Eating Out Post Bariatric Surgery – Bariatric Edition

Ideas for eating out and how to make good decisions.

We all try our best not to eat out all the time but there are times when we find ourselves at a social gathering or on a date night or with a group of friends and the meeting is at a restaurant.  It is important to have a food plan in place before arriving to the restaurant so that you are not caught off guard and make poor food decisions.  You want to be able to enjoy yourself but stick with your new eating plan at the same time.

If you’ve had bariatric surgery, you know that you have restriction and that how you ordered your food at a restaurant in the past is no longer an option because of a few reasons.  The first thing you need to ask yourself is if you are open to telling everybody that you have had bariatric surgery.  If you are keeping this to yourself, then it will be kind of difficult to explain your way out of why you only ate two bites off of your plate and that you are now full. Your friends will wonder what is going on with you.  

In this situation you can always order your way around the menu so that you get a more soft option such as a soup.  It is also a great idea to eat very slowly so not to fill up quite as quickly.  Take small bites and chew a lot to avoid getting too full too quickly.

If you are open to telling others about your bariatric surgery, then it gets a bit easier because you can automatically ask the wait-staff if they have half portions or if they are okay with you ordering only an appetizer and not a full course meal.  If you choose to have a full course meal, choose something that you can take with you and that will be good for reheating.  A big chicken caesar salad is great “in the moment” but when you get it home and the lettuce is wilted, it just won’t taste the same.

Today all restaurants have their menus online.  It is always a good idea to take a look at the menu prior to arriving in order to make a food decision before you get there.  It’s never a good idea to leave it up to temptation when you are hungry or nervous.  Place your order in your head before you arrive and that will be one less thing to worry about. 

I salute you on your journey to excellent health.

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.

Bariatric Expert Super Fat Burners

 

Bariatric Expert BedTime Weight Loss –

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 !

Back to Basics – Bariatric Edition

I am always talking about getting “back on track” and what I mean by that is getting “back to the bariatric basics”.  How do we go about that ?  Well, let’s have a little talk about what we need to do to get mentally and physically back on track if our eating habits haven’t been something to brag about.

Instead of grazing all day long, I want you to eat 3 meals a day and if you are hungry, opt for some small snacks that are properly macronutrient balanced with a portion of protein and a portion of healthy fat.  We are aiming for meals and snacks that do not contain sugar.  Soft proteins are terrific, such as cottage cheese and greek yogurt and plant based protein shakes but try to also eat textures the are not soft as the foods that are more dense will keep you full for a longer period of time.  You won’t get as hungry as quickly if you eat dense protein.  

  • Prepare your meals so that they contain protein, vegetables and a portion of healthy fat.  Kick the refined,  processed carbohydrates to the curb !  Eliminate rice, pasta, bread, tortillas, chips etc.
  • Remember not to combine your food and drink at the same time.  Drink 30 minutes prior to your meal or snack and then wait another 30 minutes before drinking again.  
  • Make sure to eat a variety of foods so that you don’t get bored.  Try new recipes and try new foods. Get creative in the kitchen and use your imagination to put together healthy bariatric friendly meals and snacks.
  • Make sure that you are taking your bariatric vitamins and supplements.  It’s important for continued good health and nobody eats perfect every day.  We need to 1/ eat properly and 2/ supplement. 

You cannot supplement your way out of a bad diet.  

Don’t graze and stay away from the slider foods – you know the ones I am talking about … the ones that slip right through your bariatric pouch and leave you craving more of them shortly afterwards.  These types of foods are the ones that are mostly responsible for regains.

Exercise a bit.  Exercise for your health, and not for weight loss.  I believe that weight loss occurs in the kitchen and we exercise to stay healthy.  Find some sort of exercise that makes you happy.  Don’t do something just because it’s what you think you need to do.  Go for a walk or ride your bike or take up zumba, or salsa !  Just get out there and move for good health.  Just get out there and move for a healthy head as well.  Exercise helps lift dark, gloomy clouds and makes us feel happier.

Make it a plan to always plan your meals.  Don’t leave it up to hunger and temptation.  Pack a lunch and prepare your breakfast – know what you will be making for dinner.  Don’t leave it up to the last minute when you and your family are hungry.  

If you have experienced a regain, you can get back up and take charge again.  Face the regain, and move forward with a plan.  Get back to basics, clean out your cupboard and fridge of the “bad stuff”, make a plan, and get shopping, chopping, cooking and prepping for success again.

If you need some help with menu ideas or menu plans – I have those plans for you below.

I am your biggest cheerleader !  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.

Bariatric Expert Super Fat Burners

 

Bariatric Expert BedTime Weight Loss –

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 !

Fall – The Best Season To Lose Weight – Bariatric Edition

Oversized sweaters, leggings and pumpkin spice …it’s the Fall season !  I am jumping up and down in joy that it’s here.  I love Spring AND Summer AND Fall (not so much winter) but this change in season also represents more than extra lip balm and an extra layer of clothes – not to mention socks!  I believe that it’s the best time to make new bariatric goals.  This is why I think it’s the absolute best time of the year to make those true changes to a more solid bariatric life-style.

Vacations are over for now.

We all have excellent intentions during Spring and Summer and we have lots of fresh veggies and fruit to choose from and our natural food rhythms tell us to eat seasonally and locally.  We have more salads in our lives BUT we also have a lot of long weekends, barbecues, weeks of vacations, cocktails, and bonfires with marshmallows.  I don’t know about you but “vacation” for most of us signifies a time to eat and drink and relax.  It’s very easy to put on a few lbs when sipping on margaritas or summery cocktails by the lake or the pool.  All those summer family get-togethers – lots of food and tons of fun.  

We feel more motivated in Fall.

Maybe it’s because it is “back to school” season or it’s because nobody really takes vacations between now and December ?  Mid-September all of us want to get a fresh start.  Things feel refreshed and we start to think about setting new goals.  Goal setting at the beginning of Fall gives us just enough time to get back on track and to start moving in the right direction to get the momentum going so we don’t have to make all kinds of big “New Years Resolutions”.  I love not having to set some big goal Jan. 1st because I have been working towards my goals since September.  It makes January less stressful.  By starting now, we can have good habits formed by December. You don’t need to hear the chimes of the New Year to kick start a positive change.  

Get outdoors and get moving – it’s Fall.

Summer can be so hot with it’s scorching temperatures and sunlight.  It can be so difficult to get motivated to get outside and get moving.  Fall is a more comfortable time to take advantage of the great outdoors.  Grab a sweater and some running shoes and go for a hike in nature.  Enjoy the low humidity and the leaves changing colors.  Hey, rake some leaves – now that’s a terrific workout !

Snooze more to lose more.

The long days of summer are perfect to sit outdoors and sip wine or tea or read your favorite books but those same days make it more difficult to get to bed at a decent hour.  Who thinks about sleeping when at 9pm the sun is still shining?  Fall season brings about shorter days but it also makes it easier to get more sleep.  Want to lose more weight ?  Get more sleep !  Time and again, studies reveal that a lack of sleep is directly related to a lack of weight loss.

You can turn Fall into the optimal time to lose weight and set health goals.
Reach out if you need any “Fall Motivation”.
I am here for 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.

Bariatric Expert Super Fat Burners

 

Bariatric Expert BedTime Weight Loss –

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 !

Protein Debate: Bariatric Edition

So much information out there.  So much “misinformation” out there also.  So what’s a bariatric patient to do ?  You’ve taken the important decision to improve your health and to lose weight and eat better and the media is telling you to LOAD UP on PROTEIN.  That means that you should start downing protein shakes, and eating huge amounts eggs and chicken and meat.  

What’s the reasoning behind the suggestions to load up on protein ?  How much protein should we really be eating post surgery and do we need to worry breakfast/ lunch and dinner ? We know protein is essential for good health but how much is too much ?   

Balance needs to be achieved for optimal health.  Our bodies are designed to turn macronutrients into energy.  If we eat more protein than our bodies require for supporting healthy skin and hair, producing hormones and building muscles, then it is likely to cause an insulin spike and turn the intake of protein into GLUCOSE.  This process is something called gluconeogenesis.  When we break this down – it means that we are consuming more protein in the effort to reduce refined carbohydrates in our diet but when we eat too much protein it converts into glucose, which is exactly what we are trying to avoid in the first place.  

How do we know how much protein we need to consume to stay healthy and thrive ?  This is the exact calculation to know how much protein you need.  Take a moment and do the calculation so that you know how much you should be getting each day.  This is the TOP range required.

Top Protein Range Required:

  • Take your weight in lbs and multiply this X by 0.36 (protein grams).
  • Example:  If you weigh 130lbs and you are female 
  • 130 x .36 = 46.8 or approximately 48 grams of protein per day.
  • Another example of a women who weighs 180lbs
  • 180 x .36 = 64.8 or approximately 65 grams of protein per day.
  • Remember, this is the TOP protein range required.  The lower range is divided by 2.  

There are some variations to this protein rule such as if you are very physically active or highly athletic.  If you are healing from an injury a little boost of protein can be a good idea also.  

Before you begin trying to pack more protein in your diet, there are some things you need to consider.  When you think “more protein” it doesn’t have to mean “more meat”.  You can also choose food items such as milk, cheese and eggs.  There is also a lot of protein rich foods which include whole grains, veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes and beans.

Another good point that you need to remember is that if you decide to increase your protein consumption, dietary math demands that you reduce other things in your diet in order to not over-consume calories.  For example, if you eat more protein and less bread and rice, this is a positive change in your diet.

We also need to consider that the protein articles we read online and social media is geared a lot of the time to sales and the sales of a specific product which is high in protein.  Their goal is to get you to believe that you are protein deficient in order to sell their high protein products to you. 

We are all biochemically individual which means we are all different and what works for one person doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for the next person so adjust your protein intake according to how you feel. You need to work out what works for you as an individual.  You may just get a surprise by how much or how little protein you really need to feel your best.

Examples of food items and how many grams of protein they contain:

  • Whole Eggs: 35% of calories. 1 large egg has 6 grams of protein, with 78 calories.
  • Pistachios : 13% of calories. 6 grams of protein per ounce (28 g), with 161 calories
  • Chicken breast: 80% of calories. 1 roasted chicken breast without skin contains 53 grams of protein with only 284 calories.
  • Oats: 15% of calories. Half a cup of raw oats has 13 grams, with 303 calories
  • Cottage Cheese: 59% of calories. A cup (226 g) of cottage cheese with 2% fat contains 27 grams of protein, with 194 calories.
  • Greek Yogurt: Non-fat Greek yogurt has protein at 48% of calories. One 6-ounce (170-gram) container has 17 grams of protein, with only 100 calories
  • Milk:  21% of calories. 1 cup of whole milk contains 8 grams of protein, with 149 calories.
  • Broccoli: 20% of calories. 1 cup (96 grams) of chopped broccoli has 3 grams of protein, with only 31 calories.
  • Lean Beef: 53% of calories. One 3-ounce (85 g) serving of cooked beef with 10% fat contains 22 grams of protein, with 184 calories.
  • Tuna: 94% of calories, in tuna canned in water. A cup (154 g) contains 39 grams of protein, with only 179 calories.
  • Quinoa:  15% of calories. One cup (185 g) of cooked quinoa has 8 grams of protein, with 222 calories.
  • Whey Protein Supplements: Varies between brands. Can go over 90% of calories, with 20-50 grams of protein per serving.
  • Lentils: 27% of calories. 1 cup (198 g) of boiled lentils contains 18 grams of protein, with 230 calories.
  • Pumpkin Seeds: 14% of calories. 1 ounce (28 g) has 5 grams of protein, with 125 calories.
  • Turkey Breast:  70% of calories. One 3-ounce (85 g) serving contains 24 grams of protein, with 146 calories.
  • Shrimp: 90% of calories. A 3 ounce (85 g) serving contains 18 grams of protein, with only 84 calories
  • Peanuts: 16% of calories. One ounce (28 g) has 7 grams, with 159 calories.

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.

Bariatric Expert Super Fat Burners

 

Bariatric Expert BedTime Weight Loss –

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 !

Getting Back Up – Bariatric Edition

Newbies don’t want to hear about it and those that are 9 months out of their bariatric surgery don’t believe it will ever happen to them….what am I talking about ???  falling off the wagon or getting out of healthy habits or allowing bad habits to creep back into our lives….  

It happens to everybody so let’s not believe that everybody else (except for us) is having a perfect post op diet and eating a serving of protein and a serving of veg and a serving of heathy fat at each and every meal or snack.  This is just not how post surgery life looks.  Sometimes we are cruising along and losing weight or maintaining our goal weight and then it happens …. chocolate cake, or the drive thru, or the chips or whatever it may be.  

It starts with a “treat” and then that treat turns into two treats and before you know it, you are a bit “out of control” with your disorganized eating.  Let’s be realistic – this is just how we are programmed.  The difference between a “little slip” and a full blown “regain” is how fast we can get things back under control.  A slip or a regain doesn’t mean that you cannot take the reins and get under control again !  You can and let’s talk about a few things that we can do to step off the carbohydrate merry-go-round and start to lose weight again.

Failure is not falling down – it is staying down.  

Carbs Carbs Carbs !  How many of you think that regain happens because we eat too many eggs ? or too many chicken breasts or too much avocado ? or broccoli ?  TRUTH-BOMB now … Regain happens because of carb-creep.  It starts slowly with one cracker or one slice of toast with peanut butter and honey or just that one french fry.  You add 1/2 a bun back on your hamburger – how much damage can a small soft pretzel do ? Pass the chocolate cake please. 

This is how it happens.  You eat the refined/ processed carbs and sugar and then it spirals out of control.  It’s not your fault.  It is our biology and our physiology and if we eat sugar and carbs, we will crave sugar and carbs.  We need to get our blood sugar under control if we are to get our cravings under control. 

Step away from the REFINED CARB – drop the bagel and pick up a scrambled egg with half an avocado.  I promise you that you will feel better after only a few meals.  That’s how to get off the “carb”age and get back to the bariatric lifestyle.  

Don’t beat yourself up.  Just make the next meal bariatric friendly.  Sugar and refined carbs are not your friend.  They are the “bad friends in the playground” and they lead you to bad places.  We need to focus all of our energy on positive stuff and don’t waste that on “should have, could have, would have”.  Your greatest glory is not going to be “100 lbs gone forever” … it is going to be rising up and taking control once again if a regain occurs.  

Surround yourself with positive people.  You’ve got this.  Your surgical tool is still intact. Don’t throw in the towel.  Dust yourself off and get back on the horse.  

I am your biggest cheerleader.  Be strong.

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.

Bariatric Expert Super Fat Burners

 

Bariatric Expert BedTime Weight Loss –

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 !

The WLS Pouch – Bariatric Edition

How does bariatric surgery work ? Why do patients lose weight quickly? Let’s chat a bit about why it works and how to get the best results post surgery and what you can do to ensure success.

This type of surgery has a few different aspects to it and one of them is “restriction”.  The post bariatric patient eats and feels full very quickly.  This is a wonderful thing because it resets the body and gets it used to eating smaller portions.  It is a system that is like a portion control device but we need to protect our pouch and take care of it to ensure that it continues to work well in the future.

The bariatric pouch needs to be cared for as this isn’t something you can abuse over and over and expect it to still work for you.  Yes, it is true that the bariatric pouch is going to stretch a bit and with time you will be able to enjoy larger portions.  Post surgery the inflammation will decrease and you will feel your pouch relax a bit more.  This is a time when your pouch takes on its more “normal” size.  It will never increase to the size it was prior to surgery but it will relax and stretch out a bit.  The surgery tool is still largely intact but there are things we can do to help it continue to do its job long-term.  

There are specific foods that are easier to eat post bariatric surgery. These foods are considered “slider foods” and we can eat a lot of them without feeling restriction in the pouch.  Slider foods “slip” through the pouch because they are mostly refined, processed carbohydrates and the pouch doesn’t need to do anything to break them down.  Think of foods such as crackers, pretzels, chips, popcorn, chocolate, ice-cream, cookies etc.  They are easy to over-eat and they don’t make us feel full and satisfied.  Now think of a chicken breast.  See how dense that sort of food feels in the pouch ?  Those are the types of foods which sit in the pouch and continue to keep us full for a long period of time.

So many of us grab onto a concept post surgery and it goes like this … if I eat greek yogurt, I can eat a lot of it and I can even add yummy things into it like fruit and honey.  The yogurt is very easy on the stomach and if I eat it slowly, I can eat for a longer period of time and it never makes me feel overly full.   On the other hand, that chicken breast is super heavy and after eating a few bites of it, my stomach is on lock down and I cannot eat another bite.  Most of us have disordered thinking when it comes to food and we want to continue eating for the pleasure of just eating.  This is what a food addict does so in order to break that habit, we need to first understand it and then admit it to ourselves.

There are certain things that we can do post bariatric surgery that will sabotage our weight loss results.  We can eat the soft, slider foods and gravitate away from the solid proteins that make us really full.  We can eat “other” foods before our protein such as mashed potatoes, creamed vegetables etc.  We can drink at the same time as we eat.  We can eat really fast and not listen to our satiety scale. Sure, there are other things that we can also do to sabotage but these are the ones that are most common among the weight loss surgery community.

The bariatric pouch rules are in place for a reason.  We can fight against them but why do we want to do that?  Let’s just do the following things in order to help our tool, our pouch, work as it should.  

  • Eat solid proteins like eggs, chicken, beef, fish, seafood etc.
  • Eat two bites of solid protein before eating a bite of anything else.
  • Do not drink for 30 minutes after your last bite of food.
  • Eat solid protein and vegetables.
  • Chew each and every bite of food and then wait a few seconds between each bite.

In order to reach your weight loss goals and maintain long term, it is crucial to make lifestyle changes along with having your bariatric surgery.  The honeymoon period will wear off after a year but that gives us sufficient time to get good habits in place.

Need help getting back on track ?  I have the perfect toolkit for you.  It provides you with a protein packed, convenient meal plan to make the transition back to bariatric eating.

ObesityHelp is the source on the Image above

 

BARIATRIC RESET PLAN

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 !

Shout Out to Idaho ! – Bariatric Edition

Hi Everybody.  I am your bariatric nutritionist and surgery coordinator.  I had the opportunity this past weekend to fly from Tijuana (San Diego) with Dr. Sergio Verboonen and his wife Dr. Indira Partida,  and I got the chance to meet up with so many of you that have had bariatric surgery with us in the past and so many that are interested in having bariatric surgery in the future.

I may have felt a bit over-whelmed with emotion as I was introduced to people that I know and chat with “virtually” all of the time but I haven’t met them face-to-face before.  A little tear here or there never hurt anybody.  

I want you all to know that your presence meant so much to us and that Idaho was so welcoming with such wonderful, kind people.  We also had the opportunity to go to a wedding and the welcome that we received there was so very warm and joyful.  Idaho sure knows how to throw a party and to dance and have a blast !  Impressive !

I am the biggest fan of social media because it is our way to hopefully demonstrate our program that exists in both Cancun, and Tijuana, Mexico.  It is our way of trying to bridge two worlds and we believe that true transparency is of the utmost importance.  Photos and videos and social media posts enables us to come into your “screen world” and try to better assist you in making a very difficult but rewarding decision.  

I am feeling so incredibly blessed to have been able to be a part of your weight loss surgery journey.  We have been working with patients from Idaho back before 2010 and this program just keeps on growing and growing.  Thanks for all your support Idaho.  I wish I could have spent more time there with the warm people that I met.  You are all amazing folks !

Sheri Burke
Registered Nutritionist and Lead Surgery Coordinator
International Patient Facilitators and Bariatric Food Expert
1 800 210 5124 . 1 819 230 9763

 

Break the Plateau – Bariatric Edition

We are happily cruising along post bariatric surgery and we are thrilled with our results and then it happens … Plateaus, stalls, getting stuck – there are a lot of different ways to to call the dreaded stage where the scale doesn’t move and it just continues to stay in the same place.  This is not what is considered a “re-gain”.  This is just where you cannot get the scale to continue to move for a few weeks.  

Why does this happen to most post op bariatric patients ? They are exercising more, eating right, trying to get enough sleep, increasing their water intake – what gives ?  Our bodies are super smart and they adapt really well.  They are striving to have balance and equilibrium always.  Hitting a stall is like hitting a brick wall and it happens to most patients more than once during their journey to their goal weight.  

What is the solution to this plateau ?  The advice that I like to give to most people who hit this wall is to make a change – do something different – surprise your body and catch it off-guard.  It’s time to shift to something different and your body will respond again.

So what are some of those changes that we can make to get the scale moving again ?

Flex-Diet – this is when we take our macronutrients which are our proteins/ fats and carbohydrates and switch things around a bit.  Increase or change the types of proteins you are consuming.  Instead of hitting your 60 grams a day with eggs and proteins shakes, switch to 80 grams of fish and chicken.  Instead of trying to eat low fat everything, increase your fat intake and eat some avocado (or guacamole) and some nuts and seeds.  If you are having a fruit snack each day with your coffee, switch it up and have a protein snack instead (nuts and seeds to the rescue again).  

Two more points here: don’t eat too few calories and switch things up – change is a good thing for a weight loss plateau or stall!

Lift Heavy Weights – most of us think about lifting heavy weights and we think that we need to go to the gym.  There are an array of exercises that we can do with shifting our own body weight.  Think about how hard those squats and pushups are using our own body weight.  There are tons of exercises that we can add to our daily walking program to strengthen the body and burn more calories.  Change those exercises every 2 weeks and try new ones.  

Change up your workout routine.  Keep your body guessing and it will get the scale moving again.  If your cardio program consists of low and slow – beef it up a bit and add some HIIT. You can walk for 3 minutes and then jog for 30 seconds.  If you are taking two yoga classes per week, add a pilates class or exchange one yoga class for a spinning class.  

Everybody is different so please do not compare your bariatric weight loss journey to anyone else.  You are original and your body is special and unique.  We need to find the balance during the first year to year and a half after surgery.  The weight loss will slow down after that stage but that does not mean that the weight loss won’t continue.  We just need to help our tools to work harder for us which means that when we plateau, we have a plan in place to get the scales moving again.

Don’t get frustrated and reach out if you have any questions for me.  I am your biggest cheerleader.

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 !

Understanding Carbs – Bariatric Edition

My intention here is to make it easy to understand your carbohydrates.  How can we control our intake of carbohydrates when we don’t know what they really are.  Sure, there are the ones that stand out like bread and tortillas, crackers and rice – but let’s dive a bit deeper.  Why are we trying to control our carbs ? and what benefit will this give us ? and what carbs can I eat ? 

Why are carbs vilified ?  Here’s the answer and it is biochemistry – I am not making this stuff up.  The hormone insulin drives fat storage.  What drives insulin levels ? Here’s what you are looking for: carbs drive insulin.  See what I did there – made it super easy to understand that carbs drive insulin levels and insulin drives fat storage. 

Eating healthy fats and proteins does increase fat storage but only by a little bit.  When discussing our macros / fat, protein and carbohydrates , only carbohydrates will increase fat storage by a large amount.  

Now let’s talk about broccoli vs bread.  They are both carbohydrates and both will bread down as carbs when they enter the body.  The body is going to break both of these foods into glucose (sugar).  This is something that occurs with ALL carbohydrates.  The higher the glycemic index carbohydrate, the faster it breaks down into glucose.  Those processed carbs break down so rapidly that blood sugar increases extremely quickly.  Next up comes a stress response because your body needs to get your blood sugar to lower so it releases insulin which moves the glucose into your cells.  Once this happens your blood sugar gets very low and guess what ?  You will feel very hungry and eat more.  Broccoli is a carbohydrate but it will not raise blood sugar levels like a piece of bread.  The body needs to work on breaking down the broccoli but the bread is so processed that it is already broken down before it enters the body.  Can you see why not all carbs are equal now ?

What we are trying to do is to reduce the refined/ processed carbohydrates from our diet.  There are two main types.  One is sugars and the second one is refined grains.  These refined carbohydrates have been stripped of almost all fiber, vitamins and minerals.  They are now empty calories and they have a big impact on our blood sugars.  They get digested very quickly and that causes rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels after we eat them.  Main sources are: white flour, white bread, rice, pastries, sodas, snacks, pasta, sweets, breakfast cereals and any added sugars.  These things are added to most processed foods.  Refined carbohydrates drive overeating and increase the risk of obesity.

What’s the take home message here?  Try to get the majority of your carbohydrates from whole, live, fresh, good quality foods which contain one single ingredient – such as broccoli, onions, peppers, spinach.  If a food comes with an ingredient list, it is more than likely not considered a healthy source of carbs.  

The more we read and research as interested consumers of food products, the more we will understand and the better choices we can make for ourselves and our families.  

I salute you for wanting to know more in order to make better decisions.

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 !

Shift focus to healthy eating – bariatric edition

It doesn’t matter if you have had bariatric surgery, are thinking about having bariatric surgery or are not intending to have any surgery.  We all know that losses on the scale are no easy task.  There are such a crazy amount of factors to take into account – just maintaining our weight is a challenge in itself.  Even though there are so many different strategies that we can follow, I am going to focus on only two at this time.  This is about incorporating behavioral changes and changing what you eat.
Calories in and calories out/ we all know that this plays an important role when we are trying to lose weight but what we tend to forget is that the TYPES of foods that we choose can be even more important.  When we consume low quality processed foods such as packaged chips, sodas, refined grains, and sugar – this is associated with re-gains, plateaus and stalls.  These kinds of low quality foods are linked to weight gains.
If we look to better quality foods like low sugar berries, vegetables, high quality protein and healthy fats – these are the types of foods associated with maintenance and weight losses.
The more we turn towards lower quality processed foods, the more weight gain will occur.  The more we turn towards high quality unrefined foods, the less weight gain occurs and the best maintenance and weight loss results will occur.  What does this all mean ?  Eat real food.  The more we turn towards real food, the better our results will be.  Real food examples are vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, greek yogurt, nuts, seeds and healthy fats.  If a food has an ingredient label, it probably is a processed food.
Let’s turn to our plate and what it consists of.  I personally grew up with the concept of having meat, some form of starchy foods such as potatoes, rice or pasta .. and a small serving of vegetables (probably cooked to death)… with a big glass of juice, soda or milk beside it.   Today my plate looks different.  It has a small serving of protein (4 ounces), and a double serving of vegetables such as baked broccoli and a salad. Half my plate will be vegetables.  My plate will also have a healthy serving of fat such as grass-fed butter, olive oil, avocado or avocado oil.
Water is the best liquid to drink.  Sure, we can add a bit of lemon or a sugar free squeeze of something but getting our taste buds used to the plain taste of water is a wonderful thing.  It takes time but once you have gotten used to it, going back to sweetened beverages will taste like drinking your dessert.
The take-away should be to put more thought about what goes onto our plates.  We should be eating more vegetables with each meal and snack and we should search out high quality forms of proteins / think grass-fed beef instead of hotdogs. Add healthy fat to your meals and snacks.  Don’t be fat phobic !  Let’s limit how much starchy foods and grains that we consume and when thirsty, let’s turn to water.  Limit processed and refined, sugary foods.
This way of eating and thinking about food is extremely realistic and sustainable for long term.  I want to see you succeed in the short and long term.  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 !