Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How to Determine Your Diet Personality to Finally Find an Eating Plan that Works for You

Dr. Kushner's Personality Type DietIn the process of researching yesterday's blog post, Tuesday Tidbits: Today's Best and Worst Diet Plans, I vetted a few online diet personality quizzes. I've ranked them based on quality of quiz design, follow-up analysis and/or tips.

1. A 21-question abridged version of the 70-question "Right Diet" Eating Personality Quiz adapted from Dr. Robert Kushner's* book, The Personality Type Diet:

It's not surprising that this is the best diet personality quiz I came across, since determining and working with your diet personality is the topic of the book. This was the most well-structured and broadly-tested quiz of all. Read about the author below.

The mini-quiz definitively nailed me as a Nightime Nosher, just as I had self-analyzed my eating personality. The realization led me to finally get a grip on the issue and developing healthier eating habits throughout the day. So I know from experience that matching your diet to your personality preferences works.

If you've been struggling to find a diet that you can live with and thrive on, buy the book. You'll be glad you did.

2. Diet Personality Profiler from Spark People:

The Spark people 15-question quiz is fun to take and is followed by an excellent analysis of each diet personality type as well as tips on how to use the information to select an eating plan you can live with.

However on too many of the questions, none of the answers suited me. Some of the choice groupings seem geared to the younger set. Here's an example.

If you had to choose one kind of restaurant for an evening meal which would it be?

1. Buffet, lots of choices!
2. Takeout/Carryout
3. A sports bar type of restaurant with my friends!
4. Anyplace with a great dessert menu!

My preference - a congenial place with an extensive menu, good service and a little ambiance - made me choose #1 a buffet, which is hardly what I have in mind.

On "I almost always finish what is on my plate", I had to select yes. But that's because I practice portion control. What's on my plate is what I should eat. Plus I abhor waste. The intent of the question is most likely to gauge one's level of self-control over food.

Equivocal questions yielded equivocal results for me. Though I fell into a dominant category, there were too many (3) other categories where I ranked high enough to confuse the issue of what eating plan approach would work best for me.

Spark People has some great resources on its site and I refer to it often, but most Ageless Beauties will need to use their judgement and self-awareness to adapt the information from this quiz to their physical condition.

3. What's Your Diet Personality from the Today Show's website:

There are only eight questions, though they are excellent ones. The quiz is superficial though and yields results that aren't very helpful.

There are only four categories of diet personality:

1. Junk Food Eater,
2. Food Lover,
3. Emotional Eater, and
4. Mindless Muncher.

There are no follow up analyses or tips.

"That's Entertainment", folks, not serious help for real people.

For the perfect complement to a diet that suits your personality, here's help in finding the perfect exercise plan for you: What's Your Fitness Personality?

* About the Author:Dr. Kushner is Medical Director of the Center for Lifestyle Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Clinical Director of the Northwestern Comprehensive Center on Obesity, Professor of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Past President of The Obesity Society, Chair of the American Board of Obesity Medicine, author of over 160 scientific articles on obesity and nutrition, on the editorial board of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and editor of the American Medical Association’s Obesity Primer for Physicians, on the medical advisory board of Retrofit, on the board of directors of the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), author of Counseling Overweight Adults: The Lifestyle Patterns Approach and Toolkit, Dr. Kushner's Personality Type Diet and Fitness Unleashed: A Dog and Owner's Guide to Losing Weight and Gaining Health Together.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday Tidbits: Today's Best and Worst Diet Plans

Diet HelpIt's been almost 2 1/2 years since we looked at the question of which diets are the best nutritionally as well as most effective for the long term in Top Nutritionists Select Best Eating Plans. Popular diet plans and fads have come and gone.

In January, U.S. News updated its 2011 rankings by evaluating and ranking 32 currently popular diets with input from a panel of health experts. To be top-rated, a diet had to be relatively easy to follow, nutritious, safe and effective for weight loss and against diabetes and heart disease.

It's just as important and helpful to know the poorest choices as it is to know the beat.

Top Ten Diet Plans

1. Dash - scored 4.1 out of possible 5, high marks for nutritional completeness, safety, ability to prevent or control diabetes, and role in supporting heart health.
2. TLC - 4.0, Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes was created by the National Institutes of Health and is particularly good at promoting cardiovascular health, but downgraded due its DIY nature lacking guidance and support.
3. Mediterranean - 3.9, "eminently sensible".
3. Mayo Clinic - 3.9, especially high ratings for its nutrition and safety and as a tool against diabetes. Experts found it moderately effective for weight loss.
3. Weight Watchers - 3.9, Weight Watchers surpassed other commercial diet plans in multiple areas, including short- and long-term weight loss and how easy it is to follow. WW is nutritionally sound and safe. Group support, lots of fruits and vegetables, and room for occasional indulgences also upped its score.
6. Flexitarian - 3.8, the Flexitarian diet emphasizes fruits, veggies, whole grains, and plant-based protein. Scores were particularly high in nutritional completeness, easiness to follow and long-term weight loss.
6. Volumetrics - 3.8, earned particularly high marks for being safe and nutritious, and experts said it could have a positive effect on heart health and diabetes.
6. Jenny Craig - 3.7, Jenny Craig ranked well for being easy to follow, nutritionally complete and safe, and for offering dieters emotional support. It got lower scores for potential to promote heart health or control diabetes. Cost was also a negative factor.
9. Biggest Loser - 3.6, the diet received high marks for short-term weight loss, safety, and soundness as a regimen for diabetes, and it was rated moderately effective for heart health.
9. Ornish - 3.6, the Ornish diet rated nutritionally sound, safe and undeniably heart-healthy if one can follow it in its most stringent low-fat form.

Eleven Poorest Diet Plans (of 32 popular)

22. Eco-Atkins - 2.9, a healthier version of the Atkins diet, but compliance is likely to be more difficult because it's restrictive and little guidance is available.
22. Glycemic Index - 2.9, scored particularly low on long-term weight loss, heart benefits and ease of adherence.
22. The Zone - 2.9, The Zone Diet lagged behind higher-ranked diets in nearly all rating categories, including weight loss, how easy it is to follow, and its effect on diabetes and heart health.
25. Macrobiotic - 2.7, experts called it extreme and one described it as, "a mix of sound dietary guidance, mysticism, folklore and nonsense."
25. Medifast - 2.7, scored above average in short-term weight loss but was dragged down by lower marks in most other categories.
27. Acid/Alkaline - 2.6, not based on firm science. One expert called it "ridiculous and poorly researched."
28. Fast Diet - 2.5, dinged for its lack of nutritional guidance on non-fasting days. "The red flags are no restrictions on non-fast days and no guidance on what constitutes a healthful eating pattern," one expert said. This could easily lead to binging on days off.
29. Atkins - 2.3, outperformed nearly all of the competitors in short-term weight loss, but scored poorly for long-term weight loss, nutrition, safety and heart health.
29. Raw Food Diet - 2.3, rated high for long and short term effectiveness but low for ease of use.
31. Dukan - 2.0, one expert described the diet as "idiotic."
31. Paleo - 2.0, scored low on every measure from health goal to feasibility.

Did any of the rankings surprise you? I was surprised by the low ranking of the Fast or 5:2 Diet, but believe it is next to impossible for most people to integrate the 5:2 plan into a modern lifestyle.

Read the full article: US News World Report Ranking of Best Diets Overall. Note that, in the right sidebar, there is a linked list of Best Diets for particular health concerns.

In the course of researching this blog post, I vetted a few online diet personality quizzes. Come back to tomorrow for How to Determine Your Diet Personality to Finally Find an Eating Plan that Works for You.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Harper's Calling Copper the New Skin Saver Not News

Raining CopperWe (and the esteemed Dr. Loren Pickart) have been writing about the benefits of active copper for skin health and anti-aging since we launched Ageless Beauty almost 10 years ago. Actually Dr. Pickart has been writing about, researching and touting this skin cell communicating ingredient for decades longer.

Copper peptides were originally discovered in the field of wound, and especially burn, healing by Dr. Pickart in the 1970s. Dr. Pickart has since launched two successful biotechnology companies. He co-founded ProCyte, maker of the Neova Active Copper skin care line. He went on to found SkinBiology and is still actively involved in research on how best to utilize copper peptides for a variety of skin concerns.

Yet suddenly, active copper for skin health is front page news. Harper's called it "the new skin saver." Cosmetics Design reported that U.S. skin care experts predict copper will be this decade's most prominent anti-aging ingredient.

What's the game changer? What's now known about copper peptides that we haven't known for years?

Copper Peptides: Not Just for Skin and Hair Anymore

Murad has created a dietary supplement around copper peptide, Age Reform Youth Builder.

Cupron, a Virginia-based copper-technology developer, invented Iluminage, a satin pillowcase embedded with microscopic copper particles, which are absorbed by the skin while you slumber. Biochemist Gadi Borkow, chief medical scientist of Cupron, was involved in several double-blind trials.

"After just one month of sleeping on the pillow, we saw a significant reduction in wrinkles and fine lines," Borkow says. The anti-aging Iluminage pillowcase is available at Bergdorf Goodman for $60.

SkinGlow pillow covers and comforters made their debut at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $19.99 and $249.99 respectively. They are made of 300-count combed cotton impregnated with Cupron.

Beauty futurologist Jeanine Recckio says that when it comes to innovation, some cosmetic brands are already working on products for 2018-19.

"We are talking about a pair of Levi-branded jeans that target cellulite while you are wearing them, capsule make-up that can be activated to give the desired affect at the touch of a wand, bedding developed to reduce wrinkles and your t-bone steak customized with beauty-giving properties. And that's just for starters," she said.

New Science behind Skin Benefits of Copper Peptides

"Compared with other anti-aging ingredients, the science, safety, efficacy, and clinical validation of copper peptides make it unique," says Osmotics founder Francine Porter.

"Unlike with other heavy metals, like silver, the risk of toxicity from topically applied copper is low because it is metabolized by the body," says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai's Department of Dermatology in New York.

A double blind test of 57 participants commissioned by Cupron showed "a statistically significant cosmetic effect" on the skin of the participants who slept on the Cupron copper pillowcase for four weeks as compared to those who slept on a placebo pillowcase. (See test results at Cupron Cosmetic Trial.)

Another 8-week, double blind, parallel, randomized study was carried out, in which healthy volunteers, aged 30-60, used either copper oxide-containing pillowcases or control pillowcases without copper. Skin conditions of the subjects were evaluated by visual grading and by 3D Image Analysis GFM PRIMOS before treatment and following 4 and 8 weeks of sleeping on the pillowcases.

The use of the copper oxide-containing pillowcase resulted in significant decrease of crow's feet, but none was observed in the control group, as determined by the expert graders. On the basis of the 3D measurements, skin smoothness improved significantly in the test group, but there were no changes in the control group. (Reduction of facial wrinkles depth by sleeping on copper oxide-containing pillowcases: a double blind, placebo controlled, parallel, randomized clinical study, Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, Sept. 2012)

It seems that Copper Peptides time in the spotlight has finally come. This must be very gratifying to Dr. Pickart.

You might be interested in:

Here's one of our first articles on copper peptides citing many of the placebo controlled studies done between the 70s and 2006: GHK-Cu Copper Peptide Skin Care Products: How These Products Work - published August 2006.

This one's about the skin healing and anti-aging power of copper peptide: Anti-Aging Skin Care Using Copper Peptides: How Copper Can Aid in the Regeneration of New Skin Cells - published June 2006.

Copper Peptide Hair and Skin Care Product Test: The First Results of Our "Mini Clinical Trial" details our in-house testing of Active Copper on skin as well as for hair growth stimulation - published June 2006.

Skin Products Containing Copper Peptide

Hair Products Containing Copper Peptide

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Shopping at Ageless Beauty April 13, 2014: Best Home Use Anti-Aging Appliances

Ageless Beauty ShopSave steps and money with a leisurely stroll through the aisles of the Ageless Beauty Shop featuring recently recommended items.

Related Articles

Olay Pro-X Microdermabrasion System Reviewed and Compared to Professional MDB Treatment

Tria Precision Hair Removal Laser Wand

Clarisonic Pedi Sonic

LED Masks and Wands and Reviews

Review of Silk'n FaceFX Anti-Aging Wand

Nu Brilliance Home Microdermabrasion Kit

Review of the NuFace Home Use Facial Toning Device

Review of Tria Laser Hair Removal Wand

Clarisonic Skin Brush Review

No need to print out articles and drag them along from store to store searching out the latest and greatest in anti-aging products. Shop now from the comfort of home.

Today's Ageless Beauty Shop:
Best Home Use Anti-Aging Appliances

Photo Credit: Print Shop Art Gallery]

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fun Fashion Friday: Shapewear Common Sense - Proper Fit and Frequency

Not Your Daughter's JeansWe all have 'em, right? I mean bulges that need smoothing and shapewear that does the job. We've had babies. We've weight-cycled. We've gone through or are going through the hormonal decline of menopause. And we've been walking upright all these years with the force of gravity bearing down upon us.

So, yes we have bulges and less than taut skin and therefore most of us have a few pieces of slimming shapewear in our wardrobes. Now doctors are warning us not to take shapewear to the extreme.

The Huffington Post spoke with gastroenterologist Dr. John Kuemmerle, dermatologist Dr. Maryann Mikhail and chiropractor Dr. Karen Erickson.

The doctors' advice boils down to:

1. Proper fit, and
2. Proper frequency.

Proper Fit

Be sure your shapewear is your size, not a smaller size you would like to be. You can only get that from diet and exercise. Trust me.

Don't layer shapewear for more effect. Leave that to Hollywood stars. They get paid to look perfect. There is no such thing in the real world.

Don't think of shapewear as a way to instantly trim down a dress size or two. If it cuts anywhere, it's too tight.

If it creates bulges that puff out the top or bottom, it's too tight; plus you're not doing yourself any favors as far as the overall look goes. Better to look your size but smooth than like one of the nasty "People of Walmart" images floating around the internet.

If your shapewear is uncomfortably tight, the inner organs are compressed.

Why Proper Fit is Important

Organ compression can cause acid reflux, heartburn, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, shallow breath, aggravate irritable bowel syndrome or urinary incontinence and provoke erosive esophagitis.

Shapewear that's too tight around the legs can cause numbness, tingling and leg pain. "Persistent mechanical pressure" exerted by "strangling folds" of too-tight [legwear] can impair circulation and lead to blood clots, according to a study from Chile's Universidad Andres Bello (June 2007 Journal of Dermatology).

If you're genetically prone to varicosities and sit for too long in shapewear that's restricting your circulation, you risk developing varicose veins and lymph congestion which manifests as swollen ankles, according to Dr. Erickson.

Moisture trapped in the tight garment creates the ideal environment for yeast and bacterial infections to thrive.

If you delay going to the bathroom because your shapewear is bothersome to get off and on, "the bladder can become a breeding ground for bacteria to grow," says naturopath Dr. Chamandeep Bali. This bacteria can lead to infections, which then spread to kidneys and cause greater damage to the body.

Proper Frequency

Don't wear shapewear every day. Aside from all the health cautions above, daily wear means your own body's built-in support system, the musculature, is not allowed to do its job.

What happens to muscles that aren't used? They atrophy. You need to maintain those muscles to hold your posture in alignment, support your spine, and preserve height and balance. Use them or lose them.

In about the time it takes you to struggle into and out of your shapewear several times each day, you could be doing some simple toning exercises that allow you to ditch the shapewear for all but your most form-fitting outfits.

See 7 Most Effective Exercises for the Rest of Us.
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