After gastric sleeve in Mexico, patients are (rightly) focused on shedding pounds and getting healthy. But with the massive amount of sometimes-contradictory information out there, it can be easy to believe things that aren’t true. Below are a few of the most common myths about weight loss as they relate to vertical sleeve gastrectomy.
Myth #1: You shouldn’t eat after 6 p.m.
It’s a subject that’s been debated in weight-loss communities for years: Is nighttime eating worse for your waistline than daytime? A new study confirms that when it comes to weight loss, what you eat is much more important than when you eat. The study of female weight lifters, done by nutrition researchers at Florida State University and published in the Journal of Nutrition, investigated the effects of high-protein snacks before bed, as opposed to earlier in the day. The results? Eating protein before bed didn’t interfere with belly fat metabolism—or fat burned anywhere else in the body—overnight. So if you’re active and feel the need for a little something before you hit the sack, don’t be afraid to reach for a protein-rich bedtime snack.
Myth #2: Your sleep habits don’t really impact your weight loss.
When there’s (metaphorically) a lot on your plate, sleep is often the first thing to go. But the next time you’re tempted to skip some zzz’s in favor of…pretty much anything…reconsider, because it can affect your weight in a big way. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University looked into the subject and, according to results published in the Journal of Lipid Research, they found that even a few days of inadequate sleep can interfere with the way your body metabolizes fat and how full you feel after a meal. Study participants got five hours of sleep for five days—mimicking a workweek and, unfortunately, a pretty common amount of sleep. When eating a rich meal on those days, as opposed to after a full night’s sleep, subjects reported feeling less satisfied with the amount. What’s more, their blood work on those five-hour nights showed a lipid response that makes weight gain more likely. After one “recovery” night of sleep, their levels of satiety and blood work were both marginally better but still not at a healthy baseline.
What does this mean for VSG patients? Sleep should be seen as a third component of a successful gastric sleeve diet and exercise program. When a night of binge watching is calling your name, just remember that the scale won’t thank you for it.
Myth #3: There’s only one “right” diet to lose weight.
Most of my patients are on a high-protein, low-carb diet. I (and they!) like that it tends to get results quickly, and it consists of a lot of foods that people enjoy eating. But VSG patients who don’t adhere to this kind of gastric sleeve diet might worry that they’re not doing it “right”—especially if they hit a stall. It goes in the other direction, too. Low-carb lovers in the middle of a frustrating plateau may wonder if all they’re eating too much chicken and not enough brown rice. The truth is that you need to eat healthy food. Period. Whether they’re keto or vegan, people who aren’t experiencing the results they want can blame similar culprits: insufficient water intake and/or too much processed starches. Oreos and potato chips don’t fit anyone’s diet.
This healthy-trumps-specific diet concept was proven by a recently released study published in the International Journal of Cardiology. Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center tested three diets: one that mimics the DASH diet (plenty of carbs), a protein-loaded diet, and one similar to the Mediterranean diet (with fats coming from nuts, seafood, and avocados). Each of them was heavy on produce, regardless of how the macros shook out, and each delivered similar health benefits in study subjects. The bottom line? No matter which VSG lifestyle you choose, say “yes” to broccoli and “no” to biscuits.
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