Archive for Weight Loss


Weight Loss & Skin Care

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One reason people lose weight is to feel more comfortable in their own skin. You want healthy, toned skin to improve your overall appearance and flaunt your new body. But many people experience problems with their skin’s elasticity and condition, especially following significant weight loss. Learn how to get your skin in shape during and after major weight loss.


  1. Background

    • As a person gains weight, the skin can stretch to accommodate overinflated fat cells that are just beneath the skin’s surface. But while skin is very elastic, some find that after weight loss, their skin fails to shrink back to its original shape, leaving unsightly bulges and hanging folds that can mask all that weight loss. To what extent you are left with extra skin depends on your skin’s elasticity, which varies depending on your age and genetics, the amount of weight lost and other factors.

    Healthy Weight Loss, Healthy Skin

    • Weight loss specialists advocate slow, steady weight loss as opposed to crash dieting because it ensures proper nutritional balance. But good nutrition is important for your skin, too, and a proper balance of nutrients will help your skin regenerate more quickly. Aim to lose about 1 to 2 lbs. of fat each week. This will give your skin time to adapt to your new body and will allow you to keep a healthy balance of nutrients that will make your skin glow.

    Moisture, Moisture, Moisture

    • When it comes to your skin, moisture means two things: drinking water and consistently using a good moisturizer. Your body needs to be hydrated to properly regenerate cells, including the cells that make up your skin, so drink up. There is no official recommendation for the amount of water you should be drinking, but a good rule of thumb is eight 8 oz. glasses a day, or enough to keep from feeling thirsty. Also, use a good moisturizer all over your body and use it regularly. You can try lotions that claim to be “skin firming,” but more important is that any product you use keep your skin hydrated throughout the day. Creme moisturizers (they come in a tub, not a bottle) are thicker and provide a strong layer of protective moisture if your skin tends to be very dry.

    The Added Value of Exercise

    • If you added exercise to your daily routine to shed pounds, keep it up. If you didn’t, now is a great time to start. Exercise helps rid your body of toxins and gets oxygen flowing, which is great for your skin. In addition, many dieters tend to lose a significant amount of lean muscle mass in addition to fat, but building muscle gives your skin a firm base, making it look smoother. So add a strength training session to your workouts. Aim for two or three 20- to 30-minute strength training sessions each week.

    The Surgical Option

    • For people who have lost very large amounts of weight, for example after weight loss surgery, cosmetic surgery may be an option to remove large folds of skin. Body contouring is a major surgery involving extensive incisions to essentially cut off the sagging skin of patients. Complete body contouring is often done in stages or multiple surgeries and can include lifting the butt, thighs, abdomen, breasts and arms. Like any major surgery, there are many risks, and body contouring may or may not be covered by your insurance. Talk to your primary care physician and specialists before deciding if a surgical option may be appropriate for you.

Find out more about weight loss surgery and the procedure that is right for you by contacting Central Baptist Hospital Surgical Weight Loss Center in Lexington.



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Salsa Chicken

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Salsa ChickenPersonalize this recipe by using your favorite tomato-based salsa. Or try a fruit salsa such as peach, cranberry, or pineapple. Serve over white rice.

 Photo by: Randy Mayor; Jan Gautro
  • YIELD: 4 servings
  • COURSE: Main Dishes


  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons taco seasoning
  • Cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup bottled salsa
  • 2/3 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 (4-ounce) can whole green chiles, drained and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons sliced ripe olives


Preheat oven to 475°.

Combine chicken and seasoning in a medium bowl, tossing to coat. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook for 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Arrange chicken in an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray; top with salsa, cheese, and chiles. Bake at 475° for 8 minutes or until chicken is done and cheese is melted. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream and 1 1/2 teaspoons olives.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 207
  • Calories from fat: 15%
  • Fat: 3.5g
  • Saturated fat: 1.4g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 1.1g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.5g
  • Protein: 33.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 9.5g
  • Fiber: 2.1g
  • Cholesterol: 71mg
  • Iron: 1.5mg
  • Sodium: 587mg
  • Calcium: 130mg


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Healthy eating tips to prevent the winter blues and weight gain…

Water, the number one for any diet, is particularly important on dry winter days.

During cold dry days, our body loses more of it, so it’s important to remember to drink at least 8 glasses every day. Drinking more water also helps curb appetite, which is especially important when you’re snowed in. I know you know all this all ready, but remembering is the most important part of it. If you don’t like your water plain, refer to our post about easy ways to flavor your own water at home.

Include sensible amounts of protein, fruit and vegetables to every meal.

Nutritious foods provide the energy needed throughout the day and help prevent that sluggish feeling we’re so familiar with on cold days. Start your day by making sure you get enough vitamin-C, to support your immune system. Check out these posts for some diet recipes using grapefruit or this free ebook about orange recipes.
Cook a healthy variety of dishes for your family to enjoy rather than meals that are frozen or prepackaged.

Just like fast foods from restaurants, fast foods from the grocery store contain higher amounts of fat, preservatives, and other things that can harm your health. Since you may be spending more times indoors, use it to your advantage, and experiment with making dishes you may have always wanted to try.

Winter still offers fresh veggies such as carrots, leeks, pumpkin, broccoli, and other greens. More so, it’s the season for citrus fruits and crunchy apples, readily available in the produce section.

While you may have to pay slightly more because the veggies are being shipped fairly far, the health benefits more than make up for it. Also, the small luxury of biting into fresh fruit in the middle of winter can be real mood-booster.

One reason people gain weight over the winter is because they get depressed.

We stay inside, get less sunlight, and may feel lonely around or just after the holidays. This triggers appetite for comfort foods that are high in fat and calories. But while food is the problem, it can also be part of the cure. Instead of grabbing for fatty foods when you’re feeling down this winter, why not choose fresh fruits and vegetables to boost your mood. Cook up your favorite recipe to break the cycle instead of fueling it.

You should note not only what you eat, but also how often you eat.

It’s often healthier to eat six smaller meals, or supplement yourself with in between-meal snacks to keep fueled throughout the day. More importantly, eating more often can combat depression. Healthy snacks like fruits, veggies, and whole grains are perfect. My favorite recipe for such an occasion is to cook up a plate of whole wheat spaghetti topped with lightly cooked fresh tomatoes, a little olive oil, fresh spices, fried onions and garlic, sprinkled with fresh grated cheese. My old time, tried-and-true recipe to feed the soul indeed.

Even though it’s winter, we shouldn’t forget that a healthy lifestyle includes not only eating right, but also getting plenty of exercise.

Many of us slack off when it comes to exercising during the winter. Don’t let yourself become a winter’s victim; take time every day to exercise. This will give you more energy to make it through the winter. Tip: Get a gym pass or a stair climber – or simply dance up a storm to your favorite exercise – Dancing with the Stars- DVD for up to an hour every day a week.

If your weight has you down, contact Central Baptist Hospital Surgical Weight Loss Center today and let us show you how you can achieve your weight loss goals.   Located in Lexington, we’re here to assist you on your weight loss journey!


Categories : Diet, Exercise, Weight Loss
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Exercise to Beat the Winter Blues

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There are plenty of ways to stay active and prevent weight gain during the winter.  When you’re busy and tired it’s easy to put off exercise until tomorrow, but sticking to a regular fitness routine is vital if you want to stay in shape and take care of your health.

Just think about all of the effort that you put into your health and fitness over the summer.  It’d be a shame to undo all of your hard work by sitting around feeling miserable all winter.

Exercise Can Help Cure Seasonal Affective Disorder

Keeping up the motivation to exercise on a cold winter day instead of curling up under a warm blanket on the sofa can be difficult, not to mention the allure of all of the yummy holiday treats.  However, in addition to piling on the pounds, slowing down physically can have the unwanted side affect of bringing you down psychologically.  And at a time when the weather is lowering our spirits we need to take practical measures to stay active and happy.

Reasons to Exercise Regularly this Winter

1. Weight Loss

With the imminent influx of mince pies and alcoholically fuelled social eventsalmost upon us we all need to balance out the increase in available calories with a huge dose of will power or some seriously energetic workouts.

I recommend a combination of the two strategies as being the most realistic option.  To maximise your calorie burning potential you should participate in 30 minutes to one hour of vigorous exercise 3 – 5 x per week.

As a guide you should feel like you are working hard; your heart rate and body temperature will increase, as will your breathing will become more rapid.  If it feels like exercise then it is exercise.

Examples of vigorous exercise that will help you to reduce your body fat percentage are jogging, cycling, circuit training and spinning.

2. Positive Body Image to Combat SAD

It’s difficult to enjoy the Christmas parties if you don’t fit into any of your sexy dresses/DJs!  A positive body image is a sure fire way to beat SAD. Don’t panic, you’ve still got time to get into shape and feel your best.

Exercise can make you feel better about yourself by optimising your physical condition and helping you to reach a healthy weight.

For this I recommend a combination of resistance exercise to tone your muscles and cardiovascular exercise to reduce your body fat percentage.

3. Energy Boost = Mood Enhancement

If you are feeling sluggish and fatigued first thing in the morning, improve your energy levels with a Yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong session.  Each of these disciplines emphasises the coordination of breathing patterns and movements with the result of increased energy levels and reduced tension.

4. Improved Detoxification of Waste Products

Detoxing has become synonymous with New Year’s Resolutions.  Why wait until the New Year?  Regular exercise helps the body to eliminate toxic substances from the body.  These toxins exist all year round and our conscious efforts to detox should be a lifestyle choice rather than something to dip into following an overindulgent weekend.

5. Exercise to Increase Blood Flow

However, during the festive season, we place an even greater toxic burden on our poor liver and it could really do with some support.  Moderate exercise increases the blood flow to the liver thereby improving its ability to detoxify waste.

Try to choose an activity that increases your heart rate but make sure that you can still hold a conversation. i.e. brisk walking, gentle jogging, swimming, cycling or rebounding.

6. Improved Immunity

We all need protection from the germs that are circulating around the office or being brought home from school by our children.  Regular moderate exercise will boost immunity by improving lymphatic and cardiovascular circulation.

However, the effects of exercise on your immune system are short lived and in order to optimise these effects it is important to exercise regularly.

A daily 20-30 minute walk would be an ideal way to start – it would fit nicely into your lunch hour too!

Note: Regular vigorous exercise can place a higher burden on your immune system and adequate rest and recovery should be factored into your week.

7. Reduction in Stress Levels, Anxiety and Depression

It is widely accepted in the health and fitness community that exercise has a positive effect on our mind body and spirit.  So let’s take practical steps to fight off those winter blues by increasing our activity levels.

If you are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression or stress, then some regular gentle exercise is one way to improve your overall sense of well-being.  One way that exercise improves our mental state is by removing the by-products of stress that surge through our bodies helping us to find inner calm.

Ideal forms of exercise to improve emotional well being are Yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong.  Additionally some find that the rhythmical and repetitive movements of walking or gentle jogging help them to find a level of tranquillity.

Exercise Ideas and Strategies to Beat the Winter Blues

Below is a list of exercise ideas and strategies especially tailored for the winter.  You have worked hard all year to get where you are today so let’s push on through and make these months count.

Remember, you’ve probably got a Christmas party or wedding outfit to fit into and you want to look and feel your best.

1. Psychological Focus

Start by asking yourself what exercise means to you?  What are you striving to achieve?  Focus your mind on your exercise goals.  Are you trying to lose weight, increase your self esteem, sculpt your physique or improve your health and fitness? Are you unhappy with your self-image right now?  Would a healthier, leaner you increase your overall sense of wellbeing and give you the self-confidence to feel happier in your own skin?

Write down your answers and explore what it would mean to you to achieve your exercise goals.

Now reduce what you have written into 3-5 bullet points and pin the list to a few prominent places i.e. your fridge door, on your desk at work, inside the cover of your diary etc.  Let this list act as a reminder of why you want to exercise.

2. Just Do It! 

Half of the battle is taking the first step towards exercise.  That might mean packing your gym kit into your work bag, driving to the gym or arranging to meet a friend at an exercise class.

I often find that if I can switch off my inner monologue for just a few moments I’m in my gym kit before I know it and then there’s no turning back.

Don’t open the curtains to check the weather before you put your gym kit on, just do it! If you think about it too much, it won’t happen.

3. Swim, Steam Room and Jacuzzi

Swimming is a great way to exercise in the winter because it’s an indoor activity.  It works your whole body, burns calories, strengthens your posture and improves your heart and lung function.  Follow the top tips below to get the most out of your sessions.

Then reap the rewards by relaxing in the steam room or the Jacuzzi.  If your swimming pool/ leisure centre doesn’t have these facilities then why not buy some aromatherapy oils and have a long soak in the tub when you get home.

Calorie burning tip:  work hard 
It’s very easy to slip into a relaxing breast stroke and to stop at the end of each length for a gossip.  So save the gossip for the Jacuzzi and set yourself a challenge:

  • Double the number of lengths that you swim before resting
  • Swim every other length at a sprint pace
  • Swim every other length in a more challenging stroke i.e. front crawl
  • At every session complete 2 more lengths than the previous session.

4. Jog, Walk or Cycle in the rain!!! 

It may sound crazy but I recommend getting out into that winter weather.  It can be thoroughly invigorating to run, walk or cycle in the elements, trust me, and it’s totally free.

You need to be in the right frame of mind though, so if you’re feeling brave here’s the challenge:

  • Make a play list of your favourite music – choose the tracks that make you feel invincible.
  • Wrap up so that you are feeling nice and warm.  Wear layers so that you can strip off as your body temperature rises.  And you can always wear less next time if you’ve overdone it.  This might mean thermal tops, waterproofs, woolly hats, welly boots (although probably not if you’re jogging or cycling!) etc…
  • Warm up in the house by doing 3-5 minutes on any exercise equipment that you have, completing the warm up on one of your exercise DVDs, or run up the stairs a few times until you feel your heart rate increase and your blood pumping.  At this point you may wish to shed a layer before heading outside.
  • Finally, find your inner child.  You are going out into the wind and the rain and I want you to run, walk or cycle through the puddles and the wet grass and to enjoy it!  You will get wet and muddy, and when you get home you’ll strip down in your kitchen and chuck your clothes straight into the washing machine.  Honestly, it is such a buzz to run in the rain.  You’ll feel exhilarated and youthful!

Top Tip 1:  
Can’t bring yourself to get out there on your own?  Why not join a beginners running club? This is a sociable and structured way to get your self out there.  And the only feeling better than a sense of personal achievement is that which is shared with others. To find your nearest club in England check out the British Athletics website.

5. Work-Out to Exercise DVDs

For those of you who are still working up to leaving the house why not get back into your exercise DVDs?  And if they’re not really motivating you, go and buy a new one or swap your DVDs with friends so you’ve got some new ideas to work with.

The benefit of exercising this way is that you can do it in the comfort of your own home.  The difficulty with exercising this way is that it can always be put off until another day.

So why not schedule it into your diary so there’s no chance of avoiding/accidentally forgetting about your work out.  Also, just because no one is watching you doesn’t mean that you can cut corners and skip bits.

6. Join a Gym

Lots of gyms will offer you a health and fitness assessment as a part of your membership package.  This will take the shape of an MOT for your body and provide you with your blood pressure, body fat percentage, body mass index and weight.

Armed with this information the fitness instructors will design a fitness program that, if followed, will ensure that you achieve your exercise goals.  The package usually includes a work out with a fitness instructor so that he/she can demonstrate each exercise to you and answer any of your questions.

Having a start point, clear guidance and access to a professional will really increase your chances of success.

Top tip:  An exercise program should be challenging.  However, as your body adapts to the workout you will start to find that it gets easier.  At this point it is time to ask for a program update.  It is important to continually challenge your body if you want to see results.  Sticking with a comfortable exercise program will cause your progress to plateau.

Top Tip 2: 
If your motivation is lacking why not book in for a consultation with a Personal Trainer?  Most offer a free session which is designed to instruct you on the best way to achieve your health goals.  A good Personal Trainer will help you to increase your confidence and achieve your goals through offering sound exercise and nutritional advice.  Qualified Personal Trainers should be registered with the Register of Exercise Professionals and be trained to Level 3 standard.  You can check this at the following web site:

Sessions can cost anything from £15 and £60 per hour depending what part of the country you live in.  Costs can be reduced by arranging sessions with a friend.

Top Tip 3:
Gym membership fees vary.  Some gyms allow you to pay as and when you use the gym, whereas others only let you use the facility if you sign up for the year.  Annual membership can cost £20 to £60 per month on average depending on where you live.  Facilities that call themselves a health club or spa will generally charge more.  To get the best deal buy your membership at the end of the month as the gym will have targets that they need to hit and better deals should be available.  The sales team may not be forth coming about discounted prices so you may have to barter with them.  Another option is to request that they knock off any admin fee that exists.

7. Group Work Outs 

Book into a class for an energetic session to wake you up on those cold winter mornings.  The best way to start the day and blow the cobwebs away is with some exercise.

The key to success is to arrange to meet a friend at the class.  You will both be relying on each other to turn up and that guilt inducing pressure is just what you need to get you out of your warm bed in the morning.

Since you’re up let’s make the session count and really burn some calories with a fast and furious workout i.e circuit training, Boxersize or Spinning.

Top Tip 4:
If you are going to sustain an early morning workout I recommend that you catch up with your sleep at the other end of the day with some early nights.  Your body needs time to rest and repair.  Without adequate recovery time exercise increases your stress levels.

8. Take up a Seasonal Sport

Embrace the changing climate and book yourself onto a course of skiing, snowboarding or ice skating lessons.  Wrapping up warm is the name of the game with these activities so there’s no need to fear the cold.

Taking lessons will give you a structured approach that will ensure results and a sense of achievement.   Each of these pursuits requires you to coordinate the distribution of your bodyweight in order to stay upright.  Sound challenging?  Good, it’s meant to be.  If it’s challenging then it is exercise.  You’ll be burning calories, strengthening and toning your core and leg muscles, improving your heart and lung function and having vast amount of fun doing it.

Other activities which involve wrapping up warm or exercising indoors include:

  • Martial Arts or Self defence Classes – improves strength, muscle tone and confidence.
  • Dance lessons – burns calories, increases core strength, posture and coordination.
  • Horse riding lessons – increases strength, posture and coordination.
  • Netball – burns calories, improves reflexes and heart and lung function.

Top Tip 5: 
Choose an activity that you enjoy as you are more likely to commit to it and benefit from it.  If exercise is fun then you’ll go back for more.

8. Stay Hydrated

Remember to drink enough fluids to stay hydrated.  It’s easy to drink less in the winter because it’s cold, but your body still needs water to function properly.

As a guide you require approximately 1.5 litres to 2.5 litres of fluid from food and drink sources per day and an additional 500mls per 30 minutes of exercise.

9. Write an Exercise Diary

And finally, write an exercise diary and describe how you feel on days when you have exercised compared to days when you haven’t.

Exercise will make you feel invigorated, alert and ready for the next challenge of the day.  In comparison, ‘lazy days’ will give you that sluggish unfulfilled feeling that leaves you questioning your self worth.  But don’t take my word for it, try it out for yourself.  Good luck and have an energetic winter.

Don’t let the cold weather get you down.  Get involved in any of the activities mentioned but also give Central Baptist Surgical Weight Loss Center a call and find out more about weight loss and support groups that you can join.

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Tantalizingly Tangy Meatloaf

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recipe image
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 45 Minutes
Servings: 8

“A sweet, tangy glaze covers this tasty meatloaf that will have everyone requesting seconds.”

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 egg
garlic powder to taste
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup pineapple preserves

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.  In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well, and place into a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
3.  Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 50 minutes.
4.  Meanwhile, in a separate medium bowl, stir together the ketchup, brown sugar and pineapple preserves. Pour over the meatloaf about 20 minutes before removing from oven.

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Bariatric surgery continues to advance with improvements in procedures and techniques that can benefit patients with safer, quicker, and better surgical outcomes.

One of the latest advances to emerge in weight loss surgery is a new surgical platform known as the STARR Treatment. STARR, an acronym for Surgical Tiny Access and Rapid Recovery is not a new type of weight loss surgery, but an innovative laparoscopic system that improves upon current techniques for minimally invasive weight loss surgery.

The STARR Treatment is made possible with the SPIDER Surgical System and the SPIDER MicroLap line of tools from the medical device company TransEnterix. Using this newer laparoscopic system, bariatric surgeons can perform laparoscopic weight loss surgery through a small, single incision usually located in the patient’s belly button.
Since bariatric surgery patients experience fewer and smaller incisions with STARR weight loss surgery than with conventional laparoscopic surgery, they can potentially benefit from reduced post-operative pain, a quicker recovery, and a virtually scarless aesthetic outcome.

The term laparoscopic surgery, also known as minimally invasive surgery, refers to a surgical technique that allows operations in the abdomen to be performed through a series of small incisions, rather than the larger incisions needed for laparotomy, or open surgery. The development of laparoscopic surgery in the 1990?s was a significant advancement in surgical techniques and is generally the preferred option compared to open surgery for the majority of patients.

Now, the SPIDER Surgical System used in combination with the SPIDER MicroLap line of tools is set to advance laparoscopic surgery even further.

  • The SPIDER Surgical System is a flexible laparoscopic platform that allows multiple instruments to be used through a single, small incision approximately the same size as a dime (18mm); conventional laparoscopic surgery requires five to six across the patient’s abdomen.
  • The SPIDER MicroLap tools are significantly smaller, measuring only 2.7mm in diameter; conventional laparoscopic tools are typically 5mm to 10mm in diameter.

To perform laparoscopic surgery using the SPIDER system, the surgeon makes a small incision in the belly button and inserts the surgical device into the body. Once inside, the system expands like an umbrella, creating room at the surgical site for the surgeon to manipulate the tiny surgical tools so that they bend and move in a wide range of motion. When the procedure is complete, the system is collapsed; then the tools and system are removed from the body through the original incision.

Since patients receive fewer incisions with SPIDER surgery than with conventional laparoscopic surgery, they are expected to have less scarring, a faster recovery, and less post-operative pain. As with any type of surgery, however, every patient is different and surgical outcomes vary between patients. In some cases, more than one incision may be necessary. Patients are instructed to discuss their procedures and expectations with their surgeon.

The STARR Treatment has been successfully used to perform gastric banding and gastric sleeve weight loss procedures.

Find out more about all the latest in weight loss procedures and the best procedure for you by contacting the experts at Central Baptist Surgical Weight Loss Center in Lexington. 

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But the surgeon performing the operation also makes a difference, an expert says

MONDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) — Gastric bypass surgery results in faster and longer-lasting weight loss than does gastric banding, according to a new study by Swiss investigators.

A gastric bypass operation called Roux-en-Y involves reducing stomach size with staples and connecting the smaller “pouch” directly to the small intestine. It is irreversible.

Gastric banding, as its name implies, involves placing a band around part of the stomach to reduce its size. This procedure is reversible, the researchers noted.

“Both gastric banding and gastric bypass are currently performed for morbid obesity,” said lead researcher Dr. Michel Suter, chief surgeon at Chablais Hospital in Aigle.

“Bypass is more effective in terms of directs results such as weight loss, but a bit more dangerous immediately than banding,” he said.

However, banding often leads to long-term complications requiring some sort of major re-operation, Suter said.

“In addition, many bands are not going to stay in place for much more than 10 years; hence, banding is unlikely to be the only weight-loss procedure the patient will be submitted to,” he said. “Patients should make a choice knowing this, and decide whether they accept a slightly higher early risk to improve their results, or if they want the least invasive procedure, but then accept a high risk of further surgery at a later time.”

The report was published in the Jan. 16 online edition of the Archives of Surgery.

For the study, Suter’s team followed for six years 442 patients who had either gastric bypass surgery or banding.

Although there were more early surgical complications among those who had Roux-en-Y surgery, these patients lost more weight faster than those who had gastric banding, the researchers found.

After bypass surgery, about 17 percent of the patients had complications, compared with more than 5 percent of those who underwent banding, the researchers noted.

But at six years there were more problems with gastric banding, including about 48 percent who had weight gain or the procedure reversed, compared with about 12 percent who had bypass surgery, the study found.

Gastric banding was associated with more long-term complications (more than 42 percent versus 19 percent) and more new procedures than bypass surgery (about 27 percent vs. 13 percent).

Cholesterol levels among those who had gastric bypass surgery were consistently lower than among those who had gastric banding, who saw no change over time, the researchers add.

This finding implies that blood sugar levels were also lower among those who underwent gastric bypass surgery, the study authors said.

Suter is concerned that many patients are only offered banding and not told of its drawbacks.

“There is, in the United States, an extensive campaign promoting gastric banding as ‘the solution’ for obesity, which is far from being true,” he said.

It can result in significant weight loss, but it remains a surgical procedure, and is certainly associated with significant risks, both in the short and long term, Suter said.

“Patients must be informed that surgery alone is not sufficient to achieve significant weight loss, and they must be instructed about other things they have to do such as changing their eating and lifestyle habits,” he said.

In addition, Suter said, “Patients calling or referred for gastric banding must be informed about the other available procedures for morbid obesity, and not offered band only, as is the case in several places.”

Depending on the actual operation, either procedure costs between $10,000 and $20,000 plus follow-up costs, and insurance coverage is very inconsistent, according to Dr. Edward Livingston, who serves as the Dr. Lee Hudson-Robert R. Penn Chair in Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas.

Hospital stay for bypass is usually two days, and banding usually one day, but this can vary depending on surgeon, hospital and complications.

Dr. Jacques Himpens, from the European School of Laparoscopic Surgery at Saint Pierre University Hospital in Brussels and author of an accompanying journal editorial, is less concerned with a particular procedure than with the specific surgeon.

“Not all surgeons can do bypasses,” he said. “Maybe they don’t have the skills or the experience, but in any case it’s not the best option because they are not up to it,” he said. “That’s the case for many surgeons.”

In addition, it is not clear what the long-term results of a bypass are, because there is evidence that although a bypass “cures” diabetes, it does come back after time, Himpens said.

“The bypass is a very good procedure, but not everyone can do it and we have to be very careful and watch what the long-term effects of the procedure are,” he said.

Also, while a gastric bypass causes changes in metabolism, banding does not, Himpens said.

“But the good thing is that it is reversible. When you take out the band, no harm has been done and you can still do another procedure if you need to,” he said.

However, among patients who receive bands, only 40 percent retain them after 10 years, either because of complications or the desire to have it removed, Himpens said.

To find out more about weight loss procedures and which one is right for you, contact Central Baptist Hospital Surgical Weight Loss Center.

SOURCES: Michel Suter, M.D., chief surgeon, Chablais Hospital, Aigle, Switzerland; Edward Livingston, M.D., the Dr. Lee Hudson-Robert R. Penn Chair in Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; Jacques Himpens, M.D., European School of Laparoscopic Surgery, Saint Pierre University Hospital, Brussels, Belgium; Jan. 16, 2012, Archives of Surgery, online

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Cajun Spiced Pork Chops

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Cajun Spiced Pork Chops

recipe image

“Pork chops are seasoned with paprika, cayenne, cumin, and sage for this mouth-watering meal.”

1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon rubbed dried sage leaves
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 center cut pork chops

1.  Mix paprika, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper, sage, and garlic salt on a plate. Liberally coat each pork chop with the spice mixture.

2.  Heat olive oil and several pumps of non-stick, butter-flavored spray in a large skillet over high heat. Place pork chops in the skillet, reducing heat to medium. Cook until the pork is no longer pink in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).


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Bariatric surgery leads to significant weight loss in the obese patient. Exercise has been shown to improve weight loss and body composition in non-surgical weight loss programmes. The role of exercise to improve weight loss following bariatric surgery is unclear. The objective of this review is to systematically appraise the evidence regarding exercise for weight loss in the treatment of obesity in bariatric surgery patients.

MEDLINE, AMED, CINAHL, EBM Reviews (Cochrane Database, Cochrane Clinical Trials Register) were searched, obesity-related journals were hand-searched and reference lists checked. Studies containing post-surgical patients and exercise were included with the primary outcome of interest being weight loss. A literature search identified 17 publications exploring exercise in bariatric surgery patients. All studies were observational; there were no intervention studies found. The most commonly used instruments to measure activity level were questionnaires followed by telephone interview, surgeon reporting and clinical notes.

There was a positive relationship between increased exercise and weight loss after surgery in 15 studies. Meta-analysis demonstrated in patients participating in exercise a standardised mean of 3.62 kg (CI?=?1.28, 5.96) greater weight loss compared to the minimal exercise groups. Observational studies suggest that exercise is associated with greater weight loss following bariatric surgery. Randomised controlled trials are required to further examine this relationship.

Find out more about the Support Groups and schedules at Central Baptist Surgical Weight Loss Center.  Click here to find out more.


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After weight loss surgery, you will need a new nutrition plan. Discuss this in detail with your surgeon and/or dietitian as they can help you learn about and get used to the changes in lifestyle and eating habits you need to make.

It is very important to follow the eating and drinking instructions starting right after the operation to allow the new stomach structure to heal completely and in the right position. This may take a month or more. It is also important, especially in the early weeks, not to stretch the small stomach pouch above the band. Vomiting can stretch it, so it is important not to vomit. Vomiting can increase the chance of stomach tissue slipping through the band.

The First Few Days Post-Surgery
Right after the operation you can take an occasional sip of water or suck on an ice cube. You shouldn’t drink more than this. The day after the operation, you can take a little more fluid but only a small amount at a time. Besides water, you should also choose clear liquids that have an adequate number of calories. To prevent nausea and vomiting, do not drink too much.

Liquid Diet (1-2 weeks post-op)
The goal during this early post-operative period is to protect the small stomach pouch. Only thin liquids can be tolerated at this time. It is also important to keep hydrated with lots of water. Other liquids recommended during this phase include:

  • clear broth or soup (with no vegetables or meat and not creamy)
  • skim milk
  • fruit juice
  • no-sugar-added popsicles

Pureed Foods (3-4 weeks post-op)
During this phase you may start having slightly textured foods. Aim for the consistency of baby foods. This will help you transition to more solid foods later. Because protein is so important to help you maintain muscle while you are losing weight, eat protein-rich foods first, and then move on to fruits and vegetables. Foods in this stage may include:

  • pureed skinless chicken or fish
  • mashed potatoes
  • peas
  • low-fat yogurt or pudding

In the first few weeks you may be able to eat foods that might not be allowed in your diet later as these foods may contain too many calories. It is more important in the first few weeks to let your stomach adjust to the LAP-BAND ® System than it is to lose weight. Also, your timing and progression into each dietary phase may vary. In general, you should follow the advice of your surgeon and/or dietitian about nutrition.

Soft Foods (5 weeks post-op)
Your meals can now include tender cooked foods like fish and ground turkey. Now that you can chew, make it a habit to chew foods well. If you have dentures, be sure to cut your food into small pieces and chew it thoroughly. If you don’t follow these precautions, you may experience vomiting, stomach irritation and swelling. You could also have stoma obstruction.

If solid foods cause nausea and vomiting,go back to the liquid diet you had earlier. Then you can slowly add soft foods and eventually transition to solid foods. Always ask for advice from your doctor or dietitian that is specific to your situation. Vomiting may increase the incidence of band slippage, stomach slippage, or stretching of the small stomach pouch above the band.

Your New Nutrition Plan
When you can eat solid foods without problems you will need to pay close attention to your diet. Liquids will pass through the reduced stomach pouch quickly and will not make you feel full. The LAP-BAND ® System was designed to restrict solids, not liquids. Drinking liquids during or immediately after meals tends to flush food through the pouch and you will not get the prolonged feeling of satiety needed to help you eat less.

Staying hydrated throughout the day is important. Drink at least 6-8 cups of water per day and make sure you consume them between meals.

Many patients have a difficult time with solid foods during the morning hours. If this is the case for you, you can open up your LAP-BAND ® System by starting with a couple of glasses of liquids before your first meal.

Too much food or big chunks of food can block the stomach pouch outlet. You can avoid this problem by chewing food welland eating small bits at a time. It is important to remember that your new stoma opening is approximately the size of a dime. Chew your food adequately so that it can easily fit through the opening.

Eat only three small meals a day and make sure that these meals contain adequate nutrients. Your stomach can only hold about1/4 cup of food or 2 oz. at a time. Stop eating when your hunger is gone or when you feel comfortable.

You may find that the small stomach pouch makes digestion of high-fiber, high-fat and dry foods more difficult. Tolerance will vary from person to person. Ask your surgeon and/or dietitian about your food choices. The general guide below can help you create good and healthy meals that contain adequate nutrients but little sugar and fat.

Good Food Choices

1. Fruits and vegetables

  • 1 to 2 servings of fresh fruit daily
  • 2 to 3 servings of fresh vegetables daily

2. Breads and cereals

  • 1 small portion of low-sugar cold or hot cereal
  • 1/2 to 1 slice of toasted whole wheat or rye bread each day.

Note: some patients have difficulty eating bread.

3. Meat, fish, poultry, eggs
1 oz. to 2 oz. of meat, fish, or poultry or one egg each day. (Remove all visible fat from the meat. Remove the skin from poultry. Prepare the meat in ways that need very little fat. Grilling, steaming, microwaving, or boiling are all good ways to do this.) Note: some patients have difficulty eating meat.

4. Dairy products
Milk and yogurt are calories in liquid form. However, these types of food have calcium, which makes them an important part of a healthy daily diet, so choose a maximum of 2 cups of skimmed milk or low-fat yogurt and 1 oz. of cheese a day.

5. Fats
Restrict the use of fat to 3 to 4 teaspoons of margarine, butter, or oil per day. You can have low-fat salad dressings and mayonnaise in moderation.

6. Drinks
Drink as many calorie-free liquids per day as you wish (though not with meals).Suitable drinks are:

  • tea or coffee (black) with low-calorie sweetener
  • water
  • non-carbonated beverages containing few or no calories

Some doctors have reported that carbonated beverages may contribute to enlargement of the small pouch and recommend they be avoided.

Foods to Avoid
Some foods have a concentrated supply of calories with little nutritional value and should be avoided as much as possible. They include foods such as:

  • syrups
  • cakes
  • biscuits
  • jam
  • honey
  • pies
  • chips
  • pastries

Alcoholic drinks should also be consumed in moderation, for example a glass of wine per day.

Common Problem Foods
Some foods have difficulty passing through the opening of the stoma and may cause blockage. These include foods such as:

  • dry meat
  • shrimp
  • untoasted or doughy bread
  • pasta
  • rice
  • peanut butter
  • dried fruit
  • fibrous vegetables like corn,asparagus and celery
  • nuts
  • coconut
  • popcorn
  • greasy or fried food
  • seeds and skins of fruits and vegetables
  • membrane of citrus fruits

Introduce these foods slowly and individually to see if they are tolerated. Always be careful, chew well, and follow your surgeon’s or dietitian’s advice.

Exercise Guidelines
Incorporating regular physical activity into your daily routine is as important as your nutrition plan. Often patients have been sedentary due to decreased activity tolerance, psychological constraints, and in some cases, physical disabilities. After LAP-BAND ® System surgery, aerobic activities—particularly walking and swimming—are generally best tolerated. Consult your surgeon and weight management team to find out which activity is right for you.

Get all the information on your health after weight loss surgery by speaking to the professionals at Central Baptist Surgical Weight Loss Center.  Call us today if you need additional information.

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