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The well known formula for weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume, but cutting calories in your diet and by exercising regularly. But you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.

Binge eating one day, and spending two hours at the gym to make up for it the next morning simply won’t work. Why? It takes a lot longer and is much harder to work off extra calories than it is to consume them. That means that making smart food choices and developing healthy eating habits is the first step to achieving your weight loss goals.

Are you ready to lose that extra weight? Here are weight loss tips and healthy eating habits to help you lose weight and keep it off.

Watch your portion size.

Americans are notorious for eating huge portion sizes, much larger than the recommended portions. Take time to measure your portion sizes, rather than “eyeballing” your portions. Recommended portion sizes vary based on age, so talk to your doctor or visit choosemyplate.gov to learn more about the best portion sizes for you. Using smaller plates, such as dessert plates, can be helpful in reducing overall portion size.

Eat more vegetables.

As a general rule of thumb, fill at least half of your plate at each meal with veggies. Because vegetables contain high amounts of fiber and water, you will feel more full after eating vegetables, without consuming as many calories.

Prioritize protein.

Every meal and snack should include a protein source. Eating healthy proteins helps your body burn more fat and build muscle. Protein will also help fuel your body for exercise. Choose lean meats like chicken or turkey; fish; nuts and seeds to satisfy your hunger.

Drink plenty of water.

It is recommended that adults drink at least half their body weight in ounces of water each day. While it may seem overwhelming to consume so much water, it can help to have a glass of water before every meal. But please note that if you have had weight loss surgery, do not drink water within 30 minutes of eating and do not drink water with your meal. If you have not had bariatric surgery, it is recommended to drink water with your meal to help you feel full faster.

Practice mindful eating.

We are all guilting of mindless eating. Eating while we are watching TV or doing another activity can quickly lead to overeating. Even if you eat healthy portion sizes at mealtime, if you are snacking and nibbling throughout the day, or “taste testing” while cooking, you may be consuming more calories than you are aware of. Me mindful when you eat, making the conscious choice to put food in your mouth.

Keep a food journal.

Writing down every bite you eat, along with how you feel when you eat can help identify unhealthy eating habits as well as times of mindless eating. Start by journaling your food habits for one week, then go back and review your food journal, taking note of any patterns in your eating habits. What changes can you make in your eating habits?

Don’t skip meals.

While there is some evidence that intermittent fasting can be beneficial in weight loss, simply skipping meals for the sake of skipping meals won’t help you fit into your skinny jeans any sooner. If your body feels deprived due to a skipped meal, you will be more likely to binge eat later, which will only throw your diet plan off track. If you are interested in intermittent fasting, talk to your doctor to learn if it is right for you and how to get the most benefit from fasting.

Eat the right foods.

Not all calories are considered equal. The body processes different foods in different ways, so knowing the right foods to eat can help your weight loss efforts. While there are plenty of healthy foods for weight loss, here are 10 key weight-loss friendly foods to include in your diet:

If you have struggled with your weight and diet and exercise have not helped you achieve lasting weight loss results, it may be time to speak with a weight loss doctor. The weight loss doctor  can speak with you about creating healthy eating habits and possible medical interventions to help you reach a healthy weight. Contact us today to learn more.

Millions of patients have seen the benefits of bariatric surgery as a proven method of durable weight loss. When dieting and exercise fail, patients choosing weight loss surgery experience drastic improvement in quality of life and a reduction in weight related health conditions. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), the benefits of bariatric surgery, along with minimally invasive surgical techniques and quick recovery from weight loss surgery have resulted in a surge in the number of bariatric procedures performed annually.

Gastric bypass surgery is one of the early bariatric procedures and was first performed in the 1960s. It was developed based on weight loss observed in patients who underwent partial stomach removed for ulcers. Though the gastric bypass procedure has changed with advancements in medical technology, it remains one of the most commonly performed operations for weight loss in the United States. It is often preferred by bariatric surgeons as a weight loss option due to the low risk of complications for the patient compared to other weight loss surgeries.

The Gastric Bypass Procedure

There are two components to the gastric bypass procedure. First, the bariatric surgeon creates a small pouch in the top portion of the stomach. This pouch is about the size of an egg, or about 30 milliliters (one fluid ounce) in volume.

Next, the small intestine is divided, and the bottom portion of the small intestine is connected to the new stomach, which is significantly smaller than the formerly football-sized stomach. The remainder of the stomach is “bypassed” along with the first port of the small intestine. Food enters the stomach pouch and goes directly to the lower part of the small intestine, limiting the amount of calories and fat the body can absorb.

Gastric bypass surgery is known as both a restrictive and a malabsorptive procedure because it reduces stomach capacity due to the small size of the pouch while also restricting nutrient and calorie absorption by the small intestine. Additionally, gastric bypass surgery reduces production of ghrelin, also known as the hunger hormone. Reduced output of this hormone helps to reduce feelings of hunger.

Gastric Bypass Surgery Before and After

Patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery achieve a range of results, but on average, gastric bypass results in the loss of about 60 to 80 percent of the patient’s excess body fat. While the majority of weight loss occurs in the first six months after surgery, additional loss typically continues at a slower rate for the next 18 to 24 months. Most patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery are able to maintain weight loss of at least 50 percent of their excess weight for the long-term.

In addition to weight loss, other benefits of gastric bypass include:

Am I a Candidate for Gastric Bypass Surgery?

When diet and exercise have failed to help you lose weight, or if you have serious health problems as a result of your weight, your doctor may recommend bariatric surgery, such as the gastric bypass procedure as an option for you.

The typical candidate for gastric bypass surgery has a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or has a BMI of 35 to 39.9 as well as serious weight-related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea.

The average gastric bypass surgery cost ranges from $17,000 to $26,000, according to ASMBS, but coverage may be available through your health insurance company, but you might have to jump through a few hoops before you are able to obtain approval for surgery from your insurance provider.

Many times, the insurance company’s gastric bypass surgery requirements include a full medical work-up, pre-authorization request and documents showing physician supervised weight loss attempts prior to surgery. Your insurance company may also require a psychological evaluation and or counseling as well as a letter of medical necessity from your physician.

It’s important to remember that all types of weight loss surgery, including gastric bypass, are not a magic fix, but rather tools to aid patients in weight loss. Any weight loss procedure requires that the patient make permanent healthy changes to their diet and get regular exercise to help ensure the long-term success of the bariatric procedure.

There is no perfect bariatric procedure, nor is there a one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss, but an honest discussion with your weight loss doctor in Dallas can help you decide on the procedure that may be best suited for you. If you’re ready to reclaim your health, contact us today to schedule a consultation with a bariatric surgeon.

For people who are seriously overweight or obese, the struggle to lose weight can be exhausting, discouraging, even defeating. A lifetime of dieting and trying the latest fitness fads, even medications often result in a cycle of weight loss and regain. And the implications of obesity—high blood pressure, joint problems, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer, to name a few—can be devastating.

Without medical intervention, many of the nearly one-third of obese adults in the U.S. will never achieve long-term success. But there is hope. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, weight loss surgery is proven to help reverse the progression of obesity, resulting in long-term weight loss. In fact, studies have found that more than 90 percent of bariatric patients are able to achieve and maintain weight loss of at least 50 percent of their excess body weight.

If you have been fighting the weight loss battle, and have been unable to keep the weight off with dieting and exercise alone, it is important to know first and foremost that you are not a failure. There are often genetic and physiological factors at play that can make it difficult to lose weight and keep it off. You are fighting against your body’s biological “set point” or weight that your body naturally wants to maintain. Bariatric surgery is a proven tool to help reset or re-calibrate the natural set point by altering hormones that cause weight gain

Each year, nearly 200,000 patients undergo bariatric surgery in the United States to help them lose weight and reclaim their health. If you are considering weight loss surgery, it’s important to understand the weight loss surgery options in order to choose the best type of weight loss surgery for you.

What are my weight loss surgery options?

There are three primary bariatric procedures performed today: gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve surgery and gastric banding surgery. Here is an overview of each procedure and the key differences between the various weight loss surgery options.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery (RYGB)

During laparoscopic gastric bypass procedure, the surgeon creates a small stomach pouch that is rerouted and connected to the middle portion of the small intestine, therefore “bypassing” the remainder of the stomach, along with the first portion of the small intestine. This procedure decreases the size of the stomach from about the size of a football to the size of an egg. In doing so, the stomach capacity, or the amount of food it can hold, is reduced to about two tablespoons or one fluid ounce. By bypassing a portion of the stomach and small intestine, the procedure also limits the absorption of nutrients and calories by the intestines.

For this reason, gastric bypass is considered both a restrictive and malabsorptive operation. Due to the malabsorptive characteristics of gastric bypass, supplemental calcium, iron and vitamin B12 are necessary after surgery.

For years, gastric bypass surgery has been considered the “gold standard” of weight loss surgery options, though in recent years, surgical advancements in the gastric sleeve procedure — including the invention of the patented Mini Sleeve operation — have decreased popularity of gastric bypass surgery.

When diet and exercise alone are not enough to help you lose weight, if you have serious health problems as a result of your weight, surgery for weight loss, such as the gastric bypass procedure may be an option.

The typical candidate for gastric bypass surgery has a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or has a BMI of 35 to 39.9 as well as serious weight-related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea.

On average, patients who choose gastric bypass surgery lose 70 to 80 percent of their excess body weight in the first year after surgery.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Also known as the sleeve gastrectomy, gastric sleeve surgery is a restrictive weight loss procedure that has become the popular choice by bariatric patients in recent years, due to advancements in medical technology.

During the gastric sleeve procedure, the bariatric surgeon resects a portion of the stomach, reducing the size of the stomach to about 15 percent of its original size. The remaining large portion of the stomach is then removed. As with gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve surgery significantly reduces the volume of the stomach, thereby restricting the amount of food that can be consumed. In addition, the portion of the stomach, which is responsible for the production of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, is removed, decreasing hunger and cravings.

Compared to gastric bypass, gastric sleeve is considered a lower-risk surgery. First Baptist Medical Center bariatric surgeon, Dr. Todd McCarty also offers his patients the trademarked Mini Sleeve surgery, which further reduces risk and shortens recovery for the patient.

Dr. McCarty’s innovative Mini Sleeve procedure uses the natural entrances to the abdominal cavity, particularly the mouth or naval, avoiding the many painful incisions required for removal of the excess stomach with standard laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery. The advanced Mini Sleeve technique results in fewer risks for complications, faster recovery times, few scars and no hospital stay.

As with gastric bypass surgery, the typical candidate for gastric sleeve surgery has a BMI of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher with co-existing medical problems.

Gastric Banding

Gastric banding (lap-band) gained popularity in the 1990s as a minimally invasive weight loss surgery option. It became a popular choice because, unlike other bariatric procedures, gastric banding does not alter the anatomy of the stomach and does not involve any cutting, stapling or intestinal rerouting. It is also the only weight loss surgery option that is completely reversible.

During the gastric banding procedure, an inflatable silicon gastric band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach to create a small pouch to hold food. The adjustable band is connected with tubing to an access port placed under the surface of the skin. After surgery, the band can be adjusted in size by injecting fluid through the system when accessed through the port.

The goal of gastric banding surgery is to restrict the volume of food entering the stomach, thereby serving as a measure of portion control and reducing the capacity of the stomach. Weight loss following gastric banding surgery is typically slower and overall weight loss achieved tends to be less than that associated with other gastric procedures.

Patients who choose gastric banding can expect to lose 30 to 40 percent of their excess body weight in the first year, and 60 to 65 percent in three to five years, if they are able to maintain a healthy diet without complications. As with other bariatric procedures, you may be a candidate for gastric banding if you have a BMI of 40 or higher, or a BMI over 34.9 with other weight-related medical problems.

Surgical Revisions

In rare cases, patients who undergo bariatric surgery may not be satisfied with their results for any of a variety of reasons. In these cases, patients who have undergone a prior bariatric surgery, have the option of surgical revision to help them get back on track and lose the weight.

If you are considering weight loss surgery, call McCarty Weight Loss Center today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Todd McCarty, a leader in bariatric surgery for more than 20 years. Dr. McCarty will help you choose the right procedure to help you lose weight and keep it off for good.

If you would like to learn more about weight loss surgery options or have questions about weight loss surgery cost, contact First Baptist Medical Center today to schedule an appointment with an experienced bariatric surgeon.

In 1988, Dr. Doug Hess, performed the first open gastric sleeve procedure in Bowling Green, Ohio as part of what is now known as the duodenal switch procedure. (The duodenal switch induces weight loss by sleeve gastrectomy and intestinal bypass.) Soon after, it became apparent that many patients could achieve similar weight loss results with the sleeve gastrectomy alone, without the need for intestinal bypass.

Over the last three decades, gastric sleeve surgery, has become the most popular choice for weight loss surgery and the most common bariatric procedure performed worldwide. Each year, nearly 200,000 patients in the U.S. undergo weight loss surgery; the majority of those patients opting to have gastric sleeve surgery over other procedures such as gastric bypass surgery and gastric banding.

Additionally, with time, surgical techniques continue to advance, ultimately reducing the risk to the patient. In 1999, the first laparoscopic approach to the duodenal switch and gastric sleeve was performed. First Baptist Medical Center bariatric surgeon, Dr. Todd McCarty, is a pioneer and innovator in the field of metabolic surgery. Dr. McCarty developed the Mini Sleeve surgery, further reducing risk of complications from the common gastric sleeve weight loss procedure.

The trademarked mini gastric sleeve surgery offers the latest and most advanced surgical techniques, helping bariatric patients achieve their weight loss goal while reducing recovery time and surgical risk. Patented by Dr. Todd McCarty, the Mini Sleeve surgery is an advanced minimally invasive bariatric procedure that allows patients to achieve their weight loss goal with less pain, faster recovery, few scars and no hospital stay.

What’s The Difference Between Mini Sleeve Surgery and Gastric Sleeve?

The traditional laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy weight loss procedure requires the surgeon to make five or six small but painful incisions in the abdomen wall. A large portion of the stomach (about 75 percent) is removed, leaving a small and narrow gastric tube, or “sleeve.” On average, this procedure takes up to two hours to complete and requires the patient to stay in the hospital for up to three days after surgery.

The novel Mini Sleeve surgical technique developed by Dr. Todd McCarty uses natural entrances to the abdominal cavity (typically the mouth), rather than creating incisions in the abdominal wall. After the stomach pouch or sleeve is created, the patented Mini Sleeve device is inserted into the esophagus to protect it while removing the excess stomach through the mouth. There is another option for patients who do not prefer the excess stomach to be removed through the mouth. For these patients, the excess tissue may also be removed through the belly button, also without the need for additional incisions.

Why Choose Mini Gastric Sleeve Surgery

If you are seriously overweight or obese and are considering bariatric surgery, here are seven reasons to consider the Mini Sleeve:

1. No pre-surgery diet required

Most bariatric procedures require patients to go on a strict pre-op diet. These diets can be brutal on patients, however for patients choosing the McCarty Mini Sleeve, no pre-surgery diet is required.

2. Quick, minimally invasive procedure.

Much of the McCarty Mini Sleeve procedure can be performed using a minimally invasive approach called Natural Orifice Trans-endoluminal Endoscopic Surgery or NOTES. This technique involves removal of the stomach through the patient’s mouth or naval. The procedure typically lasts just 30 minutes, compared to one to two hours for traditional gastric sleeve surgery.

3. Fewer incisions made resulting in less pain.

Patients will have approximately two incisions — one by breastbone and one by belly button — as opposed to five or six incisions that are required with a standard sleeve procedure. Because the procedure requires only two incisions patients will have few (if any) visible scars.

4. Faster recovery.

While the standard sleeve procedure requires an overnight hospital stay for up to three nights, the McCarty Mini Sleeve procedure is considered an out-patient procedure with fewer surgical risks, allowing patients to go home the day of the surgery.

5. No restrictions following surgery.

Patients who undergo the standard gastric sleeve procedure may be under lifting restrictions for up to six weeks following surgery. Patients who choose the Mini Sleeve have no lifting restrictions and are typically able to resume their everyday lives much sooner, including activities such as exercise, working, playing with children, etc.

6. Same weight loss potential.

As with the traditional sleeve gastrectomy surgery, the Mini Sleeve not only reduces stomach capacity, but acts to suppress hunger hormone levels, providing patients with the same weight loss potential.

As a nationally trademarked procedure, Dr. McCarty is the only bariatric surgeon in the country who can perform the true Mini Sleeve surgery for patients. If you are considering weight loss surgery, contact First Baptist Medical Center today to schedule an appointment to discuss your options including Mini Sleeve, gastric bypass surgery and gastric sleeve surgery.

Obesity is a rising health epidemic affecting both men and women in the United States. More than one-third of adults are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; about 41 percent of women age 20 and older and 38 percent of men are obese.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measurement of a person’s weight by height, which is the common standard used as an indicator of high body fat. A BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 is considered overweight, while a BMI of 30.0 or higher falls within the obese range. BMI over 40 is categorized as “extreme” or “severe” obesity.

Often times, people who suffer from being overweight or obese struggle to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise alone. In these cases, weight loss surgery may be an option.

Bariatric surgery is a proven tool that can help patients lose weight and improve comorbidities (weight-related health conditions) such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnea. As obesity rates rise, more and more patients are turning to weight loss surgery to help them reclaim their health. Each year, nearly 200,000 patients undergo weight loss surgery.

What are the different bariatric surgery types?

If you are considering surgery for weight loss, it’s important to understand your options and the differences between the various bariatric surgery types that are available. Here is a quick guide to the bariatric surgery types.

Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery has long been considered the “Gold Standard” of surgery for weight loss and is one of the most common bariatric procedures performed in the United States.

During the laparoscopic gastric bypass procedure, the bariatric surgeon creates a small stomach pouch that is rerouted and reconnected to the small intestine. Through gastric bypass surgery, the stomach is reduced from about the size of a football to the size of an egg, or about 30-cc (about two tablespoons, or one fluid ounce). The remainder of the stomach is “bypassed” along with the first port of the small intestine. Food enters the stomach pouch and goes directly to the lower part of the small intestine, limiting the amount of calories and fat the body can absorb.

Patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery achieve a range of results, but on average, gastric bypass results in the loss of about 60 to 70 percent of the patient’s excess body fat in the first year after surgery.

This procedure may be covered by your insurance, but gastric bypass surgery cost can vary depending on your insurance benefits.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Also known as sleeve gastrectomy, the gastric sleeve is a restrictive weight loss procedure that has become the favored choice by bariatric patients in recent years.

During a gastric sleeve surgery, the size of the stomach is reduced to about 15 percent of its original size by surgical removal of a large portion of the stomach. Volume of the stomach is significantly reduced, thereby restricting the amount of food that can be consumed. In addition, the portion of the stomach that produces the hunger hormone, ghrelin, is removed, resulting in reduced hunger.

Gastric sleeve is a lower-risk surgery than gastric bypass and the average patient will lose about 70 to 80 percent of their excess body weight in the first year after surgery.

This procedure may be covered by your insurance, but bariatric surgery cost can vary depending on your insurance benefits.

Gastric Banding

Commonly referred to as the lap-band, gastric banding is different than gastric bypass and gastric sleeve in that it is the only bariatric surgery type that does not alter the anatomy of the stomach and is completely reversible.

During the gastric banding procedure, an inflatable silicon gastric band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach to create a small pouch to hold food. The adjustable band is connected with tubing to an access port placed under the surface of the skin. After surgery, the band can be adjusted in size by injecting fluid through the system when accessed through the port.

The goal of gastric banding surgery is to restrict the volume of food entering the stomach, thereby serving as a measure of portion control and reducing the capacity of the stomach. Weight loss following gastric banding surgery is typically slower and overall weight loss achieved tends to be less than that associated with other gastric procedures. Patients who choose gastric banding can expect to lose 20 to 45 percent of their excess body weight in the first year, and 60 to 65 percent in three to five years, if they are able to maintain a healthy diet without complications.

This procedure may be covered by your insurance, but gastric sleeve surgery cost can vary depending on your insurance benefits.

Surgical Revisions

Unfortunately, no bariatric surgery type is without limitations, nor is any one procedure the best option for any patient who needs to lose weight. In some cases, patients who undergo weight loss surgery may be dissatisfied with their results, or experience medical complications from the procedure. In these cases, patients who have had a prior bariatric surgery may be a candidate for a bariatric surgical revision to help them get back on track to achieve their desired weight loss.

This procedure may be covered by your insurance, but bariatric surgery cost can vary depending on your insurance benefits.

If weight loss surgery is something you are considering to help you lose weight and reclaim your health, contact your weight loss surgeon today to schedule an appointment. Your doctor will discuss all of the options and help you choose the bariatric surgery type that will help you safely lose weight and keep it off.

There is no magic formula to help you lose weight, but consistent exercise and a commitment to healthy nutrition go hand in hand if you want to achieve your weight loss goals. Sweating away hours at the gym won’t get you to your goals if you aren’t eating for weight loss, but for now, we’ll focus on tips to help you lose weight with exercise.

So, which exercise is best for weight loss?

The simple answer: the exercise you will do. This is tip No. 1 when it comes to exercising and weight loss. Find an exercise you enjoy, one you can commit to, and get after it!

For optimum health and weight management, a fitness routine should include elements of both cardio training and strength training.

Cardio training

Cardio exercise, also known as aerobic exercise, increase heart rate, maximizing the amount of oxygen in your blood. Aerobic exercise trains your body to use oxygen more efficiently. For this reason, over time, you will build endurance and should gradually increase exercise duration and intensity to challenge your body even more.

Any form of exercise that increases your heart rate classifies as cardio training. During a cardio workout, you’ll use large muscle groups in your body. Common examples of cardio training include walking, jogging, biking, rowing, swimming, hiking, dancing and water aerobics.

Intensity in your workout is key to burning fat. Amping up intensity means you’ll burn more calories while maintaining (or even gaining) muscle mass.

Strength training

Strength training can be intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. Incorporating resistance and strength training activities into your weight loss exercise plan two or three days a week is essential to help you build muscle. In turn, muscle helps your body burn more calories, even when you are done with your workout.

Lifting free weights, using assisted weight lift equipment at the gym, or doing bodyweight exercises like pushups, squats and burpees all qualify as strength training and will help you build muscle mass. If you’re not sure where to start, schedule an appointment with a certified professional trainer who can show you the right exercises and proper form to help you reach you weight loss goals.

Here are six workouts to incorporate into your weight loss exercise plan:

1. HIIT

High intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, can help you burn between 500 to 1500 calories per hour, depending on the intensity level of your exercise. By definition, HIIT is short bursts of high intensity exercises followed by a quick rest period, repeated for a set amount of time.

Bodyweight exercises like burpees, mountain climbers, lunges, jumping jacks, pushups, sit-ups, high knees and squats are all simple yet effective exercises to incorporate into a HIIT workout.

Walking

It may seem simple, but even walking can help boost weight loss, especially if you are new to exercise. Walking is something you can do just about anywhere, and at anytime. Make a habit of getting up and walking frequently throughout your day. Take the stairs when you can, and park at the back of the parking lot to get in extra steps on your way into work or the grocery store.

Start by walking a few minutes each day, gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your walking workout. The key is to walk at a pace quick enough that your heart rate remains elevated. As you begin to lose weight, it will become easier to walk longer distances.

Sprinting

Running sprints can help you burn more calories in a short amount of time. If you enjoy jogging, incorporate short 20-30 second sprints every minute or two during your workout to take the intensity up a notch and increase fat burn.

It should be noted that jogging and sprinting are high impact exercises that can be painful on your joints, especially if you are overweight. If you have a lot of weight to lose, start with low-impact exercise such as those listed below.

Rowing

Rowing is a full body, low impact workout to help you lose weight. If you’re new to rowing, ask a fitness trainer to demonstrate proper form on the rowing machine. It is a common misconception that rowing is an arm workout. The secret is to use the strength of your legs to initiate motion, following the movement with your back/torso and ending the stroke with your arms.

Maintaining a moderate, steady state pace on the rowing machine can burn as many as 800 calories per hour (just remember to row at a pace that keeps your heart rate elevated). By increasing intensity with short bursts, or sprints, you can burn even more calories.

Swimming

If you experience painful joints, exercising in water is an excellent option for a weight loss workout. Like rowing, swimming helps to melt away fat while giving you a full body workout.

Begin your workout by simply treading water. Then swim a few laps. Follow with a water-treading interval and repeat. If you’re a strong swimmer, increase speed to increase intensity.

Cycling

A vigorous indoor or outdoor cycling workout can burn anywhere from 500 to 1,000 calories per hour. Riding intervals on a stationary bike allows you to maximize calorie burn in a short amount of time. Similar to sprinting or HIIT intervals, maintain a high level of intensity for a couple of minutes, followed by a minute of recovery. Repeat these intervals as many times as you can for the duration of your cycling workout.

While no one workout will help you lose weight overnight, with consistent exercise and a commitment to a healthy diet, you will begin to see the extra pounds come off, revealing a new, healthier you.

Are you ready to lose weight for good? Contact your First Baptist Medical Center today to schedule an appointment with a Dallas weight loss doctor.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can be caused by a variety of factors, including being overweight and eating an unhealthy diet that is high in fat, salt and cholesterol. High blood pressure can wreak havoc on your body, causing damage to the arteries, heart, brain, kidneys and eyes. Left uncontrolled, hypertension can lead to heart disease, stroke and even death.

The switch to a healthier lifestyle, particularly maintaining a healthy diet, is key in the treatment of high blood pressure. Foods that are low in salt, fat and cholesterol comprise the best hypertensive diet to help keep your blood pressure in check and manage your weight. The more salt you eat, the more blood pressure will increase.

In addition to eating a hypertensive diet, if you have been diagnosed with hypertension, here are eight tips to reduce your risk of serious health complications.

1. Limit alcohol intake

Overtime, regular alcohol consumption can result in high blood pressure. Some alcoholic beverages are also high in calories, which can result in weight gain leading to high blood pressure. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit your intake of beer, wine and liquor to keep within the dietary guidelines of one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.

2. Cut back on caffeine

Drinking too much caffeine (i.e. more than four cups of coffee) per day can increase blood pressure. In addition to the caffeine found in energy drinks and sodas, many drinks also contain high amounts of sugar, leading to weight gain and potentially high blood pressure, among other risks. Coffee and tea can be consumed as part of a healthy diet but water should always be your primary source of fluid.

3. Stop smoking

Smoking puts you at a much higher risk of heart attack or stroke as it causes the arteries to narrow. If you have high blood pressure and are a smoker, risk for serious complications is significantly higher. In addition, smoking may cause other health problems such as lung disease and cancer.

4. Get regular exercise

Being physically active through regular exercise helps improve the condition of your heart and blood vessels. Routine exercise can also help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight, thereby lowering blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends that men and women get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. If you are new to exercise, work with a certified professional trainer to develop a fitness plan that is best for you.

5. Maintain a healthy weight

When you are overweight, your body must work harder to pump blood from the heart to your organs, which in turn causes an increase in blood pressure. Hypertension or high blood pressure is commonly associated with high body mass index (BMI). If you are overweight, even losing a few pounds can make a difference in your blood pressure and overall health. Following a weight loss meal plan getting regular exercise will lay the foundation to help you reach a healthy body weight and BMI.

6. Reduce your stress

Over time, chronic stress may be a contributing factor in high blood pressure, though research is limited in the exact effects of chronic stress on blood pressure. One thing that is clear: high stress levels often lead to behaviors that may be detrimental to your health, such as stress eating, drinking alcohol or smoking. Stress can have many causes, such as work, family situations, finances and illness. You must first identify the source of your stress before you can take measures to reduce or eliminate that stress. To lower your stress levels, take time to relax and do activities you enjoy.

7. Get plenty of rest

Over time, sleep deprivation can reduce your body’s ability to regulate stress hormones, resulting in high blood pressure. To improve blood pressure, be sure you are getting plenty of time to sleep. Adults should get six to eight hours of sleep each night.

8. Seek support

Build a support system of friends, family and healthcare providers around you who will encourage you to make healthy lifestyle changes to keep your blood pressure low.

If you are overweight or obese and suffer from high blood pressure, it may be time to talk to a weight loss doctor about medical interventions that can help you reach a healthy weight and reduce your blood pressure and other risk factors. Contact First Baptist Medical Center today to speak with a Dallas weight loss doctor.

Food is not the enemy. We need to eat in order to survive. In our culture, food often goes hand-in-hand with celebration, fellowship and comfort. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying food. But when a love of food results in overeating, it can become problematic, leading to weight gain and other health problems.

Many people recognize their need to lose weight, but their love of food simply gets in the way. If you love food, perhaps you’re even a self-proclaimed “foodie,” but also struggle with your weight, you may feel lost, conflicted, or unsure where to start on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. Rather than make radical, overnight changes in your diet, commit to making small, thoughtful changes in your eating habits.

Use these tips to make the shift to a healthier diet and jumpstart weight loss, without completely stifling your love of food.

Keep a food journal

Use a small notebook, or even a mobile app to keep a food diary of what you eat. Write down everything you put in your mouth, including drinks, for one week. Jot down the time of day and make a note of what you felt when you were eating. Were you sad, stressed, tired, happy or hungry? Were you eating simply because it was “time”?

After one week, take a look back through your food journal to see if you recognize any patterns in your eating habits. Are you eating when you’re not hungry? Do you always eat dessert? Have you been skipping meals? How many snacks are you eating throughout the day.

Identify any triggers that may cause you to engage in those unhealthy eating habits. What changes can you make in how you approach food each day? Where could you replace an unhealthy food option with a healthier choice?

Continue with your food journal, making a daily record of the foods you eat. Review your food diary often to remain aware of your triggers or cues for eating and make small changes, incorporating healthy eating habits over time, such as eating healthier snacks or drinking water instead of soda. As time goes on, this journal will serve as a source of accountability and help you identify where things went wrong when you fall off track.

Replace unhealthy habits

As you reflect on your food and eating habits and identify the triggers that may lead to unhealthy habits, consider simple behavioral changes you can make to help you shift to a healthier lifestyle. Some healthy eating habits include:

Reinforce healthy eating habits

It takes time for lifestyle changes to become habit, and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. Give yourself a pat on the back when you make a healthy choice over an unhealthy one. Celebrate the milestones, even the smallest ones, along the way. Be patient with yourself, and recognize that we are all guilty of making unhealthy choices from time to time. But over the long run, as you consciously make an effort to develop a healthy relationship with food, you will begin to reap the benefits of those healthy changes in your life.

Making the shift toward healthy eating habits to lose weight will affect more than your waistline. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits can improve your health, allowing you to truly enjoy life without being hooked on food.

Are you ready to get started on your weight loss journey? Contact First Baptist Medical Center today to speak with an experienced Dallas weight loss doctor who can help you establish healthy lifestyle habits.

Cardio exercise (scientifically known as aerobic exercise) is essential if you want to burn calories and fat to lose weight. But it is beneficial for far more than just weight loss.

The term “aerobic” means “with oxygen.” During cardiovascular exercise, you breathe faster and more deeply, which increases heart rate and maximizes the amount of oxygen in your blood. In a nutshell, cardio exercise helps your body use oxygen more efficiently. This is why, after regular cardio exercise, you experience improved endurance and don’t get short of breath as quickly.

Other benefits of cardio exercise include:

Cardio exercise requires movement of large muscle groups in your body. Common examples include walking, jogging, biking, swimming, hiking, dancing and water aerobics. Generally, any form of activity that increases your heart rate over the duration of the activity would classify as a cardio workout. But what is the best cardio workout for weight loss?

Intensity is the key to fat-burning exercises. The higher the intensity of the workout, the more calories you burn while maintaining (or even gaining) muscle mass. Here are five exercises to incorporate into your weight loss cardio workout plan:

  1. Sprinting. Running sprints, whether outside or on a treadmill, is a simple way to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. Jogging and steady-state running will burn calories as well, but pick up the speed and sprint if you want to increase intensity and fat burn. To burn fat sprinting, try sprinting for 20 to 30 seconds, then jogging for a minute, then repeat.
  2. High Intensity Interval Training. Also known as HIIT, high intensity interval training can burn anywhere from 500 to 1500 calories per hour, depending on the intensity level of each exercise. The key to HIIT is performing short bursts of high intensity exercises followed by a quick rest period and then repeating. Bodyweight exercises like burpees, mountain climbers, lunges, jumping jacks, pushups, sit-ups, high knees and squats are all great exercises to incorporate into a HIIT workout.
  3. Rowing. Rowing is a full body workout that’s easy on the joints and ligaments. Keeping a moderate pace on the rowing machine can burn as many as 800 calories per hour. Increase intensity with short bursts, or sprints, and the calorie burn quickly adds up. Be sure you’re using proper form when rowing. If you’ve never been on a rowing machine, ask a trainer to demonstrate. Many people mistake rowing as an arm workout, but the key is to use your legs to start the motion, follow it with your back/torso and end the stroke with your arms. After a good warm up, try sprinting 250 meters, followed by a one minute rest. Repeat for 20 minutes.
  4. Swimming. Working out in water is another excellent choice if you want to be mindful of your joints. Swimming melts away fat while working your whole body. Start your swimming workout by simply treading water. Then swim a few laps. Follow with a water-treading interval and repeat. If you’re a strong swimmer, increase speed to increase intensity.
  5. Cycling. Whether you’re on a stationary bike inside or riding outdoors, a vigorous cycling workout can burn anywhere from 500 to 1,000 calories per hour. Riding intervals on a stationary bike will help you maximize calorie burn in a short amount of time. Maintain a high level of intensity for a couple of minutes, followed by a minute of recovery. Repeat the intervals as many times as you can.

Ultimately, there is no magic workout to help you lose weight quickly. Weight loss will happen when you are consistent with your exercise program as well as maintaining healthy nutrition. If you’ve hit a plateau, changing up your fitness routine, adding in strength training or increasing intensity of your workouts will help restart your weight loss.

If you’re ready to begin a new, healthier lifestyle and lose the weight for good, contact your First Baptist Medical Center weight loss doctor today.

If losing weight and keeping it off is something you’ve struggled with for years, and you’re tired of trying the latest fad diets and fitness trends, you might be a candidate for weight loss surgery. Bariatric surgery is proven to help patients lose weight and keep it off by altering hormones that cause weight gain. Each year, nearly 200,000 patients make the decision to have weight loss surgery. Are you next?

Bariatric Surgery Can Be a Lifesaving

Making the decision to have weight loss surgery isn’t one to take lightly. It requires a life-long commitment to lifestyle changes like diet and exercise, but bariatric surgery can be lifesaving. The first step is to choose the weight loss surgery option that is best for you, with the help of your doctor. There are three primary forms of bariatric surgery available: gastric bypass, gastric banding (Lap-Band) and gastric sleeve.

During the gastric sleeve procedure, a large portion of the stomach is removed, reducing the size of the stomach by approximately 70 to 80 percent. With the new, smaller stomach, volume is reduced, restricting the amount of food that can be consumed. Additionally, the portion of the stomach that produces the hunger hormone, ghrelin is removed, resulting in less hunger and fewer cravings. The average gastric sleeve patient will lose about 70 to 80 percent of their excess body weight.

In recent years, gastric sleeve has become the favored choice by bariatric patients and surgeons, due to its lower risk compared to gastric bypass and higher success rate compared to gastric banding.

What is the McCarty Mini Sleeve

Leading bariatric surgeon Todd McCarty further improved the gastric sleeve procedure with the invention of the McCarty Mini Sleeve. The innovative Mini Sleeve procedure uses the natural entrances to the abdominal cavity to remove the resected portion of the stomach, thus avoiding the painful incisions required with the standard laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery. The Mini Sleeve is a minimally invasive weight loss surgery technique, meaning there are fewer risks for complications. Patients can also experience faster recovery times with no hospital stay and have fewer scars after surgery.

Is it time for you to take the next step toward reclaiming your life? Contact McCarty Weight Loss Center today to schedule an appointment with Dr. McCarty, a trusted leader in weight loss surgery in Dallas and across the country. If the patented Mini Sleeve procedure is not right for you, the team at McCarty Weight Loss Center will help you choose the bariatric option that is best suited for your individual needs.