Foods Keeping you Overweight – Bariatric Edition

Are you a bariatric calorie counter ?  Do you believe that it all comes down to “calories in vs calories” out?  Have you not hit your bariatric goal or are you struggling to maintain or have you had a regain?

Not all foods are the same when you see how they have an impact on our weight.  Sure, there are people out there who can eat what they want and never gain any weight but bariatric patients know that even post surgery, they are not one of those people with that kind of luck.  It’s not possible to make the same food and beverage choices as those people and our food habits need to change if we want to reach bariatric goals and maintain them for the long haul.

The reality that is staring us directly in the face is that overweight people make poor food choices a lot of the time.  There are times where the portions are too large and there are times when the food choices are extremely high calorie.  Sometimes the foods are of larger portions and calorie dense … think ice-cream or frappuccino.   

I think that we need to be aware of the foods which we should stay away from if we want to have full control over our body weight. If we can see what those foods are, we can work to change habits that prevent us from reaching goals or regaining weight. 

Okay Let’s Talk Food …. 

Bagels – this is the ultimate yummy food to grab on the go smeared with cream cheese.  Bagels used to be less than half the size that they are today.  Today they are GIANT and smeared with butter and cream cheese.  If they are “breakfast bagels”, they are topped with an egg, cheese and bacon.  Guys, I am here to tell you that this is a calorie BOMB and that nobody eats a plain bagel topped with nothing.  Bagels are big and dense and they  cause weight gain.

Salad Dressing – you are not going to be happy with me but I need to make it real … you cannot smear your lovely garden salad with 300 calories of ranch dressing and believe you are making a healthy choice.  These dressings are loaded with sugar and the kind of fat that is very bad for you and your health.  The sugar free kind is a better choice but the best choice out of respect for yourself and your body and your weight is a drizzle of a healthy oil such as avocado oil or olive oil and a squeeze of lemon or apple cider vinegar.  I promise you that if you give the latter a chance, you will get used to it and you will begin to enjoy the flavors of your salad and not just the flavor of the dressing you use to top it with .

Crackers and Chips – sure they are convenient and yummy but these types of snack foods are slider foods and they are commercially high in unhealthy fats. They are loaded with things which are not actually foods but engineered ingredients.  Those healthy veggie chips and apple chips are dipped in high fructose corn syrup and then stuck in a deep frier.  There is nothing healthy about them by the time they are packaged and shipped to you.  All those chips which are disguised as “healthy” are the same as eating regular potato chips.  Don’t be fooled by clever packaging and healthy claims. Eat the fruit or the veggie and stay away from the sugary, fried packaged counterparts.  

Smoothies – these are all the rage today.  People are addicted to blending up their calories and drinking them in a pretty glass while posting about it on facebook.  Sure, those smoothies have vitamins and minerals but it is much easier to drink your calories than it is to eat them.  I know clients who believe they are helping themselves but downing smoothies instead of soft drinks but how quickly can you drink up 600 calories in juice?  But what about fruit being healthy for us?  Sure, you can tell yourself that while downing an enormous portion of fruit juice or a smoothie because our thinking is warped when it comes to portion sizes.  I want you to commit to your weight loss and drink only the beverages which contain no calories.  It is so easy to over-consume high calorie beverages – they slip through the weight loss surgery tool and leave you hungry and craving more.  Better balance your blood sugars by eliminating these types of drink from your daily intake.  

There are more food items to discuss but this is a good starting point – bagels and their refined counterparts (english muffins and breads/ tortillas) / salad dressings /  crackers and chips/ and smoothies.

I think that we need to own up to obesity and not just shrug our shoulders and wonder why it happened?  Those old habits that we had are just that – habits.  We can create new habits.  The bariatric surgery is a tool to help lose the weight but we need to know how we got to the place where we needed surgery in the first place and learn how to use the tool to get us to where we want to be.  I like to ask clients prior to surgery “why” they need surgery and when they are able to honestly answer “why”, then we can move forward, owning up to mistakes made and learning new tools to never go back to that point.  

There is a honeymoon stage which is the place where the weight will come off no matter what but what about you taking control of your tool and telling it what to do.  It’s making the decision between a bagel with cream cheese and a chicken breast with some stir-fried veggies.  What would really make you more happy and more satisfied.  I will leave you with that to think about.  

I support you on your journey to a healthier you.

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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