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Category Archives: Diet

Why Dieting Alone Simply Doesn’t Work

October 26, 2022

blue dumbbells, notepad with pencil and salad bowl with greens and veggies sitting on wooden table

Have you found that what seems like endless days of dieting slowly yield fewer and fewer incremental pounds lost? Today, we will discuss why obese patients who try to embark on dietary restriction alone have difficulty maintaining their weight loss progress and often end up regaining their weight.

Restricting your caloric intake is the fastest way to lose weight, certainly at the beginning of your dietary program. Avoiding ingesting calories in the first place is far easier than burning them off later, either through exercise or resting metabolic activity. However, the human body is incredibly adaptable and will make changes to compensate for this reduced caloric intake. The body, which has considered your higher weight as normal for years, will work hard to maintain what it wrongly believes to be an equilibrium. We now know that the body develops a sort of set point. It will adjust the metabolism and how it stores fat to maintain that setpoint. Dieting alone is often insufficient to break through and continue losing weight long-term.

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Will I Be Able to Eat My Favorite Foods After Bariatric Surgery?

October 12, 2022

variety of dinner foods on a table, hands reaching for different food items

The decision to have bariatric surgery has so many facets. For someone who hasn’t yet considered the surgical route, it’s hard to understand the considerations and fears that a person has about postoperative life. One such concern very legitimately revolves around the concept of what can and can’t be eaten after surgery. Why is this such a big deal for those considering bariatric surgery? The answer lies in our relationship with food.

For many of us, food has become a crutch – a comfort during times of emotional extremes, whether sadness or happiness. Our society has created a situation where celebrations and commiserations all revolve around food and drink. The result is that we rely on food far more than we think. When the prospect of not having that food in our future becomes a reality – when we begin to consider something like weight loss surgery – the idea of losing that crutch is daunting.

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Habit Stacking Helps Hit Weight Loss Goals Both Before & After Bariatric Surgery

June 23, 2022

Most of us are looking for ways to improve our lives or make them more manageable. Self-help books, classes, gurus, and products are trendy, generating billions in sales every year. Who wouldn’t want to improve their life? Everyone wants to make their life better somehow, and of course, they can! One method for achieving this is gaining popularity, known as habit stacking. You can use habit stacking to improve almost any aspect of your life and particularly your health.

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Another Reason to Lose Weight and Get Healthier – Your Kids

April 6, 2022

Grandmother prepares a healthy meal with her daughter and grandsons to promote healthy habits with the whole family after her bariatric surgery at MASJax in Jacksonville, FL

One of the most common reasons our patients consider bariatric surgery is that they want to be around for their kids or grandkids. This is a great reason to get healthy and a noble goal for getting started on a weight loss program. However, a more profound and arguably even more important reason revolves around those same kids. Kids tend to mimic and follow the behaviors and habits that they see from their parents and grandparents.

So yes, while you may get to enjoy your kids more than you do now, you may also be saving them from severe metabolic disease later in life.

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Caffeine’s Place in the Bariatric Diet

March 9, 2022

A cup of coffee might be enjoyable, but should you give us caffeine after weight loss surgery

Today we will be talking about caffeine, a staple in just about everyone’s diet. Whether it is coffee, black, or green teas, chocolate, or sodas, caffeinated products are ubiquitous in modern-day society. Over the past several decades, we’ve heard mixed reviews about caffeinated products and caffeine. Are they helpful or hurtful? Can they help you lose weight, or do they make you hungry? The data is all over the map. However, there are some steadfast rules that bariatric patients need to follow to ensure that their caffeine consumption is not detrimental to their health and their weight loss after bariatric surgery.

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Navigating the Pre-op Bariatric Liver Shrink Diet

February 9, 2022

A pre-op liquid diet based on primarily protein shakes can feel overwhelming, but the bariatric team at MASJax shares tips

Depending on your circumstance, your bariatric surgeon may require that you participate in a low-calorie preoperative liver shrink diet, lasting anywhere from five days to two weeks, several weeks prior to surgery. This diet is very restrictive and like what you will experience in the liquid diet for the first week or so after surgery. And there is very good reason for this. When we perform bariatric surgery, we are visualizing the abdominal cavity and stomach. The liver is close by, and a larger, fattier liver means less visibility. As you can imagine, visibility is one of the most important components of a successful laparoscopic or robotic surgical procedure.

With our patients suffering from morbid or even extreme obesity, the safety and effectiveness of the bariatric procedure may be compromised without this preoperative diet.

How Do I Get Through This Diet?

Many patients look at the pre-op liver shrink diet with trepidation. How is it possible to eat just several hundred calories a day and keep my head on straight? To be sure it is daunting; but we first must remember that this is a necessity for a safer and more effective procedure. As such, it should be taken seriously.

Second, this pre-op diet gives you a glimpse into what you will experience in the first weeks after bariatric surgery. Remember, today you have all your faculties about you, but after surgery, you will be recovering from physical trauma, as well as some brain fog associated with the anesthesia and maybe a couple days of narcotic medication. Knowing what to expect now can help you be sure to follow the appropriate diet later.

Third, remember that the first two days are the hardest and it gets easier from there. You may have tried to fast before, and you’ll probably remember that you had a day or two of feeling downright terrible — hungry, headache and more. This is totally normal and usually subsides by day three. In fact, halfway through your first week, you should feel more energy and just feel better than you may have in a long time.

This is also a reminder of what a big decision you’ve made. You may have had your share of naysayers tell you that bariatric surgery is the easy way out. However, nothing could be further from the truth. This is the first glimpse of the challenges you will face as you lose weight and change your life. Nothing is easy, so be sure to redouble your efforts and follow your pre-op diet closely. It’ll serve to get you started on the right track.

Finally, remember that you are not alone. You can always contact us for guidance. Beyond our practice, which will be side-by-side with you throughout this journey, there are friends, family members and prior bariatric patients who can support you and cheer you on as you claim your new life.

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Five Food Substitutions You Can Start Tomorrow

January 7, 2022

Balanced packed lunch and water flavored with citrus are easy swaps for a healthier day according to weight loss doctors at MASJax in Jacksonville

Sometimes we are under the impression that to gain success in weight loss and better health one must make some drastic changes. After all, we didn’t get into this position by having an extra carrot stick or two or over-indulging in green smoothies. We likely got into a routine and never managed to, or wanted to, find our way out. But what if I told you that getting out of those weeds can be as easy as the way we got in?

One thing nutritionists and trainers always seem to stress is that the place you are in now was not an overnight detour. Choices were made and, in truth, that is the only way to get right back on the path. But you don’t jump from the middle of the forest to the path. You find a clearing until you find another clearing and eventually these pathways lead you to certainty and safety.

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Habit Stacking

December 10, 2021

We’ve all done it. We wait… for Monday.

Habit stacking helps you add healthy behaviors like staying hydrated according the MASJax

You know what I’m talking about. Let me go through the pantry and freezer and finish off what really shouldn’t be here on Monday when I start “the diet.” Doesn’t matter what diet it is, doesn’t matter what is going to be restricted or limited, we’ve all assigned an imaginary start date to what should be the rest of our lives. If you think about that, much like the dieting mentality in general, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Because anything that starts ultimately also must end.

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Decoding Labels: What is the Skinny on Sugar and Fat with Jenny Hamm, MasJax Nutritionist

November 16, 2021

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What To Eat and What to Avoid for Optimal Gut Health

October 29, 2021

Most Americans are concerned about their health to some degree. And while there are certain diseases that rightly get plenty of attention, others, including those of the colon don’t get nearly as much press as they deserve. In fact, colon cancer is a leading killer of men and women in the United States, but it also represents one of the most preventable and treatable cancers. Unfortunately, however, many patients do not prioritize their colon health the way they should. Cancer is not the only concern when it comes to colon health. Several conditions that affect the colon can be disruptive, or in some cases, even life-threatening if left untreated. While gut health is often a sign of general health, there are certain foods we can eat and others to avoid to keep our guts as healthy as possible, even in our later years.

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