Preplanning Meals

The Power of Preplanning Meals After Weight Loss Surgery

September 11, 2023

Embarking on a journey towards bariatric surgery is a huge step for anyone seeking lasting weight loss and improved health. However, the road to success doesn't end with the surgery itself; rather, it’s just the beginning of a new chapter that requires careful planning and commitment. One crucial tool for long-term bariatric success is preplanning meals. While many weight loss programs discuss tracking meals after the fact, they often forget to stress the importance of planning ahead. Preplanning meals can contribute to sustainable weight loss, enhanced nutritional intake, and overall well-being for those who have undergone bariatric surgery. Let’s look at some of the benefits and how you can incorporate this habit into your life.

Setting the Foundation for Success

Preplanning meals helps establish healthy eating habits and routines. A major challenge after bariatric surgery is managing portion sizes and ensuring that nutrient requirements are met. With preplanning, you can design meals that align with your nutritional needs and portion restrictions. This not only prevents overeating but also reduces the risk of consuming unhealthy, calorie-dense foods that may hinder your progress.

Enhanced Nutritional Quality

Bariatric surgery can impact nutrient absorption, making it essential for individuals to prioritize nutrient-dense foods. Preplanning meals allows for careful selection of foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients. By incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains into your meal plans, you can meet nutritional requirements and minimize the risk of nutrient deficiencies.

Reduced Impulse Eating

Impulse eating and excessive snacking can undermine weight loss progress. Planning your meals in advance eliminates the need to make spontaneous food choices, which often leads to consuming high-calorie, low-nutrient foods. Having well-balanced, pre-prepared meals readily available discourages impulsive eating and promotes mindful consumption, allowing you to stay on track with your health goals.

Time Efficiency

Who doesn’t love having more free time in their day? Preplanning meals saves time by eliminating the need to make last-minute food decisions or cook multiple times a day. By dedicating a specific time to plan and prepare meals for the week, you can ensure that you always have a nutritious option available, even on the busiest days. This time efficiency can significantly contribute to long-term adherence to a healthy eating routine.

Budget-Friendly Approach

Eating out or ordering takeout regularly can strain both the wallet and the waistline. Planning your meals ahead of time can help you save money by giving you the option of purchasing ingredients in bulk. Additionally, by avoiding impulse purchases and reducing food waste through planned portions, you can save money in the long run.

Cultivating Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is a fundamental aspect of bariatric success, as it encourages individuals to be more attuned to their hunger cues and eating patterns. When you pre-plan your meals, you are, in essence, being mindful of your food intake. As you become more intentional about your food choices, you may eventually be able to better manage cravings and emotional eating.

Incorporating Preplanning Into Your Life

Preplanning can be as easy as sitting down every night and jotting down the next day’s meals and snacks. Having this on paper will make it easier to adhere to your plan as there is no decision-making that needs to be done on the spot. If you have a night out coming up, you can mindfully add indulgences into your plan without guilt. If you plan to make your meals ahead of time, choose one evening per week when you cook all your meals. If this extra step is too much, just preplanning on paper alone can positively impact your health.

The journey to long-term bariatric success is marked by dedication, commitment, and strategic planning. Preplanning meals can be a powerful tool that empowers individuals to take control of their dietary choices, enhance their nutritional intake, and cultivate healthier eating habits.

Yelena Kibasova


Yelena Kibasova, of More Than My Weight is a 14-year bariatric post-op, certified fitness instructor and professional writer. She has spoken at numerous obesity-related conferences, including ObesityHelp, Obesity Action Coalition, and WLSFA. She is passionate about fitness for all levels and sustainable weight maintenance plans that combine physical, mental, and social well-being. Additionally, she coaches clients on habit transformation for weight loss and regain. Read more articles by Yelena!