Our Bariatric & General Surgery Blog
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!
Every WLS patient should adopt this statement as a mantra. Making choices on the run as you dash from work projects to afterschool soccer games to dinner reservations and special social events is akin to putting your life in the hands of someone else. You cannot rely on being able to just “pick something up” on the way or “fitting in” a workout without having these non-decisions effect your WLS success in the long run.
Unfortunately, because of the hectic pace in which we live our lives, many of us do just that…and then wonder why we fail to attain our weight loss goals or why the weight is slowly creeping back on.
Fortunately, there are ways to avoid these pitfalls. All it takes is planning…and a little planning can go a long way!
- Keep and use a Food Diary: This can help you keep track of, not only your daily food/ fluid/ exercise tallies, but also your food favorites. Months down the road, you may have forgotten the foods you were eating that were helping you to achieve your weight loss. The food diary will remind you and take away some of the guess work on what should be in your diet to get you to your weight loss goals.
- Pack ahead of time: Pack and keep your gym bag in the car. Pack your lunch the night before.
- Buy your groceries and prep them immediately: Cut up vegetables when you get home from the supermarket. Portion out large containers of meats, yogurts, cheeses, cut fruits, nuts, etc. ahead of time so they’re ready at a moment’s notice.
- Cook once, eat several times: Make a couple of WLS friendly recipes on the weekend that make several servings. Then portion the cooked dishes into smaller containers. Utilize your freezer! Make up a menu for the week using these dishes so that all you need to add is a small side of vegetables.
- Keep emergency protein shakes or bars in your work desk, handbag, or car at all times to deter unplanned trips to the snack machine or the drive thru.
- Make a list of favorite restaurants in your area and the WLS friendly options at each. If someone asks about going out for dinner, take out your list and make an educated decision about where to go.
- Use your calendar to make appointment times with yourself for exercise, cooking, meal prep, shopping…and do not miss these appointments!
- Parties: Plan ahead and bring a WLS friendly dish with you that fits into your meal plan.
- Vacations: Make reservations and stay at hotels with a workout room, pool, jogging trail, etc. and pack your workout clothes. In addition, utilize ideas # 5 & 6 above while traveling!
- Holidays: Decide ahead of time which holiday treats you can give up and which you will savor so you don’t have to make on the spot decisions. You can have a chocolate chip cookie anytime…but Aunt Martha’s cheesecake is not to be missed!
A little planning makes all the difference between meeting your goals with stress-free, enjoyable meals/ exercise sessions versus making poor, guilt-ridden last minute choices that pull you away from your goals and lead to weight regain and a weak body. Which would you rather have? Make your choice!
By Elizabeth Schledorn RN, MSN, CNOR, CBN, HHC
“I can eat as much of that candy as I want…it’s sugar-free and fat-free!” If this sounds too good to be true, then of course it is! Eating too much of anything, especially at one time can potentially cause a myriad of problems. This can include immediate regrets such as a stomach ache, dumping syndrome, bloating and diarrhea to longer term effects like weight gain. So, don’t be fooled into thinking a packaged food is good for you just because it makes specific “health” claims. Be wary of phrases such as sugar-free, fat-free and even calorie-free. These foods may technically be all of those things, but never are they calorie free (or even healthy), especially when consumed in amounts larger than a serving size.
Choices are something we make every day. We choose what time to get to bed, to wake up and what time to eat. These seem like small insignificant moments in an extremely hectic life, but they are choices we make every day. If you don’t go to bed early enough, you will be tired in the morning. If you don’t get up when the alarm clock rings, you will be late to work or school. The choice is yours, just as the choice for a healthy lifestyle is yours as well. Ensuring that all of your efforts to support a healthy lifestyle is paramount to your success in achieving and maintaining weight loss.
You’ve worked hard all day. You went to work prepared with a lunch bag filled with protein-rich, nutrient dense foods. You’ve filled and refilled your trusty water bottle several times throughout the day. You tracked every morsel that went in your mouth, as well as the time spent at the gym. You attended your support group meeting and scheduled your next follow-up appointment at your Doctor’s office. As far as you can tell, you’ve done everything right.
So why, at 8 pm, do you sit on your sofa fighting the urge to dive head-first into the refrigerator?
When avid gym goer and Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) police officer Christopher Matzinger began having trouble breathing during his routine workouts, he grew frustrated and concerned.
“It’s easy to take something routine like breathing for granted, until you can’t do it,” said Matzinger.
Upon consulting with his general practitioner, Matzinger was diagnosed with asthma. Still, the 39-year-old remained committed to making physical activity a priority despite daily sore throats, which he then attributed to allergies. But when he began to gag and throw up stomach acid at the gym on a regular basis, he knew something else medically was going on.
- 1 in 5 people in the United States suffer from GERD
- 20 million patients are on proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), 38 percent still have symptoms
- 10-15 percent will develop Barrett’s esophagus
- These individuals have a 40 times greater risk of developing esophageal cancer
Inhalers, allergy shots and a slew of medications failed to provide him with relief, so Matzinger set out on a quest for answers. He researched his symptoms and advocated for several diagnostic tests, including two endoscopies, which confirmed he was suffering from “silent acid reflux,” a condition in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing discomfort in the throat. Wanting the very best treatment, coupled with very best care, Matzinger turned to NYU Winthrop Hospital for help.
Physical action and movement in fulfilling your dreams can rekindle the Spark but, without incorporating your mind and spirit into the process, any achievements may be short-lived. Here are some ways to incorporate your mind and soul into the steps you take…
Winthrop Surgical Associates is very pleased to welcome Dr. Jun Levine, a highly skilled and experienced bariatric and general surgeon, to our practice. Dr. Levine adds yet another layer of expertise to our practice and represents a key part of the continued growth in our multi-specialty surgical program.
One of the first steps you will take toward renewed health with bariatric surgery is attending a weight loss surgery seminar. During your research you may have noticed that most bariatric practices offer some kind of seminar before their consultation; and there’s good reason. The seminar is a way for you and other patients to meet the members of the practice, learn about the procedures available, and understand how those options may or may not be suitable for your particular circumstance. Bariatric surgery is not an easy decision, and understanding more about what is involved, both during surgery and in life after surgery, can make the process and decision far less daunting.
Hernia surgery is the most commonly performed general surgical procedure in the United States. Over 1 million hernias are repaired every year, 800,000 of which are inguinal or groin hernias. Despite the prevalence of hernia repair there are still many considerations of surgery and as a result, some patients experience recurrence or other complications that require further treatment.
One of the fastest growing cancers in the United States is that of the esophagus. This is, in part, due to the staggering increase in untreated or undertreated Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD also known as chronic acid reflux. As a result, novel treatments are being developed to improve or eliminate acid reflux with the ultimate goal of preventing reflux-related discomfort and esophageal cancer.
Winthrop Surgical Associates prides itself on offering a wide range of treatments for GERD. However, we also understand that choosing which procedure is best can be overwhelming, especially with so many and varied options. Below, we will briefly discuss each procedure, however a consultation with a qualified surgeon such as those here at our practice is the best way to fully understand the options. Before we begin