WBEZ | weight loss http://www.wbez.org/tags/weight-loss Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago man loses 200 pounds to give back to Little Village http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/chicago-man-loses-200-pounds-give-back-little-village-109972 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/storycorps.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>Miguel Blancarte, Jr. is a proud resident of Chicago&#39;s Little Village neighborhood. A first generation college graduate from Brown University, he now works at a law firm specializing in immigration.</p><p>Miguel says the one thing he&rsquo;s always struggled with is his weight. It wasn&rsquo;t until his doctor warned him that he wouldn&rsquo;t live past his mid-40s that he knew something had to change:</p><p>&ldquo;Honestly the thought of losing anything more than 30 pounds was just not a reality to me,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>But Miguel managed to lose not just 30, but 200 pounds in all. He then ran his first ever 5k race to to raise money for Enlace, the local community center that provides health and social services in Little Village.</p><p>To hear how he lost all that weight so he could give back to his community, check out the audio above.</p><p><em>Meredith Zielke is a WBEZ producer.</em><br />&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 16:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/chicago-man-loses-200-pounds-give-back-little-village-109972 Can you lose weight on the marijuana diet? http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/can-you-lose-weight-marijuana-diet-108996 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Marijuana Diet.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">The <a href="http://themarijuanadiet.org/">&quot;marijuana diet&quot;</a> may sound like something you&#39;d read about in The Onion. But for its creator, the diet is no joke.</p><p dir="ltr">Art Glass, 66, whose background is in marketing and advertising, says he ballooned up to 345 pounds years ago but returned to a healthy weight by following the tenets of his self-styled strategy, which includes light to moderate smoking but also a healthy diet. <a href="https://soundcloud.com/morningshiftwbez/eat-this-author-offers">He talked about it on WBEZ&rsquo;s Morning Shift Wednesday.</a></p><p dir="ltr">Glass&rsquo;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Marijuana-Diet-Anonymous-1-ebook/dp/B00EP0UUGA"> e-book &ldquo;The Marijuana Diet&rdquo; &nbsp;went up on Amazon</a> this week and prescribes lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, sprouts and nuts along with occasional fasting and superfood smoothies. It further recommends modest amounts of high-quality pastured and grass-fed animal protein, and the elimination of processed foods, white sugar and flour.</p><p dir="ltr">This alone might be enough to improve a dieter&#39;s health, but Glass also suggests regular exercises--mostly long-held poses that can be done on a chair, a couch or standing.</p><p dir="ltr">So is the marijuana aspect of the diet really that crucial? &nbsp;Maybe not for some.</p><p dir="ltr">But for those whose unhealthy eating habits stem from psychological or emotional issues, Glass believes smoking can help them explore the triggers or experiences that have led to their self-destructive behavior.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Losing weight is one of the most challenging things there is,&rdquo; Glass said on the Morning Shift Wednesday. &nbsp;&ldquo;Marijuana helps you get in touch with yourself and let go of the crap you don&rsquo;t need and when you let go of that psychological crap, you will let go of your weight.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Glass uses his own experience as evidence and, in his book, catalogues more than 100 testimonials from Internet users who also report pot-induced weight loss. Their screen names include &ldquo;stonerchick609&rdquo; or &ldquo;smotpoker&rdquo;.</p><p dir="ltr">But he also cites peer reviewed studies that show correlations between pot smoking (among adults) and better metabolic health.</p><p dir="ltr">One <a href="http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/08/24/aje.kwr200.abstract">2011 study that appeared in the American Journal of Epidemiology</a> looked at two large populations of American adults and found obesity rates of 22 percent and 25.3 percent among non-marijuana smokers but only 14.3 percent and 17.2 percent among marijuana smokers, even when researchers controlled for other factors.</p><p dir="ltr">Another <a href="http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343%2813%2900200-3/abstract">2013 study that appeared in the American Journal of Medicine</a> showed lower insulin levels and waist circumference (an indicator of dangerous visceral fat) among regular pot smokers.</p><p dir="ltr">Still, for Dr. Rasa Kazlauskaite, who is the Acting Medical Director at Rush University and a researcher of &nbsp;cannabinoids, these studies show association not causation. In other words, she thinks that the better health could be linked to other factors.</p><p dir="ltr">She also points out what munchie sufferers know well: that marijuana has been traditionally associated with appetite stimulation and increased food consumption rather than appetite suppression. She points to the drug rimonabant that aided weight loss by blocking human cannabinoid (marijuana) receptors--it was later withdrawn from the market due to dangerous side effects.</p><p dir="ltr">Glass says that he&rsquo;s no stranger to the munchies but suggests combating them by taking no more than three tokes per smoking session, smoking alone and never eating while under the influence. &nbsp;He recommends using that time for exercise and self-guided reflections on the root causes of one&rsquo;s unhealthy behavior.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It sounds like the author is recommending self-treatment, being your own psychologist,&rdquo; Kazlauskaite said. &ldquo;For some people it might work but others might benefit from guidance. I would recommend meeting with a behavioral specialist who specializes in therapy for obesity.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Kazlauskaite, however, agrees with some of Glass&rsquo; nutritional advice, especially his emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables and the removal of sugar and processed foods.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Some of these recommendations are really desirable changes for people who want to lose weight or maintain a lighter weight,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;So if someone smokes marijuana but also makes better meal and snack choices then that is better than not making healthy nutritional decisions at all. But it might be that without smoking marijuana people might lose more weight. If someone wants to test this hypothesis the ideal study would be to compare diet alone with diet and marijuana.&rdquo; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><em>Monica Eng &nbsp;is a WBEZ producer. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/monicaeng" target="_blank">@monicaeng</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 23 Oct 2013 17:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/can-you-lose-weight-marijuana-diet-108996 Running for my life http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-05/running-my-life-107317 <p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid--58c1691-ce11-60a4-2f06-213d24709f93"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/bg-header.png" style="height: 173px; width: 350px; float: right;" title="" />Saturday I&rsquo;m running the <a href="http://soldierfield10.com/">Soldier Field 10 Mile</a> race and there is a chance I may cry at the end of it. I mean, there is a good chance my bones and feet and various chafed bits will cry both figuratively and literally but there are other things going on as well.</p><p dir="ltr">This is my first big race since I had the baby in August. When I signed up for the run in January, I envisioned the race being the cap on my post-baby physical transformation&mdash;all the baby weight would be lost and I would be in shape again. I&rsquo;d be back to normal.</p><p dir="ltr">Having run eight pretty undramatic miles on Saturday, I feel physically ready for the race. I can envision crossing the finish line and (let&rsquo;s just be honest) posting my triumphant photo on Facebook and then wearing my finisher&rsquo;s medal as I drink my lone complimentary beer. Barring any dramatic weather or broken legs, worst case scenario, I will run/walk this thing and that will be that.</p><p dir="ltr">As for the other stuff, the weight, the shape, the normal? We&rsquo;ll see. Depending on the day, I&rsquo;m six to eight pounds away from being back to my pre-baby weight. I gained 45 to 50 pounds with this kid (believe it or not towards the end I didn&rsquo;t feel like getting on the scale that much), which I know is making my former boss&mdash;who used to pinch her forefingers and thumbs together to show me how tiny my fetus&rsquo; stomach was to caution me against thinking I had to &quot;eat for two&quot;&mdash;probably weep. I have no regrets about this though. My doctors were happy with me and while I enjoyed some treats, I didn&rsquo;t go all Jessica Simpson with <a href="http://www.thefrisky.com/2012-03-14/jessica-simpson-is-craving-slutty-brownies/">the slutty brownies</a>, either. I ate like a pregnant lady, not a normal lady and not like two pregnant ladies, either.</p><p dir="ltr">The weight loss process has been...interesting. The first 20 pounds came off in the hospital (thank you, water weight.) The next 10 came off with a modicum of effort. The next 10 with even more effort, and so on. Each bit has required more and more fight, though, and now I&rsquo;m at the place where I&rsquo;m really working at it, to the tune of getting up at 6 a.m. every morning to work out, missing the best time with the baby when he&rsquo;s well-rested and cute and happy. I just wanted to put that out there for the moms who are struggling with losing the baby weight: it&rsquo;s not just a matter of trying a little harder or putting some baby carrots in your purse to snack on.</p><p dir="ltr">It means spending time working out that could be spent with your partner or baby or resting or working and all of that is precious time. Instead of taking the easy, delicious route of ordering in or the nutritious, family-style route of cooking with the family, I often prepare my own, separate, lower-calorie dinner. I&rsquo;m not saying this is the right way for anyone. It&rsquo;s just what I&rsquo;m doing. I&rsquo;m being transparent about this as a salvo against the magazines and trainers who say you can be a yummy mummy or a hottie mommy or a bodacious breastfeeder or whatever the hell it is if you just prioritize yourself and whatnot. It&rsquo;s a drag, especially those last few pounds that nobody knows about but you but you suspect if you hold onto them will replicate over and over again and then you&rsquo;re on <em>What Not To Wear</em> crying about how you used to care about how you looked before you had kids.</p><p dir="ltr">For the normal, well, whatever. There is no normal anymore and what is normal to me now is only going to be that way for a short amount of time. I laugh at what I thought I knew six months ago just as I know that the me in five years will wet my pants in hilarity over the ignorance of the me now.</p><p dir="ltr">For a while I thought that my life is a shelf that can only hold so much stuff and that I need to remove a few things like cooking or a social life in order to include items like exercise and time with the baby. But a doctor I just saw this week who specializes in moms who struggle with normal and work and babies and stuff implied that maybe such compartmentalization is not ideal. I have to wait for my next appointment to find out what household feature my attitude towards life should more ideally resemble. Perhaps a soothing koi pond?</p><p dir="ltr">Finishing the race will not be the thing that brings my pre-baby body back (and the post-race pancakes won&rsquo;t help) but in a new world where a lot less feels in my control, having set a long-term goal and accomplishing it&mdash;and getting a medal for it, no less&mdash;it will make me feel better about all those early mornings.</p><p><em>Follow Claire Zulkey <a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a></em></p></p> Fri, 24 May 2013 08:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-05/running-my-life-107317 UIC to study weight loss after breast cancer http://www.wbez.org/science/health/uic-study-weight-loss-after-breast-cancer-98536 <p><p>Researchers in Chicago are launching a study to find out whether weight loss can help African-American breast cancer survivors.</p><p>The University of Illinois at Chicago study is funded by a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute.</p><p>Melinda Stolley is leading the research. She says poor diet, lack of physical activity and obesity contribute to breast cancer progression.</p><p>The randomized study will recruit 240 breast cancer survivors who finished their treatment at least six months ago. Study participants need to be overweight, able to participate in moderate physical activity and not currently in a structured weight-loss program.</p><p>UIC will coordinate with the Chicago Park District to carry out the study in the Roseland-Pullman, Englewood, Austin, South Shore and Lawndale neighborhoods of Chicago.</p></p> Wed, 25 Apr 2012 09:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/science/health/uic-study-weight-loss-after-breast-cancer-98536 Weight-loss program beats doctor's advice to shed pounds http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-08/weight-loss-program-beats-doctors-advice-shed-pounds-91676 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-08/docweighspt.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Doctors are supposed to help overweight patients lose weight, since those extra pounds boost the risk of diabetes, heart disease and many other illnesses. But those patients might be better off going to Weight Watchers, according to new research. And, a second study finds, paying for weight-loss programs now may reduce health care costs over the long haul.</p><p>People who participated in the commercial weight-loss program <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/11/30/131695177/fruit-ride-free-in-new-weightwatchers-point-system">Weight Watchers</a> lost twice as much weight as people who were advised by their doctors on weight loss. The Weight Watcher group lost an average of 11 pounds over a year, compared to five pounds in the doctor's advice group. The <a href="http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2811%2961344-5/abstract">study</a> was just published in the <em>Lancet.</em></p><p>These results need to be taken with a few chunky grains of salt, though. Almost half of the study's 772 participants dropped out before the year was out, and the reported results don't reflect the dropouts, who probably had less success.</p><p>Also, the study was funded by Weight Watchers, which provided a year of free membership for each participant. (All the major diet plans <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/05/10/136143997/jenny-craig-winner-winner-diet-dinner">typically fund</a> their own research.) Fees for the program in the United States run about $40 per month.</p><p>Still, a commentary accompanying the article notes that in some parts of England, where the study took place, national health insurance already pays for Weight Watchers and other commercial weight-loss programs. That's not true in the U.S., where people usually have to pay their own way.</p><p>But a second study suggests that paying for weight-loss programs for pre-diabetic baby boomers could shave billions of dollars off of future Medicaid costs.</p><p>Those researchers looked at the YMCA's <a href="http://healthylivinginnovation.challenge.gov/submissions/2422-taking-the-ymca-s-diabetes-prevention-program-to-scale">Diabetes Prevention Program</a>, which uses group classes on nutrition and exercise to encourage people to lose 7 percent of their body weight, and exercise 150 minutes a week. It costs about $240 a person for a 16- to 20-week program, and is currently available through 50 YMCAs in 26 states.</p><p>People lost about 6 percent of their weight over six months in one study of the program, and sustained that weight loss for more than a year. Studies of the program have found that it reduces participants' risk of developing diabetes by up to 71 percent.</p><p>If the federal government paid for overweight people in their early 60s to participate in the YMCA program, it would save the Medicare program $1.8 to $2.3 billion dollars in the following 10 years. "Those people would be healthier when they entered the Medicare program," Kenneth Thorpe, an economist and professor of health policy at Emory University, told Shots. The <a href="https://mail.npr.org/owa/redir.aspx?C=d9a4904183f9472ebbc9dc43a0ea3e46&amp;URL=http%3a%2f%2fcontent.healthaffairs.org%2fcontent%2f30%2f9%2f1673.abstract">study</a> was published in the September <em>Health Affairs</em>.</p><p>The high and low numbers are based on the 70 percent participation rate in the YMCA clinical trial, and the 55 percent rate typical of good workplace wellness programs. Medicare spending is 15 to 35 percent higher in people who are obese at age 65, compared to people of normal weight.</p><p>Thorpe and his colleagues liked the concept so much they applied it to aging baby boomers with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. If the government paid for those folks to take the YMCA program, it could increase the Medicare cost savings to $3.7 billion over 10 years.</p><p>The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is funding some of the YMCA diabetes prevention programs, and insurer UnitedHealth Group <a href="http://healthylivinginnovation.challenge.gov/submissions/2422-taking-the-ymca-s-diabetes-prevention-program-to-scale">said</a> last year that it will pay for the program for people in selected markets in Ohio, Indiana, Arizona, and Minnesota.</p><p>There are 2,686 YMCAs nationwide, Thorpe notes, and 60 million Americans live within 3 miles of a branch. But other community organizations, including local health departments or nonprofit organizations, could sponsor similar prevention programs.</p><div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.</div></p> Thu, 08 Sep 2011 07:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-08/weight-loss-program-beats-doctors-advice-shed-pounds-91676