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Need To Know – News on Aspartame Artificial Sweetener

sweetner packets in glass jar

Artificial sweeteners are undeniably a part of a bariatric patient’s life. They offer a no or low-calorie option for sweetening foods and drinks that would otherwise seem very bland. However, artificial sweeteners have distinct downsides that should be understood. These synthetic alternatives to sugar have alternately been declared safe and, at times, been considered carcinogenic. This was the case for saccharin, brand name Sweet’N Low (in the pink packets), which was put on a list of carcinogenic chemicals by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the late 1970s for a time because of specific studies. It was eventually cleared as safe and continues to be used today.

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Insurance Versus Self / Cash Pay Bariatric Surgery a Preliminary Discussion

Man sliding cash over table

How you pay for a bariatric procedure is likely top of mind, and rightly so. While bariatric surgery does not represent an intervention for an emergency concern, we all know the physical and psychological problems that plague patients with obesity. Further, surgery is expensive, no matter how you cut it, so the ideal circumstance would be to have health insurance pay for the procedure. There are some distinct pros and cons of going through the insurance process to cover bariatric surgery, just as paying cash represents a faster but ultimately more costly way forward. Let’s dive in:

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Can You Have Orthopedic Surgery With Obesity?

man on doctor table holding knee while doctor takes notes on clipboard

One of the most concerning and debilitating consequences of excess weight and obesity revolves around how it affects our joints. We all have experienced adding several pounds over the summer or on vacation, making us feel sluggish and creating real physical Impediments. What you feel during these times is matched and even magnified in your joints. For example, it’s estimated that your knees experience an additional 4 pounds of pressure for every pound of excess body weight. You can imagine that even a little extra weight makes a big difference.

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How Do You Know Your Strength Training Program Is Working?

Woman lifting dumbell into curl position

After bariatric surgery, you will hear us talk a lot about how to exercise. This is because most of our patients think that cardiovascular activity is sufficient to lose the weight they need. Most patients find this is not the case, and they must balance cardiovascular conditioning and strength training to maximize their results. Yes, it’s true; cardiovascular exercise does burn more calories in the moment. However, strength training is your best friend for longer-term weight loss. Why? Strength training increases the size of your muscles, and muscles need more calories to burn. The bottom line: your body will consume more calories, even at rest, than before.

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Coping With Loss as a Bariatric Patient

Woman in therapy circle being comforted by peers

Life can be cruel. While losing weight and improving your health makes just about everything easier to deal with, significant losses in our lives can still put pressure on us. Often, loss eliminates the motivation we once had and dampens our will to succeed. Everyone’s losses are different, and we react uniquely to them. Some want to curl up in a ball and stay inside for days. Others take out their losses in bouts of anger and frustration. Yet others are motivated to do more. Regardless, loss can lead to overeating, under-exercising, and going off track. Of course, when we talk about loss, you probably first think of the loss of a close friend or family member. You may think of failure as a friendship or romantic relationship that ended poorly. We lose things in our lives all the time and have coping mechanisms to manage those losses.

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Eating in a Rush – What to Do?

Man meal prepping dinner in Tupperware containers
Life gets busy. So what do you do when you’re in a rush but still need something to eat? Should you eat or wait for the next meal? If you do eat, how big should the meal be? Fast food? Home cooked? It’s normal to have these questions when rushing out the door. Below we’ll offer some tips on what foods could make sense when headed to work, which fast food options to consider, how to be prepared in these situations, and more.

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Can Low Testosterone Be a Cause of Your Weight Gain?

Man at doctors office getting stomach measured by doctor with measuring tape

You’ve probably heard of Biohacking. It’s a relatively new term to describe something scientists have tried to do for hundreds, if not thousands, of years – optimize body function through activities and supplements that deliver peak function. With the advent of social media, influencers, and thousands, if not millions, of videos on different ways to improve performance, we may have taken it too far and gotten so granular with the advice available that we miss the larger picture. This is very much the case with testosterone. As a darling of Biohackers worldwide, low testosterone is being flagged by some weight loss clinics and body optimization influencers to the point where you might think it is an epidemic. However, it’s essential to set the record straight on testosterone.

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Will I Feel Hungry After Bariatric Surgery?

Empty green plate with utensils next to it

It’s a common question that makes a lot of sense. After bariatric surgery, will you have an unenviable situation where your stomach is significantly smaller, but you remain hungry? The answer will depend from person to person; however, generally speaking, every major bariatric procedure currently offered has a mechanism by which it reduces hunger. Let’s take the three most popular bariatric surgeries today and discuss them one by one. Before discussing weight loss surgery options, knowing that the Lap-Band and the gastric balloon are not performed very often is essential – as such, we do not include these procedures in our analysis.

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Why Does the Bariatric Surgery Process Take So Long?

Clock on dining table next to salad

What stands out to most patients when they begin their bariatric journey is how long it takes to go from the initial consultation to surgery. After all, we’re all aware that obesity is a disease that causes several follow-on metabolic disorders that can be debilitating or even life-threatening. We also know that the obesity problem is not improving in the United States or worldwide. Unfortunately, while weight loss medications and injections that are currently so popular do offer a short-term solution, the likelihood is that they will not usher in the long-term lifestyle change required to change the tide.

One of the most significant barriers to a patient getting bariatric surgery is how long they must wait to get their procedure. While the weight loss surgery process is not quick or easy, it can’t be challenging to maintain the excitement and motivation of that initial decision for several months. Let’s dig into why bariatric surgery can take so long and what patients can do about it to shorten the process.

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Regaining Weight? Don’t Quit Your Support Group

Support group circle discussing bariatric surgery, close up image of people's hands inside the circle

You’ve heard it repeatedly, starting from before your procedure, support is essential to long-term success in your bariatric journey. Support groups are not just places to commiserate with people in the same position as you are. Instead, they are important forums for discussion about strategies to lose additional weight, places where you can celebrate your successes with others, who are cheering you on, and a place where you can turn to get practical advice and help when you’ve gone off track.

The reality of the bariatric process is that there will be plateaus and even weight gains along the way. This is perfectly normal, and you are following a trend that virtually every patient has been through before, no matter how dedicated to their health and weight loss they may be.

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