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Meet Ashley: She’s Lost 80 Pounds And Now Teaches This…

Meet Ashley: She’s lost 80 pounds with the LiveLight Lifestyle Medicine. Find out what she now teaches others…

Meet Chelsea: She’s Lost 100 Pounds at the LiveLight Lifestyle Medicine

Meet Chelsea. She’s lost 100 pounds at the LiveLight Lifestyle Medicine. Watch to hear about her inspirational journey…

Meet Barbara: She’s Lost 50 Pounds at the LiveLight Lifestyle Medicine

You hear the term “organic” used often but what does it really mean? Dr. Christy breaks down this trend.


Another trend that we see out there is the organic trend. Products are being labeled as organic. It draws people to it just by saying that it’s organic but does anyone really know what organic means?

If you actually look at what”organic means, I can assure you it doesn’t mean what you think it does. It doesn’t mean that it’s cage-free or even hormone free. It means it has to pass certain standards in the food industry. There are places that basically will get told the inspectors are coming. The inspectors go to the same farm every time and that particular place will be certified organic but all of the products are coming from the entire region – it’s not just that one farm.

So there’s no regulation really on what organic means when you’re talking about whole foods or the clean eating concept. The only way to really know what you’re getting is to know your farmer, know the person who is actually growing the the beef or the chickens or growing the vegetables in their garden in their back yard quite honestly. Anything beyond that really isn’t any guarantee of what organic means.

Dr. Christy Kirkendol Watson

Are Weight Loss Pills Safe?

Historically, weight loss medications have gotten really bad reputation. Many people remember Fen-Phen and it turned out to cause valvular problems so it was taken off the market. Only Fenfluramine was removed because Phentermine actually has been around for a very long time and is a very effective appetite suppressant. However because of the bad reputation the medication received so many years ago, doctors have been reluctant to use the medication to help people lose weight.

It’s really an unfortunate thing that has happened in the weight loss world in general. People really stop using the medication and many doctors didn’t treat obesity, even then, as a chronic medical condition. Obesity was related to laziness or lack of willpower.

Roughly two years ago, a weight loss medication was approved for the first time in 20 years. This marked a change in the tide to address overweight and obesity as a chronic medical condition. That medication is now in year three of trials with patients using it continuously.

No different then you might take blood pressure medicine for life or asthma medication for life, the people that are staying on the medication are doing better at maintaining their weight loss than when they are taken off the medication. That new medication actually opened the door for many more. In this last year, there have now been four medications that have been approved for weight loss and others coming down the pipeline.

Weight loss medications really are no different then treating any other medical conditions with medications. As physicians we do that all the time. If somebody’s cholesterol is elevated, we give them a cholesterol pill. If they have high blood pressure, we give them high blood pressure pill.

While I don’t believe that there is one magic pill to treat obesity and weight loss, the medications can be very, very useful in helping someone address a particular aspect that seems to be complicating their weight loss journey. For some people it’s hunger. For some people it’s cravings. For some people it’s the enjoyment of food, binge eating or nighttime eating. The medications that are out can be used for specific reasons.

Our approach has been dietary first and behavioral but we don’t hesitate to use those medications when they need to be used. Again, just like treating any other medical condition and the reason we do that is it isn’t just about losing weight, we have to address all of the factors that go into someone’s weight. There is the psychological aspect. There is the emotional aspect. There is the behavioral aspect. All of these things go into causing someone to gain weight and have trouble losing weight. We have to make sure we use all the tools we have to treat this very complex medical condition.

Dr. Christy Kirkendol Watson

Why Is Childhood Obesity Such A Problem?

The kids that we are seeing coming in are bigger for sure than they were 10 years ago and their composition has completely changed. Kids are carrying significantly more percent body fat and less skeletal muscle mass than they should be because they are not eating a protein based diet.

And kids are no different than typical Americans who are eating a third of the protein they need and five times more carbohydrates than they need. So for the person who already has a predisposition for being overweight or obesity – that is happening sooner. Their threshold is already low. If both parents are obese, there is an 80 percent chance that child is also going to become obese. Many times these kids are already predisposed to being overweight and obese. Because kids are getting exposed to higher amounts of calories and sugar earlier in life, they are developing obesity earlier than they would have even 10 or 15 years ago.

What Does Organic Really Mean?

You hear the term “organic” used often but what does it really mean? Dr. Christy breaks down this trend.


Another trend that we see out there is the organic trend. Products are being labeled as organic. It draws people to it just by saying that it’s organic but does anyone really know what organic means?

If you actually look at what”organic means, I can assure you it doesn’t mean what you think it does. It doesn’t mean that it’s cage-free or even hormone free. It means it has to pass certain standards in the food industry. There are places that basically will get told the inspectors are coming. The inspectors go to the same farm every time and that particular place will be certified organic but all of the products are coming from the entire region – it’s not just that one farm.

So there’s no regulation really on what organic means when you’re talking about whole foods or the clean eating concept. The only way to really know what you’re getting is to know your farmer, know the person who is actually growing the the beef or the chickens or growing the vegetables in their garden in their back yard quite honestly. Anything beyond that really isn’t any guarantee of what organic means.

Why Dr. Christy Is So Passionate About Helping People Losing Weight

Watch and learn why Dr. Christy Kirkendol Watson, practice leader, is so passionate about helping people enjoy life in their bodies.


I’ve had a lifelong interest in wellness, fitness and nutrition. I was an athlete all of my life. When I went to medical school, I actually wanted to go into wellness or preventive medicine and interestingly enough we really aren’t taught that in medical school or residency. We’re very, very good at taking care of sick patients but nobody really tells us how to take care of healthy patients who are looking to improve their health.

I got absolutely no training in diet, nutrition or fitness in medical school or residency. We saw people that suffer from diabetes or high blood pressure and we knew that their weight was a problem. We would just tell them, “Well, you need to lose some weight…that’ll help” or we would say, “Eat less and exercise more.” But we didn’t have the tools to help them.

It was only after I continued my quest for that type of knowledge that I discovered a professional society called the American Society of Bariatric Physicians and went to one of their meetings. I found myself surrounded by weight loss doctors – who had been doing this long before their time and for me it was like coming home.

I knew it was my calling. It was the first time anyone had finally been able to explain to me all of the things that I had seen in my years of my practicing medicine – there had to be something different about people that suffered from being overweight and obesity. You can’t just tell me one person has the same metabolism as someone else. During the meeting, this doctor throws a slide up and it was like Bio Chemistry 101 in medical school showing the complexities of this disease and what it takes to treat it. That was really the first step in making the LiveLight Lifestyle Medicine a reality.

Meet Ashley: She’s Lost 80 Pounds At The LiveLight Lifestyle Medicine

Meet Ashley: She’s lost 80 pounds at the LiveLight Lifestyle Medicine! Hear her inspirational story…

sugar-causes-weight-gain

Excess Sugar and Weight Gain in America

The consequences of excess sugar on your health

Picture this. Your favorite TV show is on. You’ve got a sweet tooth. You reach into the cupboard, grab the bag of sugar and a teaspoon, venture back to the couch, and dig in. After 22 excessively sweet teaspoons, you stop. Sound yummy? Probably makes your stomach hurt thinking about it.

Did you know that the average American consumes 22 tsps (88g) per day? That translates to an extra 350 calories per day! Tons of simple sugars are added into our foods and drinks to help with taste or texture of the food. You’re probably consuming more sugar than you thought possible and the health consequences are dangerous. Can you even imagine sitting down and eating 22 teaspoons of sugar?

Understanding Sugars

Sugar is a carbohydrate. There are good or naturally found sugars in fruits, vegetables, dairy, and whole grains – typically called complex carbohydrates. These are not dangerous to our health when consumed in a balanced diet. The bad sugars added to foods are simple carbohydrates, which are detrimental to our health.

How to spot the added sugars? Easy – check the ingredients. Words that end in “ose” are sugar. Sweeteners that contain simple sugar include, high fructose corn syrup, corn sweeteners, honey, molasses, and fruit juice concentrate.

Weight Loss Tip:
Try to avoid foods with added sugar – especially if sugar is one of the top 3 ingredients.


Daily Sugar Intake

The less added sugar we eat, the better. In the perfect world – you shouldn’t eat any added sugar.

The maximum daily amounts of added sugar you should consume

Gender Teaspoons Grams
Men 9 tsp 36 g
Women 6 tsp 24g
Children 3-4 tsp 12-16g

1 teaspoon equals 4.2 grams of sugar.

Stay away from sugary drinks and cereals. They’re the most common sources of excess sugar. In fact sugary beverages are quickly becoming the #1 cause for weight gain in America.

 


The Dangers of Overconsumption 

There are no health benefits to the extra sugar. Added sugar is empty calories, with absolutely no nutrition.  Eating or drinking added sugar increases hunger and causes carb/sugar addiction. Studies have link excess sugar intake to the following health risks:

Health Risks in Adults Health Risks in Children
Obesity Attention problems
Diabetes Insomnia
Heart diseases Increased weight
Kidney disease Tooth decay
Some cancers
Gout
Tooth decay

 

Hidden sugar in the American diet is a major culprit behind weight struggles. To avoid excess sugar in your diet, read the nutritional labels and then keep track of your daily intake with a food journal. You’ll probably be surprised at how much sugar you’ve unknowingly been consuming.

 

11 Ways to Get Control of Cravings and Eliminate Food Addiction

11 Ways to Get Control of Cravings and Eliminate Food Addiction

Do you find yourself craving sugary and starchy foods constantly? Most people believe this is normal and just something we have to live with day-to-day…but this is not normal! You don’t have to live with thoughts of food controlling you.

The main goal is decreasing exposure to these food and situations, stress and lack of sleep. Using these 11 strategies will help you decrease cravings and allow you to get control over your feelings to eat.

1. Make the decision to take control.

You first have to decide if you want to gradually decrease the bad sugars/carbohydrates or if you want to quit them cold turkey. If you cut them out quickly, just expect a very rough first week to allow your body to adjust to its new diet. You may not feel well and have headaches. After a month, your taste buds and memory of those foods will change and you will experience fewer cravings.


2. Stop riding the “sugar roller coaster.”

Stop riding the “sugar roller coaster.” When you eat or drink items with a lot of carbohydrates or sugar, your blood sugar rises and then falls fast. When your sugar falls, you will feel hungry and begin searching for your next unhealthy carbohydrate or sugar loaded fix. Get off of this rollercoaster by improving the quality of what you are eating to prevent fast sugar drops and cravings. Start eating high-protein meals and snacks to regulate your sugar level, reduce hunger and feel full longer.


3. Avoid sugary beverages.

Whether its soda, iced tea, lattes, sports drinks or many others culprits, sugary drinks are a sure way to get hooked on carbohydrates and sugar – leading to weight gain. Drinking empty sugary calories increases hunger, cravings for other sugar/carbohydrate laced items, snacking and doesn’t fill you up. Regular consumption of sugary beverages is linked to diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Diet drinks may seem like a healthier choice but studies are starting to show the opposite. Diet soda can actually increase overall sugar and carbohydrate cravings because artificial sweeteners are 600 times sweeter than table sugar. More research is needed on diet drinks.


4. Substitute.

If you’re craving something, choose a healthier alternative instead. If you’re craving candy, try a few bites of a protein bar. Grab a yogurt, fruit, dried fruit, gum, nuts or sugar-free tea that won’t leave you feeling guilty or further increase your cravings for carbohydrates and sugar.


5. Distract.

If you’re feeling the munchies, want to stress eat or eat out of boredom, make a list of other activities you can do instead. Potential ideas include going for a walk, brushing your teeth, drinking water, playing with a pet, calling a friend, cleaning, organizing, finding a project, going to another room away from the kitchen, surfing the internet, exercising or finding something to do with your hands. Just get busy and preoccupy your mind.


6. Question yourself!

If you find yourself looking in the pantry or fridge, ask yourself, “Am I actually hungry?” or “why am I here?” Get to the root of your habit and/or emotions because you may actually be bored, stressed, anxious or simply needing to move. If you’re not actually hungry, pinpoint your actual need and find another solution or activity that will alleviate this need, instead of food. If you’re bored, find a hobby, read a book or take a nap. If you’re stressed, take a warm bath, watch a funny program or go for a walk. Do what works for you and makes you happy.


7. Organize.

You will reach for what is at eye level, when you’re hungry. Organize your fridge and pantry so what you see first are healthy options. Ideally, don’t have junk in the house at all. If you do, hide it where you won’t continuously see it. Remember the old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind!”


8. Eat mindfully.

The average American eats very fast and often while in the middle of another task. This combination leads to eating bigger portions because you’re not listening to your body’s cues. Multitasking while eating leads to eating more since the mind is focused on the other task meaning that bag of chips may be gone before you realize it. When you begin to eat more mindfully and slower, you begin to sense food more through taste and smell making you appreciate each bite. Only focusing on eating, helps you realize when you feel/sense being full.


9. Dodge trigger foods.

We all have trigger foods – the “Once you pop you can’t stop” type of items. You feel out of control the minute you go near them. Not having any of your trigger foods at home and work is essential because it can take just one weak and hungry moment to relapse to your addiction. If those triggers have to be at work or home (for others), try moving them to a less noticeable place where you won’t be tempted.


10. Control your environment.

Many triggers in our day-to-day environment increase our cravings for bad foods. Think about your environment at work and at home. How you can control some of these triggers? For example, if a co-worker always has a bowl of candy out, walk a different way so you don’t pass it. If a co-worker brings doughnuts every Thursday morning, eat a high-protein filling breakfast so it will be easier to avoid the temptation. At home, TV is one of the most powerful sources of temptation because you’re bombarded with unhealthy, food related commercials. DVR shows, mute the TV or distract yourself by talking or getting on the internet during commercial breaks.


11. Sleep.

Improved quality of sleep helps regulate the hormone Cortisol. When you don’t get enough sleep, your Cortisol levels become abnormal and increase hunger. Work on improving your sleep environment by not allowing electronics in the bedroom, reading or taking a bath before bedtime.