Thursday, June 25, 2015

What's in a Name?

A lot, apparently, if you're marketing food items. A new study in the Journal of Market Research found that people who were trying to lose weight ate more of a trail mix-type product if it was called a "fitness snack," even though trail mix is not exactly a low calorie food.

Alas, this is not surprising news if you've been following the attempts of Americans to pursue a more healthy lifestyle over the last few decades. Many of us can remember the mania for fat-free foods, which were often filled with sugar and plenty of calories. Today, no doubt, some people think that gluten-free pizza is a health food when, in fact, it's often simply the same fattening, starch-and-fat laden product, only without gluten.

It would be a little bit silly to blame all of America's very serious obesity epidemic on labeling fads and fancies alone, but the truth of it is that people facing these issues are often subconsciously looking for excuses to engage in the kind of eating that led them to their obesity in the first place. It's no panacea, but one good habit to take up is actually looking closely at the labels of the foods you buy. Look beyond the name and the packaging and ask a few crucial questions: How many calories does a product have? How much fat and added sugar? Does it have any fiber to speak of? What about protein and carbs? How about vitamins and other nutrients?

It's just one small part of the puzzle, but here at Dr. Feiz & Associates, we encourage people to really do their best to understand the foods they put in their body.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Keeping Ourselves Accountable

According to a recent article on weight loss, doing daily weigh-ins and continuously tracking your weight during any type of diet, exercise, or weight loss regimen can lead to more positive results. This makes sense, as Dr. Feiz & Associates always stress the importance of being committed and accountable on your own personal weight loss journey.

Especially after bariatric surgery, it is important for a person’s weight loss journey to always be one of their top priorities. While many people may not like the idea of constantly having to monitor what they eat or how much they weigh, being obese can be a detriment to a person’s health, so it is vital that each and every one of us put in the work to ensure success. While putting in the work once your procedure is performed is essential, it is also incredibly important to select the right procedure with the right doctor. By choosing a gastric sleeve with Dr. Feiz, you are taking the first step in keeping yourself committed to a weight loss journey that has transformed the lives of countless similar patients.

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Exercise vs. Diet Conundrum

Pediatrician and health care blogger Aaron Caroll has an interesting post up today on The New York Times web site. In it, he takes a strong position that, when it comes to weight loss, reducing the intake of calories through diet completely trumps  increasing the expenditure of calories via exercise. At the same time, he acknowledges the many extremely dramatic health benefits of exercise.

At Dr. Feiz & Associates, our attitude is that much of this is beside the point, particularly for severely obese patients. A great many people try every single day to lose weight primarily by lowering their caloric intake, but the statistics speak for themselves: most people simply can't reduce their intake sufficiently for a long time without the help of a bariatric surgery.The reasons for this are many but boil down to one reality: people who drastically reduce their caloric intake feel hungry nearly all of the time, even though they know intellectually they are consuming enough food.

Indeed, the fact that it's takes quite a bit of time to exercise away the caloric equivalent of a single glazed donut pretty much demonstrates the reality that exercise alone is no magic bullet for obesity. On the other hand, the countless proven and very real benefits of exercise also show that, if nothing else, regular vigorous exercise is perhaps the best antidote we have for the worst ravages of obesity, even if it doesn't do as much as we'd like to cure obesity itself.

The prescription for most severely obese people is pretty clear. Yes, do whatever you can to stop overeating. Execise, too, as much as you can. And, in the likely event you're not making much headway against your obesity, consider exploring whether a gastric sleeve or another weight loss procedures is best for you.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Sleep-Obesity Connection

Sleep is easily the most mysterious and least well understood of any of our vital bodily functions. With all of today's vast medical knowledge it's still a fact that scientists are not even exactly sure why we need to sleep, though it's clear that we can't survive very long without it.

As specialists in weight loss surgery in Los Angeles, we're obviously especially concerned with how, on the one  hand, obesity impacts sleep and, on the other hand, how sleep, or the lack of it, may impact obesity. Specifically, obesity is pretty directly associated in many patients with the condition known as sleep apnea. This is a condition in which sleep is constantly interrupted, resulting in fatigue, depressions and numerous other health risks, some of them quite serious.

Even more interesting, however, are a number of studies showing how poor sleep is related to excessive eating, which is obviously pretty closely related to obesity. Indeed, according to one study we came across from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the hunger hormone ghrelin appears to increase as quality sleep decreases. That's especially interesting to us at Dr. Feiz & Associates because we've been at the forefront of spreading the world about how sleeve gastrectomies appears to greatly reduce the production of ghrelin, which is produced in an area of the stomach that is removed during this type of bariatric surgery.

So, if severe obesity is making you lose sleep...or if losing sleep is making your severe obesity worse...there's a lot that we can do. Give us a call.