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Control Over Your Diet Bariatric Edition

What happens when we get derailed with our diet?  What can we do to prevent falling all the way down the rabbit hole?  Isn’t it interesting how one bad meal can turn into a bad week, and then into a bad month?  

I am here to offer gentle suggestions and advice to prevent you from falling all the way down when you trip or stumble along the way.

I spend a lot of time with pre and post bariatric clients.  Actually, I spend most of my working day with them and when I am not working, I am still answering texts through messenger and on my cell phone.  I know that trouble can arise at any corner.  I know that chocolate cake takes no prisoners.  I understand the difficulty at having to sit at a family gathering or a birthday party and have to ignore all the yummy food piled all around you.

What do you do when you veer off the straight and narrow road of clean-eating? 

Carbs happen sometimes… there are moments where we just are not as strong.  We need to understand that one bad meal, doesn’t have to turn into a full-on carb-binge.  If pizza “happens”, we can go back to our regular diet the very next meal. 

I do believe that most of us have similar struggles when it comes to food.  We grew up eating one way and to change those patterns is very difficult.  Even if we know and truly understand “why” they are so bad for us, we still want to have them in our lives.  

My nemesis is chocolate milk.  This is a perfect example of something I have a very hard time controlling.  Sure, I have many comfort foods but this is a perfect example.  I see the 1-liter container and it’s almost always on sale so I buy it “for my kids”.  Am I a “kid”? No.  Is it any good for my kids to drink this stuff? No.  So then why the heck do I buy it?  I swear that stuff calls my name from the refrigerator in the middle of the night.  If I take even a sip of the stuff, I am hooked!  I want to drink the whole thing.  

If I cave in and drink the chocolate milk (which sometimes happens), does this mean that the next day I will get up and buy another liter and drink that liter also? No.  I know that it was wrong and it wasn’t good for me and that I now have the “sugar bug” but I am going to make the steps to get rid of the sugar in my system.  I am going to drink plenty of water and make my next meal a turkey salad, or chicken soup with veggies or something that is nourishing.  I am going to take a walk and I am going to try not to buy that evil chocolate milk ever again lol (insert evil laugh here). 

Let’s do this for whatever nemesis you have. Yours may be mac and cheese or it may be bagel sandwiches or sugary frappuccinos at Starbucks.  My whole point here is that whatever your nemesis is, don’t allow it to completely derail all of your efforts.  You are in charge.  You are your boss.  You choose your next meal.  You choose how you want your life to look.

If you are currently off track, try doing the following things to get back into control again:  

  Get rid of all the so-called packaged “healthy snacks”.  Those are the snacks which are boxed and have words on the label such as “high in protein”, “low in fat” etc.

  Put down the wine glass or the beer mug.  Take a break from alcohol for now.  Get your diet cleaned up before you try introducing alcohol back again.  After a few drinks, we don’t make the best “food decisions”… if you know what I mean?

  Open your cupboard and donate the following items to your neighbor: bread, pasta, rice, sugar, bagels, muffins, cookies, granola bars.  Don’t keep these things in your house right now.  They can derail you too quickly.  

So what should you be eating when trying to find your way back to your healthy and happy eating place? 

  • There is no trick here.  I want you to eat whole, live, fresh, natural, good quality “food”.  This means real food and not boxed or prepackaged foods.  
  • Eat your vegetables.  Eat them raw, baked, boiled, grilled, sautéed! 
  • Eat protein.  Eat chicken, beef, eggs, pork, fish, seafood.
  • Eat a small serving of healthy fat.  Eat avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado oil.
  • Eat small amounts of berries. Eat raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and, strawberries.
  • Eat more mindfully.  Sit down and take the time to really think about your food.  Make a connection to it while you are eating.
  • Make your meals at home.  You have total control this way.  You will prepare your foods to be good for you and not only to taste good.
  • Sure, we all make mistakes. We all have weak moments.  We all have our nemesis.  It’s what we do after we have these moments that make ALL the difference.  I want you to dust yourself off and continue on your journey to health and wellness.

You’ve got this!!

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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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