Diet and Nutrition Counseling Following Bariatric Surgery
Following bariatric surgery, patients must immediately adhere to a specific post-operative diet and be prepared to follow a special diet for the rest of their lives. A dietitian will provide individualized nutrition therapy as well as lead group sessions, as part of the dietary education and counseling services you will receive before and after your bariatric surgery.
It generally takes six weeks to retrain the stomach to eat. The first two weeks consist of consuming only liquids, and gradually throughout the six-week transition foods are slowly reintroduced to the altered “new” stomach and remaining gastrointestinal system. This process is done under the supervision of a registered dietitian, bariatric physician assistant, bariatric nurse practitioner and bariatric surgeon. Vitamin and minerals will be recommended to each patient to supplement the post-operative diet and some patients may need supplements permanently. A dietitian will continue to work with you to address issues related to the diet plan such as foods that might cause discomfort and to ensure your diet is nutritionally adequate.
Embracing Your 'New Normal'
Our registered dietitian recognizes that each patient is unique. To achieve successful bariatric surgery results, we help determine each patient’s "new normal," the optimal approach based on the individual’s specific situation and preferences, and recommend the right food and beverage choices, vitamins, and supplements.
It is important to remember that bariatric surgery creates a “tool” to help you lose weight but it is ultimately up to you to change your life in order to succeed.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Are you ready to do the work required to successfully begin and maintain a healthy lifestyle?
- Are you ready to change your life?
- Do you have a social support network to help and support you along your journey?
Tips to achieve long-term weight-management success:
- Watch portions – stop eating when you are satisfied.
- Accurately gauge the amount of calories in each meal.
- Sit at the table to eat, and put your fork down between bites.
- Do not skip meals.
- Take marble-sized bites and chew thoroughly.
- Enjoy each bite of food.
- Avoid high-fat and high-sugar foods.
- Do not drink 15 minutes before or 30 minutes after meals.
- Avoid carbonated beverages.
- Take a multivitamin with iron; plus calcium (citrate) and vitamin D daily.
- Lean quality protein first for every meal.
- Eat vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
- Stay active for a minimum of 30 minutes per day.
- Keep a food and exercise diary.
- Come to clinic and support groups regularly, especially when struggling.