Think of snacks as miniature meals that help you eat more protein, vitamins and minerals. Careful selection can help you fit snacks into your daily meal plan without overeating.
To make snacking as healthy as possible after weight loss surgery, you should:
- Snack only when you’re hungry. For some, emotional and psychological stress can result in binge eating, during which you sit and eat a lot of food at once. Others simply graze around the house, munching on whatever they can find. Instead of these behaviors, it’s important to eat only when you’re hungry. If you’re feeling stressed out, bored or frustrated, occupy your mind with something other than eating, like working in your yard or going for a walk.
- Control your portions. When we eat directly from a large package, it’s easy to lose track of how much we’ve had. However, overeating will need to be carefully avoided after bariatric surgery due to your reduced stomach size. Instead of eating straight from the bag or box, choose single serving snacks like prepackaged yogurt, or pour one serving of your snack into a small bowl.
- Keep healthy foods around. If you have a variety of nutritious, easily accessible snacks in your home, you’ll always have a healthy option available when you’re hungry between meals.
- Track your snacks. It’s a good idea to track everything you eat after bariatric surgery with a food journal or other system to ensure that you’re closely following your dietary guidelines. Remember to track the snacks you eat along with the food you eat at regular meals.
The best snack choices for you will depend on the type of bariatric surgery you’ve had, as well as your personal health and diet needs. If you have any questions about appropriate snacks, it’s best to speak with our staff.
To help you get started with healthier snacking habits, here are a few ideas with less than 200 calories per serving:
- One cup of tomato soup with five whole-grain crackers
- One tablespoon of peanut butter spread on slices of a medium apple
- One six-inch flour tortilla with ¼ cup black beans and two tablespoons of fresh salsa
- Three cups of air-popped popcorn topped with three tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
- Six whole-wheat crackers and one slice of low-fat Colby cheese (for duodenal switch patients, full-fat cheese is best)
If you remember these snacking strategies, snacks can be more than just extra calories—they can be healthy and important parts of your diet after bariatric surgery.