DAYP 18: Don’t Be the Biggest Loser

Today’s healthspan sampler includes supplements that can help with sleep, 3 ways to live longer, and why losing weight too quickly isn’t good for you.

Supplements for Sleep

Increasingly, people are realizing the importance of sleep for health. The problem, however, is most of us do not get enough good quality sleep. Before turning to supplements as an option for improving sleep, it’s important that you fix your sleep habits.

Good sleep habits include:

  • Avoiding alcohol and caffeine in the evening
  • Proper light exposure – when you wake up and when the sun is about to set
  • Limiting naps

The supplements Dr. Andrew Huberman recommends based on the current research include:

  • Magnesium Threonate
  • Magnesium Bisglycinate
  • Apigenin
  • Theanine
  • Glycine and GABA

As with all things supplements, please do your own research and talk to your doctor before taking them.

Three Ways to Live Longer

Here are three simple things you can do to live longer:

  • Walk more. Adults who walked 8000 steps versus 4000 steps a day lowered their risk of death by 51% 
  • Use a sauna. Those who used a sauna 4 to 7 times per week showed a 40% reduction in all cause mortality versus those who used the sauna only once per week
  • Increase your grip strength. The study showed that the correlation was a more powerful predictor of cardiovascular mortality than blood pressure.

Losing Weight Too Fast Isn’t Good

The Biggest Loser was an American reality show that started in 2004. The show was a competition where obese people competed to see who could lose the most weight by the end of the season (7 months).

The contestants were coached and guided by nutritionists and trainers. Many of the contestants by the end lost a significant amount of weight.

Researchers followed the 2010 season show contestants to see how they did right after the show and later followed up with them 6 years later.

Here’s what the researchers found:

  • Beginning of the show they weighed on average 328 lbs with 49% body fat
  • 30 weeks later, in the end, they weighed 200 lbs with 28% body fat
  • 6 years later they now weighed 290 lbs with 45% body fat
  • Only 1 out of the 14 contestants maintained their weight loss

There used to be a mythology that if you just exercised enough you could keep your metabolism up, but that clearly wasn’t the case, these folks were exercising an enormous amount and their metabolism was slowing by several hundred calories per day… Metabolism appears to act like a spring… the more effort you exert to lose weight, the more it stretches out, and the harder it will spring back, regaining and holding onto the fat that was lost.

Dr. Hall, senior author of the study

Slow and steady weight loss seems to be the better approach if your goal is long term weight loss.

Sign up for ideas to extend your healthspan

"Healthspan is the period of life spent in good health, free from the chronic diseases and disabilities of aging."

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.