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Losing Weight With Elevation Medical Weight Loss

It may be 2017 already, but at Elevation Weight Loss it feels like the new year doesn’t really begin until February. Especially with all the extra time we needed to lose those “holiday” pounds.

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see our list of healthy food recipes HERE

 

Here are some of the benefits of losing weight:

  1. Increased mobility.
  2. Reduced risk of injuries.
  3. Decreased difficulty getting up and down.
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  4. Waking up with more energy for the day.
  5. Feeling more satisfied with smaller portions of food.
  6. Shopping for new clothes is more enjoyable.
  7. Reduced joint and back pain.
  8. Less dependence on many daily medications (but ask your family Dr. first).

As part of opening up our second location in Weirton, we would like to take this opportunity to provide accessible weight loss services to more individuals.  If you are even slightly motivated, we can help you get to your best health for 2017.

We have a referral program where you can send a friend or family to us for both parties to receive credit toward your services.  If you have questions, ask about our referral program here.
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Lastly, we have certain hours that Dr. Cooper will be in for new patient evaluations for weight loss and medication refills.  If you make an appt, it will limit your wait time and we can get you in faster; also some additional hours may be available by appt only.  Usually our clients are accustomed to making appointments in any healthcare setting, so you can make appointments with us; however, walking in during these hours is absolutely OK.

PHYSICIAN WEIGHT LOSS HOURS
*for new clients and medication refills*

PITTSBURGH (2350 Noblestown Rd. )
FRI 3p-6p & SAT 10a-1p

WEIRTON (241 Three Springs Dr.)
FRI 11-1p & SAT 3p-5p

Just a note, we are open during regular office hours to administer weekly B-12 injections, weigh in and waist measurements.

Pittsburgh Green Tree regular office hours:
Weds-Fri 12p-6p
Sat 10a-3p.

Weirton WV regular office hours:
Tues & Thurs 11a-5p
Fri 10a-2p
Sat 1p-5p

Hope to see you soon!

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Elevation Medical Weight Loss Second Location in Weirton, WV

We are excited to announce that we are opening a second location in Weirton, WV off Three Springs Dr. exit 4.

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This week we will be assembling furniture and doing some final touching up. We are hoping to see you either this Saturday, January 28th 2017 from 3p-5p for a pre-launch.  Our official opening date is  Thursday, February 2nd 2017 at 11am.

WEIRTON HOURS & INFO
Elevation Medical Weight Loss of Weirton Book an appointment using SetMore241 Three Springs Dr. Weirton, WV 26062
304-914-3112
WEIRTON GENERAL OFFICE HOURS (shots and weigh-in) WEIRTON PHYSICIAN CLINIC HOURS (weight loss evaluations)
Tues & Thurs: 11am – 5pm
Fri: 10pm – 2pm
Sat: 1pm – 5pm

Fri: 11am – 1pm
Sat: 3pm – 5pm
Walk-ins are always welcome during these hours

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Baked Parmensan-Breaded Chicken with Broccolini

To make an appt, call us at (412) 304-2016 or schedule an appointment below:
Book an appointment using SetMore Elevation Medical Weight Loss
 2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205

Today we have a low-carbohydrate recipe for crispy baked chicken without the breading.  The outer coating consisiting of parmesan and spices will be baked and then broiled to crunchy bites.  We love to bake in colder weather to heat up the kitchen.  It’s a fairly simple recipe to make and not a lot to clean up.

So we found some broccolini at the market the other day.  Broccolini is a cross between Chinese broccoli (kai-lan) and American Broccoli.  The taste is sweeter, more tender and crisper than that of broccoli.  8 stalks of broccolini is 35 calories with 6 grams of carbs.

To reiterate, all of the recipes at Elevation Medical Weight Loss are gluten-free and low-carb.  This meal will work well with both the phentermine and HCG diet, if you are a fan of chicken.

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Recipe serves 6: 2 tenderloins per serving (5 oz lean chicken total)
Prep Time: 15 minutes, cooking time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

CALORIES

CARBS

Chicken tenderloins, 2 lb (usually 12 strips) 1100 calories
Butter, 1/4 cup or half a stick of butter 407 calories
Parsley, 2 tbsp minced
 FOR THE TENDERLOIN COATING
Grated parmesan cheese, ¾ cup 323 calories 3 gram
Oregano, 1 tbsp dried
Paprika,1 tbsp
Garlic powder, 1 tsp
Salt, 1 tsp
Pepper, 1/2 tsp
Cayenne pepper, a pinch
FOR THE BROCCOLINI
Broccolini, 1.5 – 2 lb 350 calories 60 g
Vegetable/Canola oil, 2 tsp 80 calories
Oyster sauce, 1 tbsp 9 calories 2 g
Garlic, 1 tbsp minced
Total calories for 6 servings
2269 calories
65 g carb
TOTAL CALORIES PER SERVING
Recipe serves 6
378 calories 11 g carb

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1.  Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. Combine ingredients for the chicken tenderloin coating (Parmesan cheese, Oregano, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper) in a bowl and stir to mix.  Set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a microwave-safe shallow pan for 60-90 seconds in microwave.
  4. For the broccolini: in a large pan on medium heat, add 2 tsp of vegetable/canola oil and add in 2 lbs of broccolini with 1/2 cup of water. Stir in minced garlic and 1 tbsp oyser sauce.  Let steam for 10-12 minutes or until desired softness.dsc_4286-large
  5. Line a baking pan or sheet with aluminum foil to reduce clean up.
  6. Dip each strip of chicken tenderloin in the melted butter, then dip into the Parmesan and spices coating.  Shake off coating excess back into the bowl. Place tenderloins on baking sheet or pan.
  7. Repeat steps to coat all of the tenderloins. Sprinkle minced parsley on top.  Place pan into oven to bake at 425° F.  Bake for 15 minutes.dsc_4285-large
  8. Check on the broccolini to see if it’s cooked to your desired liking. Turn off heat and let sit.dsc_4291-large
  9. Check on the chicken tenderloin.  Chicken tenderloins does not take too long to cook, you may use a steak knife or fork to check the middle to see if it’s done.
  10. Switch the oven to high broil.  Use a pair of good mittens to move the baking rack to the very top.  Allow 1-2  inches between the chicken tenderloins and the fire for broiling.  Broil for 5-7 minutes until coating appear crispy without being burnt (black).dsc_4296-large
  11. Turn off broil and remove chicken tenderloins from oven.

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    So can I go in the oven to thaw out, mommy?
  12. Serve chicken tenderloins with broccolini (8 stalks is around 3 oz).  If you have extra calories to spare, the chicken goes very well with a few tablespoon of salsa, another recipe found HERE.dsc_4301-large

The meal is a little over 5 oz of protein, 378 calories with 11 grams of carbs. Enjoy!

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New Year Weight Loss Package Specials

To make an appt, call us at (412) 304-2016 or schedule an appointment online here.

Elevation Medical Weight Loss
 2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205

Happy New Year 2017!

We realize that your health is very important and we want to help you feel your best for 2017.  Let’s talk about how WE can help with the most common New Year’s Resolution: weight loss & maintaining your goal weight.

The most common complaints associated with any diet program are about fatigue and hunger.  Phentermine (Adipex) will minimize the discomfort associated with hunger by suppressing your appetite, so that your weight loss journey is much more comfortable. Most people will experience fatigue, since you are eating a fraction of what your typical calorie intake.  This is why we emphasize trying the B-12 injections for a few weeks to improve metabolism, fat loss, and energy.  The majority of our clients return for weekly follow-up to receive B-12 injections.  Weight loss is difficult, but we are here to make things much easier.

Several of our clients have requested that we put together packages to help them choose a program to be on.  For most individuals, there are no consequences of rapid weight loss.  You will not gain the weight back if you follow the program most days of the week. If you are unsure, when you come in for a Physician consult we will help you to determine which plan is best for you.

Here are the package options for the new year:

emwlny2017-package

If you are looking to lose 10 lbs or less a month as well as have more energy than, the diet medications paired with B-12 & Fat Burner injections is a great program for starting out.
If you are at least 75 lbs overweight and want to lose 20 lbs or more in the next 30 days, the HCG diet injection and B-12 combo shots is a excellent choice, provided that you are motivated enough to adhere to more intense meal plans/nutritional counseling.

If you have questions, give us a call at (412) 304-2016, or contact us here.

 

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Happy Holidays!

To make an appt, call us at (412) 304-2016 or schedule an appointment online here.

Elevation Medical Weight Loss
 2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205

Thank you for joining us in the our pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.
We wish you a happy holiday season and a bright 2017.

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-Dr. Cooper, Coach Drew, and MaiLan

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Now Accepting CareCredit

To make an appt, call us at (412) 304-2016 or schedule an appointment online here.

Elevation Medical Weight Loss
 2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205

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Over the past few months, we have had several requests to take CareCredit as a form of payment.  So now we do!

Since we are a private-pay medical weight loss clinic, CareCredit can help you pay for out-of-pocket healthcare expenses not covered by insurance.

CareCredit basics:

  • A credit account where there is zero-interest on shorter term financing (6, 12, or 18 months) on purchases of $200 or more.
  • Accepted at many healthcare offices for elective medical or surgical  services, such as medical weight loss, LASIK, or dental procedures.
  • Applying takes minutes and credit decision is instant. Then you can start using CareCredit right away.
  • For more information about CareCredit, click here.
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Troubleshooting Side Effects of a New Diet: Low Blood Sugar

For those who are not used to eating a low-carb diet consisting of 50 or fewer grams of carbs a day, you may occasionally experience hypoglycemia, or known as low blood sugar.  Whenever this happens, it may be a little bit alarming if you haven’t experienced these low blood sugar symptoms in the past:

The first step to dealing with low blood sugar is to recognize the symptoms of hypoglycemia (low sugar):

Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar

Sweatiness
Clammy Skin
Nausea (sick to your stomach)
Shaking, jittery, or nervous
Unsteady, difficult to walk
Feeling “off”, but not a cold
Heart may beat fast
Feel like you are going to “pass out”
Feeling “sick in your stomach”

Remember that phentermine and/or HCG work very well to suppress your appetite, so if you’re used to eating every 4 hours, and suddenly you take phentermine and don’t eat for 8 hours stretches, you may be more susceptible to some unwanted side effects like feeling jittery, nauseated, or get sweaty since your body isn’t accustomed to fasting for longer than a certain amount of time.

However, if you’re used to regularly going 6-8 hours without eating a meal, you may not get these symptoms at all because you have trained your body to even out blood sugar spikes and falls over long stretches, that means you are quite the expert at regulating your own blood sugar level and won’t have any side effects.

What do you do when you think your blood sugar is running low?

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Quick Treatment of Low Blood Sugar

A cookie
A handful of candy
A small cup of juice
A few big gulp of regular soda
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Pictured here is MaiLan helping us get our blood sugar levels back up.  No, not really, all that candy is for her.

Basically, eat anything with sugar to quickly get rid of your hypoglycemia.  The recommend  intake is 20-40 grams of simple carbohydrate.  The fastest acting simple carbohydrates are sweet drinks, like lemonade or juices with sugar added, or even regular soda.   Other options are just anything you can quickly grab in the pantry, such as crackers, candy, or a cookie.  Often, sugary beverages or snacks will take roughly 15 minutes to work to correct your blood sugar issue.

Having low blood sugar is quite an annoyance, but at least it’s a decently fun problem to fix.  Remember to recognize early symptoms of hypoglycemia, such as feeling jittery, shaky, nauseated, or sweaty, and consume a small bit of sweet food/beverages to rapidly bring your sugar level to normal.

 

 

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Let’s Talk About Poop

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A constipated face, 2016.

Growing up we are taught that everybody poops, however if you are new to a low calorie/low carbohydrate diet you may find this isn’t always case. In addition to the effect of diet on your “movements”, one of the most common side effects of phentermine, or Adipex, is constipation.  Since roughly 1 in 3 of our clients will experience this issue, We want to take some time to address what can be done to keep things “going”.

When you begin to eat lower calorie meals and consisting of healthier foods, you’ll likely be consuming far less volume than you normally would.  As a result, you may produce less waste, and that translates to less quality bathroom time.  For those adhering to our diet program, it is relatively common to go to the bathroom as little as once every 2-3 days, instead of every day like you are used to.   For the individuals on the HCG diet,  your calories are much more limited, so you may use the bathroom every 3-4 days and still produce normal stools.

Let’s discuss some things you can do you can maximize your chances of going to the bathroom:

Component

Action

At least 1 gallon of water a day Drink enough water
Don’t wait to use the bathroom Go as soon as you have the urge
Obtain enough non-soluble fiber Eat green, leafy vegetables (low-carb)
Increase physical activity Get some exercise.  Move around
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Walking after meals helps with digestion and going

When you are dehydrated, your body absorbs water from the intestines, making your stool firm and hard to pass.  Essentially, you need enough water to soften the stool for a bowel movement.  Also, you need enough bulk, easily supplemented with additional insoluble fiber, so there is volume to pass. It is important to note that you should always try go to the bathroom as soon as you have the urge, rather than waiting for a ‘more convenient’ time to avoid exacerbating the issue.  Lastly, getting some post-meal exercise by taking a 30 minute walk down the block can really help the body process your food and more readily eliminate the waste.  It’s nice outside and there are a few PokeStop down the road, “gotta pass’em all” right?

Finally, if after all that effort you still can’t go,  we suggest picking up some Magnesium Oxide tablets from any pharmacy or grocery store.  Magnesium is a naturally occurring element that is very poorly absorbed when taken by mouth, which means it doesn’t spend much time in your gut and helps carry stuck waste out with it.  One of the actions of magnesium is to keep water in your intestines to soften the stool, and it does a very good job of that.  It is one of the safest remedies for constipation and is non-habit forming since is it an osmotic laxative.  Osmotic laxatives retain water in the bowels without stimulating the intestines to contract, so there are no long term health consequences.  These type of laxatives do not get absorbed into your body, but instead exert its actions on the bowels and then moves on during your next bathroom stop.

Treatment for Constipation Treatment Rating Directions
Magnesium oxide, 400 mg or 500 mg tablets 5-stars Take 2-3 tabs daily for 3 days, then 1-2 tabs daily after
Miralax (generic version is fine) 4-stars.jpg Take 2 scoops dissolved in water daily for 3 days, then 1 scoop daily after (flavor your water to hide the powdery taste)
Fleet enema 3-stars.jpg Take as directed on the bottle for instant relief.
Magnesium citrate 3-stars Drink 1 bottle once.  Does not taste good. This will most likely cause abdominal cramping before a movement.
Milk of Magnesia, Cherry or Lemon Flavor ONLY 2-stars.jpg Follow dosing instructions according to the bottle.  One of the worst tasting medications out there. However, very effective.

We don’t really recommend taking Benefiber because it does not seem to work that consistently compared to the listed options, and also it has unnecessary calories and the taste was not worth it.  We hope this article will help to clear you out.

 

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Grilled Salmon with Zucchini: 314 calories

Here is a quick and easy grilled salmon recipe you can have prepared and serve in about half an hour.  Lemon or lime has to be one of our favorite addition to seafood because it reduces the amine compound that is responsible for the “fishy” smell in seafood.

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Ingredient

Calories

Carb

Salmon, skinless 6 oz  (or 4 oz w/ skin) 241 calories  
Zucchini, sliced, 2 cups 38 calories 7 g carb
Strawberries, 4 medium 15 calories 3 g carb
½ tsp oil for zucchini 20 calories  
TOTAL 314 calories 10 g carb

The ingredients are friendly for a gluten-free diet or just when you are trying to live healthier.

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The seasonings are quite flexible.  We used Montreal seasoning found in the pantry, but you can make your own by combining 2 tsp paprika, 2 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp garlic, 1 tsp onion, 1 tsp red pepper flakes.

Seasoning

Lemon, 1 slice
Montreal seasoning, generous amount
Rosemary, a couple of sprigs
Thyme, a couple of sprigs
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Try to keep the baby away from your ingredients

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Turn on the grill for preheating.
  2. Generously rub Montreal seasoning into all sides of the salmon.  Transfer the salmon to a large piece of foil paper.  Squeeze a slice of lemon on top of the salmon.  Put the squeezed lemon on top of the salmon. Crush the thyme and rosemary with your fingers and put the sprigs on top.  Wrap up the salmon, lemon, thyme and rosemary inside the foil to prepare for grilling.  This will allow the salmon soak up the seasoning for a moist, tasty meal.
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  3. For the zucchini, drizzle 1/2 tsp of oil on top. We used canola oil, but you can use whichever oil you have in the pantry.  Transfer the zucchini onto a big sheet of aluminum foil and wrap it up for grilling.

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    Transfer the wrapped packages to the grill.
  4. Grill the salmon on medium heat with the lid closed for about 6-8 minutes on each side. The zucchini only needs roughly half of the time on the grill, so 2-5 minutes on each side.
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  5. Open the foil.  Transfer the contents to a plate.  Serve with strawberries.  We hope this recipe gives you a couple of ideas for your next meal 🙂
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5 Potential Causes for Your Diet Related Cramps and What You Can Do About Them

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When you are starting a new diet and exercise program you may find yourself having leg cramps during the first few days or weeks of your new routine.  To understand why you experience this and what you can do to prevent recurrence, we have to examine the cause of muscle spasms.  

Most oftenly, leg cramps are caused by some combination of the following 5 reasons:

  1. Dehydration
  2. Electrolyte deficiency
    1. Low potassium, magnesium deficiency, calcium deficiency, and/or low sodium
  3. Vitamin deficiency
    1. Low thiamine (B1), pantothenic acid (B5), and pyridoxine (B6)
  4. Lack of muscle flexibility
  5. Overexertion

Let’s address each problem individually:

Dehydration

Drinking plenty of water (by plenty, we mean a gallon or more of water a day) is an important factor in keeping you feeling your best.  Water is critical at the microcellular level in the Krebs Cycle to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which your body uses to do pretty much everything.  Ensuring that you meet your daily water intake goals will improve your energy level, as well as provide your muscles with the resources they need to function properly.  Without adequate water intake, our muscles begin to accumulate waste byproducts, commonly referred to as “toxins”, that may cause spasms or cramping.  

Electrolyte deficiency

Ingesting plenty of dark green, leafy vegetables will go a long way in keeping you out of trouble and cramp-free. Even if you are limited to low-carb foods, you can still find good sources of potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium.  Frequently, the two main electrolytes of concern that are responsible for leg cramps are potassium and magnesium.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) recommend a dietary amount of at least 320 mg of magnesium for women and 420 mg of magnesium for men, and 4.7 grams (or 4700 mg) of potassium for both men and women. You could be experiencing muscle cramps due to a deficiency in these minerals and if so adjusting your diet could be all that you need.

The chart below illustrate how much certain food contain in potassium and magnesium.  If you were to eat 8 oz chicken breast with 1 head of romaine lettuce and 1 cup of beets green for lunch (497 calories, 2581 mg potassium, and 192 mg magnesium), then eat 6 oz of 90% lean beef with 1 cup of spinach, 1 cup of broccoli, 1 cup of zucchini for dinner (437 calories, 3214 mg potassium, and 237 mg magnesium, you will then consume in a total of: 934 calories, 5795 mg potassium, and 429 mg magnesium, which will exceed your requirements for the two electrolytes.   

Meat/Fish Potassium Content Magnesium Content
8 oz chicken breast (230 calories) 359 mg 66 mg
6 oz 90% lean beef (344 calories) 618 mg 40 mg
6 oz salmon (354 calories) 618 mg 46 mg
8 oz tilapia (292 calories) 863 mg 78 mg
8 oz center cut pork chops (260 calories) 960 mg 46 mg
8 oz cooked chicken liver (263 calories) 526 mg 23 mg
Fruits & Vegetables Potassium Content Magnesium Content
Romaine lettuce, 1 head (108 calories) 1546 mg 88 mg
Beets green, cooked, 1 cup (30 calories) 1309 mg 38 mg
Spinach, cooked, 1 cup (44 calories) 839 mg 157 mg
Avocado, 1 cup (234 calories) 708 mg 42 mg
Edamame (soy beans), 1 cup (189 calories) 676 mg 99 mg
Zucchini, cooked, 1 cup (18 calories) 325 mg 21 mg
Cauliflower, 1 cup (27 calories) 320 mg 16 mg
Kale, cooked, 1 cup (69 calories) 296 mg 23 mg
Tomato, 1 medium ( 22 calories) 292 mg 14 mg
Broccoli, 1 cup (31 calories) 288 mg 19 mg
Strawberries, 1 cup (47 calories) 220 mg 19 mg

If you feel that you are unable to ingest the required amount of vegetables and have leg cramps that won’t go away, you may benefit from short-term supplementation with a daily magnesium and potassium tablets.   

Vitamin Deficiency

Deficiencies in Vitamins B1, B5, and/or B6 may be causing you cramps.  The mechanism behind this is not currently well understood, however evidence suggests that supplementing these vitamins may help treat and avoid cramps.

Thiamin (Vitamin B1) is necessary for the proper functioning of the muscles, nervous system and heart. Thiamin deficiency has been known to cause insomnia, fatigue, depression, constipation, irritability, heart problems and stomach problems.  Thiamin is abundant in organ meats, soybeans, egg yolks, poultry, broccoli, and asparagus.  The recommended intake is 1.5 mg of Vitamin B1 daily. 

Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) is responsible for the production of coenzyme A that is associated with the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates as energy sources.  Pantothenic acid is found in organ meats, egg yolk, and broccoli, fish, shellfish, chicken, milk, yogurt, mushrooms, and avocado. Deficiencies are rare, but pantothenic acid deficiency may result in fatigue, insomnia, depression, irritability, vomiting, abdominal and leg muscle cramps.  The recommended intake is 3-7 mg of Vitamin B5 daily.

Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) assists in the degradation and production of amino acids and in the process that converts amino acids into fats or carbohydrates. Vitamin B6 is involved in fat/carbohydrate metabolism, the removal of fluids during premenstruation, and healthy skin. It can reduce symptoms of hand numbness, leg cramps, muscle spasms. Deficiencies have been known to cause anemia, dermatitis, hair loss, anxiety, leg cramps, water retention, anemia. The recommended intake is 1.3 to 1.7 mg of Vitamin B6 daily.

Lack of muscle flexibility

Exercise consisting of particularly intense physical activity can cause your muscles to fatigue, become sore, and spasm.  Take every effort to stretch the muscle to cool down shortly after you exercise, and make an effort to incorporate stretching into your routine wherever limitations appear. Post exercise stretching of the muscles helps the fibers relax, reset, and promotes good circulation for recovery after exercise.  

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Overexertion

Your body needs adequate rest after a difficult workout.  Any time you put yourself through high stress episodes such as exercise, you will need time to recover so you can improve your performance for next time and give your body time to catch up with all the good you’ve done.  If the muscles are overworked and tired, you may get painful spasms that can in turn hinder your ability to stick with your gym routine.

Unfortunately as with any drastic lifestyle change, there will be unwanted side effects accompanying your new diet and exercise routines. However with a little planning and preparation you should be able to prevent muscle cramps from negatively impacting your progress. So eat right, rest well, exercise smart, and stay hydrated and keep up the good work.