Test-drive the diet.
Remember to take your vitamins!
Remembering is often half the battle. Set your cell phone or watch alarm, put a reminder on your computer. Leave a bottle where you are sure to see it-on the counter or on your nightstand as a reminder.
Don't like capsules, tablets or chewables?
Most capsules (including ours) can be opened up and mixed with food. Try it with a teaspoon of yogurt or applesauce.
We work hard to prevent the chalky taste that some chewables can have but sometimes, it is impossible to do away with this completely. Try taking a small sip of water or at least rinsing your mouth just prior to chewing your supplements. It will make all the difference in the world! If nothing works, try our soft chews!
Want to mix up your supplements?
There is nothing wrong with taking your multivitamin in a capsule form and your calcium in a chewable (or soft chew) form or vice versa. However, you should watch out for vitamin waters and drinks; many are loaded with unnecessary calories. The label of one leading brand, for example, reports that it supplies half the daily requirement for some nutrients. But to get that amount, you have to drink the whole bottle, which contains 125 calories. And for that you get just 6 of the 40+ essential nutrients provided by most supplements. An entire bottle may supply no more vitamin C than you'd get from eating two strawberries. When it comes to vitamins, more is not necessarily better. It’s much better to drink regular water and take your bariatric specific vitamins instead.
Getting in 60-80 grams of protein can be a full time job in itself, but there are ways to mix things up:
When making your grocery list, take a minute and read the labels of the products in your kitchen, especially the ones you are going to replace. Eliminate any product that contains high fructose corn syrup (which is not digested by the body and goes directly to fat), hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fat (saturated fat), trans fat, or bleached white flour. Getting rid of products that contain these ingredients will make a big difference. There are lots of excellent substitutes out there that don't contain these ingredients that taste just as good, if not better.
Look for products that contain whole grain. If the first ingredient in the list says whole grain, and it is not followed by ingredients such as bleached white flour, partially processed grains, or other qualifiers, you can be reasonably assured that you have a whole grain, and therefore a much healthier product with a good fiber content. Finding whole grain products is easier now that manufacturers who are supplying at least 16 g of whole grains per serving (considered an excellent source) are stamping their packaging with the Whole Grains Council's logo.
Pesticides and other toxins can both make you sick and contribute significantly to weight gain. Buying organic fruits and vegetables helps, but organic produce can get expensive. Some fruits and veggies aren't grown using pesticides; for example, buying organic bananas would be pointless because bananas are not grown using pesticides. The following are your best bets for buying organic and drastically reducing the toxins you eat: beef, milk, coffee, peaches, apples, strawberries, sweet bell peppers, celery, lettuce, grapes, potatoes, and tomatoes. If you can start buying these in organic form, you'll do yourself a great service. If you don’t buy these items organic, be sure to wash and cook them well. Don't eliminate them from your diet just because they may not be organic; simply think about what you're eating and be aware.
Don't Be a Frequent Fryer.
Choose cooking methods that don't add fat to your foods: baking, broiling, grilling, roasting, poaching and steaming. Use nonstick cooking spray in place of oil and save 14 grams of fat. Plan Menus in Advance. When you know what you're going to eat ahead of time, you avoid impulsive high-fat, high-calorie food selections. Try to plan weekly menus on the weekend and shop for the ingredients you'll need. This will make weekday mealtimes a lot less hectic.
Give Your Spuds Some New Duds.
Forget the butter when mashing potatoes. Every tablespoon has 11 grams of fat. Instead, use low-fat sour cream or buttermilk to get the creamy taste and texture you're after. Try salsa on baked potatoes—it's fat-free.
Instead of swearing off rice and pasta altogether, nutritionists say you should choose unprocessed whole grains. Identical portions of whole-wheat pasta, bread, and brown rice usually pack more fiber than their refined, white counterparts, which helps prevent heart disease and diabetes and keeps you fuller longer. And don't cut out dairy entirely—it's a good source of calcium!
Fast food survival stick to salads.
A big problem with fast food is that many innocent-looking nuggets and patties are loaded with added fats, flavorful chemicals, and high-fructose corn syrup, which wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels. Salads are a good way to eat ingredients where you can easily observe whether they've been adulterated with bad-for-you additives. Not to be deterred, the fast food companies will try to get you with the dressings.
Ask for oil and vinegar, if possible. If not, check the ingredients and calorie counts of the dressings. You're better off with a vinaigrette or vinegar-based dressing like Italian. Also, most places give you enough dressing to dress several salads. Either use only half the packet of dressing or ask for a side cup you can squirt it into, and then dip your fork in the dressing before you get a bite of salad.
Another way to avoid the dressing trap is to forgo it completely and get some fresh lemons from the condiment or beverage counter and squeeze them over your salad.
Learn to dismantle your food.
Ask if you can substitute the grilled chicken breast for the breaded chicken breast, wheat buns for white buns, lettuce cups for buns, or ask for extra veggies. And hold the cheese, especially if it's spelled “cheez.” When you order the "healthy" grilled-chicken or fish sandwiches, make sure they're not loaded with mayo, ketchup, or special sauces.
Ask for salsa or mustard instead. Don't be afraid to ask for what you need. If anyone gives you any problem, claim a severe food allergy. They'll usually get over the attitude and become very helpful.
Possible Side Effects
Get a pedometer and start tracking your steps.
Average your steps over one week, then make small increases. Try increasing your average by 500 steps per day for the next week to increase your activity. Work towards 10,000 steps per day. For example, if your average is 3,000 steps per day, then aim for 3,500 steps per day next week and then 4,000 steps per day the week after that.
Do you find walking boring? Take someone along with you or get a dog. If your lifestyle does not allow for you to keep a dog, borrow a neighbor's dog or visit a humane society once a week and offer to walk some dogs. They are great walking companions and always willing to go!
If your joints will not tolerate walking, try a recumbent bike or get in a pool.
Many people are concerned with their appearance in a bathing suit but many YMCAs will allow you to wear shorts & T-shirt. If you don't have a local YMCA, then check with your local hotel. Many have indoor swimming pools and you may be able to work something out with hotel management where they may let you swim/water walk, for a small fee. The hotel has to keep the pool ready for guests, so they would rather see someone use it since they are paying for chemicals and filtration. And remember, if you are nervous about seeing people at the pool, they are just traveling through and you will probably never see that person again.
Special thanks to the bariatric professionals providing the above tips: Cathleen Burke, RN, BSN; Kim Knopp, MS, RD, LD, CDE; Julie Lovisa, RD, CD; and our fantastic advisory board. Feel free to send us any of your tips to our email address below!
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