I have been banded and I've lost most of my weight by adjusting my eating habits. Oddly enough, I didn't even go to the gym in the first year and I was down 90 pounds. You're supposed to be active, so don't think I'm telling you not to! :) Now, I'm not a medical professional, I am just going to give you an account of what I ate and some tips if you'd like to achieve the same results.
The key was self-control. I had utter self control over everything I ate, drank and avoided. This is where the hard part is. Making decisions for yourself and not becoming influenced by outside factors. (Friends, co-workers, outings, family, etc.) Sad factor: I could have done this exact routine without having the surgery. Horrible factor: I've dropped those good habits and sunk back into the old ways and gained weight again. I lost the self control to keep those same routines.
Just stick with this system and you will be losing weight. I am on my way back to the system because I want to be back where I was before.
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Step 1: Food Attitude
You need to change the way that you think of food. If you get excited about meals, and what you're going to eat...you'r attaching emotional and positive attributes to the food that you're eating.
Never reward yourself with food. Reward yourself with an object, a new piece of clothing, an outing. If you default to food, you're just getting involved with eating as a positive event. Food is only meant to nourish you. If you think of food as a necessity instead of an adventure, you're already breaking down your addiction to eating.
This is for me, but maybe if you'd like to be as hardcore as myself - you can go by this rule also : Be okay with eating the same thing all the time. (The way I justify this is by thinking of cavemen, they only had the same animals to eat, but maybe they thought of eating them in different ways. But they still lived on!)
Step 2: Protein Protein Protein
That's it. That's all. Protein. Lots of it.
A sample meal for me was this = 2 string cheeses, each of them wrapped in a slice of lunch meat. Occasionally I would add an apple. Vegetables are great to fill you up because they are limitless. Have as many as you want.
The rule is and was this: 3-4 servings of protein per meal, three meals a day, no snacking-EVER, have as many vegetables as you'd like with your meals and only have 1-2 servings of fruit a day. Occasionally you can have bread (maybe 1-2 servings a day, a few times a week. But for best results...rarely eat breads. Limit the carbs. No soft drinks, no coffee, WATER WATER WATER, and no sweets, ever.
Lean proteins are the way to go. That's why I stuck with lean lunch meat and wrapped it around the string cheese. I had this twice a day and a great salad with lots of meat in it at night for dinner. Then I would repeat the process over and over. Maybe I would switch meats, or I would wrap it all in a low-fat tortilla. Or I would add some kind of dipping sauce for my cheese wraps.
If you're inactive - less protein (3 servings a day, 4 if you're still hungry). But if you're a majorly active person and you're in the gym, etc, you can have 4-6 servings of protein per meal. Still, 3 times a day and no snacking.
How to define a serving? Read the labels and see how many grams of protein are in each serving. 6 grams counted as one serving of protein, as per my dietitian. If your 6 grams were spread out into 4 slices of meat, you can wrap the string cheese with 2 meat slices each. It doesn't matter how you sort it out, just be aware of how much protein is in each serving, check the grams and calculate your meals accordingly.
Step 3: Prepare Your Meals!!!
If you're not prepared for your specific meal, you're much more apt to fail at sticking to it. Preparation is the key to success, in my opinion. If you take the time to make your meals ahead of time (when applicable), or gather ingredeients, you're going to be off on the right foot and much more likely to succeed. Why? Most of the battle is OVER. Now all you have to do is eat it when you need to eat! lol. Easy.
Just stay strong, prepare your meals and be ready for distractions. If you're going to a family potluck, just stick to meats, cheeses (proteins) and vegetables. If you're pretty unsure about what will be there, bring your own food. This tip will save you. Bring your own stuff. You're a stronger person for doing so.
If you're going out to eat, choose something that is mainly protein, cut your meal in half, ask for a box immediately and slowly eat your proportion so that you're stomach has enough time to relay the message to your brain that you are full.
Step 4: No No's!!!
No candy or sweets. Just don't think about them. It's harder than sh*t. I know. lol. I went a year without candy and I was a TROOPER. It showed, too. Amazing. I did super-well, I super-behaved and I had super-success to show for it.
Don't cheat. Just replace your cravings with healthy ones. I became a lover of fruit. I was so excited to eat PINK LADY Apples. They were a treat. You just have to re-wire your brain because those cavemen didn't get fat off candy, like me. LOL. They didn't have it.
Stick to the basics. Do your best-best-best to stay away from sweets, candy, donuts, cookies, cake, ice cream, etc. It's painful, but a healthier body and better shape are more worth it. I promise you. I've eaten sweets lately and it's not worth it. You'll be and feel much better without them.
No fast food. Nope, nope, nope. The whole idea of fast food is that you haven't prepared for a meal and now you're hungry. Don't let it go that far!!! Prepare your meal. You already know that you're going to eat later, get ready for it.
No soft drinks, no caffiene. This is one thing that I've been able to hold onto, perfectly. I haven't had any diet coke (which I was addicted to), since 2008. (3 years sober, haha.) Wow. That's a huge deal for me because I would drink an AM-PM cup-worth every day. I could distinguish diet cokes and which places made it better. That's horrible! When I went off the diet coke, cold turkey...I had the most intense pains, headaches, stomach aches, I cried. It was excruciating. Extremely painful week. But hey...that's what it does to your body. My husband has tried to go off soft drinks and he has only made it a week or 2. You have to be able to endure the pain. Endure the smell of other people drinking it around you. Pouring it for someone else, buying it, but not for you.
Just focus on water. :)
Step 5: Diet?
I define a diet as this: Once you've stopped your new plan, new habits, etc. It has become a diet. If you choose a new path and stick to it, you've made it a lifestyle.
Decide if you'd like to try this, mix it with physical activity for maximum results and chart your results. While I've stuck to this plan...I had been lighter each time I checked the scale.
Remember, I'm not a professional, I'm just giving you my account of how I did it and what I was taught by the Lap Band program at my hospital. The Lap Band is meant to help you with your hunger by helping you to become fuller, faster. Because the band sits above the stomach and slowly funnels your food into your stomach. By the time your food has dropped, you're supposed to be full. Having only had a minimal meal.
Step 6: Rewards
Now that you've been able to stick to the plan, you've seen the weight drop, you're eating healthier and you're looking forward to fruits and vegetables...you deserve a reward.
Go out and buy yourself something nice. Go look hot!! Strut your stuff. Losing weight will make you gain confidence and happiness, as well as health. I wish to congratulate you. <3
If you have any Lap Band questions, just leave comments and I will answer them. I've been banded since Sept. 3rd, 2008. My max weight loss was 90 pounds. I am back on the train, back in the gym, I bought a giant package of string cheese at Costco, along with the packages of lunch meat... Tupperware, baggies. Water. Fruits and veggies.
Just add the action, adventure and activities and you have a recipe for success.