Surgeon, who specializes in obesity, diabetes, & metabolic management, stresses importance of addressing underlying behaviors for sustainable results

Dr. Rob Cywes, MD, PhD has been one of the most popular speakers at our Symposium for Metabolic Health (SMH) conferences ever since his first presentation back in 2018.

We caught up with Dr. Cywes earlier this week and had the opportunity to speak with him about his plans for the upcoming SMH San Diego conference to be held August 17-20, 2023.

Dr. Cywes is dual board certified in general surgery and in pediatric surgery, and he specializes in pediatric and adult obesity, diabetes and metabolic management, including bariatric surgery. 

His focus is on helping people understand and treat the true cause of obesity and diabetes. Over the past 19 years Dr. Cywes has performed approximately 7,000 surgeries. Despite this, Dr. Cywes firmly believes that while surgery and drugs can be invaluable tools, obesity and diabetes are not treated by surgery or drugs alone.

Dr. Cywes told us his presentation at the San Diego will be entitled “Weight Loss Revisited” and that the discussion will include various weight loss strategies, including low-carb and ketogenic approaches, GLP-1 drugs, surgery, addressing mental aspects and behavioral strategies, and more.

“Everybody from Kim Kardashian to my garbage man is taking GLP-1 agonists and they’re all losing weight, and they’re all getting the diabetes better without ever changing (behaviors)” said Dr. Cywes, adding that behavior changes are critically important for long-term success.

Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists are commonly referred to as GLP-1 agonists. This class of medications is used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and weight loss, and includes drugs such as semaglutide (Ozempic and Rybelsus for diabetes, Wegovy for obesity, manufactured by Novo Nordisk), and tirzepatide (Mounjaro, manufactured by Eli Lilly).

“I don’t want to scare people. I use GLP-1s a ton. I love them, but they need to be put into perspective as tools that we use on a journey, rather than defining the journey itself.”

“They are miracle drugs,” he continued, “but their purpose is to correct insulin resistance and to induce weight loss. They do not in any way shape or form alter behavior. And without changing the behavior that caused the excess weight in the first place, it is unsustainable to keep the weight off long term, on or off the medication.”

Dr. Cywes said many patients will achieve impressive weight loss results in the short term, but will later struggle if the underlying behaviors have not been addressed.

Dr. Cywes also spoke to us about the importance of attending a Symposium, in-person if possible, or alternatively via the live stream option.

If you are able to attend in person, “you can connect with the speakers on a salient topic,” said Dr. Cywes. “Every one of us loves chatting with people, and the value of attending the meeting in person is to get those little kernels of flesh that add to the skeleton of the talk. I love meeting people and inspiring them, motivating them.”

“One of the things that we promote very heavily in the ketogenic space is a concept called empathetic human connection, where human connections that require trust and vulnerability are some of the healthiest ways to grow as a person to build up self esteem, self confidence, self respect.”

Dr. Cywes went on to discuss the importance of The Society of Metabolic Health Practitioners (The SMHP), a not-for-profit organization with a mission to “represent all researchers and practitioners working to improve metabolic health around the world through education, training, and support of evidence-based nutritional approaches, including carbohydrate restriction, as a valid therapeutic option or intervention.” You can watch the whole interview above!

Learn more about the 2023 Symposium for Metabolic Health (August 17-20) in San Diego and Save 10% off tickets, low-carb meals & optional CME credits by Using code ‘July10’

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