Does 'Sensa' make Sense?


Perhaps you've heard of the newest weight loss phenomenon, it is called "Sensa".  In case you haven't heard the manufacturer makes some pretty bold claims and I've had a number of patients ask about it so I thought it might be a good topic for the newsletter.  So lets cut through some of the hype and try and get to a few facts…..

So what is Sensa?  It is not a diet but more of a 'weight loss supplement' developed by Alan Hirsch, MD who is the director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago.  He has developed Sensa crystals or "tastants" that supposedly promote feelings of fullness.

Sensa is sometimes called "the sprinkle diet" because the crystals are sprinkled on whatever food the patient is going to eat and the smell is supposed to trick your brain into feeling full with less food.  If you go to Sensa's website: (  you will see that it is 'clinically proven'…sounds impressive right??  Well not really.

Before we get into the details let's discuss a few things you should always be on the look out for when you are looking at clinical studies.  First, who paid for the study? Was it the company who invented the drug/supplement or an independent third party?

Second, after the study was done who reviewed the results, the company who invented the drug or an independent party?  When an independent party reviews the study it is called "peer review".  This means that someone who has no interest in the outcome of the study has reviewed it and said that it seems reasonable.
Third, how long did they follow the patients to see if the results they claim to have gotten lasted.

You know in baseball when you've gotten three strikes you're out, well unfortunately Sensa strikes out on all three counts!  There are two studies that the company claims 'clinically prove' that Sensa works, but when we look 'under the hood' we have some major red flags.

Both studies were conducted by Dr. Hirsch (NOT an independent researcher), neither study has been subjected to peer review and the patients were only followed for 6 months.  That is not long enough to determine the long term effectiveness of any medical treatment.  Based on these facts I am definitely not convinced that Sensa is particularly effective for weight loss.

If you are interested in a more detailed discussion of Sensa here are few links which you might find helpful, the first is from WebMD:

and the second is from the Mayo clinic:

From the Gut... by Glynn Fluitt
Mr. Fluitt is a patient that has graciously offered to contribute to the newsletter – his column is a welcomed addition to the GSBWC newsletter and its readers!



This Doesn't Taste Like Cookies and Cream!!!!????




 That's what I said after tasting many different protein shakes. Chalky. Gritty. "THIS Doesn't taste like Cookies n Cream!"


Had this been AFTER my Gastric Bypass surgery, I would have been doomed!!

 But I'm weird that way. I like to research. I like to "know before I go". Ask my wife … sometimes it drives her crazy. Ok .. MOST times! But in this instance, my quirk, I believe, saved me. I tested sample after sample of protein products BEFORE I had the surgery. I wanted to  be READY to succeed. I started reading about different products, tasting samples, looking at prices, and talking to people.


I found out that I liked the initial taste of Isopure, but that for me it left a metallic taste at the back of my tongue. A LOT of people swear by Isopure, but I have half a case sitting in my pantry. I tried Power Bar snacks, but found them too sweet for my Post-RNY tolerance level.

If you go online and Google "protein powder samples" you'll find many sites that have sample packs of single serving protein mixes. Three years ago they cost me about a buck a sample. That was MUCH better than spending $30 to $50 for a massive tub of powder that would taste like "who knows what".I probably spent $50 on a pre-surgery tasting buffet of protein, but by the time my procedure came around I knew that I had a success plan for my protein requirements. What was my final landing point?

Glynn's Post-RNY Protein Shake

    1 scoop Unjury vanilla (
    1 scoop Unjury unflavored
    4-6 oz skim milk
    1 packet Equal
    2 ice cubes
    Blend into a great vanilla "milk shake" with 30 grams of protein..

Plan for success!!

follow me @BariatricDude        

 Always on the look out for a tasty and easy to prepare meal, here is a Burger modified for you – giving you the nutrition you need and no sacrifice of taste – I must admit – I am loving this Burger!!!!

Black Bean Burger

  Yield 5  


    2 Tablespoons of olive oil
    1/2 of small onion, diced
    1/8 tsp of crushed red pepper
    1 garlic clove, diced
    1 can of black beans, drained
    1/2 cup cooked barley*
    1 egg, slightly beaten
    1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
    1/8 cup chopped fresh basil
    1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    1/4 teaspoon of salt
    Fresh ground pepper to taste

*Barley, once cooked, is a soft grain that takes about 30 minutes to prepare.  Bring 1 cup of low sodium broth (chicken, beef or vegetable) to a boil.  Add 1/2 cup of dry barley, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 – 35 minutes.  1/2 cup dry barley will yield about 1 cup cooked    



    In a small skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the diced onion and cook over moderate heat until softened. Add the crushed red pepper and garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes.
    In a food processor, pulse all but 1/2 cup of the beans to a chunky puree; transfer to a bowl.
    Fold in the remaining 1/2 cup of beans, the barley, the onion mixture, eggs, Panko bread crumbs, basil, cilantro, pepper, and salt. Form the mixture into 5 patties. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    In a large, nonstick skillet, heat the remaining oil. Add the burgers and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned and heated through, about 6 minutes. Serve with your favorite salad.

Click Here for More Recipes to Enjoy!  





Patients are frequently asking for suggestions on how to keep track of what they eat and how they know the mix of what is in what they eat – Protein, Sodium, Fiber,Carbs, Good and Bad Fats) especially when they are out or do not have access to the labels of the food they are eating.  If you want a mobile application to assist you when on the run, out eating or just like having it at your fingertips at all times…there is a Free Smartphone App called "LOSE IT!" that I have been suggesting to patients as an option to work the menu and menu the work for before, during and after surgery.  I have reviewed the app and find it to be a good way to help you work your plan.  

If you are using it now – would love to hear how it is working for you.  

We are not associated with the app in any way or receive any compensation for recommending the application 🙂 –



Upcoming Free Seminars
The next Free Informational seminar is at our Millburn office on August 22,  2012 starting at 6:30pm.  Dr. Yurcisin leads the discussion on weight loss, your surgical options and if 'Bariatric Surgery is Right for Me?'.
If you or your guests cannot make the 8/22/12 seminar, September 5th  2012 will be the next available seminar in our Millburn office.

To Find out more, simply click here for Dates and Locations of Seminars!
We welcome your guests and anyone that wants to know more about the benefits of bariatric surgery.

In This Issue SensaFrom the GutMarisol's Nutritional CornerEnd Quote

This Designation  is the 1st line of Defense for All Patients when looking for a Certified Center of Excellence Bariatric Surgeon.  GSBWC has proudly been Certified since we began our practice.

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