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Let’s Talk About Those Snacks – Bariatric Edition

Remember the days of breakfast/ snack/ lunch/ snack/ dinner/ snack …
What were we thinking? We were told that to keep our metabolism stoked, we needed to be feeding it all day long.
Where did that get us? It got us overweight is what it did!
If we are eating between meals, it goes from being a little snack to full-blown grazing. Grazing is for cows. Grazing is not something that we should be participating in. It’s just a perfect way to have a regain or a weight-loss stall.
Let’s chat a bit about what happens when we are snacking/ grazing…
We wake up and grab a cup of coffee. Next comes a quick breakfast. What happens when we eat? Our blood glucose levels rise. They rise a bit with a portion of protein and some veg. They rise a bit more if we add some fruit. They rise even more if we add some oatmeal. Once our blood sugars rise, this triggers an insulin response. Insulin is the key to open our cells and fill them with excess glucose. This takes time. It can take a few hours for those blood sugar levels to come back down again. We want them to come back down as quickly as possible. High levels of insulin make fat burning almost impossible.
If we choose to snack while our blood glucose levels are still high, then insulin needs to work even harder because it needs to continue to remove the glucose from our blood. Insulin levels get even higher.
So, we’ve had breakfast, snacked, and now it is time for lunch. We have a bowl of soup and a roll, or a slice of pizza. Maybe we have a salad with some protein and croutons. Unless that meal is very low in carbohydrates, blood sugars are going to rise again, and they have still not gotten back down to acceptable levels.
Rinse and Repeat. Insulin is chasing blood sugars. It has a very big job to do if we are constantly eating, snacking, and grazing our way through the day.
Remember, high insulin levels make it harder to lose weight.
Hmmm – if high insulin levels make it hard to lose weight, then what would lower insulin levels do?
BINGO!! lower insulin levels make it easier to lose weight.
Let’s reframe this entire picture. We wake up, have some coffee and some eggs for breakfast. Blood sugars rise ever so slightly. Perfect. That means that insulin levels remain low and fat burning can take place.
Next, we choose to drink water between breakfast and lunch. At lunch, we have a nice chicken salad topped with olive oil, and a squeeze of lime. It’s a low-carb meal and blood sugars stay stable; insulin doesn’t need to get to work. Everything stays stable.
We choose to not snack between lunch and dinner. For dinner, we refuel with some pizza toppings on top of zucchini. Faux-Pizza but it’s delicious. Blood sugars stayed stable, and we have cruised through the day without any snacking. We feel good, happy, satisfied. We are not tired and “hangry”.
Wow, what magic is this?!
This is the magic of a low-carb lifestyle with no snacking between meals. We are only eating 3 squares! Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
Folks, this is the way to stay on track. I think it’s so important to understand the effect that foods have on our bodies. What happens when I eat that? Why is the whole world becoming carb-conscious? And we know we shouldn’t eat processed and refined carbohydrates but why?
This is exactly what this blog is about today. It’s a gentle reminder as to why the world is gearing away from a processed diet. We are looking for whole foods. We are fighting back against “big food manufacturers”. We want our food NOT to have a long list of ingredients. We are not going to buy all those packages of snack foods. Heck, we are not going to snack anymore.
This is a lifestyle decision. Sure, sometimes snacks happen. That’s fine but regularly, try to eliminate the need for snacking by improving your meals. Sometimes I think that my bariatric clients try to control their portions at meals, and they don’t eat enough. You should be filling that beautiful bariatric pouch at mealtime. This will give you the nutrients you require to go to the next meal without feeling the need for a snack.
Now, if you make mealtime a “lower-carb” mealtime, that will keep your blood sugars stable, and you won’t feel the need for a snack. It all goes hand in hand. It all works together.
I hope that taking a few minutes to read this, has helped to remind you why we are experimenting with a lower-carb diet. When I know my “why”, it makes it much easier to implement.



Healthy Hugs,

Sheri Burke RHN specializing in bariatric nutrition



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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