Also known as bariatric surgery, weight loss procedures are often the best way to lose excess weight and fight health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Along with a healthier diet and consistent physical activity, these operations give you the best chance to meet your weight-loss goals. But you also may be asked to follow a specific 6-month diet before weight loss surgery as well.
The pre-surgery diet for weight loss surgery is an essential part of the process, as it helps to prepare your body for the procedure and reduces any potential risks or side effects. During this 6-month period, patients are encouraged to make lifestyle changes that promote healthy eating habits and greater physical activity.
Your surgeon or dietitian will likely provide you with a customized meal plan based on your individual needs. Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day can help regulate blood sugar levels and keep hunger at bay. Hydration is also extremely important: drinking plenty of water is important when it comes to helping with recovery after surgery.
Preparing for Weight Loss Surgery
For those considering weight loss surgery, the pre-operative supervised diet is an important part of the process. Typically, doctors will ask patients to follow a six-month dietary plan before they can be considered for bariatric surgery. This diet usually consists of high-protein, low-calorie meals that are designed to help reduce weight and prepare the patient for surgery.
The pre-operative diet typically includes lean sources of protein like fish, poultry, and eggs, as well as complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and legumes. Patients should limit their intake of processed foods and added sugars, as these can add empty calories without providing much nutritional value.
Fruits and vegetables in their natural state are always encouraged. It is also important to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated – at least eight 8 oz glasses daily – while avoiding sugary drinks like soda and juice. Part of the liquid diet will include protein shakes or meal replacement shakes to ensure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs.
In the months and weeks prior to surgery, your progress will be monitored to see if you’ve reached certain weight-loss goals. During this time period, it is very important for you to keep track of your progress through regular weigh-ins with a doctor or nurse who can provide guidance on how to adjust the diet or exercise plan if needed.
Additionally, speaking with a registered dietitian can be helpful in understanding nutrition labels, learning about portion sizes, and getting personalized advice on food choices suited for individual goals. The weight loss journey is different for every patient, so there is no “one-size-fits-all” diet for every patient.
In addition to dietary changes, it is often recommended that those embarking on this six-month diet plan increase their physical activity levels by doing 30 minutes or more of aerobic exercise at least three times per week. An overall increase in movement and activity can help boost metabolism and further promote weight loss before surgery.
Why a 6-Month Diet Before Weight Loss Surgery?
Although gastric bypass, duodenal switch, and gastric sleeve surgeries only take a few hours, it can take anywhere from a few months to a year to finally have the procedure. Part of this is scheduling and part of it is outlined above (preparing the mind and body for the new lifestyle).
In some cases, however, the 6-month diet is required to help with the surgery itself. The reason behind this is that your liver sits on top of your stomach where the surgeon will be working. So if the size of the liver is too large, it can make it difficult to see your stomach and perform the necessary tasks during the surgery. By reducing fat around the liver and spleen, the procedure becomes safer.
There are also insurance considerations. Although weight loss surgery is gaining recognition as a preventive measure for your health, there are some steps many patients need to take for coverage. In many cases, this 6-month diet before weight loss surgery is one of the requirements. This “dry run” of sorts allows you to show that you have the dedication to see it through.
Post-Op Diet After Bariatric Surgery
While a pre-op diet is designed to prepare you for procedures such as a gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery, the post-op diet is designed to help your body heal and adapt to the sudden changes in your digestive system. The two diets actually work together to make sure your body gets the nutrients it needs while lowering your food intake.
In the following two weeks after surgery, the diet program consists of a liquid-only diet, which can include protein drinks, sugar-free/caffeine-free drinks, and of course lots of water. In the next two weeks, pureed foods can be introduced into your diet, followed by soft foods high in protein.
Eventually, you’ll move on to solid foods and meals that will make up the bulk of your diet going forward. In addition to following a healthy diet, it is important to implement regular physical activity into your routine. Your doctor may suggest light exercises such as walking or jogging, swimming, yoga, and Pilates. This type of exercise can help you lose weight and build muscle mass which will also benefit you after the surgery.
Take Your Weight Loss Journey With Experts
Overall, following a strict pre-operative diet plan before bariatric surgery can lead to better outcomes after surgery. Taking steps now to slowly change eating habits towards healthier options can help achieve successful weight loss results before and after the surgery. With dedication and consistency, this 6-month diet can help jumpstart a healthier lifestyle with positive long-term results.
And Olde Del Mar Surgical will be with you every step of the way. From the initial consultation to devising 6-month diet plans through the surgery and offering support groups, With decades of experience and an incredible success rate, we can help you set and achieve your long-term weight loss goals. Take a quick assessment quiz to see if you’re a candidate and then set up a consultation with one of our surgeons.