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Choloesterol and medical weight loss programs

Each week we’ll be pulling out one of your emails from our mail bag and featuring them here. Feel free to submit as many questions as you would like. All questions having to do with Nutrition, Weight Loss and Obesity-related health conditions are fair game.

“Dr. Kim,

Can you put an argument I’m having with my sister to rest. I believe that eating late at night can make you fat. She says that it doesn’t matter. Who is right?"

- Susan, Pasadena, California


Dear Susan:

I’m afraid she’s right. The “eating late at night leads to weight gain” myth has been busted. The idea that people gain weight from eating late at night seemed to make sense. Digestion slows while we’re sleeping. As a result, food tends to stay longer within our digestive tract. Why wouldn’t this lead to weight gain?  Well, this is where science trumps commonly held beliefs. It was also long believed that coffee caused people’s blood pressure to rise. In fact, caffeine is a stimulant that does not cause long term blood pressure elevation. However, a central nervous system depressant, alcohol, does cause blood pressure elevation.

So a number of studies have looked at the effects of meal timing and weight gain. In 1996, a Swedish study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at normal weight and obese individuals. The study compared eating patterns between both groups. The eating patterns of obese and normal weight individuals were not found to be any different. Both groups were found to have periodic nighttime eating binges. This was confirmed in a 2007 study of more than 2500 patients.

Although nighttime eating does not appear to affect weight gain, eating patterns can influence weight. A 2003 study out of Europe found that people who skip breakfast are more likely to gain weight. This is primarily because people who eat breakfast tend to take in more calories throughout the day. An analysis of caloric intake between those who do and do not skip breakfast showed that those who skipped breakfast took in considerably more calories per meal.

So Susan, eating at night is not as bad as we had previously thought. No studies have shown that eating at night leads to weight gain. As long as the number of calories stays consistent, you will not gain weight from late night eating. But please remember that skipping breakfast, or skipping any meal for that matter, can lead to weight problems.

If you are having issues with weight gain and obesity, visit one of our medical weight loss clinics. Working with a medical weight loss center gives you access to easy weight loss programs, quick weight loss plans, weight loss products and FDA approved diet pills under the guided supervision of an experienced doctor. Visit one of our Pasadena or Orange County medical weight loss clinics to get support and info about our medical weight loss programs and FDA approved medical weight loss pills.

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FDA Approved Medical Weight Loss- Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Each week we’ll be pulling out one of your emails from our mail bag and featuring them here. Feel free to submit as many questions as you would like. All questions having to do with Nutrition, Weight Loss and Obesity-related health conditions are fair game.

“Dr. Kim,

I’m considering signing up for your weight loss programs at one of your Orange County medical weight loss centers, but I’d like to know, do medical diet pills really work or is it just a gimmick?”

- Lily, Newport Beach, California

Dear Lily:

Medical diet pills definitely do work. They control your appetite and hunger. But they can't help you lose weight without your cooperation. Appetite suppressants work best when you also make an effort. Everybody can lose weight because most of us know how to eat right. But it's tough to eat right, isn't it? We get so much satisfaction and gratification from foods. Unfortunately, most of those foods tend to be unhealthy. The diet pills give you a break from those urges. They help you make those important changes that help you lose weight. The added bonus is that, because these weight loss medications are also stimulants, they can give you that extra energy you need to make it through your day. For many people, it gives them the extra energy to get back into exercising.

Please consult with our weight loss doctors to tailor a program for you. In order for any program to be successful, it must suit the needs of the individual. Our weight loss medications are tailored to your needs. As with any weight loss program, it’s important to consult with our weight loss physicians and to be honest with the doctor about your daily eating and exercising habits so they can provide you with the best weight loss program that’s suitable for you. It’s also important to follow your doctor's medical advice and the weight loss program guidelines. And if you have any questions or concerns throughout the program, never hesitate to contact the doctor.

What’s great about working with a medical weight loss center is that not only do you have access to diet plans, a FDA approved weight loss program, safe appetite suppressants and a medical weight loss clinic, you have a place to ask questions, get tips and discover creative weight management programs that allow you to get long-lasting results. It’s the best way to truly change your lifestyle and create a healthier you.

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HGA and Medical Weight Loss- Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Each week we’ll be pulling out one of your emails from our mail bag and featuring them here. Feel free to submit as many questions as you would like. All questions having to do with Nutrition, Weight Loss and Obesity-related health conditions are fair game.

“Dr. Kim,

I see so many places that offer HCG for weight loss? Why do you not offer it? Does it not help with weight loss?"

- Laurie T., Rancho Santa Margarita, California

Dear Laurie:

This is a question I get asked frequently during my lectures. The answer is unequivocal—HCG does not benefit weight loss in any way.   

HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. It’s also commonly known as the human pregnancy hormone. The urine pregnancy test that people use to check if they are pregnant detects HCG in the urine.

It was first brought to national attention by a British physician named Albert Simeons. He had used it in conjunction with an extremely low calorie diet (500 calories per day) for weight loss. Although he never conducted formative studies on the use of HCG for weight loss, he published a book in 1954 describing the methods he used to help people lose weight. It became popular because he reportedly had helped many celebrities lose weight using this method.

There have been subsequent studies looking at the use of HCG for weight loss. There were several scientific papers published in the 1970s that compared the use of HCG against a placebo and found that there were no differences in the amount of weight loss. In a report evaluating several studies of HCG for weight loss, a well known obesity researcher, George Bray, M.D. stated that, “Four double-blind studies have shown that HCG has no significant effect on weight.”

So if HCG has been proven, so clearly, not to help with weight loss, why do so many weight loss clinics offer it? Two reasons: hope and marketing. As you know, many people are willing to try just about anything to lose weight. When something exotic such as this comes along, people are hopeful that this will be the magic bullet that helps them lose weight. On the other side of the coin, you have people like Kevin Trudeau. He published several books (Weight Loss Cures and Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About), which tout the benefits of such “natural” remedies as HCG. Both books made it on the Amazon and New York Times bestsellers list. However, Mr. Trudeau was convicted of a felony in 2007 for making fraudulent claims in his books.

So that’s the skinny on HCG. It’s a supplement that has gained a lot of notoriety and given hope to a lot of hopeful people. However, it’s been clearly proven to have no effect on weight loss.

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Midday Snacks and Weight Loss- Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Each week we’ll be pulling out one of your emails from our mail bag and featuring them here. Feel free to submit as many questions as you would like. All questions having to do with Nutrition, Weight Loss and Obesity-related health conditions are fair game.

“Dr. Kim,

Every day around midday and again at 4 pm, I really need a snack. Is hitting up the vending machine for a small snack really going to affect my diet?"

- Jen B., Aliso Viejo, California

Dear Jen:

Snacks are actually a fundamental part of our diets. Many people eat five meals a day to keep their metabolism revved, so it helps to think of your snack as a mini-meal. The problem is, many people equate snacks to treats, reaching for chips or a candy bar to get them through the 4 pm slump.

One of the integral components of safe yet quick weight loss programs is to realize that a snack can satisfy your craving, while still providing nutrients and fuel for your body. This simple mindset shift can result in weight loss.
Avoid sugary snacks like candy and empty calorie choices like chips and dip—all they do is provide a sugar or carb rush. Instead reach for vegetables and hummus, or fruit and a handful of some antioxidant packed nuts like raw walnuts, almonds or cashews. It’s good to do some food combining to hit more than one food group. If your cravings are out of control, medical weight loss pills can help eliminate cravings for the wrong type of food (*make sure your medical weight loss program uses only FDA approved weight loss pills).

Other good choices include Greek yogurt, an apple with peanut butter or low-fat cottage cheese. Our Pasadena or Orange County medical weight loss clinics sell some amazing snacks and meal replacements that were developed by the former head of the American Diabetes Association. Our weight loss centers sell delicious protein, appetite control crisps, smoothie and shake mixes, and more. Come browse the delicious selections at one of our Pasadena or Orange County medical weight loss clinics.

Change your snacking habits slowly—maybe incorporate one healthy snack at a time. This will help you maintain this behavior change for the long-term.

What’s great about working with a medical weight loss center is that you have access to quick weight loss programs and medical diet pills under the guided supervision of an experienced doctor. Visit one of our Pasadena or Orange County medical weight loss clinics to get support and info about our medical weight loss programs and FDA approved weight loss pills.

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Obesity in the US- Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Each week we’ll be pulling out one of your emails from our mail bag and featuring them here. Feel free to submit as many questions as you would like. All questions having to do with Nutrition, Weight Loss and Obesity-related health conditions are fair game.


“Dr. Kim,

I recently read an article that said that the United States has the highest rate of obesity in the world. Is that true?"

- Tiffany T, Rancho Santa Margarita


Dear Tiffany:

Amongst industrialized nations, the United States leads the world in obesity. However, if we include developing nations into the list, the United States only makes it into the top 10—but it's the only industrialized nation in the top 10.

Currently, the obesity rate in the United States is about 33%. That means that one out of every three people in the United States is obese. Before I go any further, let me define obesity. Obesity is defined not by weight, but by the Body Mass Index or BMI, a way to interpret your weight, given your height. For example, if someone were 240 lbs., you would think that person is obese. Yet if he were 6 foot 7 inches tall, that would be much different than if he were 5 foot 6 inches. In fact, at 6 foot 7 inches, he would be considered overweight, but not obese.

The rate of obesity has been increasing in the United States. The International Obesity Task Force predicts that, by the year 2025, the rate of obesity may reach 45-50%. A large part of why this is happening has to do with the fact that Americans are eating much more than 20 years ago, about 250 calories more each day.

This began in the 1970’s because of changes in the U.S. Government’s agricultural policy. This change in policy made it more profitable for farmers to increase production of food staples like corn and soy beans. This made it cheaper for food manufacturers and restaurants to produce food. But instead of reducing the price of their products, they increased the serving sizes. A perfect example of this is the soda can, which started out at 8 oz, and then grew to 12 and then 16 oz. At certain convenience stores you can get 72 oz. of soda.

Beyond a more plentiful food supply and larger portion sizes, Americans have newer reasons to eat as well. First of all, food has become the new sophisticated hobby. With the explosion of the Food Network on television and the fame of celebrity chefs, food and wine have reached a new level as a form of entertainment. Second, with the recent development of the deal-a-day coupon sites like Groupon and Living Social, people are eating out like never before. As you know, these websites offer dining opportunities at steeply discounted prices. People are trying restaurants they normally wouldn’t have tried just because the prices are so low.

So Tiffany, these are just a few reasons why the obesity epidemic in the United States has gotten so out of control. There are a host of other reasons and the numbers are only expected to get worse. However, being a member of a weight loss program and attending the clinic on a regular basis is a proven way to keep yourself from being a part of that statistic.

If you are having issues with weight gain and obesity, visit one of our quick weight loss centers. Working with a medical weight loss center gives you access to quick weight loss programs, weight loss products and FDA approved medical weight loss pills under the guided supervision of an experienced doctor. Visit one of our Pasadena or Orange County medical weight loss clinics to get support and info about our easy weight loss programs.

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Smoking and Weight Loss- Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Each week we’ll be pulling out one of your emails from our mail bag and featuring them here. Feel free to submit as many questions as you would like. All questions having to do with Nutrition, Weight Loss and Obesity-related health conditions are fair game.

“Dr. Kim,

“Three months ago my husband and I stopped smoking. Since then I have gained 10 pounds. My eating habits are no different and I exercise the same amount. I'll be 49 in two weeks and not looking forward to being a size 14. My husband has also gained 15 pounds. Question is... why?”



- Marsha

First off, let me congratulate you on stopping smoking. That is fantastic. I know how hard it can be and I wish you and your husband the best of luck. Aside from losing weight, stopping smoking is the best thing that you can do to improve your health.

The question you ask is a very common question. I’d like to consider your specific situation in two parts. The first part has to do with the fact that you stopped smoking. Virtually everybody who stops smoking gains weight. There are two parts to why this happens. The first part (and probably the greatest contributor) is that food replaces the satisfaction one receives from smoking. Whether it’s oral fixation or stress relief, food oftentimes takes over the role of a cigarette. This leads to weight gain. The second is that nicotine, a stimulant, may speed up your metabolism a little bit. As a result, when you stop smoking, this can slow your metabolism down and lead to some weight gain. As I said before, the metabolic effect of smoking cessation is only a minor contributor to weight gain.

Next we’ll consider age as a risk factor for weight gain. Two processes of aging lead to weight gain. The first is the loss of muscle; the second is changes in hormones. As we all get older, our bodies naturally lose muscle mass. Your muscles are what drive 85% of your daily metabolism. So as the amount of muscle you have in your body declines with age, so does your metabolism. This is why it’s important to do some weight bearing exercise as you get older. Next, the change in hormones levels (unfortunately, more for women than men) can lead to changes in your metabolism and changes in your body’s ability to burn fat. This is evident for women in the peri-menopausal period and most evident in the post-menopausal period. This is why its best to address your weight issues as early as you can, because it unfortunately doesn’t get any easier. That being said, any time is a good time to lose weight. Hope that helps and best of luck to you.

What’s great about working with a medical weight loss center is that not only do you have access to diet plans, a FDA approved weight loss program, safe appetite suppressants and a medical weight loss clinic, you have a place to ask questions, get tips (such as how to  get a tiny waist) and discover creative weight management programs that allow you to get long-lasting results. It’s the best way to truly change your lifestyle and create a healthier you.

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