The Best Fall Treats for Bariatric Patients
No matter where you are on your weight loss journey, enjoying autumnal treats while sticking to your healthy diet can be a challenge. Maybe you’re losing weight the old fashioned way in preparation for surgery. Or perhaps it’s been years since your surgery, but you’re committed to a healthier diet and maintaining that fat loss for life. There are many ways to eat healthy, but most doctors recommend that bariatric patients adopt a lower-sugar, lower simple carb and lower fat diet.
However, you also need to focus on eating more, not less—as long as it’s more of the good stuff. This means more vitamins, proteins and minerals via whole foods, good fats and plenty of energy without going on a caloric binge. For many people autumn is the time to indulge in pumpkin-y goodness, ciders and those fall spices that make you feel like a kid again.
Here are some of the best treats for bariatric patients in any stage. However, make sure you check with your doctor and/or dietician first just to make sure they’re on your “good food” list.
Pre-made pumpkin pies are full of added sugar and, often, preservatives. However, real pumpkin and even all-natural, organic canned pumpkin puree is naturally low calorie, low carb/sugar and fairly nutritious. You can either skip the crust or make your own out of crushed nuts. A fast, easy and healthy feast can include some canned pumpkin (as long as it’s organic with no added ingredients), some stevia to sweeten it, and a little whipped cream (surprisingly low in sugar and calories).
Make it in a bowl for a filling treat, and don’t worry. You can have the whole can and still be low carb and low cal.
Your Own Autumn Coffee Treat
Skip the Starbucks and those PSL knockoffs. You can actually make much richer and healthier coffee at home. Here’s the quick and dirty way to make a sweet café “indulgence” for under 20 calories.
Start with your preferred coffee, leaving about two inches of room. Add sugar-free syrups of your choice, sweetened with Stevia or Splenda (the famous Torani has numerous Splenda versions at zero calories). Add some granulated Truvia if you have a serious sweet tooth, and up to two tablespoons of almond/coconut blend milk (shoot for 30-35 calories per cup versions).
Top with whipped cream, a shaking of pumpkin pie spice, and a teaspoon drizzle of Hershey’s sugar-free chocolate syrup (15 calories for two tablespoons, so if you love it you can splurge).
Stew in It
An autumn stew is the perfect way to warm up, and there’s no rules that red meat or potatoes have to be included. Potatoes, while low cal, are often very starchy and smart to ease out of your diet. However, studies have shown that red meat is actually good for you—but not necessarily low calorie. Instead, start with a chicken broth base and see how many low carb veggies you can include. Zucchini, carrots, celery and broccoli are great starters.
Try using bison or antelope instead of beef if that’s what you crave, but go for chicken, turkey or other poultry to really lighten up the calories. If a warm broth is more of a treat than a hot chocolate for you, you’re in luck. Start experimenting with spices such as cumin and coriander to completely change what you consider to be stew spices.
Enjoying your favorite treats this fall does not have to mean wreaking havoc on your diet. Rather, by seeking out and creating low-calorie versions of your all-time favorites, you will go a long way to both relishing the season and continuing or maintaining your hard-earned weight loss.