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Food Police – Bariatric Edition

Hey!  Have you heard about the “Bariatric Food Police”?   Those are the people who can’t wait to bash that beautiful recipe you created because it contains half a potato.  Those same people will jump all over you when you show your breakfast of cottage cheese and peaches because,,, well, peaches are too high in carbohydrates.


Why are they terrified of a bit of carbohydrate?  Why do they feel the urge to tell you that you are doing the WRONG thing by eating the peach?  I think that they’ve been over-programmed to be terrified of carbohydrates.  I mean, if you are following a ketogenic plan (which most of us are not doing), then yes, a peach may throw us out of ketosis but, most of us are following a low-carb lifestyle.


It’s not that I have anything against ketosis or a ketogenic lifestyle. I just don’t like the word “keto” any longer.  I stopped using it a long time ago because the food manufacturers decided to start using that word and printing it on their labels for “keto-products”. 


For me, ketogenic eating is eating REAL food.  Not prepacked junk that has a long list of ingredients.  All of a sudden there were keto-pizza-crusts, and keto-granola-bars.  What about keto-microwave dinners?  Hey add some more cheese, bacon, and heavy cream, and let’s do the keto-dance.  See what I mean?


Most of my clients have blood sugar issues.  They are insulin resistant. They have pre-diabetes or full-blown diabetes.  Eating tons of carbohydrates is NOT recommended for them.  Since most of my clients are suffering from blood sugar issues, I tend to stick to a very low-carb lifestyle for them.  Let’s switch the peaches to berries because berries contain less natural sugar and more fiber to slow down the blood sugar response. 


When you are actively losing weight, it’s a great plan to keep your blood sugars low, which in turn keep insulin levels low.  High insulin levels make it harder to lose weight which in turn means that lower insulin levels make it easier to lose weight.  See how that works!


Remember, we are all at different stages in our weight loss journey.  Some of us are just starting, while others are halfway there. Many of us are already at our goal.  I’ve seen a lot of my clients with diabetes go into full remission.  All of our diets are going to look a lot different.


Let’s try to be more understanding when somebody posts their breakfast online.  If they want to eat oatmeal, more power to them.  Would I want a big bowl of oatmeal, probably not?  It messes with my blood sugars and my biochemical individuality and I am STARVING hungry after only an hour.   I would swap it out for my recipe of “No-0atmeal” which doesn’t contain grains.


Now, does that mean that YOU can’t eat oatmeal?  Of course not.  That means that I cannot eat oatmeal.  You could slap on a glucose monitor, have yourself some oatmeal, and see how your body reacts to it.


Remember, this is not a race.  We are learning every day as we proceed through our journey.  I used to be a vegetarian.  I used to be vegan.  I used to be strict ketogenic. At one point I was a pescatarian.  My diet has changed throughout my life. Right now I am rocking a low-carb lifestyle.  I am sure it will change again a few more times.  I’m flexible to what serves me during each stage of my life.


If you have serious blood sugar issues, be rigid in your approach, but also be understanding to those people who do not have blood sugar issues.  I guess that’s the point I want to make with this blog.



Healthy Hugs,

Sheri Burke – your bariatric 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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