Prior to my gastric bypass surgery, building a healthy plate was never really a consideration, although I will admit I was well-schooled in general plate construction. It was a simple enough task.
Begin by engineering a volcano-shaped structure, broad at the base with an elongated slope that ends at a narrow peak. Add a generous amount of carbohydrates to the foundation, tightly packed to support the weight of fried foods and pastries. Surround the base with a moat of gravies and sauces and, if room permits, sprinkle some vegetables on top.
And a diet coke.
There, it is done. Now give me a fork and some elbow room. I’ll meet you at the buffet for seconds in about ten minutes.
Okay, I exaggerate, but there is a point. I was not accidentally obese. Food was about volume and stress relief and a mindless fork-to-plate-to-lips reflex. My cookbook was a one page recipe for disaster.
I have become much more health conscious and logical since having my gastric bypass weight loss surgery. Just as there is a method for obesity, there is a method for weight loss. Making food choices for your barbaric life can be as simple as using these tips.
Build a Healthy Plate
Tip 1: Half of your plate should be protein consisting of lean meats, poultry, and seafood. Limit processed or packaged meats, poultry and seafood, as well as deli meats. Organic or locally pasture-raised antibiotic and hormone-free meat and poultry are the best choices. Seafood caught from the wild is preferable to farm-raised.
Tip 2: Make the other half of your plate fruit and vegetables. You can choose either fresh or frozen fruits and veggies. Eat plenty of red, orange, and dark green vegetables like red peppers and carrots in both main and side dishes. Raw or lightly cooked fruit and vegetables are preferable to fully-cooked.
Tip 3: Switch to almond milk. It has the essential nutrients but less fat and calories than milk. It is also cholesterol free.
Tip 4: Eat the amount of calories that are right for you. Be attentive to portion sizes when selecting foods. If you are dining out, choose a lean protein appetizer such as shrimp cocktail and have a side salad with low-fat dressing as your main course. Eat and cook at home most often where you are in control of the menu.
Tip 5: Choose a variety of proteins. Seafood, beans, peas, nuts, poultry and lean meats are all good sources of protein. Grilling, broiling, or poaching are all approaches that will not add extra fat. Remember to keep meat and poultry portions lean and small.
Tip 6: Eat less foods that have high amounts of solid fats, added sugars, and salt. Be attentive about the ingredients contained in the food and drinks that you buy.
Tip 7: Balance your calories. Physical activity will help achieve this. Fitday.com is a good resource for tracking your calories, fat grams, carb grams, and protein grams. You can track your exercise and daily activity, too.
Tip 8: Drink plenty of water. Reduce your calories by drinking only water or non-carbonated beverages between meals. Water should be had 15 minutes before meals and 1.5 to 2 hours after meals. Do not drink with your meals.
Tip 9: Stay physically active. Choose activities that you enjoy and get started. Even ten minutes at a time to begin is a starting point.
Tip 10: Follow the pouch rules. Memorize and live by the pouch rules to achieve maximum weight loss and to keep the weight off. Even people who have experienced weight regain after bariatric surgery will lose weight by returning to the pouch rules.
What are your tips for building a healthy plate as part of your bariatric diet?
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My Story… You can read about my decision to have weight loss surgery back in 2003 and my journey to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management since that time. My wish is to help you on your own journey of lifetime obesity disease management with shareposts along the way to help you navigate that journey successfully.