Bariatric Diet Calories: How Many?

Q: How Many Calories do I need to be eating on my bariatric diet?

A: This is a common question, but a tough one to answer…

…because there is no exact answer!  

What’s Likely:

  • In the first few months: 300-600 calories/day
  • 1 year or more: 800-1200 calories/day

Worried You’re Not Eating ENOUGH Calories?

For the first few months after weight loss surgery, you can’t eat enough to meet your nutrient needs. There’s just not enough room in your stomach.

That’s why taking vitamins is sooooo important! Bariatric specific vitamins will help you fill in the nutrient gaps.

Worried You’re Eating TOO MANY Calories?

Instead of counting calories to make sure you don’t go over a certain amount…

…it’s better to focus on choosing the right foods. You won’t be able to overeat the right foods. You will, however, be able to overeat the wrong foods.

Simply focusing on calories doesn’t necessarily help you pick healthy foods.

Low calorie cookies are still cookies!!

This is why I personally don’t encourage calorie counting.

Get Bariatric Diet Calories from the Right Foods:

Lean proteins:

  • Lowfat Greek Yogurt
  • Lowfat Cottage Cheese
  • Eggs, Egg whites, Egg beaters
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Tuna fish
  • White fish
  • Salmon (fresh, canned, or pouches)
  • Sardines
  • Lean Ground Meats: 93/7% Ground Chicken, Turkey, or Beef
  • Beans
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits

These are the best foods to eat because they are real, whole, nutrient dense foods.

They’re also “self-limiting.” This means you’ll only be able to eat small amounts of them because they’re so filling. You won’t’ have to make a conscious effort to less of these.

Can you remember a time when you ever overate tuna? Or black bean chili? Or binged on fruit? I would guess not!

The “Right Calories” Will Be Harder to Eat

They require small bites, lots of chewing, and a slow pace.  That’s why mindful eating is so important!

Practice mindful eating with me here on YouTube.

Avoid Bariatric Diet Calories from the “Wrong Foods”

White bread, white pasta, white rice are the wrong foods. So are packaged, processed foods including snack foods and sweets.

Its common to want to eat “slider foods” like chips, crackers, pretzels, popcorn, and cereal because they go down “so easy.” But if a food goes down easy…

…it also empties from your stomach easy. This means:

  • You can eat more (translation: more calories)
  • You feel hungry soon after

Choose the right foods and the calories will take care of themselves.

Bariatric diet calorie awareness is certainly important, but meticulous calorie counting isn’t necessary…

…IF you choose the right, healthy foods.

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