By Walter Ang
November-December 2009 issue
Asian Dragon Magazine
A comprehensive and personalized strategy using a combination of
techniques and tools, Dr. Ed Santos tells Walter Ang,
is the way to battle nagging weight issues
The National Weight Control Registry was thus created by Brown University and the University of Colorado to study the mindsets and habits of these dieters who were successful.
"One of the implications of the research results is that those with the most dramatic weight loss are methodical and disciplined. They always have a plan, timetable and calendar with appointments penciled in," says Dr. Ed Santos, managing director of Beverly Hills 6750, an aesthetic and weight management center. "It makes sense that someone who is inclined toward plans and routines would be most comfortable with the mundane details of calorie counting and portion control."
He notes that the studies also pointed out that having a mentor or coach to guide one through the weight loss journey was important. Beverly Hills 6750 has developed the "Meta-Morph Weight Management Program," incorporating these ideas into the process.
Patients consult with Dr. Santos who acts as their "mentor" throughout their weigh management endeavor. "This program is very personalized. All teaching and coaching is done by me," he says. The program includes teaching patients to be more systematic and detail-oriented by planning out and scheduling their weight loss, doing it step-by-step.
The key strength of the program, however, is that it focuses on all the different aspects that are involved in weight loss. It aims to be comprehensive "from assessment, to prescription and implementation of weight loss therapies."
The program looks into uncovering possible "hidden" problems with a battery of laboratory tests, physical examination, clinical history taking, and assessment. "It's important to find out if there are underlying endocrine, metabolic, and psychiatric conditions that can affect the patient's weight," he says.
"It would be an uphill battle to start a diet-based weight loss program, for example, for a person who has undiagnosed diabetes since this condition hinders the body from utilizing available energy sources to support the body's metabolism, thus slowing down weight loss," he says.
Aside from diabetes, other conditions that may affect weight loss include hypothyroidism, low levels of Human Growth Hormone, depression and anxiety, and nocturnal eating syndromes. Female patients are tested for polycystic ovarian syndrome and hyperandrogenism.
"Patients often are in a hurry to see weight loss results. The use of technology can help jump-start the whole process and encourages the patient to continue with the strategy or plan," he says.
The program uses technologies like whole body vibration, high intensity focused ultrasound, ultrasonic cavitation, radiofrequency with low level lasers, and endermology massage techniques (used independently or in combination) to increase metabolism and spot reductions in areas of the body that are known to be resistant to weight loss.
"Patients notice weight reduction after a series of at least six combo-treatments that are spaced one to two weeks apart, with noticeable improvement in the size of the abdomen, hips, saddlebags, and arms," he says.
The program assigns an essentially low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet that portions out the amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat that a patient should be eating to promote the loss of body weight and fat as well as to prevent the loss of lean muscle tissue. "This diet has been associated with long-term efficacy and more people stick to it because it keeps energy levels up and hunger pangs down," he says.
The program designs individualized diet plans for each patient and includes teaching the patient on visual zoning and portion control of food, food selection, reading food labels and shopping for low-calorie food, advertising traps, and hunger control. For convenience, food-delivery service is available.
"Exercise is an important part of the weight loss battle," he says. "The connection between exercise and weight control is simple: exercise burns calories."
The program has partnered with leaders in the fitness industry and recommends exercise programs based on frequency (minimum of three days per week with no more than two days off between sessions), intensity (should take place at a "moderate" intensity level; "not too easy, not too hard"), and time (minimum of 20 minutes per session, working up to 60 minutes over time) to promote aerobic activity and strength training.
"Time can be cumulative. You don't have to do 60 minutes all at once. You can do several 10-minute mini-workouts each day," he adds.
"The use of medicines, such as appetite suppressants, is limited and selectively prescribed for patients who meet strict criteria recommended by the American Society of Bariatric Physicians," he says. "On the far end of the spectrum of weight loss solutions is weight loss surgery. The patient can undergo minimally invasive surgical techniques, usually either a vertical sleeve gastrectomy or a gastric banding procedure, (both procedures reduce the size of the stomach), that results in an average weight loss of 20-30% of the patient's baseline weight."
Dr. Santos cautions that while there are really no quick-fixes to weight loss, "the Meta-Morph Weight Loss Program can offer a comprehensive weight loss strategy that uses a combination of techniques and tools to battle nagging weight issues."
Dr. Eduardo A. Santos has 15 years of experience in general and cancer surgery. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a Fellow of the Philippine College of Surgeons, and a Diplomate of the Philippine Board of Surgery. Dr. Santos sits on the Board of Directors of the Philippine Society for Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition (PHILSPEN).