Don't Say 'Cheese'
PRO TIP: You are eating way too much cheese!
This is not a blame game, but a testament to the fact we didn't know how to eat right and surgery didn't automatically upload the update to our good nutrition folder operating system. There is no iOS 74.
Our support groups on Facebook have hundreds of thousands of members. With this many people, patterns pop in a very short time and it's clear to us that many of you need help with grasping the calorie counts of the foods you consume. Especially CHEESE.
IMPORTANT: Cheese is not a calorie free food. It's not even a low calorie food. It's not a diet food. It's not a great protein source. Cheese is actually quite high in calories and fat.
One thin slice of deli cheese is 100 calories. The four cubes of cheese in that photo at the top of the page, that are essentially four cheese 'dice', are 200 calories.
When I went sideways a few years ago, one of the 'healthy' foods I used to sabotage my weight loss was Swiss cheese. I would buy a pound of Boars Head Swiss Cheese each week. What could be wrong with Swiss Cheese when there wasn't any bread or crackers involved? IT IS PROTEIN, right? Wrong.
A little Late Night Snack
I was not sleeping very well and while watching The Real Housewives or late night drama I'd head to the fridge and eat a couple of slices of cheese. Rinse and repeat. It is easy for a bariatric post op to eat 500 calories in cheese. It's a slider food which means that it chews up really smooth and is easy to eat. Oooops!
Put the cheese on the table & step back!
Some of you are drowning in Cheese. Our recipe for Chicken Crust Pizza is healthy if you use 1 cup - which is 4 ounces of shredded part-skim mozzarella - on an entire Pizza Pie. Some of your pies appear to have double or triple that. Do not use the entire package!
Our recipe for Cheesy Meatball Skillet calls for 1 cup total, which is just 4 ounces of shredded part-skim mozzarella, but in some of your photos you can't tell there are meatballs under all that melted cheese.
And our Inspired Pan Pizza? That calls for 1/2 a cup of Mozzarella which is only 2 ounces, and we're seeing way more than that in the photos posted daily.
Even the 'cheese crackers' you are baking - if you make two slices into 8 'crackers', that is 200 calories just like that. Poof. None of these foods are bad, but they are high calorie in fairly small amounts!
And please stop trying to convince us that the Cheese Sauce you are using to drown your broccoli and Brussels sprouts is a smart idea. If cheese sauce was a genius choice for people who had to have weight loss surgery, we'd have a recipe for it. We would be telling you to pour it over EVERYTHING. Fact.
If you need to flavor your veggies please consider that there's likely an entire shelf of spices and seasonings in your own kitchen this very second that will add tons of flavor with almost no calories. Experiment with those and drop the cheese sauce. YOU KNOW BETTER! It is impossible that a significant percentage of people would not know that a dish of vegetables swimming in cheese sauce is a BAD thing to eat after stomach removal for morbid obesity. Seriously.
Let's talk about cream cheese: It is high in fat! After Obesity Surgery, cream cheese is NOT YOUR FRIEND. No eating of the cream cheese, no rolling it up with ham, no stuffing it into mini sweet peppers, no blending it into 'Zoodles' Alfredo, no adding it to tuna salad, and no melting it into anything 'for extra creaminess'. Extra Creaminess is why you were 300 pounds. Cream cheese is an ingredient to make rich creamy desserts and special occasion foods. It is not an every day food.
NO NO NO to adding an entire BLOCK of the stuff to a main dish crock pot supper you found on Pinterest - that's 1/2 pound of cream cheese! I used to love cream cheese and would put an obscene amount on an English muffin or bagel. I have not done this in nearly twenty years.
No adding cream cheese to main dishes though. Big difference. It is important that you understand that difference... and if not, read it again.
EXCEPTION: If you are making a sugar free cheesecake for a party or special occasion, its a dessert, you know it's a dessert and you may have a small portion after a protein meal. Use regular cream cheese, as fat free has gum stabilizers and starches and its not good in dessert recipes.
One would think the name alone would deter those needing obesity surgery BUT IT DOES NOT.
This is a *crust* made with huge amounts of cheese and cream cheese that is terrible for any diet. Every day people ask us 'IS THIS OKAY TO EAT' and some give us a hard time for saying NO NO NO. If you do not clearly see that a crust made into a Play Doh of Cream Cheese and Shredded Cheese may be a bad choice, please sit down right now and order a couple pair of size XXL yoga pants, as you will need them sooner than you know.
What is a pound?
It takes 3500 calories to either Gain or Lose ONE Pound. If you eat 3500 extra calories you'll GAIN one pound. If you save 3500 calories, you'll LOSE one. Doesn't it already seem harder to lose weight than to gain it?
I was eating 16 ounces of cheese a week... which is 1600 calories... which means 'in theory' every two weeks I was gaining one pound from my late night mindless cheese raid alone. Food for thought. You can gain weight eating too much 'heathy' food.
It's time to cut the cheese! Or at least know what you are eating.