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GSK recalls weight-loss drug Alli in U.S. on tampering concerns

GlaxoSmithKline is recalling all supplies of its non-prescription weight-loss drug Alli in the United States and Puerto Rico after customers reported finding other pills and tablets in some bottles. The news is a fresh blow for a product once touted as a potential blockbuster but which has had disappointing sales over the years – aggravated, in part, by a separate supply problem two years ago. The British group said it believed that some U.S. bottles of Alli might not contain authentic product, adding that it was working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the retailer-level recall. News that bottles had been tampered with first emerged on Wednesday.

Pete Evans’ slim food tips

Learn how to make healthy food choices at restaurants and cafés with Pete Evans’ top tips.

Pete Evans - Healthy food choices - Women's Health & Fitness

1. Beware of portion size

Portion size is extremely important. Humans are often guilty of overeating and eating too fast as well.   



2. Avoid sugar

I don’t tend to count calories, but I do avoid sugar, whether it be honey, agave or anything that says ‘sweet’ on the menu, as fructose is the real enemy that we should all be trying to avoid.  


Go easy on the sauce - Pete Evans' weight loss tips - Women's Health & Fitness

3. Go easy on the sauce

Choose dishes without sauces, or ask for them to serve it on the side, as that’s where many of the hidden calories reside.  



4. Watch out for ‘low fat’ labels

I look for very low sugar, high saturated fats and low polyunsaturated fats – watch out for low fat labels, which usually mean higher sugar levels and hidden calories.  


Grilled-swordfish salad - Pete Evans' weight loss - Women's Health & Fitness

5. Choose grilled not fried

I always choose for my fish to be grilled, and I ask for a wedge of lemon and no sauce.

Above recipe: grilled swordfish salad>>



6. ‘Fresh’ is your best friend

I look for ‘freshly’ made salads, with the dressing on the side, and I avoid ingredients like croutons, crumbed chicken, or crumbed fish.

If the salads on the menu aren’t tickling your fancy, order a basic one along with a side of freshly cooked vegetables. Broccoli is great in a salad as are snow peas, asparagus, and cauliflower.

NEXT: 20 ways to stay diet strong>>




New online care from dietitians helps control weight

A rich chocolate cake is tempting you, but where is a dietitian when you need one? The e-Care for Heart Wellness study sought to solve this problem. In the study, Group Health patients who were overweight and had hypertension were more likely to have lost 10 pounds in six months if they had secure online access to a dietitian than if they received only information and usual care. The American Journal of Preventive Medicine published the e-Care study. “One patient said, ‘It’s like having a dietitian in your pocket,’” said Beverly B. Green, MD, MPH, a family doctor at Group Health, an associate investigator at Group Health Research Institute, and an assistant clinical professor in family medicine at the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine. “The patients really loved this intervention – and having access to a dietitian to work with them toward a healthier lifestyle.” In addition to team-based care led by a dietitian, the patients in the intervention group were given a home blood pressure monitor, a scale, and a pedometer. They each had one in-person visit with a dietitian where, together, they created a plan to reduce their heart risk, including the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, with eight to 10 servings of vegetables and fruits per day. The DASH diet is not about eating less food, just more of the right food, Dr. Green said, quoting a patient who said: “All those fruits and vegetables kept me full and less likely to eat something I might regret later.”

5 ways to stay on track

How to mentally prepare yourself for weight loss.

»    Think about your core values and what you want out of life.

What brings you happiness? Perhaps you rank health as a high priority and want to feel good and have more energy? Now look at small steps you can take to live in line with these values.

»    Find something that suits you

Hate the gym? Then don’t force yourself to go. Instead find something you enjoy (maybe yoga, bushwalking, pole dancing or underwater hockey is more your style?). If you indulge in fitness pursuits that you value and enjoy you will be happier and more motivated.

»    Be open to change

Just because running half marathons worked for you five years ago, doesn’t mean that running is still the best option for you now. Listen to the needs of your body and switch to a new fitness routine if necessary.

»    Have realistic expectations

If you weigh under 100kg then it’s not safe or realistic to try losing more than 0.5kg per week. If you weigh between 100 and 150kg, 1kg per week is achievable, and if you’re over 150kg, 2kg per week is considered healthy.

»    Try to eat every three hours: three main meals per day with two small snacks.

When possible, exercise before breakfast on an empty stomach, and then eat breakfast within an hour of exercising. When starting or changing an exercise regime, watch that you don’t eat more. Your body will naturally crave more food initially but after a few days your appetite will settle down.

NEXT: 10 tummy flattening foods>>

Miriam Hospital study shows social gaming site effective weight loss tool

Researchers from The Miriam Hospital have found that DietBet, a web-based commercial weight loss program that pairs financial incentives with social influence, delivers significant weight losses. The study and its findings have been published in the current issue of the open access publication JMIR Serious Games. Tricia Leahey, Ph.D., lead researcher at The Miriam Hospital Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center, sought to examine weight losses associated with the social gaming website and contributing factors to gauge the success of such web-based programs. On, players join a game to lose weight while betting money on themselves. Players all have four weeks to lose four percent of their starting weight. At the end of week four, all players who have lost at least four percent of their initial body weight are deemed “winners” and split the pool of money collected at the start of the game. To verify weight losses, players submit photo-based evidence of their weigh-ins to DietBet’s referees at the start and end of each game. “Online social weight loss programs are accessible to large numbers of overweight and obese individuals who want to lose weight,” Leahey says, “but there has been little research to date on whether such programs are effective, or just how much weight loss they generate.”