Fat 2 Fit #147 – Weight Loss with Parkinson’s


Written on May 8, 2013 – 10:15 pm | by Helana Brigman

Exercise and healthful eating are a no-fail recipe for weight-loss success.

But, in the case of certain rare diseases, losing weight just isn’t this simple.

In today’s episode of Fat 2 Fit Radio (#147), Russ and Helana discuss one of the more serious weight-loss topics yet to be addressed on the show: Parkinson’s Disease.  We play a voicemail from listener Debbie and hear many of the struggles post-operation patients experience in weight gain and muscle weakness after deep brain stimulation surgery.

Parkinson’s affects about 1% of the population between ages 55 and 65 (WebMD), and, consequently, little is known about its relationship to weight loss and muscle growth.

Russ and Helana review a recent study involving a group of 22 Parkinson’s patients (15 male, 7 female) after deep brain stimulation surgery. More and more, research shows significant weight gain in both men and women, but with shocking results in longterm follow ups.

In the past, we’ve discussed how good old exercise and smart nutrition can influence Type 2 Diabetes (#70) and offer great listener success stories (#102).  Yet with Parkinson’s, successful recovery continues to be far more complex.

Russ checks in with listeners Renee and James, covering everything from nutritional information between beans and lentils to over-exertion and blood-shot eyes.  He then revisits the topic of “starvation mode” with a new article by Tom Venudo, detailing that starvation mode not only negatively affects your body’s metabolism, but also your body’s ability to lose weight longterm.

As always, take a look at the show notes for our recipe of the week, cited articles, listener stories, and other great reads. For healthful eating ideas, checkout the recipe of the week or signup for the Weekly Recipe Newsletter at Clearly Delicious.

Good People: 

Good Reads: 

Good Eats:

Motivational Quote of the Week: 

“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  1. 13 Responses to “Fat 2 Fit #147 – Weight Loss with Parkinson’s”

  2. By Lia on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    I do not see your new podcast on iTunes! Help!

  3. By Russ Turley on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    Working on it. Thanks for the heads up.

  4. By Caren on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    Glad to hear the podcast. My father had Parkinson’s and it’s a debilitating disease. I was wondering if the tremors burn more calories, and after the surgery, fewer calories are expended, and thus the weight gain. Thoughts?

  5. By Donna on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    Just listened to this podcast with the woman with Parkinson’s saying she’s exercising but not losing weight, but I didn’t hear anything about diet and neither did your response say anything about her diet. Why?

  6. By Russ Turley on May 10, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks for the comment Donna.

    Debbie mentioned that she has a hard time keeping track of calories. She already knows she needs to. There’s no need for me to re-iterate what she already knew. She also explicitly said she wants to get strong so that’s what I focussed on. If I had one thing to pick for Debbie, either a lower weight and weak or her current weight and strong, I’d pick the latter. Hence, my answer.

  7. By Scott on May 15, 2013 | Reply

    Hey guys,

    Glad you have the podcast back up and running. It’s great to have my motivation back!

    I just wanted to comment on Helena’s recipes. I think you are doing a good job by keeping the egg yolks in and using real food like butter as opposed to margarine. The bulk of my 41 years have been quite active until I turned 31 and had to have hip replacements which slowed me down. Most of my life I have never worried about fats such as egg yolks, whole milk and butter, nor did I worry about diet pop as I always drank regular but never a lot of it. Egg yolks are also high in vitamins and minerals too.

    Keep up the good work.

  8. By tyler on May 17, 2013 | Reply

    I always check with http://spiffyreview.com/category/weight-loss-diet-plans/ before I try anything or spend any money on weight loss or diet products, it’s a review site of all kind of stuff.

  9. By Sue Wanner on May 21, 2013 | Reply

    The lady with Parkinson’s should check out the connection to Lyme disease. This will not be from your doctor. Watch the movie Under our skin. It’s quite the eye opener. I he’s a friend diagnosed with MS and started Lyme treatment from a Lyme doctor and is doing so much better without toxic drugs! The are about 7diseases that may really be Lyme disease. Please check it out!

  10. By Sue Wanner on May 21, 2013 | Reply

    Also need an update on Russ!

  11. By Helana Brigman on May 21, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Caren – This is a great question. Based on the research from the Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Follow Up research in the article I covered, some scientists appear to think there is an increase in calorie burn based on the tremors (which makes some sense because your body is moving more than it would be without the disease). And, some of the research suggests that weight gain after DBS surgery is the result of returning to a state with less calorie burn that you would have been experienced before (possibly).

    Does anyone else have suggestions for Caren’s question?

  12. By Helana Brigman on May 21, 2013 | Reply

    @Donna. I agree with Russ’s comment. Understanding Weight Gain (or Loss) and Parkinson’s Disease is a loaded and multi-faceted topic to get into. Our listener did not mention her diet, so we could not get into it in detail (we’d simply be making too many unfounded assumptions). I hope she’ll call back and let us know about her thoughts on the show! And, what her doctors suggest for caloric intake and diet. As I mentioned at the end of my web report review, this particular topic requires guided medical care–all articles suggest meeting with your doctor to discuss diet and exercise that are UNIQUE to your experience with the disease. I hope we can return to this topic in a future show.

  13. By Concerned on Jun 18, 2013 | Reply

    I’m sure this will be deleted but I wish it wouldn’t. Please consider getting a different co-host, or no co-host, than Helana. Seems like a nice lady but just… not working. She read from a medical journal for several minutes on this podcast; who thinks that’s a good idea on radio?

  14. By Sheryl rishi on Jul 5, 2013 | Reply

    Keep calm and fight on! Thanks for the wonderful message!

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