Are you preparing for bariatric surgery or already post-surgery? If so, it’s not just about the fitness journey but how you approach your meals and grocery shopping. With the multiple changes that happen to your body after surgery, especially regarding portion control and nutrient intake, it’s important to be well-informed to ensure a healthy life and long-term success.
We want to help you take a mindful approach to eat healthy foods full of essential nutrients while still leaving plenty of room for variety on your plate (or bowl!).
Read on as we provide tips and tricks that can help make transitioning into a healthier lifestyle easier after bariatric surgery.
What Is Portion Control?
Portion sizes are the suggested amounts of food that you should eat at any one time. They are not meant to be exact guidelines, but rather good suggestions for what would be considered reasonable portion sizes for a healthy person.
Portion Size After Gastric Sleeve
Whether you have a gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery the portion size after weight loss surgery is going to decrease.
After the gastric sleeve, you will be able to eat less food at a time due to your smaller stomach.
So how do you portion control and ensure your portion sizes are right for your new stomach? How do you ensure you digest food that is good for you and avoid eating too many of the wrong foods?
How to Portion Control?
There are a few tricks to portion control. Firstly, you should portion out your food onto a plate before cooking it. This way you can make sure that the portion sizes are healthy and will not be too much for your new post-op diet plan.
Another portion control tip is to use a digital scale to portion food into smaller, more manageable portions. For example, if you were going to portion out 100 grams of meat or chicken, it would be easy to measure the small portions using scales and then serve the right amounts out once completed.
You can also use measuring spoons, cups and other measuring devices to measure out single-serving sizes. This way, you’ll know exactly how much food is on your plate or in your bowl before eating it.
The general rule of thumb is to start with small meals and then work your way up as you get used to eating smaller portions.
Start by measuring out the food so that you know how much each plate should have. This will help you avoid overeating and overloading with unhealthy snacks.
Portion Size Post Gastric Bypass
Portion control is something that you will have to think about regularly to help maintain a healthy diet.
Portion control is important for weight loss surgery patients as it helps them to follow a healthy eating plan and can help to prevent potential problems from overeating or having too much of the wrong foods.
Also take small bites, try using small plates and smaller utensils when eating your own food. This allows you to slow down and enjoy the food while ensuring that you are not overeating.
It is important to remember that portion size post gastric bypass will be much smaller than what it was before your surgery.
The key is to listen to your body and take small bites, gradually increasing the amount of food as needed. You should aim to have around six small meals per day and over time cut down to three meals.
What Portion Sizes Might You See After Gastric Bypass Surgery?
The portion sizes for a bariatric patient are much smaller than what you may be used to seeing, as those patients need to eat less food to feel full.
However bariatric patients should follow dietary guidelines to ensure they still get the proper nutritional value from their drinks and meals.
Having balanced meals with high protein foods, vegetables and complex carbohydrates will help to provide the body with the nutrients it needs and prevent nutrient deficiencies.
Portions Sizes Straight After Bariatric Surgery
Immediately after gastric bypass surgery, I was able to have a few teaspoons of soup or liquids per meal.
This then increased over time until I reached a regular amount of soft foods like cottage cheese and eventually solid foods that worked for me and aided me with my weight loss. This was guided by my nutritionist and weight loss surgery team.
Portion Size and Protein Intake
One portion size that may need to be adjusted is the amount of protein. Getting enough protein after bariatric surgery is very important.
Ensuring a good portion of protein for each meal will help preserve muscle tissue and promote healthy muscles and bones without being too much or taking in too little.
How Big Should My Food Portions Be After Gastric Bypass Surgery?
The portion sizes you should have are dependent on many things, including how long it’s been since you’ve had surgery.
If you’ve just recently had a gastric bypass or another similar procedure completed, your portion sizes will be restricted based on your doctor’s orders.
Once you’ve been post-op for a few months, portion control gets much easier.
Generally, portion sizes after weight loss surgery such as gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy will depend on what you are eating and how often.
For example, if you are having chicken breast three times per day then portion control would mean eating 3-4 ounces of chicken at a time and limiting other food choices such as carbohydrates or fats.
Every Patient Is Different
It is important to remember that every person is different, so it is best to speak with your doctor or dietician if you are unsure about what would be considered reasonable portion sizes for a healthy person.
Eat Slowly to Prevent Vomiting
You should always eat slowly after a gastric bypass no matter what your portion size. Remember to fill up on calorie-free fluids between meals and stop eating as soon as you feel full.
If you eat too much you may suffer pain or even dumping syndrome.
Dumping syndrome is a medical condition that happens when food moves too quickly from the stomach to the small intestine and can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, dizziness or faintness.
Batch Cooking and Using Portion Control Containers for Weight Loss
Batch cooking and portioning meals into portion-sized containers is one way to ensure you have a good balance of protein vegetables and carbs in your meal.
If you’re looking for some good containers for storing your bariatric meals I’d recommend these reusable plastic bento style containers from Amazon.
Ice cube trays not only store food well but they are also divided into sections to assist you in portioning the food out correctly.
Alternatively, you can measure out food and place it into a ziplock bag. Both options work well to assist the bariatric diet.
Portion Control Plates
Another great tool to help you control your portion sizes after bariatric surgery is to use a portion control plate.
A portion control plate helps you to portion out your food into the correct portion sizes. You can find a portion control plate on Amazon and they make it very easy to follow your post-bariatric diet.
Try a Food Journal
One good way to ensure that you are getting the right amount of food is to keep a food journal.
A food journal helps to track what and how much you’ve eaten daily. This is useful to monitor your weight loss progress as well as ensure that you are eating correctly the right portion and not overeating or undereating.
Here Is a Great Portion Size Idea for Bariatric Patients:
Immediately after gastric bypass, you won’t be able to eat much especially whilst on a pureed food diet.
I recommend investing in a set of ice cube trays. You can fill these with pureed meats and veg and this can be easily portioned out for each meal. One serving or meal is about the size of three ice cubes.
What Type of Foods Are Good for a Bariatric Surgery Patient
There are many types of foods that a bariatric surgery patient can enjoy!
As portion control is vital, I’m going to share with you the three main foods to portion out. They are proteins, vegetables and Carbohydrates.
Protein Portions After Gastric Bypass Surgery
My favorite type of food to portion out after weight loss surgery was protein. Protein plays an important role in your new weight loss plan, portioning it well is vital.
Protein is an important part of your diet that can aid you with portion control, staying healthy and feeling full at the same time.
Protein will often keep you fuller for longer periods than carbohydrates or fats, allowing you to make better choices during your meals.
Here are some great high protein snack ideas that may come in handy!
Vegetable Portions After Gastric Bypass Surgery
Vegetables are a great portion-controlled food to eat after weight loss surgery because they are low in calories but high in nutrients.
Eating one portion of vegetables with each meal and snack will ensure that you are getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly.
This is so important following gastric bypass surgery as your body is in much need of nutrition and goodness to heal.
Carbs After Bariatric Surgery
Carbs or carbohydrates should be portioned out carefully because too many carbs in one meal can equate to weight gain, not weight loss.
To portion out carbs try to stick to a small amount such as two spoons of rice, potato or pasta.
Choose Carbs Last
Carbs are the last food you should eat after you have filled up on protein and vegetables. This portion control method will ensure that you are not overdoing it and gaining weight where you don’t want to.
Portion Control Diet
Whether or not you have had weight loss surgery, portion control is vital to any healthy diet.
By reducing your portion sizes and eating the correct types of food in the right quantities you can make a big difference to your health and well-being.
Use these tips to help you with portion control after bariatric surgery or if you’re just looking to eat healthier. Good luck!
Enjoy Food After Gastric Bypass
Weight loss surgery is not about deprivation, it’s about finding new and creative ways to enjoy all your favorite foods in smaller portions.
Following the tips above will help you manage your portion sizes wisely and ensure that you are getting the nutrition you need while still reaching your weight loss goals.