Archive for Exercise

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
Comments (0)

Exercise to Beat the Winter Blues

Posted by: | Comments (0)

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.

Source and image credit


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.


Comments (0)

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.

Source and image credit

A holiday is a time when most of us let our hair down, eat and drink what we want without giving much thought to our weight or diet. Then we get back from our holiday and realise that we have put on a few pounds? Back on the diet again!!

Don’t worry here are a few simple way to help you shed those unwanted pounds.

1. To Stop Cravings: When trying to stick to your diet you will not doubt at some point come across hunger cravings. Next time you do count to 10. Did you know that studies suggest the average hunger craving only lasts about 10 minutes. So when a hunger craving hits tackle something on your to do list and distract yourself from hunger cravings.

2. Salsa instead of Mayo: Instead of putting mayonnaise on top of your food, try salsa instead. Salsa provides plenty of flavour and is low in fat. If you are a tuna fan then mix some salsa with a bit of low fat yoghurt and add it to your salad. Salsa is also great on chicken or fish.

3. Water!: Thirst is often mistaken for hunger, so next time you feel like eating get hold of a glass of water first. Drinking water can also help you to feel full. Just sipping water before you sit down for a meal, and continual sipping of the water during the meal will add volume and weight to your meal making you feel full and less likely to eat a massive amount as you won’t want to.

4 Alcohol: Here is the obvious one. We all know that alcohol equals calories. A beer(12oz) contains 150 calories, glass(3.5oz) of wine 85 calories, don’t even look at the calorie content of a creamy cocktail. It’s not rocket science if you want to lose weight then you have to cut down or even better cut out alcohol.

5 Don’t Stop Yourself From Going Out: Have a plan if you get invited to a party. Take something with you like a plate full of fresh vegetables and a low fat dip or a bowl of fresh fruit, you are able to eat at a party without destroying your diet.

You are able to get back in shape and feel at your best just like you did at the beginning of your holiday. So what is stopping you? Give it a go.

Don’t have a plan for getting rid of that weight?  We do and we’re here to help!  Central Baptist Surgical Weight Loss Center is here to help you with your goals and to help get you started on your weight loss journey.  Give us a call today for more information.



10 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Posted by: | Comments (0)

With the holiday season approaching, many of us find ourselves surrounded by festive food and the subsequent concern of weight gain. Studies have shown that the typical American may gain two to seven pounds over the six-week holiday season.

We may also find it harder to maintain our exercise program with all the holiday parties, shopping and travel. In addition, many people have much more stress during the holiday period, which can result in overeating as a “feel good” response.

The best way to avoid gaining weight over the holidays is to eat in moderation, keep a consistent exercise program and try my 10 tips to avoid holiday weight gain.

1. Stick to a regular routine with sleep and exercise. Many times feeling tired or stressed is mistaken for hunger.

2. Watch your alcohol intake. Alcoholic beverages contain “empty calories,” offering little to no nutritional value and contributing to excess weight gain. Try having a seltzer with a lime twist or a glass of water between alcoholic drinks to help cut calories and remain well hydrated.

3. Eat a small, healthy meal before party time. It’s a common misconception that you will lose weight by skipping meals. The truth is your metabolism slows down causing you to store body fat if calories are too limited for too long. Another negative result is that you are more likely to binge later at night resulting in greater weight gains.

4. Don’t stand by the food at the party. You will be less likely to partake in unconscious snacking all night if you instead move, mingle and socialize with friends.

5. If you’re hungry at the party, reach for the vegetables (without the dip), fruit or rye crackers. If you do host a party have plenty of water and low-calorie snacks available.

6. Eat slowly. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to register a “full” sensation and signal the brain that it’s had enough. Slow down and listen to your body.

7. Set goals and keep a food diary. Plan your weekly food intake and calorie count to include those treats or Christmas cookies in your diet — in moderation, of course. Don’t totally avoid sweets and holiday food; just plan for it and eat more fruit and vegetables during the week to allow for this. With this plan you can also avoid the guilty feeling afterward that can add to your stress level.

8. Eat protein. Quality protein includes lean meats, seafood, chicken, turkey, eggs, yogurt and low-fat cheeses. Protein will help you feel full and control your appetite.

9. Try to stay consistent with your workout routine. Don’t fall prey to the excuse that you’ll get back on track after New Years Day or when the weather warms up again. You may need to modify your program for the busy holidays. Do what you can, but keep it up, trying new fitness activities and cross training to keep things fresh and fun. Seek out a professional to help you with your program if you need motivation.

10. Always remain positive. If you do have a “bad” day, don’t worry or stress about it. Just get back on track the next day.

Maybe this can be the year your New Year’s resolution doesn’t include dropping those extra holiday pounds.

Stay on track before and after the holidays.  Contact Central Baptist Surgical Weight Loss Center today to get information on healthy weight loss and weight loss procedures


Comments (0)

Men should develop healthy eating habits

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Most men do not pay attention to their health as women do. In comparison to women, men are more likely to smoke and drink, make unhealthy or risky choices and put off regular check-ups with their physician.

The good news is that it is never too late to make different choices to support a healthy lifestyle. There are some simple things, all men can do to change and improve their overall health. It can begin with good nutrition, including these suggestions:

— Eat more fruits and vegetables. A 14-year study found that men whose diets were highest in fruits and vegetables had a 70 percent lower risk of digestive-tract cancers. How to reach your quota: Never eat a meal that doesn’t contain a vegetable or fruit. And no, fries don’t count.

— Try to have pasta with tomato sauce in your weekly routine, as two to four servings of tomato sauce can cut prostate cancer risk by 37 percent.

— Eating one serving of fish per week can halve your risk of a sudden fatal heart attack. The secret ingredient in fish is omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is especially high in them.

— Breakfast is also an important component of the daily routine as a survey of more than 2,000 people who lost an average of 67 pounds and kept the weight off for more than 5 years found that 78 percent ate breakfast 7 days a week.

— You’re less likely to make bad eating choices at lunch if you eat properly in the morning, so start the day off with a breakfast of champions. Try a bowl of oatmeal and cup of low fat yogurt, or a poached egg with whole grain toast and fresh fruit.

— Most American men also need more fiber in their diets. Fiber not only has a host of important health benefits but also promotes satiety — the feeling of fullness that can keep you from overeating.

One simple way to increase fiber intake is to power up on bran. Bran from many grains is very rich in dietary fiber. Oat bran is high in soluble fiber, which has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. Wheat, corn  and rice bran are high in insoluble fiber, which helps prevent constipation.

Bran can be sprinkled into your favorite foods—from hot cereal and pancakes to muffins and cookies. Many popular high-fiber cereals and bars are also packed with bran.

There are other great fiber sources including: beans, berries, nuts and seeds, whole grain food products, peas, green leafy vegetables, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts, russet potatoes, sweet potatoes and a variety of fruits.

— Make wise choices for protein. Several times a week, eat skinless chicken or fish. Choose only lean cuts of beef and pork. You only need six to nine ounces of protein daily in order to meet your daily requirement, states the USDA. One serving is the size of a card deck. If you are body building, this amount is increased by only three to five ounces.

— Lower your intake of saturated and/or trans fats as part of your healthy eating plan. Saturated fats are mainly found in animal products, as well as deep-fried foods, many fast foods, commercially prepared baked goods, boxed cereals, processed meats and processed foods. Trans fats are found in hardened fats such as shortening and partially hydrogenated oils. Avoid, or limit, foods made with these items. Many restaurant-prepared foods contain trans fats, and you will not know this without asking your server.

The Clark County Health Department supports healthy eating and active lifestyles. For more information about support with nutrition or activity options, contact the department at 744-4482. Visit the website at

Central Baptist Hospital Weight Loss Center is a surgical weight loss center who provides weight loss surgery in Lexington.  Contact us today for more information.



Well another year has gone by and here we are again at the holiday that most dieters fear, Thanksgiving. It’s one of those holidays where good food abounds and it’s so easy to over indulge, over eat, over do simply everything! But it doesn’t have to be. You can get through this time without destroying your diet if you just plan ahead a little.

For me, it will start with a run in the morning. I have as I did last year, signed up my younger son and oldest daughter to run with me in the local Gobble Wobble which is a 4.3 mile run around a local lake here near where I live. That’s going to be about 600 calories banked in the morning to offset that piece of pumpkin pie I intend to enjoy later in the day with a good football game!

That’s one way to help not blowing your diet but the other is simply eating smart and not overeating. Years past, I would fill my plate as full as I could as all my favorite dishes made it’s rounds of the table. Since then, I have learned portion control. I still plan to try everything that passes my plate but it will be in much smaller portions so as not to totally blow my girlish figure. You can do this too.

Another tip to avoid over eating is to drink a couple of 8 oz. glasses of water about 10 minutes before the meal. This will help induce an artificial feeling of being fuller before you start which will also make it easier to keep down the portion sizes of all your favorites as they pass by. One last obvious tip is when taking your portion of turkey, make sure you avoid that crispy golden brown skin that you always give in to. Then you can have an extra bite of pie without guilt!

Went to see the doctor for my quarterly update last month and all is going to plan. Due to not being able to run most of August and September, I gained about 7 lbs. Evidently the calories I burn from bike riding don’t work as well for me as running does.  My cholesterol numbers are looking better again since adding Crestor back into my regimen. However, the past week or so I’ve been noticing the muscle pain again and I’m going to adjust down to 5 mg from 10 mg  again to see if it helps.

My total number dropped back to about 140 from 190 with the meds but if I hurt all the time, it doesn’t do me any good for the running. I’m hoping to find a median between my cholesterol numbers and the muscle pain somewhere. HDL was 56 so still looking good and LDL not bad either.  My diabetes is still being well controlled with diet and exercise so hopefully that trend continues as well for many years to come.  I was also diagnosed with low T back in March and the treatments for that are working well too. My mind is back on track and feeling sharp again and the wife’s not complaining either.

Till next time! Let me know how you are doing with your own weight loss journey and what successes you may be having.

At Central Baptist Hospital Surgical Weight Loss Center we know how difficult it can be to stay on track with your weight loss goals.   It’s easier when you’re not alone!  Join us for one of our Support Group meetings today.



Comments (0)

Weight Loss Support Is Critical

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Losing weight is not rocket science. It requires no special diet, no special foods and no special exercise program. All we need to do is eat less calories than we burn. Despite this, as well as an ever growing number of diets and weight control plans, obesity continues to grow. And the vast majority of dieters find it almost impossible to lose weight without regaining everything within a matter of months. Why is this? Answer: because we don’t get enough support.

Get Proper Help To Lose Weight

Our greatest need when dieting is encouragement. We need people to cheer our successes and help us overcome our disasters. Amazingly, most online weight loss programs fail to address this need. Instead, they focus on what we should eat, how many calories we should consume, and what exercise we should take. And while this advice is useful, it’s not critical. Because most of us know this stuff already. What we have difficulty with, is motivation. We know what to do in order to lose weight, but we can’t sustain it. Maybe we lack a strong incentive, or perhaps our family situation interferes with our weight loss plans, or maybe we hate cooking and eat out too often. Whatever difficulty we have, it’s not likely to involve food or exercise. It’s much more likely to be a motivational or lifestyle problem. Yet as I say, most online programs don’t offer motivational or lifestyle support. And even when they do, their advice can often be expensive and quite uninspiring!

Survey Of Dieters

The value of proper support was highlighted in a recent survey of members of Anne Collins online weight loss program. The program includes a 24/7 community forum specializing in motivation and lifestyle support, with several thousand topics and approximately 100,000 posts. Subjects were asked to assess the personal benefit they had obtained from the forum. A total of 1,348 subjects responded, of whom 81 percent rated the program’s community forum as “important” or “very important” in helping them to lose weight, while less than 5 percent said it “made no difference.” While in no way conclusive, the results indicate the practical value of a “community” approach to weight management.

Weight Loss Meetings

For urban dieters, Weight Watchers is probably the best option. Their meetings are specially designed to help dieters overcome difficulties, but even Weight Watchers has its limitations. First, it’s not cheap to join. Secondly, members typically attend only once a week. So if your diet-wagon loses a wheel on Saturday night, you may have to wait several days for the next meeting to help you out. Like eDiets, Weight Watchers now offers an online service, but again – at something like $250-300 a year – it’s not cheap.

Not Easy To Change Habits

Changing our eating habits is no easy matter. Sure, it helps to know that a cup of fat-free milk contains 40 percent fewer calories and 16 times less fat than whole milk, or that lean ground steak contains half the calories and 4 times less fat than regular cheddar cheese, but how does this help us to say No to a second helping of pizza? How does it quench our desire for a double cheeseburger and fries? It doesn’t. Because facing down temptation requires a change of attitude, a change of priorities. And in my experience, this takes time and as much encouragement as we can get. We need to hear from people like us who have managed to change their attitude and eating habits, and who can explain how to overcome the problems involved. Above all, we need a safety-net if we fail. We need shoulders to cry on and “tough love” to help us win through. In short, we need the support of a real community.

Join An Online Community Forum

In my experience, dieters who join a good online community forum can expect to lose 400-500 percent more weight than those who go solo. In addition, if they maintain their community membership after achieving their goals, they have an excellent chance of maintaining their weight loss indefinitely. This is because an online community can provide a number of specific benefits. First, as stated, it offers personal advice and encouragement. Secondly, it offers members the opportunity to help other people – something that typically works wonders for their self-esteem and understanding. Thirdly, most community forums are self-run. Members may progress to become moderators or resident experts. This too is a real confidence booster as well as a great incentive to maintain weight lost. But by far the major benefit is the fact that online forums are in action 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So support and human warmth is available whenever you need it. They are real 24/7 safety nets, especially Anne Collins forum which has members from all time zones of the world.

Features To Look For

The best forums are active, well-managed and provide quality advice and support. Activity is best judged by checking the number of “active” members, rather than total membership. And the greater the number of recent threads (topics) and posts (messages), the better. Assessing the management and quality of the forum is a bit more difficult. To do this, open a recent thread, scan the posts and look for the following. First, how quickly do members and/or moderators reply to questions asked? Second, are the questions and answers reasonably serious, or more frivolous? Generally, a well-managed forum will have a higher percentage of serious posts. Other questions to ask yourself include: how “personal” does the forum appear to be? Do you feel a sense of warmth and caring? What age-groups are most active? Take a good look around, and don’t hurry. Finding the right forum for yourself is crucial to your weight loss success.

Summary: Focus On What Matters

The secret of successful weight loss is to focus on what matters. So don’t waste too much time or money trying to find the “perfect” diet. I mean no disrespect to any dietitian or nutritionist but, for most people, a diet is a diet is a diet. As long as it’s reasonably balanced and includes a reasonable number of calories, it’ll do fine. What really matters is support – to help you cope with temptation and disruption during your journey. An excellent option is to join an online weight loss forum and be part of a real community. Because when you have tons of friendly people cheering you on, you can move mountains.

Anne Collins, 54, is a qualified nutritionist and full time weight management consultant with over 24 years experience. Her clients range from top celebrities to ordinary men and women of every age and shape. [Weight Loss Help] (link:
Begin your bariatric surgery journey today.  We at Central Baptist Hospital’s Surgical Weight Loss Center are very excited that you have chosen to reinvent yourself with us.   Call us to begin your new life today.



If water cooler talk is an accurate barometer, middle-aged American women may have just reached a tipping point. News that we need an hour of moderate exercise every single day just to avoid weight gain has women scratching their heads: Is that goal even remotely possible?

Of course.

First, let’s consider the content of the study, published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study followed 34,079 women over 13 years. In that time, they gained an average of about 6 pounds each. Don’t let the word “average” fool you into thinking that a handful of really heavy women skewed the average. Some 87 percent of the women gained weight.

But don’t think it’s impossible to avoid. Six pounds isn’t a huge amount of weight to lose.

Here are a few things to try:

Your starting point:The first thing you should do is know what you weigh, what your body mass index and waist measurement are and, most importantly, what youought to weighfor your gender, height and build. User-friendly calculators can be found at www.nhl and weight/assessing. Both Web sites offer plenty of sensible advice on weight loss and exercise, too.

Exercise:The study refers to an hour of moderate exercise — hiking, golf or walking — which for most people would burn 300-400 calories. If you can, amp up the activity level to the “vigorous” category and you can get up to twice the calorie burn with activities such as running, aerobics or swimming. ( offers a chart.)

Other activities:Don’t overlook the caloric burn of nongym activity. Light gardening or yard work is considered moderate activity and can burn about 330 calories in an hour; heavy yard work (digging, shoveling, chopping wood) can burn 440 in an hour. Moderate sexual activity can burn 88 in an hour. On the other hand, an hour of floor scrubbing burns 469 calories. You decide. The Web site can calculate the calorie burn in all kinds of activities, from accordion playing (122 per hour) to yoga (170 calories).

Simple changes:Adding simple physical activity can add up. Take the stairs instead of an elevator. Every five minutes of stair climbing burns 45 calories. Park as far out in the mall parking lot as you can and walk briskly (4 mph) to the door: Just this five-minute walk will burn 28 calories. Spend half of your lunch hour walking the same pace and you’ll burn 170 calories.

Belly fat:The folks at Prevention Magazine were so successful with theirFlat Belly Dietbook in 2008 that they recently came out with a version for men. Many women found success at getting rid of abdominal fat — the dangerous kind that puts us at a higher risk for heart disease. Many dietitians, including Rebecca Reeves at Baylor College of Medicine, evaluated the diet as a standard weight-loss plan. It limits calorie intake to 1,600 calories, evenly distributed in four meals. Monounsaturated fats — think dark chocolate, olive oil, avocado, nuts and salmon — are the nutritional framework.

Portion control:Most people are overweight for one simple reason: They eat too much. Understand what a serving size is — 3 ounces of meat, one cup of pasta — and you’ll find calorie counting isn’t that hard. It may be tough at first, but in time you’ll find that you don’t have to be stuffed to be satisfied. The American Dietetic Association offers good advice at

Watch your calories:If you want to make cutbacks, take the Men’s HealthEat This, Not Thatapproach. There are places in your diet where you really can cut corners and still like what you eat. Skip the cheese on a hamburger and save 100 calories. If you normally put a tablespoon of half-and-half (20 calories) in your coffee in the morning, try the fat-free version (9 calories) — you won’t taste the difference.

Medical tests: Middle-aged women should talk to their doctors about two common medical issues: changing hormones and thyroid disease.

Some 20 million Americans are currently treated for thyroid disease; diagnosing it involves a blood test, and treatment usually means a prescription medication. Hormone issues are virtually unavoidable but can be controlled once a woman is tested and knows what her estrogen, testosterone and progesterone levels are.

Find out more about aging and weight gain.  Get in touch with Central Baptist Hospital Surgical Weight Loss Center for more information.



Comments (0)