You have to eat to lose weight!

Seriously.  If there is anything I have learned for the 10 years after having a lapband and for the last 13 weeks since my bypass is you HAVE to eat to lose weight.  Even if you just eat a couple bites of protein or drink a protein drink.  It is very important that your body not store fat because it thinks you’re trying to starve it.

I didn’t choose not to eat to speed up the weight loss (although I bet some of you do!)…I simply got lazy.  Since I am on a high protein & veggie diet — I do get sick of thinking about what to eat and cooking, especially just for myself.  The fat kid in me would always resort to chips, cookies, cereal but this kid can’t do that (and neither should you).  For the last two weeks I was so busy and very stressed because I (stupidly) decided to work instead of taking my much needed annual vacation and what did I let go of?  ME!  I was skipping meals because I didn’t have time and I couldn’t just run and get a Big Mac.  I don’t even think I realized I was doing it but I was — and often.  I would eat a normal healthy dinner because I was also cooking for Dave but I didn’t bother stopping during the day.  That led to 3 things.  Can you guess?  1) Low energy – when I was trying to get a lot done for work and needed more. 2) Eating too fast at dinner – because I was SO hungry.  And of course the expected happened when a bariatric4lifer eats too fast.  Yup…I threw up.  3) No weight loss.  I was tired, frustrated and actually had a meltdown at work.

So what did I do to fix it?  I turned to a couple of people who are at about the same stage as I am and let them tell me what I already know.  I took some time to plan a few VERY simple meals for lunch and a couple that would provide leftovers for me.  I felt better in 24 hours and within 3 days – weight just melted off again and I am now at+1 of my 13 week goal of 61 pounds lost.

Not everyone will have drastic losses and I don’t want to encourage you to try.  Just eat like you’re supposed to, don’t skip meals, get some exercise and the weight WILL come off.  If you’re skipping meals and are satisfied with your weight loss…imagine what you might be losing if you weren’t skipping meals.

I added a couple new recipes.  I do hope you give them a try and enjoy them.  Good luck if you’re trying to lose weight.  Every day is a new day.

Parmesan Tex-Mex Pork Medallions

Parmesan Tex-Mex Medallions

I am not sure how I feel about the tex-mex seasoning.  Other than that – tenderloin is the best cut of pork because of its tenderness.  When I buy tenderloin it usually has two long halves in the package.  I use just one of them and it makes about 10 1” medallions. The tex-mex flavoring is from Pampered Chef but others make it also. 

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • ½ pork tenderloin, sliced into medallions
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons tex-mex seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder (not salt)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

 

Directions

  • In a small bowl mix flour, tex-mex seasoning and garlic.
  • Coat the pork medallions in flour mixture.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pork.
  • Cook 3-4 minutes on each side.  Don’t overcook.
  • Remove from heat.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Allow to set a couple minutes until parmesan is no longer cold.

**3 medallions are close to one regular pork chop but as a bariatric4lifer, I can only eat one.  This is great with a veggie or a salad – you can even cut it up and put it on top.  I served this with a salad and I added garlic bread for the family.

Sick of eating or just the planning & cooking?

My intention when I started this blog was to just track recipes.  Then it was to maybe help someone by sharing my journey which in turn would hopefully help me.  I was going to post every Tuesday (my anniversary and weigh day).  Then I realized that I just don’t always have that much…if anything to say.

I struggle to get through a day sometimes.  Not sure what to eat.  Not wanting to cook.  Not wanting to even think about food but knowing I need to eat…but easier not to.  Then I wait too long and then I get too hungry and then I eat too fast and then we all know what happens!  What did we use to do when we felt like this?  We ran through the drive through or ordered a pizza!  Now we must be strong — and lets face it…sometimes we just don’t want to be the strong one.  When all else fails – have a protein drink!

Breakfasts are the hardest for me.  I am hungry enough to eat but I don’t really like to.  I try to start my day with a chocolate fudge EAS shake and then an hour or so later I usually eat a fried egg or one link of sausage (the size of a hot dog).  Most days I don’t feel like cooking it though so I have to really push myself.

Lunch is also a problem for me.  I usually like to cook — for other people!  Cooking for just me isn’t any fun and I am alone all day most days.   Since I can now have some carbs – I usually have 3 or 6 crackers (Keeblers Focaccia Tuscan Cheese – 9 / 18 carbs) along with protein like crab dip, chicken salad or sometimes smashed up leftover fish.  Sometimes I don’t bother with the crackers.

Dinner I have under control because I am cooking for more than just myself!  I just make a meat and veggie or salad and call it meal.  If you need to make a carb for the family then make it something easy (and just a quick note – they don’t always need a carb either!). The thing to avoid is casseroles, creamy stuff, and fried foods.  You won’t do your body any favors by falling back into those traps.  You can make a piece of meat a hundred different ways by baking, crockpot or grill – then using different spices and rubs for different flavor.

I am sincerely curious – what do you eat?  Do you have any favorite dishes that are bariatric friendly and not too hard to make?  I’d love to try them.  I added a few new recipes — I would love to hear your opinion of them.

***11 weeks since surgery.  Down 54 pounds!  Yay me….and yay you if you are also on any kind of weight loss journey.

 

 

Sweet Tooth, Anyone?

Beginning week 9.  Down 44+ pounds.  The sweet tooth is seriously starting to get to me.  People say things to me to help but honestly, talking me off the ledge would be more helpful.

  • The dumping syndrome is worth getting through the sugar cravings.
  • Eat sugar free stuff.
  • Eat fruit.

I would like to address these.  Starting with eating sugar and dealing with the results.  No thank you!  Seriously…I have a food addiction.  You don’t tell someone who is alcoholic to go ahead and have a little drink to get through the craving.  Every time I give in – I am saying to myself that I am not serious about this new lifestyle.  Giving into a craving to “get around it” is just not acceptable to me.

Now lets tackle sugar free stuff.  I talked with my doctor before eating sugar free cookies and he did say it was “ok”.  He also reminded me to check the carbs and serving size.  What he said was – if, and only IF I was having a continued and acceptable weight loss AND I have had plenty of protein for the day – then yes, I could indulge in one serving of sugar free cookies or the like.  The more I have the less the weight loss because remember – sugar free isn’t carb free, low carb or even low fat.  So…be careful when choosing.  I am planning to try out some easy sugar free low carb recipes over the next few weeks.  The ones that turn out ok will be posted here!

That leaves fruit.  Fruit is basically sugar — a better kind of sugar but still sugar.  Per my doctor – I am not to have fruit for at least the first 6 months after surgery.  The reason for this is an easy one.  By 6 months you will have hopefully lost a great deal of your weight and the added natural sugars, in moderation of course, shouldn’t be a problem.  However, at 6 months, if you’re not where you, and  your doctor feel you should be then waiting longer will be better.  Do I eat fruit?  Yes.  Maybe 5 bites per week, if that.  Literally – 5 BITES!   I will grab a grape to cleanse my pallet.  Fruit is sugar?  Yes.  Check out this list…and when all is said and done – stay away from Mangos!!

Fruit Sugar Carbs Protein
Apple – 1 medium, 3″ 19 25 0.5
Apricots – 1 cup sliced 15 18 2.3
Bananas – 1 medium, 7″ 14 27 1.3
Blackberries – 1 cup 7 14 2
Blueberries – 1 cup 15 21 1.1
Cantaloupe – 1 cup cubes 13 13 1.3
Cherries – 1 cup 13 19 1.6
Figs – 1 large, 2.5″ 10 12 0.5
Grapefruit – 1/2 8 13 0.9
Grapes – 1 cup 15 16 0.6
Guavas – 1 5 8 1.4
Kiwis – 1, 2″ 6 10 0.8
Mangoes – 1 46 50 2.8
Nectarines – 1 medium, 2 1/2″ 11 15 1.5
Oranges – 1 small, 2 1/2″ 9 11 0.9
Papaya – small 12 17 0.7
Peach – 1 medium (2 2/3″) 13 14 1.4
Pears – 1 medium 17 27 0.6
Pineapple – 1 cup 16 22 0.9
Plum – 1, 2″ 7 8 0.5
Pomegranates – 1/2 cup 12 16 1.5
Raspberries – 1 cup 5 15 1.5
Strawberries – 1 medium, 1 1/4″ 0.5 1 0.1
Tangerines – 1 medium, 2 1/2″ 9 12 0.7
Watermelon – 1 cup diced 9 11 0.9

Remember — ADDICTION.  The beginning of any diet is a lot of retraining your brain.  Be strong. You can do this!

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

I don’t care who you are – you need to hydrate yourself.  I learned the hard way after surgery.  I had this terrible headache that just wouldn’t go away.  My head hurt so bad I couldn’t lean it against the back of the couch or even my pillow.  There was this pressure at the base of my head that seemed to keep growing.  The first couple days I thought it was just from surgery but Tylenol wasn’t helping either.

It hurt bad enough – I actually went to the doctor (I don’t do that!)  I was actually explaining things to my doctor when a light bulb went on over my head.  I was dehydrated.  I asked her if that was possible – absolutely.  I started drinking more (like a LOT more) water immediately and within a couple hours the headache started to subside.

  • Everyone needs to clean out their system every day by flushing out toxins.  Water is the best way, really the only way, to do it!
  • A person trying to lose weight needs it a little more than the average person. Along with cleaning out your system, you want to protect your muscles.  Water energizes muscles, keeps them healthy and gives them the strength to do what you want them to do.
  • While you’re losing weight you get skinny but you want to feel better and look better – water helps you look better with clearer skin and stronger hair.
  • Tired?  Even though your brain isn’t a muscle, it acts like a muscle.  Water energizes your brain, just like the rest of your muscles. When your brain is thirsty your body suffers.  It’s hard to be motivated or have the ability to think straight when your brain is thirsty.
  • Constipated on your new diet?  Yeah – that happens.  You’re eating less grease (in many forms), less caffeine, less sugar.  Those things need to be replaced by water so that your digestive system will do what it needs to do.

Don’t like water – sorry, I have to say this – get over it!  You need it.  Drink it.  You can flavor it if you have to (sugar free) but drink it.  It’s just like food – you need it, and more of it. So while you’re trying all those new recipes that I posted (on the left) make sure you hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

You gotta get your protein!

Proteins are the main building blocks of the body. They’re used to make muscles, tendons, organs and skin. Proteins are also used to make enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters and various tiny molecules that serve important functions. Without protein, life as we know it would not be possible.  ***Please note–this is true for EVERYONE…not just bariatric4lifers.  It’s just harder for us to get the protein because we can no longer down a 24oz Ribeye!

The protein shakes that were no problem for me in the past have become nauseating.  Just the smell alone gets to me now and I don’t know why.  Then…it doesn’t help that I may have become lactose intolerant (a common side affect of gastric surgery).  I used to drink an easy 8 ounces of protein with milk and now it’s not that easy.  Lets not forget I am 10 years older than I was with my first surgery.  I’m “at that age” now.

Over the past couple of weeks I have only been consuming 1/3 of what I should have (mostly because I just don’t feel good).  Seems like an easy weight loss but my weight loss had come to a stand still — already!  At 5 weeks post op I had lost 33 pounds.  At 6 weeks — still at 33 pounds.

I was feeling lethargic, very depressed and a little bit angry.  Then I remembered…no protein – no weight loss.  My body had gone into survival mode to protect me from myself.  I was starving my body of what it needed most.  These little things may have saved me.

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2016-07-01 23.16.34

I switched to a pre-mixed EAS protein drink.  It has 17 grams of protein which is 7 less than my powder but…since I am not drinking the powder — technically it is 17 grams more 🙂  My wonderful husband, Dave, roasted some pecans for me (recipe on the left) and I mixed them with some other nuts.  I keep them in an airtight container in the car so I always have protein with me.  I bought some cheese snacks that are fast & easy.

4 days and I already feel better.  I have done more, felt better, happier, getting back on track.

So….<raise your glass of water!> here is to a protein packed week and more of a weight loss to report.  Don’t forget to check out the new recipes that I posted (on the left).  Each week I will add more recipes that can not only work for bariatric4lifers but their families as well.

A New Beginning…

2016-05-17 13.04.12-1

5 weeks today since my gastric bypass surgery.  Time to clean house and take out the trash!  That goes for clutter, unhealthy foods, annoying habits and even a few bad eggs!  I just don’t have the kind of time.  My time is better spent elsewhere!

I feel…lighter 🙂  Is it the new bariatric lifestyle or the shedding of the old and outlook to the new?  I don’t know — but I LIKE IT!  It amazes me just how much better one can feel to make the smallest of changes in their lives.  Especially if that one change is negativity.

I will try to stay positive while finding / creating new recipes that keep my bariatric friends in mind (especially those who still need to cook for their families!) and offer interesting things that I learn along the way.