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Shift focus to healthy eating – bariatric edition

It doesn’t matter if you have had bariatric surgery, are thinking about having bariatric surgery or are not intending to have any surgery.  We all know that losses on the scale are no easy task.  There are such a crazy amount of factors to take into account – just maintaining our weight is a challenge in itself.  Even though there are so many different strategies that we can follow, I am going to focus on only two at this time.  This is about incorporating behavioral changes and changing what you eat.
Calories in and calories out/ we all know that this plays an important role when we are trying to lose weight but what we tend to forget is that the TYPES of foods that we choose can be even more important.  When we consume low quality processed foods such as packaged chips, sodas, refined grains, and sugar – this is associated with re-gains, plateaus and stalls.  These kinds of low quality foods are linked to weight gains.
If we look to better quality foods like low sugar berries, vegetables, high quality protein and healthy fats – these are the types of foods associated with maintenance and weight losses.
The more we turn towards lower quality processed foods, the more weight gain will occur.  The more we turn towards high quality unrefined foods, the less weight gain occurs and the best maintenance and weight loss results will occur.  What does this all mean ?  Eat real food.  The more we turn towards real food, the better our results will be.  Real food examples are vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, greek yogurt, nuts, seeds and healthy fats.  If a food has an ingredient label, it probably is a processed food.
Let’s turn to our plate and what it consists of.  I personally grew up with the concept of having meat, some form of starchy foods such as potatoes, rice or pasta .. and a small serving of vegetables (probably cooked to death)… with a big glass of juice, soda or milk beside it.   Today my plate looks different.  It has a small serving of protein (4 ounces), and a double serving of vegetables such as baked broccoli and a salad. Half my plate will be vegetables.  My plate will also have a healthy serving of fat such as grass-fed butter, olive oil, avocado or avocado oil.
Water is the best liquid to drink.  Sure, we can add a bit of lemon or a sugar free squeeze of something but getting our taste buds used to the plain taste of water is a wonderful thing.  It takes time but once you have gotten used to it, going back to sweetened beverages will taste like drinking your dessert.
The take-away should be to put more thought about what goes onto our plates.  We should be eating more vegetables with each meal and snack and we should search out high quality forms of proteins / think grass-fed beef instead of hotdogs. Add healthy fat to your meals and snacks.  Don’t be fat phobic !  Let’s limit how much starchy foods and grains that we consume and when thirsty, let’s turn to water.  Limit processed and refined, sugary foods.
This way of eating and thinking about food is extremely realistic and sustainable for long term.  I want to see you succeed in the short and long term.  You’ve got this !

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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