• Weight Loss Surgery: Where Do I Start?

    Making the decision to lose weight through weight loss surgery requires a long-term commitment. Long before you have surgery, it is essential to understand where to start the process. During this journey, you may discover surgery is not right for you or that you do not meet the qualifications. If this is the case, don’t worry, as there are other effective methods to still help you achieve healthy weight loss.

    Step 1: Read and Research

    Take some time to learn about the different types of surgeries used for weight loss and what they entail. Post-surgery requires some major lifestyle changes in diet and exercise. In many cases, this also means being limited to certain types of foods for an extended period of time.

    Step 2: Consult with a Nutritionist

    Schedule an appointment to talk to one of our nutritionists to discuss your weight loss objectives. Some people are surprised to discover they can lose weight by simply changing their eating and exercise habits. Your nutritionist will be there for you to provide guidance and support. In fact, prior to the surgery, patients are often required to adjust their eating and dietary habits. Getting a head start on this change will be beneficial should you qualify for surgery.

    Weight Loss Surgery Options

    Step 3: Qualify for Surgery

    Not everyone will be an ideal candidate for surgery. There are certain qualifications one must satisfy, such as:

    • You are unable to lose weight through dietary changes, regular exercise, and other such methods.
    • You have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, with or without any other medical issues or diseases.
    • You have a BMI of 35 or higher, along with other medical issues and diseases, such as Type II diabetes, sleep apnea, or hypertension (high blood pressure).

    Step 4: Consult with a Weight Loss Surgeon

    Most surgeons are happy to sit down and discuss your weight loss goals and objectives. They can answer any question you might have, as well as make recommendations. In addition, they could require you to attend an informational seminar and other required meetings and classes. These sessions are part of your weight loss journey to determine whether surgery is the best answer.

    There are numerous questions you will have to answer for yourself through each of these steps, including:

    • Can you follow a long-term treatment plan?
    • Can you make lifestyle changes and stick with them?
    • Are you willing to assume the risks associated with surgery?
    • Are you willing to give up certain habits, such as smoking and alcohol?
    • Do you have a supportive environment among friends and family?

    Types Weight Loss Surgery

    After going through this process and completing each of these steps, if you qualify for surgery and decide it is right for you, then there are additional preparations you will need to make. Your bariatric weight loss surgeon and his or her staff will educate and inform you about these as you prepare for surgery.

    To find out what weight loss surgery options you might qualify for or to learn about alternative methods to healthy weight loss, please feel free to contact 1st Choice Weight Loss at (281) 888-7767 today!

    DISCLAIMER: The above is for general informational purposes only. All people should consult with their primary care provider prior to using or following any recommendations featured in our articles, blog posts, or videos. Every individual has his or her own specific needs and limitations of which only treating physicians will be fully aware.

  • Understanding Metabolism and How It Affects Weight Gain and Weight Loss

    Whether you are exploring weight loss surgery options or have packed on a few pounds because you are getting older, understanding how your body’s metabolism works and how it affects weight gain and weight loss are essential concepts you need to know. Generally speaking, metabolism is how fast our bodies burn the calories we eat and convert it into energy or store it away as fat.

    Understanding Metabolism

    Metabolic functions occur constantly, just like our heart beats, even while we sleep. This is called our resting metabolic rate. It is the amount of energy the body needs to just stay alive. For most people who stick to their recommended daily caloric intake, around sixty to eighty percent of calories are burned during resting states.

    It is the other twenty to forty percent that can cause weight gain if we do not do some other physical activities. In cases where you are consuming more than your recommended daily caloric intake, the body cannot burn those calories, so it stores it away as fat; hence, weight gain.

    In addition, as we get older, our metabolic rates start to slow down. To illustrate, think back to when you were a teenager in puberty, and you could consume as much food as you wanted and never put on any extra weight. This was because your body was expending energy to grow bones, teeth, and muscle, which burned more calories and increased your metabolism.

    If you continue to eat like a teenager as you get older, your body no longer burns calories as fast because your body is essentially fully developed by the time you reach your early twenties. As a result, you start packing on the pounds.

    In order to maintain a high-enough metabolic rate to prevent weight gain, you have to become more active as you get older. This does not mean you have to start lifting weights and build an excessive amount of muscle mass. It simply means you have to do more than you are now.

    House cleaning chores, walking, playing with your kids, and other physical movements are simple activities that help burn calories. If you start incorporating twenty to thirty minutes of cardio and strength training three times a week into your schedule, this will help burn more calories because you are using your muscles.

    Weight Gain and Weight Loss

    Maintaining healthy muscles requires more energy, burns more calories, and increases our metabolism, which also helps burn fat and helps us start to lose weight. However, you do need to be careful about your dietary choices and caloric intake.

    It can be tempting to cut your intake in half and start skipping meals. Both of these things could work against boosting your metabolism. Rather, you only need to cut out about 250 calories from your recommended daily intake and not skip meals, to safely lose a pound or two a week.

    To learn more about metabolism or for assistance in losing weight safely, using either nonsurgical or surgical options, please feel free to contact 1st Choice Weight Loss in Houston at (281) 888-7767 today!

    Disclaimer: This content is provided for general information purposes. All people should consult with their own primary care doctors prior to following the recommendations in any article, blog, post, or video featured on our website. Every person has individual needs and limitations that only his or her primary care physician is aware of.

  • Let’s pack our bag!

    After going through the long process of bariatric surgery, a planned vacation sounds great! What are all the things that we need to foresee? What kind of vacation should you plan? Vacation that involves all you can eat buffet and 24 hour open all inclusive food and drink OR lounging at the pool all day will NOT be an IDEAL vacation for you.

    Several things that you need to ask before you pack your bag: Let's pack our bag!

    When was your surgery? If you had your surgery recently, make sure that you discuss your plan with your surgeon and meet with the dietitian to make sure that you are able to make healthier choices during your vacation. After about 6 weeks of healing process, you shall be able to do activities without extra limitations.

    Where will you go to? If you are going to travel within the country you would have a better idea on what to expect and you can research restaurants/places to eat along the way or places that you will visit. When you are going to a destination that is a bit more exotic, it will definitely help to bring along your protein powder or protein bars for your meal replacements. You probably won’t like the exotic foods that are unusual anyways.

    Will you have time to exercise? If you plan to travel on your schedule and itinerary, you probably be able to fit some time to exercise in between your destinations. However, when you are going with a tour group, you may have more limited time and you shall discuss the schedule ahead of time so that you can fit your exercise time and still follow the group.

    Anywhere you go in the world, you shall enjoy every bit of it! After all, life after surgery shall be lived to the FULLEST! Please call the office if you have any questions or concerns when planning your vacation, we will be happy to help!

  • Who is The Biggest Loser?

    America is addicted with reality TV shows, not only those involving lots of drama but also weight loss related shows. Many reality TV shows such as the Biggest Loser or Extreme Weight Loss or Extreme Make Over involves extreme exercise, super strict diet and intense training sessions. Others such as American Ninja Warrior or Dancing with the stars involve extreme physical capability that most of us will not even come close to trying to perform. Sure it is fun to watch all the drama and funny moves that comes with it, but what do we learn from watching the shows? Who is The Biggest Loser?

    Are you getting challenged after watching these shows? Are you saying that you can do it too? or is it discouraging you even more as far as your physical ability. How realistic are the goals that we have for ourselves? I think that we all know what to do to live healthier and increase our quality of life. It is a matter of whether or not you have the motivation or will power to do what you want to do.

    The Biggest Loser contestants are being studied due to their failure in maintaining the weight loss goal after the show. Contestants had to live in the ranch for about 14 weeks with a trainer and dietitian. During this time they are away from daily life hustle and bustle and able to focus only in losing weight and/or to win the prize. But for almost all of them, keeping the weight off turned out to be a losing battle. Maintaining weight loss is just as hard as losing it.

    I have learned that yes most of us know what to do to lose weight or maintain your weight loss, but the guidance of your doctor/surgeon and dietitian is always necessary as constant reminder and motivator also as your cheerleader when you are doing above and beyond. Having had weight loss surgery means that you have survived the “ranch life” as it was in the TV show, but the maintenance with follow up care is just AS important as your life in the ranch.