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Tag Archives: diet

Will I be Able to Enjoy my Favorite Foods Again after Weight Loss Surgery?

Posted on May 14, 2018 by

you chooseLife after weight loss surgery is not all about deprivation.  In fact, life after surgery is quite the contrary.  It’s about having an extra reinforcement so that you are better equipped to lose weight and keep it off long term.  As we have said over and over, surgery is a tool but you really need to know how best to use this tool for optimal long-term results.  Our society is focused on the here and now.  You will have an excellent tool that will help you quickly in the here and now after surgery.  More importantly it will serve you well for the long haul so you can fully experience your life in a rewarding and active way.  I see dreams come true each and every day!

Sure, there will be changes and I would be lying if we said they were all going to be simple. I am not trying to be vague here but the answer to the question “Will I ever be able to enjoy my favorite foods again after weight loss surgery?” depends upon a number of things.  These include the type of surgery you have and what is included in your favorite food list.   Not knowing exactly what those favorite foods are, I will include those that you will need to avoid altogether or enjoy in small quantities (we always like to focus on what you can have rather than what you can’t have).

The first category you will want to avoid or enjoy in small quantities is sugary sweets.  This can be in solid (i.e. candy) or liquid form (i.e. sweet tea).  After weight loss surgery, you should avoid food with >8 grams of sugar (5 grams if you are diabetic) because they can cause a negative reaction in your system, particularly if you have had a gastric bypass.  These foods can cause what is commonly called “dumping syndrome”.  Dumping syndrome occurs when there is a rapid passage of food into the small intestines causing a shift of fluid to the small intestine.  This usually occurs when you ingest foods that are too high in sugar or fat.  Symptoms include diarrhea, sweating, nausea, cold/clammy skin, dizziness, weakness, flushed appearance, and occasionally headaches.  You will need to stop and rest until the symptoms subside.  Remember to remain hydrated (water is best).  Take note of the food/foods that caused these symptoms so that you can avoid them in the future.

The second category you will want to avoid is alcohol.  Alcohol is full of empty calories, dehydrates the body, and has negative effects on the kidneys and liver.  In addition, because of the small size of your new pouch and the fact that food/liquid now empties more rapidly into the intestines, alcohol will be more toxic and cause a higher blood alcohol level than before surgery.  For these reasons, ingestion of alcohol should be avoided after surgery.  If you choose to have weight loss surgery and then ingest alcohol, please be aware that a small amount can affect you to a MUCH greater degree than prior to surgery.

After you are a month or so out from surgery, you can begin to experiment more with various foods.  Introduce raw fruits and vegetables cautiously.  Although many people do just fine, certain foods may be difficult to tolerate because your digestive system cannot n handle them.  The following may cause problems for you and may need to be avoided:

  • Tough meats, especially hamburger. Even after grinding, the gristle in hamburger is hard to digest.
  • Membranes of oranges or grapefruit
  • Cores, seeds, or skins of fruits or vegetables
  • Fibrous vegetables such as corn and celery
  • Hulls, popcorn
  • Breads – Fresh breads “ball up” in your stomach and can block your pouch. Try to avoid breads/crackers/cereals as much as possible.
  • Fried foods
  • Milk – If you are lactose intolerant you may use “Lactaid” products or soybean milk
  • Rice – tends to expand further once in your stomach and can cause pain

This list may seem daunting but realize that the further you are out from surgery, the more tolerant your system tends to be.  However, it is very important that especially throughout the first year you participate in a comprehensive program which should be available with any experienced bariatric surgeon/center.  A comprehensive program should include:

  • Follow-up visits with your surgeon
  • Individualized coaching with a nutrition specialist who understands the needs of the weight loss surgery patient
  • Personal trainer/fitness center that eases you into appropriate exercise activities in a safe and comfortable environment
  • Access to delicious nutritional products that support your need for 90+ grams of protein each day
  • An ongoing support group for you and your family/significant others.

All of this is provided on-site or online at the Center for Weight Loss Success and truly impacts the short and long-term outcomes of our awesome patients.  For those that live farther away, most services are very effectively provided online, via Skype, via webinars and other engaging ways.  Short and long-term comprehensive support is essential for optimal success.

CFWLS-Rhonda-09-

 

Rhonda’s Opinion:  Absolutely!  I enjoy food in moderation even more than before because it tastes so much better when you slow down to enjoy it.

Why is Protein so Important After Weight Loss Surgery?

Posted on May 07, 2018 by

can-eat-blueberries-182x300Protein is essential with any weight loss plan.  Protein is essential for muscle and tissue growth and repair.  If you reduce your caloric intake without consuming the necessary amount of protein, your weight loss will be a combination of lean body mass and fat loss.  With adequate protein intake (and exercise), you should be able to preserve your muscle mass, allowing the majority of your weight loss to come from fat stores.  If, over time, you do not meet your daily protein needs, you may experience fatigue, loss of lean body mass, and possible hair loss.

You will need to check with your surgeon, but we recommend that our patients take in at least 90-100 grams of protein every day.  As your weight loss continues, your body will still prefer using your lean muscle as a source of energy.  Therefore, consuming 90-100 grams of protein daily will be a goal throughout your weight loss journey, not just during the beginning phases.

Once your weight has stabilized and you are in a maintenance phase then protein requirements may decrease somewhat into the 60-90 range depending on your weight and overall muscle mass.  The higher your weight the more protein you may require in order to maintain Lean Body Mass.  Men typically require more protein due to their higher total Lean Body Mass.

People seeking medical or surgical weight loss often have many questions surrounding protein intake since it is important for both situations.  How many kinds of protein are there?  Where can I find it?  How much do I need?  What is the best time to have it?  Let’s try to give some straight forward answers to these questions.

The word protein is derived from the Greek word proteios, meaning “of the first quality”.  Protein is essential for life (i.e. we can NOT survive without it!!!) because it contains sulfur and nitrogen, two vital elements for every cell in your body.  Protein also helps produce enzymes and hormones, maintain fluid balance, and regulate numerous vital functions, from building antibodies to building muscle.  The body maintains roughly 50,000 different protein containing compounds, forming the building blocks of muscle, bone, cartilage, skin, hair and blood.

As far at your diet is concerned, there are numerous kinds of proteins, each with their own set of advantages.  The right kinds can make all the difference, especially if you are trying to lose weight and build muscle.  Some of the best protein comes from food. Meat has about 7 grams of protein/oz., large eggs about 7 grams of protein, and milk about 8 grams of protein/8oz.  In a weight loss plan, you have to watch all the extra calories (fat, carbs) that come with food sources of protein.

  • Whey Protein: Whey protein is derived from milk (remember Little Miss Muffet and her curds and whey?).  Many whey protein supplements have had most of the excess fat, cholesterol and lactose removed.  Whey proteins are undoubtedly the most commonly used and most popular protein used in sports nutrition and with good reason.  They are the highest quality protein available with an excellent balance of essential amino acids.  Whey proteins are very efficiently absorbed and this is extremely important but this is also a potential problem.  Because whey protein is so efficiently absorbed (i.e. absorbed quickly) it tends to not keep you feeling full or satisfied for any extended period of time.  For this reason, it also tends to work better if used in small doses (10-20 gms) taken multiple times throughout the day.  Your hunger can potentially return faster than with other proteins.  This brings us to Casein protein.
  • Casein Protein: Casein protein is also derived from milk (the curds part of curds and whey) and is essentially whey’s counterpart.  It also is a very high quality protein with all the essential amino acids.  While whey is absorbed very rapidly, casein forms a slow digesting gel in your stomach.  This in turn promotes a feeling of fullness that can stave off hunger for longer periods of time.  This steady stream of amino acids helps to protect against muscle breakdown.  A good casein based protein supplement made specifically for weight loss is Weight and Inches (29gm protein/serving) which can be obtained from CFWLS.
  • Egg Proteins: Egg proteins digest at a moderate pace.  Eggs are an excellent protein source and mimic the amino acid profile of muscle quite nicely.  Unfortunately, eggs do have a relatively high amount of cholesterol and also arachodonic acid (mainly in the yolks).  Some people are very sensitive to arachodonic acid worsening inflammatory processes.  Egg proteins in supplement form (usually as albumin) have had most of the cholesterol and arachodonic acid removed.
  • Soy Protein: Soy protein is also digested at a moderate pace.  Soy protein contains all of the essential amino acids, but since soy is a plant, it tends to not have quite as good of a ratio of essential amino acids as dairy or egg based protein.  Therefore, it does not tend to protect muscle mass quite as well.  It can still be a good alternative for those who do not tolerate dairy based proteins.

As far as timing goes, ideally you should use smaller doses of protein multiple times throughout the day.  This is especially important after weight loss surgery so even these recommendations will need to be altered somewhat during the phase immediately following surgery.  Starting the day off with a good dose is always a good idea (i.e. that protein shake in the morning).  An example would be 20-30 grams at breakfast, 20-30 grams at lunch and 20-30 grams at dinner.  Then add two 10-20 gram snacks, appropriately spaced between meals.  Positioning a protein snack prior to and immediately after strenuous exercise works extremely well to build/preserve muscle mass.

After surgery, your new stomach pouch will initially only be able to hold about 1-2 tablespoons (15-30cc) of fluid at a time.  This is approximately ½-1 medicine cup.  Your new stomach should eventually stretch to accommodate 6-8 ounces (3/4 to 1 cup) within the first 1-2 years after surgery.  Because your new stomach pouch is so small, you need to follow the guidelines provided by your surgeon to ensure the fluid/food you put in your stomach is the most nutritious possible and does not overfill your small stomach, causing you pain and/or nausea/vomiting.

For delicious recipes that provide adequate protein and are low carb, visit us on Pinterest at: CFWLSVA

Two Things to Remember About Eating and Weight Loss

Posted on October 09, 2017 by

2017-03-29_17.13.23_smaller squareI’m going to talk about my two favorite eating rules. Eating rules can help you keep on your dietary plan. They don’t make it easier to do, but they’re fairly simple.

The first one is always sit down at a specific location to eat. It doesn’t matter if it’s a snack or a meal.  Always sit down and always have it be a specific location. Eat at a specific location in your home. It gets rid of that eating on the run or eating over the kitchen sink. There are some specific decisions that have to be made.  You’re physically going to get the food, sit down, and eat it in a specific location. That’s the first eating rule.

Number two is always use utensils. This requires more decisions.  Even if it is finger food (which typically isn’t what I call eating clean), you still have to use utensils.  If it’s an Oreo or chips, you have to sit down at a certain place, and you have to use utensils. If you can do this, they’re very simple rules. Simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy. If you can do this, you’ll find it easier to stick to your dietary plan. Multiple decisions have to be made in order to get there. So when you are potentially “straying”, you’ve got multiple decisions points that you can actually change your mind.

Number one, sit in a specific location. 

Number two, always use utensils. 

I Finally Said ‘Enough is Enough’! Weight Loss Surgery is My Solution

Posted on July 24, 2017 by

Allen Fabijan 3Meet Allen Fabijan – you may already know him as ‘Some Guy Named Allen’ from US106.1. What you may not know, is Allen chose weight loss surgery as a tool to help him improve his health and quality of life.

Allen has recently completed Weight Management University for Weight Loss Surgery™ here at Dr. Clark’s Center for Weight Loss Success.  He has lost over 130 pounds since he began his journey to lose weight and improve his health. Join him as he shares his struggles and successes along the way!

“I honestly can say it wasn’t one thing that pushed me over.  It was the culmination of everything.  But there is one thing. I woke up in the middle of the night and I thought “what am I waiting for?!” Am I waiting for the heart attack?  Am I waiting for the diabetes? Am I waiting for my kids to have another intervention with me about putting the hamburger down Dad and taking a walk? What am I waiting for?  It made no sense. I saw a pattern of ‘I’ll do THIS after I do THIS’ or ‘when I hit THIS age’, etc…. I recently turned 40 and what was I waiting for?”

“Now that I’m 40 I’m at one of the lowest weights I’ve ever been in my life and what did I wait for? Now the biggest question is why did I wait so long to take this step?”

To learn how weight loss surgery could change your life, watch our free webclass at: http://cfwls.com/weight-loss-surgery/free-online-weight-loss-surgery-seminar/

Herbed Cheese & Spinach Chicken

Posted on March 03, 2017 by

This main course is a special treat for guests and family alike! spinach and herbed cheese chicken chicken

Ingredients

4 chicken breast halves

3-4 oz herbed goat cheese or cream cheese

10 oz package of frozen chopped spinach

Salt & pepper to taste

2 tsp paprika

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

 

Directions

Thaw spinach. Press out excess water and put in mixing bowl.

Cut slits across the top of each chicken breast about 1/2” apart and 2/3 of the way through.

Place chicken breasts into glass baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Mix herbed cheese, spinach, salt & pepper and paprika together in bowl until well blended.

Stuff each slit with a spoonful of spinach mixture.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

 

 

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 300

Total Fat 13g

Total Carbohydrates 2.5g

Dietary Fiber 2g

Protein 43g

 

Print Recipe  Spinach and Herbed Cheese Chicken

Cookie Dough Protein Balls

Posted on November 04, 2016 by

cookie dough protein ballsEnjoy your cookie dough again!

 

Ingredients

2 scoops vanilla protein powder (Leaner Living)

½ cup almond meal

1/4 tsp salt

½ cup almond or peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla

¼ cup mini chocolate chips

1 Tbls almond milk

 

Directions

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir to blend.
  2. Add canned almond butter & vanilla. Stir to blend.
  3. Add chocolate chips and almond milk. Stir to blend
  4. Form into small (walnut-sized) balls by rolling in palms of your hands.
  5. Place on plate or tray and chill for 30 minutes until more firm.
  6. Enjoy!

 

 

Makes 12 balls

 

Nutrition Facts: (each ball)

Calories 110

Total Fat 9g

Total Carbohydrates 6.5g

Dietary Fiber 1.5g

Protein 5g

 

Print Recipe: Cookie Dough Protein Balls

Pumpkin Spice Protein Balls

Posted on October 21, 2016 by

These can be flattened a bit as cookies too~

A seasonal treat!

A seasonal treat!

 

Ingredients

2 scoops vanilla protein powder (Leaner Living)

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup rolled oats

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp pumpkin pie spice

½ cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp sugar-free maple syrup

 

Directions

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir to blend.
  2. Add canned pumpkin and syrup. Stir to blend.
  3. Form small (walnut-sized) balls by rolling in in your palms.
  4. Place on plate or tray and chill for 30 minutes until more firm.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Makes 12 balls

Nutrition Facts: (each ball)

Calories 40

Total Fat 2g

Total Carbohydrates 3.5g

Dietary Fiber 1g

Protein 3.5g

 

Print Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Protein Balls

Fresh Finds – Seasonal Selections

Posted on June 27, 2016 by

If, on a hot summer day, you can’t stop eyeing that hunk of watermelon; or you start craving  pumpkin spiced treats in October, you’re eating with a seasonal mind. It’s just intuitive! Holistic medicine and science agree, seasonal eating promotes overall well-being, helps fight infection and may act as a natural whole body cleanse.

This theory has existed for many years in both Indian and Chinese medicine. As the weather shifts, animals behave differently; they eat according to what they can find. Humans used to follow the same pattern but with the ability to preserve fresh foods by canning, drying & freezing, we are able to enjoy most foods in any season. Researchers studying the underlying effects of seasonal eating have found that there is an increase in vitamins and antioxidants in the seasonal fare that isn’t matched by out of season harvest.

raspberriesSummer: During these hot and humid days, think bright colors. Summer foods tend to be colorful reds, pinks, yellows and blues – and tend to be sweet! Staying hydrated in these summer months is important so choose water-filled vegetables and fruits to add to your meals! Berries and melons are fairly low in carbohydrates – add them to salads topped with plenty of protein.  Don’t forget about the herbs in your garden – basil, mint, cilantro, parsley and sage!

Roasted pumpkin and carrot soup with cream .Fall: Welcome to harvest time! Ancient Chinese medicine believed that the body contracts and begins cooling in preparation for the winter. You will find yellow and gold foods in abundance. Root  vegetables and squash (carrots, beets, pumpkins, butternut & acorn squash) are hearty, filling and warming! Cooking methods like baking and roasting are best since these hearty root vegetables can stand up to them, don’t forget to season- sage, thyme, and rosemary are fresh!

cinnamonWinter: With frost in the air, the end of the seasons is in sight! Carrots, turnip, kale, and collard greens are just picked in these cold months! They are perfect for roasting and stewing with warm spices like cinnamon, curry and turmeric. Even though we don’t think of meat as seasonal because our stores are always fully stocked, it is seen as the most warming of foods due to its high nutrient density.

asparagusSpring: With increased sunlight, our tastes reach out to fresher foods. Tender foods like sprouts, greens, asparagus, and chards are back! Steaming and grilling your fresh finds will preserve the flavor of these light vegetables!

Tips & Tricks:
•    Look for reasonably priced produce in the supermarket. In-season prices are lower than out-of- season prices.
•    Think back to seasonal childhood favorites. There’s a reason why Mom always fed you melon in the summer, pumpkin in the fall and beef and barley stew in the winter.
•    Visit your Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning!

Contributed by Lindsey Bryan, CFWLS Summer Extern

Low Carb Lasagna with Zucchini!

Posted on May 06, 2016 by

Even the kids love it!

zucchini_lasagnaIngredients

4 medium zucchini

1 lb. ground beef (or use turkey for less fat)

2 cups baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 jar pasta sauce (look for low sugar)

8 oz. tomato sauce

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed

1 egg, slightly beaten

15 oz fat-free ricotta cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


Directions

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Slice zucchini lengthwise into ¼ inch planks. Spray each side with cooking spray and place them on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Broil for 10-12 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
  4. Brown ground turkey, onion, garlic and mushrooms in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in seasonings, pasta sauce and tomato sauce.
  5. Combine egg and ricotta cheese in small bowl.
  6. Spread 1 cup of meat sauce into greased 9×13 baking dish. Top with zucchini slices and half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Sprinkle with ¾ cup of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat the process ending with sauce on top.
  7. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  8. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

 

Makes 12 servings

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 209

Total Fat 8g

Total Carbohydrates 15g

Dietary Fiber 3g

Protein 20g

Print Recipe: Zucchini Lasagna

Crunchy Almond Chicken

Posted on March 18, 2016 by

Great crunch without the carbs!

crunchy almond chickenIngredients
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup almonds
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup almond flour
2 tsp water
2 eggs

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Line large baking sheet with parchment or aluminum.
3. Crush almonds in food processor to a fine mix. Pour into shallow dish.
4. Add salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder and almond flour to crushed nuts and blend well.
5. Whisk eggs and water in shallow dish.
6. Dip each chicken breast into egg mixture and dredge in crushed nut mixture. Coat each side evenly.
7. Place each piece of chicken on lined baking sheet.
8. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes (until juices run clear).
Makes 4 large servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 383
Total Fat 33g
Total Carbohydrates 13g
Dietary Fiber 7g
Protein 39g

Print Recipe Crunchy Almond Chicken