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This is a common question when considering weight loss surgery with a bariatric Houston clinic or one in your local area. Of course, your doctor will advise you about what types of foods are best at various stages following your surgery, but these guidelines can help you make the right choices when you find yourself facing fast food.

Even if you do not choose a bariatric surgery in our Houston weight loss center, reducing or eliminating fast food is a healthy choice you can make that goes beyond deciding to weigh less. Let’s look into why fast food causes problems after a gastric bypass or bariatric sleeve procedure in Houston, selecting from the limited choices available in restaurants, and how fast food affects the body in ways other than weight gain.

What Is the Difference Between Fast Food and Good Food?

Beautiful young woman decides eating hamburger or fresh salad

Fast food is easy to recognize when it comes with a side of fries, but what is “fast food” really? When nutritionists discuss fast food, they mean foods that:

  • Are high in calories while being low in nutrients
  • Contain large amounts of simple carbohydrates with little fiber
  • Have added sugars and unhealthy fats, a combination which can stimulate cravings1
  • Include high sodium and added chemicals for preservation or artificial taste enhancement
  • Replace a nutritious meal or snack with empty calories

So, this category of food includes not just fast food restaurants, but also chips, soda pop, cookies, and candy. If it comes pre-processed and ready to eat, chances are good there are healthier alternatives available with a little planning and preparation.

Why Is Fast Food Not Recommended After Bariatric Surgery?

Individuals who have chosen weight loss surgery will need to carefully consider their nutritional needs. With a smaller stomach and the need to eat much smaller portions, they should place greater importance on the quality and balance of the food they eat. Each snack is an opportunity to add just a small amount of nutrition that will support good health.

Wasting one of these eating opportunities on empty calories means that your body goes hungry for the nutrients it needs. Here are some of the recommended factors to consider when making food choices from our team of bariatric surgery Houston professionals:

  • Ask for and read nutritional data before making your choice. Avoid foods high in calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Look for foods that are high in protein and low in fat.
  • Eat only the things that have value. If your chosen item is not available alone, throw away the empty calories like chips, popcorn, or candy.

Restaurant worker serving fast food meals with smile

  • Avoid condiments and sauces with sugar, including ketchup, “secret sauce,” and BBQ sauce, or carry your own low-sugar alternative condiments and salad dressings.
  • Have a light beverage instead if there are no healthy options available, and carry some healthy snacks with you at all times to replace a fast food meal others may be having.
  • Be aware of “dumping syndrome,” which can occur after gastric surgery when foods heavy in fat and sugar, especially fried foods, are eaten as an entire meal.

What Are the Healthiest Choices at a Fast Food Restaurant?

While they are slow to change, fast food franchises are beginning to offer some healthy alternatives that may be appropriate on an occasional basis following bariatric surgery in Houston. Obtaining the nutritional facts sheet is the best way to determine the healthiest choice, ( Obviously, after your full recovery and you are instructed clearly by your doctor to start solid food, following your doctor advice is extremely important)

Choosing a Bariatrics Team in Houston or Your Area

Young man eating take away food on the street

Just as choosing your foods carefully will improve your health and help you lose weight faster after weight loss surgery, working with the top center for bariatric care in Houston will guide you to the right diet for each phase of your weight loss. Dr. Brian Mirza and the experienced team at Bariatric Care Centers stand behind you in your decision to protect your health and change your life for the better.

With 15 years in practice, Dr. Mirza is board-certified and highly trained for all laparoscopic, gastric bypass, and bariatric sleeve procedures his Houston clients need to reach their weight loss and wellness goals. Contact us today to start moving toward the physically fit and healthy body you were meant to have. Our team is waiting to empower and inform your next steps forward.

Disclaimer: This is only for general information. All patients should consult their doctors prior to following any of the recommendations in any articles, posts, infographics, or videos. All patients have individual needs and limitations, of which only their treating physicians can be fully aware.