Health and Wellness: Determining a Healthy Weight

health and wellnessEarlier this month Medical News Today released an article entitled “What is a Healthy Weight?” Discussing factors like age, sex, height, bone density, etc. that affect a person’s ideal weight, the article emphasized that one person’s healthy weight can’t be compared to another’s. Since health and wellness is such an important part of Southern Plastic Surgery and more plastic surgery patients are seeking non-invasive forms of fat reduction, I felt the need to discuss how to determine a healthy weight.

It’s important to first determine what is healthy for you. There are a variety of tests to determine a healthy weight, but experts across the world still do not agree on a defined healthy weight. Tests like Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR) help determine whether people are overweight, underweight, or at a healthy weight. However, there are still problems with these tests. For instance, BMI measures a person’s weight (in kilograms) divided by their height (in meters) squared, but it does not take into account body composition or where the weight comes from. A person with excess fat can have the same BMI as an athletic person who is very muscular. WHR does a better job of determining a healthy body weight as it compares the waist and hip measurements, but it still does not measure body fat or muscle-to-fat ratio.

The article concluded that it is more important to focus on true body composition rather than weight, which can be determined by body fat percentage measurement. Although it may not be so simple to go out and get a body fat percentage measurement, the article’s conclusion highlights the importance of focusing on eliminating fat instead of focusing on weight loss. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that some fat is necessary for survival.

As you may have read in my latest press release, there has been a recent increase in patients seeking non-invasive fat reduction. It’s understandable that patients would be more interested in fat reduction technology, like CoolSculpting®, that doesn’t require downtime, but what they fail to understand is that this type of procedure is made for a very specific patient who has very small, isolated area(s) of excess fat. Those patients with larger pockets of excess fat may be more suited for liposuction or a tummy tuck surgery. A procedure to tighten loose skin may be more appropriate for some patients. Because there are so many factors to consider when choosing a method of fat reduction, it is important to schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in body contouring to help determine which procedure will best meet your fat reduction needs.

Whether or not you choose a cosmetic procedure for fat reduction, it is still important to eat healthy foods and exercise regularly to improve overall body composition and muscle-to-fat ratio. If you need help finding healthy recipes or workout tips, visit the rest of my health and wellness blog entries. For personal instruction, you can also seek the help of Daryl Madison, ACE certified personal trainer. Whether you’d like a customized diet or workout plan, Daryl can help you get on track.

For more information on health and wellness or plastic surgery, review the rest of my website or contact the office. Be sure to connect with me on Facebook and Twitter if you haven’t already to stay updated on the latest plastic surgery news.

Is it Possible to Eat Out and Still Eat Healthy?

It doesn’t take a nutritionist to figure out that many restaurant menu items come in large portions and focus more on taste rather than nutrition. That’s why Dr. Gayle M. Timmerman of the University of Texas at Austin led a research study on whether or not it’s necessary to stop eating out in order to lose or even maintain weight. Plastic surgery patients who undergo body contouring procedures like tummy tuck, liposuction, and post bariatric surgery are often concerned about maintaining their results, but making wise decisions while dining out is important for anyone who is trying to maintain or even lose weight.

Timmerman’s study divided a group of 35 women (ages 40-59) who ate out frequently into two sections: an intervention and a comparison group.  The women in the intervention group completed a 6-week Mindful Restaurant Eating program to learn how to make better menu choices. The comparison group did not complete the program and were instructed to continue eating how they would regularly. Although the study focused more on weight maintenance than weight loss, evidence showed that the members of the intervention group lost more weight. Researchers concluded that it’s not about how often you eat at restaurants, but about how you manage your eating habits when eating out.

Southern Plastic Surgery can help you make good food choices like those taught in the study’s Mindful Eating program. Since Dr. Whiteman often shares healthy recipes on his blog, we thought this would be a great opportunity to provide tips for eating out healthfully. See the tips below to learn more about making better menu choices:

  • Choose carefully– No matter where you choose to eat, some menu choices are always better than others. For instance, choose a grilled or roasted meat over fried.  Likewise, if you’re eating pasta, choose red-based sauce over white-based sauce for fewer calories.
  • Drink water– Soft drinks, juices, and even alcoholic beverages typically contain excess sugar and calories that can easily be avoided by drinking water.
  • Don’t forget the extras– When we say “extras” we mean those extra sauces and condiments. It’s important not to forget that these extras add extra fat and calories to your meal.
  • Make it special– Don’t be afraid to ask to substitute something on your order to make it healthier. The worst they can say is no, but most restaurants will be happy to accommodate you.
  • Eat mindfully and slowly– Although most people go out to eat to socialize and enjoy time with friends and family, you can’t forget to pay attention while you eat. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the conversation and eat all of the food on your plate. Take small bites, and pay attention to how you feel. Stop eating when you are full.
  • Don’t be ashamed of the to-go box– Many restaurants provide enough food in one entrée to eat over two or three sittings. Determine that you aren’t going to finish before you even start. Some people find it beneficial to ask for a box before they begin eating so that they will not go overboard.

Dr. Whiteman knows the important role health and wellness play in everyday life as well as plastic surgery.  He also knows that part of maximizing your health and wellness means getting out and enjoying life—that includes eating out! Stay tuned to his blog for more healthy tips, recipes, and plastic surgery news and updates.  Be sure to connect with him on Facebook and Twitter if you haven’t already.

The Great Debate: To Breastfeed or Not to Breastfeed after Breast Augmentation?

Many women cite the studied health benefits and reported emotional bond they feel it creates between mother and child as the reason they chose to breastfeed. Others opt for formula because they feel breastfeeding will change the appearance of their breasts. Earlier this month the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported that women with breast implants are increasingly concerned that their augmented breasts would change shape after breastfeeding.

A study surveyed 160 mothers who had breast implants. Eighty-six percent of the mothers chose not to breastfeed because they didn’t want their breasts to look bad, and 13% of the mothers in the study who did breastfeed their babies were concerned their breast shape would change because of breastfeeding. Although more research is necessary, doctors say breastfeeding should not be blamed for breast sagging in women with (or without) breast implants after pregnancy. Instead, they say breast sagging is more evident after each pregnancy whether or not the mother breastfeeds.

Therefore, whether you’ve had a breast augmentation, breast-fed or bottle-fed, you may notice increased sagging with each pregnancy. However, something can be done to correct the appearance of deflated, sagging breasts. If you’ve already had a breast enhancement and decide you’d like further refinement after the birth of a child, breast revision surgery is an option.

During breast revision surgery, Dr. David Whiteman removes the original breast implants, and depending on the patient’s desires, he can excise tissue and lift the breast to a more natural location or insert new breast implants for added volume. Mothers who do not have breast implants, but are bothered by sagging breasts after pregnancy can benefit from a breast lift procedure. Breast lift surgery can be performed with or without a breast implant to produce fuller breasts depending on the patient’s wishes.

Unfortunately less perky breasts are not the only complaint many women have about their bodies following pregnancy. It’s not always easy to get back to that pre-baby appearance, but mommy makeover surgery can help. Usually comprised of a breast procedure (breast augmentation, breast lift, or breast reduction), along with tummy tuck surgery and liposuction, a mommy makeover procedure is custom-tailored to the mother’s specific needs. Aside from mommy makeover surgery, Dr. Whiteman maintains a focus on Health and Wellness at his Duluth plastic surgery practice and offers helpful exercise tips and healthy recipes to promote the long-term health of his patients (and their children)!