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Hi, brand new from Ireland and worried how much time is spent prepping meals after the op



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Hi there,

I've just learned yesterday that I'm on the list for the gastric sleeve in Ireland. The op should happen in the next 6 months to a year, with various appointments with various specialists beforehand.

I have never kept track of food in my life, except when I see the fridge gets half-empty, and I start panicking and order some more.

Does following a healthy diet become a new obsession daily after the op, and is there much time spent on thinking about meal preps, food types, after the op?

What happens if I'm rubbish at it?

Thank you for your advice!

Maroux

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It can be an obsession if you want it to be. There are many here that obsess about every calorie.

It can also be a simple task that you handle like several other tasks you do every day.

It's really up to you at least as much as you can control any of your obsessions.

You manage to feed yourself now and your new diet plan need not be significantly more complicated, again, unless you want it to.

For me, my plan didn't require counting calories or much else than "this much Protein, this much veggies", done and done. To this day this continues to be my plan.

Relax. Take the time to learn about your surgery and your plan. You will have plenty of time to learn what appeals to you.

Good luck,

Tek

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Hi Maroux, and congrats on starting your journey!

Do you have a dietician on your surgery team? You should have one, and they'll be able to help you with meal plans and advice on what to eat. While you will have to make sure you're getting Protein, you'll have some guidance from your dietician/nutritionist on how to achieve that.

It's also slow going! So you won't be immediately dropped into a new diet, it will be a slow shift from a liquid diet, to puree, to soft foods before you're eating regular food again.

I'm someone who loves to cook, and honestly I barely get to flex at this early stage of my post-surgery journey! I make a pot of something nutritious like a stew, puree it, and freeze the excess, so I don't have to think at all about meal prep. Once I move onto regular food, it will be different, but again - my dietician supplies food ideas and because there will always be leftovers, frozen portions will make things a lot easier day-to-day.

You'll do fine! I'm assuming you eat meat? If so, it'll be a doddle. 😉

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I’ve always loved Soup so I make it a few times a month (even pre surgery I loved soup!). And I keep in the fridge and usually end up eating it for a meal a day while I have it.

Meals don’t have to be hard after surgery- yogurt, curries, eggs, roasted meats in light gravies, and smoothies are all staples in my diet. If I make a roast on Sunday I can use it for different things trough the week. One cook and meals for a week with the only though being do I want a burrito bowl or have it with gravy and a veggie mash.

It all depends on how much you do or don’t want to do.

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I admit: I over prepared and then didn’t really use a lot of what I prepped. lol

im five months or so out from surgery now and I tend to go really simple with my “meals”. No prep needed.

morning: coffee and egg

lunch: P3 pack and greek yogurt (bought from the store it’s like a $2 meal haha)

dinner: chicken

they told me to push Protein first. By the time I’m done with protein I have no desire for any sides. My protein count is a tad different than most people’s…. My kidneys have issues filtering high protein diets so they told me 60 grams MAX post surgery and to keep it between 50-60 a day long term.

If I eat two skinless chicken wings? I’m done and full. I really don’t eat very much at all. I also have no desire to eat like I did. I measure nothing right now because my portions are still so tiny. That may change if I end up able to eat more but for now I just stick to the same thing every day. food is really boring for me these days lol

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Honestly, I probably do focus on what I’m eating more now but the focus is how much Protein, is there sugar in this, etc. So I focus more on the nutritional value of what I eat. Also before I used to skip meals. Now I try to make sure to eat more regularly. I cooked before surgery & I still cook. I prep most of my food so I can control the ingredients & how they’re cooked & I do cook a little more often - one because of prepping lunch now & I’ve dropped my once a week takeaway.

I randomly check calories & portion sizes to make sure I’m on track & not over or under estimating.

I also cleaned out my pantry, fridge & freezer in the first months. Got rid of all the food I couldn’t or didn’t want to eat anymore. If it’s not in the cupboard I can’t eat it. If I don’t buy it, I can’t eat it either.

As @The Greater Fool said it can be an obsess ion if you let it or want it to be. How rigid/flexible do you want to be in your food choices? Your dietician should be a good source of possible eating plans & food options that fit in with your lifestyle, family, etc. You will have to make some changes. If you go back to eating exactly as you did before you will end up where you were before surgery.

Remember, there is no one right way to eat just the way that’s right for you.

Good luck & I hope everything goes smoothly for you.

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I'm one month out. I'm not someone who can follow a "meal plan". I don't want to decide at the beginning of the day what I'll be eating at each meal; I need to have a choice or life feels deadly dull. That being said, I will cook something a few times a week (right now it's some sort of ground meat or bean-based dish with a spicy sauce eaten with fat free greek yogurt) and then alternate among the ones I've cooked. I portion them out into 5-6 or more servings in small plastic containers and freeze some so I don't get sick of what I've made or it doesn't go bad too soon. I'll eat them three times a day, Breakfast lunch and dinner, except I will occasionally make egg product with cheese for breakfast. I would say at most I spent about 40 minutes a day on all three meals, and many days it's less than 10 minutes.

Of course, I live alone and don't have to feed anyone else. I do spend some time looking at recipes, but I'll usually do this when as a form of inspiration, mostly it's things I can't have. Most people's ideas of what a post-surgery patient can have seems very bland to me and I wouldn't eat it, so I don't look at bariatric meal ideas - I go to real cooking sites and figure out how to adapt "normal" recipes.

My job involves a lot of traveling so my next task will be to figure out how to eat better on the road.

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22 hours ago, The Greater Fool said:

It can be an obsession if you want it to be. There are many here that obsess about every calorie.

It can also be a simple task that you handle like several other tasks you do every day.

It's really up to you at least as much as you can control any of your obsessions.

You manage to feed yourself now and your new diet plan need not be significantly more complicated, again, unless you want it to.

For me, my plan didn't require counting calories or much else than "this much Protein, this much veggies", done and done. To this day this continues to be my plan.

Relax. Take the time to learn about your surgery and your plan. You will have plenty of time to learn what appeals to you.

Good luck,

Tek

Thank you for your advice Tek. I was both thrilled and scared when I learned the news. Still feeling both, and I can see it is going to be a long journey.

I mostly rely on ready meals, so haven't much of a clue about cooking healthy. Also I am originally French and I can't see myself eating beige food for the rest of my life, like turkey with mash and cauliflower 😋.

I guess this is going to be a longer journey than I thought, but I can see by your rely and the ones from others here, that I have joined a fine support group.

Thank you,

Maroux

Edited by Maroux
Mistakes

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22 hours ago, Smanky said:

Hi Maroux, and congrats on starting your journey!

Do you have a dietician on your surgery team? You should have one, and they'll be able to help you with meal plans and advice on what to eat. While you will have to make sure you're getting Protein, you'll have some guidance from your dietician/nutritionist on how to achieve that.

It's also slow going! So you won't be immediately dropped into a new diet, it will be a slow shift from a liquid diet, to puree, to soft foods before you're eating regular food again.

I'm someone who loves to cook, and honestly I barely get to flex at this early stage of my post-surgery journey! I make a pot of something nutritious like a stew, puree it, and freeze the excess, so I don't have to think at all about meal prep. Once I move onto regular food, it will be different, but again - my dietician supplies food ideas and because there will always be leftovers, frozen portions will make things a lot easier day-to-day.

You'll do fine! I'm assuming you eat meat? If so, it'll be a doddle. 😉

Many thanks for your suggestions! All the appointments with a Dietician are being set by the hospital at present. I am a naturally anxious person, maybe it's a bit early for that 😀. You're right, they probably wouldn't let me go through unless I prepare for it slowly and surely. I better get a bigger freezer and millions of little freezer bags just in case!

Thank you,

Maroux

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22 hours ago, Starwarsandcupcakes said:

I’ve always loved Soup so I make it a few times a month (even pre surgery I loved soup!). And I keep in the fridge and usually end up eating it for a meal a day while I have it.

Meals don’t have to be hard after surgery- yogurt, curries, eggs, roasted meats in light gravies, and smoothies are all staples in my diet. If I make a roast on Sunday I can use it for different things trough the week. One cook and meals for a week with the only though being do I want a burrito bowl or have it with gravy and a veggie mash.

It all depends on how much you do or don’t want to do.

Hiya! I think I just don't want to get trapped in bland meals, as I've often failed diets for lack of imagination.

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21 hours ago, Orinskye said:

I admit: I over prepared and then didn’t really use a lot of what I prepped. lol

im five months or so out from surgery now and I tend to go really simple with my “meals”. No prep needed.

morning: coffee and egg

lunch: P3 pack and greek yogurt (bought from the store it’s like a $2 meal haha)

dinner: chicken

they told me to push Protein first. By the time I’m done with Protein I have no desire for any sides. My protein count is a tad different than most people’s…. My kidneys have issues filtering high protein diets so they told me 60 grams MAX post surgery and to keep it between 50-60 a day long term.

If I eat two skinless chicken wings? I’m done and full. I really don’t eat very much at all. I also have no desire to eat like I did. I measure nothing right now because my portions are still so tiny. That may change if I end up able to eat more but for now I just stick to the same thing every day. food is really boring for me these days lol

Do you ever look at what you used to like eating and great like it is a friend who passed away? Or is the weightloss so good that it's easy enough to put the yearning aside?

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5 minutes ago, Maroux said:

Hiya! I think I just don't want to get trapped in bland meals, as I've often failed diets for lack of imagination.

I use loads of spices in pretty much everything. I hate bland foods. Nothing is more boring that bland food.

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16 hours ago, Arabesque said:

Honestly, I probably do focus on what I’m eating more now but the focus is how much Protein, is there sugar in this, etc. So I focus more on the nutritional value of what I eat. Also before I used to skip meals. Now I try to make sure to eat more regularly. I cooked before surgery & I still cook. I prep most of my food so I can control the ingredients & how they’re cooked & I do cook a little more often - one because of prepping lunch now & I’ve dropped my once a week takeaway.

I randomly check calories & portion sizes to make sure I’m on track & not over or under estimating.

I also cleaned out my pantry, fridge & freezer in the first months. Got rid of all the food I couldn’t or didn’t want to eat anymore. If it’s not in the cupboard I can’t eat it. If I don’t buy it, I can’t eat it either.

As @The Greater Fool said it can be an obsess ion if you let it or want it to be. How rigid/flexible do you want to be in your food choices? Your dietician should be a good source of possible eating plans & food options that fit in with your lifestyle, family, etc. You will have to make some changes. If you go back to eating exactly as you did before you will end up where you were before surgery.

Remember, there is no one right way to eat just the way that’s right for you.

Good luck & I hope everything goes smoothly for you.

Great idea about emptying the pantry of useless or harmful foods, I will definitely write this down.

I'm going to have to learn much about Proteins, I am very much clueless 😅

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Bonjour,

I understand. Even for many of us who love to cook, meal prep could be a chore.

But here is the thing. You won't be able to eat much at all, and you'll need to concentrate on Protein first, then vegetables, then if you have any more room in your pouch you can have some carbohydrate.

For the first little bit after surgery, you are healing and you will need to eat liquids at first, then purées or soft foods next. My surgeon requires three weeks of liquids and three weeks of soft foods, and I am one week and a little bit into the purées.

But once you are done, you can easily either find healthier ready meals (don't know about Ireland, but here in the US some markets sell "meal prep kits" with, say, a bit of chicken or fish or beef or lamb, and a veg and some kind of starchy side), or you can learn to cook. You won't need very much, so you could cook a couple of times and have enough for the whole week.

It doesn't have to be beige food all the time. You will introduce foods back into your life a bit at a time and eventually eat a normal diet, just... smaller. I will say that the next time I go to France I may have trouble eating the three courses that are part of the staple meals in a restaurant... even just the entrée would be enough right now, never mind the plat principal or the dessert.

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6 minutes ago, Maroux said:

Do you ever look at what you used to like eating and great like it is a friend who passed away? Or is the weightloss so good that it's easy enough to put the yearning aside?

Even just four weeks out, the weight loss is so amazing that I put aside the yearning. And honestly, a lot of what I gorged on before doesn't appeal to me anymore. All the sweets just look terrible to me now.

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