A Slimmer Me
Recently I wrote how I embarked on a medically supervised diet based on bariatric medicine. My doctor had recommended that I lose 25 pounds. I have a petite stature, and within the last few years had put on a “few” pounds. I was starting to look like my maternal grandmother.
So far I’m pretty pleased with the results. Since the date of my first post, I’ve lost 15 pounds, and only have 10 to go! The only thing I’m bummed about though is nobody at my office has mentioned that I look like I’ve lost weight. At my daughters’ suggestion, I even went out and bought new clothes – 2 sizes smaller.
I’m beginning to believe that once a woman hits a certain “Baby Boomer” age, that they become “invisible” to others. It’s like they don’t see me, and I’m not there. But, I digress …
The diet regiment that I’m on is based on the Atkins plan, only it’s an individual program that’s medically supervised by a physician (MD), physician-assistant (PA), nurse practitioner (NP); medical assistant (MA) and registered dietitian (RD). The program lasts for 12 weeks, at which point I have the option to sign up for maintenance.
The first phase of the program lasted one week, where I had to undergo a thorough medical screening to determine whether the program was safe and appropriate for me to participate in. I was placed on a very low calorie diet. Patients can lose an average of 2-1/2 to 4-1/2 pounds per week.
Each week I weigh in on a special scale that registers a complete Body Composition Analysis for me – showing my Body Mass Index (BMI); percent of body fat; fat Free Mass (FFM); and Fat Mass.
In the past I’ve tried Weight Watchers, but haven’t really had much success with it. I’ve attended in-class sessions, and also the online version.
Much has been written about the Atkins plan, but essentially it’s this: you give up carbs such as breads, potatoes, pasta, rice, and other things like chocolate, cake, some fruits, veggies, and milk at least in the beginning.
The theory is that when you cut out carbs your body is forced into burning fat that your body has stored to give it energy. Your body burns more calories when burning fat than when it’s burning carbohydrates and therefore you’ll lose weight more quickly. Your blood sugars stabilize which prevents overeating.
The first week of the program I was only able to eat meal replacement products manufactured by Bariatrix and sold by the center. Meal replacement products are nutritionally formulated foods, which are high-protein, low carbohydrates. They include puddings, shakes, soups, oatmeal, hot drinks, several entrees and fruit drinks which are packaged in single serving packets and reconstituted with water. There’s also nutrition bars and snacks.
Although the first week was really tough while my body was adjusting, the products actually are very tasty because of their seasonings! At times I was going to give up, but my husband kept encouraging me along.
On this plan, the body goes into ketosis, so in addition to the meal replacement products, I also am taking the recommended supplements. These include a multi-vitamin and mineral supplements, Calcium, Vitamin D3, Chromium; Acetyl L-Carnitine; Conjugated Lineolic Acid (CLA), and Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3-6). The most serious drawbacks to the Atkins plan are that it is not intended for long term use. The Atkins diet eliminates some nutrients which could cause deficiencies and other health problems in the future. Each of these supplements provides benefits to improve weight loss and aid in abdominal fat loss as well as preventing side effects such as dry skin, hair loss and other risk-factors from being on an Atkins-like program.
Since Sunday was Mother’s Day, our family went out to brunch down at the Connecticut shore, and I was able to stick with the plan by having a veggie omelet made from Egg-Beaters, plenty of salads, veggies and my favorite protein – roast beef!
I’ll keep you posted as I go. Let me know what’s worked for you!