The diet that I’m on for the last thirty days before surgery is tough. Different programs have different diets, but this is the one that the GWU program requires:
- Two meals are liquid protein drinks
- Two snacks are liquid protein drinks
- One small regular meal, primarily lean protein and vegetables
- Drink at least two liters of water per day
- Get at least 90 mg of protein per day
- Stay within 1100 to 1200 calories
They don’t tell us, specifically, which protein drink to consume, though they do give us a list of suggestions with the nutrition information of each. I am living on Premier Protein shakes. Vanilla, chocolate, bananas and cream and strawberries and cream. I find them all very good. I haven’t tried the caramel flavor … I suspect that I’ll find that too cloying.
Hopefully there is nothing too horrible in the ingredients for continuous consumption. It contains DATEM … which a small number of noisy sites on the Internet all claim is horrible for your health because “a 2002 study on rats showed DATEM to cause ‘heart muscle fibrosis and adrenal overgrowth.'” Not surprisingly, none of these alarmists provide a reference to the study. I did find what looks like a draft of a WHO safety evaluation. Of course, they left out the small detail that 10% of the diet consisted of DATEM. I am not worried, unless someone polymorphs me into a rat and then feeds me a diet of 10% DATEM for a few years. In the mean time, the risks of morbid obesity, especially on the heart, arteries, etc. are fairly well established. So, to hell with that crap. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. If it relates to your health, believe nearly nothing that you read on the Internet, unless it is written by reputable medical professionals who exercise proper scientific methods and controls before drawing an extreme conclusion.
So, back to the diet … it’s not going too badly. I am staying engaged (perhaps even obsessed) with genealogy research, volunteering, medical appointments, support group meetings, etc. Even without full-time work, I am overcommitted timewise. I could stay awake all night, but one of the other commitments I have made has been to do my best to get a full 7 hours of sleep each night. I am not losing weight as fast as I would like to be, but my expectations are probably unrealistic, given how limited the diet is. I have a strong incentive — if Dr. Lin opens me up and finds that he can’t move my liver aside to do the surgery safely laparascopically, he will close me up and send me home to lose more weight … or maybe the option will be to do the surgery fully open. I’m not sure about whether there is an option. Either way … I would be quite unhappy about that.
Some perspective on what 1200 calories is. Using a calorie counter that is based on some scientific formulas, here are the calorie counts necessary to maintain or lose weight (all other variables kept the same):
|Body Weight||To Maintain||To Lose 1#
|To Lose 2#
Now, I doubt that I will find a calculator that will tell me how many pounds per week I will lose if I eat 1,200 calories per day. It should be a lot. Of course, there are other factors … metabolic syndrome, which makes it very difficult to lose weight when your liver becomes encased in fat. Also, the metabolism slows down when you reduce your caloric intake significantly. I’m trusting the doctor and nutritionist here. I would be one very happy camper if I go into the surgery weighing 310 or less.
Well, that’s it … back to genealogy and then bed.