Did you know that from November through January, the average person gains 1–2 pounds? (1-3) While this may not seem like a lot, many of us do not lose this added weight during the spring and summer months. (4)
With just 1–2–pound weight gains annually over a period of 10 years this can lead to an excess of 10–20 pounds!
Post-holiday like January and after the summer break are popular times for most to have a fresh start. Research by ComRes has found that the top four most popular resolutions are all based on health.
The most popular resolutions
- Exercise more, with nearly 2 in 5 (38%) Brits pledging to make this change
- Lose weight, with 1 in 3 (33%) aspiring to shed some pounds come
- Eat more healthily, nearly a third (32%)
- Take a more active approach to health, with 1 in 7 (15%) Brits wanting to improve their lifestyle
- Stop smoking, sleep more, reduce stress are also part of the top 10 list of goals
Despite so many of us committing to these ambitious goals that commitment can often be very short-lived.
Health experts warn that many will commit resolution sins in the New Year with most pledges failing by the second Friday of January, a Strava study has found.
Don't adopt an "all or nothing" approach
This "all or nothing" approach to a healthy lifestyle is flawed and potentially dangerous as it can lead to unsustainable weight loss and more severe health implications.
Although the effect on our waistlines is obvious, what is less known is the effect over-eating and resulting weight gain has on our health and the aging process.
Over time, excess weight begins acting like its own organ, releasing inflammatory compounds that inflict systemic damage and spur the aging process. The list of diseases, to which a few extra pounds can contribute to the development, is long.
Even though we are quick to call it quits on our resolutions, we are willing to attempt other mid-year resolutions, with social media health trends having a huge influence on how we choose to look after ourselves throughout the year.
From researching our symptoms to picking our next diet, it is reported that 4 in 5 (80%) of internet users are searching for health information online. Health trends on social media can give misleading information on how to stay healthy.
What is still worse is that people use these to set their goals, leading a vast majority to call it quits and resume unhealthy habits. This is a sad and dangerous trend because much of the nutritional and health information may be unreliable, unrealistic, or not proven to work for the individual person.
So, when we quit and feel we have failed, it might be because of wrong assumptions, overambitious goals, or because we got off on the wrong foot pursuing our health goals.
Let us look at the most popular resolutions:
1. EXERCISE MORE
There is no question about the many health benefits of physical exercise. No matter the type of exercise you practice, the body needs extra energy and nutrition for maximum performance and optimal recovery.
The most important part is to choose what fits your daily routine, and what your body is ready for. You can join boot camps to kickstart, get personal trainers to guide you, or just walk every day.
For optimal health benefits, adults should do at least two and a half hours of moderate aerobic activity per week plus strength exercises that work all the major muscles. And even if you are already active you may want to enhance your performance and recovery.
We offer a variety of products that, along with better dietary and exercise habits, can boost energy, increase stamina, help faster recovery and help you reach your sports performance goals:
- Vegan protein with BCAA to replenish amino acids and support lean muscle mass: Wellness Code® Plant Protein Complete & Amino Acid Complex
- HMB to support muscle strength, muscle growth, and function: Wellness Code® Muscle Strength & Restore Formula
- Tart cherries to support muscle recovery and relief from post-exertion discomfort: Tart Cherry with CherryPURE®
- Ribose to help recover energy stores and increase energy reserves: D-Ribose Powder
- Adaptogenic herbs to support resilience, vigor, and endurance: Ultra Energy Liposomal Adaptogenic Blend
- Super-nutrients plus adaptogenic herbs to support mitochondrial function and energy generation, vigor, and endurance: The One®
2. LOSE WEIGHT
There are many different diets and ideas on how you can lose weight – many of these ideas have a tendency to materialize as fast and aggressive diets. However, losing weight in a short time is both mentally and physically hard.
These kinds of diets are also unhealthy since they are nutritionally unbalanced. Most of all, research shows the amount of people sustaining this kind of weight loss is fairly low.
As such, it is better to make realistic changes to your diet and physical activity that can be maintained in the long term.
Nine factors can contribute to weight can and an overburdened body frame:
- Insulin resistance
- Hormone imbalance
- Excessive carbohydrate and starch absorption
- Low physical activity
- Low brain serotonin
- Slow resting metabolism
- Abnormal fat cell signaling
- Lipase-mediated absorption of dietary fat
- Diet imbalances
As we age, our metabolism slows down and we require fewer calories to sustain a healthy life.
Simultaneously, a change in the hormone balance can also lead to weight gain. This can lead to an increase in body fat as the body’s production of hormones, which helps maintain muscle mass, begins to decrease.
Many of us become less active as we get older which causes loss of muscle mass. As we lose muscle mass, our body begins to accumulate fat which leads to a slower rate of calorie burning.
But you can change that. Because, when it comes down to it, losing weight is a question of reducing the number of calories you consume daily.
Moreover, it is essential that we curb emotional eating in a natural way. For instance, emotional eating occurs in about 30% of obese women (4) although its prevalence in the general population greatly exceeds that number.
In one of the most compelling findings on emotional eating to date, Dutch researchers reported this year that such eating behavior can be caused by a common genetic variant of the molecule that transports serotonin (which is one of the body’s primary mood regulators. (5)
In short, this kind of eating behavior can therefore result in lower serotonin activity.
Stick to science-based weight management methods:
No one should embark on a weight loss program by trying to follow a fad diet that they cannot adhere to in the long term. At the same time, aging individuals must make a choice as to what is more important, like ingesting foods that are known to promote weight gain (and cause diseases) or selecting healthier foods that facilitate weight loss and protect against illness and inflammation in the body.
That being said, it is never too late to change your lifestyle in a manner that promotes better health while melting away excess body fat.
There is no magic cure for successful weight loss. Instead, simply try to incorporate the following few suggestions to help eliminate diet imbalances and begin a dietary habit for living a long and healthy life.
Don't fear failure:
Incorporating these suggestions, no matter which diet plan and exercise regimen you choose to follow, can go a long way in helping your weight loss goals.
And if you feel you fail and want to quit your New Year’s resolution - keep going – try again. People who attempt to make a difference in their lives are 10 times as likely to succeed compared to those who do nothing to change their health habits.
How to kick-start your weight control:
Ensure you have your basic nutrition in place. Does your body get all the vitamins and minerals it needs? Due to nutrient-depleted soils and modern agricultural practices, the food we consume often has far from the nutrient density it used to have.
Thus, even with a varied diet, many people will have inadequate intakes of vitamins A, D, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and other nutrients.
A recent study in older adults found vitamin D, vitamin B12, folate, and iron to be the compounds in which older people most frequently are deficient. For these reasons, daily supplementation is necessary for optimal health.
Prioritize a healthy, balanced diet with a variety of different foods, a good share of vegetables and fruits, and less processed foods. Drink plenty of non-sugary fluids and try and fit some physical activity such as just one extra walk into your day.
Choose natural supplements that can help you support weight loss, control your blood sugar or boost your serotonin level. Due to the nine mechanisms of weight gain, it´s not as easy as eating less food to lose weight.
A successful approach needs to acknowledge the biological processes contributing to weight gain which can be positively influenced by the right supplements.
Try the Keto diet for a science-based approach to fat burning. On the keto diet, you force the body to make energy from fat (ketosis) instead of sugar. When you reach the ketogenic, fat-burning state, you actively burn fat. Reaching ketosis takes up to approximately two weeks with the right keto diet.
Fortunately, there are a variety of nutraceuticals that can help shift the body into fat-burning within a matter of days by inhibiting the mTOR pathway to quickly push the body into ketosis. Keto Before 6™ rapidly returns the body to ketosis in a matter of hours, rather than weeks.
This allows a more well-rounded, sustainable diet that supports a healthy weight, energy production, cognitive performance, and cellular regeneration.
Weight management product recommendations:
- For those, who want to reduce appetite and better resist food cravings: Advanced Appetite Suppress and Body Trim and Appetite Control
- Can help by modulating hunger hormones or supporting optimal serotonin levels: Optimized Saffron with Satiereal®
- Supports healthy levels of AMPK, the body´s master switch for balancing the body’s energy production. Thereby, it counteracts unwanted abdominal fat which can occur because of an age-related decline in AMPK: AMPK Metabolic Activator
- For you, if you want help fighting fat cell size and accumulation, especially abdominal fat: Gummy Science™ Mediterranean Weight Management
- Is for those looking for a singular formula targeting many of the nine mechanisms of weight gain: Optimized African Mango Irvingia with Phase 3™ Calorie Control Complex
- Keto Before 6™ is a revolutionary formula that supports the benefits of a ketogenic (fat-burning) diet while allowing greater dietary freedom: Keto Before 6™
3. EAT MORE HEALTHILY
Amazingly, studies show that the average person makes over 200 choices involving food and diet every day. But how many of these are rational, considered choices, and how many are simply impulses driven by our subconscious urges?
Furthermore, to what extent are we consuming foods we do not really want and would do well to avoid?
We often rely on the fullness signals sent from the stomach wall to our brains, running the risk of eating more food than necessary.
An important hormone in this process is ghrelin. Released in the stomach lining, it sends signals to the brain, where it influences complex processes such as appetite, sleep, addiction, and satiety. When you are hungry, your ghrelin levels increase.
Conversely, when you take in food, the production of ghrelin decreases.
Carbohydrates lower your ghrelin levels particularly quickly, but the levels rise again soon after. Fats, on the other hand, lower ghrelin levels more slowly and keep them low for a longer period of time which explains why a handful of nuts keep hunger at bay for longer than a donut.
The problem is that it can take up to 20 minutes for hormone-driven fullness to reach the brain and give the order to stop eating—and 20 minutes is plenty of time to eat one, two, or even three too many high-energy snacks such as a Mars bar.
Generally, we eat as much as we are used to eating; or until we have cleaned our plates. A clean plate is one of the strongest cues of all: we trust that we will automatically feel full with the last mouthful and happily ignore the fact that we might feel satisfied before then.
Countless studies have proved that the mere mention that food we are about to be served is “healthy” lowers our taste expectations. In a University of Texas study, volunteers were asked to rate the tastiness of mango lassi (a blended drink popular in Indian restaurants).
If they were told before they tried it that it was a healthy drink, then they were significantly more likely to give it a low rating. When its high-calorie content was highlighted, however, the volunteers praised the drink for its taste.
The fact that we are genetically programmed to love sugar and fat does not help matters. Nevertheless, many people eat too much, and too poor quality.
How to eat healthier and reduce calories:
- Prioritize a varied diet with more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods, sugars, and sugary drinks. Here at Life Extension Europe, we love the Mediterranean diet as it is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats.
- It also has a large body of research backing it up as an effective way to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. The secret of the healthiness of the Mediterranean diet seems to lie in the fact that the Mediterranean diet is synergistic. This means that the components are not only nutritious in and of themselves, but when combined with one another they act to provide added benefits as well. As such, they are more powerful in combination than if they were eaten separately.
- Choose natural supplements that can help you reduce calories
- To regain control of your calorie intake, it’s advisable to eat mindfully. Not on the go but at the table. Develop a healthy relationship with food instead of having your stomach tell you when you are full. Otherwise, minimize the plate size and drink lots of non-sugary fluids.
The power of the Mediterranean diet:
- Omega-3 acids in Super Omega-3 Plus EPA/DHA with Sesame Lignans, Olive Extract, Krill & Astaxanthin can help promote cardiovascular health and brain/cognitive function, help inhibit inflammation, enhance mitochondrial function, support your joints, and help maintain adequate levels of important fatty acids: Super Omega-3 Plus EPA/DHA Fish Oil, Sesame Lignans, Olive Extract, Krill & Astaxanthin
- Rich in fruits and vegetables, the Mediterranean diet is one of the world’s healthiest diets. Blueberry Extract and Pomegranate delivers the antioxidant benefits of a potent blueberry extract with the extra benefits of pomegranate in a convenient capsule: Blueberry Extract with Pomegranate
- Life Extension has identified certain compounds that mimic the benefits of a calorie-restricted diet, a process that slows down aspects related to aging. These compounds include trans-resveratrol (which researchers contend is the most active constituent), quercetin, and whole grape extract, but also certain compounds found in berries, like trans-pterostilbene and now fisetin: Optimized Resveratrol
4. TAKE A MORE ACTIVE APPROACH TO HEALTH
One of the most significant anti-aging discoveries in history was made at Cornell University by Clive McCay (et.al) in 1935. In that year, rats fed a calorie-restricted diet achieved radically-extended mean and maximum life spans, along with a delayed onset of age-related diseases. (6)
Researchers found that a group of humans consumed a similar calorie-restricted diet, and their conventional blood markers of aging (excess glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL) plummeted to much lower levels. (7-8)
In 1995, a study made by John C. Norcross (et.al) at the University of Scranton examining those making New Year’s resolutions showed that 46% are compliant after six months. (9)
During this time of year, when people strive for a healthier and longer life, we believe most of you will succeed in cutting back at least some excess food intake.
It might be tempting to slip back into unhealthy eating habits when on a diet. However, one has to remember that calorie-dense toxic foods are abundant, cheap, and heavily advertised.
Excess calorie intake causes our bloodstream to be chronically ‘bloated’ with glucose, insulin, cholesterol, fat, homocysteine, and other pro-inflammatory inducers. Persistent bloodstream overload predisposes us to cancer, stroke, heart attack, senility, painful inflammation, and virtually every other age-related ailment. (10-22)
Excess calories consumption can shorten your life span:
Consuming excess calories shortens our average life span by facilitating the development of age-related diseases that preclude us from attaining healthy longevity.
Overconsumption of calories has another insidious effect.
Many scientists believe that our life span is largely controlled by genes that program our bodies to function in a youthful-healthy state. When we consume excess calories, we cause some of these genes to turn against us and contribute to accelerated aging and death.
If we reduce the amount and/or effects of ingested calories, the result is a more favorable gene expression profile. Such a positive effect helps us to live longer, healthier lives.
Hence, controlling the impact of ingested calories becomes an essential component of a science-based longevity program, as excess calorie exposure reduces life span by increasing degenerative disease risk and accelerating aging.
An explosive volume of published research indicates that aging humans can exert tremendous degrees of control as to whether they maintain youthful or senescent gene expression patterns in their cellular DNA. (23-25) Some youthful gene expression can be maintained by reducing the intake of calories to a level 20-40% lower than is typical, while still obtaining all the necessary nutrients and vitamins. (26,27)
Certain natural ingredients can mimic the effects of calorie restriction:
While calorie-restriction diets can provide all these benefits, they can be difficult to adhere to. Now research indicates, that certain compounds can mimic the effects of calorie restriction without the difficulties of reducing calorie intake.
Resveratrol, a compound found in red grapes and red wine has been found to promote youthful gene expression similar to calorie-restricted diets while also encouraging healthy metabolic parameters and a healthy inflammatory response.
Advances in artificial intelligence have uncovered more natural compounds that specifically target anti-aging pathways like calory restriction:
- This formula contains trans-resveratrol, the form abundant in red wine, which is well-absorbed and stable. Resveratrol also promotes healthy insulin sensitivity, encourages enhanced mitochondrial function, supports a healthy inflammatory response, and has demonstrated beneficial cardiovascular activity: Optimized Resveratrol
- GEROPROTECT™ Longevity A.I.™, combats the aging process with a combination of three unique natural compounds which can activate the same anti-aging pathways as calorie restriction mimetics: GEROPROTECT™ Longevity A.I.™
Besides a healthy diet devoid of excess calories, several nutrients can help you extend your healthy life span. Here are our suggestions which are best backed up by scientific research:
- Supplement with essential vitamins and minerals to ensure you get the nutrients your body requires: Life Extension Mix™ Capsules, EU
- Take plenty of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
- Maintain optimal CoQ10 level for greater cellular energy output and heart support: Super Ubiquinol CoQ10 with Enhanced Mitochondrial Support™, 100 mg, 60 gels
- Support the energy factories of your cells with selected nutrients such as PQQ: The One
- Maintain youthful hormonal balance: Super Miraforte with Standardized Lignans
- Preserve brain function: Cognitex® Elite, EU
- Protect your bones: Bone Restore, 120 caps
- Support your prostate and breast health: Support for Normal Prostate Function- and Structure and Breast Health Formula
- Inhibit inflammatory factors which accelerate the aging process: Curcumin Elite™ Turmeric Extract, 60 caps
- Fill in gaps with a unique mix of fat-soluble nutrients and antioxidants: Once-Daily Health Booster, 30 gels
- Maintain optimal blood glucose levels: Tri Sugar Shield™
5. SLEEP MORE, REDUCE STRESS
Everyone knows that a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways of feeling revitalized and maintaining optimal health.
Amongst other things, your body restores its immune system during sleep. Insufficient sleep has been linked to several serious health woes, including heart disease, diabetes, being overweight, problems with memory and fuzzy thinking, stress as well as lower levels of testosterone in men.
Sleep problems can worsen as we age. Although stress factors of everyday life can disturb your sleep patterns, long-revered natural supplements continue to demonstrate the ability to enhance sleep and alleviate stress.
Nutrients such as melatonin, bioactive milk peptides, and ashwagandha extract promote optimal sleep, work to normalize disrupted day/night cycles, relieve anxiety, and help our bodies cope with stress.
- Combines fast and slow absorbing melatonin which can help you fall and stay asleep: Melatonin IR/XR
- A melatonin-free supplement for sleep and stress support that provides bioactive milk peptides and ashwagandha extract: Enhanced Sleep without Melatonin
- GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) is an amino acid derivative produced in the human body that functions as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that carry messages between cells: Liposomal GABA with L-Theanine
- Extended-release of L-theanine to stay calm and collected all day long: Theanine XR™ Stress Relief
- A natural sleep formula with GABA and a proprietary botanical blend that can help ease you into a restful night's sleep and promote a healthy and restorative sleep cycle: LipoCalm™
- A liposomal melatonin formula with fast and enhanced uptake which supports healthy sleep cycles: Liposomal Melatonin
Various other melatonin formulas allow our customers to select the dose that best suits them. You can see them all here.
Note: Every time you purchase a Life Extension® product, you contribute to research aimed at radically extending the healthy human lifespan. Life Extension Foundation has funded a record number of scientific projects.
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