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Resetting Your Tool – Bariatric Edition

Resetting Your Tool – Bariatric Edition


Lately, I’ve been seeing posts online discussing “resetting your pouch”.  What does this mean?  I think it’s important to understand what is meant by this phrase.


“Today I am going back to basics and 1/ starting a liquid diet or 2/ going back to the pre-op diet”. 


How many times have you seen this post on social media/ forums etc.? 


Did you wonder “what does this mean”?  Or, did you google the phase?  Did you think it would be a good idea for you to do the same thing to reset your tool?


Allow me to go into details regarding “resetting your tool”.  What is it and does it work?


Why do we lose weight on the current pre-op diet?  Well, if you are my client and you follow my pre-op guidelines, you will see that the plan is high in protein, low in processed carbohydrates.  There is no added sugar or alcohol.  This plan will allow the liver to “take a break” and shrink in preparation for surgery.  The added bonus is weight loss. 


Another important thing to remember is that when you start your pre-op diet, your weight is generally higher than it has ever been.  You are 220, 250, 300 plus pounds.  You will be in a caloric deficit also.  This signifies greater weight loss on the pre-op diet.  As your weight comes down, you require fewer calories to maintain your current new weight and weight loss slows down.


You see, the pre-op diet is not a “miracle”.  It is just a diet that puts your body into a caloric deficit.  It is high protein and low carbohydrate.


If you follow my pre-op diet and you are 250 pounds, you will lose weight quickly. If you are 190 pounds and you follow my pre-op diet, you will lose weight but it will come off more slowly.  This is just how it works.  The more you weigh, the bigger your numbers are in the beginning.  The less you weigh, the smaller your numbers are in the beginning. 


Today, with my weight at 140 pounds, if I perform the pre-op diet, I will lose maybe 1 pound a week. If I want to lose 10 pounds, it is going to be a slow grind.  Sure, could starve myself or perform a total liquid diet but what would that accomplish?


The first thing that would happen is:  I will be starving hungry because liquids are not satiating.  Sure, I could “white-knuckle” it and use purely my willpower but how miserable will I be with all the other aspects of my life?  My poor family would hate me.  I would be a very hangry-Sheri.


Nutrient deficiencies?  Well, protein shakes are not real food.  They are lab-manufactured food-like items.  Just flip over the label and see the ingredients lurking in your protein shake.  We use them as a tool for two weeks before surgery and for a month post-surgery.  My intention is always to switch you from these shakes to whole, live, fresh, natural, good-quality food.  Protein shakes are NOT a health food.


Now, concerning “I am going to reset my bariatric tool” and “go back to basics”… what should that look like.


When we see this statement, it is generally because that person has “gotten off track” and they have started adding back foods that don’t serve them.  Think chips, crackers, popcorn, bread, tortillas, pasta rice – refined and processed carbohydrates.  This is when weight loss slows down dramatically and regain can occur.


So, what can we do when this happens?  We don’t need to do anything other than “remove the offending items”, and “replace them” with REAL FOOD.  When I say “real food”, I mean foods without labels or long lists of ingredients.  Think yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, fish, chicken, lean beef, low carb veggies, berries, nuts, seeds, etc.


  • A true “Reset Plan” should look like:
  • Eggs for breakfast
  • Chicken salad for lunch
  • Beef or Fish with veg for dinner
  • Rinse and Repeat


Get more active

  1. Drink more water
  2. Sleep 8 hours a night
  3. Reduce stress levels


You are not going to “reset your pouch” by starving yourself.  This doesn’t work long-term.  What works now, and long-term are real lifestyle changes.  Why are we always looking for a quick fix? I am also guilty of this.  We should be looking for ways to protect ourselves long-term.  Haven’t we already tried “everything”?


When you see that statement “reset my pouch”,  don’t fall for it.  Fads never served us in the past and they are not going to serve us today.  Real food for the WIN.  Fill your pouch with high protein options, and veg. 


You’ve got this!

Set yourself up for success.

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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