Thursday, February 25, 2016

Nothing is Easy

It's human nature to want to look for easy ways out of tough problems, it's just a shame that they almost never exist. Here at Dr. Feiz & Associates, we're constantly advising the public that, while weight loss surgery can make significant, long-term weight loss a great deal more doable, it's far from an easy way out. The hard work of changing our entire relationship with food still requires effort and commitment, even if a weight loss surgery such as a gastric sleeve quiets the urges to overeat that sabotage the vast majority of weight loss efforts.

We were thinking about this when we encountered the story of a "detox" tea that was being touted on social media as something of a weight loss aid. Such questionable products are, obviously, nothing particularly new or out of the ordinary, though it's always good to remind ourselves to be skeptical about what we read online.

A different type of "easy" way out, one with a great deal more scientific backing, is offered by a spate of recent news stories suggesting that research is indicating that a very small weight loss might have relatively large health benefits. Clearly, any amount of sustained weight loss is a very good thing, but for an individual who might be as much as 110 pounds or more overweight, losing just ten pounds might be a great start, but it still leaves them with 100 pounds to lose and the probability of a great many very serious health problems associated with that remaining weight.

Clearly, no one gets a bariatric surgery to lose just five, ten, or 20 pounds. Even so, as we all know, losing even a few pounds can be difficult for anyone.So, yes, there simply is no such thing as an easy way out.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Losses and Gains

A new study looked into the efficacy of using financial incentives as a motivator for people to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The results were unprecedented. In the study, researchers promised one group of overweight people a daily cash bonus for walking a certain number of steps. The other group was also promised a cash bonus, but each day that they didn't meet their exercise quota caused them to lose a portion of the bonus. This second group actually worked harder to meet the quota, which indicates that people are more motivated by the fear of loss than the pleasure of gain.

It is interesting yet unsurprising that people are more motivated by financial factors rather than the health benefits of exercise. We believe that part of the challenge is that, when it comes to weight loss and exercise, the results aren't always finite and easy to observe. Looking back at the study, it is satisfying and not insurmountable to complete a physical task, check a box, and relax. But being on one's own to create and maintain a fitness plan can be overwhelming and difficult to maintain, especially when unexpected stressors and events threaten the balance of routine.

At Dr. Feiz & Associates,we fully understand the power and value of exercise. That is why, when our patients come to us for bariatric surgery services, our dedicated dietitian may recommend exercise or yoga routines for patients as part of our comprehensive post-op follow-up program. Ultimately, for people struggling to reduce the impact of severe obesity, bariatric surgery may be the best solution.

Friday, February 12, 2016

More Life in Your Years

We human beings like numbers, so it's only natural to focus on the length of a person's life as a measure of health success. Moreover, there's no getting around the fact the recent statistics bolstering the contention that bariatric surgery extends patients' lifespan is very good news. At the same time, as anyone who has close relatives who are getting on in years is keenly aware, it's not just the length of a person's life that matters, it's the quality.

Indeed, to paraphrase the old saying, the benefits of a truly healthy lifestyle are not just about the years in a patients' life, but the life they enjoy in those years. That's an important distinction because medical science has actually had a great deal of success in keeping people alive well into their later years, but we all know the difference between people who are leading full and happy lives well into their seventies, eighties and nineties (and sometimes beyond) but we also see people who are just barely existing in their later years.

From the pain of arthritis to the threat of heart and kidney failure, the diseases that are exacerbated or outright caused by obesity may or may not lead to an early death, but they definitely can make a person's later years a great deal more painful and less joyful. At Dr. Feiz & Associates, we encourage severely obese patients to consider a weight loss procedure not merely as a means to extend their lifespan, but to help make sure that they are healthy enough to enjoy those additional years.

Friday, February 5, 2016

It Makes the World Go 'Round

If you're a fan of old musicals, you know that two things have credited with the continued spinning of the earth. "Money, Money" from "Cabaret" tells us that it's cash that makes the world go 'round. It's an argument that can, at times, seem pretty convincing. Arguing to the contrary is a song from the old Broadway show, "Carnival!," "Love Makes the World Go 'Round." Don't worry, sentimentalists! At least from the point of a view of a healthy lifestyle, we're going to argue for love as being the primary motivator of, well, just about everything important in life, including weight loss.

Love, of course, has all kinds of manifestiations. Yes, most people's minds go straight to romantic love, and it's true that, for some people, improving their social life is major motivator for obtaining a bariatric surgery. Others are concerned that their health problems could create a problem in their marriage. At the same time, however, affection for a special man or woman is just one type of love.

The love of parents for their children is an equally powerful motivator that we also see a great deal. Many patients come to us concerned that they will not be their children later on in life due to obesity related health problems. They want to be their for their children's graduation, weddings, and also would like to meet their grand-kids. Others have more immediate concerns that they are already having a hard time keeping up with their energetic offspring due to their weight.

Whether your motivated by your love of a spouse, children, family and friends (very possibly including your pets!), or simply the wonder and joy of life itself, all of us at Dr. Feiz & Associates are obviously here to help. For further information on a gastric sleeve, Lap Band, or other type of procedure, please give us a call.