Your diet after bariatric surgery will be a lot different than your pre-surgery diet. And planning your bariatric diet grocery list may prove to be quite the challenge while you are learning what it means to eat healthy. A dietician or nutritionist can help ensure your dietary needs are met as you draft your bariatric meal plan and shopping list. Read: Bariatric Nutrition 12-Months Post-Op and Beyond by contributing writer and bariatric RD Elizabeth Anderson.
To simplify the confusion, here are some basics to get you started planning a great bariatric diet grocery list!
Start with a Strategy
First things first: The old saying “your eyes are bigger than your stomach” was never truer than now. Remember that your stomach capacity is virtually gone compared to your pre-op stomach. Instead of being able to hold about four cups of food (or more), your stomach’s holding capacity is decreased to about one ounce or two tablespoons then increase as it matures. So it’s always important to select the most nutrient dense foods that you are able to tolerate when planning your bariatric diet grocery list. Read: Making the Bariatric Diet Easier
It’s also always important to have a plan of action, meaning a strategy, before you write your bariatric diet grocery list. You’ve no doubt heard the saying, “those who fail to plan, plan to fail!” You’ll want to stay away from the center aisles where junk food is kept. Instead, set a course for perimeter shopping: Buy the foods along the outside aisles. This is where the freshest and least processed foods are kept. Pro Tip: Farmer’s markets, fish markets, and butcher shops make avoiding processed foods even easier.
Where to Shop for Healthy Food
Make every effort to shop for your bariatric diet foods at farmers markets, fish markets, and butcher shops as previously stated. The food is higher-quality and more nutritious than at your big box grocer, and oftentimes less costly.
And join a healthy food buying club like ZayconFresh for direct from the farm meats and wild caught seafood at a fraction of the price you pay at supermarkets and bulk warehouse clubs.
What’s on the Bariatric Diet Grocery List?
Protein first, as they say! Begin with choosing lean, high-quality proteins whereas they are the most important food in your new diet. Without protein, the wounds from your bariatric surgery may not heal well. And you could lose mean muscle mass, or there also could be a loss of hair. You will need about 80 grams of quality protein per day. Lean organic meats are the best quality sources. Fish is easiest to digest. Using moist, slow-cooking methods for meats help to make them easier to digest. Read: Protein and Amino Acids After Bariatric Surgery
Fruits and vegetables should be fresh and be sure to include varieties that you can eat raw. If you cannot buy fresh then buy frozen. But stay away from canned fruits and vegetables. They are full of sugar and sodium and have no flavor or nutrition. Dried fruits and veggies tend to have lots of sugar and/or sodium, too. Read: Eating a Vegetarian Diet after Bariatric Surgery
Your bariatric diet needs to be supplemented with vitamins because you will not be eating enough food to get sufficient amounts of vital nutrients. Read: Essential Bariatric Vitamins and Minerals
It’s critical to stay hydrated. So buy ample amounts of liquids for each day, about 80-ounces or more for the mature stomach. But immediately after surgery, you will only be able to drink 1-2 ounces of liquid at a time. Some doctors recommend that you begin to increase your fluid intake by drinking 4-6 ounces between meals per day and gradually increase to 8 ounces eight to ten times per day. Plan your shopping list according to the recommendations of your doctor or dietician. Read: Drinking and Eating Do’s and Don’ts by RD Elizabeth Anderson.
All fluids should be non-carbonated and non-caffeinated. Fruit juices should be heavily diluted with water. Water is best and can be flavored with fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs for variety. That’s a much healthier and less costly approach than buying designer water, which is much more marketing hype than it is healthy. Checkout the gobs of recipes for fruit-infused water in these cookbooks. Likewise, you can make your own delicious flavored iced teas using your favorite herbal tea bags rather than drink expensive store-bought versions laden with artificial everything. Read: Drinking Water for Weight Loss
Now that you have some guidelines to work with, you’re ready to plan a great bariatric diet grocery list. Here’s wishing you happy, healthy shopping!
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life