After weight loss surgery the biggest challenge for most people is to keep track of their diet during the lunch hours at work.
It is difficult to find weight loss surgery friendly food items in the cafeterias, local deli or cafes and even more difficult to dodge the tempting treats at the office parties and birthdays.
Moreover, it’s hard to find time to prepare lunch in the mornings before we head off to work and because of that we are left with little or no healthy food choice during lunch hours. But you can ‘ace’ this challenge with some planning and some interesting; yet easy lunching options that are weight loss surgery friendly.
Buy Some Important Lunch Equipment
First and foremost you should buy some compact, easy-to-use lunch utensils. These items are inexpensive and can be found at your local Dollar Store or Walmart.
They allow you to pack the proper combination of essential nutrients while keeping track of portion sizes as you prepare your own weight loss friendly lunch.
Since, they are very convenient to carry to a workplace and are easy to wash and store, they will make your job even easier.
Bento Box: The most important of all is the bento box – a lunchbox container with compartments that allows you to stick to your “2 parts protein and 1 part each fruits and vegetables” rule by letting you pack everything thing you need for your lunch, in just one box.
Blender Bottle: You will want a blender bottle for your protein shakes. All you need to do is to mix protein powder with water in a blender bottle for a quick break time snack.
Insulated Lunch Bag: These lunch bags are very convenient for packing hot or cold food items to keep your food fresh and delicious during your lunch time.
Freezer-packs: A few of them will be enough for your daily lunch bag. These are important when you are packing cold foods like yogurt, cold sandwiches and salads.
Plan and Prepare Your Bariatric Lunches
Once you have all the required utensils for packing your weight loss surgery friendly lunch, you can plan and prepare your food for the coming week in advance. For that, take time on a Sunday evening after dinner to prepare your bento boxes.
You can choose from a variety of food items like meatballs, frittata, salads, hard boiled eggs, quiches and raw vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce.
You can also store your Sunday dinner leftovers in a freezer for a Wednesday or Thursday lunch. For Friday, you can prepare your food the night before.
Ideas for Weight Loss Surgery Friendly Lunch
Protein and Peanut Butter Balls: These east-to-make balls provide you with the essential nutrient that your body needs after the weight loss surgery – protein. Mix together in a bowl:
- ½ cup of peanut butter
- 2 spoons protein powder
- ¼ cup of dried cranberries
- 1 cup of dry oats
Add some water to soften the mixture and then make compacted balls out of it. Coat them with the peanut butter and oats mixture then store in a container.
Meatballs: Make balls with lean mince, chicken or turkey and bake them in the oven. Put them in the freezer and take them whenever needed.
Protein Pancakes: For the pancake mixture you need 1 cup of cottage cheese, 1 cup of oatmeal, 2 spoons of protein powder and 1 cup of egg whites.
- Mix the ingredients together and pour as cakes into the pan.
- Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip the side and cook for further two minutes.
- The mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for later use.
Crustless Quiche: For this dish you need grated zucchini and carrot as well as chopped capsicum, tomato and mushrooms.
- Place the vegetables in a baking dish.
- Now, pour in abundant cottage cheese, ½ cup grated cheese and a mixture of 6 eggs and ¼ cup of low fat milk.
- After that, bake the dish for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown.
Quick Snacking Options: For those days when you’re not able to prepare your weight loss surgery friendly lunches in advance, you can rely on the quick grab-and-go meals such as:
- Grainy Crackers with canned salmon, hummus, cottage cheese or sliced cheese
- Wrap or grainy bread with tinned tuna, salmon, hard boiled eggs or grated cheese
- Yogurt, fruits, some raw nuts like figs or almonds or hard boiled eggs
Leftovers: Leftovers make perfect lunch meals for your busy days. All you have to do is freeze your last night dinner meal to be used any day in the coming week.
Points to observe: Keep in mind the three important things when you prepare your weight loss friendly lunch;
- The first is to make sure that your food contains all the required nutrition
- Second is to ensure that your lunch portion is enough to keep your hunger satisfied
- And the third is to make sure that the tastes and textures of the food work with each other
You can try and create your own recipes using only the healthy foods that are recommended by your doctor as essential after weight loss surgery. Do not keep your options limited, otherwise it will get boring for you. Get creative and choose what works best for you!