The Hottest New Diet Isn’t a Diet at All

The diet that's not a diet... and it happens to be one of the easiest plans to follow. This is what we've been recommending all along. Thankfully we've come across this article that outlines the new recommendations as set out by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 Edition, it's titled, "The Hottest New Diet Isn’t a Diet at All" by Robyn Flipse.

Meet the dietary pattern, a style of eating with a proven record of success.

Diets are out; dietary patterns are in – at least, that's what the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans seems to say. 

That's big news for those of us who like to incorporate the report's nutrition advice into our personal eating habits when it comes out every five years. This time, the government suggests we abandon diets that glorify or shun single foods and nutrients (think butter, eggs, fat and fiber – past years' targets) and shift our attention to overall eating patterns, or the sum total of what, how often and how much we eat, as well as what we eat it with.

Why the move away from "good food/bad food" diets? For one, nutrition science is continually evolving and we are learning from our mistakes. Back in the 1980s, for instance, the guidelines told us to cut back on "bad fats" to lower our risk of heart disease – the No. 1 cause of death for Americans. But people who followed that recommendation filled the void on their plates with simple carbohydrates, such as pasta, bagels and fat-free cookies. In time, we learned those foods weren't any better for our hearts (or waistlines) than the high-fat fare they replaced. 

So in 2000, we tried again. The guidelines issued that year redeemed fats – as long as they were "good fats." This recommendation was based on newer research linking populations that regularly ate olive oil, avocados and almonds with a lower incidence of heart disease. We followed suit, dipping our bread in olive oil, adding sliced avocado to our burgers and making almonds our go-to snack. But so far, the only thing that has improved is sales of those foods. Our single-minded pursuit of the perfect food (or fat) to fight heart disease has kept us from seeing everything else that contributes to its lower rates in people with different dietary patterns.

Now, after spending more than two decades rationing just three eggs into our weekly menus, we're being told cholesterol isn't as bad for us as we once thought. Does that mean it's time to order the broiled lobster tail with drawn butter to celebrate? 

Not so fast.

What it means is precisely what the latest Dietary Guidelines concluded: When it comes to diet, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Put another way, when you eat foods together, their health benefits are greater than a single food could produce on its own. For example, eating eggs every day can lower your risk of heart disease if you are also eating plenty of vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, fruits, whole grains, fish and olive oil. On the other hand, eating eggs every day along with regular servings of fatty meats, refined grains and excess sodium from highly-processed foods can increase that risk. That's because the connection to heart disease isn't just about the eggs – it's also about everything else we consume with them.

Another advantage of adopting a healthy dietary pattern is that the benefits are cumulative, like compounded interest. So, people who have been eating a Mediterranean-style pattern all their lives, for instance, get an immediate return on investment by meeting their nutritional needs early in life to support optimal growth and development. Later, they receive a long-term dividend by preventing, or greatly reducing, their risk of suffering from the noncommunicable diseases of adulthood, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, macular degeneration and the ubiquitous heart disease. But this payoff requires making consistent contributions to your healthy eating plan, just like building retirement wealth depends on making consistent contributions to your 401K. Both are more effective the sooner you get started.

Choosing a healthy dietary pattern over a diet also leaves more room for the occasional holiday food exemption. (Sorry, but weekends don't count as "occasional.") That approach is different from the can-eat-can't-eat diet style, in which we're open to every loophole that might give us a free pass. Have you ever rushed off to work without eating breakfast so you feel entitled to partake in the office pastries? How about arriving home from work too tired to chop vegetables, so you eat pizza (without a salad) for dinner? What about the Sunday you finally get the whole family together for brunch and end up eating eggs benedict and a Belgian waffle to celebrate? You get the picture: Food choices can change with the seasons, but a dietary pattern remains the same.

Convinced yet? If so, the highly-regarded Mediterranean and DASH plans are a great place to start. Those patterns offer the best of what is known about the food-health connection when put together right, so you won't have to upgrade to something new in another five years. You also won't have to worry about getting caught up in the next fad diet that promises to solve all your health and weight issues because history has shown us they don't work in the long term. Think gluten-free, low-glycemic index, high-protein, low-carb, antioxidant-rich, paleo and probiotic diets, to name a few. It's time to move on something more sustainable.

You can start transitioning to a healthier pattern by following some of these simple tips. The goal is to make the right choice a habit so it becomes your default option. 

  • Eat at least one piece of whole fruit daily.
  • Order “whole wheat” as your bread choice for sandwiches, toast and pizza crust.
  • Choose fish over meat or poultry for an entree at least once a week.
  • Drink one full glass of water with each meal.
  • Add a layer of fresh or grilled vegetables to every sandwich.
  • Use nuts or seeds instead of croutons on salad.
  • Make chili with more beans and less (or no) meat.
  • Have brown rice with all Chinese takeout.
  • Include some vegetables whenever you grill.
  • Use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream in cooking and baking.
  • Make your meat portions no larger than the palm of your hand.
  • Choose vegetables to top pizza, fill an omelet, stuff a potato or stretch a soup.
  • Keep hummus, salsa and sliced vegetables on hand as your go-to snack.
  • Be more inclusive of fruits and vegetables by including fresh, frozen, canned and dried varieties in your repertoire.



5 Top Tips for Successful Weight Loss!


Studies show that eating smaller and more frequent meals (every 2 - 3 hours) helps improve the body's metabolism, resulting in better weight loss and weight control. When we skip meals or go more than 3 hours without eating, the body enters into a mode where metabolism slows down, and the body will automatically store more calories as fat from the next meal. Eating smaller more frequent meals helps to control insulin and sugar levels, which can help control appetite, and reduce risk factors for diabetes. Eating this way will also help to maintain weight loss results moving forward.

You can stick with the typical breakfast, lunch and dinner, you'll just be adding small snacks in between. It only takes 50 calories to keep your metabolism going so even things like: a half an apple, a half a banana, a half a yogurt, or small handful of almonds etc... will do. Meal planning should look like this: breakfast > a small snack > light lunch > a small snack > light dinner > and possibly another small snack if it's 1 - 2 hours before your going to bed.


When trying to lose weight, women should keep their total daily calorie count to right around 1,200 calories, and for men 1,500 calories. 


We recommend S Health or Calorie Counter - MyFitnessPal. Both apps are free to download and include the following features:

  • Track your daily meals and total calories.
  • Food database, for easy meal and calorie tracking.
  • Track your exercise and activity.
  • Track sleep and more.
  • Free Download.


We recommend exercising 3 - 5 days a week for a minimum of 20 minutes each day. You should incorporate both cardio and weight training. Cardio includes things like running, jogging, biking, stair climbing etc. Cardio exercises will burn fat and help reduce cardiovascular risk factors.

Weight or resistance training includes things like lifting weights, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups etc. Resistance training will help improve metabolism, strength, weight loss/control, and can reduce risk factors for things like osteoporosis. 


Simple sugars easily add up to high calorie counts, and are more likely to be stored as fat than things like protein and complex carbs. When reading a nutrition label, ideally 50% or less of the total carbohydrates should be sugar. Cut back on the sweets and sugary drinks!


7 Things That Might Happen If You Drink a Gallon of Water a Day

Provided by PureWow -

One gallon--or 16 cups. It sounds like a lot, but considering that your body is made up of 60 percent water, it sort of makes sense that you'd need about that much to keep things running smoothly. Here, seven things that might happen if you drank a gallon of water every day. (And yes, we've tried it.)

1. You Might Feel Bloated...Initially

If you’re suddenly increasing your water intake, you may feel uncomfortably full (especially around the midsection) to start. Don’t worry: This will subside soon, but in the meantime, sip your water slowly and steadily throughout the day instead of all at once to minimize the discomfort.

2. You Will Have To Pee All The Time

Once that de-bloating kicks into gear, you’ll be flushing out the excess sodium your body is holding onto. You’ll also be doing that other bathroom business regularly, now that your body is breaking down its food more easily. (Hello, flat tummy!) And the last bonus? Those frequent bathroom breaks ensure that you’re moving around more throughout the day.

3. You Might Eat Less

There’s a reason why nutritionists suggest chugging a glass of water before meals. It makes you feel fuller, which keeps you from consuming too many superfluous calories.

4. You'll Have Better Workouts

Water helps to transport oxygen and glucose through your body so you’ll have more energy during your workout. Plus, it acts as a lubricant for your joints and muscles. Make sure to drink frequently two hours before your workout, every 20 minutes during and directly afterwards to keep your body properly hydrated.

5. You Might Lose Weight

Think about it: You’re peeing away the extra bloat, you’re eliminating waste regularly, you’re eating less and you’re working out more efficiently. While drinking more water in it of itself won’t make you lose weight, the positive side effects just might.

6. Your Under-eye Circles Might (Finally) Go Away

Under-eye bags are commonly caused by the retention of water to that delicate area. Whether it’s from eating a salty meal or a late night sob fest, sodium is prone to pooling. Drinking more water will help to flush out the excess salt from your system, which will tamp down any puffiness--even there.

7. You'll Crave More Water

The more you drink it, the more you’ll want it--and the less you’ll crave other not-as-great-for-you beverages. Luckily, the stuff is free, pure and as evidence above, the absolute best for you.


The HCG Diet: How it Works

About HCG

Dating back to the 1950s, the HCG diet has been one of the greatest weight-loss programs for many men and women struggling with their weight. When followed correctly, patients can expect to see a half a pound to a pound of weight loss per day.  

Unlike most weight loss programs, the HCG diet can help to maintain lean muscle mass, despite the significantly reduced calorie intake. Where as, with most diets that significantly restrict calories, the body also burns and loses lean muscle. When the body loses muscle, metabolism slows down and people are much more likely to regain the weight they lost, and often gain more than they lost to begin with.

HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is a hormone naturally produced by the body, it triggers the body into releasing/burning more stored fat for energy. This extra burning of stored fat helps to reduce cravings, and helps to make up for the diets calorie restrictions.

HCG is a pro-hormone, which helps promote the body to make more hormones. For both men and women, hormone imbalance or deficiency is often a cause for weight gain, whether it’s your thyroid, or menopause, or andropause, HCG can help. For those struggling with weight loss, despite diet and exercise, it's recommended that you have all of your hormone levels checked, this can be done with a simple blood test. 

Only HCG injections have been shown to increase the bodies levels of HCG. HCG in the form of drops, spray or pills often are ineffective and weight loss is solely due to calorie restrictions. 

Program Overview

  1. Phase 1 – Loading - The loading phase is the first two days of your HCG program. You will start your HCG in the morning on the first day of the loading phase, and simply eat as normal or virtually whatever you’d like. The loading phase is only 2 days.
  2. Phase 2 – Diet – In phase 2, you’ll use daily HCG and follow a very low daily calorie count. The number of days on HCG is usually between 30 and 40 days.
  3. Phase 3 – Maintenance - This is phasing off of the HCG diet. If you don’t follow this properly, you are more likely gain back the weight you lost. The maintenance duration is 3 weeks. 

Phase 1 - Loading
The loading phase is the first two days of your HCG program. You will start your HCG in the morning on the first day of the loading phase, and simply eat as normal or virtually whatever you’d like. The loading phase is 2 days only, and then you’ll move onto Phase 2.

Phase 2 - HCG Diet
During Phase 2 you’ll be restricted to only 500 calories per day. Thankfully, the daily HCG will help control your appetite and hunger by allowing the body to use already stored fat as calories throughout the day. This phase is very basic, and limited to the types of foods that you can eat, so there’s not a lot of thought that needs to go into your meal planning.
You will still have breakfast, lunch and dinner, consisting of specific drinks and foods which you’ll see indicated below. You’ll have to eat very little fat, moderate carbohydrates, moderate protein, drink plenty of water, and continue HCG.

According to Dr. Simeons, the specialist who researched/developed the HCG weight loss program, breakfast should be just liquids:
•    Tea
•    Coffee
•    Herbal Tea
•    Non-Carbonated, Zero Calorie Drinks
•    Water with splash of lemon juice

If adding any sweeteners, stick solely to Stevia, which is a natural sweetener alternative.
If you’re hungry at breakfast time, you may start eating an item or two from your lunch menu. You can also pull some calories from your dinner menu for a snack between lunch and dinner. Eating something every 2-3 hours does help keep your metabolism steady, which can help control cravings and hunger.

Lunch & Dinner
Lunch and dinner consist of items from the same lists of foods: one protein, one vegetable, one fruit, and one starch. For each meal you select one type of food from each category.
Remember you’re restricted to a total of 500 calories for the day so be sure to find the right combination that works best for you.

Protein Choices:
Each serving size is 3 ounces or 85 grams.
•    Chicken breast (half) = 140 calories
•    Lean beef 93% lean/7% fat = 130 calories
•    Lobster = 87 calories
•    Crab = 82 calories
•    Fresh white fish = 146 calories
•    Shrimp = 100 calories
•    Veal = 150 calories

Vegetable Choices:
Each serving size is 3 ounces unless otherwise specified:
•    Spinach = 19 calories
•    Kale = 42 calories
•    Broccoli 1/2 cup, chopped (78 g) = 27 calories
•    Tomatoes 1 small whole (2-2/5" dia) (91 g) = 16 calories
•    Celery 1 stalk, medium (7-1/2" - 8" long) (40 g) = 6 calories
•    Red Radishes 1 large (1" to 1-1/4" dia) (9 g) = 1 calorie
•    Asparagus = 19 calories
•    Onions 1 slice, medium (1/8" thick) (14 g) = 6 calories
•    Cucumbers = 13 calories
•    Cabbage = 19 calories

Fruit Choices:
Select one for each meal.
•    Strawberries 1 cup, whole (144 g) = 46 calories
•    Orange 1 fruit (2-5/8" dia) (131 g) = 62 calories
•    Apple 1 medium (3" diameter) (182 g) = 95 calories
•    Grapefruit ½ fruit (3-3/4" dia) (123 g) = 52 calories
•    Blueberries ½ cup (72 g) = 41 calories

Starch Choices:
•    Melba Toast 1 piece (3-3/4" x 1-3/4" x 1/8") (5 g) = 20 calories

Drink Water
It’s very important to drink plenty of water throughout the day, recommendations are around 9 cups for women and 12 cups for men, or about half of your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, drink at least 75 ounces per day. This is essential to your weight loss and will also help reduce chances of potential constipation, and bloating.
If you need a little flavor, add some stevia or a splash of lemon juice.

Phase 3 - HCG Maintenance

HCG Phase 3 is referred to as the diet maintenance phase, and is the most important part on how to quit the HCG diet. As with any diet or eating program, you want to keep off what the weight you worked so hard to lose. You can keep the weight off if you follow this protocol, as it helps reset your body so the fat stays off. In addition, this is a great way to continue to eat once you are off the plan.

First you stop taking your HCG supplement. Exciting part, is that you can have any food you want as long as it is not a starch, carbohydrate or sugar for three weeks. Starches are things such as potatoes, chips, corn, rice, beans, bread, etc...

You will want to eat every two to three hours, which usually means 5 to 6 small meals a day.
You can add fat back into your diet. Please use healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, etc and stay away from hydrogenated oils and trans fats. The unhealthy fats are not good for your body and will make it more likely for you to put the weight back on.

You can basically expand the menu in the diet phase into the maintenance phase, with moderate amounts of protein and fat. Keep this part of the program intact and your weight will stay off.

**This article is for educational purposes only and not intended as medical advice. ALL HCG weight loss programs should be supervised by a medical professional. 

For more information on the HCG diet for weight loss visit:


Symptoms of Menopause: Hot Flashes and Night Sweats, How Long Will They Last?

In an article written by Magnolia Miller titled "How Long Do Hot Flashes Last in a Woman's Life?" she explains two primary symptoms of menopause and perimenopause.

"Hot flashes and night sweats are considered two of the hallmark symptoms signaling the onset of perimenopause, the five to 10 year period when women experience hormonal changes before they reach actual menopause.

Women are said to be fully menopausal once they have reached 12 consecutive months without a menstrual cycle.

Prior to actual menopause, however, most women experience a variety of different symptoms associated with hormone fluctuations such as mood changes, sleep disturbances, changes in menstrual cycles, and midsection weight gain.

A large majority of women, at least 80 percent, will also experience hot flashes and night sweats. Also called vasomotor disturbances, hot flashes are a sudden onset of heat and flushing.

Some hot flashes can cause heavy sweating, generally around the face and hairline, while others are less intense and cause only mild perspiration.

For most women, hot flashes can be incredibly uncomfortable, frustrating, and downright annoying. Particularly if you have them at night (called night sweats) and they interrupt your sleep.

They are not, however, a serious health condition, and for many women tend to disappear either completely, or lessen in severity, by the time they reach actual menopause.

For other women, unfortunately, hot flashes and night sweats can linger well into actual menopause and postmenopause years.

In fact, one study on menopausal women published earlier this year in the New York Times, revealed that women may experience hot flashes for up to 14 years once they’ve reached actual menopause. Not exactly good news, I know.

Low estrogen levels in menopausal women are associated with hot flashes and night sweats. Given that women produce less estrogen in the menopause and postmenopause years, it’s easy to see how hot flashes and night sweats can continue for so long.

Interestingly, the same study also revealed that Asian and Caucasian women fare better than black and Hispanic women. Both black and Hispanic women tend to experience hot flashes significantly longer than white or Asian women.

The study also revealed that the earlier a woman begins to experience hot flashes, the longer she is likely to continue to have them.

Other factors such as education level, perceived stress in one’s life, depression and anxiety, also appeared to be related to how long women experienced hot flashes, how often, and how intense they were.

Some women choose hormone therapy during perimenopause and menopause to help them manage symptoms and cope with hot flashes. Women who are still menstruating and having hot flashes can use low-dose contraceptives to help manage them.

If you do not wish to use hormone therapy, low-dose antidepressants have also been shown to be quite effective in easing hot flashes. You can also try cutting back on caffeine if you drink it, avoiding alcohol (especially red wine), and spicy food.

And of course, if all else fails, pass out hoodies and sweatshirts to the family, and turn the thermostat down to Arctic temperatures!"

Thankfully, hot flashes and night sweats, along with most all other symptoms commonly related to menopause and perimenopause can be easily controlled. and often eliminated completely with bio-identical hormone therapy. 

For more information on bio-identical hormone therapy, click here, or visit:

Source article:


Why Thyroid Problems Can Often Go Overlooked

A poorly functioning thyroid gland can have a big impact on how one feels every day. Unfortunately thyroid problems often go overlooked, or are undetected due to lack of proper screening and testing. Many thyroid symptoms are often never addressed properly because they are considered ‘normal’ or thought to be caused by some other problem. 

One common cause of an under active thyroid gland is a condition call Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland because it mistakenly recognizes the cells of the thyroid tissue as foreign and begins attacking and destroying them. When Hashimoto’s is present there’s an increase in a particular antibody called Thyroid Peroxidase or TPO, this is often overlooked because it’s not properly screened for as many medical providers only check one lab, TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone). Proper testing for Hashimoto’s should include: TSH, Free T3 and TPO. It’s possible that the TSH and Free T3 will fall into ‘normal’ ranges and only TPO will be elevated, if it’s not checked however then the condition may go undetected. 

Thyroid hormone is a metabolic hormone secreted by the thyroid gland that regulates: temperature, metabolism, cerebral function, and energy. It increases fat breakdown resulting in weight loss as well as lower cholesterol. It protects against: cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, memory loss, and fatigue and weight gain. There are many symptoms associated with thyroid deficiency: weak, cold, tired, fatigued, thin hair, thin skin, thin nails, weight gain, increased body fat, loss of energy and motivation, loss of cognition, memory, mood, poor sense of well-being. Common causes of thyroid deficiency: over time the amount of thyroid hormone decreases secondary to decreased production by the gland, decreased conversion of T4 to T3, and less effectiveness at the receptor sites causing low thyroid symptoms in spite of “normal” blood levels.

If you feel your thyroid may be holding you back, be sure to get the proper testing, as “normal” isn’t always normal without looking at the big picture. Doctors and other medical providers are taught to ‘treat the patient’ not just the paperwork, so also be sure to thoroughly explain all of your symptoms to them, so they can make the proper decisions for managing your possible thyroid problems.  


For more information on the thyroid gland and management visit:

or click here: 

Medical Study: Laser Lipo - Non-invasive, Instant Fat Reduction, 6 inches Average Loss.

The Efficacy of the Lipo Laser in Body Contouring and Fat Reduction 

Caruso-Davis M, Guillot T, Yu Y, Bissoon L, Greenway F Published in Obesity Journal 15:A99, 2007, 2007 Presented at NAASO Annual Scientific Meeting, New Orleans, LA. October 20-24, 2007.


The Lipo Laser System is a semi-conductor based low energy laser device that emits light at 632 nm, is non-thermal and non-invasive. This Lipo Laser System was originally developed to treat carpel tunnel syndrome, but was modified for use in body contouring and spot fat reduction. In this study we explored the efficacy of the Lipo Laser in body contouring and fat reduction on subjects' waistlines as evidence by girth measurements and photographs. 


Forty healthy men and women ages 18-65 with a BMI <30 kg/m2 were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to either an experimental or control treatment. Each subject was treated with the Lipo Laser on their waistlines 30 minutes twice a week for four weeks. Standardized waist circumference measurements and photographs were taken before and after treatment 1, 3 and 8. Subjects were asked not to change their diet or exercise habits. 


The Lipo Laser gives significant girth loss that is maintained over repeated treatments and is cumulative over 4 weeks of 8 treatments. This girth loss of approximately one inch from the waist was accompanied by a clinically and statistically significant improvement in appearance.


  • 3.5 Inches in 8 treatments - AVERAGE without change
  • 6 inches in 8 treatments - AVERAGE
  • Greatest recorded, 38 inches total, in 27 treatments

Before and After Documented Photos

9 Foods to Help You Lose Weight

By Shelley Levitt

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on September 30, 2013
WebMD Feature

Delicious foods that help you diet? It sounds too good to be true.

No doubt: Weight loss comes down to simple math. You have to eat fewer calories than you burn. "Certain foods can help you shed body weight," says Heather Mangieri, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, "because they help you feel full longer and help curb cravings." Some even kick up your metabolism. So take this list when you go to the supermarket:

Dark chocolate, sausage, nuts, and eggs? They're all on the list. It's about feeling full and satisfied.

1. Beans

Inexpensive, filling, and versatile, beans are a great source of protein. Beans are also high in fiber and slow to digest. That means you feel full longer, which may stop you from eating more.

2. Soup

Start a meal with a cup of soup, and you may end up eating less. It doesn’t matter if the soup is chunky or pureed, as long as it's broth-based. You want to keep the soup to 100 to 150 calories a serving. So skip the dollops of cream and butter.

3. Dark Chocolate

Want to enjoy chocolate between meals? Pick a square or two of dark over the milky version. In one study, chocolate lovers who were given dark chocolate ate 15% less pizza a few hours later than those who had eaten milk chocolate.

4. Pureed Vegetables

You can add more veggies to your diet, enjoy your "cheat" foods, and cut back on the calories you’re eating, all at the same time. When Penn State researchers added pureed cauliflower and zucchini to mac and cheese, people seemed to like the dish just as much. But they ate 200 to 350 fewer calories. Those healthy vegetables added low-cal bulk to the tasty dish.

5. Eggs and Sausage

A protein-rich breakfast may help you resist snack attacks throughout the day.

In a study of a group of obese young women, those who started the day with 35 grams of protein -- that’s probably way more than you’re eating -- felt fuller right away. The women ate a 350-calorie breakfast that included eggs and a beef sausage patty. The effect of the high-protein breakfast seemed to last into the evening, when the women munched less on fatty, sugary goods than the women who had cereal for breakfast.

6. Nuts

For a great snack on the run, take a small handful of almonds, peanuts, walnuts, or pecans. Research shows that when people munch on nuts, they automatically eat less at later meals.

7. Apples

Skip the apple juice and the applesauce and opt instead for a crunchy apple. Whole fruit blunts appetite in a way that fruit juices and sauces don’t. One reason is that raw fruit has more fiber. Plus, chewing sends signals to your brain that you’ve eaten something substantial.

8. Yogurt

Whether you prefer Greek or traditional, yogurt can be good for your waistline.

A Harvard study followed more than 120,000 people for a decade or longer. Yogurt, of all the foods that were tracked, was most closely linked to weight loss. That doesn't prove that yogurt caused weight loss, but it stood out among other foods.

9. Grapefruit

Yes, grapefruit really can help you shed pounds, especially if you are at risk for diabetes. Researchers at Scripps Clinic in San Diego found that when obese people ate half a grapefruit before each meal, they dropped an average of 3 ½ pounds over 12 weeks. Drinking grapefruit juice had the same results. But grapefruit juice doesn't have any proven "fat-burning" properties -- it may just have helped people feel full.

Be careful: You cannot have grapefruit or grapefruit juice if you are on certain medications, so check the label on all your prescriptions, or ask your pharmacist or doctor.

Shop Smart

Load your shopping cart with lots of lean protein, fresh veggies, fruit, and whole grains, says food scientist Joy Dubost, PhD, RD. The most important thing, when it comes to lasting weight loss, is the big picture of what you eat, not specific foods.

Oprah Is Talking About Bioidentical Hormones for Menopause; Experts Weigh In

By Miranda Hitti 
WebMD Health News 

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Jan. 15, 2009 -- Oprah Winfrey says menopause caught her "off guard" and that she's taking bioidentical hormones that have made a big improvement in how she feels. 

Bioidentical hormones are one form of therapy for menopausal symptoms. Winfrey, who turns 55 this month, writes in February's edition of O, The Oprah Magazine that she felt "out of kilter" and had "issues" for two years that she suspected were hormonal. Upon a friend's recommendation, Winfrey went to a doctor who specializes in hormones. 

Winfrey writes that the hormone specialist told her that her "hormonal tank was empty" and gave her a prescription for bioidentical estrogen. 

"After one day on bioidentical estrogen, I felt the veil lift," Winfrey writes. "After three days, the sky was bluer, my brain was no longer fuzzy, my memory was sharper. I was literally singing and had a skip in my step." 

Winfrey isn't recommending bioidentical hormones for every menopausal woman. Instead, she urges women to "take charge of your health" and says it's time to "start the conversation" about menopause and bioidentical hormones. 

What Are Bioidentical Hormones? 

"Bioidentical hormone preparations are medications that contain hormones that are an exact chemical match to those made naturally by humans," says Manson, who is chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and the Elizabeth F. Brigham Professor of Women's Health at Harvard Medical School. 

Some bioidentical hormones are made by drug companies, are approved by the FDA, and are sold in standard doses. Other bioidentical hormone preparations are made at special pharmacies called compounding pharmacies, which make the preparations on a case-by-case basis for each patient. Those "custom-made" preparations aren't approved by the FDA. 

Why Aren't Compounded Bioidentical Hormones FDA approved? 

The FDA doesn't approve any compounded products, for any condition, because those products aren't standardized. 

Testosterone Use Doesn't Increase Heart Risk, Study Finds

An article published by The Wall Street Journal:

July 4, 2014

A study of 24,000 Medicare patients found that testosterone therapy didn't increase the risk of heart attack, contrary to several earlier studies, and that it even lowered the risk of heart attack by about 30% in the group of men judged most likely to have one based on other factors.
The findings are a boost for proponents of testosterone therapy, but still aren't likely to settle the long-standing debate over testosterone safety any time soon.

Last year, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that testosterone raised the risk of death, heart attack and stroke by about 30% in veterans with a history of heart disease.

But critics have attacked the study's methodology for, among other things, including over 100 women among the 1,132 subjects studied. Over 25 international medical groups have demanded that JAMA retract the article. JAMA has declined to do so.

In the latest study, published online in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy, researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch used a national Medicare sample and compared the records of 6,355 men who had at least one testosterone injection between 1997 and 2005, with 19,065 non-testosterone users. The testosterone users were no more likely to have a myocardial infarction than the nonusers during the period, according to the study.

The researchers also ranked the subjects based on their predicted risk of heart attack for other reasons. For men in the quarter with the highest risk, the use of testosterone cut that risk by roughly 30% .

"Our study brings some balance to the discussion and I think it has far-reaching clinical and public-health implications," said lead researcher Jacques Baillargeon, director of epidemiology at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

The latest study had several limitations, the authors noted. It looked only at men receiving testosterone injections, not those using pills, patches or gels, and couldn't assess what other medications the men were taking. Those using testosterone therapy could be more likely to take drugs that lowered their heart-attack risks, or to exercise and watch their diets.
Men typically lose testosterone as they age, and some conditions can cause a steep drop in levels earlier, leading to osteoporosis, sexual dysfunction, loss of muscle tone, fatigue, diabetes and other health problems. Proponents say restoring normal levels can alleviate those issues, but debate has raged over what level is considered "low" in older men.

—Daniel Barbarisi contributed to this article.