Dieting: 3 Steps to Avoid the Temptation to “Cheat”

How do you lose weight without struggling with temptation? The reason that surgical weight loss procedures are so effective is because they remove willpower from the equation. Weight loss procedures reduce temptation by decreasing your appetite or yearning for food, as well as decreasing the size of the stomach, not only limiting your meal size, but – more importantly – limiting your indulgence. While you are considering which weight loss procedure might be best for you, here are three tricks you can take to avoid temptation in the interim.

  1. Avoid Supermarkets

You may have had the experience of going into the supermarket with the intention of getting healthy snacks, but having missed a meal, you find yourself throwing Pop Tarts into your cart. If that is you, make sure to eat before you do your shopping. Better yet, you might consider making someone else do your shopping. There are many grocery-delivery services in cities across the nation. Relying on these services to do your shopping eliminates the need for you to enter the den of inequity, your neighborhood supermarket. Remove temptation from the equation.

  1. Keep Healthy Snacks On You

As a doctor, I advise people to always keep healthy snacks available. If you do that, when hunger strikes, you have a healthy option right at your fingertips. Slide a Ziplock bag of crunchy carrots into your purse so that when you feel the urge to splurge on a greasy burger you have them available. Carry a reasonable portion of roasted almonds in your glove box. It doesn’t matter what healthy snack catches your fancy but having it easily available will mean that you don’t need to fight the temptation to fill up on that slice of cheese cake.

  1. Keep Junk Food Out of Sight and Out of Mind

A study from New York’s St. Bonaventure University helps show that people are inherently lazy. These researchers found that if you need to actually get up to grab an unhealthy snack, you tend to eat less of it. So, if you give into the temptation to bring a snack that is high in calories into your house, at the very least, you should keep it out of the pantry you have easy access to. One of our clients keeps unhealthy treats in her guest room and she finds that this helps her naturally eat less of them.

I hope that these simple, easy tricks help you.

Wishing you continued success on your weight wellness journey!

Dr. Waldrep

Dieting and the Willpower Myth

A new study by the Institute for Wellness Education shows that sixty-eight percent of women believe that willpower is the most important factor for losing weight. Another random sampling shows that both men and women dieters rely on their will power alone. One disheartening hidden challenge of losing weight is that weight is resistant to self-control. Unfortunately, people who rely on will power to lose weight will almost certainly fail. Talk about setting yourself up for failure. But why is that so? It seems counter-intuitive.

Social Psychologist Roy Baumeister is an expert on self-control and will power. In his book, “Willpower” he explains the willpower myth when it comes to weight loss. Self-control takes energy that comes from food. Because a diet limits our food intake….you can imagine what happens next. As soon as our body experiences an energy deficit, our self-control goes out the window and we start eating.

This is one of the reasons that weight loss surgeries are so effective on allowing people the opportunity to feel the victory of success without needing to exercise willpower. The procedures do all the “heavy lifting” for you. Once you lose the weight your body becomes acclimated to that level of energy and the sense of victory that the decline in weight engenders gives you a momentum that you can maintain.

So, the next time a well-meaning friend advises you to get some willpower and  “just exercise more and eat less.” You’ll be able to explain why that typically fails.

In an upcoming blog, we will discuss some easy tricks to make the exercise of willpower less of a priority. So be sure to subscribe to our channel. You won’t want to miss this next installment!

Wishing you continued success on your weight wellness journey!

Dr. Waldrep

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.

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.

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.