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Food Shopping After Bariatric Surgery

There are two types of people in this world, those who like grocery shopping and those who don’t. Regardless, it’s something that has to get done in order to design a healthy week ahead. So here are some tips for your next supermarket visit to help you choose nutrient-dense foods, stay within your budget, and maybe make it more enjoyable if you are that person who doesn’t enjoy supermarket shopping.

At home:

  • Go with a plan and don’t shop hungry!
    • When you go with a plan of what to buy at the grocery store you will be more efficient and certainly increase your chances of staying within your budget!
    • Shopping hungry can trigger you to buy snack foods and thereby go over budget.
  • A bit on healthy planning….
    • Plan your proteins first. Since protein is the priority for your meals, try to plan out what proteins you will be eating that week. Eggs, chicken, salmon, shrimp, beef, turkey, etc. there are so many to choose from! Pick about 3 main proteins for that shopping trip and the rest of the food shopping will be based off this.
    • Think about the sides you will want to have with those proteins. The types of vegetables, fruit, and/or wholesome starches you may include.
    • Now you’ve got your list of 3 main proteins for the week and some great produce sides…now head to the store…


At the supermarket:

  • Begin with your produce
    • You’re greeted by the beautiful and colorful produce when you enter the grocery store. So take it in! Go find some of those great nonstarchy vegetables such as asparagus, kale, cabbage, radishes, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, okra, cucumber, mushrooms, etc.
    • Next up Fruit:
      • Opt for lower sugar or higher fiber fruit such as berries, apples, pears, and oranges.
    • Pro-tip: If the produce prices are out of your budget then head to the freezer for fruit and vegetables picked and frozen at their prime ripeness so they are just as healthy as the fresh!
  • Protein
    • Protein was the priority on your list so go pick up the proteins. This may mean heading to the meat /deli and/or fish counters at your supermarket.
    • Don’t forget the dairy aisle. Lowfat dairy and eggs are excellent sources of protein!
      • Pro-tip: If you do not eat dairy opt for plant-based alternatives that are higher in Protein such as Soy milk, green pea based milk like the brand Ripple or another alternative that had at least 5-8 gm. (the equivalent of regular milk) protein per serving.
  • To avoid the aisles or not to avoid the aisles?
    • So far you have avoided the aisles. Your cart is stocked with fresh or frozen produce and plenty of protein options. But you still may need some wholesome starches, sugar-free drinks, broths, oils, and spices. So as long as you have your list of aisle food needs then you can head on in to get those items. Just… Stick to the list!
    • When buying food with labels – READ THE LABEL. Learn about the food you are buying. Try to keep the sugar low! Many sauces are unfortunately filled with added sugar. Look for higher fiber starches such as quinoa, bean pastas, and brown rice.


Back home again

  • Don’t meal prep on shopping days
    • Unless you are feeling incredibly energized, meal prepping after grocery shopping can make the whole event exhausting. So get home, put your food away and plan to meal prep later that night or better yet, the next day.

So the takeaways:

  • Don’t go to the grocery store hungry
  • Go with a plan to purchase 3 main proteins and plenty of produce this way you vary your foods!
  • Decide on what aisle items you need that are lower sugar and/or higher fiber items. (Read labels!)
  • Go home, put the groceries away and call it a day. You can meal prep the food items later that evening after some rest, or better yet the next day!



This blog is here to assist you in obtaining information about Bariatric Surgery and also give you the opportunity to ask questions you may have. Our hope is that this will encourage you on your journey to better health. If you are interested in our program, you can find links to our Web site for additional information or to find a Bariatric Surgeon. I can always be contacted at 845-333-2123.

Weight Loss Surgery Blog

Orange Regional Medical Center is designated by the American College of Surgeons Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program as an Active MBSAQIP Center. This designation recognizes Orange Regional as demonstrating an unparalleled commitment and ability to consistently deliver the highest level of bariatric surgical care possible. Earning the MBSAQIP Active Center designation also distinguishes Orange Regional from other providers in both professional and patient situations.

Orange Regional Medical Center offers three minimally-invasive weight-loss procedures called Gastric Bypass, Gastric Banding and Sleeve Gastrectomy. These bariatric services can help you get back on track to living a fuller, healthier, more active life. And because these leading-edge procedures are offered right here in this community, you won't have to travel far from home to receive the best in quality care.

To learn more about bariatric services at Orange Regional Medical Center, visit

About Seth Judd, M.D.

Dr. Judd received his Medical Degree from Sint Eustatius School of Medicine, Netherlands, Antilles. He completed a Residency in General Surgery at Harrisburg Hospital, Harrisburg, PA, where he served as Chief Resident. Dr. Judd completed a Fellowship in Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA. He is a member of The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), The Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons (SLS) and The American College of Surgeons.

About Janet Kovler

Janet Kovler, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., C.D.E. is Orange Regional's Bariatric Surgery Program Manager. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics from the State University College at Oneonta and her Master of Science in Education from Queen’s College University. She is a Certified Diabetes Educator, a Registered Certified Dietitian, an American Heart Association Certified Cardiovascular Counselor and a member of Phi Upsilon Omicron National Honor Society. She brings more than 27 years of clinical, educational and leadership experience to Orange Regional.