When you have had weight loss surgery, your primary goal is to ensure you eat “low carb”. There is a huge difference between low carb and no carb. Some people are so paranoid of carbs that they try to avoid them at all cost. However, your body needs some carbs in order to fuel itself.
When I was in the weight loss phase of my surgery, I tried to keep my carbs at 60g or less per day. Some days I went over and some days I was under, it just all depended on what I wanted to eat that day. I usually felt better physically when I had the full 60g of carbs on a given day. It seemed to give me the energy that I needed without slowing down my weight loss. As I was a complete carb addict prior to surgery, I learned to adjust and integrate carbs in to my diet that were better than what I had prior to surgery. Below are some suggestions on incorporating carbs in to your weight loss journey.
-Fruits – Fruits are a source of carbs and some are better than others. I tried to incorporate fresh fruit in to my diet as much as I could. You will need to investigate the carb count for your favorite fruits because some are higher than others. It seemed to me that if I had grapes, my body would slow down and I couldn’t do orange juice at all.
-Vegetables – There are carbs in veggies as well so I would investigate what gave me the most bang for my buck so to speak. I did eat a lot of salads. It seemed that the lettuce would fill me up for awhile but not overly fill me and the carb count was low. I just had to watch the dressing.
-Red Potatoes – I have to admit that I LOVE potatoes and that was a primary stable in my life prior to surgery. However, after surgery I looked for lower carb options to incorporate. In my research, I found that red potatoes have a much lower carb count than regular potatoes. I began using red potatoes for mashed potatoes and also used them to incorporate in to my breakfast routine. I would cut up red potatoes in to hash brown sized cubes, steam them in the microwave in a steamer bag, then place them in with sautéed bell peppers and onions. I would season them with season salt, chili powder, and smoked paprika. This mixture I would then incorporate in to scrambled eggs right at the end of the cooking process – Yummy!
-Low Carb Tortillas – I love soft tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, and quesadillas. I found Carb Balance Tortillas from Mission. These flour tortillas have a very high fiber count so that makes the net carbs very low and they taste just the same. (*see warning below). Chicken Quesadillas with peppers and onions is a favorite go to of mine. I also discovered making BBQ Pork quesadillas and that has become a new favorite of mine. Just put the BBQ pork in the tortilla with nothing else. It helps me to enjoy BBQ without having to have the carbs from a bun.
-Dreamfields Pasta – I loved pasta prior to surgery and looked for a way to incorporate it in to my post WLS life. I found Dreamfields pasta and I use that for my spaghetti, in macaroni salad, tetrazzini, lasagna, and other pasta dishes. This pasta taste like regular pasta and you only absorb 5g of Carbs per serving**. There is a coating on the pasta that prevents full absorption of the carbs. However, be careful with red sauces since they are so acidic. They are fine to use when you first make the pasta, but left overs need to be kept without the sauce on them since the red sauce will eat away at the coating that prevents carb absorption. (*see warning below).
*Be careful with how much low carb tortillas and Dreamfields you eat as it can have some negative consequences on your digestive system. Some people are also not able to tolerate Dreamfields or Low Carb Tortillas, so you will have to test for yourself. I know that when I have Dreamfields for several days in a row it creates some unpleasant side effects.
**There is also some controversy on whether Dreamfields is really low carb or not. I have used it for two years now and have not noticed any weight gain from using it as a low carb option in my diet.