The word CARBS is short for CARBOHYDRATE. Carbs are super confusing. In what universe would someone put Donuts and Spinach in the same category? D’oh.

girl with veggie hair

Obviously, all carbs are not created equal. Folks in our BariatricEating Support Group on Facebook act nonchalant about the ‘few’ Tater Tots on their plate or get all happy face they ate only a handful of M&M’s in the office, or a small Subway sandwich. They ask ‘what about’ low carb wraps, macaroni and crackers. We say ‘Noooooo’, but we understand that perhaps you just don’t know. If we were all brilliantly well versed in nutrition and effortlessly made great choices, we would not have needed bariatric surgery. Drop the Mic.

However, it IS your responsibility to LEARN as food choices often kill your weight loss goals.

Lego Donut


  1. Carbohydrates, Fats, and Protein are the 3 Macronutrient Categories of food – we already know what Fats and Protein are – basically everything else is a Carb.
  2. Carbs are made up of different kinds of ‘sugar’ molecules that are linked together JUST LIKE LEGO.
  3. Some LEGO have just one or two places to link together while others are firmly connected along the entire piece.
  4. The body can rip apart the loosely connected LEGO quickly and burn them as energy, even when it’s not needed.
  5. The body then stores this ‘extra’ energy as FAT (ahhhhhhh… so that’s how that happened!)

Guess which LEGO are the ones that get ripped apart the easiest?

I think you can probably guess but, here you go:  Bread. Cereal. French Fries. Mashed potatoes. Rice. Donuts. Scones. Tortillas. Crackers. Bagels. Pretzels. Twinkies. Tortilla Chips. Rice Cakes. Soda. Sugar. Honey. Just for fun, add a few to the list


These foods simply happen to be in the same category as spinach and raspberries. They are NOT the same – 50 carbs of spinach IS NOT THE SAME as 50 carbs of Twinkie. (Please tell me you get that… read it again if you are not crystal clear on that part)

Cut to the Chase…

After bariatric surgery, eat Lean Protein & Vegetables. The Vegetable LEGO are the ones that are hard to break apart. Vegetable ‘LEGO’ contain just a few carbohydrates that are tightly wrapped in so much fiber that there is very little to burn.  The right ones are made up of almost all nutrients that can be sucked right up by your body.

While ALL Vegetables are good for you, the Best Vegetables are Leaves (almost 0 carbs: spinach, lettuce, chard, herbs), Stems & Flowers (very low carb: asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms), and the Fruit (moderate carbs: peppers, squash, green beans, tomatoes, eggplant, avocado). Skip ‘the Roots’ until you reach goal as they are the loose LEGO (high carb: potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams).

Here’s the Ah Ha moment! (AKA the Condescending part)

IF THERE ARE NO EASY BURNING LEGO CARBOHYDRATES TO BE FOUND, the body is forced to burn your Stored Body Fat for fuel (ding ding ding!!!) Steady fueling of five small protein and low carb vegetable meals also means more constant energy levels all day long. You will not feel hungry – you’ll feel satisfied. This is how you make your surgery work for you. You wonder why weight loss is easier for some people? This. Is. Why.

Click the link below then ‘Unlock the Bariatric Eating Veggie Quick List’ by adding your info to the Veggie Girl box.


Click for the BE Veggie Carb List >>

18 thoughts on “What’s the deal with CARBS?

    • Alison Garcia says:

      Hi Maureen!On the main Bariatric Eating website page, under the top picture is a section that says “sign up”. Enter your email and you will start to receive these wonderful articles on a regular basis.

  1. Sherri B says:

    I am so glad that these kind of articles are available. I completely agree and it makes me sad when people give advice like “everything in moderation”. That’s just so wrong and it’s so misleading to, not just bariatric patients, but to everyone. Why not make the decision to be healthy for life instead of just losing weight? This was a lifestyle choice for me. Not simply another way to lose weight.

    Thank you very much for this article. And thank you for this website!

  2. Michelle says:

    Let’s face it. If we could do food in moderation surgery would not exist. For me no sugar is the answer and not a bit of my trigger foods. Awesome info and support Good info at your fingertips Thank you for the time and effort

  3. Peggy King says:

    I don’t see very many veggies on the list. That (kind of) worries me because I take warfarin and have to limit — you guessed it– green veggies with good ol’ vitamin K. How many green beans can a girl take??? LOL. Last time I was in the hospital, the pharmacist came by to discuss my meds (as if I hadn’t heard it all before.) She told me to forget that spinach exists. Well, that isn’t going to happen because about once a month I have just a little because it’s always been one of my favorite foods. I wish I could find more meal ideas and recipes with things I could actually, realistically, eat.

  4. Lisa says:

    How can I trust that you have mine or anyone’s best interest at heart when ultimately this is a website to make money from the products you are selling?

    • Susan Maria Leach says:

      Interesting concept Lisa, I will make it really easy for you. DON’T trust me or anything I have to say. Boom. Oh and by the way, don’t trust your surgeon, he gets paid and probably has a much nicer car than I do. The nurses make money too and so does the hospital, and the people at Bariatric Advantage and Celebrate, and GNC, and your local grocery stores, and BLOGGERS with their carnival of ads for you to click on (but they dont have an investment – go ahead and click on their ads so they make a nickel). The entire world is based on capitalism – but you have to trust SOMEONE. Did you ever think its better to trust someone who SHARES your surgery along with 35,000 other people who can tell you that I speak the truth? Or not. You can come back later when you need us. Ciao. Susan Maria

  5. Lisa says:

    Please include info on ketosis, monitoring it carefully, why it may be great for us, and why and for whom it may be dangerous.

  6. Justine says:

    Nutrition for the Dummy’s and I loved the way you described things. I’ve just downloaded information on animal and non-animal proteins plus your carb verge list. My surgery is 210 days and counting and I want my food choices to be natural and normal way of thinking.

  7. Robin says:

    This article has great information, but is very condescending. People who are fat are not stupid they just lack information. The food industry has spent years and billions of dollars making their highly processed, simple carbohydrate foods sound nutritious. The FDA is in bed with them, further exacerbating the oproblem. Go to most any other country in the world, the food tastes different because it lacks all the preservatives American food does. I’ve mostly enjoyed this website and support group, but treating people who are obese as if they lack intelligence doesn’t fly with me. I hope your other articles have less attitude.

    • Susan Maria Leach says:

      Hello Robin! All my articles have similar attitude and I believe that in one of the paragraphs, I even say this one is condescending. I am also sarcastic and from NJ, which is often not picked up on. We have over 250,000 members and a significant percentage don’t quite get that the 10g carbs in a tortilla are DIFFERENT than the 10g carbs in tomatoes and even fight us over it. Yes, the food industry does try and trick people, but it’s not rocket science if people take a step back to look at the food choices and THINK – it is common sense. People want everything done for them and fast food and convenience foods cater to the lazy. Yes, I do think a huge part of obesity epidemic is due to LAZINESS. You might not like that label either, but it’s my opinion based on a couple of million bariatric people I have dealt with in over sixteen years. People don’t cook fresh food, they instead look for loopholes. Every day we field numerous questions about the high cost of healthy food but when we suggest roasting a pan of .69 cent per pound whole chicken thigh/legs with cut up zucchini and actually putting a family supper on the table, people tell us they don’t have time. We put the answers out there… if this article doesn’t speak to someone’s own situation, with all due respect, we don’t expect them to pick it up.

    • Susan Maria Leach says:

      Cynthia, quinoa is a lot of carbs and is one of those fake ‘healthy’ foods… its NOT high in protein, its HIGH in carbs. If you are at goal or maintaining, its okay in small amounts but not when you are trying to lose weight.

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