Scale or Fail

When it comes to your weight, if you want to manage it, learn to measure. This is a simple exercise I ask my patients to do twice a week. Measure their meals. Take a simple meal: four ounces of meat, fish, poultry, or some protein and then 6 ounces of vegetables. That is the meal. If you cannot finish it all, that is ok.

Next, look at the clock. When it is two hours later see how you feel. If you went to the grocery store now would you buy things you shouldn’t? Do you want to eat again? If you don’t want to eat, and don’t feel that appetite coming, then see how you feel after three hours, then four.

This exercise does two things: Gives you a sense of what you can eat and be satisfied with.

The more important thing it does is let you know that you can eat a whole lot less than you otherwise would. And by learning that you can eat less, and discovering you are not hungry, it becomes easier to eat less. This avoids stretching out the plication, or the sleeve, or the anastomosis of the RNY, or over-eating from a lap-band.

Long-term, successful weight loss surgery patients measure food at least twice a week. They will tell you that their eyes lie. But nothing like measuring and seeing what you can eat.

We use to say measure in cups – but then we did some experiments and found that weighing is a lot easier to do, and a lot more handy. You can use old fashioned scales like the one above, or a new one like this one below (which we prefer). It is easy to put the food on it and weigh it quickly to get an idea. It is handy – and the more people weigh food, and follow that program, the faster they loose weight.

healthy chickenYou see this thigh and drumstick weigh 7.5 ounces. But once you take off the parts of the chicken you won’t eat, it is about 4 ounces. Do the experiment. Weight a thigh and drumstick, then take off the meat you would eat and weigh that.

Plus, as you can see by the picture, there is some parts of this that are not typically eaten. Here is some cold, left-over chicken. It doesn’t need to be re-heated (and if you heat it in the microwave it will loose flavor and moisture – if you want it warm then re-therm in a sous-vide water oven at 135 degrees). Just add a bit of salt and chew away. But, the edible part of this chicken is just under 4 ounces (although while photographing this my dog got a hold of the other piece and ate all of it).

Here is the fun part: when this is done daily, we see the most weight loss – average 2 pounds per week, or 100 pounds per year.

So, get the kitchen scale out- measure everything. You will find that you can eat less, and do well.

Oh – at two hours your stomach will rumble- that is the stomach emptying. It will empty at two hours no matter how much food is in it-  that is not a sign of hunger – just a sound of your biology.

Dr Terry Simpson About Dr Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson is a Phoenix weight loss surgeon. He encourages his lap-band surgery patients to learn to cook and adopt healthier lifestyles. His goal is to use culinary medicine to keep patients out of his operating room.

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