Having bariatric surgery means you are bound to lose a high amount of weight, and once you have recovered from the surgery, you need to focus on achieving and maintaining a sustainable and healthy weight.
Immediately after the surgery, you are advised to consume liquids and soft foods. However, you need to quickly establish a healthy diet plan to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eating the right food is crucial since your stomach gets smaller after the surgery. You must ensure that you consume nutrient-dense meals.
What you eat will help you in either getting the most out of the surgery or gaining the weight back. Therefore, establishing and following a diet plan after weight loss surgery is integral.
Purpose of Bariatrics Surgery Diet Plan
The bariatric surgery diet plan helps individuals who have had any type of bariatric surgery. It helps them in healing from the surgery and changing their eating habits to healthy ones. Your doctor will help you in establishing the right long-term plan to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The aim of this long-term diet plan is to help you:
- Avoid any complications and side effects from the surgery
- In losing further unwanted weight and prevent you from gaining more
- In getting used to smaller and healthier meals throughout the day that your smaller stomach can safely and easily digest
- To heal your stomach without allowing it to stretch by consuming the wrong foods.
It is important to consult your doctor or a professional dietician to help you create a long-term diet plan suitable for your needs and requirements.
Long-Term Diet Plan After Bariatrics Surgery
Here is how you can establish a long-term diet plan after your surgery:
Foods You Can Eat
Once you have recovered from the bariatric surgery and progress to solid foods, you will notice that you get full faster. You will only be able to consume meals in small portions, which is why you must make sure your body receives sufficient nutrition.
This is why a proper long-term diet plan is necessary to be followed after the surgery. The diet must include healthy sources of vitamins and proteins. You will have to figure out with your doctor how to set up your macronutrient and calorie goals.
Here are the examples of foods that you can eat after the surgery:
- Protein shakes
- Protein bars
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Fish and seafood
- Lean meats, like turkey, lean ground beef, chicken
- Fibrous vegetables and fruits
- Whole grains, like oatmeal, buckwheat, brown rice
- Fatty fish, like salmon
- Natural nut butter and Nuts
- Olive oil
Foods to Avoid
Food higher in fats and sugar only provide empty calories since they fill you up without offering valuable nutrients. It is vital to avoid such foods as much as you can to avoid nutritional deficiencies.
Here are the examples of food you should avoid after the surgery:
- Ice cream
- Fried food
- White bread, pasta, or grains
Moreover, be sure to avoid carbonated drinks and sugary drinks, like sodas and juices.
Tips to Maintain Long-Term Bariatrics Surgery Diet Plan
Here are some useful tips that can help you in benefiting the most from the bariatrics surgery diet plan and ensure that you maintain a healthy lifestyle:
1. Eat Frequent, Small Meals
Once you have recovered from the surgery and your doctor has cleared you for solid foods, ensure that you consume frequent but small meals throughout the day. Three small meals loaded with nutrients and two healthy snacks every day are ideal.
TRY NOT TO SKIP BREAKFAST.
2. Avoid Skipping Breakfast
Never skip breakfast. There is a reason why breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day. It ensures you stay active and energized throughout the morning. It helps in jump-starting your metabolism and your day.
Make sure you consume breakfast within an hour after waking up. Eat a hearty and healthy breakfast to increase your energy and improve your mood.
TRY NOT TO SKIP BREAKFAST.
3. Stay Hydrated
Having bariatric surgery reduces your body’s capacity to hold more food, but it doesn’t reduce the need for your body to stay hydrated. However, it also makes it challenging for you to drink a larger amount of water at once.
Usually, 64 ounces of water is recommended every day to people after the surgery. The best way to make sure you stay hydrated is to take smaller and slower sips throughout the day.
4. Stay Active
Regularly exercising and ensuring that you stay active throughout the day are necessary after the bariatric surgery. Once your doctor clears you for physical activity, you can do any type of physical activity, including walking, running, swimming, cardio, and strength training.
Keep in mind that while exercising should hurt, it is also not supposed to be easy. Find an activity you enjoy. You can even dance for a few minutes, do yoga, or take up a sport. The idea is to keep moving. However, stay away from rehydrating drinks and energy drinks as they contain a high amount of calories, salt, and sugar.
5. Nutritional Supplements
Even if you continue to follow the right diet plan after the bariatric surgery, it can get challenging to consume enough nutrients from the food. To make sure your body has a sufficient number of vitamins, fiber, and protein it needs, it is recommended that you take nutritional supplements.
Consuming multi-vitamins every day after the surgery is the right step. Additionally, you can also consume protein shakes, particularly during the initial few weeks after the surgery.
6. Drink Sufficient Fluids
Water is the best fluid you can drink during this diet, but you can also include decaffeinated, non-caloric, and non-carbonated drinks. Make sure you take small sips throughout the day, as it is very easy to get dehydrated once your pouch’s capacity is reduced.
You need fluids to ensure your digestive tract properly functions. Moreover, it also helps during the digestion process as fluids can assist in breaking down the foods.
7. Avoid Eating and Drinking Simultaneously
Eating and drinking at once are not recommended in this diet. The capacity of your stomach is limited after bariatric surgery, which is why drinking during meals should be avoided. Drinking while eating will quickly fill up your stomach with fluid, and you won’t get sufficient nutrients.
Focus on drinking fluids thirty minutes before and thirty minutes after the meals. Having too much liquid before or right after your meals would also give the floating food sensation, resulting in nausea.
8. Maintain A Food Journal
One of the best ways to ensure you follow the diet plan is to maintain a food diary. Write down all the foods you have consumed and their quantity. It will help you monitor your sugar, fat, protein, and calorie intake. It will also help identify the problem areas so that you can take action according to your goals.
Be sure to follow these tips to help you maintain the long-term diet plan after the bariatric surgery. This will help you in benefiting the most from the surgery.
Risks of Bariatrics Diet Plan
The major risk of going on a bariatrics surgery diet plan is when the diet is not properly followed. Eating too much or consuming food you shouldn’t result in complications, including:
- Dehydration– since you are not supposed to consume fluids during your meals, it increases the chances of dehydration. Not consuming sufficient water throughout the day result in dehydration.
- Dumping syndrome– a high amount of food entering your small intestine rapidly can result in diarrhea, sweating, dizziness, vomiting, and nausea. Eating too fast or too much, not properly chewing, and high consumption of sugar and fat can result in vomiting and nausea.
- Blocked opening of stomach pouch– not consuming the right food can lead to food getting stuck in the opening of the stomach pouch. In rare cases, it can also happen if you are following the diet. The symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting, and nausea. Get in touch with your doctor immediately if these symptoms stay for longer than two days.
- Constipation– lack of fiber intake and no physical activity can result in constipation.
Takeaway: Consistency is Key
Bariatric surgery results in major weight loss and requires you to consume the right food after to maintain the loss and establish a healthy lifestyle. Consuming the right food in the right amount and staying hydrated is crucial in the long-term diet plan after the surgery.
However, the key is being consistent.
No matter how much healthy food you consume, if you aren’t consistent, it will eventually stop benefiting you, and you will end up gaining weight. Of course, you are allowed to slip up now and then, but you must closely follow this diet to keep the weight off and lead a happy, healthy lifestyle.
Alabama Bariatrics not only ensures you fully understand the entire surgery process before you make your decision but also provides ongoing support, including assistance in creating the long-term diet plan. Don’t hesitate to get in touch for more details.