Privacy Matters

To make an appt, call or schedule an appointment online hereBook an appointment using SetMoreElevation Medical Weight Loss of Pittsburgh & Weirton
2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205 (412) 304-2016  
1130 Perry Hwy, Pittsburgh, PA 15237 (412) 847-8083
241 Three Springs Dr. Weirton, WV 26062 (304) 914-3112

This week we have another article of “housekeeping” so please bear with us. We want to take this time to address how we handle the privacy of our patients so as to better protect your sensitive medical information and so that you know what to do if you have questions or concerns regarding your information.

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MaiLan and Remy take their privacy very seriously.

As it stands, we are bound by HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) which puts limits in place not only on how we store and handle your information but also whom may have access to said information, but we also have our own policies in place to help provide more peace of mind to our patients.

As many of you know, when we receive a new patient we request a copy of their photo ID in order to ensure that the patient is who they say they are, we then place a copy of this ID in our patient files so that we are always able to confirm identification on follow up visits. In addition to this, we regularly search and provide updates to statewide databases in order to make sure that 1) there is no unknown medical history that could create a risk for our patients, and 2) no one is using our patients’ information to unlawfully obtain and abuse medications.

Lastly, we are not permitted, nor would we want to, discuss our patients with ANYONE outside of our medical staff and the patient themselves, not even to other physicians. If a patient and/or their primary physician (PCP) need us to communicate with a third party, we require that the patient signs a “release form” specifically indicating the scope of such communication. In fact, we will not even confirm that an individual is a patient of ours without such documentation, this is to protect your privacy. Signing such a release does not indicate anything other than your willingness to allow our prescribers to communicate with the person you identify, typically your primary physician, and does not constitute the admission that you are a patient of ours or that you received any medications from our office.

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We apologize for the dry nature of this weeks article, however questions have been asked about our policies and we want to express just how fundamentally important it is to us that our patients are protected and receive the best possible medical care.

 

Spring Cleaning Your Health

To make an appt, call or schedule an appointment online hereBook an appointment using SetMoreElevation Medical Weight Loss of Pittsburgh & Weirton
2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205 (412) 304-2016  
1130 Perry Hwy, Pittsburgh, PA 15237 (412) 847-8083
241 Three Springs Dr. Weirton, WV 26062 (304) 914-3112

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Spring means new beginnings, fresh starts and reorganizing.  When we think of spring several things usually come to mind:

  • flowers
  • warmer weather
  • being outdoors, and
  • spring cleaning -yuck!

The idea of spring cleaning is something that you either dread or very much look forward to. It also doesn’t have to apply just your home or office, it’s actually a great time for re-organizing your life.

By this time of year most of us have given up on our new year’s resolutions however, you don’t have to wait until 2019 to start back up.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with a whole tear down, instead start small and work your way to the bigger things.  Decluttering is a perfect way to start.

  • Go to your closet, and throw out your “fat” clothes. Don’t give yourself a reason to get back into your old habits; if an item is more than 1 size too big you no longer have any use for it.  Thrift it or gift it!
  • Go to your pantry.  Pull out all expired foods and throw them away.  Get rid of the “junk” you bought in a moment of weakness.  Give it to someone who would enjoy it, or put it in your office break room (this works especially well for people engaged in workplace weight loss competitions).  
  • It’s time to throw out that Christmas candy. Really! You don’t need it and it’s probably getting a little gross.
  • Stress, even small amounts of it, can be very unhealthy for you and sometimes you will make poor food choices because of it.  People can feel compelled to eat when you are happy when you are sad or, most commonly, when you are stressed. Even the small things can help manage your stress level, many of us use several different social media websites which can become far more stressful than relaxing. Unfriend dramatic people on your lists. You will be surprised how enjoyable your social media time will become by comparison.
  • Turn your spring cleaning into spring training!  Why not turn your deep cleaning into a workout? Crank up the music and do squats while holding a bucket of cleaning supplies. Squat to put things into your lower cupboards. Do lunges while vacuuming or mopping.  Every little bit helps.

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Most importantly, spring is the perfect time to come out of your winter hibernation.  Dust off your walking shoes and just start moving a little at a time. Need some extra energy to get you started? Stop by our office forget a B-12 shot, if you are dieting or just not eating perfectly, the extra B-12 can make all the difference.  Any adult can get one– any time that we are open, just come right in and we will be there to help. 

MARCH BUDDY WINNERS!

 

To make an appt, call or schedule an appointment online hereBook an appointment using SetMoreElevation Medical Weight Loss of Pittsburgh & Weirton
2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205 (412) 304-2016  
1130 Perry Hwy, Pittsburgh, PA 15237 (412) 847-8083
241 Three Springs Dr. Weirton, WV 26062 (304) 914-3112

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We are so happy to announce our March Buddy winners!
Our Green Tree winner is Melissa and North Hills (Wexford) is Tim.
And because we had such a HUGE response in Weirton, we drew two winners, BethMiranda.

We are blown away by how much our incentive program has been utilized. We thank you and want to remind you that we have extended it to JUNE!

To those of you who are new, our Buddy Program is designed for you to diet with a buddy. (It is always better to do it with a friend). If you come in together and both join a plan*, we will give you each $10.00 off and a free B-12 injection and put your name in a drawing for a month of the diet medication and B-12/Fat Burner injections. So grab your buddy and come on over. Make sure you come in when there is a prescriber scheduled, and we will be happy to help get you on your way to a healthier you!

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*You can be a current or new patient but must be ready for a new month of meds. You will not be able to substitute any winnings or plans/injections. You must BOTH be seen at the same appointment time slot. NO EXCEPTIONS to these rules.*

Sometimes, Not Sharing is Caring

To make an appt, call or schedule an appointment online hereBook an appointment using SetMoreElevation Medical Weight Loss of Pittsburgh & Weirton
2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205 (412) 304-2016  
1130 Perry Hwy, Pittsburgh, PA 15237 (412) 847-8083
241 Three Springs Dr. Weirton, WV 26062 (304) 914-3112

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Dear Patients of Elevation Medical Weight Loss,

We need to take some time to address something rather serious. Concerns have been brought to us about some our patients possibly “sharing” their weight loss medications with friends and family. While we are confident that all of our weight loss medications and programs are safe, this is not necessarily true for all people and as such we are concerned for the health of anyone involved.

Before we go on, we want to note that all new patients sign a “Statement of Informed Consent” that states among other things that our prescribers have the discretion to withhold prescribing to anyone suspected of sharing or giving away prescribed medication. We do, however, want to be clear that our top priority is your safety and the safety of those dear to you. Our prescribers have in the past and will undoubtedly turn away seemingly healthy, adult patients due to risk factors that could easily lead to terrible side effects, but have also found alternative ways to successfully work with more high-risk patients. The point is that a prescriber should always be involved when a prescription medication is taken to ensure that the medication is taken both effectively and safely.

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If you or someone you know has or is currently sharing your medications with another person, we urge you to please stop doing so and instead bring them to us and let one of our trained medical professionals make sure that everything is done safely. If cost is an issue we have run many special incentives in the past such as our “buddy program” that can help in this regard, and if it is anything feel free to contact us to address them and possibly discuss safer alternatives.

Again, this letter is not intended as a threat or scolding, but rather as a plea. All of us at Elevation Medical Weight Loss make great efforts to protect your privacy and your health, and we ask that you work with us to ensure that we have only a positive impact on our community.

TL;DR No one should share any prescribed medications since there could be serious risks if someone takes a medication that is not meant for them.  

Sincerely,

Coach Drew and Dr. Cooper

How to Beat the Winter Blues

To make an appt, call or schedule an appointment online hereBook an appointment using SetMoreElevation Medical Weight Loss of Pittsburgh & Weirton
2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205 (412) 304-2016 
241 Three Springs Dr. Weirton, WV 26062 (304) 914-3112

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Freezing temperatures? Gray skies? Crabby mood? Sound familiar? It may be gloomy on the outside, but it doesn’t have to be so on the inside.

It may be hard to be positive when it’s so dark and depressing outside, but it’s important to keep your mood under control because it can help you avoid everything from depression to weight gain.

Here are some tips to help battle the Winter Blues:

TAKE VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENTS

Sunlight can be in short supply during the winter months and your body doesn’t store vitamin D very well. Getting out in the sun, even in the winter-light, itself can improve your mood.  Grab your shades and enjoy what warmth ypu can, but it doesn’t hurt to supplement some vitamin D3 to make up the difference.

ADD VITAMIN B-12

Winter can make you feel sluggish and tired. Take an oral supplement of Vitamin B12, or better yet one of our time-released Vitamin B12 injections. It’s just the boost your body needs!

NUTRITION

Try to resist fatty, sugary comfort foods.  Highly refined carbs and sugar can wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels, which can leave you feeling cranky.  Some “comfort food” like stews and cooked veggie, however, can double as a healthy pick-me-up, especially if they contain mood-boosting nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids, complex carbs, protein and B vitamins.  Good nutrition makes a positive difference to your mental health.

EXERCISE

We all feel like hibernating in our house in the winter, but that will only add to your winter blues.  It always seems like we carry around a couple of extra pounds in the winter time because we are less active.  During winter, not only does our energy output and fat decrease, we also have an increased desire to eat.  It’s an emotional need we have to feel warm and nourished.  Exercise will help you burn off extra calories and make you feel less hungry in the long run.

SCHEDULE FUN OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Skiing, sledding, and walking are great sources of exercise and can be done with family and friends!

The bottom line is that you do not want to succumb to the winter blues. Move, talk, socialize, and most important, don’t get caught in the eating trap with comfort food.

Karen’s Weight Loss Story

To make an appt, call or schedule an appointment online hereBook an appointment using SetMoreElevation Medical Weight Loss of Pittsburgh & Weirton
2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205 (412) 304-2016 
241 Three Springs Dr. Weirton, WV 26062 (304) 914-3112

Growing up I was always naturally athletic, and never really struggled with my weight.  When I had my first child, however, everything changed.  I was young and wanted to make sure my baby was healthy, so I ate whatever my body craved, which also led to a 65-pound weight gain.  Throughout the next 30 years (and another baby) I struggled with increasing weight gain. As a mother, I sacrificed a lot for my children and family, and unfortunately, my weight was one of them.

Not long ago, my husband decided that he wanted to lose weight so that he could play with our new grandbabies and I witnessed him lose over 100 pounds with the help of Elevation Medical Weight Loss.  After seeing his results, I felt I owed it to myself to try to get on a plan that would assist me in my new outlook on a healthier, happier life with my husband. Currently, I have lost over 80 pounds and feel better than I have in decades.  Although I was extremely happy with my weight loss, it also left me with a substantial amount of excess skin.  The skin became so much of a hindrance to me that I had no other choice but to have a procedure to have it removed.

Before coming to the Elevation I felt stuck.  I dreaded traveling far due to the constant fear of not fitting on a plane seat.  Even though I know it was not the case, I felt like every other traveler was watching me and waiting to watch the spectacle of me trying to squeeze into a seat designed for a person half my size. Even if I avoided flying, I was never comfortable and lost all joy in traveling. I was always “on edge” thinking people were looking at me.  Now I can fly without hesitation and get to watch my grandchildren experience the world without worrying about “Nana’s problem” getting in the way.

Since my procedure, I feel I can now follow the doctor’s advice and start exercising.  Although I do not enjoy it, I feel it has really changed the way I feel.  I am starting to feel more confident in my own body again and play with my grandkids in ways that might have put me at risk for serious injury prior to my losing the weight.

I’ve tried to lose weight before with limited success, but having my new-found motivation, and the information that Elevation has provided me with has really simplified the whole process and has made all the difference. I still have a lot of work ahead of me to keep the weight off and live a healthier lifestyle, but I’ve been able to learn so much already about how different foods affect my body and what kind of diet makes it easier to maintain my new weight.  Elevation has provided me with the tools to continue my maintenance.

Thank you so much for the Elevation Medical Weight Loss staff and doctor for helping me reach my goals, and set new ones. I feel like I have many more fulfilling years left to spend with my family.

How 15 Minutes of Walking a Day Can Change Your Life

To make an appt, call us or schedule an appointment online hereBook an appointment using SetMoreElevation Medical Weight Loss of Pittsburgh & Weirton
2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205 (412) 304-2016 
241 Three Springs Dr. Weirton, WV 26062 (304) 914-3112

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We all know how important exercise is and the impact it has on our mental, physical and emotional health.  So often we at Elevation Medical Weight Loss hear that people can’t exercise for one reason or another.  Some think they are too large, too old, too feeble, the list goes on and on…excuses, excuses. Thankfully, there is something most of us can do and we do it every day, without even thinking…WALKING.

Did you know that walking at least 15 minutes every day can add up to 7 years to your life?  We suggest if you are able to do more, challenge yourself with a vigorous walk whenever you can.  If you have trouble physically walking for a while, just getting up and moving can make a difference!

Here are some benefits of walking every day:

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  • Walking boosts your mood.  Walking just 12 minutes results in increase attentiveness
  • Walking can improve cognitive performance
  • Walking can lower your blood pressure
  • Walking can help prevent or control diabetes.  Women, in particular, who walk at least 30 minutes daily decrease their risk of diabetes by 30%.
  • Walking has proven to be effective at shrinking dangerous abdominal fat linked to diabetes.
  • Walking can help reduce pain and improve mobility

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When you are walking, here are some tips to make the most out of your stroll:

  • Swing your arms. Bend at 90 degrees and pump from shoulders. This allows for a quicker pace and provides a workout for your upper body.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.  Look for flexible soles and stiff heels, or any cushioned, lightweight, and low-heeled shoe.  Try to avoid stiff-soled shoes that don’t bend.
  • Make sure your posture is correct.
  • Pick the right pace.  To burn more calories, you should be walking at least 3-5 mph.  Take smaller, faster steps to speed up.
  • Try small hills, up and down steps for a more fat-blasting workout!

The smallest of things can help you walk more.  If you have to take public transit, get off before your destination and walk the rest of the way.  If you can, try taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk after lunch instead of sitting and chatting with co-workers. Walk your dog or a friend’s dog.  Put your phone in the next room so that you have to get up to answer it.  Same with the remote, put it by the TV.

The benefits of walking daily are astronomical, as it positively effects both your mental and physical state, leaving your mind and body happier and much healthier.

So grab your sneakers and your music and start moving those legs! Your body will thank you!

 

 

 

 

It Turns Out That Home Cookin’ Really is Better

To make an appt, call us or schedule an appointment online here
Book an appointment using SetMoreElevation Medical Weight Loss of Pittsburgh & Weirton
2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205 (412) 304-2016 
241 Three Springs Dr. Weirton, WV 26062 (304) 914-3112

I recently stumbled across a video that immediately brought to mind a myriad of questions that get brought up by our weight loss patients. While we tend to focus on calorie counting during consultations, we often don’t have the chance to really dig into too much detail different types of foods. While there are many reasons that most of our food suggestions are “whole foods,” (by which I mean meals for which you buy ingredients and prepare yourself) the most important reason is the accuracy with which you can count calories.

As the following video, originally posted by the NY Times and author Casey Neistat, shows nutritional content labels on prepackaged foods are notoriously inaccurate. Using apps and journals is only as effective as the information that you input, so be careful as you count your calories and remember, if the nutritional content seems too good to be true, and you didn’t weigh out the ingredients yourself, there is a good chance that it is in fact not true.

 

Full credit to Author Casey Neistat and the NY Times Opdocs for the video content.

I don’t want this information to induce a calorie counting panic attack for our more meticulous patients, just be aware that if you want the tightest possible control over you Calories In/ Calories Out ratio, you will be better served making your own foods. Also, if you are trying your best and not seeing progress you might want to take a closer look at the details of the food you are consuming, you may actually be eating more than you think, and that’s not necessarily your fault.

Tracking For Now and Later

To make an appt, call us or schedule an appointment online here Book an appointment using SetMoreElevation Medical Weight Loss of Pittsburgh & Weirton 
2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205 (412) 304-2016  
241 Three Springs Dr. Weirton, WV 26062 (304) 914-3112

When most people first come to see us, their introduction included several urgings as to the importance of tracking calories.  We know that this advice will sometimes fall on deaf ears, but we wanted to take time to reiterate the importance of tracking calories when attempting to lose weight through diet.

Whether you are using appetite suppressants, HCG, or just plain old dieting, you will find that errors in estimating calories can add up throughout the day to a surprising degree. If you doubt this, test yourself on a variety of everyday foods and compare this to what you can find on any number of calorie counter websites. Even if you do well in this controlled setting, I would be cautious to trust your instincts in the real world, especially if these instincts have already played a role in your weight gain.

Also keep in mind that with lower calorie diets, such as those used with HCG or by certain individuals with slower base metabolisms,  the margin for error is far smaller. Overestimating by 50 calories per meal make a much bigger difference for someone eating 800 calories a day than someone eating 1600.

Finally, we want to encourage you to begin tracking calories not just for now but also for the future. We have found that the best way to prevent post-diet weight rebounds is by spending adequate time tracking your calories when attempting to eat at “weight maintenance” diet. By getting feedback through your tracker you can better train your body to feel satisfied with the appropriate amount of food for you to avoid subsequent weight gain.

A free app we recommend to track is MyPlate Calorie Counter from Livestrong.

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MaiLan tracked this as 1 cupcake 🙂

.. About Making B-12 Appointments

To make an appt, call us or schedule an appointment online here
Book an appointment using SetMoreElevation Medical Weight Loss of Pittsburgh & Weirton
2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205 (412) 304-2016 
241 Three Springs Dr. Weirton, WV 26062 (304) 914-3112

emmwl-weir2017Until now we have offered through our website the opportunity to book appointments for our various B-12 injections. We have done this in an effort to better accommodate those with less flexible schedules, however we have found it to cause more confusion than good so we have decided to remove the option from our appointment scheduler.

Don’t worry, this change will not limit the times during which you can come in for B-12 injections but rather you may still come in at any time during which we have regular hours. If our open sign is on, you can come on in for shots.

So to further clarify, no appointments need to be (no can be) made for B-12 injections, appointments are available only for new fills or refills on prescription medications, and only required during non-walk in Physician hours.