When choosing weight loss surgery, a patient is enduring a lifestyle change and lifelong commitment. Surgery is a part of the process, and changing the way they eat and becoming more active are two important facets of the weight loss process.
After Gastric Bypass surgery, a specific diet must be followed to make sure that proper nutrition is obtained. A specific diet must be used so a patient’s body mass, skin elasticity and hydration are monitored properly.
Typically, a patient is discharged from the hospital on a liquid-only diet for two to three weeks. After that period, they can begin to eat soft foods for six to eight weeks. The body is then transitioned to regular food for six to nine months. During this eating change, patients typically take multivitamins that include calcium, iron and Vitamin B12, A, D, K and E. 40-60 grams of protein is recommended each day.
Immediately after Gastric Bypass surgery, a patient is advised to drink two ounces of a high-protein liquid supplement every hour. They must also drink two ounces of a liquid that is non-carbonated and caffeinated and low calorie every 15 minutes. This prevents dehydration.
A patient may drink things such as skim milk, Boost protein, no sugar added Carnation, Ensure, Soy milk, water, Crystal light, decaffeinated coffee or tea, diluted juice and broth. The patient should never use a straw and only take small sips of room temperature liquids.
In between this diet and soft foods, a patient will visit both their dietitian and surgeon before moving on to the next phase of the weight loss phase.
Even though one is transitioning to solid foods, the focus is still on protein and eating foods that are low in fat, fiber and sugar. Some patients still need protein from a supplement even though they are consuming soft foods. Eat four to six small meals a day. Eat high-protein items first then slowly add one new food at a time to determine if one has a tolerance for that particular food.
Some foods that are introduced into the diet include: eggs, low-fat yogurt, baked or broiled fish or seafood, ground poultry, beef or pork, soups, oatmeal, soft vegetables and dry toast.
After six to eight weeks of eating soft foods and introducing new foods into the diet, a person can begin eating solids once again. At this point, a patient will begin to be able to eat what they could before the surgery, just in smaller portions. It’s important they choose healthy food choices that include lean proteins and foods low in fat. The volume of food they will be able to eat will always be limited, so this makes choosing healthy food even more important.