Pink Prescriptions - March 2019

You Win When You Lose It! The Huge Healthy Effect of Weight Loss

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March 2019 Issue


Is there a perfectly good reason—other than how we look—for losing weight?
Is there a perfect formula? A perfect size? A perfect diet?
This month, our Pink medical professionals weigh in with the good—
and the not so good—news.  

Rx Hankey 0319Sarah Hankey, CHC, NuBODIA Wellness & Weight Loss

Why is a nutritionally balanced diet important for weight loss?

Nutrition is absolutely key when it comes to weight loss. Everyone wants that magic wand—that one thing that will help them achieve their wellness goals—and the answer is food!

Yes, movement is part of a healthy lifestyle, but no amount of exercise can undo the effects of a bad diet. Typically, when an individual is holding on to a lot of excess weight, it is actually a sign that their body is nutritionally starving.  When our bodies are consistently denied the necessary nutrients they need, they will store whatever “wrong” calories they do receive as fat.

With so many popular diets out there today, the public is confused as to what to eat and which program to follow. In fact, everyone has unique nutritional needs, and not knowing what your body is craving, or even sometimes rejecting, is the biggest downfall of all. There is no perfect program for everyone, so it is imperative that individuals understand their own unique needs and start listening to their bodies.

Many people consume foods they know they have an adverse reaction to, and instead of making changes, they turn to medications to cover up the symptoms. Perpetually eating the wrong foods leads to chronic inflammation, which in turn can lead to major disease.

If we eat to live instead of living to eat, attaining proper nutrition becomes intuitive and easy. The fun part about reaching optimal health is that you still have the freedom to have a little “vacation food.” A balanced body has more ability to bounce back from the occasional indulgence because it understands that the right nutrients are coming soon, and can adjust accordingly.

One of my favorite things about helping people improve their diet is seeing the constant stress of not knowing what to eat simply melt away. People start showing up for themselves in their own lives, doing things they once thought were no longer possible, and, most importantly, start leading a life of compassion for themselves and others. 

Learning how to feed your body appropriately is something that takes time, patience, and often the support of a professional. Every BODY wants to be well… and if we give ours a chance, it will let go of what it no longer needs. 

Sarah Hankey, CHC, is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and a partner at NuBODIA Wellness & Weight Loss. She is passionate about helping her clients to discover the foods that nourish their bodies and minds. Sarah provides guidance, support, and accountability with a compassionate and caring heart. 14 Westbury Pkwy #103, Bluffton. (843) 816-3733.

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Dr. Knobel, Laura C. Knobel, M.D., LLC
What are the health benefits to weight loss and why should I start now?

There are many known benefits to losing weight other than just an improved feeling of overall wellbeing. We know that keeping your weight in the normal range can help prevent the development of diabetes later on in life. There are also benefits to your heart, such as reduced blood pressure and risk of heart attack. Weight loss can lower your cholesterol, as well. Many people can avoid having to take medications if they just keep their weight under control.
People with arthritis will also benefit from weight loss, as there is much less stress and strain on the joints. If you think about carrying a 10-lb bag of potatoes around all day, think of how much better you will feel when you finally put it down. Your joints will thank you.  
The best way to lose weight is to eat a sensible, well balanced diet and to exercise regularly. We want you to eat in a way that you can maintain over time, not go on a “fad” diet that will allow you to lose weight, but when you go back to your normal eating pattern, the weight comes back on.  Maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong good habit.
Why should you lose weight now? The earlier you work on your weight, the easier it is to lose. As we get older our metabolism slows down, making it easier to gain weight, even if we don’t change our eating habits. Our energy coefficient also changes so we don’t get as much benefit from the exercise we do. Finally, if we lose weight when we are younger and our skin is more elastic, it can respond to the weight loss better and prevent some of the sagging we can see with older skin. If we are going to do the hard work to keep our weight under control, we want to look and feel the best that we can.

Dr. Laura Knobel is a board certified Family Physician seeing patients of all ages in Plantation Park in Bluffton. She has a direct primary care practice where you can get your primary care for $50 a month or less. 843-836-2200

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Holly Mlodzinski, MS,RD,LD, Hilton Head Regional Healthcare

How do you define obesity, and when is surgery indicated as treatment?

Losing weight isn’t easy. Two-for-one value meals tempt us on menus, biggie drinks look so refreshing, and super-size portions seem really appetizing. And there is no shortage of books, magazines, and websites touting the latest and greatest cure for being overweight. It can all seem overwhelming. But there is hope. You can take small, achievable steps to lose weight, and also reduce your risk of developing weight-related health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and some cancers.

Eating too much and being physically inactive results in weight gain. To determine if you are overweight, estimate your body mass index (BMI), which is a calculation of your body weight relative to height. Multiply your weight in pounds by 703 and then divide the result by your height in inches two times. A BMI of 18.5 to 25 is considered healthy; 25 to 30 is overweight; 30 or higher is obese. To maintain your weight, you must burn enough energy to equal the calories you eat. To lose weight, you must use more calories than you eat.

A weight-control strategy can begin with setting a realistic goal. Losing even a few pounds can improve your health, so start with a safe weight loss rate of one-half to two pounds per week. A successful weight loss plan will include lifestyle changes, not just going on a diet. Cut back on calories eaten and choose foods from a healthy assortment of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Limit alcohol consumption, which can be high in calories, but low in nutrients. Read food labels, and pay attention to serving size. Don’t be fooled by small packages that look like one serving size, but may actually be two or more.

Incorporate exercise into your weight loss program. Short exercise sessions throughout the day can be just as effective at burning calories as an extended session. Thirty minutes of moderate to intensive physical activity is recommended daily to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight after weight loss.
If you are at least 100 pounds overweight and experiencing difficulties or other medical problems due to your weight, you may be a candidate for gastric bypass surgery. This surgery reduces the amount of calories taken in by your body by either making your stomach smaller, or bypassing part of the stomach and small intestines so that fewer calories are absorbed. Patients who undergo this surgery must make a strong, lifetime commitment to a healthy diet and exercise regime to ensure a successful weight loss and avoid complications.

Fad diets may help you lose weight at first, but they rarely have a lasting effect. Keep in mind four common behaviors that can help ensure the success of your weight loss program: Eat a low-calorie, low-fat diet; weigh yourself frequently; be physically active; and don’t skip breakfast. Remember that losing weight, and keeping it off, requires major, long-lasting lifestyle changes.
Learning how to feed your body appropriately is something that takes time, patience, and often the support of a professional. Every BODY wants to be well… and if we give ours a chance, it will let go of what it no longer needs.

Holly Mlodzinski, MS,RD,LD Registered Dietitian at Hilton Head Regional Healthcare  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Lauren Lenk, RD, LDN, Hope Performance Systems

How do I know if I have a food addiction; and if I do, what is the recommended approach to treatment?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over one third of the US is classified as obese and that percentage is estimated to reach three-fourths by 2020. With this exponentially high rate, one of the many contributors is overeating. Unfortunately, due to our society’s promotion of highly processed foods and large portion sizes, overeating has become a social norm.

When it comes to the content of the food we eat, studies have revealed highly processed foods containing large amounts of fat and refined sugars to have addictive properties. The more processed foods we eat, the more our bodies crave them. Other studies suggest processed foods to be as addictive as drug and alcohol addiction. Many people become addicted to food because of the pleasure it brings; it is used as a reward system in the brain. Being aware of the types of food you eat, why you eat them, and the food cravings reciprocated can help to identify food addiction.

Listening to your body is key. A very common misconception is the difference between hunger and appetite. Hunger is your body’s physical signs to eat, such as your stomach growling. Appetite is a desire to eat with no physical signs present (most of the time cravings for palatable foods).

Misinterpreting our appetite for hunger cues is an easy way to overly consume our daily caloric intake, which in result can lead to weight gain, poor body image, and low self-esteem. Choosing a wholesome diet with limitations of processed foods is recommended to help alleviate cravings.

In order to treat food addiction, it should be understood the issue is multifactorial. Identifying underlying causes of overeating by analyzing physical, emotional, environmental, and social triggers with the help of therapy, a physician, and a registered dietitian are recommended to obtain a more balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Lauren Lenk, RD, LDN is a Registered Dietitian with Hope Performance Systems on Hilton Head, and is currently completing her Masters in Nutrition. She has advanced training in eating disorder counseling is also able to help improve a variety of health concerns including type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health, sports nutrition, managing dietary inflammation, and achieving weight goals. 460 William Hilton Parkway Suite B, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928. Call (843) 547-0200

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Yvette-Marie Pellegrino, M.D., FAAFP, Beaufort Memorial Hospital

What role does weight loss and exercise play in managing/and or preventing Type 2 diabetes?

The easy answer to this question can be found on Wikipedia: Diabetes mellitus type 2 (also known as Type 2 diabetes) is a long-term metabolic disorder that is characterized by high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and relative lack of insulin. Type 2 diabetes primarily occurs as a result of obesity and lack of exercise.

Simply put, Type 2 diabetes is caused by obesity, and the first line treatment of diabetes is diet and exercise with an initial goal of a 5 percent decrease in weight. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, nearly 90 percent of people living with Type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese.
Prevention and initial management of diabetes are the same: Control weight, especially around the mid-line through a heart healthy diet and exercise. The development of diabetes was found to decrease significantly in people who followed these lifestyle changes, and a loss of 5-10 percent of body weight can improve insulin action, decrease fasting glucose concentrations, and reduce the need for some diabetes medications.

Obesity and Type 2 diabetes are now considered to be international epidemics. In 1973, endocrinologist Ethan Sims, whose groundbreaking research explored the relationship between obesity and diabetes, coined the term “diabesity” to emphasize the relationship. Since then, the prevalence of diabetes has paralleled the rate of increase in obesity with a 20 times higher likelihood of developing diabetes if one is obese.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, a Cleveland Clinic study published in 2017 indicates that obesity now tops smoking as the number one cause of preventable death in the United States.

You can avoid “diabesity” by limiting simple carbohydrates, increasing dietary fiber and engaging in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise per week, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week. Add moderate to high intensity muscle-strengthening activity (such as resistance or weights) at least two days per week. Strive to keep your body mass index (BMI) below 25, waist circumference at or less than 40 inches for males and 35 inches for females and body fat percentage at or less than 25 percent for males and 32 percent for females.

Yvette-Marie Pellegrino, M.D., FAAFP, is a primary care physician with Beaufort Memorial Lady’s Island Internal Medicine, and is board certified in both family and obesity medicine. A graduate of University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Dr. Pellegrino has served on the faculty at University of North Carolina School of Medicine and Wake Forest Baptist Health, and as a preceptor for nurse practitioner students at East Carolina University.

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