And I don’t’ mean Corona the city or the beer! So many, I believe will be able relate to having gained a few pounds through our crazy COVID year. New research shows that over 35% of Americans gained weight during the pandemic! And I was no exception. Uncertainty, stress, new environment, several deaths, mom moving in with us and the reasons, “excuses’ have gone on since we moved to Star Valley in 2017. Finally, in April, when I put on my favorite pair of jeans and could not breathe for most of the day, I thought, Enough is ENOUGH!” The was the last straw. As a weight loss surgery patient from 1995, I know this road, and I know it well. And, I know when it is time to refocus, re-commit and get back on the wagon.
While BSCI’s Back on Track Program is a successful go to, I have also had success with Intermittent Fasting so, I began by immersing myself in learning some of the new research, especially as it applies to those over 50. I love learning and am always motivated by the science of it all. Knowing how my metabolism works, how I burn and store fat has helped me make positive, effective changes as I have customized a program to help me repair and restore my ‘challenged’ metabolic health. Daily I read articles, watch videos, consider reports, track, monitor and learn about my 61 year old self. Here are some of the highlights of what I have recently learned and how I implemented what made sense to me and lost 15 pounds. Seven more to go and I am as motivated as ever!
- For the first time in my life, I track everything I eat and drink, including vitamins. I have tried a few different apps and online programs and have settled on myfitnesspal.com
- I track my ‘macros.’ Meaning, number of carbs, protein and fat as well as calories, keeping my calories under 1200 per day (I know my BMR is very low). If you don’t know what your Basal Metabolic Rate is – find out!
- My goal each day is to consume 10% carbs (no more than 30 grams) 30% protein and 60% fat. I follow a Ketogenic diet, for the most part. Except when I don’t, let me explain…
- After 4 weeks or so in ketosis, I felt an undeniable decrease in my hunger and cravings, my mental clarity and my weight. Then at about 10 weeks in that changed for some reason. After some research, I learned the importance of regularly changing things up, keeping my body in tune and focused. So I went off Keto, kept my calories the same lowered my fat, and increased my carbs. My weight stayed the same over that 2 week period then I went back on Keto again. As I had become ‘fat adapted’ (look it up) I went back into Ketosis very quickly and began losing weight again. Love it! Taking a ‘diet break’ really did help. And the truth is, I couldn’t wait to get back that great Keto feeling of being full and energized.
- Throughout it all, I have also experienced many of the great benefits from Intermittent Fasting (see my article here). I fast 16 / 8 three to four days each week. I feel great, and most importantly to me, I enjoy eating this way! I enjoy feeling full, (Keto does that do you). And I enjoy being motivated by learning, trying and succeeding at so many new things.
- Oh, and I play Pickleball! Love it getting good at it. Kind of obsessed really!
I am 26 years post op from bariatric surgery. I will be forever grateful for my surgical tool and resulting 125 pound weight loss. However, new research, new thinking, new science has changed the way I understand my obesity and how to better manage my metabolic health. I have come to understand the essential role that insulin plays in how my body burns or stores fat. I have also learned that I struggle with insulin resistance and I am pre-diabetic. All great reasons why the important changes I have made are essential and working.
Since my surgery in 1995, my focus as been on long term success. My book, The Success Habits of Weight Loss Surgery Patients has helped thousands learn embrace the bariatric lifestyle. There is one thing, however that I would like to correct. One thing that I know now that I didn’t know when I wrote it. I used to say “If you want to burn fat, don’t consume fat.” I was wrong about that. May I encourage you to learn more about what, when and how to consume the right types of fat for your ultimate health.
I am so pleased to see so much new research, so many articles, features, blog posts and podcasts throughout the bariatric community, now talking about and touting the great effects of keto and fasting for bariatric patients. I hope you will give it a try. And honestly, the best way I know how to help you get back on track is to encourage you to begin is to first read my book, then consider our Bariatric R.E.S.E.T or Back on Track programs. Just what you will need to take back control of your life, your health, your weight.