Tag Archives: UAMS Weight Loss and Metabolic Control Program

Dallas Trip: Gas Station Snack

On the way home from Dallas, we stopped at a gas station.  I went in with the goal of finding a snack.  As defined by the UAMS program, a snack is one starch exchange and one fat exchange.  One exchange of a starchy food contains about 15 grams of carbohydrate, up to 3 grams of protein, up to 1 gram of fat and 80 calories.  One fat exchange equals 5 grams of fat and 45 calories.  In Utopia, I would have been able to find something with 15 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of protein, and up to 6 grams of fat, totaling 125 calories.  In a gas station.

I strode past the chips, through the candy, around the fried foods, and finally saw some granola bars.  There was a pretty good selection, and I reached for the nearest one.  At well over 200 calories, not very much protein, and way too much fat, I put it down quickly.  Poking around further, I noticed little boxes on each of the bars indicating how many carbohydrate servings each had.  I located a bar that indicated it was a single serving.

Snack Back Label

The closest I could come was 9 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbohydrate, 4 grams of protein, and 170 calories.  Again, this wasn’t Utopia.  This was a gas station in New Boston, Texas.  As I took the bar to the counter to pay for it, I realized that I hadn’t even noticed what exactly it was I was buying.

Snack Bar Front

A Sweet & Salty Bar by Nature Valley.  It was tasty, it hit the spot, and it was a much better choice than I would have made before becoming nutrition literate.

What’s the best gas station snack you’ve found?

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A Tale of Two Scales [Updated]

Please see the update below.

If you’re a UAMS Weight Loss and Metabolic Control Program patient or you’ve visited the clinic, you’re probably familiar with the scales that we weigh on.  They’re not your typical bathroom scale.  They’re bariatric scales, and they’re enormous.

The clinic has two scales that they use to weigh patients.  One is located just inside the patient area, and the other is further back past the examination rooms.  Both are different makes and models.  I started my weight loss journey on the “back” scale, and I’ve always made an effort to weigh there.  When I’ve asked in the past, the weigh-in technicians have accommodated the fact that I’m a “creature of habit,” and let me stand by until the back scale was free.

In the 30 or so weeks that I’ve been in the program, both of the weigh-in technicians who worked for the clinic when I started have since retired.  I weighed with a new technician today who seemed set on me using the “front scale.”  When I stepped on it, I couldn’t believe my eyes — I had lost 14.1 pounds, or so the scale read.  I again asked about the availability of the scale in the back, but I was told that it was occupied.  The technician wrote down the figure, handed me my slip, and congratulated me.  I wasn’t thrilled.

Back at home, I weighed again on my bathroom scale.  I learned early on to keep two sets of books.  The figures posted on “The Progress” page show fully-clothed weights from the clinic around 5:00 PM on weigh-in days.  I also have hand-written records of fully-clothed weights at home around 7:00 AM two or three times per week.  Here’s a snippet of those:

So the difference between my June 6 morning weight of 314.2 and my June 13 morning weight of 308.0 is 6.2 pounds, which seems reasonable taking into consideration the water weight situation from last week.

To summarize, I don’t know what I weigh right now, but I don’t think I lost 14.1 pounds this week.  Because of the uncertainty, I’m not going to move any ping pong balls to the jar, I’m not going to update “The Progress,” and I’m not going to be upset next week when the clinic tells me I’ve gained weight.  I’m going to ignore the clinic figure until I get a chance to weigh on “the back scale,” and I hope I’m never strong-armed into using “the front scale” again.


The clinic reached out to me this morning and arranged a time for me to come in to weigh again.  Betsy, the program’s manager, is to be commended for her dedication to the program and its participants.  What great service!  I’ll be updating The Progress this evening.

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