BMI of Texas’ dietitian, Aimee Paladino, decided to take it into her own hands determine the trials and tribulations of the pre-operative diet. The diet is very basic and includes exchanging two meals for protein shakes and only having one small meal a day. The small meal consists of 3-4 oz of a lean meat and ½-1 cup of non-starchy vegetables. Between meals she can snack on sugar-free Jell-o or popsicles not to exceed 4 a day. Her goal is to do 5 days of the pre-op diet to encourage surgical weight loss surgical patients stick to their pre-op diet and determine how she feels (mentally, physically, emotionally), what she did to distract herself from hunger, and encouraging remarks she received throughout the process. I hope you enjoy reading about her experience!
*Click on pictures to show full size*
- Morning Protein Shake – Vanilla Chike (6:45 – 7:15 am)
- Usual breakfast: Two eggs with avocado
- Thoughts: “I shouldn’t have mixed this with unsweetened vanilla almond milk – all vanilla everything!”
- Approximate time hunger hit: 8:41 am
- Feelings: a little worried about how the rest of the week will go.
- Thoughts: Seriously, I just started this diet TWO HOURS AGO! I’m about 1/42 of the way done! KEEP GOING – YOU’RE NOT HUNGRY! I want Jell-o! This MUST be the time most people cheat – two hours in. DON’T DO IT! THINK ABOUT YOUR LIVER!
- 9:12 am: tried to make Jell-o in the break room and it blew up in my face!
- 9:58 am: Water is really helping!
- Encouraging song: Eye of the Tiger
- Encouraging comments from my sister: “I mean, I can see why you would WANT to do this.”
- Distracting myself by: writing this blog, catching up on work, listening to comedy radio on Pandora, reading “Bounce” by Wendy Scinta.
- What helps: Water and distractions!
- TIP: Staying hydrated is key during the pre-op diet since it is very high in protein. Set a goal to drink 48-64 oz. each day. I like to keep my 24 oz. water jug on my desk and drink at least one before lunch and one before I go home.
- Lunch was catered in the office today and I thought, “Yes! This will be my small meal!”
- Feelings: Elated!
- Thoughts: “MY AFTERNOON PATIENTS WON’T HATE ME —- BUMMER! THEY BROUGHT SANDWICHES!!!!!!” Guess I’ll just have some protein soup and a bite of chicken!
- Dinner – That small meal helped pick my energy levels up and I was able to power through my workout.
- End of the day thoughts: I’m tired, but it is not as bad as I thought this morning. Time to power through another day!
- The morning of day 1 was really rough, but today is already going much smoother. I am missing my morning breakfast still, but it is also AWESOME waking up thirty minutes before having to leave for work.
- Protein shake of choice for the morning – Strawberry Chike mixed with a little bit of unsweetened almond milk (about 4 oz) and about 8 oz of water. This ratio works a lot better for me because it’s not as sweet as using only unsweetened almond milk.
*TIP: This is the brand of almond milk that I use. If you decide to go the almond milk route, DOUBLE CHECK that it is UNSWEETENED. The Unsweetened version has 0-1 g of net carbs while the sweetened one has a whopping 14 grams!!!!
- Encouraging words from my sister: “You should Google that quote about taking chances and living…” So encouraging!
- Chocolate Chike protein shake for lunch got me through until about 4 o’clock, again. Thankfully my schedule filled up in the afternoon to keep me busy and distracted!
- Small meal for dinner was two eggs and then a little later on a small salad. Taking a nice long nap, working out, and then going back to sleep helped me get through the evening!
- Inspiring song of the day: Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerin
- Thoughts: “Just keep drinking, just keep drinking, just keep drinking!”
- If you are a big breakfast eater, like me, I would recommend trying a small meal for breakfast at least once. I have been really missing those meals. I decided to go with two eggs and I feel great this morning.
- I really want to make it through the work week on this diet, but it is hard without any incentive. I am constantly encouraging myself and my new mantra is “just one more protein shake”
- I am a survivor came on my drive to work this morning and I think Beyonce was talking directly to me on this one.
- A patient gave me a crystal light packet this morning and it has taken my water to a whole new level! It is really helping me get through that mid-morning hunger hit! One more hour until my lunch shake!
- Every day I hit a hunger wall at 4 o’clock. I had to eat a small little snack to prevent myself from rampaging on the drive home today. I had half of a serving of an atkin’s bar (because we had a ton of them melt and that is all we had in the office). I do not recommend this because the sugar alcohols from the atkins bar + the artificial sugar from the crystal light and sugar free Jellos + the protein shakes = some not-so-fun GI issues. Furthermore, I felt really guilty that I cheated and was not prepared with a sugar-free Jello or Popsicle at this time.
- Tip: BE PREPARED FOR ANYTHING! Hunger will hit you like a ton of bricks and if you are not prepared to combat it full force with something that is approved then you will regret it! In my case, regret came in the form of a stomachache from Hades.
- Inspirational Song: Ain’t No Mountain High –Marvin Gaye + Tammi Terrell
- I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
- I had another chocolate Thorne protein shake this morning, which I consider to be on par with drinking some VERY filling chocolate milk.
- My sister made me feel really guilty this morning for wanting to give up. She reminded me why I wanted to follow this diet in the first place and encouraged me to keep at it for my patient’s sake.
- BIGGEST TIP of all time: Always have a good support system in your corner. The pre-op diet alone is really challenging and the overall lifestyle change after surgery is an every bigger challenge in order to make it to your long-term goals. Find people who support you 100% – whether it is family, friends, or even the team at BMI of Texas. We have support group on the first Monday of every month and it is a great time to make life-long friends who will support YOU and your new healthy lifestyle!
Day 5 (Last day):
- This last day was filled with trying to distract myself, for the most part.
- At this point, the diet was just boring and monotonous. There was really nothing new to the equation, other than it was the weekend and I could distract myself with football and naps!
- Bonus: The Texas heat decided to give us a break, so I was more awed by the weather rather than the thoughts of perpetual hunger!
- TIP: Remembering that your surgery date is SET and that doing the pre-op diet is what is BEST for you to have a SAFE surgery and a QUICK recovery time. Tell yourself this every day. Mark the days on your calendar. Remind close friends and family to be encouraging. As difficult as this diet is, the payoff in the long-run is well worth it.
- Inspirational song at the end of the day: We are the champions – Queen
Some of my favorite words come from the late, great Walt Disney himself. ALWAYS REMEMBER: