How often do you catch yourself grazing? You know that slight nagging hunger that makes you reach for a snack or two or more. Grazing can be one of the biggest habits to overcome; and one of the most damaging in terms of adding weight. Furthermore rarely does grazing involve foods of nutritional value. The interesting thing about grazing is that often the root cause of this hunger is not what it seems.
Oftentimes, the source of this hunger is actually dehydration because not having enough water can cause you to feel hungry, even after a big meal. Yes, if you’ve ever caught yourself grazing shortly after a meal you might have actually been dehydrated. If the body is lacking in water, it will crave anything that can offer refreshment, including food. This phenomenon, known as head hunger is further exacerbated by poor dietary and lifestyle choices including:
• Drinking significant quantities of coffee or other caffeinated beverages. Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it flushes water out of the body.
• Drinking alcohol. Similarly, alcoholic drinks can cause dehydration, one of the reasons why we have such painful hang-overs a day later.
• A diet high in sodium. No matter how low in calories, excess sodium can cause dehydration and bloating too. With so many processed foods containing massive amounts of sodium, it’s no wonder we’re always hungry.
• Diabetics and pre-diabetics may lose more water than most as the body tries to flush excess glucose through increased urine output.
• Certain prescription medications, ironically often needed because of excess weight, can cause additional urination.
• Stress, crash diets and a host of other issues can trigger head hunger too.
That’s why one of the most important parts of a healthy diet is to consume plenty of water which offers the benefits of increased energy and feeling fuller. And those benefits help encourage us to live an active, healthy life which means those frustrating cases of head hunger may diminish.
The exact amount of water to consume depends on the patient, the climate and their activity level. The rule of thumb is 64 ounces per day, which should be sufficient to get all the benefits staying hydrated, however some patients may require even more. Remember, by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Now, we’ll readily admit that consuming 64 ounces, or 8 glasses, per day can be pretty difficult, but there’s no getting around it. Some like to tote a gallon of water everywhere they go, while others prefer more frequent refills of smaller bottles. There’s no wrong way to hit the water quota.
In the end, consuming adequate quantities of water can stave off head hunger and mitigate many diet-busting lifestyle issues. Plus, it’ll help you decipher when that hunger is real, allowing you to truly enjoy your food. If you feel hungry shortly after a big meal or during times when you really shouldn’t be, take a glass of water, wait 20 minutes and see how you feel. You could cut hundreds of calories from your diet every single day.
As an Integrative medicine doctor, I am asked frequently about good health practices. Following are three aspects, I believe everyone should incorporate into daily life.
Americans, in general, tend to eat too many high glycemic carbohydrates, bad fats, sugar-laden beverages and processed foods. Did you know that the most commonly consumed foods are breads, chicken dishes, energy or sports drinks, pizzas, burgers and desserts? These foods are pro-inflammatory, full of additives, altered fats and promote insulin resistance. They lower immunity and make your body prone to gain weight, increase risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Start by eating fresh and unprocessed foods at home, avoid sugar-laden beverages, read the labels on the products, and eat more vegetables, nuts and fruit. Healing begins from within your body.
Almost 50% of the adults in the United States do not meet the minimum criteria of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. This is shown to have an inverse relationship with the risk of heart disease and mortality. For people trying to achieve weight loss the physical activity needed is up to 250 minutes per week. This does not have to be intensive, even a moderate aerobic workout including resistance training will do the trick. In addition to health benefits, being active is also a great stress-buster and promotes release of endorphins that make you happy. So what are you waiting for? Get off the couch and go take a walk today.
Management of stress
Stress can affect your health. Everyone feels stressed at some point in their life therefore it is important to learn how to manage stress so that it does not affect your physical and mental wellbeing. Chronic stress can sometimes be so much a part of life that we’re unable to even recognize its symptoms. Chronic stress can affect your immune system, digestion, sleep, hormonal balance, cause weight gain, headaches and increase the risk of heart disease. Make time in your daily schedule to include some type of relaxation activity that does not include social media or watching TV. I highly recommend learning breathing techniques, volunteering, physical activity, practicing mindfulness and self-compassion. It also helps if you have a great social support group and are spiritual.
If one can manage these big hurdles they are certainly on their way to achieve optimal Health and Wellness.
The decision to have bariatric surgery is not a simple one. While the benefits of a surgical solution to lose weight are very real, it certainly isn’t anyone’s preference. Wouldn’t we all prefer to lose weight organically and easily! However, just considering bariatric surgery is a great first step to improve your life and your health.
Why are you here?
Perhaps you can no longer tie your shoelaces or the simplest tasks take too much effort. Sometimes routine chores are more difficult than you ever thought. Perhaps playing with your children or traveling is almost impossible. Maybe you live in constant pain or your physician has diagnosed you with a condition related to extra weight. Whatever your reason for getting here the fact remains that you feel held back and life isn’t as enjoyable as it was or should be. We have seen each of these scenarios and many more at our practice – all causing pain (physical and psychological) and anxiety.
When you’re desperate, you might start considering surgery. But what if we told you that bariatric surgery is not really a desperate move? In fact, when you consider the dangers of untreated morbid obesity, the risks of surgery are very often lower than living with the disease.
What’s your goal?
It’s important to remember that the term weight loss surgery is somewhat misleading. One of your goals will be to lose weight however the primary goal is to improve your life and/or resolve the risks of morbid obesity including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, certain forms of cancer and more. Consider the weight loss and looking great as just a pleasant side effect!
Further, many patients come to us thinking that all they need is surgery. Not true. Losing weight is hard work and surgery will only be successful with lifestyle change. You goal must include a commitment to your health. Achieving that goal is a great accomplishment – and can change not only your life but the lives of your loved ones too!
What’s Right for You?
Bariatric surgery is not right for everyone and the benefits must outweigh the risks. For that reason and more, we have a comprehensive pre-operative qualification process that not only looks at your weight and history of obesity, but the many and varied factors that can affect your success after surgery.
Throughout the decision-making process you will have a team of dedicated professionals by your side. And our team includes several bariatric surgery patients themselves – so they understand where you are and what you are feeling. You’ll also have the opportunity to attend support groups and meet those in all stages of weight loss following their procedures. There you will hear first-hand from those who are living out their experience.
Bariatric surgery is a very personal decision and we don’t take that lightly. We won’t pressure you but we will listen to you and provide options to help you make the best decision for yourself. And whatever that decision is, our hope is that it leads you to a full, healthy and active life.
Facebook recommendations are where it’s at when searching out a new restaurant or the most reliable auto mechanic but when it comes to your health it pays to dig deeper.
It’s true that hearing from other firsthand accounts provides insight into office practices, wait times or ease of scheduling but when it comes to selecting a surgeon much more should be considered.
Call it personality or bedside manner but the ability to connect and feel comfortable with your surgeon and the practice as a whole is important. You will spend many hours over the course of the journey with the caregivers you choose so having a trusting relationship is one key to success. Will you feel comfortable sharing your concerns with the surgeon? Can you honestly talk about your medical condition and/or lifestyle challenges? If the answer is no then consider whether that is the right place for you. It may have been perfect for someone else yet not the right fit for you.
Of course you want a surgeon with experience but experience goes deeper than the number of procedures performed. What situations have they encountered? How much do they delve into your lifestyle, needs and wants to help determine the best option for you?
Is the program committed to your long term, offering a variety of support tools? How do they support you after surgery and what fees, if any, are required for that support? You may not think you need it now but you don’t want to leave any questions unanswered that might cause additional worry later.
Everything they do is only as good as the quality care you receive. Do your research and make sure the program you choose has been evaluated and maintains high standards of care. There are several ways to do this including searching out an accredited program through MBSAQIP and other online reporting services.
So when it comes to seeking recommendations go ahead and ask others just remember that your opinion is the one you live with.
Her story begins in a doctor’s office however Donna wasn’t the patient she was an employee. She began to have knee pain and opted for injections that worked for a period of time. She continued to limp painfully through her days until the pain got so bad she visited an orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon told her he wouldn’t do a replacement because she was too heavy and she needed to have weight loss surgery. Donna recalls thinking “This guy is crazy. I am not having any kind of surgery to lose weight.”
Unfortunately, her condition did not improve. With worsening knees she had more difficulty moving and found herself in a wheelchair fulltime with a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. The combination did not help her weight. At this point Donna was afraid she would die.
Donna found the strength to do something. Hear how Donna tells the rest of her story. “I did my research and found Dr. Kennedy and Your Solution. I was so impressed with her and the whole office that I decided to do it! It was the BEST decision of my life. The only thing I wish is that I had actually listened to my doctor and done it years ago. Look at me now! I am walking (after getting double knee replacement), going to the gym and getting stronger with each passing day, doing things I couldn’t have ever done without the gastric bypass. I went in at 350 and I am holding around 188! I thought I would never see the day I would be less than 200 lbs. and I have bypassed that!”
Life changing is how Donna and others describe their decision to take control of their future. Donna is living life and doing more when just a few years ago she was afraid she might die. That is a great representation of life changing.
If you have researched weight loss surgery options you surely came across this logo and wondered what it means.
MBSAQIP stands for – wow that says a lot. But what does it mean? And should you care?
It does mean a lot and yes, you should care. The MBSAQIP is a joint accreditation of two organizations, the American College of Surgeons and the American College for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, resulting in a single accreditation program that shows that the center is committed to quality.
By choosing a program that is accredited you can be assured that center is following the highest standards for quality and safety. Knowing that they have been evaluated and reviewed against strict benchmarks should give you added reassurance. Additionally, these accredited centers must report surgical outcomes as an added layer of evaluation but also to provide documentation of the benefits of bariatric surgery in reducing health risks associated with obesity.
There is a lot to consider when selecting a weight loss surgery center and the information can be daunting. Start your search by selecting a MBSAQIP program then dig deeper to learn more about the personality of the program and the surgeon before making that final selection.
You can learn more about the MBSAQIP at their website here https://www.facs.org/quality-programs/mbsaqip
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