Does Drinking Water Really Help You Lose Weight?

Most of us have spent our entire lives with parents, friends and doctors telling us we need to drink more water.  The most common belief is we need to drink eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day, which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon. This is called the 8×8 rule and is very easy to remember.  However, like everything, everyone is different, and this is just conventional wisdom.  In fact, according to Snopes this belief started back in 1945:

Back in 1945 the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council stated that adults should take in about 2.5 liters of water per day (which is roughly the equivalent of eight glasses of water), but it also noted most of that intake level was already satisfied through the consumption of food without the need for the additional drinking of water.

That’s right, we consume much of that needed water through food.

But what about the consumption for weight loss?  I’ve had many patients tell me they have increased their water intake with hopes of even a little weight loss, but have failed at losing any pounds with just increasing their water.  What they didn’t know was WHEN to drink it.  Fortunately, a UK-based study published in the journal Obesity found that people who drank a couple of glasses of water before every meal lost over 8.8 lbs during a three-month period.

Scientists at University of Birmingham concluded that the preliminary evidence was that “water preloading before main meals may be an effective weight loss strategy” because it helps people feel fuller and avoid pangs of hunger.

This article first appeared on PLOS Blogs.

So drink up before meals for the simplest strategy for losing pounds!

Have 50 or less pounds to lose?  My innovated approach to weight loss may be your answer.  Learn more about my innovative WRAP procedure.

Guest Blog by Dr. Hardick – Is There a Dark Side to Ketosis?

The Keto Diet is getting more and more attention and seems to be the latest craze in diets.  However, most people don’t really understand what a Keto Diet is and what the benefits come with it.  Dr. Hardick in his blog, “Is there a Dark Side to Keytosis” explained it quite well in layman terms that anyone can understand, what misconceptions people have about Keto and why people lose weight on the diet.

Dr. Hardick explains, “Let’s back up and demystify ketosis, which simply means you’re utilizing ketone bodies – more commonly called ketones – rather than glucose as your body’s primary fuel.

Just like your car uses gasoline, your body needs fuel. That usually means glucose. But let’s say you’re on a very-low carbohydrate, higher-fat diet. Your body doesn’t get a lot of glucose, which primarily comes from carbohydrate and to a lesser degree protein. That means your liver’s backup glucose (glycogen) also becomes in short supply.

Unlike your car, your body doesn’t just shut down. Thankfully, you have an alternative fuel source called ketones.

Ketones are organic compounds your liver always makes. You’re cranking out ketones right now as you read this. During starvation or (more likely) when you restrict carbohydrate and increase fat intake, your body uses ketones as its primary fuel.

In other words, when your body doesn’t receive or can’t make enough glucose, it shifts to this alternative fuel. Almost every organ can utilize ketones except for your red blood cells (which don’t have ketone-metabolizing mitochondria) and liver.

Your liver, in fact, does the heavy lifting. This hardworking organ metabolizes fat into three ketone bodies: acetoacetate (ACA), beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and acetone.(1) BHB is the first substrate that kicks ketosis into action.

Among its benefits, BHB reduces chronic inflammation and restores healthy inflammation levels. In fact, researchers believe a ketogenic diet’s anti-inflammatory effects could be thanks to BHB.”

When the body leans on another source besides glucose for energy and enters the state of ketosis, the body utilizes body fat for energy.  Patients on the Keto Diet have also reported they are more satiated with smaller amounts of food than when trying to lose weight through a low-fat diet making it easier to stick to a Keto Diet.

To learn more about how I can help you in your weight loss journey, contact us today!

What Diet to Expect Post Weight Loss Surgery

Deciding to have weight loss surgery always comes with a slew of questions from my patients.  One of the most common questions is what kind of diet to expect once you have taken the plunge.  It is important to know that there are certain foods to ignore post-bariatric surgery, and others to make sure you don’t avoid.  Choosing healthy food choices will give you the best results for health and quality of life after surgery.

For example, protein is key because the body will need additional protein during the period of rapid weight loss to maintain your muscle mass.  If you don’t get enough protein, your body will take from your muscles to feed the body the protein needed for functioning.  Protein also assists in the healing process.

After surgery your stomach is much smaller.  You will fill fuller much faster than before the surgery.  Avoiding foods considered to be empty calorie foods will help you maintain your health and assist you in your weight loss.  Foods high in added sugar such as sweets, chips, muffins, donuts, pretzels, cookies, and popcorn and also refined carbohydrates such as white breads, pastas, crackers, and refined cereals are all considered empty calorie foods.  Besides just focusing on how much weight you have lost, you must remember the body needs nutrition to stay healthy to avoid illness and disease.

It is also very important to monitor your fluid intake.  Dehydration is the most common reason for readmission to the hospital. Once you are dehydrated is harmful to your organs and your body cannot function at optimum levels.  Keeping hydrated also burns stored fat calories.  Although you may feel you are drinking enough water because your stomach is much smaller, carrying around a bottled water and commit to drinking consistently throughout the day can help prevent dehydration.

There are phases to what you should do and not do post-surgery.  A great guide through the phases can be found at Tufts Medical Center to review if you are thinking about having weight loss surgery.  And of course, if you do decide to have weight loss surgery, I am there to guide you through the process when you get home from the hospital.  I will instruct you to follow a diet that is much different than the pre-surgery diet.  During the first few months of recovery, I guide you through the process that starts with consuming liquids to eventually having solid foods.

Weight loss surgery has not only assisted many in the losing of weight while building confidence, but assists people in the journey to improved health.

To learn more about the various weight loss procedures, including The Wrap if you have 50 pounds or less to lose, please contact my office.

Is Cholesterol a Good or Bad Thing?

Mainstream media has villainized cholesterol, but why?  Did you know that cholesterol is vital for:

  • Brain function – your body uses cholesterol to power electrical signals.  In fact, your brain has the highest concentration of cholesterol in your body.
  • Hormone production – cholesterol is the precursor for the synthesis of hormones such as testosterone and estrogen.
  • Digestive salts – The liver uses cholesterol to manufacture bile salts for proper digestion of food.
  • The integrity and health of cell membranes – cholesterol is needed to maintain the integrity of cell membranes in your body.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all cells of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods.

In fact, cholesterol is so vital to a healthy body that your liver actually makes all that it needs to survive… you literally don’t even need to eat it!

So why are we all afraid of it in modern society?  The answer lies in understanding how heart disease occurs with cholesterol and the hardened of the arteries (atherosclerosis).   By a simple definition, atherosclerosis is the hardening of the arteries where plaque builds up along the arterial walls that affects both the elasticity of the artery and the space available for blood flow that can lead to heart attack or stroke.  Plague is made up of calcium and cholesterol.  And when scientists first discovered this….it led to the belief that cholesterol was bad.  Although, as more studies have occurred throughout the many decades on cholesterol, it was also found that high levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol were bad for the heart and high levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) were good for the heart.  Well, not entirely…. In actuality, LDL isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it is in balance with HDL. It’s sent out from the liver to perform the many functions that cholesterol performs, as mentioned above. HDL is in many ways LDL’s balance. HDL’s are on their way back to the liver, and are involved in healing damage to vessel walls (plaque removal) and latching on to spent or oxidized LDL particles in order to return them to the liver for reprocessing.  This is why HDL is considered the good cholesterol.  HDL levels are what doctors are looking for when they test total cholesterol.  Statins come in when doctors want to lower LDL levels in the blood.

For a healthy cholesterol score, there are ways in your diet that not only create that healthy balance of LDL and HDL, but can help you lose weight.  Diets high in healthy fats, such as, avocado, fish, nuts and olive oil help to regulate your good cholesterol.  Furthermore, diets such as the ketogenic diet which is high in healthy fats and protein with a low carb intake have proven to raise your HDL levels and lose weight.  You can also find lots of recipes online that are healthy fat recipes that taste fantastic and good for you.

Here’s to your health!

If you have any questions about my services and how I can help you lose weight or improve your health, please contact me to further assist you.

A Happy New Year Boost to Help Achieve Your Goals

Happy New Year!  The best part of a new year is it gives you the opportunity for a new you and the opportunity to evaluate what is working for you and what things may need to shift in order to reach your goals….even though it sounds so cliché!

Now that we are in full swing into 2018, it’s a great time to commit to a healthy lifestyle.  Some of your 2018 goals may be to change your eating habits, increase nutritional value in your diet or increase how much exercise you get in each week.  Whatever your goal entails, it’s important to remember that practice doesn’t make perfect (since there is no such thing as perfect), practice makes permanent.  Whatever we do daily becomes what our lifestyle eventually becomes.  And it doesn’t mean you have to be perfect 24/7, it just means you must be consistent.  When you are making goals and resolutions, there is one thing that is very important to your success that will get you to your goal quicker:

Don’t just set your goals, write them down – You will find a certain kind of magic in reaching your goals if you write them down and make sure you set a date and time you will achieve them.  The most important part of building the permanent lifestyle you desire is to know where you are going.  It’s like driving to an address.  If you don’t have an address to where you are driving to, how will you get there?  To really succeed, set your goals so you know the road you need to travel to get there.

Great, so you have set your goals and have written them down.  It’s time to get busy and figure out helpful hints and tips to keep on track.

These tips will help you stay on track with your journey:

  1. Analyze your current eating habits.  As I discussed in a previous blog, calories are not like snowballs, we may think we have cut down our calories, but we didn’t count the two handfuls of popcorn at the movies or the three bity bites of cake after lunch.  We don’t even think about them because they seem so small and insignificant., but they add up!  Often times we have so many insignificant (so we think) moments that we don’t even realize it has become a habit to ignore them and once ignored…..we keep eating them.  The most important factor in changing your eating habits is to make changes that you can live with forever. Habits can last a lifetime, so make sure that your eating habits will keep you healthy and happy.  Once you know what your habits really are, you can map out your meals.  Maybe you are better at just three meals a day and just need to change food choices or maybe you are a snacker throughout the day and need six smaller meals a day.  Start small on your changes and make new habits that become permanent.
  2. Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry.  Plan to eat something before you go because if you don’t and you are starving walking the aisle, it’s so easy to get sucked in to buying bad food choices.  Make sure you also stick to the shopping list with great focus and only get those items.
  3. Slow down your eating.  Your brain takes around 20 minutes to register the chemicals that tell your brain you are full.  After your meal, the levels continue to rise over 10 to 30 minutes.  If you slow down and let your brain catch up, you will eat less.
  4. That brings me to my next tip…..don’t ever get to the point of feeling so hungry you would eat anything.  It’s nearly impossible for anyone to slow down their eating if they are so hungry anything and everything sounds good to eat.  If you need a little snack to get you to dinner time, eat a healthy one loaded with nutrition to get you to dinner.

We must eat to survive and eating really is an enjoyable experience. However, none of us like to feel overweight, tired, sluggish and foggy.  And that is what happens with unhealthy eating habits, binging, and choices that don’t serve us.  So, write down your goals, follow tips that help you stay on track with you goals and remember to celebrate each successful step no matter how small.

My trusted staff is now available to help guide you to meeting your healthy lifestyle goals.  To learn more, contact us today!

Could it be your thyroid that is causing weight loss resistance?

“I seem to be doing everything right, but I’ve stopped losing weight!”

As a doctor I hear this quite often.  There are many reasons outside of your eating and exercise habits that could be causing a plateau in your weight loss journey.  It’s important to understand a whole picture of what could be going on that includes hormone levels, environmental toxins, genes, nutritional imbalances and organ function.  For example, did you know that gluten intolerance can cause hypothyroidism?  Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain important hormones and the result is weight gain.

Hypothyroidism affects one in five women and one in ten men, but is commonly overlooked any many are never diagnosed.  There are many reasons the thyroid can be affected.  Symptoms of Hypothyroidism include:

  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to cold temperatures
  • Depression
  • Dry skin
  • Thinning hair
  • Heavy menstrual periods in women
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Pain or swelling of the joints
  • Constipation
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Muscle weakness

There are a wide variety of reasons that my cause a low functioning thyroid, but some of them include:

  • Radiation treatment.
  • Certain medications
  • Stress
  • Environmental toxins
  • Too much or too little iodine
  • Damage to the pituitary gland
  • Pesticides
  • Heavy metals
  • Inflammation
  • And more…

Another culprit to a slow thyroid – nutritional deficiencies.  Hypothyroidism is on the rise in the United States today, but very few doctors actually pay attention to the nutritional relationships between your thyroid and vitamins and minerals. The thyroid gland need very specific nutrients to run optimally such as omega 3 fats, zinc, iodine, vitamin B-12 and selenium and a proper amount of protein in your diet.

Thyroid function plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy weight, and hypothyroid can be major player in weight-loss resistance.  If you are experiencing weight loss resistance and suspect the cause may be your thyroid, contact your doctor for a diagnosis.  If you do have a low functioning thyroid, it is important to remember to treat the condition and discuss with your doctor effective ways to optimize functionality through diet, supplements and thyroid hormone replacement therapy.

To learn more about my practice and ways I can help you on your weight loss journey, click here to reach one of my staff member.

How Are You Going To Survive Thanksgiving After Bariatric Surgery?

Thanksgiving can be a challenging time for anyone concerned about cutting calories and/or controlling their food intake.  This goes for anyone after bariatric surgery or for those who have worked so hard on cutting calories and getting your figure back. This festive time of year poses unique challenges to those who have had weight loss surgery including the gastric band, gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy or my innovative WRAP.

These following steps can help you stay on track with a plan!

Step one – if you are hosting the meal, download this great recipe guide.  If you are the lucky one to host, you get to determine what is served.  If you are planning on visiting someone else’s home for the feast, making a couple of recipes to bring will help you stick to the plan.

Step two is having the right mindset going into the big feast – come to the table knowing what you should and should not be eating… Stick to the plan as much as you can!

Step three – instead of making the focus the food, make your focus about being with family and friends.   Enjoy the time together, telling stories of past times, play some board games, and talk about the things you are most grateful for – each taking a turn around the table.

Step four – after the big feast suggest a family and friend walk to a local park or around the neighborhood.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Cave-men and Calories… How’d we get so confused?

As a doctor that specializes in all aspects of the weight loss journey, I have an opportunity to debunk a tremendous amount of misconceptions.  One of the most prevalent is the idea that ancient humanity had a much easier time with their weight than we all do in modern times.

Bottom line – the degree that someone will maintain their weight is dynamic, unpredictable, and unique.  It is totally based on how efficiently your body winds up burning calories or storing them.

While we often imagine the cave-man as a muscular athlete, standing on the plains in a loincloth, in actuality he ate everything he could whenever he could, because he’d never know when the next wooly mammoth might be coming around. In history books, recreations of Cro-Magnon man most often show him as short, stocky and thick in the waist, right?

Well, in the modern age,  we don’t have to adapt to a life defined by the scarcity of food.  There’s no need or difficulty that exists to force us to hunt for what we eat. (Hunting through the take-out menus on your desk don’t count!) Today, we all live in a society that has an essentially unlimited access to food.

The problem is, we all still have that same cave-man DNA that existed millions of years ago when we were out hunting for calories.  Most of us have that cave-man instinct that causes us to crave and eat things that instinctually look good.  In the modern age, people’s lives rarely depend on the ability to work out (or hunt) for food, and so they will ultimately digest more calories and burn less calories then is needed to power the human body.  When that’s the case, what do you think happens?  That’s right, the efficiency of the finely wired body causes the calories to be stored in the body as fat.

And since many of us live in an over-fed population, it is easy to see who is more biologically prone to storing more calories. And whether you believe it or not, those are the people who would have thrived all those millenia ago when food was scarce.

In short, there may be millions and millions of diets and diet philosophies out there to choose from, but the smartest thing we can do is pay attention to the old axiom, ‘calories in – calories out’.  The closer the balance between those that come in as nutrients, and move out at burned energy, the more likely someone is to stay at his or her current weight.

I hope that this blog  has provided you with some helpful insights, and as always, I wish you tremendous success on your weight wellness journey.

Our office staff is available to ask questions on how to start your weight wellness journey. To learn more, contact our team today!

To your Health!  Dr. Don

How Much Can You “GAIN?”

“How much have you lost?” That is probably the most common question we hear in Doctor Waldrep’s weight wellness office. Now, did you notice that I did not say ‘Dr. Waldrep’s weightloss” practice? That is because for so long, we have all focused on what we do not have, or do not want. Our mission is to get into the supportive habit of asking ourselves and our patients “How much have you gained?? How much energy? How much renewal? How much health? How much vitality? How much space in your medicine cabinet?” Our goal is to focus on the positive aspects. While this is not a new idea, it is far too often easier to be pulled into a negative perspective.

Ever since Dr. Waldrep decided to work with the issues of body image and body weight, he has emphasized the attainment of the (seemingly im-) possible! As a supporter of Dr. Waldrep’s practices, I have authored a column* over the years, titled “Dreams Have Wings™”. These articles emphasize that weight “loss” is only a small part of all encompassing wellness – a state of health that all of us deserve. The idea of being unencumbered — by weight, negativity, poor self-image, the unrealistic, or uneducated expectations of others — is actually the goal of personal achievement, brilliance, and abundance.

Does that sound too ‘new-agey’? Well, you are entering a new age. Actually, Dr Waldrep and I call it the “Now Age” And what you will remember (and be remembered for) is up to you. We enjoy presenting stories, ideas, and lessons to help you on your journey to wellness.

We believe that this mindset practice is exciting and pertinent; whether you are a surgical patient… or just a typical human being interested in weight and personal development! The following list of foundational questions is a great way to become self aware of the self talk in your head and tuning in to what may need to be shifted.  They help bring clarity, bring out false beliefs that aren’t serving you and help you hone in on what things may be holding you back so you are aware of what needs to be shifted. They also bring out what IS working for you and those are the things we need to focus in on and grow.

  • Who Are You?
  • What Do You Want?
  • How Can You Create A Positive Attitude?
  • How Can You Overcome Blocks or Hurdles?
  • How Can You Release The “How” & Just Dream?
  • How Do You Generate Inspired Action?
  • How Do You Identify Your Inner Allies?
  • How Do You Identify Empowered Support Partners?
  • What’s the Importance of Expressing?
  • How Do You Connect the Dots?
  • Why Is It Important to Contribute to This World?
  • What Does It Mean To Consciously Manifest & Celebrate?

Hundreds of clients have expressed their belief that each of these segments is pertinent to our evolution as empowered individuals.

Welcome… let’s get started on creating your own inspiring weight wellness story.   Email Us today learn how Dr. Waldrep can show you alternative ways to help you succeed in your weight loss journey!

To your Health!

Dr. Waldrep and Lisa Waldrep

*Read BODY AND SOUL by Lisa Janks Waldrep and Dr. Donald Waldrep

Calories are not snowballs

Probably one of the biggest misconceptions in weight loss management is that people who are overweight – even very overweight – are sitting at a table eating mountains of food. Most patients who come to see me express intense frustration with their weight. They swear to me up and down that their weight problem is unfair since they’re certain they’re eating virtually nothing more than the thinner people around them. The fact is, I believe them, and they are probably right.

Your body needs a certain amount of fuel (calories) to live your life. Calories give you the fuel to stand up in the morning, to walk to your car, to pick up children, to shop, to walk upstairs, to beat your heart, and to get your legs to move. I’ll spare you the complicated graphs and simply give you the bottom line: if you were to take in as little as 1% more calories than you need to power your daily life, you will gain weight.

In fact, that excess 1% over what your body needs can add as much as 100 pounds to your body in 10 years! Just try to wrap your mind around that for a minute. That 1% over what your body requires might be as little as 100-200 calories a day. With food (or ‘fake food’) so abundant in our society, it’s very easy to eat 100 invisible calories a day. (I’ll give you some examples: imagine eating a candy bar for a snack, an extra large soda at the movie theater, an extra helping at mom’s Sunday dinner, or a biggie-sized special at that fast food counter.) These extra calories seem invisible because it’s nearly impossible for a person to recall these excess calories when they’re consumed in such small portions. At the end of the week, they just can’t “see” those calories.

Imagine if you put a piece of copier paper on a table and try to measure its height – it would be very difficult. It would likely be as difficult the next day with the second piece of paper and the fourth day after the fourth paper. But a year later, you can obviously see the more obvious height of 365 pieces in a stack. Developing excess body weight is very much like this: pounds adding up after a slow but never- ending calorie-creep, and then “suddenly” we don’t weigh what our driver’s license says we do.

Calories are not like snowballs. You cannot see them one at a time as they go flying past you. Realize, it’s just not as simple as knowing if you don’t eat a slice of cake, you will lose “X” amount of weight. Calories are much more like humidity – invisible and all around you- and eventually you can feel it in your bones.

So the next time you’re tempted to reach for that extra helping at Thanksgiving dinner, remember it might take awhile for it to catch up to you. But like many things that are very small and very quiet, it might just sneak up on you when you least expect it. So learn to look out for those pesky little portions that eventually do add up to that big snow ball!

I hope that this has offered you a helpful insight, and as always I wish you tremendous success on your weight wellness journey.

If you would like to learn strategies to healthy eating or learn about alternative ways to lose weight, contact our office today!