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Bariatrics / When Bad Foods Feel the Best

Why does my pouch prefer foods that aren’t good for me ?

Crackers.  Popcorn.  Chips.

All bariatric patients know that they shouldn’t be eating this post surgery.  Patients don’t need a class from a registered nutritionist to figure this out.  Then why is it that these sorts of foods, or other kinds of “no no” carby foods go down into the pouch so easily and just feel so good ?

I don’t like having this conversation with clients.  It’s not fun for either of us.  My client talks about how the only foods that feel really good are the exact same foods which I am telling my clients NOT to eat.  I am talking about how going back to protein first is the right way for long term bariatric success and we have this power struggle where we cannot meet eye to eye – it can get uncomfortable.

Let’s work though this so I can show you how it goes.

My client is wanting to eat protein but it makes her stomach feel uncomfortable and sick so she keeps finding herself adding a few crackers to each meal or ….

Another client sees how nicely popcorn can go down on her newly operated stomach and how it makes such a nice light evening post dinner snack.  This client has always treated herself to popcorn so why not now ? …

My next client talks about how pretzels and chips are finally offering her some flavour and that special CRUNCH that she has been missing out on.  They just miss that crunchy yum in their mouth.

These three conversations and scenes are so darn common.  You know what / I feel that each complaint is absolutely valid.  I totally understand.  I don’t judge anybody.  And this is what makes it so difficult when I am trying to break my clients of this very bad habit.  It’s not fair.  It sucks.  The foods that feel the best are the ones that are not the best for your bariatric journey.  It’s like finding out that the only pair of pants that you are in love with in the store are the only ones NOT on sale.  It’s a cruel joke.

The hard facts are that the foods that are high starch and refined carbohydrates are the ones that will slide down into your pouch most comfortably.  The “mechanical process” of digestion starts in your mouth when you chew up your foods.  When you eat carbohydrates, the actual enzyme digestion BEGINS in your mouth when food meets up with saliva – with protein it is different.

What this means is that by the time that your lovely slider chip or popcorn or pretzel hits your stomach, it has been quite digested on the way down.  But, when a nice piece of chicken (protein) hits your stomach, it is a very different scenario.  It is just in the beginning phases of digestion.  That’s right !  Your tummy needs to work harder on solid proteins.  Protein is so fantabulous for the bariatric journey and losses because it’s always going to take a lot longer to digest so you are fuller for a longer period of time.

Do I sound like a broken record – same thing over and over and over.

I am just sharing a very harsh reality over and over and over.  Just because it feels good does not mean that it is good for your bariatric journey and losses.  Please give this a shot and try to make the right choices.  These choices are not something that anybody else can do for you.  #adultingisrough

Bottom line is that your starchy foods will feel good because they are going to hit your new tummy mushed up and soft already – this makes everything easier to tolerate.  Trust your body for signs of fullness and listen to what your tool is saying but you do still have to make the good healthy choices – don’t trust your tool to tell you what to eat.  You have your big brain for that.

I am cheering you on this bariatric journey to health because I know you’ve got this !

Allow the bariatric experts to help you if you need support. Please reach out every opportunity you get with every question that you have – it’s not just our work to assist you.  We celebrate in seeing you succeed.

If you have a regain or a stall, you can reach out to the “Bariatric Food Experts” for the BARIATRIC RESET PROGRAM.

About the Author: Sheri Burke is a 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 two teens, husband and two furry friends.

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Eat Like a Bariatric Expert with our Nutrition Plans.


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