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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/24/2021 in Magazine Articles

  1. 2 points
    With restaurants, fast food, and other prepared foods being such a big part of our culture, you may not be able to, or even want to, stop eating out. That is okay, even after WLS. You will just need to be a savvy customer to be sure that wherever you are, you get a meal that fits into your meal plan. Take heart: it is almost always possible. The Trouble with Eating Out Research has been clear on the differences between eating out and preparing food at home. Restaurant meals tend to be bigger and higher in calories. Beyond that, they are higher in sodium and saturated fat, and lower in fiber. That does not bode well for weight loss, but you are not doomed. Most restaurants are willing and able to accommodate you. You may be pleasantly surprised at the choices. Do Your Homework (Or Procrastinate) Most restaurants have their menus posted online. Many have their nutritional facts online. Check before you go to the restaurant, and decide on your meal before you get there. When it comes time to order, you need not browse the menu for temptations. Or Procrastinate It is not always possible to check beforehand, and that is okay. Just keep your goal in mind: Some lean protein, such as eggs, chicken, or fish. A vegetable. A small amount of a healthy starch and/or healthy fat. Build that meal from the items you see on the menu. The Customer Is Always Right If you need another expression to drive home the point, what about, “He who pays the piper calls the tune?” You are perfectly entitled to ask for no sauce, dressing on the side, or no bun. A surprising number of joints allow substitutions or modifications for no extra cost, although some may charge. The cost is usually minimal, and worth it. Examples include getting grilled instead of fried chicken or fish, or swapping a side salad or steamed vegetables for a side of rice, pasta, or potatoes. Best Bets for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner You can go to a restaurant with some ideas of what they might have for each meal, and search for those. Breakfast Eggs: in an omelet or scrambled. Look for egg whites if you can, and choose vegetable toppings. Cheese and turkey can also be good additions. Skip bacon and other fatty meats in your eggs. Oatmeal: plain, regular or steel-cut, without add-ons such as dried fruit or brown sugar. Nuts are okay. Steer clear of granola. Breakfast sandwich: English muffin (you can eat half) with egg and/or cheese and/or ham – no bacon, sausage, croissant, or biscuit. Create a meal from sides or add-ons, such as cottage cheese, an egg, fresh fruit, or turkey sausage. Lunch Green salad with any of grilled chicken, cheese, nuts, vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers, and light dressing. Skip regular dressing (or order it on the side), croutons and chow mein noodles, and dried fruit. Chicken, fish, turkey breast, a veggie burger patty, a hamburger patty, or taco beef. Skip the bread, tortilla, bun, or taco shell, and steer away from breaded and fried. Side salad, carrot sticks, yogurt, or sliced apples. Dinner Shrimp cocktail or broth-based soup for starters. Avoid dips, chips, bread and breadsticks, and fried starters. Grilled, baked, or roasted plain chicken or fish. Avoid fried choices, fatty meats, and creamy or buttery sauces. Steamed vegetables or a side salad. Avoid fries, pasta, rice, and mashed potatoes. The Final Filter: You No matter what lands on your plate or your to-go box, the ultimate decision about what goes into your mouth is made by…you. You can turn a potentially disastrous order into a not-so-bad or even good meal with some smart choices. Decide how much you will eat and pack away the rest before you take your first bite. Scoop out the filling from sandwiches and burritos, while leaving the bread and tortillas. Eat the proteins and vegetables from your plate, while leaving the fries and fatty sauces. Scrape off any breading and eat only the chicken or fish inside. Weight loss surgery is to help you lose weight, but it is also to help you live a better life. If the good life for you includes eating out, you can do it. Just be careful. Keep your weight loss surgery diet plan in mind as you order and eat, and you can lose weight as you live your normal life.
  2. 1 point
    Try to see their side. You are asking them to see it from your perspective, so it is only fair that you try to see it from theirs. What are the reasons they may be against your Weight Loss Surgery, and how can you address them? In many cases, their concerns are legitimately about your well-being, and things you should consider if you have not already. They may worry that: You will not hit your goal weight this time since they’ve seen disappointment before. You will suffer complications from surgery. You will regret having a permanent Sometimes, their concerns are selfish but still worth discussing. They may worry that: You’ll stop feeling attracted to them. You will pressure them to give up their own favorite foods while you eat healthily. They will feel left out. You will not want to spend time with them. Reassure them. Address their concerns directly. Explain why you feel the surgery is safe, and how much research you have done to learn about it as well as find a surgeon. Tell them why you think Weight Loss Surgery will work for you even if previous diets have not. Let them know that you need to do this for yourself, not for them and that this will not change the way you feel about them – you will still love your SO, and respect your parents, for example. Tell them how you see yourself spending time with them after surgery, so they can be comfortable. Write it down and practice. Starting the conversation can be the scariest part of telling them. Before you bring up the subject, write down what you plan to say. This is a good exercise for you to do anyway since it encourages you to think through all of the doubts around Weight Loss Surgery. Writing it down and practicing can make it easier for the words to come when you decide to bring it up. Include them in your plans. Often, your spouse and parents, and others who care about you, just want to help. They may be afraid if they do not how to help. When you talk to them, let them know how important they are to you, both in life in general and in this important period of your life. If you tell them specifically what they can do to support you, they may feel more at ease with your decision and more confident in their roles. You might ask them to: Pick up your children from school when you are recovering from surgery. Go with you to the store to pick out protein powders and measuring cups and spoons. Ask you each night how you are doing. Cook healthy meals with you. Prepare for anything. The conversation may be as difficult and unfulfilling as you feared. Or, your SO, parents or other loved ones may be surprisingly supportive once they realize that you have done your research and are serious about making the lifestyle changes needed for success. They may even be interested in getting healthy with you and ask for your help and support in exchange for theirs. Stay strong and independent. As much as you long for your SO and other loved ones to support you wholeheartedly, it may not happen. Try not to let it get you down, though. If you are sure about what you want, go for it, with or without them. They will come around sooner or later, and if not, you may be better off without their negative influence. Letting them know that you have made up your mind regardless of their support may actually convince them to help you since there is no point in standing in your way. Stay independent in the sense that you realize that you do not need them. Your success does not depend on their approval, and you are not doomed to fail if they stand in your way. Get the support you need from others as you move forward.
  3. 1 point
    Start Small The thought of meal prepping seven days a week for three meals a day can seem like a daunting task, and frankly, unrealistic. If this is your first attempt at meal prepping start small. What meals are the most challenging for you to eat healthy (or eat at all?) Start there. If you are going out to lunch frequently then start with bringing a packed lunch like these Low Carb Shepherds Pie Bowls. You can prepare them ahead of time and eat them throughout the week. Set a goal of bringing a packed lunch three days a week. Use an Electric Pressure Cooker If you are just getting started with meal prepping, one of the easiest places to start is to use an electric pressure cooker (aka Instant Pot). On the weekend, place all the ingredients in a gallon size ziplock bag and store in the fridge. Then on the day you want to eat that meal, pour the contents of the ziplock bag into the pressure cooker and turn it on. Voila! If you need ideas for a recipe try this Weeknight Pasta Fagioli. Prepare Marinades and Sauces Preparing marinades and sauces ahead of time saves time during the week. Mix up your marinades or sauces on the weekend and store them in the fridge. This process only takes a few minutes but it really can help in the middle of the week. You could easily make the sauce for these Baja Fish Tacos ahead of time. Cut up Veggies Cutting up your vegetables on the weekends can save you loads of time and dishes during the week. Plus, you are more likely to eat the veggies if they’re already prepared. Once you cut and dice your veggies place them in a storage container and store in the fridge. You could also season them with olive oil and spices to save you one more step. Make a Batch of Soup Now that we're getting into the cooler seasons, soup can be an easy meal to prepare ahead time. You can reheat the soup in the microwave for a couple minutes if you are short on time during the week. You can also double the batch and store some in the freezer. This way you will always have something healthy on hand. This Easy Taco Soup is perfect for the whole family and stores well in the freezer. Now that you have some ideas on how to start meal prepping, which one do you want to start with? Let me know in the comments below
  4. 1 point
    There are two main reasons bariatric patients are at risk for developing vitamin and mineral deficiencies: 1. First of all, and most obviously, you’re no longer able to consume large enough amounts of foods to meet your micronutrient (i.e. vitamin and mineral) needs. 2. Secondly, your body now absorbs and processes foods differently. For example, if you had a malabsorptive weight loss surgery (e.g. gastric bypass or duodenal switch), in addition to eating smaller portions of foods, you’re also not absorbing 100% of the nutrients in the foods that you’re eating. Interestingly, even in the non-malabsorptive procedures (e.g. sleeve gastrectomy and band) we see changes in nutrient processing. For example, you may no longer have enough stomach acid in your small stomach to efficiently absorb the natural calcium found in dairy products, which is why you’ve been prescribed a special type of calcium, calcium citrate, that doesn’t require stomach acid to be absorbed. The signs and symptoms of vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be mild to severe. Some take only weeks to occur, while others take years to develop. While many deficiencies are reversible (e.g. anemia, or low iron), several micronutrient deficiencies are irreversible (e.g. osteoporosis, or bone decay due to inadequate calcium and vitamin D, and neurological damage due to inadequate B vitamins). Moral of the story? Take your vitamins! How often should I be going for blood tests? Your bariatric team will tell you how often you should have blood tests done. It’s most likely that you’ll have a blood test after your surgery, while you’re still in the hospital. Following this, your next blood test will be in three to six months and continue every three to six months until your first year after surgery, depending on the type of surgery you had. If your blood tests are looking great at one year after surgery, this is a good sign and means that you managed to get through the first risky year after bariatric surgery without having developed a deficiency! But this doesn’t mean that blood tests are no longer needed. You’ll need to do blood tests to check for nutrient deficiencies for the rest of your life. As you get older, your body needs more of some nutrients and less of others as your body changes. Some deficiencies also take a longer time to develop. For this reason, you may still develop deficiencies over time, even five to ten years after surgery. We’ve seen many patients who stopped doing their blood tests because they felt fine only to find out years later that they have multiple severe deficiencies. Feeling good doesn’t mean everything is good. And there’s a reason why. Before feeling tired, lethargic, weak, or sick, because of a nutrient deficiency, your body goes through the following stages: You’re not getting enough of a nutrient from your diet and your vitamins; Your body doesn’t have enough of the nutrient stored; You begin to have low levels of the nutrient in your body; Your organs begin to have trouble working properly; You begin feeling unwell and develop symptoms of deficiencies. Feeling unwell is the last step in this process. These steps can take only a few weeks for some nutrients, and up to several months for others. When you begin to feel unwell, your body has already been through weeks—or months—of missing an important nutrient. Blood tests can catch these deficiencies at a much earlier stage. For example, say you stopped taking your iron pill. You wouldn’t feel an anemia, or an iron deficiency, developing. Gradually, over time, you’ll begin to get tired and you might figure it’s just your busy lifestyle. You’ll begin to feel worse and wonder if you’re just not getting enough sleep. Then you’ll become increasingly lethargic and notice your hair has lost its shine and is getting brittle. Lastly, you’ll notice that you can hardly get through your morning routine without having to sit down and take a break. You’ll go to your doctor who will order blood tests. The blood tests will come back diagnosing you with anemia. Luckily, you’ll restart your iron supplement which will reverse this condition, although it’ll take about three months until you feel like yourself again. However, some deficiencies aren’t reversible which can leave you unwell permanently. The bottom line: Have your blood tests done regularly as suggested by your bariatric team. You’ll eventually only have one blood test per year, but this will only be the case at two years after bariatric surgery or until your blood tests routinely come back normal. If you no longer see your bariatric team, or live too far from your bariatric center, make sure that your family doctor is testing you for bariatric surgery-related deficiencies. The routine blood tests that your family doctor performs aren’t the same ones that your bariatric team orders. We look at so much more. Ask your family doctor if he/she is looking for all the nutrients necessary for bariatric surgery. They can receive this information from the bariatric clinic where you had your surgery.
  5. 1 point
    Why Weigh Yourself? Yes, you weigh yourself to know how much you weigh. But what is the point if you are on your weight program and your doctor will weigh you at your next appointment? Weighing yourself can have some benefits. It can help you lose more weight by keeping you accountable. Just like logging your food can make you think twice before taking that extra bite, knowing that you will face the scale can keep you from serving yourself another portion. It can be motivating. When you see the number of the scale go down, you might be more eager to wake up early for your workout, or order a salad instead of a sandwich. It can be empowering. Knowing your weight gives you another piece of information about your body, and embracing rather than avoiding yourself can empower you to do your best for yourself. How Often? You can weigh yourself as often as you like, but it does not make sense to take too many weigh-ins too seriously. For many people, a good rule of thumb is to do a weekly weigh-in. You can take this weight as your “official current weight.” Some people like to stay off of the scale between their weekly “official” weigh-ins, while others like to weigh themselves daily, or even more than once a day, just to see what is going on. That is fine, as long as you do not take each weigh-in too seriously and do not let it bother you. How to Weigh Yourself You may be a 10, 20, or 40-year veteran of weighing yourself, but there are better and, well, worse ways to do so. It may be worth reviewing or revising your weigh-in practices to get better results. Here are some guidelines for accurate weigh-ins. Weigh yourself at the same time of the day for your weigh-in, usually first thing in the morning. Choose the same day each week to weigh yourself. Wear minimal or no clothing. Use the same scale, and a trustworthy one, each time. Mistakes to Avoid In theory, weighing yourself is as simple as stepping on the scale. Not! Your weight can be deceptively high or low if you find yourself making any of these mistakes. Weighing yourself after a heavy meal. While 1 lb. of lettuce has only 50 calories, it weighs…1 lb. If it is in your stomach, you will weigh an extra pound. Weighing yourself in the morning before you eat anything can help avoid the problem of extra weight inside your stomach. Weighing yourself wearing shoes or clothes. Heavy shoes and a full set of clothes can weigh 5 or more lb. That is a big chunk of weight that is not yours! Weighing yourself with too much salt in your system. With salty foods comes sodium, with sodium comes thirst, and with thirst comes extra water. Water is heavy. It can still be in your system the next morning, and show up on the scale. Weighing yourself right after exercising. Exercise does help you lose body fat, but it also helps you lose body water through sweat. You can lose a few lb. of water in one workout, and your body weight might be artificially low right after. Weighing in Monday morning. If your weekdays are picture-perfect in terms of eating, and your weekends progress from Friday night at the bar to Sunday afternoon in front of the TV, your Monday morning weight can be variable, and possibly high. Friday morning may be a better time for you to weigh in. Getting inaccurate numbers can be bad in many ways. You might get discouraged for no reason if your weight shows up as higher than it really is. You could become confused about how what you eat affects your weight if there seems to be no correlation. You might have trouble detecting regain, and not modify your diet until you have gained more than you wanted. Choosing a Scale On top of making sure you are ready for a good weigh-in, you need to make sure that your scale is also ready. Using a cheap scale can drive you crazy because it may not be accurate. It could be difficult to read, or it could vary within a few pounds even if you are the same weight. There are many affordable Body Scales that are highly accurate. You can find features that help you read the scale easily, track your weight, and see other information. These are some features to consider. Digital read-outs. Bluetooth connectivity to your smartphone. Memory of your recent weights. Measurements such as body fat and lean muscle mass. Use the scale to help you on your weight loss journey, and you can consider it another weapon in your weight loss arsenal. The more tools you have, the better your weight loss success can be!
  6. 1 point
    Skinny Starters There is sure to be food out from the second you arrive at the party. Munch on chips and dip for the minutes or hours as soon as you get there, and you will probably down more carbs and calories than you should have in a day. Instead, try munching on Protein Chips, Cheese Crisps, or any kind of cut, raw vegetables. You can up the gourmet factor by making open-faced bruschetta-like appetizers with tomatoes and feta or mozzarella on Protein Rusk Bread. Skinnier Side: Purple Cabbage Salad Try making a red, white, and blue salad using shredded purple cabbage as your “blue” base. The red can come from strawberries, and you can dot it with white pieces of tofu. Dress your coleslaw with lite Asian vinaigrette, and each serving will have over 100 calories less than regular coleslaw. High-Protein Semi-Soft Foods Side: Egg Salad WLS-Style If cabbage is a little beyond where you are after WLS, opt instead for a low-calorie version of egg salad. Use hard-boiled eggs or egg whites and the usual seasonings such as paprika, lemon juice, pepper, hot sauce, or mustard. Then, save over 100 calories per portion by using Calorie-Free Mayo instead of regular. It even comes in flavors such as Chipotle, Honey Mustard, and Ranch. Protein Centerpiece: Sugar-Free Barbeque A barbecue has the potential to yield the ideal WLS-friendly main course if you get a lean protein, but a grilling occasion can go terribly wrong, too. Consider barbecue ribs with nearly 1,000 calories, or beef patties with over half their calories from fat. Instead, try chicken breast, shrimp, or fish with calorie-free, sugar-free BBQ Sauce for a punch that is nearly pure protein. Of course, skip the bun to save more calories and carbs. Instead of buttery grilled corn, almost any grilled vegetable makes a better choice. Try eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, asparagus tips, or mushrooms. If you want to marinate them first, use a low-fat, sugar-free option, such as balsamic vinegar or Cajun seasoning. Red, White, and Blue Dessert Aren’t those July 4 cakes decorated to look like an American flag beautiful? Here’s an idea: keep the cake intact and get your red, white, and blue dessert from a more healthful source. Try strawberries or raspberries and blueberries in creamy Vanilla Protein Pudding to get a satisfying dose of antioxidants, fiber, and protein without any added sugar. Your Independence Day barbecue can be just as celebratory as ever, but a lot healthier this year with some planning. Look for the high-protein, low-carb choices, but make sure they have the flavors you love, because loving life is part of being healthy!
  7. 1 point
    You’re Starving, or Not For some WLS patients, hunger goes away. For others, hunger is reduced enough so that you can keep it in check, even if you were constantly hungry before WLS. Some patients, though, still need to fight hunger. It is still a struggle to pass up certain foods and to keep portions small. Your Head Gets Hungry “Head hunger” is when you think you are hungry, but you are really just bored, the food looks good, or you feel like eating for some other reason. It is important to learn to recognize head hunger so that you know when it is not time to eat, but it is also important to realize that it may not be time to eat every time you are physically hungry. That is because you are losing weight, which means you are eating less than you burn, which means…your body is hungry. Pizza and Ice Cream Taste Great Often, your sense of taste changes after weight loss surgery. You may be one of the lucky patients who stops loving junk food. Pizza and French fries may be too greasy and salty for your new taste buds, and ice cream and muffins may be too sweet. On the other hand, your taste buds may be just as enamored with the food groups of sweet, salty, starchy, and greasy. You may need to work just as hard as you did pre-op to keep pizza, ice cream, fried chicken, and bagels from overwhelming your diet. Salads May Not Work Your game plan for weight loss may include a huge salad once or twice a day. It is filling, healthy, and low-calorie – the perfect weight loss combo. The problem is that many weight loss surgery patients can no longer stomach salads for months or longer after surgery. Instead of lettuce, a protein, and some dressing, consider building your meals with cooked vegetables, a protein, and a small amount of healthy fat such as avocado or peanut butter. Creativity Is the Name of the Game Many other healthy foods may be off-limits because your tastes change or they are too stringy or they make you sick. You will have to be flexible to find healthy substitutes for them. Here are some common trouble foods and some alternatives. Popcorn: try Protein Cereal as a quick snack. Celery: opt for Bean Crisps Lean beef and poultry: try fish, veggie burgers and other soy and bean products, and lentils. Cheese: try peanut butter or hummus. The good news is that most WLS patients tend not to develop aversions to vegetables, so pile your plate high! What Happened to Water? Water is the one calorie-free and free from cost food that is actually a nutrient…and it may have tasted great before surgery. Afterwards, not so much. Some patients have trouble drinking plain water after surgery. It just does not taste good anymore. Now that diet soft drinks and carbonated flavored water are off limits, you have fewer choices for hydration – but they are there. Flavored water without bubbles. Decaffeinated low-acid coffee and tea. Ice water with lemon or lime. Malnutrition Happens Malnourishment may be far from your mind when your goal is weight loss, but it happens quite often. It can be a deficiency of protein, but also of vitamins and minerals. You will have to get enough protein every day and take your nutritional supplements every day, probably for life. Sit Near the Bathroom You just never know when you may need one when you sit down to eat a meal. Dumping syndrome strikes fast and without warning. By the way, you also cannot predict how full you will get and when you will be able to finish your entire plate. You can make your weight loss surgery journey a tad easier by aware of what to expect, and there may be a few things your doctor does not tell you about.
  8. 1 point
    You may also be wondering how in the world do I become more active? I don’t even know where to start, and the gym just isn’t for me. We teamed up with Myriam, a local kinesiologist, to give you tips on how to start to get your joints moving when you’ve been inactive for too long. A kinesiologist is a highly educated health care professional who is an expert in body movement. They’re experts in preventing and managing injuries and help people to get fit and perform at their best, among many other things. In these videos, Myriam will show you exercises that you can do at home to improve the health of your joints and movement to start getting you on a path to being more fit. Practice these exercises in the comfort of your own home. All you’ll need is: A chair, A belt or resistance band, A broomstick or long stick. These exercises are great to start BEFORE surgery, early AFTER surgery, or even LONG TERM after surgery. It’s never too late to start being active. Remember that the number on the scale is only part of the story – fitness and exercise is the other half of the equation when it comes to living a longer and healthier life. How did this activity go for you? Let us know! – Lisa & Monica

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