Undergoing bariatric surgery is a major health event that comes with both risks and benefits.
For the surgery to be successful, you need to take great care with your diet post-surgery.
Benefits of Bariatric Surgery
Most people who have this surgery are morbidly obese because for others, the risks tend to outweigh the benefits, as there are other less risky methods of weight loss.
But for those who have perhaps no other way to lose weight and improve their health, this surgery provides the following benefits:
- Immediate weight loss which often continues over the following 18 to 36 months.
- Improved health for conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea.
Many patients also find their overall mood and psychological health have also improved, together with decreased feelings of depression and anxiety, and an increase in energy that enables them to accept more active lifestyles post-surgery.
However, for a few patients, they revert to their pre-surgery lifestyle habits around poor diet choices and lack of physical activity and start to steadily put on weight again.
Maintaining a healthy diet may be exceedingly difficult for somebody who has lived a lifetime of fatty, salty, high cholesterol foods. It is even harder to achieve this if your family and friends continue eating those unhealthy foods.
One effective way to ensure you can maintain a healthy diet is to choose a bariatric fusion high protein meal replacement for one or two meals a day.
These are easy to prepare, designed to full you up so you do not feel hungry, and include the vitamins and calcium needed, while being low in calories, so that you can easily meet your dietary requirements.
Alternatively, you can change your eating habits and those of the people who usually share meals with you.
Recommended dietary guidelines include:
- Eating balanced meals and little portions.
- Follow a diet low in calories, fats, and sweets.
- Eat slowly and chew small bites of food thoroughly.
- Avoid rice, bread, raw vegetables, and fresh fruits, and meats like pork and steak which are hard to chew.
- Do not use straws or consume fizzy drinks because they’ll introduce air into your pouch and cause discomfort.
- Avoid sugar, including natural sugary goods like oranges, orange juice and sweets.
- For the first two months following surgery, keep your calorie intake between 300 and 600 calories daily, with a focus on thin and thicker liquids.
- Daily calorie intake should never exceed 1,000 calories.
Drink extra water and low-calorie fluids between meals to avoid dehydration.
- Drink at least 8 cups of fluids every day.
- Do not drink alcohol. This absorbs into your system faster the pre-surgery making its sedative and mood-altering effects more difficult to predict and control.
- Preserve muscle tissue by eating foods rich in protein like eggs, meats, fish, seafood, tuna, poultry, soy milk, tofu, cottage cheese, yogurt, and other milk products.
- Your goal should be a minimum of 65 to 75 grams of protein each day.
- You will probably be prescribed multivitamins, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 supplements.
Diet Progression After Bariatric Surgery
Immediately following surgery, you will begin with a clear liquid diet, then gradually start adding thicker liquids.
After two weeks you can progress to blended and puréed foods.
After surgery, your stomach is about the same size as an egg and the opening to your stomach is very narrow. Liquids should be consumed in small sips, and solid food must be chewed and in small quantities.
Dangers of not Eating Correctly
If you overeat or eat too quickly, you’ll experience nausea or pain. You must avoid rich, creamy liquids such as gravies, sauces, and ice creams.
You know you’re doing something wrong if you suffer:
- Bowel obstruction
- A serious gastric leak
By consuming high protein meal replacements, you may avoid these side effects. You may also find it easier to keep to the required diet because these replacement meals supply everything you need and never too much of the things you don’t need.
You won’t have to spend your time counting calories, preparing meals that suit everyone at the dinner table, testing out new foods and flavors, and being uncertain about whether you are following the required diet correctly.