General Fitness

There’s a school of thought that regularly checking your body weight can be discouraging for people trying to drop pounds. A new study from Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania comes to a different conclusion. Findings were published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine.
 
Because the first year of college typically adds 4 to 8 pounds, researchers used 294 female university students of varying weights and percentages of body fat for this 2-year study. Some weighed themselves while others didn’t. Despite not being in a weight loss program, subjects who stepped on the scale not only tended to avoid weight gain, but also lost a modest amount of body fat.
 
Nutrition

Walnuts are nutrient-dense and also contain dietary fiber which can promote satiety, a feeling of fullness. Research from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center suggests there might be more to this nut’s ability to discourage overeating.
 
Ten obese subjects spent separate 5-day sessions in a research lab where their caloric intake could be closely monitored. On one occasion, they were given shakes containing 48 grams of walnuts. During the other visit, the calorie and taste matched shakes contained no walnuts.
 
Not only did subjects report being less hungry after drinking shakes containing walnuts,  MRI brain activity suggested they were responding more favorably to healthier food images compared to when they drank walnut-free shakes.
 
Training

There are numerous approaches you can take to gaining muscle size and strength. If you’re just getting started in the weight room, a study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness offers interesting insight into workout program planning.
 
Thirty untrained men in the early 20s took part in a 10-week program that hit each muscle group once or twice a week. All subjects performed the same volume of training regardless of which group they were assigned to.
 
At the end of the program, the muscle thickness of elbow flexors increased an average of 1.73 mm in the once weekly group and 2.31 mm for subjects in the twice weekly group. Subjects in the twice weekly group also experienced greater increases in strength.