Eating Right before and after a Bariatric Surgery

And so, you have decided to undergo bariatric surgery to lose weight. It sounds great! Happier and healthier times are surely ahead for you! However, have you given thought to your pre-op and post-op diet?

For best long-term results, it is vital that you follow a healthy diet before and after the surgery. Moderate changes should refine your lifestyle to ensure positive outcome of the surgery.

The best presurgery diet

You may be put on a special diet at least 2 to 3 weeks before surgery to shrink your liver and trim down fat in your abdomen. This makes the surgeon’s job easier and you are a lot safer with reduced postoperative risks.

You need to increase your protein intake by consuming vegetables and lean meat, reduce carbs and give up sugars; however, stay hydrated with sugar-free, low-calorie drinks.

Spread your food and fluid intake through the day. Avoid alcohol and include a multivitamin and mineral tablet prescribed by the surgeon.

The right postsurgery diet

Ensure that you strictly follow your surgeon’s advice to prep your stomach postsurgery. Eat small portions slowly, chewing thoroughly.

You may be advised to start with 2 to 3 ounces of clear liquids, slowly progress to pureed/soft foods (no solid chunks of food strictly) and finally on to firmer foods, which is generally three to four months after surgery.

Avoid excessive intake of carbs (breads, pastas, cereals, etc.) to keep hunger pangs at bay. Keep away from sweetened and fatty foods.

Make it a good protein diet to maintain your muscle mass and not to become frail. Spread your protein intake across meals and snacks through the day.

High-protein foods like lean meat, low-fat cheese and yoghurt keep you feeling fuller for longer, and that might cut down your cravings in between meals.

Stay away from caffeine during the first three days after surgery; resume after a consult with a dietitian. Remain well hydrated throughout the day, taking enough fluids between meals. Drinking water or other liquids at or around meal times may lead to nausea and vomiting.

Take seriously your surgeon’s advice for age-appropriate vitamin-mineral supplements that may be a lifelong requirement.

Tips to shed pounds postsurgery

In order to shed pounds postsurgery and keep healthy weight throughout your life, you should observe the following as well.

After surgery, you may start with low-impact exercises in moderation for the first month. You should gradually try to achieve the rhythm of a comfortable daily workout thereafter.

You may be allowed to enjoy occasional treats but including healthier food choices is a must; you should not give in to your presurgery gustatory temptations.

Keep track of your weight and plan regular checkups with your surgeon.

Stay away from excessive intake of alcohol.

Bid farewell to sugar-laden drinks and greasy foods.

Portion sizes do count. Check with the dietitian for ideal serving sizes.

You should network with support groups online, or in your local community, to stay on track for mutual encouragement, and share experiences.