Episode 20: AMA Live | Sleep, Omega 3’s & Keto

On today’s show, Michelle Kennedy, NP-C and Office Specialist, Tina Sessoms answer your weight loss questions and discuss a special topic associated with February being Healthy Heart Month. Watch the show for some great weight loss tips and tons of great information!

Q: How much sleep do you recommend your patients get?

A: This is such a great question! Sleep is a lot more important than people realize. We recommend at least 7-9 hours of sleep time each night as it is very healing and restorative. And when we say 7-9 hours of sleep, we mean actual sleep, free of technology or other distractions. Having a bed time before midnight is also a great tip as the body’s circadian rhythm functions well when we sleep when the sun goes down and wake up as the sun rises.

Sleep plays an important role in our hormone regulation that affects our appetite and weight. Along with controlling stress, sleep is a huge factor as patients with poor sleeping habits have an extremely difficult time losing weight. We carry products that are specifically designed to help with sleep such as CBD oils and tinctures. Magnesium is also a great supplement for better sleep.

Q: What’s the best way to manage your electrolytes? Do sports drinks really help?

A: Electrolyte management is extremely important when trying to lose weight, especially when on a keto diet. Be careful with sports drinks as it’s very important to consume the types that are sugar-free. If you wish to consume sports drinks, just make sure to check the nutritional label and look for zero calorie options that are artificially flavored.

Replacing electrolytes doesn’t need to come in the form of a sports drink. Core Water and Smart Water are great examples of beverages that contain electrolytes without any added sugars. Supplements are also a great way to keep your electrolytes regulated such as potassium and magnesium. Contact our office if you have any questions about what supplements may benefit you. Dizziness, fatigue, muscle cramps and body aches are all side effects that people may experience when electrolytes levels are not maintained.

Q: How important are Omega 3s when trying to lose weight?

A: Fish oils are an excellent supplement and are known to increase your HDL’s (good cholesterol), lower inflammation in the body, reduce the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes as well as aids in lowering blood pressure.

February is Healthy Heart Month, so it’s a great time to bring attention to a medical condition called, Familial hypercholesterolemia. Tina has been diagnosed with FH and discusses the importance of being tested and having proper medical guidance if diagnosed with this condition. Due to some hereditary factors, certain individuals are born with higher levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and this is called, Familial hypercholesterolemia. FH runs in families, so if one family member has been diagnosed, then it’s important for all family members to be tested. FH is a common life-threatening genetic condition that causes high cholesterol and affects 34 million individuals worldwide. Untreated, FH leads to early heart attacks and heart disease. If you find yourself losing weight and still have high LDL levels, it’s important to get tested for FH. Fish oils will increase your LDL, but those individuals with FH will need some additional treatment as well. Contact Tina at the clinic if you have any more questions about FH.

Q: Do statins help with Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH)?

A: Yes, statins can be helpful in treating FH, however everyone responds to statins differently. Statins have been known to cause extreme muscle pain in some individuals. This results in a reduced dosage which makes the statin less effective in controlling cholesterol levels. While statins can help some individuals, some just can’t tolerate statins and will need to explore other options available. Fortunately, there are some successful treatments available for FH and we highly recommend individuals seeing a specialist for this condition.

Q: How do you set goals for weight loss if you’ve failed at every diet you’ve tried?

A: We promise that you’re not alone. For everyone that has struggled with their weight, the inability to reach a goal and sustain it lifelong is part of the process for everyone that is on a weight loss journey. Seeking professional help on your journey may offer you some alternatives and support in ways that you haven’t experienced before. We provide all new patients with a full metabolic assessment that will provide insight into your health. We will then guide you on a personalized plan that will include medications, an eating plan and continued support. We help patients figure out a sustainable, lifestyle change that is manageable and effective for life. We don’t believe in short term solutions and our goal is for patients to lose weight for long term success and happiness.

Q: Do I need to limit or be careful with how much protein I eat on a keto diet?

A: We find that the majority of our patients do not consume enough protein. While we recommend you consume at least 30 grams of protein with each meal, you can absolutely consume more than that amount. So no, we do not put any limits on protein consumption.

Sufficient amounts of protein are needed to stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day and is required for all body functions. The only time that we may be cautious about protein consumption is when the primary source is from powders and shakes. This type of protein isn’t as filling as consuming solid protein sources, which may make it easier to over consume. Protein is a filling, satiating macronutrient that is phenomenal for weight loss. It’s most important to limit carbohydrate intake while following a keto diet, not protein or fat.

If you follow a keto or low carb diet, our website and Dr. Simonds’ Instagram is filled with tons of recipes.

Q: I’m not a patient of yours, but I’ve been on keto for 3 weeks and I’m not losing any weight. What do I need to consider?

A: Taking a look at how many carbs you’re actually consuming as well as the amount of proteins and fats can be very helpful. Three weeks is a relatively short amount of time as your body needs some time to adjust. There are many factors to consider and it’s a very individualized process. We find that most individuals will experience ketosis while consuming between 20-50 carbs daily. If you are someone that is sensitive to carbohydrates, you may need to eat based on total carbs versus net carbs. Keeping carbohydrates to 20 grams can also be helpful for those individuals. It’s all about finding what works for you and we can guide you on the proper way to follow a keto diet.