Archive | December, 2018

How To Not Gain Weight This Christmas

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Americans’ weight, waist size and BMI (body mass index) has increased over the past 18 years. In fact, the report shows the average U.S. adult is overweight and just a few pounds from obese.

So, before you dive into a Christmas feast, here’s some advice from Lexington Medical Center experts about avoiding holiday weight gain and starting the new year healthy.

“The holidays are treacherous for us because we keep high calorie foods around,” said Glen Strickland, MD, FACS, ASMBS, of the South Carolina Obesity Surgery Center at Lexington Medical Center. “It’s easy to give in to temptation and take in more calories than we burn.”

Even though it’s a special occasion, the principles are the same. When you consume more calories than you burn, you’re going to gain weight. Roughly 3,500 calories add up to one pound of fat.

Dr. Strickland advises that if you want to eat high calorie foods on Christmas, plan for it. For example, if that delicious piece of cake is 300 calories, exercise earlier in the day to “pre pay” for the calories.

Keep in mind that weight is mainly a function of what we eat – not what we do. In fact, experts say our weight is 80 percent what we eat and 20 percent what we do.

“If you eat a healthy diet, you’re much more likely to keep your weight under control,” Dr. Strickland said. “If you eat a bad diet, there’s not enough time during the day to burn it off.”

Lexington Medical Center dietician Debbie Hoerner agrees that the right plan can help prevent unwanted pounds.

“Don’t skip a meal early in the day to save calories and build an appetite,” she said. “You’ll end up eating more, eating faster and overeating.”

According to Hoerner, it’s OK to enjoy dessert. Just be mindful of your portion size.

“I’m always asking my patients the million dollar question – are you really hungry?”

The typical American should take in 2,000 calories each day. But on holidays, we tend to eat about 3,000 calories.

“Focus on making memories with family and friends through activities and having fun, not just the food,” she said.

Overcoming Breast Cancer

Each month, Lexington Medical Center partners with WLTX to help with the TV station’s “Buddy Call” segment. That’s when news anchors Darci Strickland and Andrea Mock profile a breast cancer survivor and tell women to call a “buddy” and remind her to do a self-breast exam. This month, their story focused on Janie Lakin.

In addition to being an 8-year cancer survivor, Janie was a model in the 2018 breast cancer survivor fashion show during Women’s Night Oct, Lexington Medical Center’s annual event recognizing October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Here are sone photos of Janie on the catwalk.

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Quit Smoking in 2019: Free Smoking Cessation Classes

Are you trying to quit smoking in the New Year? Lexington Medical Center is pleased to offer a series of free smoking cessation classes to members of our community who want to kick the smoking habit for good.


The classes, offered at hospital locations around Lexington County, meet once each week for two hours and last eight weeks. The Freedom from Smoking program is open to anyone who wants to quit smoking, and because of a generous grant from the Lexington Medical Center Foundation, there is no cost to participate.

The first session of classes begins on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. inside Lexington Medical Center Lexington at 811 West Main Street in Lexington. Additional sessions will begin in March in Irmo, May in Lexington, July in West Columbia and September in Lexington and Batesburg-Leesville. Tobacco cessation facilitators who have training from the American Lung Association lead the classes.

Since its inception, 55 percent of the people who completed the smoking cessation program through Lexington Medical Center have quit smoking. That’s significantly above the national average of 17 to 23 percent. The classes provide helpful tips for quitting.

The program doesn’t end with the completion of the eight-week course. The clinicians leading the classes check on each participant at 30-, 90-, 180- and 365-day intervals for the first year.

To register, call (803) 358-6180. You must register for the class in advance.

For long-time smokers, Lexington Medical Center also offers a lung cancer screening program. Detecting lung cancer at an early stage can reduce the risk of mortality by 20 percent. People who meet the following criteria should consider a lung cancer screening:
~55-74 years old and a heavy smoker (the equivalent of a pack a day for 30 years)
~55-74 years old and at risk because of family history, your occupation or a lung disease
~Symptoms, like a continuous cough, shortness of breath or coughing up blood

The scan takes 15-20 seconds. If clinicians find a spot, the patient’s doctor may request another CT scan or biopsy to determine if the abnormality is cancer.

If the patient is still a smoker at the time of the screening, nurses will provide education and resources to help them quit.

For more information on the hospital’s lung cancer screening program or to schedule an appointment, call (803) 791 – 2000.