Health Chats
Weight Loss for Life: Tips from cardiologist and author of "The Flex Diet".
Wednesday Jan 19, 2011, 08:00PM - 09:00PM (EST)
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>  
I am 18 years old and have a lot of health problems. I am 5'4'' and 180lbs. Do you think my weight could be a cuase of these issues? ... I have athsma, allergies, acid reflux disease, tmj, low potassium, i am dizzy alot and a really weak immune system.
Dr. Beckerman:
Some people believe that weight is a barometer for our overall health.  And there are associations between weight and acid reflux, infections, and asthma...
i am 25 yrs old(f) I have 38kg 5ft. usually i takes my food well. but i couldn't increase my weight. please tell me how i can increase my weight up to 45kg
Dr. Beckerman:
I'm not sure - like a previous post, I think you should discuss with your doctor.  When people cannot put on weight, there is often a reason why.
I just start taking Mega T - green tea with acai berry, do you thing this fut burner will help me lose weight faster?? I need to lose about 80lbs and I am trying to do it somehow. thanks.
Dr. Beckerman:
Green tea is associated with a small amount of weight loss. Studies show a few pounds - not a lot - with four cups a day.  No good data to support acai berry.  None.
I will do the things you've suggested (simple at home exercises) and plan on picking up your book.  Another quick question----  I find that having a long period of time to exercise doesn't work out for me for a variety of reasons including the pressure I put on myself.  Are short time frames of exercise during the day worth while or do I need to find that big chunk of time?
Dr. Beckerman:
Great question - in fact, some recent studies suggest that shorter, more frequent episodes of activity are even better for you!
I have gained 40lbs in one year, since I retired. This I feel is due to a lack of activity..I am now working out at a local gym 3 times per week...for some unexplained reason I am getting more and more tired with each visit. I do not have shortness of breath just feel as though a dozer has run over me? Why is this Dr. Beckerman?
Dr. Beckerman:
I'm not sure. I think it might be good to discuss this one with your doctor.
Most effective way to lose weight when exercise is not possible and no dietician to consult?
Dr. Beckerman:
There are lots of dietary strategies to consider - a more plant based and less processed diet, higher in fiber, is the way to go!
My VO2 Stress test showed peak VO2 of 9.3 ml/kg/min (in same range as a person with CHF who needs a transplant), and my recommended METS for my exercise plan based off that testing is from 1.6-2.3 METS.  If you know much about MET levels, you know that's not much activity ... I'm not in CHF, this is from severe dysautonomia causing severe exercise intolerance.  Even by the end of cardiac rehab, I hadn't reduced my exercise intolerance.  Reducing my caloric intake isn't an option (when it happens due to loss of appetite, it causes nutrition imbalances).  How can I lose weight?  Or am I doomed because of my exercise intolerance and the steroid medication I have to take?
Dr. Beckerman:
This is a very unique situation, as I'm sure you know, especially when you add steroids to the mix.  I'm not sure I can have a quick answer in this forum!
So how can I lose 20 lbs in one month?
Dr. Beckerman:
I don't recommend it!
Could you comment on the recent studies which showed no association between saturated fat consumptiom and heart disease?
Dr. Beckerman:
Wasn't that interesting?  Certainly threw the American Heart Association for a loop...(more)
Dr. Beckerman:
The study found that processed meats (bacon, hot dogs) were strongly associated with heart disease, whereas sat fats were not.  It has definitely impacted my recommendations, but I tend to think that a high meat diet has other effects (like inc risk of colon cancer) worth considering
hello, was wondering if you could explain this had ecg done 3 days ago due to bad pain in chest hard to swollow and feeling cold but skin was wet blood pressur was 145/89 ecg showedsinus rhythm,ventricular etopics and bigeminy. was informed in 05 i had v etopics but there was no pain had 2 eps down to burn pathways but it was unsucessful. thanks for your help sorry i'm 28 yr old female
Dr. Beckerman:
PVCs can cause chest pain in some people.  But it's also possible there was another cause.  Frustratingly, PVCs are very hard to ablate in EPS procedures.  Beta-blockers tend to be the most effective treatment if they are very symptomatic
I have a question, If I lose 80 lbs do I going to have surgery for the lose skin???  do you know in fact if there would be lots of lose skin by losing 80lbs????
Dr. Beckerman:
Loose skin can definitely be a challenge for people who lose a considerable amt of weight, especially if done more quickly.  There are surgical options if it comes to that. But that's something I'd rather worry about later...
I cannot get my HDL levels up, I exercise, eat really well and nothing it wont budge. It is below 40. My father died at 40 and I dont want any risk factors. The rest of my numbers are good.
Dr. Beckerman:
I wish we had better drug treatments for this - niacin and fish oil can help but aren't great.  Modest alcohol use can help too.  But there is a strong genetic component to this.  Make sure that all your other risk factors are well controlled too (blood pressure, smoking, etc.)!
How can I remove my love handles?
Dr. Beckerman:
Losing some weight should do it!  Seriously!
Sir, I am about to use a fat burner i.e hydroxy cut (rapid release caplets ) so I want to ask does it have any side effects?  I have heard lots of things about hydroxy cut >>liver damage or even death please do tell me about this?

3.if it is harmful then how to take tablets to avoid damage ?
Dr. Beckerman:
I don't recommend using it. I believe it is dangerous.  Read more here:
Dr. Beckerman:
I am 50 years old and am post menopause.  I have noticed an extreme change in my body, not the least of which is a weight gain beyond any weight I have been in my life.
Dr. Beckerman:
I hear that from a lot of people!  Metabolism slows, and the "change" can be associated with weight gain.  It just means that you have to work a little bit harder... :)