Our dietitian friends Lisa & Monica at Bariatric Surgery Nutrition who have contributed frequently to bariatriccookery.com are about to publish their new book that covers a multitude of questions relating to weight-loss surgery. I have been fortunate enough to see it in advance and can say without hesitation it will be so valuable to both pre- and post-op wls patients who need to check on some salient facts alongside those given by their busy bariatric teams. I found it a very useful reminder to refresh myself of so many aspects of ‘wls after-life’, and gain insights into new recommendations and advice based on current research findings.
Lisa and Monica have kindly allowed me to give you a taster of what you might find in the book with one of the most popular questions I get asked – “why do certain foods happily go down and settle one day, but not the next?” Read on for their answers and check the end of the blog for more details of the upcoming book plus a special offer for subscribers.
Why do certain foods go down one day, but not the next?
GUEST POST: Generally there are a few reasons this can happen including:
Cooking methods. If you tolerated a saucy chicken pot-pie, it doesn’t mean roast chicken will go down just as comfortably. Dryer methods of cooking (like broiling, roasting, grilling, and pan-frying) tend to be more difficult to tolerate. Moist cooking methods on the other hand (like steaming, braising, stewing, simmering, poaching) that involve liquids or a sauce are typically better tolerated. Also, be careful when microwaving, as the process of reheating foods can dry them out. A good way to keep the moisture in is by resting the lid on the container (not sealed) and stir after each minute until ready. If you’re reheating dry foods remember to sprinkle in some water, broth, tomato juice, milk, or low fat gravy to add additional moisture.
Mechanical reasons like not chewing well enough and taking large bites. You should always be sure to cut your food into small pieces—as small as your pinky fingernail to start—and chew your food until it’s puree in your mouth before swallowing. Remember that digestion starts in the mouth!
Emotional stress and anxiety can tighten the upper digestive system which makes food more difficult to tolerate. Do you find you eat more comfortably at home or on the weekends compared to at work? If so, your tolerance issues could be related to stress or anxiety. Always be sure to eat in a calm environment and start your meals by taking a few deep breaths to relax yourself and decompress. Some patients feel more comfortable eating alone at first (i.e. in their office instead of in the cafeteria).
Eating while multitasking! When you are eating, you should only be eating. We know that this is a tough one to practice, but eating while driving, watching TV, cleaning, working through lunch, etc. can distract you from taking small bites and chewing well. Do your best to put away distractions during meal times. If you choose to eat lunch in your office, mute the volume on your computer and turn off the monitor so you’re not tempted to check your email in between bites.
Posture. It sounds silly to discuss, but it’s true, poor posture can negatively affect digestion. If you are eating while slouched or reclined on the couch or awkwardly propped up on pillows in bed, chances are that you will experience some tolerance issues. When you are eating, you should ideally be sitting in a chair pulled close to the table with your bum as far back as possible and with your back nice and straight. Eating at the table in your kitchen or dining room will also give your meals and snacks more structure. Generally speaking, it’s a good habit to limit food and eating to only the kitchen and dining room.
“The Complete Guide to Weight Loss Surgery: Your Questions Finally Answered“
…this will be released soon! We spent A LONG time writing, editing, and preparing this book for the WLS community, and we’re looking forward to sharing it with you. The book will be available on Amazon in hard-copy form, but it will also be available for download from our website for which you will automatically receive 25% off simply for being a newsletter subscriber!
More details to come! See here for newsletter details.