Posts Tagged ‘medical weight loss’

Slow & Steady Wins the Weight Loss Race

Along your weight loss path, how many times have you wished for a quick fix? While there’s no magic bullet, there are simple, steady steps you can take to meet your weight loss goal.

Joe Before & After Weight LossArvinpal Singh, MD, Medical Director of the Emory Bariatric Center, along with Joe, an Emory Bariatric Center patient on his own non-surgical weight loss journey, hosted an online chat discussing strategies for long term weight loss success. Dr. Singh and Joe answered questions on what it takes to get on the path to lasting weight loss and offered inspiration to help you reach your weight loss goals.

Joe and Dr. Singh fielded lots of great questions, ranging from inquiries on nonsurgical vs. surgical weight loss to those on fat fighting foods. Having already lost 115 pounds by making smart diet, exercise and lifestyle changes, Joe shared some of his best tips for successful weight loss.

You can find a few of the weight loss chat questions and answers below. For more, check out the full weight loss chat transcript!

Question:  “Is it better to exercise for a full 30 minute interval daily or to exercise a total of 30 minutes throughout the day?” – Deborah

Dr. Singh, Emory Bariatric Center

Answer (Dr. Singh): Excellent question! BOTH are equal, 10 minute increments 3 times a day has been shown to be just as effective as 30 minutes once a day. As a rule, every step you take counts. For example, park further away, take stairs and stay active in your daily. Also, try spending some time during your lunch break walking, etc.

 

Joe, Weight Loss PatientAnswer (Joe): To add to that, the key is making sure you’re upping your activity overall and upping the number of calories you’re burning. If doing that in two 15 minute intervals works better for you, that’s great, or 30 minutes at once is good too. Even small changes make a big impact and it’s important to be aware of little steps you can take to get extra activity in. I’ll try to walk to the water fountain that’s furthest away, as an example.

Question: “I’m 55 years old, diabetic, with blood pressure off the chart. How do I lose 90 lbs fast?” – Lynn

Dr. Singh, Emory Bariatric CenterAnswer (Dr. Singh): Hi Lynn, Losing the weight quickly is not necessarily as important as losing the weight in a healthy way. Without seeing you in person, I can’t speak your personal medical situation, but in general, eating the right amounts of the proper foods and making healthy lifestyle changes are the first steps. I can certainly go into more detail after looking into your personal medical history and discussing your case in detail with you.

Diseases of our western society (including heart disease, diabetes & cancers) are not a necessarily an inevitable part of the aging process. Many of these conditions are reversible and preventable with excellent nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.

Joe, Weight Loss PatientAnswer (Joe): Losing a certain number of pounds isn’t as important as it is to regain your overall health. I realized many health benefits before reaching my target weight. As an example, when I began exercising regularly, I actually gained weight, but that was a good thing, as it meant I was developing new muscle tissue, improving my overall health, and getting smaller in the meantime.
 
 
Dr. Singh, Emory Bariatric CenterResponse (Dr. Singh): That’s a great point Joe, many studies show that even as little as 5-10 percent of weight loss dramatically improves a person’s overall health.
 
 
 
 


Have you seen success with your weight loss efforts? Share your best tips with us and our readers in the comments below!

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My Journey To Successful Weight Loss

Joe Before & After Weight LossFor the millions of Americans who diet, stop dieting and then promise to diet again, the constant struggle to lose weight and keep it off can be exhausting, not to mention discouraging. Fortunately, there are success stories that you can learn from to help make this time the one that leads to a successful weight loss and a healthier, happier lifestyle. Joe is one of the most successful patient stories to come out of the Emory Bariatric Center.

You can learn more about Joe’s weight loss journey in this online chat transcript. He joined  Dr. Singh, Medical Director of the Emory Bariatric Center, for an online chat where they shared weight loss tips and best practices and answered your questions live!

When I was in high school, I was a competitive swimmer. Once I got into college, I became a long distance runner, and I even ran a few marathons. I weighed 141 pounds, and was proud of the fact that my waist size and my inseam were the same (30 inches). Once I got into graduate school, I didn’t exercise as much, but I stayed in good shape. I think I weighed about 150 when I finished graduate school.

Unfortunately, when I got out into the world of work, my job involved a lot of travel and a lot of fast food meals on the go. Unfortunately, I quit exercising, and let my eating habits continue to get worse. Not long after we moved to Atlanta, my weight had ballooned to 420 pounds. My waist had grown to 66 inches!

Realizing things had gotten dangerously bad with my health, I tried all sorts of things. I tried swimming to lose weight, which worked well for a while, but without changing my diet, my weight loss slowed down and plateaued. I tried increasing the intensity of my swimming, but all that accomplished was hurting my shoulder, which ended my swimming for a long time. I tried the Atkins diet, which led to some weight loss, but the gout and kidney stones I got while on the diet let me know that a high protein, low carb diet is not a healthy long term approach. I tried walking twice a day — our dogs really liked that — but pain in my leg forced me to cut back on my walking.

The pain in my leg kept getting worse, which lead to visits to multiple doctors. I finally ended up at an orthopedist, who explained that degenerative arthritis in my hip and lower spine can cause pains in my thigh and lower leg. It turns out that the damage was caused by forcing my bones to support too much weight for far too long. He told me that there were three things I could do to help get better: lose weight, lose weight and then lose some more weight.

It occurred to me that I had been going about losing weight the wrong way all along. I realized that I had spent more than thirty years working as an IT consultant because I was really good at helping other people solve problems using computer technology. We didn’t expect people in finance, accounting and telecommunications to know their own area of expertise and also know how to use computers to solve their problems. My living depended on other people being willing to hire my special expertise in solving problems. Why not rely on people who are experts at helping people lose weight?

My wife had been telling me about the Emory medical weight loss program for years, which is the Emory Bariatric Center’s customized non-surgical weight loss and weight management program, called Your Weigh. I finally decided to check the program out, reading about it on the web, taking the online seminar about the program and decided to go for it. I spoke with my employer about re-arranging my work schedule to attend the Friday sessions, and began the program in October of 2012. When I started the program, I weighed 377.6 pounds, was developing Type 2 diabetes, had high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Since being in the program, I’ve lost more than110 pounds so far with 80 more pounds to my goal weight, my A1C has gone from 6.4 to 5.4 and my total cholesterol has dropped from 258 to 176. More important than the weight I’ve lost so far — not to mention the related health improvements — I’ve gained friends, support, and the knowledge and tools to help me stay healthy for the rest of my life.

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Take-Aways From Dr. Singh’s Weight Loss Web Chat

Dr. Arvinpal Singh, Emory Bariatric CenterOn Tuesday, I held a live chat on the topic of New Year’s weight loss and how you can take steps now to make sure you achieve your New Year’s weight loss goals and turn those resolutions to reality! The questions I received on in my first live chat on Tuesday were fantastic! It was great to see so much enthusiasm from our community around setting realistic and healthy weight loss goals and taking steps to achieve them. There were a few questions from the chat that we didn’t have time to answer on Tuesday, and as promised, I’ve answered them below in this post. Thanks again for joining me on Tuesday and I look forward to seeing you all at our next bariatric web chat!

Toni: Dr. Singh, what are some foods I can eat to help boost metabolism?
Dr. Singh: Great question, Toni. The best way to boost your metabolism via your diet is by starting your day with a high protein breakfast and incorporating protein into each meal. Green tea may also help improve your metabolism.

Toni: What’s the best overall way to boost metabolism?
Dr. Singh: In addition to starting the day with a high protein breakfast and incorporating protein into every meal, stay active. Incorporate resistance training into your workouts. You can try using resistance bands, for example, to increase lean body mass, or muscle.

Mark: Do you believe surgery is the answer to weight loss or taking the right steps to change our diet first?
Dr. Singh: The right answer is different for each person, and I can’t speak specifically to your situation without seeing you in-person for an appointment. In general, I do believe surgery is a necessary option for some patients. But even for those patients, the best possible results will not be achieved if proper eating, exercise and lifestyle habits aren’t adopted. At the Emory Bariatric Center, we often advise patients participate in our medically supervised diet before their surgery to begin developing these habits early on.

Mark: So, for a soda addict, would you suggest diet cola with aspartame vs. a soft drink containing high fructose corn syrup?
Dr. Singh: If you must drink soda, then yes, I would be in favor of consuming soda beverages that use a sugar substitute. Aspartame has been heavily research and deemed as safe from that research.

Jo: How much water should we drink a day? Is it half the body weight, example 140…drink 8 glasses?
Dr. Singh: In general, a nice and easy-to-remember rule of thumb is 8×8 for women (8, 8oz glasses of water per day) and 10×10 for men (10, 10oz glasses of water per day), but this is highly variable depending upon how active you are, where you live (climate, etc.), your medical conditions, your age, and various other factors.

Mark: What is your opinion on cleansing the body of harmful toxins?
Dr. Singh: My answer to this question varies based on what cleansing methods are being used. In my opinion, the best and safest way to cleanse the body is by drinking adequate amounts of water.

Carolyn: My weight stays up and dex and fatigue do not help. On chemo, can we take health food aids, such as raspberry ketosis to assist in weight loss?
Dr. Singh: I can’t speak to your personal situation without seeing you in-person, but in general, I wouldn’t recommend any dramatic weight loss program to a patient while on chemo. Any health program conducted under these circumstances should be done solely under your physician’s supervision.

Pearlie: How do you maintain weight when you are prone to a chronic illness that requires you to take large doses of prednisone?
Dr. Singh: Long-term prednisone use can result in the deterioration of bone and muscle mass. Seek the advice of your physician to get specific answers based on your condition and circumstances, but in general, in this situation, it is especially important to maintain an active lifestyle and try to incorporate resistance training in order to preserve bone integrity and muscle mass. Adequate Calcium and Vitamin D intake are essential as well.

Natarsha: How can I get rid of fat behind my thighs and flabby arms?
Dr. Singh: The million dollar question! :) It’s interesting that females typically accumulate fat in the hips/thighs and men in the abdomen. There are several changes that can be made to help reduce fat in trouble areas. Increasing protein, decreasing sugary and processed carbohydrates, and the incorporation of resistance training are all good places to start for most people. It sounds simple, but it’s really about lifestyle change. If you’d like to discuss in more detail, you can come see me for an appointment and we can discuss your situation further and get you on the right track.

Sherri: I am the proud mother of a new born baby girl. She was a miracle since she was a preemie at birth. Big thank you to the NICU staff at Emory Midtown for getting her to where she is today and happy healthy 8 pounds 4 ounces. Anyway, I now have a reason to live more than I did before however I have a MAJOR problem with weight gain. I have gained 30 pounds since her birth…this was 30 pounds from 80 that I lost…This brings me back to nearly 400 pounds. I was so proud of my weight loss… I have not changed much and still work hard at losing the weight… watching what I eat, when I eat, how it is prepared. I have PCOS and I am Hypothyroid which contribute to my weight problem. I cannot exercise much due to injuries in knees and back stemming from auto accidents but find time to walk almost everyday. I hope to start water aerobics soon as I have been told this will be low impact on my aching body parts. I don’t want to result to surgery yet as my little one is to young and I don’t want to take that risk at my current size, but I NEED to do something. What suggestions do you have?
Dr. Singh: Sherri, congrats on your miracle child! Your determination is very admirable. Water aerobics are great! I can’t give a full and fair answer to your question without seeing you in-person and knowing your complete medical history in detail. Once I have completed a detailed history and physical on a patient such as yourself, I can intelligibly discuss: dietary changes, exercise options, psychosocial issues, behavioral changes, medication options for weight loss, review current medications for ones that may be contributing to weight gain, order an appropriate lab panel, discuss surgical options, etc. If you’re interested, you’re more than welcome to make an appointment with my office by calling our nurses at 404-778-7777. Hope to see you soon!

Thanks again to those who joined me in Tuesday’s chat. If you missed it, you can check out the chat transcript here and you can also check out our Emory Bariatric Center website for more information.
See you next time!

Time to Lose the Weight, “Your Weigh”

Non-Surgical Weight Loss Your WeighLosing weight is something that seems to be high on the list of to-dos of most American adults. Whether you set a New Years resolution each year, or find yourself trying one diet after another, the ultimate goal is to lose weight and keep it off. Many of us don’t have enough weight to lose to justify weight loss surgery, but are looking for a long term solution. While diets can work for some people, most popular diets assume that everyone is overweight for the same reasons and can lose weight following the same plan. From years of experience, we know that this is not true. That’s why we’ve launched the Your Weigh program, which gives you the opportunity to work with a team of medical professionals to construct a tailored weight loss program that works for you.

Here are some real-world examples of how our different meal and weight loss plans have met the unique weight loss needs of our patients:

Elizabeth W. is a 54 year old woman who was recently diagnosed with diabetes by her doctor. She saw the diagnosis as a “wake up call” for her to start taking care of herself and her weight-related issues. Elizabeth knew that she needed to lose weight quickly, but also wanted to learn about how to eat healthy to help keep her blood sugar in control. When Elizabeth enrolled in Your Weigh, she met with a Registered Dietitian who suggested that she follow the partial meal replacement meal plan. In this plan, Elizabeth will use meal replacements in addition to healthy food choices that she prepares at home. This choice was best for her because it will ensure significant weight loss while practicing balanced meal planning and eating correct portion sizes of “regular” food.

Tony S. is a 33 year old man who started losing weight on his own by trying to eat better and exercising. Tony was losing a little weight, but not as much as he had hoped. Tony really liked working out, but needed help with food choices. He knew that his eating habits were keeping him from reaching his goals. When Tony signed up for the Your Weigh program he chose the full food meal plan, which consists of three balanced meals and two snacks throughout the day. Tony did very well on this plan and actually found that he had more energy for his workouts because he was eating more frequently. Tony has since reached his goal weight and continues to eat frequent, balanced meals and exercise to maintain his weight loss.

Christine H. is a 41 year old woman who has been on many diets in her lifetime. She feels like she has “tried them all”. She chose to follow the full meal replacement program because she wants to have a “temporary break from food.” After 12 weeks of eating only meal replacements, she is now aware of just how much food her body needs and uses that knowledge when she begins to eat food again. Christine continues to come to the clinic for on-going support, which she knows is the key to maintaining her weight loss.

For more information on our Your Weigh medical weight loss program, you can visit our Emory Bariatric Center site. If you have questions about our Your Weigh weight loss program, you can ask them using the comments section below.

Eat Right with Color!

become a patientBy:  Laura Zenni and Larissa Myers, Emory Healthcare Dietetic Interns

When most people start a diet, elimination of certain foods is common. This can be a positive change (like eating less fried foods).  In addition to limiting certain food items, why not add healthy new foods as well? Eating a variety of colors will naturally incorporate many vitamins and minerals into your diet. Foods that have the most color and catch our eye are fruits and vegetables.

Aim for 2-4 fruit servings and 3-5 vegetable servings per day. This may seem like a large amount, but a serving of fruit or cooked vegetables is ½ cup and a serving of raw vegetables is 1 cup. Or, skip the measuring and try this simple trick: fill half your plate with fruits and/or vegetables at each meal.

Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, calcium and many more!  They can boost immune function, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Be sure to vary the color! Different colored fruits and vegetables have different health benefits. For instance, green produce promotes eye health while purple and blue fruits and vegetables help heal wounds and cuts and fight infections. Also, did you know that fruits and vegetables are also an excellent source of fiber? Fiber keeps our digestive system healthy and also fills us up so we are more satisfied at meals.

In summary, eating right involves not only eliminating, but incorporating new and healthy foods into your eating plan. Add color, through fruits and vegetables, to your meals and snacks for a healthier you!

Introducing Your Weigh, Customized Weight Management Program

Lose Weight Your Weigh with Emory

Lose Weight Your Weigh with Emory

Just in time to counter that holiday weight gain, EMORY HEALTHCARE introduces Your Weigh, a fully customized, non-surgical  weight loss program for anyone looking to lose a little or a lot.

With Your Weigh, you can choose from four different weight management program options that range from a total or partial meal replacement plan to a meal plan that features your own food and recipes. Your Weigh allows you to select the program that meets your weight management goals now and can be adjusted as your needs change over time.

The best part about Your Weigh is that you have ongoing support and supervision from the Emory Bariatric Center team of physicians and dietitians. With the latest information on weight management strategies and motivational tips and techniques to keep you on track, the Emory team is there for you at every step.

Every Your Weigh plan includes:

• Initial and ongoing supervision by an Emory Bariatric Center physician

• Medical diagnostics

• One-on-one consultations with a registered dietitian

• Regular nutrition and lifestyle meetings to keep you motivated and focused on your goals

For more information about Your Weigh, view ouronline weight management seminar. Or call our friendly, informative nurses at 404-778-7777 or 1-800-753-6679.