Posted - September 25, 2012

The Wide World of Healthy Eating

After sleeve gastrectomy, find healthy favorites to stay interested

After sleeve gastrectomy, find healthy favorites to stay interestedTransition to your diet after weight loss surgery by finding some new favorites

Regardless of whether you’ve chosen sleeve gastrectomy, duodenal switch or another form of weight loss surgery, one thing is certain—there are big changes ahead. If you’re ready to make some positive progress towards ending obesity’s grip on your life, weight loss surgery is one of the best ways to do so, but the journey will not always be simple. Changing your body means changing your lifestyle, which may be easier said than done.

For many of those just starting out with sleeve gastrectomy or duodenal switch, adhering to new dietary guidelines can be a challenge. The difficulty doesn’t just come from the reduced portions or restricted items we are able to eat after weight loss surgery—when we aren’t used to eating healthy, it can be difficult to know where to start. Even when you successfully plan a healthy meal, you may find that nothing you truly enjoy makes it to the dinner table, and this can make it tough to stay interested in the healthy new lifestyle you’re pursuing.

Contrary to popular belief, a healthy meal does not always have to be boring—but the burden of making it interesting falls to you. How do you accomplish this feat? Start by asking yourself this question:

What do you love to eat?

Before sleeve gastrectomy or duodenal switch, you may have responded to this question with a litany of junk foods: burgers, potato chips, ice cream, cookies, etc. Though these things may still jump to mind, they aren’t a part of the lifestyle you’ve chosen with weight loss surgery. Eliminating this unhealthy fare will be a boon for your diet and your waistline, but what will fill the void left behind?

You might find the thought of loving vegetables inconceivable, but have you truly explored the vast variety of vegetables available to you? If your tongue rebels against the taste of broccoli, perhaps it’s time to check out some of the vegetable’s tasty cousins, like kale, cauliflower, collard greens and kohlrabi. If you can’t stand zucchini, maybe you need to prepare it in a different way, or give summer squash a shot instead.

You’re on the path to a healthier life with weight loss surgery, but this is a path with many detours. As you transition to new habits, you have countless opportunities to learn something new about the limitless eating options available to all of us. Instead of thinking of your bariatric diet in terms of the unhealthy foods you’re eliminating, think of it in terms of all the healthy new foods out there to be discovered.

Even if a food is undeniably good for you, it’s seldom a smart choice to suffer through something you can’t stand. If you truly don’t like a particular food, don’t force yourself to eat it—fill your fridge with other nutritious options that do a better job of pleasing your palate. Though many people first think of their diet after weight loss surgery as one of restrictions and limits, exploring your options may quickly prove the opposite to be true.

What nutritious and delicious foods have you discovered after sleeve gastrectomy? Share your favorites with us in the comments below!