Three things I should NEVER leave home without…
  1. Water bottle
    Dehydration is the most common reason for readmission to the hospital. Dehydration occurs when your body does not get enough fluid to keep it functioning at its best. Your body also requires fluid to burn its stored fat calories for energy. Carry a bottle of water with you all day, especially when you are away from home. Remind yourself to drink even if you don’t feel thirsty. Aim to drink a minimum of 64 ounces of fluid a day. You can tell if you’re getting enough fluid is if you’re making clear, light-colored urine 5-10 times per day. Signs of dehydration can be thirst, headache, hard stools or dizziness upon sitting or standing up. You should contact your surgeon’s office if you are unable to drink enough fluid to stay hydrated.

  2. Emergency snack
    Protein-focused snacks that don’t need refrigeration (if you don’t have access to cooler) are ideal to keep in your purse or pockets. Keeping your energy up between meals by having a snack is the key to avoiding low blood sugar and/or overeating later in the day.

    Examples of good snacks include:
    – 100-calorie pack of nuts
    – RD Approved protein bars (i.e.; Quest bar; Premier protein bar; Pure protein bar; Think thin protein bar; NuGo Slim protein bar; Power Crunch, etc.)
    – low-fat Cheese stick
    – Edamame snack pack
    – Quest protein chips
    – low-fat Greek Yogurt ( i.e.; Okios Triple Zero; Dannon Light & Fit Greek)
    – low-fat Cottage Cheese

  3. Plan for your next meal
    Maintaining a regular eating schedule is SUPER important no mater what your plans are for the day. Being too busy is not an excuse! Planning and being organized is truly the key to success after weight loss surgery.

What do I eat when I’m out of the house and stuck eating fast foods?

If you’re eating at a restaurant for convenience – meaning you weren’t planning on eating out – you should choose a healthier option. This is bound to happen occasionally, whether it’s because you didn’t have time to pack your lunch or you forgot to do groceries last night. You don’t want to reward your lack of planning and organization with a high calorie fast food meal!

Here are some tips for picking out the healthier options at the average fast food restaurant:

Sandwiches and wraps
Choose a sandwich without the bread. If it’s a large sandwich, ask for a to-go box to take the other half home. Great options include: chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad, and deli meats. Wraps are also a great option. Opt for baked chicken rather than crispy chicken whenever possible.

Breakfast egg sandwiches
Choose a breakfast wrap or a breakfast sandwich without the bread/roll/english muffin and skip the bacon and sausage.

Almost all restaurants have green salads with chicken. Again, opt for grilled chicken instead of crispy chicken whenever possible. Always eat the protein first. Other high protein options include taco salads, chickpea salads, and bean salads. Choose a vinaigrette dressing rather than a high-fat creamy dressing. Ask for dressing on the side.

Whether you choose the vegetarian or meat version, chili packs a lot of protein. They’re also easy to digest, making them the perfect option if you’ve only recently transitioned to solid foods. Make sure it is not too spicy as this can aggravate your stomach and potentially cause heartburn if you haven’t healed completely yet!

You likely won’t be able to tolerate your favorite sushi rolls because of the rice, but there are several other equally satisfying options on most Asian-style menus you should consider:

– Indulge in an order of tarter or sashimi, as these rice-less options are easy to digest;
– Don’t be afraid to ask if your favorite sushi rolls can be made with a cucumber wrap instead of the traditional seaweed wrap;
– Order a side of edamame beans, which are both a food source of protein and fiber;
– Try a protein rich Asian soup which often has eggs, tofu, chicken, and/or shrimp. Leave the broth behind;
– Seared salmon or tuna over salad and a flavorful dressing.

Some other tips to remember:

– Skip the combo option even if it’s cheapest
– Don’t order a drink. You’ll be less tempted to drink and eat at the same time if you don’t have a beverage staring you down during your meal.
– Eat in the restaurant instead of in the car. If you’re driving and eating, food is more likely to block. You can’t be mindful if you’re multitasking!
– Choose foods described as: grilled, baked, sautéed, broiled, steamed, boiled, etc. as much as possible. These cooking methods are lower in calories.
– Many corner stores and gas stations now have ‘grab and go’ options in their fridges such as sandwiches, salads, protein shakes, yogurt parfaits, etc. Next time you get gas, make a note of three appropriate meal options you could choose if you were in a pinch.