Guilt-Free Alternative Snacks after Bariatric Surgery

Article By: Whittany Gibson, RDN

Whittany is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who specializes in bariatric nutrition counseling, providing education and support prior to and following weight loss surgery.

If you’ve had weight loss surgery, one of the biggest challenges to maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding unhealthy snacks is overcoming the cravings for the not-so-healthy choices. It can be hard to resist that sweet treat after dinner or the chips during a mid-day slump — especially when everyone around you seems to be indulging! But instead of beating yourself up about occasionally succumbing to temptation, why not try some alternative options? This blog post will provide delicious suggestions that won't wreak havoc on your waistline but still satisfy those cravings for something sweet.

1) Craving potato chips? Eat this. There’s nothing better than classic potato chips, am I right? But they can count against your nutrition goals if they are a part of your regular diet. I’m certainly not the kind of dietitian that will tell you to eat a carrot instead of a chip because I’m realistic and also human. But I will say that air-fried sweet potato chips can hit the spot just as well! A little bit of sweet with salty, and bam! Baked or air-fried sweet potato chips are a healthier alternative to regular potato chips because they contain less fat and calories. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of fiber, which can help to regulate digestion. Try tossing thinly sliced sweet potatoes in olive oil and sea salt and popping them into the air fryer. So delicious! Don’t like sweet potatoes? Try air-popped popcorn instead, and season with any flavor seasoning. Sweet, salty, spicy, whatever’s your jam... Taco, ranch, or everything bagel seasoning, anyone?

2) Craving cookies? Eat this. Oatmeal cookies are a healthier alternative to traditional cookies because they contain whole grains and are lower in sugar. They can also be made with healthy ingredients like nuts and dried fruit. Not up for making your own? Try HighKey mini cookies or brownie bites. They’re bite-sized and provide functional nutrition like protein and fiber, making them a little more guilt-free.

3) Craving ice cream? Eat this. Ever tried frozen yogurt? If not, it’s about time! Frozen yogurt is a healthier alternative to ice cream because it contains live and active cultures, which can help to improve gut health. Frozen yogurt is also lower in fat and calories than ice cream. Another alternative to ice cream that may satisfy your fix is chocolate-dipped bananas. When frozen, you get that same type of taste and texture you’re looking for. Simple, easy to make, and delicious!

4) Craving chocolate? Eat this. Try dark chocolate! It’s a healthier alternative to milk chocolate because it contains less sugar, more antioxidants, and sometimes fiber (depending on which you get). Dark chocolate can also help to improve cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Try Thrive Market’s Organic Paleo Dark Chocolate, 95% Cacao. Aim for the highest percentage of cacao you can find for the most benefit. Too bitter for you? Alternate strawberries with bites of chocolate for a “chocolate-covered strawberry” vibe.

5) Craving cake? Eat this. Don’t you love the spongy deliciousness of an angel food cake? You might be surprised, but angel food cake is a healthier alternative to traditional cake because it is made with egg whites and contains no butter or oil. Angel food cake is also lower in calories and carbs than a traditional cake. Take a thin slice, top it with a few sliced strawberries and whipped cream, and you’ve got yourself a light, healthy(ish) treat. You know... Because we added strawberries! All kidding aside, if you’re faced with a birthday party and want to indulge in the real deal, do it! But “indulging” should be done with some responsibility. Practicing moderation and taking a few slow, thoughtful bites should be enough for you.

6) Craving candy? Eat this. In this current world of “low carb” and “keto”, you’re sure to find options that spare the added sugars by using sugar substitutes like sugar alcohols, artificial sugars, or natural no-calorie sweeteners like stevia products. Brands like Smart Sweets have you covered if you like gummy and hard candies. Their products have low sugar, no added sugars, no artificial colors, and no artificial sweeteners. They even offer plant-based candies!

So, the next time you feel the urge to indulge in a snack or dessert that feels a little sinful, remember that healthier alternatives can be just as satisfying. With some creativity and self-control, you can make better choices for your body without sacrificing flavor or fun!

BariMelts provides general recommendations, not to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor.

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