Interested in how you could lose weight like you had gastric bypass? For many people seeking weight loss solutions, Gastric Bypass can seem like the path of last resort.
Even when I was seeking information on Weight Loss Surgery, my own first choice wasn’t even Gastric Bypass. Because that felt far too invasive and life changing.
That’s irony, folks. But how could YOU lose weight like you had gastric bypass without actually having surgery?
To lose weight like a gastric bypass patient, get the highest quality of nutrition from the smallest quantity of calories.
Learn how through the following 5 ways:
- Actively cut out sugars, fats, and carbs
- Get intentional about portion control
- Focus on counting proteins instead of calories
- Learn about nutrition to change your palette preferences
- Increase exercise while living an active lifestyle
A gastric bypass patient only goes through stages of reintroducing foods – liquids, soft, and semi-soft foods – for about 18 months. Afterward, they can eat most normal foods just like those who haven’t had surgery. They need to learn how to get the highest quality of nutrition from the smallest quantity of calories, too.
1. CUT OUT SUGARS, FATS, AND CARBS
Right after surgery, gastric bypass patients must follow a very strict list of what they can and cannot eat. This is not necessarily for weight loss purposes, but allows the new pouch time to heal after surgery.
This also helps introduce foods slowly back into the diet. That way, there are fewer painful experiences with food. Reintroducing sugars, fats, and carbs too fast or in too big a serving causes Dumping Syndrome.
Dumping Syndrome is an uncomfortable side-effect, to say the least.
Not everyone gets it. But those who do can use that as a deterrence from intentionally seeking out unhealthy food choices.
Now, finding the hidden sugars can be a fun challenge! Many foods seem to have sugar listed by other names. Sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, Agave nectar, maltodextrin, just to name a few. Eating foods with the combination of sugars, fats, and carbs (hello, ice cream…) wastes the day’s calories.
Usually this happens in one sitting, a my and my fellow binge eaters can attest.
But, this stalls weight loss! So, put on your detective hat, start exposing and eliminating the sugar, and lose weight like you had gastric bypass.
2. PORTION CONTROL
The pouch is only about the size of a thumb. So, measuring out a small enough portion that we don’t make ourselves sick is now the new goal. This is the “tool” behind the extreme weight loss through gastric bypass.
This restrictive “tool” gets really painful and uncomfortable when stuffed too full.
Here’s the catch, though. Gastric bypass patients learn very quickly either how to portion out their food or how to eat through their tool. Isn’t that a frightening thought? To go through life altering surgery, and still be able to mess it up?
The size of the food should be about half the size of your palm. Surprising, I know! I wasted so much food in those first few months. My eyes and brain could not comprehend why my stomach was tapping out when we’d only just started eating.
At first, I’d be done after only two or three bites of some really dense foods. I’d satisfied my stomach, but my brain thought we were going to die of starvation.
Starvation is one way to lose weight like you had gastric bypass, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Tell your brain it’s going to be ok. You’ll eat again soon, I promise.
3. COUNT PROTIEN, NOT CALORIES
Successful Gastric bypass patients do not focus on calorie counting after surgery. Do what your surgeon and nutritionist say, because this one can be a controversial topic.
It was so mentally freeing to eat as many calories as I could fit in my pouch comfortably. BUT! The catch was this new goal of eating 90 grams of protein per day.
So, since I can only eat about 6 ounces of food in one sitting, all the protein must come first. Then, if there is room, I can eat the vegetables.
Then, a small amount of carbs. There usually isn’t much room…But focusing on proteins over calories was such a relief!
I did lose hair, but I didn’t lose all of it, and it grew back. I did lose muscle mass, but I was able to rebuild. The key here is that this extreme restricting phase doesn’t last forever.
It only goes until you lose enough weight to reach the maintenance phase – and that’s where the real fun starts.
4. LEARN ABOUT NUTRITION TO CHANGE YOUR PALETTE
Get the most bang for your buck, when it comes to what you eat. Not all calories are created the same, or hold the same value.
There are complex carbs, simple carbs, and fiber carbs. You need to know about proteins, lean proteins, plant proteins, and meat proteins.
And let’s not get started on the range of different fats out there. What even are all these things? And more importantly, why do you care?
There is so much overwhelming information out there. Before I got surgery clearance, I checked off the 6 months of required nutritionist visits. I’m so glad for it now, though at the time I cursed the delay.
I don’t know how much of the info made much sense before surgery. But after surgery, I earned my diploma from the school of hard knocks.
I understood how, at 300+ pounds I was actually malnourished. The foods I chose pre-surgery did NOTHING for my body, nutritionally speaking. It’s like I was building a piece of furniture out of cardboard instead of quality wood.
BONUS: I LEARNED THE REAL REASON YOU’RE HUNGRY
Ghrelin always makes me think of Gizmo from the movie Gremlins… Ghrelin is the hunger hormone that lives in the natural stomach.
It’s the Gremlin that sends receptors to your brain politely requesting that you get that one food. You know, that tastes so dang delicious.
And when you don’t immediately respond to the polite inquiry, it’s like splashing water on sweet little Gizmo. He turns into a destructive monster, or me when I used to get Hangry over a craving that wouldn’t leave me alone.
The one thing I remember most right after surgery, though, was how WEIRD everything tasted.
I kept asking if the food was rancid, because it just didn’t taste right. After surgery, the Ghrelin hormone and other taste receptors that live in the natural stomach are cut off after surgery.
Yep! Literally cut off from the brain. Ghrelin can remain in the body for a while. We’re talking 6 months to a year here! But after that the body stops producing it and the hunger pains and old taste preferences actually change.
Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares will forever be a favorite of mine. He often says the foods he’s critiquing taste like plastic.
And I never understood what that meant, until I had surgery and my own palette changed. I can taste the plastic now. It’s so disgusting when I take that first bite at a new restaurant and they, too, are cooking with plastic.
The best way I can describe it is like someone is cooking with Crayola Silly Scents markers. Times 100. Yuck. The palette change is wonderful, because now I really appreciate a delicious home cooked meal made with fresh foods.
Maybe that’s why I live on a farm now… who knows.
5. INCREASE EXERCISE WHILE LIVING AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE
Before surgery, my couch literally sported a butt imprint. I wish I were exaggerating. I watched every movie. And binged all the TV shows while binging all the food.
I spent all the in-between time reading everything I could get my hands on. Life went from the bed, to the car, to the desk at work.
Then, back to the car, to the couch, to the bed again. After surgery, I decided to join a roller derby team. I guess I went to an extreme there.
But I learned how to exercise in front of people. And how to find joy in moving my body. I also learned what kind of movements I did NOT enjoy. No matter my weight, I’ll never be a fan of falling.
The active lifestyle piece is super important, because on those days you aren’t exercising with intent, you still need to be moving your body.
This means limiting media time, unless you are on a treadmill or bike. An object in motion tends to remain in motion, until it decelerates.
That’s the first law of motion, folks. So, stay in motion from the time you get home from work until it’s time for bed. Do projects, have hobbies, go on walks.
There is an entire world outside just waiting for you to enjoy it, instead of just watching others live their stories.
If you can integrate these things into your life, you will see positive change in your health, even without the surgery.
It can be done! But it sounds like basic weight loss instructions, right? That’s because it is. These are the basics of weight loss in general, not just for bariatric patients.
This is what anyone needs to know in order to lose weight. The tool from gastric bypass acts like training wheels for the rest of my life, though. So it’s harder for me to slip up. And I’m a hot mess, so I’ll take all the help I can get.
If after all of this, you are so excited for gastric bypass weight loss surgery that you’re hungry for more, check out what some of the top surgeons in the country have to say.
Do you think you could lose weight like you had gastric bypass? Let me know!