As I become acquainted with many of our LivingAfterWLS.com community members I'm finding that old snacking habits have crept back in to our lives. In my third year post-op I returned to the miserable habit of snacking and snacking on all the wrong foods. Crackers, popcorn, toast, cereal, pretzels, sugar-free candy, granola bars. The unpleasant result of this is I regained some weight, several dumping episodes, vomiting and bouts of fatigue.
According to my bariatric center "Snacking, nibbling or grazing on foods, usually high-calorie and high-fat foods, can add hundreds of calories a day to your intake, defeating the restrictive effect of your operation. Snacking will slow down your weight loss and can lead to regain of weight. "
Almost universally the snacks WLS patients admit to eating are high carbohydrate, nutritionally void processed foods. In order to maintain weight loss after gastric bypass successful patients avoid these poor snack choices:
What you will notice about the poor snack choices is that most are nutritionally void foods – they do nothing to feed your body the vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs to function well. In addition when grazed upon many of these foods can be consumed in large quantities by gastric bypass patients. It's called the "soft foods phenomena". When WLS patients eat soft foods (think crackers) which mix with stomach fluids a slurry results. This mixture passes through the pouch into the bypassed intestine allowing for steady intake without satiation. In addition, these foods may cause dumping or vomiting.
You may be surprised to see trail mix and granola on the foods to avoid list as they are well known "health foods." It's true trail mix and granola are nutritionally dense but most bariatric patients report a low tolerance for nuts, seeds and raisins. In addition many of these foods contain hidden sugars.