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Anyone trying to lose weight after Lumbar fusion? Need motivation!

mistymaammmistymaam Posts: 63
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I know to ask my doctor specific questions regarding safe weight loss...but does anyone have experience in trying or successfully (and I might add-healthfully) losing weight after a lumbar fusion? Can you give me some tips for ongoing motivation or snacks you had? I am trying to stay in the 1400-1600 calorie range, incorporating oranges/fruit, veggies, and whole grains. I finally feel good enough to go for mile long walks now and am itching to lose some poundage I added in the last year of moderate to severe pain! :) I also take a daily multivitamin and started taking a Caltrate equivalent supplement. Anyone have advice to give is greatly appreciated! Have a nice evening.



  • I have been to Weight Watchers so many times over the years that I had a good solid base of how to eat. Heavy focus on the fiber and veggies.

    I started 2009 with 80 lbs to lose and my goal was to lose 40 of it.

    I have lost about 35 so far, so I am on track. I don't deny myself anything that I want, I just eat a lot less of it. I have to measure out my red wine (my weakness)

    I walk 15-20 minutes a day regardless of the weather.

    Hopefully, these are habits that will stay with me.
  • Thanks for your reply, I needed to hear someone who is successfully losing weight. I am so glad for your weight loss! I am finally in my frame of mind where I feel in control of my life; enough to lose weight in a healthy manner. You sound like you are doing really well.

    Take care,

  • Hi,

    It sounds like you have a good plan as far as the caloric range and more fruits, veggies, and whole grains.

    What is super important is that you make sure that while cutting calories you are still getting ample: protein, vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin D, and calcium. These are critical nutrients for bone growth. You should have these bases covered with the supplements, but just make sure you don't cut your protein too low. Also, it is probably best to take the calcium supplement apart from a meal that is heavy in calcium already to get the maximum absorption (ie, I always have milk with breakfast. so I wait and take my calcium with lunch where I don't have a dairy food).

    I think the hardest part about weight control post-surgery is not really the food itself, but just the fact that recovery is so boring. I tend to graze all day when I'm around the house, and recovering from surgery has me stuck at home. One idea is to try a food journal where you write down what you eat and any sort of thoughts/feelings etc. just to make you more aware of what you are eating and to cue you in to any boredom or emotional eating. It sounds a little silly, but just writing things down can make a big difference in eating patterns.
  • as I've lost 12 lbs in the 3 weeks following surgery. It helped for the first week that I had no appetite lol but I still forced myself to eat as of course I need good nutrition for my recovery. The biggest change I've made are to have protein shakes once or twice a day. I've been using a whey protein powder that has about 26g of protein per scoop. Sometimes I just mix a scoop or two with some vanilla silk (mostly because I'm lactose intolerant). But usually I make a fruit smoothie with yogurt and fruit. The balanced protein and carb mix of the fruit and protein powder is a really good and healthy way to lose weight, and will keep you from having cravings for a lot of bad stuff like low carb diets can cause. Plus the high protein wil keep you fuller longer. My favorite shake is banana, pineapple, and coconut & rum extracts. Super yummy!

    Munchies are easy for me because I love things like cucumbers and baby carrots so I just munch on those in between shakes/meals. The best is cucumbers sliced up with a little low fat italian dressing.

    Hope that helps a little. Good luck!
  • I definitely think I need a diet journal. Very good idea! I hear ya about the boredom! I told my husband a week after my PLIf I needed arts and crafts supplies. I went to Hobby Lobby and got an easel, paints, etc... I love to do artsy fartsy stuff, so I do a little at a time. I also decided that since I am not going to school this semester, I would put together Halloween treat bags with pencils and erasers/stickers for my neighborhood...I live in a town of 1300 people and have one elementary and one high school! I have been putting these together since this afternoon to keep me busy.

    I am, indeed, an emotional eater. I have an excuse to eat any time of the day! If I'm sad...I eat. If I'm happy...I eat. You get the picture!


    Take care,
  • Keep your carbs in control. A few years ago my husband was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and we went to 6 weeks of "diabetes school" (one 2 hr class per week for 6 wk). I went along with the diet plan and lost 20 lbs in the months after just counting carbs. My husband lost 30 and we've both kept it off (and he's now off meds for the diabetes) We actually got away from fruit smoothies (or we make small ones) and keep snacks to 15 net carbs (carbs - fiber = net carbs). I like yogurt and breads and now just pick the ones with less carbs. I'd see yogurts that had 30-45 carbs per serving. Even ones that were "light". So I now read the label and have found some great choices in yogurt, breads and pastas. Everyone is different but we went with 50 carbs per meal (3 meals a day) and 15 carbs per snack (3 snacks a day).

    I also buy lower fat cheeses, skim milk, etc and we take fiber supplements. And protein is key. Protein and fiber in the diet will keep you feeling full.
    Multiple ACDFs, Multiple Lumbar Fusions; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty
  • My mom was diagnosed with Type II two years ago. The last few months, though, she has had to go on Metformin. This jump started my resolve to lose the weight and keep it off! I was thinking about doing the lower carb diet (not Atkin's) as I think I am very sensitive to carbs. I think if I have some good veggies, like broccoli and spinach, etc... and fruits each day, I can do it. Like some mentioned before, boredom is my foe. I can be in the house thinking...chips, ice cream... I've been eating low-fat cottage cheese with apples and other fruit, lately. Thanks for all the tips! All are greatly appreciated!

    Take care,
  • I love the idea of protein shakes. I looove baby carrots and cucumbers. I love bananas...but they do a number on me! I think I might go to GNC and get some whey powder! Thanks for the great ideas. I think I'll go get some cukes and slice em up. Yum, yum, yum... I wish I could drop the lbs like you...you lucky ducky!

    Take care,

  • Misty:

    I found the secret is finding the right snacks and having a ton of them on hand in the house. For example, we found some great ice cream treats that were under 20 net carbs and we keep them on stock so when we get the craving we don't head to DQ. I just don't buy regular ice cream unless we have to. I also like the mini-Clif bars (new) and 100 calorie snacks. Part of it, at least for me, is also portion control. That's why I love the pre-packaged sized good snacks!
    Multiple ACDFs, Multiple Lumbar Fusions; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty

  • I started on South Beach shortly after my surgery due to the weight I'd put on when I couldn't really move. I'd done it a few years back w/ success, found it easy to follow as you don't have to focus on weighing, measuring or counting carb grams. There are 3 stages to this diet, I'm currently doing stage 2 where you start introducing 'good' carbs. The diet encourages you to have lean protein, low fat calcium rich foods and high fiber - all good things for us spineys. One of the other things about this diet that I like and think make it workable is there really isn't a feeling of being deprived, it encourages 3 meals a day along w/ 3 small snacks. Hope this helps
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