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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.

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