Planning: Your Weapon Against Temptation
By Antonia Pinckney, RD CDE RN
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up someplace else”. I don’t know if Yogi Berra was on a weight loss journey when he said this, but it reveals an important principle for the bariatric patient: have a plan for meals and snacks or you may end up eating the very things you are trying hard to avoid.
Why is meal planning a missing element in many people’s routines? Two powerful forces are working against you. First off, if you’re like most people, you’re cramming more and more into your busy day. Secondly, your environment is loaded with convenient, high calorie food options. When you’re in a hurry, it’s hard to resist a tasty restaurant takeout, or a fast food drive-thru on your way home. Think of a written food plan as your weapon against these temptations.
Go easy on yourself by starting simple. Write down three days worth of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. Choose those foods that are simple to prepare, and use them again and again. Then make a shopping list from your plan. Templates for this purpose are easy to find online. Try making larger quantities of some meals so that other nights you can eat leftovers. If you forget which foods a bariatric meal should include, revisit the nutrition materials you got when you were preparing for your surgery or make an appointment to see your dietitian.
Sure, putting your meals and snacks down on paper, along with listing what you need from the market, takes a small upfront investment of time. But it can save you time, money and calories in the long run. The best part...no more last minute runs to the supermarket, no more throwing away spoiled food you forgot about in your fridge, and no more high calorie foods slowing down your progress...because you have a plan!