Mindful Eating: a new commitment to food

Nowadays, we are always rushing into something or somewhere. When it is time to pause for having a meal, our brain keeps connected to everything around us: we constantly check our phones, we are absorbed by social media news, and stressed by work and life issues. Amidst such turbulence, how can we be aware of the compromises made in our relationship with food?

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Inverting old and bad eating habits

Cultural, economic and marketing practices affect the way we buy and use food. Labour, leisure, preferences and lifestyle changes have made us increasingly sedentary also jeopardizing our eating habits. In the hope of contradicting these paths, many new diets have emerged, offering a range of ways to lose weight and improve our health. All these new solutions are nonetheless focused on cutting and adding nutrients to our meals, forgetting an essential part of the process: our eating behaviour.

Mindful eating cuts across this boom of trendy diets to alert us that healthy eating also included rethinking our eating habits and our relationship with food. This bond with what we eat derives from the awareness taste, smell, colour and texture of food. According to the Centre for Mindful Eating, “pausing and becoming curious focuses the mind. Mindful Eating cultivates becoming grounded in the present moment’s awareness of eating.”

This complete awareness helps us to focus or thoughts and feelings in those physical sensations related to eating, and to identify the true origin of hunger – whether if it is a physical hunger or if it is a consequence of an emotional cause.

Mindful Eating has been helpful in treating many conditions, including eating disorders – like binge eating -, depression or anxiety, and addressing various erroneous food-related behaviours.

How to practise Mindful Eating

Practising Mindful Eating may not be an easy task since it usually contradicts our normal eating habits, simultaneously demanding total concentration. According to the Harvard Health Publishing, there are a few steps that can help us improve our Mindful Eating.

First, the shopping list. We should consider the health value of every item added, preventing us from impulse buying at the supermarket. A second step is discipline.  We should avoid skipping meals and thus prevent seating at the table with excessive hunger. Meals should be taken with an appetite but in appropriate portions.

The third step involves the essence of Mindful Eating. “Appreciate your food. Pause for a minute or two before you begin eating to contemplate everything it took to bring the meal to your table. Silently express your gratitude for the opportunity to enjoy delicious food and the companions you’re enjoying it with.

Bring all your senses to the meal. When you’re cooking, serving, and eating your food, be attentive to colour, texture, aroma, and even the sounds different foods make as you prepare them. As you chew, try identifying all the ingredients, especially seasonings” as advised by Harvard Health Publishing.

The following steps involve taste and chewing. It’s easier to taste food completely when our mouth isn’t full. So taking small bites and putting down utensils between bites could help. Chewing thoroughly and eating slowly are other techniques that improve our experience in tasting all the flavours that are released.

Final advice: “Devote at least five minutes to Mindful Eating before you chat with your tablemates.”

4 tips to lose weight effectively and for the long term

When summer approaches, millions of people start looking for diets and for ways to lose those extra pounds gained during winter.

Most people want to lose weight fast and are willing to try several weight loss methods, only to find out that those methods don’t work for the long term. Those who lose weight fast also can regain it fast. So what are the best ways to lose weight and maintain it? There isn’t a unique answer for this question. Losing weight results from a combination of healthy eating, exercising and changing lifestyles. Commit to have a healthy weight should be a long-term commitment, not just for the summer months.

Remember these 4 tips the next time you think about losing weight:

  1. Drink water – Every adult should drink at least eight cups of water a day to keep hydrated, and maintain kidneys and intestines working which will lead to a better digestion and consequently lose weight.
  2. Do more than 3 meals a day – Don’t limit yourself to the main meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eating light snacks (like fresh fruits or dried nuts) every 2 to 3 hours will keep the body function and prevent hunger.
  3. Practice exercise – Physical exercise is of great importance for the body. Not only to lose weight but to maintain a health body and mind. A great way to start exercising is to take a walk t least for 30 minutes every day.
  4. Sleep well – Resting is very important for the body. Those who want to lose excess weight should take into account that the body needs to rest every night for at least 7 hours. A diet can deliver poor results if the body isn’t restoring properly every night and a tired body will ask for more food than a rested one.

Being healthy entails to eat, drink, exercise and sleep well. When the body and the mind are aligned to produce the desired results, they will appear and continue for the long term.

Do not forget to do a health check-up before starting your weight loss program and to monitor Key variables each 6 months to be sure you are keeping your health along the program. Contact us – we can help you to start.

Gastric band surgery

Gastric band surgery is one of the most common weight-loss surgeries performed today. It is also known as laparoscopic gastric band or lap band surgery and consists of constricting the stomach to give a fuller feeling after eating less food than the person would normally do.

Those who undergo this type of weight-loss surgery are obese people who want to achieve weight-loss goals while going under minimally invasive surgery. According to Medical News Today, “it is a minimally invasive, quick, reversible and adjustable surgical procedure that decreases the size of the stomach to reduce food intake”.

According to Medical News Today these are some of the advantages of gastric band:

  • Potential for long-term weight loss, which leads to, increased mobility and decreased risk for chronic diseases.
  • Reversibility: the band can be removed and adjusted. Depending on the results the band can be tightened or loosened and even removed if the patient isn’t loosing enough weight or didn’t adapt to the band.
  • Since the stomach isn’t cut, the normal digestive process isn’t affected.
  • Short hospital stay: usually the hospital stay required is less than 24 hours and even same-day discharge is often possible.
  • Lower complications when compared to other weight loss surgeries and less demands of dietary changes.
Gastric Band Surgery
Gastric Band Surgery

Gastric band surgery is appropriate for those who are diagnosed with obesity by medical standards and after several exams. Medical Port developed an exclusive obesity diagnosis program, which includes a thorough examination of the causes of excess weight, includes exams and analysis and consultations from several medical specialties before a final diagnosis is issued. After being diagnosed, the patient starts a diet so that when the gastric band is in place, besides from having lost some weight already, the patient as also gain new eating habits and is ready to stick to a new healthy lifestyle.

If you would like more information about Medical Port’s obesity diagnosis program, click here.

There are 6 types of obese people, according to new study

A new study published in the Journal of Public Health from Oxford University classifies 6 types of obese people. This study aims to help healthcare providers to better understand obese patients and the differences between them.

The study starts by analyzing a group of people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) higher than 30, which are considered obese. The limitation of BMI is that it considers everyone with a BMI over 30 to be obese and doesn’t take into account the heterogeneity of such group.

Researchers wanted to create subgroups within obese people that would take into account the differences between them: “BMI is a classification of weight and height, not of people, who are only similar in terms of their BMI category. Using a single classification for obesity will fail to recognize the variation between the individuals who are obese.”

To study and classify types of obese people is important because, according to the researchers: “Failing to acknowledge the population-level heterogeneity among those classified as obese may restrict the effectiveness of interventions or treatments offered by clinicians, since approaches may need tailoring depending upon the health practices associated with individuals involved.”

Six different types of people with a BMI <30 were identified:

  1. Heavy drinking males: these are less likely to manage their weight well;
  2. Young healthy females: who are more likely to take weight loss steps;
  3. Wealthy healthy elderly: these people tend to have higher blood pressure;
  4. Physically sick but happy elderly: people with a good mental health and a good sense of well-being;
  5. Unhappy anxious middle aged: mostly women who may suffer from psychological issues and;
  6. Poorest health: this group has de highest prevalence of chronic health conditions and doesn’t engage in healthy behaviors.

The goal of the study was to show that within obese people there are major differences: different attitudes towards life, well-being notions and behaviors, and predisposition to take action to lose weight. This study more than identifying and categorizing obese people, tries to show the importance of understanding the reason for the excess weight and the entire context around obese people to better help them achieve a more healthy weight.

Our weight-loss programs are designed to specifically understand the underlying reasons for excess weight and based on that decide the best approach for an effective and long term weight loss. If you would like to know more about Medical Port’s weight loss programs, click here.

Read the full article about the 6 types of obese people here.

Weight loss surgery abroad

For the past few years, weight loss surgeries have seen great evolution, allowing those who suffer from excess weight to find the most adequate solution to lose the unhealthy mass and start a new life.

Weight loss surgery is performed not only for weight loss itself (the visible aspect and the most immediate one), but also for disease prevention and overall health improvement. Those who suffer excess weight can develop several diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol, heart diseases, high blood pressure, and joint problems, among others. Lose weight is a struggle for those who suffer from excess weight and have a history of unsuccessful tries.

According to Stanford Health, “Obesity has a far-ranging negative effect on health. Each year obesity-related conditions cost over 150 billion dollars and cause an estimated 300,000 premature deaths in the US.”

Patients for weight loss surgery are subject to careful evaluation from several specialists, including nutritionists and psychologists.

The nutritionist will be interested in reviewing with the patient the bad eating habits and creating new ones. The psychologist will be reviewing the possible causes of the excess weight, and work with the patient to overcome and control them before the surgery. The psychologist will also help the patient deal with the uncertainty of the final outcome and the struggles associated to weight loss. Along with psychological support and nutritional advice, health professionals guide patients during several months before and after the surgery in order to guarantee the success of the procedure lasts for the long term. For those considering weight loss surgery it is important to keep in mind that a change in lifestyle is the first step to the successful outcome of the surgery. Individuals who undergo this kind of surgery must be prepared to eat well, exercise often and maintain healthy habits after the surgery so that there is an actual long-term change. These individuals will need to be always on track of their goals and stay motivated.

No long-term results can be achieved without a change in the individual mind-set.

Medical Port developed programs for those who would like to have weight loss surgery abroad, including the initial assessment and diagnosis of obesity, the surgery and the overall treatment. If you would like to learn more about these programs, click here. In order to contact us, please send an email or call us at +351 220 973 751.

7 superfoods for weight-loss

Yahoo health has listed the 7 best superfoods for weight-loss so that those who are looking to lose a few pounds before summer can get a hint of delicious and nutritional foods that will boost weight loss.

A balanced diet is comprised of fruits, vegetables, fish, meat and whole grains. For an effective weight loss it is very important to stay hydrated and drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Keeping a healthy diet and practicing exercise regularly help to lose weight in a consistent and long term way.

The 7 best superfoods for weight loss and some of their benefits according to Yahoo are:

  1. Almonds

“For optimal results, eat your daily serving before you hit the gym. A study printed in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that almonds, rich in the amino acid L-arginine, can actually help you burn more fat and carbs during workouts!”

  1. Green Tea

“It contains catechins, an antioxidant that hinders the storage of belly fat and aids rapid weight loss.”

  1. Vitamin-D fortified yogurt

  2. Legumes

Yahoo advises you to eat “(…) lentils, chickpeas, peas and beans into your diet throughout the week.”

  1. Avocado Oil

  2. Pistachios

  3. Grapefruit

Click here to read the entire Yahoo Health article.

Always keep in mind that a rapid weight loss might not be the best solution, if the diet isn’t balanced and healthy. Always consult a physician before starting a diet so that you can assess your health. Medical Port can help you lose weight with our weight loss program designed for those who would like to lose a few pounds and learn how to eat healthy and exercise properly.

If you would like to know more, please contacts us through email or call us at +351 220 973 751 and we will be glad to help you.

Gastric bypass surgery

Weight-loss from a gastric bypass surgery doesn’t last longer unless the patient takes extra measures to live a healthy life.

The decision to have a weight-loss surgery is a process that takes time and a lot of consideration. For long lasting results it is crucial to take into account the factors that led to the weight gain and prevent them to reappear after the surgery. Surgical treatment of obesity isn’t limited to the surgical act; it entails a global approach to obesity by a multidisciplinary medical team.

Medical Port developed a holistic weight-loss program for those individuals who want to have surgery abroad. Being in a complete new environment helps in the changing process required in these types of programs. This program is for individuals considered obese by medical standards. A simple way to find out if a person is obese is the Body Mass Index (BMI) test. You can take the test hereObese people are considered the ones who have a BMI greater than 35. Although the BMI can be a good indicator, it isn’t the only assessment tool and doctor’s thorough diagnosis is always necessary.

Gastric bypass is one of the many alternatives for a bariatric surgery. It is a procedure where the digestive system is re-routed past most of the stomach so that people digest less food and feel full after eating a smaller portion of what they used to eat.

After the surgery, patients have to embrace a healthy life with better nutrition and exercise as part of their daily routine. Gastric bypass surgery can lead to a great amount of weight-loss in the short term, but to ensure long-term results, Medical Port developed a follow-up program that can last up to 2 years, where the medical team locally and remotely accompanies the patient adjusting the important variables for maintaining the desired weight.

To learn more about Medical Port’s weight-loss surgery abroad program, click here.

The 3 key factors to an effective weight-loss plan

Weight-loss is always a hot topic, new diets appear every day promising fast results. Because most diet plans overpromise results, the word “diet” often has a bad connotation and seems something very difficult to do.

Many people try several diets only to find out they gain weight shortly after. And then they get upset. Others don’t do diet because don’t know where to start. There are 3 key components of an effective diet: health, nutrition and exercise.

Health

Before starting any diet, everyone should check with their doctor if they are healthy enough to start loosing weight. Starting a diet without a doctor’s advice can lead to poor results and even diseases.

Nutrition

Trendy diets often don’t take into account the different nutrition needs each individual has. No two people are alike, so diets shouldn’t be the same for everyone. A nutritionist evaluates a person eating habits, tastes and weight loss needs to create a tailor-made diet plan, customizable to the various stages of weight-loss.

Exercise

Whoever wants to lose weight exercise is key. Exercise will make the body to burn calories and get rid of excess fat. No one should start exercising without assessing their health conditions first and the proper advice from a doctor.

These 3 components need to work in an integrated and combined way that is different for each of us.

Start your weight-loss journey
Start your weight-loss journey

Medical Port developed a weight-loss program, combining the 3 key aspects, for those who would like to start loosing weight but don’t know where to start. In a 15 day program, individuals assess their initial health condition, get a personalized diet and a personalized exercise plan. The main goal of this program is to provide the necessary tools and guidance for a weight loss start and to maintain the results. The program also entails a 1 year follow up with remote consultations with the nutritionist to assess the progress and give the individual all the confidence he or she needs to keep going.

If you would like to know more about our weight-loss programs, please visit our website here or use the form to contact us.

The journey to weight-loss through bariatric surgery

The decision to go under bariatric surgery isn’t an easy one. From diet attempts to make the decision to have surgery, people struggling with obesity have a long journey.

There are several factors to take into account when deciding about weight-loss surgery, and most of them are about the life after surgery. It is important to clarify all the outcomes of the surgery and how to sustain weight-loss long after the surgery.

Before attempting to have surgery, patients have to recognize they are overweight for a reason and that reason might not be clear or easy to find. Additionally several factors can influence the final outcome but the goal is to have long lasting results. When starting a weight-loss process, people have to set their mindset directed at how to maintain the weight-loss and not regain weight after bariatric surgery, since this is not a procedure that you want to repeat like you do with a diet.

Overweight is a struggle people from around the world have and there are many solutions for it. The long lasting solutions usually start with the right understanding of the origin of the struggle. Medical Port developed a weight-loss program dedicated to those who would like to assess the origin of the condition and learn the best techniques to overcome it, with the guidance of the best professionals in the field. One of the most recognized experts in weight-loss surgery in Portugal is Doctor Ângelo Ferreira, the coordinator of the Obesity Treatment Center of Hospital Lusíadas Lisboa. Here is what Doctor Ângelo Ferreira has to say about bariatric surgery:

“Bariatric Surgery comprises a variety of procedures. The main purpose of the surgery is to reduce the volume of the stomach or the quantity of the food absorbed in the bowel, in order to promote a significant long-term weight-loss. To achieve better results, the client should be self-motivated, psychologically prepared and at all times accompanied by a team of medical professionals. It is expected that the procedure allied with a dietary regime and physical exercise, improve overall health condition, life quality and self-esteem. A continuous follow-up is advisable at all times.”

Read more about our weight-loss programs here.

If you would like to learn more about bariatric surgery abroad, please fill in our contact form, or contact us through email or phone (+351 220 973 751).

Do you have something to add to this article or want to share your personal weight-loss story? Use the comment section below.

New medical tourism programs for Arabic countries

Following, Medical Port’s presence in the Saudi Arabia Medical Tourism Fair in the end of 2014, and due to the large interest demonstrated ever since, the company is launching special programs for countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, among others.

The 4 specific programs are: health check-up, obesity diagnosis assessment, weight-loss, and physical therapy and rehabilitation.

The health check-up is a week long program to reinforce the commitment to healthy living by undergoing a thorough health examination while enjoying cultural activities with Mediterranean style cuisine. Health prevention is important to reduce health risks and also improve the length and quality of life. This program assesses how good your health is and advises on lifestyle improvements and can be done in Lisbon or Oporto.

The obesity diagnosis assessment program lasts 15 days in Lisbon, and is for individuals previously diagnosed with excess weight or pre-obese by medical standards. Allows for the adequate understanding of the origin of the condition and approaches it in a holistic way to achieve positive long-term results.

The weight-loss program lasts 15 days in Lisbon and is target at individuals who would like a diet plan for weight-loss and don’t know where to start. It helps to understand lifestyle habits and changes necessary to lose weight. Combining exams, consultations, nutritionist advice and exercise for a great weight-loss start.

For physical therapy and rehabilitation, there is a 15 day program in Lisbon or Oporto. For individuals who seek to recover from surgery, a bad fall, a work accident or an orthopaedic injury. The program follows a careful decision making process, and proper and thorough rehabilitation so that individuals can recover their natural movements and mobility.

Medical Port has plans to expand the medical tourism offerings to the Arabic speaking world in the next few months.

If you would like to know more about Medical Port’s offerings to the Arabic countries, please contact us by phone (+351 220 973 151), or click here to send us an email.