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Short on time? Don’t let that lead to last minute, unhealthy, meal choices which derail your weight loss goals. Be prepared! Give meal prep a go. Preparing your meals in advance ensures you are eating good food often, no matter how busy you are. It also allows you to plan out your uptake of nutrients to ensure you meet your requirements. Find out how to do it, and how meal prep can enhance your nutritional outcomes post-surgery.
A large number of elements play a part in meal planning, such as time, convenience, and kitchen supplies. Once you get into a pattern of producing a meal plan that works for you, you’ll be pleased you did it. Also, the longer you continue it, the easier it will get. Including meal prep into your regime doesn’t have to be complicated. Whether this is cooking an additional portion at dinner time to refrigerate for the next day, or waking up 30 minutes in advance in the morning to swiftly make something before breakfast. Not only does this save you time during your lunch break – as your lunch has already been prepared- but it also saves you money.
You’ll learn about the favourable alterations you can and need to make in your diet and lifestyle from your surgeon and dietitian. We know it’s crucial to follow your up-to-date eating and drinking orders following surgery to get the best results. The temptation to eat whatever you want could be strong, especially after only being on a liquid diet during the first few weeks after surgery. Having something prepared and ready to go should help stop you from making unhealthy choices too often or skipping your meal. Tastes can also change following surgery, and having a meal plan will allow you to incorporate new meal ideas into your regime. Dare yourself to attempt one new recipe a month, and you’ll be amazed at the original ideas you try that quickly become your favourites.
Why not trial meal prepping for a month and see how you go? We promise you’ll love the sense of routine and how easy it makes sticking to a diet plan. Remember, this is less about being regimented and denying yourself, and more about planning to include everything your body needs to function well. With this approach, you may find you have more time in your day for the things you really want to do, like exercise, self-care and your family. Good luck!
Head to our page to find out the importance of optimal nutrition in your weight loss journey. Or for more tips on a healthy diet, see some other posts below.
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When it comes to Christmas many people who have had weight loss surgery or even those who are simply on a healthy eating plan, go into panic mode. The Christmas catch-ups start now and flow right through the New Year. They generally involve eating out, eating extravagantly and drinking more alcohol than usual. Given this, how can you come out the other end of the silly season unscathed and with your hard-earned weight loss maintained? We show you some great tips you can adopt to help avoid Christmas weight gain right through the season.
If you know you’re going to be eating food which is less-than-healthy, try to up your nutrient intake prior to the planned blowout. This is especially important if you are post-surgery, where adequate nutrition levels should be monitored. For instance, if you’re going out for dinner, choose good meals through the day so you know you have had your quota of vitamins and minerals regardless of any empty calories you happen to consume later. To help you keep track of what you’re eating, you can look at a healthy eating app, or a food diary such as the Destination Slim range for both surgical and non-surgical weight loss.
This may seem counter-productive, but eating an early meal an hour or so before a decadent social meal can be your secret weapon to avoid Christmas weight gain! Preparing a small yet well-balanced and nourishing meal at home will ensure you aren’t ravenous and consuming too much of the bad stuff when you’re out and about.
Most people come undone right when they walk in the door, due to the huge array of snacks often on offer at bars, at dinner parties and of course, on Christmas Day. If you can, refuse snacks altogether (this will be easier if you have followed point 2). With weight loss surgery patients it’s advisable to eat protein first – so even more reason to hold off until the main meal.
Bringing a plate to Christmas catch-ups or on the big day will mean that at worst case scenario there is something there that you find appetising. This means you won’t have blown your healthy eating plan. Think crudités and dip, or perhaps a plate of beautifully made chicken salad. Here’s a lovely recipe from Nutrition for Weight Loss Surgery for Prawns with Cucumber & Mango Salsa which is a delicious addition to any Christmas table. Or if you’re asked to bring dessert, berries with a lightly spiced yoghurt dip is a healthy option that is still ‘Christmassy’.
When it comes to Christmas day itself, it’s pretty difficult to eat before, and well, who would want to anyway? So how can we make better choices at the Christmas buffet? Load up on the fresh food, and eat less of the heavy stuff. Choose protein like seafood and lean meat with salads, over potato, gravy and pork crackling. Also, limit your sugar intake if possible. If you are going to have dessert, maybe skip the alcohol, and watch for hidden sugars in ‘savoury’ food like sauces.
Everything in moderation is really key to surviving Christmas. No one would want to deny you the pleasure of traditional favourites like a prawn cocktail, turkey or the good old Christmas pud with custard. Just keep an eye on portion size, and eat a little of everything you want, rather than a plate full of each.
Sometimes it’s easy to confuse thirst with hunger, especially when the temperature is rising. Make sure you have had plenty of water before events, and even make the first thing you consume water at the dinner table. With our weight loss surgery patients, making a plan to consume enough water is even more important, since you may not be able to consume both at once.
Alcohol is the Grinch that stole your Christmas willpower! As much as you can, limit your alcohol intake to help you stay in control, and reduce consumption of empty calories. Importantly, if you have had bariatric surgery alcohol can also affect you differently than before, and can even be dangerous.
Try being the designated driver to a couple of events over Christmas, to lighten your total alcohol load. If you do decide to drink, try to limit yourself to 1-2 standard drinks over the whole event, and drink plenty of water, or a mineral water with lime in between, to slow you down and keep you hydrated. You could also consider mixed drinks like champagne and OJ to reduce the amount of alcohol you’re consuming per-glass.
Walking off your Christmas lunch is a lovely way to end the day – especially if you live near the beach like we do here on the Sunny Coast! Or you could get out and challenge the kids to a game of backyard cricket, or a few laps in the pool. Sitting around after a dense meal just makes you feel heavy and can be a bit defeating too.
If you are on the town during the party season, why not suggest getting out for a dance rather than spending all night sitting down? If you’re the designated driver, this can be a great way to change up the pace as well.
Waking up after a night of socialising refreshed is the best way to ensure you don’t have a bacon and egg or burger blow-out the next morning. Consistent lack of sleep can also slow your metabolism, and lead to weight gain. Aim for around 8 hours of sleep per night to be at our best even during the silly season.
Whether you’ve had weight loss surgery, or are simply watching your weight, ensuring you avoid Christmas weight gain whilst still enjoying the season is easier with a bit of planning, and with a bit of restraint where it counts.
It’s also a great idea to remember that this season is not only about good food, but good company. Savour the quality time you spend with your family and friends this Christmas as much as any food that passes your lips.
Have a wonderful Christmas.
The Team at Weight Loss Solutions Sunshine Coast.
If you are constantly struggling to lose weight, and it’s getting you down, weight loss surgery may be right for you. If you’re curious, and you live in the Sunshine Coast or Wide Bay region, why not make a time to have a confidential chat with a surgeon? Our experienced bariatric surgeons consult at Birtinya, Noosa and Hervey Bay.
Our surgeons can confirm whether you are a candidate for weight loss surgery, and which procedure might be right for you.
Make an appointment to chat with a surgeon near you about how we can help.
Many people who embark on weight loss surgery have come into contact with at least one dietitian in the past and let’s face it, we aren’t on the top of anyone’s Christmas card list! So when your weight loss surgeon suggests you see yet another dietitian, you shudder at the thought! But hear me out. We play a valuable role in your weight loss journey both before and after your surgery, and I’ll show you why.
Guest Post By Kate Stoker, Principal Dietitian at Simply Nutrition Dietitians.
How much food will I be able to eat after surgery? Is there anything else I can eat whilst doing the dreaded pre-op diet? How long should I drink fluids for after surgery? What multivitamins should I take after surgery? How do I keep the weight off after I have lost it? These are the types of questions we’re asked every day…and many more! Our goal is to support you through the process, help you to achieve your weight loss goals, keep the weight off and to most importantly to keep you feeling well!
To help ease the anxiety often felt when you make an appointment to see us, here is what to expect from your appointments:
As you can see from above, our main role is to support YOU! We are not here to tell you that you’ve done the wrong thing or how badly you’ve eaten in the past. We want you to find the best way of eating to suit you and your life as well as achieving good nutrition to keep you feeling well.
Understand the importance of good nutrition before and after surgery, and find out about our recommendations to fit your dietary needs.
Kate is an Accredited Practising Dietitian at Weight Loss Solutions Sunshine Coast and Principal of Simply Nutrition Dietitians. She has a strong passion for promoting ‘eating for health’. Her special areas of interest include weight loss dietetics, as well as nutritional advice for diabetic clients. Kate strives to ensure clients maintain the things that are important to them, whilst working towards optimal health.
When it comes to tackling obesity and treating and preventing other related diseases such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers a good diet is a critical component. But what is a good diet? Is it low-fat? Is it low-carb? We look at some of the recent research and opinion around diet for weight loss, and what that means for people struggling with obesity and related health issues.
Recently there has been a lot of press about the benefits of clean eating, and even more so, on the benefits of low-carb, high protein diets. But the two terms aren’t necessarily the same thing. So what do the experts say could be the best diet for weight loss and managing obesity-related diseases?
A significant clinical study on low-carb versus low-fat diets was recently completed in Australia by the CSIRO.
The CSIRO undertook a two-year study comparing different dietary approaches for the management of type-2 diabetes. One was a low carbohydrate, high protein and high ‘healthy fat’ diet. The other was a more traditional diet high in unrefined carbohydrates and low in fat. All participants also participated in a supervised exercise program.
According to study findings, there was a “clear link” between a low carbohydrate diet and diabetes management. Low carb diets led to a 40 percent reduction in the volume of diabetes medication required. The second finding was that this diet also reduced the number of blood glucose spikes experienced by diabetic patients throughout the day.
The CSIRO’s Associate Professor and principal research scientist Grant Brinkworth says our traditional approach may need changing.
“This research shows that traditional dietary approaches for managing type-2 diabetes could be outdated, we really need to review the current dietary guidelines if we are serious about using the latest scientific evidence to reduce the impact of the disease,” Professor Brinkworth said.
In the race to tackle obesity and diabetes, it is tempting to make a quick switch to a high-protein, low-carb diet. But rushing into any diet for weight loss can be risky.
A couple of things about the study should also be noted:
So whilst low-carb diets could be beneficial, it is often the right support on the diet and finding one which addresses unique nutritional needs which produce the best result. Further research is needed in this area before all people with Type 2 Diabetes are switched to a low carb diet.
For instance, feasting on bacon, eggs and Camembert cheese every day is a low-carb diet. But it is certainly not a healthy or balanced one.
One point which is worth highlighting in the study is that both diets used in the CSIRO study were very well balanced nutritionally and both calorie-controlled. A diet rich in good nutritious food is always the best choice for anyone’s health and well-being.
Principal Dietitian at Simply Nutrition Dietitians, Kate Stoker said that Australians generally should eat good quality carbohydrates such as whole grains, legumes, fruit, vegetables and dairy. They should also read the labels on the back of packaged products to understand nutritional value, however, the less label reading you do the better, as this means you are choosing fresh unprocessed foods.
“All carbs are not equal in their nutritional value, there is a big difference between the carbohydrates found in brown rice and a bowl of potato chips.”
“Carbohydrates are the main fuel for our entire body especially the brain. Consuming inadequate amounts of carbohydrates can leave people with fatigue, headaches, lethargy, and brain fog and so I would worry about promoting their total removal the diet,” Ms Stoker said.
This is interesting research into diet and diabetes as well as for obesity in general. Do our dietary guidelines need reviewing as the CSIRO suggests? Possibly.
But for the person struggling with their weight, the overall message we can take away is:
Remember, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to your diet. Everyone has different nutritional needs. The best diet for weight loss is a healthy diet, rather than a fad diet. One which includes plenty of whole foods. Fresh, unprocessed food is best.
The ideal way to tackle your diet when it comes to obesity and all related diseases is with the ongoing support of a qualified Dietitian.
If you have had, or will have weight loss surgery then ‘fad diets’ of any kind are unsuitable. We believe the ongoing support of a dietitian is the best approach for good nutritional health after surgery. A dietitian can ensure an adequate uptake of nutrients while supporting your weight loss goals. Find out more about the importance of diet after weight loss surgery.