Bariatric Recipes, Food Choices, Mindful/Intuitive Eating, Nutrition, Post-Surgery, Protein, Uncategorized

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!


About Janet Klein

Janet Klein, MS, RDN, CDN, CDE. is Orange Regional's Bariatric Surgery Program Director. 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-Nutritionist, American Heart Association Certified Cardiovascular Counselor and a member of the Integrated Health group of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). She brings more than 35 years of clinical, educational and leadership experience to Orange Regional, where she spearheaded the Bariatric Surgery program in 2008, received Accreditation for the program through the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) in 2011, re-accredited the program through the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Bariatric Surgery Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) in 2014, and continues to lead the program with passion 10 years later. Janet can be reached at 845-333-2123 or


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