Should You Drink Soda After Bariatric Surgery?

Did you know that even small changes to your diet can add up to serious results over time? During National Nutrition Month this March, many health centers across the United States are encouraging members of their community to replace just one bad habit with a healthier choice. At CHRIAS we would like to encourage patients and non-patients to swap soda for healthier refreshment options.

Can you drink soda after bariatric surgery?
Drinking soda after bariatric surgery is not recommended for a few reasons. The main reason is that after surgery like gastric bypass or gastric sleeve your body needs time to heal. The carbonation in sodas puts extra pressure on the stomach and can cause problems for people who have recently had surgery. Even patients who had bariatric surgery a few years ago should avoid carbonation because it may cause your stomach to stretch over time. Aside from the carbonation, the sugars (and fake sugars) in sodas may cause weight gain, too.

Is diet soda bad to drink after weight loss surgery?
If you’re thinking “Wait, diet sodas don’t have calories!”, a recent article from Dr. David L. Katz, founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, may debunk the common myth that diet sodas are “diet” sodas. The article suggests that even diet sodas can affect weight and potentially contribute to obesity. Why? According to Katz, sweeteners in diet soda can cause people to crave sweeter foods, and to ultimately satisfy that craving by eating more sugar-filled foods.

Healthy drink options after surgery:
We know drinking plain water can get boring so CHRIAS came up with some yummy infusions that can help your weight loss along without sacrificing flavor.

  • Citrus water- Infuse water with a citrus essence by soaking sliced lemons, limes, and tangerines in a container of water for a few hours.
  • Minty lemon water- Add sliced lemons and a small handful of mint leaves to a pitcher of water. Let soak overnight.
  • Berry “limeade”- cut half a lime into wedges. Throw the lime into the blender with a little water and lightly blend until the lime is broken into large pieces. Strain and add in a few berries to the water. Blend again. Add water to taste and you should have tart berry lime water
  • Unsweetened teas- Keep you fridge stocked with caffeine-free, or low-caffeine teas to stay hydrated.

This March consider swapping an unhealthy habit for a new nutritious one. Add more veggies to your meals, sip water instead of sweetened drinks, or cut back on sugary snacks. Our goal is to help you achieve a healthy weight after gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or gastric banding at our Delaware weight loss surgery center. To learn more about bariatric surgery, please attend one of our free weight loss surgery seminars, call us at 302-892-9900 or contact us online.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

This year nearly 72,000 men and 65,000 women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. To date, this specific cancer is the second most deadly cancer (right behind lung and bronchial cancer) in America. Even with the decline in new cases and better recovery rates, colorectal cancer is expected to kill over 50,000 Americans this year. During Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, CHRIAS encourages our patients over the age of 50 to be screened for non-cancerous polyps and cancer, especially if you have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, or if you know that you have a family history of hereditary colorectal cancer.

Is Colon Cancer Preventable?
According to cancer.org, being regularly tested for colorectal cancer can help prevent the growth of cancer. Most colorectal cancers begin as a small growth on the inner lining of the colon or rectum, called a polyp. During a screening you will be tested for cancer and also for non-cancerous polyps. While not all polyps will result in cancer, removing them while they are small can help prevent them from becoming cancer if left untreated.

Certain healthy behaviors and lifestyle changes can help reduce your risk for developing colorectal cancer:

  • Stay active. Reports show that an active lifestyle can lead to a reduced risk for cancer.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If you have excess weight (especially belly fat), you may increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer.
  • Avoid processed meats and red meat. Eating red meat or processed meats can double your risk of colorectal cancer. Stick to lean, fresh cuts.
  • Load up on fiber. The more fiber, the less risk. Every ten grams of fiber cuts your risk ofcancer by 10%.
  • Drink less. Alcohol, that is. According to a CUP report, alcohol can increase your risk.

How to test for Colorectal Cancer:
After the age of 50, the American Cancer Society typically recommends screening for polyps and colorectal cancer regularly at least every five years. Tests include:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Colonoscopy (every 10 years)
  • Double-contrast barium enema
  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy)

Is Colon Cancer Treatable?
Yes, there are treatment methods for colon cancer. While prevention is the best method for treating colorectal cancer, once cancer has been found, laparoscopic colectomies are a less invasive treatment option for removing cancerous cells than a traditional open colectomy. Using smaller, minimally-invasive laparoscopic tools, our skilled surgeons may be able to research and remove cancerous growths with less recovery time and similar survival rates to open colectomies. Work with your physician to determine which treatment option may have the best results for your diagnosis.

If you are over 50, have a family history of colorectal cancer, or a personal history of polyps, we encourage you get screened for cancer. To learn more about colorectal or colon cancer treatment in Delaware contact CHRIAS at 302-892-9900 or reach out to us online.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week: Eating Disorders and Bariatric Surgery in Delaware

“Clinically significant” eating disorders will affect nearly 10 million men and a staggering 20 million women in America at some point in there life, according to the National Eating Disorder Association. That number does not include the additional growing amount of people who will not receive help or be diagnosed with clinically significant eating issues. This week is Eating Disorders Awareness Week, where people across the nation are encouraged to learn about eating disorders so that they can help provide treatment for a loved one, or seek help for themself. At CHRIAS we’d like to discuss different eating disorders that can affect confidence, weight loss, and most importantly your health.

Eating Disorders Affect a Variety of People
People who are affected by eating disorders are not always obvious. It is very difficult to tell if someone is struggling with an eating disorder, just by looking at them. All shapes, sizes, races, and both sexes can struggle with eating disorders.

What Eating Disorders Affect Some Bariatric Patients

  • Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder with nearly 40% of BED sufferers being male. It is characterized by eating until uncomfortably full, eating alone because of shame, eating too rapidly, and by feelings of disgust, disappointment, and depression after binge eating. Many bariatric patients who have struggled with weight loss have struggled with BED, and nearly one in three people who attempt weight loss experience BED.
  • Anorexia Nervosa typically affects women, although there are some men who are diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. Many people who are diagnosed with anorexia nervosa express an irrational fear of being overweight and will severely reduce the amount of calories they can consume to prevent weight gain.
  • Bulimia Nervosa is a psychiatric illness where a person binge eats and then attempts to compensate for over-eating by over-exercising, vomiting, or by using laxatives. Oftentimes, bulimia and anorexia go together. Gastric bypass or gastric sleeve patients need to be especially careful about preventing binge eating and vomiting as those of those behaviors can cause complications with your bariatric surgery.

Weight Loss and Bariatric Surgery Do Not Resolve Eating Disorders
Even patients who have had surgery at our Delaware weight loss surgery center can struggle with eating disorders if they have not sought treatment for disorders before they have surgery. Maintaining a healthy weight after you’ve reached your goal can be improved by attending one of our Delaware weight loss surgery support groups or meeting with a licensed therapist to learn about and change the negative behaviors and thought patterns that drive eating disorders.

What is Body Dismorphia?
It is not uncommon that patients who have lost a lot of weight through lap-band, gastric sleeve, or gastric bypass may experience body dismorphia, a syndrome where people do not see their body accurately. An example of dismorphia is people who have reached a normal weight who think they are still obese, or people who are obese who view their body as thin. Learning how to accurately see your weight loss progress (and your body) will not only help you stay focused, but will allow you to appreciate the hard work it took to get your weight to a healthier level.

This week we ask our patients to support National Eating Disorders Awareness Week by attending support groups to share your wisdom with others who are struggling with eating disorders, or to help yourself, if necessary. You do not have to struggle with eating disorders. To learn more about achieving a healthy weight or about our two outstanding bariatric surgery programs in two of Delaware’s largest hospitals, attend a free bariatric surgery seminar, call us at 302-892-9900 or contact us online.

Chair Workouts That Really Work

With all the Crossfit, insanity bootcamps, and other extreme exercising we’re exposed to, it’s no wonder so many people think that you have to burn yourself out to get an effective workout each day. The reality is that a great workout can come in many forms and you don’t already need to be in shape to get started. That’s what you’re starting an exercise program for, right?Whether you’re at a beginner level of fitness, or you’re already in your groove, finding exercisesthat can be done anywhere, with little equipment, can be the difference between talking about getting exercise and actually doing it.

At CHRIAS our goal is to help our patients learn healthy habits that help them keep the weight off long after successful bariatric surgery and the initial weight loss process. At 6pm on February 18th at Christiana Hospital, we will be hosting a free bariatric surgery support group called “Yes, You Really Can Work Out in a Chair.” Until you have a chance to meet with our expert, we offer a few ideas for sneaking in a little fitness at work, at home, or even at the movies (if you’re sneaky). Before trying any of these exercises, please get approval from your doctor that you are well enough to exercise.

Chair Exercises that Tone Your Triceps
Reduce excess skin on your arms after gastric bypass or gastric sleeve by working on toning and strengthening your muscles.

  • Instead of sitting on the chair, place your hands at the edge of the seat (where your knees would typically be) and assume a sitting position so that your back is lightly touching the front of the chair and your arms are supporting your weight. Hold 20-30 seconds or for as long as you safely can. Repeat.
  • For advanced toning, bend your arms slightly so that they come to a 90-degree angle. Push yourself up and do a full set of 10. Repeat twice.

Chair Exercises that Tone Your Glutes and Thighs

  • Face a chair, lean forward, and place your hands on the seat. With one leg firmly planted on the ground, raise your other leg straight back. Keep your foot flexed so that your back and leg form a straight line. Lower your leg to the ground and repeat this move 12 times on each leg. Repeat twice.
  • Standing behind the chair, place your hands on the back of the chair for balance. Face forward and slightly lift one of your legs behind you a few inches. Lower your leg and repeat 12 times on each leg. Repeat twice.

Tone Your Core with a Seated Exercises
Strong abdominal muscles are important for supporting your stomach and back during everyday activities. Building and maintaining muscles is an essential part of weight loss after having surgery at our Delaware weight loss surgery center.

  • Sitting upright in a chair, tuck in your abdominals and keep your back straight. Slowly lift your knee up and hold for 3 seconds. Repeat 12-15 times. Switch legs and repeat.
  • For more advanced work, place your hands behind your ears and twist your opposite elbow towards the knee you are lifting. Alternate legs.

Getting enough exercise is an important part of your weight loss strategy at CHRIAS. Learning how to sneak toning exercises into a busy day can make the difference when you feel like you do not have enough time to hit the gym. To learn from our expert, attend our free support group February 18th at 6pm in the John Ammon Educational Center at CHRIAS Hospital. If you have not yet had bariatric surgery and you are interested in learning more about the benefits of weight loss surgery in our Delaware Center, please attend one of our free weight loss surgery seminarsor contact us at 302-892-9900.

Loving Your Healthier Self After Weight Loss

Around Valentine’s Day we’re often focused on the creative cards, the gift giving, and the declarations of love for partners for family members. But do we show ourselves enough love, too? Often it’s easier to praise others for their amazing qualities than it is to see the wonderful things about our self. After weight loss surgery some people struggle with loving their new, healthier self and it’s not uncommon for people who are near their goal weight to self-sabotage because they are afraid of achieving what they have been working so hard towards. Learning how to love your body and to celebrate your weight loss success is an important part of the weight loss process at CHRIAS. We’ve put together a list of things you should remember about appreciating yourself this Valentine’s Day:

You Deserve To Feel Great About Your Healthy New Self
When you look back at the last few months or years after bariatric surgery at our Delaware weight loss surgery center, look at the dedication and time you put into changing your life into a healthier one. You have worked hard! There is nothing wrong with feeling confident in your new skin. As a way to reward yourself, take yourself shopping for a new outfit, treat yourself to an event, or splurge on a mini-vacation to a place you wouldn’t have visited before your weight loss.

Sometimes Self-Acceptance Takes Time.
While some people slip into their healthy new role easily, for others learning how to navigate their new lifestyle or figure is still a challenge. That’s ok. Since weight loss surgery you have made significant changes to your body and habits. It might take some time to get more comfortable with your changed appearance. Attending support groups with people who have experienced the same feelings can be a great way to address your concerns and to learn how others developed a healthy level of self-confidence after weight loss surgery.

Having a Healthy Lifestyle is Positive
It’s not uncommon for patients to share that loved ones have had a hard time accepting their dedication to healthier living. Despite outside pressure to return to previous lifestyle habits, achieving a healthy weight, eating nutritious food, and being physically active are all admirable habits. Don’t apologize for improving your quality of life.

This Valentine’s Day, remember that part of being able to love others is being able to love yourself. Learning how to embrace your new healthy lifestyle and appearance after bariatric surgery can be tricky for some, but it is an essential step in long-term weight loss maintenance. If you have not had bariatric surgery but are interested in learning more about gastric bypass,sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric banding, please attend our free weight loss surgery seminar at the Christiana Institute of Advanced Surgery, reach out to us online for a consultation, or call us at 302-892-9900.

Tricks to Avoid Mindless Munching

Bariatric surgery can be a valuable weight loss tool, and can greatly speed a patient’s weight loss if you follow the recommended weight loss plan our licensed dietitian will help you create. Many patients find great success with their weight loss efforts after bariatric surgery at our Delaware weight loss surgery center, however, making unhealthy eating choices can still slow or stall your progress. If you’re wondering how it’s even possible to prevent weight loss after restrictive surgery like gastric bypass, we offer one simple reason: snacking. Mindless munching can interfere with accelerated weight loss because it’s easy to consume many calories if you are frequently eating just a bite at a time.

Even with the small portions that patients can consume after gastric sleeve, gastric bypass and gastric banding you can still eat too many calories over the course of a day. With a regular meal you eat until your body signals that you are satisfied. With snacking or grazing you take a nibble here and there, never eating enough to signal to your body that you have eaten enough. Over the course of a day a nibble here and bite there can result in quite a few calories if you’re eating the wrong kinds of foods. So how can you combat distracted snacking after bariatric surgery? We have a few helpful bariatric weight loss tips that can help you stop the munchies:

Don’t Skip Meals
Skipping meals is a surefire way to set you up for temptation. It’s a lot harder to resist a brownie bite when you’re hungry than when you’ve just enjoyed a high protein meal.

Keep a Food Journal
Keeping a food journal will help you keep accountable when you’re tempted to overdo it. Writing down every taste will help you see just how much you’ve eaten. As a bonus, it’s a great way to track successes and slumps based on food patterns.

Avoid Trigger Foods
If you know that you absolutely can’t resist Almond Joys or you have a soft spot for peanut butter cookies, don’t bring them in the house. No one at home really benefits from junk food. If they’re at work, make sure they’re on the other side of the office.

Keep Busy
Keeping hands busy knitting or your body busy playing basketball makes nibbling snacks more difficult. If you find yourself craving a snack after you’ve recently eaten, consider picking up a hobby to distract you until the urge passes.

Talk to a Behavioral Specialist
If you’ve tried to control your eating behaviors and nothing has helped, there is nothing wrong with working with a behavior specialist to help you gain control of your eating urges.

With that being said, snacks are not a bad thing when planned and limited. Enjoying a high protein snack such as string cheese or a small amount of peanut butter on apple slices can help keep you satisfied between meals, and can even help prevent mindless snacking. It’s all about portions and what foods you select to feed your body. If you’re wondering how much should you eat after bariatric surgery, or if you need some great bariatric surgery weight loss tips, attend one of our free support groups. If you’re interested in learning more about weight loss surgery in Delaware, please attend one of our free bariatric surgery seminars or call us at 302-892-9900.

“Tech”-niques to Help You Lose the Weight (and Keep It Off)

If you’re like many people these days, your phone is frequently glued to your hand or ear. Being tech-obsessed can be a hindrance if it leads to you relaxing on the couch while browsing internet and social media sites for hours at a time, but the opposite can also be true. Knowing how to use your tech devices like a tablet or phone can also be a savvy way to motivate, excite, or educate yourself about improving your lifestyle. There are many free weight loss apps available online that can help you stay focused, learn new behaviors, or motivate you to become more active. Here are a few of the best health apps to keep your weight loss going strong long after bariatric surgery.

Eat Slower
The free app Eat Slower (Free) can help you be more mindful of what (and how much) you are eating. Use the customizable countdown to help pace yourself while enjoying dinner. Between bites, we recommend you chew food completely to aid in digestion (especially if you’ve recently had surgery like gastric bypass or gastric sleeve). Pausing between bites also gives your body time to register you’ve begun eating.

My Diet Coach
Need a little assistance kicking a craving, or would a regular reminder help keep you focused on your goals? The free app My Diet Coach is like having a little pocket-sized coach to keep you motivated. Built with lots of tips and a place to set and review goals, this app may help you forgo temptation or get you to the gym when you have a million reasons to skip a session.

Seasonal and Simple
Getting enough nutrients on a limited calorie diet can be difficult if you are not filling your diet with plenty of fresh produce. Luckily for us, these days we can get all types of fresh fruits and vegetables practically any time of the year, however, eating seasonal produce can not only save you money, it can also amp up average weeknight meals with fresher flavors and higher nutritional contents. Seasonal and Simple offers an easy cheat sheet with info on when your favorite produce will be stocking the stores, as well as nutritional info and yummy recipes for favorite fruits and veggies.

7 Minute Workout
Think you don’t have time to work out? Think again. Johnson and Johnson have created a free app that allows you to get in a workout in just 7 minutes. That means you can sneak in a workoutwhile waiting in the car, catching up on the phone, or (broken up) during commercial breaks. Combine a few once you’ve built up your strength, or try some of the harder, longer workouts.

There are plenty of additional apps that can help incentivize you to get in a workout or make a better eating choice. Utilize apps like Overdrive Media Console which let you download free audio books to your phone or tablet. Only allow yourself to listen to that thriller or classic while hoofing it on the treadmill and you’ll find the time to hit the gym. Get creative with technology, treat yourself to an app that motives you to try something new, or to retrain behaviors. To learn more about CHRIAS, attend one of our free informational weight loss seminars. Or, attend a freebariatric surgery and weight loss support group in Delaware. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals.