How Bariatric Nutrition Can Help You With Weight Loss

Posted on: 27 April 2019

The nutritional guidelines for bariatric patients are drastically different than guidelines for losing weight without surgery. Incorporating some of the guidelines bariatric patients follow might help you find a way to lose weight without surgery.

Consider Reducing Your Carbs

Bariatric surgeons typically encourage their patients to eat a low-carb diet when they need to lose weight quickly before surgery and once they are cleared to eat solid foods after surgery. Low-carb can have a broad meaning, with some people choosing to eat fewer than 100g of carbs, while others eat almost no carbs each day. Everyone is different in the way their body responds to carbs, especially simple carbs. Some people may find they struggle more with hunger and cravings when their diet is higher in carbs. If you know you are a "carb addict," you may find certain foods, such a dessert, pasta, bread, or potatoes, triggers a binge. Eating more protein helps you feel fuller for longer with fewer calories.

Avoid Drinking Around Mealtime

Bariatric patients are encouraged to avoid consuming liquids around mealtime. A major concern is that liquids take away space from the food they are consuming. When you have a smaller stomach, it is already difficult to consume enough nutrients to stay healthy, and this is further compromised if you have to eat less because you had water during your meal. Normally, drinking water before or during a meal is encouraged when you are losing weight naturally because you will consume less food. Unfortunately, like bariatric patients, consuming liquids near or during meals also means the food leaves your stomach quicker, so you are hungry faster. Consider avoiding liquids immediately before, during, and immediately after meals so your stomach does not empty as quickly and you stay full longer.

Work Harder For Your Food

Unless you have specific dietary needs or dental problems that require meal replacement shakes or soft foods, you should avoid consuming any calories in the form of liquid or foods that require little effort to consume. Bariatric patients are encouraged to focus on foods that require more chewing, such as proteins and vegetables that have been lightly steamed. Since these foods require more chewing, it is harder to overeat. Foods that are highly processed, soft, or liquid make it easy to consume hundreds of calories in a matter of minutes. Some foods, like crackers, are deceptive, because their crunchy texture requires significant chewing. Since they dissolve easily, they often take up little space in your stomach and are easy to over-consume.

You don't need to have bariatric surgery to make use of the nutritional recommendations of bariatric patients. Many of these guidelines work just as well for people who are trying to adopt a healthier diet and reach their weight goals. Consult with a nutritionist for more help.