Your bariatric surgeon will help you with a new way of eating just after the surgery for a smooth recovery. It can help you lose weight safely and gradually. After the gastric bypass surgery, your body learns to handle the body differently. So set a strict diet of liquids and gradual solids. It helps with a smooth healing process.
Why Follow a Gastric Bypass Diet?
The main reason why a gastric bypass doctor suggests a diet after gastric bypass surgery is:
- Allowing the stomach to heal and avoiding spicy food, which takes a long to digest
- Diet can help you lose weight and not gain weight after the surgery
- Make a habit of eating in small portions, making it easy and comfortable for the stomach to digest
- Reducing the chance of side effects or post-surgery complications from food
Following Steps to Diet After Surgery
The post-surgery diet consists of several steps. The length of a stage and what solids and liquids to include in each stage is what your healthcare specialist can help with.
- Liquid Diet
Start liquids one day or so after the surgery. Once comfortable having clear liquids, you can start with the following:
- Unsweetened Juice
- Sugar-free gelatine or popsicles
- Decaffeinated coffee or tea
Once you can tolerate liquids, start with mashed or pureed food. It has the consistency of a smooth paste, similar to a thick liquid. Take three to six meals in small portions, and take 30 minutes to complete a meal. Using a blender or mixer can give better results. Keep away from adding spicy seasonings to the liquid, as it can irritate your stomach. The options are:
- Cottage cheese
- Lean ground meat, fish, or poultry
- Cooked cereal
- Soft scrambled egg
- Strained cream soups
- Soft fruit and vegetable
Mix solid food with liquids, and you can have the following:
- Juice without sugar
- Skim milk
In this step, it is essential not to take fluids with the meals.
Soft Food Diet
Check with your gastric bypass doctor before starting soft food. Try to take it in small, chewable pieces for easy digestion. You should have one-third to one-half of food per meal. Chew every portion before swallowing it:
- Flaked dish
- Cottage cheese
- Cooked or dry cereal
- Soft fruit
- Vegetables without the skin
- Ground lean or poultry items
Eat in little with good control of the portion, which can help your stomach properly digest the food.
So, after taking pureed and liquids for eight weeks, it’s time to start with solids. Start with three meals daily, and have 1 to 1½ portions of food. Stop eating before you are full. Talk to your healthcare expert to alter the number and amount of your meal, depending on your digestive capacity. Include a new food one at a time. Some food can lead to vomiting, nausea, or other problems after the surgery. The below list items can cause problems at this stage:
- Fried food
- Nuts and seeds
- Carbonated drinks
- Red meat
- Raw vegetables
- Fibrous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, or corn
- Spicy foods
- Tough meat
However, with time you can try these as well, with the correct guidance of your dietician.
Keeping Nutrition in Mind
While on a diet to lose weight, make sure you take proper proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Add more fruits, vegetables, protein, and whole grains that can supply the best nutrients to your body.
Protein is the essential thing to add soon after the surgery. It helps build up muscles and body tissues and speed up healing. Some low-fat protein options are:
- Lean beef
- Skinless Chicken
- Whole eggs or egg whites
- Dairy products
If your body lacks important minerals and vitamins, you need to take supplements after surgery:
- Multivitamin with iron
- Calcium and vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
But it is important to take these only with the guidance of the bariatric surgeon after proper and regular checkups. The professionals can check your mineral and calorie count and take proper daily food portions.
Having a Healthy Diet Plan
The surgery will reduce the stomach’s size and change how it reacts to the food you take. It’s essential to check for adequate nourishment and effective weight loss. The doctor will recommend following the tips:
- Take Small Meals – Take small meal portions, starting with six meals daily after the surgery, then four meals, and then start your regular diet.
- Eat and Drink Slowly – It is important to do to avoid dumping syndrome. You shouldn’t take liquids 30 minutes before and after the meal.
- Chew Food Properly – The new passage to your intestine is small. So, you have to chew the food carefully and take it in small sizes. It can prevent the chance of food blockage.
In addition, avoid foods of high sugar and fat as it can lead to dumping syndrome.
Dr. Abdulsalam Al Taie is a reputable bariatric surgeon at the Al Taie Center. The specialist highlights the surgery process and the importance of following the diet in the post-surgery period. The blog elaborates on the steps to maintain a proper diet while losing weight.