• 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.

    Sources

    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.

    Healthy-foods-to-lose-weight

    Nutritionist

    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.

    Nutritionist-weight-loss

    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.

    happy-man-brushing-hair-with-comb-front-of-mirror

    Self-Talk

    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!”

    Self-Acceptance

    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.

    best-friends-laughing-and-motivation-to-weight-loss

    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.

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  • 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.

  • 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.
    Source

    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.

    Consultation

    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.

    lifestyle-gastric-sleeve

    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.

  • Gastric Sleeve Recovery-What You Should Know

    After sleeve bariatric surgery both weight loss and improved quality of life are within reach. However, patients will experience a number of things following surgery that anyone planning to have this procedure should know about.

    Immediately Following Surgery

    On the day the surgery is completed, patients are typically not likely to experience large amounts of pain. You also won’t eat anything immediately following surgery due to the fact that the stomach needs to heal. Activity-wise, you will be encouraged to get up and walk in order to reduce your pain, prevent blood clots, and improve your breathing.

    Mentally and emotionally, you may be wondering whether you made the right decision to have the surgery. this is only short lived.

    The Day After Surgery

    You are still in the hospital, you will be expected to move from IV pain medication to orally administered medication. As well, you will likely be allowed to drink clear liquids, after a test is done on your stomach to verify all is OK. although you may not yet feel hungry.

    Your surgeon will by now have recommended a diet for you—one that needs to be followed in order for healing to take place. Your family and friends may be visiting, but may not understand what you’re going through. Invite them, if you like, to participate in your surgeon and dietitian visits so they know how to help you.

    Pain and Activity Expectations

    The pain should lessen with each day. and most patient by the third or fourth day are off any pain medications. activity is increasing in the form of more walking and daily light activity, but no driving until cleared by the doctor.

    Dietary and Activity Expectations

    Your surgeon will have given you a prescribed diet for the days following your surgery. This diet should always be followed with no exceptions. Your surgeon will advise you as to when it’s time to move from one stage to the next. Following this diet is absolutely essential in order for complete healing to occur, and to prevent problems.

    Your surgeon will also advise you as to the activities you can and cannot attempt at each stage of your recovery. This advice should also be followed very closely and without exception.

    Hydration

    lifestyle gastric sleeve

    Patients who have had gastric sleeve surgery are at higher risk of dehydration. That being said, it’s important to avoid diuretic liquids and ensure you’re drinking enough fluids. Not doing so can send you back to the ER and hospital for hydration via IV.

    Counseling

    The mental and emotional effects of gastric sleeve surgery may take some time to come to terms with. Talking to your surgeon or other medical personnel about any problems you may have dealing with this major life change can ensure you receive the help you need to reach your goal of a healthier lifestyle.

    Sleeve gastrectomy surgery and other weight loss solutions are available from 1st Choice Weight Loss; call (281) 888-7767 for more information.

    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 & My Body MD Support Group