JFK Bariatric
The Bariatric Wellness and Surgical Institute at JFK Medical Center is dedicated to helping patients achieve their weight loss goals.

How to Eat Out When You're Watching Your Weight

When you’re focusing on eating healthy, dining out can be a challenge. There are a few tricks you can use to stay on track with your weight loss plan. For example, you can ask the waiter to take the breadbasket away before you become tempted to indulge. Instead of a side of fries or mashed potatoes, request steamed broccoli or other veggies. If you order a salad, ask the waiter to keep the dressing on the side.

For more healthy eating tips, watch this video presented by the American Heart Association. You’ll learn how interacting with your waiter can help you shave calories off your meals and you’ll learn two ways to easily reduce your portion sizes.

Residents throughout the Atlantis, FL area can rely on the physicians at The JFK Bariatric Wellness & Surgical Institute to help them reclaim their health through weight loss. To speak with a registered nurse, call (561) 965-7300.

A Patient's Guide to the Disease of Obesity

Doctor and senior patient

Obesity is a complex disease that can have many contributing factors. For some people, eating healthy foods and exercising regularly enables them to achieve a healthy weight. Others find that they may lose a few pounds, only to gain back even more. If you’re concerned about your weight, you might consider talking to your doctor about approaches to weight loss such as bariatric surgery. Losing weight can help you avoid the many potential complications of obesity, which include high cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, sleep apnea, and pancreatitis, just to name a few.

Understanding Screening Tools

There are several methods of assessing weight. Your physician may evaluate your body mass index (BMI), which is a comparison of your weight to your height. Obesity is indicated by having a BMI of 30 or higher. You might also ask about your waist circumference and skin fold measurements, the latter of which can inform you of your body fat percentage.

Identifying Causes and Contributing Factors

When you consume more calories than your body uses, your body stores the excess calories as fat. Over time, this can lead to obesity. You may develop obesity if you lead a sedentary lifestyle or consume excessive amounts of alcohol. Although this might seem simple, the contributing factors of obesity can be complex. For example, individuals who were overweight as children or who developed poor eating habits as children are likely to find it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight as adults. A busy lifestyle characterized by a sedentary job and long hours can contribute to obesity. Other contributing factors may include depression, hormonal imbalance, menopause, and childbirth.

Addressing Obesity

Your physician can offer recommendations for following a diet and starting an exercise plan. Many people find it more effective to think of these changes as the development of new, permanent habits, rather than a temporary change in lifestyle. However, lifestyle changes aren’t always enough. For some people, bariatric surgery may provide the answer.

Have you tried exercising and eating healthy foods, yet still can’t lose the pounds? Bariatric surgery, such as gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy, might be right for you. Call (561) 965-7300 to reach the Consult-A-Nurse referral line for The JFK Bariatric Wellness & Surgical Institute.

Understanding Exercise Guidelines After Weight Loss Surgery

Smiling Woman With Exercise Mat At Home

Lifestyle changes are an integral component of successful bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgeons typically request that their patients lose a certain amount of weight prior to the surgery through diet and an exercise program. After the procedure, exercising regularly will help you reach your weight loss goals and maintain your healthy weight on a long-term basis. Your bariatric surgery team will provide you with specific physical activity instructions.

Surgery Recovery

During the initial recovery period, you’ll need to focus on being able to return to daily activities. It’s a good idea to practice deep breathing and to do flexibility exercises. If you had laparoscopic bariatric surgery, your surgeon may advise you to begin exercising after two weeks. Otherwise, your surgeon may advise you to wait at least four weeks before starting an exercise program.

Physical Activity

When you can resume physical activity after the surgery, it’s best to do so gradually. You might start with a walking program. Gradually lengthen the duration of your walks and increase your speed. You may wish to try power walking with a light set of hand weights. However, it’s best to avoid lifting anything over 15 pounds during the first six weeks. Experiment with different types of physical activity and work your way up to at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity per day. Avoid doing abdominal strength training exercises until your surgeon clears you for it, since this can interfere with the healing of the incision.

Injury Prevention

Obesity places a great deal of stress on your joints. While designing your exercise program, focus on low-impact exercises that can help you avoid joint injuries. In addition to walking, these include swimming, water aerobics, dancing, and cycling. You can also reduce your risk of injury by wearing the appropriate gear for the activity, such as well-padded running shoes, gradually increasing the intensity of your workout, and warming up and cooling down.

When you’re ready to reclaim your health through bariatric surgery, contact The JFK Bariatric Wellness & Surgical Institute. In addition to our comprehensive wellness services that can help you learn healthy eating habits and exercise routines, we offer bariatric surgeries such as gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. For more information, call our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (561) 965-7300.

What Medical Conditions Can Contribute to Weight Gain?

Scale / Weighing machine

There are many possible reasons for unintentional weight gain. For example, many people who quit smoking find that they’ve put on a few extra pounds. Others discover that unintentional weight gain can be a side effect of taking certain medications, such as corticosteroids and birth control pills. If you’ve rapidly gained weight and you haven’t changed your diet or exercise plan, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor. Your physician can determine if an underlying medical condition could be contributing to your weight gain and whether bariatric surgery might help you manage it.

Cushing Syndrome

Cortisol is a hormone that works within your body to regulate insulin levels and reduce systemic inflammation. However, too much of this hormone can be harmful. Cushing syndrome is a condition in which you have very high levels of cortisol, which may be caused by long-term use of corticosteroids, very high stress levels, depression, and malnutrition. If you have Cushing syndrome, you may have a round face, muscle weakness, thinning skin, glucose intolerance, and unintentional weight gain.


Some bariatric surgery patients may discover that hypothyroidism is contributing to their weight problems. This condition is characterized by a low production of hormones in the thyroid gland. There are many potential causes of hypothyroidism, including pituitary disease and the use of certain medications. Without treatment, hypothyroidism may eventually lead to obesity, heart disease, and infertility.

Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the ventricles of the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the demands of the body. This can cause fluid buildup in the lungs or blood buildup in the blood vessels, the latter of which leads to fluid retention in the abdomen, lower extremities, and other areas. You may notice weight gain, fatigue, and increased urination if you have congestive heart failure.

Prospective bariatric surgery patients at The JFK Bariatric Wellness & Surgical Institute receive a comprehensive evaluation by our bariatric surgery team. Our state-of-the-art medical facility offers the tools and resources you need to succeed in managing your health. If you would like to explore lifestyle changes such as eating healthy and enjoying exercise, call (561) 965-7300 and speak with a registered nurse.

Tips for Managing Personal Relationships Before and After Weight Loss Surgery

Walking Exercise Plan - JFK Bariatric Institute

Before you undergo bariatric surgery, you’ll receive extensive counseling on the many ways in which your life will change. You’ll begin eating healthy foods and practicing portion control, and you’ll begin an exercise program. Although patients who are dedicated to weight loss typically find these changes manageable, many patients are unprepared for the ways in which their personal relationships may change before and after bariatric surgery. You may wish to ask your bariatric surgeon for a referral to a mental health counselor, who can guide you through these changes.

Discuss Your New Lifestyle

Your spouse or partner, other family members, and friends are accustomed to interacting with you in a certain way. When you announce your decision to undergo bariatric surgery to improve your health, they may become worried that they’re going to lose the old version of yourself. Your loved ones may find reassurance in learning about the specific ways in which your life will change. You can show them your new meal plans, explain the surgical procedure, and discuss the recovery process.

Encourage Family Changes

Many bariatric surgery patients experience some degree of resistance from their loved ones when adapting to their new lifestyle. For example, if you and your spouse loved to prepare meals together, he or she might try to tempt you to join him or her in an unhealthy meal. If possible, encourage your loved ones to join you in making healthy lifestyle modifications. Invite your spouse to join a gym with you or to take a healthy cooking class. Look for ways of strengthening your relationships that do not involve food. Instead of going out to an ice cream shop, for example, invite your loved ones to go mini golfing with you.

Join a Support Group

Surgical weight loss patients often find that they adapt more readily to a new lifestyle when they join a support group. You can ask your physician about local support groups or look for a meetup in your area. Your family members may wish to attend with you.

The bariatric surgery team at The JFK Bariatric Wellness & Surgical Institute applies a multidisciplinary approach to addressing morbid obesity. At our bariatric surgery department, you’ll find comprehensive wellness programs, including psychological counseling, pre-operative patient education, and information sessions. You can reach our Consult-A-Nurse line at (561) 965-7300.

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