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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Eat. Real. Food.

You might reasonably ask, “Don’t I eat real food?”. Actually, if you’re a typical American eating the typical American diet - chances are this concept is being challenged. Most Americans eat highly processed ‘food’ that all too often is loaded with added sugar, fat, salt and artificial ingredients. What most of us eat could be more accurately described as “Edible food-like substances." How do you know if what you are eating is “real food?" Here is a simple the ingredient label. There are many whole food options that contain only real ingredients. Hint - most packaged goods in the
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The Many Names of Sugar

Those of you who are religious (and even those who are not) may have learned in the past that the Devil comes in many guises and has many names, presumably to more easily tempt fallible human beings. Well, the intentions of this blog are far more down-to-earth…nutrition, exercise and health. In our world there is also a “devil” and boy-oh-boy does he have many names. The devil of our world is….sugar. To be a little more precise, added sugar. One of the advantages of ‘real food’ is there is very little or no added sugar. If you look at the
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Can you do this for your whole life?

Anytime is a good time to establish new habits but in our culture, January seems to be the most popular time to do so. So let's talk about the ‘R word’ (Resolutation). Since our beat around here is health, nutrition and diet I will confine my remarks to those topics. We all know most ‘diets’ don’t work whether you start it in January or any other time of year. Why is that? Might I suggest it’s because most diets are impossible to maintain. Anyone remember the cabbage soup diet? Are you really going to eat cabbage soup for your entire
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What’s In a Label

I want to talk about changes the food industry has made that will support both of those efforts. As of 2020, nutritional labels on purchased foods have new requirements. There are several changes on these new nutritional labels. Three of which I want to bring to your attention: Portion sizes are more realistic and reflect the amount that people actually eat. In the past, food companies would often have artificially small portion sizes which made the food seem like it had less calories than it really did. However, be careful not to let these larger portion sizes be an excuse
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Survival Rates After Weight Loss Surgery

Bariatric surgery helps many of our patients lose a significant amount of weight, but that is just one of the many benefits of weight loss surgery. Patients also enjoy increased clothing options, more energy, improved or even resolved diabetes, lower cholesterol, lower heart disease risks, reduced pain from arthritis, resolved sleep apnea, and more benefits of a healthier lifestyle after bariatric surgery. In addition to all of this, recent research is also highlighting yet another benefit of bariatric surgery: an increase in life expectancy. Live Longer After Bariatric Surgery In a recent study published in The Lancet, researchers gathered data
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Taste Buds Rehab

I recently read a startling fact…in the 1970’s the average supermarket in the United States carried around 15,000 products. Today, that supermarket has almost 50,000 items... WOW! On the surface, that sounds great… more choices and variety. But scratch that surface just a bit and you will find it’s mostly just a “pseudo-variety”. Think about it…have we found a thousand new species of fish in the ocean deep? (Ah…NO!). Have we developed thousands of new strains of fruits and vegetables… not really.  What has happened is food engineers (yes, that’s a thing!) have found thousands of new and ingenious
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How To Eat

You first have to know how to identify "real foods", and then slowly introduce them into your diet. Real food may actually cost a bit more (trust me… its worth it!) and your taste buds might need to adjust. Let me give a concrete example. If you eat the Standard American Diet (SAD) chances are the bread you eat is not real food but a chemical concoction. One brand of bread I recommend (that is actual real food and truly whole grain) is Ezekiel (I have no financial ties to the company!). Now, if you normally eat Wonder Bread, then
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The Micro… What??

As often happens in medicine, we take a relatively simple concept and then give it a really intimidating name, so no one knows what the heck we’re talking about! The "microbiome" refers to the bacteria that live in our gut (intestines). There are more bacteria in the gut than cells in the human body! In fact, one could make the case (with tongue only partially in cheek) that the human body is just a vehicle for the care and feeding of bacteria! In all seriousness, what is this microbiome and why should you care about it? The microbiome is established
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