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Off track and in need some tough love and food/snack ideas!



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Hey friends!

Here I am a year out and over 100lbs lighter than I was, but stalled because my inner fat kid still loves sugar and Snacks. I am moving more but I need to get with a chiropractor I think since walking is painful mostly in my hips although now I find myself able to jog for over a minute at a time! 😮

So here's my need, I have about 30lbs to go to hit my surgeon's goal of 193lbs, I wanna be there by June. 30ish pounds in like over 5 months, I think I can do that but I need some help. I KNOW I'm off track on my eating-I blame my lack of power over my sweet tooth and the holidays. I plan on quitting sugar cold turkey but to that I need ideas for Protein heavy, calorie light snacks because when I quit sugar I snack hardcore. I want to have foods I can track (prepackaged-I find being able to scan bar codes the night befoer into Baritastic app allows me some peace of mind that I can eat whatever I have in my lunch box anytime during my 12-15 hour day and not have to worry about continually getting my phone out to log. Also, I can always delete foods if I don't get around to eating everything I bring with me) and have me around 900-1200 calories a day.

I have used P3s, greek yogurt, Quest chips (the sweet chili ones are my favorite!), apples are my commute home snack I share with my dog(she gets to go to work with me everyday :)), raspberries, Sandwich Bros pita burger things as some of the examples--they are also what I find myself using on a normal basis. I do have an issue in that I had covid back in August, I lost my taste and smell and it has come back mostly all the way but it has really messed up my taste buds namely for Tomato based foods(although ketchup is okay, go figure), there are other types that have an 'off' taste to them but I eating those isn't as much of an issue, and of course anything sugary/sweet has not had that wonderful off putting taste in it, in fact because they taste so close to normal that may be another reason I have gravitated so strongly to the sweets. Also I work at a vet clinic and all clients have gotten us for the past couple of months has been sugar(brownies, chocolate, doughnuts, etc etc--we joke you look at the break area and you get diabetes)😬...

I don't need lectures at this point....okay, maybe I do. 😐 I know I'm off track. 😕 I am getting in around 100oz of Water a day (made the water a priority when a plasma center opened up and my lemon of a dog decides she's going to need a few of the local specialty departments at the vet hospital and I have had zero issues donating at all), protein around 60-90 grams and my Vitamins are on track BUT for the most part I have gotten lazy tracking my food intake-another big no-no so calories could be anywhere from 900-1400 maybe more if I'm snacking all day.

So what are your go to snacks? Any help quitting sugar? I plan to do so when I am off since I know I'm a raging b*tch when I have quit sugar-at least the first 3ish days and my job is heavily customer facing. Is it worth it to just nix the snacks, stock up on a crap load of water, Protein Shakes and do the almost fully liquid diet I had to do preop(it was 2-3 protein shakes with one healthy meal) to help reset my taste buds? I have unflavored protein powder-anyone successfully add that into like a muffin cup(like a Kodiak Cake brand)? What about adding it into water with crystal light-kind of like the gatorade Protein Drinks but less chalky?

Thanks for any insight/help/tips etc you can pass my way, I appreciate it all! :D

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I’m going to jump right in & focus on your inner child sugar & snack craving & ask if you saw or still see a therapist? If not it may be worth asking your medical team for a recommendation to a one who specialises in supporting bariatric patients, disordered eating, etc. The battle to overpower those cravings will only be won when you deal with that inner child. At the moment that child is winning. Are you eating because you are truely hungry (because your body needs the calories to function) or is it just your inner child wanting to be satisfied & comforted?

Honestly, I didn’t specifically crave sugar or salt - I was an equal opportunity treat eater: sweet & savoury. 😉 I got them out of my house. If I don’t buy those foods & don’t have them in my house, I can’t eat them. I know it can be hard when it’s in the work place but try to avoid the break area. Go outside to eat if possible. I also try to prep most of what I eat myself so I can control the ingredients & how it’s cooked. While I was losing I ate pretty simply & a lot on repeat. It wasn’t boring. I actually found it less pressure because I didn’t have to think about what I was going to cook or eat. I had one snack a day: cheese, yoghurt (tub or drink), chunk of cucumber or fruit. Once you have those meals & food Snacks in your app you can just select them each day. You don’t have to recreate them every time. So a little hard work to begin.

Go back to only eating three times a day & no snacks or only one a day. It won’t be easy. Snacks add the calories which will slow your weight loss a lot. If the child screams at you, sip Water, have a cup of herbal or green tea, eat a little chicken, ham, or other deli meat, have some yoghurt, or a little piece of cheese as your snack - note they are all Protein dominant. Watch the fruit because of the high sugar content (though natural) so be selective - berries are best. Try to avoid traditional style snacks even if they’re high protein, low fat or low sugar versions - they keep the snack habit & craving alive. Try to avoid artificial sweeteners for the same reason - they continue to feed your sugar craving. You can explore them when you’re maintaining.

You don’t have to jump in with both feet & go cold turkey. Even making one change to what & how you eat at a time helps. Drop something this week. In a week or two swap something else out. Little changes are easy to accept & are little wins.

Just some suggestions. Feel free to ignore them all. Congrats on your weight loss so far.

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Thank you so much!😊

I don't have a therapist currently but I am almost positive I have ADD so next month at my annual I plan on discussing ideas/meds/therapy referral for it. It has made doing online school difficult at times, well a lot. And honestly the job I have (vet receptionist) requires so much focus and multi-tasking WELL I think takes all ability to do the same amount of focus later the same day on schoolwork. I could find a therapist without my PCP doing a referral but the therapist I found is in the same network as my PCP (Baylor Scott & White) and she specializes in several things including bariatrics so I figured I'd wait a few months to get a referral from my PCP...I called to get in sooner but my PCP was booked until March and my appointment was in early February so I was like I'll just wait thanks...🙃

Agree on the Snacks thing although does eating my allotted food for breakfast/lunch etc over the course of my day count as snacking if it isn't extra stuff? And yes, I agree with the "low sugar" etc snacks open up the wormhole. I just signed up for the monthly BariatricPal box so I am hoping I will discover new snacks and foods that are specifically for us I can add into my rotations---I think a lot of my snacks while normal aren't really 'normal' for me anymore--I bought myself some almonds but struggle with the idea of spending 180 of my calories on like 6 grams of protein--I do love the Greek yogurt at 120 calories and anywhere from 12-20 grams of protein!

I can't avoid the break area, I work at a vet clinic and it is not so strategically located right by the doctor's office where I am in and out all day to talk to my doctors about cases. And our break area is a sink, counter with microwave and snacks piled on top of it. 😑 I need to work on my will power and I am glad to see the holidays to be on their way out!

I have found with me, cold turkey is the best way to nix cravings. I don't get to be one of those people who can have "just one piece" here and there because that one piece on day 1 becomes me constantly snacking and seeking out sugar on day 5 or 6....it snowballs. I am debating going back for a week or two to the preop diet I had which was 2-3 Protein Shakes with a sensible dinner of lean meat and a vegetable and maybe I'll add in a fruit depending on how that goes to get me back on track. Stupid brain liking stupid garbage sugar. 😤

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I've always been a chocaholic. Still am in a way. But around mid-September I totally stopped eating all sugary treats and chocolate bars (I was eat two Giant Hershey bars a day!) and substituted them with GNC Swiss Chocolate Lean shakes with 25 g Protein. I still get my chocolate "fix" but in a healthy way. I just started eating Angie's Boom Chicka popcorn and Skinny Pop popcorn. I eat Quest Hero chocolate Peanut Butter bars.

I have never learned moderation. I can't open a bag of Cookies and eat just 1 or 2 . . . I end up eating the whole bag. So I have to avoid buying them or being around them.

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Here is a sweet tooth substitute for you that you can eat fairly guilt-free and will be reasonably full afterwards.

Take a Premier Protein premade 30g shake (any flavor). Pour it into a mixing bowl. Add in a 1.4 oz packet of sugar free instant pudding (any flavor that will mix well with the Protein Shake flavor). Whisk vigorously for 1-2 mins.

You can either eat it right there with a spoon (it will be the consistency of cake batter) or let it set in the fridge. It will taste sweet and has the following nutritional counts:
280 calories
8 g net carbs
31g protein
3 g fat

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My plan said it was okay to have "planned" Snacks, but NO grazing. So, don't take all morning to eat your Breakfast because you will be able to eat more if you eat it over more than 30-60 minutes as it will pass through your stomach. Personally, I am hungry all the time but I can't eat much at once, so I have to have snacks between my meals.

Also, for exercise, consider swimming or weight training/exercise bands. They may not hurt your hips like walking.

If you are not someone who can eat "just a little" sweets, probably the best thing to do is cut them out completely. I don't have a problem with artificial sugar, but some people find it makes their sugar cravings worse. For me, it can satisfy my sweet tooth (like sugar free hot cocoa - swiss miss with high Protein milk instead of water).

For high protein snacks, you have the right direction with Greek Yogurt (although many brands have lots of added sugar, so try to find ones with no added sugar), but what about cheese, or deli meat (I like deli meat with hummus on it). Hard boiled eggs are also good with hummus.

I like adding some heated up frozen strawberries (no sugar added) and some chia seeds to my Light and Fit Greek Yogurt .

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Others have chimed in on the important bits and I don't have anything important to add there, but I will say YES, go sign up for a series of appointments with your chiropractor. My body was all kinds of out of whack because 285-pound me is still moving as though we're 396 lbs. Everything hurt! The chiro set it right.

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I still have “dessert” after dinner. I was also a raging chocoholic, but almost a month out from my sleeve, I have dessert 30 mins after I finish dinner. Dessert consists of a sugar free applesauce, Jello cup, sugar free pudding, sugar free popsicle. I like this approach because it satisfies the urge for a sweet to end dinner, but doesn’t blow my calories or carbs. Right now this works for me and keeps me from feeling too deprived. Not Protein rich at all, but satisfies the sweet tooth and are very portable.

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Try some chia pudding too - bonus Protein. I flavoured mine with vanilla which I love but there are lots of flavour options about - just watch the calories of some of them.

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Firstly, you have done so amazingly well this year PLUS you've seen where you're going wrong and are doing something about it, so I have no doubt at all that you will lose those last 30lbs. Everyone here has given really good advice so as a fellow sugarholic I would just echo that, especially the cutting out of all sugar, all slider foods, and going back to basics - either yes, re-set your diet with a 2 week pre-op diet stint, or straight back to 3 meals of: Protein first, veg next, carbs last (or not at all) and protein-heavy Snacks in between if you need them - your greek yoghurt sounds ideal. I go for slices of chicken or turkey or even ham because they are easy to carry about. Or a hard boiled egg if you're really hungry in between meals. For work lunches I love Soup (heavy on the beans/lentils etc so you get your protein) or a chicken salad. Don't forget to load up on fluids before you eat and no drinking at all for at least half an hour after - if I forget and drink soon after eating I get hungry again quickly too!

Best of luck - let us know how this week goes. You've already got this.

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