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About Dr Jim Sheehan

Dr Jim Sheehan has been with MedShape Weight Loss Clinics since 2007. During this time, he's had the privilege of working with thousands of MedShape, clients from all walks of life, ranging from professional athletes looking to enhance their performance to seriously ill individuals for whom weight loss was a life & death issue. Sheehan received his medical degree from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and his undergraduate education at Iowa State University, where he was also a member of the swimming team. He feels his experience in competing as a Division I level athlete spurred what has become a life long passion for studying and applying nutrition as a means to improve overall health and performance. He still enjoys swimming and coaches youth swimming. Other interests include experimenting with nutritional strategies and exploring a wide range of physical activities. Sheehan believes the nutrition & lifestyle changes that are at the core of the MedShape program are some of the most powerful tools available to the medical profession. After six years he is still continuously amazed by the dramatic level of improvements MedShape clients report in their health & quality of life.

3 Tips to Faster Weight Loss

Ensure You Have A Successful Faster Weight Loss Journey

You may think that losing weight is impossible, but really it isn’t. However, if you are thinking that a faster weight loss happens right away without absolutely any effort on your part, that is where you are wrong. If you are serious about losing weight and you are willing to stick to a healthy eating plan/diet, as well as changing your mindset, you will find that you will be able to lose your extra pounds quickly.

Both weight loss and diet plans are things that come and go in your life. They may even be your fad of the week and you begin to go after the concept without fully understanding how it can work for you. There are some diet programs that have been around for a while that really do work. And there are those that are just plain “Fads”.

But if you begin to rely on just one special diet program you may fail because it is not appropriate for your personal body type, genetics or your personal issues with emotions or other “Triggers”. There could also be adverse side effects that may occur over a certain amount of time, which could result in some serious health problems. That is why when you begin any type of weight loss program, it is important to really understand your body and make sure it is medically healthy for you as an individual.

You will also soon find that weight loss is more of a lifestyle than it is a type of physical act or emotional changing act. There are a variety of different reasons why people fail at weight loss programs in general. The majority of these people failed due to not being properly motivated to lose their weight. There are a few tips though that you can do to help you avoid the failures of dieting.

1. Effort

You will need to be ready to put forth some effort on your part. You need to be able to visualize your overall weight loss goal and push yourself towards the goal line. If faster weight loss is really what you want, it is very helpful having a team behind you who can help you keep an eye on the prize. Effort comes with motivation. Motivation to lose weight needs to be a constant positive reminder. Continually being reminded of the big picture and overall success will guide you to continued effort in reaching your weight loss goals. It can be easy, Really, it can!

2. Focus

You will also need to be sure that you are staying focused on your overall weight loss goal. If you are willing to stick to a healthier nutrition change as well as a constant creations of new habits you will be well on your way and see a faster weight loss. It may get discouraging at times because it can take a little time to see results but it is important that you continue to stay focused. You should share your overall weight loss goals with your  Health Counselor, friends and family members who can lend you support if you are down and help you get back on track. Setting up mini goals that lead to the big goal will give you plenty of reasons to celebrate and bring reassurance that you CAN do it and WILL do it!

3. Change physical activity slow and steady

It is important for you to realize that losing weight can be fun and not associate it with work or a chore. If you are trying to lose body fat do your exercise in ways that you would normally have fun. Play ball with your kids, play tennis, go jogging, take your kids to the mall and walk around. These are all still great forms of exercise and they will help you burn the body fat. There is no need to hit the treadmill running or start pumping weight. We want to move more and keep a steady comfortable pace. This will put your body in a fat burning mode. We want to trim down by losing the right thing…Body fat and not muscle. In the same respect, we want to keep our lean mass just that, Lean.

If you are looking at losing weight quick, there will be effort involved. If you are not willing to put in the effort, that it will take to lose weight, you will fail. Our MedShape Health Counselors help our patients stay on track with positive reinforcement at all times. Losing weight does not have to be hard. With some tips, hints, trouble shooting and support, you can have the body you want and deserve.

Learn More About The Benefits That A MedShape Has With Our Clinic

Know More About The Different Weight Loss Programs That MedShape Weight Loss Clinic Can Offer You

Quick Healthy Eating Tips

With so many people giving “healthy advice” on healthy eating now days, it’s disseminate between what is good information and what isn’t. Just recently the FDA has decided to start cracking down on “fruit drinks” promoting themselves as healthy, but are still loaded with sugar and unnecessary carbohydrates. While most of this advice and information comes with well intentions, make sure you understand and trust the source before you subscribe to any information you might read. Regardless of the advice, almost all creditable medical experts agrees on some basic fundamentals.

Here’s some down and dirty healthy eating tips. First, try to emphasize vegetables first and limit your intake of particular (high sugar) fruits. Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants–nutrients which help neutralize toxins in the body. Generally speaking, brightly colored fruits and vegetables contain the highest levels of antioxidants: for example, yellow, orange, and dark green vegetables; citrus fruits; and some vegetables like those in the cabbage family, such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. This isn’t to say we shouldn’t enjoy fruits in our daily diet, just remember vegetable generally don’t contain as much sugar and carbs need to be burnt off through exercise. Need some ideas on how much to eat: Eat two to four pieces of fresh fruit every day, and fill half of your plate with vegetables at any meal. Doing so will help you get your daily allowance.

Fruits and vegetables are also very high in all kids of other good stuff such as Vitamin C, which is supportive of the immune system, is abundant in strawberries, oranges, and bell peppers. Sweet potatoes, and winter squash are a powerful source of beta-carotene, which is important for vision. Green leafy vegetables support the health of our bones and teeth, amongst other things, with high levels of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K.

Second, since everyone’s body composition is different, eat the amount and combination of whole foods that make you feel your best. There are so many different approaches to healthy eating. At MedShape we subscribe to a high-protein diet with lots of non-starchy vegetables and few carbohydrates during weight loss. This type not only promotes weight loss, it provides protein which builds lean muscle mass.

I’m sure we’ve all read about the benefits of organic foods. Well, the facts don’t lie. Organic foods are really good for you and qualify as healthy eating! While the use of pesticides and GMO’s in our food supply does produce a higher yield, but we’re not entirely sure of the long term effects these chemicals and procedures have on the body. Additionally, studies have shown that children who grow up eating organic foods have lower levels of toxic chemicals in their bodies than those raised eating conventional foods.

Simeons HCG Diet Leads To Changes In Body Composition & Health – A Case Report

Given the recent popularity of the Simeons hCG diet, it is likely that thousands of individuals have experienced changes in body composition and health as a result of following the 500 calorie diet. Much of the attention surrounding the Simeons hCG diet has focused on reports of the significant weight loss experienced by users of the 500 calorie per day diet. However, details as to the nature of that weight loss along with health changes that dieters may have experienced as a result of using the 500-calorie diet have received less attention.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with a woman who presented to one of Medshape’s clinic locations for a BodyComp 5000 reading. (The BodyComp 5000 is a state of the art, multiple frequency bio-impedance machine used by the Medshape staff to assess the percent body fat and lean mass levels of their patients before, during and after weight loss efforts.) The woman, Teri, had scheduled an appointment to have her body composition analyzed at Medshape because she felt that previous readings she had conducted at her gym and home scale were inaccurate.

When asked why she felt the body composition results given to her by her trainer at the gym and those from her bathroom scale were inaccurate, Teri reported that she had lost fifty pounds on her own but that both the results from the gym and home indicated that her body fat had increased and recommended additional body fat be lost.

Teri felt that if she lost the amount of body fat that was being recommended she would be at a dangerously low body weight and therefore the results must be inaccurate. Teri sought out the highly accurate results of the BodyComp 5000 offered by Medshape to help clear up this uncertainty.

Upon reviewing the results of the BodyComp 5000, not only did the results agree with those provided to Teri by her trainer and bathroom scale, they went further, much further. The BodyComp 5000 results indicated that 40% of Teri’s body weight currently consisted of body fat, an increase of 7% from the 33% body fat she had before she lost weight!

Teri didn’t accept the results easily, but having three different methods of evaluating body composition deliver the same message, (especially one as precise as the BodyComp 5000) made it hard for Teri to deny. After accepting that her percent body fat had increased despite her weight loss, Teri’s next question was how?

This began a discussion about what Teri had done to lose weight. Teri reported that she had utilized the Simeons hCG diet three separate times over the past two years. The Simeons hCG diet, is an ultra-low calorie diet developed in the late 1940’s to early 1950’s, that allows only 500 calories per day in a very regimented manner.

During our conversation Teri reported that during the three times she used the 500 calorie per day diet she had never administered hCG by subcutaneous injection. During her time on the Simeons hCG diet she took “hCG drops”, which she initially got from her friend who was a hairdresser and then from a local health food store.

Teri reported that she followed the Simeons diet “exactly and only used special shampoo, conditioner, lotion & cosmetics” that she got from her friend who was a hairdresser.

She stated that she lost the most weight the first time she used the 500-calorie Simeons hCG diet. Teri said she maintained her weight loss from the first attempt for about 4 months at which point her weight started to creep back up.

When she regained about half of the weight she had initially lost, Teri resumed the 500 calorie diet for a second time. Teri said that the weight loss was much slower the second and third times she attempted the Simeons diet and that it was harder to maintain the weight loss once she went off the 500 calorie per day diet.

In addition, Teri reported that she started to have trouble with fatigue and depressed mood along with brittle nails and thinning hair during her third time using the Simeons hCG diet.

When asked how long she was able to maintain the weight loss after her third time using the 500 Calorie HCG diet, Teri frowned and said “not long for most of it”. Teri said that immediately upon returning to a “normal” diet after her third time of using the Simeons hCG diet she began experiencing severe abdominal pain after eating. It was soon discovered that she had developed gallstones and a severe inflammation of the gallbladder known as cholecystitis. In fact, Teri said that she ended up having her gallbladder removed just 3 weeks ago.

Teri asked whether her weight loss had anything to do with the development of her cholecyctitis, and while that question can’t be answered with absolute certainty because many women who have never followed a diet develop gallstones, there are strong reasons to think that it might.

Increased rates of gallstone formation are known to occur in conditions where rapid weight loss that consists of a high percentage of lean mass (muscle, bone, skin thickness, etc) occurs. In fact, this relationship is so well known that it is standard practice for individuals undergoing gastric bypass surgery to have their gallbladders removed, due to the high incidence of stone formation associated with the post surgical weight loss.

When reviewing the body composition data from before her weight loss efforts and comparing it to the BodyComp 5000 results, it was clear that Teri had lost between 75-80% of her weight as lean mass. This was why that even though her body weight decreased the percentage of her body weight made of body fat increased.

It was explained that in order to reduce her body fat percentage, Teri must regain lean mass (muscle, bone, skin, etc) that she lost during her use of the Simeons hCG diet, then loose body fat, while retaining as much lean mass as possible. Teri’s response was, “ Great, so I basically have to undo everything I spent the past two years suffering to achieve, I wish I would have known this earlier & before I had surgery”.

Teri’s frustration is certainly understandable, there are many confusing messages about what is the best or fastest way to lose weight and in the end the truth of the matter is that weight loss is only part of the picture. How an individual loses weight is actually far more important, in most cases, than the amount of weight they lose or how fast they lose it.

Being armed with the information about where your body composition currently is and working with a team that can help you interpret the results and guide you on a path to help you reach your goals safely is essential for weight loss success. This is why Medshape has offered a complimentary BodyComp 5000 analysis for individuals who wish to learn more about losing weight and improving health.

New Research Supports The Existence Of “Carb Addiction”

New research supports the existence of “Carb Addiction” and gets a look at what happens inside the brain of individuals consuming high carb meals, compared to those consuming low glycemic index meals. Many of us identify with the term “carb addict”, in a light-hearted way to describe some of the difficulties we encounter during a weight loss effort.  However, in light of recent scientific findings carb addiction is looking to be far more fact than fiction and we’re starting to better understand the benefits of a low-carb diet.

Over the last few years, scientists have made significant breakthroughs in the process of understanding eating habits and their relation to weight gain.  Additional insight has been added by the recent study: “Effects of dietary glycemic index on brain regions related to reward and craving in menpublished in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

This study used a technique known as functional MRI scanning in order to watch the brain activity as study participants consumed high glycemic index “GI” milkshakes. The study compared brain activity following the consumption of the high carb milkshakes to what occurs in the brain after individuals consumed milkshakes made to have a low glycemic index “low GI”.

The researchers found, as in other studies, that consumption of the high carb meal sharply increased blood sugar levels, leading to a crash in blood sugar levels shortly thereafter.  This crash was followed by a significant increase in hunger and desire for additional high carb foods.  The researchers noted that when the “rebound” hunger occurred following the crash caused by the high carb milkshake, a considerable increase in brain activity occurred in regions of the brain specifically associated with “reward & craving”.

Over the years this same pattern of increased activity in the region of the brain known as the nucleus accumbens, has been observed in the brains of individuals who crave powerfully addictive substances such as cocaine and heroin.

As scientific discovery continues to shed light onto the processes that drive our food choices and eating habits, we will be able to continue to focus our weight loss efforts on recommending nutritional and lifestyle plans to support decreased levels of addictive brain activity vs. focusing primarily on low calorie intake.

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