I was first involved with fat metabolism in my earlier years in general surgery when obesity was treated with stomach stapling procedures (gastoplasty and other intestinal bypass procedures). During those days I saw the most obese people I have ever seen in my life. Since 1983, when I performed my first liposuction, I had to deal with smaller problems of fat accumulation in undesirable places. Over the years I have performed many liposuction procedures which have evolved from the dry technique to the wet technique to the super wet technique (tumescent) and these days the ultrasonic technique. I came to realize over the years that it is a lot easier to keep off the fat than trying to remove it at a later stage through intensive exercise or liposuction. My own observation has been that those individuals who live to eat tend to gain weight over the years and have a tough time at a later stage shedding those extra pounds. On the other hand those individuals who eat to live are usually at their ideal body weight and tend to be slimmer.
I would like to share with my patients some of my beliefs starting with the basic trend that there is no such thing as a good diet only a healthy lifestyle. The latter should include a reasonable amount of exercise and reasonable food restriction. Avoid the nutrients which notoriously can cause harm to the body and build up fat stores in the body. I will leave you with some ideas which have helped me in the past 30 years of my life. I call them the Ten Commandments of good nutrition:
TEN COMMANDMENTS OF NUTRITION
- Treat food as medicine!....overdose on drugs can kill you, over eating and over indulging at the table will translate into increase body weight. Also an increase of body fat can lead to medical problems.
- Small meals with small snacks in-between meals can help you burn more calories and it keeps your metabolism at a higher gear.
- Avoid late evening dinners and late night snacks. As a rule try not to eat after 6:30 p.m.
- Avoid solid fats such as butter, margarine, lard and animal fat.
- Increase your vegetable and fruit intake.
- Avoid any simple sugars such as cookies, candies, ice cream.
- Ingest complex carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, etc.
- Avoid any partially hydrated oils. You can find them in almost any processed foods and if you look at the labels it will be specifically indicated. I, as a general rule, avoid all food snacks that come in foil wrappers ("If it is man made-it is bad for you").
- Drink lots of water and don't worry you won't die of water intoxication. Water is good for you. It helps in eliminating body toxin. It also helps in the utilization of fat and if you quench your thirst you probably also curb your appetite as well. Avoid soda and taper off your coffee habits. Avoid alcoholic beverages as much as you can "these are cheap calories" that you don not need.
- Restaurants can be a problem unless you can stick to simple dishes. Avoid fancy creams, sauces and dressings. When you are offered the traditional butter... avoid it. Use extra virgin olive oil.
These are some of the guidelines I use in my personal life and I found them to be useful in weight control and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Remember, there is only one way at the present time to delay the aging process. It is through diet restriction and control of food intake. When you finish your meal leave the table slightly hungry. It is good for you. Live longer and healthier.