After having the Sleeve Gastrectomy, (Roux-en-Y) Gastric Bypass, or the Loop/Standard Duodenal Switch surgeries, your eating habits and the way you look at food changes. Now, your health, and especially your food choices, become a top priority.
Fueling your body with protein, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables becomes incredibly important when you are very limited on the amounts you eat.
For many people, it is challenging to avoid foods that are high in sugar, fats, and starchy carbohydrates. These foods are especially important to avoid while you are experiencing weight loss and to help avoid dumping syndrome. No one is going to be perfect with their food choices after surgery, but there are a few key foods that can quickly lead to unhealthy eating habits returning with a vengeance.
Slider foods are typically very high in sugar, fat, and simple carbohydrates and have very little nutritional value. They typically digest quickly and “slide” through your stomach. We recommend avoiding slider foods because you can eat larger portions of these items, but never feel satisfied or experience that fullness feeling.
These foods are very easy to overeat because people that have weight loss surgery will continue to not feel a restriction. For this reason, it’s important to remember that surgery is a tool that helps reduce overeating but some foods must still be avoided.
Many people typically eat these foods more often when they are watching TV, begin to snack out of boredom, graze on foods during the day, or begin to stress or emotionally eat. For many, it's very helpful to keep these foods out of the home to make them less available. The old saying, “out of sight, out of mind” can be very helpful!
For others, not having a consistent meal time schedule or failing to plan what to eat that day increases the chances of wanting to eat more slider foods. This is why your bariatric dietitian encourages everyone to eat consistently throughout the day and to avoid skipping meals.
When someone skips a meal, their blood sugar drops and the body wants a quick source of energy. This is why cravings for sugar or foods that are easy to digest like crackers and chips are experienced..
Because it is so easy to eat a large serving of slider foods without feeling full, it is very easy to consume a lot of calories from carbohydrates or sugar.
For example, ½ of a medium size bag of potato chips contains 600 calories and 60 grams of carbohydrates. Consuming these foods on a regular basis will contribute to weight gain. These foods are also more likely to cause dumping syndrome.
This is experienced when people that have bariatric surgery consume foods that are high in sugar and fat or eat and drink together at a meal. Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, feeling dizzy or light headed, sleepiness, and bloating.
Avoiding these slider foods along with high sugar foods and high fat foods helps to reduce the likelihood of experiencing dumping syndrome.
Your journey to a healthier lifestyle is just that, a journey. There will be ups and downs, and bumps along the way. Don’t let one bad day or unhealthy food choice derail all your hard work. Remember to take one day at a time, and to give yourself some grace. No one is perfect, but we can learn from our missteps.