Thursday, June 30, 2011

How Many Meals? How Many Snacks?

I follow quite a few blogs now.  I'm noticing that so many of my fellow banded bloggers are saying their Bariatric surgeons insist they only eat 3 meals per day, no snacks allowed.  Are you kidding me?  Do you guys follow that rule, really?  

I  have publicly disagreed with that logic by leaving comments on so many blogs, I felt it was time to address the issue on my own.

For the record, my surgeon and his nutrition staff suggest we eat 3 meals per day, and 2 protein snacks.  Having 2 snacks planned into your daily routine helps prevent blood sugar dips and spikes.  I agree with that wholeheartedly as I have always had problems with hypoglycemia.  If my blood sugar drops, I'm more inclined to just grab the quickest, easiest food item and shove it in my mouth to get the icky feeling to go away.  I'm not likely to pay much attention to the nutritional value of said food.  I can avoid that by having my 2 built in snacks.
The other bonus, for me at least, is that I don't feel like I'm being deprived, or on yet another diet, when I'm allowed to snack.

I read an article recently in an issue of Cooking Light which basically stated the same thing.  They went even further by stating that keeping your body fueled all day and eating 5-6 times per day helps with metabolism and maintaining energy.  I had to smile, reading that article made me feel smart (and right!).

So, I did some research today and googled "Bariatric Diet Plans" to see what I could come up with .  I found out that tons of bariatric docs actually post their post-op diet plans on line.  I even found the one from my home town hospital!  I read a bunch of them, and guess what?  Of the ones I read (and I'm sure there are others that give totally differing information), they all said we should be eating 1-3 snacks per day!  Again, yay me.  One even said..."if you're still hungry while having 2 sensible snacks per day, then you're not getting enough protein".

My point is for those of you out there who are struggling and beating yourselves up about eating between meals.  You're normal!  You're supposed to keep your body fueled, you're supposed to have snacks.  Now, I'm not saying you should polish off a bag of chips between lunch and dinner, but it stands to reason that a cheese stick or a SF pudding during your 3pm. lull just plain makes sense!

Here's some info. I stole from a WLS practice in Lexington, KY...just to further prove my point!

From St. Joseph Health System, Kentucky

Lifestyle changes and behavioral modifications, in addition to bariatric nutrition, play a major role in long-term weight loss success after surgery. Recommendations to a healthier lifestyle include:
  • Eat three meals a day and avoid skipping meals
  • Avoid nibbling and grazing between meals
  • Focus on eating lean protein and vegetables
  • Slow down and take at least 20 minutes to eat each meal
  • Chew, chew, chew! Small bites!
  • No fluid while eating or one hour after eating
  • Set a meal schedule
  • Plan snacks and meals
  • Eat out less
  • Practice mindful eating
  • Begin some form of exercise, preferably three to five times a week for 30 minutes each time
Happy snacking people!


Jody V said...

Mine also suggests 3 meals a day and 2 protein snacks. Thanks for reminding me! LOL!!

Andrea Brooks said...

Mine suggests no snacks, but I disagree. I think it should say no grazing, or no unplanned eating. I think they should be healthy snacks, like I have a piece of cheese, boiled egg, nuts, fruit, etc. Mine also says eat 2-3 meals per day but don't eat if you're not hungry. Before I got the lap-band I read the Sugar Busters book and I agree with that low-glycemic way of eating which helps the the blood sugar spikes. It's interesting how varied the "rules" are between doctors.

Ronnie said...

I think everyone's different, I think if we could all be SURE to have a protein-rich-yet-still-low-cal snack everyone would want to have a snack or two. The rub is, most people would want something naughty. So for me, not snacking works. And I'm not even really hungry for a snack anyway. :)

FitBy40 said...

Andrea, thanks for the book idea...I'll have to get that one!