How to Triumph and Accelerate Weight Loss – Bariatric Edition

This is one of the times of the year which has my inbox full of bariatric clients asking about their surgery results and why is it that their scale is a bit stuck.  Everybody is very motivated when the New Year begins and then by about February and March the will-power starts to falter and in April we are all getting nervous because it’s time to be “Spring-Summer” ready.  It’s time to peel off the layers of winter clothing and we were looking forward to hitting specific goals by this time.  What’s up and how do we place our foot back onto the accelerator ?  

The plea often sounds like this – is there a faster way to drop the last 10lbs ?  what can I do to get the scale moving quickly ? Did I do something wrong and mess up my surgery ?

I write a lot and I blog about this exact subject often.  It’s one of the most popular subjects.  There are not any miracle ways or liquids diets or supplements that will make any long term difference.  It’s about dedication and hard work and eating the right foods to keep your body satisfied and to keep hunger at bay.  It’s about saying “no” to foods which will elevate blood sugar / insulin levels and keep your body from ridding itself of the excess weight.  It’s about drinking more water, ditching the sugar and moving more.  Pre surgery there were not any short-cuts to long term results.  Post surgery we need to use our tool and make good decisions.  There are some things that we just have to do for long term success.  Here is a short list of things which I think are super important for long term success and for getting that scale moving again.  It’s a simple reminder of what we can do today.  

  • Make a meal plan and stick with it
  • Get some daily exercise – walking counts too
  • Drink lots of water – don’t drink with meals
  • Keep a food journal and write it all down
  • Sleep your 8 hours a night
  • Don’t graze
  • Make consistent smart food choices
  • Protein first

If you need some additional help with meal planning, here’s one that counts every calorie and every macro for you.  It shows the meal breakdown and also the full day breakdown/ calories and grams.  It’s a full 3 weeks with recipes and menus attached.  BACK ON TRACK/ RESET

Bariatric surgery is a journey which doesn’t magically begin and end.  It is striving to learn more about nutrition and to make good decisions each and every day.  We want to get healthier and to move more and to eat as smart as possible.  It is a journey.  Here’s to making good decisions this week !  Now go drink some water please 😉

About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery clients for over 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.

For high quality specialized plant protein for bariatric patients Bariatric Expert Protein Powders

Time for a “bariatric expert” multivitamin ?  Here is a perfect way for bariatric patients to get it now on Amazon:  Bariatric Expert MultiVitamins.

Eat Like a Bariatric Expert with our Nutrition Plans.

Feel free to share your victories and struggles in our Facebook Group. I would love to connect with you.

Stay motivated with Bariatric Wristbands – post your results online !

Your Pouch and Digestion Bariatric Edition

The way we cook

Isn’t it interesting how post bariatric surgery – some foods go down easily and others give us a bit of trouble ?  One day you can have yourself a serving of creamy chicken and the next day a grilled chicken breast makes you feel bad and like it’s stuck in the pouch.  When you cook that same chicken breast with a different method – steaming vs grilling – the softer version is going to the be the one which goes down easier.  It’s that the steamed chicken breast is more moist and easier to tolerate vs the grilled one which seems to be a bit harder.  If you want to make the chicken breast more comfortable to eat, add a bit of chicken stock or a bit of cream to your cooking method.  This adds additional moisture and makes it easier to digest.

Mechanisms that help or hinder

Sometimes we tend to eat quickly and not chew our food properly.  When you take large bites, food travels to the stomach in big pieces.  That makes it harder to digest and the food can feel like it’s just sitting in the pouch and making us uncomfortable for an extended amount of time.  We need to know that digestion begins in the mouth.  It begins by chewing the food and our saliva also helps as it is a part of the digestive system.  Slow down. Take your time.  Chew your food in your mouth before swallowing and allow it to mix with your saliva.  All of these tricks makes digestion easier and the food will go down more smoothly.

Multi-tasking

Watching TV or playing video games or reading can be distracting while you are trying to eat.  It’s always best to put away those types of distractions and focus on what is in front of you – your food.  In practice it is difficult to get this one right all of the time but let’s make an effort to focus on eating and chewing and enjoying the flavors and textures of our foods.  How many times have you eaten in front of the computer and not even remembered what you had to eat ?  It happens all the time so let’s allow ourselves to feel satisfied with our meals by not multitasking during them.

Stressed out

Try to have your meals in a relaxed setting and begin your meals by taking a few deep breaths and calming yourself down.  When we are stressed, our upper digestive tract can actually tighten making it harder to tolerate certain foods.  Sometimes eating alone can remove the distractions and stressors and allow us to consume and digest our foods more easily.    Think about how you feel prior to beginning your meals.  

Sit up straight

It sounds like some pretty basic advice but sitting with bad posture can negatively affect your digestion.  Don’t slouch or lie down when eating.  Help your digestive system work better by sitting up straight and pulling your shoulders back in a comfortable position.  Condition yourself to eating only in the “eating rooms” such as in the dining room or kitchen.  

These hints and tips should get you thinking about your habits and how you eat and how that food makes you feel.

Reach out with any questions you may have.

About the Author: Sheri Burke is an RHN Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery clients for over a decade and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post surgery bariatric clients.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.

For high quality specialized plant protein for bariatric patients Bariatric Expert Protein Powders

Time for a “bariatric expert” multivitamin ?  Here is a perfect way for bariatric patients to get it now on Amazon:  Bariatric Expert MultiVitamins.

Eat Like a Bariatric Expert with our Nutrition Plans.

Feel free to share your victories and struggles in our Facebook Group. I would love to connect with you.

Stay motivated with Bariatric Wristbands – post your results online !

Plateaus and Stalls

This is a question that I have answered in the past but I want to revisit it again because it is one of the most popular questions that I get asked.  “How can I break my weight loss stall or plateau” ?  This is not “regain” – this is just that part of your journey where the scale stops moving and doesn’t want to budge.  Sometimes you need to take a bit of a different approach to get it moving again – let’s jump start the scale again.

You are feeling frustrated because you are doing all the right things. You are giving it your “all” and the scale is looking back at you with the exact same numbers every day.  A week goes by, two weeks go by and NOTHING.  What the heck is happening here ?  Our bodies are very smart and they want to hold onto weight and they get worried because you keep making them lose weight.  The human body strives always for homeostasis or balance.  Sure, it can be frustrating to hit a plateau because it affects our motivation yet I always tell clients that it is a part of the bariatric journey.  So what’s a post bariatric patient supposed to do in this situation ?

My best advice after seeing almost all clients plateau, is to make a change.  You need to change something and you need to change it now.  Do not do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. That is the definition of insanity.  Your body is craving a change.  So what kind of change can you make ?

Change your Macro-Nutrient Balancing:

I know it sounds difficult and maybe complicated but here ’s that idea to change up what you are eating.  Let’s say you are eating a diet that is moderately high in carbohydrates, this is the perfect time to reduce your carb intake. You can increase your protein and healthy fat intake.  You don’t need to get all fancy but you do need to know how to count carbs, proteins and fats – those are your macronutrients.  If you find yourself eating 40 grams of protein a day, try to increase that to 60 grams.  If you tend to eat a snack which contains carbs, aim for one that contains a serving of fat and a serving of protein instead.  Instead of having a piece of fruit, have yourself a handful of nuts and seeds.  The basic idea is to switch things up and do something different with your diet.

Lift Heavy Weights:

Walking is such a great way to get outdoors (or even indoors on the treadmill) and burn off some calories.  It’s such a great way to start your bariatric journey but there comes a time where it is very repetitive and your body needs for you to switch it up and give it a bit of a surprise.  It is time to start lifting weights.  This will increase your lean body mass and it will also strengthen bone tissue and in the end it’s going to boost metabolic rate.  Get yourself some 8 lb weights and get online to learn a few basic exercises and get to it.  There are plenty of free programs online to follow along to.  The other option is to join a gym and get a trainer.  Once your body is used to lifting weights, increase the weights and don’t be afraid to lift heavy.  

Switch up the exercise routine:

So let’s say you are already in an exercise pattern, doing the same thing over and over again. Once again, it’s time to switch up the exercise routine and get out there and try something different.  You could purchase a new online program or hit the gym or join a sports team.  You can meet up with your friends for an afternoon hike or find a super cool bike and hit the trails.  You can also start parking as far away as possible and walk through the parking lot instead of fighting it out for the closest parking spot.  What I am trying to get at is that you NEED to change what you are already doing and keep your very intelligent body guessing – your body will adapt quickly.

Additional things you can do:

Is the scale still stuck after you have implemented the ideas above ? There are other things you can do to help your body break a stall.

Go to bed earlier and get some more sleep.

Don’t eat too many calories and stop eating when you are satisfied.

Try not to graze all day – this is a way to over-consume calories while never feeling satisfied.

Instead of focusing on the scale, make a new goal and focus on an exercise goal – like walking or running a 5K, or building up your strength to get to the next strength goal.

Drink more water – increase those fluids.

If you need help breaking your stall, you can use one of our three bariatric nutrition programs – each one different and each one very successful:

BACK ON TRACK 

10 DAY BARIATRIC DETOX

BARIATRIC KETO 

About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery patients for over a decade and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.

For high quality specialized plant protein for bariatric patients Bariatric Expert Protein Powders

Time for a “bariatric expert” multivitamin ?  Here is a perfect way for bariatric patients to get it now on Amazon:  Bariatric Expert MultiVitamins.

Eat Like a Bariatric Expert with our Nutrition Plans.

Feel free to share your victories and struggles in our Facebook Group. I would love to connect with you.

Stay motivated with Bariatric Wristbands – post your results online !

What kind of calories post bariatric surgery ?

how many calories per day should a bariatric client eat ?

“Counting Calories is Fun” …. said no one ever.

This is one of the questions which I get asked every day from bariatric clients who are starting their journey but also from bariatric clients who are years post op.  Let’s break it down and get into it so that you have a good idea where you should be in the very beginning and years after surgery.

The very first thing that we need to remember is that the goal of the post op nutritional plan is to optimize the very tiny portions of food which you will be consuming in order to get what your body needs to heal and to be healthy.  In the beginning you will find that your portion size will be about 2 to 4 ounces and you will feel full or satisfied with this meal or snack.  As time passes, your post operative swelling will diminish and you will be able to consume 4 to 6 ounces of food.  It’s the type of foods that you consume that will support weight loss or hinder it.

Let’s Talk Protein – the big macronutrient.

Post bariatric surgery, the most important nutrient will be protein.  You will focus on the protein content of food and eat those first.  The best sources of proteins are going to be eggs, fish, chicken, meat, milk and cheese. You can also find protein in lentils and beans.  Right after surgery it can be difficult for clients to digest red meat / pork, veal, lamb so choose the cuts that are the most tender.  If you are having trouble hitting your protein goals, you can use a supplement like this one – Plant Protein   You are aiming for 50 to 80 grams per day of protein.  That’s your target.  You won’t hit it in the beginning but you will work up to it with time and effort.

Carbohydrate Talk

Carbohydrates can be found in fruits and vegetables.  They don’t need to be found in the form of bread, pasta, rice, tortillas and crackers.  Stay away from the refined ones and stick to the fresh ones.  The refined ones can also be a food trigger for clients so keeping them out of your diet is the best way to avoid overeating carbohydrates.  Try to include a serving of low carb vegetables in eat meal/ snack – such as broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, arugula.  For every bite of protein, include a bite of vegetables.  Chew a lot and slow down – take your time.  Set a timer and what you cannot eat in 20 minutes, you can set aside for later.

Healthy Fats

The right kinds of fats help increase satiety, protect your health, maximize the metabolism and improve fat-soluble vitamin uptake.  Don’t be fat phobic but choose the correct types of fats.  Eat small amount coconut oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and grass fed butter.  Fat tastes good and it’s good for you.

So trying to decide how many calories you should actually be eating or drinking post bariatric surgery is difficult to estimate.  On average a post op client will be consuming 800 to 1200 calories but every client recovers differently and those amounts are going to change with time and as well with weight loss. Patients who exercise post surgery will also be able to consume more calories while having the scale move in the right direction.  The portion sizes will increase after the surgery and this is completely normal.  Post operative swelling goes down and more space is made available in the new stomach.  

Most clients go into the surgery with a “dieters dilemma or mentality” where they are constantly counting their calories and what we try to do is to shift away from that mentality and try to focus more on satiety levels and how the foods make us feel.  Focusing on the quality of foods will be more important than the quantity of them.  I like to say “eat to your appetite and not to a schedule”.  Think about the reasons you are hungry and are they real hunger signals or is it coming from a place of boredom or nervousness ?  The bariatric procedure is not the beginning of a new diet, it is the beginning of a new lifestyle.  This new lifestyle should include include vegetables, and lean proteins, fruit, dairy and wholegrain. It should not include any refined food or processed foods that have labels – apples don’t come with labels and neither do avocados.  See what I mean ?

Do you count calories ?  Do you count macronutrients ?  What is it that you do to break your plateaus or maintain your goal weight ?  I would love to hear how you do it !  comment below 😉

About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery patients for over a decade and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.

For high quality specialized plant protein for bariatric patients Bariatric Expert Protein Powders

Time for a “bariatric expert” multivitamin ?  Here is a perfect way for bariatric patients to get it now on Amazon:  Bariatric Expert MultiVitamins.

Eat Like a Bariatric Expert with our Nutrition Plans.

Feel free to share your victories and struggles in our Facebook Group. I would love to connect with you.

Stay motivated with Bariatric Wristbands – post your results online !