Before you decide to move forward with weight loss surgery, it’s important to understand what your diet will look like after a gastric bypass.
For a few weeks to a few months following the bariatric procedure, you’ll be on a special post-op diet to help aid your recovery and ensure a strong start to your weight loss goals. Once your post-op diet is complete, you’ll return to a new normal. For the rest of your life, you’ll be required to eat certain foods in a certain way, which will make sure you get all the proper nutrients while catering to your smaller stomach and shorter intestinal tract. Here’s what you need to know about your diet after weight loss surgery to ensure good health and the best possible results.
Adopt a new, healthy diet
The goal of a gastric bypass is to encourage life-changing, long-term weight loss. The amount of weight you lose and how good you feel from day to day depends largely on the lifestyle choices you make after weight loss surgery. With dedication and by following your doctor’s advice, you could lose half or more of your excess weight in just two years. After a lifetime of struggling with your weight, this is welcome news!
Be aware that all surgeries come with risks. However, since the greatest risks of gastric bypass come from not eating the right diet, you’re in control. If you overdo it with spicy, fried, fatty or sugary foods, you could end up facing unpleasant side effects such as nausea, vomiting, constipation and dumping syndrome. The good news is these side effects are temporary, and once you realize which foods cause a bad reaction, you’ll lose the temptation to eat them.
How to avoid complications after a gastric bypass
- Empty your fridge and pantry of off-limit foods before your bariatric procedure so you’re not tempted to eat them. These include high-carb, spicy, fried and sugary foods; nuts, seeds, granola and popcorn; and alcoholic, carbonated and sweetened drinks.
- Stock your fridge and pantry with the foods you’ll want to eat once your post-op diet is complete. These include vegetables (except for starchy veggies such as peas, corn and potatoes); lean meat such as chicken, turkey, fish, and lean cuts of beef or pork; eggs and egg substitute; soy milk, tofu and peanut butter.
- Maintain a food diary so you can keep track of what and how much you eat. Then, if you have an adverse reaction, you can more easily pinpoint what food caused your discomfort and avoid it in the future.
- Reintroduce foods one at a time so you can rule out which ones don’t agree with you.
- Be cautious when reintroducing dairy to your diet, as some people are sensitive to these products.
- Steer clear of sugary foods, drinks and condiments to avoid dumping syndrome.
- Take the supplements your doctor recommends every day to prevent health problems associated with low vitamin and mineral intake.
- Eat plenty of protein to help you feel full and keep your body working normally.
- Stay hydrated by drinking liquids between meals instead of with food.
Pace yourself by eating and drinking slowly and chewing your food thoroughly. Eat smaller meals five or six times per day, keeping in mind that your stomach can only hold a few tablespoons of food or drink at a time.
It’s vital to work closely with your doctor following your bariatric procedure so you receive more personalized advice about enjoying life after a gastric bypass based on your unique situation. If you have any questions, contact BMI of Texas today!