How can I lose weight without surgery?

People ask me for weight loss tips all the time.  I have to preface my advice with saying that now that my insides are modified I am not just a random person giving advice anymore.  I wouldn’t join a Biggest Loser contest at the office or anything.  I have a tool that makes losing weight a little less complicated for me IF I CHOOSE TO USE IT.

That said, there are a few things that I did not know about losing weight before I went through the required nutrition classes.  These are things that can apply to anyone:

1. Protein.  Eat lean protein.  I used to see the big tubs of protein and think that they were only meant for body builders.  Well, yes, some of those are meant for body builders but if you go to GNC or the Vitamin Shoppe or your local health food store, ask for a lower carb / lower sugar protein powder or shake.  (And if you buy milk to mix it in, get the Skim.)  In fact, most GNC franchise stores will take back your tub of protein if you don’t like it within 30 days with receipt.  Ask before you buy it!   Some of this stuff is expensive!  You could also go to a site like and she sells samples of a variety of powders. This way you wouldn’t have to spend a whole lot of money on a bunch of stuff!  Also, you could write to different companies and ask for free or low cost samples!   Anyway, though, protein is key.  You need to eat it at every meal.  Hard boiled eggs, low fat cheese, lean lunchmeat, jerky, Greek yogurt, chicken breasts.

2. Eat within a half hour of waking up.  This could be a shake —  even a caffeinated shake! For me, I have a single serving size of cottage cheese and a Greek yogurt.  It’s 20+ grams of protein to start my day off right. You need to fuel your furnace.   Some people will also tell you to eat before you go to bed — a protein bar, a string cheese, anything to help your body not go into a fasting mode while you sleep.   I know people hate to eat in the morning.  It’s important, though.

3. Move your bod a little.  I’m not suggesting that you run a marathon or buy a treadmill.  Just walk around the mall or the grocery store.  Park a little farther away from the store instead of in the front row.  Borrow your neighbor’s dog.  Personally, I did not do anything crazy strenuous to lose weight, but I was very strict with my diet. You can lose weight without exercise.  It’s true.  But I don’t recommend it.  I have an every day headache and it gets worse with movement.

4. Avoid pop and refined carbs.  We all know this, right? I’m not saying to never have stuff like this.  But while you are trying to lose weight, you will need to find better options.  There are some pretty awesome substitutes out there that are sugar free in many products —  just look around!  But, you’re probably not going to lose weight on Lean Cuisines and Healthy Choice ice creams.  How long have you been buying those? I bought those for a long time.

5. Get accountability.  Join a group that has you tracking your weight weekly.  This way you can see if you are going up or down.  And you know that you will be weighing in!
6. Drink water.  I don’t care if you flavor it with Crystal Light. I don’t care if it is caffeinated unsweetened tea.  Drink it. It’s good for you.  Your body needs it to function properly.
7. Talk to your doctor. Maybe he/she has some ideas for you.  Maybe you can get some bloodwork done and you can find out if you should focus on things like low cholesterol or pre diabetes. Maybe there is a free pass at the local YMCA that he/she knows about. Take control.
8. Don’t stress about it.  It didn’t get put on overnight, it won’t come off overnight.
9. Remember your veggies. I like those ones that steam in the bag. Spray some butter substitute on them. Sprinkle on some yummy seasonings like Bacon Salt or Cavender’s Greek seasoning.   Good for you does not have to equal crappy tasting! Focus on green veggies, not so much on corn/carrots/potatoes.
10. Last but not least, track what you eat.  It’s kind of a pain in the butt, however a program that can be put on your phone like My Fitness Pal is very helpful in telling you how many calories you have eaten, how much protein you have consumed, etc.  And, sometimes you may not eat that sugary treat at the office because you don’t want to track it.  😉


I’m CLICKin’!

People always ask me for advice about protein shakes.  The truth is, you have to find one that you like.  Your tastes may change if you get the surgery.  One shake that I have consistently loved is Click.  ( ) I’m not a big coffee fan, but this is more of a frappucino drink.  You can put flavored syrups (sugar free or not, from Torani or Davinci…. or you could use those new stevia drops in there) or powdered peanut butter (PB2) in there.   I put it all in a Blender Bottle and shake! My favorite flavors to put in are peppermint, coconut, raspberry, and caramel.  It’s just a different drink each time!

It has 15 grams of protein per shake which isn’t a ton but it  was enough for me to drink down in a half hour or so for the first year.   It has vitamins and minerals in it so it helped my labwork look great, too!  I went to bed looking forward to my Click each morning.  🙂

Anyway, I will probably be having a giveaway of sorts either here or on my Twitter account ( @jeepjules ) soon, so stay tuned!


What do I eat??

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell, what I could eat early on is very different.  A surgeon has you go in stages.  Clear liquids (and they make sure your newly modifed stomach is not leaking!), reqular liquids like broths and yogurts, then about 12-14 days later you get to move on to pureed foods and cottage cheese.  We’re healing the incision line, not trying to torture you!  But because you were on a two week liquid diet for 2 weeks before surgery your body is already used to not eating chicken strips and mac and cheese etc.

When you are finally allowed to eat refried beans it is like the best day of your life.  (Fat free of course.) And I added cheese shreds and verde hot sauce. I could get in about 2 tablespoons.

* cue up that Don’t Know What Ya Got Til it’s Gonnnnne” song……Cinderella?

Anyway, years later what do I eat?  I eat a protein coffee flavored shake on a normal day with 15 grams of protein.  A hard boiled egg or a string cheese for a snack. A lean cuisine type meal (Atkins are good!) with 16 or more grams of protein for lunch, some jerky as an afternoon snack, a small amount of what we have for dinner maybe 3-4 oz of steak and 2 tablespoons of potato salad, a Quest bar before bed (sometimes with frosting on it….oh noes…)

I drink fluids all day. Not all good fluids.  I like real sugar and my body tolerates it. When we go to dinner I order an appetizer as my main course.  (Kids meals are all corn dogs and fried crap. No wonder kids are having issues.)

Anyway, I eat less of what most people do.  And that is ok.  🙂  Protein comes first, then veggies, then fruit.  I get 60-70 grams of proten per day (was more when I was bigger and losing) and about 70-80 grams of sugar free fluids.

Just to give you an idea, a Lean Cuisine with none of the rice fills me up. If we went to MC Donalds I would get a double cheese burger and throw the top bun away and I would be full on that.  5-6 jumbo shrimp fills me up.  Oh and what happens if I eat too much? My nose starts running, then I hiccup, then it would come back up.  That has never happened to me in 2.5 years though!

Ah well, happy eating!