Now that you are beyond the pain of weight loss surgery, (or even if you are many years out from bariatric surgery), and want to lose more pounds, you might ask – “Should I go back on Atkins or go to some other diet?” The answer is no and the reason is simple. They are meant for people with a large stomach and a large appetite. Those diets are not designed for you. That is why we wrote this book—this book is a collection of menu plans and recipes from bariatric patients who have had success with weight loss surgery, a few celebrity chefs who altered favorite items for patients, and some of my favorite items. You have a tool—a smaller stomach or pouch, which has some specific needs. It might be stretched a bit, but you have a tool for weight loss. Now our goal is to get off that plateau and figure out what works best.. Now our goal is to get off that plateau and figure out what works best.
There are so many popular diets out there, but they all have one thing in common: they are boring. Hey, you made the ultimate sacrifice, you had some weight loss surgeon (like me) open you up and rearrange your guts to so you can lose some pounds, and now you want to go back to one of these diets? You still have an advantage. You still have a small stomach—so lets have some variety, some flavor, some salsa! But before we jump into menus and recipes, let us review some old favorite diet plans and how they work.
The one-food—or one-food group diet
The most famous diet, at least today, is Atkins. It has been almost universally tried by all of my weight loss surgery patients and misunderstood, perhaps even by the Atkins folks themselves. Robert Atkins made a great deal out of the body going into “ketosis” where it burns fat instead of turning food into fat. He had a complicated set of theories. None was ever proven, however. The reason you lose pounds on that, or any low carbohydrate diet, is simple—you don’t eat as much.
Most diets have one thing in common: people eat less on them. If you eat less food, then you consume fewer calories, and if you consume fewer calories you will, in most circumstances, lose pounds. For the Atkins diet, people don’t lose pounds because they are in ketosis, but because they consume less food than they did before going on it. This has been confirmed by a number of studies.
I gained weight on the Atkins diet
—or, biology does not overcome the laws of physics
How is this possible? Heresy, I say. How can you gain weight on a diet that promises that you will lose pounds if you avoid carbohydrates and eat meat? The great thing about writing this book for weight loss surgery patients is that most of them have been on Atkins, or a variation of it, and they know—given their pre-operative anatomy—that they really did gain pounds on Atkins. After all, when you have a stomach that can hold a small mammal, you know you can eat your way into ketotic gain on Atkins. Simply put, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. It doesn’t matter if you get the calorie from meat, from figs, from bread, or from alcohol. If you get a bunch of calories together, you will store them and if you store them, you will store them as fat. Yup, eat enough steak and you will gain pounds.
If you are given only a single food, even if it is a food that you like, there is only so much of it that you can eat before you don’t want anymore. I love steak—put a 16-ounce steak in front of me and I will consume 10 ounces of it and bring the rest home for Bert and Ernie. After 10 ounces, I am done with the steak, can’t eat anymore. So, if I am on a low carbohydrate diet, you can bet that I am done with dinner. But, if I am not on that diet and you put a bunch of French fries with the steak, not only will I have my 10 ounces of steak, but I will also have four ounces of fries and maybe even think about dessert. Let us not forget the glass of wine before dinner, the glass of wine during dinner, and the after-dinner drink (since we just called a cab).
Single food or food-group diets are simply a complex way to control portions. If you control portions, then you will consume fewer calories. If you consume fewer calories, then you will lose pounds. Weight loss surgery is the most radical of portion controls. Even if you have stretched your pouch a bit, or your stomach has grown, you still have a limited amount of space in which you can store foods you consume and you will lose pounds. How much you lose is determined by the number of calories that you eat. From six months and beyond, you will still eat less although you might think you are eating a lot.
The simple recipes on this website contain ingredients that are good for you and your family, and some of them are personal favorites. We do not like single food diets for our weight loss surgery patients, because more than anything we want them to have a variety; not because they deserve a lot of fine tasting food, but because variety in foods tends to have a variety of nutrients that a person with a smaller stomach needs. Single group systems are fine if you have a 40 or 50-ounce stomach, but not so good if your guts have been re-arranged.