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Can Twitter Make You Skinny?

Could having many connections on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook cause you to lose more weight than, say, running on a treadmill? The answer is… maybe. Research on mice showed that those individuals who socialized with other mice lost more weight than less social mice even when they ate more food. From the Daily Mail:
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By |September 22nd, 2011|

Sugar as Brain Food

This isn’t great news for dieters, but sometimes sugar can be a good thing. Roy Baumeister, a psychologist at Florida State University, had subjects perform a mentally taxing task – watching a video while being careful to ignore random words scrolling across the bottom of the screen. (Apparently, it takes quite a bit of concentration to NOT look at the scrolling words.) Then, the subjects were given a drink of lemonade and asked to perform another cognitively demanding task, choose an apartment based on descriptions of various options.

The catch was that some subjects drank lemonade made with real sugar, and others had lemonade made with Splenda, a sugar substitute without nutritional value. The performance differences on the apartment task were surprising. […]

By |October 29th, 2009|

Exercise, Weight Loss, & Your Brain

From both physicians and fitness gurus, the mantra for effective weight loss is the same: diet and exercise. And we’ve all had friends who gushed about starting a modest walking program, for example, and saw themselves drop unwanted pounds.

All this flies in the face of the math of exercise. If you’ve ever watched the calorie counter on your treadmill or Stairmaster, you know how painfully slowly the “calories burned” number climbs. A vigorous session may burn only a few hundred calories – an amount that could be consumed in a minute with a rich dessert. Not to worry, we’ve been told – even after you stop your workout, your body’s metabolism remains in high gear for many hours.

Now, researcher Edward Melanson, an exercise physiologist and associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado in Denver, has shown that the supposed long-term metabolism boost doesn’t really happen. But, before your cancel your gym membership, there may be a way that exercise does help you lose weight, even if it’s not the mechanism promoted by fitness experts for years. First, the bad news: […]

By |June 8th, 2009|

Diet Drinks Don’t Fool The Brain

But, a little sugar goes a long way

Diet soft drinks are huge sellers in the U.S. as many consumers use them as a substitute for their calorie-laden sugary bretheren. The good news is that the flavor of these products have improved over time. Of late, Coke Zero ads have focused on humorous “taste infringement” legal action by regular Coke. The bad news: your brain isn’t fooled as easily as your taste buds, and readily distiguishes between sugar substitutes and the real thing. The news isn’t all bad, though. There’s new research that shows that a mere taste of sugar can go a long way. […]

By |April 24th, 2009|