Bariatric Eating Schedule

alarm clock

When it comes to the bariatric eating schedule, it's like trying to navigate a minefield of conflicting information.

  • Should you be eating like a king with 3 meals and 3 snacks a day?
  • Or should you be grazing like a gazelle every 1-2 hours?

Well, let me break it down for you, my gastric warriors. Here’s the…

Lowdown on the Bariatric Eating Schedule

In the early days post surgery, your stomach is still recovering and can't hold as much as it used to, so it's normal to eat 4-6 times a day to meet your all important protein goal.

Think of it like a newborn baby's feeding schedule, except instead of formula, you're sucking on protein shakes. But don't worry, it's not forever.

As time goes on and your stomach heals, you'll be able to comfortably meet your protein goal in 3 meals a day and there's no need to continue eating like a competitive eater.

In fact, eating too often can lead to less weight loss and more weight gain in the long run.

But wait, you say…

Isn’t Grazing a Winning Strategy?

First off, don’t confuse grazing with eating intentional, small frequent meals.

Grazing is more like mindlessly snacking on whatever is in front of you because of boredom, emotions, or never feeling satisfied with what you're eating. It's a recipe for weight loss sabotage.

On the other hand, eating small frequent meals every 2-4 hours with a plan in mind is intentional eating. It's not reactive like grazing is.

Rumor Busting

Let me clarify something real quick. You’ve probably heard that "grazing" is good for metabolism, but let me tell you, there's no scientific evidence to back that up. It's a real shame, I know. But let's be real, who needs science when we have common sense?

Navigating the bariatric eating schedule is certainly tricky...

Outsmarting Your Surgery

If you eat too often, you're basically outsmarting the whole concept of a smaller stomach. 

It's like trying to sneak into a concert with a fake ID; You might get in, but you're still breaking the rules. And why go through the surgery just to break the rules? 

Here's an analogy with money that might help:

Say you set yourself up on a budget and decide not to spend more than $10 a day. If you go out 15 times in a day, but only spend $1 at a time, you'll still break the bank. Spending $1 at a time, you might not go over your budget at once, but it'll add up in the end. The same goes for calories.

So, don't be a budget buster!

Make Meal Time Like a First Date

And just to cover all bases, let's talk about stretching out meals, shall we? You know, that habit of making a meal last longer than a Taylor Swift breakup. It's not a good idea. 

When you take a meal and stretch it over an hour, you're capable of eating more than you otherwise could.

After half an hour, the first bite is on its way out of your stomach making way (room) for more incoming bites. This makes it harder to know the correct and true portion size.

So, let's make a pact, shall we? 

Mealtimes should have a defined beginning and a defined end; like a first date, you don't want it to drag on for hours.

A meal should only last 20-30 minutes, and when you're done, you're done. Kitchen closed until the next mealtime, which should be several hours later.

The Bottom Line for Your Bottom Line:
Bariatric Eating Schedule

In the early days post surgery, it's normal to eat 4-6 times a day to meet your protein goal. But as your stomach heals, you should aim to meet your protein goal in 3 meals a day.

Grazing, or mindlessly snacking throughout the day, is not a winning strategy and can lead to weight gain in the long run.

Eating small, frequent meals every 2-4 hours with a plan in mind is a better approach.

It's important NOT to stretch out meals, but rather, to have a defined beginning and end to your meal times.

The bariatric eating schedule is an ever evolving journey. Enjoy your travels!

Next up: Learn to eat mindfully to master the bariatric portion sizes!

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