Is the first thing you do each morning eat breakfast? If you've had bariatric surgery, you may wonder how to best space out your meals each day. Caitlin McCullough, RD, LD, clinical dietitian with the Lake Health Bariatric Surgery Center, discusses if it's best to eat breakfast right away or wait awhile:
After bariatric surgery, you should be eating three high-protein meals a day. Each should help you feel full for around four hours. Our patients often ask if they should start eating right away in the morning to jump-start their day.
Eating first thing in the morning is not as important as making sure you space your meals out during the day. If you wake up at 7 am but are not hungry until 9 am, it's fine to eat then. It may make more sense for you to eat around 9 am, 1 pm and again at 5 pm based on your schedule.
- Your first meal does not need to be immediately after you wake up, but do not wait until you are very hungry to eat. This could lead to overeating or making poor food choices. Food prep can be one tool to help you make good choices for any meal.
- Do not eat your last meal right before bed. The purpose of a meal is to provide you energy so you can keep going. If you are tired, it is best to just go to sleep and get rest!
- Try to stick to a schedule. If you eat your meals at the same time every day, your body will get used to this and it will help keep you from getting hungry between meals.
Finding lifestyle change support after weight loss surgery
The dietary changes required after weight loss surgery can seem overwhelming. That's why our Lake Health Bariatric Surgery team includes dedicated dietitians who meet with patients for their pre-operative nutrition education and post-operative dietary education, and also conduct education and support groups to help you meet your goals. Our team helps patients not only understand food choices, but how to change their eating patterns to best fit their needs.
About the author
Caitlin McCullough, RD, LD, is a clinical dietitian with the Lake Health Bariatric Surgery Center in Willoughby. She meets with bariatric surgery patients pre and post operatively and conducts nutrition classes. She loves educating patients about nutrition and helping them obtain their health goals. In her free time, Caitlin enjoys grocery shopping for new healthy foods and staying physically active.