" Skip to content

What’s Holding You Back From Losing Weight With Dr. Angela Tran

Welcome to Episode 10 of Season 7 of The PCOS Revolution Podcast:

What’s Holding You Back From Losing Weight With Dr. Angela Tran

Do you have PCOS and are struggling to lose weight? If the answer is yes, then this episode is for you.

This week on PCOS Revolution Podcast, I am having a conversation with Dr. Angela Tran. Dr. Tran is a board-certified internal medicine and bariatric physician. She has practiced in primary care since 2007. Dr. Tran recognized obesity as the root cause of many diseases diagnosed in her office. She understands the barriers that impact weight loss. Today we will talk about those barriers as they relate to women with PCOS.

Weight loss is a huge struggle in women with PCOS. Because of this, Dr. Tran’s practice is dedicated solely to weight management. Everyone has a unique body and a unique metabolism. There is not a one-sized fits all approach that will work. The key is mindset and setting yourself up to feel like you are winning the game.

Dr. Tran claims the secret is health is a habit. It took a lifetime to develop the habits you currently have so it may takes some time to develop new ones. Dr. Tran helps her clients through the process of changing habits. Your health should no longer be negotiable.

During this episode we cover a variety of topics from insulin resistance to food addiction. Sugar is the most addictive drug and it’s found everywhere. When it comes to weight loss it’s not as much about diet, numbers and knowledge about nutrition, it’s about support and behaviors.

READ THE ENTIRE TRANSCRIPT HERE:

Farrar Duro  

Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the PCOS revolution podcast. Today I’m here with Dr. Angela Tran, who’s a Board Certified internal medicine and bariatric physician. She also practices in primary care since 2007. And she recognized that obesity was often the root cause of many chronic medical conditions that she saw in her office, including diabetes and high blood pressure. Because of her internal medicine background, she has a greater understanding of the medical complexities that often serve as barriers to weight loss. And today, specifically, we’re going to talk about how that affects women with PCOS as well, since and our practice who we see this every day, it’s a big struggle. I know that a lot of you guys are looking for answers. And she has seen the struggles also firsthand, with her patients. And so her practice’s dedicated solely on weight management, I believe you’re located in Denver, Colorado. Great. So thank you for being on our show today. And welcome.

Dr. Angela Tran  

I’m so excited to be here. This is one of my favorite topics, actually.

Farrar Duro  

Great. Tell us a little bit about what inspired you to really, I mean, I know that you’d seen it day to day, you know that a lot of things were happening with your patients, but they just needed to get to the bottom of the weight issue. What made you really want to focus on this specifically with your training?

Dr. Angela Tran  

What I found is that women are trying fad diet after fad diet, and don’t know what works and what doesn’t work. And, the reality is, that everybody has a unique body and unique metabolism. They forget that you actually need to look underneath, before you even start any diet and exercise programs. That’s why as a medical weight loss expert, I’m really able to look under the hood, and really understand what specifically women… now I’m in my 40’s. So I’ll that’s a whole other topic of it. But it is really hard with hormone levels and different body fat and muscle composition. I’m here to just set the record straight and help all of my females who struggle, but don’t realize it’s actually their bodies and not so much the diet that they’re following.

Farrar Duro  

So true. Yes. Can you tell us a little bit about what is really the one thing that you see that’s holding a lot of your patients back from reaching their goal weight?

Dr. Angela Tran  

A lot of it is actually mindset. If you are someone typically who has struggled with weight all these years, you have sort of developed that negative inner voice, you’ve tried this, you failed at this, you’ve been criticized by this person. But what happens is, it’s turned into your own inner voice. And it truly holds us back to really conquering what health truly can be achieved. And in fact, I actually wrote a book on Amazon called fat girl funeral. based off of this, it was all about eliminating that negative inner self critic, so that you can break free and really find the healthy body that you truly deserve.

Farrar Duro  

Wow, that is such a great title to have also patients that we have that sometimes will look in the mirror and still see themselves as 100 pounds overweight, even after the weight is gone. You know, how do you go about changing that mindset?

Dr. Angela Tran  

Very good question, in honesty, not to give people an out. But when they come to me, they don’t realize that it’s not you, that’s the problem. It’s your body. Now speaking to your listeners who have polycystic ovarian syndrome, you should not be doing your girlfriend’s diet, because you do not have the same body and soul. When they come to my office. They’re very surprised when I’m able to chemically straighten them out, and then change everything. And then once you are successful, you change your mindset. And believe it or not, it’s actually easier to make healthier choices when you feel like you’re winning the game. And that’s what I do.

Farrar Duro  

Small wins, right? How would you approach someone who is coming to your practice for weight loss, who does have PCOS, and who needs to lose over 30 pounds? For instance? Do you start with bloodwork? Or do you start with giving some sort of plan first?

Dr. Angela Tran  

Very good question. During our consultation, it is 60 minutes, it’s a really in depth interview, where I have to know what diets you’ve tried in the past. Because unfortunately, most of my patients have tried many that actually have put their bodies in a worse metabolic condition. So just knowing their composition from how will they burn calories, how slow their metabolism is, their body fat percentage, if you’ve had kids, if you haven’t had kids, how old you are things like that. We do a full on medical history, medications, things like that, then we’ll go yes into lab work. And we have the opportunity to be extensive, but I’m very targeted. I don’t like to order thousands and thousands of labs. I’m very specific on what I order, because I know which area needs to be targeted. And once we fix those things, then literally we will get results within the first week if you follow my program.

Farrar Duro  

Very cool. I think that definitely for people out there that have been trying diet after diet after diet. And so your metabolism is affected by that correct?

Dr. Angela Tran  

Yes, and I want to educate to your listeners, if you have PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome, you also have a condition called insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome. Essentially, what that means is that the hormone insulin is actually instead of burning blood sugar for energy, it’s putting it into storage. You really have to have a different approach to your nutrition, and even exercise to really make it work. And that’s what we dissect at our office.

Farrar Duro  

Do you recommend medications? Also, to address the insulin resistance first or do simultaneous diet and exercise?

Dr. Angela Tran  

One of the things that we just discussed with our patients, now I’m not necessarily a pill person. In fact, the girls will laugh at me I took a prenatal gummy vitamin when I was pregnant with Hailey. What I do is that I offer a variety of different strategies for some women who want to take medications, yes, there are prescription medications that as a medical doctor, I’m able to prescribe and monitor to help you release the barriers that you’re experiencing. On the flip side, putting you on my particular nutrition protocol. A lot of women don’t even need it, they just don’t realize that they were not nutritionally getting what they needed in order to lose weight. So there’s actually several different pathways that we can go to.

Farrar Duro  

That’s correct. I know a lot of listeners can agree that the Metformin does have side effects, the GI disturbance and that sort of thing until their body adjust to it and then once they start a healthy diet and exercise program, sometimes they just don’t need the Metformin so much anymore. I know some people asked about Burberry and go up Barbra Jean and Metformin together as a bit much, like you need it’s so I think it is key. But sometimes we think, can this person’s lifestyle actually work with us because a lot of women are very busy, they’re on the go, they’re not prepping, like meal, prepping right sizing and all of that, or they’re doing a lot of travel. So what would you say to someone who really, you know, is, is not able to carve out that time, you know, to really focus on what to eat so much instead of just kind of getting that insulin resistance balanced? First, I guess?

Dr. Angela Tran  

Yes, I think you described every other American in this country, right?

Dr. Angela Tran  

The beauty of what we are living in 2019 be resourceful. I’m we’re at the point where there’s no excuses. If you don’t have time, then you can pay to create that life. So what I mean by that is that there are healthy meal deliveries that can cook or prepare meals for you. If you are an executive have your assistant call in advance, what restaurant are you going to be entertaining your clients and then tell you what you need to order. Here in our office, we provide nutritionally complete meal replacements. And the same in the shape of shakes, soups, and bars are just pretty much just as convenient as it can be. It really is more of a priority. I think that people get caught up in this excuse, it’s just a priority. If you feel good about your health, you actually will figure it out. I recommend people just being resourceful with all of the technology and things that we have available today.

Farrar Duro  

Very true. Can you tell us one of your success stories? I was reading that on your website, and it seems like you’ve had a lot of success with women also that are losing quite a bit of weight over, 80 hundred pounds.

Dr. Angela Tran  

Yeah, that’s our sweet spot in the end, because as a medical weight loss doctor, I enjoy that because I’m able to help patients lose that amount of weight in a safe way. I cringe every time one of my girlfriends tells me another diet because it could potentially be harmful. But we actually did celebrate Jennifer, who hit her hundred pound mark in 10 months. Yes. And speaking of a busy professional, she travels quite a bit. And she also works from home. But she also had a very chaotic type of lifestyle. She didn’t know which city she would be in the next week, she didn’t know how many days she was going to be at home. So we put her on our meal replacement program to metabolically reset herself. And I tell you the 15 pounds sure she had to take them on the airplane. But what she found is a so much easier not having to make choices. She didn’t have to find a place as soon as she hit the hotel, she didn’t have to find a place to get food. She really enjoyed sort of me telling her what to do. And after we hit the 50 pound mark, I said okay, well, where do you want to go next. And she’s like, let’s just keep going. And I mean, I’ll let you know, the second 50 pounds went off even faster than the first 50 pounds, because we were just constantly cleaning up how she burns calories. And that’s just the medical way of what we do for all of our patients.

Farrar Duro  

Very nice. I noticed your transition also to reintroduce foods back. So you do is it two shakes a day and a lunch or is it pretty much shakes throughout the day?

Dr. Angela Tran  

It depends on the patient’s lifestyle. Now for her she really enjoyed having, a couple of shakes and maybe a bar in the afternoon. And then she’ll have a protein vegetable at dinner. But we really spend a lot of time slowing down transitioning her so that she can create sort of what is doable for her. You had mentioned again, we gave her several different resources on again, a healthy meal delivery system, we also created her a custom meal plan, and also directed her to some of our favorite apps that she can use on her phone, just to keep her in check. And now she’s running her health like she’s running her career. I mean, it’s so parallel to how we do with life. Really.

Farrar Duro  

That’s awesome. And you notice the markers about agency and glucose, insulin and all those things, you’re checking those throughout the whole time? And what do you normally see? How long does it take generally, for those to come down?

Dr. Angela Tran  

Honestly, our average person loses about 15 to 20 pounds in just the first month. I’m already checking the A1C, within about a four to six week timeframe from where they start. I mean, we’ve seen people who start out at 12, and all of a sudden hit the seven, just with the first repeat. And that in itself is even more rewarding than just the pounds off the scale. I think it can be scary to have an A1C that high. And so to just understand that they can really change their health, just through food and weight loss. That’s the best part of what we do.

Farrar Duro  

I was looking over your website that you guys actually transition for about 50 weeks or so, it looks like there was a longer period of time where you’re basically just reintroducing things and kind of seeing how your body’s responding, I guess to that.

Dr. Angela Tran  

Yes, in the secret is health as a habit. We have to dedicate how many years did you create bad habits, and then the length of time where we’ve created good habits, because the secret, and this is something that I mentioned in my book, you should be an automatic your health should no longer be negotiable. It should be to the point where this is just how you live your life. And that really is the secret to maintaining it all is when you don’t talk yourself out of, not going to the gym, or, you automatically say no to the ice cream that you ate every single night. And I guess we’ve really been able to get people to develop the habits that truly help you be successful long term.

Farrar Duro  

That is so true. Do you feel like there is a food addiction out there? I mean, is there such a thing? Because I know that people go back and forth on that and say, Oh, well, it doesn’t really exist, or it does, but what are your thoughts on that?

Dr. Angela Tran  

I’m so glad you brought that up, I tell you sugar is new most addictive drug in America. And here’s our problem, guess what, it is available everywhere. Where it’s available? at the grocery store, in our schools in our homes, we do not have to go on the streets, so to speak, to get sugar. And people don’t realize is that sugar rewards the same part of the brain as alcohol, heroin and cocaine. And so you’re absolutely right. I mean, we are going in the wrong direction. And it’s really hurting us all over the place, not just with our weights, but just even our mental function as well.

Farrar Duro  

I was looking up Starbucks not to put Starbucks down. But now let me tell you, their frapuccinos are definitely going to put you in a diabetic coma. Those are heavily, heavily sugared. I see kids drinking them all the time. And it’s like, what are they doing even at my kids elementary school coming out of the car with a humongous frappuccino. And I think they have, I mean, some of them have at least 60 grams of sugar and more whole lot. So I think that’s just being that just one drink. And that’s probably calories for the whole day.

Dr. Angela Tran  

And we wonder why kids can’t pay attention, they’re having concentration problems. It makes me sad that kids are now being put on medications. And that’s truly just the wrong direction. And we need to go back to the basics and really understand how important nutrition is to our education.

Farrar Duro  

That’s so true. I think that what you’re doing is wonderful, because it’s also the education part that comes into play with any weight loss program, I think that you could, if someone wants to lose 10 pounds for a wedding coming up, you can buy any of those books out there that will tell you to do this or that. And then that way, it’ll come back because there’s not the habit, like you said, that’s there. So that’s part of it, I think it helps to have support. 

Dr. Angela Tran  

Yes. And many of my patients who have PCOS, also struggle with fertility. I do see patients who come to me and say I want to have a baby, but they’ve been struggling for over a year or two to try to become pregnant. And the reality is that when we help them metabolically reset themselves, their fertility improves. I mean, we have a little joke in the office, we’ve made a couple of method babies, since we’ve been in practice, and that’s probably one of the best parts to just knowing that these women truly were meant to be mothers, but their body was fighting against it. And again, through nutrition and weight loss, we just made that much easier for them. 

Farrar Duro  

So awesome. And do you follow up with them after like postpartum? I know it can be hard and the weight can creep up a little bit?

Dr. Angela Tran  

Oh, absolutely. We see patients for years, I mean, we will walk them through their whole life journey, and we find that patients, we always have to remind them that, okay, have the baby and joy, and then we will help you when the time is right after the baby is born. So we really are able to help them make modifications throughout that entire process

Farrar Duro  

When do you recommend someone start looking at the weight issue like postpartum? Is it six months or a year? Or when do they when do you recommend that they return to you?

Dr. Angela Tran  

For women who are breastfeeding, I really encourage women to sort of concentrate on feeding the baby for at least a good six months, obviously, we counsel them to eat and make good healthy choices. But to really start a true diet and weight loss journey back, I really don’t recommend being too aggressive until right around. I just use like the ninth month mark, I mean, it took you nine months to make the baby, you really need at least a good nine months to a year to just let your body kind of go back to its original hormone status. I did the same thing. I needed my body to sort of rest but then I did my own program. And I lost the 40 pounds that gain. Thankfully, I knew what I was doing, and was able to naturally get back to my pre baby weight. Which was really good.

Farrar Duro  

Yes. Very great. And as far as up, I want to get this question. Because I know there’s so much around weight loss, and we probably can’t possibly answer every question. But I would say that being a bariatric physician, what do you recommend, as far as if someone is preparing for bariatric surgery, and what things that would be helpful for them actually, after the surgery and that sort of thing, if they are going that route?

Dr. Angela Tran  

I’m glad that you brought that up because I support surgery, surgery has a role in weight management. However, it really requires a very delicate process to make sort of like a summary. What I recommend to patients is that if you struggle with portion control, and you feel like you over eat, no matter what you do, you’ve tried medications you’ve tried every diet under the sun, surgery certainly can help correct that problem, when you feel like you are at a loss. However, what I found in my practice is that a majority, if not over 90% of my patients who struggle with weight, have an emotional component. And I really want to emphasize to all the listeners out today, if you have any type of emotional component to your weight, unfortunate surgery won’t fix that. And in fact, it will make it worse. And we see patients who not only have gained the weight back after surgery, but they struggle with depression. And they’re in and out of hospitals with different complications. That’s why I took upon my role as a non surgical weight loss doctor, it really all boils down to support and behaviors. That’s the true secret to weight loss. It’s not the diet and the exercise programs to support behaviors. And that’s sort of the expertise that we offer for all of our patients.

Farrar Duro  

That’s really interesting. You said that because I guess I was thinking about all the research now out about the gut and serotonin, manufacturing and mood. And so I wondered if there is a link to that perhaps also, when you’re talking about, surgically removing part of someone’s Yep, just attract. 

Dr. Angela Tran  

Yeah, and surgeries, irreversible. I mean, it is just a quite a big step to the other side. And like I said, I’ve seen many successful patients who have done surgery, but unfortunately, I’ve seen too many unsuccessful patients who’ve done surgery. And that’s where we fit into the weight loss industry is to really help patients who don’t truly need surgery, there is hope for them out there. And they can manage on their own, without having to go through such a process like that.

Farrar Duro  

What’s the biggest weight loss you’ve seen personally in your your clinic?

Dr. Angela Tran  

Oh, so I still remember him. He’s great. We still see him today. He started out at 400 pounds. And he has lost almost 200 pounds. In fact, he sent me a picture of him climbing a 14 are here in Colorado, so 14,000 feet elevation, and one of his driving forces is that he wanted to take his family to the Grand Canyon. But at 400 pounds, he was not able to do that. And then I got a picture with his family the other day, and it’s just smiling face and young kids and just as active as can be. So like I said it was just true. It just requires true dedication, commitment, and the right formula and support and behaviors. You can accomplish this in a very short timeframe. And that’s just what we do here.

Farrar Duro  

That’s wonderful. That’s a wonderful story. I was just out in Colorado in Boulder for my husband’s Iron Man. Yeah. Oh my gosh, that I mean, I was just climbing at 7000 feet. And twice that. I mean, that was tough. So this guy is on fire. That’s awesome.

Dr. Angela Tran  

Yes, yes.

Farrar Duro  

Wow. Well, I really appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule and talking to us today. Definitely, I’m going to list your book and our show notes. I’d love to check that out and recommend that to my patients as well. I will definitely list your blog as well. I think that it’s important to have this conversation around weight loss. And definitely there’s support out there. So I really appreciate what you do.

Dr. Angela Tran  

Thank you so much for having me. Like I said, I just want to give all of your listeners there is hope. And you just need to have again the right formula and the right support and behaviors and you can achieve health and all you deserve to be.

Farrar Duro  

Great. Thank you Dr. Tran, and thank all of you guys for listening. Have a wonderful week and I’ll see you next Tuesday. Take care!

Episode Spotlights:

  • What inspired Dr. Tran to focus on weight management ([1:27])
  • The thing that holds many patients back ([2:33])
  • Changing mindset around weight ([3:42])
  • Insulin resistance and PCOS ([6:07])
  • Advice for someone with very little time ([8:27])
  • Dr. Tran’s success stories ([9:48])
  • Changing your life through food and weight loss ([13:15])
  • Is food addiction real? ([14:49])
  • Recommendation for looking at weight postpartum ([18:28])
  • Preparing for bariatric surgery ([19:55])
  • Emotional component to weight ([20:44])

Resources Mentioned In This Episode:

Help Us Spread The Word!

If this episode has taught you just one thing, I would love if you could head on over to Apple Podcasts and SUBSCRIBE TO THE SHOW! And if you’re moved to, kindly leave us a rating and review. Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast — and it’s easy! Thank you so much.

Ways to Subscribe to the PCOS Revolution Podcast:

 

Thanks for listening!

To learn more about the brand new PCOS Revolution Academy, visit www.thepcosrevolution.com!

Disclaimer: The information in this podcast is intended for general audience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or replace professional medical advice.

About the author, Farrar

Farrar Duro here, reproductive acupuncturist at Florida Complete Wellness and founder & host of The PCOS Revolution, a cutting-edge podcast where I interview PCOS experts and cysters who share their pearls of wisdom on how to kick PCOS symptoms to the curb once and for all!

Leave a Comment