How to Tilt the Scales in Favor of Emotional Strength and Stability Following Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss

Posted by Denise Foley on Dec 31, 2015 2:22:38 PM

Alfred Trang, MD, and Ann M. Whitehouse, PsyD

When Einstein bariatric surgeon Alfred Trang, MD, tells his patients that they’re going to have to see a psychologist before they have weight loss surgery, he quickly short-circuits their protests. “I tell them ‘it’s not because we think you’re crazy,’” he says. “’It’s to help you deal with issues afterwards that no one expects.’”

Your body isn’t the only thing that changes after weight loss surgery. While the after-effects are largely positive—you’ll be buying smaller clothes, fitting into an airplane seat with room to spare, saying goodbye to chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension—you also may be facing some emotional challenges post-op, says Dr. Trang, who has been doing bariatric surgery for eight and a half years, performing thousands of surgeries.

At Einstein, the psychologist you’re likely to see is Ann M. Whitehouse, PsyD., Einstein Behavioral Health. “Having weight loss surgery is a little like having a baby,” explains Whitehouse. “You can’t always anticipate every little thing. It’s like reinventing yourself. It can affect all your relationships. Some people are very surprised at some of the feelings they have.”

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Topics: Bariatrics

Meet Ramsay Dallal, MD

Posted by Megan Othersen Gorman on Dec 23, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Dr. Dr. Dallal is vice chair of the department of surgery and a bariatric surgery specialist. He has performed thousands of laparoscopic gastric bypass procedures and maintains some of the lowest complication rates and some of the highest patient satisfaction rates in the country.

Perspectives: Why did you initially become interested in bariatric surgery?

Dr. Dallal: Bariatric surgery has been around since the 1950s and ‘60s, but laparoscopy dramatically increased patients’ interest in the procedure. The surgery’s popularity grew immensely with the first laparoscopic procedure in the early ‘90s, which happened to be when I was studying. But beyond that, I’ve always found it to be a fantastic field of medicine, really unlike any other. It’s a field in which you cure diseases, eliminate medications, improve quality of life, and use cutting-edge medical expertise. Plus, it’s a discipline in which you have an incredibly satisfied patient population. And all those things create a wonderful camaraderie among my team members and with our patients.

Honestly, I’m high-fiving and hugging patients all day long. The life-changing potential of this work is incredible—and incredibly gratifying. I can’t understand why anyone would choose to specialize in anything else.

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Topics: Bariatrics

Fall for this Grilled Salmon Kebabs Recipe Hook, Line and Sinker

Posted by Perspectives Blog Team on Oct 5, 2015 1:53:00 PM

Heart Healthy Recipe Diabetes Recipe Gluten Free Recipe

Grilled fish kebabs are an easy and delicious way to eat healthy. These tasty fish kebabs are livened up with a refreshing rosemary lime marinade.


  • 1 lb salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 4 oz fresh baby bella mushrooms, large ones cut in half
  • 1/4 red onion, wedged and pulled apart
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Black pepper to taste

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Topics: Recipes, Bariatrics

Meet an Einstein Bariatric Patient

Posted by Jeff Meade on Jul 28, 2015 2:25:00 PM

Bariatric surgery at Einstein can change life in many ways. Certainly, significant weight loss is the primary benefit. Bariatric surgical procedures also often improve or reverse medical conditions such as high cholesterol, sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure, joint pain and infertility.

All of these life improvements can come about through minimally invasive procedures, with short recovery times, minimal inconvenience, and a lifeline of support before, during and after surgery. Einstein bariatric surgeons have performed thousands of these procedures.

One patient, who was nearly 400 pounds when she chose bariatric surgery at Einstein, lost 175 pounds as a result—and for that medical outcome, she’s thankful.

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Topics: Bariatrics

Tighten Up Loose Skin after Weight Loss Surgery

Posted by Perspectives Blog Team on Jul 8, 2015 10:30:00 AM

Weight-loss surgery can be life-changing and potentially life-saving. At a healthy weight, you feel better, look better and can better enjoy everyday activities. But along with the positive aspects of substantial weight loss comes a problem that affects many individuals: excess skin.

Skin’s natural elasticity—the ability to shrink back after being stretched—is partly determined by genetics. Advancing age, sun exposure and smoking decrease elasticity. There is also likely less elasticity in areas of greatest weight loss—the abdomen, for example.

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Topics: Bariatrics

Are You Eating to Please Others? Advice After Bariatric Surgery

Posted by Perspectives Blog Team on Jul 2, 2015 1:51:00 PM

Have you found yourself giving in to eating certain foods simply because you’re uncomfortable saying “no thanks”?

You may be a victim of food peer pressure. If you have had bariatric surgery, it’s especially important that you do not fall prey to this syndrome.

Here are some clues that you let others—and not your best judgment—affect your food choices:

  • You realize you are full, but the people around you are still eating, so you keep eating.
  • Everyone orders an appetizer and/or dessert, so you order one, too, to avoid being the odd one out.
  • As a dinner guest, you finish all the food on your plate to avoid appearing rude.
  • You are self-conscious that others will think you are wasting food (or you believe this yourself), so you clean your plate.
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Topics: Bariatrics

Heart Healthy and Gluten Free Recipe: Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Posted by Perspectives Blog Team on May 13, 2015 11:31:00 AM

A take-out Chinese food favorite, beef and broccoli is loaded with sodium and dripping in unhealthy sauce. With this beef stir-fry recipe, though, you’ll get all the good taste without unhealthy additives.


  • 2 Tbsp dry sherry or red wine
  • 2 Tbsp lower-sodium soy sauce (gluten free if needed)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 lb boneless flank steak, cut diagonally across grain into thin slices
  • 1/2 cup beef broth (gluten free if needed)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce (gluten free if needed)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/3 cup sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup water chestnuts
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
  • Optional: 2 cups cooked brown rice
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Topics: Recipes, Nutrition, Bariatrics

Sugar Craving After Gastric-Bypass Surgery? Here’s What to Eat Instead.

Posted by Peter Crowell on Apr 17, 2015 10:58:00 AM

Sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine, some researchers found.

Sugar is not healthy for anyone, but it’s particularly dangerous if you’ve had bariatric surgery. That’s because foods with too much sugar, or high-fructose corn syrup, can cause dumping syndrome.

If you’ve had weight-loss surgery, you should have no more than 2 ½ teaspoons of sugar per meal. Try to avoid all processed foods, which often have “hidden” sugars added to them.

And the next time you’re craving sugar, try any of these things to combat it:

Choose natural sugars

Craving sweet? Have a piece of fruit, packed with natural sugars. That will satisfy your sweet tooth and fill you up with fiber and nutrients.

Don’t skip meals

Skipping meals leads to hunger, which leads to sharp sugar cravings. Eat regular meals to make sure your blood-sugar levels stay even.

Eat something bitter

The surest way to end a craving for a taste is to eat the opposite. Incorporating bitter-tasting foods into your diet can cause you to crave sugar less. Eat more dark leafy greens, such as arugula, dandelion greens and kale. Snack on crunchy celery and radishes throughout the day. Added bonus: Eating bitter foods can also freshen bad breath!

Give in to sugar cravings – a little

If you absolutely need to have sugar, it’s OK to give in … a little. Think very, very small: 2 chocolate chips or even just 1 or 2 M&Ms. You’ll be shocked by how little sweetness you need to get that sugar fix.

At the end of the day, everybody is different. It’s important for bariatric surgery patients to listen to their bodies and how they respond.

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Topics: Recipes, Nutrition, Bariatrics

8 Foods to Eat When You Want to Lose Weight

Posted by Peter Crowell on Mar 9, 2015 10:24:00 AM

Foods to Choose When You Want to Lose Weight

It’s all over the news: You probably won’t lose weight eating burritos from your favorite “fast casual” restaurant. But did you really think you would?

The truth is that it’s easier to fill your plate with fat-filled, high-calorie snacks and meals. Healthy foods, like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, often require a little more preparation.

You can start your weight-loss meal planning at the grocery store by adding these foods to your cart.

1. Fresh produce

When it comes to healthy eating, virtually any fruit or vegetable will help you make your way toward your goal. Fruits high in water and fiber are good choices. Watermelon, grapefruit and berries are low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals—powerful antioxidants that can help boost your immune system and help prevent disease.

2. Quinoa

Quinoa is a nutrition superstar and a great addition to your menu. It’s high in iron and fiber, and it has twice as much protein as white rice. Quinoa is also low on the glycemic index—meaning it won’t make your blood sugar levels spike and crash. However, it still contains a similar amount of calories as grains. When cooked, brown rice, white rice and quinoa all contain about 200 to 240 calories per cup, so you still need to pay attention to portion size.

3. Sweet potatoes or yams

A smart starch choice is the sweet potato or yam. These orange, yellow and even purple root vegetables are higher in fiber and beta-carotene than white potatoes and processed grains.

4. Beans

Beans are another excellent option for people who are trying to slim down. High in fiber and protein, they will help keep your blood sugar levels stable and extend the feeling of fullness longer. From black beans to chickpeas, there are plenty of options on the shelf.

5. Salmon

When it comes to protein-rich foods, salmon is near the top of the list. The fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to boost both heart and brain health. Salmon is also relatively low in calories.

6. Eggs

For many years, eggs got a bad rap for containing high cholesterol. Recent findings have shown that moderate consumption—up to one a day—can be part of a healthy diet. Also, eggs are relatively low in calories and high in protein.

7. Yogurt

If you need a sweet treat throughout the day, stock up on low-fat Greek yogurt. It contains twice as much protein as regular yogurt and nearly the same amount of calories. Buy the plain kind and sweeten it with fresh fruit.

8. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is the perfect way to start your day! It is low in sugar and high in fiber, which will keep you full all morning long. One serving of plain oatmeal (1/2 cup dry) contains only 150 calories, 4 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and zero sodium and sugar. Feel free to dress up your oatmeal with fresh fruit or unsalted nuts for extra taste and nutrition.

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Topics: Wellness, Nutrition, Bariatrics

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About this blog

Perspectives highlights the expertise and services provided by the physicians, specialists, nurses and other healthcare providers at Einstein Healthcare Network. Through this blog, we share information about new treatments and technologies, top-tier clinical teams and the day-to-day interactions that reinforce our commitment to delivering quality care with compassion. Here, you will also find practical advice for championing your health and wellness.

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