Foods To Eat And Foods To Avoid After Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is a collective name for gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries. The procedure includes making remarkable changes in your digestive system to make you lose weight. This surgical method is adopted when your body stops responding to regular weight loss diets and exercises or if you have a chronic health condition due to overweight. 

Most of the gastric bypass surgeries are laparoscopic hence hospitalization is required only for a couple of days. This means you can get back to work in three-five weeks after restoring your health. Getting all the information you can about recovery and potential lap band side effects can also speed up your recovery time to ensure you are back to your normal self in a few short weeks. However, there are certain restrictions in the post-bariatric surgery diet that can help in a speedy recovery. This article will walk you through what to eat and what not to eat post-bariatric surgery.

Foods to Eat Post Bariatric Surgery

Post-bariatric surgery care includes several diet phases one has to follow to heal the stomach and restore normal health. This will have the incorporation of different foods in different textures based on individual health status. These are as follows;

Phase 1: Clear Liquid Diet

This is most commonly adopted by all patients post-surgery. You will be first introduced to a clear liquid diet within the first 24 hours post-surgery. The purpose of this diet is to hydrate your body and check for any possible adverse reactions in your digestive system. The main sources for this diet are water, sugar-free gelatin, and veg or non-veg broth.

Phase 2: Complete Liquid Diet

You will be switched on to this diet between the first and third day of your hospitalization. Protein is an essential nutrient required for the regeneration of cells and recovery of muscle mass. It also supplies sufficient energy to your body. This phase introduces milk products and protein shakes throughout the day for the next couple of weeks.

Phase 3: Soft Diet

In this phase, you will be introduced to solid foods first in the pureed form. That means you will need to go back in time and eat the smashed goods that you did as an infant. This will help to build the tolerance level for solid foods. You will start consuming solid foods between three to four weeks of post-surgery. During this phase, NuSelf Bariatrics recommends a high protein diet where you can be introduced to protein sources such as eggs, meat, and fish. Protein shakes can also be taken as supplements apart from the high protein solid diet. For 5-6 weeks post-surgery, each protein meal can be slowly accompanied by heavier food textures. This means you can start consuming subtle fruits and veggies along with grains.

Phase 4: Normal Diet

If you are found successfully tolerating all the three diets mentioned above, after the seventh week of surgery, you will be introduced to your regular diet. The importance of this phase is to understand your ‘mindfulness’ by the new definition of ‘new fullness’ since you experience satiety earlier than you expected. Priority will still be given to protein with each meal along with fibrous raw veggies and fruits.

Foods to Avoid Post Bariatric Surgery

Each individual will have different recommendations when it comes to avoiding certain foods. However, there are some common foods to be avoided/restricted post-bariatric surgery. 

Beverages to be Avoided

Some of the beverages will irritate your recovering digestive system. Carbonated beverages and caffeinated drinks need to be kept away for at least 3 months of post-bariatric surgery. Similarly, alcoholic drinks should not be consumed at least 6 months post-surgery. Alcoholic beverages take up the majority of the space in your stomach which is needed for vitamins and mineral-rich foods post-surgery. Also, the absorption rate of alcohol increases post-surgery leading to intoxication. Although your stomach heals after a while, you may find that your body is not accepting certain beverages. Those need to be avoided from your diet for good.

Food Intolerance

You are most likely to experience certain food intolerances that you may not have noticed before surgery. These include;

  • High fat processed foods: This may make you nauseated. Eating a high-fat diet will make you fall sick and result in dumping syndrome.
  • Seasoned and spicy foods: These are also rich in fats and empty calories hence lead to dumping syndrome.
  • Red meat and dry meat: Proper chewing of the food is important when you eat meat post-surgery. This will help in easy swallowing and digestion of the meat. It is better to choose lean meat over red meat as a source of protein post-surgery.
  • Foods that are reheated in the microwave: Repeated heating of the food destroys the nutritious value of food and can be toxic.

Protein plays a vital role in restoring your health, hence it is recommended as an essential part of your regular diet. Also, eat three small meals a day and maintain a gap of thirty minutes between food and liquids. Chewing the food well will help in easy digestion and absorption, thereby promoting weight loss. All these recommendations can be followed strictly for a speedy recovery. 

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