As the weather turns decidedly colder here in Las Vegas, we must understand how the many variables in our lives can affect our bodies and our continued weight loss. Undoubtedly, you’ve seen how seemingly obscure changes in lifestyle and circumstances can make a big difference in how we lose weight. The weather is similar. Let’s get into how to manage colder weather best so we can take advantage of it and maintain our weight loss or put it into high gear.
First, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t significantly modify your lifestyle or diet during cold weather without your doctor’s oversight. Also, if you have heart disease, cold weather can contribute to the temporary narrowing of arteries and blood vessels, exacerbating certain conditions. If you have any concerns about your health status, you should speak to your medical team to ensure your changes are appropriate for your medical circumstance.
By now, anyone looking to lose weight has read up on a relatively new crop of weight loss drugs like Wegovy/semaglutide, which have shown excellent effectiveness in overweight and obese patients. By some accounts, weight loss in the range of 15-20% of total body weight loss has been achieved. This is incredibly impressive for a minimally invasive injection, and the results are consistent across a significant population of patients. Does that mean, however, that bariatric surgery is now obsolete?
The diet industry is a juggernaut, with hundreds if not thousands of diets and new and popular diets popping up yearly. These dietary plans have a checkered success rate. However, some of these diet plans have blossomed over time. One such “diet” plan is Noom, marketed heavily as a psychology-based approach focusing more on what you think than what you eat. On the surface, this psychological improvement-first approach is a great idea. After all, long-term weight loss after bariatric surgery requires just that: a change in approach and habits. However, does Noom offer everything a bariatric patient needs to be successful, or is it just another gimmick and waste of money?
Over the past several decades, golf has exploded in popularity and remains one of the most popular sports in the United States. Like other sports, golf places unique stresses on the body, and today, we will discuss whether playing golf is a good idea after bariatric surgery. This can be especially important for our local Las Vegas patients who consider our local golf scene to be a benefit of living here. Golf isn’t typically associated with extreme physical activity and highly athletic players, though recent years have seen renewed interest in golf-centric fitness. It’s one of the few sports that can be played as long as your body can handle it – often into your 90s. But bariatric patients have particular physical limitations – do they interfere with golf?
In a world seemingly chock-full of fad diets that don’t work and may even cause health issues, we often turn to natural or holistic remedies to help us lose weight. One such hope has been probiotics. Analyzing the name tells us what they do – these foods and drinks contain live cultures of microorganisms to promote the proliferation of good bacteria in the gut.
Now, we have been conditioned to think that bacteria are harmful. And there certainly are bacteria that make us sick. However, the opposite is also true. Our gut microbiome comprises trillions of bacteria – far more than the number of cells in our bodies. These bacteria work overtime to process our foods and keep us healthy. However, years, if not decades, of mistreatment by eating highly processed foods and overuse of antibiotics has changed the delicate balance of this microbiome in many of us and consequently has been implicated in reduced insulin sensitivity, amongst other issues.
Mounjaro, developed by Eli Lilly, and Ozempic, made by Danish pharma giant Novo Nordisk, are currently available as injectable diabetes management drugs. These drugs have very similar mechanisms of action and trigger a similar hormonal response, which can result in excellent diabetes management and even weight loss. However, neither of these drugs is approved for use in weight loss. Instead, a higher dose version of Ozempic known as Wegovy was approved as a weight loss drug at the end of 2022. Mounjaro is also being evaluated as a weight loss drug, and FDA approval is expected in the near future.
For many years, it was thought that coffee and other caffeinated drinks like black and green tea acted as diuretics, offsetting their value as a hydrating drink. We were often told that if we drank a cup of caffeinated tea or coffee, it should be offset with the same amount of water. But is this advice still accurate? Does coffee indeed have hydration benefits? The answer is nuanced and depends on where you are in your weight loss or bariatric surgery journey.
Endoscopic (cameras placed through a natural body opening like the mouth into the stomach) allows practitioners to perform several diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Some bariatric procedures, such as a sleeve or revisional surgery for dilated pouches or anastomoses (surgical bowel connections) after gastric bypass can be performed using this specialized equipment. The main advantages are no incisions, less recovery time, a shorter hospital stay, and possibly a quicker return to activity and work.
It’s said that a bariatric surgeon’s job is as much a facilitator of psychological change as the physical. If that’s not the case, it certainly feels like it. This is because a patient’s responsibilities after surgery run the gamut of mental and physical. Some would say that the key to success is not necessarily how physically ready you may be; instead, how motivated and mentally prepared you are to start the bariatric process and change your life.
Once you’ve had bariatric surgery, you should be proud of your incredible step toward renewed life and health. It’s often said that deciding to have surgery is one of the most challenging parts of the whole process. To some degree, that’s true – most often, the surgery is pretty smooth. However, one starts to encounter an entirely new set of problems, often psychological, after one’s surgical procedure. Most of these problems revolve around the challenges of losing weight and the lifestyle changes patients must make, particularly in diet and exercise.