New Jersey Bariatric Center moves to Telemedicine

Telemedicine now available at NJBC

In our effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and accommodate our patient’s needs, New Jersey Bariatric Center now offers telemedicine appointments.

Scheduling a Telemedicine Appointment

Call our office at 908-481-1270 or click here to schedule a telemedicine appointment. After scheduling, patients will receive a confirmation email from us with a link to access their appointment.  Telemedicine appointments will be conducted via Doxy.me. The platform is secure, easy-to-use and allows patients to stay connected with their New Jersey Bariatric Center doctors.  Telemedicine appointments are available for current and new patients.   

What to Expect during a Telemedicine Appointment

During a telemedicine session, patients will speak directly with a member of the New Jersey Bariatric Center clinical staff – surgeons, physician assistant or nutritionists – based on the type of appointment they schedule. Current pre-op patients can stay on track for their future procedures, new patients can learn about weight loss surgery procedures like the gastric sleeve and gastric bypass and post-op patients can maintain their care and follow-up.

At New Jersey Bariatric Center the safety of our patients, staff and communities we serve is a priority.  We hope by introducing telemedicine to our patients during the NJ Coronavirus Stay-At-Home Order we can keep everyone safe, healthy and on their weight loss journey.

For more information about scheduling a telemedicine appointment or if you have questions about an existing appointment, please call our office at 908-481-1270. 

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Healthy Valentine's Dinner Recipe

Are you staying in for dinner this Valentine’s Day and looking for a delicious yet healthy recipe? This Shrimp Pasta dish has minimal ingredients but packs a ton of flavor. Shrimp is a great source of protein and when paired with a protein pasta, they make the perfect pair. Whether you're celebrating with a special someone, making dinner for your family or enjoying a cozy night by yourself, this recipe is sure to please. If you have leftovers, they are a great, healthy option to pack for lunch the next day, too!

Ingredients

Instructions:

  1. Bring a pan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and boil for 1 min 30 secs, or until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook the spaghetti following pack instructions, then drain, reserving a ladleful of cooking water.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the garlic clove and fry over a low heat for 2 mins. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the flavored oil.
  4. Add the tomatoes to the pan and fry over a medium heat for 5 mins, or until beginning to soften and turn juicy. Stir in the shrimp and cook for 2 mins, or until turning pink. Add the sriracha and lemon zest, stirring to coat.
  5. Add the cooked spaghetti and reserved pasta water through the shrimp and tomatoes. Stir in the broccoli and toasted garlic, season to taste and serve.

5 Healthy Valentine’s Day Desserts

Valentine's Day is approaching, and love is in the air! It's a time for romance, sweet gestures, and, of course, indulging in delicious treats. If you are mindful of your health and weight, enjoying this holiday can sometimes feel like a challenge. However, celebratingValentine’s Day doesn't mean you have to compromise your health goals. Let's explore some delectable, health-conscious dessert options that are both sweet and sensible.

1. Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Skewers:

A romantic classic with a healthy twist. These skewers feature fresh strawberries dipped in sugar-free dark chocolate, sprinkled with coconut flakes for a delightful crunch.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Wash and dry the strawberries.
  2. Melt the dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring in between.
  3. Dip each strawberry into the chocolate, coating half of the strawberry.
  4. Sprinkle each chocolate-dipped strawberry with coconut flakes.
  5. Add 4 strawberries to each skewer and let them set on parchment paper.

2. Greek Yogurt and Berry Parfait:

Layered with creamy, protein-rich Greek yogurt, fresh mixed berries, and a touch of honey, these parfaits are a symphony of textures and flavors, topped with chia seeds for added nutrition.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. In two serving glasses, layer half of the Greek yogurt at the bottom.
  2. Add a layer of mixed berries on top of the yogurt.
  3. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of honey over the berries in each glass.
  4. Add the remaining yogurt and top with the remaining berries.
  5. Sprinkle chia seeds on top of each parfait.

3. Peanut Butter Protein Balls (Makes 4 balls):

These no-bake protein balls are a perfect quick snack. Combining the smoothness of peanut butter with the texture of oats and the sweetness of honey, they are a delightful bite-sized treat.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Combine peanut butter, oats, protein powder, and honey in a bowl.
  2. Roll the mixture into 4 balls.
  3. Press a few chocolate chips into each ball.
  4. Refrigerate for an hour before serving.

4. Chocolate Avocado Protein Pudding :

A creamy and rich pudding that uses the natural creaminess of heart-healthy avocados, combined with cocoa and protein powder, to create a luscious and healthy chocolate treat.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Blend avocado, cocoa powder, protein powder, almond milk, and sweetener until smooth.
  2. Refrigerate for an hour to thicken.
  3. Serve chilled.

5. Triple-Seed Chocolate Berry Delight:

A nutrient-dense dessert that combines the power of fiber-filled chia, flax, and hemp seeds in a chocolatey mix, complemented with fresh berries for a burst of freshness and natural sweetness.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Mix chia, flax, and hemp seeds with almond milk, cocoa powder, sweetener, vanilla, and salt.
  2. Refrigerate overnight or at least for 2 hours.
  3. Stir and divide into 2 servings. Top with fresh berries and chocolate shavings.

Celebrating Valentine's Day doesn't mean you have to stray from your health goals. These high-protein desserts feature healthier ingredients and are perfect for enjoying the sweetness of the holiday while staying on track. However, it's important to remember that portion control is key, even when indulging in these healthier dessert options. Enjoy these treats as you celebrate the day of love! Happy Valentine's Day!

What is Food Noise and How Can I Silence It?

Food noise is a term used to describe constant thoughts about food or a preoccupation with food that can be overwhelming or disruptive to daily life - that persistent inner voice chattering about cookies even though you just had lunch. When experiencing food noise you may not necessarily feel hungry, but you are still thinking or obsessing about food. It’s different from hunger. Hunger is physical whereas food noise is in the mind. 

If you’re struggling with food noise, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. There are steps you can take to quiet the chatter and develop a healthier relationship with food. 

Learn Your Physical Hunger Cues

Learn your body’s natural signals of hunger and fullness rather than relying on external cues. Pay special attention to your physical hunger cues so you can differentiate them from food noise cues. When you're physically hungry, practice mindful eating. I always recommend sitting down to eat at a table without watching TV or using a cellphone. Limit distractions to allow yourself to focus on the flavors of your meal and how you’re feeling while you’re eating. Savor each bite.

Healthy Food Habits

One way to regulate your hunger cues and food noise can be to adopt habits that help you make better food choices. If there’s one specific food that you simply cannot resist, try keeping it out of the house or out of your sight. Always have healthy snacks such as cut up vegetables, low-fat cheese sticks and yogurts on hand to snack on, and use smaller plates when possible, portions appear larger when on a smaller plate.  

The  Importance of Sleep

 Did you know not getting a good night’s rest can cause you to feel hungrier and consume more calories in a day? Leptin and Ghrelin are two hormones that help regulate hunger and satiety.  When you get a restful night's sleep, it allows your body to regulate the amount of these hormones.  Sleep can also impact how your body regulates insulin. Insulin is the hormone that helps regulate your blood sugar.  Making sure that you are active, getting outside and some sunlight daily can help you get good quality sleep as well. Aim for at leas 7 hours of sleep per night and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day to keep your body on a routine. Keep your bedroom dark and relaxing, put your phone down a couple of hours before bed, and avoid large meals too close to bedtime to regulate your sleep as well.  

How Weight Loss Medication Can Help

Weight loss medications like Wegovy® and Zepbound™ can help quell the food noise. These medications are referred to as GLP-1 agonists. One of the ingredients in these medications, semaglutide, can affect the area of the brain that controls appetite. It works by targeting hormones in the brain and body that regulate hunger and satiety -the feeling of being full. It helps patients feel more in control, which enables them to make better choices without always feeling distracted by food. GLP-1 medications also make you feel full quickly, and with improved hunger control and food noise at bay, patients are able to make healthier choices with their meal. 

Working with an RD

If you feel overwhelmed with food noise, I encourage you to make an appointment with a registered dietitian. Working with a registered dietitian can help you not only on your weight loss journey but also with anything that pops up along the way to your goals. We are able to tailor behavior modifications and offer solutions to individual dietary problems that you may have that will work for you. 

Ready to make an appointment? Give our office a call at 908-481-1270.

Bariatric Surgery, Weight Loss Medications & You: Understanding Your Options

Both bariatric surgery - gastric sleeve and gastric bypass - and prescription weight loss medications are tools to help you reach a healthy weight; but they work differently and lead to varying amounts of weight loss. Here’s what you need to know about both options and how you can maximize your weight loss.

Understand How Each Helps You Lose Weight

Gastric sleeve and gastric bypass both create weight loss by decreasing the size of your stomach, which limits the amount of food you can eat at one time, leaving you feeling fuller sooner and longer.  Gastric sleeve jumpstarts weight loss by removing a portion of the stomach reducing the capacity for food intake, whereas gastric bypass works by both reducing the stomach size and rerouting the path food normally takes so that it “bypasses” a large section of the stomach and a portion of the intestine. Both decrease your levels of hunger hormones so you will feel less hungry. As you eat less food, your body will stop storing excess calories and start using its fat supply for energy. 

Gastric sleeve and gastric bypass procedures result in significant long term, sustainable weight loss, on average between 60-80% of excess body weight. If you’re currently on weight loss medications and are looking for  long term, sustainable results change, bariatric surgery might be the right fit for you. To calculate your potential weight loss with gastric sleeve, click here. For gastric bypass, click here

Prescription weight loss medications aid in weight loss by decreasing hunger hormones while simultaneously increasing feelings of satiety, leading to reduced food intake ultimately leading to weight loss. Qsymia® (phentermine & topiramate), Saxenda® (liraglutide), Wegovy® (semaglutide) and Zepbound™(tirzepatide) are FDA-approved weight loss medications prescribed in either weekly/daily injections or capsules. Medications can typically lead to a total body weight loss ranging between 10-20%. If you’ve already had bariatric surgery and gained some of the weight back, medical weight loss might be a good option for you, if you qualify.. To calculate your potential weight loss with prescription medications, click here

Do I Qualify?

For weight loss surgery, patients qualify with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 and above, or 35 and above with obesity-related conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or obstructive sleep apnea. Find out if you qualify and calculate your BMI here.

For prescription weight loss medication patients qualify with a (BMI) of 30 and above, or a BMI of 27 and above with obesity-related conditions mentioned above. Find out if you qualify for medical weight loss here.

Costs and Insurance Coverage

For many people, weight loss surgery is an affordable health option because it is covered by their health insurance plan. However, while medical benefits usually cover the majority of the surgical costs, there may be out-of-pocket expenses depending on the procedure and your specific policy. Since coverage for each individual policy varies by company and employer, our staff will determine your exact coverage prior to your first appointment. Our navigators have a very high authorization success rate and regularly work with many insurance companies.  

While some insurance plans cover weight loss surgery, coverage for prescription weight loss medications may vary. It’s important to contact your insurance provider beforehand to find out if you have coverage for weight loss medications. If you do not have coverage, self-pay options are available.

Your Weight Loss Journey At NJBC

The journey to weight loss doesn’t end when you decide on weight loss surgery or medication. Both medical weight loss and surgical patients start the process with routine lab work for our physicians to gain a better understanding of their health. This information along with your weight loss goals helps our doctors develop a plan that’s right for you. 

With weight loss surgery you will meet with your surgeon, and then be teamed up with an experienced patient navigator who will be your guide, scheduling preoperative appointments, answering questions and ensuring all insurance and clinical requirements are met. After surgery, at your follow-up appointments our team will help you adjust to your new lifestyle. 

With prescription weight loss medications, once you have verified your medication coverage with your insurance provider and completed routine lab work you’ll meet with our doctor to review lab test results and medication options. Once a medication is prescribed, NJBC’s medical team - registered dietitians and physician assistants - will meet with you monthly to monitor and review your progress.

We will provide guidance on nutrition and exercise, support you throughout the entire journey, including plateaus and possible weight regain and we’ll be there to celebrate all of your achievements.

Maximizing Weight Loss Success

Achieving and maintaining weight loss success requires a comprehensive approach along with nutrition support and lifestyle changes. At NJBC we understand what it takes to achieve long term weight loss success. 

With more than 20 years experience, we’ve developed medical and surgical weight loss programs that go beyond the operating room and a prescription. Our team of experienced physicians, physician assistants and registered dietitians provide patients with additional tools - exercise and nutrition classes, support groups, and a wealth of educational resources. We will help you make the decision that’s right for you and support you throughout the entire journey.

Interested in learning more about your weight loss options? Give us a call at 908-481-1270. 

Source

Eisenberg, D., Shikora, S. A., Aarts, E., Aminian, A., Angrisani, L., Cohen, R. V., de Luca, M., Faria, S. L., Goodpaster, K. P. S., Haddad, A., Himpens, J. M., Kow, L., Kurian, M., Loi, K., Mahawar, K., Nimeri, A., O’Kane, M., Papasavas, P. K., Ponce, J., … Kothari, S. N. (2022). 2022 American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and International Federation for the surgery of obesity and metabolic disorders (IFSO) indications for metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Obesity Surgery, 33(1), 3–14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-022-06332-1

Should I try Weight Loss Surgery or Weight Loss Medications?

Trying to decide between weight loss surgery or weight loss medications? Both bariatric surgery - gastric sleeve and gastric bypass - and prescription weight loss medications are tools to help you reach a healthy weight; but they work differently and lead to varying amounts of weight loss. 

Here are a few things to consider when making the decision.

Understand How Each Helps You Lose Weight

Gastric sleeve and gastric bypass both create weight loss by decreasing the size of your stomach, which limits the amount of food you can eat at one time, leaving you feeling fuller sooner and longer.  Gastric sleeve jumpstarts weight loss by removing a portion of the stomach reducing the capacity for food intake, whereas gastric bypass works by both reducing the stomach size and rerouting the path food normally takes so that it “bypasses” a large section of the stomach and a portion of the intestine. Both decrease your levels of hunger hormones so you will feel less hungry. As you eat less food, your body will stop storing excess calories and start using its fat supply for energy. 

Gastric sleeve and gastric bypass procedures result in significant long term, sustainable weight loss, on average between 60-80% of excess body weight. To calculate your potential weight loss with gastric sleeve, click here. For gastric bypass, click here

Prescription weight loss medications aid in weight loss by decreasing hunger hormones while simultaneously increasing feelings of satiety, leading to reduced food intake then ultimately weight loss. Qsymia® (phentermine & topiramate), Saxenda® (liraglutide), Wegovy® (semaglutide) and Zepbound™ (tirzepatide) are FDA-approved weight loss medications prescribed in either weekly/daily injections or capsules. These anti-obesity medications are not meant for short term use but rather long term use and once medication is stopped, the feeling of satiety decreases and food cravings increase, which ultimately leads to weight regain. The total body weight loss typically ranges between 10-20%. See the chart below for comparison.

To calculate your potential weight loss with prescription medications, click here.

Do I Qualify?
For weight loss surgery patients qualify with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 and above, or 35 and above with obesity-related conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or obstructive sleep apnea. Find out if you qualify and calculate your BMI here.

Patients qualify for prescription weight loss medication with a (BMI) of 30 and above, or a BMI of 27 and above with obesity-related conditions mentioned above. Find out if you qualify for medical weight loss here.

Costs and Insurance Coverage

For many people, weight loss surgery is an affordable health option because it is covered by their health insurance plan. However, while medical benefits usually cover the majority of the surgical costs, there may be out-of-pocket expenses depending on the procedure and your specific policy. Since coverage for each individual policy varies by company and employer, our staff will determine your exact coverage prior to your first appointment. Our navigators have a very high authorization success rate and regularly work with many insurance companies.

While some insurance plans cover weight loss surgery, coverage for prescription weight loss medications may vary. It’s important to contact your insurance provider beforehand to find out if you have coverage for weight loss medications. If you do not have coverage, self-pay options are available.

Getting Started on Your Weight Loss Journey At NJBC

Both medical weight loss and surgical patients start the process with routine lab work for our physicians to gain a better understanding of their health. This information along with your weight loss goals helps our doctors develop a plan that’s right for you.

With weight loss surgery you will meet with your surgeon, and then be teamed up with an experienced patient navigator who will be your guide, scheduling preoperative appointments, answering questions and ensuring all insurance and clinical requirements are met. After surgery, at your follow-up appointment our team will help you adjust to your new lifestyle.

With prescription weight loss medications, once you have verified your medication coverage with your insurance provider and completed routine lab work you’ll meet with our doctor to review lab test results and medication options. Once a medication is prescribed, NJBC’s medical team will meet with you monthly to monitor and review your progress.

Finding Weight Loss Success

The journey to weight loss doesn’t end when you decide on weight loss surgery or medication. Achieving and maintaining your weight loss goal requires a comprehensive approach along with nutrition support and lifestyle changes. At NJBC we understand what it takes to achieve long term weight loss success.

With more than 20 years experience, we’ve developed medical and surgical weight loss programs that go beyond the operating room and a prescription. Our team of experienced physicians, physician assistants and registered dietitians provide patients with additional tools - exercise and nutrition classes, support groups, and a wealth of educational resources. We will help you make the decision that’s right for you and support you throughout the entire journey.

Interested in learning more about your weight loss options? Give us a call at 908-481-1270.

Source
Eisenberg, D., Shikora, S. A., Aarts, E., Aminian, A., Angrisani, L., Cohen, R. V., de Luca, M., Faria, S. L., Goodpaster, K. P. S., Haddad, A., Himpens, J. M., Kow, L., Kurian, M., Loi, K., Mahawar, K., Nimeri, A., O’Kane, M., Papasavas, P. K., Ponce, J., … Kothari, S. N. (2022). 2022 American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and International Federation for the surgery of obesity and metabolic disorders (IFSO) indications for metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Obesity Surgery, 33(1), 3–14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-022-06332-1

Maintaining Your Weight Loss Progress Through Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is all about gathering together, giving thanks and enjoying a meal with family and friends. However, this big meal can be quite challenging and stressful if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain your weight loss progress. Heading into Thanksgiving with a solid plan is a great way to help you stay on track. Here are 4 tips that we tell our patients. 

Plan Ahead

Create a meal plan that includes healthy options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. This will help you make mindful choices when you’re faced with temptation especially at Thanksgiving dinner. Our registered dietitian team is always here to support you in creating a customized plan that works for you.

Avoid Skipping Meals

On Thanksgiving day avoid skipping meals. Treat the day just like any other day of the week. Opt for a healthy protein packed breakfast such as a smoothie or an omelet. For lunch, focus on lean protein and veggies like chicken breast and a salad. Overall, remember to stay fueled throughout the day instead of starving yourself until the big meal. Most importantly, listen to your body. Once you’re full, practice pushing your plate away or packing up leftovers. You should leave the table feeling comfortable and satisfied -- not stuffed.

Build Your Plate Mindfully

Protein should be the foundation of your meals while on a weight loss journey. It helps to maintain lean body mass and to keep you feeling fuller, longer.. I recommend filling your holiday plate with protein first and allocate 50% percent of your plate to it for an adequate amount of nutrients. Next addition to your plate should be veggies which provide your body with antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E.  Some good options include sautéed carrots and green beans, a spinach salad or roasted broccoli. For higher carb options such as stuffing or mashed potatoes opt for a smaller spoonful and enjoy in moderation. Remember that it’s okay to indulge a bit but just be mindful of your portion sizes, eat slowly and mindfully.

Add some Movement to Your Day

Getting up from the table and away from the food is a good way to ensure that you won’t be tempted to overindulge. We recommend going for a walk after dinner or rallying up some company for a sporting activity. Moving will not only boost digestion but also helps to burn some calories.

For more recipe ideas, click here

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at NJBC.

FDA Approves Prescription Weight Loss Injection Zepbound™

Studies show weight loss injection can decrease total body weight by more than 20%

November 8th, 2023: Today the FDA approved Zepbound™, Eli Lilly’s prescription weight loss injection. Zepbound™ is a weekly, self-administered injection used for the treatment of chronic weight management in adults with obesity. Tirzepatide, the active ingredient in Zepbound™ works by altering your hunger hormones, decreasing the amount of food eaten and also helping you to feel fuller for longer periods of time. Tirzepatide has been previously FDA-approved in the treatment of diabetes under the brand name Mounjaro™. Studies have shown that Zepbound™ can help patients lose more than 20% of their body weight.

RELATED: FDA-Approved Prescription Weight Loss Medication 

At New Jersey Bariatric Center® we pair FDA-approved prescription weight loss medication with support from our team, healthy eating education, exercise and lifestyle modifications. This comprehensive approach helps to set the foundation for more sustainable weight loss and gives you lifelong tools that help you achieve your healthiest weight.  We know weight loss goals are successfully achieved when doctor visits and weight loss medication are combined with long-term support and consistent nutrition education and counseling.

According to the FDA, to qualify for Zepbound™, you must be over the age of 18 and meet the following requirements:

Eli Lilly expects that Zepbound™ will be available by the end of the year. Once it becomes available at NJBC we will post an update. 

For more information, call our office at 908-481-1270. To request an appointment, click here

NJBC Eats: Homemade Protein Packed Pumpkin Frosty

Ah, the air is a little cooler, the leaves are starting to fall, and it’s that time of year when everything gets a sprinkle of pumpkin spice.! You may have caught wind of Wendy’s new Pumpkin Spice Frosty. However, this treat comes with a drawback- the small size has 330 calories, 8 grams of fat and over 50 grams of sugar! 

If you like pumpkin spice but want to enjoy it in a weight loss friendly way, a homemade frosty isn’t entirely too difficult -  all you’ll need is a blender or food processor and a few Fall ingredients. 

Ingredients:

I opted for unsweetened almond milk as my liquid of choice as it’s low in sugar and fat. Of course, I added a scoop of vanilla protein powder for an extra boost of protein to help keep us feeling fuller for much longer. Pumpkin puree is the star here adding that delicious Autumn flavor, pretty orange color and antioxidants. Frozen bananas will add fiber for good digestion and also helps to give our “frosty” the desired consistency. Finally a little cinnamon and pumpkin spice to balance everything out. 

Instructions:

  1. Blend all ingredients above. Garnish with some sugar free whipped cream.  

This homemade, weight loss friendly version has 319 calories, 0 grams of fat and only 13 grams of sugar. Plus it has 6 grams of fiber and at least 20-30 grams of protein (depending on the brand that you use). This is a delicious and well-balanced meal that you can enjoy for breakfast during the Fall season.  

Check out the comparison chart below.

PCOS & Weight Loss: How Losing Weight Can Treat the Symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

September is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) awareness month and according to Cleveland Clinic between 40%-80% of people with PCOS live with obesity.

For women who suffer from PCOS and obesity simultaneously, research shows that weight loss can help to reduce or better manage their symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, high levels of male hormones (which can cause excess hair growth and acne) and ovarian cysts. PCOS is also associated with insulin resistance, which can lead to weight gain and increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Insulin is the hormone responsible for regulating the amount of sugar in our blood and insulin resistance is when the body doesn’t respond properly to insulin and causes high blood sugar and weight gain. 

How Does Weight Loss Help?

By lowering blood sugar levels, improving insulin resistance and helping hormones reach normal levels, losing weight and achieving a body mass index, or BMI, of 18.5 through 24.9 can help to relieve PCOS symptoms like irregular periods, excess body hair, infertility, and hair loss. For those who suffer from PCOS and have had significant weight gain or obesity, both surgical - gastric sleeve or gastric bypass - and prescription based weight loss medications are options.  

At New Jersey Bariatric Center we understand that losing weight is not as simple as calories in and calories out. A comprehensive approach is an effective way to achieve long term sustainable weight loss. Weight loss surgery, gastric sleeve and gastric bypass, is proven to reduce weight and improve overall health. Both work to reset hunger hormones. Patients who undergo gastric sleeve surgery can lose about 40-70% of their excess body weight. Patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery typically lose around 60-80% of their excess body weight. Along with losing weight, both procedures can also result in the resolution of conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and other PCOS symptoms. 

When coupled with healthy eating habits, exercise and physician support, prescription weight loss medications like Wegovy™, Qsymia™ and Saxenda™ also help to achieve weight loss and alleviate symptoms of PCOS.

For more information about how losing weight can help with PCOS, give us a call at 908-481-1270 to talk to our bariatric surgery and prescription weight loss experts. 

References:

Why It’s Hard to Out-Exercise Unhealthy Eating Habits Even With Weight Loss Medications and Bariatric Surgery

Every year my wife and I challenge ourselves to run a 5 mile race. We train, we run and we look forward to how much we can eat for our celebratory dinner after crossing the finish line. I decided to check the scale a week afterwards to see how much weight I lost with all the training, as I didn’t feel like I was making much progress. Despite all that running, eating extra calories undermined all the hard work - I had gained weight. My body fat percentage increased, and my muscle mass hadn’t changed. Even with exercise, the scale still went up and I realized that it’s hard to out-exercise unhealthy eating habits. Here’s why.

Healthy eating and exercise are the pillars to maximizing weight loss. This remains true whether you’re taking prescription weight loss medications or after having the gastric sleeve, bypass or revision surgery.

Calories In vs. Calories Out

Our body burns a set amount of calories each day as part of your baseline metabolism (BMR). Our BMR, or the amount of calories we burn in our regular, day-to-day life, is dependent on our weight, height, age and general physical activity level. Any additional physical activity we do throughout the day increases the total amount of calories burned in a day. To lose weight, we need to burn more calories than we are consuming. Any calories that we take in through eating and drinking counteract the calories burned. 

Relating it to my example, if I burn 150 calories per mile and I run 5 miles, then that is 750 calories burned. What I didn’t realize until I took the time to learn about healthy eating, was how fast calories can add up.  If I have a bag of potato chips, a can of Coke, and a slice of cake, I’ve now eaten more calories than I burned on my entire run.

If you rely only on exercise to counteract the calories taken in without changing your eating habits, it’s very easy to gain weight because the calories in can still be much higher than what exercise burns.  That’s why our team of registered dietitians at New Jersey Bariatric Center stress the importance of reading food labels and sticking to their meal plans. Some foods can be misleading and higher in calories than we think. 

Benefits of Exercise

It’s still important to know that exercising is beneficial for your body and mind. It can improve heart health, lower blood pressure, strengthen muscles and bones, and even reduce anxiety and depression. An exercise goal to shoot for is 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercising per week. This can be as simple as going for a 30 minute walk 5x per week or three to four 45 minute strength training sessions, yoga, pilates and swimming. If you have questions about exercise and/or how intense you should be going, please consult with your surgical team.

For more information on exercises you can do after having weight loss surgery, check out our blog.

For more questions, call us at 908-481-1270.

New Jersey Bariatric Center Surgeons Present New Data on the Safety and Efficacy of Gastric Sleeve and Gastric Bypass with Low BMI Surgery

A significant health benefit of gastric sleeve and gastric bypass surgery is the control of and in some cases resolution of many severe weight-related medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea. Knowing the significant health impact these procedures can have on individuals living with obesity, the surgeons at NJBC set out to demonstrate and document the benefits of gastric sleeve and gastric bypass surgery and the importance of making these procedures accessible to a wider range of patients. The goal is to improve and/or resolve their long-term obesity-related illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension, while achieving sustainable weight loss.

Today, the ASMBS recognized the results of our clinical study on the safety and effectiveness of gastric sleeve and gastric bypass for patients with a lower body mass index (BMI) ranging from 30 to 35.

Our study included 30 individuals who underwent gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery between 2017-2021. We discovered that nearly 60% of the participants achieved a weight loss of at least 50% of their excess body weight, while 56.25% experienced improvements or complete resolution of obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes or hypertension. Importantly, none of the patients encountered any complications throughout the entire surgical process. This outcome highlights the substantial health benefits that can be achieved through bariatric surgery for individuals within this BMI range.

Since 1991 to now, patients are only eligible for bariatric surgery with a BMI of 35 or higher and when their weight-related conditions reach severe stages. However, this study demonstrates that by intervening earlier, patients can achieve long term weight loss, halt the progression of these diseases and, in some cases, achieve resolution. The gastric bypass and gastric sleeve procedures showcased both safety and efficacy for this patient population, offering new possibilities for managing weight-related chronic diseases.

As the principal investigator, I am proud to have led this study and share our results with the medical community at the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) 2023 conference, and  with our patient community at New Jersey Bariatric Center. 

The findings highlight the impact that this procedure can have on patients with obesity-related chronic health conditions, yet have a lower BMI, offering them an effective solution for weight loss and improving their overall health. It provides hope for individuals struggling with obesity and related diseases, and emphasizes the importance of considering gastric sleeve and gastric bypass procedures as a viable option for treatment. 

RELATED: Low-BMI Bariatric Surgery

For questions about our study and low BMI surgery, call us at 908-481-1270.

Wegovy®, Saxenda® or Qsymia®: Which Prescription Weight Loss Medication is Best for Me?

Currently, there are several FDA-approved anti-obesity medications available to patients who qualify.  These medications include  Wegovy®, Saxenda®, Qsymia® and a few more in clinical trials like Mounjaro™, but with so many choices how do you know which medication is best for you? Let’s review everything you need to help you decide. 

Do I Qualify?

First, determine if you meet the criteria for medical weight loss. 

How Do The Medications Work?

Each weight loss medication is designed to decrease hunger while simultaneously increasing feelings of satiety, leading to reduced food intake and overall absorption of calories. 

Wegovy® & Saxenda®

Wegovy® (semaglutide) and Saxenda® (liraglutide) are both injectable prescription medications that assist in weight loss by mimicking a hormone that targets areas of the brain that regulates appetite and satiety (fullness), this can help with your overall portion control and ultimately weight loss.  

Wegovy® contains semaglutide, an active ingredient originally used only for the treatment of diabetes in a medication called Ozempic®.  When it was determined that the use of semaglutide to treat diabetes also helped the diabetic patients lose weight, Ozempic underwent a clinical trial for FDA-approval to treat obesity. Today we know this medication under the brand name Wegovy®, which is prescribed at a higher dose to treat obesity.

Wegovy® is a once-weekly self-administered injection and Saxenda® is a daily self-administered injection. Studies have shown that these medications are seeing slightly more weight loss (15-18% of total body weight) compared to Qsymia®. This means that a patient who weighs 200 pounds can expect to lose between 30-40 pounds on average with Wegovy® & Saxenda®

Qsymia®

Another commonly prescribed weight loss medication is Qsymia®, otherwise known as Phentermine/Topamax. Phentermine is a stimulant that  works as an appetite suppressant and its combination with Topamax helps to control food cravings. 

Qsymia® is a daily extended release tablet, which means the medication slowly releases over time giving the patient a longer lasting overall suppression of appetite, as well as helps to control cravings and snacking. The average weight loss is around 10% of total body weight which means a patient that is 200 pounds can expect to lose an average of 20 pounds.

On the Horizon: Mounjaro

Mounjaro, also known as Tirzepatide, is a medication that is FDA-approved for diabetes, but is currently in clinical trials for approval for obesity.  Mounjaro works by targeting GLP-1 receptors, proteins involved in the control of your blood sugar. This can lead to increased feelings of satiety.  Mounjaro also mimics another hormone called GIP or glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide. This can help decrease the amount of food eaten. Early results of the studies are showing a higher percentage decrease in body weight. 

When and if  it receives FDA-approval for the treatment of obesity, we will post an update. 

When deciding which weight loss medication is right for you, it's important to consider the average weight loss; side effects; whether or not you prefer injections or capsules, and obesity-related conditions. 

As with all weight loss medications, there are side effects. It’s important to discuss the side effects of any medication you are taking with your healthcare provider. 

The team at New Jersey Bariatric Center developed a comprehensive medical weight loss program from our experience treating and guiding patients on prescription weight loss medications during the last decade. Our experience taught us that weight loss goals are successfully achieved when doctor visits and weight loss medication are combined with long-term support and consistent nutrition education and counseling. To request more information on our medial weight loss program or to request an appointment, click here

Source

Singh, G., Krauthamer, M., & Bjalme-Evans, M. (2022). Wegovy (semaglutide): a new weight loss drug for chronic weight management. Journal of investigative medicine : the official publication of the American Federation for Clinical Research, 70(1), 5–13. https://doi.org/10.1136/jim-2021-001952