I've been told
I have metabolic syndrome. What is this?
To be diagnosed with
metabolic syndrome you must meet 3 of the 5 following criteria: waist >35
inches (40 in men), triglycerides > 149, HDL cholesterol <50 (40 in men),
blood pressure >130/85, and fasting glucose >109. Metabolic syndrome is
the stage before diabetes, so take control of your lifestyle now and avoid this
devastating health problem by increasing your physical activity and decreasing
your carbohydrate intake!
What is a Bariatric
A Bariatric physician is an MD or DO who specializes
in weight loss to help patients who are overweight or obese. Bariatricians have
specialized training to help patients with any weight loss goal. The American
Board of Bariatric Medicine even offers a three step board certification
process. A qualified bariatrician has the expertise to design an individualized
program geared toward each patient. Safe, effective and long-lasting weight
loss is only a phone call away!
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is the best diet for me to go on to lose weight?
effective way to lose weight is to lower your caloric intake. I would recommend
watching both your fat and carbohydrate (sugar and starch) intake. If you cut
500 calories a day from your current diet, you should lose one pound a week.
The best way to do this is to limit sweets, junk food snacks, and fast foods
which all have more calories than we suspect. It is also important to think of
your weight loss efforts as a lifestyle change and not a "diet" that you are
either on or off. This is very important for long term success!
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I've heard that skipping breakfast is a bad weight
loss strategy. Is this true?
While it is certainly tempting to
lower your caloric intake for the day by skipping a meal that you don't have
time for, it is definitely true that this will hamper your weight loss efforts.
Our bodies were designed to store excess intake to get us through leaner times,
so if we don't have regular caloric intake our metabolism slows hindering our
weight loss efforts. We also will become hungrier and eat whatever is available
later in the day. I recommend small, frequent meals, eating at least every 4
hours throughout the day.
Which is better for
weight loss-dieting or exercise?
My short answer to this question
is that cutting calories is better for weight loss. Remember that it takes a
deficit of 500 calories a day to lose one pound a week. Most of us do not have
the time it takes to burn 500 calories each day. This is not to downplay the
role of exercise though. Exercise will help keep us from losing muscle instead
of fat (and the more muscle we have the higher our metabolism is) as well as
improving our heart health.
What should I do
if I've tried both diet and exercise and still have problems with weight
I would recommend re-evaluating both your daily caloric
intake and your exercise regimen. Be sure that you are following a healthy,
well-balanced program, not eating too much of any one thing but also that you
are eating enough each day. Next look at your physical activity. It too should
be varied as well as daily. If you continue to have poor results consult with a
qualified bariatrician to evaluate you for medical problems associated with
poor weight loss.
Every year I struggle
with Halloween candy. Any advice?
It certainly makes it difficult
to stick to a healthy lifestyle with lots of candy around so here are a few
ideas. Wait until Halloween arrives to purchase the candy so it's not sitting
around tempting you. Don't purchase any of your favorites. Give out the rest of
the candy to the group who comes last so you have no leftovers. Even consider
having your kids go through their candy when they arrive home and handing out
excess. Consider your children's candy as belonging to them and don't allow
yourself to sneak any!
Is it okay to combine my
favorite parts of different popular diets?
Actually it may not
only be unhealthy but may also be unsafe. Our bodies require many different
vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and nutrients to function properly. Assuming
that the plans you are choosing from are both nutritionally sound, when you cut
certain things out you may be left with a plan that will no longer provide you
with your needs. It is best to seek out a well-balanced plan that suits you and
Thanksgiving is coming
up. How can I avoid starting the holiday season with a weight gain?Any tips for
surviving all those holiday parties?
Tips that have helped my
patients the most include eating before going to the party so you don't arrive
hungry, avoiding the area where the food is being served, avoiding or limiting
alcohol as it will lower your food inhibitions, and giving yourself permission
for a taste or small amount of whatever is tempting you most so you don't feel
deprived. Pushy hosts can also be a problem, so be prepared with an answer you
feel comfortable with (such as sweets have been causing your reflux to act up.)
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How do I know if I'm actually losing fat
tissue when I weigh in?
Whenever you step on the scale and weigh
less, the loss can be from a loss of water, muscle, fat, or a combination of
these. Water is usually only lost at the beginning of a weight loss program so
this can be ruled out after the first few weeks. Bariatricians utilize body fat
analyzers (which measure the speed of a small electric current) to tell if
someone is losing muscle instead of fat. A rough way to tell if your weight
loss is fat versus muscle is to observe how tight-fitting clothes feel on you
week after week. They will feel less tight as you lose fat because fat is less
dense than muscle.
How can I make my New
Years resolutions stick this year?
First, I would recommend
choosing just one resolution to focus on. Then, write it down and write out all
of the reasons that you want to achieve this particular goal. Post different
reasons around your home, car and workplace as visual reminders. Tell others
your goal and seek out someone to be accountable to on a regular basis. Devise
a strategy and monitor your progress towards the goal on a regular basis. Using
these ideas will separate you from those who have forgotten their resolution by
How can I prevent Type
Type II Diabetes, traditionally a disease of later
in life, has been striking younger and younger people, even children.
Prevention is of course much better than treatment for this disease. Become
physically active on a daily basis, maintain a BMI of less than 25, and limit
your carbohydrate (sweets and starches) intake. One practical tip is to stop
drinking fluids that have calories from sugars like sodas and juices. Also,
remember it's never too late to take control of your lifestyle to manage even
In general portion size
doesn't seem that much bigger. Have portion sizes really changed?
Unfortunately, portion sizes for many items have dramatically changed in the
past 20 years. An interesting web site which shows you these changes can be found here. This site gives the reader
several examples of food items such as a bagel whose standard size 20 years ago
was 220 calories and our bagel of today which measures in at 500 calories. This
slow increase in size leads us to believe we are eating no differently, when in
fact the difference is enormous. The site also gives you examples of how much
physical activity you need to burn those excess calories!
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What health problems are improved or prevented
with weight loss?
Surprisingly, many medical problems can be
impacted with weight loss. It has recently been discovered that fat tissue does
not simply store excess "energy." Fat tissue also produces inflammatory factors
that wreak havoc on most, if not all, of our bodily systems. So besides the
well known problems such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, arthritis of weight
bearing joints, and fatty liver, with weight loss we also lower risk for or
improve Alzheimer's dementia, many cancers, arthritis of other joints, lung
problems including asthma, infertility and stroke to name a few.
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