Research has shown that those who track their food intake and activity have more success at weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight than those who do not. Reflecting back on where you came form can help you evaluate your current success and set goals for where you want to go in the future.
When you go shopping for your healthy foods, you will want to get foods that are part of the nutritional guidelines. This is an excellent way to keep you on track if you take the time to prepare healthy meals. Foods that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates rarely come from the nearest fast food store. Because of the small size of the gastric pouch/sleeve it is practical to think about how you can use a food for more than one meal. If you are preparing chicken, cook a little extra to go on top of a salad for lunch the next day. When grating cheese for chili, grate a little extra to go on top of refried beans or on your salad.
Planning for shopping and preparing meals could be a family activity as well. Seek input from your family members. The internet is another valuable resource for low-carbohydrate, high protein recipes and ideas. You can also visit our Pinterest page for more healthy recipes. Searching for new healthy recipes is a great way to get variety of foods in your diet.
At least once every two weeks, sit down with your family members to plan a two-week menu. Inventory your cupboards and make a shopping list of the items that you will need to implement the menu. Visit our Pinterest page for more ideas and printables on Meal Planning. Use these tools to help plan your meals and keep you focused at the grocery store.
If you are eating out at a restaurant with family or friends, here are some helpful tips so you can still have an enjoyable experience while maintain your new eating habits.
1.) Plan ahead before you go out to eat to select appropriate foods. CalorieKing.com is a useful website full of popular foods, restaurant menu items and their respective calorie value. Many restaurants now have their menu’s online to assist you in planning ahead.
2.) Have in mind certain eating establishments that serve appropriate foods (i.e., deli meats, fresh vegetables).
3.) Select foods you know you can tolerate.
4.) Many menu items have names that do not specify ingredients. Always ask if you are not sure.
5.) Experimenting with new foods could ruin what should be an enjoyable experience. Do not be afraid to ask if the cooks can remove or add additional ingredients. (i.e., add extra vegetables, leave out the croutons). Most restaurants are happy to accommodate your request.
6.) Order a child-size portion. Use your medical alert card to show you are unable to eat more than a child size portion due to weight loss surgery.
7.) Exercise caution when ordering from a children’s menu. Many foods on the children’s menu are high in carbohydrates and sugars. It may be better to look for ½ size portions or simply request a smaller portion.
8.) Order dishes without sauces or dressings, or have them served on the side so you can control the amount you eat. You may want to take your own calorie/low fat salad dressing because you are familiar with its taste and content.
9.) Avoid fried foods. Request to have your food baked, broiled or steamed instead.
10.) Beware of the salad bar. Many of the salads contain mayonnaise or other high fat dressings.
11.) Share a meal. Ask for a small plate and share your meal with a dining companion.
12.) You do not have to eat everything on your plate. Stay within your measured portion size.
13.) Take the leftovers home. Ask for a take-home container at the beginning of your meal and divide the extra portion before you start eating.
14.) Order your pasta dish with no pasta. Enjoy the meat and vegetables while staying within your food plan.
15.) Choose foods from the menu that you know you have had good success with before.
If you have any tips on meal planning or have any dining out ideas, let us know! We would love to hear from you.