Carbohydrates aren’t all bad. They supply many vitamins and minerals in the American diet. But, often times we eat too many of them and this can contribute to eating too many calories and gaining weight.
After gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap band surgery, patients are looking to lose weight, not gain weight. Reducing carbohydrate intake can be an easy way for bariatric surgery patients to reduce overall caloric intake and help promote weight loss.
But, how can gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients reduce their carbohydrate intake? We’ve got 3 simple ideas to help get you started:
- 1. Don’t slow your roll, change it!
Eliminate rolls, or wraps, or sandwich bread. You don’t need them. You can get healthy carbohydrates elsewhere. Instead, burgers or sliders can be wrapped in lettuce as a bun. Forget sandwiches and just stick to the protein by making meat and cheese roll ups. Or use fresh vegetables like carrots, pepper strips, celery sticks, or cucumber slices as a vehicle for your chicken, tuna, or egg salad instead of bread or crackers.
- 2. Choose Whole Grains
If you are eating carbohydrates, make them whole grain. Brown rice, quinoa, whole oats, whole grain barley, buckwheat, and whole wheat couscous can be better options for grains. They are higher in fiber than more refined grains. Fiber is good for three reasons. First, you don’t digest it, which means your body doesn’t absorb those calories, which are included on the Nutrition Facts label as a carbohydrate. Second, they can help you feel fuller for longer. And third, they can help you stay regular. This may not sound that helpful, but if you’ve even been in a position to feel constipated after bariatric surgery, you know that anything you can eat to help is a good thing, especially if it’s good for you, too.
- 3. Try Zoodles
Pasta is a staple for so many American diets. And while pasta has many benefits, it can add a lot of carbohydrates and calories to a diet, which is a no-no for weight loss surgery patients. To reduce calories, try zucchini noodles, or zoodles. A simple and inexpensive kitchen gadget can help you transform zucchini into noodles. You can eat them like traditional spaghetti and meatballs, or by slicing them wider, they can substitute zoodles for lasagna noodles.
If you are trying to reduce your carbohydrate intake, be creative! Try incorporating fruits or vegetables in place of carbs, if possible. You will reduce your overall calories and add in vitamin, minerals, and fiber from the fresh produce.
These suggestions are offered by Dr. Shillingford, M.D., P.A., a Center of Excellence surgeon specializing in advanced laparoscopic and weight loss surgery. Dr. Shillingford’s gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band patients come from all over Florida and the country, including Boca Raton, Miami, Orlando, New York, Detroit, and Houston, for his surgical skills, compassionate care, and reputation for affordable obesity surgery. Reducing overall caloric intake is crucial to weight loss, and can be accomplished by reducing your intake of carbohydrates, especially refined grains.