What does a “full bariatric eating plan” look like?
It’s going to look different for different people.
Remember, we are biochemical individuals, and we are all at different stages in our journey. What works great for Karen, doesn’t work the same for Ken.
Our lives are not always the same. Sometimes we are more active. Sometimes we have higher stress levels. Some of us are dealing with complicated health issues. Our diets are going to change a bit as life throws different challenges our way.
Some of us are vegans, vegetarians, carnivores.
Some of us have food intolerances to gluten.
Some of us have sensitivities to dairy.
Some of us don’t like onions (me).
There is not a “one size fits all” dietary plan that I preach but there are some defined, logical suggestions that I like to make as I move my clients from liquids, to purees, to soft foods, to a full bariatric diet.
Anytime somebody reaches out to me and tells me that they have had a bit of a regain and they want to go back to a “liquid diet”, or a “pre-op diet”, I need to explain that it doesn’t work the same way when you perform a pre-op diet when you are 230 pounds as opposed to 180 pounds. It is not going to have the same effect. My best suggestion is to follow the “full bariatric eating plan”.
What does this look like? Here are some suggestions, and reminders of how the bariatric full eating plan looks 4 to 6 weeks post-op and beyond. Remember, I make suggestions, but you ultimately make decisions.
- We don’t snack or graze.
- We eat 3 times a day.
- We plan our meals.
- We use a food journal or a food log.
- We choose a handful of protein and add a few bites of veggies.
- We eat until we are full, not overly full.
- We fill the pouch enough so that we can go hours between meals.
- We drink zero-calorie beverages between meals.
- If we want to eat nuts, seeds, butter, cheese, olives, pickles, etc., we do it DURING our meals (not between).
- If the scale stalls, we remove all processed foods (think proteins shakes, bars, quest chips, keto store-bought crackers, etc.).
- We take a walk each day or add some type of exercise each day.
- We control our stress levels.
- We get an extra hour of sleep each night.
These are some guidelines that I set for my clients when they are a month to six weeks post-op. Doesn’t this just make perfect sense? When I write the list above, I can see three things, right away, that I can change TODAY to get the scale moving again tomorrow.
Can you see three things that could help you? If you can, let me know what jumps out of the page for you. Curious minds want to know. (Me, I am that curious mind).
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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