Weightloss Drug

Weight Loss Drug Breakthrough? Don’t Believe It

In All Health Watch, Diet and Nutrition, Featured Article, Heart and Cardiovascular

Maybe you’ve seen the headlines… A new study came out recently showing that the weight-loss drug Belviq is safe for your heart.

This was hailed by the drug company as a breakthrough. That’s because it is the first time a drug has been shown to help people lose weight without triggering heart problems.1

But before you run out to ask your doctor for Belviq, take a look at the fine print in the study…

First of all, the research was not independent. It was funded by Belviq’s maker Eisai Inc. And many of the researchers who performed it work for the company.

Second, people taking the drug didn’t lose much weight. They took the medication for 40 months and lost an average of 9 pounds. That’s less than 3 pounds a year.

And there was another telling finding… If Belviq (its generic name is lorcaserin) led to healthy weight loss, you’d expect to see lower rates of heart disease. But after losing weight on the drug, subjects’ risk of a heart attack stayed the same.

The bottom line? There are better, safer ways to lose weight than with a pharmaceutical.

A Better Way to Lose Weight

Studies have shown that slower eating is linked to losing weight. A study from Japan’s Kyushu University found it to be the most important factor in weight loss.2

Slow eaters were found to be 59% less likely to be obese than fast eaters. And normal-speed eaters had a 29% lower chance of being obese.

Dr. Yumi Hurst and Dr. Haruhisa Fukada led the study. “The major finding of this study is that changes in eating speed can affect obesity, BMI, and waist circumference,” they concluded. “The control of eating speed may therefore be a possible means of regulating body weight and preventing obesity.”

One method to slow down is to practice mindful eating. It’s an eating style that requires you to think about the act of eating instead of mindlessly stuffing yourself. Here’s how to do it…

5 Steps to Mindful Eating 

  1. Before you start eating, set a timer for 20 minutes. That’s the minimum amount of time it should take to eat a meal. Your brain takes that long to recognize that you are full.
  2. When you sit down to eat, eliminate distractions. Turn off the TV. Put your cellphone or tablet out of reach. Don’t read at the table. If you’re eating with someone, eat silently for the first five minutes. When you do talk, try to keep the conversation focused on the meal.
  3. Eat like a food critic. They don’t rush. They think about what they are eating. Appreciate the visual qualities of the food. Note the colors and textures. Concentrate on the aroma.
  4. Make your first bite small. Pay attention to the first flavors. As you chew, note how the food feels in your mouth. The flavor of what you’re eating will change as you chew.
  5. Chew your food thoroughly—at least 10 times per bite. Chewing begins the chemical process of digestion. Enzymes in your saliva break down the food. This helps it pass through your intestines and you feel fuller quicker, making it easier to eat less.

Mindful eating not only lets you gain control of your eating habits. You’ll naturally eat less without feeling deprived. It can make meals more relaxing and enjoyable…while improving your health.

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1 https://apnews.com/5bcf5229e462469cb150cdb67c9c9beb
2 https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/b-ses020818.php