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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Fat Burn: Catching the Regained Weight

Early this summer I found myself in the same fat-pants as many post-WLSers a few years out: I had regained some weight. About 16-18 pounds over my best weight. I blame it on stress eating and relaxing the rules. Actually, there were no rules and it showed. I knew I had to do something, for myself and for the weight loss surgery community that is such a part of my life. Afterall, I often answer emails giving advice to people just like me who have found the scale creeping upward. And here I was experiencing the same feelings of shame and failure that I try to help others cope with.

On June 6 I announced my plan to the Neighborhood, our online weight loss surgery community: "Like many of us WLSers who occasionally get off track the time has come for me to clean-up my diet, get back to basics, shed a few pounds and return to my best life with WLS. So I've been doing some (re)reading and note taking, reviewed my personal self assessment(s). I have my plan and I'm working it."

Read my full post and conversation: Going Into Fat Burn: Reclaiming my LAWLS Life

My plan started with a fat-burn detox that was three days of eating nothing but animal protein, as much as I could throughout the day. It takes the body approximately 4 hours to metabolize food (give or take some with the WLS). When the body is in metabolism it is also considered "fat burn" mode. Protein has the highest thermic effect of food over fat or carbohydrates. The thermic effect of food is how many calories it takes to digest the food. When the body is given only lean protein it doesn't have any easy nutrients (carbs or fat) so it must work to digest and metabolize the protein into fuel. Some nutritionists and scientists believe it takes more calories to digest protein than the protein contains.

Review: Protein First Rule

So far I've lost ten pounds. That's about right for two months although I do dream of the good old "rapid weight loss phase" of gastric bypass. Now, I haven't worked my plan without bumps and bounces. In fact, in July, I lost and gained the same two pounds the entire month. I have identified two reasons: first a change in my gardening activity. Since the heavy early-season work was accomplished the light maintenance hasn't required as much physical effort from me. I find it interesting to note that the "LIVING" activity plays a role in weight loss and health. So I must either increase my formal exercise or find a replacement "LIVING" activity. Secondly, I'm eating quite a bit of carbohydrates in the form of seasonal fruits and veggies. I know for me to lose weight I need to reign-in the carbs (even the good ones) but I just cannot give up the joy of summer's bounty.

On a positive note, I'm now on decaf-coffee exclusively using the Emergen-C for my little "boost". And I have not allowed white starches or processed food into my body.

Yesterday I stopped by my nutrition center to be weighed and have my body mass measured. The news is good!! My initial measure on June 4, 2007 indicated 32.7% body fat - 13% excess of my 20% goal. Yesterday my body fat measured 28.6% - 9% excess of goal. So I've lost 4% body fat.

I'm about half-way to my comfort weight and anxious to get there. So I made a plan:

--Continue with the high protein low carb eating, enjoying but not indulging the summer veggies.
--Increase my exercise from 40 mins/day to 60 minutes 5 days a week (emphasis on cardio).
--Continue to record my food, exercise & moods.
--Office Motion: Walk 5-minutes every hour including up-down stairs, 15 minute walk at lunchtime.
--Deep-clean the basement and garage for "LIVING" activity (that should be fun! ha-ha).

Eight pounds to go back to my comfort zone. I can do this!!!! And if you are frustrated by a weight gain after weight loss surgery it is possible to get it under control and take it off again. No, it isn't easy and sometimes I want to bang my head on the wall because I have to fight my weight every day of my life. But I am willing to fight so I never go back to obesity.

If you have successfully beat a regain let me hear from you. I can use all the help I can get!

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