Weight Loss

When it comes to losing weight, it’s easy to get caught up in the large end goal. We say things to ourselves like, “I really need to lose 100 pounds” or “I want to be a size 12.” We also talk ourselves into burning a certain amount of calories at the gym.
So often weight loss becomes a numbers game that we forget the small victories that lead the way to the end game. If you have a substantial amount of weight loss in mind, rest assured that you can start shifting your thinking today. With the tips we’ve put together, you’ll be on your way to the body you’ve always wanted, inside and out.

Start enjoying your meals

Many of us pride ourselves in the ability to chow down a piece of pizza in less than two minutes. What exactly is the problem with eating like this? Once you’ve downed your first slice, you’ll eat a second or third as well as a shake, and cinnamon sticks before you realized your stomach is full.

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Rhode Island examined the relationship between how fast one eats and the amount of food consumed. Overall, fast eaters consumed 55% more food per minute compared to their slower counterparts.

By eating more slowly, you’ll tune into how your body tells you it’s full. Take the time to enjoy the way your food looks, smells, and tastes. Instead of consuming your steak in less than three minutes, try to stretch it to ten or more. This way your stomach has time to adjust to the food instead of being crammed full in a manner of minutes. Another great tip is to put your utensils down between bites.

Follow the principle of hara haci bu

The Japanese have a principle known as hara hachi bu that translates as “belly 80 percent full” in English. This way of eating is practiced by the residents of Okinawa, Japan. In reality, whenever you eat it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach’s stretch receptors to tell the body how full it really is. Stopping at about 80 percent capacity is a great technique to avoid excessive caloric intake as well as obesity. By following this concept coupled with eating more slowly, you will lose the weight in a healthy manner and keep it off.

Plan your meal ahead of time

Are you a planner? If so, now is the time to start applying this skill to your meals. Studies have shown that spontaneous snacks such as a donut from the break room or a bag of chips fro the vending machine add up quickly. Chances are if you grab something from the vending machine near the drinking fountain, you’ll forget about it later after you’ve already consumed it, therefore you’ve consumed extra and unnecessary calories.

Though it might seem annoying at first, planning your meals ahead of time will assist your weight loss in the long run. It also allows you the chance to put more thought into your choices. It’s a lot easier to pick up a frozen pizza at the supermarket, but taking the time to visualize a balanced meal will guarantee you a slimmer and healthier future.


Get this, plus more valuable information, in my new ebook – THE book that prepares you for your next diet.  Weight loss starts with your MIND…not with your BEHIND.  Mindset is ESSENTIAL for success. My book will get your head straight so your next weight loss program can be your LAST weight loss program!

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Is Exercise a Part of Your New Year’s Resolution?

January is filled with the best of intentions when it comes to fitness and health. Unfortunately, most don’t last longer than 3-4 weeks. (Insert sad face here.) When it comes to beginning an exercise routine, there are several things you need to know for your new commitment to be successful. The biggest thing you need to know is why some folks gain weight with exercise (and, no, I don’t mean putting on muscle), as this is one of the common reasons they quit exercising.

Trauma Alert!!

When you go from being somewhat sedentary to being active – particularly intense activity such as lifting, running, etc – your body will be saying “WHAT THE HECK?!?” It may be in a bit of shock. You’ve just taken it from it’s nice comfy place and introduced it to an entirely different activity and routine. You may be sore, built up a bit of lactic acid, and may even feel swollen and stiff. Think about it… you put your poor, untrained muscles through something traumatic. What happens when any part of your body experiences trauma?

When the body undergoes injury, even micro-tears in the muscle as a result of completely appropriate exercise, it will send fluid to the area to begin repairing the damage. This may sound like you are doing something harmful, but you aren’t! It’s an entirely appropriate response! It’s no different than when you sprain your ankle and it swells because of fluid and inflammation. Your muscles can undergo the same process – the fluid and inflammation bring needed chemicals to the area to begin to repair your muscles and prepare them for your next workout.

This fluid comes from the body holding on to excess water as a response to the new activity. This will contribute to extra pounds on the scale. It’s NOT FAT!

Your Body Wants to Make Exercise Easier!

Your body is impressively adaptive. Now that you are working out, your body will take steps to prepare you for your next workout. This happens independent of the process described above – where your body attempts to repair any micro-damage done by hard workouts.

Your body has the ability to be ready for activity by storing sugar inside the muscles so you have immediate energy for your workouts. It says “okay, I’m gonna be ready next time!” and stores glycogen (the storage form of glucose/sugar) within the muscle.

THIS is when people quit their routine because they weigh themselves after a week and expect the scale to be down. On the contrary! The scale may be up several pounds! Your brain says “this obviously isn’t working!”, so you stop exercising and those pounds go away. I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard people say “I gained weight when I started exercising, but lost it all when I stopped.” We know exercise is good for us – so this doesn’t make sense….but, yet – it happens just this way! WHY??

Glycogen Storage – Your Body’s Gift to You

In an effort to be ready for the next workout, your body will store glycogen (stored form of sugar) in the body as mentioned above. This is great! This enables you to start your workout fairly intensely – as your muscles have an immediate fuel source RIGHT THERE! (Of course, after appropriate warm-up and stretching.) However, glycogen doesn’t last forever. It’s purpose is for immediate usage, not long-term usage. It’s used up rather quickly, actually. Your body then turns to fat to fuel the rest of your workout. Your body works harder to use fat as a fuel source…glycogen is EASY to use! Thus, our bodies WANT to store glycogen for us!

When the body knows you are really going to stick with this exercise routine, it will store more glycogen in your muscles. Here’s the kicker….. To store ONE molecule of glycogen, the body has to store approximately 3 grams of water! Yes! That means you will retain fluid to store this precious glycogen! This will lead to a heavier weight on the scale. This is also dependent on what muscles have been worked! What will store more glycogen?…. your glutes or your forearms? So, yeah – when you work those big muscles (glutes, back, hamstrings, quads) – there’s a lot of potential for glycogen (and thus water) storage! This will reflect on the scale, but it isn’t true weight gain!

Losing Weight When You Stop Exercising

This explains why you lose that weight when you STOP exercising. It’s not true weight loss. It’s simply ‘pound loss’ – you see the number on the scale drop, but you’ve lost absolutely no fat. When you stop exercising, your body does’t need to store that glycogen. So, all that water you retained as a part of this wonderful, natural process begins to leave your body. This results in a lower number on the scale. That’s it.

So, What’s The Answer?

The answer is to just stick with it. Tune into your logical, rational brain and KNOW you are doing what is right for your body. Know that this is what is supposed to be happening! Drink lots of water (counterintuitive, I know…but it’s a must!) and wait for the scale to begin to show your true weight loss. Or, don’t get on the scale at all and just wait for your clothes to fit differently, or for others to compliment you on your new physique. Or, simply focus on your performance. Are you getting stronger? Faster?

So, You Must Have Numbers?

One way to truly measure if your efforts are working is to have your body composition tested before and during exercise. Before starting a routine – get a baseline body composition test. Then, about every 4-5 weeks. This tells you so much more than the scale ever could! I have patients who have been working with me for months and have only lost ONE pound according to the scale. However, their body comp shows a muscle gain of 11 lbs and a fat loss of 12 lbs. There’s your ONE pound net loss, but obviously things have changed!

My office uses an InBody to check body composition. There are other brands out there – simply google your area and “body composition” to see if there’s a way to do this. Personal trainers also can do this via skin-fold methods and measurements. The scale isn’t the only number that you should be looking at!

In Conclusion

You know exercising is good for you – stick with it despite what happens with the scale! This weight gain is protective, normal, and adaptive! It means your body is doing what it’s supposed to be doing. Have faith in your body and it’s ability to look out for you.

-Dr. Hodges

This, as well as other essential information for weight loss, can be found in my new ebook!  This new ebook prepares you for your next weight loss program – to make it your LAST weight loss program!  Weight loss starts with your MIND….not with your BEHIND.  Get your mindset right and your chances of weight loss success SKYROCKET!

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Weight loss

Being overweight is a health problem that affects people of all ages from children to adults. Being overweight is having a body weight that is more than what is medically recommended for your height and body mass index. Your weight results from different factors some of which can be managed. They include; genes, environment, lifestyle, metabolism rate, habits, family history of being overweight or obese and feeding routines just to mention a few. You cannot change genes and family history, but you can adopt a lifestyle that curbs unhealthy weight development.

Health risks of being overweight

Coronary heart disease

As your body weight increases, so does your risk of developing coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease is a health condition whereby a waxy substance known as plaque builds up in the coronary arteries that are responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood into the heart. The plaque narrows the coronary arteries and gradually blocks them. Narrowing the arteries reduces the amount of oxygenated blood transported to the heart muscles. This, in turn, can cause chest discomfort or pain known as angina or worse still, a heart attack. If the problem is not addressed, it can lead to heart failure where the heart cannot pump enough blood as required by the body.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure also known as hypertension occurs when the blood flows through arteries at higher than normal pressure. Genetic and environmental changes in the body are responsible for causing high blood pressure. Environmental changes include factors like being overweight, unhealthy eating habits and taking certain medicines such as hormonal therapies. High blood pressure also runs in families. As such, there are gene mutations that put you at risk of developing high blood pressure if your parents had the same. If the blood pressure rises and stays high for a long period, it can damage other parts of the body and lead to serious health complications.


As noted above, being overweight causes plague build up in the arteries. With time, the plaque ruptures and causes formation of a blood clot. If the clot gets close to the brain, it blocks oxygen and blood flow to the brain. Lack of oxygenated blood in the brain causes a stroke to occur. The brain cells will die gradually after a few minutes of lacking oxygen. Note that, the risk of developing stroke increases as the body mass index increases. Stroke is a serious medical condition that requires emergency care. It causes long term disability, lasting brain damage or death if not addressed immediately it occurs.

Abnormal blood fats

Being overweight means that you have excess and abnormal fats stored in the body. This includes high levels of bad cholesterol that in turn take up the storage space meant for good cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fat and waxy substance that is present in all body cells. The body relies on good cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D and other substances that help during digestion. High blood cholesterol and fats signify that you have too much unwanted cholesterol in the blood. High levels of bad cholesterol increase your chances of developing heart complications.


This, as well as other essential information for weight loss, can be found in my new ebook!  This new ebook prepares you for your next weight loss program – to make it your LAST weight loss program!  Weight loss starts with your MIND….not with your BEHIND.  Get your mindset right and your chances of weight loss success SKYROCKET!

Subscribe to email list to receive valuable info and announcements

Weight Loss

A year and a half ago, when I knew I was going to start my clinic, I set up Google Alerts to catch anything pertaining to diet, weight loss, different diets, etc.  Every day, I save those alerts in a folder in my Gmail account.  Today, I have 3,530 alerts sitting in that folder.  Each of those alerts has at least 3 articles, but *maybe one is a duplicate (published in more than one alert).  So, if 2 of the articles in each alert is unique – that means in the past year and a half, I’ve received nearly 7,000 pieces of information about dieting and weight loss.  SEVEN THOUSAND!!

A screenshot of my weight loss Google Alerts email folder…YIKES!


How is the average dieter supposed to siphon through seven thousand articles and decide what will help them and what won’t?  How many of these “tips” does an average dieter try?

According to 2012 data, at any given time there are 50% of Americans trying to lose weight.  And, they will attempt 4 different diets in a given year.  If you’ve ever needed to lose a few pounds, you already know how much time and energy the average dieter puts into this!  You’ll read anything you can get your hands on!  But – how do you know what to try?  How do you know what is worth your time and money (about $65B was spent trying to lose weight in 2012)?

Different Types of Weight Loss Plans

As you can see from my Google Alerts folder above, which only contains a few specific weight loss methods, you can choose from low-fat, low-carb, low-calorie.  You can “go Paleo”, read Atkins, try South Beach or Zone.  You can google “cabbage diet.”  There are countless OTC supplements sold at “nutrition” stores for you to try.  Again, how does one decide??  How do you know where to concentrate your efforts – AND your money?

Weight Loss Analogy – You and Your Car

Let’s say you set out for work one morning and your car won’t start.  So, you think – “hmmm – must be the battery.”  The next logical thing is to head out and get a new battery.  You’ve changed the battery and it still won’t start.  Again…”hmm – must be the starter.”  You run back to the auto store.  Within an hour, you’ve installed your new starter.  Still – no luck.  Dead as a doornail.  Here we go a 3rd time!  “Hmmm…. must be the fuel pump.”  I probably don’t need to tell you that after you’ve spent hours installing a new fuel pump – it’s not that either!  You’ve spent all day “fixing” your car, you’ve spent hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars trying to get your car started.


Losing Weight is About Solving a Problem

If you are gaining, or if you can’t lose, there is a problem somewhere.  I’ve said from the beginning that excess weight isn’t the problem – it’s the result OF a problem.  If you don’t know what that problem is, how in the world are you supposed to fix it?  When you are looking at the hundreds of weight loss supplements, or when you are reading countless articles, how do you know what will work?  Then answer is ….  you don’t!  Unless you figure out the underlying cause, you may spend thousands of dollars and never find a solution.   You will have replaced the battery, the starter, and the fuel pump** – only to realize you were simply out of gas!

The Best Diet for Weight Loss

The best solution for YOU will be one that addresses YOUR problem.  It’s not about what worked for a friend, or your sister.  It’s about what will work for YOU.  There are countless studies with results claiming low-calorie diets are better (or low-carb, or low-fat).  But the reality is, you are an individual.  You have a unique physiology that needs a unique solution.  Think about that.  Trying to fit one eating plan to every single person trying to lose weight is nuts.

Because we are all different – the way we react to food is different!  Consider this (yes another analogy, because I love them!), if I had 100 people standing in line.  And I gave each of those people the same exact pill.  As a physician, would I expect each of those people to respond the exact same way to the medication?  Of course not!  So – why in the world would we listen to anything that says one diet is best for everyone?  Why do we understand that a medication we consume can have different effects on us all – but we poo-poo that food can do the same thing? What we put into our bodies matters!

Find Your Weight “Problem”

Obesity is a result of many intertwined things:  genetics, food choices, emotions, income, environment, neurophysiology, lifestyle, etc.  Your weight issue can lie within any, or all, of these.  The problem MUST be identified before you can ever expect to be successful long-term.

Fortunately, there exists a group of professionals that have chosen to focus on obesity and weight loss.  To find a clinician near you, go to the ABOM (American Board of Obesity Medicine) website and find a specialist near you.


** Dr. Hodges knows nothing about fixing cars.

**Fixing your vehicle’s battery, starter, and fuel pump will not result in weight loss.

This, as well as other essential information for weight loss, can be found in my new ebook!  This new ebook prepares you for your next weight loss program – to make it your LAST weight loss program!  Weight loss starts with your MIND….not with your BEHIND.  Get your mindset right and your chances of weight loss success SKYROCKET!


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