It’s about time we nose-dive into the details of the foods that might wreak havoc on your restriction. In other words: foods that make you feel like you stretched your pouch because you can *suddenly* eat more. Spoiler alert: you didn’t stretch your pouch, some foods are simply not as “dense” as others. But we’re totally running ahead of things. So, first things first. Why are slider foods called slider foods?
What are slider foods?
Slider foods are typically high-carb foods that are low in protein and have little fiber. Slider foods tend to be low in nutritional value too. In other words: they offer little nourishment from protein, fiber, unsaturated fats and vitamins and minerals.
Slider foods have the following characteristics:
- Slider foods don’t keep your pouch full for long.
- Slider foods become liquid fast once they’re in your mouth (and might require less chewing).
- They might increase the risk of dumping syndrome.
- They won’t always be deemed appropriate when you’re in the early stages post-op.
- They need little time to digest.
- It might be easier to overeat or overindulge in them.
- Slider foods are often trigger foods too.
Now, don’t label slider foods as ‘bad’ foods. Food doesn’t have a moral value. But it is important to be mindful of all slider foods as they can sabotage weight loss after bariatric surgery. And they can also become a pitfall for emotional and yes, even binge eating post-op.
How to recognize slider foods in real life
Knowing how slider foods “operate” in your digestive system is one thing. But recognizing them when in day-to-day life might be equally as important. Here’s a list with slider foods to remember. But keep in mind that this list is generic. For example, not all cookies are created equal. Some cookies, might have more fiber and protein in them than other ones.
- Ice Cream
Why slider foods don’t keep you full for long: a quick “digestion” class
Bariatric surgery isn’t just about how ‘little’ you can eat. Or the size of your portions alone. Of course, portion control is incredibly important. And bariatric surgery helps you tremendously with that, as your stomach is reduced to about 20% of its original capacity. But, there’s a but! What you really want to focus on, nutrition-wise, is having high-quality meals and be mindful of certain eating habits. Slider foods can be an enormous pitfall, because they usually don’t support these basic bariatric principles. Let’s explain why.
Not all food is created equal. If we look at the different macronutrients, carbohydrates, protein and fat, there’s a difference in what way different foods affect your satiety levels.
For example, the digestion of carbohydrates starts in the mouth with an enzyme called ‘amylase’ whereas protein digestion doesn’t start until the food has entered your pouch.
Simple sugars (what slider foods often are made of) are already partly digested before entering your stomach. Add low protein and low fiber on top of that, and you have the perfect recipe for food that doesn’t keep you full for long.
How to navigate slider foods after bariatric surgery
Again, slider foods aren’t bad foods, but let’s be real, they’re not the type of foods that are going to help you meet your post-op nutritional goals when eaten on a daily basis.
And when eaten by themselves it can be very tempting to consume larger quantities than intended to. Also, slider foods are not appropriate in the early stages after bariatric surgery when you’re still following your surgeons’ post-op diet (to a T, remember?).
When eating slider foods, you might:
#1 Sabotage weight loss because of their high caloric properties
#2 Risk dumping syndrome because of their high sugar properties
So is there something you can do to make Slider Foods more nutritious?
So, is there something you can do to create balance on your plate? Is it possible to enjoy some slider foods in moderation, so that you’re not falling for an all-or-nothing mentality, years down the line?
Actually, there is!
By adding high-protein and high-fiber foods to your snack-plate, you create more balanced meals. By adding more nutritious foods to your meals and snacks, you honor your hunger – and you minimize cravings too.
Also, healthy fats have to be taken into this equation too. Unsaturated fats, such as found in avocados, nuts and seeds and olive oil for example, provide fat-soluble vitamins and they keep you full longer.
High-protein and high-fiber foods that you can potentially add to slider foods
If you want to be more mindful about slider foods without eliminating them out of your diet for the rest of your existence (this approach might be the most realistic approach when it comes down to having a healthy relationship with food – but it may differ from person to person) – then you might want to consider what you can add instead of what you have to cut off (forever).
Adding foods high in protein and/or fiber (or unsaturated fats) – creates more nourishment on your plate. High protein and high fiber foods have the ability to curb appetite and cushion your blood sugar levels. This in turn can help with portion control without spiraling back into an all-or-nothing mentality where only “good” and “bad” foods exist. Now, here are a few examples of how slider foods might be paired together:
- Cheese (eg. cheese paired with crackers)
- Any type of dairy product, like Greek yogurt (eg. chips paired with a Greek yogurt dip)
- Legumes (eg. nachos paired with a hummus dip)
- Fruit (eg. grapes paired with popcorn)
- Vegetables (eg. deli plate with carrots, cucumber and crackers)
Key takeaways about slider foods
- Slider foods aren’t necessarily ‘bad foods’ (remember, we don’t want to demonize foods, we just want to be mindful about which foods serve your purpose and which ones don’t).
- Slider foods can negatively impact your weight loss journey.
- And they can be a pitfall for disruptive eating patterns like extreme emotional eating.
- Slider foods are low in nutritional value but have a high hedonic effect (it impacts the reward center in your brain).
- Slider foods, when eaten by themselves, won’t keep you full for long.
- Pairing slider foods with a high-fiber and/or high-protein food makes your snack more filling and nutritious.
- But remember: slider foods aren’t always appropriate after bariatric surgery – always discuss with your bariatric team when or if it’s appropriate to add new foods to your plate.
When you finally found a place to nourish your tummy and your mind
Bariatric surgery is by far the easy way out. And navigating slider foods is just one of the many hurdles to tackle once you had your digestive system surgically altered.
So many people just say “eat less, and move more”.
But do any of these people know that fighting a chronic disease called obesity isn’t as simple as that?
If you’re tired of doing the same things over and over again, without seeing any progress, then The Bariatric Blueprint might be just what you need.
In this book, you’ll find 21 chapters dedicated to make your journey work. To understand the “why” behind the most common struggles post-op (did someone say pouch stretching, weight stalls, regain? Yep it’s all there!).
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