You must eat differently and exercise portion control for the rest of your life after you have bariatric, or weight-loss, surgery. This will help make sure you get the maximum benefit from this life-changing procedure.
For the first eight weeks after surgery, you eat a special diet to help you heal properly. You progress from liquids to purees and very soft foods to a modified low-fat diet.
Your Long-Term Eating Plan
Long term, your diet should follow these guidelines:
- Schedule. Eat three small, protein-focused meals per day at regular times. Take at least 30 minutes to eat each meal, and stop if you feel full or have discomfort. Don’t snack.
- Eating. Concentrate on foods containing protein, including fish, cheese, eggs, poultry and seafood.
- Drinking. Don’t drink during meals; instead, drink between meals. After a meal, wait an hour before you drink liquids, and sip slowly. Your goal is six 8-ounce cups of liquid per day, which keeps your stomach pouch from stretching out.
- Food size. Cut your food into small pieces. Chew your food well to prevent vomiting, cramping and blockage.
- Supplements. You may need nutrients that your diet doesn’t provide. The bariatric surgery team at El Camino Health recommends you take a daily multivitamin with iron, B12 and calcium citrate. Talk to your doctor to find out which supplements are appropriate for you.
- What to avoid. Stay away from sweets, chocolate, candies, high-sugar beverages and alcohol.