Meet Our Registered DietitianWatch Video Claye Paca, MS, RD
One of the most common topics that we discuss with post-operative patients is snacking. Ideally, a typical day would consist of three meals – avoiding grazing – and limiting to one snack. However, if you are not hungry for a snack, do not feel obliged to eat one. Timing of snacks can vary by person. Ask yourself these questions before having a snack: Did I eat all of my protein first at my last meal? Is this situational or boredom? Am I actually hungry or is this thirst, and how many ounces of fluid have I had today?
If you find yourself truly hungry, here are some great high-protein, lower carb snack options: string cheese, low-carb Greek yogurt, deli meat roll ups, turkey pepperoni, turkey jerky, hard-boiled eggs, baked cheese crisps, 100-calorie packs of nuts, goat cheese and cucumber, roasted chick peas, and edamame.
Late night snacking can be troublesome for many, as this is something with which they may have struggled before surgery. Avoid this as much as possible. Dinner should consist of protein with small side of vegetables or beans, and remember to eat your protein first. This meal should keep you full until bedtime. Usually late night snacking is situational or due to boredom. Ways to avoid snacking in the evening include drinking warm herbal tea or changing the situation – if you watch TV downstairs near the kitchen, go upstairs! Keep triggering, “snacky” foods out of the house including: chips, cookies, popcorn, and the like. If snacking occurs in the evening because you are up late and having trouble sleeping, speak with your Primary Care Provider or sleep specialist, and ask about ways to improve sleep.
A well-planned snack can fuel you through a hard workout or even prevent excessive hunger before meal times. This will prevent eating too quickly or eating too much. For some people, it can unfortunately slow down weight loss and cause weight regain.
Take a few minutes and refer to these tips before your next snack!
For questions regarding nutritional guidelines both before and after bariatric surgery, or to set up an appointment, please call Claye Paca, MS, RD, at Advanced Surgical Partners of Virginia at (804) 360-0600. She is currently welcoming new patients.