I know that my bariatric newbies have a hard time understanding how it could even be possible to have a regain at the beginning of their journey. They cannot phantom the idea with their teeny pouch and their excellent habits.
What I want them to know is that our veterans understand how it is possible to have a regain, and even go back to where they started from.
I make it my mission to make sure that every person going into bariatric surgery knows this. I prepare my clients from day one. I talk about lifestyle changes and I urge them to come on this journey with me, intending to make those important changes.
The surgery can’t do it by itself. It needs you.
A bariatric pouch is a tool. We need to understand how to use that tool by feeding it correctly. We also need to understand why the tool works. It’s not magic. It is a wonderful tool but you want to be sure that your tool is not the only thing working. You need to be working on your diet always.
We need to take control of our diet. The more we know, the more we learn, the safer we will be from having a regain and going back where we started from.
I’m not writing this to scare you. I just want everyone to understand how to take better control of their diet. It all starts with diet. The restriction is great but if you eat ice cream all day, you will regain. If you drink Starbucks Frappuccino’s all day, you will have a regain. If you eat chips, pretzels, popcorn all day, you will have a regain.
Remember, you may be at the beginning of your journey right now, but many others are reading this who are more than 10 years post-op. That will be you one day also! I am still a part of their journey so I understand the struggles they face.
My bariatric veterans will tell you that lifestyle changes are the reason they are still successful. They do not rely entirely on their tool and they want you to know how important these changes are.
- They eat a diet that is high in protein.
- They eat a diet that is high in fiber.
- They take their bariatric supplements.
- They are active.
- They prioritize their sleep schedules.
- They control their stress levels.
- They take care of themselves.
So what does their diet look like? A successful bariatric veteran follows a diet that looks something like this:
- 7 am – coffee or tea with a glass of water/supplements
- 9 am – scrambled eggs with spinach and a ¼ avocado
- 1 pm – chicken or tuna salad
- 5 pm – piece of chicken or beef with a side of green beans
- 8 pm – chia seed pudding (with a book or Netflix)
This is how all of us should be eating. We eat to live and not the other way around. When you eat healthy, you start to crave healthy food. See how that works.
My bariatric veterans are active. Active is different for everybody. Some people walk, other people Zumba. Some people do yoga, other people bike. Active is personal. You choose something you like, and you do it. Don’t let anything get in your way.
I want you to be in control of your lifestyle. Don’t just allow life to happen. Take the reins. Choose you.
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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