Let’s cut straight to the short answer: no., fad diets are not effective – at least not in the long-term.
We live in an age where people are looking to lose weight quickly and easily. Social media has provided a platform for all kinds of health conversations and awareness, but along with that comes the spread of misinformation.
We may see a person on Instagram who looks physically healthy and may be promoting meal replacement shakes or restrictive dieting. We may believe that if we follow what they say, we will eventually look like them. This is an unhealthy perspective, and it makes us forget that every body is different. Something that appears to work for someone else, does not necessarily work for us all.
When talking about weight and weight loss, your Body Mass Index, or BMI, is often brought up at your doctor’s office. Your BMI is a rough calculation of body fat based on the formula of your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters squared. This yields a two-digit number that puts your body weight into one of four categories: underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obese.
Medical professionals use BMI to identify the weight status of individuals and across populations. According to BMI studies, the United States falls 16th in the world for highest obesity rates – having an average BMI of 28.8 and an obesity rate of 36 percent. However, the US has, by far, the highest proportion of obese adults of the largest countries in the world.
Sadly, many patients postpone their decision to have weight loss surgery because they or others may believe that it is the easy way out and diet and exercise is the only way to lose weight. Sadly, this is far from the truth. In fact, approximately 90 to 95% of patients who follow a diet and exercise regimen alone are able maintain their results over the long term. The other 90 to 95% typically regain their weight and sometimes gain even more weight than they had before. The result is a vicious cycle of obesity and poor health.
Simply put, the term “weight loss surgery” does not fully or accurately describe the benefits of the bariatric procedures we offer. Most patients’ first goal is to lose weight, but for us as clinicians, we are more concerned with the resolution of life shortening and debilitating diseases associated with morbid obesity such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, certain forms of cancer and much more. As a result, there is a significant push in the clinical realm toward renaming weight loss surgery as “metabolic surgery.” Why? Because the surgeries we perform, including the gastric sleeve and the gastric bypass, have a broad effect on our patients’ metabolisms and metabolic health, which in turn has a profound effect on their overall health.
Earlier in May, Dr. Higa was featured on the Azteca TV’s weekly program, Nuestra Hora con Lety (Our Hour with Lety), to discuss bariatric surgery and the options available to qualifying patients. Nuestra Hora con Letyis a popular local program that airs every Sunday at 9am to showcase local talent including top business leaders and professionals in and around Tucson.
We often take grocery shopping for granted. For years, we may have bought the same foods without considering how they affect our health or weight. These foods are often the ones most heavily marketed on TV, in magazines or in coupon books. Unfortunately, these are also often the most heavily processed foods and the ones that can cause the most damage to our diets and general metabolic health. Whether you have undergone bariatric surgery or are considering doing so in the future, shopping like a bariatric patient can be a great way to jumpstart the weight loss process.
If you have contacted your insurance company about coverage for bariatric surgery and noted their list of requirements, you might initially be overwhelmed. To be sure, the insurance process is not a quick one. Insurance companies have a stated goal of ensuring that bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery is the best and only option for your particular situation and that means ruling out any other possible treatments for obesity, no matter how low their success rates may be.
For most, that means that surgery will have to wait for between three and six months after their decision to move forward. What takes so long you might wonder?
So, you think you are hungry – but are you really? Is your body hungry, or is it head hunger? Head hunger can be caused by different triggers, but emotions are often the culprit.
Feelings like boredom, loneliness or sadness aren’t fun, and we all feel them. The first reaction for some of us is to distract. A quick, easy and often satisfying distraction is eating. That’s why it’s called comfort food.
What we see on TV can often be a cause of head hunger. How many food commercials were played during the break of your favorite show? These show you enticing images of food that make you want it, whether you’re hungry or not. Before you leave the house or grab that extra snack, ask yourself: do you really want this?
“I would love to work out, but I have no energy.” How many times have you said that? It’s a common problem we all encounter – weight loss surgery or not.
Food is fuel. So, it stands to reason that eating the right kinds of food after your weight loss surgical procedure can give you more energy for exercise and other activities you love.
The kind and quantity of food we put in our body has a big impact on how we feel. After weight loss surgery, your dietary intake is limited when compared to your pre-op life. You’ll be eating much less than before your gastric sleeve or gastric bypass. That makes it all the more important to eat the right foods – the foods that will give you the most energy with the least fat and sugar.