Don’t Diet – Bariatric Edition

I know, I know, I know, “lifestyle” is the buzz-word of 2019.  We all hear it everywhere we go. We all know what we should do.  We know that we should be adapting to a healthier overall “lifestyle” post-bariatric surgery.
 
Sometimes when a word or phrase is “over-used”, it stops doing what it is supposed to do.  It is supposed to impact us in a way where we crave change.  I think that the “lifestyle” trend is so perfect but we hear it so often, that it sometimes goes in one ear and out the other.
 
We already know that “diet’s don’t work”.  We have been on hundreds of diets and if they work so well, then why did we need to have bariatric surgery? Then why are we continuing to start a diet every Monday morning?
 
Why is it that some of us think that we can continue with our same lifestyle choices post-surgery without making any changes?  This is a sure-fire way to have a  regain and it needs to be discussed in detail before having surgery but if you didn’t make the right lifestyle changes post-surgery not all is lost!
 
We can start making those important changes today. We can start to implement change in our lives.  
 
When I think of lifestyle changes, I think of them from a holistic point of view.  It’s not only about the food we eat.  It’s also about the water we drink, our sleeping patterns, our exercise choices, our stress levels.  We are so much more than only food.  
 
Let’s look at sleep and how it impacts our food choices.  If I have a crappy sleep and I toss and turn and turn all night, I know that I will be craving those carbs the next day.  I will reach for more caffeine and I will try to pick myself up with food. I will also have less control over that box of donuts that Susan brought into the office.  Know what I mean? 
 
What about stress?  If I am feeling stressed out and my anxiety levels are high, the first place I will look for comfort is through food.  I can be stressed and eat an entire bag of chips without even realizing what I have done until the bag is empty.  Can you say “stress eater”? 
 
If I plop down in front of the TV in the evening, I know that I will have a very hard time controlling my munchies.  For me, TV and snacks go “hand-in-hand”.  I can eat a whole day worth of calories with one big Netflix session.  Multiply that for 4 or 5 nights a week and what you have is a weight gain.
 
If I am hungry and I choose something higher in the “carb-department”, I will find myself more hungry an hour later.  One food decision leads to the next one for me.  If I choose to eat like crap in the morning, I will then set myself up to eat like crap all day long.  I need to have the first food decision to be a good food decision or my food day is ruined before it has even begun.
 
If I eat like crap in the evening, the next day I will wake up starving hungry. I use Intermittent Fasting as a tool for health purposes and it makes it very difficult to pursue IF when you are hungry.  My bad evening food decisions set me up for a very uncomfortable morning.
 
Those are some of my bad habits and as you can see, it is the lifestyle choice that leads to eating.  It’s not only about eating.  Does that make sense? 
 
Now let’s backtrack.  If I have a good night sleep, I have more control over the food decisions that I make throughout the day.  For me, sleeping is a lifestyle choice.  I can watch TV until late OR I can decide to limit screen time and go to bed at 10 pm.  Know what I mean? 
 
I can and I should better control my stress levels. If I am not feeling so stressed, I will not be stress eating a big bag of chips without even realizing what I have done.  I can use breathing techniques, or download an app onto my phone or call my sister and talk about it or read some self-help books to learn to better control my stress.  I decide to remain stressed and so stress-eating will occur. Right?
 
What about my Netflix addiction?  If I know that I will be eating all the food while watching my latest and greatest series, then shouldn’t I make better choices and prepare my healthy snacks in advance?  Or better yet, maybe I should go for a walk and take a yoga class?  Or maybe I could find a hobby that doesn’t include 4 hours of Netflix indulgence?
 
Can you see where I am going with this?  The lifestyle choices that I make greatly influence the foods that I eat.  It’s not only about the food.  It’s about why I am eating the food and when I am eating the food.
 
I think we all need to first be aware of this phenomena before we can make the shifts to a life which looks different. I know that I need to make some changes in my lifestyle to support the way that I want my life to look and the way that I want to feed myself.  
 
Tell me about your lifestyle choices and what you can improve upon. I told you mine 🙂  Let’s start a discussion that may lead to positive changes.  Or tell me about the positive changes that you have implemented.  I want to know.

FaceBook LIVE  Friday, September 27th at 3 pm EST.

 

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 bariatric patients Bariatric Expert Amazon Line

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!

 

Gastric Sleeve Plush Toy Keychain $11.99usd

Gastric Sleeve Throw Blanket $19.99usd

Plush Toy Gastric Sleeve Recovery Fun Pillow $13.99usd

 

Protein Shake Realities – Bariatric Edition

Let’s talk about those protein shakes that my clients guzzle down two weeks before their weight loss surgery and for a month after surgery.  What’s in them?  Are they a health food?  Should we keep them in our lives to ensure we get enough protein in our diets?  How much is too much?

 
I am not here to sell you anything.  I am here to share my opinions about protein shakes.  My clients love them (most of the time).  They are an easy way to get a meal in a can or a blender right?  You can buy them everywhere.  They have wonderful flavors (can you say banana-split) and they have important names (premier, impact, very well, lean body, core power, to name a few).
 
Let’s be clear, the bariatric pre-op diet consists of 3 of these shakes a day for two weeks (among other things).  The post-operative guidelines also include these shakes for the first month after surgery.  I start to wean my clients off of them after that point.  Instead of having a shake for breakfast, I recommend switching the shake for an egg.  Instead of having a shake for a snack, I recommend having a handful of nuts and seeds or some Greek yogurt.  
 
There is a time and a place for these shakes for my bariatric clients.  We use them as a tool and we use them for a very short period of time.  I teach my clients to NOT use these shakes as a crutch.  Nothing will ever be as healthy as real food.  Don’t be fooled by the names of these shakes or by the long list of ingredients they contain.
 
Is a protein shake a health food? 
 
I have personally never considered a protein shake as a “health food”.  This is something that is manufactured in a laboratory.  It has a list of ingredients that are hard to pronounce.  But surely if they are being touted by celebrities and by beautiful, thin, social media influencers, then they MUST be HEALTHY? 
 
PROTEIN POWDERS ARE PROCESSED FOOD – I put that in bold letters because I want you to see it big and clear.
 
It is impossible to extract pure protein from a portion of food without processing it.  We shouldn’t be trying to replace all the whole foods in our diet with these protein powders.  Sure, they are great when we are in a pinch and cannot get our hands on real food but we shouldn’t be replacing our meals with these artificial, processed items. Notice how I called them “items”.  They are not real food.
 
First of all, how much protein do we need exactly?  The importance of getting enough protein is clear.  But how much protein is enough versus too much?
 
I explain to my clients daily that the companies that sell these protein supplement products would love to make you and I believe that we are ALL deficient in protein and how we will all have debilitating muscle loss if we don’t guzzle down their products.  TRUE STORY.  They use scare tactics to get us to buy their products.
 
Now for the reality folks…. 
 
The RDA (recommended daily allowance) when it comes to protein is: 
For women 46 grams per day
For men 56 grams per day
 
Now here is the actual equation that we are taught in nutrition school to calculate your clients’ protein requirements:
Ideal weight, multiplied by .36
Example: 150 lbs x .36 = 54 grams of protein per day
 
(Of course, we need to take into consideration the following: age, gender, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and activity levels.  We are biochemical individuals and we do not all have the exact requirements.) 
 
See how I did that?  Easy Peasy Right? 
 
So if the average protein shake contains 25 grams of protein per serving and I drink 3 of those per day (before I eat anything real), I am getting 75 grams of protein!!!  Holy Protein Batman.
 
WHAT??  that’s all ???  YUP, those are the real numbers for protein recommended allowances.  I am not making this stuff up.
 
So what do 53 grams of protein food look like?  
 
It looks like an egg for breakfast (6 grams), a serving of Greek yogurt at lunch (18 grams), a handful of nuts for a snack (7 grams), one glass of milk (8 grams) and 2 ounces of chicken for supper (14 grams)  – TOTAL 53 grams of protein.
 
Did you see how I did that using real food?  How easy was that? Is this unrealistic?  There are so many simple ways to eat enough protein each day.  Why are we handing our hard-earned money over to these protein shake pushers?  
 
Why can’t we get our protein from whole, live, fresh, natural, good quality food?  There are so many ways to get protein without having to turn to powder as a supplement.
 
Now, what happens if I eat too much protein?  What happens to the excess protein in my body? Excess protein is going to be stored as FAT, and any extra amino acids are excreted (can you say “expensive urine”).
 
The problem we face is the protein supplement industry.  They have us convinced that their shakes are like magic unicorn dust.  They have us all believing that their products are going to build muscle, help us lose weight and at the same time they taste like a chocolate milkshake.  How can we argue with that logic? 
 
They have taught us something true though …. protein does boost satiety by filling us up.  It also helps to maintain muscle mass tissue, which burns more calories at rest than body fat.  This magic is true.  So they give us real facts for wanting to consume more protein and then hand us their product to fill the gap.  One big concern of mine is that many of these products are made with inflammatory protein sources and they are TEEMING with artificial additives and scary chemicals.
 
What is a smart consumer to do?  I say “eat real food and skip the shakes”, BUT if you are prepping for weight-loss surgery or one month post-surgery, here are the things to look for when purchasing a protein shake:
 
Read labels.  Choose a protein supplement which does not contain artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils.  If you are lactose intolerant, choose a plant protein instead of a whey protein.  If you are unsure of the ingredients, do a bit of research.  Be one of those consumers who want to know where their food products come from.
 
If you are working with me as your surgery coordinator/ and bariatric nutritionist, I will transition you to shakes for the first part of your journey pre-op, and I will transition you again to shakes post-surgery.  The next phase, I will wean you off of the shakes and I will start to replace the shakes with real food.  
 
What’s my motto guys?  My motto is to eat “whole, live, fresh, natural, good quality FOOD”!  Supplemental protein has a role to play in the bariatric journey but it is a small role.  Let’s not give it a bigger part to play.  Let’s allow real food to take center stage.
 

FaceBook LIVE  Friday, September 20th at 3 pm EST.

 

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 bariatric patients Bariatric Expert Amazon Line

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!

 

Gastric Sleeve Plush Toy Keychain $11.99usd

Gastric Sleeve Throw Blanket $19.99usd

Plush Toy Gastric Sleeve Recovery Fun Pillow $13.99usd

 

My Get Fit Plan – Bariatric Edition

Last week, while scrolling through my social media, I saw a lot of ads about “getting fit” pop up in my newsfeed.

I wonder what I was researching?  Obviously, I googled something with regards to physical fitness, as google now seemed to be stalking me with this same topic.

This took me back to the nutrition convention I attended last May in the city of Toronto.  There were a lot of different speakers and topics discussed.  We dove into “gut health” and our microbiome.  We learned about “brain health” and how to remain young as we age.  We dove into “inflammation in the body” when consuming the standard American diet.

And of course, we discussed the importance of physical fitness and how exercise can have a huge impact on our mind and also our body.  

There was an important discussion about how exercise is like an anti-depressant.  It regulates our endorphins and raises serotonin levels.  This is one of the reasons why we feel happier after hitting the gym.

At one point, the lead speaker asked the audience a question.  He wanted to know what we thought was the very best form of exercise.  Which form far exceeded the others? 

Can you imagine all the hands going up in a room full of nutritionists?  Every one of us had the correct answer.  Some of us yelled, “WALKING”!  Others shouted out “SWIMMING”!  

The answers kept coming …. GARDENING, SALSA CLASSES, YOGA, 5KM RUNS, BIKING, LIFTING WEIGHTS!!

The speaker kept shaking his head side to side.  None of us knew the answer?  How could this be? 

Finally, the crowd got quiet and we were ready to listen and hear what this magical exercise could be…

This is what he said:  The most important and impacting exercise routine is THE EXERCISE YOU DO CONSISTENTLY.

AHHHHH, of course.

All forms of exercise are great.  But if you do it once a month and then don’t do it again, it doesn’t do much for you, right? 

So from my standpoint, as your bariatric nutritionist and surgery coordinator, what I ask you for is to move your body CONSISTENTLY.  I encourage you to MOVE.

  • If you want to take Zumba lessons, then ZUMBA.
  • If you are into biking, then BIKE.
  • If walking floats your boat, then WALK.
  • It doesn’t matter what kind of movement you like or perform – what’s important is that you do it CONSISTENTLY.

We already know what physical activity recommendations are.  Our social media feeds are full of them.  We all know that in order to stay healthy, we are recommended to move our bodies for 150 minutes each week.  That breaks down to 20 minutes 7 days a week or 30 minutes 5 days a week.  

The “how” is a bit more complicated.  How do you want to move your body?  In the gym? In a class? In your garden? Behind your boat with water skis?  What is it that makes you WANT to move your body?  You need to be HAPPY with the movement you choose.

You know what? Let’s uncomplicate this.  Sometimes I like to bike.  Other times I like to walk.  There are days when I feel like taking a yoga class.  The Spring season makes me feel like jogging.  Why do we always need to be doing the same thing over and over again?  

The most important part of this equation is to just get moving.  We need to focus on consistency with movement.

This is a bit like “self-discovery”.  We all know that exercise makes us feel happy once it is done.  The biggest hurdle, most of the time, is to just get started.  Once you are in a routine, it gets easier.  

Monday and Wednesday you can lift some heavy stuff.  

Tuesday and Thursday could be a bike down your local trails or around your neighborhood.  

Maybe Saturday is a good day to visit the local indoor pool with your goggles and a speedo.

I encourage you to just sit down and work your plan.  Take some time to dig deep and give yourself some encouragement.

If you are already active – GREAT and keep up the awesome work.  

If you are not active – LET’S DO THIS.  Let’s make a plan.  Don’t run before you can walk.  Take the important steps to get a plan in place.

My personal plan … I run marathons (in my head).  I am a super active person (in my dreams).

Right now, at this stage in my life, I love to SPIN and LIFT WEIGHTS and do BOOTCAMP CLASSES. 

This is what floats my boat right now.   I don’t spring outta bed ready to ROAR any day.  I need to move slowly in the morning.  I need to walk my dog and drink my coffee before I start my day.  BUT, I make sure to work the time into my days to treat myself to a 45-minute workout.  

Do you know what happens?  I am a happier person after my workout.  I am a better person after my workout.  I am a less depressed person after my workout.  I am a better wife and Mom after I workout.  I am a better nutritionist post-workout.

When I don’t feel like moving, I remind myself that I want to feel happier.  This is my catalyst.  You need to find you. 

Pick a start date.  Send me that start date to be accountable.  Work a plan out on paper.  

I promise you if you get started, and you are CONSISTENT, the MAGIC HAPPENS.  

Your mindset will shift as your endorphins are released through movement.  The movement will no longer be a “chore”, it becomes a wonderful “gift” that you give to yourself.  

Love yourself enough to move that beautiful body of yours.

FaceBook LIVE  Friday, September 13th at 3 pm EST.

 

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 bariatric patients Bariatric Expert Amazon Line

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!

 

Gastric Sleeve Plush Toy Keychain $11.99usd

Gastric Sleeve Throw Blanket $19.99usd

Plush Toy Gastric Sleeve Recovery Fun Pillow $13.99usd

 

Doing Things Differently – Bariatric Edition

“What is it that we all fear after bariatric surgery”?  

I think that the number one answer I get when I ask this question is: the dreaded regain.

What I spend a lot of time discussing with my clients is the importance of making real lifestyle changes post weight loss surgery. This is always going to be a marathon and not a sprint. If we look at weight loss surgery as the next best “diet”, we will surely not achieve or maintain our goals.

The number one thing that needs to be accomplished post weight loss surgery is lifestyle changes. We cannot have surgery and then continue to eat the way we did before surgery and expect to have a different result. We cannot be inactive and expect our lives to greatly improve.

Our life greatly improves because we make important changes. We start to eat whole foods and we start to move our bodies more.

If we are night-time snackers, then we need to find a way to overcome this issue.

If we are over-eaters, this needs to stop.

If we are sugar addicts, we need to exchange this habit with a new, healthy habit.

If we are fast food fiends, we need to stop going to the drive-thru.

We need to first admit and acknowledge what got us to the point where we needed bariatric surgery. The surgery is not what is going to get you back to a normal weight. It is the choices that you make post-surgery that enable you to reach your goals.

What is the definition of insanity? It is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

If we had surgery 2, 5, 15 years ago and we didn’t make those changes that needed to be made and we had a regain, is it all lost? 

 I feel that we still have a chance to get back on track and to succeed without having another surgical intervention. Is it the restriction that helped you lose the weight in the first place or was it the types of foods you were eating and the healthy changes that you made? 

I speak to many clients that tell me that they still have a good restriction after X amount of years. So it that is the case, then they should be able to use that restriction to help them lose any regain. You see, the types of foods that you are eating are the reason why the regain occurred. 

Nobody gains weight after bariatric surgery from eating chicken breasts and broccoli. 

The dreaded “carb-creep” is real. We start to allow the same, old, comfort foods back into our diet. Sure, at first it’s only on Saturdays, or just on Thursday night when you go out with your girlfriends. Before you know it, you are eating those “carb-age” foods 3 times a week. What happened? Why did you gain 10lbs? 

I often hear “but I am not eating very much” and when you sit down to do a food log, the reality is staring back at you. The snacking and grazing on the wrong foods is what is leading to the regain.

The lifestyle that we used to live…. the one that was inactive and full of the wrong food choices …. that needs to go. It needs to be replaced with a healthier version. It is going to look different and it is going to make you feel a lot better. You will sleep better. You will have more energy. Your pants will fit better. You may be able to get off your meds.

If making good choices can get you to a better place mentally and physically AND making bad choices can lead you back down the road to weight gain,,,, then where do you find yourself today? Are there things that you can do better? Are there dietary changes that you can make to get you back on track again? Is there a way to add more movement to your life.

We need to be asking ourselves these questions all the time. Nobody is perfect. We all can do something to improve our diet and our wellness plan. Let’s not stay stuck in the mud. We need to push forward and make better decisions always.

I like having a plan where I “crowd out all the bad stuff”. 

I add nuts and seeds to my lunches. By adding this to my lunch, I have a good dose of healthy fat and it will crowd out the snack food in the afternoon because I won’t feel as hungry. 

If I add a piece of avocado to my scrambled eggs at breakfast, I won’t be so inclined to snack at 10 am because I will feel more satisfied for a longer period.

If I have some greek yogurt, almonds, and berries in the evening, I won’t be so inclined to reach for the chips and dip come at 8 pm.

This is how I crowd out the bad stuff – by adding in the good stuff. It is a lot more difficult to constantly be restricting myself all the time. 

Make a plan. Plan to do things differently. Stay vigilant. Correct yourself along the way.

And, when you veer off course, prepare to steer yourself in a better direction. 

This is a lifetime of doing things differently. And, we will do those same things until they become our new normal. 

 

FaceBook LIVE  Friday, September 6th at 3 pm EST.

 

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 bariatric patients Bariatric Expert Amazon Line

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!

 

Gastric Sleeve Plush Toy Keychain $11.99usd

Gastric Sleeve Throw Blanket $19.99usd

Plush Toy Gastric Sleeve Recovery Fun Pillow $13.99usd