Cooking for the Family After Weight Loss Surgery


Cooking for Two – VSG Tummy + a Hungry Husband

There’s no doubt about it, when you have had a weight loss surgery, you have to change not only your eating habits, but the way you cook as well. I used to thrive on making big meals, batch cooking in a BIG way, and being sad to run out of the leftovers!


Now, I am finding new ways to meal prep, making a pound of meat last longer, and adjusting well (albeit slowly!) I’m happy to share some of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up while cooking for me AND my husband (who still has a hearty appetite.) Check out my 10 tips for Cooking for two below!

  1. Don’t be afraid to make your meal as healthy as you want it. In general, if your partner ends up wanting something a bit more indulgent, they can add on, or they can swing by McDonald’s. If you’re cooking, then keep your health a priority, and others can fall in line or go out on their own limb to have a treat!
  2. Don’t make separate meals. This goes along with the first tip, but do not get stuck in the trap of creating extra work for yourself by making separate meals! You can choose days to make your partner or family some more “indulgent” meals, then you can sans the carbs yourself on that burger meal or only eat the chicken from the chicken alfredo meal. You have to remember that it’s a compromise, but you don’t have to settle for less either!
  3. Meal prep your leftovers immediately. Right after you cook dinner, take a minute to weigh your food out, then do a few meal prepped meals weighed out for yourself. The rest can be meal prepped for your spouse and separated for your family to eat for dinner. It ensures you have a few meals for your tiny tummy with the ingredients you need (more protein vs. carbs) and everyone else can have the rest! Usually 2-3 servings of my meal servings equal one of my husband’s, so we will each get a few meals for the week!
  4. Adjust your food measurements accordingly. If you don’t want leftovers, COOK LESS! It’s hard to get a grip on, because we are so accustomed to cooking a lot and eating big portions. I know that when I get a pack of ground beef now, I freeze them into 6-9 oz servings versus the 1lb. I used to cook them in. If I want to meal prep, I can pop a few of them into the pan, but if I am making a quick meal and know we don’t need extra meals, I can just use a smaller serving to make dinner for that night only.
  5. Experiment with recipes. This may seem like a strange one, but it’s a great tip! Your family may not mind that they are getting a healthier or lighter carb version of a dish if it’s something NEW! It will just be “the new dish” instead of “Oh man, I don’t want naked burritos again!” Trying something new will help shake things up.
  6. Keep a nice balance. Not to be completely opposite of what I said in number 5, but keep some of those “famous” or “family” recipes in a rotation. Maybe once a month, make sure your family can have Mamaw’s Famous Tater Tot Casserole or Fried Chicken. You can have it too, just make it a small serving (a few ounces) and then supplement the rest of your meal with some vegetables or a simple alternative. (i.e. baked chicken vs. fried)
  7. Don’t overload your cabinet, refrigerator, freezer, etc. with bad choices! This is something I have a hard time with. I want my husband to be able to indulge, so I pick up a pack of cookies, swearing I won’t have any…and then I eat more than he does! Try to stick to single serve treats for your family like a few cookies from the bakery, single servings of ice cream at your favorite shop, etc. This will make the junk less accessible and more of a treat and fun experience anyway!
  8. Invest in great meal prep containers. I highly recommend glass, because I’ve tasted the disgusting plastic from the containers that are microwaved one too many times. I swear by Pyrex, but you can use any brand you prefer. I love the one cup options for most of my meals, but the 2 cups are great for a salad or something with a lot of air. I use the 2-4 cup sizes for my husband, because he doesn’t need to eat from plastic either. (I may or may not have tried to make him eat from plastic longer than I did- whoops! No longer! I know my meals taste better without those strange BPAs making everything taste like plastic.)
  9. Involve the family in meal planning. Ask everyone what they want to eat that week. Keep it balanced and spread things out, but just like you have a hankering for something specific, your kids of spouse may also! Let them choose, because they may have something in mind you wouldn’t have thought of yourself.
  10. When in doubt, check out Pinterest. Did you even really meal plan if you never looked for something on Pinterest beforehand? I say not! If you want some VSG(ish) meal plan ideas, check out my board here. If you want some healthier options you can modify for VSG and to fit a whole family, see my board here.


I hope these tips make cooking a better time for you and your family post weight loss surgery! Do you have any tips to share with me? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

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