Episode 35: AMA | Collagen, Medications and Keto

Dr. Simonds and Michelle Kennedy, NP-C answered your weight loss and health questions live from the Raleigh office. A $25.00 Target gift card winner is selected for each episode. Tune in and watch live for a chance to win!

Q: I’ve been hearing a lot about collagen peptides. Are they really worth it? What are they exactly and what types do you recommend?

A: Yes, we recommend collagen all the time to our patients! They are a great addition to the daily routine. Collagen peptides are a type of protein made from collagen, an essential component of healthy skin, bones and joints. We recommend about 10 grams twice per day to help with skin and nails, appetite and craving control, and overall protein intake. We prefer the flavorless powder as the flavored ones, the liquids, and the gummies tend to have added sugar. The powder form is also tasteless and can be mixed into and dissolved in your morning coffee and even yogurt in the afternoon.

Collagen Powder
Collagen Powder

Q: I’m in my 40’s and I’ve continued to struggle with the same 15 lbs., (gaining and losing) since my 20’s. It’s like my body wants to be the higher weight. How can I combat this?

A: We hear this all the time! Yes, your body has set points and biologically, your body will try to take you to those set points. It comes down to hard work and a daily commitment to a healthy lifestyle. It really does require behavioral changes, physical activity, a nutritional plan, and even weight loss medications. It will be a lifelong journey and require a consistent plan to keep off the excess weight.

Contact us if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.

Q: Can you tell me more about the weight loss prescriptions your office offers? Do they work by mainly suppressing the appetite or do they have other benefits?

A: Most of the medications have multiple benefits including suppressing the appetite. We are able to prescribe all of the medications that the FDA has approved for weight loss. They have a history of safety and are generally tolerated very well.

It’s extremely important to have a professional go through your medical history and provide a metabolic assessment to determine what medication is appropriate for you. There are other considerations such as cost to factor in when selecting an appropriate medication. The good news is, there are multiple medications that are effective and available that will fit your needs. We find that medications are extremely helpful and effective for those undergoing a weight loss journey.

Q: With the holiday season here, can you tell me how to still enjoy alcoholic beverages or a cocktail while on keto?

A: This is a great question! It’s important to understand how alcohol works in the body. The body recognizes alcohol generally as a poison and will metabolize alcohol before it does anything else. In other words, all of the positive effects of a low-carb diet come to a halt until the alcohol is metabolized and out of your system.

If you would like to partake in an alcoholic beverage, always do so in moderation and consume only those that are low in carbs. For example, definitely stay away from regular beer. However, a low-carb or light beer (those under 4 grams of carbs) would be a good alternative. Eight ounces of low-sugar wine such as chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, cabernet, or Merlot are suitable options for wine drinkers. When consuming liquors such as bourbon, gin, or vodka, avoid the sugary mixers and stick with diet drinks or club soda.

Calorie-wise, there are more calories in alcohol per gram than in anything else, so we recommend small and moderate amounts. Definitely avoid sugary cocktails such as pina-coladas and daiquiris.

Q: Do you think the scale or taking measurements is the best way to check progress? And how often should I be doing this?

A: Research shows that routine weighing, in most cases daily, leads to more successful weight management. Taking measurements is also helpful and can be done using a tape measure at home or using body composition scales like we have in our office or you can buy online. It is good to start with daily weights and weekly measurements, but this can be tailored to your specific needs when speaking with your provider if a different routine would be best for you.

Woman stepping on scale

Q: I tend to be on the go most days and packing a lunch isn’t always the most convenient. What are your go-to fast-food places and items that would be good for keto?

A: Planning is key and we recommend making packing a lunch a priority. It’s always going to be inconvenient to pack meals, but planning meals really is highly effective for a successful weight loss journey and lifestyle. However, if you’re in a situation where eating out is the only option, there are a few good choices available. Bunless burgers, grilled chicken, and sugar-free salad dressings such as ranch and blue cheese are great options. Wings are a great choice too. If you have a grocery store with a hot bar or salad bar nearby, hard-boiled eggs and deli-meats are healthy and delicious.

We’ve found that many restaurants are happy to cater to specific diets, so let them know what you’re looking for when ordering.