I went to my first Bariatric Support Group Meeting Wednesday. It was fantastic, and I got just as many good tips from my fellow participants as I did from the counselor and two nutritionists! For that reason alone I may go to meetings twice a month. You can’t get too much support, right?
Many of the clients there had hit a plateau, or were “stuck” temporarily. The dietitians are available for one-on-one counseling by appointment if needed, and I already know which one I’ll be going to. Not the one wearing skinny jeans and rolling her eyes at people’s questions. Seriously, if it’s your freakin’ job to motivate a room full of obese people do you think anyone there is going to appreciate the fact you stuffed your size zero butt into the tightest jeans you could find? Ones that none of us will ever fit into even after we’ve been dead a decade and wild animals have gnawed our bones clean? No. We’ll all go to the sweet, smiling girl in the simple dress (probably still a size zero) that looks like something we could someday wear (just a few sizes larger). The one who’s answering questions, not rolling her eyes.
You knew I had to be snarky about something, right? Otherwise you’d have thought you were reading the wrong blog! Anyway, the first tool the dietitians recommend is the dreaded food diary. Yep, write down everything you eat. And how much of it. This is almost a fun experience, but there are at least some ways to make it less painful and time-consuming. The app most people found user-friendly is My Fitness Pal. It tracks diet, water intake, and exercise. The counselor suggested a Fit Bit as a non-food reward for weight loss, and I bit my tongue so I wouldn’t reply, “I’d prefer a home incarceration bracelet!” Cute nails, yes! Fit Bit, no!
There’s a website called ObesityHelp that has a nifty card patients can download. It states that the carrier should be allowed to order from the children’s menu because they cannot eat adult portions for health reasons. Evidently most restaurants honor this. And children’s meals have gotten better – they aren’t all chicken fingers and fries anymore.
Of course we veteran dieters all know about using smaller plates so our portions don’t look tiny, but the whole “Don’t drink during meals” concept was new to me. I’d heard it suggested as a way to decrease nausea during pregnancy, but never to lose weight! I thought I was supposed to be guzzling water all the time. But if you think about it, this makes sense. Without fluid to thin your food and hasten its departure from the stomach it stays there longer, making you feel full and satisfied.
I got a fabulous tip from the lady sitting next to me. She said her work day is busy and she needed a grab-and-go lunch that was low-cal and high protein. Check this out:
There are several varieties, varying slightly in calorie and protein count, each under $2 next to the Lunchables in the grocery. Super-easy to stick in your purse in case of a crazy day, and much tastier and more satisfying than a protein shake.
We talked a long time about vitamins, and it worried me that a majority of the people in attendance, many of whom were a year or more post-op, still didn’t understand the vitamin rules. These are not just for Bariatric patients, these are for everyone!
*All women should take a multivitamin and a Calcium supplement. *You can’t take them together.
*Take no more than 500mg of Calcium at a time. Your body can’t absorb it, so it’s just wasted. 500mg twice a day is perfectly fine.
*Iron will make you nauseated if you take it on an empty stomach.
*It’s not the end of the world if you have to buy a pill dispenser at the dollar store or download an app to remind you to take your vitamins.
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