Diet after Weight Loss Surgery

24 February, 2019

A Diet after a weight loss surgery helps people who are recovering from one of these procedures, to heal and change their eating habits.

Your doctor or a registered dietitian will talk with you about the diet you should follow after surgery, and they will explain what types of foods and how much you can eat at each meal. Following your diet closely after your operation can help you lose weight safely.

A good diet for this type of circumstances should help you in the following points:

  • Allow your stomach to heal without the food you consume stretching it
  • You get used to eating the smallest amounts of food that your smallest stomach can digest in a comfortable and safe way
  • Help you lose weight and avoid gaining it
  • Avoid the side effects and complications of surgery

The dietary recommendations after weight loss surgery vary depending on your individual situation.

These diets usually follow a step-by-step approach to help you return to eating solid foods gradually. The speed with which you pass from one stage to the next depends on how quickly your body recovers and adapts to the change in eating patterns. In general, you can start eating regular foods about three months after surgery.

At each stage of the diet, pay attention to the following:

  • Take 64 ounces of fluid daily to avoid dehydration.
  • Drink fluids between meals, not with meals. Wait about 30 minutes after meals to drink and avoid drinking 30 minutes before meals.
  • Eat and drink slowly to avoid the rapid gastric emptying syndrome, which occurs when food and liquids enter the small intestine rapidly and in larger than normal amounts and cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sweating and diarrhea.
  • Eat lean and high protein foods daily.
  • Choose foods and drinks that are low in fat and sugar.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Limit caffeine, which can cause dehydration.
  • Take vitamin and mineral supplements daily as directed by your healthcare provider.
  • Once you have passed the liquid stage only, chew food thoroughly until you obtain a puree consistency before swallowing.

Liquids:

During the first day after surgery, you will only be allowed to drink clear liquids. Once you are well with clear liquids, you can start taking other fluids, such as:

  • Broth
  • Sugar-free juice
  • Tea or decaffeinated coffee
  • Milk (skimmed or 1% fat)
  • Gelatin or ice cream popsicles (sugar-free)
  • Pureed foods

After about a week of tolerating fluids, you can start eating strained and pureed foods. The food should have the consistency of a soft paste or a thick liquid, without solid pieces of food in the mixture.

You can eat three to six small meals a day. Each meal should consist of 4 to 6 tablespoons of food. Eat slowly: each meal should last approximately 30 minutes.

Choose foods that make a good puree, such as:

  • Lean ground beef, chicken or fish
  • Curd
  • Soft scrambled eggs
  • Cooked Cereal
  • Sweet fruit and cooked vegetables
  • Cream soup

Mix solid foods with a liquid, such as:

  • Water
  • Skimmed milk
  • Juice without added sugar
  • Broth

Soft foods

After a few weeks of eating pureed foods, and with the approval of your doctor, you can add soft foods to your diet. They should be small pieces and easy to chew.

You can eat three to five small servings a day. Each meal should consist of one third to half a cup of food. Chew each bite until the food has the consistency of puree before swallowing.

Soft foods include:

  • Lean ground beef or chicken
  • Shredded fish
  • Eggs
  • Curd
  • Cooked or dried cereal
  • Rice
  • Soft or canned fresh fruits, without seeds or skin
  • Grilled vegetables, skinless

Solid food

After about eight weeks with the diet, you can gradually return to eating more solid foods. Start with three meals a day. Each serving should consist of 1 to 1-1 / 2 cups of food. It is important to stop eating before you feel completely full.

Depending on how you tolerate solid foods, you may be able to vary the number of meals and the amount of food in each meal. Talk to your dietitian about what is best for you.

Try new foods one at a time. Certain foods can cause pain, nausea or vomiting after weight loss surgery.

Foods that can cause problems at this stage include:

  • Bread
  • Soft drinks
  • Raw vegetables
  • Cooked fibrous vegetables, such as celery, broccoli, corn or cabbage
  • Hard meats or meats with cartilage
  • Red meats
  • Fried food
  • Spicy foods
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Popcorn

Over time, you may be able to try some of these foods again, with the guidance of the doctor.

A new healthy diet:

Weight loss surgery reduces the size of your stomach and changes the way food enters your intestines. After surgery, it is crucial that you feed yourself properly while keeping up with your weight loss goals. The doctor may recommend that you:

  • Prioritizes protein-rich foods.
  • Avoid foods high in fat and sugar. These foods travel quickly through your digestive system and cause rapid gastric evacuation syndrome.
  • Take the recommended vitamin and mineral supplements. After surgery, your body will not be able to absorb enough nutrients from food. You may need to take a multivitamin supplement every day for the rest of your life.

Results:

This diet can help you recover from surgery and gradually adopt a healthy way of eating that allows you to achieve your weight loss goals. Remember that if you resume unhealthy eating habits after the surgery, you may not lose all excess weight or recover the weight you have lowered.

Risks:

If you overeat or eat foods that you should not, you could have complications. Some of them are:

  • Rapid gastric evacuation syndrome. If too much food quickly enters your small intestine, you are likely to experience nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sweating, and diarrhea. Eating too much or too fast, eating foods high in fat or sugar and not chewing food properly can cause nausea or vomiting after meals.
  • Dehydration Since you are not supposed to drink liquids with meals, some people become dehydrated. That’s why you should drink 64 ounces (1.9 liters) of water and other fluids in the day.
  • Lack of physical activity and fiber or fluids in the diet can cause illness.
  • Obstruction of the opening of the stomach pouch. Food can be lodged in the opening of the stomach pouch, even if you carefully follow the diet. The signs and symptoms of an obstruction of the opening of the stomach include nausea, vomiting, and continuous abdominal pain. Call your doctor if you have these symptoms for more than two days.
  • Weight gain or inability to lose weight. If you are gaining weight or not losing it with the diet, talk to your doctor or dietitian.

Remember, after undergoing to weight loss surgery in Mexico, you have all the support and guidance of your surgeon, do not hesitate to ask anything, after all it is your health that is at stake, your doctor will assist you and guide you, as detailed as possible in this process towards your new life.

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