Category: Weight loss

Four Fitness Tracking and Analytics Mobile Apps to Get Your Heart Pumping

These apps offer a tangible way for the body conscious to track calories, monitor steps, and link with friends to stay fit and motivated.  



FitnessPalLogoWhat It Is: MyFitnessPal is one of the fastest and easiest to use calorie counter fitness apps for the iPhone and iPad. With the largest food database (containing over three million food items), the platform is great for keeping track of calories, tracking cardio and strength training and nutrient intake. 

Great Features: You can enter your own recipes and calculate each’s nutritional contents, connect with friends to easily track and motivate each other, and customize weight loss goals based on your specific diet.

Awards: PC Magazine Editor’s Choice Selection and Wired Magazine’s Editor’s Pick for Lifestyle Apps
Cost: Free. Available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry.



FitocracyLogoWhat It Is: As the fitness word becomes increasingly social, Fitocracy enables you to join a community of “Fitocrats” who will keep you motivated on your weight loss or get buff journey. This app enables you to track your workouts, earn points, unlock achievements, and if you’re competitive, there’s plenty of that too. 

Great Features:  Fitocracy offers a newsfeed to track friend’s progress and allows you to rearrange workouts, add supersets, circuits, and save routines

Awards: App of the Year by Men’s Journal and Mashable’s Top Innovation in Health and Fitness Winner
Cost: Free. Available for iOS and Android.


Nike Training Club

NikeTrainingClubLogoWhat It Is:  The Nike Fitness app features a collection of visual workouts hosted by celebrity athletes like Serena Williams.  Choose your fitness level and goal, and Nike Training Club picks from more than 100 workouts to get you on the fast track to fit.

Great Features: Nike Training Club features month-long structured programs that’ll help you achieve better results along with 15, 30 and 45-minute workouts featuring audio guidance and video demos from top Nike trainers and athletes.
Cost: Free. Available for iOS and Android.



MovesLogoWhat It Is: Moves is a smart pedometer that records everything from steps taken in a day to miles cycled.  Just carry your phone in your pocket or bag and Moves automatically tracks your everyday exercise.

Great Features: The app’s daily maps and “storylines” give users a new way to easily record and analyze their movement throughout the day, plotting your route on a map and showing calories burned for each activity.
Cost: Free. Available for iOS.

Nutrition, Personal Fitness, Weight loss

The New Breed of Holistic Workout

HealthClubTreadmillsArianna Huffington recently wrote a great article on how exercising (at American health clubs in particular) has become something to dread. Gyms have become a place we drag ourselves to, pay a hefty monthly fee for, and stare at a TV as we clock the obligatory 30-60 minutes/day.

She writes,

“The benefits of making our bodies fitter are deeply connected to the fitness of our inner selves, but gyms make it hard to feel that connection. They don’t allow for the kind of solitude and mindfulness that we can get communing with nature on an outdoor run. And, overly muscled pickups aside, they aren’t very conducive to making any real social connection. A person watching her own screen while walking on a treadmill next to another person watching another screen while walking on a treadmill is like a metaphor for our modern life. It’s what we do at work, at home and at the gym.”

I too find the gym is not conducive to mindfulness, and am more and more conscious that what I am motivated by most, is working out in a social context-with friends or family or the people I work with. I’d rather take a class, or go for a bike ride or a hike and share the endorphin rush with great people, than spend spare hours I don’t have on a treadmill.

Ariana references The Guardian‘s Nicole Mowbray, who wrote recently about the growing trend of the “calm workout,” or “a new breed of holistic workout that promises to care for your head as well as your heart” as she describes it. For example, there’s Psycle, which offers spinning classes in rooms with low lights and calming music and features a “free time” break during the class. 

“The philosophy is supposedly inspired by the belief that ‘your state of mind is key to how often and how hard you exercise.’ There’s also CardioLates, which combines spin and Pilates; Third Space, which offers the services of ‘wellness doctors’; and Spynga, which is part spin, part yoga.

These workouts are part of a trend driven by the understanding that getting fit doesn’t have to be so unpleasant. And it’s pretty simple to see that if we make exercise a more inviting and more rewarding experience, we’ll do it more often. If we’re going to redefine success to include well-being, we also need to redefine getting in shape to include mental and soul fitness.”

View Huffington link

Anti-aging, Exercise, Personal Fitness, Uncategorized, Weight loss

Want To Be a Better Version of You?

Accept the Challenge in 2014 

Walk ParkWonder diets and quick weight loss plans get a lot of attention with the start of each New Year. I suggest skipping extreme solutions. Dropping 20 lb. and gaining it right back is not success. The real path to your best health, vitality and weight control requires commitment to a lifestyle that is practical. Here are a few practical suggestions for sustainable health and fitness improvements:

  1. Diet without counting calories. It is too much trouble to weigh and measure every bite of food you put in your mouth. Use portion control and avoid calorie dense foods.
  2. Hit your goal 80% of the time. If you are a perfectionist you will be disabled by your disappointment. Perfect is definitely not practical. So allow yourself some margin.
  3. Keep a journal so you are accountable and honest with yourself.
  4. Drink 11-12 glasses of water a day to combat hunger and fill your stomach.
  5. Keep moving!! You have to move to lose weight and exercise is a good to fight anxiety and depression. 
  6. Weigh weekly to avoid weight drift.
  7. Your weekly exercise routine should include 30 minutes of cardio a least 3 times and resistance training 2-3 times. Find exercise you like doing. Make your exercise social. Exercise with a friend to accomplish two important functions at once.

A sound body requires a sound mind. Learning methods for managing stress and building resilience are important for the sustainability of your challenge. Most women are so accustomed to being caretakers, they neglect their own needs, both physical and psychological. Make time for your mental and physical well being.   

Announcements, Anti-aging, Body Contouring, Doctor-Patient Relationship, Exercise, Nutrition, Personal Fitness, Weight loss

Plastic Surgery after Bariatric Surgery Shown to Improve Long Term Weight Control

Weight lossBeing massively overweight is associated with poor body image, low self-esteem and reduced health related quality of life. In the United States, over 100,000 bariatric surgeries are performed annually to address these health concerns. Gastric bypass, the most frequently performed weight loss procedure, allows rapid weight loss in the first 18 months. However, half of these people gradually regain 10-15 % of the lost weight over the next 10 years. Those regained pounds undo some of the improvements the bariatric surgery brought. A new study reported out of Geneva Switzerland shows that those who have body contouring plastic surgery for the excess skin after massive weight loss are more successful at keeping the weight off for the long haul.

A group of patients who had undergone gastric bypass surgery between the years of 1999 and 2007 were compared for their ability to keep the weight off. Average weight loss was an impressive 99 lb. With a follow up of seven years, the 102 people who had not chosen to have plastic surgery to get rid of the deflated skin had regained an average of 50 lb. However the 98 people who chose body contouring plastic surgery to complete the process after their bariatric surgery only regained an average of 13 lb. over the seven year period.

The authors conclude that bariatric plastic surgery is crucial for successful treatment of morbid obesity. The plastic surgery improves psychosocial functioning and strengthens long term weight loss maintenance., October 2013

Anti-aging, Body Contouring, Doctor-Patient Relationship, Mommy Makeover, Nutrition, Personal Fitness, Uncategorized, Weight loss

After the Weight Loss

scaleOne of the good things about our nation’s obesity epidemic is that there are so many people affected by it learning to reverse the weight gain. I often ask people what made them ready for change.  In my practice about half of the massive weight loss patients I see had bariatric surgery and half used diet and exercise alone. Make no mistake. Both are hard work.

The US population has obesity levels that are sky rocketing compared to our parent’s generation.  Theories abound about the cause of this unprecedented rise, but there is no doubt that it has become a serious public health problem. Health benefits of massive weight loss are large, but people often endure aesthetic and functional impairments that do not go away with weight loss alone.

Studies show that people are pleased with the changes in their appearance after massive weight loss, but their body image satisfaction decreases after 2-3 years.

The change comes from quality of life limitations created by the deflated hanging skin. They experience functional impairments including limited mobility from excess inner thigh skin, postural instability from abdominal skin excess, and increased hygiene demands from areas where the overhanging skin rubs.  16% report sores, rash and skin breakdown. 60% are dissatisfied with the appearance of their thighs.  Many continue to feel uncomfortable about their appearance which can have an impact on sexual and social interactions. The removal of excess skin by body contouring plastic surgery can contribute to better, physical, psychological, and social function. 

Studies have shown that 75-85% of those who have sustained massive weight loss desire body contouring surgery. The desire for plastic surgery after weight loss is twice as frequent in women and inversely related to age.

For more information refer to the December 2012 issue of Annals of Plastic Surgery.

Beauty, Body Contouring, Breast Augmentation, Breast health, Breast Implants, Breast Reduction, Cellulite, Mommy Makeover, Uncategorized, Weight loss

Planning on Being a Better You in 2013? Get a Plan you Can Stick With

ApplewtapemeasAll of us want to be a better version of our self, so as the calendar turns over another year, it is the occasion to declare a fresh start. Most of us pick goals that have personal meaning, often connected to how our bodies look and feel. My friends are working out more, de-toxing, exercising, eating organic and losing weight. Health clubs get a surge of new member in January and Weight Watcher’s sessions are full.

So why is it that by spring 90% of  New Year’s resolutions have been abandoned? It is human nature to lose our resolve and return to old habits. So how do we convert to that healthy lifestyle and make it stick? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Start simple and concrete. Resolutions that are too broad, too big, or too drastic are doomed to fail. Think big, but start small.
  2. Write down the change you plan to make and post it several places. The act of writing it makes the commitment more engrained. Posting a reminder in several places re-enforces the plan. 

You may choose to stop drinking soda or other high calorie drinks. Reminders on the refrigerator or near your bathroom scales can keep it fresh in your mind. Outlook or smart phones can be good to keep you on track. Try emailing yourself daily.

  1. Give a commitment of 21 days, rather than forever. It takes 21 days to form a habit and the short time frame will help you avoid discouragement.
  2. Re-evaluate at three weeks. If you could not reach this goal, try to identify the challenges and come up with solutions. Write down your revised strategy to re-new your commitment. If you did succeed, try adding a new habit to change.
  3. Don’t procrastinate. The next time you start you will wish you had done it sooner. No time like the present. Just do it.

Once you change a small habit you can keep it for a lifetime. Being a better version of ourselves is an accessible goal!

Doctor-Patient Relationship, Nutrition, Personal Fitness, Skin Care, Weight loss

Key to Long Term Success with Liposuction

A survey sent to 600 liposuction patients looked at their long term satisfaction, asking a long list of questions, such as:

  • How would you rate your appearance after liposuction?  87.3% rated “good or better.”
  • Are you more productive in your work?  Better productivity reported in 27%, no change in 71%.
  • Would you have the procedure again? 79% said yes.
  • Would you recommend the procedure to family and friends?  86% said yes.

The vast majority reported favorably to each of these questions. However, it was found that those who ate a healthy diet, exercised regularly, and maintained a stable body weight were 2x more likely to have increased productivity, 15x more likely to have dropped in clothing size, 2.5x more likely to have a high self appearance score, and 3x more likely to have improved health. Those who took active control of their health were far happier.  

The authors concluded that there are four elements to having a good long term result from your liposuction procedure.  The first is having a good surgeon performing a well executed procedure, but the other three are controlled by you, the patient. Healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and commitment to a positive lifestyle are huge determinants of satisfaction with the choice. So, real satisfaction involves team work with your doctor. The authors developed a map of how to tell what factors affected your happiness with the choice.

PRS Vol.114, No.7, p.1945 The_Key_to_Long_Term_Success_in_Liposuction__A.40

Liposuction Long Term Result

Beauty, Body Contouring, Doctor-Patient Relationship, Mommy Makeover, Weight loss

The Beautiful Upper Arm

During the 2008 presidential campaign period Michelle Obama reintroduced the sleeveless sheath dress (a la Jackie Kennedy) as a new fashion statement. So the cut of the upper arm became important for style. This worked well with her “let’s move” campaign for diet and exercise.

So how does one get Michelle Obama arms?

Well, upper body workouts are a good start. Women are not as likely to develop their arm muscles as men, but it is an important part of feeling good, staying strong, and looking fit.  

However, lots of women may have good muscle tone with other factors the interfere with the shape of their upper arms.

Some carry fat selectively in their upper arms. This is common for an overly enthusiastic fat collection in the triceps region, leaving a hanging weight of extra tissue. LIPOSUCTION can be a valuable way to contour the upper arms with minimal scarring. Its success is somewhat dependent on the elasticity of the skin. The best results occur when the skin retracts to its former shape after the fat is removed. This may take three to six months to occur.

If you have too much skin, or skin that has been irreversibly stretched out, the extra skin needs to be removed with an ARM LIFT. There is a large array of variations on an arm lift (known as a BRACHIOPLASTY). A minimal scar armlift can confine the scar to the armpit. If there is more excess skin the scar may need to extend down the inner arm or over the triceps region to achieve a better contour. As in most areas of plastic surgery, the choice needs to be individualized for the best outcome.  

If your upper arm is one that you hate to show in sleeveless dresses, a consultation may help define a good solution for you.



Body Contouring, Doctor-Patient Relationship, Personal Fitness, Uncategorized, Weight loss

What Prompts Successful LIFESTYLE CHANGES for Weight Loss?

In the United States one third of adults are Obese (BMI >30). OBESITY brings a burden of increased medical problems and risk of premature death. Excess body mass significantly decreases energy, activity and sense of well being, not to mention body image. Many resources, public and private are being devoted to combating this epidemic. MICHELLE OBAMA has made anti-obesity her signature issue in the “Let’s Move” campaign.

The Nov 24, 2011 NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL of MEDICINE published a randomized controlled study in 415 obese people to compare two different approaches to supporting WEIGHT LOSS. All patients were followed by their doctors for a two year period. One group of subjects had weight loss coaches that provided in-person support with both group and individual sessions. A second group had its counseling provided remotely by e-mail, phone or web site. The third group was entirely self directed without supplemental advise or support.  

The self directed (non-supported) control group had a mean weight loss of .8 kg, not much change at two years. The two groups that received support both were able to maintain a 5% weight reduction. This modest weight loss is a good start on decreasing cardiovascular and diabetic risk even if it is still a far distance from being at ideal body weight. The group with face-to face coaching did slightly better than those who received their support on line, but support was critical.

The take home lesson is that lifestyle changes are hard to maintain especially when attempted all by yourself.  Education and encouragement make a difference in being able to sustain change in habits. You may lack both time and money for one on one coaching, but taking advantage of on line support systems may be a very good method to reinforce behavioral modifications. Most health clubs offer a supervised program to track diet and exercise. There are multiple web sites for monitoring calorie intake and exercise to track progress in those key behaviors. Here are a few you might find helpful: – Weight Watcher’s Support Network – Weight-Control Information Network – Web site with resources for surgical weight loss – Successful group based on the 12 Steps model

Don’t forget to keep moving!

Nutrition, Personal Fitness, Weight loss

The New England journal of Medicine Explains: Why It Is So Hard to Maintain Weight Loss?

Yo-yo dieters know the disappointment of working hard to achieve a weight loss goal and having the progress fade away as soon as the discipline is relaxed. What makes it so difficult to stay at a stable weight once the pounds have been shed? The October 27,2011 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine (vol.365. No.17 p1597) provided a valuable study that provided some clues to the metabolic explanation.  Researchers from the University of Melbourne in Australia published their study of 50 overweight men and women that were enrolled in a 10 week calorie restriction weight loss program. Hormones were measured before the diet, at 10 weeks, and one year later. The hormones they examined were those known to be responsible for appetite control. These substances are released from the gastrointestinal tract, the pancreas, and fat stores. The hormones circulate to the hypothalamus in the brain where they regulate food intake and energy expenditure. When caloric restriction begins the body increases the output of hormones that create hunger and decrease energy expenditure. In other words these hormones fight to keep the weight on as you struggle to keep it off. If we lived in an area of famine this would be adaptive. In our culture with an overabundance of food, it is difficult to turn off the system that is counter productive in the modern world.

The researchers found that at 10 weeks the dieters had lost an average of 13.5 kg or 14% body weight. One year later they had regained an average of 5.5 kg so that their weight loss from the beginning was only 8.2%. The hormones of starvation were all increased at week 10 and one year contributing to the creep up in weight. These hormones had not returned to normal levels even as weight gain was occurring. A strong physiologic basis appeared to be the cause of regaining weight rather than voluntary resumption of old habits.

These studies will allow researchers to focus on ways to alter the appetite controlling hormones.

Nutrition, Personal Fitness, Weight loss

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