Lifestyle changes help patient drop nearly 100 pounds

November 13, 2018 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Heroes

Dave Novak was sick and tired of being overweight and out of shape.

Novak, 67, weighed 320 pounds. He had two knee surgeries, and the second surgery left his knee feeling stiff. Doctors told him they wouldn’t operate again unless he lost weight.

But it wasn’t just the knee. He was prediabetic. And the extra weight and endless yo-yo dieting was starting to get to him.

Novak said he attended an informational meeting about surgery and liposuction, but they weren’t as appealing as non-surgical options.

That’s when he made an appointment with Endeavor Health® Weight Management.

Endeavor Health® Weight Management at Edward-Elmhurst Health offers both surgical and non-surgical options to help you achieve permanent weight loss and the healthy, active life you were meant to live.

“When Dave came in to see me—you can always tell by somebody’s eyes that they’re ready for this. He realized that if he didn’t get his weight under control, he’d have to deal with other medical issues,” says bariatric and obesity medicine specialist Omar Shamsi, M.D.

Since Novak was not interested in surgery, Dr. Shamsi talked to him about changing his diet—and the way he thought about food.

“We use a team approach. Our team includes dietitians and psychologists,” says Dr. Shamsi. “A lot of overeating is stress eating or emotional eating. You have to fix the head before you can fix the belly. Let’s handle the stress.”

A medically-supervised program tailored to your metabolism and unique weight issues can help you achieve your weight loss goals and eliminate weight-related health problems. If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or greater, you may benefit from a physician-led program that includes a mix of medication, monitoring, nutrition programs and lifestyle recommendations.

“I sat down. (Dr. Shamsi) said, ‘What do you eat?’ I have a bowl of cinnamon toast crunch cereal for breakfast every morning. And he said, ‘Well that’s not good,’” Novak says, clarifying that the “bowl” of cereal was significantly larger than one serving of cereal.

Shamsi suggested he focus on eliminating processed carbohydrates from his diet – bread, pasta, pizza, cereal. Instead, eat vegetables, fruit and protein.

Novak started tracking what he ate in a diary.

“It wasn’t a diet anymore, it was a lifestyle change,” Novak says. “I don’t go to bed hungry. I’m still eating and not starving myself.”

He ditched large portions laden with processed carbs. He started taking a water aerobics class.

“At first I was the only guy in the class. But it really helped,” he says.

Before long, Novak noticed the weight was coming off.

“It’s definitely a lifestyle change,” Shamsi says. “Everyone knows what to do, they just need the motivation to keep the weight off.”

Once the pounds began to fall off, Novak threw out his larger-sized clothes—motivation to stay on track.

Now, at 225 pounds, his sleep has improved. He feels more energetic. People who have noticed his dramatic weight loss are discreetly asking his wife if he’s okay.

“My first goal weight would be 220. I’d love to get to 200,” Novak says. “I’m not going to go back up.”

Endeavor Health® Weight Management at Edward-Elmhurst Health offers both surgical and non-surgical options to help you achieve permanent weight loss and the healthy, active life you were meant to live.

Related blogs:
When is it time for bariatric surgery?
Win the battle with your weight
Can you be overweight and still be healthy?
After being overweight for 20 years, man gets new lease on life


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