Achieve Lasting Weight Loss with the Endoscopic Sleeve

According to Boston Medical Center, every year about 45 million Americans go on a diet, spending upwards of $33 billion on products that are related to weight loss. So why is it that only around 25% of American adults are at what is considered “a healthy weight” according to the standard BMI scale?

It is evident that many of these dietary attempts fail, and there are a variety of reasons for this. Today, we are going to talk about a few of these reasons and what can be done to address them.

Why Most Dieting Attempts Fail

Many attempts at weight loss fail because most people do not understand the complexities of obesity or how their body works. One of the reasons people have such a difficult time with weight loss is because of the way their brains and bodies exert their control over their efforts.

We all know that when we reduce our calorie intake, our metabolism slows down to compensate, but what many people do not know is that our brains also play a significant role in our ability to lose weight and can either be our best friend or our worst enemy. The brain functions similarly to a computer’s “motherboard,” controlling a wide range of functions.

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It Is In Your Head, Really!

Researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine conducted a study that determined there are two specific areas in the brain that strongly influence an individual’s success rate when attempting weight loss.

The participants in the study were all older adults who suffered from obesity. The baseline measure was an MRI scan that captured images of two sections of the brain, FN1 (functional network 1) and FN2 (functional network 2), to be used as a benchmark for how predictable the individual’s success at weight loss would be.

Without getting too technical, there were striking similarities between the brain regions of people who were successful at losing weight and those who were not.

They found that during the resting state, the FN1 area that is responsible for sensory and motor skills was significantly associated with six-month weight loss, and there was a marked association between food cues and region FN2, which is the area of the brain that deals with self-regulation and focusing attention.

While in the resting state, there was a bias in sensory motivation to pursue food, and when food cues were present, there was a deficiency in the attention network and with executive control.

This discovery clearly showed that some people have a stronger sensory-motor bias to pursue food that is much stronger than others. This, coupled with the fact that we live in a society where there is an abundance of food that is constantly being marketed (food cues), explains why some individuals have a harder time losing weight than others.

Our brains also respond to other hormones that are released in the body. The stomach produces ghrelin, which sends messages to our brains telling us we are starving and we need to eat. Cortisol is released by our bodies when we are stressed, which tells our bodies to hang on to any fat they can find.

Gaining control over weight loss is not about willpower; it is more about a head game and retraining your brain to effectively decode the messages the brain is sending and knowing the appropriate response.

Gaining Lasting Control Over Weight Loss

Weakness and willpower are not the driving forces behind an individual’s inability to lose weight. There are limitations to how much control we as humans have over the forces driving weight gain.

Also, most unhealthy food choices are full of ingredients that set off a chain reaction of activity in our brains that leads to insatiable hunger and overpowering cravings. No one, except maybe Iron Man, could withstand the persuasive powers of these outside or internal forces.

There are a few things we can do to gain more control over our weight.

  • Modify our behavior (outsmart your brain);
  • Use an effective weight loss tool.

Behavior Modification for Long-Lasting Weight Loss

We can learn to listen to our bodies, interpret what they say, and respond appropriately. And we can become knowledgeable about nutrition and food choices. We can learn which foods provide long-lasting satiety and the ones to avoid that wake up all the nasty food cravings.

Learning the “whys” behind behavior modification assists us in implementing these changes, and experiencing the results of these modifications assists in turning them into long-lasting habits.

Researchers at Connecticut College found that the chemicals in Oreos stimulated reward centers in the brain just as effectively as cocaine or morphine. When these reward centers in the brain are activated, the behaviors that were behind them become addictive. No wonder no one can eat just one Oreo!

Oreos are an example of how behavior modification can produce lasting results. If we are trying to lose weight and are now armed with the knowledge that Oreos do not have our best interests at heart (this is the WHY), we can avoid them. This is the modification in behavior. We are not giving our brains the opportunity to use this snack food against us in our fight to lose weight. This is the result.

Beating Sugar Cravings

Also, it is scientifically proven that eating sugar promotes cravings for more sugar. Significantly cutting down on sugar for three or four weeks will eliminate the ferocious cravings for sweets, and then there will be one less battle to fight on your quest for control over your weight. The long-lasting result of this behavior modification.

There is an abundance of sugar-laden and processed food choices that produce the same results. They are full of empty calories, which do not provide any nutritional value, provide only temporary satisfaction, and induce viscous cravings that will be relentless. Learning which food choices produce this effect will arm you with the knowledge that will help you modify your behavior and understand the reason why you are doing it.

Getting Started With Physical Activity

Another simple example of behavior modification is to take the stairs instead of using the elevator to get to your office at work, which is a couple of floors away. Or start taking walks on your lunch break for 10 minutes a day and work up to more. In the first week, you may become out of breath, but you will notice your stamina becoming stronger, and physical activity will promote weight loss. The “why” is to get more physical activity; the reward is physically building endurance that you can notice; and ultimately, the increase in physical activity will be reflected on the scale.

Mastering the Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is another behavior modification that is tied to the brain. If you only eat at the kitchen table, you not only pay more attention to how much you are eating but you are also tuned into the “clues” your body is giving you that you are satisfied and do not need to continue eating. Most of us also have formed habits that are contrary to our weight loss goals, and research has shown that it can take up to 120 days to break these habits.

If you watch television every night and you have a habit of snacking while you watch television, then your brain tells you that you are hungry whenever you turn on the television. If we learn to stop these types of “triggers” before they go off, it will be easier to experience quick and lasting weight loss.

Non-Surgical Weight Loss Tools

A non-surgical weight loss tool is a procedure that will aid a patient in their attempt to lose weight. It is something that is done for the purpose of making losing weight easier for the patient. The Orbera balloon procedure, Suture Sculpt endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, and prescription weight loss medications are all examples of safe and effective weight loss tools.

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These non-surgical weight loss procedures help patients eat less and curb their appetite while they work with professionals to modify behaviors that will promote healthy sustainable weight loss. Using a weight loss tool is not taking the “easy way out.” It will require substantial commitment and effort from the patient, but it can help them accomplish something they could not before.

We use tools for all types of things in our lives, and so using one to help us with weight loss should be considered a reasonable thing to do. For instance, when we need to change the batteries in a remote control or child’s toy, many times there is an annoying screw that has to be removed first. If we did not have access to a screwdriver, we would probably be out of luck. Without the ability to get the battery compartment open, our remote or toy is going to be out of order indefinitely.

By the same token, the screwdriver is not going to take out the screw by itself; it takes both manpower and the tool to get the job done. A weight-loss tool works very much the same.

Patient effort + weight loss tool = weight loss success.

When you add behavior modification into the equation, it results in patient effort + weight loss tool + behavior modification = successful, long-lasting weight loss.

We Can Help You

The experts at Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss Center understand the complexities and underlying nuances of the disease obesity and we know how to address them.

We look at each individual patient and their unique circumstances, medical history, existing health concerns, and underlying issues that have contributed to previous unsuccessful weight loss attempts. Next, we create a plan of treatment that will work best to help them achieve safe but fast long-lasting weight loss.

We know that losing weight is more complicated than just cutting calories and increasing physical activity. The Batash team will be there to help you navigate through the journey of weight loss, and you will not be alone trying to figure it all out by yourself.

We know that many people are looking for fast and lasting weight loss, and we can help you accomplish your goals.

Take control of your weight loss today! We encourage you to set up a consultation with us today so we can share the options available to you and create a plan to get you on track to sustainable weight loss and better health.

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