Eating a healthy diet after bariatric surgery is essential for long-term weight loss success. However, with cold winter weather and COVID-19 forcing everyone indoors, you may have slipped into old, unhealthy eating routines. If your weight loss has plateaued or you gained weight this winter, your food choices may be the culprit.
With winter coming to an end, you may be gearing up for spring cleaning. Now is a great time to clean up your eating habits as well. The following tips can help you get back on track with your bariatric diet:
- Clean out your fridge and cabinets. It’s easy to overindulge or make poor food choices when you store them in your fridge or pantry. Removing junk foods and replacing them with healthy options can help you eliminate the temptation. If you don’t like the idea of throwing away food, consider giving it away to friends and family.
- Keep up with your hydration. Dehydration is the leading cause of rehospitalization after bariatric surgery. During cold weather months, you may have opted for hot chocolate, coffee, or tea to keep you warm rather than reaching for your water. Unfortunately, caffeinated beverages are diuretics, and sugary drinks are empty calories. Water is hydrating, zero calories, and can help you feel full for longer.
- Cook at home. Between the pandemic and gloomy winter weather, you may have had limited energy for cooking. While ordering takeout or heating a microwave meal may sound appealing, they often come with excessive calories, fat, and sodium. Cooking healthy meals at home allows you to know the exact nutritional information of what you’re eating.
- Opt for colorful foods. Colorful foods make your meals more visually interesting, and they are usually healthy choices. Fruits and vegetables can brighten up your plate, as well as provide essential vitamins, fiber, and other nutrients. For example, if you’re tired of ho-hum scrambled eggs for breakfast, you can incorporate bell peppers and spinach to add flavor and aesthetic appeal.
- Avoid added sugars. It’s easy to identify sugar-heavy drinks and snacks, but many pre-packaged products include added sugars as well. While a food may have a low amount of naturally occurring sugar, the manufacturer may have added a significant amount of sugar during the packaging process. Reading labels can help you understand exactly how much sugar you’re eating. You can eliminate the confusion altogether by reaching for raw fruits when you’re craving something sweet.
- Eat more raw foods. It may sound odd, but scientific studies have shown that cooked foods often contain more calories than their raw counterparts. When you cook foods, you’re aiding in the process of breaking them down. Your body has to do less work to obtain the nutrients, so you burn fewer calories during digestion.
- Stop grazing. You may think that a bite of a cookie, one cheesy French fry, or a sip of a sugary milkshake aren’t a big deal. However, these snacking habits add up over time without you noticing it. Not only that, but grazing is usually exclusive to unhealthy foods as well, as you may think a small taste won’t hurt. Practicing mindful eating helps you recognize when you’re truly hungry and when you’re full so that you don’t overeat.
The above tips can help you overhaul your diet for a healthier spring season. Leaving poor eating habits behind can reignite your weight loss efforts and help you achieve your goals. If you’re struggling to lose stubborn weight despite cleaning up your diet, bariatric surgery may be right for you. Contact us to learn more.