Episode 22: AMA | Yo-Yo Dieting, Plateaus & Weight Gain from Steroids

Thank you for joining Dr. Simonds and Michelle Kennedy, NP-C for today’s AMA Live.

Q: Does eating slower help you lose weight?

A: While we definitely agree that eating slower is a good thing it’s not specifically used as a weight-loss tool. However, it can be helpful to eat slower in order for us to take the time to feel full. When you eat, your body changes certain hormones which let the brain know that you’re full. When you eat too fast, this process cannot go through as quickly, which can lead to over-eating.

If you’re trying to eat slower, it’s definitely something that takes a conscious effort. Some tips to help with slow eating are using chopsticks, using smaller utensils, counting chews and putting down utensils in between bites.

Q: I’m scared yo-yo dieting will damage my heart. Is that true and what is the best way to stop it.

A: Many men and women do suffer weight regain during the weight loss process and it’s completely normal. While weight regain is very common, it’s never a reason to give up and not try again. While there may be some metabolic issues with constant fluctuations in weight, it never outweighs the benefit of losing weight once again and keeping it off. The most dangerous condition for your heart is reaching obesity and staying obese.

Losing weight is a process. It’s a marathon, not a sprint and you will learn more about yourself along the way. The experience you gain throughout the weight loss process will help you succeed in the long run. That’s why we’re here. We’re here to encourage you along the way, so please contact our office.

Q: After losing 15 lbs. myself, I’ve hit a plateau. What’s the best way to overcome it?

A: Congratulations on your weight loss! Plateaus are a completely normal, expected part of the weight loss journey. We define plateaus as 4 or more weeks without any weight loss. If a patient has reached this time frame without any weight loss, we evaluate and change something in their routine. We take a look at sleep patterns, diet, fitness, stress levels and even medication management. Just remember that plateaus are completely normal as your body has certain set points and will fight to keep you at that weight. Our bodies are biologically complex and all require different types of experimentation to break past a plateau. It’s always possible to break through a plateau, so don’t be discouraged!

Q: I’m embarrassed to show my body. Will I need to show my stomach during a visit?

A: No. While we are a medical practice, we do not require patients to unclothe or wear a gown. We listen to patient’s hearts and take their blood pressure. We would never require you to do anything that would make you feel uncomfortable. We ask new patients to complete medical history and diet history. You will then meet with a medical provider that will go over your medical history, weight loss goals and record your current weight. You will be given a weight loss plan based on your individual needs and prescribed weight loss medications if needed. We recommend monthly follow-up visits to check your progress along the way. We are always available in between office visits or you can come in more frequently if you need additional support. We are definitely a judgment-free zone and are here to help support and empower you along the way.

Q: My daughter has weight gain from being on steroids related to her asthma. Is there any way to prevent this?

A: Yes! While steroids are a wonderful solution for inflammation and other medical conditions, they are not without side effects. Steroids do have an effect on the stress hormone cortisol and blood sugar which can lead to an increase in appetite and water retention. Since steroids cause a roller-coaster effect on blood sugar levels, we recommend those patients restrict refined sugars and carbohydrates. A low carbohydrate diet along with the medication, Metformin makes a significant difference in cravings and will help with your weight loss efforts. There are actually many medications other than steroids that can cause weight gain and make it harder to lose weight. We provide a complete metabolic assessment to evaluate any current medications that you are taking that may be causing weight loss difficulties.

Q: Every time I’m on my period, my cravings are at their worst. Will medication help or is this an unwinnable circumstance?

A: Medications are extremely helpful! We treat many women that have an increase in cravings and have more difficulty adhering to their weight loss plan during this time of the month. We can prescribe medications that can help and we also recommend supplements such as L-glutamine to help further.