Shout Out to Idaho ! – Bariatric Edition

Hi Everybody.  I am your bariatric nutritionist and surgery coordinator.  I had the opportunity this past weekend to fly from Tijuana (San Diego) with Dr. Sergio Verboonen and his wife Dr. Indira Partida,  and I got the chance to meet up with so many of you that have had bariatric surgery with us in the past and so many that are interested in having bariatric surgery in the future.

I may have felt a bit over-whelmed with emotion as I was introduced to people that I know and chat with “virtually” all of the time but I haven’t met them face-to-face before.  A little tear here or there never hurt anybody.  

I want you all to know that your presence meant so much to us and that Idaho was so welcoming with such wonderful, kind people.  We also had the opportunity to go to a wedding and the welcome that we received there was so very warm and joyful.  Idaho sure knows how to throw a party and to dance and have a blast !  Impressive !

I am the biggest fan of social media because it is our way to hopefully demonstrate our program that exists in both Cancun, and Tijuana, Mexico.  It is our way of trying to bridge two worlds and we believe that true transparency is of the utmost importance.  Photos and videos and social media posts enables us to come into your “screen world” and try to better assist you in making a very difficult but rewarding decision.  

I am feeling so incredibly blessed to have been able to be a part of your weight loss surgery journey.  We have been working with patients from Idaho back before 2010 and this program just keeps on growing and growing.  Thanks for all your support Idaho.  I wish I could have spent more time there with the warm people that I met.  You are all amazing folks !

Sheri Burke
Registered Nutritionist and Lead Surgery Coordinator
International Patient Facilitators and Bariatric Food Expert
1 800 210 5124 . 1 819 230 9763

 

Break the Plateau – Bariatric Edition

We are happily cruising along post bariatric surgery and we are thrilled with our results and then it happens … Plateaus, stalls, getting stuck – there are a lot of different ways to to call the dreaded stage where the scale doesn’t move and it just continues to stay in the same place.  This is not what is considered a “re-gain”.  This is just where you cannot get the scale to continue to move for a few weeks.  

Why does this happen to most post op bariatric patients ? They are exercising more, eating right, trying to get enough sleep, increasing their water intake – what gives ?  Our bodies are super smart and they adapt really well.  They are striving to have balance and equilibrium always.  Hitting a stall is like hitting a brick wall and it happens to most patients more than once during their journey to their goal weight.  

What is the solution to this plateau ?  The advice that I like to give to most people who hit this wall is to make a change – do something different – surprise your body and catch it off-guard.  It’s time to shift to something different and your body will respond again.

So what are some of those changes that we can make to get the scale moving again ?

Flex-Diet – this is when we take our macronutrients which are our proteins/ fats and carbohydrates and switch things around a bit.  Increase or change the types of proteins you are consuming.  Instead of hitting your 60 grams a day with eggs and proteins shakes, switch to 80 grams of fish and chicken.  Instead of trying to eat low fat everything, increase your fat intake and eat some avocado (or guacamole) and some nuts and seeds.  If you are having a fruit snack each day with your coffee, switch it up and have a protein snack instead (nuts and seeds to the rescue again).  

Two more points here: don’t eat too few calories and switch things up – change is a good thing for a weight loss plateau or stall!

Lift Heavy Weights – most of us think about lifting heavy weights and we think that we need to go to the gym.  There are an array of exercises that we can do with shifting our own body weight.  Think about how hard those squats and pushups are using our own body weight.  There are tons of exercises that we can add to our daily walking program to strengthen the body and burn more calories.  Change those exercises every 2 weeks and try new ones.  

Change up your workout routine.  Keep your body guessing and it will get the scale moving again.  If your cardio program consists of low and slow – beef it up a bit and add some HIIT. You can walk for 3 minutes and then jog for 30 seconds.  If you are taking two yoga classes per week, add a pilates class or exchange one yoga class for a spinning class.  

Everybody is different so please do not compare your bariatric weight loss journey to anyone else.  You are original and your body is special and unique.  We need to find the balance during the first year to year and a half after surgery.  The weight loss will slow down after that stage but that does not mean that the weight loss won’t continue.  We just need to help our tools to work harder for us which means that when we plateau, we have a plan in place to get the scales moving again.

Don’t get frustrated and reach out if you have any questions for me.  I am your biggest cheerleader.

About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery clients for over 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.

For high quality specialized plant protein for bariatric patients Bariatric Expert Protein Powders

Time for a “bariatric expert” multivitamin ?  Here is a perfect way for bariatric patients to get it now on Amazon:  Bariatric Expert MultiVitamins.

Eat Like a Bariatric Expert with our Nutrition Plans.

Feel free to share your victories and struggles in our Facebook Group. I would love to connect with you.

Stay motivated with Bariatric Wristbands – post your results online !

Understanding Carbs – Bariatric Edition

My intention here is to make it easy to understand your carbohydrates.  How can we control our intake of carbohydrates when we don’t know what they really are.  Sure, there are the ones that stand out like bread and tortillas, crackers and rice – but let’s dive a bit deeper.  Why are we trying to control our carbs ? and what benefit will this give us ? and what carbs can I eat ? 

Why are carbs vilified ?  Here’s the answer and it is biochemistry – I am not making this stuff up.  The hormone insulin drives fat storage.  What drives insulin levels ? Here’s what you are looking for: carbs drive insulin.  See what I did there – made it super easy to understand that carbs drive insulin levels and insulin drives fat storage. 

Eating healthy fats and proteins does increase fat storage but only by a little bit.  When discussing our macros / fat, protein and carbohydrates , only carbohydrates will increase fat storage by a large amount.  

Now let’s talk about broccoli vs bread.  They are both carbohydrates and both will bread down as carbs when they enter the body.  The body is going to break both of these foods into glucose (sugar).  This is something that occurs with ALL carbohydrates.  The higher the glycemic index carbohydrate, the faster it breaks down into glucose.  Those processed carbs break down so rapidly that blood sugar increases extremely quickly.  Next up comes a stress response because your body needs to get your blood sugar to lower so it releases insulin which moves the glucose into your cells.  Once this happens your blood sugar gets very low and guess what ?  You will feel very hungry and eat more.  Broccoli is a carbohydrate but it will not raise blood sugar levels like a piece of bread.  The body needs to work on breaking down the broccoli but the bread is so processed that it is already broken down before it enters the body.  Can you see why not all carbs are equal now ?

What we are trying to do is to reduce the refined/ processed carbohydrates from our diet.  There are two main types.  One is sugars and the second one is refined grains.  These refined carbohydrates have been stripped of almost all fiber, vitamins and minerals.  They are now empty calories and they have a big impact on our blood sugars.  They get digested very quickly and that causes rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels after we eat them.  Main sources are: white flour, white bread, rice, pastries, sodas, snacks, pasta, sweets, breakfast cereals and any added sugars.  These things are added to most processed foods.  Refined carbohydrates drive overeating and increase the risk of obesity.

What’s the take home message here?  Try to get the majority of your carbohydrates from whole, live, fresh, good quality foods which contain one single ingredient – such as broccoli, onions, peppers, spinach.  If a food comes with an ingredient list, it is more than likely not considered a healthy source of carbs.  

The more we read and research as interested consumers of food products, the more we will understand and the better choices we can make for ourselves and our families.  

I salute you for wanting to know more in order to make better decisions.

About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery clients for over 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.

For high quality specialized plant protein for bariatric patients Bariatric Expert Protein Powders

Time for a “bariatric expert” multivitamin ?  Here is a perfect way for bariatric patients to get it now on Amazon:  Bariatric Expert MultiVitamins.

Eat Like a Bariatric Expert with our Nutrition Plans.

Feel free to share your victories and struggles in our Facebook Group. I would love to connect with you.

Stay motivated with Bariatric Wristbands – post your results online !

Shift focus to healthy eating – bariatric edition

It doesn’t matter if you have had bariatric surgery, are thinking about having bariatric surgery or are not intending to have any surgery.  We all know that losses on the scale are no easy task.  There are such a crazy amount of factors to take into account – just maintaining our weight is a challenge in itself.  Even though there are so many different strategies that we can follow, I am going to focus on only two at this time.  This is about incorporating behavioral changes and changing what you eat.
Calories in and calories out/ we all know that this plays an important role when we are trying to lose weight but what we tend to forget is that the TYPES of foods that we choose can be even more important.  When we consume low quality processed foods such as packaged chips, sodas, refined grains, and sugar – this is associated with re-gains, plateaus and stalls.  These kinds of low quality foods are linked to weight gains.
If we look to better quality foods like low sugar berries, vegetables, high quality protein and healthy fats – these are the types of foods associated with maintenance and weight losses.
The more we turn towards lower quality processed foods, the more weight gain will occur.  The more we turn towards high quality unrefined foods, the less weight gain occurs and the best maintenance and weight loss results will occur.  What does this all mean ?  Eat real food.  The more we turn towards real food, the better our results will be.  Real food examples are vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, greek yogurt, nuts, seeds and healthy fats.  If a food has an ingredient label, it probably is a processed food.
Let’s turn to our plate and what it consists of.  I personally grew up with the concept of having meat, some form of starchy foods such as potatoes, rice or pasta .. and a small serving of vegetables (probably cooked to death)… with a big glass of juice, soda or milk beside it.   Today my plate looks different.  It has a small serving of protein (4 ounces), and a double serving of vegetables such as baked broccoli and a salad. Half my plate will be vegetables.  My plate will also have a healthy serving of fat such as grass-fed butter, olive oil, avocado or avocado oil.
Water is the best liquid to drink.  Sure, we can add a bit of lemon or a sugar free squeeze of something but getting our taste buds used to the plain taste of water is a wonderful thing.  It takes time but once you have gotten used to it, going back to sweetened beverages will taste like drinking your dessert.
The take-away should be to put more thought about what goes onto our plates.  We should be eating more vegetables with each meal and snack and we should search out high quality forms of proteins / think grass-fed beef instead of hotdogs. Add healthy fat to your meals and snacks.  Don’t be fat phobic !  Let’s limit how much starchy foods and grains that we consume and when thirsty, let’s turn to water.  Limit processed and refined, sugary foods.
This way of eating and thinking about food is extremely realistic and sustainable for long term.  I want to see you succeed in the short and long term.  You’ve got this !

About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery clients for over 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.

For high quality specialized plant protein for bariatric patients Bariatric Expert Protein Powders

Time for a “bariatric expert” multivitamin ?  Here is a perfect way for bariatric patients to get it now on Amazon:  Bariatric Expert MultiVitamins.

Eat Like a Bariatric Expert with our Nutrition Plans.

Feel free to share your victories and struggles in our Facebook Group. I would love to connect with you.

Stay motivated with Bariatric Wristbands – post your results online !