• Setting Goals and Finding Motivation to Stay on the Weight Loss Path

    Whether you’ve been diagnosed as being obese, have recently undergone weight loss surgery, or both, you are likely participating in a medical weight loss program and on the path to a healthier you. However, as you may know, this long journey will see you experiencing good times as well as those which are challenging. Knowing how to maintain your motivation through those tough times will be the key; let’s look at some tips for success.

    Goal Setting

    Setting goals in your head is one thing but, by writing them down, you are far more likely to achieve them. So, the first thing to do is grab a notepad and pen, and then really think about what you want to achieve and why. The more specific and realistic you can be, the better.

    For example, you could write down a specific number of pounds you want to lose. You could also be specific about how long you plan to spend exercising and on how many days per week. The point is to solidify these goals, and then tackle them one at a time.



    We all have that annoying voice in our heads that tries to convince us we aren’t good enough. All too often, it’s this voice that causes setbacks after surgery to lose weight. Believe it or not, we do have complete control over this voice because it is us. So, how do you silence that voice for good while you’re trying to exercise, eat healthfully, and lose weight? Flip it over. As soon as you think, “I’m going to fail at this,” replace that thought with, “I’m going to be great at this!”


    This is something that can be very difficult for many of us to do but, if you can do it, it will give you the resilience you need when times get difficult. Take a good look at yourself in the mirror and find the beauty that is there. Pick out those aspects of your appearance that you like. Look into your own eyes and say, “I like you.” Gradually, work your way to, “I love you.” The change this will make to your weight loss journey—and your life—will amaze you.


    Your Circle

    The support you have around you will make all the difference after bariatric weight loss surgery. If you have friends who have the same goals as you do, consider exercising with them to keep your motivation up. Keeping in touch with friends or family members who can lend a sympathetic ear when you need it is another great resource.

    Get Started Today

    Finding the right dietary and emotional support for your weight loss journey can be a challenge. The professionals at 1st Choice Weight Loss offer the education, support, and encouragement you need to make the best choice for your long-term health; discover the benefits of working with 1st Choice Weight Loss by calling (281) 888-7767.

    Disclaimer: This is only for general information. All patients should consult their doctors prior to following any of the recommendations in any articles, post, or video. Every patient has individual needs and limitations that only their treating physicians can be aware of.

  • Gastric Sleeve: Is It the Right Choice for You?

    Also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy, gastric sleeve surgery is a procedure that has helped millions to lose weight. If you are obese and have been unable to lose weight over the years after many attempts to do so, you may be considering this procedure. Fortunately, if you research gastric sleeve surgery and speak with a bariatric surgeon about your candidacy, you can learn more about whether it’s the best weight loss surgery option for you.

    Who Is Eligible for Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
    Body mass index—or BMI—along with patient age, are two of the determining factors of suitability for gastric sleeve surgery.

    Patients who are considered to be candidates for the procedure will have a BMI of at least 40, which means, in general, she/he is approximately 100 pounds overweight or more. Patients may also have a BMI of 35 with at least one medical condition related to their obesity. BMI is measured by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters twice.

    Typically, those who are considering this surgery have made a serious effort to lose weight but have had no results or no lasting success, and the typical patient age is between 18 and 60.

    Finally, candidates are ready and willing to make significant changes to their lifestyles, including sticking to the post-surgery diet and then making lifelong dietary changes.

    Other Facts About Gastric Sleeve Surgery
    Although not reversible, gastric sleeve surgery has been proven to be safe and minimally -invasive compared to other procedures such as the gastric bypass or duodenal switch.

    This type of surgery will cause patients to produce less ghrelin, the hormone responsible for creating the feeling of hunger because large portion of the stomach that produces it is removed. Because less of the hormone is produced following surgery, patients will feel less hunger.

    Although a part of the stomach is removed, this surgery leaves the pyloric valve and small intestine intact, which is another reason this surgery is safer.

    What Amount of Weight Loss You Can Expect
    Typically, patients who undergo gastric sleeve surgery can lose from 60-80% of their excess weight over a 24-month period. However, individual results can vary.

    woman chopping vegetables

    Choosing the Right Surgery
    Discerning which procedure is right for you can be a daunting task. If you are struggling to decide about sleeve surgery, the professionals at 1st Choice Weight Loss can help. We provide the information you need to make the best choice for your weight loss goals.

    1st Choice Weight Loss puts the control in your hands, letting you choose which physician you want to work with. Call us today at (281) 888-7767.

    Disclaimer: This is only for general information. All patients should consult their doctors prior to following any of the recommendations in any articles, posts, or videos. All patients have individual needs and limitations that only their treating physicians can be aware of.

  • Obesity Doesn’t Have to Be Forever, Thanks to Weight Reduction Surgery!

    The struggle to lose weight and keep it off is real for many people of all ages. Some people hop from one fad diet to the next. Initially, they might take off the weight and be overjoyed at their success. However, once they slowly wean off the diet, the weight starts to return.
    Other people might try a combination of healthier eating and exercise. While this approach can be effective for a small percentage of people, for others it does not last long. They may start to make excuses to get out of exercising. Another issue people face is overcoming their cravings for unhealthy foods and not giving in to these temptations.
    woman rest after exercise
    In fact, the complexities of losing weight and keeping it off were the focus of a study conducted in the United Kingdom back in 2015. This study found that most people have a very low likelihood of losing weight and maintaining a normal weight level if they were obese.
    According to the study data, for every 210 men and 124 women, only one male and one female will lose and keep their weight off.1 Part of the reason for failure is not due to a lack of desire to lose weight, but, rather, due to the ineffectiveness of current weight loss diets.
    Weight loss diets and programs were found to not work for the majority of men and women in the United Kingdom. The general idea for weight loss diets is to reduce calorie intake, increase exercise, and eliminate unhealthy foods.
    Fighting obesity also has to take into account each person’s lifestyle. People with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and other such medical conditions may have additional requirements for losing weight effectively and keeping it off.
    One interesting thing the study did mention is that it followed a sampling of 278,982 people over a ten-year period using information from their electronic health records. Yet the study eliminated all those people who had weight reduction surgery and did not track them.
    The reason these people were removed from the study data is that weight loss surgery is an effective way to lose weight and keep it off. It requires the individual to be fully committed to making major lifestyle changes, which include a change in dietary habits and increased activity levels.
    preparing food diet
    Most people who undergo weight loss surgery tend to keep the weight off afterward. Even in cases where some people regain a little weight, the amount regained is a fraction of what they previously weighed prior to surgery.
    Post-surgery, people normally have an improved outlook on life. With this new outlook comes a new motivation to work at maintaining their desired weight levels.
    If you are struggling with losing weight and keeping it off, you may be an ideal candidate for weight loss surgery. To learn more, please feel free to contact 1st Choice Weight Loss at (281) 888-7767 today to schedule a consultation with one of our weight loss surgery doctors!
    Disclaimer: The information provided here is for general educational purpose only. All people should consult with a doctor prior to following any recommendations or advice in any articles, blogs, videos, or other such posts. All people have individual needs and limitations of which only their treating physicians can be fully aware.

    1. www.bbc.com/news/health-33551498

  • Gastric Sleeve 101: The Basics of Sleeve Gastrectomy

    The journey to weight loss can be a long winding road. Some people see little results even with proper nutrition and exercise. You may be familiar with bariatric surgery but you may not know that gastric sleeve surgery is now the number-one weight loss procedure in the United States.

    Gastric Sleeve Basics

    Basics of Sleeve Gastrectomy

    Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as a sleeve gastrectomy, is a laparoscopic weight loss surgery that reduces the size of the stomach by approximately 15 percent. This leaves a stomach about the size and shape of a banana. After the surgery, the stomach experiences more than just a lowered capacity; it changes the amount of hunger hormone released.

    The stomach controls the release of the hunger hormone ghrelin. A gastric sleeve removes a significant portion of the stomach( averaging 70-80 %), in turn, reducing the amount of stomach available to release ghrelin. The consequent change in stomach size reduces the amount of ghrelin released into the body. This results -on average- in the loss of two to five pounds per week post-op, as long as the patient carefully follows post-op dietary and medical recommendations.


    Before scheduling gastric sleeve surgery, patients must go through a consultation and pre-op preparation process. You should have already consulted your regular physician before meeting with a bariatric surgeon.

    At your initial meeting, be prepared to provide the following information:

    • List of your prescription medications
    • Medical history, including the history of close family members
    • Primary physician’s name and phone number

    With your surgeon, you’ll go over the factors that might make gastric sleeve surgery the right choice for you. You’ll need to answer questions about your physical and mental health, as well as go over the risks associated with gastric sleeve surgery, the changes it will make to your post-op life, and whether the procedure will be covered by your health insurance.

    What to Expect Pre-Op

    Surgeons provide pre-op instructions, which should be closely followed. Those instructions may include:

    • Cessation of some medications
    • Hygiene recommendations
    • Medications that should be taken before surgery
    • When food and drink should be stopped
    • Supplies necessary after surgery
    • List of medications that can be swallowed or crushed after surgery

    If you have any questions before the surgery, don’t hesitate to call your surgeon to reduce your concerns or worries. Dr. Mirza provides his cell number before surgery so you could call him anytime.


    Talk with your surgeon about the support available from the staff during recovery. You can also ask about whom to call in case of an emergency after hours. Your surgeon may also provide information about support groups to help manage the emotional changes that accompany a physical transformation.

    What to Expect Post-Op

    Gastric sleeve surgery comes with a relatively quick hospital time—one to two days—and a short recovery time. Pain and discomfort should be expected but can be effectively treated with pain medication. You should be able to return to work five to seven days after surgery, if your job is not very physical, but might be longer if it is.

    You’ll be on a liquid diet that slowly transitions back to normal foods. Your surgeon and his full-time dietitian will provide instructions about diet, exercise, and follow-up appointments, which should be carefully followed for the most successful results.

    Expectations and Changes

    Gastric sleeve surgery usually results in a two- to five-pound weight change each week. While gastric sleeve surgery is a highly successful procedure, it’s not magic. There can be complications, but very uncommon, and you’ll need to develop a healthy lifestyle. Expect a transition period as you learn how to eat and live with a new body. As you work toward developing a new physical appearance, you’ll find that your emotional health will need attention but can grow stronger as well.

    If you’re ready to make some changes in your life, call us today at 281-888-7767 to set up an appointment today.

    Disclaimer: This is only for general information. All patients should consult their doctors prior to following any of the recommendations in any articles, post, or video. Patients have individual needs and limitations that only their treating physicians can be aware of.

  • 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.

  • Eating After Weight Loss Surgery

    After bariatric surgery in Houston , what you eat will have a significant impact not only on your recovery but also your future weight loss. Watch this video for insight into the typical post-bariatric surgery diet.

    After weight loss surgery, you will typically be asked to follow a clear liquid diet followed by a transition to a full liquid diet. Under the guidance of your weight loss clinic, you will slowly add solid foods to your diet in small amounts. For effective weight loss, your surgeon will likely recommend focusing on lean proteins and cutting the amount of carbs you eat. To avoid complications and gastrointestinal distress, you will need to eat only small amounts at each meal and avoid excessive sugar and fat.

    Disclaimer: This is only for general information, and all patients should run this by their doctors prior to following any recommendations in any of these videos or postings, as every patient has specific needs and limitations, only the treating surgeon could be aware of.

  • Medical and Surgical Approach to Weight Loss

    Obesity is a complicated medical problem without a one-size-fits-all solution. For most people, effective weight loss only occurs when multiple efforts are combined for treatment. Bariatric surgery in Houston can play a significant role in achieving your weight loss goals, and combining surgery with other efforts can lead to even more success. A weight loss clinic can help you determine which approaches are likely to be the most helpful for you. Here are some of the options you may consider. Medical and Surgical Approach to Weight Loss

    Weight Loss Surgery

    Weight loss surgery helps patients overcome obesity by allowing them to feel satisfied with eating less food. Gastric bypass surgery also affects the way food is absorbed, which decreases the number of calories the body retains from what you eat. Weight loss surgery is usually only recommended for patients that meet certain criteria for obesity and then only after other weight loss efforts have failed. While weight loss surgery sets a patient up for success, dietary changes and other complementary treatments may also be part of an overall obesity treatment plan.


    Weight loss medications can be effective with or without weight loss surgery. There are a number of different medications that are available. Some work by reducing your appetite, while others change the way you absorb food. Some patients use these medications before weight loss surgery to encourage pre-surgery weight reduction, and they can help some patients after surgery reach their goals faster and avoid future weight gain. Because of the side effects associated with weight loss medications, they are not the right solution for every patient.

    Dietary Changes

    Weight loss surgery and medications cannot ultimately be effective without dietary changes. After surgery, patients are asked to eliminate fats and added sugars and focus on a diet rich in lean protein. These changes can also support weight loss aided by medications. A weight loss clinic will help you develop an eating plan that is healthy for you and that will support your weight loss efforts.

    Disclaimer: This is only for general information, and all patients should run this by their doctors prior to following any recommendations in any of these videos or postings, as every patient has specific needs and limitations, only the treating surgeon could be aware of.

  • Follow-Up Care After Weight Loss Surgery

    After bariatric surgery, the follow-up care you receive is an integral part of achieving weight loss success. During your follow-ups, not only will you be monitored for signs of complications, but you will also gain knowledge to help you change your life and adopt healthier habits. At 1st Choice Weight Loss , bariatric surgery patients

    Follow-Up Care After Weight Loss Surgery

    receive short and long term follow-up care at our weight loss clinic in Houston to lay the foundation necessary to help them reach their goals.

    At our weight loss clinic, the follow-up care plan is medically supervised and includes reviews of nutrient intake and food journals, monthly support groups on topics related to weight loss surgery, and consultations for weight loss plateau strategies. After the initial follow-up period, patients are able to sign up for additional weight loss services as necessary to support their efforts. This structure allows patients to always have the support they need to achieve healthy and effective weight loss that is sustainable.

    Disclaimer: This is only for general information, and all patients should run this by their doctors prior to following any recommendations in any of these videos or postings, as every patient has specific needs and limitations, only the treating surgeon could be aware of.

  • Your Weight Matters

    Obesity can increase your risk of developing a variety of dangerous health conditions that can significantly lower your lifespan. If you are clinically obese, you should visit a bariatric surgeon to discuss whether you’re a good candidate for bariatric surgery in Houston . Safe and healthy weight loss via weight loss surgery will lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack, blood clots, and stroke.

    Watch this video to find out more about why your weight matters. If you are more than 100 pounds overweight, or if you have tried other healthy ways to lose weight without success, you should consider bariatric surgery or other weight loss surgery options.

    Disclaimer: This is only for general information, and all patients should run this by their doctors prior to following any recommendations in any of these videos or postings, as every patient has specific needs and limitations, only the treating surgeon could be aware of.

  • Busting Myths About Weight Loss Surgery

    If your weight is significantly affecting your health, or if you’re unable to lose excess weight despite diet and exercise, your doctor may recommend that you undergo weight loss surgery near Houston . There have been dramatic advances in medical weight loss, and you have a variety of weight loss surgery options available to you. Keep reading to see some common weight loss surgery myths be debunked. Busting Myths About Weight Loss Surgery

    Myth: Bariatric Surgery is More Dangerous than Obesity

    Many people delay or refuse weight loss surgery because they believe that it is more dangerous than being obese. In truth, obesity is a significant risk factor for a number of very serious medical conditions. The longer that you are overweight, and the more overweight that you are, the more likely you are to develop temporary or permanent health problems. These health problems include diabetes, spine and muscle disorders, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, circulation problems, blood clots, and strokes. The risk of death due to complications from these health problems is higher than the risk of death due to medically indicated bariatric surgery/ weight loss surgery .

    Myth: Diet and Exercise Are the Only Truly Healthy Weight Loss Options

    While diet and exercise can certainly aid in weight loss, they are not the only healthy ways to lose weight. Many people find that they are unable to lose weight or maintain weight loss through diet and exercise alone. If your attempts at weight loss have been unsuccessful, and your weight is affecting your health and happiness, then weight loss surgery is the healthiest weight loss solution for you.

    Myth: Weight Loss Surgery Causes Vitamin Deficiencies

    Some types of weight loss surgery can affect the way that your body absorbs vitamins. Your bariatric surgeon will discuss this risk with you carefully, and will explain how you can ensure that you retain the necessary vitamins and minerals post-surgery. Your vitamin levels will be checked regularly after your surgery, and you will work closely with a nutritionist to make sure you get all of the nutrients that you need.

    This is only for general information. All patients should talk to their doctors before following any recommendations in these blogs. Every patient has unique needs and limitations.