Perfect Lunch for Bariatric Clients

Being prepared is the best way to be successful post bariatric surgery.  Like everybody, bariatric post ops need to plan their meals and they can either not eat lunch, visit the local diner for lunch or eat something that they bring from home.
Sometimes we don’t have an option and we skip our lunch due to difficult work deadlines or the inability to escape from our desks but we want to regularly make sure to fuel ourselves with the best nutritional options to keep our energy levels high and to stay in a good/ positive mood throughout the day.  Poor lunch choices can lead to unhealthy snacking at caffeinated beverages mid-afternoon.
Going out for lunch with co-workers is fine every once in a while but that routine can be very hard on your wallet and also on your figure.  It’s hard to control what goes into your meal when it comes from somebody else’s kitchen.  Eating out should be a “special event” and not an everyday routine.
If you create healthy dinners in the evenings, you can always make some extra to pack for the next day and that enables you to free up some time and energy by recycling dinner for lunch.  Take the leftover chicken and make a chicken wrap or a chicken salad or a chicken soup.  Nobody likes to throw away food so this idea is a win/win.  Get some pretty new tupperware to give your lunch a “face-lift”.  Make your lunch a special time and love yourself enough to make beautiful and pretty creations.
So what should go into that lunch bag ?  Look for four factors to have a healthy lunch.
Protein is the first factor for a healthy lunch.  Think of 3 to 4 ounces of high quality protein such as turkey, fish, shrimp, chicken, beef, pork or eggs.  Those are the right kinds of proteins to start to build your healthy lunch with.
Next up is the carbohydrates and when adding carbs, make sure that they are the healthy kind of carbs such as quinoa, squash or sweet potatoes.  You also want to add lots of low carb veggies such as cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and lettuce.
Don’t be afraid of Fat.  Add healthy fat to your lunch in the form of avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, olive oil, olives, avocado oil.  It will keep you feeling full and satisfied and it will also help your body better absorb all the nutrients from your low carb veggies !
Spice things up by adding flavor to your meal through the use of spices and herbs.  Try some chili powder or some fresh basil, garlic, onions etc.  The same meal each day can get boring but by using different flavors, you will get completely different tastes.
Love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle !

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 !

Essential components for big losses – bariatric edition.

Big losses are going to occur when you get a lot of the different components correct.  This is an important part of the equation.  Post bariatric surgery, clients lose weight due to primarily the restriction they feel and the food choices they are making but when stalls and plateaus occur, there are other places we can look to improve upon to keep the scale moving in the right direction.

A perfect nutritional regime is so important but sometimes we need to make some tweaks to get the best results.  When you put the other pieces into place, the best results can be achieved.

Here are my top contenders to keep moving in the right direction !

Walking – We don’t need to over-complicate it in the beginning.  We just need to get moving more and walking is the perfect way to start.  Open the door and get outdoors and walk in one direction for 15 minutes and then turn around and walk back.  Don’t aim for a 5 or 10K walk in the beginning, just get outdoors and move.  This will help shift the scale but it’s also the best thing for your mood and your overall well being.  We all have time for this.  Put yourself first and go for a walk please.

Sleeping – Sleeping is so under-rated and I believe that it’s the best free medicine that we can give ourselves.  If you are not getting enough sleep, then it’s going to be difficult to lose the weight you need to lose.  If you diet is great and you are walking each day and the weight loss has stalled, take a hard look at your sleep patterns.  This is real folks.  If you are not getting at least 7 hours of sleep at night, you could be stalling your scale.  If you are having trouble sleeping, have a look at your sleep patterns and what you can do to improve them.  Turn off the TV, put down the phone, stop scrolling and make your bedroom an easier place to fall asleep.

De-Stressing – I know that we all live each day with a certain amount of stress.  Yup, we all have it.  But what can we do to de-stress ? Look at the first two suggestions above 1/walking  2/sleeping – and try to put these two into action.  Sleeping more and walking each day will both help with your stress levels.  Take a hard look at what you are winning by being in a constant state of stress and take control of your emotions.  The first step to de-stressing is to admit that you are stressed in the first place.  Next, determine the reasons why you feel this way and take corrective action to try to put yourself first and remove yourself from the stress.  Nothing is accomplished by walking around every day in a cloud of stress.  Your cortisol levels will be high and you will be unable to lose weight.  This is also real folks !  Put yourself first and manage your stress levels please.

I know it is tough to get all the pieces right.  But I also know that if your diet is in check and the scale is still not moving, then it is time to look at the other ways we can help our bodies to make the desired changes.  I struggle with stress so I know that if my diet is too high in sugar, or I am not being as active as I can – then my sleep will be affected and it’s a vicious cycle.  This is the time to sit down and have a discussion with ourselves and to see what areas can be improved upon.  Don’t throw your hands in the air and stick your head in the sand.  We have come this far so let’s keep moving forward.  These small changes can have a huge impact.

I believe in you !

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 !

Reading Food Labels 101 – Bariatric Edition

Maneuvering your way around the grocery store can feel like a gigantic maze designed to make you feel confused.  We have labels on foods items shouting out how healthy they are for us on the front packages but when you turn them over, and look at the nutritional label, what are you looking for ?  Sure, the labels are so valuable to help make healthy choices but they seem so confusing at the same time.

How hard can it be to decipher food labels ?  Does the food industry make it more difficult for us to understand the labels ?  I feel that the best way to comprehend food labels is to break them down into sections, one at a time.  Start with serving side and then move to calories, protein, fat, sodium and carbohydrates.  Work through them one by one and the more you do this, the more you will be able to understand them. 

We look at our food labels for different reasons.  Whatever your reasons may be, it is wise to know how to use the information that is given on the labels to make fast, informed food choices that contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle.  In general, look for foods that are low in sodium and trans fat.  When it comes to the % daily value, this can help you to quickly gage whether the food is high or low in a particular nutrient.  If the daily value is 5% or less, it is low in that nutrient and if it has a value of 20% or above, the food is considered high in that nutrient. The percentage daily value or %DV will also help you to know and understand how nutritious a food actually is.  It is based on eating 2,000 calories a day.  The %DV is based on how much of a specific nutrient you should have every day. 

Serving Size is located right on top of the Nutrition Facts:
We use serving size to understand portion size.  This doesn’t mean that you need to eat the entire serving.  It means that the typical user of this product eats “X” portion size.

Calories will be the next section to follow.
This tells us for the typical portion of food, you will gain “X” amount of calories when you eat that portion.  From this point you can compare different products of the same food-type to see which ones are higher and lower in calories.  I am not a calorie fanatic and I don’t personally believe in the “calories in and calories out” theory but I do think it is an important starting point when reading food labels.  

Total Fat will be found under the calories listed.
The fat section will be broken down into three parts.  First up is the total fat, followed by saturated fat and followed by trans fat.  Trans fasts are the fats that we are trying to completely avoid.  The best number to see on your food label next to the trans fat section is 0.  

Total Carbohydrate
Is up next and there is a lot of controversy right now when it comes to discussing carbohydrates.  This isn’t a lesson in food nutrition but a lesson in reading labels so I am going to keep this to the point.  Choosing better types of carbohydrates is important for your health.  The food label can help you to understand how many grams of carbohydrates are in any specific product but it is not going to tell you the quality of carbohydrates in the product.  

Dietary Fiber
Is next up under the carbohydrate section.  Fiber is your friend and if you choose foods that are higher in dietary fiber, you will feel fuller for longer.  

Sugars
Come next on the food label.  We are all trying to watch our sugars so the lower this number is, the better off we are. Be aware of sugars and other sweeteners that do not necessarily call themselves sugar but there are a lot of names for sugar, such as corn syrup, maple syrup, rice syrup, honey, molasses, barley malt or many things that end in the letters “ol”, such as maltitol, sorbitol or “ose” endings like fructose or dextrose.  

Protein
Is highlighted next.  Proteins are one of our macronutrients – the other two are fat and carbohydrates.  You want to find foods that provide you with protein such as meat and dairy products.  A percentage daily value for protein is not required on the label.

In general, when it comes to the percent daily value, this can help you to quickly gage whether the food is high or low in a particular nutrient.  If the daily value is 5% or less, it is low in that nutrient and if it has a value of 20% or above, the food is considered high in that nutrient.

During your next few trips to the grocery store, give yourself some additional time to look carefully at the products and at their food labels.  It gets easier as you read more labels and once you have found your healthy “go to items”, grocery shopping becomes easier and quicker.  

You are worth it and your health is also worth it !

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 !

Better sleep for better losses – bariatric edition

Better Sleep = Better Weight Loss
Are you one of the millions of people who struggle with getting sufficient sleep ?  Are you also struggling to reach your weight loss goals ? These two situations share a strong association and the research suggests that if you improve one, you will have a beneficial effect on the other.
Getting a good night sleep is probably the best free medicine in the world.  You need to get serious about your sleep and your sleep routine if you want to maximize the losses on your scale.  Our body needs to be relaxed and ready to fall asleep at bedtime and not stimulated by iPads and smartphones and TV screens.  Our body needs to concentrate on getting good quality sleep when asleep and not on digestion of foods we have eaten at bedtime.
Sleep and weight loss is closely related.  We know that if we have poor sleep, we will make poor food choices and if we make poor food choices, our sleep will be affected.  If we sleep each day at the same time and wake up at the same time, we will have a healthier BMI.
Sleep plays such an important role in excellent health throughout our entire lifespan.  It is underrated and one of the most important functions that we perform on a daily basis. Sleep gives our bodies a chance to heal and rest and get ready for the next day ahead.  Sometimes we work so hard on the other areas of our health that we forget to pay sufficient attention to one of the most important aspects of good health – good sleep.
When we are sleep deprived our body makes additional ghrelin.  If we don’t get sufficient sleep, leptin levels drop – which then signals to your brain that you need to eat more food.  Do the math – it’s no surprise that when we are sleep deprived, we tend to overeat.  If we don’t sleep enough (under 7 hours per night), it can undo and reduce the benefits of our healthy diet.
Exactly how do you feel when you wake up and you have had a bad night of sleep ?  Are you feeling dazed ?  exhausted ? and even confused ?  Are you in a bad mood ?  not only does your brain feel the effects, your fat cells also feel the effects.  When your body is experiencing sleep deprivation, you have what is considered metabolic grogginess.  Just a few nights of poor sleep and you are in sleep debt.  With only 4 days of sleep debt your body has to work harder to use insulin properly (this is the master storage hormone).  Insulin sensitivity can drop by over 30%.  And why is this so bad ?  if your insulin is working as it should, then fat cells are going to remove fatty acids and lipids from the blood stream and will prevent storage.  If you are more insulin resistant, then the lipids circulate in the blood and more insulin is pumped out.  Extra insulin stores fat in the wrong areas such as in tissues like your liver.
Prioritize your sleep – aim for  7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.  It might seem like basic information but this is the information that could make a much bigger difference over any other health decision you make.
  • Maintain a regular sleep routine.
  • Avoid naps if possible.
  • Don’t stay in bed awake for more than 10-15 minutes.
  • Don’t watch TV or read in bed.
  • Drink caffeinated drinks with caution.
  • Exercise.
  • Have a dark, quite, and comfortable place to sleep.
Start Small.  Making little changes can have a very big impact on your sleep quality.  Don’t try to make all the changes at once and instead pick two things or strategies and try to implement them.  The goal is to slowly begin increasing the behaviors which will lead to better sleep.  Hang in there and stick with it.
Get your ZZZ’s.

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 !

Truths and Realities – Bariatric Edition

Realities Versus Myths 

We are all part of a very weight conscious time and era.  We have all been affected by it.  The media pushes imagines of a teeny tiny waists from the decade of the 1950s to the super skimpy skirts of the 1960s.  The 1970s showed us how to let it all go free and Jane Fonda bounced around showing us how to look perfect in a leotard in the 1980s.  Even though we grew up having this information, it seems that from the 1990s we have watched as we got larger and our health continued to deteriorate.  We now have all the information at our finger-tips to remain healthy so what is going on with us today ?

Let’s talk about some of the diet myths.

So we have new studies and new ideas and new options to get fit and in shape every day.  Why do they contradict each other and what can we believe ?  There is so much confusion.  Here are a few “truths” that we need to understand.

We all should be on a diet.  This is a lie.

This is plain wrong wrong wrong.  Maybe we can lose a bit of weight if we diet and restrict ourselves for a period of time but the numbers don’t lie and 85% of us will gain the weight we lose (and more) within one year of the “diet” ending.  Hello.  This tells me that diets do not work.  What we need to do is to make lifestyle changes.  Real changes to the way you live and eat.  We need to create habits that last for a lifetime and that become our way of eating and our way of life.

Eat a big breakfast each day.  This is a lie.

Again, I think this is up to each client and their individual needs and requirements.  Some of us are awake with the birds and others are night owls and have a hard time falling asleep.  We are biochemical individuals and when it comes to eating breakfast we need to listen to our bodies and our individual needs.  Your body will give you signs and signals when it needs to eat.  Listen to your body and allow it to guide you.  When you do eat or “break your fast”, avoid sugary foods and refined carbohydrates choosing to eat clean protein with fruit and vegetables whenever possible.  

Low fat foods help with weight loss.  This is a lie.

This is a big fat lie.  Healthy fat is back in style.  The whole “low fat craze” was very harmful to our bodies.  All those low fat foods and yogurts and cheese and cookies and margarines may have had the fat removed but in order to taste good, they were filled with sugar, and chemicals and salt.  Don’t buy or eat low fat foods.  Eat the real food.  Yes, eat the butter in moderation.  The best way to look at this is to focus on eating real food and avoid anything that is processed.  If  you follow this rule, automatically you will reduce your refined carbohydrate load.  This is my very favorite advice for long and short term weight loss.  Don’t eat the Fruit Loops / Eat the Fruit.

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 !