Knowing what you eat, both in terms of calorie content per serving, and what a serving size is becomes the second important step to knowing where you will be.

This sounds like calorie counting — yes it does. And it is. There is one part of you that is a perfect calorie counter, and that is your body. Now you can mindlessly eat and hope that you feel satisfied with less, and therefore you will eat less, and lose weight — and promise to see your doctor and hope that you get a bit of information that will help you make a better choice. You can do that, but that is not what successful patients do.

If you can measure it, you can manage it. Knowing what you are eating, being mindful of it, allows you to maximize your weight loss. The difference between calorie counting pre operatively and post op is this: the LAP-BAND is the tool that allows you to feel satisfied with less.

Lets give you an example of a menu plan pre op and one post op.

Breakfast – skipped at 7 a.m.Calories
Coffee with creamer at 7:3070
Vanilla Latte w/whole milk at Starbucksworth 360
Muffin at Starbucksanother 380
Lunch – hungry now
Junior whopper at Burger King (trying to cut back)390
Medium fries (they look awfully small – but cutting back)630
Diet coke (still cutting back)5
Afternoon snack
Kind of hungry – one Snicker’s bar280
Starbucks runanother 360
Home – before dinner
Handful of nuts (they are suppose to be a healthy snack)167
Chai Tea from Starbuck290
Steak – Porterhouse 8 oz. (1/2 pound) (its meat)620
Salad with Maytag Blue Cheese Dressing200
Half baked potato with cheese, bacon460
Glass of wine166
Ben and Jerry’s ½ cup Ice cream290
Snack at night
Total for the dayover 4,700

Because you ate the ice cream you decide to go for a brisk two-mile walk, and you do it in record time – burn 200 calories. Then you work out to build the muscles for 90 minutes— another 227 calories.

Ok, lets suppose you are a five foot eight inch male – and suppose this was typical of your day and your diet. Lets suppose you are 40 years old. Because we are creatures of habit – after all we eat basically the same thing every day – how much are you going to weigh?

Would you believe you would settle in at a nice 400 to 450 pounds? Shocked? But you exercised? Still shocked? Hmmm. Your body is a perfect calorie counter. Your body will settle into the amount that you eat. You continue to eat this amount, and in time, not a year, not ten, but maybe twenty, you will gradually gain weight and ultimately gain enough to where you will be first classified as overweight, then obese, then morbidly obese, and finally super-morbid obese.

The problem is this, you never knew what you ate in a given day, you never knew how much you were eating, or how much you were drinking, or the calorie content of any of it. So, now do you think you are a perfect candidate for a Lap-band, and you want to be able to eat, without thinking about what you eat?

That won’t work.

If you want to manage your weight, you have to measure things. You have to measure what you eat; you have to know what food works, and what foods won’t work with your Lap-band. You will learn to eat some new things, new enjoyable foods.

Ever go on a protein drink diet? Works great – whether that is Optifast (some very expensive stuff) or some less expensive brand – the problem is this, you do not learn how to eat by drinking protein drinks. You need to learn how to eat by developing new eating patterns. Part of this is made easier with the Lap-band, because unlike every diet you have been on, you now have a built in mechanism to eat less and enjoy more.

I was a speaker at a “Health and Beauty Fair” one time. After giving a talk about modern surgery a young woman came up to me and said she believed in the protein drinks, and was losing five pounds a week without surgery, and all she had to do was change her lifestyle and she would do fine. She wondered why people just couldn’t lose weight without bariatric surgery. I asked her how long she had been drinking protein drinks, and she replied it was about a month. Probably 30 per cent of my patients have lost weight with protein drinks, it is very easy to do, but it is not long-lasting. Some of my patients were there, all of whom had tried protein drinks – and they say in her, what they had seen in themselves- any diet will work for a while, but not for the long-term. It didn’t work for them, it didn’t work for Oprah, but the Lap-band did work.

Simply put, if you want to be a 150 pound person, you have to eat like a 150 lb. person. In this case, if you are a five foot eight inch 40 year old male your body will maintain that weight by consuming just under 2000 calories a day.

From our exercise above there are a few clear lessons

  • Liquid calories add up quickly, and thoughtlessly
  • There are viable substitutes for many liquid calories that will satisfy you
  • Fast food places should be called Fast Calorie places. If you are going to eat at such places, it becomes imperative to find choices that have fewer calories.
  • Weight loss is not a random event. It is a controlled event, and the Lap-band becomes your best tool to assist in that control. But the Lap-band requires input from you.

Now lets compare this with a successful Lap-band patient’s daily routine:

Typical Breakfast
Trader Joe’s oatmeal and a cup of coffee
Typical lunch:
3 ounces of chicken and 1/2 cup of broccoli
Typical Dinner:
3 ounces of Halibut and 1/2 cup steamed spinach a cup of grapefruit slices.
Total for the day:less than 1000 calories

This was a day’s menu and there were less than 1000 calories. Yet the patient who ate this was full throughout the day and didn’t feel like they were deprived. This is a person who will lose weight and keep it off.

Could you eat more than that? Sure. Could you still maintain a small frame by eating more – well, not as small as that person.

The simple point is this: your body will count the calories you consume, and your weight will depend upon the amount your body consumes – even far more than exercise. Why let your body have all the fun? Why make your weight a random, uncontrolled event? It isn’t. You have control, and you can be in charge. The Lap-band simply allows you to enjoy the less and not feel deprived.