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Tag Archives: food diary

What if I Lose Too Much Weight After Weight Loss Surgery?

Posted on May 28, 2018 by

mind over matterYou wouldn’t think this would be a commonly asked question but it is.  You may have heard a horror story about a “person who had weight loss surgery and lost so much weight that they look pale, weak and all of their skin sags”.   This is by far the exception and not the norm.

Weight loss after weight loss surgery is consistent and rapid (primarily with the gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy procedures and not as rapid with the laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding procedure).  Eventually, the body recognizes this rapid weight loss and as a protective mechanism, will slow down your metabolism and you will experience a plateau.  By following your prescribed eating plan (we make it as simple as possible) and incorporating fitness, you can work through these plateaus.  Once you get closer to your goal weight, the body naturally stabilizes at an appropriate weight even if you continue with a lower food intake (if it is the right combination of macronutrients and overall calories).  The industry commonly calls this the “set point”.  If you did continue to lose weight and appear as if you were dropping below your ideal body weight (rare), we can teach you how to use your “tool” to gain weight as well.

If you looked like the person described previously, you would need to be sure you were following up with your experienced bariatric surgeon.  Some things that can contribute to such a situation include poor nutrition, lack of an adequate amount of protein, not taking your daily vitamin, iron deficiency, smoking, depression or a physical malabsorption problem.  Again, this is a rare situation.  If you follow the prescribed post-operative comprehensive program set forth by your experienced bariatric surgeon/center this would be avoided.

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Rhonda’s Opinion:  I actually did lose a little too much weight but worked with Dr. Clark and a trainer to gain back muscle.  The great thing is that now YOU have CONTROL!!!

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.

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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. 

If you bite it, you must write it…

Posted on July 11, 2016 by

Weight Loss Mobile appYour food diary is a vital tool on your journey to lose weight.  Technological advances have made journaling so much easier and convenient.  Have you downloaded our free mobile app?  It tracks your food & fitness as well as water & weight loss progress!  Don’t have a smart phone? Good old fashioned pen and paper work just fine too. Some people claim that journaling is time-consuming and cumbersome.  The facts are that people who keep daily food diaries are much more successful with weight loss than those who don’t document.

Keeping a generic diary to record feelings and events can help with expressing emotions, aid in self-growth, and appreciating success and mistakes. Use a food/drink journal to increase awareness of your emotions in addition to what you’re putting in your mouth.  Here’s our top 5 reasons to keep a food diary:

  1. Helps to identify areas where changes need to be made
  2. Makes you cognizant of stressful, mindless eating
  3. Helps to pinpoint patterns of over-eating
  4. Provides an understanding of the source of calories
  5. Reveals where the surplus or deficit (protein or carbs) is

Dr. Clark and the counselors at the Center for Weight Loss Success especially want our patients to document protein, carbohydrates, and calories. We’re better able to provide support and assistance if we know exactly what you’re ingesting.

Don’t let the amount of calories you consume and where they’re coming from be a big mystery. Knowledge is power, and hiding from the truth isn’t going to bring you any closer to your ideal weight.  A recent study revealed people who kept a food journal six days a week lost almost twice as much as those who only recorded one day or less. This information is very impactful and advantageous. If you’re walking through the kitchen and feel like reaching for a cookie, you might think again if you have to record it!

Be accurate and honest when recording in your food diary.  If it goes in your mouth, it must be recorded.  All the “extras” add up.  For example, we recently had a medical client who was faithfully recording everything he ate daily, or so we thought.  It turned out, he had neglected to write down the dried cranberries he was sprinkling on his salad every day.  Those additional 25 grams of carbs and 20 grams of sugar made a big difference with his weight loss. Once discovered, the scale started moving again!

Tracking your intake may seem a bit time-consuming but pays big dividends and becomes easier with each passing day.  Take charge of your health!

Download the CFWLS free mobile app for iPhone at the App Store or for Androids at the Marketplace.

Lime & Coconut Bars

Posted on July 31, 2015 by

lime and coconut barsIngredients
¾ cup coconut flour
¼ cup almond flour
1 and ¼ cup Splenda sugar substitute
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ cup coconut oil, room temperature
4 eggs
½ cup lime juice
2 Tbls lime zest
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray 8×8 or 7×9 baking dish lightly with cooking spray.
3. Line with parchment paper, leaving ends to hang over the edge on 2 sides.
4. Whisk coconut and almond flours together. Add salt and ¼ sugar substitute and stir to blend.
5. Cut in coconut oil until well blended. Press into bottom of baking dish. Press down with back of spoon to smooth.
6. Bake for 10 minutes.
7. Beat together eggs, lime juice, 1 Tbls lime zest and remaining 1 cup sugar substitute.
8. Pour gently over crust and sprinkle top with coconut flakes.
9. Sprinkle with remaining lime zest and bake for 12-15 minutes or until center is set.
10. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Run spatula around edge of dish and lift parchment gently to remove bars from baking dish and place onto cutting board.
11. Slice into bars and enjoy!
12. Keep refrigerated.

Makes 16 servings.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 100
Total Fat 7.2g
Total Carbohydrates 5.7g
Dietary Fiber 2.5g
Protein 3.5g

Print recipe: Lime and coconut bars

Are You Getting Enough Water and Rest?

Posted on March 23, 2015 by

waterWhat do you normally reach for when you feel sluggish or lethargic?  No – Girl Scout cookies is not the best answer.  Now, if you had said a tall glass of water or even a pillow, you would be on the right track!  Hydration and Rest are vital for your health and well-being.  They are two of the key ingredients to feeling and performing your best.

Staying hydrated will keep you energized and may help you shed weight–even mild dehydration can slow metabolism. Every single cell in your body needs water. Water transports nutrients and oxygen to your body cells and removes waste products. We recommend that you avoid drinking too many artifically sweetened beverages. Even though they are low in calories, they may interfere with your brain’s signals, prompting you to eat more. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding sliced citrus fruits or cucumber for some flavor.

Drinking enough fluids is one of the simplest ways to keep energized and stay focused. A study of healthy individuals found that 92% felt fatigued after limiting fluids and water-rich foods for 15 hours; they also had lapses in memory and reported difficulty concentrating. When it comes to maintaining your energy, select meals and snacks that are rich in water, such as fresh produce or protein drinks.

The average person loses about 10 cups of water through daily activities.  Your actual needs will vary based on climate, diet and activity.  Have you replenished your system today?

Sleep, or more likely the lack of it, is sometimes responsible for our lack of energy.  Your body counts on being able to restore balance to your hunger hormones and other systems as you sleep each night.  When this doesn’t happen, your ghrelin and leptin stores may not be providing the proper signals to your brain, causing you to overeat.

You have probably noticed that it’s harder to make good choices when you’re tired. You may talk yourself out of going to exercise class or taking a walk when you get home from work.  Dinner may sound like too much of a chore and you find yourself at your old drive-through favorite.

Establish a regular sleep schedule. This will strengthen your body’s circadian rhythm and help you get the rest that you need each night.

Don’t let your defenses get down.  Arm yourself with plenty of water and a good night’s sleep.  You’ll be ready to take on the day!

Doc Weight Loss – Weight Loss Tips to Use Right Now

Posted on February 25, 2015 by

Your Weight Loss Mobile App – Have you downloaded it yet?

Posted on January 30, 2015 by

We’ve made a few changes within our Weight Loss Mobile App.  If you have it on your mobile device then you’ve no doubt already noticed!  Are you using all of the features that it offers?  We have a short tutorial video that explains how to make the most of its features and enjoy your weight loss journey.

Watch now!

Weight Loss Surgery Success – Low Carb Diets – The Myths and Misconceptions

Posted on January 28, 2015 by