Bariatric surgery, in combination with increased physical activity and a healthy diet, gives obese and morbidly obese patients the best chance to lose up to 60 percent of their excess weight and keep it off. For many, the change in diet is the hardest part of this three-pronged and highly-successful approach. Bariatric lunch ideas don’t have to be boring.
In many cases, you can still enjoy a lot of the foods you ate before this newer, healthier lifestyle. The key is the amount of those foods you eat at one time. Weight-loss surgeries like the gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, gastric band, and others make your stomach smaller so you can’t eat as much as you once did.
That’s just one piece of the diet puzzle of course. However, you’ll still be able to have savory snacks and sweet treats with foods especially made for bariatric meal plans. While treats are occasionally allowed they should never take the place of your main meals.
Protein shakes, bars, and “bariatric bites” are fine to bridge the gap between main meals once or twice a day until you are able to meet all your nutrition needs through food. When it’s time for lunch, actually sit down and have lunch. Here are a few bariatric lunch ideas to help you lose weight without sacrificing taste.
Bariatric Lunch Ideas
It seems like the only meal anyone ever sits down for anymore is dinner. We get a chance to relax after work and think about what we want. But breakfast and lunch should get just as much attention, especially for bariatric surgery patients. These lunch ideas are great because you make a bunch of them at once and then portion them out for the week.
Then it’s just a matter of pulling one out and enjoying it! Most of these meals are designed to be eaten cold so you don’t have to look for a microwave or spend time heating up a range or oven. Perfect for home or work, they’re ready to go when you are.
Cold Chicken is a Hot Bariatric Lunch Idea
Creating an entire week’s worth of lunches from a couple of chicken breasts is a fast and easy way to create a different taste Monday through Friday. There are all kinds of different chicken salad recipes to be found online and enough to give you a different taste every day of the week.
By using light mayo or greek yogurt, you can create the classic chicken salad for one day, add buffalo sauce for a zesty kick the next, and chop up some bell peppers and black beans for a meal high in protein. Chicken is one of the most versatile proteins out there, so don’t limit yourself even on a bariatric diet.
Just ensure all of the ingredients meet your needs and portion sizes are consistent. That’s another great thing about these bariatric lunch ideas: you take care of all the measuring during meal prep so there’s no fussing when it’s time to eat. Just take it out of the fridge and enjoy!
Tuna: Chicken of the Sea
Eating nothing but chicken–even with its flexibility–can get kind of boring after a while. So mix it up with tuna for a different texture and taste. Tuna can also be pureed so it can be introduced earlier in your post-bariatric surgery diet to give you the protein your body needs.
That’s a Wrap
Another great thing about these ideas is how easy it can be to turn chicken or tuna salad into a wrap. There are several low-carb tortillas on the market (including egg wraps which really pack in the protein) or you can use lettuce if your body allows it. Once you’re able, using deli meats is another way to mix things up.
Post Op Bariatric Diets
It’s important to remember in the days and weeks after your weight-loss surgery, your diet will be very limited. During those 14 days after the procedure, you will be limited to liquids and supplements as your body begins to heal and adapt to the surgery.
Remember, up to 80 percent of your stomach will be removed in some cases, so it just won’t be able to handle as much food in one sitting. However, hormonal changes will decrease hunger pangs and you’ll feel fuller faster, so you won’t need as much food as you once did to feel satisfied.
For many, diet can be the most daunting part of a bariatric procedure. But if you’re careful, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the same flavors you once did. With the above bariatric lunch ideas, you’ll never have to worry about eating the same thing over and over again.
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