How healthy is Edo Aarts?

Eduard Schaepman
25 Feb 2021

How healthy is Edo Aarts?

by Eduard Schaepman, on 25 Feb 2021

This week, I talk to someone who knows everything about losing weight: Dr Edo Aars, bariatric surgeon and Medical Director of the Allurion clinic in Hilversum. With his 13 years of experience in guiding (severely) overweight patients to a healthy weight, and having obtained his PhD on this subject in 2014 at the Radboud UMC, he is the person who can give us the necessary tips for the corona kilos.

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Bariatric surgeon

From childhood, Edo knew for sure that he wanted to be a surgeon, as evidenced by a drawing he made of himself at the age of 4: he drew himself as a surgeon. After that, everything in his life was about achieving that goal: he chose the profile Nature & Health with Nature & Technology at secondary school (yes, that does include difficult maths), followed by 12.5 years of study. During his PhD, he focused on bariatric surgery - surgery that aims to reduce weight - and has since helped many people lose weight. Edo wanted more than the prescribed 7 minutes for a patient during consultation, so he decided to start his own clinic. And his clinic in Hilversum is the only one that can place the Elipse gastric balloon - a temporary stomach reduction without intensive surgery, but with intensive guidance from lifestyle coaches, and most importantly of course, results within 4 months.


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Lost 9 kilos

During his studies, Edo used to work out about 3 hours a week, but now he doesn't really work out anymore. In addition to being a Medical Director and bariatric surgeon, he is also the father of four daughters, and he coaches one of the ladies' hockeyteam. So he still dribbles on the field for an hour every Saturday, but his profession doesn't allow him to move around much.As a surgeon, you stand a lot and consultations are done sitting down, so Edo regularly makes time in the evenings with his girlfriend for a walk through Oosterbeek. And that town doesn't seem to get boring: he grew up in Oosterbeek, met his girlfriend there 21 years ago and, after a short trip to Nijmegen for his studies, he has returned to 'his village'. He deliberately takes the walks to reach the 10,000 steps, because Edo also had to change course. A year ago, his own lifestyle coaches helped him to change his habits, and as a result he lost 9 kilos.


Primal man

But not by dieting, says Edo, because that doesn't do any good at all. We knew that of course, but I find his explanation delightful and enlightening. Looking back to the primeval man - indeed, just like Tribes - to explain why losing weight can be so difficult. He explains that our bodies are built to eat as much as possible; after all, we used to know times of scarcity and therefore hunger. We moved around a lot more when we didn't have office jobs. Nowadays, we move much less and there is an abundance of food, but our bodies have not quite caught up with this. Your body does not 'want' to weigh less than it once did, and will therefore do everything in its power to replenish every lost kilo as quickly as possible. So instead of a quick diet, you need to make structural changes to lose weight permanently.

Feeling hungry

The points we discuss to determine how healthy Edo himself is; exercise, nutrition, sleep and emotions are all points that influence your weight. As far as food is concerned, Edo is fine, he hardly needs to think about it himself: his partner arranges healthy and varied meals. He says that we often stick to a few dishes, and that the easy macaroni and the family recipe spaghetti are not always healthy. At the moment, because of all the new developments in his life and his involvement with his patients, he does not always sleep well, but a poor night's sleep can even make us feel hungrier during the day - and stress certainly encourages more eating. Reason enough to get these things right. You also have to be careful with drinks: not because of the calories in a glass of alcohol, but because of the bad choices you make when drinking it (you can easily take 10 croquettes instead of one). Alcohol also makes for a restless night: you may fall asleep comfortably, but you don't sleep through easily. Reason for Edo to limit himself to 3 glasses a week.

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Health a 7, happiness a 9

He rates his health currently at a 7, which is already better than it used to be. Especially because he no longer works night shifts because of corona - before that his whole day/night rhythm was mixed up. In order to raise that 7, he wants to work on structure, and especially on learning to say 'no'. He is there for anyone at any time of the day, travels a lot from Oosterbeek and comes home to a cosy, but full house. He takes time for himself by reading and reviewing scientific articles, and thus helping others. He gives his life a 9: how could it be otherwise with four beautiful daughters. His tip is a valuable one: don't wait until you are 10 kilos overweight, but start changing at 5 kilos. Tackle your structure, because prevention is better than cure!



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