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  1. 11 points
    Craving sushi? You likely will not be able to tolerate your favourite sushi rolls because of the rice and seaweed wrap, however there are several other equally satisfying options on every Asian-style restaurant menu to consider. Indulge in an order of tartar or sashimi. These rice-less options are easier to digest. Don’t be afraid to ask if your favourite sushi rolls can be made with a cucumber wrap instead of the traditional seaweed wrap. This is often a ‘low carb’ option on sushi menus. Order a side of edamame beans. These soybeans are not only a good source of protein, but they are also rich in fibre. Try a protein rich Asian soup. Asian-style restaurants often have a traditional soup with eggs, tofu, chicken, and/or shrimp. Prioritize the solid pieces and leave most of the broth behind. Salmon or tuna salad. Most sushi restaurants have a simple green salad with a seared piece of fish and a flavourful salad dressing. Sandwiches & Wraps· Choose a sandwich on toasted bread. If it is a large sandwich, remove the top piece of bread. Great options include: chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad and deli meats. Wraps are also a good option. Opt for baked chicken rather than crispy chicken. Breakfast egg sandwiches Choose a breakfast wrap or a toasted english muffin sandwich. Skip the bacon and sausage. Salad Almost all restaurants now have a green salad with chicken. Again, opt for grilled chicken instead of crispy chicken. Other high protein options include: taco salads, chickpea salads and bean salads. Chili Whether you choose the vegetarian or meat version, chili packs a lot of protein. They are also very easy to digest making them the perfect option if you have recently transitioned to solid food. Here are some other helpful tips to challenge those old fast food habits: Skip the combo option… yes, even if it’s cheaper! Don’t order a drink. You will be less tempted to drink and eat at the same time if you don’t have a refreshing beverage staring you down during your meal. Eat in the restaurant instead of in the car. If you are driving and eating, food is more likely to block. You can’t be mindful if you are multitasking! Choose foods described as: grilled, baked, sautéed, broiled, steamed, boiled, etc. more often. These cooking methods are lower in calories. Many corner stores and gas stations now have ‘grab and go’ options in their fridges such as sandwiches, salads, protein shakes, yogurt parfaits, etc. Next time you get gas, make a mental note of 3 appropriate meal options you could choose if you were in a pinch. Bon appétit!- Lisa & Monica
  2. 3 points

    The Great Sugar Hunt

    Another helpful addition is “Added Sugars”, which is found under the carbohydrate information. Naturally occurring sugars are primarily from fruit (fructose) and dairy (lactose). Vegetables and grains can also contain a small amount of naturally occurring sugar. For added sugars, look for the words sugar, syrup, agave, molasses, juice, beet sugar, brown sugar, turbinado and honey. Now that we have the total and added sugars, you can determine if the food or beverage is something you can work into your eating. While there are no formal guidelines, limiting foods and fluids to products that have less than 5 grams of added sugar is a starting point. A rule of thumb for carbohydrate foods is to eat the food that is closest to the farm. That means the least processed the better. For example, a peeled apple is better for you than applesauce. Applesauce is better for you than juice. One hundred percent real fruit juice is another way to say “sugar water” for bariatric patients. The Nutrition Facts Label will list naturally occurring sugars, but you won’t see added sugars listed. So, juice is a high sugar item. Your dietitian will assess your activity level, blood sugar readings, body composition and tolerances to help you find a healthy carbohydrate goal to work into your eating. We now have a better tool to hunt down the added sugars in our foods and beverages. Happy hunting!
  3. 3 points
    I’m in New Zealand today, where I have been for the past three weeks. It has been a privilege to work with a number of bariatric professionals from different disciplines associated with the Foundations Healthy Living Retreat. During this five-day retreat, a small group of post-operative bariatric patients live together, eat together, exercise together, learn together and share with one another. Various staff members share their expertise about healthy living. Topics include much more than how to eat well and exercise. Participants learn the importance of focusing on personal values in all areas of their lives, discover the importance of positive self-talk, address self-sabotage and learn the importance of living mindfully. Coping skills, communication skills, and boundary setting skills are discussed. The topics of shame and vulnerability are explored, as well. Participants get what all bariatric patients in all corners of the world need following bariatric surgery: the Foundations of Healthy Living. Hmmm… good name for the retreat! What I think as I look around me are the many “non-coincidences” in my immediate surrounding. I do not believe that my being here, halfway around the world, is a coincidence. To begin with, Dr. David Schroeder, a bariatric surgeon, and his wife, Andrea, are, in many ways, absurdly similar in personality to my husband Steve and myself. David and Steve are both kind, intelligent, rational, left-brain thinkers who are mild-mannered and soft-spoken. Andrea and I, on the other hand, while also kind and intelligent, are passionate, passionate and more passionate. Translated, we are thinkers and DO-ers, we are upfront and direct, and are most definitely whatever the opposite of soft-spoken is. Oh, loud. That’s it! Andrea and David are passionate about their work in the bariatric field. They are zealous about the physical health of surgical weight loss patients and are also super passionate about the patients’ psychological health. The Schroeder’s know that the journey of recovering from obesity takes a lifetime and includes the physical and the psychological wellbeing of each person. Andrea created the Foundations of Healthy Living Retreat and they have been hosting the retreats for the past five years. It is definitely not a coincidence that David reached out to me after reading my first book, Eat It Up! Our professional philosophies are very much in sync. My work, with great help from Steve, is all about addressing the psychological needs of patients while their physical needs are being medically managed. David and Andrea, like Steve and myself, dedicate much more than our careers to providing bariatric patients with education and support. We address the WHOLE person, pre-operatively and after weight loss surgery. We put our hearts and souls into the work we do because we are convinced by the feedback our patients provide that they want and need much more than the surgical procedure can provide in order for them to live healthy lives, both physically and psychologically following bariatric surgery. Since meeting in 2011, I have learned a great deal by working with both Andrea and David. The Schroeder’s have twice brought me to New Zealand where I have had the opportunity to learn from and contribute to, the lives and education of their patients and staff. Andrea and David, as well as every person presenting information at the retreat, address bariatric patients from a whole person perspective. Each participant is treated respectfully and compassionately, as a human being who is much more than a bariatric patient. Their emotional support needs are emphasized, as a success following bariatric surgery involves more than dealing with a person’s biological innards. Is it a coincidence that Andrea and David, in New Zealand, know the same things that Steve and I know in the US? We all know and work toward, helping patients and bariatric professionals realize that bariatric patients have tremendous emotional and psychological needs that require attention. Behavior modification by itself is not enough when it comes to sustaining weight loss. If it were, well… wouldn’t more people have kept weight off after diets and bariatric surgery? Is it a coincidence that the bariatric patients I have talked with during individual sessions, along with the participants at the retreats, all from New Zealand, talk about the exact same issues as the bariatric patients I have worked with in the US for the past 15 years? I’m not talking about the physical problems. I’m talking about the lack of self-care this population acknowledges. Not just in their eating and exercise behaviors. These people talk about a great lack of self-value that translates to a lack of proper self-care. The greatest common denominator aside from the physical co-morbidities of the bariatric patients I have spent time with in both countries boils down to this: I don’t believe I’m good enough. That, my friends, is the definition of shame. Our bariatric patients need to heal from the shame that draws them back into unhealthy habits. Healing from shame requires much, much more than a bariatric procedure in an operating room, or “theater,” as they call it in New Zealand. It is not coincidental that bariatric patients across the globe suffer from shame. It is tragic that so few bariatric professionals around the world are willing to provide the full spectrum of care that patients require in order to be able to follow through with behavior modification techniques. Deep shame will eventually extinguish behavior modification efforts. How long before more bariatric professionals get it? How long before more than a handful of patients get the emotional support and psychological care they need after bariatric surgery? How long before we provide a truly comprehensive program to help our patients eliminate shame and establish self-acceptance? The shame belongs to the programs and professionals who do not provide a comprehensive program… because those programs simply aren’t good enough. (Along with the Schroeder’s, I will be offering residential retreats through bariatric centers in the near future. For more information, contact me at connie@conniestapletonphd.com.) I’m grateful for the non-coincidences that have led to meeting Andrea and David Schroeder. I am not surprised to see and hear that the patients in our very distant geographical countries are so very similar. Mostly, I am thrilled to know that there are professionals and patients who know that the Foundations of Healthy Living go way beyond medical care alone! For now, patients can participate in the GAIN While You Lose 10-week program. This is a great way for patients around the country (and the world) to have access to the same topics discussed in the Foundations of Living Retreat. This class includes an hour and a half “lesson,” taught live but available online or via recorded session, followed by weekly homework to make the information applicable to each person’s life. (http://www.conniestapletonphd.com/onlin…/weight-loss-program) Why aren’t we currently doing retreats in the US? Are you, the patients, willing to pay to attend? Are you willing to take the time and spend the money to invest in yourself? Do you value yourself enough to work on your emotional issues? You’ve most likely been willing to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars for weight loss programs, powders, gimmicks and scams. What about actually finding a way to find self-acceptance, a requirement for being able to follow through with behavior modification tools? Patients: there is no shame in having problems. It is tragic to me if you know there are problems, but choose not address them. Please seek the help you need! After all: YOUR HEALTH is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. THIS DAY. EVERY DAY.
  4. 2 points
    If so you might be an EMPATH. An empath is a person with the ability to sense the mental or emotional state of another individual. An empath can psychically feel the emotions, feelings, energy and even thoughts of others. A few common traits of an empath: Highly intuitive Emotionally sensitive (often labeled by others as “overly sensitive” or “too emotional”) Can feel in their own bodies the emotions of others Often absorb other people’s energy Frequently feels overwhelmed in crowds Typically have accurate initial gut feelings about people/situations Need a lot of alone time Have big hearts and can be taken advantage of Because they can see and sense problems (and what needs to be done to resolve them) in other people’s lives they often feel responsible to fix them. What’s all this got to do with food? If you are an empath there is a good chance you are not using food to manage YOUR energy but to manage OTHER PEOPLE’s energy. It’s like you are psychic/energy sponge who absorbs other people’s energy throughout the day, whether it be the co-worker who is cranky, the happy giggly girl in line at Target, your good friend who is going through a break up, or the heated political debates on television. When you unknowingly absorb these energies you can be left feeling anxious, drained, depressed, overwhelmed, and even confused by the end of what seemed to be a normal, productive ‘uneventful’ day. Such feelings can be a trigger to overeat. If you are familiar with emotional eating you KNOW that overeating is a good way to escape or calm such emotions. So what’s an empath to do to stop from picking up and taking on everyone else’s emotions? Start to notice energy. Notice how you feel in different situations, around various people. Connect to your body: does your body feel calm and relaxed around this person or uptight and anxious, do you have a knot in your stomach, are your shoulders scrunched, do you feel the need to be defensive, or do you feel calm and safe? Notice how you feel in a cluttered room vs. a bare room, how you feel listening to different music, how you feel when you wear certain colors, etc. Protect your energy; before you leave the house in the morning imagine yourself being protected by a sparkly white or golden bubble and the only thing that can penetrate this bubble is love and healing energy, no negative energy can get through this beautiful circle of light. If you’ve been around someone who’s uptight anxious or angry literally brush their energy off your body with your hand. Hold your hands about and inch away from your body and brush around your head, down your opposite arms, down your chest stomach and legs. Or even just shaking your hands down by your side with the intent of shaking off their energy can help. If you are in a conversation with someone who is angry or anxious you can imagine you are behind a one way mirror and everything they say just bounces right back to them, or imagine you are wearing a suit of teflon and everything they say just slides right off. Stretch your body (we hold emotions in our muscles… when you stretch it helps release stored emotions). Spend time in nature. Walk barefoot in the grass. Take a bath in epsom salt. Create a transition ritual for when come home from an event, or work, or school, etc. It can be something like deciding to change your shirt and while changing your shirt ask that any energies that you've absorbed that are not yours be released saying ”I now release any energies that I may have absorbed that are not mine. I send them to be transmuted to light and love and sent back to their rightful owner!” Spend time near water. Meditate. I am seeing this more and more in my practice that energy sensitive people often struggle with food or some other addiction as a way to manage all the intense emotions of the world these days. If this article resonates with you it is important to understand that this is very real and that you begin to truly honor your intuition and energy sensitivities. Then set out to learn positive self nurturing rituals to protect and heal you own energy. I will be offering Zoom groups to discuss emotional eating, eating as a reflection of self love and respect, and learning to notice and protect your energy. If you have any questions or comments do not hesitate to contact me!
  5. 2 points
    Bigger from Birth…And Then College Hit Michele was always big. She was at the top of her height and weight charts from the time she was an infant. She remembers times in her childhood when she couldn’t or wouldn’t participate because she was so big. She didn’t like physical education or sports, and the other children teased her. Food was a comfort. Michele describes the situation as a vicious cycle. The more kids teased her, the worse she felt. The worse she felt, the more she ate. The more she ate, the more she weighed. The more she weighed, the more she got teased. College was a disaster in terms of her weight. Forget about the freshman 15. What about the freshman 40? And the sophomore 40? Add to that the junior 40, the senior 40, and, for good measure, the super-senior (fifth-year) 67, and you now know how Michele Elbertson got to be 427 pounds at the age of 22 years. A Young Weight Loss Surgery Patient with New Relationships Michele made the decision to get the lap-band on her own. She needed a tool to help her control how much she ate, but understood that it was up to her to control what she ate. She only told her parents about her decision after she was sure about it. They were supportive, and have been since then. Michele has taken full advantage of and responsibility for the band. She has lost 260 pounds – 260 pounds! – in less than four years. As she says, she’s a determined person who will accomplish anything she sets her mind to. Michele began to “eat to live” rather than “live to eat.” As her relationships with food and exercise changed, so did her relationships with some friends. She lost some friends whose relationships centered only on food. She gained many more, though, through her new activities. She says the friends she’s gained through running and fitness far outweigh those she lost by changing her lifestyle. An Athlete Is Born Michele ran her first 5k after losing 100 pounds – when she was still 327 pounds. She was hooked. She loved the training, the atmosphere of the race, and the accomplishment. She has never looked back. Since then, she has run countless other races, including 38 half-marathons, 6 marathons, and a 50-miler ultra-marathon. She has also competed in triathlons. Now at an athletic 159 pounds, Michele has her sights on even greater challenges. In the near future, she wants to run a 100-miler and complete an Ironman. Both are feats that most people wouldn’t even dream of. Marathons, Ultras, and Ironmans Now, not everyone’s a distance runner or triathlete, so to understand Michele’s accomplishments, here are a few facts about these endurance sports. A marathon is 26.2 miles. All marathons are 26.2 miles. An ultra-marathon is anything over 26.2 miles. Michele’s recently completed ultra-marathon was 50 miles, and she is training for a 100-miler. A triathlon includes swimming, biking, and running. An Ironman triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile marathon. Fitting It All in Every Day Michele works out 6 days a week. Currently, she’s training for an ulta-marathon and is running 5 days a week and lifting weights 3 times. She also does Zumba classes. She takes a rest day once a week. Michele has built her life to be able to accommodate her training schedule. She recently quit her teaching career to focus instead on helping others achieve their fitness and health goals. She is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Working at a gym is pure genius – it leaves her with no excuse not to get her workout in! Eating Like a Bariathlete How do you have energy to train like an athlete and work full-time while losing over 200 pounds in 4 years? Ask Michele. Here’s how she eats and works out in a typical day. 7:00 a.m. breakfast: almonds and yogurt or eggs/romaine lettuce 9:00 a.m. snack: protein bar Workout, such as running, lifting, or group fitness class, such as Zumba or bokwa Noon. lunch: soup or salad, usually the largest meal of the day 2:00 p.m. snack: cheese and crackers or something small, equivalent to 200 calories (may include a fruit or vegetable) 4:00 p.m. snack: hot tea 6:00 p.m. dinner; lean protein, veggie, possibly a carb 7:30 p.m. snack: lemon water/hot tea. The number of calories Michele eats during a day is 1,800 (her resting metabolic rate) plus half of the calories she burns through exercise. So, if she runs 10 miles and burns 1,200 calories in exercise, she’ll eat 1,800 plus 600 calories, or 2,400 calories. She allows herself an occasional treat meal with junk food, but still counts those calories. The Accolades Michele is more than your typical bariatric patient, and she’s been getting the recognition she deserves for her extraordinary achievements. These are a few recent examples. Runner’s World magazine Cover Contest Finalist. Makeover on the Rachel Ray Show. Local feature on 6ABC Action News in Philadelphia. Dealing with Negativity – Don’t Worry About It One of the most striking things about Michele is her drive. She has worked very, very hard to get where she’s at today. She’s lost 60 percent of her body weight through being very disciplined every day. And, she has run marathons. Anyone who has run a marathon can tell you that it is was harder than they had ever imagined. Anyone who hasn’t run a marathon cannot imagine how difficult it is. But with all the publicity, Michele has receive a lot of nasty comments. How is she supposed to react when people slam her? They say she hasn’t accomplished anything, that the band has done it all. In fact, they basically say what a lot of weight loss surgery patients hear all the time from people who don’t know any better. So how does Michele react to negativity? She doesn’t want to respond directly and add “fuel to the fire.” She knows they don’t know anything about her, and she’s probably done more exercise and worked harder than they ever have. So, she just goes about her business. Leading by Example Michele says she hopes her successes and story will give others hope. She describes herself as a “real person” and “very down-to-earth,” and she hopes others will see that they can accomplish what she has. In the future, she would like to travel to seminars as a motivational speaker. In the meantime, we congratulate her on her amazing story and wish her well in her 100-miler this spring!
  6. 2 points
    A Attitude “ Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” – Winston Churchill A stands for Attitude. Your attitude will determine how you see the world, whether you see your glass as half-empty or half-full. Focus on having only a positive attitude towards your weight loss surgery. Realize that everything in your life needed to happen in order for you to have the life you have today, even the events that might have contributed to your obesity. Rather than viewing your life as “jinxed” or “cursed,” consider past events as lessons that had to be learned at the University of Life or at the “school of hard knocks”. Your attitude will also affect your aspirations. If your attitude is poor, then your aspirations will likely be small, when the truth is there are no limits to your aspirations. Most people have aspirations, but their aspirations are usually so small and uninspiring. Stop setting “realistic goals.” Instead, why not see how high you can fly? Like the renowned motivational speaker Les Brown said, “Shoot for the stars, so if you fail, you might hit the moon!” Stop staring into the bottom of that half-empty glass, and start drinking from the half-full glass of life. *The previous was an excerpt from Dr. Vuong's new book, Weight Loss Surgery Success: Dr. V's A-Z Tips for Losing Weight and Gaining Enlightenment, now available on Amazon.com.
  7. 1 point
    Like pretty much everything else in your life, the holidays are a whole new ballgame after weight loss surgery. Your weight loss surgery diet is strict. It doesn’t include fatty foods and sugary desserts. Going off your weight loss surgery diet can stall weight loss and also cause complications. You could be prone to dumping syndrome if you have the gastric sleeve or gastric bypass, and lap-banders can face obstructions and acid reflux with the wrong foods or too much. If you let your guard down for the rest of November and December, you can find yourself slipping off of your diet and feeling pretty unhealthy. But by keeping your eyes open and planning ahead, you can keep yourself on track and get through the holiday season feeling proud of yourself. Watch Carefully to Avoid Extra Calories Calories show up everywhere at this time of year. Sometimes they don’t even seem that bad, but they add up quickly. Have a bite here and a handful there without paying much attention, and you might be disappointed when you weigh in on New Year’s Day. Don’t let calories slip into your diet. First, be aware of the extra calories that are around. They can include any of the following. Lunch or dinner out when a friend or family member comes to town. Chocolate truffles on the secretary’s desk or the break room at work. Cookies from well-meaning friends and family who want you to taste-test their creations. Sweetened, pumpkin-spice coffee instead of calorie-free regular coffee. Food court fare when you’re holiday shopping at the mall. Holiday parties, potlucks, and dinners. Stick to Your Good WLS Habits The first line of defense is to stick to your regular good everyday weight loss surgery habits. Log every bite of food you take to keep from getting in hundreds of extra calories from sneaking in a taste here and there. Even if you have to estimate the calories in some of your food, especially if you eat out or at a party, you can keep more discipline if you log your food. Also, think about your other healthy habits. Keep drinking water between meals. And, protein is still all-important. Make sure you have some at each meal and snack. Focusing on finding lean protein can keep you focused when you’re faced with all kinds of other unhealthy choices. Arm Yourself Against Temptation If you’re starving and you’re face-to-face with a basket of chocolate-covered pretzels, you might opt for the sugary, high-carb snack. Unless that is, you have your own weapon. Keep some high-protein and low-calorie choices with you at all times so you never need to go for the junk food in desperation. We have many health snack options at the BariatricPal Store! Take them with you to work, or in your car, purse, or pocket. You can have them if you’re stuck in traffic or at the mall at mealtimes. Almonds packed in 1-ounce portions. Beef jerky (not fatty beef sticks). Apples Cheese sticks Roasted soybeans or garbanzo beans Tuna pouch Work around Your Cravings You don’t need to deprive yourself completely at holiday time. If there’s a particular taste you want, there’s a good chance you can satisfy your craving with a healthier alternative. For example, you can have lean ham and turkey breast instead of brisket and turkey with the skin on it. Roast green beans with onions, rosemary, and balsamic vinegar instead of having green bean casserole, bake sweet potatoes instead of having candied ones, and puree cauliflower or carrot instead of making mashed potatoes. Use the same strategy for desserts. Go for sugar-free cocoa mix instead of chocolate fudge when you’re craving chocolate. Munch on plain popcorn while your friends are passing around the caramel corn. For breakfast, make high-protein oatmeal pumpkin pancakes instead of regular pumpkin pancakes. Plan for a Few Treats Almost everyone has a few holiday treats that are irresistible. There may be some family recipe that you’ve had at every Christmas for as long as you can remember, or maybe a coworker brings in her cinnamon rolls made from a secret recipe. Whatever it is, you feel as though the holidays are incomplete without it. There’s no reason not to plan for one or two key treats. Just be sure you plan for them and stick to a single serving. Savor it, and concentrate on the flavors and on the memories and feelings it brings up. Then get right back on your regular diet. There are a couple of reasons why some weight loss surgery patients might be better off skipping even the occasional special holiday treat. First, don’t start if you’re not sure you can stop. If you’re not confident that you can stick to a single serving, it’s best not to start eating. Second, some weight loss surgery patients can’t tolerate all kinds of junk food. Fried and doughy foods are risky for lap-band patients, since they can obstruct the band. Gastric bypass and vertical sleeve gastrectomy patients are at risk for dumping syndrome from eating too much sugar or fat at once. And, no weight loss surgery patient should eat too much, since that can stretch the pouch or sleeve. The holiday season is a happy time, but it’s a struggle if you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy. You can prevent it from sneaking up on you and interfering with your weight loss by staying alert and having a plan.
  8. 1 point
    When new bariatric patients come to my practice, one of the first things we discuss is how unimportant the operation will be for them, in the big picture. Once they recover from the shock of that news, we explain that their mindset contributed to their weight problem, and their mindset will be the secret weapon to ultimately get the weight off. Here’s the thing--we don't operate on your brain. Bariatric surgery will only take you so far. Long-term weight-loss success requires a firm commitment to living a healthy lifestyle—eating the right foods--and ignoring the others that made you feel bloated and too tired to do anything. You need to stay very well hydrated and discover an exercise (or two or three) that you perform about 4-5 times a week for about 30-40 minutes. Take this stress and… Then there’s the stress of everyday life—we all have it. The trick is to find ways to offset these unavoidable pressure points, so that you aren’t on a one-way road to the kitchen. Food is not the answer to your problems, it never was. While you are improving your health, feed your brain with positive feelings by improving the quality of your life. Make the effort to become more social: Join a gym, catch a movie with a long-lost friend, invite the nice parents of your child’s best friend over for coffee. Give a little, get a lot One of the activities I recommend to every bariatric patient is to give back to their community. Want to feel better than any junk food could make you feel? Volunteer. If you look around, you’ll see that you’re far more fortunate than you may realize. Help out, make life better for someone else, even in a small way. Give your time, give your heart. Everyone needs a little help If you think you can’t go it alone, reach out to your bariatric or family doctor to ask for resources who can offer mental health support specifically for people with food/weight issues. You are never in this battle alone, always remember that.
  9. 1 point
    As you age, your metabolism slows down. Older people also tend to have less muscle mass than younger people, which also reduces metabolic rate. This is why we encourage older patients to add light weight-bearing exercise to their fitness routines. So how do you keep that furnace burning in order to burn calories, even if you’re already achieved your goal weight? There are many simple tools to accomplish this task. I’ve outlined my favorites below: Exercise This weapon is key to maintaining and increasing metabolism. Seniors, take note−The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people 65 and older get 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week and perform weight-bearing exercises on all the body’s major muscle groups at least twice a week. At any age, indoctrinate a 30-minute daily work-out, just like brushing your teeth and eating lunch, into your daily routine. Sleep To increase the chances of boosting metabolism, adults should get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Getting too little shut-eye can significantly alter your body’s processes enough to predispose you to gain weight. (Do you ever feel hungry for no reason when you’re exhausted and then reach for the wrong foods to boot?) De-Stress When you’re tense, your body releases cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal system that is linked to weight gain. It can also significantly weaken your immune system and open the door to acute and chronic illnesses. Turn to regular physical activity, deep breathing, a quiet evening stroll, or professional help from a psychologist or counselor if you are experiencing chronic stress. Eat and Drink (First and foremost, follow your bariatric practice's instructions on post-op nutrition.) Eating the right foods−clean proteins, fruits and vegetables−fuels your metabolism firing on all cylinders. As soon as you awaken, charge-up those calorie burners by feeding them a protein and a fruit (think omelette with feta cheese, spinach and veggies and a cup of berries). Eat small meals throughout the day but stop by around 7 p.m. Staying hydrated is key to maintaining good health. Keep a glass or refillable water bottle with you throughout the day. You are properly hydrated if your urine is nearly clear. Other than choosing the right foods to eat and finding spiritual solace in your life, these tools serve as a roadmap to good health, including maintaining a healthy weight. Best of all, once you’ve adopted these tips, you will look and feel better--sooner than you think.
  10. 1 point
    Without a doubt, obesity is stigmatized. The unfair bias that you face may be a major factor in your decision to consider or get weight loss surgery. Unfortunately, you will probably find that the obesity discrimination continues even as you try to use weight loss surgery to get healthy. Obese patients are blamed for their conditions, healthcare providers are not always sympathetic, and coverage for weight loss surgery is not guaranteed. Why Do Obese Patients Get So Much Blame? People are increasingly sympathetic to diseases that used to be stigmatized. Examples include cancer, many mental health conditions, and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS and syphilis. Now, treatment for these and other conditions, such as diabetes, is widely accepted as normal and an entitlement. Each of these conditions is largely the result of lifestyle choices, such as diet, use of tobacco and/or alcohol, sexual behavior, and physical activity levels. More than 80% of cancers are likely the result of lifestyle choices. Ironically, though, many people in our society remain unsympathetic to obese people. They are quick to blame obese people for having no self-control, for refusing to follow a diet, and for not wanting to be healthy. You know, though, that those accusations are far from the truth. If you are considering weight loss surgery, you are confident that you have the self-control for the weight loss surgery diet, that you have tried to follow numerous diets but none have worked for you, and that you desperately want to be healthy! You Did Not Ask to Be Obese: Some Factors are Outside of Your Control More than one-third of American adults are obese, and another third are overweight. That in itself should remind you – and the people who judge you harshly – that fighting obesity is hard! The food environment includes fast food, vending machines, restaurants, food-focused social gatherings, and inexpensive snack foods. There are also biological and family factors that you cannot control. Skinny people have no idea that you may be feeling extreme hunger all day, every day, or that your metabolism may be slower. Your family might have raised to choose high-calorie, high-fat foods, or even driven you into unhealthy emotional eating. Research shows that some obese patients’ brains even respond differently to food compared to lower-weight individuals. Obese individuals, for example, tend to get less pleasure out of food, meaning they need to eat more to get satisfied. Furthermore, high-calorie foods like sugar can be addicting, leading to the same brain responses as cocaine does. But nobody blames cocaine addicts for their situations! Instead, they encourage counseling and intensive program to help them overcome their addictions, not punish them. Discrimination in Obesity Treatment: A Look at Weight Loss Surgery Versus Dialysis Just as unfair is the fact that the healthcare system continues the discrimination against obesity. Compare weight loss surgery as an obesity treatment with dialysis as a treatment for kidney failure (end-stage renal failure). Far from being blamed for their conditions, kidney failure patients who need dialysis are provided the respect that all people deserve and the medical care that they need. Dialysis patients of all ages in the United States are able to apply for Medicare, the government’s health insurance program normally reserved for older adults. Dialysis treatments can cost about $40,000 per year, not including This is not to mention human factors such as reduced quality of life (the vast majority of dialysis patients are too sick to work) and early death (the life expectancy of dialysis patients is about 5 years). In comparison, a typical weight loss surgery procedure in the United States can cost $20,000 to $40,000, although it can be less, and successful patients are healthier and have more energy than before surgery. The irony increases. The fact is that kidney failure usually results as a complication of type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure (hypertension). Both of these conditions are often caused by obesity; losing weight after weight loss surgery can prevent, eliminate, or reduce these conditions. In addition, it takes years for kidney failure to develop once you have high blood pressure or diabetes – years during which patients are likely to be on costly medications and inconvenient treatments. Targeting obesity through weight loss surgery could prevent cases of diabetes and high blood pressure, reduce their effects in people who already have them, and prevent kidney failure, the need for dialysis, and early death. Searching for Fairness in the Medical Treatment of Obesity Your first barrier in your path to weight loss surgery may be your primary care physican (PCP). Some PCPs do not know much about weight loss surgery, or may be against it because they think obesity is your fault. Some PCPs take a narrow view of obesity, and feel that the only way to lose weight is for patients to “decide they want it badly enough” and “just eat less.” You already know that doesn’t work, so don’t let your PCP discourage you from learning more weight loss surgery if you think it might be the solution to your obesity struggles. Insurance coverage has improved for obesity treatments, especially for weight loss surgery. Medicare and many private healthcare coverage plans cover weight loss surgery if you meet their predetermined weight and/or health criteria. Some private insurance companies, though, take a short-term view because they want to make profits within 3 years. Since most weight loss surgeries do not pay for themselves within 3 years, some private insurers do not cover weight loss surgery despite the likelihood that they would pay for themselves within 5 or 10 years, and in addition improve your health and quality of life. Chance of Reduced Discrimination in the Future? The majority of Americans believe that health insurance should cover weight loss surgery, in addition to other obesity treatments such as dietetic and mental health counseling. The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), though, is not the ultimate solution. In nearly half of states, obesity treatments are not required to be covered by plans sold on the health exchanges. This determination is based on the available competitive services in the region. Since the most obese states are the ones least likely to have competitive anti-obesity care, these states are also least likely to have obesity treatments covered under the Affordable Care Act. Overcome the Discrimination Discrimination is an unfair fact of life as an obese individual, and it unfortunately does not end when you decide to get healthy using weight loss surgery as a tool. These are some of the ways that you can keep going strong and overcome the barriers you encounter as you work to get healthy. You have the right to a second opinion if your primary care physician recommends against weight loss surgery but you would like to find out more. Do not take “no” for an answer from your insurance company if you know you are entitled to reimbursement for surgery. Do not listen to negative family members or friends who do not understand your obesity or interest in weight loss surgery. It is your life and health. Educate others as much as you can to try to reduce the discrimination. Chances are that they are only being discriminatory out of ignorance, not out of true mean-spiritedness. Like it or not, some discrimination remains as you go through your weight loss journey. You cannot prevent it, but you can change how you react to it. Expect it and respond as positively as you can, keeping your own health and goals in mind. Over time, as you and others prove that weight loss surgery can be a worthwhile treatment for obesity, discrimination by insurance companies, healthcare providers, and the public will decrease.

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