Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Biggest Weight-loss Mistake Women Make

I came across this on the web today and it really makes sense!

The Biggest Weight-loss Mistake Women Make

One of the top roadblocks women run into when they're trying to slim down has nothing to do with food or a treadmill: It's not getting enough sleep. Missing out on rest causes your body to produce more of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin and less of the appetite-controlling hormone leptin. One study found that people ate an average of 221 more calories when sleepy—an amount that could translate into gaining a pound of fat every two weeks if you're consistently sleep-deprived! To be sure you're getting the most out of your Body by Glamour food-and-fitness plan, make sure you're logging seven to nine hours of shut-eye a night.

Ghrelin sounds like an evil little creature, doesn't it?! Yet another reason to get more beauty rest (and focus on my goal of going to bed by 10pm and waking up by 6am).

Here's a past T-Tapp newsletter by Teresa Tapp that explains this a bit more.

The Hormone That Makes You Hungry!

April 2004

Since I've been working with several hospitals across the nation teaching pre and post rehabilitative exercise programs for Bariatric or LapBand patients, I've been exposed to research data that substantiates the importance of hormonal balance for weight control.

Did you realize that one of the strongest appetite stimulants known is called Ghrelin (pronounced GREL-in), a hormone produced within the human body? It's so potent that people injected with it immediately become so hungry they chow down as if there's no tomorrow. Researchers have suggested that Ghrelin, which is produced in the gut, might be the reason why the more people diet, the hungrier they feel and why so many diets fail.

Ghrelin links the stomach to the brain chemically, letting the stomach communicate a "feed me" signal when food gets scarce. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, May 2002, reveals that when dieters lost 17% of their body weight, their levels of Ghrelin rose by 24%. "This may be the way the body tries to fight weight loss, a survival signal that evolved to get us to search for food in times of scarcity," says endocrinologist David Cummings of the University of Washington and the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle, the lead author. "So that, of course, suggests use of an anti-ghrelin drug could be used to fight weight."

Dieting raises the level of Ghrelin but shrinking the stomach through surgery lowers it…and lowers weight, perhaps by reducing the hunger signal along with the organ size. Cummings and his colleagues looked at 5 obese patients who had gastric bypass surgery to shrink the stomach so less food gets absorbed. Amazingly, all their Ghrelin levels plummeted by more than 70%. "These people lost a lot of weight, and we've often thought the reason can't just be mechanical," says Philip Schauer, a surgeon at the University of Pittsburg Medical Center and a gastric bypass-expert. "Sure the area that holds food gets smaller, but that shouldn't stop between-meal snacking and slurping milkshakes. Our patients say they have a much-reduced appetite."

However, research continues because hunger is a complex sensation and past attempts to find a single key have not panned out. The last appetite hormone to weigh in with big promises was Leptin, in 1995, but it has yet to yield a successful diet drug. But Ghrelin may have more to offer. "It makes you hungry, in theory, so all you need to do is block it, and it's relatively easy to find compounds that block," says endocrinologist Eleftheria Maratos-Flier of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, "With Leptin, we never really understood the physiology that well."

Weight loss is a tricky business and researchers have been disappointed by other substances besides Leptin. "You don't want to focus on one thing and say -This is it,” cautions Maratos-Flier. "There's Leptin, there's Ghrelin, and above the neck, in the brain, there are several other substances that affect appetite." And the gastric bypass patients had their stomachs physically rewired, so what happens to them could be very different in people without drastic plumbing changes.

Cummings agrees. "If we end up with anything, it may be a kind of cocktail. Look, hunger is important in our evolution and we have many backup mechanisms to keep us from starving so we may need to deal with all of them."

Our body produces a variety of substances that make us feel hungry or make us feel full. Here are some of the major ones:

  • LEPTIN - A protein made by fat cells appears to produce a sensation of being full, but overweight people resist its effects.
  • GHRELIN - Made in the stomach, this hormone's levels drop as people eat and rise when they don't.
  • OREXINS - These proteins stimulate neurons in the hypothalamus, a brain region that influences appetite.
  • NEUROPEPTIDE Y - A brain protein that stimulates hunger (at least in rodents), but Leptin may work by disrupting it

So, can you see why approaching weight loss by diet alone doesn't work? The human body is a complex machine that's always working towards homeostasis. A calorie in vs. calories out is an oversimplified approach to weight loss. Not all calories are created equal - in fact, some calories can create biochemical imbalances. Then we have to consider what "chemical calories" we consume and how they affect our endocrine system, but I'll talk about those within another newsletter.

Clinical studies have proven that exercise is the most important factor in successful weight loss and/or weight management. The human body is designed to move and needs movement to stimulate important metabolic factors. The T-Tapp Basic and Total Workouts were created to be much more than a workout to burn calories and fat. In fact, I designed these workouts to help the body help itself rebuild primary body functions such as digestion, assimilation and elimination, as well as lymphatic and neuro-kinetic flow. The special sequences of these movements also stimulate release of several neuro-transmitters, hormones and other biochemical factors involved in metabolic homeostasis. There's a lot more involved within T-Tapp besides comprehensive/compound muscle movement, linear alignment and leverage isometrics! Additionally, while working with people of size these past 2 years, I realized I needed to create a special version of T-Tapp Total Workout called T-Tapp More - for those who have more to lose, more candles on the cake, or more health issues to overcome. I'm happy to report that T-Tapp More is now available! Even though most movements are done with 4 repetitions, these workouts are challenging even for the beginner/intermediate exerciser when done with continual isometric activation during large muscle movements, NBT and KLT.

So in summary, one must eat to lose! Don't diet - enjoy quality food and move your body. The definition of calorie is "energy unit" and our bodies NEED energy to function! In my opinion, the easiest way to regain control of food consumption is to follow the "God Made/Man Made Dietary Plan". For 2 days consume only "God Made" foods (i.e.: meat, vegetables, soups and salads) and then for 1 day relax and consume "Man Made" foods (i.e.: anything processed with preservatives or commercially created). Continue with the 2-day/1 day plan for 6 to 8 weeks followed by an every other day plan for maintenance. The combination of this with T-Tapp allows freedom to enjoy favorite foods without guilt and the ability of the body to overcoming cravings. It's all about bio-balance - chemically, mechanically, mentally, emotionally and physically.

Hungry hormone Ghrelin, is just one piece of the puzzle, but I hope this newsletter has created better understanding why diet deprivation actually makes it more difficult to lose.

So, MOVE IT and MAKE IT HAPPEN ------ Yes You Can with T-Tapp!

Best wishes to all,

Teresa Tapp

There, now I feel a bit more educated.

Au revoir!

P.S. If you would like a copy of the God Made/Man Made Dietary Plan email me at


Lori said...

Such timely reading.
For the last three days, I have needed and taken long naps, slept for 9+ hours at night, even w/o getting up to go to the bathroom, a biggy with taking 4 alfalfas when I turn in. I must be needing it or maybe this BC is making my body want to drop some poundage!!!

And besides ghrelin sounds like a mean old Gremlin, to me.....

Casey Leigh said...

Thanks for your comment, Lori.

Beauty sleep does a body good! :)