When you’re significantly overweight, losing weight is one of the best ways to improve your health. For many of our patients, bariatric surgery is the key to achieving their desired weight loss goals.
Bariatric surgery helps patients to lose weight by reducing the size of the stomach. By creating a smaller stomach, bariatric surgery can reduce the number of calories consumed, resulting in dramatic weight loss. Bariatric surgery makes it easier to lose weight, but weight loss often remains a challenging process. To lose weight and keep it off, patients must change their eating and drinking habits.
As you prepare for post-bariatric surgery with Dr. George H. Landis to remove excess skin and stubborn fat after weight loss, these tips will help you modify your eating habits for long-lasting results. Remember to work with Dr. Landis or your nutritionist if you need personalized tips for diet and exercise after bariatric surgery.
Do Not Drink Liquid with Meals
Orange juice with breakfast or wine with dinner may be traditional ways a patient enjoys beverages at mealtimes. However, after bariatric surgery, this tradition will need to change. Avoid drinking at least 30 minutes before mealtimes and 30 minutes after eating before drinking again.
After bariatric surgery, your stomach is much smaller, and mixing liquids with solid foods will fill it too quickly. By separating food and drink, you avoid overfilling the stomach and will stay fuller for longer.
As you choose liquids, remember that water is the best way to hydrate. Focus on low or zero-calorie beverages. Aim for at least 6-8 cups (48-64 ounces) of water daily. Avoid carbonation, caffeine, and alcohol for the first year, as well as high-calorie beverages.
Stick to Mealtimes
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are the times to eat after bariatric surgery. Stick to a routine of three meals a day and avoid snacking in between meals. Snacks boost calorie consumption, often significantly. Some bariatric surgery patients find they gain weight due to increased snacking after surgery.
Eat at mealtimes and avoid eating at other times of the day.
Chew Your Foods Thoroughly
Since bariatric surgery modifies the size of the stomach, large mouthfuls of food can block the passage between the stomach and the large intestines, resulting in problems while digesting food. To avoid this complication, cut your food into small pieces and chew thoroughly with intention. Foods should be fully chewed into a paste before swallowing. This careful chewing will take longer, especially if you’re eating raw fruits and vegetables or tough to chew meats like beef.
Stop When You Feel Full
Pay attention to how you feel while you eat. When you start to feel full, stop eating. Bariatric surgery helps many patients to reset and relearn their hunger and fullness cues.
Focus on Nutrition
Since you’ll be eating less after bariatric surgery, it is essential to make every calorie count. Eat nutritious foods that include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. To ensure you consume adequate amounts of protein to maintain muscle, strive to eat at least 60 grams of protein daily. We recommend adding high-quality protein like eggs, meat, fish, or protein-rich vegetables to every meal.
Finish Your Weight-Loss After Post-Bariatric Surgery
It is hard to eat right and maintain healthy habits after bariatric surgery. Keeping your motivation high can help you to make the right food and drink choices. Many of our patients find that post-bariatric surgery helps maintain their weight loss goals. After removing excess skin and fat, patients report increased confidence in their appearance and more motivation to eat right and exercise.