To snack or not to snack?
That's the million dollar "diet after lap band surgery" question everyone wants answered!
There seems to be a lot of confusion about eating with lap band and the number of meals that are recommended.
So here's what I, a bariatric dietitian, have to say about the topic...
Eating After Lap Band
First off, let me say it maddens me to no end when I hear of bariatric surgeons telling their patients that eating after lap band should be limited to 3 meals only.
Think about it...
...if you can only eat ~ 1/2 cup - 1 cup of food at a time, how in the world are you going to fit in all the nutrition your body requires by eating this small quantity only 3 times per day?
See the gastric band food pyramid.
I believe the lap band diet advice to "not snack" is intended to impart the message that you shouldn't mindlessly eat between meals.
There is a difference between eating healthy, planned snacks and mindlessly grazing.
Unfortunately both are refered to as "snacking."
As a result, healthy, planned, in-between-meal-eating gets a bad rap and makes you feel like a child worthy of punishment for even considering the notion.
Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!!
I cannot say it enough...
There is a difference between eating healthy, planned snacks and mindlessly grazing!!
Eating With Lap Band: Discard the Word "Snack" From Your Vocabulary
Maybe it would help to simply discard the word "snack" all together. After all, it usually conjures up images of unhealthy foods anyway.
Try replacing the word "snack" with "mini-meal."
Doing so is useful because the word "meal" conjures up images of real food.
Could you resolve to eat 5-6 "mini-meals" per day, at regular, planned intervals (every 3-4 hours)?!
This really is the same result as eating 3 meals + 2-3 healthy "snacks." However, by thinking of every eating occasion as a mini meal, you're more likely to make better food choices.
So a better question than "To Snack or Not To Snack?" is "To Eat Mini Meals or Not to Eat Mini Meals?
When posed in this way, I think the answer becomes quite obvious...
YES, YES, YES!
Diet After Lap Band: Mini-Meal Composition
A good, balanced mini-meal should contain a source of protein and at least one other food group. Portion size should be approximately 4-8 ounces (1/2-1 cup).
See this list of menu suggestions for diet after lap band.
More of My Professional Advice You May Find Useful
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