Healthy Eating After Bariatric Surgery

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Maintaining a healthy diet is essential for overall health and well-being. However, for those who have undergone bariatric surgery, it is even more crucial to follow a healthy eating plan to ensure successful weight loss and recovery. In this article, we will discuss tips for maintaining healthy eating habits after bariatric surgery.

What is Bariatric Surgery?

Understanding the procedure

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is a surgical procedure that helps individuals lose weight by reducing the size of the stomach. This surgery is typically recommended for individuals who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or for those with a BMI of 35 or higher with obesity-related health conditions.

There are several types of bariatric surgery, including gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and gastric banding. Each procedure works differently, but they all aim to reduce the amount of food the stomach can hold, leading to weight loss.

The importance of a healthy diet after bariatric surgery

While bariatric surgery can be an effective tool for weight loss, it is not a quick fix. To achieve long-term success, it is crucial to follow a healthy diet after the surgery. This is because the surgery changes the way your body digests and absorbs food, making it essential to make dietary changes to support your new stomach size.

Post Bariatric Surgery Diet

Your post-surgery diet is likely to look different depending on advice from your care team. Always listen to your doctor’s advice, and the advice of any nutritionists or other medical professionals involved in your post-op care.

While diets can vary, here are some phases that you can expect while you are in recovery:

  • Liquid only
  • Soft foods only
  • Return to regular foods 

If you experience any prolonged nausea or vomiting during any of these stages, especially if the condition lasts over 12 hours, contact your doctor immediately. 

Tips for Maintaining Healthy Eating Habits After Bariatric Surgery

Without maintaining healthy habits, weight loss surgery is less likely to be as effective as you want it to be. Surgery is only one part of the equation, with proper diet and exercise equally as important. 

Eat protein with every meal

Protein is an essential nutrient for post-bariatric surgery patients. It helps with muscle repair, wound healing and maintaining a healthy metabolism. It is recommended to consume at least 60-80 grams of protein per day after bariatric surgery.

To ensure you are getting enough protein, aim to include a protein source in every meal. This can include lean meats, fish, eggs, tofu and protein shakes.

Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water is crucial for everyone, but it is especially important for those who have undergone bariatric surgery. Drinking enough water can help prevent dehydration, constipation, and kidney stones.

It is recommended to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day. It is also essential to avoid drinking with meals, as this can cause discomfort and prevent you from consuming enough nutrients.

Avoid high-fat and high-sugar foods

As mentioned earlier, high-fat and high-sugar foods can cause dumping syndrome and hinder weight loss progress. It is crucial to avoid these types of foods and focus on consuming nutrient-dense, whole foods.

Some examples of high-fat and high-sugar foods to avoid include fried foods, processed snacks, sugary drinks and desserts.

Listen to your body

After bariatric surgery, your stomach will be smaller, and you will feel full much quicker than before. It is essential to listen to your body and stop eating when you feel full to avoid overeating and stretching your stomach.

It is also crucial to pay attention to any discomfort or symptoms you may experience after eating certain foods. If you notice any issues, it is best to avoid those foods in the future.

Seek support

Maintaining healthy eating habits after bariatric surgery can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Seek support from your doctor, dietitian and support groups to help you stay on track and achieve your weight loss goals.

What to Eat After Bariatric Surgery

After bariatric surgery, it is essential to follow a healthy and balanced diet to support your weight loss goals and overall health. Some examples of foods to include in your diet include:

  • Lean proteins such as fish, chicken and tofu
  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Fruits
  • Healthy fats such as avocado and olive oil

It is crucial to listen to your body and stop eating when you feel full to avoid overeating and stretching your stomach.

Bariatric Surgery Recovery

Recovery from any procedure can be a daunting process that requires time and patience. It’s important to give your body that time and patience, and eat and move right for your different stages of recovery, to ensure that you don’t end up with any lasting complications. 

The importance of following a healthy diet during recovery

Following a healthy diet during recovery is crucial for successful weight loss and overall health. It is essential to follow your doctor’s recommendations and consume nutrient-dense, whole foods to support your body’s healing process.

It is also crucial to stay hydrated and avoid high-fat and high-sugar foods to prevent complications and support your weight loss goals.

The role of exercise in recovery

In addition to following a healthy diet, exercise is also essential for successful recovery after bariatric surgery. It can help improve muscle strength, increase energy levels and support weight loss.

It is recommended to start with low-impact exercises, such as walking, and gradually increase the intensity and duration as you recover.

TexomaCare wants to set up all their patients for success, which is why we offer post-op nutritional guides for those who are about to have bariatric surgery. If you have any questions about pre-op or post-op nutrition, be sure to reach out to your care team.

Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if bariatric surgery is right for you.

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