So I thought I’d use my recent food photo from the recipe I made to talk a little about something I talk about a lot: soft calorie syndrome. What is it? It’s when patients (especially Lap Band but also sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, and duodenal switch patients) eat soft, high-carb, calorie-dense foods over protein. Think mashed potatos or ice cream.
Lots of times I’ll ask Lap Band patients if they think they need a fill and they will say “I can eat way too much.” Then I ask them if they can eat chicken, and they say no…beef…no…pork…no. So what are you eating “too much” of? Potatos, ice cream, potato chips and lots of other junk!
Look at the following picture below of a recent recipe blog post I made about bacon-wrapped guacamole-stuffed chicken breast. Here you can see it’s served with mashed potatos. Not something I would recommend if you are planning a meal, but many times we are served meals and we have no choice in the planning.
Next look at the picture of what the plate will look like in a patient who has soft calorie syndrome.
What you see here is that the patient ate A LOT of mashed potatos, and only a few bites of the bacon/chicken entree.
Why did this happen?
In a Lap Band patient it usually means their band is too tight. Sometimes they can’t even tolerate any type of meat so they go for the soft carbs. Then they gain weight. Then they think they need a fill because they are gaining weight, but that just leads to eating more soft carbs and less protein.
You get the picture. If you have a Lap Band and you can’t tolerate protein you will not lose weight.
The answer to getting the scale moving in the right direction is not a fill, but an unfill. Eat your protein first, take a few bites of mashed potatos, exercise regularly, and lead a long and healthy life!
Dr. Trace Curry