The Bariatric Surgery Diet and Your Family
Following a restricted diet after bariatric surgery is already an alteration from the patient’s regular routine. But it gets even more complicated when there are other people in the household who are not on a bariatric diet and are used to having their cake and eating it too…so to speak. If staying on a post-bariatric surgery diet means cooking multiple meals for family members and writing dual grocery lists to keep everyone happy, it will be time consuming and expensive. Eventually, this could potentially sabotage even the most dedicated weight loss effort.
Wouldn’t it be great to find a happy medium by combining the best of both worlds and enjoying healthier meals together as a family? This doesn’t mean putting everyone on a bariatric diet! Rather, it just means getting everyone involved in making good food choices.
Post-Bariatric Surgery Diet Menu Planning
Since everyone in the household should be eating healthy, there is no reason to separate their meals from yours. Of course, they don’t need to go on a liquid diet right along with you during the initial stages of your bariatric weight loss journey! The pureed and soft food portion of the bariatric diet can be made from everyday meals which are easily prepared at home. If you carefully plan the menus, you can simply puree the same foods you serve the rest of the family.
Search healthy cooking websites, like Cooking Light, to find recipes that sound delicious to everyone and will fit into your diet after bariatric surgery plan. Let’s say you find a suitable and low-calorie recipe for baked chicken with steamed broccoli and mashed cauliflower. Use the blender to puree the chicken with a small amount of chicken broth, then separately puree the cauliflower and broccoli. The only difference between your meal and theirs is the texture! If your dish needs a texture enhancement, add some unflavored protein powder to the blender.
The Grocery Store and the Post-Bariatric Surgery Diet
The grocery store is full of diet pitfalls. Invite everyone in your household to grocery shop with you, but with the understanding that making smart choices is the ultimate goal. Not only will this make it easier to control what goes into your pantry, it creates an opportunity for learning and support.
When shopping, stick to the perimeter of the store as much as possible. This is where the produce, meats, fish, chicken, and dairy products are stocked. Processed foods, which are prohibited in any “clean-eating” diet, are usually shelved in the middle of the store. Give everyone a chance to select healthy options, and encourage them to try something new!
Substitute Healthy Versions
A little research can help make low-calorie options seem less like an exercise in deprivation and more like a happy compromise. Swapping unhealthy products with similar, lower calorie versions makes all the difference.
- Choose lower fat options like Skim Milk instead of Whole Milk
- Select cheeses like parmesan, cottage, goat, Neufchatel cream cheese, or ricotta instead of high-fat options
- Swap out the sour cream for higher protein, non-fat, plain Greek Yogurt (be sure it is not the sweetened kind)
- Purchase spray versions of cooking or olive oil instead of pouring it into the pan or drizzling onto food
- Try cooking with chicken or vegetable broth instead of oil
- Crushed Avocado is a lower calorie option over the same amount of mayonnaise and tastes great on sandwiches (still, be careful of the quantity!)
- Select yogurt style dressings like these from Bolthouse Farms, or try this recipe, instead of buying regular bottled low-calorie dressings. Be wary of “light” dressings, as many have added sugar for flavor. Always be sure to inspect the labels before you buy
- Seek out low-calorie specialty brands like Waldon Farms, who offer zero calorie products to use in lieu of high-calorie options
- Instead of soda, even diet soda, try LaCroix sparkling water – it has zero calories, no sodium, no fat, no carbs and no sugar.
Once you get everyone on board with healthy lifestyle, these changes will seem natural, AND our loved ones will thank you for it!
The Bariatric Experts is here for you during every step of your weight loss journey. From pre-op assistance with insurance matters to exercise and diet support, we are dedicated to helping our patients embrace a healthier lifestyle. Contact us for a free consultation today!