Even if you do not plan to do so, if you have an eating disorder it is incredibly easy to find small ways to cheat on a diet after weight loss surgery. Since my gastric sleeve, for instance, I've watched little treats creep into my eating patterns. After my talk with my surgeon about protein, I decided it was time to search the refrigerator and do a methodical purge. Here are the foods that went on the endangered species list.
Culprit: Ice Cream
Problem: My favorite type of ice cream is Ben and Jerry's. I used to tell myself I ate it only for the politics, but let's be honest, it's also some of the best ice cream out there. Ben and Jerry's is even kind enough to sell some of their most popular flavors in itsy-bitsy cartons. What harm could they do? Well, when you consider that each of those itsy-bitsy cartons contains around 200 calories and almost no protein or other substance of nutritional value, the verdict isn't so good.
Culprit: Soft breads, croissants, muffins
Problem: The problem with these foods is two-fold. First, no matter how much I love them--and I do love them--they upset my stomach. Within twenty minutes after the first bite, I'm miserably sick, gulping Zofran like candy, and promising myself I'll never do anything so dumb again. The second problem is that these foods are high in carbohydrates but have little or no protein, so I can't even argue they're a good nutritional choice.
Culprit: Chocolate Peanut Butter
Problem: Wal-Mart offers a species of cocoa-enhanced peanut butter to die for. Sure, it's got a lot of calories, but not any more than regular peanut butter, and a two tablespoon helping nets you a whopping six grams of carbohydrates. Unfortunately, this product is a chocolate lover's dream, and it's awfully hard to stop eating after that two-tablespoon serving. Because it's so damned easy to consume a day's worth of calories in a few ecstatic bites, chocolate peanut butter had to go on the problem list.
Status: RESTRICTED to no more than one jar per month.
Culprit: Mousse Temptations from Jell-O
Problem: They're sugar-free, only 60 calories per carton, and they even offer two grams of protein per serving. What could be wrong with that? Well, it's easy to indulge and eat two or even three of those small cartons. That drives the calorie count up to 180, and although I do get six grams of protein from the deal, Mousse Temptations carries very little else in the way of nutritional value. Besides, if I fill up on that, I'm not eating the foods that are really good for me like tuna, lean meats, low fat cheese, eggs, and nutritional shakes.
Status: RESTRICTED to one Mousse Temptation per day.
Culprit: Diet Coke
Problem: Diet Coke has no calories, so it isn't going to make me fat, but it is a carbonated beverage that can uncomfortably expand the small portion of stomach that remains after a gastric sleeve. And again, filling up on Diet Coke means not filling up on healthy foods.
Status: RESTRICTED to one small can or cup a day, between meals
I'm sure as the weeks go by, I'll find other foods that need to be weeded out of my diet as well.
And weed them, I will. I'm serious about this weight loss thing. This is a game with only one possible ending, and that is me winning and becoming the healthy, capable human being I know I can be.