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  • Friends having a picnic together Find the Support You Need for Weight Loss - Weight loss surgery will change your life. It’s a tool that gives you the power to succeed in losing weight. The surgery, however, is just the beginning. Unfortunately, it can’t magically transform you overnight. To lose weight, you’ll need support, determination and follow-up care. For some, the journey to health is long and arduous. A...
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  • Surgical Team Working In Operating Theatre Changes You Can Expect After Weight Loss Surgery - Gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and other weight loss surgeries are well known. But most people are still surprised at all the changes that are in store for them after surgery. Weight loss surgery will change your weight, your health, your energy levels and more. Here are some of the effects you can expect once you...
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  • Elderly couple working out at home Build Your Perfect Home Gym - Now that you’ve had weight loss surgery, it’s time to establish a regular fitness routine to keep the weight from creeping back on. Gym memberships can be expensive and many times they go unused because, after a long day at the office, spending some time on your couch seems more appealing than going to a...
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“It’s OK To Be Selfish Sometimes”

According to Wikipedia the word selfish means, it’s an act of placing one’s own needs or desires above the needs or desires of others. It’s ok to care about yourself, especially when it comes to your health. Sometimes we have to be selfish & put our own needs ahead of others.

 It’s nice to have a few minutes to yourself every now & then, and what better way to do it than getting some exercise in. Exercise helps with our self-esteem. For many people you can’t help but to have a more positive attitude after you work out. According to wikipedia physical activity can also help prevent depression & can even augment an individual’s sex appeal or body image. Exercising can limit the risks for cardiovascular disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes & obesity.

It’s important that we all take 30 minutes a day to concentrate on ourselves & get some exercise in. Here are a few helpful tips to help you out:

  • Pack a gym bag. We pack our lunches so why not pack a bag for working out. If you have clothes, shoes, & ipods ready to go you are more likely to go to the gym or go for a walk after work.
  • We have 112 parks located around the Oklahoma City area. We have 32 walking paths. Make sure to find one around your home & work.
  • Get an accountability partner. It’s easier to go when you have someone to go with.

 

Remember positive attitudes make positive changes!

The Cost of Obesity

A report was recently released by the College of Public Health at George Washington University detailing the cost of obesity for both men and women (full version available here) .  There were some surprising stats revealed.  The authors concluded that the cost of being obese (defined in this study as BMI>30)  is $4879 per year for men and $2646 per year for women, six to nine times higher than the health and work related costs of those with a BMI of less than 30.  This does not even take consumer costs such as larger clothing, food, over-the-counter medicines, etc. into consideration.

This study serves to underscore the need for a holistic approach to treat obesity at all levels.  Hopefully, it will push insurance companies, primary care physicians, health departments and other health education and prevention outlets to more aggressively promote treatment for what is quickly becoming an epidemic.

Give us some feedback on this one…do you agree with the findings of the study?  Are there any hidden costs that were missed?  Do you think this will spur more aggressive treatment of obesity?  Feel free to comment in the area below or post on our Facebook page.

Exercise is the best medicine

You know what I believe is the best medicine to take? Exercise. You may be wondering how is exercise like medicine? Well the reality is that exercise can not only keep a number of health conditions away but it can help treat other ones.

 Think about it. What is the number one health issue in this country? It is obesity. Obesity leads to a number of other health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. If you start by medicating obesity with exercise, you avoid some of these other serious health conditions. In turn you avoid things like insulin or blood pressure pills.

What about exercise and stretching as a treatment plan? I can say that I have personally wittnessed the majority of my patients say they have less aches and pains after they’ve started a regular stretching routine.  Some patients even state that they no longer need wrist braces for carpal tunnel or regular Chiropractor visits for their back since beginning their daily stretching routine.  Some have made claims that headaches and other common ailments have gone away with the introduction of exercise into their lives.

I would even say that some emotional conditions could be avoided with exercise. Think about depression. Depression causes you to lose motivation and energy. If you medicate yourself with exercise, you are forcing yourself out of that slump.

Now please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that exercise is the cure-all for everything. There are definitely conditions, including depression, where something more is necessary. My point is that maybe we shouldn’t always be so quick to jump to medication. Maybe we should consider exercise as an optional medication.

Anyone who exercises on a regular basis can vouch that you feel better about yourself. You have more energy, you are more flexible and you gain more strength. When you are committed to a regular stretching and exercise routine it can have positive psychological effects as well. There is something rejuvenating within the mind and spirit that happens when you are taking care of your body.

Daily Fitness Tips

The best daily fitness tip is to find ways to be active every day. Park far from the grocery store entrance so you have to walk farther. Take the stairs to your office. Do sit-ups during the commercials of your favorite show. There are fitness steps you can take that don’t require expensive gym memberships or equipment, and they can be done daily to help you create a healthy lifestyle.
Outdoor Fitness

Walk or bicycle outside, and all of these are great ways to stay active. When you have a break in your work or school day, get outside for 10 to 15 minutes and go for a brisk walk in the fresh air. This also helps refresh your mind.

If you have young kids, the outdoors becomes a treasure chest of options for activities. With your kids, you can join in a game of tag, go swimming, hit the local bike trail and run through the sprinklers. By staying active, you can keep up with the kids again.

Indoor Fitness

When the weather is questionable, bring your activities inside. Vacuuming, cleaning the windows, preparing a meal and mopping the floor are ways to burn a few calories while getting things done around the house. Turn on some music and do these household chores with a little more pep in your step to burn a few extra calories.

You can also work in basic exercises such as squats, crunches and push-ups at home in the living room (only if you are stretching daily).

Working Fitness Into Your Daily Activities
When you’re sitting at your desk in class or at work, flex and tighten your abs, buttocks, hamstrings or quadriceps and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat. When you start to get tired in the afternoon, walk around the office, or take the stairs to fill up your water bottle.

Watching TV? Perfrom your stretches during each commercial break, most commercial’s last about 20 seconds and that is how long you should be holding each of your stretches!

Drink Up and Beat the Summer Heat!

You may have noticed…it’s REALLY HOT. Here at WeightWise, we are always preaching the importance of staying hydrated. Particularly when there are extreme Oklahoma temperatures drying you out!

There are several reasons why taking in enough hydrating fluid is important.  Water is helpful in normal body function, as well as helpful when you may be experiencing fluid retention or constipation.  In regards to weight loss, being adequately hydrated suppresses your appetite and helps with fat metabolism.  Often times we feel we are hungry for something, but we are actually thirsty! Try drinking a glass of water before going for something to eat, and you may find you don’t need that snack.

So how much water should you be drinking? 64 ounces each day is the goal. However, there are reasons why you may need even more.  If you are in extreme temperatures (ahem, 115 degrees perhaps??), engaging in rigorous activity, traveling on an airplane, or if you are ill, you may need as much as 96 ounces of water.

The good news is, you don’t have to drink only water to get hydrated! As long as a beverage is not carbonated, not caffeinated, and is less than 15 calories per 8 ounce serving, you can count it as a hydrating beverage. Examples include Crystal Light, Propel, Decaf tea/coffee, and even sugar free popsicles. So be diligent about getting in your fluids each and every day…particularly this time of year!

Metabolism Matters

Ever wonder why one person gains weight from just looking at food while another can eat endlessly and never gain an ounce? It all comes down to your METABOLISM!

Simply put, your metabolism is the amount of calories your body burns. You burn calories during work and exercise, but did you know that your body burns the majority of its calories just to allow you to function during the day?

The calories your body burns to maintain normal body functions, such as breathing, your heart beating, and your brain working are known as your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). Your RMR accounts for up to 75% of the calories you burn each day.If losing weight and keeping it off is your primary concern, the RMR test will allow us to  exactly how much you should be eating to lose weight, have enough energy to exercise, and maintain your ideal weight once you reach it.

Let’s face it, to maintain a healthy and leaner lifestyle, you have to exercise. But how do you know which way you should exercise that will best help you achieve your individual fitness and weight-management goals? Just as no two people have the same fingerprints or DNA, no two people have exactly the same response to exercise.

The Exercise Assessment (VO2) portion of the testing is simple, comfortable and only takes 4-12 minutes. The Exercise Assessment is performed  on a treadmill, stationary bike or other exercise equipment. After the Exercise Assessment, we will provide to you, a full report that accurately identifies your optimal fat burning exercise intensity levels.

From beginners trying to get in shape to athletes trying to reach peak performance levels, this unique response applies to everyone, and that’s where the New Leaf Metabolic Testing System comes in.  Here at WeightWise we offer this testing system to everyone.  You do not have to workout hard to get the results you want!!!

The HCG Diet

What is the HCG diet?

It’s quite possible that you or someone you know has recently tried this new fad diet. HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, is a pregnancy hormone which is measured to indicate if a woman is pregnant. The method of the diet includes taking HCG sublingually or by injection. Either method is to be done on a daily basis until the desired amount of weight has been lost. The individual must accompany the HCG  with a very specific 500 calorie per day diet plan. The diet claims an average of 1-2 pounds per day will be lost.

Too good to be true?

The trouble is…the HCG diet isn’t new at all. The diet first made an appearance in 1954 by Dr. A.T.W. Simeons. The diet was greatly popular in weight loss clinics all over the US and in particular, on the West Coast. Researchers began to explore the effectiveness of the diet and found little to be desired. Study participants were divided into two groups, one receiving the HCG and the other a placebo. Despite claims stating the HCG hormone would decrease hunger, participants in research studies reported no change in hunger level. However, they did report an increase in the feeling of anxiety. Compared to the placebo group, there was no difference in the amount or rate of weight loss. Even in 1977, it was found that HCG had no greater effect than a placebo. Patients did, however, lose weight when following a 500 calorie diet. The long term success of adherence to this limited amount  is, understandably, not realistic. To read more on this study, look for “Human chorionic gonadotropin (hcg) in the treatment of obesity: a critical assessment of the Simeons method” by Greenway and Bray.

Bottom line, if it sounds too good to be true (or too crazy to make sense)…it probably is. Focus on the diet recommendations given by your dietitian and advise your friends to do the same.

Insurance Coverage for Bariatrics – Is the Outlook Any Brighter?

As many who read this blog surely know, getting insurance to cover bariatric surgery has been a difficult battle in the past.  Most insurers have bariatric carve outs or total exclusions for many, if not all, of their plans.  This is changing slowly, but there are signs of hope for those currently awaiting coverage. 

The first thing to look at is the increasing amounts of data pouring into the market.  As time goes by and more people have surgery, the more data gets into the hands of insurers who determine what is covered and employers whose demand for various services often leads to coverage policy changes.  So far all of that data has pointed to increased healthcare costs for those with BMI >35 which is getting the attention of HR managers looking to cut the costs of their plan.

 

The second is that some insurers have already made the decision to start covering the gastric sleeve.  This is important primarily because the insurance world is a very “follow-the-leader” type place.  Meaning when one large insurer does something, it generally causes others to do the same to keep up.  The May issue of Bariatric Times contains an article noting the ASMBS’s support of the recent decisions to cover the gastric sleeve by both Aetna and United Healthcare.  Definitely a good sign going forward.

Though there is a lot of work left to do before weight-loss surgery is treated as a necessary medical procedure, there are positive signs on the horizon. 

If you have questions about your bariatric insurance coverage, we are happy to help whether or not you are a current patient with us.  Give us a call today!

We Really Do Care…

As Chief Operating Officer of WeightWise, one of the big parts of my job is determining what our patients want and how we can best deliver that to them.  We get feedback in a variety of ways including everything from encouraging Facebook posts to angry emails to patients stopping one of our employees in the hall.  As much as possible, I try to respond to all of it in one form or another so people know they’ve at least been heard. 

In my initial post for the blog, I’d like to call attention to a couple of comments we’ve received on recent customer satisfaction surveys – these are both direct quotes:

“Great experience, only place in the world to do this”

“Love you and the new live you’ve given me –> Thank You, Thank You”

I love getting these comments and we strive to make each and every patient feel this way.  I’d like to think that we make every patient this happy and that things always run this smoothly.  The facts are though that they don’t.  That’s where you come in.  In my portion of the blog I am going to try to explain why we operate the way we do, why problems pop up and what we are doing to correct them and even touch on more general, but timely healthcare issues such as insurance, access and quality care.  So if you have questions, comments or issues you’d like to see discussed, please let me know either in the comments below or via email or Facebook.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Dining Out After Bariatric Surgery

Dining out is often an enjoyable social experience, however, bariatric surgery patients may experience difficulty in deciding what to order. Don’t be discouraged by a large menu. Look to order the foods that fit into your dietary recommendations. Everyone serves meats and vegetables! It is absolutely possible to eat healthfully while dining out; the important factor is choosing sensible options. 

Here are some helpful tips for dining out:

  •  Always center your meal around a protein food. Chicken, beef, fish. Avoid anything breaded or fried.
  •  Substitute starchy sides for non-starchy vegetables. For example, steamed or roasted vegetables instead of a baked potato.
  •  Ask for salad dressings or other condiments on the side, and be mindful to use sparingly.
  •  Ask for half portions, share with a friend, or ask ahead of time for a to-go box and put half of your meal in the box so you are not tempted to overeat.
  •  Avoid children’s menus. While portion sizes tend to be smaller, the foods offered are not always the best choice (such as chicken fingers, hot dogs, or macaroni and cheese).
  •  Ask that breads or chips brought before the meal not be served. Or chew on sugar free gum until your meal comes.
  •  Remember to be conscious about your eating! It can be easy to be distracted with visiting while eating out, so be diligent about keeping your bite sizes small, chewing well, and pausing in between your bites.

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Contact Info

WeightWise Bariatric Program
1800 S. Renaissance Blvd.
Edmond, OK 73013
405-359-2475
Fax: 405-341-2495

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