Thanksgiving after Bariatric Surgery: Planning for Success

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Thanksgiving is traditionally a day to count your blessings. It is not, however a day traditionally known for counting calories; quite the contrary! We usually gather around a huge meal full of fat-laden and sugary foods. Facing a holiday like this after weight-loss surgery can be daunting, but there are ways to enjoy the occasion without losing your resolve, or even worse, becoming ill from over indulgence. Planning is the key.

If you are hosting the meal, fill your table with delicious foods that you know you can eat. Using low-sodium broths and other substitutes can significantly lower calories without diminishing the taste of many traditional turkey day favorites. When you do your shopping, buy extra storage bags and disposable storage containers. This way you will be ready to send leftovers home with your guests, and they won’t have to worry about getting a dish back to you.

If celebrating outside of your home, eating something healthy before going can help keep you from eating too much due to being overly hungry. In addition, most hosts are happy for guests to bring something. Ask if you can bring your “specialty.” Nobody has to know that your version of sweet potatoes is actually healthy, and you will know there will be something there that you can eat.

Propose a new Thanksgiving tradition – an after-dinner walk! Everyone will benefit and feel so much better than if they fall into a tryptophan trance watching football on the sofa.

Perhaps the best advice is to put down your fork and converse. Use this time to learn more about the people you love. Instead of making this holiday all about the food, take time to be thankful for the people surrounding you. You will be with family and friends, many of whom will want to compliment you on how great you look! In preparation for the day, practice saying thank you so that it feels natural because you will probably say it many, many times on Thanksgiving.

Pedometers: Stepping Up Your Exercise Routine

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Walking is arguably the simplest exercise for most people. It can be done indoors or out, no special lessons are required, and supportive, comfortable shoes are just about all the equipment that is required. Why then are more than one half of U.S. adults not meeting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ recommendation of 30 minutes or more of exercise on most days of the week? There’s always that pesky little thing called motivation, or the lack of it, that seems to get in the way.

If you’re looking to kick start an exercise routine, consider wearing a pedometer. It might be one of the least expensive and most effective ways to climb out of a couch-potato rut. Pedometers are fairly simple little devices that count the number of steps you take by detecting movement. Most can be worn on your waistband or even kept in a pocket. More elaborate models tell the time, calculate how many calories you’ve burned (based on your weight), and keep daily step tallies over an entire week.

Research has shown that pedometers are a good motivational tool, although maybe not by themselves. Several randomized trials show that it’s the combination of wearing a pedometer and having a goal that’s most effective. A common one is 10,000 steps a day, which is equivalent to about five miles, depending on the length of your stride. Walking 10,000 steps a day may seem like a lot, but given that many of us already take between 6,000 and 7,000 steps daily, it isn’t that much more to add.

Put another way, those additional 3,000 to 4,000 steps add up to about a mile and a half, a distance most of us can cover in about 30 minutes. A half an hour is easy to work into a busy life, especially when you consider the exercise guidelines that say we can divide up those 30 minutes into 10-minute chunks and still get health benefits.

It’s not hard to find a pedometer to buy these days, and a decent one can be purchased for less than $50. Any large sporting goods store sells them, and you can buy them online. Ask Dr. Tsuda about which pedometer is right for you!

Weight-loss Surgery: Is It Right for You?

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Weight-loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, makes surgical changes to your stomach and digestive system. These changes work to limit how much food you can eat and how many nutrients you absorb, which leads to weight loss. Weight-loss surgery can help reduce your risk of weight-related health problems too — such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, and sleep apnea.

Breakthroughs in bariatric surgery have improved the lives of many, but it isn’t for everyone. Like any major surgical procedure, there are significant health risks, and there may be side effects. In addition, the long-term success of gastric bypass surgery is dependent on your ability to make permanent changes in your lifestyle. How do you decide if it’s right for you?

In many cases, you must meet certain medical guidelines and go through a thorough screening process to see if you qualify. Here are some general guidelines to see if weight-loss surgery might be an option you should consider:

  • If efforts to lose weight through diet and exercise have been unsuccessful
  • If your body mass index (BMI) falls into the extreme obesity category (40 or higher)
  • If your BMI falls into the obese category (35 to 39.9), and you have a serious weight-related health problem such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, severe arthritis, or obstructive sleep apnea
  • In some cases, you may qualify for certain types of weight-loss surgery if your BMI is 30 to 34 and you have serious weight-related health problems.

Bariatric surgery is lifesaving for some people, taking off pounds that have hurt their health, but it’s not right for everyone who has a lot of weight to lose.  If you’re thinking about it, talk with Dr. Tsuda about the benefits and risks, and whether it’s a good idea for you.

Weight-loss Surgery: Benefits Go Beyond Losing Pounds

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Bariatric surgery is a term which describes several operations used for weight loss in people with severe obesity. When these procedures were developed many years ago, they were designed solely for weight loss and were often thought to be risky and fraught with complications.

Two major changes have occurred recently which have altered the way the public thinks about bariatric surgery. First, the main procedures that are used – gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and adjustable gastric band – are considered safe. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the mortality rate for bariatric surgery (3 out of 1000) is similar to that of a gallbladder removal and considerably less than that of a hip replacement. The exceptionally low death rate with bariatric surgery is extraordinary considering that most patients affected by severe obesity are in poor health and have one or more life-threatening diseases at the time of their surgery. When the benefits and the risks of surgery are reviewed for the specific person, the benefits usually outweigh the risks.

Second, there is better understanding now as to the overall potential benefits of this surgery beyond just the obvious effect of losing weight. Blood sugar levels and type 2 diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and cholesterol levels have been improving through surgery and can have an impact on lowering the risk of future cardiac disease and possibly improve the ability to live longer. Weight-loss surgery often significantly improves other obesity-related issues such as depression, acid reflux, arthritis, sleep apnea, and others. Thus, bariatric surgery is rapidly becoming the preferred treatment for severe obesity and its associated health problems.

When combined with a comprehensive treatment plan, bariatric surgery can be an effective tool to provide long-term weight loss and help you increase your quality of health. Significant weight loss through bariatric surgery may also pave the way for many other exciting opportunities for you and your family. If you think you might be a candidate for bariatric surgery, contact the offices of Dr. Tsuda for more information.

Exercise After Weight-loss Surgery: Taking the Correct Steps

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If you’re considering weight-loss surgery or have already had it, your commitment to healthy eating and regular exercise is critical to your long-term success. Bariatric surgery is a wonderful tool that helps patients with clinical obesity lose weight and gain their lives back, but making healthy life changes afterward is important.

In order to lose the maximum amount of weight and to maintain that loss, it is important to incorporate exercise into your routine. Keep in mind that exercise doesn’t have to include a trip to the gym. Taking the stairs at work, parking farther away, and even doing housework can be exercise. There are many ways to get a great workout and enjoy it at the same time.

Exercise burns calories, reduces fat while building muscle, increases energy, lowers blood pressure, and strengthens bones. Exercise even improves self-esteem and relieves stress!

Excess body weight often restricts your ability to be physically active, and it is important to understand how to work around these limitations. Many patients find it difficult to exercise prior to surgery due to health conditions such as difficulty breathing, knee or back pain, or heart conditions. Even after surgery and significant weight loss, it’s important to recognize how to exercise in order to complement your weight-loss efforts while remaining injury free.

Determined by your individual case and the type of surgery you have, Dr. Tsuda and his team will give you clear guidelines as to what kind of exercise you are permitted to do. For the first weeks after surgery you should focus on your recovery before beginning your exercise routine. Once you feel up to it (and have your doctor’s permission), you can begin completing low impact exercises such as sitting exercises, leg lifts, arm rotations, and even walking – one of the easiest and most effective ways to begin building stamina.

Start slow. There’s a big difference between sore muscles and sharp pain. If something feels a little off, make sure that you stop immediately and contact us with any questions.