Bariatric Snack Management 101

By Ayotunde Adeyeri, MD, FASMBS, Medical Director

a bariatric surgery patient is looking for a snack in the refrigerator

A topic that frequently comes up in our monthly Support Group discussions is snacking.

Make no mistake–I’m not a fan of this topic.

But for some of our patients, snacks are essential. In this case, a carefully planned morning, afternoon or evening snack can keep people from mindlessly snacking all day long, unaware of the added calories they are tacking on to their daily bariatric nutrition plans.

Are snacks jeopardizing your weight loss?

When people complain of low weight loss, they often focus on what they eat at meals, but are unaware of the additional calories they consume with one, two or more (sometimes unconscious) snacks throughout the day.

Have you ever eaten a meal while looking at your phone or watching TV? The next thing you know, your food is gone and you have no idea when you ate it or how it tasted.

Unscheduled snacking represents the same dangerous caveat as excessive calorie intake.

If snacks are essential to your bariatric surgery success, and your efforts to skip snacking were not successful, I’m offering a plan to manage your snacks to keep your calories in check for the day.

Snacks – one and done

What can you do to avoid needless snacking?

Decide when you need one snack during the course of your day.

Let me reiterate this again–make a plan to add a single snack each day. One and done. Don’t allow the idea of adding another daily snack to enter your mind.

I’ve listed some distractions below:

Five tips for managing the snack urge

1.    People mistakenly confuse thirst for hunger. Stay well hydrated. Commit to drinking 65 ounces of calorie-free fluids daily.

2.    Talk with your bariatric dietitian and create a list of healthy snacks that satisfy your salty/sweet needs but keep the scale moving down.

3.    Keep busy – boredom can be a snacking trigger. Call a friend, walk the dog, clean out a drawer or two; focus on something beyond food.

4.    Try on clothing that you aspire to wear or that is now too large. Find inspiration from that experience rather than thinking about food.

5.    Your weight loss goal is unique. Sure, others may be munching on chips and cookies, but that’s their choice. You have a more important goal for your life.

Recommended bariatric snack options

As a general guide, we advise our Sterling Surgicare patients to keep their snack to a single food and keep the calorie count to no more than 100 calories, such as:

·         100-calorie packs of almonds

·         a few slices of deli turkey with mustard

·         100-calorie Greek yogurt

·         low-fat string cheese

·         small piece of fruit or 1 cup of berries

Lastly, if you are struggling with over-snacking, reach out to us for support. We will help you create a strategy to overcome this challenge so that you feel confident and in charge of your nutrition plan.

Remember, you are never alone on your health improvement journey. If you have questions or need support, reach out. We’re always here to help.

Are you considering weight loss surgery or interested in a revision of an outdated or ineffective procedure?

Call (732) 217-3897 to schedule a prompt consultation with New Jersey board certified bariatric surgeon, Dr. Adeyeri.

Meet his friendly and experienced team, learn more and start making a lifelong change to better health today!