Episode 25: AMA | Zinc, Atkins & Weight Loss

Welcome back to our Ask Me Anything Live Facebook show featuring Dr. Simonds and Michelle Kennedy, NP-C. answering your weight loss questions.

Q: Is there any truth to adding more zinc to your diet to help with weight loss?

A: While there may not be any studies on whether zinc aids in weight loss, we are big fans of zinc. Zinc has been especially popular now due to the pandemic. Here’s why. When viruses such as the coronavirus enter the body they begin to replicate themselves, multiply, and disrupt cell function. Zinc actually stops viruses from replicating themselves inside the cells, therefore this is a great time to be taking this micronutrient. During the first 4-5 days that someone is infected with coronavirus, it’s especially important to stop the virus from replicating.

Zinc is found in many forms and we recommend at least 50mg of zinc picolinate daily. Zinc is a charged ion and doesn’t get inside the cell easily which is why it needs a transporter to help it along.  Oral Hydroxychloroquine is a great transporter of zinc, is safe in low doses, and is a great transporter of zinc. Quercetin is also an excellent transporter and we recommend 250-500mg per day. Zinc along with a transporter really eliminates the ability for viruses to replicate. So, while zinc may not be proven to aid in weight loss, it is an important part of a healthy life.

We highly recommend Metagenics supplements.

Q: Do you recommend liposuction or surgery for a patient after substantial weight loss?

A: We have patients in our practice that have gone through similar procedures. We never judge and are supportive of whatever a patient chooses to do. However, we recommend that patients wait at least 6 months following the beginning of their weight maintenance journey before making any decisions. The reason is that a lot of changes can still happen after 6 months of being in maintenance such as changes in skin and how you feel in general. We recommend giving your body some time to settle before making any decisions.

Surgery such as liposuction removes subcutaneous fat, not excess skin. When a patient loses a large amount of weight, the concern is usually excess skin, not fat. Therefore liposuction wouldn’t be ideal in this situation. A great non-surgical body-contouring option to help with loose skin may be an option for you. We do offer a painless, effective skin-tightening procedure for someone who is an ideal candidate. It highly depends on the individual and we offer a free consultation for potential candidates. Contact our office for more information.

Q: Can you become resistant to Phentermine? What other weight loss meds do you offer that work just as well as Phentermine?

A: Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of options for weight loss medications on the market today. Phentermine is the most commonly prescribed appetite suppression in the U.S. today and we have found much success with this medication. Yes, sometimes people can become tolerant to the stimulant effect of Phentermine just as someone may become tolerant to coffee. We would need to evaluate you individually and sometimes we may need to increase the dose. There are some other medications available that may work well when taken along with Phentermine such as Metformin.

Q: Do you help patients that are post-op gastric bypass? I’m a month out and struggling hard with head hunger?

A: Yes! We see patients regularly that are struggling with hunger after weight loss surgery. Just because you’ve had a surgical procedure does not mean you’re not a candidate for additional help. We find that weight loss medications can be very helpful for patients and prevent weight regain. Surgery is a wonderful, powerful tool but is not a cure for obesity. Many patients will need additional assistance following weight loss surgery.

Q: What’s the difference between the Atkins and keto diet?

A: Simply put, Atkins is a brand of the ketogenic diet. You can do the Atkins diet and be on a keto diet, but not all keto diets are Atkins. The Atkins diet is a well-branded form of the keto diet that offers meals, shakes, bars, and other meal replacement items.

Q: If we haven’t been in the office for several months (maybe 6-7) can we just make a regular appointment to come back in or is there an additional step?

A: Once a patient, always a patient. There are no additional steps or charges to restart. Further, we will always honor all pre-paid visits. They never expire!

Q: How long would you recommend protein shake meal replacement? If I drink 2 protein shakes about 23g of protein.

A: We are big fans of protein shakes for individuals that are fans of them. Meal replacement shakes are very effective in getting you to your weight loss goal. There really isn’t a timeline and they are very healthy complete meals.

Q: The devil that is menopause seems to have stalled my weight loss.

A: You’re not alone! The hormonal changes that happen during this time are profound and impact weight for many women. We have found that Metformin is a great medication to help.

Q: Do you believe that someone’s weight is hereditary?

A: Yes, there is absolutely a genetic component to weight. And when you combine the genetic component with the traditional American diet and food supply, weight gain and obesity can be difficult to avoid. But, just because you have a family history of weight does not guarantee that you will struggle.

Q: What’s your experience with alcoholics or addicts that have turned to an unhealthy habit with food?

A: This is so common. Sugar works in the reward centers of the brain, so we understand that sugar is a common replacement for other substances. We have experience in treating patients in this situation and have many tools, supportive plans, and recommendations that can help. Contact us if you have any questions.