After weight loss surgery (WLS), you will adopt an improved method for adding fuel to your body in a healthier way, by consuming high-protein, low-fat and low-carb meals. Weight regain is more likely to happen when WLS patients veer away from the bariatric meal plan and fall back on old eating habits.
One way to stay on track is to modify higher-calorie, high fat and/or high sugar recipes to make them more bariatric friendly.
When you change a recipe, the first thing to consider is the purpose of each ingredient — some provide flavor, some offer texture or structure (particularly when making baked goods) and others are used as a binder or for moisture.
With the holiday season fast approaching, I’d like to offer a few ways to prepare your favorite family recipes, but with fewer calories, fat and carbs.
Healthier Flavor and Moisture Substitutes
If the ingredient is required for flavor or moisture/binder, you can readily change them. For example, when making dips, use fat-free plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. In this case, the sour cream is there to bind the other ingredients and provide moisture.
Greek yogurt serves the same purpose as sour cream, but with far fewer calories and more protein and other important nutrients.
Holiday and everyday recipes can be modified by changing ingredients that add the most calories – usually fats and sugars.
To lower the fat, try these suggestions:
- Use low-fat cheese instead of full-fat cheese
- Use skim (nonfat or fat free) or 1% milk instead of whole milk
- Avoid using (or use less) butter, margarine or oils
- Use cooking spray to “grease” a pan
- Use nonfat, plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
- Use lean meat instead of high-fat meats and protein foods
- Bake, grill, broil or steam foods instead of frying (pan or deep fry) or sauté
To reduce sugar, try these easy and delicious substitutions:
- Use only ¾ to ½ of the listed sugar ingredient
- Use artificial sweeteners instead of sugar
- Use sugar-free syrups instead of regular syrups
- Use no-added-sugar jams and fruit spreads
- Use canned fruit in natural juice or water, not packed in syrup
When modifying a recipe, make one change at a time, so you know how each change affects the recipe’s outcome. Keep a record of how you adjusted the recipe.
Modifying recipes is a great way to make some of your family favorite recipes more bariatric friendly. In addition, by making holiday favorites more healthful, you can stay true to your bariatric plan and not gain weight over the holiday season.
I would love to share your favorite bariatric-friendly recipe with our other patients and our monthly bariatric support group meetings. Please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prime Surgicare’s Bariatric Success Program Features Nutritional Counseling
Prime Surgicare’s one-of-a-kind Bariatric Success Program offers a five-pronged approach to preparing and ensuring your long-term weight loss success, including private visits with bariatric nutritionist, Lori Skurbe.
To find out more, register for one of our free monthly bariatric seminars or webinars, or call our weight loss surgery specialists at (732) 982-2002 to schedule your private consultation.
Dietitian’s Corner is a monthly column for post-op and pre-op patients of bariatric surgery in NJ written by Prime Surgicare’s Lori Skurbe. Lori has been a dietitian for over 20 years with an extensive background in weight management, bariatric nutrition and diabetes education.