Summer Ready Reminders – Bariatric Edition

We are almost ready to shed a few layers of clothes.  Temperatures are rising – and we are thinking about beach days and lazing by the pool but … are you summer ready ?  And what small things can we do now to get the benefits we desire in time for the summer season ?

Commence with a Liquid:  If you begin your meals with a small soup that is broth based, it can help to cut down on the amount of calories you will consume while eating your meal. Another point is to have a bottle of water with you to encourage drinking as sometimes our hunger pangs are actually due to thirst.  

High Intensity Intervals:  We have all heard of HIIT and it’s all the rage because it works.  It helps your body to burn more fat.  Instead of just going for your regular walk, add some intervals to your walk and take up the intensity for a minute.  Do this several times throughout your walk.  If you like to jog, add a short sprint for 30 seconds every 4 minutes.  If you like to bike, take up the intensity for short bursts.  This small change in your exercise routine can really help torch calories and fat.

Food Journal: You don’t need to use a pen and paper.  Today there are so many apps you can download and they make it more fun to track food.  The science is clear and it says that it you write it down, you are less likely to overeat.  It’s a win/win.  

Ditch the Processed Foods:  Calories count and we often eat too many of them.  In order to not feel like you are depriving yourself, get rid of those processed carbohydrates which are extremely easy to over-consume.  Get rid of breads, pastries, sweets, and cereals and eat vegetables and fiber rich berries.  This makes it seem like you are eating a bigger plate while consuming fewer calories.

Pack Healthy Snacks:  One of the most important ideas is to plan your snacks.  This prevents snack-attacks that lead to poor choices and unhealthy options.  Pack a nutritious, clean snack to bring with you when you leave the house.  

These simple ideas can help you to get summer ready but it’s a great plan to follow all year.  These types of changes are simple and easy to sustain.  Lifestyle changes are the best way to reach your goals and maintain them. 

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 !

Stay on track – Bariatric Edition

I stay in contact with a lot of clients after they have had their surgery and one of the questions I have for successful clients is “how do you stay on track”.  If I know what they are doing to get such great results, I can then share this information with others who are struggling.  Here is a very short list of a few of the things that work together because it’s never just “one thing” but always a combination of things that get clients to reach their health goals.

For those clients who do not count calories or macros, they often keep their kitchen stocked with the items that they know will bring success.  Their fridge is filled up with items such as lettuce and cucumbers, unsweetened coconut or almond milk, ground pork and chicken breasts, plain greek yogurt and olives.  They don’t leave room for “slider foods” or items that will lead them down a slippery slope.  Having this rule in place means that nothing but real food is in the fridge to tempt them to go off course.  If they are not meal planning and they are having success, I find that they have plans in place for overall success.

Lots of successful clients will tell me that they start their day correctly by having a high protein breakfast or a high protein shake filled with tons of nutrients.  If they are not having eggs and veggies, they are making their own shakes with high quality powders and almond milk, mixed with a handful of berries and another handful of seeds.  They take a few moments to take care of themselves before leaving their homes in the morning and when they leave their homes, they are prepared with a packed lunch and a snack so that they have the tools to fight temptations while hungry.

Water – they drink water and they make it a priority to drink 8 glasses of the stuff every day.  Drink up and carry your water bottle with you to encourage you to drink more water.

I find that the most successful clients move more.  They find something that they love and they just get up and do it.  You can call it dance or walking or gardening or climbing a hill, or biking – they do some kind of physical activity a few times each and every week.  It is also a way to ward off depression and it’s great for the heart !  

I hear clients say “it’s so hard” when referring to healthy eating.  Eating fabulous meals of protein and beautiful colorful vegetables is not hard. Hard is having an illness or losing a loved one or a divorce.  This is the reminder that we need to take care of ourselves and to put ourselves first so that we are able to take better care of those we love.  You’ve got this ! Stay on track.  You are strong and fabulous !  

Now go drink some water please and have a stretch.

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 !

Stress and Weight Loss Plateaus – Bariatric Edition

Stress is something that every person has to deal with in one way or another. Following bariatric surgery, stressors can seem to be at an all time high.  For most of us, stress is just a basic fact of life.  It’s unfortunate that research reveals that it’s also a fact of “fat”.  You can eat basically well and get some exercise and chronic high stress can still prevent the scale from moving once you’ve hit a plateau.

Living under stress is not pleasant and it’s actually very common.  From troubles at home to busy days at the office, stress is a contributing fact to the day to day lives of most of us.  Weight gain or plateaus and stress often go hand in hand.  When you are stressed out, your body wants to defend itself, so it starts to retain body weight.  It’s usually with chronic stress that this is apparent / think stress associated with losing your job or going through a bad breakup – not the kind that comes from having a bad day at work. We also often think of negative situations causing stress, but change of any kind, positive or negative can cause stress.  It’s not the change itself that causes you to feel stressed, but your perception of the change.  The good news is that you can actually change your stress levels by changing your outlook.

Cortisol is the chemical which is secreted through the adrenal glands when we are in periods of stress or anxiety.  It will produce a calming effect through the regulation of blood pressure.  The release of cortisol also affects metabolism and the accumulation of fat throughout the body.  

Post bariatric surgery you can find yourself dealing with long term lifestyle changes.  Your nutrition regime will change and you will begin a new exercise routine. Try not to get overwhelmed and try to learn how to effectively handle any stresses that you find or any negative emotions.  It’s important to find techniques to work through these day to day stressors or you may find yourself regressing to unhealthy eating patterns that could hinder progress. 

Things like exercise, mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing and relaxation are ways that we can work towards good stress management and good weight management.  Regardless of the reason for your stress / weight loss stall/ plateau/ it is super important to get your stress levels under control to get the scale moving in the right direction again.   Try to minimize the intensity in your life and recognize your triggers and why you are feeling stressed.  Cutting out the stress in your life is going to make it a lot easier to get your weight where you want it to be.

The ability to balance life and stress is looked at as the ideal way to manage your mental health but stress actually has an equally large impact on your physical health so it’s important to manage your stress in order to support your post bariatric weight loss goals. 

Reach out with any questions.  I am here to support you on your journey to weight loss and wellness.

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 Triumph and Accelerate Weight Loss – Bariatric Edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eat Like a Bariatric Expert with our Nutrition Plans.

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

Stay motivated with Bariatric Wristbands – post your results online !

Your Pouch and Digestion Bariatric Edition

The way we cook

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

Mechanisms that help or hinder

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

Multi-tasking

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

Stressed out

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

Sit up straight

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

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

Reach out with any questions you may have.

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

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

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

Eat Like a Bariatric Expert with our Nutrition Plans.

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

Stay motivated with Bariatric Wristbands – post your results online !

Plateaus and Stalls

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

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

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

Change your Macro-Nutrient Balancing:

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

Lift Heavy Weights:

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

Switch up the exercise routine:

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

Additional things you can do:

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

Go to bed earlier and get some more sleep.

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

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

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

Drink more water – increase those fluids.

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

BACK ON TRACK 

10 DAY BARIATRIC DETOX

BARIATRIC KETO 

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

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

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

Eat Like a Bariatric Expert with our Nutrition Plans.

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

Stay motivated with Bariatric Wristbands – post your results online !

What kind of calories post bariatric surgery ?

how many calories per day should a bariatric client eat ?

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

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

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

Let’s Talk Protein – the big macronutrient.

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

Carbohydrate Talk

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

Healthy Fats

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eat Like a Bariatric Expert with our Nutrition Plans.

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

Stay motivated with Bariatric Wristbands – post your results online !

Throw Away The Soda – Bariatric Edition

One of the best tips you will ever receive as a bariatric client is to not consume your calories in the form of drinks.  Sugary sodas and sweetened beverages will sabotage your nutritional regimen and the weight will hang on.  Sodas are especially a terrible thing to put into your body on a regular basis.  It is a concentrated sugar or a chemical sweetener mixed with phosphoric acid and laced with stimulants – there is nothing healthy about sodas.  It can also be quite uncomfortable for a client who has undergone bariatric surgery as the acid and carbonation can irritate the smaller sized stomach and leaving them feeling gassy, bloated and sore.

We all know that we need to kick our soda and energy drink habit before bariatric surgery but how can it be done with minimal withdrawal ?  You see, soda contains caffeine and aspartame or high fructose corn syrup – both are addictive and that’s why sometimes it feels like there is nothing quite as satisfying as a cold can of coke.  Did you know that 75% of soda is consumed by 25% of the population ?  Sodas are filled with sugar and are extremely addictive and we should not touch the stuff.  Our bodies do not even know what to do with liquid sugars and these are what lead to weight gain in children and also in adults.  

Why are soft drinks so bad for us ?  there are conditions and specific situations which can be aggravated with the influx of soft drinks which include:  food addiction, obesity, depression, asthma, diabetes, tooth decay, gum disease, behavior problems and stress eating just to name a few. 

Bariatric clients have only so much space in their new stomach.  There is a pile of competition for good use of a smaller space.  When you drink soda, you may be using space that could be used for real, live, healthy, good quality foods.  Soda contains phosphoric acid which can cause decreased absorption of calcium.  This is already a concern as a bariatric patient post surgery so don’t allow soda to impact the situation and make it worse.

We have all read online somewhere that soda will stretch our new stomach pouch.  This is a perfect fear tactic but if you ask your surgeon directly, he or she will explain to you that your new stomach cannot allow a high enough gas pressure to build up within it to stretch it out.  An understanding of the pouch will show you that a basically a bag with a hole in it cannot have a high enough gas pressure to build up within it to stretch it out.  There are so many other reasons to stay away from soda, but it’s not because it will stretch the stomach.

So how can we give up this sweet addition ? Substitute the soda or energy drink with something healthier.  Instead of just quitting, substitute with sugar free beverages or add fresh fruit to your water or sparkling water.  You shouldn’t compare the new drink with your old one. Try to enjoy the new fresh flavors and appreciate that it is a better alternative.  If you have more alternatives you will form new habits and it will be encouraging to quit the soda for good.

Throw away all the soda.  Cleanse your home of unhealthy beverages so that it is not there to tempt you.  Stay focused on your goal and for about two weeks prior to your surgery, start reaching for your new favorite substitutes.  This is the perfect time to reconsider your health decisions so you are able to make healthier choices.  By dropping the bad habits such as drinking soda, you are doing yourself a big favor for the years to come.

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

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

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

Eat Like a Bariatric Expert with our Nutrition Plans.

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

Stay motivated with Bariatric Wristbands – post your results online !

Post Bariatric Surgery Smoothies !

Post Bariatric Surgery Smoothies !

Pre and Post bariatric surgery, you will be required to drink protein shakes and they will make up a big part of your nutritional regimen for the first few months.  Please take a moment to pack your shakes with ingredients that will give you the biggest nutritional bang for your buck.  There are so many opportunities to feed your body post surgery in a very nutritious way.  This also ensures quicker healing and excellent weight loss results.   Instead of buying those pre-made shakes, grab your blender and take it up a notch.  You can make some delicious, healthy, smoothies to guarantee you are giving your body what it requires.  As far as equipment goes, all you need is your magic bullet or blender.

Rules to Follow:  Add an ingredient from each of the categories below to invent your delicious and nutritious smoothies.  Blend until smooth.  Take your time and enjoy your smoothie one sip at a time.  If you cannot drink it in one sitting, then cover it and place it in the fridge to come back to in a few hours.  Consume within 24 hours please.  Get creative !

Main Ingredient :  Protein Powder !  Add one serving of high quality protein powder to the blender.  We recommend using plant proteins for better digestion post surgery.  Regular protein powders contain dairy (whey protein) and can cause gas and bloating.  Here is an excellent high quality powder for bariatric patients:  Plant Protein

Fruit !  Berries are my favorite as they are packed with nutrients, low sugar and high fiber.  Add a handful of fresh or frozen berries to your smoothie.  Stay away from canned fruits that have added sugars.

Milks:  Today we have so many options … I suggest mixing your smoothie with no sugar added almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk or any one of your favorites.  Don’t use “low fat” milk please because when the fat is removed, there are sugars and chemicals added to make it taste better. 

Spice it up:  Now is the time to get creative !  Spice is not only fun but it’s also adds nutritional benefits.  Play with different flavors such as ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla or allspice. 

Sweeten up:  use Stevia or monk fruit to add some additional sweetness to your smoothie.

Added Fiber !  post surgery some clients experience constipation.  To help keep things “moving along” – add a teaspoon of chia seed or ground flax seed to your smoothie. 

Here are some yummy smoothie recipes to try.  There are so many options to choose from.  Get creative and have fun with your blender !

Yummy Banana and Peanut Butter Smoothie
  • one scoop of protein powder
  • one cup of chocolate soy milk
  • 1/2 a banana
  • one tablespoon of natural peanut butter
  • ice cubes
Super Berry Smoothie
  • one scoop of protein powder
  • 1/2 a cup of frozen berries
  • 1/2 a cup of greek yogurt
  • one cup of almond milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • ice cubes
Super Peachy Smoothie
  • one scoop of protein powder
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peaches
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 cup cashew or coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed

About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery patients for 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 Vegetables do I eat when I am watching my carbohydrate intake ?

It’s so confusing when we hear that we need to eat our veggies and then in the same sentence that we need to watch our carb intake – aren’t vegetables considered carbohydrates ?  So what do we do ?  eat them or not ?  I am going to break it down so that you can have your cake (veg) and eat it too !

Below is an easy to go to list which tells you which veggies are the best to eat when watching your carbohydrate intake.  Get ready for a few surprises though !  Did you know that your leeks are high in carbohydrates or that a great low carb option is to snack on radishes ?

So if it’s so confusing and some vegetables are high in carbs while others are not – why not just eliminate all vegetables from our diets ?  

Please don’t do this – those vegetables that you avoid give you tons of fiber and vitamins and minerals that keep our body happy and healthy.  Instead of just giving up veg, stick to the ones that are lower in carbohydrates while you are still in the active weight loss phase post bariatric surgery.  

What do I count ?  Net Carbs or Total Carbs ?

Try not to focus on total carbs and change your focus to the “net carbs” in your vegetables.  Fiber is so healthy and it keeps us “moving” and it also keeps our guts healthy so don’t exclude it in your diet.  Try to get more of it.  A lot of that fiber is not going to be digested and so it doesn’t turn into “glucose” or carbohydrates – it passes through your gut and feeds the micro-biome keeping your gut healthy.  Eat low carb veggies and keep your gut happy and healthy. 

What’s the “best of the best” when talking about low carbohydrate vegetables ?  Which ones can you turn to when looking for high micronutrients and low in carbs ?  I like to suggest that you turn to the following vegetables:

Broccoli – it’s a super versatile low carb veg which is packed with vitamins C and K and it only contains 4g net carbs per one full cup.

Asparagus – eat asparagus because it can be wrapped in bacon lol and it comes in at 4g of net carbs per cup – plus you will be getting plenty of Vitamin A, C and K.

Mushrooms – they are super low carb at 1g net carbs per cut of white mushrooms.  They have been found to contain amazing anti-inflammatory properties.  Add mushrooms to boring dishes to add texture and flavour.

Zucchini – there are different types of zucchini and some are higher in carb count than others but regular green zucchini has approximately 3 grams of net carbs per cup.  Zucchini will give you plenty of vitamin C.

Spinach – when watching carb count, spinach is a favourite for most people because it only has 3 grams of net carbs per each cooked cup.  Spinach can be used cooked or in salads or with eggs.  It’s extremely versatile and you can even add some healthy fats to make it creamy as a side dish.

Avocado – so avocados are actually considered a fruit but I am adding them here as they are eaten more like a veg.  Avocado is super high in healthy fats and they are also low in net carbs as they are very high in fiber.  They come in at 3g of net carbs.  They are also super high in vitamin C.  Add a bit of avocado to your meals to increase satiety and healthy fats.

Cauliflower – this is a super versatile vegetable which is low in carbs (2g net carbs per cup).  You can use this vegetable as a side dish or a main course.  You can switch regular potatoes for cauliflower mash and you can even make pizza crust out of this veg.  

Bell Peppers – the green bell pepper adds great flavour to cooked dishes.  The green ones are lower in carbs over the red/ yellow ones but even then the coloured peppers only contain 6g of net carbs per one cup chopped up.  Get your vitamin A and add tons of flavours to your salads and wraps.

Green Beans – green beans are a super addition as a side dish.  One cup of green beans has 6g of net carbs and they add plenty of texture to cooked and raw dishes.

 

Low Carbohydrate List of Vegetables / per 100 grams  / Net Carbs

  • Broccoli Raab 0.15g
  • Bok Choi 1.18g
  • Celery 1.37g
  • Spinach 1.43g
  • Asparagus 1.78g
  • Radish 1.80g
  • Avocado 1.84g
  • Arugula 2.05g
  • Zucchini 2.11g
  • Mushrooms 2.26g
  • Tomato 2.69g
  • Olives 2.80g
  • Eggplant 2.88g
  • Bell Pepper 2.90g
  • Cauliflower 2.97g
  • Cabbage 3.00g
  • Cucumber 3.13g
  • Jalapeno Pepper 3.70g
  • Broccoli 4.04g
  • Bean Sprouts 4.14g
  • Fennel 4.20g
  • Okra 4.25g
  • Green beans 4.27g
  • Turnips 4.63g
  • Snow Peas 4.95g
  • Brussels Sprouts 5.15g
  • Carrots 6.78g
  • Onion 7.64g
  • Leek 12.3g
  • Ginger 15.7g

About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery patients for 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric patients.  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 !