Valuable Lessons From Renowned Weight Loss Surgeon Can Help Keep Holiday Anxieties In Check

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This Thanksgiving, Be Thankful For Good Health

Janelle struggled with her weight for years with minimal success until she had gastric bypass: I lost about 100 lbs. People would never guess that I had gastric bypass unless I told them!

You don’t have to have weight loss surgery to force you to change your eating habits. Even those who are only slightly overweight should get into the mindset of eating like a bariatric patient.

Excitement is building as a year draws to an end. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and for many Americans the holidays are filled with all sorts of celebrations. And more times than not, these celebrations center around food. This time of year can also plague many and a very real anxiety can be attributed to our weight. We all tend to indulge at the holidays, and this invariably leads to gaining a few pounds. But sometimes these pounds don’t go away and can spark a cycle of gaining more and more. Something as simple as a holiday “binge” can be the start of a downward spiral of weight gain from which not everyone can bounce back. By remembering a few key tips offered by renowned Texas-based Center of Excellence weight loss surgeon Dr. Craig Chang, you can enjoy the season without derailing your health and keep weight gain at bay.

Dr. Chang sees people change their lives every day. “You don’t have to have weight loss surgery to force you to change your eating habits. Even those who are only slightly overweight should get into the mindset of eating like a bariatric patient.” Dr. Chang encourages everybody to use some of the same practical eating tips that he prescribes his patients. Here’s some advice to chew on this Thanksgiving:

1. Drink plenty of chilled water a half hour before eating. This serves three important purposes: First, too few of us are properly hydrated. Second, it revs up the body’s metabolism as it warms the water. Third, it fills us up just enough that we may forego that second helping and save a few hundred calories.

2. Don’t starve yourself in preparation for your big meal. Your body will enter starvation mode and store more fat. Even though you may not take in all that many calories, they will go straight to your fat stores and make you gain weight. Eat regular small meals before the “big dinner”.

3. Eat soup, vegetables and fruit before you dig into the main course. Having a lower calorie, nutritious appetizer will help you avoid the less nutritious and fattier main courses. Think about it – you’ll be eating those veggies anyway, just eat them first!

4. Take a second to be thankful for each bite. Eating just a bit slower will allow the feeling of fullness to catch up. Generally, by the time we feel full, we’ve already overindulged.

5. Stop eating the minute you feel comfortable – don’t feel obligated to eat more than usual.

But sometimes, eating right and exercise is not enough to lose weight. That’s when weight loss surgery should be considered. Bariatric surgery reduces how much the patient can eat at meals - it does not make them eat right or exercise…that’s their job. Surgery reduces how many calories are consumed, and coupled with exercise, can offer not just a new outlook on life, but resolution of diseases such as high blood pressure, type II diabetes, sleep apnea and high cholesterol.

With health and well-being the real gifts to be thankful for, don’t wait for January to make the most important resolution of all.

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Dr. Craig Chang
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