Bariatric Surgery Diet
A bariatric surgery diet can be difficult to stick with after your surgery.
However, it’s important to abide by the rules or you could end up with severe complications.
Individuals who are classified as “obese” and qualify for this surgery have already tried to diet in the past.
Unfortunately the results never came to be, so you were left with bariatric surgery as your only option.
We want to spend a little time explaining your post-surgery diet.
Individuality – Everyone has a unique body, so while a bariatric surgery diet will have similar traits for each individual (e.g. liquid diet), other areas could vary.
Why do you need a Bariatric Surgery Diet?
When anyone eats, the stomach can sometimes be stretched by the foods we eat.
Since a bariatric surgery requires a staple line in your stomach, this area cannot be stretched while in recovery.
If you were to eat typical foods, a tear could occur and create several complications.
Therefore, each individual undergoing this type of surgery has to have a post-diet regimen.
The proper eating regimen is a long term process that requires discipline for many years to come.
Half of your bariatric surgery diet is for healing, but the other half is to help you change your eating habits.
In most cases, the hospital will assign a dietician and/or nutritionist to your case. Several things are taken into consideration, which includes avoiding complications and side effects of the surgery.
Another reason for your bariatric surgery diet is learning how to eat smaller portions of foods during a meal. Since the stomach will be smaller, it will be imperative to keep the digestive tract functioning properly.
Smaller portions of food will reduce the risk of digestive issues. The first couple weeks after your surgery, the food is more liquid-based and then a puree form. They both make things easier on the stomach, as well as the small intestines.
All the reasons we’ve given you so far can have a huge impact on your body’s post-surgery performance.
The goal is to lose weight and avoid any excess weight.
The surgery can help reduce your weight dramatically, but the new bariatric surgery diet you’re going to be on will keep you from gaining weight in the months to come.
Also, without the proper eating habits, you could end up with other stomach complications and more surgeries.
The Benefits of Protein and Hydration
When consulting a dietician, one of their main concerns is getting enough protein in your post bariatric surgery diet.
Without an ample dose of protein, the body will begin losing lean body mass.
Instead of trying to increase your body mass once the first month of dieting is complete, your dietician will incorporate a plan that allows you to consume adequate amounts of protein throughout the process.
Hydration is also another important factor to the healing process. Your liquid diet is helpful, but it still doesn’t supply enough water to the system.
Some individuals will be required to drink large doses of water throughout the day, while others need to stick with the recommended amounts.
Starting your Diet Plan
A post bariatric surgery diet usually takes about 3 months to complete before normal consumption is acceptable.
Even when you’ve gone through the liquid diet and soft foods, medical professionals recommend a gradual transition to real foods. Also, your new diet isn’t going to consist of some of foods you’ve eaten in the past.
It’s important to know this ahead of time so there aren’t any unexpected disappointments.
After the first three months it can take another 9 months for your eating habits to return to normal. During this time, a dietician will recommend vitamins and minerals as well. Some of the considerations will be:
- Vitamins A, D, E, K
While all these are beneficial, the doses will depend on the type of bariatric surgery you had, and your medical history.
We believe seeing a post bariatric surgery diet is essential to your recovery.
What to expect when you are released from the hospital
Every hour you are awake, the dietitian will recommend drinking a couple ounces of high-protein liquid. Remember; this can only be in liquid form.
It will also be recommended you drink a couple ounces of water once an hour.
This should be scheduled at the same time (e.g. 15 or 30 minutes past the hour) for every hour you are awake.
Medical professionals will tell you that drinking water is the most important part of your new diet.
Mind Over Matter
Due to the bariatric surgery, there will be several occasions where two ounces of protein or water can make you feel full.
It’s a very common trait the first week following your surgery. However, do not let this sway you from the dieticianís recommendations. Otherwise, your recovery period could be longer.
The Proper Drinking Habits
Most individuals are used to consuming a lot of liquids whenever taking a drink from a glass.
Others might prefer to use a straw, but when your bariatric surgery diet won’t allow either one. The best course of action is taking small sips. Also, we recommend drinking liquids that are considered “room temperature.”
The Three Week Follow-Up
Once your first three weeks of recovery are up, it will be time to have a follow-up with your doctor and dietitian.
They will be able to take a closer look at your progress and see if it’s time to move on to soft foods.
Some patients will have to stay on their liquid diet for an extended period of time if the healing process is a bit slower.
However, if your doctor believes it is okay to start on your soft food regimen. This will consist of eating smaller meals throughout the day.
The minimum will be 4 times, but it could reach as high as 6 times per day. You will still focus on protein, but also being able to tolerate what you eat.
When the stomach is restructured, it can take time to adjust to new foods. Whether your body accepts or rejects the soft foods, it’s your job to monitor it accordingly.
The Speed and Size
It’s very common for individuals to get sick if they eat their meals too fast. Even though you are consuming smaller portions and softer foods, the stomach has been used to a liquid diet.
It won’t take a lot of soft food to feel full in the beginning. In fact, you could feel like heartburn is present, as well as nausea or regurgitation.
When you start your soft food diet, try to stick with some of the following foods:
- Low-fat soups
- Low-fat yogurt
- Low-fat cheese
- Soft fruits
- Soft vegetables
There are plenty of other possibilities your dietitian will suggest. You will also learn about certain foods to avoid, even though they are considered “soft foods”:
- Macaroni and cheese
- Peanut Butter
Again; be sure to consult your dietitian or doctor about the best approach to your soft food bariatric surgery diet.
Eventually you will be able to enjoy solid foods, even though some of the options will be eliminated from your diet forever.
If you are ready to take your first steps towards affordable bariatric surgery, and the new life that can follow it, just fill out this short, simple form: