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How Do I Know If I Can Get Weight Loss Surgery?

Everybody has to begin their weight loss journey somewhere. So, why not start here? Exploring eligibility for certain weight loss procedures can help you narrow down your available options. It also gives you a chance to see what kinds of procedures you might be comfortable with. Ultimately, the best way to determine which weight loss surgery is best for you is by scheduling a free consultation. Our experts at SmartShape™ can help you explore your available options and outline the procedures and aftercare programs in more detail. Keep reading to explore some of the factors that determine eligibility.

The LAP-BAND® Weight Loss Program

The LAP-BAND® Weight Loss Program offers patients a less-invasive weight loss option. A gastric band is placed around your stomach during a minimally-invasive, laparoscopic procedure. Once the band is placed, a 12-month aftercare program enables patients to connect with their SmartShape™ support team.

To qualify for the LAP-BAND® Weight Loss Program, patients must:

  • Be at least 16 years of age or higher
  • Have a BMI of 30+
  • Have had serious attempts to lose weight with only short-term success
  • Be prepared to make a serious, long-lasting change
  • Not drink alcohol in excess or have any illegal drug dependence

Many patients have had success with the LAP-BAND® at SmartShape™. If this sounds like a procedure that may benefit you, contact us today and request a free consultation.

Gastric Sleeve

The gastric sleeve procedure is a permanent weight loss solution. If you have struggled in the past with losing weight and keeping it off, the gastric sleeve procedure might be beneficial for you. The procedure decreases the size of your stomach, essentially limiting the amount of food you can eat at once. It helps you to feel full faster, and stay full longer.

Some of the eligibility requirements include:

  • A BMI of 40+
  • A BMI between 35 and 40, with weight-related medical issues
  • A determined mindset that is prepared to make lifestyle and diet changes.
  • A lifestyle that’s free of drinking alcohol in excess or illegal drug dependencies

The gastric sleeve is an effective and permanent weight loss solution. Those who have seriously struggled with losing weight and keeping it off for a considerable amount of time may greatly benefit from this procedure. Not only can it help improve any weight-related medical problems, but it can help to increase your confidence and overall quality of life too!

Mini Gastric Bypass

The mini gastric bypass takes a more modern approach to the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. Not only does it simplify the procedure, but it has the same effective weight loss results too. It helps patients to lose weight in two ways. It begins by reducing the size of the stomach to limit the amount of food that patients can consume. Then, it reduces the amount of food that your body can absorb by bypassing a portion of your intestines. This dual-stage approach to bypass surgery has shown to be highly-effective, especially when combined with the SmartShape™ Aftercare program. A well-balanced and nutritious diet combined with other healthy lifestyle changes, such as exercise, is the key to long-lasting weight loss.

The mini gastric bypass procedure may be right for you, if:

  • Your BMI is 40+
  • You have weight-related medical problems combined with a BMI of 35-40
  • You’re prepared to make long-term changes to your eating habits and lifestyle
  • Prefer a procedure that requires minimal ongoing care or adjustments
  • You don’t drink alcohol in excess or have an illegal drug addiction

The best way to find out if the mini gastric bypass surgery is for you, is by requesting a consultation. Only a SmartShape™ weight loss expert will be able to help you fully explore your options and ultimately determine what you are eligible for.

Gastric Balloon

The ORBERA® Weight Loss System utilizes gastric balloon technology, combined with a 12-month aftercare program. The gastric balloon is inserted through your mouth and into your stomach endoscopically, during a non-invasive procedure. Once in place, the balloon is filled with a safe saline solution until it’s about the size of a grapefruit. The balloon helps you to feel full, ultimately helping reduce hunger urges and helping you adapt to healthier portion control. While you’re adapting to your new appetite, your SmartShape™ support team will help you to make healthy, long-lasting lifestyle changes. You will be encouraged to exercise regularly and eat a well-balanced diet.

You might be eligible for ORBERA®, if:

  • You’re at least 18 years of age
  • You’ve had a lack of success with traditional weight loss methods
  • You don’t meet the criteria for the LAP-BAND® procedure, but want to make a change
  • You have a BMI greater than 27 and need to lose weight to improve your health
  • You’re not pregnant and have no intention of becoming pregnant within 6 months of the ORBERA® balloon placement
  • You have no history of bariatric surgery or bowel obstructions

Researching the available weight loss solutions and criteria is a great first step to take during your weight loss journey. It’s important that you move forward with confidence and motivation throughout the rest of your journey. To get started today, contact our experts at SmartShape™ for a free consultation.

5 Healthy Foods You Should be Eating

Chances are that by now you might have a good idea of the food you shouldn’t be eating. It’s drilled into our brains that we should steer clear of fast food restaurants, chips, pop, and all other foods that are notoriously bad for you. Your weight loss journey depends on you filling your body with nutritious food. A well-balanced diet is attainable through a plan, which means it’s important that you know which foods to eat. Of course, you should eat healthy food and meals that you genuinely enjoy. Take a look at these healthy food options below if you’re planning your next grocery shop, creating a meal plan, or even if you just want to see if you’re on the right track!

  1. Lemons

Yum! There’s nothing quite like a big bite of a juicy lemon!

Said nobody. Ever.

Even though you may not eat them whole, lemons can be used as a healthy and delicious alternative for flavouring in your food and drinks. The next time you’re cooking vegetables, salmon, or chicken, try squeezing juice from a lemon on top for flavour. It can even be used as a marinade, salad dressing, and in your drinks too! Throw a slice of lemon and mint into your water or tea for a healthy kick.  Lemons can have many health benefits, too! They have been shown to fight skin damage caused by exposure to sun and pollution, boost the immune system, and even decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality. A lemon contains roughly 17 calories depending on the size[i]. When divided into slices, that’s considerably less compared to using store-bought dressings and flavourings.

  1. Salmon

If you enjoy fish, salmon just might be for you! There are many benefits to incorporating salmon in your diet. Not only is salmon a great source of protein, but it’s also:

  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • High in B vitamins
  • A great source of potassium
  • High in selenium
  • A source of antioxidants[ii]

Dress your salmon up with some fresh lemon, lemon pepper or fresh dill. It can be a great addition to many dishes, from rice and quinoa, to salads and vegetable bakes. Salmon has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, fight inflammation, and aid in weight loss.

  1. Avocados

It’s time to hop on the current health trend that is avocados!

Avocados can be prepared in many different ways. The first (and arguably most crucial) step, is picking the perfect one. You can tell how ripe an avocado is by the colour and firmness. Dark green and hard signifies that it isn’t ripe yet, while dark purple and mushy is a clear-cut sign that it’s probably past it’s peak. If it’s a light green colour with hints of purple, that’s a good sign. Give it a squeeze, if it has a little give then chances are you’re good to go!

There are several delicious ways to prepare avocados, depending on your personal preference. You can cut it open and eat it with a spoon, chop it up and add it to a salad, sandwich, or wrap. Or try it mashed up and serve it on crackers or toast, or even add it into a sauce or dip!

Avocados contain 20 different vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Vitamin K
  • Folate
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin E[iii]

They also have small amounts of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), and Niacin (B3). Of these vitamins and nutrients, they are particularly high in fiber, potassium, and antioxidants.[iv]

How are you going to include avocados in your diet?

  1. Bananas

If you weren’t already eating this healthy and delicious fruit, you definitely should start!

Bananas can be prepared multiple ways, making them a great addition to any breakfast, lunch or snack. Enjoy them right from the peel, or chop them up and add to your cereal, oatmeal, fruit salad, peanut butter toast, or yogurt! You can even take your banana addiction to the next level and make healthy protein pancakes! Combine 3 egg whites, one banana, and ½ a cup of your favourite protein powder in a bowl and whisk well. Add a large spoonful to your frying pan until the pancakes are about 3-5 inches wide and cook for roughly 1-2 minutes per side, depending how hot your pan is. To mix things up, add blueberries to your pancakes!

Bananas are rich in potassium, fiber, and many antioxidants. You can benefit from vitamins and minerals like Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Protein.[v] One medium-sized banana contains 105 calories and is mainly water and carbohydrates.[vi]  They have been show to help improve your digestive health[vii], aid in weight loss, and even help reduce muscle cramps and soreness following exercise.

  1. Spinach

You can’t go wrong with dark, leafy greens! Spinach is jam-packed with many nutrients and vitamins, making it a great addition to any diet. One cup of raw spinach has about 27 calories, most of which come from protein. It’s a great source of dietary potassium, calcium, vitamin K, fiber and thiamine. It also contains large amounts of magnesium, which can help improve your metabolism, maintain muscle and nerve function, encourage a health immune system and even maintain blood pressure.[viii]

Spinach can be incorporated into a variety of dishes, including:

  • Salads
  • Omelettes
  • Sautéed meat and vegetables
  • Sandwiches
  • Wraps

You can even try cooking spinach by itself as a side dish. Simply garnish with some lemon and spices like garlic, turmeric or cumin.

So, there you have it! Five delicious and healthy foods that should definitely be on your next grocery list. Although, you shouldn’t stop there! These are only five healthy foods that you should be eating, among many others! This is a great start, but for more ideas or information you should contact your SmartShape™ weight loss support team. They can help you fill your grocery list with a bounty of healthy foods and help you explore nutritious meal ideas.


[i] “Lemons: Health Benefits, Nutrition, Research | Medical News Today” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 2017-03-24].

[ii] “11 Impressive Health Benefits of Salmon | Authority Nutrition” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 2017-03-24].

[iii] “Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects | NCBI” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 2017-03-24].

[iv] “12 Proven Health Benefits of Avocado | Authority Nutrition” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 2017-03-2017].

[v] “11 Proven Benefits of Bananas | Authority Nutrition” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 2017-03-24].

[vi] “High Content of Dopamine, A Strong Antioxidant, in Cavendish Banana | NCBI” [Online]. Available” [Accessed: 2017-03-24].

[vii] “Dietary Fibre and Health | Wiley Online Library” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 2017-03-24].

[viii] “Spinach: Health Benefits, Uses, Precautions | Medical News Today” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 2017-03-24].

Obesity and Cancers

Cancer & ObesityDid you know that many cancers today are linked to obesity? With the rise in obesity over the past two decades, along with reduced physical activity and diets high in carbohydrates, a review of more than a thousand studies has found solid evidence that being overweight or obese increases the risk for at least 13 types of cancer. The review was conducted by a working group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization. The studies show that there is a strong link between the way obesity affects the body and how certain cancers are able to grow. This means that many of these cancers may be preventable or have their growth limited with sustained reduction in weight.

When it comes to reducing your risk of cancer, maintaining a healthy weight may be as important as avoiding tobacco and overexposure from the sun.

Obesity is associated with significant metabolic and hormonal abnormalities, and with a low-grade chronic inflammatory state. These are factors that may help explain its link to cancer. And obesity can interfere with the effective delivery of some cancer therapies including surgery.

Being overweight or obese is clearly linked with an increased risk of cancers of the:

  • Breast (in women past menopause)
  • Colon and rectum
  • Endometrium (lining of the uterus)
  • Esophagus
  • Kidney
  • Pancreas

Some people may have inborn high vulnerability to specific cancers due to their family history. In the majority of cases, such susceptibility only leads to cancer when driven by external factors.

There remains significant research to be done on the link between obesity and cancer. In the meantime, achieving significant and sustained weight loss may be a very effective way to reduce the risk of getting not only cancer but other obesity-related diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Having encouragement and a team of supporters while you are on your weight loss journey often makes the difference between winning and losing in the battle of the bulge.

Make your future a healthier one for the long run – learn more about the support and programs available at SmartShape Weight Loss Centres.

Deborah’s Success Story with the ORBERA balloon

Deborah Carmichael B&AMy weight issues started after my first baby (who is now 29 with a baby of her own!). I never lost all of my baby weight, then went on to have 3 more children. Suddenly, I was even farther away from my original weight (about 25 lbs) than before and I struggled constantly to drop the weight. It was a constant yo-yo. In my mid-40’s I had a complete hysterectomy and, after the operation, I almost immediately gained another 25 lbs. I found myself now about 50 lbs overweight and I didn’t even recognize myself anymore. I would hide behind loose clothes and started experiencing minor health issues as a result of added weight, e.g. blood pressure, aches and pains, cholesterol. I couldn’t even walk up a flight of stairs without having shortness of breath.

In the summer of 2016, my husband had a life-threatening illness. Thankfully, after several months, he had a complete recovery. At our lowest point, I thought to myself: I want to live! I want to be healthy! I want to see my granddaughter grow up! I knew I needed to take serious action. The balloon was a last resort for me. It literally became my life-line!

I had spent years and years struggling with many other diets: Jenny Craig, Nutri-System, Dr. Bernstein, Slim Fast shakes, Isagenix. You name it, I’ve tried it! I did look into Lap-Bands, as I thought I was on the threshold of being a good candidate for either (Lap-Band or balloon).

It was the people at SmartShape that made me choose them. Right from the start I was provided with exceptional service from very caring, knowledgeable and understanding staff. Even the Surgeon called me himself to talk about both procedures and my options. I felt I was in good hands and I was confident I was making the right decision. I flew in specifically to see this Surgeon and his team, all the way from Vancouver, BC.

From the moment I entered the facility my experience was second to none. The operating room nurses, the anesthetist, the Surgeon and the recovery room nurses were all amazing. I was very comfortable and not one bit nervous. They also followed up with me by telephone the evening after the procedure. Throughout the weeks and months that followed, I was in contact with Margeaux, the Nutritionist. I was never alone on my journey. Margeaux is still available as a resource, by telephone or email. I also receive emails with follow-up tips and support.

After 6 months, my husband and I went on a Caribbean cruise to celebrate our successes and good health. In total, I’ve lost 35 lbs and I feel better than ever. Along with the balloon, I committed to a more active lifestyle and bought a stationary bike which I have ridden daily, without fail, since July for 45 minutes to an hour each day. I am hoping to take off another 10 lbs over the next 6 months.

So many wonderful things have happened as a result of my weight loss:

  • my confidence has been boosted (professionally and personally!)
  • no more aches and pains
  • my blood pressure has been perfect
  • my cholesterol is good
  • I have way better digestive health
  • I’m down 3 sizes
  • apparently I’ve inspired others as they’ve watched my journey
  • neither my husband nor I snore at night anymore J
  • I wore a 2-piece bathing suit on our cruise – I don’t think I’ve done that for over 30 years!

Thanks so much to the SmartShape team for helping me on my weight loss journey!

To learn more about the Gastric Balloon, visit

See more SmartShape success stories at

Get ready for your next important occasion!

Bride back  Skippers on Beach  Businesswoman with Rolling Case

Do you have an important occasion or event coming up in the next year? Would you like to lose a little weight for this occasion? If you are getting married, planning a summer vacation with the family, or expecting to be involved in some important career situation for which you’d like to polish up your look, maybe an ORBERA gastric balloon would be right for you.

The ORBERA gastric balloon is an inflatable balloon that is temporarily placed in the stomach to provide a feeling of fullness after eating less food than what you are used to. The feeling of fullness is maintained between meals because food is emptied from the upper stomach at a delayed rate. Because you won’t be feeling hungry, it will be much easier to stick with a supervised program and lifestyle changes so you can achieve your desired weight loss results.

The ORBERA gastric balloon can stay in the stomach for up to six months. It is important to commit to the entire SmartShape Program in order to see long-term success and maintain the weight you lose. You will receive support and counselling for the six months while the ORBERA gastric balloon is in the stomach, and also for the six months that follow, to ensure you maintain your new lifestyle habits and sustain your weight loss.

If you are looking for a weight loss solution that will provide more successful than dieting alone, the ORBERA gastric balloon procedure may be an option for you. The ORBERA gastric balloon is one of the tools we use at SmartShape to help clients take control of their eating habits and put them on track to achieving and sustaining their weight loss.

For more information on how the SmartShape team can help you with an ORBERA gastric balloon, call us at 1-888-278-7952, or visit