blue Zones where longevity is the keyword, they leave the table slightly hungry. Especially in the evening, dine like a pauper.
  6. Don't be afraid of a little extra fat; it supplies satiety much sooner. That's why the caloric restriction diets rarely work; they leave you constantly famished. Top of the list should be olive oil and avocados; eat them daily.

SUMMARY

  • Only make changes that are sustainable; for the rest of your life. Otherwise diets and exercise programmes make promises that never deliver.
  • Start walking daily; you choose how long.
  • Slowly but surely start cutting out the refined carbs; one at a time.
  • Choose high fibre foods; whole grains, legumes and vegetables daily. 
  • Enjoy olives and avocados; the fruit fats.

Gardening

spinach dark green leafySpinach is so easy to grow

In all five of the Blue Zones countries where longevity is the word, they grow much of their own food. Think about starting a small garden.

Fresh young lettuces, radishes and spinach would make a wonderful start.

Then think about a legume; one of the green beans or peas perhaps. None of this is rocket science; and it contributes to stronger bodies, weight loss and wellness.

Growing-green-beans-fruit.jpgThere's nothing difficult about growing green beans

"There is increasing evidence that exposure to plants and green space and particularly to gardening, is beneficial to mental and physical health."

- Clinical Medicine (PMC6334070)[2]


Gems from a weight loss conference

Gems from a weight loss conference gives tips we can all benefit from.

Are you serious about weight loss?

Read this page about these gems from a weight loss conference daily for a week or two. Make notes, consider these suggestions from top experts mindfully and be happy to spend the time considering what a difference it would make to your life.

Rush and hurry are the very sevil, said Carl Jung. Spend time contemplating the meaning of life; and what you could and will do to shed those pounds permanently.

Food from a small garden

It is truly amazing how much food you can grow in a small garden. Here there are three legumes to be seen; broad beans in the foreground, green peas and limas climbing the wall. Less readily seen are a granadilla vine, cape gooseberries and sweet peppadews.

All are high in fibre that contributes to satiety and many of the phytonutrients and minerals missing in the modern grocery-store diet. Good food is what we would add to those gems from a weight loss conference.

Good food high in fibre also stimulates the release of the incretin hormones that bring satiety and manage blood glucose in a healthy way.

Do you know what the glycemic response to legumes is? Don't skin those broad beans.

Real bread made from 100% flour

Bread is a thorn in the flesh. The commercial loaf is truly an ultra-processed food. It is tasteless, low in fibre and high in salt; and contributes directly to weight gain and type 2 diabetes.

The Real Bread Movement provides a way out. The acids in sourdough slow the release of carbs from the stomach; 100% flour is rich in fibre.

100pc wholemeal sourdough bread100% sourdough bread loaf

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Newsletter

Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself and Mother Earth for future generations; and your family too, of course. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books.

Here are the back issues.

  • Lifestyle and ideal body weight
  • What are ultra-processed foods?
  • Investing in long-term health
  • Diseases from plastic exposure
  • Intensive lifestyle management for obesity has limited value
  • A world largely devoid of Parkinson's Disease
  • The impact of friendly bacteria in the tum on the prevention of cancer
  • There's a hole in the bucket
  • Everyone is talking about weight loss drugs
  • Pull the sweet tooth
  • If you suffer from heartburn plant a susu
  • Refined maize meal and stunting
  • Should agriculture and industry get priority for water and electricity?
  • Nature is calling
  • Mill your own flour
  • Bake your own sourdough bread
  • Microplastics from our water
  • Alternative types of water storage
  • Wear your clothes out
  • Comfort foods
  • Create a bee-friendly environment
  • Go to bed slightly hungry
  • Keep bees
  • Blue zone folk are religious
  • Reduce plastic waste
  • Family is important
  • What can go in compost?
  • Grow broad beans for longevity
  • Harvest and store sunshine
  • Blue zone exercise
  • Harvest and store your rainwater
  • Create a cyan zone at your home

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