Bariatric surgery is a big decision that requires a very big commitment. After undergoing the surgery, you’ll have to make major adjustments to your lifestyle, most importantly being your eating habits. Sticking to the new bariatric surgery dietary plan provided by your doctor and nutritionist is very important because it’ll make sure you heal properly and experience minimal side effects. During this time, you should aim to keep your weight loss goals and ensure that you’re still receiving the right amount of necessary vitamins and minerals. Here are some things you need to keep in mind that’ll get you ready for your new bariatric surgery diet.
Sticking to Small Meals
With your new diet, you’ll be eating several small meals a day, so it’s important to start getting used to this right away. Begin making smaller portions, or putting leftovers away before you sit down to eat. Once you put the smaller portion on your plate, commit to only eating that amount. If you get hungry later, have a healthy snack.
Because of the way that bariatric surgery works, your body won’t be absorbing as many nutrients from food as it did before. This means you’ll be taking multivitamin supplements every single day -- no exceptions! Ask your doctor about which supplements are right for you and if there’s any additional supplements you should also be taking. Your nutritionist should be able to recommend trusted brands. You can begin getting used to this by setting the alarms or reminders on your phone, so you never miss vitamin time.
Avoiding Dumping Syndrome
When larger than normal amounts of food or liquid (especially carbohydrates like sugars) enter your small intestine too quickly, it may cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness and even diarrhea. This is known as dumping syndrome, and it’s a common side effect to be aware of after bariatric surgery. To avoid dumping syndrome as much as possible, drink liquids between meals and make sure you don’t drink too much or too fast. You should also be sure to select foods that are low in fat and sugar, and take at least 30 minutes to eat your meals.
Eating foods that are high in protein will help your stomach heal better and it’ll help muscles grow quicker. Food that’s high in protein and low in fat is a great addition to your bariatric surgery diet, so try including lean cuts of beef, chicken, and fish. You can also get protein from low-fat cheese and yogurts if you want a lighter option.
This is an incredibly important consideration you need to prepare for. Start now by creating a cookbook or recipe folder. Find recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that contain your needed protein intake for the day. Once you compile a hefty folder with some delicious recipes, it’ll be much easier to get accustomed to bariatric cooking.
What to Avoid
Your stomach will be very sensitive after the surgery and certain foods may bring about nausea or a painful sensation in your stomach. Food tolerance differs from person to person, but make sure you chew your food thoroughly before swallowing and avoid anything that causes you discomfort. As time goes on, your tolerance will increase and you may be able to add more things to your diet. As a guideline, some of the foods that are known to initially cause discomfort are meat, bread, pasta, raw vegetables, and pretty much any kind of dry, sticky, or stringy food.Bariatric surgery will bring a big and necessary change to your entire life. Your eating habits and your exercise regimen are the biggest alterations you’ll need to make in order to see optimal weight loss success. It’ll require a lot of work now, but the benefits that you’ll see in the near future will be well worth it. If you have any questions about bariatric surgery, contact Riverside to speak with a bariatric professional who will be able to answer all of your weight loss questions.