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Post Bariatric Surgery

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It's a whole new world going out to eat once you have had weight loss surgery. Any tips on how you do it successfully, with your new TINY stomach? If there is a thread on this somewhere else, please post link. Thank you.

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  1. What kind of advice did you get from your medical team? I know that it tends to be very specific about meal size, nutrient breakdown, etc. That probably doesn't change when you eat out.

    1. CHECK WITH YOUR DOC or the support group. if you need a support group, there are several out there. I like the one at www.3fatchicks.com, but it's not the only one.

      Much depends on the type of surgery you've had. There is, however, one thing they all have in common: you can't eat a lot. People with the sleeve [with or without the duodenal switch] can eat a bit more than people with either lap band or RNY, but it's still quite limited.

      First of all, there's no point in going to a buffet. Second, no matter what, your priority has to be getting your protein in first. Many people are very satisfied with an appetizer - many of them these days are more like tapas than anything else, so it's easy to get something you can eat. Some people go for a high-protein soup [lentil, black bean, and so on].

      If you're just starting out with your surgery, stick to relatively simple, soft foods. I did great with crab cakes, flounder, an occasional burger [no bun], scaloppinis with sauce,, and the like. nothing too fancy while I got used to test driving the surgery. protein first. then veggies, then, if room, a bite or two of carbs.

      Now, my strategy is ALWAYS to choose something that will reheat well for a couple of additional meals OR can easily be repurposed. For that reason, I'll often order a small steak. If it's a place that includes salad and soup as part of the meal, I'll ask them to package up the soup, and sometimes the salad.

      Sandwiches are always hard for me. The insides are usually just fine, but adding all that bread just makes for too much food.

      Please remember: surgery is a tool, not a punishment for being overweight. Don't be afraid to have some gravy if it'll help you get your protein down. Not a gravy boat full of course, but a couple of tablespoons are just fine.

      Also, if you've had RNY, please have some sense of what causes you to dump. Some people dump on high fat, some on high carb, some on a combination. Avoid situations where you're likely to have few choices re fat and carbs. you CAN HAVE a bite or two of the sweetest or highest fat thing around, but be aware of what you're eating and balance accordingly.

      hope this helps

      PS had RNY 12+ years ago - lost 280 pounds - and have maintained a 250+ weight loss during this time. and I LOVE going out to eat!

      1. I'm a longtime Chow lurker, but first time poster. I'm almost 6 weeks out of gastric sleeve surgery. Not far enough out to really be able to enjoy food yet, but studying up and anticipating when I will be.

        Right now I'm subsisting on a couple of protein shakes a day, plus small servings of refried beans (thinned with a bit of chicken broth, seasoned up well with white pepper, seasoned salt, garlic, and onion) with shredded cheddar stirred in, Greek yogurt, hummus, egg salad, scrambled egg whites, noodle-free tuna casserole (cut canned soup with plain Greek yogurt and add cracker crumbs as a crunchy topping), applesauce, cottage cheese, and soft cooked, mushy veggies (canned green beans, mashed carrots). I'm allowed seafood, but am allergic. I'm allowed to start moist chicken and turkey the week of Thanksgiving - but of course I'm going to try them when I'm home beforehand, so I don't have an embarassing intolerance situation during dinner.

        Ultimate goal is 60-80 grams of protein a day plus 64oz of water. Carbs TBD depending on how my body tolerates them and allows continued weight loss at the same time. Probably 60-100 grams a day, but protein comes first. I'm severely intolerant of all artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols, so I also have to figure out how much sugar can reasonably be a part of my life going forward.

        I'm not sure how many of us there are on Chow, but I hope this will become an ongoing thread/conversation. I still love food, I just had to find a way for it to love me back.

        My favorite blogs/recipes so far are:

        The World According to Eggface

        Bariatric Foodie

        Melting Mama

        3 Replies
        1. re: PharmaChick

          Glad you're doing so well! seasoning and creativity make ALL the difference - and you're well into it! And now, when I cook, I often cut the ingredients smaller than 'normal.' It just makes my life easier. The first three months are the WORST part of any of these surgeries, and you're already halfway through!

          Now, frankly, I'm not sure that the CH-mods will let us keep a 'support' forum for surgery here. I'm just not sure it's appropriate [but i'm sure they'll tell us!]. As disclosure/invitation, I am indeed the moderator of the weight loss surgery forum at www.3fatchicks.com/forum - quite a few members have had the sleeve and are doing GREAT. the biggest issues, of course, are not about what we put in our mouths.

          So, you're welcome to stop on by 3fatchicks - we run a clean group

          1. re: jiffypop

            Thinking more along the lines of keeping it food-centric rather than a support group. I'm sure we all already have a support group somewhere. I just think our new regular diets can be frustrating and boring sometimes, especially if we develop intolerances to work around. And, for those of us who live alone, making small batches and/or having to freeze a lot of things. All of our collective tips, tricks, ideas, and recipes might help each other or someone else.

            1. re: PharmaChick

              I'm in! and i have to tell you that, as a single as well, i give A LOT of food away. I cook as little as i can, and it's often STILL too much. Let's not discuss what's in the freezer. buried DEEP DEEP in the freezer!!!!