Dr. Stoyanova to BNT: How to eat during the holidays

Dr. Raina Stoyanova, endocrinologist and part of the Regina Life Clinic team, was a guest on the morning block of BNT “The Day Begins” with host Simeon Ivanov. In the show, she shares how to eat wisely during the upcoming holidays and avoid overeating, which could have negative consequences on our body. Dr. Stoyanova also gives her expert opinion on the topic of fasting and how people who fast should be fed before or during the holidays and whether there are risks.

Watch the full video HERE.

PROMO OF THE MONTH: Infusion therapy for the dream figure

Get ready for the summer and get in shape with Regina Life Clinic’s revolutionary Re:FIT weight loss infusion in a special gift pack with NAD+ booster. The special offer is valid until May 31, 2023.

Stress, busy daily routine and improper nutrition negatively impact your body and energy levels. That’s why we at Regina Life Clinic have developed the innovative Re:FIT infusion, the best way to fight the weight you’ve gained. It charges the body with a cocktail of minerals, B vitamins, glutathione, appetite suppressing trace elements, the extremely valuable coenzyme NAD+, which boosts metabolism and increases energy levels.

Re:FIT infusion also includes peptides from the group of GLP-1 receptor agonists, such as the so popular semaglutide, liraglutide and dulaglutide. These are substances that increase the feeling of satiety, reduce the feeling of hunger, and the frequency and intensity of the overwhelming desire to eat.

Book your individual procedure for a dream figure:
– until 31 May 2023
– for a special price of 450 BGN (instead of 700 BGN)

*For more information and to book your appointment, please contact us at info@reginalife.clinic or +359877765656.

You can follow the next special packages here or on the clinic’s social media profile.

Dr. Rayna Stoyanova to bTV: How to Get in Shape for the Summer?

Dr. Rayna Stoyanova, endocrinologist and part of the Regina Life Clinic team, was a guest on the Sunday edition of the show “This Saturday and Sunday” on bTV with host Petya Dikova. Together with nutritionist Ipokratis Papadimitrakos they shared their expert opinion on how to forget about spring fatigue, strengthen our body and cleanse ourselves of toxins to be fit in the summer without starving.

Detox regimens are a marketing trick people use to promote ways to get clean. Let’s say that a lighter diet would contribute to cleansing the body and awakening immunity, but we should not speculate with this word,” said Dr. Raina Stoyanova.

Kristina Vavura: Top 8 Frequently Asked Questions About Nutrition

Kristina Vavura, Registered Dietitian and part of the Regina Life Clinic team, shares some helpful tips about healthy eating and its impact on our lifestyle.

Experts say up to 50% of cancers can be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices. Do you think that a healthy diet plays a role in this?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 30-40% of cancer development is linked to one’s lifestyle. That includes smoking, drinking alcohol, having a diet low in fruits and vegetables, obesity, and lack of physical activity. There are 10 nutrition-focused cancer prevention recommendations in a 2018 report from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), non-profit organizations. These recommendations are based on randomized controlled trials and studies, making them well researched before being recommended. Taken together, they promote a lifestyle consisting of a healthy diet, physical activity and taking care of weight. This can not only help reduce the risk of cancer but can also contribute to the prevention of obesity and other chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

What does eating healthy actually mean and should certain food groups be excluded?

A healthy diet has the potential to reduce the risk of cancer by 10-20% [Schwingshackl and Hoffmann 2015]. The connection between diet and diseases depends on where the cancer is and by one’s gender. However, the recommended components of a healthy diet are similar [Grosso et al. 2017]. Keep in mind the following recommendations:
– Increase the consumption of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
– Limit “fast food”
– Reduce consumption of red meat – The risk of colon cancer increases by 16% for every 50g/day of processed meat intake and by 12% for every 100g/day of red meat intake. Because meat can be a valuable source of nutrients, particularly protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12, the recommendation is to reduce rather than completely avoid processed red meat [Mehta et al. 2018; Bowles et al. 2012]
– Avoid sugary drinks

What do you think about low carb and keto diets?

Scientists find some benefits in low-carb and ketogenic diets when it comes to cancer. However, each case must be studied individually, since the keto diet is a prerequisite for eating a lot of fatty meat products, which increases the risk of certain cancer diseases, such as colon cancer. In addition, the keto diet is often rich in saturated fatty acids, which lead to an increase in ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol) levels, increasing the chance of developing cardiovascular disease. It is important to have the expertise of a health professional to determine the risks and benefits of different diets in an individual case.

Can poor nutrition cause diseases, including cancer?

It may increase the chance of developing cancer, as well as certain autoimmune and chronic diseases. However, nutrition is only one piece of the whole puzzle. Diseases can be genetic, they can also be developed by our environment, smoking, stress, diet, and other factors. It is difficult to determine which one of these things is the cause of a given disease.

Today we face many environmental challenges related to water and soil pollution and the presence of microplastics. Do you have any advice for avoiding unsafe food products?

Unfortunately, water and soil pollution is something we cannot escape from. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables provides many health benefits, but it is important to “prepare” them safely to avoid (as much as we can) possible microbes such as Salmonella, E. Coli and Listeria. The safest way to eat vegetables and fruit is to wash them under running water first, then boil them (and throwing out the water afterwards).

Here are some suggestions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2023) that you can do when prepping vegetables and fruits.
– Wash your hands, kitchen utensils and surfaces, including cutting boards and countertops, before and after preparing fruits and vegetables.
– Wash fruits and vegetables before eating, cutting, or cooking unless the package says the contents have been washed. Even then, I would suggest you wash them again.
– Wash fruit and vegetables under running water – even if you don’t plan to eat the skin. Germs on the peel or skin can get into the fruit and vegetables when you cut them.
– Washing fruits and vegetables with soap, detergent, or commercial products is not recommended. Do not use bleach solutions or other sanitizing products on fruits and vegetables.
– Cut off any damaged or bruised areas before eating.
– Dry the fruit or vegetables with a clean paper towel.
– Store fruits and vegetables separately from raw animal food, such as meat and seafood.
– Cool the fruits and vegetables within 2 hours after you have cut, peeled, or cooked them (or 1 hour if you have been exposed to temperatures above 90°, such as a hot car or picnic). Cool them at 40°F or lower in a clean container.

What part does alcohol and smoking have when dealing with weight problems?

Scientists are still researching the relation between body weight and risk of cancer. So far, they have found several reasons why weight may affect the risk of developing cancer (ASCO 2023):
– Extra body mass increases levels of insulin and the insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Excessive amounts of this hormone can lead to the development of cancer.
– Fat tissue produces more of the hormone “estrogen”. Estrogen may contribute to the development of breast cancer.
– Fat cells affect the way the body regulates the growth of cancerous cells.
Smoking causes at least 15 different types of cancer. In fact, tobacco is the biggest cause of cancer in the world.

It is recommended to limit alcohol consumption. Every 10 grams of alcohol (ethanol) consumed per day increases the risk of cancer by 4-25% [Evrik et al. 2019].

Regarding their role in weight problems: smoking usually suppresses hunger, so when it is discontinued, many people gain body mass. The important thing here is to replace this habit with one that is not related to eating. It could be, for example, a 2–3-minute walk in the fresh air. Alcohol itself contains energy (7 kcal per gram) and it is very easy to overconsume calories. For example, one glass of wine (150ml) has about 100-150 kcal.

What are the most common dieting mistakes you see?

The most common dietary mistakes I encounter are both quantitative and qualitative. Most people don’t prioritize meals throughout the day, leading to unstructured “in-between meals” with food high in trans fats and refined carbohydrates. This unstructured schedule leads to strong feelings of hunger in the evening (when one is relaxed that the work is over) and episodes of binge eating can be seen.

The other common mistake I see is the unbalanced “plate”. In order to feel full, it’s important that our meals contain protein, carbohydrates, and fat (preferably the healthier options). However, most people fail to find the balance. There are those who dine on pasta with pesto- no protein here. Others eat a packet of meatballs- both fat and protein missing.

What advice would you give our readers to better deal with unhealthy temptations?

The types of foods people crave are different, but they often are processed junk foods high in sugar and trans fats.

One of the biggest reasons why people have trouble losing weight and maintaining a healthy one is because of unhealthy temptations and lack of willpower.

Here are 10 easy ways to prevent or stop excessive junk food consumption and sugar cravings. It’s important to note that indulging in our favorite temptations from time to time is not harmful! There needs to be a balance between all aspects of our diet.
– Drink water.
– Ensure you have protein-rich meals during the day.
– Do not buy sweet and/or salty products for your home.
– Plan your meals in advance.
– Avoid the feeling of extreme hunger.
– Work on managing stress levels.
– Get enough sleep.
– Eat regularly.
– Don’t go to the supermarket/shop hungry.
– Practice “Mindful Eating”

Dr. Rayna Stoyanova for Mediapool: New weight loss therapies are powerful tools, but harmful when used alone

Medication is not some “magic wand”, it only works if we change our habits too. New weight loss therapies from GLP-1 agonist group are especially effective when it comes to fighting obesity. However, when applied arbitrarily and incompetently, as we see happens often, they can carry serious health risks. This is what Dr. Rayna Stoyanova, endocrinologist and part of the Regina Life Clinic team, told Mediapool. She says that medicine is not a “magic wand” and only works effectively when a change is made in our daily habits.

“Patients who have taken such medications, that have severe side effects that are difficult to treat, often come to us” she points out. Dr. Stoyanova says it is important for people who are overweight to start their treatment under the guidance of a specialist from the very beginning. Because patients who have gone through multiple diets and “yo-yo” dieting have the slowest metabolism and find it the most difficult to lose weight.

New treatments for diabetes and weight loss

Recently, Ozempic – medication for treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults, which is highly in demand due to its use as a weight loss drug, has become popular in our country. Ozempic is from the GLP-1 group and is prescribed to patients with type 2 diabetes, used once a week, one of its effects is weight loss, explains Dr. Stoyanova.
“This product should not be used for weight loss and bought off-label by patients. Because of its popularity, people who do not medically need weight loss have been using it” she said. There is a similar product on the market from the same group, which is approved in Bulgaria and Europe only for weight loss: liraglutide – with the brand name Saxenda.

“The difference between Saxenda and Ozempic, is that Saxenda is taken every day and Ozempic – once a week. This easier way of taking Ozempic once a week causes a lot of interest, even when people don’t really need it. Infusion therapies, so-called weight loss drips, in which this type of medication is added are also gaining popularity. A lot of people are becoming fans of these products,” says Dr. Stoyanova.

Side effects

According to her, it is necessary to be very careful when prescribing medication that has side effects. “Patients who have taken such medications that have severe side effects and are very difficult to treat often come to us” she said. Dr. Stoyanova points out that when used correctly, the benefits of this type of treatment are numerous both in terms of cardiovascular health and overall risk of mortality.

“The mechanism of this type of GLP-1 agonists drugs is associated with several side effects that involve the gastrointestinal tract and the brain. They can cause nausea, vomiting, especially when having an improper diet: overeating fatty food. In some patients, this effect can be very intense at the beginning, but it is treatable. Tachycardia and constipation can occur in patients with poor hydration. Problems with the central nervous system can also occur due to appetite suppression. Appetite suppression means that patients do not eat regularly and hence fainting, flushing and headaches can be experienced” explains Dr Stoyanova.

There’s also a new study that talks about “Ozempic face,” a symptom of skin aging. “Skin starts sagging because of weight loss and skin’s elasticity decreases. If we don’t hydrate properly, we may end up with more sagging and wrinkled skin. This is the so-called ‘Ozempic face’, but it can be overcome if the patient follows the advice given by the doctor. Again, it comes down to the fact that the drug must be prescribed by an endocrinologist; the patient has to meet the criteria and must be given proper treatment for the therapy to work well” she points out.

Is this therapy suitable for everyone?

Almost every person who struggles with overweight is suitable for treatment with GLP-1 agonists, which are revolutionary in the treatment of obesity and overweight. “The earlier the treatment is started, the better” says Dr. Stoyanova.

Not every patient with diabetes is suitable for treatment with GLP-1 agonists, it is effective for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus – non-insulin-dependent patients. According to the latest treatment guidelines, patients can start treatment with this drug if they do not have impaired pancreatic function, explains Dr. Stoyanova. However, because the therapy is expensive, NHIS requires to take some other steps first before going on it. “Overall, the therapy is good, appropriate, and has outstanding benefits in terms of cardiovascular health and overall patient mortality” she comments.

It is not a magical cure, it only works when change in habits is made

Not all patients are as equally affected by the drug. According to recent studies, 7 out of 10 patients lose weight, and 3 out of 10 do not lose much or do not lose weight at all. Many patients cannot handle the side effects. At the same time, many do not feel any side effects at all. “If this therapy does not work it can be combined with other drugs, one can switch to another treatment. But it is not a magic wand, it only works with a lot of lifestyle changes. GLP-1 agonists affect centers in the brain that are linked to bad habits: apart from addiction to sugary foods, etc. That is why when a patient is treated with this type of medicine, is the perfect time to change their lifestyle to a healthier one and when the treatment comes to an end, the healthy habits remain and the weight loss could be maintained for a longer time”, explains Dr. Stoyanova.

“Studies have shown that patients who are on therapy and have changed their habits have much better results than those who have only changed habits. So, medications play their role, but we must follow the advice of specialists,” she points out.

People with a long history of dieting find it hardest to lose weight

Dr. Stoyanova points out that obesity is a chronic disease like hypertension and asthma and should be treated as such. Treatment should begin at an early stage to avoid complications that can be fatal. When weight is being lost in a healthy way, the effect can be maintained longer and the patients are more motivated, she says.

“Any spontaneous decision to lose weight in an unhealthy way leads to fat loss, but also muscle mass. When we gain weight, there is a yo-yo effect – we start to put the weight back on, but we put fat back on, not muscle mass. This results in a slower metabolism because it’s the muscles that burn calories. Training our muscles is what burns calories. That’s why patients with a long history of dieting are the most difficult cases. They are the people with the slowest metabolism and it’s very difficult for them to lose weight” says Dr. Stoyanova.

That is why it is important to start on the right path from the very beginning under the guidance of a specialist.

Maria Sylvester and Dr. Rayna Stoyanova with a Live Discussion on How to Lose Weight Healthy

The TV star Maria Sylvester and endocrinologist Dr. Rayna Stoyanova, part of the Regina Life Clinic team, got into an interesting discussion about healthy weight loss and keeping fit even during the holidays. During the live event, the ladies also discussed the essential importance of preventive check-ups, trends in medical services and how to take care of our health properly.

You can watch a recording of their conversation on the clinic’s Instagram account: @reginalifeclinic.

Maria Sylvester shared with the audience more about her first visit to the renowned metabolic clinic Regina Life Clinic and the excellent results she is currently enjoying after her treatment with Dr. Stoyanova. The discussion also touched on important medical issues for everyone’s overall health, with a focus on the types of preventive screenings that are key to preventing and controlling a number of health conditions. Dr. Stoyanova also presented her expert opinion on risk trends in medicine and innovative methods for staying healthy.

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