Updates for Support Group Participants ~ Provided by: Kristi Fregia Rucks, PT ~ Margee Romportl, RD, CD ~ 715.847.2819
Volume 1, Number 2, September 2005

Feature Article:


Portion Control and Grazing

Grazing has been identified as the leading cause of poor weight loss and weight gain in surgical weight loss patients.

A major benefit of weight loss surgery is feeling full and satisfied when you have eaten a small amount of food. The stomach, which is a muscle, begins to expand, relax and stretch overtime. The once very small pouch is able to accommodate more volume than it did right after surgery. We need to continually pay attention to our body’s signals and learn to recognize the feeling of fullness.


Grazing is unexplained eating done without thinking. Often, grazing is done when we are bored, tired or stressed. Past negative behaviors like grazing can sabotage even the best efforts to achieve weight loss goals. Grazing has been identified as the leading cause of poor weight loss and weight gain in surgical weight loss patients.


Here are a few tips to avoid grazing:


1. Plan meals and shop ahead so you have what you need for well-balanced meals.


2. Eat at regular meal times whenever possible.

3. Identify the time of day you are most likely to graze and plan alternate activities to avoid the urge to eat during those times.


4. Identify activities or situations that trigger the urge to graze, like watching TV, driving, etc. Try to avoid them, or plan in advance to have a healthier choice available to avoid your desire to graze.


5. Avoid purchasing foods you will want to eat just because they are available. Your family will benefit from having healthy snacks around too!


6. Pay attention to your cravings for sweet, salty, crunchy, etc. and answer cravings with healthy food choices during meals.




7. Be aware of emotions that trigger a craving or desire to graze. Find activities that will comfort you, like a long hot bath, a walk, playing catch with your kids, etc.




At our July support group meeting, we identified a list of healthy foods as well as alternate activities to use to help avoid grazing. Develop your own list and place it on your refrigerator, in your cupboard, or wherever you feel will be a convenient reminder.

Support group members work together and help each other on the journey which gastric bypass surgery takes us. We welcome your comments on this communiqué. To share a recipe or suggest a topic, talk to either Kristi or Margee.


Both of us are available by phone or e-mail. Kristi can be reached at (715) 847-2000 or 1-800-283-2881, extension 53165; her e-mail is kristif@aspirus.org. Margee can be reached at (715)847-2819 or 1-800-283-2881, extension 72819; her e-mail is margeer@aspirus.org.




Free Seminars:


Aspirus Bariatrics is offering FREE seminars for potential patients to find out more about Bariatric Surgery. If you know someone who is interested in weight loss surgery, encourage them to attend one of our seminars offered quarterly here at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. Find out if they are a candidate, talk with a surgeon, physical therapist, dietitian, insurance specialist and someone who has been successful in the program. No registration required. Tuesday, November 8th from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Aspirus Wausau Hospital Medallion Room. Use main entrance at 28th Avenue. If you are unable to attend but want more information, call our program coordinator for a confidential discussion at (715) 847-2000 ext. 53165


Exciting News:

We will be offering a supplement to our live support groups…”ALOHA on-line”. This on-line support group will be offered the first Thursday of every month from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m., beginning November 3rd. The topics will be the same ones discussed by the regular group members the previous month. To register for ALOHA on-line, call 847-2380. Registration is required each month you plan to participate.

Featured Recipe:






½ cup corn

1cup chopped fresh cilantro


½ cup chopped red onion


2 jalapeno peppers seeded, finely chopped


1 red bell pepper, chopped


2 tsp. garlic, minced


2 tomatoes, diced


4 cups black beans, cooked and drained


3 cups cooked, cut chicken


2 large avocadoes, peeled and cut in ½ inch pieces




1 Tbsp. kosher salt


¾ tsp. ground cumin


6 Tbsp. fresh lime juice


4 Tbsp. canola oil


2 Tbsp. cider vinegar


In a large bowl, combine cilantro, onion, tomatoes, jalapenos, bell pepper, garlic, beans and corn. Mix well. For dressing, combine all ingredients in a small jar with tight fitting lid and shake well until blended. Add dressing to vegetable/bean mixture and mix again. Add avocadoes and chicken; toss gently to combine.


1 cup serving contains 12 grams protein






Future Support Group Meetings:

Our support group is facilitated by a certified Bariatric Support Group Leader and Success Habits Instructor as well as a Registered and Certified Dietitian. Meetings are a free service provided by Aspirus Bariatrics. Join Us!!


· Third Tuesday every month


· 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.


· Medallion Room


October 18th: On-line Support Group. The time has come to expand our support group and add an on-line group. Come and learn how to participate on-line. We will have a live demonstration of our ALOHA on-line support group that will begin November 3. The topic will be getting through the holidays…bring any tips you want to share for staying on track with diet and exercise.


November 15th: Plastic Surgery….is it right for you. Dr. Butler will be our guest to speak about plastic surgery options after gastric bypass surgery.


December 20th: Pregnancy After Gastric Bypass Surgery. Special guests will share their experiences with us. We will also discuss doctor recommendations regarding pregnancy after surgery.


Previous Support Group Topics:

Here is a review of our previous support group topics.


JuneTribute to the losers. We had a great time sharing stories of success. It was fun to see an article of clothing prior to surgery and we shared our cheers and tears! Remember to take photos pre-op and keep a pair of pants or article of clothing to share later.


JulyDangers of Grazing. We came up with a long list of “better food choices” and activities to keep us from grazing. We learned what grazing was and why it is not a good idea after weight loss surgery. Remember to look at the enclosed list to help you curb grazing behaviors.

August – Walk Away From Obesity. We used our time together to share physical activity. Some participants went for a walk while others learned activities to stay active around the house using everyday items. Remember activity is an essential component for success after surgery.


September Dr. Alden and Dr. Weiland of Surgical Associates were here to answer questions related to bariatric surgery.