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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Snacking vs. No Snacking after Surgical Weight Loss

Question from LivingAfterWLS Reader:
Am not a full (LAWLS) member yet, but think it's on the horizon for me..........I do get your recipe of the week and I have the Neighborhood Cookbook and I use it!

After reading and re-reading the 5 day pouch test, and the 4 Rules of living after WLS.................I am confused. I was at a "Back on Track" program in North Carolina and one locally and they both spoke often about snacks............the 4 Rules say NO SNACKS.........both of the other programs quoted and used Gallop's Glycemic Index and they talk snacks!

Answer from Kaye:
Thank you for writing.

I love it when someone tells me they are using the Neighborhood Cookbook - it does my heart good, thank you!

As for the No Snacking vs. Snacking philosophies in the WLS think tank: Just think of it as the Mason-Dixon line of the bariatric community. The American Society for Bariatric Surgeons has endorsed the Four Rules, including "No Snacking." However, there is now a rift in that professional community between snacking vs. no snacking. One side suggests 5 or 6 small MEALS a day with a focus on protein, and the glycemic index as you mention. The other group says absolutely no snacking because patients take liberties and snacking becomes grazing on non-nutritional foods and weight gain results (think pretzels, popcorn, crackers etc.) I think the reason the one group says "5 Meals" is because in this country the word "snack" is a euphemism for JUNK! Authentically, the mini meals (snacks) should be equal to one-half of the grams protein taken in a regular meal. This helps to balance and regulate the metabolic hormones: insulin and glucagon. White carbs are forbidden by both camps.

My standard reply is that one should always follow the exact advice from their specific bariatric surgeon and nutritionist.

My personal inclination is that we should listen to our bodies and use good sense. There are days when I go forever without eating and do not experience weakness, faintness or even hunger. So if I'm not hungry or uncomfortable I don't always eat all my meals. However, there are days when hunger gets me and yes, I'll take a snack, something with protein and fat like an egg, some cheese or even jerky. I just play it on the day and do the best I can to respect my body.

Response from reader:

I just want you to know how pleased and impressed I am that I heard back SOOOOOOOOO fast!

Weight Gain & Snacking

I can even see both sides, the big thing is the quality of the snack(s) and that's where many of us already have our issues! Thank goodness for people and sites like WLS, who knew?

YOUR TURN! Snacking or No Snacking? Comments welcome.


Unknown said...

"snacking" for snacking's sake---mindless eating----no not me

I eat every 2-3 hours, 6 times a day---it is my PLAN

but to just go grab because I "want" something---what most of us equate with "head hunger"---sometimes I give in to it---or feed it as I say

I have a history with serious emotional eating which is what head hunger really is. When it strikes---and the times are much fewer and farther between now at 3+ years post op--I'll eat---but choose something in keeping with my low carb higher fat lifestyle---deviled eggs, walnuts, some olives, some coffee with coconut oil added.

You have to listen to your body--I have found if I stick to a schedule of eating---not waiting until I'm starving to eat---I stay satisfied and make better food choices. But then again I plan my meals out in advance. So no standing in front of the fridge saying "what am I gonna cook".

Lisa Sargese said...

I think Kaye is right about paying attention to what our body needs. The quality of the foods we eat will determine our mouthy head hunger. The higher the quality of food the less I need to eat soon after.