What about the goals in Baritastic (or other foods journals)?
A common question
I get this question often enough I decided to document it here so I can reference it when this questions comes up!
If you use Baritastic to food journal, or something similar, it may ask you for goals. Usually it will want you to have goals for water, protein, carbohydrates and fats (the 4 macronutrients of the body).
Here is my response when someone asks me what to put in the goals section:
The goals in Baritastic are something I don’t put much thought into.
Most of the time I tell patients to leave them blank and look more at the pie chart for macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat). You can even change your home screen in Baritastic to have the pie chart be at the top.
I ignore calories and grams. Mostly because I find they complicate things. Your program and/or dietitian may approach this differently and that’s okay too. You can certainly put in the guidelines they listed out for you.
My preferred approach is to focus on simplifying your focus.
When you focus on good quality food (lean protein, fresh vegetables), taking small bites and stopping when you’re satisfied, these habits are more simple and easier to stick with. They allow you to listen to natural cues instead of stressing the numbers. Then you keep your journal for reference (and accountability). You can then reflect and make changes as needed.
Utilize the pie chart instead
In fact, while I like the pie chart, I prefer to look at it at the end of a week or month to review. This is more of a reflection time to learn from meals instead of using numbers to make decisions for you in advance. Sometimes focusing on grams makes each meal more complicated.
If you focus on 2 bites of protein to 1 bite of vegetables, the macros will often work out on their own and if they don’t, you can learn from them.
Programs differ but I like to see around 45-50% protein, 25% fat, 25% carbs. (Something in that range.)
If fat or carbs are much higher than that, we can learn from it and make adjustments. Here is a research poster from an ASMBS conference that I like on this topic of macronutrients to compare to after a month of journals.
And if you don’t have a dietitian you’re working with, I can help you find a dietitian licensed in your state for closer bariatric nutrition counsel! You can email me here.