How to Eat Like a Thin Person

A post in our Facebook support group inspired this month’s topic. Lori wrote, “I just had the craziest revelation. I can’t believe I didn’t see it before. Seeing thin people eating healthy meals and snacks always made me wonder why they ate that way–they clearly didn’t need to diet. Then it struck me…they are thin because they regularly make healthy eating decisions.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download Healthful Tips: How to Eat Like a Thin Person

And that’s it! We need to think about eating in a different way. It is not deprivation to choose steamed broccoli over onion rings—its love and respect for our bodies to do so.  It does take time, effort and a little extra money to purposely eat like a thin person, but it does make a difference.  Watch naturally thin people eat—you’re sure to recognize some of these behaviors.

  1. Prioritize protein. Start most meals and snacks with a good source of lean protein—enough to meet your individual protein goal. Protein keeps blood sugar levels stable and hunger at bay.
  2. Veggies rule. Consume ¾ – 1 ½ cups of a variety of fresh vegetables each day. You’ll treat your body to a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
  3. Round out your diet with ½ – 1 cup fresh fruit; a few small servings of whole grains, rice or potatoes; and small amounts of healthy fats.
  4. Eat real food. Fresh, unprocessed foods should make up the bulk of your diet. Protein drinks and bars are great “emergency” foods to have on hand, but don’t rely on them every day.
  5. Be prepared. Have healthy ingredients and snacks on hand. Pack meals and snacks to take with you. Meal plan and prep. Studies show that you are most likely to eat the foods that are in front of you—put healthy food choices in plain sight.

I meal prep for the week, because if I don’t, who knows what I’ll put in my mouth—lol? I’ve been doing this for 5 months now and it has really helped me lose weight and control portions.

–Dawn


  1. Try new things. If your family loves Italian night, rather than do without, look for healthier ways to prepare favorite foods. Replace traditional pasta with spaghetti squash, spiralized zucchini, or new low carb pasta options made from chickpeas, black beans, or edamame and cut back on cheese.
  2. Limited time? Consider a fresh food delivery service. How great is that—a meal kits that includes everything you need with minimal prep required.

I’m not a fan of cooking. I live alone and can never make small enough meals that I don’t get tired of before the leftovers are gone. I tried a new meal service, Freshly. It’s wonderful. The portions are at least 2 meals, they have tons of low carb, high protein options and it tastes great.

–Tonia


  1. Don’t skip meals or snacks. Your blood sugar and energy will plummet and you’re more likely to resort to poor food choices.
  2. Chew slowly and completely. It is more important than ever after weight loss surgery to take small bites and chew food to a paste. This helps your digestive system to handle a wider range of food, but also gives your brain time to get the signal that you’re eating and to tell you when it is time to put down the fork.
  3. Indulge occasionally. A bite of someone else’s dessert, a small serving of a no-added-sugar treat, or a small slice of thin-crust pizza can go a long way to filling a craving.
  4. Sleep soundly. When you make sleep a priority, your body will have more energy and fewer cravings.

Bottom line. We all know thin people who don’t seem to make healthy choices at all and still manage to not gain an ounce. Some day that mystery of a “good metabolism” will be figured out. In the meantime, do what most thin people do and you’ll be more likely to get and stay that way.

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How to Enjoy Eating More with Mindfulness

Mindfulness is described as an intentional state of being aware, in the moment, engaged, and observing. A state of mindfulness is free of judgment, both positive and negative. Mindfulness is an ancient practice, but has gained popularity in recent years as people search for natural ways to heal the mind, body and spirit and improve quality of life.

Eating is a natural candidate for the practice of mindfulness. Mindful eating will allow you to become more aware of your body’s cues for hunger and satiety, to increase the pleasure of eating, and to enhance the opportunity to nurture your body.

Link to: Mindful Eating 

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It’s Time to Improve Your Health

Bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for obesity. Studies show that more than 90 percent of those having bariatric surgery are able to keep off at least 50 percent of their excess weight. That’s in stark contrast to diet and exercise alone, in which a very large majority of people regain their lost weight, and then some, within 2 years.

But, the benefits of bariatric surgery go far beyond the weight loss itself. Many health issues are improved or resolved, some almost immediately after surgery. Included are the debilitating diseases of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, asthma, arthritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), fatty liver disease, venous stasis, urinary incontinence, and more.

Type 2 Diabetes

Eighty percent of patients will see a remission of type 2 diabetes after surgery. Some patients are even able to leave the hospital no longer needing their diabetes medications.

Type 2 diabetes is generally considered to be a progressive and incurable disease, but that isn’t the case after bariatric surgery. In many cases, blood sugar levels improve immediately after surgery, lowering or eliminating the need for medication, even before significant weight is lost.


The day of my surgery was the last day I took an injection of insulin. I am no longer on the pump or on medication for my cholesterol or blood pressure. I have started living my life the way I want.

–Leanne J.


Heart (Cardiovascular) Health

People who lose significant weight after bariatric surgery greatly reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke. Blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and other measures of heart health often return to normal or near normal levels.

Being overweight is a major risk factor for heart disease, especially if excess weight is carried in the abdomen. An inactive lifestyle, which often accompanies obesity, also raises the risk. The good news is that after weight loss surgery, it is easier to be active, and more activity leads to a healthier heart.

Mobility

Many are surprised and thrilled to find relief from joint pain shortly after surgery as both inflammation and excess pressure are reduced. Did you know that every extra pound of weight exerts 4 pounds of pressure on the knees? That means 100 pounds of extra weight puts 400 pounds of pressure on the knees! No wonder joints begin to ache and fail.

What is it that you dream of doing? Walking into a store pain free? Running a 5K? No longer needing a walker or wheelchair? Keeping up with your children or grandchildren? The increase in mobility after bariatric surgery provides freedom to do those things that are important to you.

Sleep Apnea

Good news—bariatric surgery resolves sleep apnea for 80 percent of people.  Just think about having a restful night’s sleep and waking up refreshed and ready for the day ahead—something many only dream of.

Sleep apnea often contributes to poor sleep —short periods without breathing during the night. This can be treated with CPAP machines, but only about 50% of people are consistent in using them. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, arrhythmias, enlargement of the heart, congestive heart failure, diabetes, heart attack, lack of concentration and poor energy. After bariatric surgery, you’ll be able to donate your CPAP machine and look forward to quality, restful sleep.

Asthma

There is a much lower risk (one study found a 50% lower risk) of going to the ER or being hospitalized for asthma flare-ups after bariatric surgery if you suffer from severe asthma.

Heartburn (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease- GERD)

Gastric bypass surgery greatly improves or resolves heartburn symptoms in most people. Heartburn occurs when stomach acids back up into the esophagus. It can be irritating and sometimes even painful.

Just about everyone has heartburn occasionally after overindulging or eating spicy foods. If heartburn becomes regular, two or more times a week, it may be GERD. Although GERD can be uncomfortable, the real concern is that the stomach acids damage the esophagus over time and increase the risk of esophageal cancer.

Excess weight increases the risk of GERD–the higher the BMI, the higher the risk. For those with severe GERD, gastric sleeve surgery is typically not recommended because it can make GERD symptoms worse.

Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

Bariatric surgery is effective in improving or resolving nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

The liver helps the body digest food, store energy, and remove poisons. When fat builds up in the liver, it leads to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).  As the disease progresses, inflammation, damage to liver cells, and scarring of the liver occur. Cirrhosis or liver cancer can follow.

NAFLD is quite common in obese individuals, but typically has no symptoms. There are no easy-to-diagnose lab tests available for NAFLD, so most have no idea they have it.

Mood and Depression

As the social stigma of obesity, health issues, fatigue, and poor body image resolve after surgery, many people also feel the weight of depression lift. Weight loss surgery often opens up a new world of activities, social connections, and opportunities that promote a more positive outlook.

Energy

Once recovered from surgery, you can look forward to a boost in energy. You’ll spend less energy on the things you have to do, leaving more energy for the things you want to do.

Think about picking up one hundred pounds of dog food or carrying a 100 pound teen on your back. Imagine walking up a flight of stairs with that weight on your shoulders. Can you feel your knees ache, the shortness of your breath, and the strain on your entire body? Next, imagine setting down those one hundred pounds. How light and free do you feel? It’s fun to visualize a new life—one that is no longer limited by excess weight and fatigue.


I am so thankful for the new life that I have. I love my new active lifestyle. I walk, swim, ride horses; anything I want to do. I am no longer limited by my weight. I have the energy to try things I thought I could never do. I have opened three new businesses. My whole life has changed.                                                                                                             

–Haith J.


Infertility

For many women, bariatric surgery improves fertility and reduces weight-related pregnancy complications. High estrogen levels and poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are common with obesity and lower the odds of becoming pregnant.

Leg Sores and Blood Clots (Venous Stasis)

Weight loss surgery is effective in treating venous stasis. One study of people with venous stasis who underwent gastric bypass surgery found that 95% had complete resolution of venous stasis after surgery.

Obesity is a top risk factor for venous stasis. Venous stasis occurs when there is a problem with the flow of blood from leg veins back to the heart. Healthy veins have valves that move blood towards the heart. With venous stasis, the valves don’t work correctly and fluid pools in the legs resulting in painful leg rashes, sores or skin ulcers, and blood clots. In serious cases, venous stasis can lead to partial or full amputations of the leg.


I’m much more active now that I don’t hurt from walking.  And the heat doesn’t get to me. I can easily jog, or full-out run if I have to, around my neighborhood, when before I couldn’t walk.  I golf at least once a week and can walk 18 holes with no problem.  I can get on the floor and play with my dogs.  I enjoy clothes shopping; in fact, I do it every weekend, because there are so many more choices.

I no longer have sleep apnea and sleep very well at night.  Travel is so much easier when you fit into the plane seat.  

–Terri B.


Quality of Life

It’s not only health that improves with weight loss surgery, but overall quality of life. Here are just a few ways our patients have experienced a higher quality and enjoyment of life:

  • Able to reach down and tie your shoe effortlessly.
  • Mood and confidence improve. They report they’re able to live life to the fullest.
  • Feel stronger and have more energy.
  • Fewer aches and pains. It is much easier to move their body.
  • Clothes fit better and they’re able to shop in “regular” stores.
  • More motivated to go places and do things.
  • More likely to try new things.
  • Fewer medications.
  • Skin looks younger.
  • They’re able to tackle that treadmill, 5K run, spinning class or whatever their heart desires—weight no longer hinders them.
  • Vacations are more fun—starting with not having to ask for a seatbelt extender on the plane.

Longer Life

You’ll not only enjoy life more, you’ll have more life to enjoy. With the reduced risk of major diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and some forms of cancer, you’ll have a longer life expectancy.

Bottom Line

Weight loss surgery can help you reach a healthy weight, but that is only the beginning. You’ll not only have the physical ability to participate in desired activities, but also the drive and energy to do so. With bariatric surgery, you will reduce your risk of major disease and can expect an improvement in the quality and length of your life.

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How to Keep Going When the Honeymoon Ends

They call it the honeymoon period–the first year or two after surgery, when motivation is high, portion control maximized, and weight loss rapid. It’s an exciting time and much time, energy and focus is put into a new lifestyle. As time goes on, new habits become more comfortable and efforts often shift to other aspects of living life. If care isn’t taken, sweets and processed food may slip back into the diet. Portions may slowly creep up and there is a tendency to slack off on the important behaviors of exercise, meal prep, and food tracking. It’s a natural part of the cycle. What are the keys to maintaining the right degree of balance–putting effort and energy into a lifestyle that supports a healthy weight, yet also leaving energy for other things?

Download On Track with Barix: How to Keep Going When the Honeymoon Ends 

Keep an eye on the why. Maintaining a healthy weight has benefits. For some it is the reduction of medications and the resolution of health conditions. Others find the true benefit in an increase in energy, self-confidence and motivation. And some find greater life satisfaction with an increased ability to participate in activities and spend more quality time with family. Revisit your “whys” often. Write them out. Put them in a journal or post them on your bathroom mirror. When you keep the why’s in the front of your mind, you’ll be motivated to make hundreds of healthy little choices each day. It’s those little choices that add up to a healthier you.

Be real. You have a great tool with weight loss surgery, but even with that tool, you will need to work on your weight for the rest of your life. That means making healthy food choices, limiting portions, and moving more than others around you. Once you’ve accepted this reality, you can get down to work.

Have a top acceptable weight. Once you reach your personal goal weight, set an upper acceptable weight limit. Having this weight limit set frees you from fretting about small fluctuations in weight that regularly occur. If you do reach upper weight, it is a signal to pause and evaluate your eating and exercise behaviors. Think about what has recently changed. Did you have an injury that limited your movement? Has there been an abundance of stress in your life? Did you change jobs? Are you eating larger portions, sweets, or highly processed foods? Reach out to your support system and get back on track right away.

Keep tabs on behaviors and track progress. Weigh weekly. Use a smart scale that shows weight over time to remind you of how far you’ve come and alert you to getting off track. Keep a daily food log or check in once a week to stay aware of what you are really eating—put mindless munching out of business. Use a fitness tracker to monitor activity—studies show you’ll be more active. Combine all three and you can see the calorie and movement levels that keep your weight where you want it to be.

A goof-up is a goof-up. If you give into temptation, learn from the situation and move on. Could you have done something differently that would have kept you on your eating plan? If so, set up a strategy for next time–plan ahead, bring a no-added-sugar treat, have a protein snack in your bag, or prepare a “no thank you” statement in advance. A goof-up is not a reason to throw in the towel and continue down the path of poor choices. It is a signal to strengthen your strategy to deal with tempting situations in a healthy way.

Plan to succeed. Success does not simply happen; it takes hard work and pre-planning.

  • Stock your home with healthy foods and eliminate unhealthy ones. Studies show that we eat what is in front of us. When you open your refrigerator, freezer and cupboards, what do you see?
  • Start a binder with new healthy recipes to try. Try one each week or two. Soon you’ll have an arsenal of tried and true favorites to keep you and your family nourished. There are very few foods that cannot be made in a no-added-sugar, low fat way.
  • Meal plan and food prep—you’ll eat a healthier diet.
  • Take healthy snacks and meals with you when you are away from home. Think 100-calorie packs of nuts, jerky, or low sugar protein bars or a small cooler with yogurt, hard boiled eggs, light cheese, deli meat, cottage cheese, or peanut butter and an apple.
  • Have a game plan when eating out. Look at the menu ahead of time and decide. Easy to be influenced by what others choose.
  • Life gives us many reasons to celebrate. Find some new favorite sugar free treats to make celebrations special while sticking to your eating plan. Better yet, learn to celebrate in ways that don’t include food treats.

Learn and practice healthy coping strategies to weather life’s emotional highs and lows. You’ll encounter both daily stressors and big life events that tax your ability to respond in a healthy way. Building a tool box with strategies for these situations will allow you to live with more peace and rely less on unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Get an exercise routine in place. Exercise helps to reinforce good food choices. You feel better and are more likely to make healthy food choices. When combined with a healthy diet, a regular exercise program will enable you to lose excess body fat and build healthy, lean muscle.

Develop a better relationship with food by eating mindfully. Take time to enjoy each bite of food and appreciate the tastes and the nourishment it provides your body. Mindful eating is the practice eating slowly, savoring food with all of your senses, and making conscious choices. Studies show that mindful eating can help cultivate healthier eating habits.

Seek out support. Sticking with a healthy eating and exercise plan can be tough. Get with other like-minded individuals for mutual support. Share what is working and what isn’t working. You can inspire and be inspired by others.

Eat six small protein-rich meals and blood sugar levels with be maintained within a healthy range. Seek foods that satisfy: protein, fiber and healthy fats. Focus on whole foods, not processed foods. When you fuel your body with the right stuff, energy levels soar and it is easier to say no to temptations that come your way.

The bottom line. Following lifestyle habits that support a healthy weight over the long haul takes some serious work. There are many obstacles that come up over the years. By putting strategies in place, you’ll increase the odds of keeping the weight off and health conditions at bay.

Almond Pancakes with Banana Sauce

1 banana
6 ounces vanilla Dannon Triple Zero yogurt
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon sugar-free maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 cup sliced almonds

Mash the banana in a small bowl and mix in yogurt. Refrigerate until pancakes are done.

Stir together the flour, protein powder, baking powder, salt, egg, sugar-free maple syrup, and almond extract. Stir in the milk and oil. Add ¼ cup of sliced almonds and stir.

Spray griddle with cooking spray and preheat to medium. Pour batter out to make 12 pancakes.

Flip the pancakes when they begin to bubble and are golden brown on the bottom side. Cook until the other side is also golden brown.

Top pancakes with banana cream sauce and sprinkle with remaining sliced almonds. Makes 12 pancakes.

Nutrition information per pancake:  139 calories, 12 grams protein, 6 grams fat, 13 grams carbohydrate, 219 mg sodium.

Lime Chicken on the Grill

3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Splenda or stevia
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Blend soy sauce, sweetener, vegetable oil, lime juice, and garlic. Place chicken breast halves into a shallow dish and marinate in the mixture; turn to coat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes—overnight is better.

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Lightly oil the grill grate. Discard marinade, and grill chicken 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until juices run clear. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition per serving:  166 calories, 25 grams protein, 6 grams fat, 2 grams carbohydrate, 735 mg sodium.

 

 

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It’s Time to Make Sleep a Priority

With study after study validating the theory that a lack of sleep contributes to weight gain, the value of a good night’s sleep cannot be ignored. Most of us need about eight hours of sleep a night to function at our best. Click on the link below for ideas to consider in improving your nightly sleep habits:

Link to: Sleep Better

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