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All about LAP-BAND adjustments [infographic]

When an adjustable gastric band is first placed in the body, the band itself is usually empty or only partially inflated. Immediately following surgery, your goal is not to start losing weight, but to allow your body to heal and get used to your band.

Four to six weeks after your surgery, you will return to your doctor to have your first band adjustment. Using the port underneath the skin of your abdomen, your doctor will insert fluid into your band to adjust your restriction, or the degree to which your band allows food to pass into your stomach.

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Wearable technology can help ramp up your weight loss

Wearable technology can help ramp up your weight loss

Technology has done wonders for our world, as we can easily type a question into a search engine and receive an answer in a matter of seconds. It has also helped the fitness world, as wearable technology now can help you see the numbers representing how far you walked, how many calories you ate, how well you slept, and more. 

Wearable technology helps you visualize your progress if you have to walk up the stairs to your apartment, or took a walk break at work. Apps on mobile devices give you the information your watch or pedometer measures instantaneously and can keep you motivated to work harder at reaching your daily goals. Katie Warchol enthusiastically admits that her FitBit ramped up her weight loss.

“This silly little black ring that stays on my wrist 23 hours a day isn’t just a health monitor; it’s a constant visual reminder to make good choices,” she writes in an article for The Blade. “They say it takes anywhere from 21 to 66 days to form a healthy habit, so it’s safe to say this is one habit I’ve picked up that won’t be leaving me any time soon.”

Read more about Katie’s story on ToledoBlade.com.

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Bariatric surgery is more widely accepted today

Bariatric surgery is more widely accepted today

Maintaining an ideal weight includes exercising and eating a healthy diet, but for some people, these measures may not be effective on their own. Bariatric surgery is becoming a more widely accepted option for people who have excess weight and have tried everything else.

“Since the onset of minimally invasive procedures for weight loss, it has become a much safer procedure,” said Dr. Tammy Fouse, a general surgery resident at Affinity Medical Center. “Studies show it’s a safer procedure than having your gallbladder removed.”

Surgery may reduce the risks associated with other health conditions associated with excess weight, which can help save money on medication costs.

Read more about bariatric surgery progress and weight-loss trends on IndeOnline.com.

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New research finds small changes can lead to big weight loss

New research finds small changes can lead to big weight loss

With age comes decreased metabolic rate, which means it’s easy to pack on a few pounds without realizing it. But a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that changing your eating habits consistently can help lead to big weight-loss results over time.

The study analyzed 120,000 people for 16 years, paying particular attention to their dietary habits. It found that people who ate foods with a high glycemic load gained more weight than those who consumed low-glycemic foods. In the new study, other key habits were also found to make a difference between pounds on the scale.

Try making these small changes to help you lose weight:

  • Eat more yogurt, seafood, skinless chicken, and nuts
  • Be careful when choosing low-fat products as these are often packed with sugar or other additives to make up for taste lost in removing the fat
  • Decrease the amount of red and processed meat, as well as refined grains or starches
  • Eat a source of protein paired with low-GI foods like vegetables

Read more about the study on Yahoo.com.

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8 core strength training principles for beginners

8 core strength training principles for beginners

It’s unrealistic to believe that you’ll be fluent in a new language after one week of studying. By the same token, why beat yourself up over not being able to strength train at the gym with people who have been training for longer than you? Strength training takes time, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away. To prepare yourself properly, here are eight essential principles to remember when strength training:

1. Start small

Adding a new habit to your life is difficult and can take time away from other things in your life. Get into the habit of strength training by starting with a few reps for just a short period of time. As it become easier, you can increase the number of repetitions.

2. Be patient

You can’t master strength training in a day, a week, or even a month. Remember you won’t see results or master the moves instantaneously.

3. Begin with bodyweight movements

Success with strength training requires building a foundation, which begins with bodyweight movements. This means doing the same moves you would with weights, without the weights at first. As you build strength, you can gradually add more weight.

4. Think compound movements

If you’re crunched for time like many of us are, think about using compound exercises that utilize multiple muscle groups. Some of these exercises include squats, dead lifts, chin ups, and hip thrusts.

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7 bariatric surgery benefits

7 bariatric surgery benefits

Bariatric surgery helps people lose weight by reducing the stomach’s capacity and making patients feel full after eating smaller portions of food. Weight-loss surgery is often successful for people who have not achieved long-term success with other weight-loss methods. Besides weight loss, bariatric surgery offers additional benefits to people who may be suffering from weight-related health conditions. 

Here are seven benefits of sustained weight loss through weight-loss surgery:

  1. Long-term remission for type 2 diabetes
  2. Improved cardiovascular health
  3. Relief of depression
  4. Elimination of obstructive sleep apnea
  5. Joint pain relief
  6. Improved fertility
  7. Alleviation of other medical conditions

Learn more about these benefits from the Cleveland Clinic.

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How to begin a “Couch to 5k” plan

How to begin a “Couch to 5k” plan

After bariatric surgery, your doctor may encourage you to start a walking program. When you start walking, you are essentially beginning the “Couch to 5k” program. If you’ve never heard of Couch to 5k, it’s basically a fitness program to get you from sitting in front of the television to running/walking a five kilometer race. 

Many “Couch to 5k” programs and training groups are available throughout the United States and can be called. Often, an avid running team or individual coaches the program and gives you instruction and motivation to keep moving further in your training. These programs are designed to promote healthy habits and an interest in running/walking as a lifestyle change to get you healthy.

To get started on such a program, search the Internet for a beginner’s running program or “Couch to 5k” program in your area. Then, consider these tips:

  1. Invest in good running shoes -- you want to make sure you are walking or running in the right type of shoes that won’t hurt your feet or cause other problems.
  2. Listen to your body -- if your knees and hips feel a little sore, that’s normal. However, it’s not normal to experience agonizing pain from your toes, hips, shins, back, or knees so pay attention to these symptoms and see a doctor or trainer if the problem persists.
  3. Be flexible, but committed -- you won’t be able to finish a 5k if you skip workouts. The program will include flexibility in your schedule to allow you to rest and train your muscles, so don’t abuse it.

Learn more about “Couch to 5k” programs on U.S. News Health.

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The next level of “Before and After” weight-loss photos

The next level of “Before and After” weight-loss photos

As you lose weight, it’s often helpful to have visual reminders of your progress. This may involve taking photographs each week to track your weight as time goes by so that you can better see changes in your body composition and the fit of your clothing. Instead of following the standard protocol of photographing herself in the same clothing every week, Toronto resident Beth Beard decided to go in a different direction after undergoing gastric bypass surgery two and a half years ago.

Beth got creative and celebrated her progress through photographs in costumes. She contacted her friend Blake Morrow to help put her visions to life.

“I created a series of pop culture-inspired portraits of my friend Beth, playfully celebrating her fantastic weight loss of 150 pounds,” wrote Morrow on his website. “I shot her ‘before’ and ‘after’ selves two years apart, and I digitally integrated them to interact with each other within each scene. To properly communicate and celebrate Beth’s accomplishment, her body shape has not been digitally altered.”

View more of Beth’s photographs and learn more about her weight-loss journey on Huffington Post.

Photo by Blake Morrow for Cosmopolitan

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Some women may not lose weight with strength training

Some women may not lose weight with strength training

If you’ve tried resistance training at the gym and haven’t seen results, a new study may show why. New research indicates that some women do not lose weight with resistance training. The study suggests that genetic variations protect women’s bodies from fat loss and prime their bodies for weight maintenance.

Study participants included 148 women between 35 and 60. Those who carried few of the 21 genetic risk variants for obesity largely responded to a weekly regimen of resistance exercise. These women lost weight and trimmed fat -- especially abdominal fat -- and their body composition became leaner.

Read more about the study on The Seattle Times website.

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Undergoing bariatric surgery can lower risk of gestational diabetes in pregnancy

Undergoing bariatric surgery can lower risk of gestational diabetes in pregnancy

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that women who undergo weight-loss surgery before becoming pregnant are less likely to develop gestational diabetes and give birth to large babies. However, these women are at risk for delivering smaller babies, according to the report.

“Since bariatric surgery followed by pregnancy has both positive and negative effects, these women, when expecting, should be regarded as high-risk pregnancies,” said Kari Johansson, PhD, a nutritionist in the Department of Medicine, Solna, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

She suggests that doctors closely follow these women throughout their pregnancies and give advice on healthy eating and, if necessary, taking supplements.

Learn more about the study’s findings on EndocrineWeb.com.

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Measure portion size and calorie intake with a dinner plate

Measure portion size and calorie intake with a dinner plate

It’s one thing to be told to eat smaller portions, but a whole other thing to understand what smaller portions look like. The same goes for visualizing how many calories are contained in the food you put on your plate. A new Kickstarter campaign could help you better evaluate the portion sizes and calorie counts you’re putting on your dinner plate.

The SmartPlate analyzes what you’re about to eat by identifying what’s sitting on the surface of your plate, and transmits the identification and weight data to a corresponding mobile app. With three digital cameras and image recognition technology, the SmartPlate helps you make better food choices by learning to control your portions and calorie intake.

Learn more about the SmartPlate from Mashable.com.

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Burn more calories with these 15 low-impact exercises

Burn more calories with these 15 low-impact exercises

Beginning an exercise routine is tough. Not only are you trying to change your lifestyle, but you have to find the right workout for you. If you are new to exercise or are overweight, your doctor may recommend that you start a low-impact workout program, which can be gentle on your joints, help you lose weight, and allow you to burn more calories.

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3 internal health factors that can prevent weight loss

3 internal health factors that can prevent weight loss

If you’ve been struggling with weight loss lately, it’s possible you could be suffering from one or more internal health problems preventing you from meeting your goals. While most people attribute weight gain and obesity to lack of exercise and poor nutrition, many fail to realize there are numerous other factors that can contribute to weight gain. For example, certain types of medications can cause you to retain water and gain weight, whereas foods that contain additives and chemicals can throw your hormones off-balance and trigger weight gain.

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Michelle Obama continues to promote the Let’s Move campaign

Michelle Obama continues to promote the Let’s Move campaign

Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” mission has focused on combating childhood obesity since her husband became President, and the FLOTUS is now working to keep her progress permanent. She’s danced with a turnip, Big Bird, and Jimmy Fallon, showing that getting up and moving can be fun and can help children get active, but what will happen when Michelle is no longer the First Lady?

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6 habits practiced by most fit and healthy people

6 habits practiced by most fit and healthy people

If you’re an individual who struggles with weight and weight-loss problems, you may think that the secrets to becoming slim are exercising regularly and going on a diet. However, fit and healthy people often don’t view exercise and good nutrition as something they have to do to lose weight; instead, these healthy habits are already considered a normal way of life for these individuals.

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Getting rid of clutter could help you lose weight

Getting rid of clutter could help you lose weight

You’ve heard about and have probably tried every popular diet out there. Instead of following the latest fads, why not try something designed to benefit your health and your home? Peter Walsh’s new book Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight: The Six-Week Total-Life Slim Down focuses on de-cluttering your life to help you lose excess weight.

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Singer Jennifer Holliday turns to Fobi Pouch for weight loss

Singer Jennifer Holliday turns to Fobi Pouch for weight loss

Jennifer Holliday is a singer and actress best known for her Broadway performance as Effie Melody White in the musical Dreamgirls. Throughout the 1980s during her 20s, Jennifer steadily gained weight until she eventually topped out at 400 pounds.

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Weight-loss surgery for the severely obese can be covered by insurance

Weight-loss surgery for the severely obese can be covered by insurance

The cost of bariatric surgery can be high, especially for those living on a typical family budget. Choosing to have the procedure can weigh heavily on the minds of prospective patients if they are worried about whether their surgeries can be covered by their health insurance plans.

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4 reasons to exercise outdoors if you want to lose weight

4 reasons to exercise outdoors if you want to lose weight

Spending time outdoors can provide you with fresh air, help clear your head, and expose you to the sun’s rays, spurring your body’s production of vitamin D. If you normally do your exercise routine indoors, you may benefit more from taking your workouts outside, especially if your goal is to lose excess weight. Scientific evidence even shows that overweight individuals are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D, so if you’re working on slimming down, exercising outdoors could benefit you in multiple ways.

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Bariatric surgery can help treat type 2 diabetes, says new study

Bariatric surgery can help treat type 2 diabetes, says new study

Growing evidence from the Swedish Obese Subjects trial shows that bariatric surgery may help treat type 2 diabetes and improve remission. The study has 20 years worth of follow-up data, and more long-term follow-up research may be needed.

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5 fun ways to eat more leafy greens

5 fun ways to eat more leafy greens

Talk to any dietitian, nutritionist, or weight-loss surgeon about the types of foods you should eat to become healthier and lose weight, they’ll most likely inform you to consume leafy greens with every meal. Leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help provide you with long-lasting energy, boost immune system function, and reverse or reduce inflammation.

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Bariatric surgery less popular among men, says study

Bariatric surgery less popular among men, says study

Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have identified a major disparity with demographic, socioeconomic, and cultural factors among US men and women undergoing weight-loss surgeries. The conclusion is that men choose to undergo bariatric surgery in far fewer numbers than women.

The Journal of Laparoendoscopic & Advanced Surgical Techniques published the study in March, stating that 80 percent of patients who choose to undergo bariatric surgery procedures are women.

“The results of this study should raise awareness in men about the complications that obesity brings to their health,” said senior author Santiago Horgan, MD, chief of the Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery at UC San Diego Health System. “Even though we have 50/50 percent split in obesity rates among US men and women, women get 80 percent of the bariatric surgeries and men only 20 percent. That’s a very uneven distribution.”

Read more about the studies findings on ScienceDaily.com.

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How do you choose a realistic goal weight?

How do you choose a realistic goal weight?

Choosing a goal body weight can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not sure what qualifies as a healthy weight or haven’t been at a healthy body weight since you were a child or teen. While it may seem productive to choose an ideal goal weight and work toward that goal, the truth is that your “ideal” body weight may not be achievable based on factors such as your height and personal health.

Choosing a realistic goal weight can help you gain a better perspective on what you need to do to accomplish your weight-loss goals. On the other hand, choosing an unrealistic goal weight can be disheartening and discouraging, especially if you do everything in your power to meet your goal through diet and exercise, but just can’t seem to reach your ideal weight.

So how do you go about choosing a realistic goal weight? A recent British study may have the answer. The new study, which was published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, revealed that most women tend to have unrealistic expectations about weight loss.

The study involved a group of women who weighed an average of 152 pounds. These women said they considered 123 pounds to be a “happy” weight, while also admitting that they feel 132 pounds is a more realistic and achievable goal weight. If women already know 132 pounds is achievable and more realistic, why are they so intent on losing the extra nine or 10 pounds?

Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, author of The Flexitarian Diet, says shows such as The Biggest Loser are giving people the impression that weight loss can happen quickly within a short period of time. However, these shows are often taped over the course of several months, and contestants may spend hours per day focused on exercise and nutrition. As a result, any type of weight loss can seem disappointing to dieters who get caught up in the media, thinking that they’re not losing enough weight within the proper amount of time.

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US Representative loses weight using visual motivation

US Representative loses weight using visual motivation

Charlie Rangel, a US Representative of New York, saw an unflattering photo of himself on The Post’s front page and decided to shape up. He began to eat breakfast daily, drink lots of water, and load up on smoothies. These healthy habits helped him drop 35 pounds and made him feel terrific.

“The thing is not to eat before you go to bed, and it helps when you aren’t hungry when you go to bed,” said Rangel. “There’s nobody who has an appetite for food after drinking a smoothie.”

Rangel makes a point of walking to meetings in Washington, DC, from his office, and gets in a mile or two of walking while in New York. In addition, he even attends spinning class and has his own recipe ebook.

“It’s fun. I’m enjoying it, and the truth of the matter is, the more I talk about it, the less temptation I have to get my damn pastrami sandwich,” he said.

Read more about Rangel’s transformation on the New York Post website.

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After gastric sleeve surgery

After gastric sleeve surgery

The following is an excerpt from our new ebook, Gastric Sleeve Surgery for Weight Loss. To download the full ebook, click here.

At the time you make arrangements to have gastric sleeve surgery, your bariatric surgeon will speak with you in length about what’s expected of you in the days, weeks, and months following your procedure. First, you’ll be provided with post-op diet instructions that will help your stomach and body adjust to the changes made to your body during gastric sleeve surgery.

For the first few days after surgery, you’ll be required to consume liquids only as your body grows accustomed to your smaller stomach. After the liquid diet phase, you can transition to eating pureéd foods, and then to solid foods as your body continues to heal.

Considering a healthy diet and good nutrition are highly important for the rest of your life after gastric sleeve surgery, your bariatric surgeon may require you to attend follow-up appointments so he or she can check up on how you’re adjusting to your new, healthy lifestyle. Some bariatric surgery clinics provide you with access to a nutritionist or dietitian who can help you become more familiar with good nutrition and healthy eating habits in the weeks and months following surgery.

To learn more about gastric sleeve surgery for weight loss, download our free ebook.

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Weight-loss apps worth trying

Weight-loss apps worth trying

Losing weight can be difficult, especially when you’re faced with tempting foods that pop up throughout your day. You may be accustomed to sitting in front of the television or movie screen with salty snacks, and that can be a difficult habit to change.

If you’re looking for a new, fun way to lose weight, here are two awesome new mobile apps you’ll want to try out:

Fast Food Nutrition Calories

This app gives you all the nutritional information you need to know when you’re out and about. It’s got the low-down on everything from a Mexican Pizza to your favorite Blizzard.

Fooducate

In addition to focusing on losing weight, it’s important to start building sustainable habits that will help you keep the weight off. That comes with educating yourself about foods and healthy habits, which is what this app is all about.

Learn more about each of these weight-loss apps from TheDailyMeal.com.

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Journalist Anne Diamond turns to gastric banding for weight loss

Journalist Anne Diamond turns to gastric banding for weight loss

UK-based journalist Anne Diamond is a regular columnist for the Daily Mail, has starred as the host of Good Morning Britain, and currently speaks on a number of radio and television talk shows. Throughout her career, Anne has battled problems with weight loss, and finally turned to adjustable gastric banding to help her achieve a normal, healthy weight.

After giving birth to her children several years into her career, Anne topped out at 220 pounds and experienced multiple problems with her health. At the end of each day, her ankles were swollen, her body ached, she had problems breathing, and her blood pressure was high due to carrying excess weight. Anne’s costume designer even grew frustrated with Anne’s weight gain when her clothing failed to fit in an attractive manner for television.

Eager to lose her excess weight, Anne met with physicians to learn about her best options for weight loss. She was disappointed to find that none of her doctors recommended weight-loss surgery, and resorted to trying a series of diets and diet pills she was prescribed for her condition.

Anne's weight continued to fluctuate up and down throughout her dieting years. Each time Anne lost weight, she would gain it back within a short period of time. In 2005, a friend of Anne's recommended that she undergo gastric band surgery for weight loss. Anne then booked an appointment with a doctor in Belgium, and flew to his location in secret to have adjustable gastric banding to protect her privacy as a national celebrity.

Shortly after undergoing gastric banding, Anne lost 10 pounds. However, within a month, she gained the 10 pounds right back. She realized that although she had undergone gastric banding surgery, she could still consume the same portion sizes she had eaten prior to surgery.

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Healthy snacking can help you lose weight

Healthy snacking can help you lose weight

When you think about a healthy diet, snacking probably doesn’t come to mind. However, experts are now saying that healthy snacking between meals may prevent you from feeling extremely hungry come mealtime, and can keep your fat-burning metabolism going. 

The rules of snacking according to the American Fitness Professionals & Associates are:

  1. Consume nutrient-dense foods.
  2. Eat only when you’re hungry.
  3. Eat smaller portions.
  4. Be mindful of your snacking habits.

Remember that eating in front of your computer screen or television can work against your mindful eating habits. In addition, think about packing snacks that are rich in protein and fiber.

For more information about healthy snacking, visit the AFPA website.

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Pros and cons to body contouring after bariatric surgery

Pros and cons to body contouring after bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery is considered one of the most ideal ways to lose weight when good nutrition and exercise fail to work. Patients who undergo bariatric surgery are required to eat healthy foods and exercise regularly following surgery to help accelerate the weight-loss process, and to get into the habit of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In some cases, bariatric patients can end up losing hundreds of pounds within a short period of time, which can result in areas of loose, excess skin.

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3 hormones that could interfere with weight loss

3 hormones that could interfere with weight loss

The human body naturally produces a number of different hormones that support healthy overall bodily function. Hormones play vital roles in your body’s cellular metabolism, reproduction and sexual development, heart rate, digestion, and more. When you’re in good health and your body functions optimally, your hormone levels can maintain a healthy balance. However, some unhealthy lifestyle habits could result in hormonal imbalance and increase the risk for diseases such as obesity and cancer. Contributing factors may include poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and lack of sleep.

If you’ve been experiencing difficulty losing weight through diet and exercise alone, it’s possible you’re not making progress due to hormonal imbalance. Here are three hormones that can affect your weight-loss progress, as well as tips on how you can balance these hormones in a healthy manner.

1. Cortisol

Cortisol is a stress hormone that rises and fluctuates when you experience any type of stress, whether it’s from coping with unruly family members or putting in too many hours at work. Cortisol can cause your body to store more fat, especially in your abdominal region, and makes your other hormones go into overdrive to counteract the rising cortisol levels. Hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin can rise when cortisol rises, and lead to overeating and cravings for junk food. Most individuals under stress tend to sleep less and make poor nutrition choices.

The most ideal way to balance your body’s cortisol levels is to find new ways to manage stress, or work on eliminating stressors from your life. Start exercising regularly, find new enjoyable hobbies, or if possible, remove yourself from situations that cause undue stress.

2. Estrogen

Estrogen is more commonly associated with females, but men also produce estrogen in smaller amounts. Estrogen imbalance, which is also sometimes be referred to as estrogen dominance, can lead to weight gain and increase your risk for other health problems, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and breast cancer. Estrogen imbalance can be caused by excess exposure to free radicals and toxins, poor nutrition, smoking, stress, and alcohol abuse. To balance your body’s estrogen levels, start exercising regularly and consume a diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, protein, and healthy fats. Eating fresh, whole foods can help your body flush out excess estrogen.

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Bariatric surgery improves one woman’s life with amazing results

Bariatric surgery improves one woman’s life with amazing results

Jenifer Schon viewed bariatric surgery as the last option for improving her health, but has since been thankful that she had the procedure. Having been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of three and diagnosed with fibromyalgia later in life, Schon knew that she needed to control her weight, and turned to bariatric surgery as a solution. 

Amazingly, not only has Schon lost weight since having weight-loss surgery, but she has experienced improvements with her diabetes and fibromyalgia as well. Schon is now taking half the diabetes medication she needed before, and no longer needs insulin resistance medication. Additionally, her fibromyalgia strikes her with less frequent episodes than it did before weight-loss surgery.

Jenifer notes that the biggest challenge she has faced is changing her diet. She had already been monitoring her carbs, but after bariatric surgery, has had to monitor the amount of protein she consumes. Overall, Jenifer is happy with the results, understands she may face struggles with losing weight, and feels that the pros of surgery greatly outweigh the cons. “Patients aren't blindsided by this challenge, as they do go through a lot of education and preparation, but everyone goes through that adjustment to some degree," states Dr. Robert Quaid of Bariatric Center of the Rockies.

Now, Schon has more energy than ever before and can dedicate more of her time to hobbies she enjoys in life. Check out Schon’s story in the Coloradoan.

Photo credit: Provided by UCHealth for the Coloradoan.

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3 exercise moves that eliminate loose armpit skin

3 exercise moves that eliminate loose armpit skin

If you’re starting to slim down, you may notice that certain parts of your body respond better to nutrition and exercise than others. For example, your waist and midsection may slim down significantly, but your buttocks and thighs remain heavy. Or, perhaps you’ve managed to slim down everywhere except for your upper arms, which you’re still hiding behind long sleeves. If you consider the skin around your armpits a problem area, you may feel self-conscious about showing too much skin unless you’re able to tighten and tone this area.

Now that spring is officially here and summer is just around the corner, it’s the ideal time for you to tighten and tone the excess skin around your armpits so you can feel more confident in tank tops, swimsuits, and sleeveless tops. Check out the following three exercise movies that can help you eliminate loose armpit skin just in time for summer.

Lying chest fly

  1. Lie down on your back, and place your hips and knees at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Press your lower back into the ground using your lower abs.
  3. Raise your arms toward the ceiling with your palms facing one another, and keep your elbow slightly bent. For more of a challenge, use small hand weights.
  4. Keep your torso stable, and open your arms out to each side until your elbows are roughly two inches from the floor.
  5. Raise your arms back toward the ceiling, and bring the weights together over your chest.
  6. Do three sets of five reps to start, then increase reps per set as needed.

Push-up rotation

  1. Put your body in the plank position, with your shoulders directly over your wrists, and your body in one straight line, feet hip-width apart. Keep your back straight, and pull in your navel.
  2. Bend your elbows out to the sides as you lower and exhale to do a push-up.
  3. Hold for one breath, then rise back up to the original plank position, while also releasing your left arm and raising it to the ceiling.
  4. Hold for one breath, then return to the original plank position.
  5. Repeat the push-up, then raise your right arm to the ceiling before returning to the plank position.
  6. Do two sets of five for each side to start, then progress as needed.

Lateral plank walk

  1. Put your body in the plank position, with your shoulders directly over your wrists, and your body in one straight line, feet hip-width apart.
  2. Move your left hand toward the right hand, while stepping your right foot out to the right at the same time.
  3. Move your right hand and left foot to the right and return to the plank position.
  4. Take two additional steps in this direction, then reverse directions and take three steps to the left.
  5. Repeat this movement as many times as needed.

Over time, you’ll notice that these exercises will help tone and tighten any excess skin around and under your arms. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to show off your armpits in public without feeling self-conscious about having excess armpit skin.

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4 breakfast mistakes you could be making

4 breakfast mistakes you could be making

You may have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but many Americans either don’t eat enough or skip the meal completely. In this episode of the Marilyn Denis show, naturopath Mubina Jiwa discusses the four main mistakes we’re making when it comes to breakfast.

Mistake #1: Skipping breakfast

Your body needs nutrients when you wake up, and eating breakfast can fuel you at the beginning of the day. Not eating any food at all can make it more difficult to wake up properly and be cognitively ready to get things done.

Mistake #2: Not eating enough for breakfast

Jiwa recommends consuming approximately 400 calories for breakfast, 600 calories for lunch, and 500 calories for dinner to maintain a 1,500-calorie diet.

Mistake #3: Eating sugary foods

Brands tend to add sugar to fat-free and low-fat foods for flavoring, which can cause individuals who buy these processed foods to consume more sugar. Eating too much sugar can put you at risk of multiple health conditions. Jiwa recommends that women consume no more than five teaspoons of sugar per day, and that men consume no more than eight teaspoons. Many breakfast cereals contain about four teaspoons of sugar per serving.

Mistake #4: Not consuming enough fat

Research shows that eating good, healthy fats can help you stay full for longer. Consuming foods with good fats at every meal can help reduce cravings throughout the day.

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Bariatric surgery improves results of hip replacement surgery

Bariatric surgery improves results of hip replacement surgery

Bariatric surgery can help individuals lose weight, as well as resolve various health problems such as hypertension, asthma, and type 2 diabetes. Now, it’s believed that bariatric surgery can help boost the results of total hip arthroplasty, according to research presented at this year’s American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting. The results show that those who are overweight and need hip replacement surgery experience better results if they have bariatric surgery before the hip arthroplasty procedure. 

Tacking the cost of bariatric surgery on top of hip replacement surgery may seem daunting to some, but your quality of life could improve more than with total hip arthroplasty alone. “Obesity is linked to less-favorable outcomes after joint replacement surgery, such as longer hospital stays, higher overall costs and higher failure rates,” states Emily Dodwell M.D., a contributor to the research. Allowing bariatric surgery to help you lose weight can help keep you out of the hospital longer after having hip surgery.

Learn more about the results from Healio in “Morbidly obese patients experience greater utility with bariatric surgery prior to THA

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How to maintain your energy levels all day long

How to maintain your energy levels all day long

Have you ever skipped the gym or your workout session due to being tired and lacking energy? Many individuals say that the reason they don’t exercise regularly is that they lack the energy needed to get in an effective workout. While many people chalk up lack of energy to either not getting enough sleep or working too hard, the truth is that many individuals lack energy as a result of practicing one or more unhealthy lifestyle habits that zap their energy.

Unfortunately, if you lack the energy to exercise, you may also lack the energy to maintain a healthy diet, drink enough water, and practice the healthy habits needed to help you achieve your weight-loss goals.

Are you trying to lose weight, but have difficulty mustering up energy on a daily basis? Check out the following ways to maintain your energy levels all day long, from the time you wake up, to the time you hit the hay.

Morning habits

  • Avoid hitting the snooze button. While you may be tempted to hit the snooze button, make a habit of getting up as soon as the alarm goes off. Otherwise, you’ll have a more difficult time waking up, and you’ll expend extra energy doing so.
  • Drink water as soon as you wake up. Water will jump-start your digestive system and help stimulate a bowel movement, while also providing your body with an immediate burst of energy. Keep water on your nightstand to sip upon waking up.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast. Consume a healthy mixture of healthy fats, protein, and complex carbs to help balance your blood sugar first thing in the morning. Avoid eating sugary donuts, muffins, and pastries, which could cause you to crash early on in the day.
  • Do a morning workout. Exercise actually provides you with lasting energy, which is why it’s ideal to exercise first thing in the morning. Studies even show that morning exercisers tend to burn fat and calories more efficiently.

Afternoon habits

  • Go outside for fresh air. Fresh air can provide you with renewed energy and a fresh perspective on the tasks you’re trying to accomplish. Even if you’re stuck at work, take a break to step outside for 15 minutes for a walk or lunch break.
  • Swap out coffee for tea. If you’re used to slurping on coffee throughout the morning and afternoon, switch to drinking green tea. Tea won’t be as intense on your body, and is less likely to interfere with your nighttime sleep habits than coffee.
  • Eat healthy snacks. Instead of turning to fast food or vending machine foods for convenience, stick to snacking on nuts, vegetables, and fruits, which will naturally provide your body with a burst of healthy energy. Salty and sugary foods can actually drain your energy levels.

Evening habits

  • Lower your alcohol intake. Many individuals say alcohol helps them fall asleep after a hard day’s work. But in actuality, alcohol can disrupt your natural sleep cycle and either cause you to wake up later in the night, or leave you feeling even more exhausted come morning. Try to omit or limit your alcohol intake at nighttime.
  • Stop using electronics. The light emitted by mobile phones, tablets, computers, and television can interfere with your sleep patterns, and sometimes make it more difficult for you to fall asleep. Stop using all electronics at least an hour before bedtime.
  • Make sleep a priority. A good night’s sleep will help you feel energized the following day. Make sleep a priority in your life, and stop staying up late to watch movies, play video games, and read books. Aim to get between seven and eight hours of sleep per night for lasting energy levels.
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Weight-loss image app allows you to see a thinner you

Weight-loss image app allows you to see a thinner you

Motivation is a key factor to losing weight. The developers of a new mobile app called Visualize You believe that their app will motivate you to lose weight by showing you what you’ll look like when you reach your goal. With Visualize You, users can take old photos and transform them into versions of themselves after they’ve lost weight. The app’s software successfully crafts a realistic image that can vary depending on the goal you input, along with other information like age and height. Unlike other imaging software that simply stretches or squeezes a picture, Visualize You’s focus is to deliver an accurate depiction of what you can look like.

According to Charlie Seltzer, MD on Yahoo Health, visual cues like those the app provides are useful because, “I will often recommend that people put up pictures of what they want to look like or what they used to look like, provided the body image is healthy.” The app is available on iPhone and Android for free, and for $1.99 if the user wants advertisements removed.

Learn more about the Visualize You app from "Visualize You App Lets You See What You’d Look Like Post-Weight Loss” from Yahoo Health.

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3 healthy foods to include in every meal

3 healthy foods to include in every meal

When most people think about the types of foods that make up a balanced diet, they tend to think of the classic food pyramid, or the more recently updated MyPlate, which is the food guide created by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to replace the pyramid in 2011. According to the USDA, your meals should be composed of 30 percent grains, 40 percent vegetables, 10 percent fruits, and 20 percent protein, accompanied by a small portion of dairy such as a glass of milk or yogurt.

However, if you’re trying to lose weight and eat cleaner, there may be an easier way to get the nutrients you need without having to make your plate as diverse as the USDA recommends. The optimal meal should be composed of phytonutrients, healthy fats, and protein. Not only can these foods help you reach your weight-loss goals, but they can help you work toward achieving an overall healthier you with fewer health problems.

Phytonutrients

Phytonutrients are otherwise known as plant compounds, and are found in fruits, vegetables, and greens. The more phytonutrients you consume, the more effective you’ll be at reducing inflammation, regulating your blood sugar, improving immune system function, and much more. Try to eat fruits and vegetables in raw form as much as possible to benefit from the nutrients these foods offer in the form of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. When you do cook phytonutrients, either steam or lightly sautée them; most other cooking methods will kill off the nutrients in these superfoods.

Healthy fats

Healthy fats are unsaturated fats, such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Healthy fats will provide your body with the lasting energy it needs throughout the day, and are ideal to consume before and after workouts. Examples of healthy fats are olive oil, salmon, nuts, and avocado. Add healthy fats to your meals whenever possible, and start cooking all meals using olive oil instead of margarine or butter.

Protein

Typically, many Americans view red meat as the best source of protein, but there are multiple forms of protein that are far healthier for your body, such as fish, chicken, beans, and quinoa. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissue, and to make hormones, enzymes, and other important natural chemicals. Protein is an important part of your diet, but will benefit your health only if you choose healthy sources of protein. Try to eliminate red meats and beef from your diet, and try sticking to alternate sources of protein that won’t readily contribute to weight gain or heart disease.

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Governor Chris Christie sees life improvement after bariatric surgery

Governor Chris Christie sees life improvement after bariatric surgery

After having a secret weight-loss surgery in 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie claims his decision was the best he has ever made for his health. Although he hasn’t publicly revealed the exact amount of weight he has lost through weight-loss surgery, it’s speculated that Christie has lost over 100 pounds. Christie’s LAP-BAND procedure limits the amount of food he eats every day. Along with this procedure and a healthy diet and exercise plan, Christie’s health has improved so much that his doctor has given him a clean bill of health.

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LAP-BAND diet stages [Infographic]

In the weeks following LAP-BAND® surgery, you’ll need to follow a post-operative diet that will allow your stomach to heal and grow accustomed to its new changes. The stages of your diet plan post-surgery will include the clear liquid phase, the full liquids phase, the pureed food phase, and the soft foods phase. After you complete all three diet phases, you will begin eating solid foods, but in much smaller portions than before the procedure.

Check out the infographic below to learn more about LAP-BAND diet stages and see a list of approved foods for each phase.

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How yoga helped one man lose weight

How yoga helped one man lose weight

When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to remember to diet and remain physically active. For Richard Wildman, this wasn’t an easy task to accomplish. He had tried going to the gym on his own, but could never stay committed to a routine or diet. Richard’s weight peaked at 669 pounds, but he has seen a decline since he started a new physical activity a couple of months ago: yoga. Since Richard began practicing yoga, his life has changed for the better.

Yoga has benefited Richard both physically and mentally. His yoga practice is gentle, but still has physical demands that help him burn some weight. Mentally, he feels more inspired to be active, and makes better eating choices because he wants to lose weight to get better at yoga. Since he started doing yoga, Richard has lost more than 50 pounds.

Having a dedicated instructor has also helped Richard improve his health. His yoga instructor, Heather Dombrovskiy, motivates Richard by joking that she’ll come to his house if he tries to skip a day. Richard hopes that in the future he can become an instructor like Heather, and work with people who have weight problems and might be too scared to start yoga classes like he was at first.

Read more about Richard’s inspiring story from People.

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Undergoing gastric sleeve surgery

Undergoing gastric sleeve surgery

The following is an excerpt from our new ebook, Gastric Sleeve Surgery for Weight Loss. To download the full ebook, click here.

Gastric sleeve surgery is often performed as a minimally invasive procedure that results in less downtime, less pain, and faster healing and recovery for patients. Instead of having open surgery, which is associated with a higher number of risks and complications, patients can benefit from laparoscopic surgery, during which the surgeon makes a series of tiny incisions at various sites versus one long incision across the abdominal region.

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Tips on healthy living from Parisians

Tips on healthy living from Parisians

When you think about how other cultures manage to stay thin, you may chalk it up to them being from another country and practicing different lifestyle habits. However, Americans may be able to benefit from learning what people do in other countries to stay thin. One Parisian native sat down with Shape Magazine to share her favorite diet, exercise, and healthy-living tips.

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How the "hunger scale" concept can help with weight loss

How the "hunger scale" concept can help with weight loss

Nutrition and dieting can be a tricky game, even if you’re feeling confident that you’re nailing it and doing it correctly. If you’ve managed to cut out sweets, fried foods, and processed foods in general, now you’ve got to nail the timing aspect. If you go too long without food, you may end up overeating, whereas if you eat too frequently, you may be consuming more food than your body actually needs.

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Tips on how to make running more fun

Tips on how to make running more fun

After you have weight-loss surgery, your bariatric surgeon may suggest that you start walking for exercise. Walking can often progress into jogging or running on a regular basis, which can sometimes become boring and monotonous over time.

Have you grown bored of your running workout? Here are fun ways to make running more fun:

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5 hard truths about the weight-loss journey

5 hard truths about the weight-loss journey

If you’ve been dedicating the last several months or years to shedding excess weight, you’re probably already well aware of how difficult the journey can be. Making major lifestyle changes such as cutting out soda, exercising regularly, drinking more water, and eating more fruits and vegetables requires hard work and dedication. Even after overhauling your entire lifestyle, you may still find yourself hitting a weight-loss plateau, or even gaining back some of the weight you’ve lost.

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12 superfoods that can help fight stress

12 superfoods that can help fight stress

Certain moods can affect what you eat, and how you feel afterwards. If you’re bored, you may just grab anything within reach. If you’re happy, you may indulge in something more sweet. Sometimes it can be difficult to stay on track with good nutrition if you’re in a particular mood and want something specific to eat, especially when you’re experiencing stress.

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Are you an ideal candidate for gastric sleeve surgery?

Are you an ideal candidate for gastric sleeve surgery?

The following is an excerpt from our new ebook, Gastric Sleeve Surgery for Weight Loss. To download the full ebook, click here.

Ideal candidates for gastric sleeve surgery must be at least 18 years of age, have a BMI of at least 40, and have attempted to lose weight through diet, exercise, and other weight-loss programs. Candidates must also be willing to make permanent, healthy lifestyle changes that involve eating foods high in nutrition and exercising regularly.

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Pastor shares his weight-loss story to inspire others

Pastor shares his weight-loss story to inspire others

Hearing your physician suggest that you need bariatric surgery to become healthier can be difficult to cope with. After receiving this advice, Pastor Douglas Yancy left his doctor’s office and headed for his master’s program classes, pondering the advice he had just received. It wasn’t until he had spoken with one of his professors about gastric bypass surgery that Yancy decided to have the surgery.

Yancy underwent gastric bypass surgery in early 2011, and has since encouraged his wife, sister, and about 15 other congregation members to have the surgery as well. He looks at the benefits he has received from weight-loss surgery, and uses his experience as an opportunity to advise others who struggle with weight loss to also consider the procedure. One of the people who saw Yancy after his surgery was Andrea Jennings.

“I was watching him and how he reacted, how much energy he had” said Jennings. “It was me seeing it rather than him telling me.”

Jennings underwent her own operation and has since lost 80 pounds. She says she has more energy and has reached her goal weight after seeing the benefits of weight-loss surgery in Yancy.

Learn more about Yancy’s weight-loss journey and his work to help others get healthy at Philly.com.

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Eat soy in moderation to protect your health

Eat soy in moderation to protect your health

In recent years, there has been much confusion over whether soy is good or bad for your health. Some health experts say that soy products offer a number of health benefits and can contribute to weight loss, whereas others say soy can increase your risk for cancer and hormonal imbalance. Given the many different resources that highlight the pros and cons of soy, how do you know what’s really true?

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Bariatric surgery can benefit your psychological health

Bariatric surgery can benefit your psychological health

Weight-loss surgery can benefit those who carry excess weight from both physical and psychological standpoints, according to a new study. National University of Distance Education (UNED) researcher Alejandro Magallares co-authored the weight-loss study, which analyzed 21 scientific articles about the relationship between weight and quality of life in people who underwent bariatric surgery. 

The articles gauged data based on a questionnaire that was filled out by almost 2,680 weight-loss surgery patients before surgery, and nearly 2,251 patients after surgery.

“An increase was found in the quality of life related to both psychological and physical aspects after the surgical intervention,” said Magallares to SINC. “Both physical and psychological health improve after the operation, and that increase in quality of life is especially significant in the physical area.”

check out this article on MedicalXpress.com.

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