At Endobariatric, we equip VSG patients with a tried-and-true program to maximize weight loss following bariatric surgery in our Mexico hospital. But headlines crop up nearly every day about “new discoveries” that can help people lose more weight. Are any of them worth getting excited about? A few might be…
Habit #1: Restrict food to mealtimes
We’ve all felt that belly rumble in the middle of the afternoon—too late for lunch but way too early for dinner. To reach for a snack or not to reach for a snack: That is the question. New research indicates the answer is a firm “not.” It seems fairly clear that limiting snacks limits extra calories, but that’s not the only reason to keep snacks off the menu, according to a Japanese study published in the Journal of Endocrinology. As it turns out, you may be more likely to exercise when you’re kinda hungry. In mice studies, ghrelin (the “hunger” hormone) seemed to increase the motivation to exercise. With the vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedure, we remove much of the stomach that houses ghrelin in an effort to decrease both your levels of hunger and the amount of space your stomach has for food. That’s obviously still a very good thing. What the study does, though, is raise the idea that increasing ghrelin naturally in your body by limiting how often you eat can also pump up your desire to exercise. Fewer snack calories and more enthusiasm for exercise? Sounds good to me!
Habit #2: Work out before breakfast
I know, I know. The idea of getting sweaty right after prying your eyes open in the morning sounds like torture to some of you. But a new study suggests that a pre-breakfast workout may deliver more benefits than exercising at other times of the day. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism published research conducted at the Universities of Bath and Birmingham, which found that obese men who exercised before their first meal of the day burned twice as much fat as a group that trained after eating. That’s a pretty staggering difference. It seems to be connected with insulin levels being lower, thanks to that overnight fast, driving our bodies to use stored fat as fuel for the workout. Interesting, right? It didn’t lead to immediate changes in weight during the six-week study, but the group that burned more fat during their workouts were better able to keep their blood sugar levels under control. Not only is this valuable in dealing with—and preventing—diabetes, but I can’t see how it wouldn’t lead to eventual weight loss. Burning more fat is the name of the game, after all.
Habit #3: Go a little nuts
When you’re trying to control your calories, nuts are one of the first foods to go. But should they be back on the menu? Online journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health showcased a large, decades-long study—the best kind—that showed just small amounts of nuts are associated with lower weight gain over the long term. This may be an especially important discovery for VSG patients trying to maintain their weight for a lifetime. And while it’s true that nuts are high in calories and fat, it doesn’t take more than half an ounce a day to reap these benefits. The best course of action seems to be subbing in nut calories for calories that don’t provide as much benefit (ie: anything processed or high in refined carbs). Note that this doesn’t apply to peanut butter, but rather to whole nuts.
The best option for losing weight and keeping it off is the gastric sleeve diet and exercise plan that works for you. But it doesn’t hurt to try some scientifically-backed methods to help put the odds in your favor.
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