Friday, August 26, 2016

The Blame Game

It's human nature to want to blame something or, better yet, someone, for any serious problem we may find ourselves facing. However, when it comes to the question of obesity, even though it's the primary focus of our work here at Dr. Feiz & Associates, it's extremely difficult to tease out one single factor that's truly responsible for the increasing problem of obesity.

To be sure, the fact that calories, particularly empty calories bereft of nutrients, have never in human history been more easily available or cheaper is certainly part of the equation. So is the fact that most of us have sedentary occupations and struggle to find time and motivation to participate in physical exercise. Still, these factors impact almost everyone, but only some of us become obese. That's why some people like to blame alleged character flaws in obese people. The reality, however is that there really seems to be no particular type of person who becomes obese.

Honestly, however, all we know for sure at this point is that, once we become obese, it's extremely difficult to lose the weight. Our bodies appear to be set up to want to maintain our weight -- whatever weight that may be -- and they do everything they can to thwart our attempts to reduce our size, including manufacturing hormones which make us feel ever more hungry and slowing down the rate at which we burn calories.

When it comes to finding an ultimate cause, obesity remains largely a health mystery. Fortunately, we at least have one working solution in bariatric surgery. We've now proven through countless studies and massive anecdotal data that these procedures not only make it a lot less comfortable to overeat, procedures such as a gastric sleeve surgery render metabolic changes that seem to help patients do what many of them previously thought was next to impossible: losing significant weight and keeping it off in the long run.

So, yes, we're not at all sure what to blame obesity on, but at least we have one effective solution.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Food for Thought

There's been lots of talk lately about the effects of bariatric surgery on the brain, particularly in terms of its response to food. We all know that part of the reason why most patients are unable to achieve long lasting results is because of the difficulty for many to keep on making healthier food choices over a long period of time. Yes, it can be incredibly hard to overcome our desires to overindulge in food at times, however, weight loss surgery can change that.

The good news is that recent studies have shown that weight loss surgery procedures, such as a gastric sleeve, not only limit the amount of food that is able to be consumed by severely obese patients, but can also radically change their entire relationship with food. The studies also point out that bariatric surgery patients showed lowered levels of activity in the brain's reward centers when they were exposed to images of food.

At Dr. Feiz & Associates, we work hard so that our patients can safely and successfully lose weight and most importantly, keep it off in the long run. With extremely effective and cutting-edge weight loss surgery procedures showing even more promising results thanks to these studies, you can really see that a healthy lifestyle is achievable.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Choose the Right Tool

There's no getting around it, weight loss is hard; people who think anyone with an obesity issue can easily adopt a healthy lifestyle when it comes to eating have almost certainly never faced a serious battle with their own weight. So, it's no wonder that so many of us keep looking for, and buying, products that claim to make losing weight easier in some way, or which even advertise nearly miraculous properties in terms of helping consumers win the battle of the bulge. The problem is that these products are rarely even mildly helpful and are, more often than not, a complete waste of money and time. Worse, a large number of them can actually be dangerous or, at least, unhealthy.

We obviously spend a great deal of time thinking about weight management here at Dr. Feiz & Associates, and while there are options for people in all kinds of situations, they are relatively limited. For those of us with a relatively small amount of weight to deal with, the battle is hard but achievable with a serious commitment to the right mix of a lower calorie diet and a healthy amount of exercise.

For those of us who are definied as severely obese, however, the challenge is all that much greater and many find it essentially insurmountable. For these people, sooner or later, the pangs of hunger that only increase as we lose weight become too hard to fight. Fortunately, bariatric surgery is the one tool that really has been proven to truly help. It's not a magic bullet that makes losing weight a breeze, but patient after patient has found that it lowers the hunger pangs enough to make redefining your relationship with food more easily doable.

Choosing the right tool is important in any job and, for severely obese people, we now have at least one that really does seem to work in most cases.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Finding the Right Balance

Following the hubbug around "The Greatest Loser" reality show study some months back, many of us latched onto the fact that contestants exercised between four and eight hours a day. Of course, that much exercise is not only impractical for those of us with jobs, families, and other responsibilities, it's actually dangerous without serious medical supervision. Worse, as the contestants on the show have learned since, it's unsustainable on a number of levels because of lower metabolic rates following that kind of a weight loss.

At facilities like Dr. Feiz & Associates, we're learning every day about how effective weight loss procedures have been in helping severely obese patients to finally defeat obesity. While we've long since proven that these procedures work, we're still learning exactly why it is that a bariatric surgery seems so much more effective than traditional approaches. Of course, the issue is not that simply eating a great deal less and exercising more doesn't work, it's that the "eating a great deal less" part of the equation seems to be nearly undoable over the long term because of hormones that go into overdrive and push us to resume our old dietary ways.

What we've found, though, is that procedures such as the gastric sleeve fit in with a truly balanced and healthy lifestyle, particularly as they help patients deal with the incessant hunger pangs that sabotage the vast majority of traditional weight loss attempts. The good news is that, with a weight loss procedure, while a healthy amount of exercise is very strongly encouraged, you won't need to exercise an abnormal amount just to lose weight, because you'll be able to consume few enough calories to first lose and then maintain your weight while still living a happy and well-balanced life.