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When you decide to have bariatric surgery, you are making a commitment to yourself that you will use surgery as a tool and that you are ready to implement a new life style and start life with a whole new attitude. With this tool, you will be able to live life to the max and forbid yourself for going back to the past. Changing your life style requires more consistent habits which will include exercise, discipline, strong will power and planning. Main benefits of main planning are: structured shopping trips, money savings, less last minute shopping trips and eating out and the most important are predictable calorie intake. When budgeting your meals, use the 3 P’s method: plan, purchase and prepare. Due to your reduced portion, we need to make sure that food is not wasted. Planning will help you avoid stopping at convenient stores or fast food restaurants. Include meals that will stretch expensive good items such as stews, casseroles and stir fried dishes. Make grocery list, check for sales and coupons and utilize loyalty cards at the stores. Purchase your groceries when you are NOT hungry, stick to your list, buy store brand, find and compare unit prices, purchase items in bulk or family packs, choose fresh fruits and vegetables in season. Purchase un-cut fruits and veggies; buy larger tubs and non-instant items. Prepare your meals in advance, freeze stews/chilis/casseroles type foods and divide into portions while serving. Incorporate leftovers into subsequent meals, rotate fruits/veggies in season. While you have to eat out for special occasion, save money by getting early bird special, going out for lunch instead of dinner, look for “2for 1” deal, stick to water, and order kids meals. During my years of practice, I have found that this meal planning had become one of the most powerful keys contributing to the weight loss success.

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