Episode 31: AMA | Getting To Know Dr. Simonds

This Live AMA show is a 1-on-1 with Dr. Simonds. Our regular co-host, Michelle Kennedy, NP-C is on vacation, which means Dr. Simonds hosted the show himself and answered your questions. Just as a reminder, we have offices in Raleigh and Durham, operating at normal business hours. Contact us if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.

Q: Is Dr. Simonds married and does he have any children? If so, does his wife do keto as well?

A: Yes, Dr. Simonds has been married for 15 years to his wonderful wife Anna, a registered nurse, and is also a weight-loss specialist at the practice too. Anna also offers InMode, which is a non-invasive body contouring procedure at our Durham office location. This is the second marriage for both, each bringing 2 children. All 4 children are grown up and out of the house. Dr. Simonds and Anna both follow a keto lifestyle, but they don’t pressure each other to follow any type of diet. It’s important to be supportive of spouses and let them make their own decisions and be ready to commit to a healthy lifestyle on their own. It’s all about support, not force!

Q: Why did Doc choose weight loss as a medical profession?

A: For those of you that don’t know, Dr. Simonds’ background is in emergency medicine. He’s a board-certified emergency physician and worked in emergency medicine for 10 years prior to embarking on his new career path in weight loss. Dr. Simonds became interested in weight loss medicine because he was dealing with health problems of his own that were weight-related. There really weren’t a lot of medical answers that he was aware of as he was never taught about this topic in medical school or during residency. He knew he was going in the wrong direction with his weight and back in 2001 decided to seek help. He found that there weren’t many options available at the time. 20 years ago, he had to look pretty in-depth on the internet and found great difficulty in finding help for weight loss. After all, smartphones weren’t invented at the time. After much searching, Dr. Simonds was eventually able to find a weight loss specialist, which changed his life. He found that many people were in the same position as him and had difficulty finding help. He decided to start offering weight loss services on a part-time basis, while still working as an ER physician and it just blossomed from there. He found that the general public was eager to get help and didn’t have many solutions. Dr. Simonds is board certified in emergency medicine and obesity medicine and has helped over 30,000 people lose weight.

Q: What are your thoughts about exogenous ketones? Are they helpful or a waste of money?

A: We like to think of them as an affordable luxury. Basically, exogenous ketones are ketones in the body that come from an outside source, usually in the form of BHB. It’s important to not rely on exogenous ketones entirely or use them as a response to a poor diet. You really need to focus on eating right for the long haul. In order for the body to burn fat and generate ketones, certain foods must be eliminated from the diet such as rice, potatoes, sugar, flour, and all forms of grains. If you’re following the correct diet and taking exogenous ketones makes you feel better, then go for it! We don’t know of any long-term benefits from taking them, due to lack of studies but they may have some health benefits. The types of trials, such as a double-blind placebo to prove benefits would take resources (millions of dollars) and a large amount of time. These types of studies are pretty much impossible to conduct which is why evidence-based therapies are hard to find. This is why it’s so important to find the right provider that’s not only experienced but can also be trusted to find the right therapies for you.

Q: Does Dr. Simonds struggle with weight as well? How much weight has he lost through the years?

A: Yes! In his younger years, Dr. Simonds didn’t really have any weight struggles. It wasn’t until he entered medical school, that he began to have weight-related struggles. The demanding schedule and the need to be awake for 18-20 hours a day led to a decrease in physical activity and a sugar-filled diet to help him keep going. His highest weight was 300lbs and he also had pre-diabetes and high blood pressure as a result. He lost 80lbs and has gained and lost significant weight in the past 20 years. Currently, his weight is a little higher due to lean muscle mass from weight-lifting. He, like most others, will always need to be aggressive about monitoring his weight. Dr. Simonds actually has seen a weight loss provider that has helped him lose weight and continues to manage it to this day.

Q: Who does Dr. Simonds look up to in professional and personal life?

A: Dr. Simonds thinks of himself as a spiritual person and heavily relies on his relationship with God. There are various folks along the way that have made the biggest impact in his life. His father, Jack (pictured below) is a very special person and has been instrumental in making a big difference, providing advice, and being influential in his life. Dr. Simonds still gets to enjoy playing golf with him today at 83 years young! It’s important to not get trapped into one way of thinking and it’s important to hear a variety of viewpoints and ideas. He tries to keep an open mind and enjoys meeting all kinds of people.

Jack Simonds

Q: Do you recommend fasting? If so, what is the best and most effective? I eat breakfast at 6 am, skip lunch and then have dinner around 5 pm.

A: Yes, fasting is a great idea and highly recommended. Our ancestors fasted regularly for thousands of years and it’s simply not true that we need to be eating 3 meals a day. Fasting is known to have many health benefits and outcomes. The longer the fasting period, the better!

Q: Does Dr. Simonds feel pressure to maintain his weight and follow good eating habits while out-and-about?

A: Absolutely!  He regularly sees his patients around town, at restaurants, and at the grocery store. It’s important for him to set a good example and take care of his own health too. So, while he certainly feels the pressure, it’s a good kind of pressure.

Q: What does a “cheat” day look like for Dr. Simonds?

A: It really varies. You can’t always control every situation, so cheat meals are always a little different. For example, when dining out with family and friends he may find himself with limited options. Dr. Simonds doesn’t ever try to impose certain diets on anyone, so if he finds himself in a situation with others, he’ll often exercise portion control. This helps him minimize any damage to his diet while still getting to enjoy life and time with others.

Q: Did he (Dr. Simond’s father, Jack) take your money at Pinehurst?

A: Ha! For those of you who don’t know, Dr. Simonds, along with his father Jack, and some friends often have side bets on the golf course. You’ll be happy to know, Dr. Simonds played some of his best golf ever and cleaned them all out. They all had a blast this past weekend!

Q: If there was one thing Doc could set clear for anyone dealing with weight loss, what would it be?

A: Weight issues are a serious medical problem, not a character flaw or psychological weakness. There’s a complex biological aspect to weight loss and it needs to be treated medically. We treat weight issues with a four-prong approach; behavioral change, nutritional strategy, increase in physical activity, and medication. You are NOT weak for needing help!

Q: If he wasn’t in weight loss, what other profession would Dr. Simonds consider?

A: A food truck with good, healthy options would be a big hit and so much fun!

Simonds Food Truck

Q: What’s your take on Wegovy, the new weight loss medication?

A: Dr. Simonds does like Wegovy and thinks it’s safe and does work. However, it can be quite expensive and there’s currently a shortage of supply. He’s finding that most of his patients are having difficulty finding a pharmacy stocked with the correct dosage.

Q: What supplements should we take to possibly lessen cold or covid symptoms?

A: This is a great question! Dr. Simonds believes that covid is here to stay due to the various variants and is something we’ll be dealing with until possibly the end of time. The first phase of the virus after you’re infected is, it gets inside the cells and replicates itself. This takes about 5 days. The second phase is the inflammatory phase, and this is where people are the illest. Remember, you can still pass on the virus regardless of vaccination status. Therefore, it’s important to help prevent the second phase from happening and to help reduce risk. At first symptom, there are supplements that can help reduce the level of sickness and provide a better outcome. Zinc, vitamin D, and quercetin are great supplements to help prevent infection and are a great daily supplement. We are currently working on a bundle special of Metagenics supplements that we think is a homerun! Contact us for more information about Metagenics.

Metagenics Bundle Special Price $55.00 | Original Price $75.00 ($20.00 Savings)

Dr. Simonds holding Metagenics

Q: What is Dr. Simonds’ favorite movie or show?

A: Dr. Simonds’ favorite movie of all time is Talladega Nights and for a more serious movie, the original Predator is fantastic!