What’s for Dinner with the Lap Band?

A Look at What Foods I Eat on My Lap Band Diet

A lot of us who have had weight problems over the years have a love/hate relationship with food. We love all kinds of delicious foods, but we hate what eating too much of it does to us. When I got the Lap Band nine years ago, I was sick of what the food I enjoyed (too much) was doing to my health, and I was tired of constantly trying to lose the weight, keep it off…and failing.

Will you feel deprived?

As a Patient Advocate at the Lap Band provider True Results, I talk to people every day about the decision to get or not get the Lap Band. Many of them feel just how I felt back then: excited about the possibility of permanently losing weight, but a little apprehensive that it might involve feeling deprived.

A little goes a long way

Here’s the good news about how the Lap Band works. It helps you lose weight by reducing the capacity of your stomach. So when you eat, you eat much less and yet still feel full. And, while it’s important of course to make healthy eating choices, you can still enjoy the foods you love, just in more moderation. Instead of wanting to eat that whole plate of pasta or devour the entire Thanksgiving spread, you’ll be satiated after just a little.

So, by and large, what I eat now that I have the Lap Band is what I want to eat. I make healthy choices for foods I love, eat them in small portions, sprinkle in a few treats I can’t do without (hello chocolate!), and I am satisfied.

Nobody’s perfect

Now that’s not to say I’m perfect every day of the week all year long. Just because I have the Lap Band doesn’t mean I suddenly became a saint! In fact, a few months ago, I indulged a little too much. Not only did I feel over-full, I also put a few pounds back on.

 

It’s for moments like these that I have the Lap Band so I have a tool to more easily lose the weight. I had my Lap Band adjusted to be tighter, and now I’m losing the weight. Since my adjustment about 5 days ago, I’ve lost a little over two pounds. I feel full more quickly, I’ve adjusted my eating, and I’m confident I am on my way to losing the 15 or so pounds I put on.

What’s on the menu?

Now that gives you an idea of why people get banded and how it works. But you still might be wondering, “So what does a meal look like?” To help give you a clearer picture I kept a log of what I ate over the last couple weeks.

First of all, there are different stages of eating with the Lap Band: (1) post-surgery, (2) while you’re losing weight and (3) once you’re in maintenance mode. You can read about what the post-surgery period is like on the True Results web site. Here we’ll talk about the weight loss and maintenance periods.

When you’re losing weight

When you’re initially losing the weight – or if you decide to lose a few extra pounds later on like I have – your Lap Band will be tighter, and you’ll feel full quicker. Three small meals a day, eaten slowly and chewed thoroughly, will feel like plenty. Here’s what I ate a few days this week while in weight loss mode.

Sample Day 1

  • Breakfast – Kellogg’s Nutrition Breakfast Bar
  • Lunch - Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad with the dressing on the side
  • Dinner – Scrambled egg with cheese, tomato and bacon

Sample Day 2

  • Breakfast – Yogurt with fruit on the bottom
  • Lunch – Tuna and crackers
  • Dinner – Chicken fajita meat and cauliflower with cheese

Sample Day 3

  • Breakfast – Protein shake
  • Lunch – Mixed fruit and graham crackers
  • Dinner – Scrambled egg with cheese, tomato and deli ham, plus green beans

When you’re maintaining your weight

What you eat while maintaining your weight isn’t all that different; there’s just a little more of it, and you can work in a few tastes of your favorite treats, assuming you even want them. Like these meals I ate before I got my band adjusted:

Sample Day 1

  • Breakfast – Omelet with one egg, cheese and tomato
  • Lunch – Cheese, crackers and fruit
  • Dinner – Turkey burger patty and green beans
  • After dinner – 5 Hershey’s Kisses

Sample Day 2

  • Breakfast – Protein shake
  • Lunch – Turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato and cheese
  • Dinner – Grilled chicken, corn and cilantro salad

Sample Day 3

  • Breakfast – Greek yogurt with fruit and granola
  • Lunch – Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
  • Dinner – Turkey meatloaf, mashed potatoes
  • After dinner – 5 Hershey’s Kisses

A tool for weight loss and maintenance

What all my meals have in common now that I have the Lap Band is that they include healthier food than I used to eat, I don’t eat too much and I walk away satiated. Best of all, I am at a healthy weight, I have more energy and I feel great! Sure, I’m human, so once in a while I might put on a couple pounds. But now I have a great tool in the Lap Band that makes it possible for me to quickly take them off without feeling deprived. It’s a weight loss and weight maintenance tool for life.


- by Melissa Jensen
True Results Patient Advocate
July 14, 2011

 

Photo by nicholasamoore
 

 

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