I have a confession to make, I am a lazy…
Since having my gastric bypass reading food labels has become much more to me than just having a quick look at something to see how much sugar or fat something has in it. I read the labels of anything I’m considering eating and I pay far more attention to it when I read it. This is a really good habit to have developed and I’ve written a post about how to read food labels and you can check that out here.
This constant need for re-evaulation of what you are eating and the nutrient levels within the foods is especially important as you move up through the different dietary stages after surgery. As you move from puree to soft food and then transition to your new normal your dietary needs and the amounts you are getting from food changes. This is also impacted by reducing the amount of Optifast that you need to have the further out from surgery you get.
I tend to heavily investigate (Reallllllly read the food label) when I consider something new. Then if it’s appropriate I may refer to the label again a few times after I’ve started using it but once I know the protein levels per 100g off the top of my head I tend to stop referring to it altogether. It is important though to have a good handle on how much a 100g (or whatever size serving you are having) actually is and if that means you have to measure it out every time so be it.
I don’t use an app or anything to calculate my daily protein level because I know the approximate values of the things I eat regularly and I just add it up in my head as I go through my day. Because I use such a relaxed system of keeping track of it I need to remind myself to recheck labels every now and then to make sure I’m still on track in terms of serving size and protein content.
I got a bit of a fright the other day when I had guessed (and had been guessing for a long time) the weight of a tablespoon of protein powder. It turns out I was using half the amount I should have been which of course meant I wasn’t getting as much protein each day as I thought I had been. I was really surprised and it was something I’m glad I eventually figured out.
I think a focus on food and keeping an eye on the nutrient levels in foods are important to ensure long term success after bariatric surgery. Reading food labels is important but just as important is watching the serving sizes of the things you are making your meals up from. If you need to weigh things out to make sure the portion size is okay for a long time then do it. There’s still certain things I weigh out everytime because I don’t want to let it get away from me.
I am determined that I am going to maintain the healthy weight that I reached after my gastric bypass and by reading food labels, watching my portion sizes and constantly re-evaluating the nutrient levels in the things I eat is a strategy I think will play a huge part in being successful at this. How do you keep an eye on your protein levels? Do you make a habit of reading food labels? Comment below and let me know.