Weight loss can be a frustrating process and it may often feel like you’re taking two steps forward, one step back. The typical weight loss tips, such as eating a healthy diet, getting more exercise and drinking plenty of water may help you lose some weight, only to find the next month, you’ve gained a few pounds back.
What if we told you there were some weight loss hacks you could try to help you lose more weight and get closer to your goal weight? While every human body responds differently to various weight loss methods, here are 10 surprising weight loss tips anyone can do.
- Eat within a small window each day. Perhaps you have heard of a popular weight loss trend called intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting means you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. While some people will alternate one day of eating with a day of fasting, or do a 24 (or more) hour fast once a week, one of the least restrictive methods of intermittent fasting is the 16:8 rule. Keep your eating within an eight-hour window each day, and fast the remaining 16 hours. If you are used to waking up early and staying up late, and eating all throughout the day, shrinking your window for eating can be an effective way to help you shed those unwanted pounds.
- Incorporate weight lifting into your exercise routine. If you consistently workout, but aren’t seeing the results you’d like to see, it may be time to change things up. Strength training, particularly weight lifting, can be an effective way to help you burn more calories and lose weight. Studies have shown that people who lift weights drop more fat and gain more muscle than those who stick to aerobic workouts without strength training, or who don’t workout at all. Aim to get in at least two strength training sessions each week, combined with 150 minutes of moderately intense cardio exercise.
- Drink coffee in the morning. Starting your day with a cup (or two) of coffee can give you energy to get through the day, but it can also give your metabolism a boost to help you burn more calories during your day. Everything in moderation, though. Stick to the recommended 400mg of caffeine per day, as too much caffeine can have a negative impact on your health.
- Make breakfast your biggest meal. Most Americans eat their biggest meal of the day in the evening, with a small breakfast in the morning and a mid-sized meal at lunchtime. If you want to lose weight, try doing the opposite. One study found that breakfast eaters experienced more weight loss compared to those who didn’t eat breakfast, and those who made breakfast their biggest meal of the day experienced a significant drop in BMI.
- Make quality, not quantity your priority. Yes, to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume. But being fixated on the number of calories you consume, rather than the quality of the food you eat may be doing you more harm than good. By shifting your focus to eating more whole foods, and nixing added sugar and processed foods from your diet, you may experience even more weight loss.
- Make simple swaps when you cook. Perhaps one of the easiest weight loss hacks is to make simple changes in your cooking and diet to cut calories. Here are a few simple swaps you can make:
- Greek yogurt for sour cream in recipes
- coat your cooking pan with spray olive oil, rather than spreading a drizzle of olive oil
- use avocado spread on sandwiches instead of Mayo
- enjoy your tacos with corn tortillas instead of flour
- try spiraled noodles with your favorite Italian recipe, instead of pasta noodles
- Exercise in the morning. By starting your day with 30-45 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise, you may find that you have decreased appetite and fewer cravings during the day. Additionally, if you make a habit of doing your workout first thing in the morning, that’s one thing off your to-do list for the day, and you won’t have to fight the excuses that can creep in during the day and steal your motivation to workout in the evening.
- Take a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and gives your immune system a boost, but it may also help you lose weight. One study found that adding vitamin D to a reduced-calorie diet resulted in more weight loss.
- Exercise on an empty stomach. Getting your exercise in on an empty stomach can help burn more of those excess fat cells, according to this study from the American Journal of Physiology. If you plan to exercise in the morning and eat a big meal for breakfast, get your workout in before you eat.
- Skip the commercials. Subliminal advertising may actually play more of a role in weight gain or weight loss than you think. Watching commercials and ads about high-calorie foods and snacks activate the part of your brain that causes cravings for sweet or fatty foods. The signals you receive from subliminal messages might be making you more likely to load your plate with less-than-healthy food options.
These simple weight loss hacks may help you shed some unwanted pounds, but if you are significantly overweight or obese and your weight is impacting your health, it’s time to consider making a more significant change. Contact your First Baptist Medical Center weight loss clinic today to learn more about weight loss options that can help you lose as much as 80 percent of your excess body weight, and keep it off.
Imagine feeling full after a meal without eating nearly as much food as you once could — and losing weight in the process. This is the goal of gastric sleeve surgery, one of the leading types of bariatric or weight loss surgeries available today.
If you have struggled to lose weight through lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise alone, bariatric surgery may be a solution worth exploring. For many patients, genetic or physiological factors can make weight loss difficult. For others, the effects of years of poor lifestyle habits are simply too much to overcome without medical intervention.
If you are considering weight loss surgery, it is important to know that you are not a failure, and you are not alone. There are a number of weight loss procedures that have a track record of helping patients lose weight and keep it off.
Gastric sleeve surgery is just one of those options. First performed in 1988 as part of the duodenal switch procedure, gastric sleeve surgery has become the favored choice by bariatric surgeons in recent years. Gastric sleeve surgery has become popular with patients as with this procedure, the average patient can lose 70 to 80 percent of their excess body weight.
How does gastric sleeve surgery help you lose weight?
During the gastric sleeve procedure, a large portion of the stomach is removed, reducing the overall size of the stomach to about 15 percent of its original size. The new, much smaller stomach pouch or “sleeve” is able to hold only a fraction of the amount of food, which means patients will lose weight by a process of restriction.
In addition to removing a large portion of the stomach, part of what is removed is the part of the stomach that is responsible for the production of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Gastric sleeve patients aren’t able to consume nearly as much food as they once could, but they also experience less hunger than they did prior to surgery. Gastric sleeve
What is the gastric mini sleeve?
First Baptist Medical Center bariatric surgeon, Dr. Todd McCarty, is an innovator in weight loss surgery and has further improved the gastric sleeve procedure with the invention of his patented McCarty Mini Sleeve. The McCarty Mini Sleeve further reduces the risk of complications from the traditional gastric sleeve surgery.
The trademarked gastric mini sleeve surgery uses an advanced surgical technique, NOTES, to remove the resected portion of the stomach through natural entrances to the body (typically the mouth). This technique avoids the many painful incisions required with the standard laparoscopic gastric sleeve procedure, resulting in fewer complications, faster recovery, few scars and no hospital stay.
During traditional gastric sleeve surgery, the surgeon must make five to six small yet painful incisions in the abdominal wall. The resected portion of the stomach is removed through these incisions. On average, gastric sleeve surgery takes about two hours and requires a hospital stay up to three days.
During the gastric mini sleeve procedure, the stomach is removed through the mouth. After the stomach pouch is created, the patented Mini Sleeve device is inserted into the esophagus to protect it while the excess stomach is removed. For patients who do not prefer the excess stomach to be removed through the mouth, this excess tissue may instead be removed through the belly button, again without the need for multiple incisions.
What are the benefits of gastric mini sleeve surgery?
If you are considering gastric sleeve surgery to help you lose weight, here are a few reasons to choose Dr. McCarty to perform your surgery using the McCarty Mini Sleeve:
- No pre-surgery diet required. Unlike most bariatric procedures which require patients to go on a strict pre-op diet, no pre-surgery diet is required for patients choosing the McCarty Mini Sleeve.
- Short, minimally invasive procedure. Using the NOTES technique shortens the length of the procedure from about two hours to just 30 minutes.
- Fewer incisions and less pain. With the gastric mini sleeve, patients will typically have just two incisions — one by breastbone and one by belly button — compared to five or six incisions with a standard gastric sleeve procedure.
- Fast recovery. The typical gastric sleeve surgery requires an overnight hospital stay for up to three nights, but 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.
- No activity. Most 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 more quickly.
If weight loss surgery is something you are considering to help you lose weight and reclaim your health, contact First Baptist Medical Center today to schedule a consultation Dr. Todd McCarty.
You’ve probably heard the word “metabolism” in reference to weight loss or weight gain, but what exactly is metabolism and how does it affect your ability to achieve your weight loss goals? Is it true that people with a “slow” metabolism struggle to lose weight, while those with a “fast” metabolism can eat whatever they want without gaining weight?
Here’s what you need to know about metabolism and how it is related to weight loss or weight gain.
What is metabolism?
Metabolism is the process through which your body converts what you eat and drink into the energy it needs to function. It is a process of all living things during which calories are combined with oxygen to release energy.
Even at rest, your body requires energy for basic life functions, such as breathing, circulating blood, growing and repairing cells. Your basal metabolic rate—or metabolism—is the number of calories your body requires to carry out these basic functions.
What determines your metabolic rate?
There are a number of factors that can influence your metabolism. These include:
- Body size and composition — People with a large body size or more muscle mass burn more calories, even at rest.
- Gender — Men typically have less body fat and more muscle than women, which means they burn more calories than women of the same age and weight.
- Age — As you age, muscle mass tends to decrease, while the amount of fat in your body increase, slowing your body’s metabolic rate.
- Thermogenesis — This is the process by which your body digests, absorbs, transports and stores the food you consume into calories. About 10 percent of the calories you consume are burned as your body digests and absorbs food and nutrients.
- Physical activity — Any physical activity or exercise you do during the day burns calories and can play a major role in how many calories you burn on a daily basis.
How is metabolism related to weight loss or weight gain?
While metabolism is certainly linked to weight and it is true that a “faster” metabolism burns calories more quickly, a slow metabolism is not always the cause of excess weight gain. How much you eat, what foods you eat, and how much you exercise are more influential factors and ultimately determine how much weight you gain or lose than your body’s metabolism rate.
Weight gain is a complicated combination of genetic factors, hormones, diet, environment, sleep, physical activity and stress. Rare medical problems, such as Cushing’s syndrome or an underactive thyroid (hypothyroid) can significantly slow metabolism and cause weight gain.
It is true that some people tend to lose weight more easily and more quickly than others, but everyone will lose weight when they eat fewer calories than they burn. In order to lose weight, you must create an energy deficit by eating less or increasing physical activity, or both.
What can you do to increase calorie burn?
There is little you can do to alter the speed of your basal metabolism, but it is possible to increase calorie burn by altering your diet and increasing physical activity. It may be that people who have a “fast” metabolism simply move more than those with a “slow” metabolism.
Many weight loss programs are designed to help you increase calorie burn in order to reach your weight loss goals. Standard weight loss programs include an exercise regimen and weight loss diet.
Exercise for weight loss
Weight loss exercise programs should include a combination of aerobic/cardio exercise as well as strength training. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise each week. That breaks down to about 30 minutes, five days a week. If you cannot fit a 30 minutes of cardio workout into your day, try breaking it up into three 10-minute exercise segments throughout the day.
Strength training increases muscle mass. Because muscle burns more calories than fat, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body will burn. Most experts recommend at least two strength training workouts each week. These workouts can include weightlifting and/or bodyweight exercises.
Making changes in your daily lifestyle activities can also help increase your energy expenditure throughout the day. Look for ways to get more movement in during your daily routine, such as parking at the back of the parking lot at the store, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or holding walking meetings at work. Don’t be afraid to get creative; the more active you are, the more change you’ll see.
Weight loss diet
No matter how much you exercise, no amount of physical activity can make up for a bad diet. If you are serious about achieving your weight loss goals, take time to evaluate your diet. How many calories do you consume on a daily basis, and what are the sources of those calories?
Here are a few tips for a healthy weight loss diet:
- Eat more vegetables — Fill at least half of your plate at each meal with vegetables.
- Prioritize protein — Every meal and snack should include a protein source. Choose lean protein sources, such as chicken, fish, nuts and seeds.
- Watch your portions — Take the time to measure your portions to ensure you aren’t overeating. Use smaller plates to reduce overall portion size.
- Drink water — Water is essential for weight loss. Aim to drink at least half of your body weight in water each day.
If diet and exercise alone have not helped you achieve your weight loss goals, consider seeking help from a weight loss doctor. Contact First Baptist Medical Center today to schedule an appointment with an experienced weight loss doctor who can recommend medical interventions to help you lose weight and keep it off.
Many people trying to lose weight find that diet and exercise alone are not enough to help them achieve their weight loss goals. It is at this point that the research into surgical weight loss procedures begins.
One common question and point of confusion for people is in the difference between cosmetic surgery, such as liposuction or tummy tuck, and bariatric surgery procedures, such as gastric bypass or gastric band. While medical terminology can be confusing, it is important to understand that cosmetic or body contouring procedures and weight loss surgery are not one in the same.
Cosmetic weight loss procedures, such as liposuction remove existing fat from the body. Body contouring procedures help patients improve their body shape after they lose weight. But these cosmetic procedures do nothing to address the root issues of the patient’s weight gain and help the patient maintain weight loss over time. Cosmetic procedures are ideal for individuals with “trouble” areas, rather than those who are significantly overweight or obese.
On the contrary, bariatric surgery help patients achieve long-term weight loss through mechanisms such as restriction (limiting stomach capacity) and malabsorption (limiting absorption of calories and nutrients). As you are considering your weight loss options, here are a few key differences to keep in mind between bariatric surgery and cosmetic weight loss procedures.
- Bariatric surgery procedures including gastric band, gastric bypass and gastric sleeve initiate weight loss by physically shrinking the size of the stomach and limiting the amount of calories the patient is able to consume.
- Gastric bypass also works as a malabsorptive bariatric surgery, as it limits the amount of nutrients the body absorbs by bypassing a portion of the small intestine.
- Cosmetic surgeries have no impact on a patient’s appetite, digestion or metabolism and will not result in continued weight loss after surgery.
- Cosmetic procedures result in little to no weight loss (the typical patient loses less than three pounds). Bariatric procedures can help the patient lose between 30 and 80 percent of their excess body weight.
- Bariatric surgery is a medical procedure, whereas liposuction and body contouring procedures are cosmetic. The goal of bariatric surgery is to improve the patient’s health and reduce weight-related risk factors. The goal of cosmetic surgery is to achieve a more pleasing physical appearance, not to improve the patient’s health.
- During bariatric surgery, excess skin cannot be removed and body proportions cannot be improved. Many bariatric patients have excess skin after surgery due to rapid weight loss and may opt for a cosmetic procedure, such as body contouring to remove excess skin and improve body shape and appearance once they have achieved their goal weight.
- Patients who are within five to 10 pounds of their ideal weight may experience the best results from cosmetic procedures. Patients with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 may achieve the best results from bariatric surgery.
- Bariatric surgery should be performed by a board certified general surgeon who specializes in bariatric surgery. Body contouring surgery should be performed by a plastic surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
- Cosmetic procedures are typically considered elective and not covered by insurance. Bariatric procedures may be covered by health insurance if the patient meets the insurance company’s criteria and qualifications (check with your provider, as these can vary).
If diet and exercise has not worked for you and you are looking for a medical procedure that can help you reach your weight loss goals, bariatric surgery may be an option for you. Below is a brief explanation of the various bariatric procedures available.
During the gastric band, or lap-band procedure, an inflatable silicone gastric band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach, reducing the amount of food that can be consumed. The adjustable band is connected with tubing to an access port under the skin and can be adjusted in size by injecting fluid through the port.
Patients who undergo gastric band surgery can expect to lose 20 to 45 percent of their excess body weight in the first year after surgery.
During the gastric bypass procedure, a small stomach pouch is created in the top portion of the stomach. This stomach pouch is about the size of an egg. The new, smaller stomach is then connected to the lower portion of the small intestine, bypassing the remainder of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine. Food enters the stomach and goes directly to the lower part of the stomach, limiting the amount of calories and nutrients the body can absorb.
Patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery typically lose about 60 to 70 percent of their excess body weight in the first year after surgery.
During the gastric sleeve procedure, the portion of the stomach that produces ghrelin, the hunger hormone, is resected and removed, leaving a small and narrow gastric tube, or “sleeve.” The new stomach is about 15 percent of its original size. The result is a reduced stomach capacity and reduced appetite.
Patients who undergo gastric sleeve surgery typically lose about 70 to 80 percent of their excess body weight in the first year after surgery.
Cosmetic procedures may provide instant gratification for patients who do not have a significant amount of weight to lose. However, cosmetic surgeries are not intended to treat obesity or to help patients achieve long-term weight loss. If you are considering bariatric surgery to help you reach your weight loss goals and improve weight-related health conditions, contact your First Baptist Medical Center bariatric surgeon today to schedule a consultation.
Weight loss surgery is not a “quick fix,” but it is a tool to help patients who have been unsuccessful with diet and exercise alone lose weight and keep it off. The secret to success after weight loss surgery is to carefully follow your surgeon’s instructions. Successful gastric bypass surgery patients are committed to making necessary lifestyle changes including adhering to the strict post-op diet and exercise recommendations.
Bariatric procedures, such as gastric bypass surgery, work by one of two mechanisms (or a combination of both): restriction and malabsorption. Weight loss surgery helps patients lose weight by restricting the amount of food they are able to consume and/or limiting the nutrients and calories the body absorbs after eating.
Sticking to the strict gastric bypass surgery diet is key in achieving success. The goal of the gastric bypass diet is to allow your body to heal following surgery, while encouraging a change in eating habits. The diet is designed to prevent the stomach from being stretched by the food you eat, give you time to adapt to eating smaller amounts of food, help you lose weight, and avoid any side effects or complications from surgery.
If you are considering gastric bypass surgery or gastric sleeve surgery, here’s what you need to know about the typical bariatric post-op diet. (Your doctor or a registered dietitian will go over the details of the diet with you, explaining what you can eat and how much you can eat at each meal.)
The gastric bypass surgery diet is broken down into stages to ease you back into eating solid foods.
Day 1 and 2: Patients consume only clear liquids.
Day 3-7: Patients are able to start full liquids, including protein shakes, yogurt, etc.
Day 8-27: Patients begin soft solids (nothing hard or crunchy).
Day 28 and beyond: Patients begin a normal, high protein/low carb diet, which will continue for the remainder of their weight loss and healthy eating lifestyle.
During each of these stages, it is important that you:
- Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day to avoid dehydration.
- Drink liquids between meals, not with your meals. Avoid drinking anything within 30 minutes before you eat and 30 minutes after you finish eating.
- Eat and drink slowly.
- Consume lean, protein-rich foods.
- Choose foods that are low in fat and sugar.
- Avoid alcohol and limit caffeine.
- Take recommended vitamin and mineral supplements as directed by your surgeon as mineral and nutrient deficiency can be a concern.
- Chew solid foods thoroughly, chewing each bite at least 25 times.
- Start each meal with protein first, then vegetables and finish with fruits.
As a general rule of thumb, once you’ve reached the four-week mark, focus on eating three balanced meals and two healthy snacks daily, including three servings of protein, three servings of vegetables and one serving of fruit. Avoid consuming more than two servings per day of breads/starches and sweets. Eat slowly, chewing each bite 25 times. Start each meal by eating your protein first, then move on to vegetables and fruits.
Work directly with your First Baptist Medical Center weight loss doctor and/or nutritionist as you learn and develop new eating habits that will be sustainable over the course of your lifetime. If you have had surgery and have questions about post-op nutrition, contact us today.
Your immune system is your body’s first line of defense against disease-causing microorganisms (a.k.a. germs). A strong immune system is able to fight off illness and disease, but the weaker your immune system, the more likely you are to get sick.
As the winter flu season approaches, is there anything you can do to give your immune system a boost? While there is more research to be done on the exact factors that contribute to a strong and healthy immune system, there is evidence that a healthy lifestyle can have a positive effect on your immune system.
Here are a few healthy lifestyle tips to help boost immunity and give yourself the best shot at a healthier winter.
Eat a nutritious diet.
Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that are essential to your health. The more variety you have in your diet, the more likely you are to get the range of nutrients your body needs to fight disease. This is especially important as we age. Senior adults are less likely to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods, and the lack of proper nutrition may contribute to reduced immune response and an increase in infections and disease that comes with age.
Manage your stress.
Chronic, on-going stress may take a toll on your immune system. Find healthy ways to manage the stressors you face on a daily basis to give your body the best shot at fighting illness. Find a hobby you enjoy, practice yoga or meditation, spend time in prayer, exercise regularly. These are just a few ways you can help manage your mental and physical reaction to stress.
Get regular exercise.
Physical activity is a pillar of a healthy life. Regular exercise improves heart health, lowers blood pressure, reduces inflammation, helps control body weight and in general contributes to a healthier immune system.
Supplement your diet.
If you struggle to fulfill your body’s macro-nutrient needs through diet alone (as many of us do), taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement may help. Talk to your doctor about your diet and nutritional needs and get a recommendation for what (if any) supplement might be right for you.
Avoid unhealthy habits.
Stop smoking or using tobacco products and moderate alcohol consumption. While light or intermittent smoking is better than heavy smoking, it still carries a long list of health hazards, including high blood pressure, increased risk of cardiovascular disease and poorer health related quality of life.
The scientific verdict is still out on just how much these and other healthy lifestyle factors may impact your immune system, but we do know that a generally healthy lifestyle leads to reduced risk factors for illness and disease.
Poor sleep is a common problem, one that will affect all of us at some point in our lives. Although occasional lack of sleep doesn’t pose much of a risk, continual or chronic sleep deprivation can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, affect mental health and mood and have serious health implications.
Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to increased stress, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and even early mortality. Not getting enough sleep alters your ability to function normally. Other symptoms include: irritability, forgetfulness, lack of motivation, clumsiness, depressed mood, difficulty learning new concepts, increased appetite and excessive carbohydrate cravings.
So just how much sleep do you need to be healthy? Although sleep requirements can vary from one person to the next, most healthy adults require between seven and nine hours of sleep each night to function at their best.
Here are some healthy lifestyle tips to help you sleep better at night.
Give yourself time to get enough sleep.
Sleep should be a priority, so plan your day appropriately so you are able to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
Stick to a sleep schedule.
This can be difficult, to be sure, but sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, even on the weekends will help keep your body in a normal circadian rhythm. Try to go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time every morning.
Get regular exercise.
There is a link between moderate to high intensity exercise and improved sleep. For most people, exercise increases energy and wakefulness, so try to get your exercise done early in the day, rather than right before bed.
Eat less at night.
Consuming a heavy dinner or late night snack can cause indigestion and insomnia. Lighten up your dinner and avoid any snacks that might cause indigestion or upset your stomach, such as dairy, fried or spicy foods.
Create a sleep-inducing environment.
A dark, quiet, cool environment is best to promote sleep. Keep your bedroom temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, reduce the volume of outside noise with headphones or ear plugs, and use blackout shades or a sleep mask to help ensure a restful night’s sleep.
Turn off electronics.
Blue light emitted from electronics interrupts sleep patterns. Keep electronics out of your room at night, or at least turn the power off before heading to bed. Make a habit of turning the TV and other electronics off an hour before bedtime to give your mind and body plenty of time to unwind.
Establish a relaxing bedtime ritual.
Take a warm bath, practice relaxation exercises, meditate, read a book or write in your journal. Find an activity you can do that helps you relax before bed (and doesn’t require the use of electronics).
Limit caffeine, alcohol and nicotine before bed.
Drinking coffee and other caffeinated drinks can affect your sleep. Cut caffeine out four to six hours before bedtime (this includes coffee, tea, chocolate, soda and even some pain relievers). Likewise, avoid tobacco products or drinking alcohol at least an hour before bedtime as it can act as a stimulant in your body.
Lack affects nearly every aspect of your daily life, from your concentration and productivity to health and wellness. Keep these healthy lifestyle tips in mind to help ensure you get better sleep each night.
There is no “quick fix” when it comes to weight loss. Whether you choose bariatric surgery or a non-surgical weight loss program to help you lose weight and reclaim your health, you must also commit to living a healthy lifestyle.
Achieving your weight loss goals requires dedication, sacrifice and effort. Maintaining a healthy weight requires a lifelong commitment to that healthier lifestyle. Weight loss surgery is a tool that helps hundreds of thousands of people each year, but it is not a magic solution. Anyone who is serious about losing weight must also be serious about living healthy lifestyles.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips to Help Achieve Your Goal
If you are ready to begin your journey, here are some of the lifestyle changes that can help you see progress and achieve success.
Develop a new relationship with food.
Overindulgence is a common precursor to obesity. To lose weight, you must eat less. Weight loss surgery shrinks the size of the stomach, helping the patient consume fewer calories, but even without surgery, a reduction in caloric intake is necessary. Focus on eating smaller, nutrient-dense meals throughout the day and avoiding foods that are high in fat, sugar or carbohydrates.
Commit to regular exercise.
In addition to healthy nutrition, exercise is essential for weight loss and improved health. Routine exercise helps to boost metabolism, lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol, improve insulin control, improve depression and increase self esteem. If you are new to exercise, or if you are in a rut with your current exercise program, work with a certified professional fitness trainer who can help you develop an exercise plan that suits your needs, abilities and goals.
Drink plenty of water.
Hydration is also key for successful weight loss. If you suffer from frequent cravings or often feel hungry, it may actually be that your body is craving water. Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Doing so will help suppress your appetite so you’ll consume fewer calories. Water also helps flush out toxins that can cause inflammation and weight gain and increases calorie burn.
Adjust your sleep habits.
If you get fewer than six hours of sleep at night, you are depriving your body of rest that is essential for reducing cortisol (the stress hormone) and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Make sleep a priority to help your body burn fat more effectively. Adults should get between six and eight hours of sleep every night.
Losing weight requires a commitment to the hard work of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you would like more information on bariatric surgery as a tool to help you lose weight, contact First Baptist Medical Center today to schedule a consultation with an experienced weight loss surgeon.
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.
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:
- Eggs — They are packed with protein and healthy fats, including omega-3 fats to help you feel fuller with fewer calories.
- Leafy greens — Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collards and other leafy greens are low in both carbohydrates and calories. In addition, they are high in fiber to keep you feeling full longer. They are also nutrient-dense foods packed with vitamins and minerals to benefit your body in more than just weight loss.
- Fatty fist — Think salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel and herring. These fatty fish are high in protein and omega-3s to support a healthy weight. Most seafood also contains iodine, which is essential for a healthy thyroid.
- Lean meat — Chicken, turkey and lean beef is high in protein, helping you burn more calories throughout the day while decreasing cravings.
- Avocados — Technically a fruit, avocados are low in carbohydrates, unlike most fruits. Instead, they are packed with healthy fats and other essential nutrients like fiber and potassium.
- Nuts — Don’t go crazy on nuts, as they are high in fat, but a handful of nuts makes a great choice for a healthy snack between meals.
- Grapefruit — This fruit can help reduce insulin resistance, while helping you feel more satisfied, thus allowing you to eat fewer calories.
- Yogurt — Yogurt containing probiotics improves gut function, protecting against inflammation that can lead to weight gain. Choose yogurt with live, active probiotic cultures.
- Chia seeds — Although they are higher in carbohydrates, chia seeds are packed with fiber. They also absorb high amounts of water, so they’ll expand in your stomach, helping reduce your overall appetite.
- Whole grains — Not every grain is considered healthy, but whole grains like oats, brown rice and quinoa are healthy choices that are high in fiber and also contain protein to increase satiety. Avoid refined grains and processed foods claiming to contain whole grains.
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:
- Improve or resolve a number of weight-related health conditions, including: type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and heart disease.
- Increased mobility and reduced joint pain.
- Increased fertility and healthy pregnancy for women who struggled with infertility due to their weight.
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.