How to dine out successfully when trying to lose weight

How to dine out successfully when trying to lose weight

How to dine out successfully when trying to lose weight

It’s no secret that when you’re trying to lose weight or make healthier food choices, dining out can cause its fair share of temptations. From portion sizes to added ingredients, dessert options and peer pressure, it can be tough to navigate the dining experience and still feel in control.

The journey to healthier eating, however, doesn’t mean you have to forego an evening with friends or miss out on the new restaurant everyone is talking about. Instead, a little bit of planning and understanding common food traps can help you feel satisfied and still on track to reach your goal.

Below are a few tips to help you dine out successfully.

Dining Out Tips

First and foremost, don’t feel pressured to eat like everyone else. Other diners may order larger portions or unhealthy meals – don’t let that deter you or make you feel bad for choosing to eat healthy. Also, consider substituting side dishes. Instead of ordering the customary French fries or mashed potatoes with your meal, ask for a salad or steamed vegetables. Most restaurants offer these substitutions at no (or very little) additional cost.

A salad can be a great option, but sometimes the dressings and other sauces can turn a healthy meal into a not-so-healthy meal. When dining out, ask for these on the side. That way you can control the amount you consume or find a lighter alternative.

It’s also important to know how your food is prepared, and avoid foods that are fried. Choose dishes that are:

  • Grilled
  • Baked
  • Broiled
  • Roasted
  • Steamed
  • Stir-fried
  • Poached

These preparations are typically healthier options; and if the menu isn’t clear, ask your server how the dish is prepared before you order. Some menus also offer a “light” menu section.

Consider that most restaurant portions are two to three times what a serving should be and that many times when we receive a full portion, we’re tempted to clean our plate. One way to help stop that temptation is to order a smaller portion. If that’s not an option, ask for a to-go container at the beginning of the meal and put half of the meal away for later. Out of sight. Out of mind.

Finally, if you want to order an adult beverage, try a glass of red wine as a lower-calorie alternative to heavy beers and mixed drinks.

Conclusion

If you enjoy eating out, don’t let your weight loss goals keep you from enjoying that experience. There are different steps you can take to help you order from the menu with confidence, knowing that you’re still on track! Substituting side dishes, asking for lighter options and assessing portion sizes, are just a few ways you can dine out successfully.


By KentuckyOne Health Weight Loss Surgery

Find more weight loss articles like this one. If you’ve been considering weight loss surgery and would like to learn more about the options available and if it’s right for you, join us for one of our free weight loss surgery seminars.

Eight simple tricks to mindful eating

Eight simple tricks to mindful eating

Eating is such a significant part of our daily lives, yet it’s so easy to get disconnected from it. One moment our plates are full, and the next moment, they’re empty and we’ve hardly tasted or enjoyed one bite.

Practicing mindful eating can bring us awareness of our own actions, thoughts, feelings and motivations, plus insight into the roots of health and contentment. So what is mindful eating and how can we achieve it?

Below we explore what it means to eat more mindfully and steps you can take to help focus on your food.

What is Mindful Eating?

Mindful eating is having awareness of physical and psychological sensations associated with eating, which includes:

  • Allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities available through food preparation and eating by respecting your own inner wisdom.
  • Choosing to eat food that is both pleasing to you and nourishing to your body by using all your senses to explore, savor and taste.
  • Learning to be aware of physical hunger and fullness cues to guide your decisions to begin eating and to stop eating.
  • Acknowledging responses to food without judgment – Someone who eats mindfully acknowledges that there is no right or wrong way to eat, but varying degrees of awareness surrounding the experience of food.

Tips to Eat More Mindfully

  1. Chew 25 times: There is reliable scientific data that extra chewing results in less overall food intake.
  2. Feed yourself with your non-dominant hand: Making things more difficult is a great way to force yourself to pay attention to what you’re doing. Start slow by just doing it for breakfast and snacks.
  3. Put your fork down between each bite: This is an excellent complement to the chewing habit. Setting your fork down forces you to focus on chewing your food rather than letting yourself mindlessly pick at your plate for your next bite.
  4. Tune in: Take your first bite with your eyes closed and tune into the sound of the bite and swallowing. This will help you to slow down as you consume your meals.
  5. Try to identify every ingredient in your meal: This is a great way to focus on the present moment.
  6. Put your food on a plate: This may sound obvious, but eating out of a bag is not practicing mindful eating. Get in the habit of placing small snacks on a plate before you eat them. This forces you to acknowledge exactly what and how much you will be eating.
  7. Sit at a table: This formalizes a dining experience, helping you draw attention to your food and eating habits.
  8. Eat in silence: Put away your phone and turn off the TV. Eat distraction free so that you can focus on the taste and smells of your meal.

By KentuckyOne Health Weight Loss & Surgery Associates

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A few goals to help keep your weight loss on track

A few goals to help keep your weight loss on track

Are you considering or have you undergone weight loss surgery? If so, then it’s likely you’ve thought about personal milestones or goals you would like to achieve on your journey to living a healthier you.

During our bariatric support groups, we often talk about realistic goals and tips as we cheer each other on during this life changing experience. Below are a few goals that will have you thinking beyond the number on the scale and directly impact your health!

Eat Enough Protein

When it comes to your diet, Rule #1 is “eating enough protein.” Eating a diet rich in protein can help reduce hunger, improve your immune system and build strength. Your provider or dietitian can work with you to determine how much protein you should consume daily. Even if your bariatric surgery is long behind you, it’s a good idea to be aware of your protein intake to be sure you’re reaching your daily goal.

Drink More Fluids

Lose more weight, stay fuller and prevent dehydration fatigue and headaches by getting enough fluids. The goal for most adults is to drink at least 64 ounces of water, or rather fluids, each day. If you find yourself struggling to reach this goal, here are a few tips:

  • Create a visual reminder of how close you are to reaching your daily goal by filling up four, 16-ounce water bottles (or a 64-ounce pitcher) and make sure you finish them by the end of the day.
  • Get high-tech and set up a hydration reminder that syncs to your smartphone.
  • If plain water is too boring, try adding lemon or mint for a little flavor without the added sugar. Low-calorie flavored water, decaf tea and coffee can also be good choices when it comes to reaching your 64-ounces-a-day goal.

Find a Friend

Make it one of your goals to not go it alone. A friend can provide that extra encouragement and motivation that we all need some days. If one friend is good, more friends are better – the more the merrier when it comes to finding help and support with eating right, exercising and reducing stress.

Go to the Doctor

If you are considering weight loss surgery, it’s easy to see why going to a doctor is necessary. But you shouldn’t only be scheduling an appointment with your surgeon. Whether pre-op or post-op, seeing your primary care provider and any other of your regular doctors can help you get healthy and stay healthy. By routinely going to your doctor, you can actively monitor important health and wellness measures, like blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Together with your physician, you can also create action plans for any other conditions, such as knee pain or sleep apnea.

Take Your Vitamins

There is no substitute for a healthy diet, but a healthy diet is not always enough. If you’ve had weight loss surgery, a multivitamin may be part of your daily routine. Talk to your surgeon or doctor about any vitamins you should take and then be sure to take them as recommended to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Remember, staying nourished can also help you lose weight by keeping up your energy levels and metabolism.

Smile

And finally, make it a goal to smile more. Smile when you greet people. Smile when you say goodbye. Smile when you are talking and listening. Smile for no reason at all. Why? Because the very act of smiling can help convince your mind that you are happier. Plus, smiling at other people will make them more likely to be friendly to you, which in turn will make you happier. All that extra happiness can make it easier to do your daily duties, like eating right and working out!


Jessica Gies

Jessica is a registered dietitian with KentuckyOne Health Weight Loss & Surgery Associates.

Five Bariatric Surgery Myths and Realities

Five Bariatric Surgery Myths and Realities

If you’re struggling with your weight and related conditions, it’s likely that you’ve tried just about everything. While bariatric surgery is not a quick fix, it can be part of a plan to help you achieve significant weight loss and start living a healthier life.

As you explore your options, including weight loss surgery, it’s important to keep track of any questions you may have. That way, once you meet with your provider or bariatric surgeon you can be sure to have this list as a reference to discuss any information or concerns you have before making a decision.

There is an abundance of information out there regarding bariatric surgery, including some misconceptions. We’ve put together a list of some of the more common myths about bariatric surgery and what you can really expect below.

Myth 1: Weight loss surgery prevents you from regaining weight.

Not true. Most patients are successful in maintaining their weight loss one to two years after their surgery, however, it is possible to regain the weight you’ve lost. Weight loss surgery works in conjunction with healthy lifestyle changes. Your provider will discuss the necessary lifestyle changes you may need to make following your surgery.

Myth 2: Weight loss surgery is a cop-out.

Also not true. Most people undergoing bariatric surgery have tried every diet and pill out there. And while diet and exercise will benefit someone who is severely obese, it may just not be enough for others. Undergoing a weight loss procedure is a tool to help you lose weight. In order to lose weight and keep it off, dietary changes and regular exercise regimens will need to become part of your lifestyle.

Myth 3: After surgery, I won’t need to change my lifestyle.

Weight loss surgery is not a cure for obesity. If you do not change your lifestyle and return to old habits, you will regain weight and experience a relapse in your obesity-related condition. You don’t have to become a marathon runner who adapts a vegan lifestyle, however, your provider will work with you to determine any dietary restrictions and exercise needed to maintain success.

Myth 4: The surgery guarantees weight loss after recovery.

Nothing in life is guaranteed. Within the first few months following weight loss surgery, it is common to see more pounds dropping each month. After those initial few months, it becomes a slower weight loss, which is normal. Keep in mind that weight loss will depend on your ability to make the best choices possible and live a healthier lifestyle.

Myth 5: You do not have to go for follow-up care.

The first few weeks after weight loss surgery are crucial, and you need to be diligent about making it to your follow-up appointments. These appointments allow your health care provider to monitor your healing and advance your diet safely. A year after surgery, follow-ups depend on how you’re doing, but checking in with your provider helps ensure that your progress is monitored and any issues or questions you have can be addressed.

If you are interested in learning more about bariatric surgery, join us for a free informational seminar. A board-certified surgeon will explore a full range of weight loss surgery solutions, and answer any questions to help you make the right decision for your life. Call 502.513.6026 or fill out the quick online form to register for an upcoming seminar near you.

Diabetic-friendly Green Bean Casserole [Recipe]

Diabetic-friendly Green Bean Casserole

Diabetic-friendly Green Bean Casserole

In honor of American Diabetes Month, we’ve got a delicious Thanksgiving dish everyone at the dinner table can enjoy without blood sugar worries.

Ingredients

 

  • 1 ½ lbs of fresh green beans
  • 1 ½ cups of freshly sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 ½ cups of skim milk
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp dry ranch seasoning mix
  • 1 cup whole wheat cracker crumbs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 qrt baking dish

Instructions

 

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Bring a pot of slightly salted water to a boil, trim green beans and boil them for 10 minutes. Drain and place into your baking dish.

Heat butter over medium heat in a medium sauce pan. Add in your flour, dry ranch seasoning, salt and pepper and stir. Whisk in your milk and stir over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat.

In a large skillet, heat your oil over medium heat. Add in your onion and garlic and cook until soft. Remove ½ of the onion mixture and place to the side.

Add in your mushrooms and cook until tender. Once tender, add onion, mushroom and garlic mixture to the sauce and stir.

Pour your sauce mixture over top of your beans in the baking dish. Toss to evenly coat the beans.

In a small bowl, take your onion mixture and mix with your cracker crumbs. Mix and spread over top of beans in baking dish.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Nutritional Information

 

Servings: 6
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories Per Serving: 174
Prep Time: 25 minutes

Is Weight-loss Surgery Right for You?

Is Weight-Loss Surgery Right For You?

Is Weight-Loss Surgery Right For You?

Shedding pounds successfully may sometimes require more than a sensible diet and exercise plan. For people who do all the right things, but still can’t lose weight, bariatric surgery is an effective solution.

Experts with KentuckyOne Health have offered weight-loss surgery as a solution for more than 15 years. On average, patients who are good candidates for surgery reach their weight goals within a year of the procedure. However, surgery must be combined with other steps, such as dietary changes and exercise, to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

“Bariatric surgery changes a patient’s stomach,” said Karen Hillenmeyer, PA-C, director of the Center for Weight Loss Surgery at Saint Joseph East, part of KentuckyOne Health. “That change is a tool for each patient to use to help make healthier choices.”

Taking the First Step

Attending a free informational seminar is a great way to learn more about whether bariatric surgery is a good option for you. The seminar is an opportunity to meet bariatric surgeons and staff members and discuss possible next steps.

Learn more about free weight loss seminars at KentuckyOne Health

“We believe it’s very important that patients’ medical and surgical history, as well as their behaviors, are carefully considered before determining which bariatric procedure is recommended,” Hillenmeyer said. “We take a team approach to addressing each individual’s needs and goals.”

During introductory seminars, participants learn about the histories of bariatric surgery, available procedures and the potential benefits. Those who choose to move forward with weight-loss surgery will attend educational classes, such as a nutrition information session and a presurgical seminar with certified bariatric nurses.

The teams at KentuckyOne Health’s weight-loss centers are committed to helping patients achieve their goals by making sure they are educated before the procedure and have the support they need to be successful afterward.

“Our program offers ongoing support and classes on a variety of important topics to keep patients informed at each phase of the process,” Hillenmeyer said. “Our goal is to treat each patient individually. We focus on their needs by providing education that helps them make the needed changes to achieve their goals.”

Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

Weight-loss surgery does more than trim your waistline. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the procedure helps reduce the risk of a variety of comorbid conditions typically associated with obesity, including:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes

This article originally appeared in the 2017 Winter edition of One Health magazine. For more weight loss news and information, subscribe to One Health today.

Losing Weight for a Healthier Life

Losing Weight for a Healthier Life

Losing Weight for a Healthier Life

Did you know weight-loss surgery can help treat Type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes can be challenging to control. Adults with the condition must prick their fingers to check their blood sugar multiple times a day. Many also take one or more medications or use insulin injections to keep their glucose levels under control. Even with these treatments, some people have a difficult time managing their illness.

“Medications and insulin injections work to a point, but they’re like a bandage,” said Robert Farrell, MD, FACS, bariatric surgeon at KentuckyOne Health Weight Loss and Surgery Associates. “We’re now seeing a paradigm shift. Weight-loss surgery is becoming a prominent choice for some people with Type 2 diabetes who are overweight or obese.”

Available Options

Three weight-loss surgeries — Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and gastric banding — were discussed at the 2nd Diabetes Surgery Summit as treatment options for Type 2 diabetes. All three are available at KentuckyOne Health and are performed laparoscopically, meaning surgeons operate through several small, key-hole-sized incisions instead of through one large incision. Laparoscopic surgery is usually less painful and gets patients back on their feet faster.

During a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, surgeons create a small pouch from a portion of the stomach. This pouch is separated from the rest of the stomach and the two upper parts of the small intestine, which are known as the duodenum and jejunum. The pouch is then reconnected to the lower segment of the small intestine, forming a “Y” shape. The surgery limits the amount of food people can comfortably eat at one time and the number of calories and nutrients that are absorbed from food.

“Metabolic changes happen almost instantly when you bypass the duodenum, so people see diabetes improvement not long after surgery,” said Joshua Steiner, MD, FACS, bariatric surgeon at the Center for Weight Loss Surgery at Saint Joseph East, part of KentuckyOne Health. “Many of our patients go home needing very little of their diabetes medication.”

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery estimates that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass essentially cures Type 2 diabetes in 80 percent of cases. Roughly 85 to 90 percent of Dr. Steiner’s patients no longer have to worry about diabetes after surgery, and nearly 100 percent see improvement.
Dr. Farrell offers Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy, which was the most performed bariatric surgery in 2015, to patients looking to improve their Type 2 diabetes symptoms. During a sleeve gastrectomy, physicians remove roughly 80 to 85 percent of the stomach. More than 80 percent of his patients who have a sleeve gastrectomy notice Type 2 diabetes improvement or resolution.

“To see that there is an option that can treat diabetes and prevent serious complications fills people with hope,” Dr. Farrell said. “These surgeries are truly life changing.”

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2016 edition of One Health magazine. For more information about weight loss and nutrition, subscribe to One Health magazine today.