Love My Lap Band!

Everything you want to know about life and weight loss with a Lap Band!

Archive for the ‘Lap Bands And Exercise’ Category

Do I Have To Exercise To Lose Weight With A Lap Band?

Posted by Lori on July 27, 2009

No one admits that they wonder about this, but I know from the searches that bring readers to this site, that it is a popular question.

The answer to that is, in short, you probably don’t have to exercise to lose weight with a Lap Band. I talk to lots of people who lose weight with a Lap Band who don’t exercise. Lorraine Kay, whose Lap Band videos are linked on this site, was in her late fifties and weighed over 300 pounds when she had her Lap Band procedure done at Cedars Sinai. She now weighs 125 and she’s not exercised a day. And there are lots and lots of people out there who have that same experience.

However, Dr. William Lee of Blue Earth, Minnesota, has this to say about exercise and his patients:

Lee said his patients can be divided into two groups, those who shed 6 to 8 pounds a month and patients who lose 10 to 15 pounds a month. “The difference between these two groups,” he said, “is exercise.:

So, he is saying that his patients lose weight without exercise. Good to know. Still, that’s a pretty big gap and I’m sure a lot of us would rather be in the 10 to 15 pound weight loss per month group than the 6 to 8 pound weight loss per month.

Speaking as someone who has both been very successful with exercise programs and an utter failure, I have a few tips for being successful. One of the things that people who aren’t used to exercising do  is that they assume that they should exercise in a certain fashion at a certain time of day. So they sign up at local gym and either plan on working out before they go to work, or after they go to work. And then they get there, discover they hate the gym and after a few weeks, never go back. In point of fact, with the exception of the YMCA, most modern gyms are designed to make you hate them because the corporations who own them make their money because most people who have membership don’t use their facilities. And that is why they don’t offer 3 month memberships. So, unless you know that you love working out at gyms, don’t do that.

If you’re not naturally inclined towards exercise, start off by looking at where you have time open in your schedule and how much time you have. You’re going to fit working exercise into your life rather than re-arranging your life around exercise – at least for now – because if you don’t have to worry about hiring sitters or getting dad to stay home with the kids, or carving out huge chunks of time in your schedule, you’re just more likely to stick with it.  A 20 minute burst of exercise two or three times a day burns more calories than one 40 or 60 minute burst of exercise once a day. Even if you’re at home with tiny kids, you can carve out several minutes here and several minutes there. Can you take 15 minutes while they’re watching Sesame Street, 15 minutes while they nap and 15 minutes after they go to bed? Probably. Boost that up to twenty minutes, and you’re exercising an hour a day. If you work, same thing – do 15 minutes before you leave, 15 minutes on your lunch break, and 15 minutes when you get home. And if you hate exercising in the morning, as I do, skip the morning work out and add one on before you go to bed.

So, what can you do in 10 – 20 minutes that helps burn calories? Lots of things.

  • Dance. Get an MP3 player with several of your favorite dance songs and just dance. If you’re feeling shy, do it behind carefully closed doors.
  • Nordic Walking. I have to do a whole ‘nother post on this because Nordic walking is great for people who are wrestling with their weight. You know those ski poles that cross country skiers use to propel themselves? People use slightly modified versions for walking and it burns 40% more calories, protects joints from wear and tear, improves stability (four legs good), and helps build upper body strength. It’s a real exercise bargain. Here’s YouTube video if you have no idea what I’m talking about.
  • Plain old walking. However much time you have, walk half of it in one direction, and then turn around and come back. When you start picking up speed (and you will pick up speed faster than you can imagine), just do the same thing. It will be fun to see that you consistently travel farther in the same amount of time as your cardiovascular health improves.
  • Calisthenics – remember those? They require nothing except that you have a body. There are lots of routines online and lots of books available.
  • Work Out DVDS – there are tons of these available. This one, from  Gaiam, offers ten minute work outs that you do in front of your tv. And as you get more fit, you can do more than one. This is perfect for people who just don’t have much time to exercise, and the work outs look pretty simple.
  • Resistance Bands – I’ve never worked out with them and I don’t know the first thing about them other than what I have read. Still, it seems like it should work out pretty well. It’s resistance that builds muscles and so I’ll be giving this a shot.
  • Free Weights. You don’t need a lot of equipment to have a good strength programming at home. You need a bench,  a few dumbells to start and a little bit of space. As you gain strength, you’ll want to expand what you own, but that’ll come naturally to you. In the meantime, Strength For Dummies pretty much gives you the basics. And no matter your age or health, there is a strength training program that will make your life better. If you’re shy about going into a store to purchase equipment, order it online.
  • Exercise machines. Well, there are lot of bad ones out there and a lot of expensive ones out there. You some how or the other have to walk the fine line. My suggestion, if you’re interested in buying an exercise machine, is that you go try it out first and make sure you like it. Lots of machines are sized for people over 5’10” and will be tough to use if you’re much under that height. I love working out on the Concept II rower and can get a real zone thing going on where I row and think about what I’m working on and the time just flies.

My suggestion would be that if you are just starting to work out, keep it simple. That’s part of the reason that so many gym memberships fail. There’s nothing simple about driving to the gym, finding a parking place, changing clothes, waiting for a machine, waiting for the next machine, taking a shower and then finding your car and going home. Start by walking, or dancing, or using work out dvds. Then look at incorporating some resistance bands, or nordic walking poles into your routine. At that point, you’ll have aerobic activity and some muscle development going on – and that’s a good thing. Once you’ve adjusted to those changes, then think about adding a weight bench and dumb bells, or an exercise machine to the mix. Keep it simple.

Oh, and if you can, show yourself some love and buy some comfy, high quality work out clothes. They’ll fit better, be more comfortable and last longer. 🙂


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Successful Long Term Weight Loss With The Lap Band

Posted by Lori on April 16, 2008

Diets and exercise just don’t work – let’s face it. Fewer than 5% of people who lose weight through diet and exercise manage to keep it off. There are reasons for this, as I have written about before, that have nothing to do with self-discipline. You can’t lose weight and keep it off for some very sturdy evolutionary reasons – your body likes having all that handy-dandy energy just packed away for a rainy day. Or more precisely, a non-rainy season. So when you lose weight, after a certain amount, your body starts cranking down your metabolism. Youve been losing weight on 1200 calories a day? No more. That fifteen pounds you’ve lost that has you feeling svelte is gonna come right back, if your body has any say over the situation. And your body does have say over the situation. So, your metabolism goes down and your hunger level goes up. Your body floods you with chemicals that make you feel hungrier than you’ve ever felt. Oh, you think you’re just being undisciplined and you feel guilty for eating. But that’s not what’s happening. Your body is pushing you to eat, eat, eat, and it’s slowing your metabolism down so that you can pack the weight right back on. Good bye, little red dress. Hello, big black dress. Have you ever stood in the kitchen eating something, hating yourself for eating it because you’re actually losing weight, but you can’t stop because you’re so darn hungry? That’s normal. That’s your body functioning as it should. The curious thing is that obese people’s bodies functions normally when they’re heavy and their bodies cease to function normally when they lose weight. Factor in that we now know that around 75% of weight gain is genetic, and we’re all in a dire situation.

Look, there are lots of reasons to lose weight besides vanity – you’ll live longer. And if you’re like most people, you have family who love you and want you to live as long as possible. That right there is good reason to do it. You’ll be happier. And more physically comfortable. And you’ll probably earn more money. And have more sex. So with all those motivations, if losing weight was really possible, you would do it. Some of us master the literally Sisyphean task of weight loss and peel off 120 pounds or maybe more. But then, because of biological imperatives, we gain it back again. Over and over.

That’s where Lap Bands come in. Dr. Favretti, one of the first surgeons to work with Lap Bands, completed a 12 year study on the effectiveness of Lap Bands and the news is good – people don’t gain the weight back. The study covered over 1700 patients over twelve years both morbidly obese and super obese. The average weight of the patients started out around 260 pounds plus or minus 37 pounds with an average BMI of 42.6 – that’s our 5’3″ woman at 236 pounds or our 5’10” guy at 292 pounds. At the end, they weighed on average 185 pounds plus or minus 60 pounds with an average BMI of 31.6 – putting our woman at 175 pounds and our man at 216.

If you want to check your BMI, you can do so here at the Centennial Treatment Center For Obesity in Nashville, Tennessee.

I know all of you reading this think, “Oh no, I want to lose a lot more weight than that!” Well, of course you do, and as far as I can tell, you can. You do have to exercise though and to make that point, I’m going to quote Dr. William Lee of Blue Earth, Minnesota in the Mankato Free Press:

Lee said his patients can be divided into two groups, those who shed 6 to 8 pounds a month and patients who lose 10 to 15 pounds a month. “The difference between these two groups,” he said, “is exercise.”

So, just keep that in mind – you’re gonna have to buy a trampoline, a pair of Nordic Walking Poles or get yourself a backyard treadmill. And if you do, and if you follow the doctor’s directions, and get yourself into a support group, you’re going to have a really good shot at getting down to the tiny little person you’d really rather be. 🙂

Posted in Lap Band Basics, Lap Band Studies, Lap Bands And Exercise, Weight Loss Surgery, Why You Can't (Or Don't) Lose Weight And Keep It Off | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »