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What If Your Doctor Doesn’t Agree with Weight Loss Surgery?

Posted on March 19, 2019 by

Has your doctor mentioned weight loss as a solution for your ailments, aches and complaints? If obesity related diseases are problematic or your body mass index exceeds a healthy range, your doctor may refer you to a weight loss specialist or nutritionist.  You, like the majority of people with weight issues have tried numerous diet plans, most resulting in failure at long-term results. You’ve possibly even considered weight loss surgery. Do you know if your doctor is on board with surgical weight loss options?  We receive patient referrals from many practices but not all doctors are in favor of the surgical option. Their bias may be based on lack of research or experience with patients who have had successful weight loss procedures. Seeking a second opinion is common-place in the medical field. Don’t be afraid to keep looking.

At CFWLS, we encourage people considering weight loss surgery to be their own best advocate for personal health. Gather the information necessary to have an educated discussion with your doctor. Watch our Weight Loss Surgery WebClass or attend one of our free Weight Loss Surgery Seminars  to get started.

The medications that are prescribed to combat high cholesterol, diabetes, hyper-tension and other conditions often simply mask the symptoms while failing to get to the heart of the problem. Losing weight and keeping it off may result in eliminating these medications from your daily routine! The benefits don’t stop there, you may notice less joint pain, more energy, better sleep and a host of other positive outcomes!

Finding an experienced, board-certified Bariatric Surgeon who can answer your questions and explain your options to you is imperative. A comprehensive post-surgical follow-up plan will provide your best possible long-term outcome. Your search may be over. Dr. Thomas W. Clark is double board certified as a surgeon and Bariatrician. He has performed over 5,000 weight loss procedures and has dedicated almost 25 years to helping people lose weight and learn how to keep it off for life. His experienced staff will guide you and help you enjoy the process along the way!

Having a supportive doctor is important, but ultimately, it’s your body and Weight Loss Surgery is a personal choice. Do your research and obtain all pertinent information. Weigh the risks versus the benefits. Make an informed decision. Schedule a call with our office manager, Cat Williamson, to discuss your next step.

Tired of Fighting Fatigue?

Posted on March 11, 2019 by

fighting fatigueTired of fighting fatigue? What do you normally reach for when you feel sluggish or lethargic?  ‘Something to eat’ is not the best answer.  Now, if you had said a tall glass of water or even a pillow, you would be on the right track!  Hydration and Rest are vital for your health and well-being.  They are two of the key ingredients to feeling and performing your best.

Staying hydrated will keep you energized and may help you shed weight–even mild dehydration can slow metabolism. Every single cell in your body needs water. Water transports nutrients and oxygen to your body cells and removes waste products. We recommend that you avoid drinking too many artificially sweetened beverages. Even though they are low in calories, they may interfere with your brain’s signals, prompting you to eat more. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding sliced citrus fruits or cucumber for some flavor.

Drinking enough fluids is one of the simplest ways to keep energized and stay focused. A study of healthy individuals found that 92% felt fatigued after limiting fluids and water-rich foods for 15 hours; they also had lapses in memory and reported difficulty concentrating. When it comes to maintaining your energy, select meals and snacks that are rich in water, such as fresh produce or protein drinks.

The average person loses about 10 cups of water through daily activities.  Your actual needs will vary based on climate, diet and activity.  Have you replenished your system today?

Sleep, or more likely the lack of it, is sometimes responsible for our lack of energy.  Your body counts on being able to restore balance to your hunger hormones and other systems as you sleep each night.  When this doesn’t happen, your ghrelin and leptin stores may not be providing the proper signals to your brain, causing you to overeat.

You have probably noticed that it’s harder to make good choices when you’re tired. You may talk yourself out of going to exercise class or taking a walk when you get home from work.  Dinner may sound like too much of a chore and you find yourself at your old drive-through favorite.

Establish a regular sleep schedule. This will strengthen your body’s circadian rhythm and help you get the rest that you need each night.

Don’t let your defenses get down.  Arm yourself with plenty of water and a good night’s sleep.  You’ll be ready to take on the day!

Subscribe to Losing Weight USA for Dr. Clark’s weekly advice & tips for losing weight!

Exploring How Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy Could Help You

Posted on February 25, 2019 by

I recently recorded a video designed to help you decide if Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy could help you regain what age is taking away. I’m including the transcription if you would rather read it!  Contact us if you would like to have your labs done and schedule a consultation with me to discuss your options!

Today we’re going to talk a little bit about the hormone side of the whole thing. Hormone replacement is a controversial subject. I’ve named this “Age Healthier, Live Happier!” We’re going to talk about optimizing your hormones to accomplish both.  You want to age healthier and you want to live happier. That’s something we all want to do. We can do that by optimizing hormones. What we’re talking about is testosterone and estrogen. Those are both for men and women. Testosterone is for men and testosterone and estrogen are for women. We’re going to talk about why it’s controversial but talk about why there shouldn’t be a controversy because this is something that can be helpful for many people. It can help protect you from some medical problems.

So a little bit about myself. I specialize in weight loss. I’ve done weight loss surgery for the past 25 years and medical weight loss for the last 15 years. I’m founder and Medical Director of the Center for Weight Loss Success in Newport News, VA. I also do hormone replacement therapy. I’m a certified practitioner of the BioTE Method of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. Certainly if you’re considering HRT, you definitely need to consider bio-identical HRT. And, yes, I’m the Medical Director of the Center for Hormone Health and Wellness also in Newport News, VA.

We’re talking about testosterone as well as estrogen both for men and women. The best treatment plan is using subcutaneous hormone pellets. We’ll talk about why that is as we get through all this. These little hormone pellets are placed in the subcutaneous tissue typically in the hip area, in the fatty tissue there. It’s slowly absorbed and it can optimize hormone levels.  This really is the optimal hormone replacement therapy for both testosterone and estrogen.

So what are hormones? We throw that term out there all the time. A hormone is a chemical messenger. This biochemical substance is made by a certain tissue in your body that’s released into the blood stream. Then it sends a message throughout the body. In tissues that have a receptor for that messenger are told to do something. Only the tissues with receptors to that hormone will respond to that hormone. It’s like the “lock and key” concept. It has to fit perfectly in order for this to work well. Hormones are one of the main tools your body uses to maintain homeostasis (balance). Hormone balance is a key concept.

When we talk about hormones there’s a big difference between bio-identical and synthetic hormones. This is just one example. I used progesterone as an example. Progesterone is a hormone. The top picture shows bio-identical progesterone. It means it looks exactly the way your body makes it. As opposed to a synthetic hormone, which is in the bottom half of the pictures. Synthetic progesterone is not even called progesterone because it’s kind of like progesterone. What’s the differentiation there? Bio-identical means it looks exactly the way your body makes it. Synthetic doesn’t look exactly like your body makes it. Typically here is the big thing: it’s money that we’re talking about. Anything that occurs in nature, bio-identical hormone, can’t be patented. If it can’t be patented, then typically drug companies can’t make a lot of money from it. Therefore, large drug companies will make a similar looking hormone but it’s not exactly the same. So, it’s not bio-identical. If they can make it kind of like the real hormone and do the things that hormone can do, they can patent it and make a lot of money. There’s the big difference. The problem is it looks a little bit different, as seen on the bottom picture. And because it looks different, the potential risk, potential side effects, how well it actually works, is going to be different. We need that “Lock and Key” concept. If it kind of works that can be a good thing if it’s actually helping. But if it actually causes more side effects or more risk, that’s where the problem comes in. We actually started looking overall at bio-identical hormones and their protective health benefits. Synthetic hormones typically raise your risk for a number of health problems. That’s the biggest difference right there. Bio-identical can protect you. Synthetic hormones typically don’t, and can potentially increase the risk of problems.

Again, we’re talking about sex hormones which are basically estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. Progesterone is typically not something we want to replace a whole lot. A couple reasons to consider when replacing progesterone and we will talk about it. The common side effect is actually weight gain.

So if we’re using progesterone we will typically use the smallest dose possible. If we don’t need to use progesterone we try to avoid it. It’s a very safe hormone. You could take large doses. If you don’t get the weight gain side effect, then great! It actually can be helpful. We’re not going to spend a whole lot of time on it. All sex hormones are derived from cholesterol. We can’t live without cholesterol. Every single cell in our body needs it. Humans make three types of estrogen:  estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3). Men and women share all these hormones.  Estradiol is the major one for estrogen. The only difference with the hormones is the absolute and relative amounts of them. We don’t want to get rid of any of these.

Hormones tend to wreak havoc! They especially wreak havoc if they get out of balance. Just a few facts about hormones.  Every day about 3500 women in the US enter into menopause. The symptoms of menopause can begin up to 15 years earlier. The average age of menopause is somewhere between 50 and 51. The symptoms can sometimes last forever. Usually there’s a period of time where the symptoms are the worst. Any woman that’s gone through that can often tell you about it. Some women have minimal symptoms. Some have terrible symptoms. Males suffer from the same kind of thing.  We call it andropause.  Male hypogonadism (making less testosterone) is present in about 39% of males over 45 years old. It’s a significant percentage. As males age, the number goes up. Men lose about 3% testosterone production per year after the age of 35. This is also true for women. Testosterone really is your vitality, feel-good hormone.

We’ll talk about estrogen first. It’s the primary female hormone. The ovaries mainly make estrogen. The adrenal glands can also make some estrogen. When someone goes through menopause (which means your ovaries stop working), the adrenal glands can make a little bit of estrogen.  Estrogen has many different functions throughout all your tissues. There are estrogen receptors widely distributed throughout your body. There wouldn’t be receptors on all these different tissues if you didn’t need them. The body needs these things. Receptors are there because there’s a message that needs to be received in your brain, breast tissue, bones, and reproductive organs. There are literally receptors all throughout your body and there are things those tissues need to do as well. We take away the messenger (estrogen) and the message is no longer received and tissues don’t respond as well. Estrogen is critical for sexual maturation and for the reproductive cycle.  There are three types of estrogen. Estradiol is the most important one.  We try to avoid estrone because the side effect is typically weight gain. Estrone levels go up after menopause. That’s why women notice is harder to control weight after menopause. Estradiol is very important during pregnancy.

Progesterone is a natural antagonist, or balance, to estrogen. If you have a uterus you want both progesterone and estrogen. They’ll balance each other out. It’s the yin and yang of the female hormone system. The relative balance determines either a state of physical and emotional well-being or unpleasant symptoms. Progesterone is mainly produced by the ovaries, but small amounts by the adrenal glands. Receptors are found throughout the body (brain, breasts, blood vessels, bones, and reproductive systems). Low progesterone levels put women at risk for fibroids, endometriosis, and uterine cancer.

Testosterone is your feel good hormone.  We think of it as a male hormone.  It’s not just a male hormone. In males it’s made by the testicles and the adrenal glands. In women it’s made by the adrenal glands and the ovaries. The ovaries make testosterone.  We think about them as making estrogen.  But the ovaries make testosterone. It’s critical to optimal functioning of many systems like sex drive, heart health, preservation of bone and muscle mass (metabolism, preventing osteoporosis), and sense of well-being.  Some of the most dense receptors to testosterone are in your brain. That sense of well-being can help prevent depression.  There are a lot of different things that it affects.  The receptors wouldn’t be there in the tissues if there wasn’t something important that the hormone told them to do. Women produce a lot more testosterone than males do. The reason is that women are a lot more sensitive to testosterone. They don’t need nearly as much.  Men make about 10X the amount that women do.  Just like in men, production falls by 50% from age 20-40. As we age levels tend to go down. That’s true for both men and women.  But for women it tends to happen a lot sooner.  From the age of 20-40 these numbers fall down and continue to fall throughout menopause. Often during menopause the numbers are non-existent.

When we think about hormone replacement we often think about estrogen. For most women they probably need the testosterone because a lot of the symptoms that go along with menopause are actually symptoms of low testosterone, and not so much low estrogen. The big things with low estrogen are night sweats and hot flashes. Some of these things are very common: mood swings, lack of sleep, memory loss, decreased sex drive, depression, hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, joint pain, migraines, and that hitting the wall later in the afternoon. Do all these things sound familiar? These are all symptoms of hormones out-of-whack. It’s mainly testosterone and also estrogen.

Hormone replacement therapy was fairly common 15-20 years ago when all of a sudden a huge monkey wrench was thrown into it. In 2003 the Women’s Health Initiative Trial (which was a huge trial with 50-60 thousand women over many years), came out and said for women who have hormone replacement therapy (they were talking about synthetic hormone), there is a 41% increase in stroke, 29% increase in heart attacks, 26% increase in breast cancer, twice the rate of blood clots, and 76% increase in Alzheimer’s Dementia. In 2003 almost everyone was taken off hormone replacement therapy. Unfortunately women were left with no alternative.  Although, there has been a safe alternative available for years. When they started looking more closely at this data, this data is very real for synthetic hormones. That’s the difference. When they picked out the women who were treated with bio-identical hormones, they actually had a protective effect. They were less likely to have strokes, heart attacks, breast cancer, blood clots, and Alzheimer’s.  But unfortunately once that big study came out; they lumped all hormone replacement therapy together and said it was bad. They should have said it was synthetic hormone replacement therapy that was bad. You should use it only for a short period of time. But bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can be protective.

A lot of unnecessary side effects and potential problems were related to oral synthetic estrogen therapy:  increase breast and endometrial cancer, vaginal bleeding, headaches, nausea, blood clots, leg cramps, and gallstones.  These are all related to the synthetic estrogen therapy in the pill form. So right away we find that synthetic in a pill form there could be a problem with.  I’m going to digress for a second.  If you think about it, anything we take in is going to pass from our intestinal track to the liver. The liver is very good at taking some of the things we take in (medications, hormones) and break them down.  This is so the rest of your body doesn’t see it unless we give you very big doses.  The only difference between a medication and a poison is the dose. Tylenol works great for a headache. A bottle of Tylenol can kill you. That’s just dosing. Pills often don’t work very well. Specifically for estrogen as well as testosterone don’t work well at all because of the dosing we have to give you so the rest of your body seeing it is pretty high. Then the side effects start going way up. Pills for both estrogen and testosterone don’t work well.

There are bio-identical patches and creams. Estradiol levels done as a patch or cream are better than pills but not as good as pellets. Your skin is meant to be a barrier. It’s meant to keep things out, not let things in. So, the creams don’t work very well. About 45% of people who use patches just don’t absorb much at all, so they don’t get very good levels.  There are a lot of problems.  You can have adhesive problems, it needs to be changed throughout the week, and weight gain.  It’s not as much weight gain as the pills, but you really can’t get very good levels. They tend to be erratic levels.  Creams tend to be messy. You have to rub it everywhere. You have to be careful you don’t get it on your clothes. Sometimes you have to rub it in twice a day. You can transfer it to others, like babies and pets. It’s messy and doesn’t get absorbed well.

With pellets we can get really good levels and they’re going to stay there until they’re gone. For most women, they’re going to last 3-4 months. For men, they can last 6 months or more. They are bio-identical. They look exactly the way your body made it, with both estrogen and testosterone. Bio-identical doesn’t mean it came from humans. We can take compounds from plants. We take compounds form yams and, through chemistry, make it look exactly the way your body makes it. Your body can’t tell whether it made it or not. It’s constantly available. It’s slowly absorbed directly, so it doesn’t go through the liver first. It goes through your bloodstream and your entire body sees it. You get a steady state of hormones as opposed to a rollercoaster ride effect.  It’s safe and hassle free. You get individualized dosing. It lasts longer than other treatments. It does require a little procedure. This is not new.  This has been around for a long period of time. It was developed in the 1930’s for women who had radical hysterectomies. It’s very commonly used in Europe and Australia. It’s just not so commonly used in the US. But they’ve been around for a long period of time. Sometimes you hear people say it’s not FDA approved.  But certainly it’s FDA approved!! It’s testosterone and estrogen. It has to be FDA approved. There’s nothing else in the pellet but testosterone and estrogen. It’s the procedure that’s not FDA approved.

What do the studies show? There have been a lot of studies on pellets. We don’t see the increased risk of blood clots. We see a decrease in cardiovascular risk. We do not see an increased risk of breast cancer. These are not new studies. But they were overshadowed by the synthetic studies. It’s because the drug companies don’t make this stuff.

Osteoporosis doesn’t have a lot of symptoms unless you’re breaking bones all the time. It’s the thinning of the bones. Testosterone is the bone builder. With testosterone therapy we can even reverse osteoporosis. It can be improved by 8.3% per year with pellet therapy. That’s pretty amazing!  We can literally reverse this!

It can also be helpful for arthritis. The receptors are in the bone and in the joints. The testosterone is doing something there.  The testosterone and estrogen can stimulate those cells. They can provide cartilage protection in the joint space.

Breast cancer is one of the things that most women are concerned about. Synthetic hormones can increase the risk of breast cancer. Testosterone delivered by pellets does not increase risk of breast cancer, unlike the oral synthetics.  Testosterone implants have shown less stimulation of breast tissue. Testosterone has actually been used in some studies to treat breast cancer. It’s been shown to reduce the size of tumors. It does not increase the risk of breast cancer.

We all fear Alzheimer’s disease as we get older. Statistically women get it almost 8:1 over men. Women on testosterone are 50% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.  If you think about it, that in itself can be a reason to consider treatment.  Men with low T are 3X more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

The bottom line is, not only can we fix a lot of symptoms, but we can actually be protected from some major health problems. Bio-identical HRT with pellets protects your heart, bones, breasts, and brain. These are things that don’t typically have a lot of symptoms until a problem is there. We can actually prevent some of these. It doesn’t mean you can’t get them. We can decrease the risk of some of these problems with HRT.  We can fix a lot of symptoms: low energy, low libido, lack of sleep, and more. A lot of these things just fade away.

It does take a little procedure that takes only a minute and a half. The pellets are placed in the subcutaneous tissue of the buttocks. You can get a little swelling, bruising, or soreness.  We numb that area up and make a little incision and place the pellets underneath the skin. You do need to be careful for a few days so the pellets don’t work themselves back out. Avoid strenuous exercise for 4-6 days after the insertion. It generally lasts 3-4 months in women and 4-6 months in men.  Typically we will check the blood work in about 4-6 weeks after insertion to make sure we got the levels where they should be.

What are patients saying?  They have increased energy levels, better sleep, restored interest in life, increased sex drive, reduced anxiety and depression, increased mental clarity, and decreased body fat and greater/stronger workouts.  Testosterone is the muscle/bone builder.

If you have questions give us a yell at the Center for Hormone Health and Wellness. The website is:

We’re at 645 J. Clyde Morris Blvd in Newport News. Our phone number is: 757-223-0940

Get your labs drawn. At your appointment we can go over them and see if you’re a candidate for HRT. Thank you for listening and hope to see you soon or at the office. Take care!

Phentermine – Could it Help You Lose Weight?

Posted on February 21, 2019 by

I’d like to talk to you about Phentermine. Phentermine is an appetite suppressant. It’s been around for a long time. Appetite suppressants are really carefully regulated by the FDA, so there are some hoops to jump through for those people utilizing them, but it’s very doable.  Potentially it can be helpful from a weight perspective, but also from a hunger/craving perspective.  It works very well for cravings.

A lot of appetite suppressants have come and gone.  There have been a number of them over the last 20 years or so. They got approved by the FDA, were around for a few years, and then gone.  One of the reasons is because the drugs were causing other problems.  There are a couple of newer ones in the last few years.  None of them really work any better than phentermine.  The new ones can be really expensive.  Phentermine has been around for about 60 years now. It can be very helpful.  And it’s very safe. We’ll talk about the risks, which are something we do have to keep an eye on. It can help with any medical weight loss plan. You have to be doing the right things. Phentermine will not make up for a bad eating and exercise plan.  It’s very closely monitored by the FDA. Part of that is because back in the 90’s they had phen-phen. It was a combination medication of phentermine and also phenfluramine. They put two medications together and it worked wonderfully. Unfortunately, the phenfluramine ended up causing heart problems. It was taken off the market.  Because phentermine was associated with it, it’s very closely regulated. Overall, it’s a very safe medication.  It has stood the test of time.  It can actually be used long-term but it needs to be monitored.  There can be some potential side effects. You do have to watch blood pressure. It’s rare but not impossible.

The clinical indications for using phentermine are a BMI over 30 or BMI over 28 with medicals problems.  It’s similar to having weight loss surgery.  Generally what they’re talking about mostly are sleep apnea and diabetes.  Chemically, phentermine looks like amphetamine. Because amphetamine can cause all kinds of problems, and can be addicting, it was thought that phentermine was in the same class as amphetamine, and therefore just as dangerous. It was more regulated by the FDA. A lot of those theoretical problems really never panned out.

I’ve been utilizing phentermine in the patient population for about 15 years now. Just like surgery, it’s a good tool. It’s just another tool in the toolbox. There’s nothing magic about it. It can be a good additive tool along with the surgery. All it really does is takes the edge off hunger.  It really takes the edge off cravings. It won’t prevent you from eating. It can also help with carbohydrate withdrawal. Most of our patients are very sensitive to carbohydrates. If they fall off the wagon and start eating too many carbs and then try to cut them back again they’ll go through withdrawal. Carbohydrates are like a drug. The phentermine can help with the carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms.  We have found that phentermine can give you 8-12 pounds of extra weight loss. It’s the same with our surgical patients. If they feel like they’ve stalled out, the phentermine can give them some more weight loss.

If you are keeping your carbohydrates down while utilizing phentermine, you can lose a tremendous amount of weight. The weight loss from phentermine will vary from person-to-person depending on age, genetics, sex, and other health problems.

There are potential side effects. You absolutely need to have an EKG done prior to starting phentermine. You want to document that your heart is fine. It’s not going to cause a heart problem. But if you’ve already got a heart problem, it can worsen the problem.  Almost everyone starting phentermine gets a dry mouth. Make sure you’re drinking a lot of water. It can make you feel slightly jittery. It’s kind of like having a few cups of coffee. They typically fade away in about 7-14 days. It’s a side effect. It’s not how the medication works.  I tell people that if it makes you jittery and it bothers you, then quit taking it. The medication will be out of your system within 12 hours. One of the uncommon side effects of phentermine is insomnia. If you take it too late in the day you might have a hard time going to sleep. But that typically over time goes away. Other uncommon side effects are tremors, dizziness, and high blood pressure. It’s really rare for blood pressure to go up, but that’s one of the reasons why we have to monitor it. Theoretical potential problems (which are related back to the phen-phen) are heart problems and addiction/withdrawal. You can get used to the medication, but that’s not necessarily addiction. You can build up a tolerance to the medication where it stops working as well. But you can’t go through withdrawals.  You don’t have to wean off the medication. You can just stop taking it.

There are some real reasons to avoid phentermine. If you have an allergic reaction to it, obviously you shouldn’t take it. If you have a history of heart problems (no matter what it is), I would discourage you from taking it. You shouldn’t take it if you have high blood pressure that’s poorly controlled.  You can take it if your blood pressure is well controlled. Theoretically you should avoid phentermine if you’re taking antidepressants. Because of the chemical make up of phentermine, there was a thought that there would be a cross over, and some antidepressants would make this exacerbate heart problems. It would make antidepressants not work as well or the antidepressant would make it exacerbate heart problems. But it’s absolutely fine to take it with antidepressants. There is actually some antidepressant affect with phentermine.

Legally I have to have a discussion about the” art” of taking phentermine to a patient if they’re going to be taking it. I have to talk about the potential side effects as well as the” art” of using the medication. It tends to last for 10-12 hours. So, since most people don’t wake up starving, don’t take it first thing in the morning.  There’s no sense in taking it then.  Take it mid to late morning.  Play with the timing. If you find you’re having a hard time getting to sleep, then take it earlier. If you have a lot of hunger and cravings right before bed then you need to take it later.  It’s one of those medications that work if you take it.  It doesn’t work if you don’t take it. You don’t have to build up to it or wean off of it.  Therefore you can use it intermittently. It’s fine to use it certain days of the week. We typically write it as a daily dose but there’s no reason you need to take it every day.  Take it as you need it. It can be used long term. It originally was written in the PDR to be used for only 8-10 weeks. They originally said that because the original studies were only done for 8-10 weeks.  It was then approved by the FDA but never approved for long term use.  It has been used for long term use for many years the PDR has never been changed. So most physicians only prescribe it for a few months. It’s kind of silly to think we can fix something in a couple months. I’ve had people on phentermine for 10-12 years. It just has to be monitored. We’re making sure there aren’t any blood pressure problems, ensuring it’s still helping, and make sure there are not side effects bothering you. If it’s not helping, you shouldn’t be taking it anymore. There is evidence that if a person is taking it long term that if they stop it every few months for 7-10 days, and then it tends to work better.

There are some cautions about phentermine. Sometimes it may work so well that you don’t eat. We’ve talked about intermittent fasting and how that works.  The problem with skipping meals and intermittent fasting are two different things. If you’re just skipping means, then it was unintentional. Fasting is intentional. You don’t want to be skipping meals all the time. If you’re doing intermittent fasting for a day or two, you can take phentermine. It’s another tool in the tool box. Starvation has never been a good weight loss plan. Phentermine won’t stop you from eating. If you’re eating for many reasons (not hunger), then it’s not going to help you. You need to take a good look at the behavior side of things.  Why are you actually eating? Work on solving those problems. Without a good nutritional and exercise plan, any weight loss with the phentermine will likely be temporary.

In summary, phentermine has been around for a long time. It has stood the test of time. It can be very safe. It can be very helpful, especially for cravings. But it still needs to be used with a good diet and exercise plan. It doesn’t work to fix a poor life plan. You need to have a normal EKG. We have to monitor your blood pressure as well as side effects.

Come in and get your body composition done.  Make sure your losing body fat and not lean body mass. You should be receiving the health tips and weekly recipes. Tune in each Tuesday at 6pm for the next webinar. Watch your e-mail for the invite and link! Remember it’s your life! Make it a healthy one!  Take care everyone.

Baja Chicken Bowl

Posted on February 13, 2019 by

A colorful dish that’s filled with flavors!


2 chicken breast halves, cooked and diced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
½ cup roasted corn
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup salsa
½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
½ avocado, diced
1 green onion, sliced
Fresh cilantro
1 lime – cut in wedges
1 package frozen riced cauliflower


  1. Heat diced chicken in skillet and stir in red pepper, corn and ½ cup salsa and cook until heated through and pepper is slightly softened.
  2. Heat riced cauliflower to package instructions. Divide onto plates or bowls.
  3. Top each with chicken mixture, remaining salsa and cilantro. Sprinkle with cheese and serve. Garnish with lime wedges – squeeze over the top for a little extra zest!


Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories                                238
Total Fat                               10g
Total Carbohydrates             18g
Dietary Fiber                          6g
Protein                                  24g

Print Recipe baja chicken bowl

Cinnamon Crunch – Low Carb Snack

Posted on January 31, 2019 by

Easy to make & it adds a crunch to your yogurt or salads!

½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup whole almonds
½ cup pecan pieces
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
3 Tbls chia seeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup coconut oil – melted
¼ cup granulated Splenda or other non-calorie sweetener
½ tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Add all nuts and seeds to bowl & stir to mix.
  4. Melt coconut oil and stir into the mix.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
  6. Spread onto baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

Makes 16 servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories    210
Total Fat     20g
Total Carbohydrates   7g
Dietary Fiber    4g
Protein   7g

Note: You could probably cut back on the coconut oil a bit in order to decrease the amount of fat & calories. The nuts should contain enough oils to hold the spice mix.

Print Recipe: Cinnamon Crunch


Greek Chicken Salad

Posted on August 24, 2018 by

An abundance of flavor and beautiful too! 


4 (1 lb) chicken breast halves – shredded or chopped
1 avocado – sliced
½ red onion – thinly sliced
½ cup kalamata olives – pitted and quartered
6 oz. jar (oil packed) sun dried tomatoes – drained & sliced
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup pine nuts

Dressing:Greek Chicken Salad
1/3 cup olive oil
½ cup Greek yogurt – plain & 0% fat
¼ cup reduced fat mayo
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried dill or ¼ cup fresh dill – chopped
1 Tbls white wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Combine all dressing ingredients. Whisk well and set aside.
  2. Combine all salad ingredients in large bowl. Pour dressing over the top and toss well to combine. If preparing in advance, add avocado just prior to serving.


Makes 8 servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories                                 316
Total Fat                                22g
Total Carbohydrates          7g
Dietary Fiber                        5g
Protein                  28g

Print Recipe Greek Chicken Salad


Adapted from

How Does Magnesium Help With Weight Loss?

Posted on July 23, 2018 by

Magnesium is a mineral and everyone needs it. Is it a “magic bullet?” Maybe not quite but just about everyone can benefit from taking it. Most people don’t get enough magnesium. It’s very likely that if you got your blood levels checked your magnesium would be normal.  It’s not your blood that needs magnesium.  You need it in your tissues. Magnesium plays an essential role in over 300 bodily functions.

-You can’t produce ATP (energy) without magnesium. It’s essential to build strong bones.
-It also helps the formation of insulin-like growth factor, which is very important in muscle growth.  So, we need it for growing muscles.
-It also helps improve stress hormones.
-It increases serotonin levels which helps with better sleep.
-It helps with overall relaxation and helps improve mood.
-It is very important for muscle relaxation. If you’re prone to muscle cramps or if you have a hard time going to sleep and can’t relax, magnesium can help.
-It’s also important in regulating blood sugar.
-It decreases inflammation, improves immune function, and improves and relieves constipation. -Magnesium is the working ingredient in Milk of Magnesia.

One of the things that can decrease your overall magnesium is caffeine.  Phosphoric acid decreases magnesium.  It’s in almost all sodas and steals magnesium so it’s not available in your tissues. Alcohol and chronic stress also steal magnesium.  Some things we can avoid but others we can’t completely avoid.

The bottom line is that almost everyone can benefit from extra magnesium. So, how much or what should someone take?  I encourage people to start with 500mgs a day. You may want to slowly increase that, especially if you’re prone to muscle cramps and tight muscles. You can take massive doses of magnesium as long as you have decent kidneys.  So if you have kidney problems or poor kidney function then you do have to be careful with magnesium.  If you don’t have kidney problems you can take big doses because your body will get rid of it if you get an excess.  The way it gets rid of it is—well it relieves constipation! If you do have constipation just start taking 500 mgs of  magnesium  a day and just start increasing that.

Each day you can slowly go up. You’ll get to a level that keeps things regular for you. If you take too much, you’ll get loose bowl movements but that’s about it. I take about 1000 mgs of magnesium every day. If I stop taking it for a few days or I miss a few days I’m really prone to muscle cramps. If you’re prone to muscle cramps you know what I’m talking about.  It’s misery! Magnesium probably isn’t the cure-all but it does help with better sleep, better mood, lowers stress, improves energy, improves flexibility, and prevents cramps.  What’s not to like!?

And yes, we carry it in the Nutritional Store here at CFWLS!  You can pick it up the next time you’re here or order it at: Mag-Potassium Aspartate – 100 Tabs

What If I Can’t Find a Qualified Bariatric Surgeon or Comprehensive Follow-up Program in My Area?

Posted on July 16, 2018 by

2017-03-29_16.59.40_smallerIf you cannot find a qualified bariatric surgeon or comprehensive follow up program in your area, you will have to either compromise what you want/ need or continue your search until you find the surgeon/program that will meet and/or exceed your expectations.

A few experienced surgeons offer a travel program for surgery.  At the Center for Weight Loss Success, we offer such a program for appropriate surgical candidates.  Not only does the program include surgery with arguably the most experience bariatric surgeon in the United States who has performed over 5,000 weight loss procedures, but it also includes our comprehensive Weight Management University for Weight Loss Surgery™ program.  In addition, it is one of the most affordable options available in the United States.  You can learn more about it at

The bottom line is that you have to be comfortable with your choice.  We are fortunate to have many excellent bariatric surgeons in the United States.  Your long-term success is the most important thing under consideration here.  I hope this book has helped to inspire you, answer your questions and better prepare you for an amazing journey.  Only you know if this journey is something that is right for you.  If we can be of further assistance in any way, please let us know at  If you desire additional information and would like to view helpful videos that address each of these questions, please visit our main website at or at


Rhonda’s Opinion:  Travel to the surgeon/program of your choice – it’s all worth it!

How Do I Find a Qualified Weight Loss Surgeon?

Posted on July 09, 2018 by

NEVER UNDERESTIMATEThe search for a qualified weight loss surgeon can be completed in a number of ways.  Some of the more common methods include:

  1. Personal referral from someone you know
  2. Referral from your primary care practitioner
  3. Online search
  4. Author/Expert Publication such as a journal or the book you are reading
  5. Local marketing (i.e. radio, billboard, TV, newspaper or other publication)

Remember to ask the questions reviewed in my previous blog.  Evaluate the available options and select the surgeon, staff and program that will best fit you and your needs.  This is a decision that requires careful consideration.  Talking to someone who has already had surgery with the surgeon you are considering is often very helpful.

You will want to attend an on-site seminar with the surgeon (not just his/her assistant or office staff).  This is a great way to get to know the surgeon, learn about the various procedures he/she performs, their particular outcomes, the comprehensive program they offer, get to meet their staff and learn more about your options.  If you are unable to attend an on-site seminar, many surgeons also offer a comprehensive online webinar such as the one on our website at