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The Best Ways To Lose Weight And Keep It Off, According To Science.

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In a country that eats dessert for breakfast, sustained weight loss can feel like an uphill battle.

Aside from avoiding obvious minefields like stacks of syrup-drenched pancakes and huge muffins, there are several practical guidelines to follow if you’re looking to slim down. These tips can be helpful whether you’re struggling to lose weight or simply aiming to reboot your eating plan with some healthier basics.

Still, if you’re aiming to make big changes to your diet and to your health, it’s always helpful to get help from a trained medical professional like a physician, registered dietitian, or family doctor. They’ll be able to go over any questions you have about the suggestions you find here.

Start eating more vegetables — especially greens.
Author Michael Pollan may have condensed all the best nutrition wisdom into one line when he wrote: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

Dozens of scientific studies have tied diets high in vegetables— especially greens— to better health outcomes, including weight loss and a decreased risk of a handful of chronic diseases. Veggies like watercress, spinach, chives, and collard greens all rank highly on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of “powerhouse foods,” so find a few you like, and start adding them to your plate.

But don’t worry: Most of the research does not suggest a need to slash meat, dairy, or fish from your diet. In fact, the best results typically appear to come from diets that combine high amounts of vegetables with healthy sources of protein, which can include seafood, eggs, and meat. Eating plans like these include the popular Mediterranean diet and MIND diet.

Replace soda or sweet tea with sugar-free drinks.

Sweetened beverages like soda and juice can make up a surprising portion of the calories you consume each day, yet they don’t fill you up the same way solid food does.

As part of an eight-year study that included nearly 50,000 women, Harvard researchers tracked what happened when people either slashed their intake of sweetened drinks or started consuming more of them. Not surprisingly, the participants who raised their sugary-drink intake gained weight and increased their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. In fact, the more people’s sweet-drink intake increased, the more weight they gained and the more their disease risk went up.

Those who curbed their intake did not see those negative results.

So the next time you’re looking for something other than water to drink, try seltzer or unsweetened tea. Even diet soda is probably a better choice. Every time you pick one of these over a sweetened beverage, you’ll also be cutting anywhere from 150 to 400 calories.

Swap the white bread and rice in your meals for whole grains.

One of the least healthy components of most American diets appears to be refined carbohydrates, a category that includes white bread and white rice. Refined carbs can also be found in lots of other processed foods — they appear on nutrition labels as “refined flour” or just “flour.”

A 2012 study published in the journal Food and Nutrition Research found strong links between diets high in refined carbohydrates and weight gain. One reason for this may be that refined grains are processed quickly and turned into sugar in the body.

Whole grains, on the other hand, get digested slowly and fill you up for hours. The key difference is that whole grains still have their nutritious, fiber-rich outer shells, such as the germ and bran. Those parts get stripped off of refined carbs in a factory before you eat them.

Roxanne B. Sukol, medical director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Enterprise, said people should think of refined carbohydrates simply as “stripped carbs” and avoid them whenever possible.

Cut back on carbs where you can.
Even if you’re eating whole grains instead of refined ones, you should keep in mind that some researchers believe they all end up getting processed the same way. That means cutting back on any kind of carbohydrate is likely a smart move. Try swapping flour-based noodles with spiralized carrot or zucchini noodles, for example.

Several studies suggest that curbing your carb intake is an easy way to help stabilize blood-sugar levels as well. And having steady blood-sugar levels — aka tight glycemic control — has been linked with beneficial health outcomes including weight loss, better energy levels throughout the day, and a reduced risk of chronic disease.

“Tight glycemic control is necessary to maintain health and to prevent disease,” Ellen Blaak, a professor of fat metabolism and physiology at Maastricht University, wrote in a review of studies published in the journal Obesity Reviews. Her study found links between poorly controlled blood-sugar levels and obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Aim to lose only about a pound or two a week.
For sustainable weight loss, dietitians, exercise scientists, and nutritionists all recommend aiming to lose only one to three pounds a week— at the most.

Slimming down slowly instead of all at once gives you enough time to create healthy new eating and exercise patterns that you can maintain for life, Andy Bellatti, a registered dietitian and the cofounder of Dietitians for Professional Integrity, told Business Insider last year.

“You’ve got to give yourself two, three, four years of consistent behavioral changes. That is hard work. You’re building new habits. And that takes time,” Bellatti said.

Move around more.

Exercise is not a shortcut to weight loss, for two reasons: First, when we amp up our activity levels, our hunger levels tend to increase as well. Second, it’s far easier to eat hundreds of calories in a single sitting than it is to burn them off in one gym session.

That said, regular movement of any kind is a key component of any healthy lifestyle — and it’s especially important if you’re looking to slim down and keep the weight off for the long haul.

If you normally drive to work, try walking, biking, or taking public transit when possible. If you’re used to taking the elevator, hit the stairs next time. And make regular gym sessions part of your routine — but keep in mind that your appetite may increase a bit.

Pay attention to protein.

Protein is a key ingredient that helps fuel our muscles and keep us feeling full. It also slows the breakdown of carbs into sugar, thereby acting as a sort of buffer against sharp dips and spikes in insulin levels. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re getting enough protein in every meal.

Many Americans whose diets are based around meat actually get too much protein. But there’s some evidence that people who try to switch to a more plant-based diet have a hard time getting enough.

To make sure your protein intake isn’t slouching, add items like eggs, beans, tofu, lentils, fish, and dairy products to vegetable- and whole-grain-based meals.

Beware of items labeled “low-fat,” “light,” and “reduced fat.”

Low-fat products sound great. Reduce your fat intake, get slim, right?

The majority of scientific research suggests it actually doesn’t work this way.

One reason for this is that many products labeled “low fat,” “light,” and “reduced fat” (things like yogurt, ice cream, and peanut butter) are highly processed and engineered to taste like their original full-fat predecessors. To accomplish this, food manufacturers typically add extra sugar — and sugar, unlike fat, has been strongly implicated as a leading factor contributing to obesity and weight gain.

Welcome some healthy fats back into your diet.

One reason many dieters curb their fat intake — besides the lingering influence of the low-fat dieting trend of the 1990s — is that it’s an easy way to cut calories. Fat is high in calories. Trim the fat, trim the calories.

But research is starting to show that eating fat does not necessarily lead us to put on pounds. Instead, it may help people lose weight, perhaps by making us feel full and curbing our sugar consumption. This appears to be especially true for fats from sources like nuts, olive oil, avocados, and fish.

“There is one thing we know about fats. Fat consumption does not cause weight gain. To the contrary, it might actually help us shed a few pounds,” Aaron Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine, wrote in his book, “The Bad Food Bible: How and Why to Eat Sinfully.”

Here’s what that means for people who are counting their calories: Fatty foods are higher in calories than their low-fat equivalents, so to account for that and cut back on carbs and sugar instead.

Cut back on sugar.
BBQ sauce is surprisingly high in sugar.
A growing body of evidence suggests that if there is a single villain in our diets when it comes to weight gain, it’s sugar.

The authors of a review of 50 studies on diet and weight gain published in the journal Food and Nutrition Research found that, on average, the more refined carbohydrates (such as sugar) that someone ate, the more weight they tended to gain over the study period.

Similarly, the researchers behind a large review of 68 studies published in the British Medical Journal found that the more sugar someone consumed, the more they weighed.

So cut back on sweets and start paying attention to the sugar content on the labels of processed foods — especially in sauces, salad dressings, and dairy products.

Try working out in the morning.

If you choose to incorporate regular workouts into your plan, research suggests that an early-morning workout on an empty stomach helps speed weight loss and boost energy levels by priming the body for an all-day fat burn.

Exercising first thing in the morning may push the body to tap into its fat reserves for fuel instead of simply “burning off” the most recent snack or meal.

Plus, working out early could mean you get more sunlight, which is key to properly setting your body’s internal circadian rhythm. In one study, people who basked in bright sunlight within two hours after waking were thinner and better able to manage their weight than those who didn’t get any natural light, regardless of what they ate throughout the day.

But the best fitness plan is one you can stick to consistently. So if your morning motivation is low, working out after your workday is probably a better choice.

Eliminate trans fats from your diet.
Many packaged baked goods can contain trans fat.
Unlike plain old fat, trans fat is created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.

Trans fat has been strongly linked to heart disease, since consuming it appears to raise levels of so-called bad cholesterol and lower levels of good cholesterol. According to a statement released by the Food and Drug Administration in 2015, “there is no safe level of consumption of artificial trans fat.”

Trans fats are present in a number of processed foods, including many premade or packaged cakes, cookies, chips, and pastries. Some breads also contain them, along with some of the oils used to fry french fries and other fast foods. To identify trans fat on a nutrition label, look for “partially hydrogenated oils” on the ingredient list.

Know the situations in which you tend to “fall off the wagon” — and prepare ahead of time.
If you tend to stick to a pretty healthy eating plan most of the time but you’re still having trouble losing weight, it might be worth thinking about the places or events that encourage you to veer away from nutritious choices.

Places like airports, drug stores, and even home-goods stores all sell food, but it’s usually not very healthy. Instead of shopping until you feel famished then buying whatever unhealthy items are available near the checkout stand, plan ahead and pack a nutritious snack. Sliced apples and peanut butter, carrots and hummus, or Greek yogurt and nuts are all inexpensive and convenient options.

If traditional diets haven’t worked for you, consider intermittent fasting.
If you’re looking to lose weight and other diets have failed you, you might want to try an eating plan known as intermittent fasting— after checking in with your doctor, of course.

There are several versions of this diet, but one of the most popular involves fasting for 16 hours and eating for 8. Most people opt for an eating window of 12 p.m. to 8 p.m , meaning that you essentially skip breakfast but eat whatever you want within the eight-hour “feeding” window.

Large studies have found intermittent fasting to be just as reliable for weight loss as traditional diets. And a few studies in animals suggest it could have other benefits too, such as reducing the risk for certain cancers and even prolonging life. But those studies need to be repeated in humans before any real conclusions can be drawn.

If you go out to eat, plan to take up to half of your meal home with you.

The baseline portion sizes of our snacks and meals have ballooned over the past 40 years. The average size of many of our foods — including fast food, sit-down meals, and even items from the grocery store — has grown by as much as 138% since the 1970s, according to data from the American Journal of Public Health, the Journal of Nutrition, and the Journal of the American Medical Association

Even the plates and cups we serve meals on have gotten noticeably bigger.

So be mindful of portion sizes. If you’re eating out, consider taking anywhere from a third to half of your meal to go.

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Saudi Arabia To Build Medical University, 42 Senior High Schools for Ghana – Dr. Bawumia

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The Vice President of the Republic, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has announced that following an appeal by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the King of Saudi Arabia, the Goverment of Saudi Arabia has agreed to assist Ghana in the construction of a Medical University and 42 senior High Schools.

The Medical University will be established in northern Ghana.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which would fund the construction of the Medical School, would also provide funds for the construction of 42 senior high schools throughout Ghana to increase access to education for the youth, especially girls.

Vice President Bawumia underscored Government’s commitment to providing more opportunities to disadvantaged communities in Ghana, including the Zongo community, when he addressed Muslim faithful on the occasion of 2019 Eid al Adha celebration at the Independence Square in Accra on Sunday August 11, 2019.

The proposed construction of the Medical School comes a few weeks after Vice President Bawumia secured an agreement with the Government of Cuba for the training of 40 qualified students, drawn from the Zongos and other deprived communities, as medical doctors in Cuba.

“There are many brilliant students from the Zongo and other deprived communities who have had their dreams of becoming doctors shattered due to lack of funding. This programme would come as a welcome opportunity for such students to realise their God-given talents. And Insha Allah, this partnership between the Governments of Ghana and Cuba will produce more doctors from Zongo and other deprived communities in the country” he explained.

“I'm also glad to announce that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has accepted another proposal by the Government of Nana Akufo-Addo to establish a Medical School in the Northern Region of Ghana.

“Establishing a Medical School will significantly reduce the scarcity of doctors and other medical personnel in the northern part of the country. This giant step to advance the health needs of the Ghana, together with Government's other initiatives on education, vocational skills, sanitation and infrastructure development in the Zongo communities, which are being driven through the Zongo Development Fund, clearly underscore Government's vision for the Zongo community.”

Vice President Bawumia urged Ghanaians to be on the lookout for any persons who might seek to destroy the peace and unity Ghana enjoys, saying “We should remain vigilant in our communities and neighbourhoods. We must watch out for agent provocateurs, who will want to breach the peace in order to undo all the successes that we have chalked in our developmental journey this far.

“Ghana continues to remain an island of peace in a troubled region. We must not let that slip from our hands. Let us report any suspicious characters in our communities to the security agencies, so that the name of Islam is not soiled on the altar of some political goal that misguided elements may seek to achieve.”

Vice President Bawumia commended the organisers of this year’s Hajj Pilgrimage, noting that they have done such a good job that “not many people even know that some of our brothers and sisters are in Mecca for the Hajj,” unlike previous years when organisational challenges were the order of the day.

The Vice President called for prayerful support for the nation, emphasising, “As I have always done, I wish to, once again, request your support and prayers for President Akufo-Addo, myself and the government so we will continue to remain focused in our quest to successfully steer the affairs of our beloved country for the well-being of citizens.

“On behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Government of Ghana, I wish all Muslims across the country the very best as we mark the sacred occasion of Eid Al Adha.”

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Scientists Create Fabric That Smells Better The More You Sweat.

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It isn't a sure-fire way to make your sweaty gym clothes smell like roses, but a new fabric might be able to give off a pleasant lemony aroma at the very least.

Processes already exist to embed fabric with scents like those from aromatherapy essential oils, but now researchers have combined the idea with concepts taken from advanced smart fabrics.

A team of engineers from the University of Minho in Portugal have developed two ways to modify cotton fabric so that it lets off a citronella aroma when it comes in contact with sweat. Their methods for using sweat against itself are outlined in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.

The scientists used a protein found in pigs' noses (yes, hog snouts could be the key to sweet-smelling sweat) that binds to scent molecules. They also attached what's known as a carbohydrate-binding module, which binds to cotton. They used a second method involving fat-like liposomes rather than proteins to bind the pleasant scent to the fabric.

The tweaked cottons released the citronella scent when they came in contact with an acidic sweat solution. The pig nose protein-treated fabric emitted a "quick burst of scent," while the liposomes cleared the air with a slower, more controlled release. 

"Both strategies revealed high potential," the engineers' paper reads. "Functional textiles incorporating fragrances could be an effective clothing deodorizing product."

As a bonus, citronella is also a popular insect repellent. Keeping both the mosquitoes and bad body odor away could soon be as simple as reeling off 50 quick jumping jacks. 

(Source: CNET)

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Multimedia And Adom FM Visit Cecilia Dapaah To Render Unqualified Apology.

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The Hon. Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah on Wednesday July 24, received in her office, a delegation from the Multimedia Group led by Mr. A.C Ohene, the senior editor of Adom FM to formally render their profound apology to the Hon. Minister following a recent Adom FM publication which attracted a lot of negative publicity for the Hon. Minister.

Mr. A.C. Ohene stated that the incident was quite unfortunate and an error on the part of Multimedia and Adom FM and wish to assure the Hon. Minister that utmost diligence and care would be observed to forestall any such occurrences in future.

The Acting Chief Director, Mr. Joseph Obeng-Poku, explained that at the time that the Minister received the call, he was with the Hon Minister in a meeting and that the Minister sounded cool and collected. He expressed surprise that it would be reported that the Minister allegedly showed disrespect. This issue according to the Acting Chief Director was not about the lady being an intern, but rather about the due protocols being followed.

The Honorable Minister for her part accepted the apology in good faith and indicated her preparedness to continue to work with Journalists for the good of mother Ghana.

The Senior Editor, Mr. A. C. Ohene reiterated that the Multimedia Group has learnt a lot of lessons from the unfortunate incident and would work hard to ensure a strict adherence to their time tested protocols. He indicated that an apology had already been placed on their websites, Adom FM online and Joy FM online.

The intern, Miss Rahinatu Abdul Bach indicated her admiration for the Hon Minister and considers her as her role model and therefore regrets the incident, and accordingly rendered an unqualified apology to the Honorable Minister who in return offered madam Rahinatu a box of chocolate.

The multi media delegation included; Mr. A.C. Ohene, Senior Editor, Mr. Nii Dowuona News editor and Rahinatu Abdul Bach, an intern.

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Cuba To Train 40 Medical Students A Year From Zongo And Deprived Communities.

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The Government of Cuba has accepted to train forty (40) brilliant but needy medical students a year from Zongo, inner city and other deprived communities in Ghana.

This follows a proposal by the Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, to the Government of Cuba to extend the special arrangement between the two countries for the training of health personnel in deprived communities .

Vice President Bawumia made the proposal when he held bilateral talks with the President of Cuba, H.E. Miguel Diaz-Canel as part of a two day official visit to the Caribbean country.

According to officials, the programme will begin next year. Gender parity will be ensured in the selection of the students to be trained as medical doctors, with a proposed selection of 20 males and 20 females.

The President of Cuba noted that over the years the government of Cuba has tried to dymistify the training of doctors by making sure the study of medicine is not the preserve of the elite. Cuba has 80,000 doctors as a result.

He lauded Ghana's efforts to offer medical training to brilliant but needy students from poor communities like the Zongos and inner cities and said that Cuba is ready to support Ghana in achieving its goal.

The training of the doctors and other professionals from poor communities will not only lift them out of poverty but also provide important role models for other children in the communities.

Vice President Bawumia also witnessed, as part of the visit, the graduation ceremony of 221 newly-trained medical personnel at the University of Medical Sciences, Cuba. Ghanaian Doctor, Ahmed Ayebeng Owusu, was adjudged the overall best foreign student.

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