Sleep: Nature’s Superpower

By Dr. Michael Bilof Last month I talked about the “pillars” of good health. If we think of good health as a chair that has several legs, what are they? Last month I suggested there were 4 legs to this chair 1) Sleep 2) Exercise 3) Nutrition 4) Stress Tolerance. This month lets do a deeper dive into the one that I feel is the most important—Sleep! If you read this newsletter regularly you are, no doubt, familiar with my little quip that “8 hours of sleep is a superpower” and although I say that half-jokingly, it is something I
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The Pillars of Good Health

By Dr. Michael Bilof It’s the end of the year which seems to lend itself to reflection. As a bariatric surgeon, I spend most of my time discussing nutrition and weight loss. However, as I’ve been in practice for over 20 years now and (ahem) reached a certain age I notice myself focusing more on the broader subject of longevity and ‘healthspan’. If you are a regular reader you may have noticed this….LOL. What Is Healthspan? Healthspan is defined as the part of your life where you enjoy good health. If you live long enough, you will inevitably experience a
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The Myth of “Accidental” Muscles

By Dr. Michael Bilof “I want to weight train Doc, I’m just afraid of getting too muscular”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this in my career (mostly from female patients but occasionally men). Well, this month I have some good news! If you are a regular reader of my column you know that for many months I've been talking about things you want to avoid or should NOT do—not this month! This month we are talking about things you are free to do and do more of! Earlier this year we talked about the importance of
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Meet Our Physician’s Assistants

By Dr. Michael Bilof In case you missed it, October 6th was “National PA Day”! If you are not in the medical field you might reasonably ask… What is a PA? (Hint: It’s not a State) Well, if you are a patient of Garden State Bariatrics you already know one PA and perhaps two. First off, “PA” means Physician’s Assistant, and we have (in my humble opinion 😊) two of the best on our team — Bella Baum (mostly in our Millburn office) and Michael Caromano (mostly in Toms River and Deborah). What Does a PA do? If you have
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Don’t Drink Your Calories!

Let’s Talk About (NOT) Drinking Calories! Perhaps you’ve seen the ad below in your travels around the internet. It’s the fall after all and one must have the proper beverage at all times! Hate to be the guy who rains on the parade, but you definitely want to avoid all these types of beverages. If you want to see what you will be subjecting your body to if you drink one of these follow this link: and then click on the “Download Beverage Nutritional PDF” and then go to page 7 of that PDF: the “Autumn 22 Promo Beverages”.
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Do You Know Someone with a Lap Band?

Do you, or someone you know, have a Lap Band? If so, there are a few things to know about on-going management needs for Lap Bands. I personally stopped doing Lap Bands 8-10 years ago but there are quite a few folks who had them back in the day. If you did have a Lap Band you are probably in one of two categories: either you did well with the band, lost a fair amount of weight and have kept it off. If that is you, Congratulations! Not many patients were successful with the band but if you were there
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Garden State Bariatrics Turns 15!

Way back, on July 2nd, 2007, Garden State Bariatrics was born! On that day it was me, Dominga and my lovely bride, Kara. Keisha joined us several weeks later so she still kind of gets credit as an OG.... ‘Original Gangsta’. It was an exciting (and challenging!) time, and a lot of fun. As I think back over the last 15 years, the thing that initially motivated me to start GSB is still what motivates me (and the team!) today, which is that bariatrics is the ultimate ‘happy medicine’. With Bariatric Surgery, a single surgery solves, or dramatically improves, many
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The “Dr. Google” Rabbit Hole

If you’re like most people, before you make a big decision you check on-line to see what other people have done in your situation. When the decision is a medical decision we have a term in the office for that… consulting ‘Dr. Google’. It’s not a problem necessarily, we all do it and I seriously doubt it will stop anytime soon. There is simply so much information on the internet, how could you not? The problem isn’t the amount (quantity) of the information, it's the quality of it. To be sure, there is high quality information but there is also
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Measuring Body Composition and Muscle Mass

Last month we talked about the importance of muscle mass and how to increase your body’s muscle mass. This month we will do a deeper dive on what that means precisely and how we can measure muscle mass. You may have heard the term body composition before. I am simplifying a bit here, but basically body composition means how much of your body is fat and how much of your body is everything else. The ‘everything else’ refers to water, organs, bones and muscle… of those, the only one we can really change in any significant way is muscle and
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Is Strength Training Important?

Is Strength training important? In a word—yes! By the way, strength training is important for everyone, regardless of gender… in other words it’s not just for guys. At Garden State Bariatrics in New Jersey, we often advise patients to add strength training to their weight loss and wellness plan. Why is Strength Training Important? Imagine for a moment you are fortunate enough to live to 90 years of age. Here is something you will NEVER say “I wish I had less muscle mass”. Think of people you know in their 70’s and 80’s, and chances are that most of them
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