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Calling All Dieters – Bariatric Edition

 “I didn’t have surgery to be permanently on a diet”. I hear this statement all the time. I mean, why have 80% of your stomach removed if you still must watch what you eat all the time?
Surgery is the tool – lifestyle is the goal.
If we go back to doing the same things we were doing prior to having bariatric surgery, we will continue having the same results.
So, what do we do? We need to change our thinking about food. We need to discover new foods and new ways to eat to help us lose weight and maintain our weight loss for years to come.
There will be days when drive-thrus happen. There will be days when ice cream happens but that’s it … it’s a day here or there. 80% of the time, we need to take our diet very seriously. We need to feed our new tool the right foods to avoid nutritional deficiencies.
So, is this considered a diet? I prefer to consider it a new lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle we can get super excited about. Our metabolic health will greatly improve. We lose weight. We have more energy. We sleep better. Our activity level improves because we are feeling better. What a winning combination.
So, how should this “new diet” look? Well, the bariatric diet should look like this (if you are vegan or vegetarian, this is not for you, and I can offer a customized plant-based diet for you).
Breakfast can be eggs with cucumber slices, yogurt, cottage cheese with berries, a smoothie.
Lunch can be some kind of salad with protein in it, chicken salad, tuna with mayo, rolled up lunch meat with some string cheese and some cherry tomatoes, chopped veggies and chicken with a dip.
Dinner can be some fish, chicken, red meat, or shrimp with a side of veggies or a bowl of veggie soup.
Do you want a snack? Have some frozen or fresh berries, nuts, seeds, olives, pickles, hard-boiled eggs, a tuna packet, a smoothie.
Now, what does every single meal suggestion have in common?
It’s just real food! Did you see that? what is in an egg? well, just egg! What’s in berries? Berries. What do you find in chicken? Chicken!
What a perfect concept. When we eat REAL FOOD, we lose weight and feel better. When we eat foods that don’t contain long lists of ingredients, our metabolic health improves. Our blood pressure comes down. Our cholesterol levels lower.
Wow! What magic is this? Folks, it is the magic of just eating real food. How we’ve been duped in the past? We’ve been sold foods that toted magic on their labels. Big Food Manufacturers have LIED to us. Or they didn’t tell us the WHOLE story. Sure, that bar contains “protein” but what you’ve failed to tell us is that there are a lot of things in it that are UNHEALTHY (hello good old canola oil).
Gatorade WITH Protein is being guzzled by the gallon. Sure, there is some protein powder in it but look at the label on the back – it is full of things that are NOT good for us. More power to us! Read those labels, please.
When people ask me about a reset diet, or a liquid diet, or something to help them, I sometimes wish I could get out my magic wand or give them a perfect, new solution. Truth is, there are no “new solutions”. The best solution is just to eat real food. Fill your beautiful bariatric pouch with the real stuff – real food.
Make sure to eat until you are satisfied. If you don’t eat enough, you set yourself up to graze. Grazing is the perfect way to gain weight or have a big, long, weight loss stall.
I want the very best for you. I want your bariatric tool to work for you for a very long time to come. Let’s not live on a diet. Let’s change our lifestyle! Doesn’t that sound more fun than being on a permanent diet.
There is room for ice cream and chips but 80% of the time, our new lifestyle dictates REAL FOOD.
How do you feel about your new lifestyle? Is it turning into a lifestyle for you, or do you feel like you are on a diet all the time? Curious minds want to know


Healthy Hugs,

Sheri Burke RHN specializing in bariatric nutrition



Sheri Burke RHN

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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