After gastric bypass, gastric banding or gastric sleeve weight loss surgery, we know we need to follow a healthy high-protein diet to lose weight and maintain weight loss. In these difficult economic times, it is natural to be concerned about the cost of a specialized diet. Follow these helpful tips to maintain your weight loss surgery diet without breaking the bank. By making a special effort in planning, shopping and preparing meals, it is painless to save money and follow a nutrition program for the benefit of our health today and in the future.
- Make a weekly menu of dinner dishes. Focus on protein dishes that can be reused as lunch packs. Side dishes should be fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits or frozen vegetables that require minimal preparation.
- Schedule two or three “routine” breakfast choices. Most WLS patients have a lower tolerance for food when they wake up and eventually find a few things that consistently settle well on their stomach pouch first thing in the morning. Have these routine choices available at all times to avoid starting the day with a grumpy bag.
- Follow the weekly grocery sales adds and take advantage of offers and coupons. Use merchant loyalty card for extra savings. Avoid the sale of processed simple carbohydrates (junk foods) because these foods are referred to as “slipping foods” and they often result in weight gain in WLS patients. Remember that a slider food for sale is still a slider food.
- Purchase items that can be used in multiple recipes and for different meals, such as canned beans, eggs and frozen poultry and fish pieces. Stock up on sales products and pack bulk purchases for single meals or single serving sizes and freeze to avoid wastage.
- Follow the “Protein First” rule when shopping and select protein choices first. Look for fresh lean meat, pork and lamb in the meat department. Add poultry and fish from the meat department or frozen meat. Shop for low fat milk protein and choose cottage fat and low fat yogurt as well as eggs. Add vegetable-based protein to your diet with canned beans, dried beans and legumes and tofu products.
- Utilize locally grown produce that is available seasonally on roadside stands and farmers markets. For a workout bonus, your products gather at “pick your own” farms and orchards to save money and burn calories.
- Remove expensive drinks from your diet in favor of filtered tap water. It is cheaper and better for the environment. Taste water with a squeeze of fresh lemon or fresh ginger. Add frozen berries to a refreshing treat. Make sunbeds with tea bags instead of buying manufactured beverages. You get a cleaner drink and also save money.
- Prepare your meals at home instead of eating out. You can control the ingredients and avoid things that interfere with your healthy diet goals after weight loss surgery.
- Build on your experience each week to become a health savvy and budget wise shopper so you can enjoy your healthy life after surgical weight loss.