Muscle is Denser than Fat … Apparently …

Muscle is Denser than Fat … Apparently …

As per my last post (Still Losing Weight & Getting Fit)… I started back at the Gym after reaching my 100 Kg Milestone… Without thinking too much about it, I had anticipated that this would give my weight loss a bit of a boost… I was WRONG !!!

In fact, rather than losing weight (I had pretty much consistently lost 1Kg per week since surgery), I actually started to put it on… and 2 weeks after joining the gym I was up by 1.5Kg…

Muscle vs Fat

I remember people saying “Muscle Weighs more than Fat“, so thought I’d do some research.

Of course 1Kg of Muscle weights exactly the same as 1Kg of fat… but Muscle is actually denser than fat, which means muscle occupies less space (volume) compared to fat.

Muscle has a leaner appearance due to its high density whereas fat occupies more space (volume) in the body. Two people could weight the same but could look very different depending on their body composition – a person with high body-fat percentage versus a person with high lean muscle percentage will probably be in two different sizes of clothes and health risk.

Muscles are made of long fibers tightly woven together. Fat, on the other hand, is composed of different sized droplets and some are more full than others. These droplets stick to each other but leave some empty space in between.

In the image above, one kg of muscle takes up less space than one kg of fat. This is why you might notice a slimmer waistline but no drastic change on the scale as you begin a new workout or meal plan regime – your body is burning light fat, but building heavier muscles.

Weight Loss Graph

Here is my weight loss graph since surgery… for the 1st 4 weeks at the gym (3 or 4 times a week – moderate intensity), I still had a net gain in weight of approx 1.5kgs… however, since then, my body seems to have figured out what’s going on, and my weight is (again) on a downwards path… In the last couple of weeks I have increased number of gym visits and intensity and seen a 3kg drop in just 2 weeks 🙂

Note: Even though I wasn’t actually losing “weight” during the 1st 4 weeks of gym, there was a noticeable change in body shape and toning.

5 Months after Surgery – Still Losing Weight & Getting Fit

5 Months after Surgery – Still Losing Weight & Getting Fit

5 Months now since my Gastric Bypass Operation and I have reached another Milestone.

I am finally down to 100Kg …
Losing now more than 30Kg

I have not been down to this weight since 2003 – more than 15 years ago !!!!

Time to hit the Gym….

I have been increasing daily exercise for a while… mostly walking… but I promised myself that once I had reached 100Kg I would join a gym and start building up my exercise regime.

I decided that I’d like to focus on boxing type exercises… but had visited a couple of local boxing gyms and they were pretty hard core… I was not that interested in actually hitting anyone (or getting hit for that matter), but I did like the types of exercises involved.

I wanted to primarily do some upper body toning and body core workouts… and thought that boxing/skipping exercises would be a good start.

12 Rounds Fitness

I checked around and discovered that my sister had (for months) been going to a gym called 12 Rounds Fitness. This is based around circuit training, with 12 different “stations” setup, each with 2 different exercises.

You arrive at whatever time you like, start at an available station of your choice, and spend 3 minutes exercise at each station, before moving onto the next. The types of exercises at each station change daily, and you are able to push it as hard as you like, or “tweak” the exercises to cater for specific exercise targets (or injuries).

I found that during the first session a pre-existing back injury flared up again, so I have been able to focus on low impact and upper body exercises… and my back seems to be improving…

Interestingly, despite (or perhaps because of) significantly increasing my exercise program (and as far as I am aware not changing my food intake much), instead of losing additional weight, in the 2 weeks since I started I have actually gained 1.2 Kg.

Blood Sugar & Diabetes

I also recently re-visited my endocrinologist – hopefully for the very last time… The previous visit my hbA1c reading (which measures the average blood sugar over a three month period) was just a smidgen above 6.0 (6.1 actually)… and I was hoping that this time it would be below 6.0 and in the “normal” range… However, it was back up to 6.4 – despite the fact that I had lost another 6Kg 🙁 …

So it seems that diabetes is still lurking around, so I still need to keep a close eye on it…

I suspect that despite eating much less than I used to (I reckon it is about 1/3rd) I am being less careful about the types of things I am eating. Although I am eating significantly less Carbs, I need to focus a bit better on less sugary foods (i.e. cut out soft drink and Fruit drinks, which I now realise I had started having more of)…

3 Months after Surgery – All Systems Go!!

3 Months after Surgery – All Systems Go!!

3 months since my Gastric Bypass Surgery and all system go !!!

I have just had my 3 month follow up with the Dietitian and Surgeon and 
have now lost almost 15Kg since surgery 3 months ago – which is apparently a little more than the surgeon expected. 🙂

ALL my blood results are looking fantastic (better than hoped in fact).. with Protein, Vitamins and Blood Sugar levels all doing very well. I am still off all Diabetes and Hypertension medications, and have even stopped precautionary meds for Gastric Reflux… so the only medications  I am taking are Vitamin and Calcium supplements 🙂

Must Eat Breakfast….

I have fallen into the (bad) habit of not eating breakfast (I rarely feel like eating at all until after midday), but the Dietitian suggested that I start trying to eat a small serving of Muesli/Yogurt for breakfast… and I did have some Bircher Muesli today… which was Yum !!

Weight Loss Plateau ??

I was a little concerned that my weight loss seems to be slowing down, however both the Dietitian and Surgeon assured me that I will continue to lose weight for the next 9-12 months, and that plateauing is normal at 3 months.

After about 12-18 months I can expect my weight loss to slow down and eventually stop… and then (which is normal) I am likely to put on another 10%.. so if I get down to 80Kg , then I can expect to put on another 8Kgs before it stabilises….

What’s Brown and Sticky ??

What’s Brown and Sticky ??

The title of this post “What’s Brown and Sticky” is unfortunately the lead into one of the few jokes I seem to remember with any consistency…. It is my favourite “Dad” joke… and the answer is of course ….  A Stick !!!

It is curious, that even though we don’t usually like to talk about bodily functions (in “polite” conversation)… we do seem to have a fascination with Poo and Fart jokes… and they are not just for children. Even if you’re a full-grown adult, you are still going to end up laughing your ass off.   This post is primarily about Poop and Farts – in relation to Gastric Bypass Surgery, which is not quite as hilarious (but see the end of this post for some more Poop jokes).

Apparently, after gastric bypass surgery, many people experience some degree of diarrhea and smelly gas (malodorous flatulence). This is typically common during the first few months as the body adjusts and heals.

Since my Surgery (7 weeks ago), I have been Pooing much less – which is hardly surprising since I am actually eating less than half what I once would have.  I have experienced a little Diarrhea (but not as much as I had anticipated), but my stools are certainly softer than pre-surgery… are consistently a light brown (almost beige) in colour… and my gas is more often than not smellier than previously.

I have collated together below a range of information on some of the most common post-surgery effects on digestion :

Digestion After Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery helps you lose weight by altering the anatomy of your digestive system. Your stomach is smaller after the procedure and food passes more


Long-Term Dietary Considerations

quickly through your digestive system. As a result, your body absorbs fewer nutrients and your shortened bowel produces more gas and odors than before surgery.

Diarrhea and flatulence usually improve as your body adjusts after gastric bypass surgery. After the early postoperative period, you will begin to eat small amounts of high-protein, low-carbohydrate, low-fat foods that give you the nutrients you need while losing weight. However, certain foods — such as meat, beans, wheat, dairy products and vegetables — may cause flatulence and diarrhea long after your body has healed.

Dumping Syndrome

Dumping syndrome frequently occurs in gastric bypass patients when they eat foods containing a large amount of sugar. The bowel responds to the high concentration of sugar by moving extra fluid into the digestive system. As a result, diarrhea may occur within 30 to 60 minutes. Excess gas is also produced as bacteria feed on the sugar. Hormones are released during an occurrence of dumping syndrome, commonly resulting in dizziness, flushing, a drop in blood pressure and an increase in heart rate. Symptoms may range from mild to severe and generally last 1 to 2 hours.

Eating Habits

Certain eating habits can increase intestinal gas. Many surgeons advise patients to avoid activities such as drinking carbonated beverages, chewing gum or using a straw to prevent the introduction of excess air into the digestive system. Eating slowly and chewing your food thoroughly can improve digestion and may reduce excess intestinal gas.

Drinking liquids during meals can push foods through the digestive system too quickly. People who have undergone gastric bypass surgery are usually advised to stop all fluids before beginning to eat and to wait for roughly 30 minutes afterward before drinking again.

More Poop Jokes

And to finish off… here are a few more Poop jokes to put a “smile” on your face :

  • Did you know that diarrhea is hereditary?
    It runs in your genes.
  • Have you seen the movie Diarrhea?
    It leaked so they had to release it early.
  • Did you hear about the constipated accountant?
    He couldn’t budget.
  • Did you hear about the constipated mathematician?
    He worked it out with a pencil.
  • What’s brown and sounds like a bell?
    Dung.
  • What did one fly say to the other?
    Is this stool taken?
  • Do you want to hear a poop joke?
    Never mind it’s too corny.
  • What’s the true definition of bravery?
    Chancing a fart when you know you have diarrhea.
  • Did you know that when you say the word “poop”, your mouth does the same motion as your bum hole?
    The same is true for the phrase, “explosive diarrhea”.
  • Poop jokes aren’t my favorite jokes.
    But they’re a solid #2.
6 Weeks after Surgery – On Track !!!

6 Weeks after Surgery – On Track !!!

6 weeks since my surgery and I am still on track

My weight has been on a bit of a roller coaster over the last couple of weeks… going up and down a bit… I have more or less started eating “real food” so some weight gain is apparently not unusual… but overall there is still a good downward trend… and today I reached a bit of a weight milestone – under 110 Kg. I have not weighed this little for more that 5 years 🙂

My next “psychological” weight barrier is 100 KG… which I have not weighed for more than 12 years… and my target for this is Month 3…

I have been taking weekly photos, which I eventually intend collating into a timelapse…I have not noticed any dramatic changes in my body shape… although shirts are starting to feel a bit baggy…. and I will soon need to get some new undies, because my old ones are sometimes falling down when I walk 🙂

I certainly have more energy, and am building up my exercise.  I currently aim for at least 6000 steps (about 5 km) each day.

I am sleeping really well.. although have been waking up earlier and earlier (usually up by 0530 these days).

 

Although I am probably eating 1/3rd of what I used to, I am still not feeling hungry at all, and have to remind myself to eat.  As expected I can only manage small quantities of food at a time… A couple of poached eggs and 1 piece of toast or a muffin is too much for me to eat in one go…

I have also started to make up batches of fresh seasonal fruit salad (watermelon, rockmelon, pineapple, banana, strawberries, passionfruit, grapes at the moment)… and am enjoying eating this a couple of times a day as snacks.

 

 

 

 

Weeks 5 & 6 – Soft Food Diet

Weeks 5 & 6 – Soft Food Diet

OK… I’ve survived 2 weeks of liquids and 2 weeks of mush puree… for the next 2 weeks I graduate to “soft food”

Here are the “key points of my diet for the next 2 weeks :

  • Separate Liquids from Solids – wait 10 minutes before eating and 30 minutes after eating before having something to drink
  • Eat Mindfully – take it slowly (30 seconds between mouthfulls) and Chew Chew Chew…Stop eating as soon as I start feeling full
  • Focus on Proteins and Fluids (for faster recovery and muscle mass maintenance) – and eat protein First.
  • Daily Multivitamin / Calcium Supplements (I will probably be taking these for the rest of my life)
  • Avoid High Kilojoule fluids (these will slow down weight loss)
  • Aim for 3 small meals a day – with 1-2 healthy snacks if physically hungry

Here are some of the things I could/should be eating for different meals :

Breakfast

  • High Fibre cereal and with low fat milk
  • Bircher Muesli
  • Oats/Porridge
  • Scrambled/Poached egg
  • Soft Fruit

Lunch

  • Omelette/Frittata
  • Fresh Salad with lean protein
  • Mini wrap with lean protein and salad

Dinner

  • Mince based meals with softly cooked veggies
  • Slow cooked casseroles
  • Steamed/poached fish
  • (minimise pasta/rice/noodles/potato)

Healthy Snacks

  • Low fat yoghurt
  • 1 piece of soft fruit (banana, melon,  berries)
  • Low fat cheese (cottage cheese or Babybel Light)