New Year calls for better weight management!

Exercise equipment, rep pepper, water, for weight loss with a blue shiny background

Weight management: the main New Year’s resolution

First things first, let us assess the real dangers of having extra abdominal fat. Not only is it an uncomfortable nuisance. Excess body weight around the abdomen, or abdominal obesity, keeps our bodies in an inflammatory state which has been associated with the increased risk of various metabolic abnormalities. (1) 

Some of the risks associated with sustained inflammation are developing diseases such as: (2)

  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Diabetes 
  • Cancers

In one large European study, increasing body mass index was associated with a significant increase in the risk of cancer for 10 out of 17 specific types examined. (3) Specific recent studies have shown a powerful association between body fat content and kidney and liver cancers. (4,5) 

By now, it should be no surprise to learn that weight loss, specifically body fat reduction, can lead to lowered risks for cancers just as it does for other devastating conditions. (6,7) 

One study has estimated a reduction of 45% in the risk of breast cancer in women who lost more than 5 kilograms. (7)

This year many of us are aiming to lose weight, but few realize that 5-10% of body weight loss can do wonders for your overall health. So, this year, instead of aiming for an almost unachievable goal such as finally becoming a skinny mini, why not instead aim for something more beneficial and realistic, which is, modest weight loss?

Multimodal approaches to make this year’s weight plan work 

Modest weight loss and what to know

Choosing to eat less and exercise more is not enough to help most people remove excess body fat and keep it off.
What is needed is a comprehensive program to aggressively target the many factors that contribute to excess body fat. 

Excess body fat is not only an unlovely nuisance, but it can also be deadly, increasing the risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Abdominal fat is particularly dangerous. 

What your comprehensive weight plan should include 

A comprehensive fat-loss program includes improving insulin sensitivity, achieving youthful hormone balance, controlling the rate of carbohydrate absorption, increasing physical activity, normalizing brain serotonin, restoring energy expenditure rate, and adopting a long-term healthy eating strategy. 

Nutritional supplements offer important support for reducing appetitepromoting satiety, and enhancing fat-burning
The rewards of removing excess body fat go far beyond a slim physique to the promise of a lengthy, disease-free life. 

Support the restoration of insulin sensitivity

The absolute most effective way of restoring insulin sensitivity is to reduce calorie intake. Severe calorie restriction to under 1,500-1,800 calories/day significantly enhances insulin sensitivity, as documented by the dramatic lowering of fasting glucose and insulin blood levels. (8-12) 

Even a moderate cutback of excess calories can markedly improve insulin sensitivity. Therefore, the first consideration for successful long-term weight loss should involve a moderate reduction in calorie intake, at least long enough to restore insulin receptor sensitivity to more youthful ranges. 

The use of nutrients, hormones, and drugs that enhance insulin sensitivity should also be considered. As previously implied, a lot more than just eating less is needed to lose weight.

Restoring hormone balance to a youthful level 

Often it can be quite difficult for aging men to lose inches off their waistline particularly if they are deficient in free testosterone, but especially in the presence of excess estrogen. (13-15) Low levels of dehydroepiandro-sterone (DHEA) can also contribute to undesirable fat accumulation in men and women. (16) 

A comprehensive blood test panel can inform about free testosterone and estrogen (estradiol) levels so that a physician can if needed, prescribe a topical testosterone cream and an aromatase-inhibiting drug to help restore a man’s sex hormone profile back to a youthful range

The same blood test panel can also detect DHEA blood levels to enable one to take the proper dose of the dietary supplement. Another hormone that can lead to weight gain when it’s not at optimal levels is the thyroid. Thyroid hormones are essential to maintain healthy metabolic rates. 

Those looking to achieve optimal thyroid function should consider Triple Action Thyroid to support this. Attempting a weight loss plan while facing a thyroid hormone deficit can be particularly challenging. 

Common in aging women is a condition termed “estrogen dominance,” which is too much presence of estrogen in the system in relation to progesterone levels. An excess of estrogen can cause women to gain weight and in turn, make it difficult to keep the excess weight off. 

Restoring hormone balance in aging females requires the intervention of a healthcare practitioner with specialized expertise in prescribing bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. 

In the case of men, they are more fortunate, as almost any doctor can prescribe the proper dose of testosterone (and aromatase-inhibiting drugs, if needed). 

Controlling the rate of carbohydrate absorption 

Finally, in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study examining how heart disease develops in adults, revealed that higher fiber consumption predicted less weight gain more strongly than did total or saturated fat consumption. (17) Something to know is that not all fibers are created equal. 

Beta-glucans slow post-meal elevations in blood sugar and insulin levels. Like other foods rich in soluble fiber, beta-glucans can help improve blood glucose metabolism while helping to lower serum lipid levels. (18,19)

Alternatively, taking supplements to help support healthy glycemic status before each carbohydrate-rich meal may also help reduce the glucose-insulin surge that contributes to obesity. 

Increase your physical activity

The type and intensity of physical activity tend to vary among individuals. The purpose of making increased physical activity a priority when it comes to weight management is to encourage everyone seeking to achieve optimal fat loss to engage in some form of increased physical activity

Seeing fast and meaningful results would make anyone stick to a good exercise program aimed at keeping fat levels down. 

Just a modest increase in physical activity, as a part of their new weight management regime, should produce a reduction of fat mass, especially in the abdomen, remarkable enough to motivate even sedentary individuals to find ways to become more consistently physically active. 

Restoration of brain serotonin 

When serotonin floods the brain, satiety normally occurs. A serotonin deficiency has been associated with carbohydrate binging that contributes to the accumulation of excess body fat. (20) Obese individuals have low blood tryptophan levels, which in turn can indicate that their overeating patterns may be related to a serotonin deficiency in the brain. (21,22) 

Furthermore, recent research reveals that chronic inflammation and immune system over-activation appear to play critical roles in obesity. (22,23) 

While inflammatory cytokines like interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) are made and released in body fat, an enzyme called indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase is activated by IFN-gamma, which then degrades tryptophan in the body. Tryptophan is needed to produce serotonin in the brain. 

In fact, human studies suggest that obese patients have decreased plasma tryptophan levels that remain low, independently of weight reduction or dietary intake. (20,21) 

This altered tryptophan metabolism reduces serotonin production and contributes to impaired satiety, which in turn is what contributes to increased caloric intake and obesity. 

When obese patients were given 1,000 mg, 2,000 mg, or 3,000 mg doses of L-tryptophan one hour before meals, a significant decrease in caloric consumption was observed. Most of the reduction in caloric intake was in the number of carbohydrates consumed and not the amount of protein consumed. (24)

With this, to embark on a comprehensive weight-loss program it would be a consideration to add this safe form of tryptophan to your daily program in starting doses of 500 mg before meals, two to three times per day. 

Those at a greater age had always found it difficult up until now to lose significant body fat stores, even when following a low-calorie diet, restoring youthful hormone balance, ingesting fiber, and aggressively exercising. 

The missing link for successful long-term weight loss was a safe method to boost resting energy expenditure, which function is to burn off stored body fat. 

With the availability of fucoxanthin and pomegranate seed oil, aging humans can safely boost their metabolic rate and, for the first time, obtain meaningful results when following sensible steps to maintain healthy body weight. (25,26) 

Eat to live a long and healthy life 

An interesting Life Extension finding five years ago wrote that the effect of a higher cooking temperature of food had an enormous impact on the longevity of those eating it. (Over 250 degrees). Overcooked foods damage our body’s proteins, while foods cooked at lower temperatures have been shown to facilitate weight loss. 

So just changing how your foods are prepared could help you in your goal of shedding body fat and, at the same time, protect against age-related disease (see “Eating food cooked at high temperature accelerates aging,” Life Extension, May 2003). Solid scientific evidence shows that excess calorie ingestion accelerates the onset of degenerative disease and the aging process itself. 

This is on top of the addition of promoting an accumulation of body fat. Women in the fucoxanthin studies consumed 1,800 calories/day and still lost considerable body weight over a relatively short time period. 

With the help of the various processes described in this blog post, the rapid reduction in body fat one may see should provide a strong motivational basis to initiate more sensible food intake patterns. 

It is never too late to change one’s lifestyle in a manner that promotes better health while melting away excess body fat. Now that a safe and proven method of boosting resting metabolic rate is finally available, aging humans can embark on a fat-reduction program with a high degree of confidence in enjoying long-term results. 

Calorie restriction: Intermittent fasting

The effects of intermittent fasting in people have been proven to improve in all these areas: 

The intermittent fasting group in this trial lost a little weight over 12 weeks, while the three-meal/day control group did not lose a statistically significant amount of weight. This study did not find a significant effect on metabolic risk markers. (27) 

What we have long known about time-restricted eating (intermittent fasting) is that it does not induce much weight loss in those who do not also reduce their overall calorie intake. 

The preponderance of published evidence supports the benefits of intermittent fasting, including improved glycemic markers such as fasting insulin, which can impede weight loss when elevated. (28-30) 

A cocktail of the following nutrients has been proven to mimic calorie restriction: 

For further results of improved life longevity, it is possible to take onboard both the cocktail of supplements with intermittent fasting daily. 

A 2019 study was designed to exam­ine the effects of intermittent fasting on weight loss and metabolic risk markers. 

Intermittent fasting requires a particular body type and metabolism. Therefore, for those of you who may not fancy fasting for 14-18 hours per day, there are other options that contribute to alluding to a similar effect on the body that only involves supplements.  

Hence, thanks to a recent study’s findings, we can tell you that there is a mix of nutrients that when taken together have the same effect as caloric restriction. 

Green tea’s wonderful weight loss abilities

Green tea is rich in polyphenols and is well known for its anti-inflammatory effects. (31,32)  

Meta-analyses and reviews of randomized controlled trials indicate green tea extract may have a small, positive impact on body weight and fat mass in overweight and obese adults. (33-36)  

The best results have been reported for those taking green tea extracts for at least 12 weeks. (34) 

Reducing glucose levels and insulin-induced lipogenesis

Reducing adipocyte triglycerides and the glucose-3-phophate dehydrogenase enzyme, thus helping inhibit the conversion of glycerol to triglycerides. 

Reducing immune-mediated inflammatory-molecule (CRP) binding to leptin, thereby reducing leptin resistance.

Sleep and weight loss 

It is a promising idea to get into the swing of consistently having enough sleep. Human research links sleep loss with weight gain. (37,38)  So a good habit to get into this year is implementing a high-functioning sleep schedule.

Let us talk about your sleep habits. A study published in 2014 looked at sleeping habits and obesity incidences over thirty-two years starting from 1977. Bearing in mind, the technology we have now which impacts our sleep cycle negatively was not present when this study started. 

Time spent in front of display screens, especially late at night, was dramatically less back then than it is now. (39) The analysis of the data showed: relative to seven-to-eight-hour sleepers, very short sleepers had 30% greater odds of being overweight or were twice as likely to be obese. 

Similarly, short sleepers (5-6 hours) had 20% greater odds of being overweight or 57% greater odds of being obese. (Long sleepers had 20% greater odds of being obese, but no greater odds of being overweight.) 

The findings are not surprising. The prevalence of very short and short sleep has gradually increased in recent decades. The authors of this study concluded: “Inadequate sleep was associated with overweight and obesity for each available year.” 

Moreover, on sleep and weight loss, the link between hunger the day after having inadequate and non-restorative sleep is a strong one.  We can now tell from epidemiological evidence that there are links between sleep loss and obesity. (40) 

One epidemiological study found that older adults sleeping less than five hours per night are at approximately 40% greater risk of becoming obese compared to those sleeping seven to eight hours per night. (41) 

An underlying cause involves changes in brain activity that increase our desire for high-calorie foods, in turn causing weight gain. 

Other factors that have been shown to link weight gain to sleep deprivation are increases in hormones like ghrelin which stimulate hunger and decreases in leptin which suppresses the appetite. (42)

How to improve your quality of sleep through supplementation

Consistent findings from human trials support the role of standardized ashwagandha in enabling more restful sleep. The primary active components of ashwagandha are withanolides. Ashwagandha doses provide up to 30 mg of withanolides. (43-46) 

The fourth study used a higher concentration ashwagandha extract that provided 42 mg of withanolides in one nighttime dose.(45)

The trick here is to not expect immediate results, as the study published in July 2020 showing weight loss in response to R-lipoic acid lasted about 5 and a half months. 

The best option when making a New Year’s resolution is to cut out a few surplus calories, increase physical activity, and consider some form of time-restricted eating for potential lifesaving benefits. 

Managing your weight loss expectations will enable more of you to stick with a program that may add many healthy years.

Read more


  1. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-overweight.htm. Accessed June 29, 2022. 
  2. Ellulu MS, Patimah I, Khaza'ai H, et al. Obesity and inflammation: the linking mechanism and the complications. Arch Med Sci. 2017 Jun;13(4):851-63. 
  3. Reeves GK, Pirie K, Beral V, et al. Cancer incidence and mortality in relation to body mass index in the Million Women Study: cohort study. BMJ. 2007 Dec 1;335(7630):1134. 
  4. Setiawan VW, Stram DO, Nomura AM, Kolonel LN, Henderson BE. Risk factors for renal cell cancer: the multiethnic cohort. Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Oct 15;166(8):932-40. 
  5. Ahrens W, Timmer A, Vyberg M, et al. Risk factors for extrahepatic biliary tract carcinoma in men: medical conditions and lifestyle: results from a European multicentre case-control study. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 Aug;19(8):623-30. 
  6. Campbell KL, McTiernan A. Exercise and biomarkers for cancer prevention studies. J Nutr. 2007 Jan;137(1 Suppl):161S-9. 
  7. Schapira DV, Kumar NB, Lyman GH. Estimate of breast cancer risk reduction with weight loss. Cancer. 1991 May 15;67(10):2622-5. 
  8. 8. Henry RR, Wiest-Kent TA, Scheaffer L, Kolterman OG, Olefsky JM. Metabolic consequences of very-low-calorie diet therapy in obese non-insulin-dependent diabetic and nondiabetic subjects. Diabetes. 1986 Feb;35(2):155-64.
  9. Larson-Meyer DE, Heilbronn LK, Redman LM, et al. Effect of calorie restriction with or without exercise on insulin sensitivity, beta-cell function, fat cell size, and ectopic lipid in overweight subjects. Diabetes Care. 2006 Jun;29(6):1337-44.
  10. Abate N, Haffner SM, Garg A, Peshock RM, Grundy SM. Sex steroid hormones, upper body obesity, and insulin resistance. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Oct;87(10):4522-7.
  11. Vermeulen A, Kaufman JM, Goemaere S, van Pottelberg I. Estradiol in elderly men. Aging Male. 2002 Jun;5(2):98-102. 
  12. Nakai Y, Taniguchi A, Fukushima M, et al. Insulin sensitivity during very-low-calorie diets assessed by minimal modeling. Am J Clin Nutr. 1992 Jul;56(1 Suppl):179S-81S.
  13. Marin P, Krotkiewski M, Bjorntorp P. Androgen treatment of middle-aged, obese men: effects on metabolism, muscle and adipose tissues. Eur J Med. 1992 Oct;1(6):329-36.
  14. Abate N, Haffner SM, Garg A, Peshock RM, Grundy SM. Sex steroid hormones, upper body obesity, and insulin resistance. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Oct;87(10):4522-7.
  15. Vermeulen A, Kaufman JM, Goemaere S, van Pottelberg I. Estradiol in elderly men. Aging Male. 2002 Jun;5(2):98-102.
  16. Villareal DT, Holloszy JO. Effect of DHEA on abdominal fat and insulin action in elderly women and men: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2004 Nov 10;292(18):2243-8.
  17. Ludwig DS, Pereira MA, Kroenke CH, et al. Dietary fiber, weight gain, and cardiovascular disease risk factors in young adults. JAMA. 1999 Oct 27;282(16):1539-46.
  18. Reyna-Villasmil N, Bermudez-Pirela V, Mengual-Moreno E, et al. Oat-derived beta-glucan significantly improves HDLC and diminishes LDLC and non-HDL cholesterol in overweight individuals with mild hypercholesterolemia. Am J Ther. 2007 Mar;14(2):203-12.
  19. Poppitt SD, van Drunen JD, McGill AT, Mulvey TB, Leahy FE. Supplementation of a high-carbohydrate breakfast with barley beta-glucan improves postprandial glycaemic response for meals but not beverages. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16(1):16-24.
  20. Leigh C. Serotonin and the Biology of Bingeing. Eating Disorders: A Reference Sourcebook. In: Lemberg R. Ed., Oryx Press; 1998:51.
  21. Breum L, Rasmussen MH, Hilsted J, Fernstrom JD. Twenty-four-hour plasma tryptophan concentrations and ratios are below normal in obese subjects and are not normalized by substantial weight reduction. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 May;77(5):1112-8.
  22. Brandacher G, Hoeller E, Fuchs D, Weiss HG. Chronic immune activation underlies morbid obesity: is IDO a key player? Curr Drug Metab. 2007 Apr;8(3):289-95.
  23. Xu H, Barnes GT, Yang Q, et al. Chronic inflammation in fat plays a crucial role in the development of obesity-related insulin resistance. J Clin Invest. 2003 Dec;112(12):1821-30.
  24. Cavaliere H, Medeiros-Neto G. The anorectic effect of increasing doses of L-tryptophan in obese patients. Eat Weight Disord. 1997 Dec;2(4):211-5.
  25. Abidov M, Roshen S. Effect of Fucoxanthin and Xanthigen™, a phytomedicine containing fucoxanthin and pomegranate seed oil, on energy expenditure rate in obese non-diabetic female volunteers with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial. Submitted for publication. Int J Obesity. 2008.
  26. Abidov M, Siefulla R, Ramazanov Z. The effect of Xanthigen™, a phytomedicine containing fucoxanthin and pomegranate seed oil, on body weight and liver fat, serum triglycerides, C-reactive protein, and plasma aminotransferases in obese non-diabetic female volunteers: a double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial. Submitted for publication. Int J Obesity. 2008.
  27. Lowe DA, Wu N, Rohdin-Bibby L, et al. Effects of Time-Restricted Eating on Weight Loss and Other Metabolic Parameters in Women and Men With Overweight and Obesity: The TREAT Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2020 Sep 28.
  28. Cho Y, Hong N, Kim K-w, et al. The Effectiveness of Intermittent Fasting to Reduce Body Mass Index and Glucose Metabolism: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2019;8(10):1645.
  29. Arnason TG, Bowen MW, Mansell KD. Effects of intermittent fasting on health markers in those with type 2 diabetes: A pilot study. World J Diabetes. 2017 Apr 15;8(4):154-64.
  30. Sutton EF, Beyl R, Early KS, et al. Early Time-Restricted Feeding Improves Insulin Sensitivity, Blood Pressure, and Oxidative Stress Even without Weight Loss in Men with Prediabetes. Cell Metabolism. 2018 Jun 5;27(6):1212-21.e3.
  31. Riegsecker S, Wiczynski D, Kaplan MJ, et al. Potential benefits of green tea polyphenol EGCG in the prevention and treatment of vascular inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. Life Sci. 2013 Sep 3;93(8):307-12.
  32. Ohishi T, Goto S, Monira P, et al. Anti-inflammatory Action of Green Tea. Antiinflamm Antiallergy Agents Med Chem. 2016;15(2):74-90.
  33. Rothenberg DO, Zhou C, Zhang L. A Review on the Weight-Loss Effects of Oxidized Tea Polyphenols. Molecules. 2018 May 14;23(5):1176.
  34. Vázquez Cisneros LC, López-Uriarte P, López-Espinoza A, et al. Efectos del té verde y su contenido de galato de epigalocatequina (EGCG) sobre el peso corporal y la masa grasa en humanos. Una revisión sistemática. Nutrición Hospitalaria. 2017 Jun 5;34(3):731-7.
  35. Huang J, Wang Y, Xie Z, et al. The anti-obesity effects of green tea in human intervention and basic molecular studies. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Oct;68(10):1075-87.
  36. Jurgens TM, Whelan AM, Killian L, et al. Green tea for weight loss and weight maintenance in overweight or obese adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Dec 12;12:CD008650.
  37. Taheri S, Lin L, Austin D, et al. Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS Med. 2004 Dec;1(3):e62.
  38. Patel SR, Hu FB. Short sleep duration and weight gain: a systematic review. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Mar;16(3):643-53.
  39. Jean-Louis G, Williams NJ, Sarpong D, et al. Associations between inadequate sleep and obesity in the US adult population: analysis of the national health interview survey (1977–2009). BMC Public Health. 2014 2014/03/29;14(1):290.
  40. Greer SM, Goldstein AN, Walker MP. The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain. Nat Commun. 2013 2013/08/06;4(1):2259.
  41. Xiao Q, Arem H, Moore SC, et al. A large prospective investigation of sleep duration, weight change, and obesity in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study cohort. Am J Epidemiol. 2013 Dec 1;178(11):1600-10.
  42. Available at: https://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences/sleep-and-disease-risk. Accessed November 10, 2021.
  43. Salve J, Pate S, Debnath K, et al. Adaptogenic and Anxiolytic Effects of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Healthy Adults: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Clinical Study. Cureus. 2019 Dec 25;11(12):e6466.
  44. Kelgane SB, Salve J, Sampara P, et al. Efficacy and Tolerability of Ashwagandha Root Extract in the Elderly for Improvement of General Well-being and Sleep: A Prospective, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study. Cureus. 2020 Feb 23;12(2):e7083.
  45. Deshpande A, Irani N, Balkrishnan R, et al. A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study to evaluate the effects of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract on sleep quality in healthy adults. Sleep Med. 2020 Aug;72:28-36.
  46. Langade D, Thakare V, Kanchi S, et al. Clinical evaluation of the pharmacological impact of ashwagandha root extract on sleep in healthy volunteers and insomnia patients: A double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study. J Ethnopharmacol. 2021 Jan 10;264:113276.