Your Weight Loss Surgery Options

weight loss surgery options

If you are considering weight loss surgery, you are not alone. I had vertical sleeve gastrectomy and I want to share some real information to help you decide which surgery might be right for you.

Why Consider Weight Loss Surgery Options?

Anyone who tells you this is the easy way out is a complete asshole and knows nothing about this topic. Weight loss surgery is by no means easy. It’s a long, hard process; but, it does give you a tool that is much needed: long term food restriction. Most people who have gotten to the status of needing weight loss surgery are food addicts. (see my post about food addiction here). Food is the worst type of addiction. As a food addict, you have to find a way to still use our drug of choice and moderate it. If you have gotten to a high enough weight to be eligible for weight loss surgery, you probably use food for a plethora of cases. Weight loss surgery gives you a tool that helps moderate the usage of your drug (food).

Weight happens

Listen, weight happens. It happens to a lot of us at certain times in our lives or sometimes it’s been your whole life. Food can be used for happy times, sad times, celebrations, punishment, gatherings, loneliness, boredom, the list goes on and on. Some people can find acceptable weight loss on their own and some people need extra help. There is no shame in reaching for help. Be proud of yourself for making way for a change in your life. The goal is not to be skinnier, but healthier.

3 Weight Loss Surgery Options:

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy, also known as VSG, is a surgery where 70%-80% of your stomach is removed. The stomach left is about the shape and size of a banana. It helps you feel full after eating a small amount of food. VSG is considered less invasive than gastric bypass. VSG does have many cases of increasing GERD; so, if you already battle with acid reflux or GERD, talk to your doctor to see if another surgery might be a better fit. VSG is used for patients with a BMI of 40 or greater.

Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass surgery is another option of weight loss surgery where the stomach is divided into a smaller upper pouch and a larger lower pouch. The small intestine is then rearranged to connected to the smaller pouch. Food will go into the small pouch and then directly into the small intestine, bypassing most of your stomach. You will definitely need to stay on vitamins lifelong after this surgery. Of course, that is true for all the surgeries but you are less likely to get the vitamins needed daily from the food you consume after Gastric bypass. It’s used for patients with a BMI of 40 or greater.

Duodenal Switch

Duodenal switch, officially named biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS), is a less common weight loss surgery. It has two steps. The first step is a sleeve gastrectomy (described above). The next step bypasses most of the intestine by connecting the end portion of the intestine to the duodenum near the stomach. Even though there are two steps, it is generally performed as one procedure. Malnutrition is a greater risk with this option. This is usually for a BMI greater than 50.

Extra Weight Loss Surgery Info

  • Each surgery can cause malnutrition and requires lifelong vitamin substitution.
  • Surgery is not a stand-alone cure. Proper meal planning and prep will be necessary to achieve weight loss and prevent regain. Click here to receive FREE meal planning tools!
  • Each surgery has different pros and cons and discussing each with your doctor is the best way to figure out your path.
  • Exercise is the best aid to your new meal plans to help you lose and keep weight off.
  • You will most likely have many improvements to your health such as joint pain, blood pressure, sugar levels etc.

Start now, with your new eating habits. Get my FREE Dump & Go Recipes for Bariatric Moms Ebook. These recipes are so freaking easy and totally delicious while still keeping that healthy factor!

Consult With Your Doctor

As always, after some basic research online, consult with your doctor. You will need to find the bariatric surgeon of choice and location and make an appointment with them. There you can discuss all your options, details, health history, and more.

RELATED POSTS: 10 Best Pureed Recipes After Weight Loss Surgery
2 Habits You Must Do Forever After Weight Loss Surgery
The Beginner’s Guide To Being An Accountable Bariatric Mom
GET YOUR FREE RECIPE BOOK HERE!

5 Top Keto Chicken Recipes

Keto chicken recipes

These keto chicken recipes are sure to be a hit whether for the family or entertaining.

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Best Tips to Cook Chicken Keto Dishes

  • Chicken is a sure-fire staple for any keto diet. The only problem is it can get boring. I love to find recipes to spice up the normal chicken dish.
  • Chicken is also an easy dish for the kiddos. Again, it can easily get boring for them as well.

Chicken Alone is Too Lean

  • When following a ketogenic lifestyle, you need to amp up the fat content to keep you full longer. Chicken alone is a lean protein.
  • A sure way to increase taste and fat content is to either use the skin or add a creamy or cheesy aspect. The more things you can mix the better. Heck if you can sneak in some veggies, you’ve got a well-rounded meal for your kids.

Best Tips for Keto Chicken Casseroles

The great thing about these recipes is that they are casserole type dishes. If you have leftovers, they can be used as part of meal prep for future meals. You can also cook them solely as meal prep to have ready-made lunches or dinners during your week. Meal planning and prep is definitely a huge key to success

1:Keto Chicken Nachos


Click Here to watch my youtube video preparing this recipe!
Ingredients:
1 bag pork rinds
1 cup shredded cheese
2 slices sandwich cheese
Toppings of choice (I use black olives and sliced jalapenos)
1 pound chicken breasts
1 packet enchilada seasoning

Cooking Instructions:
Boil the chicken and shred, then mix in the enchilada seasoning packet
Line a baking sheet with wax paper
Pour entire back of pork rinds into pan
Layer pork rinds with sliced cheese (more or fewer slices depending on how cheesy you want it)
Next layer shredded chicken
Layer shredded cheese
Layer any additional toppings desired
Bake at 425 degrees for 5 mins

2: Keto Chicken Cordon Bleu

Ingredients:
2 lbs shredded cooked chicken
6 oz ham cut into bite-size pieces
4 oz butter melted
6 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 oz lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
5 oz swiss cheese

Cooking Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Put chicken on bottom of a 9×13 pan, layer pieces of ham on top
In a large bowl, combine melted butter, cream cheese, salt, mustard, and lemon juice. Blend until thick sauce forms.
Spread sauce over chicken and ham in baking dish
Lay slices of swiss cheese over the sauce
Bake for 30-40 minutes until hot.

Click here to see a video of the casserole on joyfilledeats.com

3: Keto Crack Chicken

Ingredients:
2 lbs shredded cooked chicken
2 cans cream of chicken
1 lb shredded Mexican blend cheese
Bacon
1 pack ranch seasoning packet

Cooking Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Cook bacon and break into pieces
In a large bowl combine chicken, cream of chicken, half of cheese, bacon and seasoning packet and blend
Pour blend into 9×13 baking dish
Layer the rest of cheese on top of the casserole
Bake for 20 minutes until hot

4: Keto Pesto Chicken

Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts, about 1.5 lb sliced in half widthwise to make 8 pieces
3 tablespoons basil pesto
8 oz mozzarella, thinly sliced or shredded cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cooking Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Place chicken in the bottom in a single layer and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Spread the pesto on the chicken. Put the mozzarella on top
Bake for 35-45 minutes until the chicken is 160 degrees and the cheese is golden and bubbly. You can broil it for a few minutes at the end to brown the cheese if you want.

5: Keto Chicken Alfredo Casserole

Ingredients:
1 lb shredded cooked chicken
8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
9 oz frozen spinach, thawed, drained
1 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/4 cups mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese grated
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon oil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Cooking Instructions:
Preheat oven 400 degrees
Put 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil to pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute for a few minutes.
After mushrooms are browned, add a little more butter to the pan then add the garlic and saute for 20 seconds.
Combine the rest of the butter, chicken stock, heavy cream, mascarpone cheese, salt and pepper and stir until melted.  Finally, add in the parmesan cheese and parsley, continue stirring until everything has melted.
In a large mixing bowl, add in the chicken, mushrooms and spinach.
Stir in the 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Pour the sauce over the top and mix to combine.
Pour the mixture into a 9″ X 9″ casserole or glass baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray
Spread the mixture evenly and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and bake for 15 minutes.  For For more golden cheese, increase the temperature to 425F and bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden.

I hope you all enjoy these recipes!

2 Habits You MUST Do Forever After Weight Loss Surgery!!

2 habit after weight loss

It’s time to go over 2 MUST HAVE habits after weight loss surgery! No matter which surgery you choose, Duodenal Switch, VSG, Bypass etc, there are two actions you must always follow. They may seem minute. Not everyone does this permanently. You should though! These are two practices that back up the basis of weight loss surgery and help you stay successful and healthy for a lifetime.

There’s always the dreaded regain you hear stories of. I promise! If you are thinking of weight loss surgery or already had it, you will have the plethora of people who are going to be sure to tell you about stories of regain from people they know (and how you probably will lol). In fact, regain is very possible if you only make short term changes. Weight loss surgery is a tool only. In the first year after surgery, it is important to build lifelong healthy habits.

I personally had VSG 3/25/19. Have I experienced regain? Yes, I have. I know a lot of WLS patients that do. Regaining and re-losing is part of the experience. We are all human, and all have things that come up. I have a whole routine I get into when I need to get myself back on track. I rely heavily on the support of my fellow weight loss surgery communities (join my Facebook support group here). I dig back into my favorite book for inspiration! And then I dig back into meal plans with recipes from this book.

The 2 Habits After Weight Loss Surgery To Follow:

  1. Chew your food 30 times before swallowing
  2. Wait to drink 30 minutes after you eat.

Here’s why:

1.CHEWING at least (or as close to) 30 times for each bite serves two HUGE purposes. First, this slows down your eating. Doing this reduces the amount of food you will eat. Next, after surgery, you need to prepare your food for your stomach. You do this by chewing many times. You have a much smaller pouch after surgery and that pouch needs all the help it can get digesting.

2. Waiting 30 minutes to drink after each meal is also crucial in staying full longer. The longer you stay full, the less you eat. When you drink with food in your stomach, the fluid washes the food through the stomach faster than intended. We want the food to stay in the stomach as long as possible, to keep us full as long as possible. I have a youtube video you can click here to watch that shows a demonstration of this.

SIDE NOTE:

There is one expense I have kept for myself continually since 2 weeks before surgery. I don’t normally do this kind of thing or even brag about these things to others but this one i just have to. If you are on this post because you are about to embark on weight loss surgery (or you already have), you deserve the best advice. I am 16 months out from surgery and 100 lbs down! Yes, you read that right.

I preach a lot on self care since weight loss surgery. Mostly because I lost myself for so long and gained it again since my surgery. My surgery was a wake up call to never forget little things for myself again. Maybe 1 small thing a day, a week, or a month adds up to big changes in the end! Never forget that!

So here’s my secret: I am a budget mom through and through. I don’t have tons of extra money to spend on myself but I have found different ways to put aside $10-$20 a week for myself to add up to this expense. About once a month, I order about $60 worth of products from Thrive Market.

Yes, there are some products at Thrive that you can find at grocery stores, BUT there are a lot that you will not for various reasons (whether not local or just sold online). Thrive lets you shop by Diet, shop for clean wines, shop for bath and beauty products, or snacks. And allllll of them are as clean as clean can get! That’s what I love about them. You don’t have to do the research for good, clean products, they are all in one affordable place for you!

Click below and check them out now, for a short time you can get a phenomenal deal of a $20 shopping credit! I originally started out buying collagen peptides and my soups from them.

Go Forth And Prosper

Now that you know these two must-have habits, don’t underestimate them. I fall off the wagon and put myself back on over and over because I’ve seen the difference for myself. Building these lifelong habits can be two HUGE tools to help you achieve lifelong success after weight loss surgery! Be the difference for yourself!

Related Posts:
10 Best Pureed Recipes After WLS
Top Items Needed For Pre Op Diet

Follow my weight loss journey on Instagram: @heatherish.vsg

How I realized I had a food addiction || Do you have it? || Can We Heal?

food addiction

My Food Addiction Story:
The Pre-op Liquid diet; the diet that brought me to my knees. I remember day 1. I felt like I was going crazy. My instructions for this diet were to consume nothing but liquids for two weeks before my scheduled vertical sleeve gastrectomy. The list of items to consume included: Gatorade zero, decaf coffee and tea, broth, water, sugar-free popsicles, sugar-free jello.

Let’s Back Up Just a Tad….

Now up to this point (6 months of doctor appointments), I hadn’t really been on the correct path. My insurance required 6 months of pre-op appointments to be approved for surgery. I specifically remember being told, “just don’t gain weight”. The food addict in me heard that loud and clear! I didn’t gain weight, but I didn’t lose either. My brain and body, totally addicted to high fat, high carb toxic foods, knew how to play this game. I still binged, I still ate all the wrong foods, I just knew how to cut back the week before my doctor appointment to get my weight back on track to pass the weighing test at each appointment. Just like an addict, not even realizing I’m participating in this behavior, my brain devised and wired up a plan to work out all the time I had to eat what I wanted and how to cut it out when needed to cover up the damage I’d done. All the energy I used to keep up my bad behavior, I could have used to start actually preparing for my lifestyle change. Hindsight is 20/20.

The First Week

Boy, this first week was a doozy! I recorded these days on my youtube channel for all to see the dirty ugly truth. The first day was actually ok. I craved solid food but I was still managing the cravings and sticking to the diet. The second day it all hit me like a ton of bricks. Not realizing it, I had just quit my drug cold turkey! The mind games my brain was playing on me was not expected! I craved foods I hardly ever ate, just for the sake of eating, like rice and pickles (blah). I was happy one moment, than crying or angry the next. I expected the anger (I had quit smoking cigarettes plenty of times before and knew the drill), but I never expected the crying. I was an emotional wreck. Just like when I smoked cigarettes, I was using food to mask my stress or emotions of any sort. Without it, I had no cover. The pent up emotions just flowed. I was shocked. I felt cray cray. Most of all I felt cravings for my long lost friend….food.

Day 2 I remember taking bites of food and spitting it out in the trash repeatedly, just to feel like I was eating. By the 3rd day, all hell broke loose and I totally cheated! My mind told me I could play this game; told me that I could cheat because it was still early in the game, and repair before the end (just like before my doctor appointments). By day 4, I was disgusted with myself and decided to recommit.

Week 2 Was Another Food Addiction Struggle

No surprise right? Week 2 was another struggle. I looked for every reason to cancel the surgery. Even though I had done extensive research and months of appointments, my addiction had one last fight left: cancel surgery. I tried to scare myself to death for the first 3 days of the second week. I even came up with a plan to not do surgery and just do counseling for food addiction. Then 4 days before surgery, I woke up with the clarity to realize that this fear was not my steadfast behavior the last few months preparing for this day. It was a last-ditch effort from my body trying to keep me miserable and unhealthy from pure addiction to bad behaviors and foods. It was a breakup with food and it was sad but empowering at the same time. The last few days before surgery, I was still scared but renewed in my efforts. I was committed and finally did the pre-op diet correctly.

What Am I Getting At??

What I’m trying to get at folks is just sharing my example for the person out there reading this questioning their own self. Food addiction can come in many forms. Everyone’s story is different. The purpose of sharing my details is to show the desperation to keep doing something harmful to my body. That’s an addiction, in my opinion. If you feel you are in the same boat or have some sort of desperation that is a total emotional roller coaster (which in turn leads to physical roller coasters), you are not alone. Every day is a new day. Carpe Diem! It is time to make a change. Change can come in many forms, a new lifestyle, weight loss surgery, or counseling.

Self Love Can Heal

One thing I have always believed in heavily is positive affirmations. One little tool I always use is posting positive affirmations at my house, my office, or the car that I will see as reminders….often. Healing yourself from any bad habit takes a lot of work. It’s not just an idea, it’s all the in-between moments and minutes that make up the hours that turn into days. You know all those posts on Facebook or Insta that you see and “like” because they say something that pings at your heartstrings? Yeah, well…those unique, strong-willed affirmations are useful at all random times. Seeing them can give you that boost you need to continue on your path or success. It may not seem like much but I challenge you to give it a try! I also offer accountability coaching. Scroll to the bottom to explore

Free Positive Vibes!!!

I have a few favorites I’ve decided to lend you to get you started! Print these out, hang them on your bedroom or bathroom mirror, on your fridge, etc. Read them aloud to yourself every time you see them. Let your brain hear what you decide. Run your thoughts. Don’t let your thoughts run you.

Accountability Coaching

Join my team of No Excuse Ninjas! I offer accountability coaching for meals and for the pre-op liquid diet. If you feel like you struggle to stick to your plan, I’ve been there! Let me help you stay on track! Having an accountability partner makes a huge difference. It’s easy to get stuck or plateau. Having that coach/partner can really amp up your journey to get back on track. Join the No Excuse Ninjas and get free access to our Facebook support group full of motivation, freebie printables, book club, and recipes! Click here to see details!

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