Episode 11: Ask Me Anything Live | Dr. Simonds & Michelle Kennedy, NP-C

Welcome back to our Live Facebook Ask Me Anything Event! We’re excited to be back live after a little break. We have some great questions that were submitted by viewers and we will also be discussing some of our popular blogs from our website. Just a reminder that our offices are open and we are still offering telephone follow-up visits for your convenience. Our in-house pharmacy can provide you with your weight loss medications and we can also ship them to you. This is also the time of year that people may not be as focused on weight loss due to the cooler weather and holiday season. However, this is the best time of year to start or continue your weight loss goals. Contact us today to get started!

Q: Is red wine allowed on occasion?

A: The short answer is YES! Red wine, in moderation is acceptable while following a diet. 1 – 2 small glasses of wine measuring about 4oz each is considered an acceptable amount.

Read our blog: Alcohol and the Keto Diet here

Q: How and why does weight affect testosterone?

A: When excess fat is stored in the body, it takes on the property of a gland. So it’s making pro-inflammatory chemicals that act directly on your body’s other organs and alters their functions. This directly affects your body’s ability to produce testosterone since it’s being altered by these toxic chemicals.

When you lose weight and your body fat starts behaving more normally, you’ll see a rise in your testosterone as a result. We find that belly fat is the worst and highly affects hormone levels such as testosterone and estrogen. Therefore, a low carbohydrate eating plan to keep insulin low and blood sugar in check is the most effective way to keep weight off and treat hormonal issues. This is a great topic and we have a very informative blog about testosterone and weight loss on our website.

Read our blog: How Obesity Affects Testosterone in Men here.

Q: I’ve been having issues keeping my diabetes (type 2) in check. How can I benefit from the keto diet?

A: Diabetes is an issue with insulin that affects blood sugar levels. The keto diet is the most powerful lifestyle tool to effectively treat high insulin levels and high blood sugar. We do recommend that you be monitored by a licensed medical provider in order to monitor your medications and ultimately wean you off of insulin.

We have found that the medication, Metformin is also an effective tool and combined with the ketogenic diet can help patients go into complete remission. Metformin and the keto diet are a very powerful combination and we have seen many patients in our practice reverse type II diabetes. The typical American diet is very carbohydrate-heavy and causes many health ailments such as diabetes.

Read our blog: Can the Keto Diet Cure Type II Diabetes? here

Q: I have PCOS and have been struggling to lose weight. I can’t seem to keep any diet going for long before succumbing to bad habits. What do you recommend?

A: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a spectrum on which many women in this country fall on. There can be weight gain (particularly in the abdomen), a change in the regularity of menstrual cycles, acne, fertility issues, changes in hair and many other symptoms. It’s a very frustrating condition for women to experience.

Even more frustrating is the lack of awareness on the healing properties that a diet, such as a ketogenic diet can have a huge impact on this condition. What you are putting into your body has a direct effect on your health. A low carbohydrate or keto diet can have a very healing effect on women experiencing PCOS. The underlying physiology in PCOS is one of insulin resistance. Therefore, a low carbohydrate diet is a very effective tool for treating PCOS. We also highly recommend weight loss medications to help you adhere to your diet.

Our experienced weight loss providers are able to prescribe medications to aid with appetite suppression and control cravings to help you further use the knowledge to help keep you on track. We also encourage you to reach out to your community for additional support and we’re with you every step of the way to guide you.

Read our blog: Your Guide to PCOS: Weight Loss is Possible here.

Q: I get so ashamed when I relapse and start making bad decisions and falling back on old habits. Do you have tips that will help me get back on track?

A: Don’t worry, we will never judge you! This is a serious medical problem and is only here to help and encourage you throughout your journey. If you’re finding yourself off track, we are the perfect solution. We are here to build you up, not tear you down. You can safely schedule an appointment with us and our experienced weight loss experts will guide you on the right plan for success. This is the best decision to get you back on track and encourage you in the right direction. You’re not alone as 75 out of 100 Americans are struggling with their weight and are battling many factors that can keep you off track.

Read our blog: Returning After Relapse: Let’s Get You Back On Track here.

Q: I see you recommend Metagenics, how are they different than the supplements I can pick up at Harris Teeter? Are they really that much better?

A: Metagenics are considered pharmaceutical grade supplements, which is why you will not find them at your regular grocery store. And yes, they are much better than those brands at the grocery store and can only be purchased through a medical provider’s office. You can purchase them online too and have access to all of their products and a prescription is not required. Metagenics is a superior product that is heavily tested, contains pure and high-quality ingredients. Unlike other companies, Metagenics is very transparent about the procurement of the materials that go into their vitamin products and continue to do clinical testing on their products as well. Both of our offices in Raleigh and Durham carry some select Metagenics products and you can shop their full line here.

Read our blog about Metagenics on our website here.

Check out our AMA Show: All About Metagenics here.

Q: I’ve gained a lot of weight since quarantine. I find being this close to my refrigerator for most of my days has made it tough to resist. How do I keep from finding myself in the kitchen searching for food when I’m not even really hungry?

A: We can’t begin to even tell you how many times we hear this question, especially over the past few months. You’re not alone! We do have a couple of tips that may help you. The first tip is to simply close the kitchen in the morning and do not open it until your workday is done. We actually have some patients that will pack a lunch and avoid working at the kitchen table as well. It’s best to make an office away from the kitchen and eating area altogether. This also allows you to focus more on your work as well as avoid snacking throughout the day. We also recommend avoiding purchasing trigger foods and keep your pantry and fridge stocked with easy, ready to eat snacks and meals.

This is all behavioral and goes back to avoiding stimuli and situations that will cause overeating. It’s also about establishing new, healthy habits and sticking with a plan.

Read our blog: Avoid the Quarantine 15 here.

Q: The holidays are coming up and I’m worried about all the food. So much food. How do I avoid the inevitable onslaught of food to maintain ketosis? What tips do you have to keep my cravings from overtaking me?

A: It’s about making good decisions and taking control of your surroundings. It sounds simple but setting parameters will go a long way when faced with holiday parties, family get-togethers, work functions, etc. It’s also helpful to be transparent about your diet with friends and family. Communication can be very effective, so having an honest conversation about your health and weight with family is beneficial.

Sometimes, you may just need to remove yourself from certain situations altogether. Don’t be afraid to put yourself and your health first. If you must attend a function, we recommend eating before you go, bringing dishes with you, keeping firm boundaries, and limiting alcohol intake.

Read our blog: Planning Ahead is Key To Staying Keto During The Holidays here.

Q: I’m not very good at food prep and cooking. What are the best, already ready to eat keto foods you enjoy?

A: We have found that there are many ready to go meals or even fast food options that can be tailored to your diet. If you’re following a low carbohydrate diet, simply avoid carb-heavy options and stick with ordering proteins and fats.

Our website has a wonderful guide on meal delivery and ready to eat foods here.

Q: There has always been so much stigma around using medication to losing weight. I see that you promote it as a tool. Why? What are the benefits?

A: Obesity and being overweight are true medical conditions that may require additional support with medications, just like any other serious medical condition. Weight loss medications work on the reward centers of the brain and are proven to help patients seeking weight loss. Evidence proves that weight loss medications are safe, aid in appetite suppression and patients will lose more weight and keep it off. It’s an additional tool that we like to use and we have an in-house pharmacy and can prescribe the right medication for you.

Read our blog: A New Perspective: Using Medication For Weight Management Here.