Category Archives: Weight Loss

Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery: Gastric Bypass Yields Greater Weight Loss But Higher Complications Compared to Banding

Click for details. Try the Advanced Mediterranean Diet first!

New Weight Loss Drug, Contrave, May Work But Also Cause Suicidal Thoughts

"These are flying off the shelves!"

“This’ll fix you right up!”

The FDA recently approved a new weight-loss drug for the U.S. market. It’s marketed as Contrave, a combination of naltrexone and bupropion.

Neither of the components is new. Naltrexone’s been used to treat alcohol and narcotic addiction. Bupropion, e.g., Wellbutrin, is for depression and smoking cessation.

Contrave joins two other recent drugs for weight loss. Belviq and Qsymia were approved in 2012. I still haven’t run across anyone using those.

To qualify for the new formulation, you need a body mass index over 30, or over 27 plus one or more weight-related medical condition such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.

If you haven’t lost over 5% of your initial body weight in the first 12 weeks of use, the FDA recommends stopping the drug.

Potential adverse effects include suicidal thoughts and seizures. More commonly, users may experience headache, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, insomnia, and dry mouth. Constipation and diarrhea?!

Even with the drug, you still have to be on a reduced-calorie diet and exercise program.

Why not try the Advanced Mediterranean Diet or Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet first?

Steve Parker, M.D.

Low-Carb Beats Low-Fat Diet for Weight Loss Without Increase in Heart Disease Risk

…according to an article at MedPageToday.

Many physicians have been reluctant to recommend low-carb diets out of fear that they increase cardiovascular risk. A recent study compared low-carb to low-fat dieting over 12 months and actually found better improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors on the low-carb diet (max of 40 grams a day).

After 12 months, folks on a low-carbohydrate diet had lost 5.3 kg (11.7 lb), while those on a low-fat diet with similar caloric value had lost 1.8 kg (3.9 lb). Both groups showed lowering of LDL cholesterol, while the low-carbers had better improvements in HDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

DietDoctor Andreas Eenfeldt can add this study to his list of others that show better weight loss with low-carb diets compared to low-fat.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Eat Nuts For Longer Life

I recommend nuts to all of my patients. They help reduce risk of coronary artery disease (e.g., heart attacks) and overall risk of death. Don’t believe me? Check this out. Nuts are integral to the Advanced Mediterranean Diet, Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet, Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet, and the Paleobetic Diet.

Will I Eat Less If I Eat Slower?

In general, you would eat fewer calories compared to eating faster. It doesn’t affect your degree of hunger at the end of the meal or within the few hours thereafter. AJCN has the details.

Why the authors of the study didn’t report effects on body weight are a mystery to me. Probably trying to get another published article out of their work.

If calories matter in weight loss efforts, and I think they do, you may improve your weight loss success by eating slower.

PS: I only read the abstract.

Will Eating More Vegetables and Fruits Help With Weight Management?

Sorry, but NO, according to AJCN. But they may have other benefits.

QOTD: J. Stanton on Exercise and Weight Loss

Exercise is not important because it burns calories! Exercise without calorie restriction is a remarkably ineffective weight loss intervention, because it usually makes us hungry enough to replace the calories we burn. Exercise is important because it restores your ability to oxidize fat—both when fasting and after meals. And we can tie this in with mitochondrial dysfunction by noting that exercise is proven to increase mitochondrial volume.

J. Stanton