Episode 3: Ask Me Anything Live | Dr. Simonds & Michelle Kennedy, NP-C

We’re happy to be back again at Dr. Simonds Metabolic & Weight Loss in Raleigh, NC, where Dr. Simonds and Michelle Kennedy, NP-C went live for their latest Facebook Ask Me Anything Event. They had heaps of weight loss questions submitted by viewers and appreciate you taking the time to submit your questions and tuning into the event. Let’s get started answering your questions:

Q. Which intermittent fasting schedule do you think is the most beneficial and how often? What do you think of OMAD (one meal a day)?

A: Fasting is a common question we receive at the practice and fasting has been around for a very long time. It’s something that’s gaining popularity as more people hear about its benefits. We’ve been fasting since the beginning of time and our bodies are well equipped to fast.

There is not necessarily an ideal time for everyone and its important to find out what works for you and your schedule. Some find that one meal a day is great for them and others find one meal a day difficult. For fasting beginners, we’ll sometimes recommend starting out fasting 2-3 days a week, like Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Typically, we recommend to fast for 16 hours and to eat within an 8-hour window. For example, have your meals between the hours of 12pm-8pm and refrain from eating outside of this time frame.

Remember, if you’re not hungry, you don’t need to eat. Eating one meal a day is not dangerous and can be helpful to break a plateau.

During the feeding window, it’s important to consume enough protein and nutrients to enable your body to burn fat. If your fasting and not eating enough nutrients, your body will not be able to get into a fat-burning state which defeats the purpose of fasting. While fasting, your body is working very hard to keep your muscle and your metabolic rate going.

Breaking a fast with high sugar or heavy carbohydrate foods is never a good idea and leads to spikes in insulin levels and will make it harder for you to continue fasting. You just won’t feel well. During the fasting window, it’s very important to stay hydrated too. Great examples would be consuming broths, electrolytes, coffee, tea, and sparkling water.

Q: What can I do when I hit a plateau? I eat well and I’m on a calorie deficit but every day my weight goes up a few pounds or stays the same. The day before I came into my appointment I weighed myself at home but at my appointment, I gained 3 pounds the next day. Now I’m stuck at the same weight. It was coming off then it stopped.

A: Hitting a plateau on your weight loss journey is very common and there are ways to help. Hang in there. It’s important to recognize that a true plateau is when there hasn’t been any weight loss for at least 4 weeks consecutively.

There are so many factors that go into your current weight and this is especially true with our female patients. Females can fluctuate up to 5 or more pounds on a given day and this can depend on their cycles, electrolyte consumption, and even your bowel regime. If you are executing your plan as directed by your health care provider and are experiencing a true plateau, we can adjust your plan, change up your calorie goals and add in things like fasts to help.

Your body will always make adjustments during a weight loss journey and a lot of times it’s to protect your health. And if you’re experiencing a true plateau, adding in a weight loss medication or switching your current weight loss medications are also helpful. We have many different ways to help you with plateaus at the office.

Q: I feel stress and concerns with my job search and turning 51. I have gallstones. I may have experienced many changes. My skin looks great! My weight gain this year has been increased. My sleep habits are all over the place. I’m active, however, but not like a few years ago.

A: Our first recommendation is to come back in and see us! You don’t need to struggle alone and we are here to help. Having gallstones is a very common occurrence and we would certainly address that at your appointment.

We have treated many patients with gallstone issues and would tailor your diet recommendation based on your symptoms and unique situation. And since you were a patient in the past, we would not treat you as a new patient. We try to make returning to the practice as easy and seamless as possible for patients. We understand that this is a difficult time and are here to help.

We are not just a standard weight loss clinic and our experienced weight loss providers are highly qualified to give you the guidance you need. We also have an on-site pharmacy at both of our office locations for your weight loss medication needs.

Q: I reached my weight loss goal about 2 months ago. Since then I have tried cutting back on my diet medication. I’ve tried cutting the dose in half, going every other day without medication, and not taking it all. No matter what I do, if I don’t take the full dose, I feel very hungry during the day. Being at home with my family and limited as to where I can go at this time, I feel I need the full dose to not gain the weight back. Is this okay? What is the best way to reduce and finally not take the weight loss medication?

A: A lot of patients are worried about taking weight loss medications long term. This is completely understandable and we receive this question all of the time at the practice. When you look at the evidence, there isn’t a reason to be concerned at all with being on a weight loss medication long term.

Just like any other medical condition that requires medication, weight loss is a long term medical condition. Losing weight results in physiological changes that causes an increase in hunger levels and a lower metabolic rate. This means that even though you may be following your diet regime and doing a great job, there are things biologically that are just out of your control.

Your body is making more hunger hormones in response to your weight loss. This causes additional cravings as your body is trying to regain the weight back. This is where being on a weight loss medication can keep you on track for the long haul. We only recommend weight loss medications that have been used for decades and are proven safe to consume.

Remember that obesity is very serious and even gaining back a small portion of the weight back is enough to put your body into an inflamed state. Having your body in an inflamed state result in more hospitalizations. And obesity is the number one chronic disease risk factor resulting in hospitalizations from the coronavirus.

Q: I hear that breakfast should contain 30 grams of protein. If that is correct what is a good breakfast (without ‘sweet’ tasting bars or shakes)?

A: Yes, you are correct! When you break your fast and consume your first meal of the day, you should consume at least 30 grams of protein. Greek yogurt, eggs, meats and cheeses are great options.

Breakfast doesn’t have to be a certain category of food. You can have whatever you desire. If you love salads for breakfast, go for it! And if you’re looking for some recipe ideas, Dr. Simonds Instagram, The Casual Keto Doctor is filled with some great low carb and keto recipes.

Q: How does Hemp oil work as far as weight loss?

A: CBD is very popular for many reasons such as helping with sleep, mood, inflammation and pain. We are finding that weight loss and appetite control are also some positive effects that people are experiencing with the use of CBD.

Your body has multiple mechanisms that help regulate your weight. Compounds in your body bind to receptors that signal your appetite and cravings. It’s similar to how the compound THC in marijuana binds to a receptor and makes you hungry. But full-spectrum CBD does not contain the THC that causes hunger and with consistent use, CBD acts with your body’s receptors and signals your body to be less hungry and have fewer cravings. It has numerous benefits and we are currently offering a great brand of CBD products for 50% off during the coronavirus pandemic.

Q: I came in a couple of weeks ago to try and get back on track with my health. After taking the pills (medication) that were prescribed to me and changing my eating habits, I am still the same weight. The first time I came into your office and was prescribed the same medication, my weight dropped tremendously.

A: Your body changes over time and a common reason for this is that your body may have developed some insulin resistance. If your insulin level is too high, your body simply will not lose weight. So, even though you are less hungry and following a good diet, if your insulin is too high, your body will not allow weight loss. It’s important to get your insulin levels lower.

Focus on what your eating vs. just counting calories. If your consuming foods that raise insulin levels such as refined carbohydrates and sugars, these foods will increase your insulin levels and keep it there. So, watch your consumption of carbohydrates. Sometimes adding a medication such as Metformin along with your weight loss medication can help regulate your insulin levels too.

Thank you, everyone, for tuning in to today’s AMA Live Event. We’ll be back in a few weeks to answer more questions, so please submit them here.

Just a reminder that we are remaining open as an essential business and are taking all of the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe during this COVID-19 pandemic. We are offering appointments at both of our offices in Durham and Raleigh as well as telephone follow-ups.

Contact us to schedule an appointment. We really appreciate your business and support at this time! Please stay positive and remember you’re not alone. We’re here to help you reach your weight loss goals safely and efficiently.