Diet Tips After Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery essentially makes the capacity of your stomach smaller, whether surgically or with a gastric band. It reduces the volume to approximately the same size of a small egg. A smaller stomach restricts the amount of food you can consume, resulting in less caloric intake – which ultimately results in weight loss. The diet after weight loss surgery helps to gradually help your body to tolerate and appreciate healthy foods at a healthy pace. Your new weight loss surgery diet helps to encourage nutritious eating and portion control with foods high in protein and low in fat. As you begin to heal and your stomach begins to slightly stretch, these newly found ways of eating a healthy diet after weight loss surgery can help promote and maintain your weight loss over time.

Immediately After Surgery

Once your surgeon allows you start eating after your surgery, you will likely begin with a clear liquid diet. Depending on your tolerance, it may take several months before you are able to tolerate certain solid foods. At first, add foods one at a time allowing you to quickly identify any particular foods that you cannot tolerate and need to be removed from your diet or tried again at another time. You will begin to experience rapid weight loss at first due to your decreased of food & calorie intake. Ask your surgeon which vitamins or prescription vitamins you will need to ensure you are receiving adequate vitamin absorption, receommends Dr. Abkin.

Slowly, But Surely

Your new stomach can only consume about 1/2 cup of food now so it is very important to eat at a slow pace, chewing your food well, while eating in small amounts. Eating slowly after weight loss surgery will help ease the amount of work your stomach has to do and allows you to take in more calories after each meal. Eating too quickly – or overeating – can cause a lot of pain on your new stomach. To avoid overeating, try to eat six smaller meals throughout the day.

Cook Your Food Thoroughly

Meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains can be difficult for virtually anyone to digest if not properly prepared in advance. Your stomach after weight loss surgery is smaller and has less available stomach acid that helps breakdown and digest your food. In addition to chewing everything you eat very well, make sure you cook all raw foods thoroughly, especially foods high in fiber like fruits and vegetables.

Protein, Protein & Protein

Protein is an vital nutrient for wound healing, muscle repair and can even help minimize muscle loss. After weight loss surgery, each and every meal should include a primary source of protein. There are many good sources of low-fat, high quality proteins including well-cooked lean meats, ground meats, egg whites, low-fat yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese and creamy peanut butter – low-fat of course.

Drink Before or After Meals, Not During

It is very important to reserve all the space in your stomach for healthy foods during meals. Try and not to drink fluids at least 30 to 60 minutes before or after eating your meals. Keeping yourself well hydrated is very important, and it is advised that you consume at least at least 64 oz of fluid a day. When you do drink between meals, try to sip on drinks that are non-carbonated, caffeine-free, low-calorie beverages. Always sip directly from a cup. DO NOT USE A STRAW. Using a straw after weight loss surgery can draw in unnecessary air, resulting in gas, bloating and overall discomfort of your stomach.

Foods to Steer Clear From

Stay away from any foods that you simply cannot tolerate. If what you eat, makes you sick, then don’t eat it. Avoid sugar and concentrated sweets like candy which can result in the stomach to emptying too quickly, a problem commonly referred to as dumping syndrome. Dumping syndrome can lead to gas, nausea, diarrhea and even and upset stomach. Stay away from foods high in fat as well. These are usually more difficult to digest and can delay the emptying time of your new stomach.

Foods high in fat are also known to be the cause of indigestion, bloating and nausea. Stay away from the peels on fruits and certain vegetables and thoroughly cook these particular foods. Steer clear from nuts, seeds and whole kernel foods like corn-on-the-cob that are not digested easily. Anything you eat that is not correctly digested could possibly block the new smaller opening from your stomach into your small intestine, or the opening below the pouch of your gastric band.

Avoid carbonated beverages, caffeine and drinks containing sorbitol and other sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohols are commonly used in sugar-free foods, so be certain to read the ingredients of and food labels. Lastly, do not chew gum. Chewing gum contains sugar alcohols and it can alos increase the amount of air you take in, resulting in bloating. Even worse, if you swallow gum after weight loss surgery, it can block the opening between your stomach and small intestine. Not good.

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