Snacks after Bariatric Surgery
To snack or not to snack, that is the question. Some weight loss surgeons do not recommend snacking because it may trigger the same unhealthy habits that bariatric patients exhibited before surgery. On the other hand, many people who have weight loss surgery find they have issues with early satiety and discomfort after a meal, especially as they get used to their new post bariatric surgery lifestyle. If you are hungry, selecting appropriate snacks could help complete your nutritional needs without slowing your weight loss. To accomplish this, it is important to learn how to healthfully snack on nutrient-rich foods.
General nutritional guidelines for bariatric patients include:
Increase nutrient-rich foods, which are foods that have a high amount of vitamin, minerals and fiber in a small amount of calories.
- Chew thoroughly and make each snack last about 10 to 25 minutes.
- Avoid liquids with snacks or meals.
- Eat protein first, which is crucial after weight loss surgery.
- Limit portion sizes to 6 to 12 oz or 1 to 1½ cups at each snack or meal.
- Learn to eat until you feel satisfied, not full.
What makes a healthy snack?
A healthy snack should provide nutrients and energy without exceeding daily caloric needs. Healthy snacking may take some extra planning, since options at fast food and convenience stores are usually inappropriate. To determine whether or not a snack is healthy, consult the food label and look for foods with a low caloric and low-carbohydrate content.
Healthy snacks suitable for bariatric patients include:
- 4 oz low fat cottage cheese and 1 cup of sliced peaches
- 2 oz of deli turkey, ham, chicken with mustard rolled up in Romaine lettuce
- 1 Tbsp of peanut butter with celery sticks
- 2 Tbsp of hummus with carrot sticks
Snacking is a healthy option for some after weight loss surgery, but picking a healthy snack can be tricky. Consulting a dietitian is the best way to see if snacking may be helpful for your bariatric surgery diet. Remember, protein is of utmost importance after weight loss surgery.