Healthy eating after weight loss surgery is critical to long term weight loss success. Food is fuel for your body. Scientific and medical research have shown that healthy nutrition can decrease your risk of developing specific medical conditions. When you understand the science behind the food you eat, choosing nutritious foods is easier. Yet changing old unhealthy habits can be hard.
Tips to Healthy Eating after Weight Loss Surgery
In this blog, we detail how you can take steps to make the process of healthy eating after weight loss surgery more manageable. Here are seven ways to start eating healthier today.
1. Limit empty calories
One fairly easy method of healthy eating after weight loss surgery is to limit the liquid calories you drink. Many drinks are filled with empty calories, even those that seem healthy. Juice and smoothies are loaded with calories, and sometimes they even contain added sugars. You will also want to steer clear of things like soda and most energy drinks, that are also high in sugar.
If you want to lose weight and live healthier, water is your best choice for drinks. Infusing your water with fruit, such as lemon or strawberries, can improve the taste if you’re not keen on plain water. Unsweetened tea and coffee are decent choices as well. Just be sure to follow the guidelines of your bariatric dietitian on caffeine intake pre and post surgery.
2. Fill up on fiber
Fiber-rich foods tend to fill you up quickly and are useful when it comes to portion control, so you may not be as tempted to overeat on them. Fibrous foods also have health benefits, such as helping to maintain a healthy digestive system. Adding them to your diet doesn't have to be difficult, either. Try ditching your white bread and choose a multi-grain one instead, and brown rice is just as yummy as the white variety.
3. Watch out for portion sizes
Speaking of portions, keeping them smaller is better for your health. You'll probably feel better, too. Limiting the amount you eat at one sitting can stabilize your sugar levels. Plus, you'll feel less bloated when you don't overeat.
After bariatric surgery, we encourage patients to eat five smaller meals throughout the day. This approach could even offer the benefits of increased energy and weight loss.
4. Eat more vegetables (and some fruits)
Fruits and vegetables are nutritious and are full of many vitamins and minerals. It is recommended that we eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day. That may seem like a lot for those who have a hard time remembering to eat these nutritious foods or who don’t like them. If this is true of you, start small. Add a serving of non-starchy vegetables to each meal and opt for a low-carb fruit option as dessert.
If you have recently had bariatric surgery, though, you will want to limit your fruit consumption for the first six months post-op. Fruit can contain a high amount of carbs, restricting your weight loss. The best fruit options for bariatric patients are berries and melons.
5. Choose for natural foods
Natural, whole foods are always a better choice than processed foods. Natural foods don't contain the additives you’ll find in most processed items. Therefore, you’ll get more nutritional value with each serving. Fresh veggies and fruits are great options when eating healthier. Lean meat, nuts, and whole grains are also safe bets.
6. Make substitutions
Swapping out high-fat, sugary, or salty foods for alternatives is another method to eat healthier without sacrificing taste. There are many products that are a substitute for some of the more notorious food ingredients.
If diabetes is a concern for you, there are various options when it comes to healthier sweeteners. Remember, though, that not all substitutes are actually better for you. Some options offer empty calories, or processed substances you're should avoid if trying to eat healthier.
7. Plan ahead
One excellent trick to healthy eating after weight loss surgery is to plan your meals. This ensures you don't grab unhealthy options like fast food when you're in a hurry or away from home. These impulse picks can sabotage your progress. Try meal planning and preparing on the weekend or packing healthy snacks so you'll always have smart options on hand.
Refer to these tips if you want to eat healthier after bariatric surgery. You can make great strides in your health with just some simple research, planning, and changes.
This blog was originally written by Hannah Boothe and Published on the Bariatric Centers of America Blog