Healthy Eating for Kids

Have you decided to take control of your weight loss journey with the help of a LAP-BAND, gastric bypass, ORBERA gastric balloon, or sleeve gastrectomy? If so, chances are good you’ve struggled with excess weight for many years. By learning about healthy eating for kids, you can help reduce the chances that your children will also be overweight. You’ll also be able to share some tasty, family-friendly meals with everyone in your household!

Here are some tips on how to help promote healthy eating habits among the little ones in your life:

Make Exploring Healthy Foods an Adventure

Tired of serving the same old fruits and vegetables to your family? Why not explore some new and exciting options with your kids?

You can switch up your menu by encouraging your kids to choose a different item from the produce department each week, and helping them learn how to prepare it. There’s lots of online how-to guides to show you simple ways to make fruits and veggies fun and tasty.

This can be a good way to encourage kids to try new things without overwhelming them with major dietary changes all at once. You might even discover a few new food items that you like as well!

Stick to a Schedule

By now you’ve already learned why eating on a schedule helps prevent major spikes and drops in your blood sugar, and the same holds true for your kids. Healthy eating for kids means eating meals and snack at the same time – every single day.

Children like structure, and eating on a schedule helps to make your household run smoother. An eating schedule can also minimize sugar cravings, temper tantrums, and other behavioral issues related to hunger and blood sugar variations in your children.

Make Meals That Everyone Enjoys

It can be tempting to prepare special, separate meals for each of your children, but this makes a lot of work for you. Remember, your kitchen isn’t a restaurant!

Aim to make family-friendly, healthy meals that everybody can enjoy – that way, your kids won’t see plates filled with high-quality lean protein and veggies as ‘diet food’, they’ll accept healthy eating as ‘normal’.

Make Kids a Part Of Meal Prep

Cooking is an important life skill that every child should learn. Kids usually jump at the chance to participate in meal planning and preparation, so try to make cooking a family affair.

Encouraging your children to help out in the kitchen helps boost their confidence and increases their interest in what everyone is eating. Search online for simple kid-friendly recipes, or check your local library for children’s cookbooks.

Involving kids in the kitchen also makes it more likely that your kids will be open to eating healthy foods they might otherwise turn their noses up – things like unfamiliar vegetables, or chicken fingers that are baked instead of fried.

For More Information

To learn more about promoting healthy eating for kids in your home, and for support with your post-surgical diet plan, contact us here at Destination Weight Loss.

Depression After Bariatric Surgery

depression and bariatric surgeryLosing weight and getting healthy is a goal for millions of Americans. When diet and exercise alone can’t provide the results you’re seeking, bariatric surgery might be your best option.

However, losing weight is not without emotional challenges. There is a connection between depression and weight loss surgery, leading to unique psychological trials throughout the recovery process. If you are considering a bariatric procedure to lose weight and reclaim your health, understanding what lies along the road ahead can help you make a decision that’s right for you.

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Diabetes and Bariatric Surgery

Checking blood sugar, glucose levels in the kitchenObesity related health issues are among the most significant contributing factors to weight loss surgery. In fact, many doctors require either a BMI of at least 40 or a BMI of 35 in conjunction with a weight-related medical condition to qualify patients for surgery. As such, diabetes and bariatric surgery often go hand in hand.

Diabetic patients make up a sizable proportion of weight loss surgery candidates, and rightfully so: obesity is directly linked to the onset of type 2 diabetes. If you are looking for a way to diminish the dangerous side effects of your illness, weight loss surgery may be an effective treatment.

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Celebrities Who Have Had Weight Loss Surgery

celebrity weight loss surgeryLosing weight can be a challenge for all kinds of people, and that includes celebrities. Even with the media’s glamorous depiction of all things Hollywood, many A-listers struggle with the same things you do – including troubles with diet, exercise, and staying healthy overall.

There are many celebrities who have had weight loss surgery to slim down and get healthy, and look and feel their best. Here are a few of the many star-studded celebs who have turned to surgery as an effective way to drop those pesky pounds.

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Talking With Your Kids About Weight Loss Surgery

Talking with your kids about bariatric surgeryBariatric surgery like gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and LAP-BAND is life-changing not only for you, but for your family as well. If you have children, talking with your kids about weight loss surgery is an important part of your weight-loss journey.

Children tend to be very observant even at a young age, and once you begin losing a lot of weight after your procedure they might feel afraid or anxious if they think your weight loss is caused by an illness or disease. Talking with your kids before your surgery will help calm their fears, give them time to ask questions, and make it easier for you to focus on your own recovery.

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Benefits of Low Impact Exercises

Low Impact ExerciseFollowing weight loss surgery, being physically active is key to achieving, and maintaining your goal weight. For many who have been overweight or obese for a long time, the idea of running, jumping, or doing intense workouts can be overwhelming. Don’t let fear stop you! Low impact exercises can help you recover from your weight loss surgery, improve your bowel functioning, and even make it easier to deal with day-to-day stress.

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Nutrient Dense Foods For Weight Loss

salmon dinnerHave you ever noticed some foods leave you feeling tired and unsatisfied, while other foods seem to make you feel more energized and alert? That’s because some foods contain far more nutrition than other foods. We call these ‘nutrient dense foods’.

Nutrient dense foods are high in vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, and low in calories. They fuel your body and fill you up, providing the energy you need to look and feel your best.

On the other hand, processed foods that are packed with refined sugars, sodium, and preservatives are often full of ’empty calories’ from sugar and saturated fats. Things like pastries, candies, and soda might give you a short-term energy boost, but in the long run these low-quality foods can actually make it harder to lose weight and enjoy good health.

Whether you’re just beginning your weight loss journey, getting ready to have laparoscopic bariatric surgery, or you’d simply like to improve your diet, it is important to eat nutrient dense foods. By focusing on nutrient dense foods you’ll spend less time counting calories and more time actually enjoying the foods you eat.

Nutrient Dense Foods Explained

In a nutshell, nutrient dense foods are natural, unprocessed foods with high levels of the minerals and vitamins you’d expect to find in a high-quality multivitamin – things like calcium, magnesium, Vitamin C, B, and E, as well as healthy fats. These healthy foods are relatively low in calories, which means that you can enjoy snacks and meals filled with nutrient dense foods without fear that they’ll make you gain unwanted weight.

Nutrient Dense Food List

While almost every fresh, unprocessed fruit and vegetable can be considered a ‘nutrient dense food’, some stand out for having exceptionally high nutrient values, making them a must-have for anyone who wants to improve their diet.

Here are some examples of foods that are high in nutrients, and relatively low in calories:

  • Asparagus – One cup of cooked asparagus contains a mere 40 calories while delivering exceptionally high levels of Vitamin C, B1 and B2, and 3 grams of dietary fiber.
  • Wild Alaskan Salmon – Unlike most types of seafood, salmon is actually high in Omega-3 fat, a type of fat that’s essential for healthy brain functioning, reduces joint pain and helps with cardiovascular functioning.
  • Pineapple – Pineapples contain many vitamins and minerals, and are packed with bromelain. Bromelain is a nutrient linked with improved immune system functioning, better digestion and even cancer prevention.
  • Sprouts – Alfalfa, chickpea, broccoli and sunflower sprouts are all exceptionally low in calories and high in Vitamins C and K, as well as iron and fiber. They make a great addition to salads, wraps, sandwiches and even smoothies!

How Nutrient Dense Foods Can Help You Achieve A Healthy Body Weight

Choosing nutrient dense foods can help you lose unwanted weight, and help you maintain a healthy body weight following LAP-BAND, gastric bypass, or gastric sleeve surgery. When you eat foods that are high in nutrients but low in calories, you’ll feel full and satisfied without overeating.

Better yet, eating high-nutrient foods like spinach, raspberries, sweet potatoes and salmon can actually boost your immune system so you’ll feel better. Many of these foods can also help regulate blood sugar levels which is a critical part of controlling cravings that can lead to overeating.

If you’d like to learn more about how nutrient dense foods can help you along your medical weight loss journey, contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our weight loss experts.

Weight Loss Surgery For Men

Men's Weight Loss SurgeryDespite the fact that obesity rates between men and women are similar, approximately 80-85 percent of all bariatric surgery patients in the United States are female. While it’s true that men tend to have an easier time shedding unwanted pounds through diet and exercise than women, weight loss surgery for men can be a good option for obese men who aren’t having success with diet and exercise.

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The Relationship Between Obesity and Sleep Apnea

Sleep ApneaSleep apnea is a serious, and often under-diagnosed condition that can cause a host of health problems ranging from headaches, chronic fatigue, mental health issues, and general ‘brain fog’. Researchers have discovered a strong link between obesity and sleep apnea (also known as obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA), with studies suggesting that nearly half of all obese adults in America are currently suffering from OSA.

Patients with sleep apnea experience brief pauses in their breathing patterns while they sleep, which is why many people with OSA snore, cough, or make choking noises throughout the night. This can lead to lots of interruptions in the normal sleep pattern, making it tough for both the patient, and their spouse or partner, to get a good night’s’ rest.

Long-Term Health Risks of Sleep Apnea

Over time, chronic oxygen deprivation from sleep apnea can lead to a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and even certain forms of cancer and Type-2 diabetes.

Patients who are obese and who have sleep apnea are at especially high risk of developing one or more related comorbid conditions. The fatigue caused by sleep apnea makes it especially tough to follow a healthy eating plan and fitness regime.

In a nutshell, sleep apnea and obesity create a vicious cycle that’s tough to break – being overweight or obese can lead to OSA, which in turn causes fatigue, brain fog, and other symptoms. OSA symptoms then tend to make losing weight through diet and exercise virtually impossible.

Bariatric Surgery Offers Hope For Obese Patients With Sleep Apnea

Bariatric surgery such as LAP-BAND, gastric bypass, and gastric sleeve is recommended for chronically obese individuals who suffer from moderate to severe sleep apnea.

Recent research shows 75 percent of all obese patients with OSA experience a significant decrease in sleep apnea symptoms after weight loss surgery. These patients also enjoy reduced risk of developing serious side-effects related to sleep apnea.

For More Information

To learn more about the connection between obesity and sleep apnea, and how weight loss surgery can help reduce, or even eliminate, the symptoms of OSA, contact us today at either our Albertville or Guntersville clinic to speak with one of our medical weight loss experts.

What To Take To The Hospital

Packing your hospital bagIf you’ve decided that weight loss surgery is the right choice for you, chances are good you’ve started thinking about the actual procedure. If you’re wondering what to take to the hospital, you’re not alone – that’s a common concern among our gastric surgery patients here at Destination Weight Loss.

Whether you’re having gastric bypass, a LAP-BAND, or a sleeve gastrectomy, knowing what to bring with you to the hospital can help make your stay more comfortable.

We’ve compiled the following list to help you out:

Comfy, Loose-Fitting Clothing

If you’d rather not spend your entire time in the hospital sporting an open-back hospital gown, you should pack a pair of loose-fitting PJ’s or a comfortable, short-sleeved nightgown. You’ll also want to bring non-restrictive clothes like sweat pants to wear when you’re discharged from the hospital, as your tummy may be sore right after the procedure. Remember to pack some comfy, clean underwear too!

Slip-On Shoes

Walking soon after your weight loss surgery is an important part of post-operative recovery.  Be sure to bring along a pair of slip-on shoes like clogs, or slippers with a sturdy, non-slip sole. Try to avoid shoes that need to be laced up, as you might find it tough to reach your feet for a few days.

Toothbrush & Toothpaste

The anesthesia used during your operation can leave your mouth feeling dry and stale, and depending on your surgeon’s instructions, you may not be able to eat or drink for a day or two. To keep your mouth feeling fresh, toothbrush and toothpaste are must-have items to take to the hospital!

Cell Phone & Charger

You’ll want to keep in touch with family and friends during your hospital stay, so be sure to pack your cell phone, and don’t forget your charger too!

Remember that if you’re planning on using your smartphone to watch videos or listen to music while you’re recovering, it’s a good idea to bring along a set of earbuds or headphones – that way, you won’t disturb other patients in the hospital.


If you are currently taking any medications (both prescription and over-the-counter), it’s important to bring these (in the original bottles) with you on the day of your weight loss procedure to give to your intake nurse.

What To Leave At Home

Many hospitals now have scent-free policies, so be sure to leave any perfumes, strongly-scented lotions, and other items that could cause breathing problems for scent-sensitive people at home. It’s also a good idea to remove all of your jewelry to leave at home for safekeeping.

The length of your hospital stay depends on which surgical weight loss procedure you choose, whether or not you have other medical conditions, and how your body responds to the surgery. Generally speaking, patients who have minimally-invasive procedures like gastric banding can expect to stay in the hospital for a night or two, while more complex procedures often require a longer stay.

If you have any additional questions about what to take to the hospital, how long you should expect your stay to be, or any other concerns you might have about your upcoming procedure, be sure to contact us here at My Destination Weight Loss.

About Surgical Associates
of Marshall County

Destination Weight Loss is a comprehensive medical weight loss practice that uses the most advanced technology to help patients meet their weight loss goals through bariatric surgery and non-surgical methods. Our team of trained professionals includes licensed physicians and specially trained nurses that can provide emotional and practical support.

Together, we combine a small town, customer-friendly atmosphere with expertise in sophisticated bariatric surgery technology. We take pride in providing the personal attention you need and will walk with you every step of the journey toward your weight loss goals.

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133 Wall St.
Albertville, AL 35951
7938 Hwy 69 Ste. 120
Guntersville, AL 35976