Stopped Losing: What Now?
I received an email recently from
someone who had stopped losing weight and was very distressed. She
had lost 70 pounds, and her surgeon was recommending that she lose 50
or 60 more pounds. Here is my reply to her:
It is scary and discouraging when you
reach the point after weight loss surgery when you stop losing. It
is always possible that you are on a plateau and your weight loss
from the surgery will resume naturally, or it could be that you will
really have to work at it.
There are several reasons that could
account for why you stopped losing weight. Here are some of the
1. Have you been exercising? That
is a very important component to reaching goal weight following
surgery. I know we would just love if the weight fell off by itself
any time we wanted, but unfortunately we do have to work at this
after the first year.
Exercise alone will not burn enough
calories to make a difference unless you are doing extreme exercises
for a long period of time. But exercise will build muscle mass which
will improve your metabolism. Also, exercise establishes a regimen
so that you are more in the mindset to eat right. Everything seems
to fall into place better if you exercise.
2. Examine just how much you are
eating. Even though we have had surgery, we are still the product of
calories in vs. calories used. Even if you are unable to eat a lot
of food at one sitting, if you are grazing, you can consume a lot of
calories that will keep you from losing weight. We are all adverse
to weighing and measuring food, but studies show that people
actually eat 25% more than they think they do unless they weigh and
Your eating can also be controlled by
keeping a food diary. Yes, I can hear all of you groaning; however,
studies also show that keeping a food diary is one of the best
methods to use when losing weight. It is very motivating. If you
know you will be writing down a food that you are about to put in
your mouth, then it forces you to stop and think whether you really
need or truly want that food item.
3. Change your diet. If you are
eating the same food day after day, your body becomes so accustomed
to the same food that your weight loss can stop. Your body becomes
extremely efficient at getting at every calorie in the food you do
consume and "using it against you."
4. Check your medications. Are
there any medications that you are taking that are known for causing
weight gain? Your physician or pharmacist will know. If so, you
can speak with your physician about the possibility of changing to a
prescription that will do the same thing and not cause weight gain.
5. Are you eating enough protein.
It is important to eat 60 grams of lean protein per day to maintain
muscle mass. If you donít and are not exercising, your muscle mass
is decreasing which will slow your metabolism so that you are no
longer losing weight.
There are many factors that could play
into this. Don't lose heart. It may not be as easy to lose weight as
it was right after surgery; however, it is so much easier than it
was prior to surgery!
Back on Track with Barbara
Internet Mentoring Program
The Back on Track with Barbara Internet
Mentoring Program really concentrates on lifestyle changes. Join our
group and receive lessons via the internet and the support of others who
are struggling just like you are.
suffering from emotional eating and canít stop?
||Are you grazing
on carbohydrates and canít control it?
||Are you lacking
inspiration to lose the weight you have regained?
||Do you feel that
you donít know what to do now that you have had surgery?
||Are you dying to
be in better shape?
My Back on Track Internet Mentoring
Program is just what you
need to start your plan to get your weight under control.
and Listen to a
FREE Telephone Seminar
clicking here and scrolling down to the
bottom of the page.
What Is your Biggest Holiday
Prior to my weight loss surgery, Christmas
was a huge challenge for me. I would gain five pounds every Christmas,
and in the end, never take it off. This time of the year has
always caused me problems, but usually problems of my own making.
There is just so much food. It is
everywhere, and heaven forbid any of it should be thrown away.
There are cookies, and chips and wonderful dips, cheeses of all
kinds and lots of dinners and parties to go to. I know it isn't
just me that struggles at this time of the year.
One of my remedies -and I know this won't
work for everyone, is that I just stopped baking. That helped me
so much not to have a ready supply of homemade cookies staring at
me. Inevitably, there would be many uneaten cookies. I would
always bake too much. And I have this "thing" about throwing away
food. I have a very hard time doing that unless the food is so
stale it is inedible or it is spoiled.
I am not alone in this struggle around the
holidays, so I would love to know what you do to get through the
holidays without gaining weight.
Send your thoughts to me at
Barbara@WLScenter.com and I will post them.
Inspiration to Lose Weight
Weekly Email Messages that Will Keep
You Motivated to Lose Weight and Stay Healthy
Staying in the proper frame of mind to
continue losing weight can be hard when life's challenges always
lead you astray. Weekly messages will keep you on a steady
track to lose weight.
weekly motivational messages today
to stay on track with your weight loss.
for more information
Here is a sample
#19 Listening to Your Body
Pay attention. You
can hear it if you just listen. It is the messages that
your body sends you. And those messages are very
If you overeat,
doesn't your body tell you that what you put in your
body didn't agree with you? You feel a little sluggish,
or your digestion is a little off. There's a message
If you haven't
exercised for awhile, do you feel that you are lacking
some energy, and then when you start again you don't
have the stamina that you had before? There's a message
If you aren't getting
enough sleep because you want to watch just one more TV
program, or you are too busy or stressed to sleep
properly, are you dragging yourself through your days?
There's a message there.
If you are lacking
energy and your health is affected because you aren't
paying attention to the vitamins you need to take, are
you feeling the difference? There's a message there.
Your body sends you a
lot of wisdom. Just learn to listen.
Living to Eat, Or Eating to Live?
There is a point that some people reach after
having weight loss surgery when they truly "eat to live, rather than
living to eat." I know all of you know what I mean. It is the point
when food no longer governs your life.
Prior to surgery, we were led by food. If we went
to a grocery store, we would know in advance when there was the
greatest chance of getting samples. We never passed up a sample and
would be sure to walk down the aisles where the distributors stood.
They became our best friends.
When you were asked to bring a dish to a party,
you always made a very luscious dish, because you were making it for
company. You would never feed such fattening food to your family
even though it was the best thing you ever tasted. And of course, you
made more than necessary, and brought your own leftovers home. You
can't let them go to waste. And who ended up eating those leftovers?
And how about the buffets? You just have to have
a little bit of absolutely everything. After all, you might not like
something, and then end up with not enough food! And there is a
definite magnetism to "free food." You already paid for that food, so
it is a shame to not take advantage of it.
But there are people who have weight loss surgery
who have turned that corner, and are no longer slaves to food. Most
people turn the corner almost immediately after surgery, but then get
to the end of the block about 5 years after surgery and turn another
corner back in the direction of "living to eat" again. It can be very
discouraging. Just when you thought you had eating "licked," it rears
its ugly head again! So how do you get it under control? And why does
it happen to us?
The International Conference on Obesity in 2010
took up the issue. Studies show that the brains of those who are
affected by obesity react differently than the brains of normal-weight
people when confronted with sweet or fattening foods. Brain scans
showed very strong reactions in the reward, desire, attention, memory
and planning parts of the brain of those affected by obesity when
shown pictures of items such as cake, pies and French fries. Those
reactions were not there for normal-weighted people.
Such studies have been presented at or conducted
by Columbia University, the University of Pittsburgh and Yale
University. People who are affected by obesity react much more
strongly to food than those who are not.
But the first question is, does weight loss
surgery change our brains? Are the chemical reactions altered after
surgery? There is a very common saying that weight loss surgery is
done on the body and not on the brain. We talk about "head hunger" as
if it some little thing we can easily overcome. But, perhaps because
of our altered anatomy after surgery, we are able to react differently to foods that
are bad for us.
What I do believe is that the struggle continues.
We have not fought our last battle the day we have surgery. We are
much better armed and at least we have a good fighting chance, but it
is still a battle. Being aware of studies such as this hopefully warns
us and makes us more prepared.
with Shrimp and Vegetables
This recipe is so colorful and delicious and
cooks up quickly for a fast week-night dinner.
6 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
12 oz. peeled and deveined raw shrimp, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch of asparagus peeled and thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper thinly sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 cup nonfat or low fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add spaghetti and cook 2 minutes
less than package directions. Add shrimp, asparagus, bell pepper and
peas and cook until the pasta is tender and the shrimp are cooked, 2 to
4 minutes more. Drain well.
2. Mash garlic and salt in a large bowl until it
forms a paste. Whisk in yogurt, parsley, lemon juice, oil and pepper.
Add the pasta mixture and toss to coat.
3. Toast pine nuts by placing them in a small dry
skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until fragrant. About 2
to 4 minutes. Sprinkle over pasta mixture.
Makes 4 servings, about 2 cups each.
Nutritional Information per serving:
385 calories, 6 grams fat, 53 grams carbohydrates, 34 grams protein, 10
If you have a recipe that you would like to share in future issues of
this newsletter, please send it to me at
|Chew Your Vitamins
The OAC is the ONLY non
profit organization whose sole focus is helping those affected
by obesity. The OAC is a great place to turn if you are
looking for a way to get involved and give back to the cause of
There are a variety of ways
you can make a difference, but the first step is to become an
OAC Member. The great thing about OAC Membership is that
you can be as involved as you would like. Simply being a
member contributes to the cause of obesity.
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Barbara Thompsonís free newsletter featuring helpful information and
research material to help patients succeed following weight loss
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