Courage to Change My Life: Jeff’s 4 Year Update


weight loss surgery before after vsg gastiric sleeve

Earlier this month we received a touching letter from one of our blinding success patients Jeff who has really turned his life around since we first chatted with him on the phone about 4 years ago. Read for yourself!

I just wanted to drop a quick note to the amazing folks are BeLiteWeight.com and give a quick update. It’s been four years since I found the courage to pick-up the phone and change my life.

When I decided to change my life, I was miserable and unable to do so many of the things that I wanted to do. I was always tired, miserable and my life was absent of anything to keep me going – except food.

When I called, I wanted to do the surgery fast! From the time I first called there was only three weeks until I left for the Gastric Sleeve.

The experience was amazing – and the years following the surgery have also been amazing! I feel great, look great and people tell me that I look so much younger now than I did then.

I can’t tell you how greatful that I am to everyone at Beliteweight for the amazing guidance that I received and for the support leading up to the surgery and the post surgical support that was fantastic from the minute I got home until I felt like I had it under control.

The process was worth it, the cost was unbeatable and the way my life was changed cannot be put into words.

The BeLiteWeight team is so proud of you Jeff! Keep up the hard work and you can achieve all of your goals and inspirations!

For more information on Gastric Sleeve and other weight loss surgical questions, please call BeLiteWeight today!

I’M BACK!!! : Brian’s Two Year Update


One of our inspiring prior patients of ours, Brian, posted a video to youtube that BeLiteWeight is excited to share with you! He created a detailed testimonial of his experience 2 year since his Gastric Sleeve Surgery. Throughout his journey the past two years he lost close to half of his body weight! Way to go Brian! You look wonderful and it was so good to see you again. Our team loves updates from our patients and hearing the impact that weight loss surgery has had on their lives!

For more information on Gastric Sleeve and other weight loss surgical questions, please call BeLiteWeight today at 1-800-215-6497!

Weight Loss Surgery and Sickle Cell Disease


sickle cell weight loss surgery before and after vsg sleeve keto

Sickle Cell Anemia News has recently released an article which reviewed the results of Obesity Surgery’s study, “Impact of Bariatric Surgery on Outcomes of Patients with Sickle Cell Disease: a Nationwide Inpatient Sample Analysis, 2004-2014.”

Although not seen as a definitive cure for the disease there were significant reductions in the rates of vaso-occlusive crises. These are more commonly known to those with the Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) disease as VOCs and are a painful reality of its effects.

The red blood cells of those with the SCD  are shaped irregularly which causes the blood to be more receptive to blood clots and circulation problems. However with modern medicine and treatment those with SCD disease are shown to find success recovering and thriving after weight loss surgery.

Patients with SCD who underwent weight loss surgery did not have a higher risk of severe health complications and were less likely to experience VOCs afterwards!

Even with SCD the incredible human body and modern medicine are capable of great benefits to the quality of living! If you or someone you care about is personally affected with SCD and obesity we suggest reading the article below from Sickle Cell Anemia News:

https://sicklecellanemianews.com/2019/03/12/weight-loss-surgery-may-help-reduce-vocs-in-obese-scd-patients/

For more information about Weight Loss Surgery please visit us at www.beliteweight.com or call BeLiteWeight at 1-800-215-6497 now!

Patient Process at Hospital Angeles Juarez


patient process at hospital angeles juarez

This short and informative video shows you how smooth, clean, and easy the patient admission process for our weight loss surgery patients at Hospital Angels, Juarez. Our BeLiteWeight patients and their guest are greeted at the airport and stay in the hospital the entire duration off their trip! It is so easy it is almost a vacation!

For more information regarding your own weight loss surgery please visit us at www.beliteweight.com or call us at 1-800-215-6497

The Impact of Bariatric Surgery and Diabetes


Card Collage 4

There are many ways in which obesity can negatively affect one's health. From sleep apnea to high blood pressure, the added weight can impact the body in many ways. In particular, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases drastically as a result of obesity. Many studies have shown that losing weight can lessen that risk, as well as help, bring the disease under control for those who have it.

Losing weight can be very difficult, however, especially if one is suffering from other health conditions. Bariatric surgery is a method of permanently or temporarily reducing the size of a patient's stomach which causes a change in the digestive process. There are three different types of Bariatric surgeries. There are restrictive surgeries like adjustable gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy. There are also malabsorptive/ restrictive surgeries like gastric bypass (or Roux-en-Y). In addition, there are electrical device implantation surgeries such as the Maestro rechargeable system that is put into the abdomen to lessen food intake.

medical 500

It's always best to go by a doctor's recommendation, but bariatric surgery has consistently proven to be an extremely effective and long-lasting method for putting diabetes into remission. Although changing diet and exercise is always recommended, these methods alone may not be enough to sufficiently reverse life-long habits that contributed to the onset of diabetes, and patients who have had surgery are statistically proven to have more permanent positive changes in lifestyle as well as better health.

Andrei Keidar conducted an analysis that showed enormous benefits for bariatric surgery patients who had diabetes. Studies have shown that gastric bypass is among the more successful procedures in regards to treating and reversing diabetes, in many cases the patients' insulin levels return to normal mere days after having surgery. In 87% of cases, patients who had bariatric surgery not only lost weight but showed significant improvement in their diabetes.

Although having surgery will always come with risk, the studies have shown that the benefits of surgery far outweigh the risks.

 

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamasurgery/fullarticle/2422341

For more information on Weight Loss Surgery, please call BeLiteWeight today!

Does Your Sleep Schedule Affect Your Weight?


PicMonkey Image

Your sleep habits can have a huge impact on all aspects of your life, including your weight. If you are working on losing a few pounds, a good place to start is to track how many hours of sleep you're getting each night. Obesity rates have been rising, while hours of sleep have been dwindling, due to busy schedules and work life. While lack of sleep is most likely not the primary cause of weight gain, it can affect it in many ways.

There are four hormones that are associated with weight gain, and they are disrupted when we don't get enough sleep. The first is Ghrelin, which is released by your stomach and is responsible for letting your brain know that you're hungry. The second is Leptin, which is responsible for letting your brain know that you're full. The third is insulin, which is what your body uses to turn food into energy, and the last is cortisol, which is released when you're under stress and causes your body to store your energy as fat. When you lose sleep, your body increases the production of ghrelin so you feel hungry more, and reduces the amount of leptin, so you feel less full. 

Lack of sleep also disrupts your body's ability to turn carbohydrates into energy, which causes your blood sugar to rise and that can lead to insulin resistance, as your body produces more insulin and cortisol as a result. This causes your body to store fat and sugar instead of processing it.

Losing sleep also makes it harder to control your eating habits overall, and you are more likely to make bad decisions regarding what you eat. When you're not getting enough sleep, you tend to eat later at night and crave food with a lot of fat and carbohydrates. 

Studies have shown that losing weight can be good for your sleep habits. Not only can it help reduce snoring and sleep apnea, but it also reduces daytime fatigue because it greatly improves your quality of sleep. So make sure that you are getting at least 7 hours or more sleep per night, and you might experience some great benefits.

For more information on Weight Loss Surgery, please call BeLiteWeight today!

Heather’s Year: From Bypass to Non-Scale Victories!


Heather D 1 watermark

BeLiteWeight is so grateful to share the success of Heather, who was kind enough to give her experience with us after having bypass surgery one year ago. You are amazing Heather!

There is so much I could say that has happened in a year since my surgery! So much good! If numbers are what you need to hear, my HW was 466, my weight on surgery day was 458 and as of a couple days ago my current weight is 235!! And I feel aaaawwweeesooome! However, it's the non-scale victories that have made me the most happy from day to day. I can now bend over without feeling like my airways are cut off. I can now sit in any adult sized chair without being crammed painfully at my hips. I can comfortably squeeze through passages without having to turn sideways. I can also go to festivals, events without worrying if they will have that rocking teeshirt in my size! One more victory, in my health journey family and friends have also been motivated for taking their own, it's become a team sport. We have my mother planking at 64!

Heather D 3 watermark

Hard ships?  The surgery doesnt account for my decision making, however it was a valuable tool in relearning food and my body. Now that my weightloss has slowed down due to muscle gain, it's a fine tuning process. I'm always excited for the next challenge. I did my first 5K in April and even though it was soo hard, the whole time I was blown away by my drive and ability to keep moving, keep smiling. My body felt like a powerhouse! Loose skin? Yes, this is a reality, one I expected– does it stop me? No! The way I see it, I will tighten as much as I can, and once I can no longer do so then it's to considering removal surgery. As far as worrying about the opinions of others? We all can get insecure at times, but this isnt even my final form! If a person can not celebrate my body's progress and its resulting look now, then I don't feel they should get access to once I've reached my desired shape! sorry I am a saucy southern gal! 
 
Thank you everyone at BeLite for your help, encouragement, and just passion for helping others feel this good! Keep on dreaming and hoping and doing what you can, you will get there!! 
Thank you so much, Heather! There is nothing better than hearing about your incredible achievement!
 
For more information on Gastric Bypass and other weight loss surgical operations, please call BeLiteWeight today!

Savory Summer Soups


Soup Banner

One of the best things about summer is the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables that become available. A great way to enjoy the delicious variety of seasonal produce is to make an easy, healthy soup. Although some might say that summertime is too hot for soup, it can actually make a great light meal when you don't want to be weighed down by heavy food in the heat. Here are some different soup recipes that will satisfy your taste buds while keeping you full and satisfied.

 

First, we have a scrumptious recipe that uses roasted corn and peppers. The char from the roasted corn and peppers adds the perfect smoky flavor.

Smokey Roasted Corn Chowder

smokyroastedcornchowder

                                      http://www.thebeautifulbalance.com/smoky-roasted-corn-chowder/

Ingredients

*To roast corn spray baking sheet with coconut oil and bake corn in a 350-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until corn looks roasted
**To roast red bell pepper either place under broiler in oven and continue to rotate the pepper until it is black or roast on an open gas flame on the stove and rotate until the entire pepper is black. Immediately place in plastic bag and zip close and allow to cool. Once cooled peel charred skin off.
  • 16 oz (2 cups) roasted sweet corn*
  • 32 oz vegetable broth
  • 16 oz unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper**
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tbls smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke, optional (I used hickory)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in large stock pan and sauté onion, bell pepper, corn, and garlic until soft.
  2. Add chili powder, cayenne, smoked paprika, and salt and pepper
  3. De glaze pan with vegetable stock, add liquid smoke and bring to a boil
  4. Turn off heat and separate half of the vegetable mixture in the pot in a separate bowl
  5. Pour the broth and other half of vegetables into a blender and blend until smooth
  6. Return the blended mixture back into the pot on the stove, add the separated vegetables, and pour coconut milk into the pot
  7. Bring back to a boil and adjust for salt, pepper, and smokiness

 

This delicious summer minestrone is packed with tons of summer vegetables as well as zucchini, peppers, and beans. 

Summer Minestrone Soup

 

 

summer-minestrone-vertical-a-1600

                                             https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/summer_minestrone_soup/

 

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 onion)
  • 1/2 cup sliced leeks, white and light green parts only (see How to Clean Leeks), about 1/2 leek
  • 1/2 cup diced celery (about one celery rib)
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper (about 1/4 of one bell pepper)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 6 cups chicken stock (can use good quality vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (add more salt if using unsalted stock)
  • 2 cups large dice zucchini (or other summer squash such as crookneck or pattypan)
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup cooked small white beans
  • 1/2 cup dry ditalini or any small pasta (omit for gluten-free option)
  • Fresh basil for garnish
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

1 Sauté onions, leeks, celery, bell pepper, garlic, in olive oil: Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large, thick-bottomed pot on medium high. Add the diced onion, leeks, celery, and bell pepper. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes until softened, lowering the heat to medium to prevent browning.

Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute more, until fragrant.

2 Add stock, seasonings, beans, pasta, vegetables, then simmer: Add the chicken stock, bay leaf, thyme, and salt to the pot. Increase heat to bring to a simmer, then add the zucchini, green beans, tomatoes, white beans, and pasta.

Heat to a simmer again and lower the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables and the pasta are cooked through.

3 Garnish with basil and Parmesan: Garnish with thinly sliced fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese to serve.

 

 

What's a better combination than grilled cheese with tomato soup? This simple recipe is the perfect way to fulfill your craving for fresh summer tomatos!

Summery Fresh Tomato Soup

 

image

                            https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/summery-fresh-tomato-soup

 

Ingredients

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Amazing Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar


ACV banner

There are few substances that are as versatile as apple cider vinegar. You can drink it, apply it on cuts, use it as a food preservative, or even employ it as a house cleaning agent. The numerous beneficial properties of vinegar have been known to humans since the beginning of history. Many ancient races including the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Babylonians had been utilizing the benefits of apple cider vinegar for thousands of years. The Egyptians consumed it as a weight-loss supplement and also used it as a disinfectant for wounds. The Greek physician Hippocrates would prescribe a mixture of apple cider vinegar and honey as a tonic for colds, and he also used it for cleaning wounds and burns. It can be used as a preservative for pickled fruit and vegetables as well.

pickles-1320265

In order to make apple cider vinegar, a combination of yeast and bacteria is added to the juice of crushed apples, and the mixture is allowed to ferment until the sugar is turned into an alcohol. Then the concoction is fermented again with an acid-forming bacterial, which turns the alcohol into vinegar. The word vinegar means "sour wine".

Apple cider vinegar is able to kill bacteria and other harmful pathogens, which makes it effective for cleaning your house and as well as something that can be used for cleaning wounds. It's also been traditionally used to treat lice, infections, warts, and even nail fungus.

Studies have shown that vinegar is capable of helping people keep their blood sugar levels down and also improves insulin sensitivity, which is especially helpful for those with Type 2 Diabetes. Apple cider vinegar can also be useful to assist in lowering blood pressure as well as cholesterol, both of which are primary causes of heart disease.

Drinking apple cider vinegar before meals have been proven to assist in losing weight as it can help with feeling more fuller, longer. It is typically consumed by adding a tablespoon to a glass of water but it can also be used as a healthy alternative for making things like salad dressing. Although it's very cost effective (A bottle of unfiltered apple cider vinegar will usually retail around $3-4) it can easily be made at home, using apple scraps and sugar.

Whether cleaning your house, disinfecting a cut, or trying to lose weight, apple cider vinegar has been effectively used for thousands of years.

                                                                                    

                                                                   For more information on Weight Loss Surgery, please call BeLiteWeight today!

 

Tracey’s Gastric Sleeve: Fighting for Her Life


Tracey Banner

It's a great honor for BeLiteWeight to be able to share the incredible success stories of our patients' post-operative journies! We are always so inspired when we hear about the life-changing victories that people gain as a result of their surgery. Our patient Tracey was kind enough to tell us her story and allowed us to share it with others so that they can feel inspired too!

 

Tracey before

 

I had always been a big girl but was comfortable in my own skin and pretty much went and did everything I wanted to go and do.  After moving to a new state I began working for call centers.  Didn't realize how much being in an almost completely sedentary job would affect me.  I started having less energy and having a lot more headaches and generally just didn't feel good.  My weight kept going up.  This continued until I landed in the hospital with cellulitis after a fall.  I was off work for almost 8 weeks because my wounds would not heal.  About a year later I had another scare with cellulitis and spent another week or so in hospital.  Another hospital stay that summer suggested congestive heart failure. Then 6 months later my weight jumped almost 50 pounds in just a couple of weeks.  My feet and legs were so swollen I could barely walk.  Ended up back in the hospital and diagnosed with congestive heart failure, again.  It was at this time that I was also diagnosed with previously missed sleep apnea and type II diabetes that was just feeding into my weight gain and edema which was, in turn, feeding my sleep apnea and diabetes.  It was a vicious circle that nothing was going to fix except extreme weight loss.  The only problem is I had gained so much weight that I COULDN'T exercise.  I couldn't breathe good enough and my legs hurt too much to walk.  Dieting was going to help, but not enough. 
 
I started looking into the option of gastric sleeve surgery.  I talked it over with my primary care doctor and he agreed and supported this.  I started the process with an approved surgeon here in the states, went through all of the testings, got to TWO WEEKS prior to my scheduled surgery and was then told that I could not have the surgery.  My insurance would not pay for it unless I first lost 30 pounds!!!!  I was livid.  My primary care doctor was floored.  He even wrote Blue Cross a letter but they would not budge.  I knew at this point that if I did not do something I was not going to be alive much longer.  I was miserable. 
 
 
Finally I found Beliteweight and they literally saved my life.  I was nervous and a bit scared of going to Mexico, but I did my research and realized that this was the only way I was going to be able to do this.  So, after being given a MUCH easier to follow liver-shrinking diet for the 2 weeks prior to the surgery, my best friend and I headed to El Paso for the trip across the boarder.  I am so very thankful I made that trip.  I owe my very life to Dr. Jose Rodriguez Villareal and the staff at Star Medico Hospital in Juarez.  I weighed 430.6 pounds on the morning of my surgery, July 15, 2017.  Today, May 8, 2018 I weigh 229.4 pounds – a weight loss of 201.2 pounds and have shed 25 inches off of my waist.  Thank you Beliteweight for being there for those of us that Medical Insurance wont help.
-Tracey T
 
You are amazing Tracey! We at BeLiteWeight are so excited to see the incredible progress you've made, and we're so grateful that you shared your story with us!
 
For more information on Gastric Sleeve Surgery, please call BeLiteWeight today!