A healthy weight is about more than your appearance. Maintaining a weight that is appropriate for your height and build helps your body function more efficiently. Studies show that individuals experience improved blood pressure, better cardiovascular health, and less incidence of Type 2 Diabetes when their weight is in a healthy range1,2. The digits on the scale are just one factor in your overall health, but they are important. The team at DFW Bariatric Institute is dedicated to helping patients in Dallas and Fort Worth reach their weight loss goals in order to live healthier, more active lives.
The medical community uses Body Mass Index, or BMI, as a measurement tool to evaluate if a patient is at a healthy weight. BMI is determined using weight, height and gender. If you are familiar with the concept of BMI, you may have heard criticism that it is an inaccurate way to assess health; that may be true for professional athletes who carry a muscle mass that is significantly above the norm. However, for the majority of people BMI is a widely accepted tool to evaluate body weight.
|BMI < 20||under weight|
|BMI 20-24.9||healthy weight|
|BMI 25-29.9||over weight|
|BMI 35-39.9||severe obesity|
|BMI 40-49.9||morbid obesity|
|BMI > 50||super morbid obesity|
Scientific studies have found that a BMI over 30 correlates to a higher incidence of chronic disease3. The conditions that are attributed to or exacerbated by excess weight are called comorbidities. The following comorbidities are associated with obesity4:
Research also indicates that several types of cancer are also associated with obesity5. People with obesity may be at higher risk for breast cancer, colon cancer, uterine cancer, pancreatic cancer and esophageal cancer. Obesity can also have a negative effect on fertility for both men and women because hormone levels, sperm production, and ovulation may be altered due to obesity6. In addition to the impact to physical health, obesity may also increase the risk of mental health disease such as anxiety and depression7. At DFW Bariatric Institute, we have been honored to help many people find a path to better health. Our patients often report that they feel healthier, happier and more in control of their lives.
People struggling with obesity may face personal costs between $9,000 and $17,000 higher than people living at a healthy weight8. These costs are associated with higher medical expenses, including lost wages due to chronic health issues, higher insurance prices, and the cost of medical treatment and prescription drugs for comorbidities. Studies have also shown that people with obesity may encounter discrimination in the workplace which can lead to lower wages9.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than one third of adults in the U.S. are obese10. There are many factors that contribute to obesity, but it is more complicated than many people believe, because it is not simply a matter of willpower and diet. Certain risk factors including gender, age, genetics, family history, lifestyle, and even location can increase the likelihood that a person will become obese. However, just because you have risk factors does not mean that you are destined to struggle with obesity. Physical activity, diet and help from a medical professional can counteract risk factors to help you live a healthier and more active life.
The human body is incredibly complex. There are some factors that contribute to weight which are in your control, but there are also some that aren’t. Your body has a basal metabolic rate (BMR) which is the rate at which your body burns calories sustaining bodily functions such as breathing and circulation. There are also intricate processes for regulating weight that involve hormones, organ systems, and brain function. If one of these components is disrupted, excess weight can accumulate, and since the body may be hardwired to store weight, losing it is much harder than gaining it. Quick fixes such as fad diets cannot restore balance to the body – only comprehensive lifestyle changes can.
Many people who struggle to lose weight experience fluctuations in weight, sometimes known as weight cycling or yo-yo dieting. Studies show that two thirds of people who lose weight through diet and exercise regain the weight within one year, and of those who don’t, many regain within 5 years11. Repeated weight loss and gain can cause health issues and make it more difficult to lose weight in the future12.
If you’re trying to lose weight you may be overwhelmed by conflicting advice about which foods to eat and which foods to avoid. Most medical professionals and diet experts agree that a healthy approach includes whole foods such as vegetables and lean protein while limiting sugar and saturated fats. The best diet is one that you can incorporate into a lifelong healthy lifestyle. Get the details on some of the specific diet plans you may hear about:
*Consult your physician before starting any diet plan or exercise routine
With so much information available, it can be helpful to talk to a nutrition expert about your individual needs and goals. But who should you look to for advice? Your doctor of course, but they may not have the resources to provide you with a detailed plan tailored for you. That’s where a registered dietitian comes in. There are many types of nutrition experts; registered dietitians have completed specific coursework, degrees, and accredited programs and have been licensed by the state. A registered dietitian who specializes in weight loss can help you make food choices, find new recipes, and optimize your diet with a personalized weight loss plan.
Regular physical activity is an important part of a healthy and active life. Studies show that exercise is a key component in maintaining weight loss and improving overall health.13 New research also indicates that exercise may be more important to maintaining weight loss than previously believed. In addition to promoting weight loss, regular exercise can also reduce the risk of certain types of cancer and cardiovascular disease by up to 30%.14 The key to a successful workout regimen is consistency.
The first step in a successful fitness routine is identifying exercises that are a good match for your ability, personality and lifestyle. If you’re outgoing and like dancing, then you’re more likely to enjoy a Zumba class than a solo run. If you have mobility issues, then a chair yoga class or water therapy session could be a great place to start. Busy parents can find free online workout videos to fit into their schedule. Once you choose your routine, here are some tips for staying on track:
The cycle of weight loss and regain that many dieters encounter is controlled by more than just willpower. Metabolic, genetic and environmental factors keep healthy weight maintenance out of reach for many people. Some experts believe that up to 95% of people who lose weight through diet and exercise will regain the weight.15 For people frustrated by the struggle of losing weight and maintaining weight loss, and for people with weight related health concerns, weight loss surgery is an option. Weight loss surgery can save lives, and contrary to some perceptions, it is not the easy way out.
Studies show that the majority of weight loss patients maintain their weight loss years after surgery.16 Additionally, weight loss surgery such as gastric sleeve has been proven to improve diabetes; 70% of gastric sleeve patients saw an improvement or complete remission of Type 2 diabetes after surgery.17 Weight loss surgery is a powerful tool that can help people live healthier lives. In addition to restricting food intake, weight loss surgeries such as gastric sleeve or gastric bypass can also reduce the hormone ghrelin, which regulates cravings and hunger.18 The patients who have success after weight loss surgery are the ones who commit to changing their eating and activity habits to embrace lifelong lifestyle changes.
Myth: All You Need Is Willpower
Fact: Obesity does not equal laziness. Experts agree that there are many things that influence a person’s propensity to gain weight, including genetic, medical, and environmental factors. People who struggle with weight loss need more than determination – they need the support and tools to succeed.
Myth: I Can’t Lose Weight If I’ve Been Overweight My Whole Life
Fact: It can be difficult to overcome a lifetime of habits and lifestyle factors that contribute to obesity, but with the right tools and support system it IS possible. Read our success stories to be inspired by before and after photos and stories from people who have succeeded in losing weight and creating healthier lives.
Myth: I’m Not Overweight Enough for WLS
Fact: Less than 1% of Americans who qualify for weight loss surgery actually get it.20 If your BMI is over 30 then you may be a candidate for weight loss surgery.
Myth: Losing Weight Is a Linear Process With a Set Beginning and End
Fact: Most weight loss journeys are full of ups and downs. Even weight loss surgery patients may hit a plateau a few months post-surgery when rapid weight loss can stall out. The key to success is to stay the course! Don’t get discouraged by setbacks – stay motivated with a new exercise routine or a visit with a dietitian.
Myth: All Calories Are Equal
Fact: Nutritious foods are better fuel for a weight loss journey. You may have heard that weight loss is all about “calories in and calories out” but we’re more likely to make good choices and stick to our diet when we feel good. Foods that are nutrient dense such as vegetables, and high protein such as low-fat dairy and lean meats, will keep you feeling full longer and provide your body with the energy it needs for a healthy lifestyle.
At DFW Bariatric Institute, we’re honored to help people succeed on their weight loss journeys. Feel free to contact us with any questions, or fill out our Free Insurance Check form to take the first step toward a healthier and more active life!
1 Preventing Chronic Disease. 2015; 12: E161.Published online 2015 Sep 24. doi: 10.5888/pcd12.150069
2 Kones R, Rumana U (2016) Nutrition Studies, Optimum Cardiovascular Health, and Coronary Atherosclerosis-Ensuring A Solid Foundation for Public Policy. J Clin Exp Cardiolog 7:e145. doi: 10.4172/2155-9880.1000e145
3 The Global BMI Mortality Collaboration Published: 13 July 2016 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30175-1
4 Clin Cornerstone. 1999;2(3):17-31. Obesity and its comorbid conditions. Khaodhiar L1, McCowen KC, Blackburn GL.
5 Curr Oncol Rep. 2011 Feb; 13(1): 71–76. doi: 10.1007/s11912-010-0139-7
7 J Postgrad Med. 2017 Jul-Sep; 63(3): 182–190. doi: 10.4103/jpgm.JPGM_712_16
8 Thompson D, Edelsberg J, Colditz GA, Bird AP, Oster G. Lifetime health and economic consequences of obesity. Arch Intern Med. 1999; 159:2177-83.
9 Colditz GW, Wang, YC. Economic costs of obesity. In: Hu F, Obesity Epidemiology. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2008.
11 Obesity Reviews February 2015 Volume 16, Issue Supplement S1 Pages 1–96
12 International Journal of Exercise Science. 2009; 2(3): 191–201.Published online 2009 Jul 15
13 Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2014 Jan-Feb; 56(4): 441–447. Published online 2013 Oct 11. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2013.09.012
14 CMAJ. 2006 Mar 14; 174(6): 801–809. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.051351
15 Bijlefeld, M., & Zoumbaris, S. (2003). Encyclopedia of Diet Fads. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
16 JAMA Surg. Published online December 6, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2017.5025
17 Journal of Diabetes Research 2015; 2015: 674268. Published online 2015 Apr 14. Doi
18 World Journal of Gastroenterology 2015 Nov 7; 21(41): 11804–11814
19 World Journal of Gastroenterology 2015 Nov 7; 21(41): 11804–11814
20 Ethicon, Inc. (2016). Bariatric Surgically Open Patient Profiling Initiative. Beth Seltzer. Sanjit K. Bhogal OBES SURG (2015) 25:888–899 DOI 10.1007/s11695-015-1595-9, Inequity to the Utilization of Bariatric Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Table 2 6
Lost 93 pounds*
"93 pounds later, I have a whole new life. I’ve gone from a size 24 down to 10-12. I no longer have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. My knees, which were in sad shape before surgery, don’t hurt anymore. I joined a gym and participate in water aerobics and a latin impact aerobics class. My whole life has changed. I have much more confidence in myself and love to be with people."
Lost 120 pounds*
“I have experienced incredible changes in my life after losing over 120 lbs with weight loss surgery. I no longer have high blood pressure. I also no longer have sleep apnea or have to use a CPAP machine. I take a yoga class, walk, swim, and have a new passion…golf. I’m having a blast! I’m looking forward to going to a water park for the first time ever and having adventures I never thought possible. I am so happy that I took this life changing step and highly recommend DFW Bariatric Institute.”
Lost 140 pounds*
“First off….this surgery will give you your life back. It is a total life changing surgery and I feel like I owe DFW Bariatric my life since they restored mine to me. My weight ballooned up to 273 lbs before my surgery. I have successfully lost and maintained a 140 lb weight loss… This is the most amazing journey that anyone could ever take and the DFW Bariatric Institute staff will all be there to hold your hand and lead you down the road to your success.”
Lost 110 pounds*
“I am currently 29 years old and weigh 130 lbs. Before surgery I weighed almost 240 lbs…This is the best thing I have done with my life and would do it again today. It changed my life drastically. My surgeon said to me, 'I can do 50% for you and give you the surgery, but the other 50% is up to you. Your eating, your exercise, your total outlook on life make up the other 50%. And what you want from the surgery is what you will get, and the life you will gain.'”
Lost 90 pounds*
“I went to a seminar and left there with complete ease, feeling like everyone cared about me and my health. On first office visit I was totally impressed…I never felt rushed in the office, and always felt everyone cared. My surgery was completed and I am now down 90 pounds…The biggest part of recovery comes from the encouragement DFW Bariatric gives. Everyone is always positive and takes the time to explain things in a positive way.”
Lost 161 pounds*
“There are no words to express the amount of change that weight loss surgery has brought to my life. I am a 54 year old female. There were so many things I was unable to do before the surgery that I blamed on age. It wasn’t my age at all, it was the weight. I am 30 again…The day of my surgery, I weighed 299 pounds. Today I weigh 138 and wear a size 6…I feel so good about myself now. The surgery saved my life!”
Lost 130 pounds*
“After losing 130 pounds, I feel like I have a new lease on life. I was able to stop all of my diabetes, high blood pressure, and my cholesterol medicines. I have always had chronic knee problems and now I am able to run three miles per day without any pain. If I had a choice of doing this surgery again or not, I would definitely do it again. I feel that by having the surgery it not only gave me my life back but it also saved my life.”
Lost 107 pounds*
"I have lost the astonishing amount of 107 pounds in less than a year. I feel like I have my life back and I am in control again. All my family and friends are always telling me that I look happier than before and they are right, I am much, much happier than before. I have to thank DFW Bariatric and my husband for helping me throughout this very emotional and amazing journey. I do not regret at all having the surgery, it is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.”
Lost 154 pounds*
“My outlook on life was so different before having my weight loss surgery. I was taking medicine for diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression, and my back, legs, and shoulders hurt all the time which kept me from sleeping. My start weight was 298 pounds. And I am now 144. I’m no longer on any type of medications. My body is the best shape I have ever been in. I am so happy to be where I am today mentally and physically. With my hard work and dedication and with the aid of DFW Bariatric, I am where I want to be. I trust this team with all my heart.”
Lost 170 pounds*
“At 365 pounds, I was medicated for high blood pressure, diabetes, joint inflammation, and high cholesterol…I was a living example of morbid obesity. I knew then that it was time to do something with my weight…It was not easy to get through all of the hoops that my health plan demanded, but the DFW Bariatric team helped me every step of the way. Today I weigh 195 pounds and feel great! From the time I left the hospital after surgery I have been free from all prescription medications. I can never thank this team enough for giving me back my life."