Bariatric Eating: One Key to Success
Melody had gastric bypass surgery 5 years ago and she’s maintained a 100 lb. weight loss.
Everyone wants to know her secret to keeping the weight off.
Melody says she doesn’t have just one key to her success—she swears by several including:
- record keeping
- daily exercise
- taking her daily vitamins
- attending a post-op bariatric group at least once a month
Yes…. but, what does she EAT??
Bariatric Eating: What to Eat Forever and Ever
Melody says she still uses the same small plates she used after healing from surgery.
Her dietitian showed her a plate, like the one in the photo above, that was perfect for Bariatric Goldilocks—not too big, not too small, just right.
You don’t need the fancy plate the dietitian has–your salad plates are about the same size. Or, go to the local dollar store and pick up some paper cake plates. Any plate about 7 inches wide will do.
Visualize the plate having sections for 3 items.
There’s space for about 3 ounces of protein. That looks like the size of a deck of cards. That’s where your meat, fish, chicken, tofu or beans would go.
About a quarter of the plate is for non-starchy vegetables. For simplicity sake, I tell my clients that’s about ½ to ¾ cup.
Non-starchy vegetables include everything except peas, corn, potatoes and winter squash.
Carrots and beets have gotten some bad press in the past but that’s total hooey!
They are perfectly acceptable, nutritious and delicious choices. They do not contain more sugar or carbs than other vegetables.
Finally, there’s room for 2 whopping tablespoons of starch.
This is your bread, rice, potato and those corn and peas or pasta. Note: If you feel nervous having starch, ¼ – ½ cup of fruit is a great substitute.
You don’t need a lot of carbs but you DO need some.
Bariatric Eating: Made Simple
I LOVE the plate because it keeps bariatric eating, simple.
No calorie counting, no weighing, no carb counting — just use the size of the plate and proportions to do all the work for you.
I tell my clients, if you eat your lunch and dinner ‘on the plate’, and you have about 25 grams of protein for breakfast, you’ll be in great shape nutritionally and you’ll like what’s happening with your body shape.
Bariatric Eating: Public Enemy #1 Grazing
I recommend clients aim for 3 meals and 2 planned snacks every day. When folks start to regularly veer off this guideline, things can get messy.
Clients know ‘grazing’ or nibbling all day isn’t a great idea, but they don’t think they’re doing that.
They’ll tell me:
“I’m munching on ‘healthy’ foods (nuts, hummus, cheese, pretzels) so that’s okay, right?”
“I don’t really eat lunch or dinner so I just grab protein foods whenever I get a chance. It’s protein so it’s okay, right?”
The tricky thing is that for your bariatric tool to work best, you need to be very aware of what you eat so you get proper nutrition.
When clients consistently skip meals or stop choosing portion controlled snacks, they are moving away from the structured bariatric eating that best works after surgery.
Grabbing snacks when you think of it, when they’re convenient or when you are starving—increases the likelihood that you’re mindlessly eating and not paying close attention to your hunger or food choices.
Bariatric Eating: Just One of the Keys to Success
Remember what Melody says, what she eats is just one part of her long-term weight loss success.
Exercise, checkups and support also play major roles in her weight management story.
But I know from personal experience, when the scale starts to creep up, old dieting habits start to call.
I beg you not to listen.
When you changed your anatomy through bariatric surgery, many of those old rules and plans can now do you more harm than good.
These simple three points are all you need today for smart bariatric eating:
- Use the bariatric portions plate at lunch and dinner
- Aim to have 25-30 grams of protein at breakfast
- Enjoy two pre-portioned snacks daily
Bariatric Eating: The Bottom Line
I have a video about the magical bariatric plate on YouTube. If you like it then please subscribe to my channel.
Not sure if your eating style is grazing? Here are two articles to help clarify:
Until next time, take good care of YOU!
Photo: Buy the Bariatric Portion Plate by Portions for Health