Diet can be one of the most challenging aspects of life for overweight and obese individuals; especially for those who have spent years or decades living with unhealthy dietary habits.
As a result, diet after bariatric surgery can be a challenge for patients from all walks of life, leading to a stark change in lifestyle that can be hard to adjust to. Here’s how bariatric surgery affects your diet, and what you can do to prepare.
Diet Before Weight Loss Surgery
Theoretically, you can eat anything you want in the months leading up to surgery, but most doctors discourage this behavior. Patients are usually encouraged to start changing eating habits as early as possible, cutting out foods that are high in carbs, sugars, and fat. Making these adjustments before surgery can give patients an idea of what to expect from their diet after bariatric surgery.
Diet Immediately Before Bariatric Surgery
Within 7 to 14 days before surgery, our bariatric surgeons recommend a pre-op liquid diet to prepare the body. In general, only liquids, including protein shakes, broths, and vegetable juice, are permitted.
You should almost or entirely eliminate solid foods for a period of one to two weeks. This process is intended to trigger ketosis to eliminate fat around the liver and spleen, giving your surgeon a better visibility of your stomach during the surgery.
Diet Immediately After Weight Loss Surgery
Once your surgery is complete, a strict diet is very important. Over the first few days, patients are limited to clear liquids, like water, milk, broth, and sugar-free JELL-O.
After the first week, once the stomach has had time to recover, a patient’s diet after bariatric surgery can transition to pureed foods and protein shakes, including egg whites, non-fat soft cheese, and yogurt, adding more calories and volume.
Patients can return to including soft foods, like lean meats, fish, and eggs, within four to five weeks of surgery.
Long-Term Diet Restrictions
In the two to three months after surgery, your surgical recovery should be complete. However, this does not mean you can return to normal eating. After bariatric surgery, your diet will have to change forever.
High carb, high fat, and high sugar foods will have to be eliminated from your diet completely. Increased consumption of these foods can lead to a condition called dumping, or the body’s negative response to these kinds of ingredients.
The side effects of dumping can be very unpleasant, including nausea, cramping, sweating, and vomiting, so adhering to dietary rules is extremely important.
Olde Del Mar Surgical Can Support You
Weight loss surgery can require significant lifestyle changes, including a very specialized diet after bariatric surgery, but the end result is worth the commitment.
To learn more about the process of weight loss surgery and what Olde Del Mar Surgical has to offer, contact our office today!