• 8 Ways to Burn 500 Calories a Day

    You’ve considered your options for weight loss surgery, and you’ve decided that you can do some of the hard work yourself. You’ve found the motivation to get out there and shed the pounds. Now what?

    Although it may seem like a monumental task ahead of you, losing weight doesn’t have to consume your life. Here are eight quick and simple ways you can burn 500 calories a day— without stressing out!

    Why 500 Calories?

    500 calories might seem like a fairly low figure (especially when you keep in mind how quickly you can consume 500 calories), but it works well for motivation and setting goals. On average, a pound of excess weight takes about 3500 calories to burn off. While this varies slightly depending on the individual, what this means is that if you’re burning 500 calories a day, you’ll lose one pound every week.

    Setting Goals for Big Weight Loss

    One pound per week definitely doesn’t seem like much, either. However, if you’re looking to lose more than 100 pounds or make large weight-loss gains, the key is consistency and looking at the long term. Losing 100 pounds can be daunting, it can feel like you’re taking the first step up a huge mountain – but put it in perspective: losing one pound, 100 times? That’s definitely achievable, particularly with the help of weight loss professionals guiding you along your journey.

    overweight man and woman lifting dumbbells

    Go Your Own Way

    If you’re overweight and just starting to get active, you’ll need to choose exercises that don’t place undue stress on your weight-bearing joints. With that in mind, here are eight fabulous ways to burn off those calories in a flash:

    Swimming Laps

    Just half an hour per day will get you right on the 500 calories mark. Better still, floating in water relieves a lot of pressure on your joints.


    You don’t have to step into the ring to fight off the pounds. Thirty-five minutes with a heavy punching bag will do the trick.


    A relaxing hour on the mat is all it takes to reach your target.

    Aqua Aerobics

    A wonderful way in the summer to cool off and get active at the same time.


    When all else seems like too much, maybe it’s time to put the headphones on and get outside for some fresh air and scenery. To burn 500 calories, you only need to walk for less than an hour or about three miles!


    Join a fun, like-minded community and make some lifelong friends out there on the water. Rowing can be as easy or as hard as you like, and just half an hour of it will get you to your daily target.

    Ballroom Dancing

    Who said losing weight couldn’t be fun? Mix up your routine with one hour-long class a week, and your 500 calories are done, too!


    There’s a reason that many people turn to this sport in retirement: It’s easy on the body, fun, a good way to get out in nature, and nine holes are enough to kick out 500 calories.

    overweight woman walking on forest trail

    Don’t Forget Your Diet

    Losing one pound a week is a great start, but, if you really want to rack up the wins, real weight loss starts in the kitchen. Often, the problem isn’t a lack of exercise, but that a person’s diet is high in calories and low in nutrition.

    You need to flip that on its head: Avoid simple carbohydrates and sugars, and instead, eat filling, high-protein meals like lean meats, eggs, vegetables, and fish. Aim for an intake of 1200 calories per day, and you’ll see those pounds melting away!

    We’re Here to Help

    Making the decision to lose weight is difficult but rewarding. There are just as many ways to exercise and diet as there are types of weight loss surgery, and it’s hard to know which is the right option for you.

    If you need unbiased guidance, or would like to find out more about gastric sleeve surgery or weight loss alternatives, come to 1st Choice Weight Loss or call us at (281) 888-7767. We’ll always be here to help!


    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. All patients have individual needs and limitations that only their treating physicians can be aware of.

  • Why Sleep Is an Important Part of Managing Your Weight

    An important part of managing your weight is getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep can have a significant impact on your weight and make it difficult to reach your goals after weight loss surgery.  

    Watch this video to learn more about the effects of sleep loss on weight. When you don’t get enough rest, a fat-storing hormone called cortisol increases in your blood. Your willpower to stick to your post-bariatric surgery diet is also impacted.  

    If you are ready to win your battle with your weight for good, contact Bariatric Care Centers to learn more about weight loss surgery in Houston. For more information, contact us at (713) 339-1353. 

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

  • What a 2,000 Calorie Diet Plan Really Looks Like

    You’ve probably heard it a thousand times: Calories count when it comes to weight loss—but that generic advice may leave you wondering “How many calories do I need to lose weight?

    That answer varies, depending on your age, weight, sex, and activity level, but a really great starting point is to learn how to follow a 2,000-calorie diet plan. The FDA uses a 2,000-calorie diet to determine nutritional values on food packages.

    healthy meal with rukola turkey, tomatoes and avocado

    Once you are able to understand how much food is in a 2,000-calorie diet plan, you will have an easier time adjusting your calorie intake, depending on your needs and goals.

    How to Read Labels and Count Calories

    The nutritional labels on packaged foods is a primary resource in learning about the calorie content of your food. You’ll need to make note of both the portion size and the number of calories per portion. The portion size may be an amount (“23 almonds”), or it may be given by volume (1/4 cup) or weight (28g).

    Some portions might be much smaller than the amount you’d expect. That is because some foods pack more calories than others, meaning they are more calorie-dense, even if they appear small on your plate. That’s why it’s important to accurately measure your portions based on the nutrition facts label. Measuring cups, spoons, and a food scale can help you get started.

    Once you know how many calories are in your food, you can determine how much to eat at each meal. If you eat three times per day, you can have roughly 700 calories at each meal—but, realistically, you won’t have the same calorie content in every meal, and you’ll likely to save some calories for light snacks in between meals.

    You can write down your calories in a journal or track them with an calorie calculator app on your smartphone. Don’t forget about calories in beverages, either, as calories from milk, juice, coffee, soda and other drinks quickly add up!

    Macronutrients Matter

    If you’re following a 2,000 calorie diet plan for weight loss, you will want to pick foods that leave you feeling satisfied. After all, you could eat 2,000 calories worth of cookies and soda in a single sitting and be hungry for the rest of the day.

    lemon pepper chicken with rice

    This is why it’s also important to check the macronutrients on your food labels. You’ll want to focus on foods that are higher in protein. Fat can help you feel full, too, but it does contain more calories. When it comes to foods that have more carbohydrate content, look for foods that are high in fiber and low in sugar – such wheat bread.

    You can improve your dietary habits by working with our team of medical weight loss experts. Whether you’re interested in weight loss surgery or non-surgical alternatives, the team at 1st Choice Weight Loss can help. If you’re ready to take the first step on your weight loss journey, request 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, posts, or videos. All patients have individual needs and limitations that only their treating physicians can be aware of.

  • 5 Best Exercises to Lose Weight Fast

    As you research or prepare for bariatric weight loss surgery, you’ll discover new habits to support your weight loss goals. If you start exercising to lose weight, you’ll want to know what exercise burns the most calories.

    healthy woman walking on treadmill

    How Many Calories Does Exercise Burn?

    When it comes to burning calories and losing weight, not all exercise is created equal. Lower intensity exercises like leisurely walks or stretching will burn fewer calories per hour than more vigorous exercises like running or swimming.

    These five exercises can all help you lose weight, but you can use this information to compare how many calories they burn per 30-minute workout.1


    Riding your bike for 30 minutes at a speed of 10mph or faster burns 295 calories. This is a good option if you have access to a stationary bike, to avoid injuries, and the bad effect of repeated impact on your weight bearing joints, back, tendons and muscles; biking on the road, might not be a good option for overweight individuals, We Recommend that you consult with your physician prior to starting any new activity or exercise.


    Swimming slow freestyle laps for half an hour burns 255 calories. Swimming is a good option for people considering weight loss surgery because it is a low-impact exercise that offers an intense total-body workout.

    fat man in the swimming pool


    30 minutes of high-intensity aerobics burns 240 calories. Although step aerobics may be the first activity that comes to mind, water aerobics is a good option to minimize joint pain, and injuries, again we recommend that you consult with your physician prior to any exercise.


    Taking a 30-minute walk at a brisk pace burns 230 calories. Walking at a more moderate speed still burns 140 calories, so be sure to pick a speed that’s comfortable for you. Daily walking is a great habit to include after you have weight loss surgery.


    Hiking is the perfect workout for people who’d rather be out in nature than inside of a gym. A 30-minute hike at a moderate pace burns 185 calories.

    Find the Best Exercises for You

    Whether you’re having surgery to lose weight or just trying to get fit, remember that there’s more to exercise than burning calories. Strength training didn’t make the top five for calories burned, but it’s important for strengthening your muscles and bones.2 And even though it’s not the most intense option, experts still believe that a daily walk may be the best option for overall health and weight loss.3

    Diet is also an essential component of any weight loss goal. If you look back at the calories burned, you’ll see that the amounts are similar to the calories in a 20-ounce soda. In other words, you could do hours of intense exercise every day, but if you don’t have a healthy diet, you might not lose any weight at all.

    With both diet and exercise, it’s best to make moderate changes and develop healthy habits. The team of professionals at 1st Choice Weight Loss can offer you the education and support you need to see long-lasting weight loss. Call us today at (281) 888-7767 to discover the right weight loss option for you.

    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.


    1. https://www.choosemyplate.gov/physical-activity-calories-burn
    2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/exercise/art-20050999
    3. https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/8-ways-to-burn-calories-and-fight-fat#1

  • Diet vs. Exercise: Why Weight Loss Starts in the Kitchen

    Whether you’ve just started your weight loss journey or you’re preparing for weight loss surgery, you might think the first step is to join the gym. After all, a crowded gym is the first image that comes to mind when you think of weight loss resolutions.

    But don’t spend hours trying to burn off those extra pounds when your time could be better spent in the kitchen, not the gym. For people who are overweight or are considering surgery to lose weight, focusing on a healthy diet is the key to weight loss success.

    organic fresh cherry tomatoes

    Why Diet Matters Most for Weight Loss

    Our modern lifestyle leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to both the quality of our diet and our daily activity levels. But if you are overweight or obese and exploring different types of weight loss surgery, you’ll see the best results by focusing on your diet.

    It all comes down to calories in versus calories out. With large portion sizes and calorie-dense foods, it’s easy for one meal to undo the caloric burn of an entire workout. And to make matters worse, exercising often increases your appetite, meaning that you might end up eating more calories in the hours after you’ve hit the gym.1

    At the end of the day, prioritizing diet over exercise for weight loss is simply more efficient. It would take hours in the gym (not counting your commute time) to match the calorie reduction of even modest dietary changes.2

    Why Exercise Is Still Important

    woman doing triceps workout at gym

    Just because exercise isn’t the fastest way to lose weight, doesn’t mean it’s not good for your health. Be sure to include some daily activity if you want to experience the many benefits of exercise beyond weight loss3:

    ● Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes
    ● Improve mood
    ● Sleep better
    ● Strengthen bones and muscles

    With both diet and exercise, commit to moderate improvements that you can stick to long term. These lifestyle changes will set you up for success both before and after your bariatric weight loss surgery.

    If you have questions about what it takes to see lasting weight loss results and improve your health, contact us to discuss different types of weight loss surgery. Our weight loss programs include support for sticking to a healthy diet and increasing physical activity. Call 1st Choice Weight Loss at (281) 888-7767 to learn about the program that’s right for you.

    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.


    1. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/16/upshot/to-lose-weight-eating-less-is-far-more-important-than-exercising-more.html
    2. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/diet-or-exercise-for-weight-loss_us_56b39481e4b08069c7a660d0
    3. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm

  • Working with a Registered Dietitian Before and After Weight Loss Surgery

    If you are about seriously overweight (about 100 pounds or more) and are looking into weight loss surgery, you may be wondering about medical weight loss programs . A registered dietitian can provide you with the tools you need to support your overall health, both before and after your procedure.

    Registered Dietitian vs. Nutritionist

    Although some people think the terms “dietitian” and “nutritionist” are interchangeable, they are actually two different things. While both occupations focus on helping others achieve a healthier lifestyle, it’s important to understand the differences between them, and why a registered dietitian is the best option for weight loss surgery patients.

    Registered Dietitian

    A registered dietitian is a food and nutrition expert. They become qualified by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics and participating in an internship. They must also obtain a license to consult on nutrition and diet. Registered dietitians must take a national exam, as well as participate in ongoing education to retain their licenses.

    Registered dietitians educate their clients about sound nutritional habits, as well as develop diets that meet their clients’ individual needs following surgery to lose weight. They can also supervise their clients as they prepare their food to ensure that a patient’s obesity is being well-managed.



    Nutritionists are involved with the study of nutrients and how they affect diet. They can also be involved in the diagnosis of nutritional issues of whole communities and seek solutions for these issues.

    The requirements to become a nutritionist are different from those required for registered dietitians. Not all nutritionists will choose to pursue a formal degree. However, many nutritionists could be certified by the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. or other organizations. Nutritionists must also participate in a two-year associate degree or distance learning program.

    How Dietitians Benefit You After Surgery

    Dietitians provide you with lot of information that goes beyond advising you on healthy foods to eat. For instance, a registered dietitian can help prepare you prior to bariatric surgery for weight loss by advising you on the changes you’ll need to make. They will also illustrate the importance of macronutrients—the healthy fats, carbs, and proteins—to your continued dietary success following surgery. After surgery, a dietitian can monitor you for any counter-intuitive eating behaviors which may be barriers to your success.


    Dietitians can also counsel you, assess the adequacy of your diet, identify and correct food intolerances, and ensure that you maintain mineral and vitamin supplementation. As well, they’re there to provide answers and support when you need it.

    Getting the Most from Your Registered Dietitian

    It’s true that a dietitian can help to keep you motivated and focused on your new healthy lifestyle. However, in order to get the most benefit from your registered dietitian weight loss program, you will need to help them by being honest with them about your hopes, concerns, and progress.

    1st Choice Weight Loss and our staff can accompany you through each stage of your personal weight loss journey. Call (281) 888-7767 to discover all of the benefits.

    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. All patients have individual needs and limitations that only their treating physicians can be aware of.

  • 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.

  • The Mirza Clinics & Denise Bradley Support Group

  • 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.

  • 1st Choice Weight Loss-Success Stories & Facts About Our Company

    woman smiling

    With leading weight loss surgeons, 1st Choice Weight Loss has helped our patients lose thousands of pounds! We work hand-in-hand with each of our patients to determine their weight-loss goals. Not only do we offer different types of weight loss surgery , we also specialize in non-surgical approaches that will help you to achieve your weight loss goals.
    Our Weight Loss Services
    Our talented and trained staff members will work with you to provide the tools you need to start your journey toward losing weight and living a healthier life. We offer bariatric surgery as well as medical weight-loss programs to help you reach your goals.
    Partnered with our staff and support groups, we position you to be successful now, as well as in the long run.
    During your initial consultation, we will discuss the weight loss options available to you. We give patients the choice between non-surgical and surgical care. You even have a say in which physician you want to work with! At 1st Choice Weight Loss, we embrace the idea of allowing patients to pave their own path.
    Those We’ve Helped
    Through the use of medical weight loss surgery and non-surgical programs, we’ve helped patients from all walks of life to meet their weight-loss goals.
    Let’s tell Stephanie’s story. She came to our office tired, overweight, and unable to shed the pounds she desperately wanted to get rid of. After her health plummeted, she decided to have the gastric sleeve procedure. Her hard work and dedication have allowed her to completely turn her life around! She worked with Dr. Mirza and staff to get on the right path. Not only does she feel and look great, she can do things she never imagined—like play with her children!
    Stephanie’s success is possible for any patients who are dedicated to meeting their goal of a healthier and happier life.
    Embrace the Journey
    Just as you didn’t gain weight overnight, you don’t want to lose it that quickly, either. No matter what weight-loss program you choose, it’s important to realize that the journey to losing weight is a marathon, not a sprint. Laparoscopic weight loss surgery and medical weight-loss programs are just tools. If you don’t use them, you won’t lose weight.
    Similar to running a race, there will be hurdles along the way. You may slip up on your diet or not feel up to exercising—and that is okay! What’s important is that you pick yourself back up. You have to be in it for the long run if you want to meet your goals and take control of your life.
    The key to meeting your weight loss goals is to adhere to the program that you’re given. This includes eating a wholesome diet, exercising, and attending support groups to discuss any issues you’re having and to get the help you need.
    woman with measurement machine

    You, Too, Can Be a Success Story
    It’s never too late to regain control of your life and turn your health around. At 1st Choice Weight Loss, we offer minimally invasive weight loss surgery as well as medical weight-loss programs to help you uncover the healthier version of you.
    Make today the day you say enough! Contact our office at (281) 888-7767 to take back your life.
    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 video. All patients have individual needs and limitations that only their treating physicians can be aware of.