What Can You Eat With A Lap Band II
Posted by Lori on April 29, 2008
I realized I’ve never done a post on what Lap Bandees are most comfortable eating. I have Lorraine Kay’s YouTube clip where she talks about what she can eat, but perhaps I should expand on this a bit more.
Let’s begin by addressing how one loses weight with a Lap Band. Lap Bands make your stomach much, much, much smaller. Typically, your stomach holds about one liter of food though it can be distended to hold up to four liters – close to a gallon! At the top of your stomach are stretch receptors and when they are stretched, they signal your brain that you’re full. With the Lap Band, you’ll be eating about six to eight ounces of food per meal. Because your stomach is so tiny now, those stretch receptors will be activated quickly, and you’ll feel satisfied with a far smaller amount of food than you would have before the Lap Band.
What makes Lap Bands so much more effective than diet and exercise is the capability to keep weight off once you lose it. Ninety eight percent of people who lose weight through diet and exercise put it right back on in under two years. That doesn’t usually happen with Lap Bands. Those stretch receptors being stretched after each meal tell your body that food is plentiful and because of that, your body doesn’t crank down your metabolism the way it does on a diet. And because your body doesn’t crank down your metabolism, you keep the weight off that you lose. Brilliant, eh? I should add that you’ll be consuming about 1100 to 1200 calories per day. Your body’s new set point will be established when the amount of energy you are burning at your new size equals the amount of calories you are consuming – same as for everyone else.
For the sake of a visual comparison, you’ll be eating the equivalent of McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger and a small order of French Fries per meal. Now, needless to say, your surgeon doesn’t want you eating those two things, but McDonalds’ food is internationally available and the same size everywhere.
Anyway, the first week, you just don’t feel any hunger by and large, and you only consume clear liquids. The point of this is to not stretch your stomach in anyway in the first days. Be of good cheer – I have yet to hear anyone complain about being hungry that week. After that, you begin a journey that will lead to your first fill and the adjustment process.
What so many Lap Bandees love about their Lap Band is that they can eat almost anything within reason – at holidays, you’ll eat what everyone else does, just less of it. Bread is the most consistently problematic because it mushes up into a gloopy little ball and doesn’t pass through the clip very well. Lots of bandees find that fish quickly becomes one of their favorite dishes – even the people who hated it before. Red meat needs to be cut into tiny pieces and chewed slowly. Crunchy stuff goes down well. As, Lorraine Kay says – tacos with crispy shells, good. Tacos with soft shells, not so good. Nachos, first rate. Some bandees do very well with rice and pasta, others less so. I think it may largely be a matter of being content with just a few bites and moving on. White meats tend to be easy though some people have to be very careful with chicken. You can have ice cream, of course, but it’s calorie dense and goes through the band quickly – thereby defeating the entire purpose.
That’s the short version of it all. I’ll be doing a couple more interviews this weekend, I think. I’ll be sure to talk to the bandees about it, and I’ll let you know what they have to say. In the meantime, if you haven’t watched Lorraine Kay’s interviews on this site, I’d encourage you to do so. She’s someone who thinks and speaks for succinctly. She covers a lot of territory in her interview and you’ll have a much better idea of the road ahead by listening to what she has to say.
I’ve covered caffeine a lot on this site. In fact, there is a whole category about it. The surgeons are split on the subject. Some don’t want you drinking any caffeine whatsoever, and some don’t mind. What I’ve noted in the past is that caffeine causes the blood sugar levels to spike in Type II Diabetics. Spiking blood sugar produces insulin and tells your body to store the energy you’re eating rather than to burn it. Atkins had long noted that people on his diet didn’t lose weight if they drank caffeine. Keep that in mind, and decide how much you value your morning Joe. Atkins now allows people to have one cup a day. If you’re a determined coffee or tea drinker, experiment to find out if there is a reasonable amount you can consume.
Some surgeons object to Lap Bandees having any alcohol at all – the feeling being that you are so restricted in the amount of calories than there are none available to waste on an alcoholic beverage. Dr. Paul O’Brien, of Monash University’s Centre for Obesity Research and Education, says that a glass of wine per day seems to do well by his patients. He’d encourage to check out Australia’s wines, as well. 🙂
As always, if there are any questions, pass them along. If you’re interested in reading more about why losing weight and keeping it off is so difficult, check these posts out.