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Fit Tips

Fit Tips for Bariatric Surgery Patients

Fit Tips are written by Anne L. Jones, R.N., C.B.N., Ellis Medicine’s Bariatric Clinical Care Coordinator. Have a question for Anne? Contact her at 518.243.1313

One more way to keep yourself motivated during your weight loss journey is to "do the write thing." Studies have shown that writing down your weight loss goals reinforces them in your mind!

Another "Stick with it strategy" is to use the word "want" instead of "should." Saying you "should" do something, like exercise implies that you feel the activity is a burden. Michael Sachs, Ph.D., an exercise psychology professor at Temple University in Philadelphia says, "By telling yourself that you 'want' to work out today, you will get in the right mind-set to go to the gym!"

Stick with it strategies: Start small! Aim to make 1 tweak a day; add a new fruit to breakfast, skip your before dinner cocktail, take a walk after lunch, do whatever you can do to nudge your weight down. Once you add the small changes it will be easier to add the more ambitious and challenging behaviors as time goes on!

A healthy habit is to start wearing a pedometer. It can actually prompt you to be more active. To maximize your results, set goals and track your progress. Start by shooting for 2000 steps per day working up to 10,000.

How to burn more calories? YOUR WEIGHT divided by 2 = how many calories you use for every mile you walk at a moderate pace, says University of Tennessee researcher David Bassett, PhD. Walking at a brisk pace (over 4 MPH) results in an even bigger burn.

Lose 100 calories at dinner. Making meatballs, mix half the amount of ground beef the recipe calls for with half as much cooked brown rice.

Another tip to lose 100 calories at lunch or supper is to use 1 tablespoon of salad dressing on your salad, toss it until every leaf is coated. You will get away with using half the usual serving size.

Save 100 calories at lunch by using 1 tablespoon mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon of low-fat cottage cheese to make tuna salad! The cottage cheese adds even more protein to the tuna, another way to cut hunger. Remember PROTEIN FIRST!

Cut 100 calories a day from your diet. At breakfast simply use nonfat milk in place of flavored non-dairy creamer in your two morning mugs! Check out Ellis Hospital Bariatric Face Book page for more "Lose 100 calories a day" ideas!

Nearly 65% of all Americans are overweight, obese or morbidly obese. This costs the United States billions of dollars in health care costs. If each of us cut 100 calories a day from our diets, the number of overweight or obese people would be reduced by 71 million. Just by taking this simple step, health care costs could be lowered by $58 billion.

Researchers studied the diets of 400 elderly women and men and found that those who ate the most green leafy vegetables and beans had the fewest wrinkles. Spinach and beans are full of compounds that help prevent and repair wear and tear on your skin cells as you get older. One more reason to maintain a healthy diet!

We often are asked "how can I tame my sweet tooth?" It can be difficult, but it can be done! First, cut the excess sugar out of foods that aren’t sweet. Many products we do not think of as sweet, such as pasta sauces, salad dressings, breads and crackers contain extra sugar. Read labels and choose varieties that do not have added sugar (often in the form of high fructose corn syrup) on the ingredient list. Not only will you slash excess calories from your diet, you will also train your taste buds so that they detect sweetness at lower levels; as a result you will be more satisfied.

Eating after 9pm can cause weight gain, but not because your metabolism slows down at night (that is a myth). It’s mainly how much you eat-not when you eat-in a given day that affects weight gain. Many people eat at night out of boredom or other emotions instead of hunger, and then consume more calories than they need for the day.

These calories are then stored as fat. Also people who eat at night may wake up without an appetite and skip breakfast, the meal that is shown to control calorie intake throughout the day.

How can we stay motivated when the pounds come off slowly? Jennifer Huberty, Ph.D., from the University of Nebraska Omaha says, "Step away from the scale." Focusing on weight alone may actually derail your efforts up to 70%. Weight naturally fluctuates, even when you are doing everything right - which can be frustrating. Instead, acknowledge smaller milestones along the way, such as looser jeans or shaving a minute off your walking pace.

Many of us take Vitamin D as it is essential for the metabolism of calcium and bone health. Low Vitamin D is very common in those of us living in the Northeast as most of our Vitamin D is obtained from direct sunlight. It is now found that Vitamin D may actually boost immunity and help prevent colds. A study from Harvard shows that people with the lowest Vitamin D levels were 36% more likely to have upper respiratory infections that those with the most Vitamin D. Adequate amounts of D help produce cathelicidin, a protein with virus-killing properties. Just one more reason to take your supplements!

Do you find yourself running out of steam during your workout? Those who are confident and believed they could complete their workout reported less fatigue than those who were not so sure. Repeat the following motivating mantras as suggested from walking coach, Janna Clark: Breathing harder makes my heart and lungs stronger and healthier. With every step I become more capable, powerful and successful. I've done this before and I can do it again. I love myself; I am proud of myself.

Protein first! This saying is the most important rule following weight loss surgery, or anyone who is trying to be healthy. Gram for gram, protein has the same number of calories as carbohydrates and half the fat, but takes longer to digest, so you feel full longer. It also seems to help lower levels of the hormone grehlin, which is known to stimulate appetite. Include a serving of lean protein with each meal and snack. Eggs for breakfast, turkey sandwich for lunch, low fat or fat-free yogurt or milk for a snack, and grilled fish or vegetables for dinner.

New Danger Fat! As trans fats disappeared from margarine, cookies and other packaged foods, another potentially harmful additive is taking its place; palm oil. Palm oil is loaded with artery damaging saturated fats and acts much like trans fats in your body. The bottom line is that you should stick to whole foods and if you have to buy processed ones, pick ones with heart healthy oils, like olive and canola on the ingredient lists.

For more information about Weight Loss care at Ellis Medicine, please call 518.243.1313.