How Long After Weight Loss Surgery Can You Drink Alcohol Understanding the Bariatric Surgery Diet

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Understanding the Bariatric Surgery Diet

The diet after weight loss surgery gradually progresses from liquids to purees to solid foods. Because the size of your stomach is effectively reduced to about the size of 1 cup or less, your meals are smaller. You need to eat more often throughout the day, and you need to make sure that you chew your food slowly and carefully, so that it does not get stuck and so that it is digested properly. You will need more time to eat than usual, but you will notice that you feel fuller with less food. You eat and absorb fewer nutrients than you did before surgery, so to avoid deficiencies, you’ll need to commit to a vitamin supplement regimen for the rest of your life.

After surgery, your pouch will swell and your diet will need to gradually progress from clear liquids to solid foods to avoid discomfort and premature stretching of your pouch. This is done in four main stages described below.

Stage 1, Clear Liquid: This stage begins the day after surgery and includes any liquid you can see – excluding alcohol.

Stage 2, Full Liquid: When you can tolerate clear fluids and have your surgeon’s approval, you can add full fluids to your nutrition plan. These are identified as foods that are liquid or semi-liquid at room temperature.

Stage 3, Smooth Food: This food is mixed in a blender until it is very soft and has a smooth consistency. This stage is also known as pure food.

Stage 4, Soft Food: In this final stage before normal eating, you add solid but soft food.

Specific nutritional guidelines differ for each procedure and each patient. What we are talking about are some general dietary changes that weight loss surgery patients can expect after weight loss surgery.

Making Healthy Choices

By understanding a little about nutrition and practicing what you know, you’ll feel healthier, look better, and have more energy.

Get what you need in smaller portions

Common meals in a bariatric surgery diet include protein-rich foods such as lean meats, eggs, and low-fat dairy products as well as starches and whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Eating protein helps you feel fuller for longer. You’ll be able to eat a variety of foods – in smaller portions, of course. Since you only eat small portions of food, choosing healthy foods is very important. Nutrient-rich foods deliver the most nutrition for the fewest calories. To find nutrient-dense foods, you need to check the food label to find out the portions of the food and how many calories and nutrients are contained in one portion.

Drink enough water at the right time

Water is important because it removes toxins from your liver and kidneys, regulates body temperature, and reduces the risk of many cancers. It also aids digestion, lubricates your joints, allows you to use the glycogen in your muscles, which supplies you with energy, and helps stave off hunger by taking up space in your bladder. Before surgery, you receive a lot of water from the food you eat. After surgery you don’t have the same capacity to eat, which is why many post-surgery patients are prone to dehydration. You need to make sure you drink enough water. However, you should also avoid eating and drinking at the same time because your new pouch is too small to allow both liquid and solid foods.

Reviewing eating guidelines

After you make the transition to solid foods, follow these dietary guidelines:

  • Plan your meals.
  • Eat three times a day.
  • Start each meal with a source of protein.
  • Chew, chew, chew every bite.
  • Don’t overeat – stop before you feel full.
  • Drink between each meal, not with your food.
  • Don’t eat in front of the TV, in the car, or while you’re reading.
  • Make sure healthy foods are available and remove tempting unhealthy foods from the home.
  • If you’re going to a party, offer to bring healthy food to make sure you have something you can eat there.
  • Pay attention to the taste of your food.
  • Try not to eat late in the day.
  • Use a food diary to track what and when you eat and how you feel.

Figuring out what foods your new pouch will accept after surgery is a matter of trial and error. Regurgitation syndrome, a common condition for gastric bypass surgery patients, occurs after you eat foods high in sugar, fat, or sometimes dairy, or high-calorie liquids. It can cause nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, cold sweats, stomach cramps, weakness and rapid heartbeat. Many people who experience dumping find it a good incentive to avoid the food that triggers the reaction for a while.

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