I have been answering questions in our Facebook Support Group after a wonderful weekend spent testing holiday recipes for website and new book. I love sugar free holiday cooking as it gives me an opportunity to show off just how good I can make a dish taste and still remain firmly within the general bariatric boundaries. I am not going for a result that is ‘good for diet food’ – I go for ‘WOW this is delicious’. Otherwise, why bother? Sugar Free & No Added Sugar is where we need to live! 

Its only Holiday Sugar - Bariatric Eating

Jive Talkin
I can already tell by the chatter in the group that too many of you are planning on ‘sugar cheating’ armed with the flippant justification that ‘it’s only Holiday sugar!’ Oh my, you are in for a shock when you are not able to fit into those lovely size 10 skinny jeans at the Thanksgiving 2017 holiday table.

Nothing’s gonna change my world
We’ve all had major surgery – all bariatric procedures are a big deal! It makes sense that we need to make permanent life changes after surgery as if we continue to do what we did in order to qualify for our procedure, we will end up with the same result. Stop digging in and fighting against change. You cannot continue on the same path and expect to land somewhere else!

Look what I found!
Yesterday, a woman on Day 4 of ‘not eating sweets’ posted a photo of her great find at 7-11, a bag of chocolate covered coconut chips. What!? I told her that chocolate dipped coconut chips WERE a sweet and NOT a food for someone who had obesity surgery. She angrily justified them. It was a treat, she only had a few, they were much better than the candy she was eating. Enough, please stop fighting for sugar.

Brown Sugar, how come you taste so good
This has been an issue for years and I don’t know why. Sugar is black and white. I remember flipping through the pages of a popular bariatric magazine and noticing that the first recipe contained a full cup of brown sugar. Huh? Brown sugar is not on the list of allowable foods at any time in bariatric life. Six recipes in this holiday issue had sugar as an ingredient and none showed readers the number of grams of sugar in the dish. I deal with this every day and if I labeled peanut brittle as bariatric friendly, lemmings would happily run right off the cliff eating it. I have a responsibility to make recommendations that are not going to hurt bariatric post ops.

Splenda in the grass
I am aware of the Splenda backlash – yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s fashionable to eat clean without artificial sweeteners because everyone wants to be healthy. Sure, sure, sure, so we go from 300 pounds and inhaling boxes of artificially flavored cereal and Little Debbie cakes to being picky about Splenda. It’s a safe bet that being 400 pounds kills more people than Splenda.

Tomato vs Tootsie
By design, gastric bypass makes me sick if I should eat foods with sugar and fifteen years post op I am still very careful to not consume more than a few grams of sugar at one time. Truth is, I THINK sugar will make me sick. I don’t know for sure anymore because I don’t test it. I live behind the fence. A tomato contains sugar; but one needs to differentiate between the sugar in a tomato, sugar in milk, and the sugar in a Tootsie Roll.

‘Nothing makes me sick’
I like having an additional tool to help me avoid foods that grew me to 300 pounds in the first place. I like having another layer of fear when a stray Halloween Reese’s Cup is calling my name. Too many post ops view dumping syndrome as a nuisance rather than an ally and before you know it, they are boasting on Facebook that ‘they don’t dump on sugar and can eat anything’. It may be funny now, but you might not think it’s so funny in another four years my friend.

And you don’t need a revision
There are bariatric procedures where one doesn’t react to sugar, but just because you can eat sugar, it doesn’t mean you should. The leader of a lapband group joined our support group and rudely mocked our ‘no sugar for all surgeries’ stance. I am blown away that anyone would defend eating sweets after surgical manipulation of organs to lose weight. No wonder most groups consist of post ops complaining about weight gains and hoping for more surgery. More surgery is not the answer, instead simply respect the rules you’ve been given.

Time for a NEW plan
There is a problem with the Everything in Moderation’ concept. If we had grasped the proper concept, we would not have needed surgery. Our way didn’t work before surgery and it won’t work after surgery. Abandon that plan.

This is about changing life – changing the pool from which we make our food choices and high sugar and high fat foods are high in calories. We didn’t have control for the thirty eight Thanksgiving dinners before surgery, what makes anyone think that they’ll have so much more control with brown sugar crusted ham, cranberry sauce, pumpkin & pecan pie, eggnog and hot apple cider after surgery? Portion control by itself is not enough.

No sugar. Stop with the sugar. No foods with sugar. Put the candy down. Hate to bring it up, but next we talk about exercise…

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