More reason to love your (former) roommate

Weight Loss Can Be Contagious, Study Suggests

According to a new study published online in the journal Obesity, teammates in a team-based weight loss competition significantly influenced each other's weight loss, suggesting that shedding pounds can have a ripple effect.

Researchers from The Miriam Hospital's Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University found that team members not only achieved similar weight loss outcomes, but participants who said their teammates played a large role in their weight loss actually lost the most weight.



Y'all know we like to drop some science on this blog.  Here are some posts from Science Daily that have me enthralled. 

Physical Activity Yields Feelings of Excitement, Enthusiasm  

People who are more physically active report greater levels of excitement and enthusiasm than people who are less physically active, according to Penn State researchers. People also are more likely to report feelings of excitement and enthusiasm on days when they are more physically active than usual. 

Study to Determine Whether Fish Oil Can Help Prevent Psychiatric Disorders

Researchers at Zucker Hillside Hospital's Recognition and Prevention (RAP) Program who have worked with teenagers at risk for serious mental illness for the past decade are now studying the effectiveness of Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil) for treating psychiatric symptoms. This new study is a National Institute of Mental Health-funded randomized double-blind trial that was designed to test whether Omega-3 fatty acids improve clinical symptoms, and help adolescents and young adults (ages 12 to 25) who are at elevated risk for severe psychiatric disorders function better in school, work and other social environments.

Growing Up On a Farm Directly Affects Regulation of the Immune System, Study Finds 

Immunological diseases, such as eczema and asthma, are on the increase in westernised society and represent a major challenge for 21st century medicine.A new study has shown, for the first time, that growing up on a farm directly affects the regulation of the immune system and causes a reduction in the immunological responses to food proteins.



Sleep: Get Some

As if this last week and real life isn't study enough, Sweat Science has a nice post discussing new studies highlighting that less sleep makes food more rewarding.

I would also add that less sleep reduces willpower, but you probably already knew that.

What you probably didn't know (unless you've read Lights Out) is that you actually need at least 9.5 hours a night in order for your body to create enough dopamine and other good hormones to make your body run effectively. And that sleep needs to take place in a completely darkened room, with no stimulus. AND that the time you spend just laying there in that dark room before you go to sleep in important, too.

And that's just the tip of iceberg. I've just finished reading Lights Out and am pretty much petrified by how much damage I'm doing to myself for lack of sleep.  I'd make an attempt to summarize it for you, but 1) there's way too much information; and 2) I'm recovering from a sugar binge that took place after both getting too little sleep and working out too hard. (Maybe I should have written those first 2 paragraphs on Wednesday and I wouldn't be in this position.)

Over the next few days, I'm going to try and post about the information  that really stuck with me, but until then, seriously, go get yourself a copy.


Outcomes vs. Behaviors

This lesson came across my mailbox today* and it makes SO. MUCH. SENSE. Seriously, you can be told something 10 different ways, and the 11th something clicks, and you're like "OK, now I see what you were getting at."

Behavior vs. Outcome Goals

The world is pretty uncontrollable. Life happens.

- If you want to sell your house for a good price, you can renovate it and give it a fresh coat of paint. But you can’t control the real estate market.
- If you want to have a nice picnic with your spouse, you can pack a basket and blanket and plan your route to the park. But you can’t control the weather.
- If you want to lose weight, you can eat well and stay active. But you can’t control your fat cells.

You can’t make your body lose 20 pounds on command any more than you can make sure your house is worth a certain amount when you sell it.

In other words, you can’t control the outcome.

But you can control the behaviors that lead to the outcome you want.

Why does this hit home? Because I work in a crazy unpredictable job. Some days I get out at 6:30pm, and some I get out at 1am, and I usually don't know what that's going to be until 6:30 (or 1am). And it makes me super anxious and throw up my hands, wailing to myself "I hate my life!"

But the thing is, I chose this life, and I'm stuck with it for awhile. So. What can I do *today* and *this week* to make sure that my behaviors get me to where I want to be, even if my work has other ideas?

Today, I got my ass to the gym early, and did some intervals on the rower after I did some lifting. If work gets crazy tonight, I know I've given myself endorphins and a workout that will help me get through the day. I also ate slowly, some stewed apples and kale, and protein. And to carry on this good eating, I'm vowing to stay clean all day, and not deprive or over indulge. This is all something that circumstances can't change.

What can I do for the rest of the week for my goals? Plan ahead. It's something I'm NOT good at, and something I avoid at all costs. But if I am at the whim of an unpredictable surrounding, I need to plan out to the extent I can, giving myself alternatives, so when it is 1am and I'm leaving work, I'm not feeling like I haven't done anything for myself that day.

*this came to my email via Precision Nutrition. A program I knew nothing about a month ago, that is ROCKING my world these days. You really have to root around their site. The cover page had me all >_>, but the knowledge that they drop on me daily is making me go O_O!!!