While losing weight and breaking into a healthy lifestyle has been the goal of many people for a long time, obesity is a serious medical condition that has endangered the lives of many for just as long if not more. It can lead to extreme and often fatal outcomes like heart attack, multiple organ failure and sleep apnea. Getting weight loss surgery is one way to tackle this problem and solve it for good. The success of a surgery depends greatly on the aftercare doctors entrust you with. For bariatric (weight loss) surgery, most of the aftercare is diet related. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about bariatric post-op diets.
With that said, let’s begin!
What to Eat After Weight Loss Surgery?
This is a question people often ask online and are curious about. Since your stomach is trying to overcome what it underwent, you have to start slow and take things from there. Your weight loss clinic instructs you well on what to eat and what to avoid.
Let us break it down for you!
Purpose of Careful Eating Post Surgery:
The first thing that comes to mind is to allow your stomach to heal without stretching it with food. While that is absolutely correct, there are other reasons as well. Like getting yourself used to eating smaller quantities of food, losing weight, and to avoid severe medical complications after surgery.
Week 1 – 2:
For the first week or two, your doctor tells you to stick to fluids only. This is to allow your stomach to heal while keeping yourself sufficiently hydrated. During this time, you can drink water and clear drinks that don’t have solids in it.
Moving into the second week, you can start taking liquids with a little substance like:
- Decaffeinated tea or coffee with milk (skimmed or 1%)
- Clear broth (chicken) that is not very thick. Avoid vegetables and fruits for now. If you can’t resist them, then start with some apple juice!
- You should also begin taking multivitamin supplements to replenish the nutrients your body needs. Make sure they’re prescribed by your doctor.
- Unsweetened juice and sugar-free popsicles
A skilled and qualified team of doctors that specializes in bariatric surgery like the one over at Dr Feiz can take good care of you and make sure you don’t fall off with your diet post operation.
After one to two weeks, you are usually cleared to start taking some solid foods. This food should be soft and pureed. Instead of the traditional 3 meals a day, you are often instructed to take 6 smaller meals throughout the day so the stomach can acclimate to the changes that have been made to it during surgery.
Here is a list of foods you can consider:
- Pureed fruits like banana, mango, papaya and pineapple
- Pureed vegetables like spinach, carrots, beets and asparagus. You can also add a little tomato sauce to your purees but avoid onions and garlic for now
- Ground meat that is cooked without fat (chicken, turkey, beef)
- Eggs (cooked without fat)
- Yogurt (without added sugar)
- Cottage cheese
- Cooked cereal
- Strained cream soups
When you are around 8 weeks into the bariatric post-op diet regimen, you can slowly start transitioning back to solid foods. You can start eating three meals a day at this point and make sure you always stop eating before you are completely full.
Even at this stage, there are foods that can cause problems. Here is a list of them:
- Tough meats with gristle
- Spicy food
- Red meat
- Fried foods
- Carbonated drinks
- Raw vegetables
That concludes today’s guide on dietary foods you need to start taking post surgery. We hope this guide helps! Getting weight loss surgery is a commitment and a half so following it with a proper diet is just as crucial to its success if not more. If you made it to the end of this blog, we believe you are more than ready to start taking adequate care of yourself after bariatric surgery!
For further information, please visit the FAQs section below.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How much can I eat?
The amount you should be eating is based on your weight loss. You will know when it’s time to increase or decrease the portions by checking with your doctor and looking at how much weight you’re losing after every week.
I’m not losing any weight even though I’m following the diet strictly, what should I do?
There are a few things you can check: Are you drinking enough fluids? Are you taking your vitamins and supplements as prescribed by your doctor? Is your protein intake adequate for your current weight and activity level?
How long do you have to be off-work after surgery?
There is no one definitive answer to this question. It depends on your healing speed and job type. However, most people are usually recommended to take 2 to 4 weeks off before going into work.