Health Chats
Weight Loss for Life: Tips from cardiologist and author of "The Flex Diet".
Wednesday Jan 19, 2011, 08:00PM - 09:00PM (EST)
James G Beckerman, M.D.Blank
Cardiologist
Author of The Flex Diet (January 2011)
Providence Heart and Vascular Institute, Portland, OR
Heart disease remains the number one cause of death in both women and men, and is also the most costly cause of hospitalizations in the United States.  But the good news is that heart disease is also the most preventable cause of death other than accidents.  It is estimated that we can prevent nearly 80% of heart disease with tobacco cessation, close attention to our diet and activity, and focus on our risk factors.  One of the most challenging risk factors to address is obesity, which unfortunately continues to increase in prevalence despite our best efforts at prevention and treatment.  As people start to recognize that there is no quick fix or magic diet, we need to think critically about solutions that can really work - solutions that fit your individual lifestyle.   Come join Dr. James Beckerman for a chat discussing obesity and its health complications, diet and exercise strategies, and how we can reduce our risk for heart disease with evidence-based solutions.<br><br> James Beckerman, M.D. is a cardiologist with the Providence Heart and Vascular Institute in Portland, Oregon.  The Providence Heart and Vascular Institute is the largest provider of cardiac services in the Pacific Northwest, with pioneers in the areas of heart surgery and cardiac interventions.  Dr. Beckerman specializes in the treatment and prevention of coronary artery disease, and he has a particular interest in helping patients achieve their lifestyle goals. In addition to his clinical practice, Beckerman serves on the Oregon Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and is the team cardiologist for the Portland Timbers Major League soccer team.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.<br><br> Dr. Beckerman believes in a personalized approach to wellness and recognizes that healthy lifestyles are composed of many small choices that that collectively can have a significant impact on quality of life and overall health.  He shares his approach with his new book, The Flex Diet: Design-Your-Own Weight Loss Plan.<br><br>  
MedHelp:
Welcome to the Weight Loss for Life Health Chat!
MedHelp:
A special Thank You to Dr. Beckerman and all members for joining us here today!
Dr. Beckerman:
Hi everyone!  Thanks to everyone for being here! I'm looking forward to your questions.
charline123:
With all the suggested ways of losing weight, what is the most effective one?
Dr. Beckerman:
The truth is that there are so many ways to go about it.  My way and your way might not be the same - the key is to identify evidence-based principles in nutrition and exercise to find your own solutions!
Reiling:
Heart attack 2 years ago, lost 54# then gained back 15. Now can't lose an ounce, eating 1000-1500 calories, 40-70 carbs. BS is fine but can't lose anything in almost a year. Any advice welcomed.
Dr. Beckerman:
I'm not sure.  It's possible that your heart condition and/or medications could also be playing a role.  Activity is also key.  Many people find that cardiac rehabilitation - even if started a while after a heart attack - can be beneficial!
ahassounah:
A lot of talk is coming up regarding what a good amount of carbohydrates a person should consume per day and a lot is saying that 100g of carbohydrates daily seems to be the magic number in terms of maintaining brain functionality and burning fat and maintaining a lean muscle mass. What are the long term risks of maintaining a lifestyle that
Dr. Beckerman:
As far as I'm concerned, there isn't a magic number.  While it's true that decreasing refined carbohydrates and processed foods will help you lose weight, improve your cholesterol profile, and feel better, I'd emphasize that you have to figure out strategies for doing so in a balanced, consistent way.
Dr. Beckerman:
Counting carbs and points etc. seems to me a pretty hard way to go about it in the longer term.
websty:
I'm not really sure what I'm doing wrong. Just this time last year I was 103 pounds which looks normal on my body and frame. Now I am up to 117 out of nowhere. I exercise on a daily basis.. about 5-7 days a week of one hour aerobic exercise and other cardio. I do NOT eat bad. I do not consume excessive sugar, salt, alcohol, sodas or anything. I mainly eat raw. grilled chicken/fish. no read meat. almond milk, eggs, beans, nuts, soy, fresh fruits and vegetables. I ONLY drink water. I cannot seem to lose ANY weight? What am I doing wrong?
Dr. Beckerman:
It sounds like you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle - the first question I'd have is - do you really need to lose weight?  I'm guessing your body mass index is well within the normal range...
Dr. Beckerman:
....and if you are exercising frequently, you might have muscle mass which is adding on the pounds.  But if you have gained weight suddenly and very quickly (like over a month) there could be something else going on too.
karito1:
I think I have a huge stomach.... because I eat so much and I am always hungry. I gain 80lbs in two years and it is affecting my life in every aspect. I am 27 years and I want to start losing way the right way but I am afraid I wont be able to because I have a huge stomach inside. Can you give me some advise or something please???
Dr. Beckerman:
Even if your stomach is stretched out, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to lose weight - diet and exercise honestly work every time, just as long as you stick with it!
Princesca:
i had my cholecystectomy last november of 2006,what are the foods and fruits that is best for me to keep me healthy?
Dr. Beckerman:
Nothing really different than the average person.  For people with gall bladder issues, reducing fatty foods can reduce symptoms.  But now that your gall bladder is out (and you hopefully feel better!) you can eat a balanced diet for your health, not just your symptoms!
sundas:
i am 24 years and my weight is 165 pounds and my height is 5.4.I recently had a missed abortion at 9th week.I have a history of irregular periods.i have normal diet and i do light exercise but cant loss weight easily.how i can loss weight with this type of body condition
Dr. Beckerman:
I'm sorry to hear about your miscarriage.  Some young women who are overweight and have had a history of menstrual issues have some variety of a condition called PCOS - polycystic ovarian syndrome - it's common and is something to at least bring up with your doctor.
Betts1961:
What is the best way to try to lose weight while on insulin, it seems to be a lost battle because the insulin can cause weight gain as well.... should I have a more protein oriented diet so I don't have to use so much insulin?
Dr. Beckerman:
You're right - it's challenging to lose weight when you have diabetes b/c of other dietary restrictions.  Have you ever met with a nutritionist?  Could be very helpful. Some people find that resistance exercise and higher lean muscle mass can reduce their insulin needs as well.  Higher protein diets can be helpful, but in your situation I'd first consult with your doctor.
joy1955:
what is the flex diet?
Dr. Beckerman:
The Flex Diet is a book I published a few weeks ago.  It reflects my philosophy that there are many ways to go about becoming healthier and losing weight - flexibly - on your own terms.  I include 200 different solutions to help you design your own weight loss plan - no counting carbs, points, or anything.  Just evidence-based solutions that work.  Getting lots of exciting feedback - you can also check out the FB page at www.facebook.com/theflexdiet anytime!
nicky812:
I'm a 34yr old mother of 6. I've tried dieting and exercise and everytime I start eating lower calories and fat and exercising; using a treadmill or workout videos; I get sick, recently with pneumonia, this time last year with epstein barr. Is the stress of dieting causing me to get sick? I'm 5'8" and 180lbs Il
Dr. Beckerman:
Frustrating!  It's possible that you are taking on too much at once.  Six kids too!  Wow...  I'd recommend starting slowly - pick just a few little changes in your life - skim milk, buying healthier bread, reducing snacks at night - and then add in some exercise gradually.  You can do this!
specialmom:
I am an older mom that had pregnancy hypertension.  During a recent doctors visit, they noted that my blood pressure was rising.  My cholesterol has also risen since I've been at home with kids.  I have young children, one with a developmental delay and find my time to self to exercise limited.  Any ideas for some good at home things I could do to lose weight and promote cardiac health?  
Dr. Beckerman:
Very important to address your BP and cholesterol as you are doing.  There are lots of great ideas for at-home exercise!  I don't belong to a gym - I do everything at home, from calisthenics to weights.  I include a more detailed program in the book, but start with the simple things - jumping jacks, push-ups (even if they're hard!), and sit-ups - just like in high school.  Get your heart rate up and use your core.  And invest in some light weights too!
katscan:
Hi Dr. Beckerman. Does it slow down my metabolism if some days I eat more than others? A few times a week I'm just not that hungry or am really busy at work and eat a lot less. Just wondering if it will mess up my metabolism if I eat different calories one day to the next. Thanks!
Dr. Beckerman:
Hi! Shouldn't mess up your metabolism.  I'd recommend against skipping meals in general but just having something light instead.
jakataer737:
Is it mind over matter or can one really become depressed from dieting.  I have been told over and over again I need to lose weight due to high blood pressure and now could possibly have high cholesterol.  I just feel so down and out when I don't eat the kind of foods I like.  I was exercising at one point but my plantar fascia becomes inflamed, my knee developed a big red bruise (and I did not bump it) and I feel light headed.  What can one do when you are in a situation like this?  Any suggestions?
Dr. Beckerman:
Food is a drug - at least as far as your brain is concerned.  There is plenty of data that suggests that certain types of food get our juices flowing and can causes seemingly addictive behavior.  It's a lot about mind over matter and honestly making little changes in your environment to make a healthy life more convenient.  It takes weeks and sometimes months to get there.
trish934:
what are some weight loss tips for childhood obesity?