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How to Avoid Post-Op Bariatric Depression

depressionSignificant life changes, even positive ones, are known to produce periods of depression in individuals who are predisposed to the condition. A recent study published in Obesity Study has documented symptoms of depression in a cross-section patients six to twelve months after bariatric surgery.

Bariatric Surgery Linked with Prevention of Atrial Fibrillation

heart-cross-sectionAccording to HealthDay News, weight loss surgery is now linked with the prevention of atrial fibrillation, a dangerous heart rhythm disorder marked by an irregular heartbeat that affects over 2.7 million adults in the United States. Studies performed by the Mayo Clinic confirm a reduced incidence of atrial fibrillation in patients who have undergone bariatric surgery when compared with those who have not experienced surgery.

Prior research has already demonstrated that bariatric surgery improves and even resolves co-morbid conditions, including Type-2 Diabetes, some types of heart disease, and high blood pressure. Based on this data, researchers have now performed studies on the long-term effects, including heart conditions like atrial fibrillation. Even before the results were in, many scientists had already come to the logical conclusion that surgery would create positive results for heart-related conditions.

The study, which was conducted by Dr. Yong-Mei Cha and colleagues, recently presented the results at the Heart Rhythm Society’s annual conference in San Francisco, sharing results that are considered to be preliminary and have not been peer-reviewed.

Do You Feel Supported In Your Support Group?

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAUndergoing weight loss surgery takes guts. Literally. The choice to alter your life for the better through a change in your body and behaviors is not easy and requires both determination and the will to change.

However, human beings are social creatures who require interpersonal interaction and sharing to remain mentally and emotionally healthy. The health of your mind and emotions has a direct effect on your body and ability to stick to healthful commitments. For these reasons, support groups are an invaluable part of your bariatric journey.

Already enrolled? Great! Whether you are planning to attend your first support group meeting or have been going for a while, it is important to ask yourself the following questions to make sure you are getting the most out of your experience.

Note: Support groups work only as well as the amount of time and energy that you put into them, so be sure to devote yourself to the practice of attending and participating before deciding if it truly works for you.


Reboot Diet

Are sweets creeping back into your daily routine?  Is it getting harder to resist those starchy foods? Do you find yourself eating throughout the day instead of set mealtimes? You are not alone! It is common to have some of these old behaviors from your previous lifestyle try to sneak back in. But there is something you can do about it!!


First, be honest with yourself about what habits are slipping back in and what you want to change. Then, write down some things that will keep you motivated to nip those habits in the bud! 

Here at WeightWise, we have a plan to help you get back on track and get you back into a fat burning zone. It’s called the Reboot Diet. The 2 week Reboot Diet plan is designed to help rid your body of those cravings and jump start your weight loss again.  Reference this Reboot Diet Plan to help get you started. 

If you are considering following this plan for 2 weeks, please call your dietitian for more detailed information and a follow up visit to advance your diet. 

Chris Corcoran- chris.c@weightwise.com

Lauren Armstrong- lauren.a@weightwise.com

Rachelle Laws- rachelle.l@weightwise.com 

Exercise Smarter, Not Harder

walking #2


Why do we say you should avoid insanity or P90x to lose weight? I get this question a lot. As the general public, when it comes to losing weight we want results instantly. I always think, “man, I ate so well and I worked out every day and I didn’t lose anything!” It can be very frustrating. What is even more frustrating is seeing a commercial full of sculpted people saying they were just like you and now look at me. Seriously?! So I bought into the insanity and P90x theory. I thought it sounded awesome, quick burst of energy and the fat should just shed right off, just like it did with the people on the commercial!!! 

Wrong!! I was dying!  I could barely make it through the video without stopping. I kept telling myself, “you can do it, you use to be an athlete, if they can do it, so can I”,……all these thoughts went through my head until I finally accepted defeat and thought how am I ever going to be able to make it through this video.  So the day goes on and I’m beyond frustrated that I couldn’t even make it 30 minutes and then hunger sets it! I was craving popcorn, cookies, chocolate, soda, bread, pasta……basically nothing good.

So what happened? I thought, hey you gave it a shot so go ahead and eat that cookie, I probably burned enough calories to eat several. Wrong again! I probably only burned 200-300 calories and that would only give me one cookie….so was it even worth it? I did the same thing with P90x. Except not only was I hungry but I was super sore. I really enjoy weight lifting, but I would like to be able to walk the next day without being in pain. Now I will say the more you do these exercises the better you will get and you will be able to complete it, but wouldn’t you rather start at an easier level?  

Does this sound like anything any of you have gone through? It can be soooo frustrating! So at WeightWise  we came up with a different theory. “Exercise smarter, not harder”. 

Most people think that exercise has to be high intensity. Hiit, high intensity interval training, is SUPER popular right now. In the exercise classes I take that is all you hear about…..the higher your heart rate is the more fat you are burning. But that statement is FALSE. Instead, all you are doing to using whatever you ate recently for energy, then you are going to want to go home and eat the house!  

In order to burn fat, there are two concepts with exercise:

  1.  Lower intensity
  2.  Longer duration.

If you love zumba, by all means continue zumba but think about your workout, not everyone else. You have to keep in mind that you want to be a fat burner and that happens at lower intensity. Walking 30 minutes 5 times a week is more beneficial for fat burning than do anything high intensity.

Weight loss surgery is a lifestyle change and so is the exercise. We offer the VO2 assessment to find exactly where to keep your heart rate in order to be successful at burning fat. The ACSM, American College of Sports Medicine, says that 65% of your heart rate is a fat burning place and 85% of it is more for cardio. If you think back to the commercials, the whole idea behind Insanity is to have your heart rate high for the majority of the workout, but you will just end up more hungry after this workout and probably really sore as well! 

Weight Loss Surgery is Better Than Medication at Managing Diabetes

diabetes-doctor-and-patientManaging type 2 diabetes can be difficult, and usually includes a regimen of insulin and dietary restriction to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. However, according to a new study called Stampede, conducted by Cleveland Clinic researchers and published in The New England Journal of Medicine, weight loss surgery can effectively eliminate the need for diabetes medications, including insulin, just three years post-op.

While weight loss surgeons, including our team here at WeightWise, have observed a strong link between long-term management of type-2 diabetes and weight loss surgery, conclusive findings have remained elusive – until now.

Common Symptoms of Dumping Syndrome

dumping-syndrome-personIf you are planning to undergo weight loss surgery, it is very likely that you have heard of dumping syndrome. This digestive issue is common in patients who have undergone weight loss surgery, and although it sounds uncomfortable, it can be avoided with proper eating habits and is not life-threatening.

What Is Dumping Syndrome?

Dumping syndrome encompasses a number of symptoms that result from improper regulation of the food you consume. Food empties too quickly into the small intestine, which is responsible for processing and absorbing nutrients into the body. Certain foods make dumping syndrome more likely to occur, including refined sugars, which quickly absorb water from the body. Dairy products and fried food can also cause symptoms.

What Is Good Nutrition for Bariatric Patients?

veggies-on-forksPrior to undergoing a bariatric procedure, patients receive education and counseling on how to change their intake and eating habits to prepare for life after surgery. Patients typically follow a diet that is similar to what will be required of them after surgery. This allows for patients to get accustomed to the changes and also facilitates weight loss, which makes the surgery safer.

Nutrition for bariatric patients should not be any different than good nutrition for non-bariatric patients, except for one essential aspect. Patients who have undergone gastric bypass, sleeve or adjustable gastric banding surgeries no longer have the capacity to hold large amounts of food, so nutritional quality of foods in the diet needs to high. Physical changes to the stomach also change the dynamics of digestion and food breakdown.

How Digestion Works

Your body absorbes nutrients from foods by breaking them down via digestion. Your stomach plays a vital role in digestion, although it is not the only player on the team. Your mouth, saliva & esophagus also play a role. Once you consume food, your saliva starts the digestive process while layers of smooth muscle draw food from the esophagus into the stomach and on through the digestive system. Glands inside the stomach produce stomach acid and enzymes that digest food. Digestive enzymes are also released into the small intestine, so digestion continues in the small intestine.

How to Begin Exercising After Weight Loss Surgery

squats-ladyWeight loss surgery is one of the first steps to reclaiming your health and confidence after obesity. However, in order to truly reap the benefits in your body and mind, exercise is essential. If you have not exercised a great deal before, or are afraid to start after having undergone such a life-altering surgery, consider the following steps to help you take this essential step.

Jump Right In

You are perfectly fine to start an exercise program after surgery. We have all of our patients walk 10 minutes every hour while in the hospital after surgery. Within a few days you can get back to low impact exercise such as walking, biking, and arm bike. If you were not physically active before surgery, consider starting out with a daily walk of 10-15 minutes, gradually building up to 30 minutes at least 4 times a week. Getting moderately active can help your body heal by improving circulation and increasing endorphins, which cause you to feel happier and healthier.

Find Something You Love

Melisa’s Medical Minute – Vitamin D

vitaminsThere has been some recent discussion in the news questioning how beneficial vitamin D supplements are.  Here at WeightWise, a majority of our patients take a prescription level of vitamin D and then a smaller dose to maintain.  So why are we aggressive when it comes to vitamin D?  The answer is simple…bone health!  While the verdict is still out on the true effects of vitamin D supplements on cardiovascular health, mental health & immune function, the benefits for bone health are known and very important in what we do here at WeightWise!  


  • Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is found in food and can be made in the skin after sun exposure

  • It helps to absorb dietary calcium and phosphorus from the intestines

  • It suppresses the release of parathyroid hormone, a hormone that causes bone loss

  • It promotes bone health by taking calcium from our diet & putting into our bones


Vitamin D deficiency is very common in people with obesity and in those who have had bariatric surgery:  

  • Recent theory suggests that vitamin D gets locked in fat cells & is unavailable for use, so individuals with a BMI > 30 are at increased risk of deficiency

  • Surgery that removes or bypasses portions of the stomach or intestines can also lead to low vitamin D levels (such as gastric bypass)

Other factors that contribute to low levels of vitamin D are:

  • Lack of vitamin D in the diet, often in conjunction with inadequate sun exposure

  • Inability to absorb vitamin D from the intestines

  • Inability to process vitamin D due to kidney or liver disease


  • Low blood calcium (hypocalcemia)

  • Low blood phosphate (hypophosphatemia)

  • Osteomalacia (softening of the bones)

  • Reduced bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis)

Although the verdict is still out on other functions of vitamin D, our treatment for low or low normal levels of vitamin D remains aggressive because our patients are at increased risk of bone loss!

Melisa Weaver, APRN-CNP

Family Nurse Practitioner


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WeightWise Bariatric Program
1800 S. Renaissance Blvd.
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