Medical Weight Loss

Why Is Drinking Water Important?

Do you drink enough water each day? If not, your overall health may be taking a toll. And why is drinking water important? Drinking water regularly can help you to lose weight, think better, be in a better mood, prevent disease, and more.  Is that enough to have you reaching for your water bottle?

I follow that advice myself. One item I could not live without, in fact, is my water bottle. To make sure I have one with me at all times, I own several. I keep one each in my car, on my desk, and in my backpack, so pretty much everywhere I go, I have a water bottle on hand.  I even carry a water bottle to restaurants with me which also helps in giving that sense of fullness and not overeating.

Why Our Bodies Need Water

How much of the human body is water? It might surprise you to learn that water makes up about 60 percent of our body weight. And what does water do for the body? The benefits of drinking water are many. It’s vital for almost every function in the body. Water acts as a building block, a solvent for chemical reactions, and a transport material for nutrients and waste.

Water also helps maintain blood volume and allows proper circulation, helps regulate our body temperature, and acts as a shock absorber for our joints and our brain. There are still more health benefits of water: It helps lubricate the linings of our inner organs and maintains healthy kidney function.

Water Your Body: 6 Benefits

Drinking plenty of water can help keep your body healthy and functioning at its highest capacity. Staying hydrated will help you to:

  • Improve physical performance. During physical activity, our bodies use up a lot of water. So stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise helps to protect your body from harm, and to help you to perform better.
  • Help you to lose weight. Are you having trouble with your weight loss efforts? Increasing your water intake may help you achieve better results. Studies show that people who are on diets lose more weight when they also increase their water intake.
  • Boost your mood. People who drink more water also tend to have better moods.
  • Boost your brainpower. When you drink more water, you may improve your cognitive performance, too.
  • Prevent headaches. Water deprivation is a very common cause of headache. In most cases, re-hydrating can provide relief from a headache. For some people, dehydration can also trigger a migraine, so be sure to keep your water intake regular if you are prone to getting migraines or headaches.
  • Protect against disease. One of the most important answers to the question “Why is water important?” is its role in disease prevention. Proper hydration may be a useful tool in preventing a variety of health conditions and diseases. Staying hydrated may protect against kidney stones, constipation, asthma, urinary tract infections, and coronary heart disease.
How Much Water Should You Drink a Day?

The amount of water you need to drink will depend on several factors, including your age, gender, activity level, and more. However, here’s a good general guideline when it comes to recommended daily water intake: Women should drink at least 91 ounces per day and men should drink 125 ounces per day. Increase your daily water intake as you increase your activity level. Be sure to always drink filtered water to avoid toxins found in tap water. Give us a call today at Doctor for Life and we can help you calculate your water intake as well as providing you more specific positive effects of water based on your body and health needs.  864-640-0009

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The Many Benefits of Weight Loss

Did know you can reduce joint pain and other health risks by losing weight?

Although most people know that maintaining a healthy weight is important for their overall health, actually achieving weight loss and being at a healthy weight are different issues. Being overweight or obese is the number one health challenge facing the United States today.

Despite the fact that over 70 percent of Americans are currently considered overweight or obese, according to study data published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the CDC, this health problem can be reversed. Even a modest weight loss of 5 or 10 pounds can provide immediate and long-term health benefits.

It’s important to keep in mind that losing weight is not a race – whether you need to lose 20, 50 or even 100 pounds – and that the benefits of losing weight and being physically active go far beyond how you look in the mirror. It’s a lifelong process to become a healthier you.

This is our specialty at Doctor for Life.  We take the approach of losing weight is only part of the plan for your Healthy Weight Lifestyle.  By combining Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine, our physicians and health care teams are always focused on the total transformation and not just one root issue.  We go beyond the scale with the InBody Test, a non-invasive body composition analysis that provides a detailed breakdown of your weight in terms of muscle, fat, and water. The InBody test provides us results with a 99% correlation to a DEXA scan. Give us a call today to take that first step to achieving all the positive changes following a Healthy Weight Lifestyle can bring to not only you but your family and loved ones as well.  864-640-0009

Benefits

Reduces pressure on your joints.  A 2005 study in Arthritis & Rheumatism of overweight and obese adults with knee osteoarthritisfound thatlosing one pound of weight resulted in four pounds of pressure being removed from the knees. In other words, losing just 10 pounds would relieve 40 pounds of pressure from your knees.

Eases pain and inflammation. The results of a 2010 study from the University of Paris published in the Annals of Rheumatic Disease indicated that weight loss can lessen pain, improve function and lower inflammation levels in the body. Fat itself is an active tissue that creates and releases pro-inflammatory chemicals. The authors of another study titled Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity on Knee Osteoarthritis noted that exercise, which aids in weight loss, can help manage and lessen the pain and symptoms of arthritis.

Cuts risk of chronic diseases. Data from the CDC-led Diabetes Prevention Program show that a moderate weight loss – around 14 pounds – can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. Weight loss can also reduce the risk of developing diseases such as cancer and can help prevent and treat arthritis and related diseases.

Makes breathing easier. Rena Wing, PhD, professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School and director of the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center at The Miriam Hospital in Providence, R.I., says that “Weight losses of just 10 percent of a person’s body weight (or about 20 pounds in those who weigh 200 pounds) have also been shown to have a long-term impact on sleep apnea …” Findings in a report from the American Heart Association noted that reducing obesity is the single, most changeable action that can be taken to prevent sleep apnea.

Lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke. Studies have shown that losing weight can lower your blood pressure into the healthy range. In addition, eating right and engaging in physical activity that leads to weight loss can also lower your cholesterol. Data suggest that even a moderate weight loss of 5 to 10 pounds can help to reduce your blood pressure and your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Overall

Weight loss is a tough endeavor, but no single action can provide as many positive effects on the body as weight loss. Its benefits for your body – helping you live longer, and pain and disease free – far outnumber the challenges you’ll meet as you work toward your weight loss goal. Talk to us today at Doctor for Life and ask about starting your weight loss program to gain lasting, better overall physical and mental health.  

Some information in this post was content provided from the Arthritis Foundation, Atlanta, Ga.

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Try a Weekend Workout

Other than losing weight, research has shown that working out also helps in the functionality of the brain. It is, therefore, a very useful healthy living activity to engage in during the weekends. Maybe the weekend is the only time you have some free time to go the gym or workout.

Don’t let that time pass you by, get off the couch and get to your home gym or the gym around the corner and workout. Make sure you lift weights that you have been cleared to lift safely by your medical professionals. A good workout will aid in your strength and your endurance. Working with weights is a anaerobic type of exercise that will aid you in your strength and will attack your waist line by chewing up calories. Regardless if your workout is aerobic like running, biking etc. or anaerobic you will want to have proper nutrition, and most importantly stay hydrated. Drink lots and lots of water, before, after and during activities.

If you are not sure about what type home workout is right for you, we are here to help at Doctor for Life. Call us today to schedule a personal fitness assessment with our certified trainers. Our medically based approach will walk you through a program that is custom to your individual health conditions and health goals. 864-640-0009

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Massage: Get in touch with its many benefits

Massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being.

Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure. There are many different types of massage, including these common types:

  • Swedish massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you.
  • Deep massage. This massage technique uses slower, more-forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.
  • Sports massage. This is similar to Swedish massage, but it’s geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.
  • Trigger point massage. This massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.
Benefits of massage

Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.  Other studies have found massage may also be helpful for:

  • Anxiety
  • Digestive disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia related to stress
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint pain

Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often produces feelings of caring, comfort and connection.

Despite its benefits, massage isn’t meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know you’re trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.

Improves Ability for Physical Activity

Research finds that massage therapy can actually enhance the effects of exercise. Recommendations are made that massage therapy offers patients who only exercise a couple of times a week to help improve flexibility and blood flow but to also help them with the soreness and stiffness they experience after their exercise.  Since massage increases oxygenation of muscle tissue, it helps sustain endurance and shorten recovery time.

What you can expect during a massage at Doctor for Life

You don’t need any special preparation for massage. Before a massage therapy session starts, our massage therapist will ask you about any symptoms, your medical history and what you’re hoping to get out of massage. Our massage therapist will explain the kind of massage and techniques they will use.

In a typical massage therapy session, you undress or wear loose-fitting clothing. Undress only to the point that you’re comfortable. You will lie on a table and cover yourself with a sheet. Our massage therapist will perform an evaluation through touch to locate painful or tense areas and to determine how much pressure to apply.  No matter what kind of massage you choose, you should feel calm and relaxed during and after your massage.

If our massage therapist is pushing too hard, ask for lighter pressure. Occasionally you may have a sensitive spot in a muscle that feels like a knot. It’s likely to be uncomfortable while our massage therapist works it out. But if it becomes painful, speak up.

The take-home message about massage

Brush aside any thoughts that massage is only a feel-good way to indulge or pamper yourself. To the contrary, massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for another stress reliever.

Call us today to book your session whether it is to help in a certain condition or just to pamper yourself.  You deserve the personal time to make yourself feel energized and relaxed.  864-640-0009. We accept qualified patients HSA and FSA cards as well.

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Don’t be fooled! The Best Diet: Quality Counts

  • Dietary guidelines have changed over the years as research becomes more accurate in determining what we should eat to attain optimal health and weight. The strongest evidence to date shows that calories matter, but focusing on food quality is an equally important part of preventing weight gain and promoting weight loss.
  • Focus on eating high-quality foods in appropriately sized portions.
  • Changes in specific dietary factors may have big impact on long-term weight gain: Weight-loss Strategy to Only ‘Eat Less, Exercise More” May be Overly Simplistic.

Consider quality, not just calories

“A calorie is a calorie” is an oft-repeated dietary slogan, and not overeating is indeed an important health measure. Rather than focusing on calories alone, however, emerging research shows that quality is also key in determining what we should eat and what we should avoid in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Rather than choosing foods based only on caloric value, think instead about choosing high-quality, healthy foods, and minimizing low-quality foods.

High-quality foods include unrefined, minimally processed foods such as vegetables and fruits, whole grains, healthy fats and healthy sources of protein – the foods recommended in the Healthy Eating Plate.

Lower-quality foods include highly processed snack foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, refined (white) grains, refined sugar, fried foods, foods high in saturated and trans fats, and high-glycemic foods such as potatoes.

There isn’t one “perfect” diet for everyone, owing to individual differences in genes and lifestyle.  At Doctor for Life we specialize in designing programs for each individual person.  Call us today to schedule your one on one visit to see what fits your lifestyle based off scientific research.

References: Harvard School of Public Health- The Nutrition Source

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The Lifelong Effects of Childhood Obesity

By Carol Hamilton

Parents want the best for their children; they want them to be good in school, athletic, artistic, and socially accepted. That desire for a child’s perfection impacts how parents perceive their child’s weight. In a recent study parents were asked if they considered their 2-5 year old children, to be overweight, underweight, or just about right. The results showed 94.5% of parents with overweight children inappropriately perceived their child as just right. Likewise, 78.4% of obese children were perceived as “just right” by their parents (Duncan, et al. 2015). Without accurate parental recognition and lifestyle changes, childhood obesity can adversely affect an individual for the remainder of their life.

Some of the most prominent health issues adults face, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes can be linked back to childhood obesity (Brody 2016). These adverse effects can show up prior to children even reaching adulthood including high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and Type 2 diabetes. In a study conducted in Singapore, individuals who were obese as children are more likely to struggle with low self-esteem, confidence, and depression even more so than adults with onset obesity (Brody 2016). Children who are obese are also at higher risk of struggling with asthma, and excess musculoskeletal stress resulting in knee and hip pain, and difficulty walking.  Unhealthy dietary and lifestyle habits formed in childhood are often carried through adulthood (Kodama 2008).

The good news is we have the ability to correct childhood obesity through dietary education and lifestyle changes. At Doctor for Life, our staff recognizes the importance of preventative healthcare practices. Whether you, your child, or your whole family want to embrace a healthy weight lifestyle, we can help. Doctor for Life has a full team dedicated to creating a doctor-guided, patient-centered program individualized to your needs. We address all aspects related to living a healthy lifestyle including nutrition, exercise, behavior, and pharmacotherapy. One of the best gifts you can give your children is a healthy lifestyle and Doctor for Life can help you do that.

Works Cited

Brody, Jane E. “The Urgency in Fighting Childhood Obesity.” The New York Times, 2016.

Duncan, Dustin T, Andrew R Hansen, Wang Wei, Fei Yan, and Jian Zhang. “Change in Misperception of Child’s Body Weight among Parents of American Preschool Children.” Childhood Obesity, 2015.

Kodama, Hiroko. “Dietary Habits that Protect Children from Lifestye-Related Diseases: from the perspective of dietary education.” Journal of the Japan Medical Association , 2008.

 

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CDC: Forty percent of cancers linked to overweight or obesity

A recent article by Internal Medicine News covered an October report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention citing that “being overweight or obese significantly increased the risk of developing at least 13 types of cancer.”

The study compared statistics between 2005 and 2014, showing that obesity-related cancers* increased by 7%. They found that 40% of nearly 1.6 million of all cancer diagnoses were people with overweight- or obesity-related cancers. The rates were more pronounced in older people (50-74 years of age) and women (possibly because of female-specific cancers). Although, during that same time period, incidences of cancers unrelated to body weight decreased by 13%.

CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, MD…

A majority of American adults weigh more than recommended – and being overweight or obese puts people at higher risk for a number of cancers – so these findings are a cause for concern. By getting to and keeping a healthy weight, we all can play a role in cancer prevention.

Doctor for Life bridges the gap to fight overweight and obesity and chronic disease. Our Healthy Weight Lifestyle approach helps mitigate these negative statistics with screening and prevention. Our lead physician is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine.

Dr. Cheryl…

Even though the effects of unhealthy weight on diabetes, cardiovascular disease, mortality and other health outcomes are widely known, there is less awareness that unhealthy weight gain is associated with increased risk of certain cancers. There are opportunities for Clinical Intervention, and at DFL, we have all the available tools with services and programs to fight these dreadful diseases.

*Excluding colorectal cancer


READ >>
http://www.mdedge.com/internalmedicinenews/article/149108/obesity/cdc-forty-percent-cancers-linked-overweight-or-obesity

 

 

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Why Losing Weight Gets Harder as You Age (And What You Can Do About It)

older-adult-fitnessThe saying “youth is wasted on the young” might just hold the most meaning when talking about weight loss. In our early years, we rarely give a second thought to the consequences of splurging on late night milkshake and fries. It may create temporary uncomfortable feelings, but we can bounce back the next day with fairly little effort. And then we do it again and again, because our young, energy-efficient bodies give us the runway to do so. How wonderful, right?!

But then life plays a cruel joke on us as we creep up in age. At first the changes are subtle. Recovery time from splurges lengthens and we notice that it’s not as easy as it used to be to shed unwanted pounds. Then before we know it, we feel stuck in a place we really don’t want to be. The weight either won’t come off (or stay off) and the cycle of discouragement sets in. Should we just surrender to the ravages of time and suffer the consequences of the natural aging process?

No! And we’ll tell you why and how.

In order to beat Father Time at his aging game, we need to take a look at the main culprits that make it harder to lose weight as we move on in years.

Muscle Loss – You may not realize it, but your body begins to lose muscle mass after the age of 30. Muscle is the body’s best calorie burner, and the more muscle your body has, the higher your metabolism will be. Losing muscle tissue lowers your metabolism, so even though you may be eating the same amount as when you were younger, you will begin to store excess calories in the form of body fat.

Calorie Needs – As you age and naturally lose muscle mass, your body requires fewer calories in order to maintain your current weight. If your calorie intake stays the same as your metabolic rate slows, and you don’t increase your physical activity, weight gain becomes unavoidable.

Stress– As we age, we often take on new life responsibilities, such as building a career, raising a family, and keeping up with mortgage payments. All of these responsibilities can create high levels of stress, which has a very real impact on health and well-being. What you may not know is that the stress you’re dealing with may be a contributor to overeating and weight gain. Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, is associated with fat accumulation along the midsection of the body. The more cortisol produced, the more stubborn belly fat to battle. Even more discouraging, higher cortisol levels also result in increased calorie consumption. In a British study, researchers found that people with high cortisol levels were more likely to snack in order to cope with the daily hassles in their lives than low-cortisol producers.

Now, let’s talk about how we can turn back the hands of time, at least physically:

Build Lean Muscle Mass – A proven way to build and maintain lean muscle mass is to eat greater amounts of protein-rich foods such as lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, and seeds. Protein provides the building blocks for healthy muscle and generally increases satiety levels, which results in less hunger and therefore less calorie consumption. If you don’t consume the excess calories, they have no chance for your body to store them as fat.  But remember, don’t overdo it on the protein. Too much protein can backfire on you in the form of unwanted stress on your organs’ ability to successfully metabolize it. Balance it with foods with high fiber and healthy fats.

Exercise is another important tool in fighting muscle loss that comes with age. According to a study published in The American Journal of Medicine, after an average of 18 to 20 weeks of progressive resistance training, adults can gain over two pounds of lean muscle mass, and increase their overall strength by over 25 percent. To ensure safety and success, speak with your medical provider before starting any exercise program.

Reduce Calorie Consumption– This always sounds like a major downer, but many people confuse cutting back on calories with having to eat less. The best thing to do is choose foods that have high nutrient density. This means you can eat more, but without all the extra calories your body doesn’t need. Next time you’re at the market, choose high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water to help you feel full.

Reduce Stress– The path to stress reduction might not be as clear as that for building muscle mass or cutting back on calories, but it is critical to reduce stress if you are trying to lose weight. There are actually many different proven ways to do this. One popular way is through increasing activity levels.. A simple 20-minute workout can reduce stress, clear your mind, and burn extra calories. Many people today are also enjoying the stress-busting effects of meditation. There are several different forms of meditation, so explore them to see which might suit your preferences and lifestyle. And if you are unsure about which action to take to reduce stress, at a minimum, just talk to someone. Let them know about your pressures and desire to more effectively manage them. The process of revealing your thoughts to an empathetic supporter provides stress relief on its own.!

If you can identify the specific weight loss challenges in your life, you can take the necessary actions to achieve healthy weight loss, which has the high probability of reviving some of that same energy you felt when you were younger. The end result of effective weight loss could mean that we can live with the wisdom and grace that only age can give us, but in a younger-feeling, healthier body. Now that sounds pretty wonderful to us.

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Use Grocery Lists In Your Weight Loss Game Plan

Going grocery shopping while following a weight loss program can be a lot like playing in a football game. You’re the quarterback and you need to end the play with food selections that will help you reach your goal weight. But there’s a defensive line standing in your way in the form of aisles of tempting, unhealthy food. Without a good game plan, it will be harder to reach the goal line.

Think of your simple grocery list as part of that plan. If you call the right plays (that is, list the right types of food) before you step onto the field, you’re more likely to win the game and see weight loss results.

Research has shown links between shopping with a grocery list and improved diets with healthier weights. For example, a recent study in The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that those who regularly made a grocery list before going food shopping had a healthier weight than those who didn’t make a list. The study surveyed over 1300 participants, of whom nearly 80 percent were either overweight or obese. At the end of the study period, it was the grocery list-makers who weighed an average of five pounds less than those without a list.

One of the reasons why a grocery list might support weight loss is because it may serve as a good tool to control impulse buying. Supermarkets conveniently place dessert displays at the end of the aisle and sweets by the checkout counter to tempt shoppers. A list may be able to keep you more focused, because you’ll know exactly what you need to buy before you walk in. If you just select items based on what you see walking through the aisles, you run a greater risk of putting enticing junk foods into your cart.

So the next time you need to make a trip to the supermarket, take a few minutes to huddle up with the family to create your game plan. And if you need help determining which foods belong in the plan, just talk to a weight loss medical professional who can help you sketch it out. Remember, even though you’re the quarterback, you can lean on your team for help getting to your goal. That is the end game after all.

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