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The Weight is Over

Don’t Step on The Scale Every Day!

by Tara Joyce 26. September 2014

That’s right. I’m telling you to stop stepping on the scale every day. When trying to lose weight, one might assume that we WOULD recommend weighing oneself daily as a way to track and monitor success. 

However, quite the opposite is true. Too many times we see patients become scale obsessed, stepping on the scale every single day and sometimes multiple times throughout the day!


Real weight changes occur over time.

A calorie deficit of approximately 3,500 calories will promote a weight loss of one pound. Therefore, weight loss (and weight gain) occur over time and it is pretty much impossible for a person to truly lose or gain one pound of fat tissue in one day unless they eat 3,500 calories less than they burn or eat 3,500 calories more than they expend.

Water weight on the other hand, can fluctuate throughout the day.

Water weight can fluctuate based on a variety of things:

  1. Time of day – we tend to weigh less in the morning
  2. Salt intake – Salt will promote water retention and cause the scale to tip upwards
  3. How heavy  our clothes are – Heavier the clothes, heavier the weight
  4. Exercise – we can lose a lot of water weight through sweat.
    Try it! Weigh yourself before working out then make sure to work up a sweat and weigh yourself after exercise and see how much you can lose!
  5. Your carbohydrate intake – Carbohydrates also promote water retention (This is why the low-carbohydrate diets cause such rapid weight loss)

What I recommend is picking one day of the week and at the same time every week, hop on the scale to monitor weight. Do not allow the box on the floor to have control over how you feel. Weight loss and weight maintenance is a process that requires healthy lifestyle changes.

Question of the Day: How often do you weigh yourself? Do you have a healthy relationship with the scale?

Losing Weight is “Easy.” Maintaining is Difficult.

by Tara Joyce 24. August 2014

How many times have you seen someone lose a ton of weight dieting only to gain it all back, plus some once going off the diet?

Losing weight is “easy,” in the short term. Maintaining weight loss requires a person to live a healthy lifestyle.

Here at Ellis Bariatric Care we try to avoid words like “diet” and prefer to say “lifestyle” because healthy living should be a lifestyle compromised by healthy eating and staying active.


What exactly defines a “healthy lifestyle?”

Eating a variety of foods
Include different colors of vegetables, a variety of fruit, whole grains, lean meats and fat-free or low-fat dairy in the diet to ensure adequate nutrition is consumed.

Balancing calories
Everybody has their own individual calorie needs based on age, gender, height, weight and activity level. In order to maintain a healthy weight there needs to be a balance of energy consumed and energy expended.

Drink water
The body is made up of approximately 70% water, when the body is dehydrated it cannot function properly. Make sure to stay hydrated and drink throughout the day!

Move the body
Regular exercise and moving the body is essential for healthy living. Our bodies were designed to move so make sure to get up and stay active. 

Stress Management
Develop a healthy way to cope with stress. Go for a walk, write in a journal, call a friend or participate in your own healthy stress reduction technique. Too much stress can take a toll on both your mental and physical health so developing healthy stress coping techniques is essential for optimal health.

Question of the Day: What have you done for yourself lately to improve your quality of life?

Chew, chew, chew!

by Tara Joyce 15. August 2014

Check out this video from the Wall Street Journal on new devices that can monitor how many bites you are taking!

There are new devices that will be on the market soon!

1. A Bite Counting Watch

What is it?

It is a watch that counts how many bites a person takes.

How does it work?

The watch works by measuring the rolling motion of the wrist to determine how many bites a person is taking.

How can I learn more?

Check out the website on The Bite Counter Project to read more about the research from Clemson University 

2. A Talking Plate

What is it?

A Plate that is also a scale and a computer that monitors how quickly a person is eating.

How does it work?

The plate/scale monitors the weight of the food and if the weight is reducing too quickly, tells the person to slow down

Research has shown that when the more we chew our food, the less we tend to eat.

Here at Ellis Bariatric Center, one of our eating “rules” is to “Chew, chew, chew” food before swallowing. 

If food is not chewed thoroughly, it tends to not digest well and patients might experience discomfort and feeling as though the food is “stuck” in the esophagus.

There are a lot of strategies for slowing down and chewing thoroughly:

  1. Count your bites
  2. Use an App like Eat Slower
  3. Place your fork down in between bites
  4. Finish the bite that is in your mouth before stabbing your next bite of food (This one is my favorite!)

Question of the day: What strategies do you use for making sure you chew your food thoroughly?


Eat Your Produce!

by Tara Joyce 1. August 2014

Yet another study came out supporting the benefits of eating fruit and vegetables.

Researchers report that “eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day can help us live longer.”

That’s right, simply eating produce can lower our risk of heart disease and prolong our lives!

Despite these phenomenal findings, we still are not eating enough fruit and vegetables.

While 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day may sound like a lot, the serving sizes of fruit and vegetables are deceivingly small compared to our super-sized American portions.

But, what is a serving size?

Check out this link to view what a serving size of vegetables looks like.

That’s right, just ½ cup spinach is one serving!

Just 5 broccoli florets is a serving.

Check out this link to view that a serving of fruit looks like:

  • ½ cup of strawberries is one serving!
  • ½ grapefruit counts as one serving. 

 Here’s an example of what getting “5-a-day” would look like:

  • ½ cup baby spinach
  • ½ cup cauliflower
  • ½ cup zucchini
  • 1 small apple
  • ½ peach

Moral of the story: Eat your Lean and Green!

Question of the day: What’s your favorite fruit or vegetable? 

10,000 Steps

by Tara Joyce 15. July 2014

At Ellis Bariatric Care, we are participating in Ellis Medicine’s 2014 Walking Challenge! 

The goal is for employees to break into teams of 4-10 people, track their steps from July 14th to August 10th and see who can walk the farthest!

The challenge is to walk the equivalent of the amount of steps it would take to get from New York to California

At the office we have 2 teams:

  1. The Weight Warriors
  2. The Walking Wonder Women

Why is it important to walk and stay active?

  •  Walking burns calories
  • Walking is a great way to relax and clear your head
  • Our bodies are designed to move, not be sedentary

 I’m sure many of you have heard of the research suggesting that “sitting is the new smoking” and it is a good goal to aim for 10,000 steps per day. 

Why 10,000 steps per day?   

Well, there really isn’t any magic to the number and it actually started in Japan as a marketing campaign to sell pedometers. However, it was a good marketing campaign and a healthy goal. Since then, medical authorities and the American Heart Association have agreed that 10,000 steps per day is a good goal to aim for.

Moral of the story: just move! 

Question of the day? How many steps to you get per day?  

Sugar, Fat and Salt

by Tara Joyce 8. July 2014














Did you know that there are 10 grams of sugar in a Quarter pounder with cheese?

That’s right. If you look up the nutrition information of the Quarter pounder with cheese you will find that sugar is the 3rd ingredient on the ingredient list of the sesame seed bun, following enriched flour and water.

The ingredient list on the nutrition label is organized by amount. Therefore, the first ingredient makes up the largest amount of the food, second ingredient makes up the second largest amount of the food, etc…

Check out this awesome video that visualizes how much sugar, fat and salt is in fast food:


Why are sugar, fat and salt so concerning? 

The super concentration of sugar, fat and salt can be addicting

The body is conditioned to like the tastes of sugar, fat and salt because all three are linked to biological needs. In other words, these foods trigger the “happy center” of the brain. 

When these foods are super-concentrated, they overstimulate the “happy center” and we crave more. 


Let’s go back to that Quarter pounder with cheese.

It is made of: 

  • The bun (Sugar)
  • The Cheese (Fat)
  • The Cheese, Beef Patty & Pickles (Salt)


Moral of the story: Let’s go back to whole, real foods. Fast food is saturated with sugar, fat and salt.

Question of the day: What’s your favorite whole food, naturally low in sugar, fat and salt?


How to Tip the Scales Your Way

by Anne Jones 24. June 2014

When you have changed your “Lifestyle” for life, eating healthy food choices, cutting down on your portion sizes and incorporated activity and exercise, results can be dramatic. Emotionally and physically you feel much better, energized and healthy. However, sometimes, there are those last few pounds you want to lose. Surprisingly, it may not be what you’re eating or the exercise you are participating in. There are other factors that could be affecting your efforts.

A recent study in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows exposing you to chemicals in everyday life may sabotage your weight loss. Eating just a couple mouthfuls of unwashed, nonorganic produce can introduce pesticides into your body. Take those few moments to thoroughly wash your produce or purchase organic.

BPA stands for bisphenol A. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. Some recent studies show that storing your leftovers in plastic puts you at risk of this hormone-disrupting chemical. Using glass containers, instead of plastic, cuts down on exposure to BPA.

There has been research that shows that lowering your thermostat may actually help you lose those last few pounds. Francesco Celi, MD, chair of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Virginia Common Wealth University School of Medicine in Richmond states that there is a type of fat in your body that raises your metabolism. This fat is called “Brown Fat.” It keeps our organs (heart, liver, pancreas, etc) warm by burning calories. It is found that people with weight problems tend to have less of this brown fat. Chilly temperatures cause muscle to produce a hormone called irisin. Irisin stimulates the growth and activity of brown fat.  Many of us live in a constant state of 75 degrees. Research by Celi has shown by simply reducing your thermostat from 75 degrees to 68degrees stimulated brown fat and increased calorie burn by 100 calories a day.

A recent study in the Journal BioEssays finds that constant exposure to light may contribute to disease and obesity. People who get enough sleep and maintain a consistent sleep-wake schedule, tend to be thinner. Blue light, emitted by electronics disrupts your body’s production of melatonin. Turn off you devices at least 1 half hour before bed time and move any blinking light sources out of your bedroom.

Many of our patients hear me say, weight loss is much more complicated than pushing yourself away from the table. These are examples of how complicated our bodies truly are.


Question of the day: Has anyone had experiences with the above suggestions?

The Secrets of “Successful Dieters”

by Anne Jones 17. April 2014

I constantly remind all who are going through the journey of weight loss with bariatric surgery to approach the surgery as a tool to assist in a “Lifestyle Change for Life”.  The “diet mentality” will not necessarily lead to long term success. 

Linsey Davis, a correspondent for ABC News, recently wrote an article about the secrets of “Super Dieters.” The National Weight Control Registry follows 10,000 individuals who have successfully lost at least 70 pounds and have kept the weight off for at least 6 years. She spoke with Dr. Rena Wing, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University and the Miriam Hospital, and a co-founder of the National Weight Control Registry.

We’ve been able to study these individuals carefully and find out what strategies have been related to their success,” Wing said. Many of them follow these strategies:

Rule No. 1. Don’t ever cheat. They never give themselves a break, not even on holidays or weekends.

Rule No. 2.  Eat breakfast. The National Weight Control Registry shows that’s one of the most common traits of those who succeed in keeping those pounds off once and for all.

Rule No. 3. Get on a scale every day.

Rule No. 4. Put in the equivalent of a four-mile walk seven days a week.

Rule No. 5. Watch less than half as much TV as the overall population.

Rule No. 6. Eat 50 to 300 calories less than most people.

Many Registry members say these behaviors are common traits but not something they necessarily do all the time. What they do all time is be conscious and careful.  Wing told ABC News, “In order to lose weight and keep it off, you can’t just follow a trendy diet for a few weeks. That’s not going to work. This has to be a lifestyle change, a permanent lifestyle change and that’s what the registry members are able to do.”

So make those lifestyle changes and stick with them, for life. We are here to guide and support you along the way.

Question of the day: What are your thought on the above rules?


by Tara Joyce 1. April 2014

“I know someone who had weight loss surgery and gained all their weight back.”

People often wonder how patients gain weight back after having weight loss surgery.

The answer is that losing weight after weight loss surgery is not easy and it is not the “quick fix.”

Our surgeons give patients a tool (a sleeve, gastric bypass or lap band) to facilitate patients in making healthy lifestyle changes.

Our patients put in hard work. If they chose healthy foods, exercise and make healthy choices, they are using the tool and they lose weight.

So how do patients gain weight back after weight loss surgery?

One of the number one reasons why people gain weight back after weight loss surgery is grazing.

Grazing is what happens when we eat small bites throughout the day and the mindless calories add up, ultimately causing weight recidivism. Most often, gazing is easiest with high-carbohydrate, slider foods. 

It is very easy to have a full bag of chips sitting on your desk at the beginning of the day and by the end of the day, the bag is gone from “nibbling” all day.

So how do we combat grazing?

  • Think of eating “meals” not “snacks”
  • Keep food out of sight and pre-portion snacks into individual snack bags
  • If you have a candy jar on your desk, get rid of it!
    - Studies have shown that if the candy jar is within reach, we will eat the equivalent of 125 calories more per day. Which will add up to 12 pounds over the course of one year.
  • Make eating an occasion and try to avoid mindless nibbling throughout the day
  • If you bite it, write it. A good way to get out of the habit of grazing is to track your food intake.

Question of the day: How do you avoid grazing?




by Tara Joyce 21. March 2014

I recently heard a quote about exercise that really made a lot of sense. I was listening to the audiobook “Obessessed” by Mika Brezezinski and she said something along the lines of “If you want to lose weight, you need to change the amount of food you eat. If you want to change the way your body looks, you need to change the way you move.”*

For some reason, the way she said it just clicked! While weight loss can be accomplished through manipulating the diet alone, for overall wellness exercise is a must!

There are certain things that exercise can do that healthy eating cannot. These include:

  • Relieving stress
  • Improving mood
  • Promoting self-esteem
  • Improving cognitive health
  • Improving ability to perform activities of daily living

There are many forms of exercise and different types work for different people:

  • Walking
  • Recumbent bike
  • Elliptical
  • Aqua Aerobics
  • Dancing

No matter what form of exercise you chose, it is important to keep the body moving!

Question of the Day: How do you exercise?

*Quote may not be exact.