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Please Help - Giving Up the Good Food



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My sleeve surgery is scheduled for the end of January. I understand the importance of a high Protein / low carb diet after the surgery. Are there any foods that I wont be able to ever eat again (bread, ice cream, etc.)? I am confident I can handle the high protein / low carb diet but would like to understand if there is anything that I need to give up forever.

If I can eat bread, ice cream, etc. to some extent, will I have to be very careful given the risk of them making me sick?

Thank you in advance for your response!

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1 hour ago, EdBray said:

My sleeve surgery is scheduled for the end of January. I understand the importance of a high Protein / low carb diet after the surgery. Are there any foods that I wont be able to ever eat again (bread, ice cream, etc.)? I am confident I can handle the high Protein / low carb diet but would like to understand if there is anything that I need to give up forever.

If I can eat bread, ice cream, etc. to some extent, will I have to be very careful given the risk of them making me sick?

Thank you in advance for your response!

My husband had his sleeve 6 years ago. He eats whatever he likes but heres the catch. its all about how much. So you are craving ice cream, eat an ice cream sandwich and let that be it. Dont buy an entire tub. Want bread, have a slice and not with every meal. If you deprive yourself you will fail (emotionally) and burn out. My husband said your craving for those things goes away but if you must indulge, then do it responsibly. It wont make you sick, just try very hard not to restretch your stomach. His mother has the sleeve, did not control portion sizes and restretched her stomach leading to obesity again. Just be careful love, youll do great. I understand how you feel. I have had a love affair with bread and sweets for decades.

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I agree. If you tell yourself "I can never have _______" again, you will probably want it MORE! I went to dinner with my sister, and while I did not let them leave the bread basket (luckily she is also on a diet), I did have two amazing bites of cheesecake...and that was enough! I brought the rest home and told my son "Eat it or throw it away!" so I wouldn't be tempted. I know that I can't keep those things in my house, but if I'm out, then I will indulge (a little!).

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You have a big job of mentally reframing what is "good" food. I agree with the others that you will be able to have those foods again, in limited portions, but the bigger job is to start training your brain to love the healthy foods and start despising the unhealthy ones. Ice cream and simple carbs are the seducers that got you into trouble in the first place. You have to start thinking about them in term of what they actually do to your long term health. An exercise of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) in overcoming addictive behaviors is to make a list of all the benefits of healthy foods (lower cholesterol, lower glucose levels, lower BP, weight loss, anti-oxidants, Vitamins, etc) and a list of the bad things unhealthy foods will do (increased weight, BP, glucose, lipids, depression, loss of quality of life, higher rate of heart attack, cancer ,and stroke, decreased longevity, etc.) If you practice this daily, your brain really will start to "re-wire" to seek out a delicious food choice rather than a poor one, and you will have increased endorphin release by making the choice. Healthy choices are part of the lifestyle changes you agree to tackle when you agree to WLS. Don't obsess on the ice cream. You'll have it again, eventually. But use this first year to make the lifestyle changes and rewire your thought patterns so the sweets and treats will never take you down again.

PS: Another thought. Before surgery, I cannot count the number of times i would pray, "Please, God, I'll give up anything if You can just help me get this weight off." Then I had surgery and the weight came off. I am dead serious in saying that if I NEVER can have a bite of ice cream or sugar again, it is a sacrifice worth every single day of being a normal weight and having my life back. The fact is that you have to be willing to give up the junk if you want the health. You can't keep flirting with the food that made you fat in the first place. You can't have it both ways. Until you really hardwire the healthy habits and healthy food, don't put yourself in the way of temptation by entertaining thoughts of the junk food.

Edited by AZhiker

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I don't have any food restrictions. The only thing my stomach doesn't seem to be able to handle are really fatty meals. My husband and I used to go out for Friday night fish fries all the time - with deep-fried breaded or battered fish, with tartar sauce, French fries, cole slaw made with mayo, and a roll with butter. I'd be in the bathroom after that meal now. I could maybe eat 1/2 of a fried fish filet - anything else I attempt to eat with that would have to be low in fat. Other than that, I can tolerate anything.

P.S. just wanted to add that I'm 5.5 years out. During that first year, I DID have a lot of food restrictions. But once I hit maintenance, I could eat pretty much anything as long as I watched my portion size.

Edited by catwoman7

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I agree with the advice you can generally eat what you’d like once you’ve well established your maintenance. However, there are a few things you have to remember: Portion Control, frequency, what your system will tolerate & your danger foods.

At 18months, I don’t have rice, Pasta & bread. I avoid sweets (desserts, cakes, biscuits, ice cream, cream, etc.) 99.9% of the time. I don’t add sugar or artificial sweeteners to anything. I’ve reduced alcohol to probably once a month. No fast food but have had Asian takeaway three times when with friends.

I call it my reduce, restrict, avoid plan. It allows me to have a little of certain foods (the odd treat) limit other foods & avoid the foods which would equate to weight gain for me or fill up my tummy too quickly. I switch up foods to healthier choices & use healthier cooking methods. As some random examples: I make chia pudding (milk, milk powder, vanilla extract & chia seeds) if I want a dessert. I use an air fryer for a crispy finish instead of frying, use non stick pans & spray olive oil. When I had the takeaway I chose either chicken & cashews (braised) or steamed pork & prawn gyoza (ate the filling only).

I just don’t buy certain foods - if they’re not in my house I can’t eat them. I also deleted the home delivery apps off my phone - lol. I take my lunch to work so I’m not hitting up the food courts.

It’s not easy and I work at it every day. I just hope one day I will have ‘rewired my brain’ as @AZhiker mentioned & it will be a little easier. I just don’t want to be overweight again.

But in reality, it all comes down to finding what works for you.

Good luck.

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I was told that after maintenance you can have those things in moderation. But they advised me to never have rice or soda and to not eat too much bread. Every surgeons office is different on the soda issue, but my surgeons said the carbonation will stretch your stomach back out over time so it wasn't a good idea, but it was ADVISED, not ordered. I don't plan on ever drinking soda again since it was never important to me anyway, so that isn't an issue for me. The rice thing bugged me at first, but my surgeon said that rice SWELLS after you eat it so it'll stretch your stomach out and it wasn't ADVISED to add back into my diet. I've since started using cauliflower rice instead and it works perfectly as a substitute so I have no issue giving up rice. Though I will miss it in Chinese food whenever I may eat it again. As to bread... it's filling and takes room away from your Protein so that when you DO add it back in you should eat very little of it and make sure you're getting your protein in. I was also advised about pasta... but I've added veggie made noodles into my diet instead such as zucchini, lentil, chickpea, etc. and the surgeons office was fine with that. There really isn't anything they said absolutely not to, they just said moderation is key. You're getting into new eating habits after your surgery or even before and when you add new things in you just have to cycle it with moderation so that you don't overindulge and put the weight back on. So don't think about it as giving up the 'good food'. You're just temporarily taking a break from foods you love and then added them in moderation later. You WILL be able to eat them again.

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I'm 13 months post vsg and I can literally eat everything I ate pre surgery, with no issues at all. The key is to retrain yourself to make better food choices, then you can afford to have the less optimal choices occasionally. I go by the 80-20 rule, try to eat at my best 80% of the time, allowing treats and other stuff 20%. Maintenance is a whole new ball game after the weight loss phase, I do a LOT of weights and exercise to allow me to eat more in maintenance and maintain my weight. And that includes the odd piece of cake at work for birthdays 🥳

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I really think i had an advantage when it comes to this having been a previous LB patient. Its a whole lot different when you CAN'T eat it vs SHOULDN'T. As the band got tighter, bread, rice, grits, some potatoes, drier meats like port, white chicken, veggies like asparagus, fruit like apples.... just would not go down. If i even tried it would get stuck and have to "uneat" it. So i just stopped. I really thought it would be harder, but after a few times of throwing up... you learn to stay away. Now with the sleeve, it's super easy as i have just gone back to that way pretty much. a few weeks ago i found myself dipping my toe in the deep part of the pool..... realized that it was/is a dangerous place to be. So back to the kiddy pool so to speak. Last night i cooked one of my favorite meals..... smothered chicken (boneless thighs) green Beans and rice.... I sooooo badly wanted the rice.... but i stayed away.
I found the wanting of these things never go away, but the acting on them can.

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I really think i had an advantage when it comes to this having been a previous LB patient. Its a whole lot different when you CAN'T eat it vs SHOULDN'T. As the band got tighter, bread, rice, grits, some potatoes, drier meats like port, white chicken, veggies like asparagus, fruit like apples.... just would not go down. If i even tried it would get stuck and have to "uneat" it. So i just stopped. I really thought it would be harder, but after a few times of throwing up... you learn to stay away. Now with the sleeve, it's super easy as i have just gone back to that way pretty much. a few weeks ago i found myself dipping my toe in the deep part of the pool..... realized that it was/is a dangerous place to be. So back to the kiddy pool so to speak. Last night i cooked one of my favorite meals..... smothered chicken (boneless thighs) green Beans and rice.... I sooooo badly wanted the rice.... but i stayed away.
I found the wanting of these things never go away, but the acting on them can.

Tell me more about these smothered chicken thighs... pretty please??

Sent from my SM-G950U using BariatricPal mobile app

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You have a big job of mentally reframing what is "good" food. I agree with the others that you will be able to have those foods again, in limited portions, but the bigger job is to start training your brain to love the healthy foods and start despising the unhealthy ones. Ice cream and simple carbs are the seducers that got you into trouble in the first place. You have to start thinking about them in term of what they actually do to your long term health. An exercise of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) in overcoming addictive behaviors is to make a list of all the benefits of healthy foods (lower cholesterol, lower glucose levels, lower BP, weight loss, anti-oxidants, Vitamins, etc) and a list of the bad things unhealthy foods will do (increased weight, BP, glucose, lipids, depression, loss of quality of life, higher rate of heart attack, cancer ,and stroke, decreased longevity, etc.) If you practice this daily, your brain really will start to "re-wire" to seek out a delicious food choice rather than a poor one, and you will have increased endorphin release by making the choice. Healthy choices are part of the lifestyle changes you agree to tackle when you agree to WLS. Don't obsess on the ice cream. You'll have it again, eventually. But use this first year to make the lifestyle changes and rewire your thought patterns so the sweets and treats will never take you down again.
PS: Another thought. Before surgery, I cannot count the number of times i would pray, "Please, God, I'll give up anything if You can just help me get this weight off." Then I had surgery and the weight came off. I am dead serious in saying that if I NEVER can have a bite of ice cream or sugar again, it is a sacrifice worth every single day of being a normal weight and having my life back. The fact is that you have to be willing to give up the junk if you want the health. You can't keep flirting with the food that made you fat in the first place. You can't have it both ways. Until you really hardwire the healthy habits and healthy food, don't put yourself in the way of temptation by entertaining thoughts of the junk food.
Your posts and perspective are always so helpful.

Sent from my SM-T710 using BariatricPal mobile app

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12 hours ago, Bwa said:

Tell me more about these smothered chicken thighs... pretty please??

Sent from my SM-G950U using BariatricPal mobile app

Down in the south, we call it "sticky" chicken .... I'm attaching a video for you.... it the one that comes closest to how i do it. Depending on the size of your family, you can cut the recipe in half. I don't use skin on or bone in.... i just don't like it.... but you can if you want

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3 hours ago, Bwa said:

Thank you very much, that sounds delicious!

Sent from my SM-G950U using BariatricPal mobile app

so good.... the hardest part is the browning of the onions. Growing up cajun we learned at an early age.... it's all about the onions

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