Episode 5: Ask Me Anything Live | Dr. Simonds & Michelle Kennedy, NP-C

Dr. Wickham Simonds and Michelle Kennedy, NP-C were back to answer your questions live about weight loss, diet and more. Just a reminder that Dr. Simonds Metabolics & Weight Loss offices are open as usual and are taking new patients. Obesity is a very serious, complex disease and we are here to help you reach your weight loss goals safely and efficiently. Now, let’s get to your questions:

Q: Do you have something for menopause that’s causing weight gain?

A: For many women, menopause is definitely a weight changing event. Especially for those that have had weight struggles in the past, the hormonal changes that come along with menopause can make it extremely difficult. We have had many patients that have experienced menopause for many different reasons, such as those that have battled cancer and have had to go on estrogen-blocking therapy for treatment and younger women who have gone into early menopause.

Fully menopausal is when you have had no menstrual bleed for 1 year. During the perimenopause time, which is the transitional stage from a regular cycle to no longer having a cycle can cause appetite issues and a shift in weight gain.

The dropping levels of estrogen make women more at risk for weight gain, especially in the middle area and can also cause more of a sensitivity to refined carbohydrates. Therefore, we will usually recommend a low carb diet or even a ketogenic diet to help. Simply reducing carbohydrates such as potatoes, pretzels, and other processed foods will help tremendously.

Focus more on eating proteins, vegetables and healthy fats. Medications such as metformin are extremely effective for women experiencing hormonal weight gain issues. Be assured, that menopause does not mean that you can’t lose weight. We have had a lot of success in treating patients going through this shift in hormones, so you’re not alone.

Q: I need to lose weight. I’m so tired of being obese and nothing else including counting calories and working out is working. Please help!

A: Your body is much more complex than just counting calories so we find that’s not the most effective strategy for weight loss. It’s important to focus more on the types of foods that you’re eating versus counting calories. Unless you’re in your early twenties or younger, you can’t out-exercise what you eat. The traditional American diet wreaks havoc on your body metabolically which often leads to obesity and being overweight, which are chronic medical conditions.

Obesity is not easy to treat and unfortunately, there is so much misinformation, bias and stigma associated with this disease. As obesity medicine providers, we have many treatment options available including supplements and medications and we tailor a weight loss plan based on the individual patient. We also do not push any exercise programs that you are not comfortable with or physically cannot perform. Moving more is definitely beneficial to your overall health, but is not necessary for weight loss. We are here to help and ease the frustration involved with battling the disease of obesity.

Q: I was just passing through and saw your business. I was just trying to see what exactly do you guys offer. I have tried everything and I’m currently detoxing. I lost 10 lbs so I guess my question to you guys is do you offer a payment plan or how does it work? Do you just handle everything in the first appointment and how long do you see results from the medications.

A: Congratulations on your 10-pound weight loss! That’s a great accomplishment. At Dr. Simonds Metabolics & Weight Loss, we are a pay as you go practice and we do NOT require any long term contracts or take large sums of money upfront. We do require a small deposit to secure your appointment for your initial visit. At your office visit, we will take your payment for the office visit and any payments for medications dispensed to you from our in house pharmacy. And most medications cost $30.00 or less as we do not mark up the prices. While we offer many excellent, quality supplements and products, we do not require you to purchase anything you do not wish to try.

Because we are a pay as you go practice, we do not offer payment plans. However, we do offer a discount for individuals who commit to purchasing more than one visit at a time. We offer a $50.00 discount when you purchase 3 visits at one time. We believe that this allows greater accountability and helps with patients staying more committed. And the prepaid office visits do not ever expire! We believe that our prices are very competitive and affordable.

At your first visit, we will assess your medical history, look at your current medications and recommend a diet and weight loss plan specifically tailored for you. We have an onsite pharmacy and will prescribe you any weight loss medications that we feel are necessary. We do recommend monthly follow-up visits to check your progress and see how you’re doing on your current plan. And we don’t limit communication to only office visits either, as we are always available to answer any questions you may have. We also recommend patients to frequent our website for more information, pricing, blogs, recipes and more.

Q: I would like to continue my weight loss journey with you guys. I had a baby 2 months ago and I’m breastfeeding. I’m having trouble with energy but have an increased appetite. I would ideally want something that could help with both. What would you guys recommend? I would like to do the distance program.

A: Congratulations on your new baby! For the health of your baby, we would not be able to start you on any weight loss medications while you’re still breastfeeding. While there are some limitations on prescribing you weight loss medications while breastfeeding, we can still provide other weight loss support such as advice, counseling and dietary changes. We can certainly get you started on the right path and later on we can add medications once you’re finished breastfeeding. The distance program is absolutely an option for you.

Q: Hi! My name is Kellie and I’m desperate for some advice for 20 lbs of weight loss. I am trying to find an expert to talk to about losing weight. I’m not obese and my doctor says I’m not considered “overweight ” but I want to lose 20 pounds. I eat pretty clean and healthy. I don’t believe eating is an issue. I exercise 3 to 4 times a week anywhere from 30 mins to an hour. I cannot for the life of me lose weight. I need help to figure out why and what I can do.

A: You’re not alone! This is not a unique scenario and we do see this quite often. It’s important to look at other parameters other than BMI when determining being overweight. Patients can have excess body fat but still fall into an acceptable BMI weight range. We also like to use other parameters such as current body fat mass, current medical conditions and even familial conditions.

Treating excess body fat is important to prevent other diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Remember, you can’t always judge someone’s health by the way they look on the outside. A very healthy looking athletic person can still have high sugar levels, high cholesterol levels, inflammatory markers and wind up in the emergency room with a heart attack. It’s important to recognize that your body fat is an organ and has a limited capacity to store fat.

As you begin to gain fat in that organ, it becomes diseased at some point. Once that point is crossed, it changes your physiology as your body will continue to try to gain weight as a result. It’s best to prevent this before it happens.

Thank you so much for joining us today and submitting your questions! Our experienced obesity experts at Dr. Simonds Metabolics & Weight Loss are ready to help you achieve your goals and get you started on your weight loss journey. Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment. We are here to help!