Atkins vs IWL

How does our teaching compare to Atkins?

In the Atkins diet, protein, fat, and total calories are all unlimited. Carb intake is supposed to be limited to 20 grams. Is this different than our weight loss program here at Idaho Weight Loss?

Yes it is. We base our advice and our program off of modern and highly regarded nutrition research. In our program, we have requirements for protein, carb, fat and total calorie intake. Participants are asked to eat a required daily minimum of protein, not all you want. We teach controlled carb not low carb. Based on multiple factors, a patient’s medical history, their physical exam, their family history, their blood test results we can give a fairly accurate estimate of where each person’s carbohydrate intake level needs to be. We do give total caloric daily intake guides. This is to control the amount of fat consumed each day.

Why the protein/meat requirements?

Science says that daily minimum required protein for weight loss is 0.8gms/kg or about ½ gram of protein per pound of ideal body weight. In high protein very low carb diets, the protein intake is doubled or tripled. That level of protein itake, when combined with very low carb produces the condition called ketosis.

Let’s talk ketosis

When your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy, it starts burning fat instead. This process is called ketosis. Both the Atkins and the Paleo diets promote putting the body into ketosis. It isn’t dangerous, and can actually be effective.

The problem arrives when you come out of ketosis. If you haven’t learned to manage carbs, you’re likely to gain the weight back that you lost while in ketosis. In other words, our goal is not to take carbs away, but learn to manage our carbohydrate intake. We can’t in this blog tell you what your carb intake should be because it is different for different persons. As you lose weight and your chemistry changes the carb level you can take in changes also. That is why it is very difficult to lose weight from a “book” or only a “fixed” nutritional plan because what we need changes. Working with a weight loss specialist that understands this fact is what gives the best long term weight loss and maintenance results.


Why People Self-Sabotage in Weight Loss Efforts

Top reasons why people have a hard time losing weight and how to break the cycle

Have you ever tried to go on a new diet or lose a few pounds? Of course you have, who hasn’t?  So you know who your worst enemy is: yourself. The road to that ideal weight is there in front of us, but sometimes we make the journey a more difficult task than it has to be.

When a diet or weight plan is not supplying the results we desire, it is easy to throw in the towel. Certain strategies and tactics may be the problem. Let’s take a look at reasons why weight loss efforts are self-sabotaged, and how to steer clear of that with your next weight loss goal.

Unrealistic Goals

One of the main reasons people have a hard time sticking with their weight loss goals is because they set unrealistic goals. Remember that losing weight takes time and perseverance. Having a clear vision of the process and setting realistic, short-term goals will help you. Here’s the catch, however: sometimes it’s difficult to know what’s realistic without the help of a physician trained in weight loss medicine. A clear understanding of your metabolism and any health conditions has to come first for goals to be realistic. Examples of weight-affecting conditions that many aren’t aware of include: adrenal fatigue, thyroid dysfunctions, and gut conditions.


Some people simply make poor dieting and lifestyle choices because they don’t know any better. In all fairness, the ocean of weight loss articles and videos out there doesn’t really help. Fad diets and contradicting advice lead to a ton of diet sabotage.

Eating Emotionally

In many cases, people’s eating habits decay over the years, until every meal becomes a rush or a thoughtless task.  Mindful and in tune eating is important when it comes to losing weight and staying healthy. If emotions rule your eating decisions, get the help you need to cope with and control these impulses. That means you need to reign in stress and anxiety.

Two related reasons that go hand in hand are hating yourself and failing to nourish your body. In order to lose weight and heal, you first have to love who you are. Feed your mind with positivity and get rid of the assumptions that you are not good enough or capable of your goals. Starvation and fad diets are also not the way to go. Shift your perspective of food and look at ways food can nourish and strengthen your body.

Misplaced Ultimate Goals

Your ultimate goal is to be healthy. Some get so blinded in the effort to lose pounds that they forget why they are losing pounds: to feel better. Sometimes losing weight isn’t equivalent to being healthy. Obesity is a disease and needs to be treated as such. A lifestyle change must occur, not just a change on the scale.


The Reason You May Not Be Losing Weight

Exercise plans, gym memberships, diet books, exercise equipment, and the like all promise to help you lose weight and achieve the health and body you desire. Despite the promises of fad diets and kooky weight-loss supplements, there is no secret “trick” to losing weight. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting regular exercise will always be essential to safely lose weight and maintain the weight loss. That being said, there is another factor that can influence your weight and may hinder your weight loss goals: stress.

Stress can actually slow your metabolism. A recent study demonstrated that women who ate a high-calorie meal after a stressful day showed a dip in metabolism, and they burned the calories more slowly.

A slowed-down metabolism isn’t the only problem. Stress can also affect what kinds of foods we crave, and thus, what kinds of foods we eat. Stress increases the hankering for foods high in salt, sugar, and fat. How many of us, at the end of a hectic, stressful day of meetings, feel inclined to reward ourselves with an apple over a donut?

As if slower metabolism and unhealthy cravings weren’t enough, stress can hinder weight loss by affecting the quality and quantity of sleep we get. According to the American Psychological Association, 40% of Americans have difficulty sleeping due to stress. Worrying about work, children, money, and other stressors makes it difficult to sleep and difficult to sleep soundly through the night. Lack of sleep, in turn, likewise increases cravings for salty, fatty, and sugary foods, and it is associated with overeating.

The bottom line: stress can hinder your weight loss efforts. So, the next step is getting your stress level under control. While you may not be able to control all the stressors in your life, you can control your reaction. Find positive outlets for stress, such as going for a walk or talking to a friend. Use the positive outlets to replace negative outlets, such as indulging in unhealthy food or watching television. Try a new relaxation technique, such as yoga or deep-breathing. They really can help!



Men have it easier to lose but they pay a higher price in failing the Weight Loss Battle?

There are many of injustices in life, one of which has to do with weight. In many respects, men have the upper hand when it comes to losing weight and keeping weight off. But they pay a higher price for failure.

In reality, all bodies are built differently, which is why every individual weight loss journey is going to be different. But yes, there are a few reasons why men, in general, will lose weight easier.

Why men have it easier

1. Calories burned

The first advantage men have in the weight loss battle is muscle. In general, men have more muscle mass than women.

This is an advantage when it comes to burning calories. At rest, more muscle means more calories burned. Therefore, a man doing nothing will actually burn more calories than a women doing nothing; up to 20 percent more. If the man is taller (which is usually the case), he will burn even more calories, because there is more muscle mass.

The second advantage isn’t necessarily an advantage in all cases. It has to do with overall weight. If a person weighs more, than that means more calories are burned in movement and normal functioning. It makes sense; a semi truck takes more power to move than a compact car.

2. Diet

Because men are bigger, they will need more calories. Some may see this as a further injustice, that men can eat more than women. But really it’s just simple physics: women have less mass to move around, therefore they need less food.

Research suggests that men may be able to suppress food cravings more easily than women. One study from the Brookhaven National Laboratory had men and women fast, and then participants were shown their favorite food, which couldn’t be eaten. The study found that men could better ignore the hunger, and that women’s brains showed a greater response to their favorite food, compared to men’s brains.

Why men pay a higher price

When men gain weight, they gain in the abdomen. That is the unhealthy fat. When women gain often the gain can be “pear shaped” and that fat is not as unhealthy. But when women do start to gain central fat the health effects are like they are for men.

It’s important to realize that dieting and weight loss are different for each gender. Spouses or couples that attempt the same weight loss strategies may fail, because really weight loss needs to be tailored to each gender.


We Are Much More Than Just Weight Loss

This is Dr Rader. I am doing research for an upcoming presentation I plan to make at the fall Obesity Medicine Association conference. This post is scientific but I want to share it anyway.

Specifically, I am researching new data and papers on the Triglyceride to HDL ratio (TGY/HDL). HDL is high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (good cholesterol). The medical doctors at IWL – myself, Dr Freshwater, Dr Hafer, Dr Gilman and PA-c Deb Mabbutt have been using the Triglyceride to HDL ratio for over 15 years when initial studies began to show the correlation between this number and metabolic syndrome. Our research and experience shows this to be a valuable tool as a marker for medical therapy and directing the type of nutritional advice needed for each patient. In other words this number could tell us which medicines would be best for a person and did that person need a controlled calorie, controlled fat diet or do they need a controlled calorie, controlled carbohydrate diet.

Recent papers strongly validate the importance of this TGY/HDL ratio including not just directing dietary intervention, but studies now show it as an index of heart disease mortality (1)(2). In the second article the conclusion was Insulin resistance (which Idaho Weight Loss began treating as a distinct and separate disease in 2002) as manifested by a high TGY/HDL ratio was associated with cardiovascular outcomes more than other lipid metrics, including the LDL-C, which had little concordance. Physicians and patients should not overlook the TGY/HDL ratio.

To everyone who has read this far, THIS IS THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION I WAS OFTEN ASKED DURING MY 14 YEARS AS AN Emergency Room DOCTOR. “My loved one had a normal cholesterol level, how could they have a heart attack or stroke in their age 40’s or 50’s?” This is why I left emergency medicine and went into Obesity medicine. This is why I believe I am practicing the best medicine of my 30 plus year career as a medical doctor. I know my associates feel the same.

We are much more than just weight loss, and at a price you can afford.

1 J Investig Med 2014 Feb;62(2):345-9 TGY/HDL ratio is an index of heart disease mortality and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus in men

2 Perm J. 2015 Kall;19(4):4-10. Study of use of Lipid panels as a marker of insulin resistance to determine cardiovascular risk.

Other articles on TGY/HDL and waist circumference as measures of health risk:

Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2016 Mar 28 Magri CJ et. al, Prediction of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes using routinely available clinical parameters

Endocrinol Nutr. 2016 May 25 Masson W Association between TGY/HDL ratio and carotid atherosclerosis in postmenopausal middle-aged women.

Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2014 Oct;106(1): 136-44 The TGY/HDL ratio and cardiovascular disease risk in obese patients with type 2 DM: an observational study from the Swedish National Diabetes Register

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3 Signs It’s Time to Lose Weight

Like many things in life, weight loss is a topic that’s easier to talk about than it is to accomplish. We’ve all more than likely experienced the frustration of “yo-yo” dieting—a few weeks of good dieting that slowly devolves into old habits and tendencies. Motivation wanes and stress and cravings take their toll over time and your weight loss goals can seem farther away than when you started.

We’ve made a small list of some of the most common signs people face when deciding to seek professional help for weight loss.

1. You can’t do the things you want to do.

Does a little light wrestling with your kids leave you winded? What about climbing a flight of stairs? If you can no longer do the things you want or need to do because of your weight, now is the time to get serious about losing weight. It’s important to remember that weight loss is not all about looking better or fitting into a smaller size. It’s also about living the kind of life you want to live.

2. You’re facing chronic health issues.

Excess weight puts a real strain on your body and increases your risk of weight related complications like type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome, cancer, and many others. In many cases, symptoms of these conditions are not always obvious. If you’ve tried numerous times to lose weight without success, losing weight is critical to your long-term health.

3. You keep waiting to start.

This is one we see all the time. We see people who understand that they need to lose weight, but they’re waiting until weight loss is convenient. They put off the diet and exercise regimen until tomorrow, next week, or next month. Unfortunately, life generally doesn’t make thing very easy for us—weight loss included. That’s why it’s important to seek the help of experts and professionals. We have a step-by-step program that will guide you along the way to weight loss and you’ll have the added help of accountability to someone other than yourself.

If any of the above sounds familiar, it might be time to seek some additional help from an obesity medicine specialist in accomplishing your weight loss goals. Don’t “weight” to contact us and change your life for the better.


The Steps of Weight Loss

Losing pounds to achieve a healthy weight is a wonderful goal. Living at a healthier weight reduces risks for many diseases and conditions, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and even certain types of cancer. Even small weight changes produce health benefits as long as these small changes are maintained. So, what are some steps to healthy weight loss?

Some of you are probably aware of these small changes, and some of you may not be. First and foremost is following a healthy diet. Too many Americans live on a diet of processed foods high in fat and sugar. One of the most critical diet changes that must be made is to eliminate these processed foods. Instead, consumption of vegetables and healthy fruits in moderation should be made a priority. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and vitamins, low in calories, and full of micronutrients that are effective at preventing all kinds of disease and illness.

Appropriate amounts of lean dairy, lean meats, and high-protein legumes and nuts should also be made part of the diet.

The amount of food consumed should also be taken into consideration. To control portion sizes, use smaller plates and bowls. This will trick your mind into feeling fuller with less food. To avoid over-eating, eat consciously.

Eat slowly, chew your food, and give yourself 20 minutes after the first portion to determine if you’re truly hungry for more. It is also important to avoid skipping meals. This will backfire, causing you to substantially overeat later in the day.

In addition to diet, exercise should be an integral part of maintaining a healthy, normal weight. It is perfectly acceptable to start small—go for a 5-minute walk or walk up and down the stairs a few times. As you exercise more and lose more weight, physical activity will become easier, more enjoyable and you can add more time to reach the desired amount of minimum 30 minutes daily.

Finally, remember to set realistic goals concerning weight loss!


Weight Loss Motivation: Staying strong when the going gets rough

Eat better. Exercise more. We’ve heard it all a billion times. There are a thousand new diets to try, and new and random workout equipment we see on television. But when it comes down to it, sometimes the problem is motivation. Too often, we lack the motivation to stay consistent with our healthy eating.

The trick is that motivation is different for everyone. Here are some tips for staying motivated for losing weight:

Professional involvement

At Idaho Weight Loss our Board certified clinicians have experience through training and helping over 16,000 patients. We know the common times when persons’ lose motivation that without experience one may not be aware. For example, a common time for a person to lose motivation is after losing 10% body weight. At about 10% weight loss, people start to notice and compliment you. This leads to a “sense of pride,” which, although deserved, can undermine motivation.

Peer Support

Find someone you trust, and begin your weight loss journey together. When one person is motivated that can help the other person keep going. You’ll both experience ups and downs, but having someone to share the journey helps.

Set Reachable Goals

Too often, goals are very vague or too ambitious. Saying “I want to lose weight” often doesn’t do much to keep a person motivated. Our team at Idaho Weight Loss excels at helping you set the right goals. Before that can happen, you need to have the knowledge of what is actually going on with your body. Furthermore, sometimes just losing weight isn’t enough. We will help you look at all the important measurements, internal and external, to make sure you’re on your way to reaching optimal health.

Weight loss is hard! A wise person once said that if something doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. Keep that in mind as you courageously go on your journey. It’s worth it.

Remember that all the motivation in the world won’t help you lose weight if you don’t really understand the mechanisms at play that are causing the extra weight. Our bariatric professionals at Idaho Weight Loss have the training and tools to give you the best perspective on your specific issues. And this can be key to helping you stay motivated!