Tag Archives: weight loss

So, You’ve Lost The Weight – Now What? (Part 2)

It can be incredibly hard to maintain weight loss. Most ‘dieters’ end up gaining the weight they lose back in a year or two, but it is most certainly possible to maintain weight loss if you take the right measures. There are many things you can do to take to ensure healthy living for life. We took a look at a few good tips for maintaining weight loss in our last post, and now for a few more:

Stress is Setting Me Back

Stress has been directly linked to weight gain and obesity, in more ways than one. If your body is in a perpetual state of stress, your cortisol and adrenaline levels are constantly surging out of whack. Elevated cortisol levels raise the insulin in the body, causing blood sugar to drop which makes you crave fatty, sugary foods. Another way stress can pile the pounds back on specifically relates to those who are emotional eaters. If you find yourself backsliding and eating a row of Oreos every time you are stressed about work or a family conflict arises, stress can certainly be your enemy when it comes to maintaining weight loss. If this is the case, it may be helpful to talk to a psychologist about how to help curb that habit.

My Skin Has Lost Some of Its Elasticity – What Can I Do?

This is a common and often distressing issue that occurs when a person loses a significant amount of weight (such as after pregnancy or undergoing gastric bypass surgery). While surgery is one of the best way to get rid of loose skin, there are measures you can take to minimize stretchmarks and tighten the skin, as well as preventative measures that may be taken. Some helpful tips include:

  1. Pace yourself – losing weight too quickly will often lead to more excess skin. The aim is to lose weight while building muscle, slow and steady (try for 1-2 pounds a week).
  2. Moisturize (with the right stuff) – there are many types of moisturizer on the market today that contain ingredients that claim to help tighten skin. You can also use a combination of extra virgin olive oil and rosemary oil to help moisturize and replenish the stretched, sagging skin.
  3. Mix cardio with strength training – Cardiovascular exercise is really what will help burn fat (sometimes sagging skin is also made of fat deposits that haven’t burned off yet). Strength training exercises will also help to build muscle under the skin which can help tighten it again.
  4. Guzzle water like fuel – If your skin is dehydrated it will be dryer, and overall less healthy and less able to bounce back to a more firm and natural elasticity after losing weight. Try to drink plenty of water to help hydrate your skin.

I Need Support!

One of the greatest things about a weight loss (and maintenance) journey is the vast wealth of support and encouragement that exists in our modern world. If you try to do it alone, things will be much more difficult, so be sure to reach out when you need it. If you are having trouble with the fitness side of things, reach out to a buddy who will workout with you and keep you motivated, or hire a personal trainer to keep you on track. Finding it hard to keep eating well? You can check in with a dietitian, or get help from one of the many healthy eating Apps out there. Having trouble with self esteem? There is no shame in seeking advice from a therapist who will help you get to the root of your self esteem issues and work to fix them. There are also numerous weight loss communities out there via apps, the internet or weekly in-person meetings that may also help keep you motivated as well.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Stay happy and healthy.


So, You’ve Lost The Weight – Now What? (Part 1)

It can be a tremendous struggle to shed stubborn extra pounds, but sometimes even when that goal is finally accomplished, it is a bittersweet victory. There are other obstacles that may arise post-weight loss such as maintenance, staying motivated when it comes to fitness, or dealing with temporary re-gains. Even though these can all be challenging obstacles, it is important to continue working to keep your BMI in a healthy range if you are concerned about leading a healthier life. Losing extra weight (and keeping it off) significantly lowers your risk of developing such prevalent weight-related conditions as cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes. So, what are some tips to help you surmount potential post-weight loss problems? Let’s take a look:

It is So Hard to Stay On Track

It can be tricky to stay motivated and excited about fitness and healthy eating daily, but luckily, you don’t need to look any further than your phone for ideas to keep things fun. There are countless exciting fitness activities and delicious healthy recipes out there that can keep you pumped about living healthier. After all, it is pretty hard to argue that the average human feels better after eating greasy chips and donuts all day than eating a well balanced, body-fueling meals. That in itself is great motivator to keep up your good work.

I’ve Gained a Little Back And Feel Like Throwing In the Towel

Everyone has set backs from time to time, but the trick is not to let them define your path going forward. Okay, so you had a cheat-weekend of junk-food, Netflix and too much chill, so what? Just get right back on track come Monday and you’ll be rocking your progress again in no time. The problem arises when people have a defeatist attitude toward set backs and just give up instead of refocusing and continuing on their path of health. Just recognize that we are all human, it is only natural to fall off the healthy living wagon every once in a while. The important thing is to quickly pick yourself up again, dust yourself off and get back to what matters (trying not to be too hard on yourself in the process).

I Don’t Want to Feel Like I’m Always “On a Diet”

Well, don’t! It’s all in the outlook. If you look at healthy living like a chore that you have to trudge through, the going will likely get pretty tough. However, if you look at it as a fun daily challenge to try different fitness activities or make eating healthy exciting, life will be better. Actual “diets” are notorious for setting people up to fail. Fad diets have earned the name “yo-yo diets” for a reason. They often lure people in with the promise of quick weight loss, only for the person to gain it all back very quickly (plus more). The plan that has been time-tested to get weight off and keep it off is simply to make healthier eating choices and workout 5-7 times weekly. So, banish the word “diet” from your vocabulary today for a better shot at lifelong success.

Check back next for more tips on how to maintain weight loss, thanks for visiting DocChat!



How to Reach Your Fitness #Goals (Part 2)

It is no secret that carrying extra weight can be damaging to your health but it can be difficult to stay motivated while trying to shift those extra pounds. In Part 1, we looked at some tips and tricks to help make your fitness journey a success in, now for a few more:

Choose a Healthy Lifestyle Over a “Diet”

Those who participate in the latest weight loss trends and diet programs to no avail may be looking at weight loss from the wrong angle. It shouldn’t be all about shedding weight fast for bikini season or an  for an event. Set your sights on the long-term and aim for a healthier overall lifestyle that involves nutritious eating and regular exercise. By thinking in the “diet mindset”, you will likely continue to struggle with losing weight only to put it back on (the phenomenon known as ‘yo-yo dieting’). However, by thinking “healthy living”, you will continue down a path to better health only to keep seeing positive results along the way.

Redefine Your Reward System

If you usually go to junk food as a reward, that might be a problem as you continue toward your fitness goals. It is one thing to reward yourself occasionally with a tasty treat but for day-to-day rewards, it may help if you start allotting yourself other enjoyable things such as a new movie, a relaxing drive in your car, some time for art or adult coloring or a massage.

Be Your Own Cheerleader Instead of Your Own Critic

Most of us are our own worst critics, ready to harp on all our little missteps instead of celebrating our successes. You can turn yourself off of fitness by being too hard on yourself and associating exercise with self-reprimanding thoughts. If you miss a workout day or fall off the cookie-free wagon, don’t be so quick to berate yourself. Instead, simply get back on track as soon as you can and continue toward your goals. If you lose even a pound or two at your weigh-ins, pat yourself on the back. This stuff is hard work, so give yourself props when due! By believing you will reach your goals, you are much more likely to do so than if you convince yourself that you can’t.

Surround Yourself With Supporters, Not Haters 

Some people work out better with a pal, so if you have a friend who supports or shares your desire to shape up, try for a routine of exercising together. Adversely, if there are people who bring you down or hinder your health goals with negative comments, try to avoid or block them out. No one needs flack from the peanut gallery! By learning to focus on compliments people give you while filtering out negative comments, you’ll be in a better head space to continue your weight loss journey for you.

Health Should Be a Prime Motivator  

Forget about the mirror for a second. Being obese or overweight can directly contribute to such life-threatening illnesses as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and even cancer. So, if you are overweight, give yourself the gift of a healthier future by shedding those extra pounds. If you lose weight just to look good for others, it likely won’t stay off. Make your fitness goals for the right reasons. Intrinsic motivating factors such as wanting to be healthier and live a longer life or look better for yourself, will give you a much better shot at success than if you are only losing weight to impress or please other people. Remember, it’s not about looking good to others, it’s about feeling good for you!

Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope our tips can help you reach your fitness #goals!





How to Reach Your Fitness #Goals (Part 1)

We all start with good intentions when it comes to getting in shape, but it can be tricky to stay motivated and see your weight loss goal through to the end. Because reaching a healthy weight is so important for good health, we wanted to take a look at some tips and tricks that may help you stay the course:

Attitude Matters

Your attitude along your weight loss journey can make or break your chances of success. Negative thoughts can be self-perpetuating and can block you from reaching your goals. A positive ‘can-do’ outlook, on the other hand, can set you up for triumph.

Make Goals More Tangible By Writing Them Down

Writing down your weight loss goals can actually make you more accountable to yourself. By committing your aspirations to the page, you are creating a material contract to yourself. Tracking your progress in a journal or on your phone can also help you stay on track and tweak your habits along the way.

Keep Your Goals Attainable

You’ve probably heard this one mentioned in regard to weight loss before but it is so important to keep your goals reasonable so they are within your reach. If you set an unrealistic goal like losing 100 pounds in 2 months, you will be setting yourself up for frustration and shortcoming. By starting smaller, it will help give yourself the confidence and motivation to continue increasing your goals bit by bit until you are where you want to be.

Don’t Get Hung up on The Scale

Yes, the numbers are important when you’re trying to nix those extra pounds but there are other ways of assessing your progress. A couple good progress tracking methods are to: measuring your weight loss in inches instead of pounds, or just weigh in once a month so you don’t get disappointed or thrown off by daily fluctuations.

Make Your Technology Work For You

There are so many great digital weight loss and health resources in our technological world such as activity tracking apps, wearable fitness tools and interactive fitness games such as Wii Fit. Many apps and wearables also give you access to a supportive community of others in pursuit of their own weight loss goals who may help you stay motivated as well.

That concludes part 1 of our motivational tips for reaching weight loss goals, stay tuned for part 2 next! Thanks for visiting DocChat, we always love to have you!

Is There a Healthier Sub-type of Obesity?

The concept of ‘metabolically healthy obesity’ (MHO) has recently been circulating through the medical community, causing a few ripples as it goes. It refers to individuals who fall into the ‘obese’ body mass index (BMI) category, but according to a few criteria, may not be at the same heightened risk of disease that most obese people are.

What Criteria Define Metabolically Healthy Obesity?

There is little consensus on the exact details of MHO, however, Dr. Hu of Harvard Health maintains that obesity is not a homogenous category of people. He has outlined the following criteria to help better define MHO:

  • A waist less than 40 inches for a man or 35 for a woman
  • Good overall fitness
  • Normal sensitivity to insulin
  • Normal blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol

The Concept is Highly Debated

Many medical professionals argue that just because a ‘metabolically healthy’ obese person exercises frequently or doesn’t currently have any indicators of ill health doesn’t mean they soon won’t develop issues. There is such a vast sea of research and scientific proof linking obesity to hundreds of medical conditions that suggests an obese person who is active and shows no current signs of insulin resistance or heart problems is still at a higher than average risk of developing future complications because of his or her weight.

The Bottom Line About Obesity

Weight isn’t always a perfect indicator of health or disease risk. Skinny people often develop heart disease or high cholesterol if they don’t lead a healthy lifestyle and sometimes those who are obese don’t develop many health issues and can be overall healthier than smaller people. Thus, there very well may be a MHO phenotype that can help stave off illness for longer. However, scientifically speaking, people who are obese (with a BMI of over 30) are at elevated risk of developing many diseases such as some types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and many other troublesome conditions. So, just because someone who is excessively overweight doesn’t have health problems in the present won’t guarantee them immunity from obesity-related risks in the future. The best way to lower the risk of obesity-related conditions is not only to exercise routinely, but also to eat a healthy diet that is high in produce and low in animal fats, saturated fats and simple carbohydrates and to attend medical checkups regularly.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Please check back again in the future.

Here’s Why You Should Try Getting Fit With HIIT!

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is taking off as of late as a favored exercise method. It combines low-to-moderate activity intervals with high intensity ones. HIIT also allows people to work as their own personal trainer, incorporating a variety of different exercise moves into each workout.

How Does HIIT Work?

HIIT consists of very quick bursts of intense exercise, usually between 20 seconds to 2 minutes, followed by a short 10 second to 1-minute recovery period that is slower-paced, or sometimes even stationary. This activity pattern is often repeated for 20-45 minutes.

Is HIIT Effective for Weight Loss?

Yes, very. Because HIIT keeps your heartrate up while kicking your metabolic rate into overdrive, your body will be burning calories long after the workout has ended. If executed correctly, HIIT can actually burn more fat in less time than many other straight-cardio workouts.

What About Different Ability Levels?

Herein lies the true beauty of HIIT, nearly anyone can do it because it is 100% modifiable. If you have exercise induced asthma, arthritis or another mobility impairment, you can stick to more conservative exercises within your range of ability for the high intensity portions that still keep the heartrate up enough to make the exercise beneficial. Conversely, if you have no physical limitations, you can go full-on-pro-athlete during the intensity intervals!

What Types of Exercises Can You Incorporate in HIIT?

You can basically work any moves into HIIT, which is another perk. Some of the popular intensity moves are:

  • Incline push-ups
  • Jumping squats
  • High knees
  • Jumping jacks
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Sprinting

What Are Some of the Other Benefits?

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, some benefits of HIIT include:

  • Aiding cardiovascular health
  • Increasing stamina
  • Helping burn fat while retaining muscle

One last benefit of HIIT is the convenience. It is a workout that can be completed in as little as 20-30 minutes, which is an amount of time that almost anyone can spare daily. It also can be done anywhere; you don’t need a pricey gym membership to get fit with HIIT! So why not give it a try today? Thanks for visiting DocChat!


12 Tips For Fitness Success (Part 2)

In Fitness Tips Part 1 we looked at a few fitness success tips such as measuring inches, weighing in less frequently and finding a good workout pal. Here are some more of our favorite fitness success tips:


  1. Try Watching The Tape Instead of the Scale

    Some people find measuring in inches to be more encouraging than measuring pounds. Inches and pounds correspond pretty closely with each other, but you won’t have to be constantly reminded by the number on the scale if you are sensitive about it.

  2. Don’t Set The Bar Out of Reach  

    Even if you wish to lose 40+ pounds or inches (whichever you measure in), don’t set your sights too far into the horizon at first. Start with a modest weight loss goal, and increase it accordingly as you start to see success. Sometimes a large goal can be daunting and discouraging, it can feel impossible (even though it is not). A more modest goal may feel more attainable and therefor may set you up for greater success.

  3. Simplify Your Workout

    While the fancy machines at the gym are great, sometimes it can be more convenient to simplify your workout. Use household items like lunging while carrying bags of flour (or 3 pound weights), doing staircase reps or simple push-ups, jumping jacks and sit-ups for just as effective a workout. It may make exercising seem like less of a hurdle if you don’t have to worry about getting to the gym and getting home and showered.

  4. Don’t Be Your Own Worst Critic

    Everyone falls down sometimes, don’t beat yourself up if you have an off day or miss a workout. Just get back up, dust yourself off and catch tomorrow’s workout. Constantly berating yourself for not doing as well as you want will only serve to discourage you. Just don’t let days pass before getting back on track, that is a common mistake – people wait until next Monday to start working out again when they miss one or two days. You’ll have less to make up for if you get back into it the following day.

  5. Spice it Up

    Many people have a rigid fitness routine, but it can be very helpful to vary this routine to keep interest and target different areas of the body. Maybe try yoga a couple times a week, a new fitness class one evening, walking sometimes, the gym every now and then and home fitness sometimes as well.


  6. Try High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)  

    According to WebMD, you can burn many more calories with short intense bursts than with a steady paced exercise session. Depending on your fitness level, you may work at your max for 30 seconds to 5 minutes, then drop it down to recovery-level exercise for a short amount of time, then repeating this several times. These workouts are shorter in duration, but pack a powerful fitness punch!

Thanks for visiting DocChat! We wish you all the success on your journey! We hope you check back soon.




Benefits of Activity Trackers

Activity trackers are riding a fitness trend wave now, seemingly for good reason. For many, a good quality tracker can be a fashionable, intelligent and accountable way to get into shape or keep fit. However, they may not be for everyone as they do have drawbacks (stay tuned for our post about the drawbacks next). Some people argue the technology isn’t precise enough yet for the best of the best when it comes to fitness management, but here are a few reasons we believe a fitness tracker may be the nudge you need to reach your fitness goals.

Fitness trackers can:

  • Provide a true reflection of your lifestyle – Personal fitness trackers (PFTs) help calibrate a baseline by tracking your normal activities before you even start working out or reaching goals. This will help give you a decent reflection of your lifestyle, which may be less active than you think. While it may be a wakeup call, this is a great feature because it allows no room for denial about your current activity level and plenty of room to up your game.
  • Promote personal accountability – One of the best features of PFTs is that they help hold you accountable for reaching your fitness goals. If you routinely decline your evening walk, you have a little device to answer to who is counting and calculating your every fitness move. This helps many people push themselves a little harder, feeling more accountable to do their best.
  • Help you set and reach goals at your own pace – Most PFTs on the market today have several fitness options and are highly customizable. Many have a default setting goal of 10,000 steps a day, but you can easily change that to better suit your lifestyle. If you were largely sedentary before purchasing your PFT, it would be wise to start small by adding increments of a couple hundred steps every day and work big gradually instead of going straight for the gold.
  • (Kind of) track your sleep – Another fascinating (but debatable) feature of many PFTs is the sleep monitor function. Using its 6-axis accelerometer technology PFTs can also loosely keep tabs on your sleep by tracking your movements. This will be in no way as precise as being monitored at a sleep lab, but may a fair enough indicator of optimal versus inadequate sleep so you can look further into the issue medically if need be.
  • Count calories – As well as an activity and sleep tracker, your device will be able to help you keep track of how many calories you’re burning. Again, the technology isn’t quite at its pinnacle yet, so calorie counts may not be very precise and could even vary from tracker to tracker, but it will give you a loose idea of how much you’re taking in and burning off.
  • Create a communal fitness environment – The corresponding apps usually give the option of participating in a community of others who are using the same fitness tracker as you and have similar goals. Many people find this communal environment encouraging and motivating factor in becoming or staying fit. Most popular weight loss programs offer meetings to give this sense of community, but you can participate from the comfort of your home.
  • Help you find of renew your love for healthy living– All in all, fitness trackers may not make you crazy fit, crazy fast, but they are certainly an option worth exploring if you are having trouble getting motivated on your own.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! If you have any questions about fitness, wellness or weight loss sign up to DocChat today to connect with one of our very knowledgeable board certified physicians! Stay tuned for some of the drawbacks of fitness trackers coming up next!


Weight Loss Myths Set Straight (Part 2)

When you are trying to lose weight it can seem impossible to sort out the “lose weight fast!” scams and schemes from the healthy tricks and tips, so we decided to address some of the most common weight loss myths with the facts to help sort the mess out a little. Check out our “Weight Loss Myths Debunked Part 1” if you haven’t already! Here are a few more we came across:

Myth: You must have a thyroid problem if you have a difficult time losing weight.
Fact: In actuality less than 5% of the American populous have hypothyroidism, so just because you have a hard time losing weight that doesn’t mean a disorder is to blame. However, if you experience many of the other symptoms of hypothyroidism along with inability to easily shed pounds, you should talk to your primary care doctor or one of our highly qualified DocChat physicians today.

Myth: Carbs are bad!
Not all carbohydrates are evil, simple carbs such as glucose, corn syrup and refined sugar are made of only a couple sugar molecules and are rapidly digested. They don’t provide much nutritional sustenance and usually comprise ‘junk food’ products that can be bad for our health. However, complex (starchy) carbs like pasta, potatoes and whole grains are essential parts of a healthy diet when eaten in the proper proportions. They often contain goodies such as fibre and B vitamins and can provide you with the energy you need to get through your day and your workouts.

Myth: If you just exercise regularly, you can eat what you want and still lose weight.
Unless you’re an anomaly to the norm, if you are exercising the called for half an hour to an hour a day but still eating a big bag of chips, dessert after every meal and take-out on the regular, chances are you won’t be hitting your target weight loss goal any time soon. You are burning off a normal amount of calories, but taking in an excess of calories because of a lousy diet, your exercising isn’t going to cover all those added calories. It is almost like swimming against a current, all your hard work will likely just be eclipsed by the chip bag or donut box. In order to achieve healthy weight loss, eating a well balanced healthy diet and exercising regularly are both recommended.

Myth: A calorie is a calorie, they are all the same.
Our bodies metabolize different types of food in different ways. For example, protein can boost your metabolism by making it work harder as well as keep you satiated for a longer period of time, while simple carbs such as refined sugar are zoomed through your metabolism and stored as fat, working against your metabolism. So protein calories are better types to consume more of than simple carb or ‘empty’ calories when you are trying to stay healthy and keep an eye on your waistline.

Myth: Dairy products are too fattening for weight loss
As long as you make lower fat dairy choices, dairy can be an important part of a healthy diet and can help you stay or become trim. Dairy contains a surplus of protein, which is conducive to weight loss and healthy eating, as well as calcium and vitamin D. If you have trouble consuming dairy, the protein and calcium in soy products can adequately replace dairy products.

We hope our myths and tips helped you. If you have any questions about healthy weight loss, or obesity or other related illnesses don’t hesitate to sign up today and try a video conference with one of our qualified and experienced DocChat physicians. Thanks for visiting, have a great day!

Weight Loss Myths Debunked (Part 1)

“The biggest misconception (about weight loss) is that doing something in the short term will have long-term results.”

-Elaine Magee (WebMD “Recipe Doctor”)

Myth: You have to be a gym-oholic to lose weight.
Fact: As long as you are working off your caloric intake (or more), small bursts of different kinds of activity can be as helpful as a really intense gym session. The key is to eat a little less (especially less junk food, don’t cut down on good foods), and exercise more. Adults should get at least a half an hour a day of exercise.
Myth: It is more expensive to eat healthy.
Fact: Not necessarily. Buying a pack of frozen veggies is cheaper than buying a bag of fries or pizza. Swapping out fattening ingredients with healthier ones such as adding beans to a casserole instead of bacon can even be a little cheaper than eating unhealthily.
Myth: “Low fat” foods will all lead to weight loss.
Foods labeled “low fat” are often high in simple carbs like refined sugar, which is not a great trade-off. The label “low fat” also tends to trick people into over-indulging in these stealthily troublesome foods which leaves the person no further ahead than if they had chosen the full-fat version of the food. Not to mention your body still needs some fat to absorb and transport vitamins and nutrients, however, most of your fat intake should be unsaturated fats which help with HDL (good) cholesterol as opposed to the hydrogenated fats in “low fat” foods.
Myth: Store bought “weight loss detox” products will help you lose weight.
These products may help you shed a pound or two initially but almost all cases the weight will pile back on with more force than ever in the long term. Many of these products are unhealthy and could cause adverse side effects such as perforation of the colon. Check out our article on Detoxes for more information.
Myth: You can never eat fast food again if you’re trying to lose weight.
Many restaurants (yes, even fast food ones!) offer healthier alternatives now to attract healthier eaters as well as those who love burgers and fries. Fast food chains realize many Americans are opting for healthy living, so they are offering salads, a baked alternative to the usual deep-fried products, wraps and fruit smoothies (check to make sure they are made from real fruit and not high-sugar fruit flavors). Eating out occasionally won’t cause significant weight gain or sabotage your progress as long as you keep it to once every couple of weeks, or choose healthy options.

Stay tuned for Weight Loss Myths Debunked (Part 2) shortly! Thanks for visiting DocChat!