Food Freedom suggests being able to live your life without the burden of thinking about, obsessing over, and focusing on food all the time. One way to enjoy food freedom as a post-op patient is to use a food list. Keep in mind that weight loss surgery helps you lose weight in the initial months after your procedure. You may continue to lose weight for the first couple of years.
For most people, keeping weight off beyond “the Honeymoon period” requires consistent effort. This means sticking to the things you were taught to do by your surgeon, dietitian and psychologist.
What People Who Successfully Lose Weight Do
When it comes to food choices, people who are the most successful for years and years following bariatric surgery do the following:
- Eat protein first at every meal
- Eat a lot of veggies
- Eat three meals each day
- Avoid eating excessive sugars and simple carbs
- Avoid eating fried foods
- Maintain healthy portions of healthy foods
If a person consistently follows those basic guidelines, they are very likely to live at a healthy weight.
Making Food Less Stressful
It can be difficult for people to come up with ideas of what to eat. It can also be difficult to stay away from unhealthy foods without a plan. This can lead to obsessively thinking about food, giving in to unhealthy temptations, and becoming overwhelmed by the task of having to plan each and every meal.
Food lists are one option for freeing yourself from the distress of figuring out what to eat three times a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. There are a couple of ways to go about creating a food list.
Food List Option #1: Food Options
For this list, start with protein, since a dedicated post-op patient eats protein at every meal before eating anything else. Do an internet search for “sources of protein” and write down all the protein foods you enjoy eating. Next, do an internet search for “low carbohydrate vegetables” and write down the veggies you like. Finally, do a search for “low sugar, low carb snacks.”
Then, when it comes time to eat, begin by selecting a protein source from your list, add a veggie and maybe a fruit from your list. If a particular food is not on your list, then don’t even consider eating it. Foods that are NOT on your list are NOT options in your life.
Talk about food freedom! If a food isn't on your list, then simply don’t even consider it!
Food List Option #2: Not a Food Option
For some people, food freedom comes from having a list of foods that are NOT AN OPTION for them. In other words, if a food is ON this list, then it is NOT something you want to eat… If you want to keep that excess weight off, that is!
A woman named Cynthia said she started a list of foods that were not options for her. Initially, she had things on the list such as “crackers, cupcakes, bread, and cookies.” As time went on, she realized she needed to make a more general statement that said, “no baked goods.” This included all breads, rolls, croissants, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, etc. She didn’t have to give these kinds of foods another thought, reminding herself that if they were on her list, they were NOT an option for her!
Keep in mind your reason(s) for having bariatric surgery, write them down and refer to these reasons frequently. In order to get the results, you want use the food lists to choose what you eat.
If you’re thinking these Food Lists are too restrictive, add a section to your food list that includes food items you can choose from and have one time during the week. This may include things such as “one slice of pizza,” “a chocolate chip cookie,” “rice with dinner,” or “a baked potato.” Then opt for one of these choices one time during the week.
Food lists, however you choose to create them, can be a great way to enjoy food freedom. Start your list today!