What to Expect After Weight Loss Surgery
To reach the NWH Registered Dietitian: 914.242.8359
Nutrition after Bariatric Surgery at NWH
After weight loss surgery you will need to make changes to your eating patterns. The diet after bariatric surgery progresses from a liquid diet to a pureed diet to a soft diet and then a modified regular diet. The diet progression is designed to allow your body to heal. Initially, it will help you meet your protein and liquid requirements, and later, to assist you in meeting your nutritional needs.
It is imperative that you follow the diet’s progression and adhere to this regimen to maximize healing and minimize the risk for unnecessary complications
following weight loss surgery.
You will eat smaller portions of food, and happily find that you are satisfied. By eating nutritious foods, your weight loss will proceed rapidly and safely, and you will avoid discomfort.
Eat Only One Meal at a Time – Do Not Graze
A “meal” is not just what, and when, you eat but also how you eat. Work up to eating three small protein-rich, meals and up to three snacks (optional) per day. Establish a pattern of eating, so that your body will be accustomed to it, and you do not become excessively hungry. It is best to make a rule in your mind, designating a time and a place where you eat. When you leave your designated place for dining, all eating should cease. Think of “closing the kitchen.” Avoid eating on the run, or mindless eating such as watching TV, working on the computer or reading a book. This is KEY to long-term weight loss surgery success.
Each Meal Should Contain Protein – You need 60-80 grams protein/day
When you eat, make sure that each and every meal is at least half composed of protein. This is the main source of irreplaceable building materials, which our bodies require to repair and maintain our organs, muscle tissue, skin, and hair to name a few. Protein takes longer to digest and metabolize, thereby making you feel more satisfied. Focus on eating protein first so you feel full. Duodenal Switch patients – You will need 80-100 grams protein/day.
A very important part of eating is enjoying and savoring your food. Take a look at your meal before eating to see how much you will be putting into your new pouch. Your meals should last about 20 minutes. Take your time to avoid discomfort and potential nausea.
Chew Your Food Well
You will get more satisfaction and enjoyment from your food, if you chew it thoroughly, before swallowing. More importantly, your food will be able to empty out of your stomach through the small opening at the bottom of the pouch and help you feel full and satisfied. Swallowing food without chewing properly may block the opening, which may result in vomiting or the inability to eat or drink anything until food is gradually digested.
Red meats are especially difficult to chew completely, and may cause trouble. We therefore advise you to avoid red meats for the first six months after surgery, and to be especially cautious when you do try them. It is best to buy cuts of meat such as Filet Mignon, or double-ground sirloin. Make sure the meat is very moist and not overcooked. Cut your meat in very small pieces, and chew very carefully and thoroughly. Reheated meat is never well tolerated the next day because it gets too dried out.
Avoid Eating Sweets and Sugars
Foods that contain sugar can make you feel very strange, especially if you eat them on an empty stomach. It is best to avoid these types of foods since they are a source of empty calories and may cause you to become hungrier which can hinder weight loss efforts.
If you have any questions regarding nutrition after weight loss surgery, please give the dietician a call at 914.242.8359.