The Three Ps
Snacks can form an important part of your eating plan following weight loss surgery. They provide an extra opportunity to give your body the nutrition it needs.
The Three P’s are important to keep in mind when it comes to snacking.
Plan your snacks ahead of time. Make sure you have options on hand for vulnerable times that pack a nutrition punch and keep you feeling satisfied.
Decide how much you are happy to eat before you start eating. Pre-portioning snacks such as nuts can prevent a planned snack turning into grazing where you end up eating more than you realise.
It is fine to make the decision to snack. Snacks are important if you:
- Are genuinely hungry between meals
- Are over hungry by your next core meal
- Need a nutritional top up, such as a protein top up.
Different snack foods will meet these different purposes, and we will break these down for you below.
Purpose A: Genuine Hunger Busting
Following is a list of more ‘substantial’ snacks that are appropriate when your purpose for snacking is that you feel genuinely hungry between meals or are over hungry by your next core meal:
- Roasted fava beans or chick peas eg. Happy Snack Co
- Slice (or half a slice) of toasted or plain raisin bread or fruit loaf topped with ricotta or Philadelphia spreadable cream cheese, some crushed nuts and cinnamon
- Yoghurt, particularly the higher protein options (and we can help you select those here)
- Yoghurt with a sprinkle of diced fruit, nuts, seeds or granola
- Yoghurt and fruit slices for dipping
- A frozen smoothie such as our Mango and Coconut Smoothie in ice block moulds
- A small, protein rich smoothie such as our Banana, Peach and Vanilla Smoothie
- Half a meal replacement shake
- Cappuccino, latte or flat white with some flavourless protein powder
- Wholemeal/wholegrain crackers such as Ryvita or Vita-Weat with:
- Mini can of baked beans
- Dried fruit and nuts/seeds – try single serve packs or pack your own small portions in reusable containers.
- Protein ball such as our Lemon and Coconut and Choc Cashew Protein Balls
- Dates filled with nut paste
- Home made smoothies with added protein powder/high protein milk/yoghurt, such as our Mango and Coconut Smoothie and Banana, Peach and Vanilla Smoothie
- Egg based muffin such as our Sweet Potato, Zucchini and Feta Muffins
- Ham ‘wrap’ with a slice of cheese and avocado
- Tinned tuna and bean mixes
- Carmen’s protein muesli bars
- Bite sized serves of Zucchini Slice.
Purpose B: Protein Top Ups
If you need to snack for the purpose of topping up your protein intake, the following snacks may be useful:
- Hard boiled egg
- Small tin of tuna/salmon
- Slice of cheese
- Single serve of nuts
- Bocconcini balls with cherry tomatoes
- Cheeseburger Meatballs
- Thai Inspired Chicken Meatballs
- Bocconcini Filled Mediterranean Meatballs
- A slice of lean deli meat eg. ham, turkey, chicken, roast beef.
Purpose C: Mindless Munching
If the purpose of your snacking is not genuine hunger or nutritional need, it pays to be more selective. If continued regularly over a long period of time, unplanned eating without a purpose is likely to lead to poor weight loss results, or potentially weight regain.
However, we recognise there are times when you just feel like eating or feel like you need to be eating. It is wise to plan snacks for these times which are not high in calories and still provide a good nutritional boost such as:
- Air popped pop corn
- Vegetable sticks with salsa
- Home baked kale chips
- Home baked cauliflower ‘popcorn’
- Piece of fruit
- Fresh or frozen berries.