The Importance of Nutritional Support Post Bariatric Surgery

The journey does not end when you get home with your VSG.  The journey is just beginning.

This is a topic that is near and dear to me.  Half of my career was spent coordinating and facilitating for clients who wanted to have bariatric surgery in Mexico.  After I realized that our clients required more than just the logistics of surgery, I went back to school to become an RHN, registered holistic nutritionist.  I now do all the coordination, and logistics for our clients but I also work with them before surgery and post-surgery to ensure that they meet all of their short and long term goals.

We have an extremely well-rounded bariatric program. Our clients have all of our experience with coordination and facilitation as well as true nutritional support.  We don’t just give them a hand-out diet and tell them to follow it. We work with them on a bi-weekly and monthly basis requesting food logs and weigh-ins through emails and telephone calls.  Our clients let us know how much support they require and we work around their schedule.  

What I discovered along my 12-year journey working with bariatric clients is the importance of nutritional support.  Bariatric surgery is a wonderful thing. It is the tool that transforms lives and helps us to lose enormous amounts of weight and to get healthy again but what happens as time goes on?  How can we maintain those results? 

Once we have our weight loss tool, we need to learn how to truly use it and this is a life long journey.  The journey does not end when you get home from the hospital with your bariatric tool.  The journey is just beginning.

I know that clients can lose weight during their first year eating a diet that is let’s say “not so perfect” but what happens down the road?  I am here to tell you that if you do not make real lifestyle changes after your bariatric surgery, you will go back to where you came from.  If you continue to eat post surgery like you were eating before surgery, you will go back to where you came from.  There is a pattern here.  Real changes need to be made or you will go back to where you came from.

This is not to scare you into eating a salad but it’s to provide you with the information you need in order to reach your goals and also to maintain them. 

I want my clients to understand food.  We need to get educated about fat, protein, and carbohydrates.  We need to understand how many calories we should be eating each day. We need to learn about macro-nutrient balancing.  We need to understand portion control also.  

It’s not as easy as reading one book or reading a few blogs and deciding that you are “good to go”.  Food nutrition science is changing each day and we need to stay on top of it.  One day eggs are good for you and the next they are bad for you.  We need to take food science seriously if we plan on staying thin and healthy for the years to come.

If you are reading this blog, then it means that you care about your food decisions and that you want to learn more.  I salute you for that. It’s a very complicated arena but that is why I bring you updated blogs and videos on a weekly basis.  I want you to be able to fully understand your nutritional decisions.

We eat every single day.  We eat many times each day.  Why is it that we don’t really understand what happens to the food when we eat it and what it does inside our body?  That’s my job and intend to provide all of my clients with this type of knowledge.  “Nutrition Knowledge” is power and we need all of our power to stay healthy and happy moving forward in this journey.

Congrats on being here – you’ve got this!

 

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 !

 

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Some Do’s and Don’ts After Bariatric Surgery

Each Monday I sit down and find a topic that I believe will be useful to the weight loss surgery community.  I search for ideas that I believe will educate clients and help them to navigate the waters post-bariatric surgery.  This week I want to bring to you some ideas of what to prioritize after surgery and what “not to do” after surgery.  It’s just a gentle reminder of how to reach our goals, both short and long term.

Let’s start with the importance of protein. In order to heal faster and prevent muscle loss, it’s important to consume sufficient protein.  Protein shakes are fine in the beginning but I like to see people transition pretty quickly to whole, live, fresh, natural food.  Instead of reaching for a protein shake for breakfast, prepare some scrambled eggs.  Instead of having a shake for lunch, prepare a chicken salad at home with an olive oil vinaigrette.  It’s better for your health and your wallet.

Make sure to stay hydrated.  A lot of my clients don’t feel hungry or thirsty post surgery so I make sure to stress the importance of H20.  You need to drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day and when you are very newly operated, it can be difficult.  I want you to be very focused on how much water you are drinking.  Keep track of it and put an app on your phone which reminds you to drink up.

Nutrient deficiencies can occur in post-bariatric surgery clients.  Let’s try to prevent them before they occur.  Please take your bariatric vitamins.  I believe that food comes first and supplements are like a good insurance policy.  You cannot supplement your way out of a bad diet but we can add to our good diet by taking high-quality bariatric vitamins. 

Keeping a log or a journal after surgery is a really good way to get to know your new anatomy.  It can help you figure out food sensitivities and understand better what works and what doesn’t work for you.  You can go back to the early days and see what you were eating when the pounds were falling off.  You can also track your exercise,  water intake, your feelings, and your sleep schedule.  It gets you to slow down and spend a few moments with yourself.  

All of my clients have the advantage that they are able to communicate with me whenever they feel the need.  I am an RHN, registered holistic nutritionist, who specializes in post-bariatric nutrition.  If you have a nutritionist or a dietician included in your weight loss surgery plan, use them.  Stay close to them.  Reach out to them and let them know any concerns that you have.  Share your food log with them.  Make regular appointments with them.  They are an important part of your journey and they can help you to reach your weight loss goals through good nutritional habits.  

Now let’s move to the next section which is what NOT to do as a post-bariatric client.

Don’t speed through your post-op guidelines.  What I mean to say is that I don’t want you going from soups to stews overnight.  There is a progression that needs to be respected in order to allow sufficient time for your newly operated stomach to heal.  You will get to the stage where you can eat everything but don’t rush it.  Time passes quickly and you will get there before you know it.  In the beginning, go slowly, and follow your guidelines.  Your tummy will thank you for it.

Don’t allow old habits to creep back into your new healthy lifestyle.  You have worked so hard to have your surgery and to lose weight.  If you go back to those habits of drinking your calories or eating refined and processed carbohydrates (slider foods), you are setting yourself up for a weight re-gain.  Try to incorporate your new healthy habits in a way where they become your lifestyle.  You are in this for the long haul and those french fries are not worth the damage they can cause if you begin to eat them again on a regular basis.

Don’t compare yourself to others who have had weight loss surgery.  We are all at a different starting point, different age, different gender, different metabolism.  This is your personal journey and if your scale is moving in the right direction, you are winning.  Don’t be looking over your shoulder at others who are losing weight at a different rate.  

Bariatric surgery isn’t a race and there is no finish line.  It is a lifelong journey to improved health markers.  Enjoy the trip.  If you’ve had a few bad days, get back on track again.  Sit down and make a plan. You have a new opportunity each and every day.  Grab a hold of it.

FaceeBook LIVE 3pm EST on Friday, April 26 th.

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 !

 

 

 

What should I Eat? Bariatric Edition

What should I be eating after my weight loss surgery?  

Macronutrient Breakdown

This is a huge question and this is what I talk about each and every day.  This is also why I write these blogs and do my FB lives every Friday.  I want to help clients understand about macro-nutrients and the importance of food and everything that’s got to do with “food and the bariatric client”. 

 It’s not the same breakdown for “normal folk”.  Bariatric clients have a reduced stomach capacity so I need to be sure that the macronutrient breakdown works for them in the pre. op diet stage, post-op diet stage and also 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 years post weight loss surgery.

This is also not a question that can be answered in a “one size fits all” way.  We have to remember that we are all biochemical individuals with different needs.  Our caloric and macronutrient requirements often change depending on our gender, age, activity level, and health.  Having said that, let’s discuss the targets that I like to see post bariatric clients reach.

The reason why weight loss surgery works is due a large part to the restrictive style of the surgery.  Clients are no longer able to eat large portions of food.  Depending on the type of procedure performed, the pouch will be a bit bigger or smaller.  We need to understand that immediately after surgery, you will encounter a lot of inflammation.  You will not know the actual size of your stomach until a few months after your procedure.  This is when all the inflammation is gone and you will be able to fit more food into your new tool.

Because you are able to fit more food into your new stomach pouch, this does not mean that you have stretched out your stomach.  This is just the normal progression with bariatric surgery.  You need to be able to consume sufficient nutrients in order to not experience nutrient deficiencies.  If you feel you are eating “too much”, it may just be because you are eating the wrong kinds of foods.

While 6 ounces of yogurt is easy to eat as it has a soft texture, 6 ounces of chicken will be more difficult to eat.  Once you better understand food textures and how they feel on your newly operated stomach, you will be able to work better with your tool and make smart and nutritious decisions.  Because you are able to eat larger quantities of soft foods, does not mean that your tool is not working.  Choose harder textures if you wish to stay fuller for a longer period of time.  That is how we work together with our tool.  

Breakdown of Calories, Protein, Fat and Carbohydrates

How many calories should I be consuming daily post weight loss surgery?

This is a question that I get asked every day.  While actively losing weight, aim for between 800 and 1200 calories per day.  I know that may seem like a lot of calories when you are two weeks post surgery but remember, the swelling goes down and you will be able to fit more food into your pouch.

How much protein should I be consuming daily after bariatric surgery?

Aim to consume between 60 to 80 grams of protein per day.  The actual mathematical equation to figure it out in your specific case will be your ideal weight, multiplied by .36.

If you are a bit short on protein one day, don’t fret, just try harder the next day. It is a fine balance between the size of your pouch and the amount of protein you can consume in the beginning.

Proper Protein Portions

  1. scrambled egg
  2. ounces of baked salmon
  3. ounces of beef or turkey jerky
  4. regular sized meatballs
  5. ounces of greek yogurt

How many grams of carbohydrates should I be eating every day?

I am not a fan of the processed or refined kinds of carbohydrates.  I prefer that my clients get their carbs through fruit and vegetables.  Try to keep your carb intake low – like under 50 grams please.  When you are in maintenance you can increase this number but while actively losing weight, keep your grams of carbs under strict control please.

Proper Carbohydrate Portions

  • 3 tbsp diced onions, peppers, and tomatoes
  • 4 baked brussel sprouts
  • 1/2 of a small sliced apple
  • 1/3 cup of zucchini noodles with marinara sauce
  • Raw veggies for dipping
  • How much dietary fat should I be eating every day?

A good goal to aim for is to try to consume 20 grams of healthy fat per day.  It’s a good idea to do a bit of research to figure out what is a “good fat”.  Some of the foods you will find are avocados, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, and grass-fed butter.  

Proper Fat Portions

  • 1/4 of an avocado
  • 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp almond or peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese

I do believe that portion control should be practiced.  We need to understand correct portion sizes.  Eat Real Food.  This is the best way to ensure that you are getting everything that you need and real food helps you to feel satisfied for longer periods of time.

Learning about food and macronutrient balancing is a journey.  We cannot expect to learn everything overnight.  Learn to read labels, and get interested in food and what it gives to you and your health.  This is a lifelong process so enjoy the ride!

I believe in you!  You’ve got this!

FaceeBook LIVE 3pm EST on Friday, April 19 th.

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 !

 

 

 

How to Remain Successful Post Bariatric Surgery

We are all aware that bariatric surgery is not just a “get it done and be done” situation. It is a lifelong commitment to healthier habits. It is a journey to wellness and understanding ourselves better.

But, sometimes we just want to believe that the surgery is going to fix all of our problems.  I wish it would but it isn’t going to.  It will give you the kickstart you need to start losing weight and possibly to even get to your goal weight but what happens then?  Is it over?  Do we just never have to worry about our health or about weight gain ever again?

Let’s look at the timeline. How long is it from the time you make the decision to have bariatric surgery until your actual surgery.  Many of you who have worked with me as your patient coordinator will say that you had surgery anywhere from two weeks to six months after we first made contact.  A lot will depend on your personal timeline, family events, work, and your financial situation.

We all have our pre. op date in our mind and we anxiously get physically, mentally and emotionally prepared for our “start date”.  The journey begins and from there we are deep into the actual pre. op diet, surgery and post surgery progression stages.  The weight is coming off, we are recovering and we are feeling stronger and happier each day.

The “pink cloud” is that very special place where no matter what we do, we lose weight.  What a rollercoaster of emotions!  Finally, we are seeing results and it is all worth it.  The honeymoon doesn’t last forever. It lasts until the first weight loss stall occurs and we panic because the scale stops moving and we are only a 1/4 of the way to our goal.

With determination, and follow through, the scale begins to move again, only this time it is a bit slower.  It is no longer showing us the losses of a pound a day. Some days it moves and other days it doesn’t.  Our weight loss is slowing down and we are seeing losses of 1 to 2 lbs each week now.  As long as it is moving in the right direction, we are still happy and on track.

What happens when it is a year after surgery and the scale stops moving – whether we are at our goal weight or not.  How is our diet? Are we still strictly adhering to our post-operative bariatric guidelines?  Are we happy at our current weight and are we ready for maintenance?

As you can see from the above scenario, the bariatric journey doesn’t just stop after one year.  It changes, but it continues.  This is why I always talk about the lifelong journey that we need to commit to.  There will be good months and there will be bad months but if we never want to go back to our pre-surgery weight, we need to be vigilant and to learn to break old bad habits and create new and healthy ones.  We are in this for the long haul.

There are a few things which I see very successful bariatric clients do.  I want to share these with you.  I think we can all learn from them and possibly add these ideas to our new and healthy lifestyle.  It is a constant learning experience. 

I want you to weigh yourself on a regular basis.  If you ignore the scale, you could be in for a surprise.  I want you to know your current weight and give yourself a five pound buffer.  If you gain 5, then it’s not great but if you go above those 5, you need to have a serious look at your diet and make some changes.  It is much easier losing five pounds, over fifty pounds.  Take the easier road and stay on top of the scale.

Eat real food and avoid the processed and refined stuff.  That crunchy, yummy, easy to eat, processed stuff is considered “slider foods”.  They are easy to eat and easy for your tummy to digest but this is the fastest way to have a re-gain.  The foods which are not so easy to eat, like meat, chicken, and seafood, are the ones which will keep you fuller for longer periods of time.  Eating real food will also not raise blood sugars and insulin levels like the processed foods will.  When blood sugars are high and insulin levels are high, it is very difficult to lose weight and you will more than likely have a weight loss surgery stall or a re-gain.  

When you have a bariatric set-back, just keep on moving forward.  This is not the time to let one little set-back keep you from reaching your goals.  Don’t allow a small problem to balloon into a big issue.  Jump back on the horse.  If you have a bad food day (or 3), tomorrow is a new day.  Make a meal plan.  Do a meal prep.  Get organized and get right back on track.  Don’t beat yourself up.  Life happens sometimes.  Just roll with it and admit to the flaw and then get ready for your next healthy meal.  

Practice mindful eating.  Really sit down and take the time to enjoy your meals.  Think about the flavor, colors and textures.  Take the time to chew your food properly.  Listen to your fullness signals.  Put your fork down between bites.  Turn off the television and put your phone away.  Sometimes we are so busy when we are eating that we actually forget that we ate.  The pleasure was robbed from us.  Try to break this habit and replace it with mindfulness.  It will help us a great deal to appreciate our food.

Make a food log once a month.  In the beginning you will get into the habit of logging your meals and snacks but once you are accustomed to your new eating habits, a lot of us tend to let this go.   Try to take the time each month to make a 4 day food log.  This will enable you to see the quantities and types of foods you are consuming.  Once we see it all laid out on paper, it takes on a new meaning.  Sometimes we believe that we are not eating anything that is not a part of a perfect post op diet but when we add it up, it shows us a different story.  This is a great way to be accountable to ourselves.

Meal prep – yes you really need to do this.  Failing to plan is planning to fail.  If you don’t have time to sit down and do a real food prep, make sure to take the time to plan your meals for one or two days in advance.  Being hungry is the worst time to make food decisions.  I personally plan my meals from Monday morning until Friday afternoon, and then I give myself some space for Friday evening and Saturday to eat something different and off my plan.  Sunday is a healthy day whether I plan it or not but Monday to Friday, I know what I am doing as far as my food plan goes.  I am not going to be at a stop light with 7 fast food places glaring at me.  Nope, I am not doing it.   Now, you don’t have to follow my schedule.  But find a schedule that works for you.  Trust me, when you take control of this part, it falls into place and you won’t know what to do without your food planning and prepping.

Last but not least – exercise.  There are a lot more pointers I could give to help you to remain successful after your bariatric surgery but one of the main tips is this one.  You need to make exercise a regular part of your life.  Not just for your physical health and to maintain your weight loss goals, but also for your mental health.  When I say exercise, I don’t mean going to a gym or taking an exercise class (unless that is your thing).  Exercise can be so much more.  It can be taking a brisk walk, taking a dance class, riding your bike, gardening, deep cleaning your home.  Move more.  Stay active.  If you cannot walk for an hour, because you don’t have time, then walk for 20 minutes.  Just make sure to do what you enjoy because if you enjoy it,  you will continue doing it.

I hope you enjoyed reading some of my suggestions and I want you to always remain successful after your bariatric surgery.  If you haven’t reached your goals yet, don’t give up.  Today is a new day and tomorrow we can all do better.

I salute you on your journey to health and wellness.

 FaceeBook LIVE 3pm EST on Friday, April 12 th.

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 !

 

 

 

Acid Reflux and the Bariatric Client

Acid Reflux happens sometimes.  We have all had an episode of this but I want to discuss what is acid reflux and why it happens and what we can do to prevent it.

I want us all to understand acid reflux because a good understanding will empower us to make better food decisions.  If we can truly understand reflux, we will take the steps to be able to free ourselves from this very uncomfortable condition.

What I want to point out in a very important way is that contrary to popular belief, acid reflux is caused by having too little (not too much) HCI or hydrochloric acid in our stomach.   If you ask most acid reflux sufferers “why do you have acid reflux”, they will tell you that they have too much stomach acid.  That’s what the pharmaceutical companies tell us on those fancy TV commercials while they are selling us their magic cure for acid reflux.  

HCI stomach acid declines with age and acid reflux increases with age.  This tells us that we are not producing sufficient HCI as we age.  Over 90% of people over 40 years of age have inadequate acid production.   We should be taking steps to improve acid production in our stomachs instead of taking medication to treat the symptoms of acid reflux.  This is a vicious circle of events. 

The symptom of acid reflux is not the cause of acid reflux.  This is such an important statement.  So what I want to say with this is the following: When I am speaking with bariatric clients about their acid reflux, and I explain that it’s probable that their reflux is caused by not sufficient HCI (stomach acid), rather than too much HCI, they sometimes doubt this.  The reason they want to doubt my theory is that their antacid medications do provide some temporary relief.

I am not saying that their symptom of acid reflux is not caused by acid moving upwards into the esophagus.  I am not saying that the medications they are taking for the acid reflux don’t help to reduce their symptoms.

What I am trying to explain is that even a tiny amount of acid reflux in the esophagus is going to hurt and cause issues.  We do not have the mechanics in the esophagus as we do in the stomach to protect us against this very powerful acid.

When your symptoms are relieved, that doesn’t mean that you have addressed the real and true cause of the problem.  You are only suppressing these symptoms and not getting to the root cause of the issue which is acid reflux.

No two cases of acid reflux are the same.  It is likely that it is a combination of things that are contributing to your painful, annoying condition.    

We have to remember that acid reflux is the symptom.  We need to figure out why we are getting this symptom and to get to the bottom of it in order to resolve it.  I feel that taking medication to cover up the symptoms is not getting to the root cause of “why do we have acid reflux”.   We need to dig deeper in order to find the cause so that we don’t need to take medications to cover symptoms.

Recent studies show that the damage from poor stomach function not only moves upwards and gives us the symptom of acid reflux, it also moves downwards and contributes to IBS which is irritable bowel syndrome. 

Let’s begin.  What is acid reflux?  Acid reflux is the backward flow of HCI – hydrochloric acid or stomach acid up into the esophagus.  The esophagus is the long tube that joins the throat and stomach together.   The acid in the stomach refluxes back up the esophagus because the valve at the top of the stomach is not closed tight enough to prevent it.  

When we have reflux, there is a sour, burning liquid that sits at the back of our throat.  Some of us have a burning feeling in our chest.  This can also be called heartburn.

If we don’t take care of acid reflux, it can then progress to what is called GERD. GERD stands for Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease.   Is it considered to be a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter.  

Why do we get acid reflux?  There are lots of causes of acid reflux.  Some of them include weight, posture or the medications that you take.  But, three of the main reasons people suffer from acid reflux is due to low hydrochloric acid, the timing of meals and diet.

If you get acid reflux at night only, it will be important to time your meals and snacks better.  You want to try to allow at least 3 to 4 hours between the last meal and your bedtime.  

One cause of acid reflux is due to a hiatal hernia.  If you feel that you may have one, you need to get this repaired.  When you have a hernia, the HCI, hydrochloric stomach acid can move up and into the esophagus.  This will cause acid reflux.

The main medications which can cause acid reflux are aspirin and aspirin products, ibuprofen, muscle relaxers, and some blood pressure medications.  If you take any of these medications and you have acid reflux, you can discuss this with your doctor.

Last week in my blog and during my FB live video, I discussed coffee culture.  Coffee is a big culprit when it comes to acid reflux.  Giving up your morning ritual of coffee may be what you need to do in order to combat reflux.  Once your reflux is under control you can try drinking coffee again to see how it affects you.  Coffee is a drink which irritates the esophagus and it weakens the esophageal sphincter. When this is relaxed, it can lead to a backward flow of the stomach contents – this is acid reflux.  

It’s not the actual coffee that is causing the reflux. It is the caffeine in the coffee that loosens the stomach valve and enables the HCI to reflux up into the highly sensitive walls of the esophagus which causes pain.

I know that this is not what you want to hear but if you have acid reflux, making this one change can be sufficient to be able to conquer it in a fast and relatively easy way.  You may just need to take a little break from coffee.  

Spicy foods may just be the culprit for your acid reflux.  Are you eating hot peppers or dishes which contain spice which may be irritating you?  When you eat spicy foods, your stomach needs to break it down.  In this process, the spicy foods natural acids can, in turn, increase your stomach’s acid production.  This will decrease the pressure in the stomach and the next thing you know, you have acid reflux again.  

Carbonated drinks and alcohol may be the culprit for you?  Don’t be disappointed because many of my clients are when they hear about how alcohol and carbonation can cause acid reflux.  What happens is that the acid and the carbon dioxide which is used to make these drinks can cause the stomach to bloat.  When the stomach is bloated, it irritates the esophagus and this can lead to acid reflux.  Try removing these from your diet to see if this may be what is causing your symptoms.

Carrying excess weight can be the cause of your acid reflux.  Excess weight puts pressure on your abdominal area.  When you eat, the stomach contents can be pushed upwards and into the chest and the esophagus.   If you lose weight, it can make digestion easier and you will be more comfortable and have less trouble with acid reflux.

Eat smaller meals because when we overeat, this puts a lot of pressure on the digestive system.  It needs to work so much harder to digest, assimilate and absorb the food.  To make it easier on the digestive system, eat a smaller meal.  

When you sleep, try elevating your head just a few inches higher.  This can give you some relief if you are suffering at bedtime.  When your head is in a higher position to your stomach, this can reduce any pressure on the esophageal sphincter and can prevent food and acid from moving in the wrong direction.

Stay away from the foods which trigger your acid reflux.  The most common food culprits are tomatoes, tomato sauces, citrus fruits, fruit juices, fried foods, chocolate, and spicy food.

So now that we have a grasp of what acid reflux is and what we can do to avoid it.  How can we increase HCI (stomach acid) in order to have better and stronger digestion?  

My favorite way is to take a capful of apple cider vinegar in a half glass of lukewarm water first thing in the morning.   Raw apple cider vinegar can help increase stomach acid levels due to its acid property.  It introduces more acid into the digestive tract.

Another suggestion I have for you is to take digestive enzymes.  You can take these before you eat.  These digestive enzymes will help you to better break down the foods you consume.  You don’t need to take them for the rest of your life but it’ a good idea to take them until your stomach acid has a chance to balance itself.  

Make sure you are chewing your food well, eating small meals and not drinking and eating at the same time.  

In conclusion, I do hope that you have a good understanding of acid reflux and what you can do to prevent further bouts of it in the future. We need our stomach acid to be at a balanced level in order to properly digest, absorb and assimilate the food that we eat.  Stomach acid is our friend. 

Here’s to you and your health!

 FaceeBook LIVE 3pm EST on Friday, April 05 th.

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.

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