After bariatric surgery, patients need to keep a close eye on what they eat. The 7-week period after the surgery is crucial and changing your diet from liquids (water and juices mostly) to foods determines how the weight loss surgery will change your health. What you need to remember is that just because you are thinking about getting bariatric surgery, doesn’t mean that you will be able to eat whatever you want and not get fat. This weight loss surgery simply gives you a nudge to adopt a healthy lifestyle. It is certainly not a cure for obesity!
So, if you opted for bariatric surgery, the following are the precautions you need to take:
First of all, we welcome you to a new life. You have come this far in your weight loss journey and we commend your efforts. To make sure that you settle back easily into your routine, you need to make a couple of life changes.
Eat Complex Carbohydrates
You are probably wondering why complex carbohydrates, right? Well, dietary starch foods are rich in fibre, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. They keep you satiated for a long time, which allows you to avoid snacking. On the other hand, simple carbohydrates are easily digested and hence, should be avoided.
Complex Carbohydrates Sources
- Whole grain (wheat bread and cereal)
- Brown rice
- Beans, peas and lentils
Food Items to Avoid
- Baked goods like cakes, muffins, cookies, doughnuts or pies
- Dairy-based goods like ice cream, frozen yogurt, pudding
- Fruit juices and carbonated drinks
- White rice
- Sweetened cereals
Eat Smaller Meals
Keep the portion size small. Your hunger will return slowly after the surgery. In the initial days, eat small meals that are easily digestible. Cut the food into small pieces and chew it thoroughly. Try to include ¼ cup of veggies, 1 ounce of meat and ¼ cup of unsweetened fruit in every meal.
Avoid Drinking During Meals
Drinking water during meals can cause ‘dumping syndrome’. Stop drinking anything 10 minutes before you are about to have a meal, and drink water 30 minutes after you have had your food.
In the first month after the surgery, you are at risk of dehydration. So, avoid any drinks that might make you thirsty. Caffeinated drinks fall under this category and they can cause ulcers, stomach irritation, loss of fluids and heart palpitations.
People who have had bariatric surgery responded differently to alcohol. Since the stomach has been bypassed, the alcohol absorption rate increases, which leads to more calorie consumption.
Don’t Jump Into Exercise
After your surgery, you need to take it easy. Start with 15 minutes of walking every day and when you feel your energy returning, switch to 45 minutes of aerobic activity or cardio. Don’t overexert yourself or you will hit a plateau. Avoid standing on your feet in the first week. Visit website to learn more about the wheelchairs, which is specially designed for bariatric surgery patients.
Crush the Medicines
You will be recommended to take a couple of medicines after the surgery. Since your digestive system is adjusting to the new size, your body might not absorb the medicine properly. This is why it is better to crush them.
Keep Up With Your Supplements, Vitamins and Minerals
While the surgery will not affect how vitamins are absorbed by your body, it’s possible that you might not be consuming the recommended amount due to the precautions you need to take with food. Supplements will help you here and control the following:
- Wound healing from the surgery
- Nutrient absorption
- Glucose regulation
- Appetite and hunger
- Adrenal and thyroid function
- Metabolic rate
- Energy stores
In conclusion, your continued weight loss depends on your eating habits. Try to avoid fast food and sugary items, and do take these precautions to heart. You can start eating your favourite food items after at least 6 months. Even then, we advise you not to overdo it.