5 Meal Planning Tips
Pre-portion Your Smaller Meals
Portions need to be small on your weight loss surgery diet. When meal planning, prepare regular-sized recipes, divide them into weight loss surgery-sized portions, and store these portions in individual packets or containers and freeze them.
The benefits are that you get to make more interesting recipes, and you have multiple meals on hand after cooking only once. These meals can be pulled out of the freezer and heated in a pinch when you’re too busy to cook.
Use Weekends for Healthy Meal Planning, Shopping and Cooking
Weekends (or your scheduled days off) are a great time to prepare what you can in advance.
- Decide what to make, buy ingredients and prepare some recipes
- Try to coordinate meal plans in conjunction with what’s on sale for the week at your favorite grocery store so that your meals follow your prescribed plan and are as cost-effective as possible
- Use online resources such as BariatricPal.com and ObesityHelp.com to discover new recipes to try. If you’re unsure if a food is on your plan, check with your dietitian
It’s OK to Eat Out When You Do it Right
What to do when you’re low on food or have no time to cook? You might be surprised to read this, but it’s ok to eat out, order in or even use the drive-through.
Just remember your bariatric eating rules – eat healthy, protein-based meals. Go online to local restaurants and look at their menus before you go. Whether it’s a side salad with low-fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing and a grilled chicken patty from McDonalds (150 calories, 22g protein) or Turkey Tom Unwich at Jimmy John’s (225 calories, 14g protein), you can fit it into your new way of eating.
Use Smart and Fast Cooking Options
When time is short and you’re hungry, try these 3 convenient cooking ideas.
- Use meal helpers. Heat up a bag of frozen vegetables and serve it with chicken or tuna, or toss in some tofu. Add some herbs and spices or a touch of fat-free, low cal salad dressing for added flavor.
- Go for some low-fat cheese or yogurt. These provide a tasty and protein-rich meal to give you energy. Try whole grain cereal sprinkled on top of Greek yogurt and fruit, or low-fat cottage or ricotta cheese with a dash of cinnamon, or low-fat string cheese and baby carrots for a snack.
- Enjoy your frozen meals. Take advantage of those frozen meals you prepared during the weekend. They were made for times like these. Problem solved!
Ask Your Bariatric Dietitian for Personalized Guidance
Your dietitian will help you plan your meals depending on your family circumstances. If someone else in your household manages the cooking, bring him or her along to your office visit. Your bariatric weight loss journey is a team effort. The more people in your life who are involved in supporting your efforts, the better!
Source: Torrance Memorial