Without good nutrition, obesity surgery does not work

Fad Diets vs Good Nutrition Plans

I hate the word diet and I stay away from it, but it is so ingrained in our jargon I have given up that fight. As a Dallas weight loss surgeon I teach all of my patients about good nutrition after the Lap Band, Intragastric Sleeve, Gastric Bypass and Duodenal Switch surgery. Without good nutrition, obesity surgery does not work. I promote high protein low carbohydrate nutrition. This irks dietitians who insist on the balanced Food Pyramid. The Food Pyramid will maintain your weight, for patients with obesity it will not help you lose 1 pound.

If the Food Pyramid worked, would I be here? Would you be here reading me? High protein low carb does not mean grass and cardboard. Look around your grocery store and you have all the makings of a tasty high protein low carb nutrition.

bariatric surgery dietI encourage my patients who are 6 months out of their obesity surgery to experiment with other types of nutrition plans that have high protein low carb as their base. I beg them to stay away from cockamamie diets. Many patients come to me having spent thousands of dollars on gimmicks in hopes of losing weight.

•Fad diets can be very extreme and the K-E or “feeding tube” Diet is a prime example. This involves putting a feeding tube through the nose into the stomach for10 days. A high-fat, high-protein, very low-carbohydrate formula is pumped in 24 hours a day to produce quick weight loss.

Feeding tubes have a role in medical treatment for hospitalized or chronically ill patients, but there is no reason to do this to lose weight. Seriously! You are going pay somebody to shove a tube in your nose for 10 days, carry a pump around and have formula pumped in to your stomach so you can lose weight! Yum, sign me up! That’s a negatory, Ghost Rider!

•The HCG Diet is an extreme fad. The HCG diet puts you on a 500 total calorie-a-day diet (read starvation!). Followed by injections of the HCG hormone. 10 years ago medical science declared this junk. Patients tell me the minute they came off the HCG diet, weight piled on. This is very expensive for no results!

I understand that people are looking for the “one good thing” to help them lose weight. Fad diets do not have good science behind them. Fad diets do not help obese patients with long term weight loss or improve health.

•The Biggest Loser “not-Reality” TV show. In what reality can someone give up their job and their family to spend 6 weeks in a plush house, exercising 8 hours a day while having someone supervising everything you eat!?!? Who has that time and money?

When my patients are long out of obesity surgery and want something different I give them examples of what I feel are carefully thought out nutrition programs to help them lose weight and keep them healthy.

•I am a fan of the Atkins Diet®. It was criticized as unhealthy and not safe. Doctors went public ripping their shirts and gnashing their teeth saying it would bring the end of the world (Mayan calendar-2012 anyone?). Funny, how 3 years later a study comparing different diet plans discovered that it was the best and most successful at producing weight loss with no dangerous side effects. Dr Atkins who studied nutrition as well as the eating habits of Americans is the author of this simple (Simple! A Dr Dirk philosophy!) plan. Read the entire book, the latter part of the plan is a maintenance program to keep you healthy.

• Another carefully devised nutrition plan is the South Beach Diet®. With respect to Dr. Arthur Agatston, I call it Atkins-Lite. It does not have the stringent “no carb” restrictions of the Atkins Diet ®, but Phase I is pretty much Atkins. The later phases lighten up allowing carbs, wine and beer (Oktoberfest exception, St. Patricks Day exception – no 4th of July, Memorial Day, Cinco de Mayo, New Years exceptions! How rude!). It too has a maintenance program. It created the idea of “good carb” versus “bad carb” which has no scientific basis. Carbs are carbs, it’s the total quantity of daily carbs that defeats your attempts to lose weight.

•Diets combined with exercise do very little for obesity. Surgery is the tool that makes good nutrition come alive. Regardless if you have decided on the Lap Band, Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Bypass or the Duodenal Switch, I have teamed up with NuVita® to help you understand good nutrition, lose weight and live a long healthy life.