Calorie restriction is an integral part of post-bariatric surgery diet. But it’s far from the only thing that matters when it comes to optimizing weight loss and weight management. Also important, according to the results of an award-winning study on dietary interventions and weight loss treatments? Plant-based eating.
Here’s a closer look at how plant-based bariatric diets support greater weight loss and can therefore serve as a beneficial complement to calorie counting for bariatric surgery patients.
While there are several different kinds of bariatric surgery procedures, calorie restriction and portion control are common theme among every bariatric diet. Bariatric patients also know that limiting high-sugar foods and refined carbohydrates will further help them achieve better weight loss results.
Says the Obesity Action Coalition, “First and foremost, remember that your overall dietary goal is to optimize the nutritional value of the small portions of foods you eat so you get the nutrients your body needs to be healthy. Portion sizes for meals should be no more than six to eight ounces total, and this should make you feel full or at least ‘satisfied.’”
But taking a different approach to eating also has its benefits, say scientists. As University of South Carolina researcher Brie Turner-McGrievy, PhD told The Obesity Society: “Many researchers agree that vegan eating styles are tied to lower BMI, lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes, and less weight gain with age. This is the first randomized study that directly compares how vegan, vegetarian, and omnivorous dietary patterns that do not emphasize caloric restriction can impact body weight. We found that participants consuming vegan and vegetarian diets lost an average of 8.2 to 9.9 pounds over eight weeks while those consuming some meat lost 5.1 pounds.”
In other words, when it comes to getting the most nutrition out of the least amount of food, plant-based diets offer the inside edge over animal-based diets, say scientists. In fact, even when you take calorie counting out of the equation, people who adopt plant-based eating habits come out ahead when it comes to weight loss.
You may be wondering how this aligns with another key facet of the post-bariatric surgery diet: Protein requirements. After all, protein is of vital importance for weight loss patients, with most bariatric diets mandating between 60 and 100 grams daily. Says the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS): “Protein should be eaten at every meal and snack throughout the day...If you try to include proteins in each meals or snacks, you’re less likely to feel hungry when it’s not time to eat.”
While meat is one of the most obvious sources of protein, it’s not the only one. The takeaway, given the research on plant-based eating? Bariatric patients who look at alternative options to meat when fulfilling both their caloric intake and protein recommendations may be best positioned to reach their diet and weight loss goals.
This is what makes Achieve from Rational Foods such a smart solution for people looking to maximize weight loss with no sacrifice of nutrition. Not only are these convenient pouches low in calories and packed with protein, but they’re also plant-based with nutrient-dense ingredients such as butternut squash, apple, carrot, raspberry, banana, strawberry, pear and ginger. They’re also shelf-stable for 12-18 months, meaning healthy, grab-and-go options are always at the ready. And because they taste good, unlike many bariatric food alternatives, people actually want to eat them.
When it comes to boosting adherence, ease is everything. Incorporating more plant-based foods — including Achieve — is one of the easiest and most effective ways for bariatric patients to remain compliant with weight loss surgery dietary requirements while simultaneously improving their outcomes.