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Eat Stop Eat – Bariatric Edition

What is the quickest way to regain the weight you have lost?
There could be many answers here. It could be from allowing sugar back into your life. It could be from over-eating. It could be from not having sufficient activity in your life. What about eating too many fried foods again? Sodas anybody?
My personal response to this question is Grazing.
Yup, that is what I find that many of my clients who have experienced regain are doing and this is exactly why they are regaining the weight.
So, how do you protect yourself from the dreaded graze? It’s easy.
Eat. Stop. Eat.
Why don’t a lot of you use your bariatric pouch as it was meant to be used? I know you are all afraid of “stretching the pouch”, but this is how it was supposed to work…
You see,,, You are hungry. You eat until full. You stop eating. End of story.
What are many people doing? They don’t like that “full feeling”, so they never eat until their pouch is full. That signal of satiety is never reached. They walk around feeling peckish all the time. This leads to grazing. When we graze, the pouch is never full. We can graze all day long and never get to the point where we are satisfied. Now, if we add the wrong types of foods to this scenario, it can be a disaster for regain.
Imagine having a few sips of a protein shake for breakfast. Now, are you satisfied? Of course not. You arrive at the office and Betty has brought donuts for everybody. You have plenty of space in your pouch and what harm will a half a donut do? Now it is lunchtime, and you are STARVING! That donut set you up for a blood sugar high and now a blood sugar low.
What is a starving person at lunch going to do? They are probably going to make some “not so perfect” food choices. This leads us to the afternoon slump. Who’s going for the cappuccinos and frappuccinos?
Arriving home for dinner – everybody is hungry and staring at YOU to put something on the table. So, you get busy and make some chicken with pasta or rice. You have a few bites, walk away, not stuffed, not even particularly full.
The kids have baseball practice and Joanne has brought some homemade cookies. Gimme two, please. I haven’t eaten much so I still have some room for some more food.
The scenario above is a perfect grazing storm for a regain. It is also a perfect storm for a major weight loss stall.
I know that we don’t always see how we graze our way through the day – enter the food log. If you are unsure as to whether you are a grazer or not, write it all down in an app or jot your food and beverages into a small book you carry in your purse. This tells the real story.
What does Eat. Stop. Eat. look like?
We start our day with a scrambled egg, a few cherry tomatoes, and a bite of avocado. Full. I cannot eat another bite. I am ready for my day.
Donuts are in a box next to the coffee maker but to be honest with you, I am full. I take a hard pass.
It is lunchtime and I am feeling hungry again. That lunch I packed for myself of high-quality deli meat, cucumber slices, an ounce of mozzarella cheese, and a few strawberries are going to be perfect. I am full once again.
“Anybody wants Starbucks”? – not you, because you are still full of lunch. That’s another hard pass for you.
You arrive home, put some dinner on the table and you sit down and eat with your family. You have some chicken, some veggies, and a bite of the yogurt dessert that your best friend made for you on the weekend.
Dishes and its time to head to the baseball game. Your friend has some cookies for you to try. You take one to be polite, but you stick it in your purse because you are stuffed from your dinner. On the way home, you hand the cookie to your son. You don’t want it filling your purse with crumbs.
You get home, get the kids ready for bed, make them a snack and have some berries and dream whip as an evening snack. That sure hit the spot.
Do you see the above two scenarios and why I stress that we need to use the bariatric tool as it was meant to be used? Eat. Stop. Eat.
If this can help one post-op person realize why their scale is stuck, or why the numbers are moving in the wrong direction, then I have done my job today.
Please use your beautiful bariatric tool as it was meant to be used. Sometimes it is the difference of one or two bites. Don’t fill yourself until the food is coming back up – just make sure to eat enough at mealtimes to keep your pouch full and satisfied for a few hours.
Eat. Stop. Eat.

Healthy Hugs,


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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