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Bariatric Bytes

Bariatric Bytes includes monthly tips and a quarterly newsletter featuring recipes and helpful information.

Monthly Tips 2016


February 2016


Eating healthy can be challenging when you are dining at a restaurant. It’s always best to prepare your foods at home so you can control the ingredients that are used and how it is prepared. However, we all know that sometimes eating out is inevitable in the busy society we live in today. Here are some tips for eating on the go: 

  • Plan ahead: If you know where you are going ahead of time, look the menu up online beforehand. Most restaurants will also have the nutrition facts for their menu items available on their site, or you can try nutrition information sites such as to access the information.  If you can view the menu and nutrition information ahead of time, you will be able to decide what the best/healthiest option will be.  Bring a snack with you in case you feel that you can’t find something you like or will be able to tolerate.


  • Sauce on the side:  Have you ever received a salad with more dressing than you really wanted on it?  Ask for all sauces on the side including salad dressing.  Dip just the corner of your salad or other foods in the sauce.  This will save many calories. 
  • Split the meal and the bill:  After bariatric surgery you may easily be able to have a few bites of someone else’s meal and be satisfied.  Ask if they mind first, because this may cause them to choose a “healthier option” which you will tolerate easier.  Also, remember to ask this question every three months or so because as your stomach expands (it’s supposed to a little), your portion needs will increase.  Eventually, you may be able to eat a kid’s or lunch portion.
  • Pre-meal doggie bag: order the doggie bag before your meal gets to the table for two reasons:  (1) You are not tempted to overeat (ever put the fork down and think…”I am not eating anymore” but realized, after a drink of water, that you have finished what you were going to put in the doggie bag?); and (2) You won’t be overwhelmed by the large restaurant portions.  Eat off of a bread or salad plate. 
  • Know how your food is prepared: Being assertive isn’t rude.  After bariatric surgery, it’s necessary that food is prepared properly so that you will tolerate it and not get sick. Part of what you pay for in a restaurant is service.  Don’t be afraid to ask for it!


January:  Goal Setting


A new year often brings new goals and resolutions. However, it is estimated that approximately 45 percent of Americans set New Year’s resolutions and around one-third of those people have ditched those resolutions by the end of January. So how can we make those resolutions and goals last?

First, start by eliminating the “all or nothing approach.” Second, since eating healthier encompasses several different actions, make one to two small changes at a time. We all know that old habits die hard. Working on one to two small things at a time keeps us from feeling so overwhelmed. Once you have mastered those, you can move on to something else. If you feel like one to two small goals isn’t enough, remember this quote:

“Little by little, a little becomes a lot.” -Tanzanian Proverb

Consider making your New Year’s resolutions and goals in a “SMART” way.

Specific (Who, What, When, Where, Why?): A goal needs to be as specific as possible. “Eat healthier” and “Exercise more” is too vague. What exactly do you want to achieve and how do you plan to do it?

Measurable: If you don’t make your goal measurable you will not know when you reach it. Examples: “Cook dinner at home at least four days per week” or “Increase walking to 10,000 steps per day.” Track your progress to help keep you motivated and excited about reaching your goal.

Accountable: Having something or someone to help hold you accountable can assist in reaching your goal, such as an exercise partner or a friend/spouse to aid in meal planning.

Realistic: A goal needs to be challenging without being overwhelming. Goal setting is also highly individual—a goal that may be realistic for one person may be unrealistic to another.

Timely: Associate a timeframe that defines when you should complete the goal. If you don’t have an expectation of how much time a goal should take to accomplish or when you want to have it finished, you will not feel the sense of urgency that will help you complete it.

And remember, you can set goals for yourself any time of the year! There will always be bumps and struggles along the way. What matters most is how you react to them.

“The only time you fail is when you fall down and stay down.” -Stephen Richards






Quarterly Newsletter



Issue #7

Spring 2014

Issue #11

Summer 2015

Issue #8

Summer 2014

Issue #12

Fall 2015

Issue #9

Fall 2014

Issue #13

Winter 2015


Now that the Bariatric Center is designated as an Accredited Center by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program and is recognized in the Optum Centers of Excellence Network, weight loss surgery at NMMC is covered by more health plans, including those for teachers, state employees and many offered by employers. So, check your health plan benefits, talk to your doctor and weigh your options.