When a person undergoes an operation to have a small band placed around the upper portion of their stomach, as is done with Lap-Band surgery, chances are they have already tried many times to lose weight and keep it off but were unsuccessful. The band is a very useful device that restricts the portion size that a person can consume at one sitting.
However, the Lap-Band isn't a magical device and doesn't perform miracles. It does allow its owner to feel a sense of satisfaction on as little as a half cup of food. What it tells us is if we can somehow find a way to consume 1,000 to 1,200 calories per day on our own, we can lose weight at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week.
The problem: If we were able to eat "only" 1,200 calories per day without the help of the Lap-Band, everyone would do it. Unfortunately, hunger and cravings get the best of us over time.
Try to think about it on a larger scale. A Lap-Band patient would consume about 365,000 calories over one year. Without this device, that same patient would likely consume 700,000 calories or more in the same period of time. That would equal about 100 pounds of weight loss in one year, which is typically what happens for these patients. Depending on the amount of weight we need or want to lose, we can use this equation to help us. If we are hoping to lose just 20 pounds, we would try to consume 70,000 less calories this year than we did last year (1 pound of fat equals 3,500 calories). That would be about 200 less calories per day. That seems easy but without keeping track of calories, you can lose control of this quickly.
Put the work in and you will reap the rewards!
• Michael Murphy is a registered dietitian living in Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach him at (480) 415-8803 or visit www.nutritiontoyou.com.