Weight loss tips from bariatric surgeons

Ask the Expert

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – According to SC DHEC, obesity affects 2 out of 3 SC adults and one out of 3 SC children.

It’s linked to diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Bariatric surgeons Dr. David Anderson and Dr. Jessica Gonzalez Hernandez say it’s a growing threat to our nation’s health.

“More cell phone use, more sedentary lifestyle use, [and] less activity is making the problem worse,” Dr. Anderson says.

“Obesity is a chronic disease,” Dr. Gonzalez Hernandez agrees. “You’re never cured from it. You have to look for help.”

According to registered dietician Katie Nowakowski, the first step to fighting obesity is to completely cut out sodas and sugary drinks. She also recommends picking smaller portions and slowing down while eating. 

“It takes your body about 20 minutes for your brain to catch up with your stomach and say, ‘Hey, I’m full,’” she says.

Dr. Anderson and Dr. Gonzalez Hernandez agree that eating slowly is a good way to prevent weight gain. “Start by your protein and eat slowly, so maybe by the time you get to your carb and fat you’ve already gotten that signal that you’re full.”

Along with regular exercise, they recommend eating 3 small meals a day and choosing high protein snacks like nuts or protein shakes. 

“I usually recommend doing a high protein, low fat, low carb diet,” Dr. Anderson says. “You want to lose the fat and keep your muscle.”

Dr. Anderson warns that fad diets like the Keto Diet aren’t for everyone. “Somebody who has high cholesterol or high triglycerides is eating on a Keto diet with increased fat and increased proteins, they could be doing harm to their blood vessels if it’s not monitored.”

Dr. Gonzalez Hernandez adds that “magic diet pills” haven’t been proven to have long lasting effects. “The most you’re going to get is 20 percent of your excess weight loss down,” she says.

Dr. Gonzalez Hernandez, Dr. Anderson and Nowakowski stressed the importance of talking to your general practitioner before choosing a diet so you can find one that fits your specific health needs.

To hear more from experts at Bon Secours on this topic and others, listen every Saturday morning at 10am on 106.3 WORD radio.  

To submit your health questions for our series, click here.

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