DiscoverDecoding Obesity
Decoding Obesity

Decoding Obesity

Author: Avishkar Sabharwal, M.D., Dipl. ABOM

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The biology of obesity is complex. The traditional practice of cutting calories and increasing expenditure, in all its simplicity, gives the illusion of being the obvious approach. It surely may work in the short term, but usually falters in the long run. As we gain new insights and develop new empirics, we move a step closer to cracking this code.
The Decoding Obesity podcast will help you develop a deeper understanding of this disease, develop a healthy relationship with nutrition, promote self-care, and emote a new confidence of "Yes, I can do it!"
Disclaimer: Information provided on this podcast is for educational purposes only and does not constitute/substitute medical advice. Consult your health care professional prior to trying any of the modalities mentioned here.
45 Episodes
According to the 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the daily fiber intake of Americans is inadequate. We all have heard about the importance of fiber at some point in time. In this episode, we take a deep dive into how fiber works, its different types, and how it actually benefits our overall health.
Our diets can have a big role to play in obesity and but what about the effect of food on cardiovascular health? Health begins with the food we eat. Our arteries are the highways on which the blood transports oxygen and nutrients to various parts of the body. Atherosclerosis is the process of fat and cholesterol deposition in our arteries which can impede this essential process. Our very special guest shares her thoughts on how diet can impact atherosclerosis.
When you hear the word ‘obese’, what do we usually think of? When you encounter people suffering from obesity, what thoughts come to you? Do you see them as suffering from a disease that needs medical treatment or do you see them as people who are lazy, who lack willpower, and can’t do anything in life?Today’s guest is going to bust these myths today. Sean Mulroney has seen some exceedingly difficult times in his life translating to his weight gain, but he has come out stronger on the other side. He hosts a podcast called The Obesity Revolution and runs a program with his personal trainer to help people in a similar situation. Through his podcast, he tries to spread awareness about obesity to others.
Sleep is such an essential part of living. We spend nearly a third of our lives sleeping, and for good reason! Can you even imagine going a full day without sleep? We already know what sleep deprivation does to us mentally and physically. Unfortunately, sleep has taken a backseat in our fast-paced lives. It has become something people take for granted. Sleep is important for us, not just for our cognition but also for our overall health. It is especially important in obesity and weight loss. To tell us more about how sleep affects our overall health and how sleep deprivation relates to obesity, we have with us, Dr. Smitha Patel.    Dr. Smitha Patel is Board certified in Neurology, Sleep Medicine, and Integrated Medicine. She has launched iNeuro Institute which provides services in Integrative Neurology and sleep education.
How do you like the idea of cooking an amazing meal for your significant other without breaking the bank this Valentine’s day? Dr. Sarita Golikeri is a Family Medicine physician and also certified in Culinary Medicine. Dr. Golikeri consults with patients on managing and preventing conditions like diabetes and high cholesterol through diet and nutrition. Join us as we discuss how you can cook great meals that are healthy and do not break the bank!
Do you normally pay attention to what sequence you eat your meal in? What would happen if you reversed the sequence? In the last episode, we did touch a bit on how meal sequencing affects the blood sugar spikes in our bodies. Today, we discuss this particular topic in depth. Tune in to this episode as we dive a little deeper into the science behind meal sequencing.
Sugar is an ingredient every single person on Earth probably knows about—from the babies up to the elderly. We have always known its familiar taste, the comfort it brings, and are even aware of its negative effects on our body. Today, more and more people from different walks of life are having issues with their blood sugar shooting up and their diabetes becoming a hindrance to a comfortable and healthy everyday life. In this episode, we will discuss two terms associated with carbohydrates and obesity— glycemic index and glycemic load.
As the new year starts, we find ourselves beaming with hope and excitement as we fill our notebooks with a goal after goal. However, one thing people often overlook is the question, ‘How can I make sure I keep moving towards my goal?’ Accountability is the answer. Without this, we might, more often than not, sidetrack from our goals and find ourselves repeatedly failing and being disappointed. Just as having goals is important, having accountability is equally important.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) publishes its dietary guidelines once every 5 years. The first dietary guidelines came about in 1977. How have they changed over the years? How did we move into the low-fat era? Even the latest guidelines have been fraught with controversies. Tune in to this episode to know this and a lot more about the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
In today’s episode, we will be talking about the life of a doctor who was naturally fit and following the principles of healthy living until he suddenly found himself gaining more and more unhealthy pounds before he realized it. Dr. Mark Chavez is a medical doctor and entrepreneur. We were able to connect through LinkedIn and I came across his book: The 5 Habits of Healthy People. His story really resonated with me, so I decided to bring him on to share it with all of us too. He is also the mastermind behind the device called the Gravity Ball®. Join us in this fun and interesting conversation as we talk more about healthy living in greater detail!   Head to for show notes and more information! Follow on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn
New year, new me. If you’re familiar with this phrase, chances are you’ve already heard someone say it, or you’ve actually uttered these words yourself. There’s just something about the New Year that makes you want to have a fresh start and become a better version of yourself. But if you’re anyone like me, you also know the struggle of trying to set goals and getting all fired up on January 1st, but then come January 15th, you find yourself losing steam and not seeing results. So, you give up and quit on your goals altogether. Should this really be the case year after year? Is there a way you could actually achieve the goals you set every year?  Join me and my three special guests as we talk about how goal-setting the right way can set yourself up for success! Head to for show notes and more information! Follow on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn
Wondering, “will meal planning will work for me?” It’s almost the end of 2020, and 2021 is fast approaching. This is the perfect time to give yourself a pat on the back for accomplishing a lot of things this year despite the situation. This may be the year you took up new hobbies, took time to take care of your own needs, and perhaps even got your nutrition and fitness in order. However, not all of us may feel like we truly made the most out of this year, especially if we didn’t meet our expectations or achieve some goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of this year. I thought to myself, 'How can I help you in achieving the goal of eating healthy as we head into the new year?' It obviously had to be something that is simple and sustainable. I think meal planning would be the best way to start your new year with a bang. Head to for show notes and more information! Follow on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn
Our eating habits are such an integral part of our identity. All of us have specific likes and dislikes. Does the chemistry of the food we eat have a role to play in this? Food addiction remains a controversial medical diagnosis. Dr. Joan Ifland, who specializes in food addiction sheds light on this. She received her Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies with a specialization in Addictive Nutrition from the Union Institute & University. She is also the author of the popular book—Sugars and Flours: How They Make Us Crazy, Sick, and Fat and What to Do About It. She is currently developing online approaches to recovery from food addiction at and has a highly active group called Food Addiction Education on Facebook—both of which we'll be talking about with her. Head to for show notes and more information! Follow on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn
For a long time already, counting daily steps has been quite a thing. There is a sense of fulfillment after reaching that 10,000-step goal you set and seeing all those burned calories on your pedometer. But is there any scientific basis behind why this 10,000-step goal gained so much popularity over the years when it is just like all other activities such as walking, jogging, and running? Does it really produce amazing results in a short period of time? In today’s episode, I will be discussing further what this 10000 steps goal really does to our body and why it is deemed effective by many who have tried it. Get the cheat sheet here Head to for show notes and more information! Follow on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn
Karlijn Burridge is a nationally recognized expert in obesity medicine. She is comprehensively trained in medical obesity treatment, as well as in bariatric surgery. Karlijn is a Fellow of the Obesity Medicine Association. She is a co-author of the Obesity Algorithm® and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Illinois Obesity Society. She has developed a number of successful weight management programs in a variety of health settings. She has received multiple awards for her work in expanding the field of obesity medicine and in furthering obesity education for health care providers. She is also the founder and owner of Gaining Health, which is a company she developed to support health care providers who want to incorporate obesity medicine into practice, as well as providing education and support for people who are impacted by obesity. Head to for show notes and more information! Follow on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn
Traditionally, Thanksgiving began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. It is a time when family members travel from far and wide to get together and celebrate. Like many of us, the food is usually what we look forward to as the holiday approaches. We think about the turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, cornbread, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pie for dessert. However, do we realize that we’ve gone a little too shallow only thinking about those things for Thanksgiving? How do we shift from a ‘feast-mindset’ to a healthier one? Let’s figure that out in today’s episode! Head to for show notes and more information! Follow on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn
Dr. Lisa Tharler is a hospitalist and a mom of 3. She shares her story of how her weight got out of control after her third pregnancy and how she managed to lose most of it. She also shares some valuable tips on how to get started with being physically active. Head to for show notes and more information! Follow on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn
Dr. Maria Maldonado is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is a primary care physician, and is board certified in obesity medicine. Her research and clinical interests are in cross-cultural care and health care disparities, implicit bias, medical education, and the delivery of patient-centered care. She joins me to share her weight loss journey and discusses how it all started with a change in her mindset. Head to for show notes and more information! Follow on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn
Dr. Samantha Harris is an Endocrinologist at the Scripps Center for Weight Management in San Diego, California. She is certified in Obesity Medicine and specializes in both weight loss as well as the treatment for diabetes. She discusses her weight loss journey and how going keto made things worse for her. Head to for show notes and more information! Follow on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn
Dr. Erin Saltzman discusses sexual health in men as it relates to obesity. Dr. Saltzman is a board-certified Endocrinologist. She is currently in the process of getting her certification in Obesity Medicine as well. Head to for show notes and more information! Follow on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn
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