Losing weight is no small feat. Opting into bariatric surgery is not either.
Once you choose to significantly reduce your weight through safe and effective bariatric surgery, there are certain steps you should follow before surgery, during recovery, and for the long term to ensure the most optimal and lasting weight loss results, especially when it comes to what you consume.
While most people know that weight loss surgery reduces the size of your stomach, which means eating less, there are other factors to consider when it comes to your bariatric surgery diet.
For instance, there are certain foods you should avoid altogether, while there are others that you should implement into your daily diet.
The good news is that our team of metabolic specialists is here to help every step of the way. Before, during, and after treatment, you will have access to a support group and medical team that helps you keep the weight off by focusing on lifestyle changes and a bariatric surgery diet.
No matter where you are in your weight loss journey, don’t try to go at it alone, especially if you’ve already completed your surgery. Instead, follow a tried-and-true bariatric surgery diet for the best results.
Let’s discuss the ties between bariatric surgery and what you consume in further detail.
The Essential Preoperative Bariatric Surgery Diet
About 3 months before your scheduled bariatric procedure, you’ll begin changing your diet to start losing some weight.
Depending on your current weight, weight loss requirements can range from 5 to 10 pounds to 10% of your total body weight. After your initial consultation, we will work with you to determine the exact amount you’ll need to lose and adjust your diet and timeline accordingly.
During the initial weight loss phase, before surgery, you’ll be asked to cut down your portion sizes and aim to follow the “MyPlate” Guidelines. Under these dietary guidelines, you will portion your food at each meal to consist of 30% non-starchy vegetables, 25% protein, 25% whole grains, and 20% fruit.
Foods to avoid during this stage include
- High-fat meats, such as bacon and sausages
- Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn
- Sugary beverages
- Fast food
- Fried foods, such as fried chicken and French fries
Your Diet Immediately Before Surgery
Two weeks before bariatric surgery, you’ll switch to a low-sugar, low-fat, liquid diet that’s high in protein and low in carbohydrates. For most, liquid consumption will amount to about 64 ounces per day.
Approved liquids include
- Sugar-free, noncarbonated beverages
- Low-sodium broth
- Protein drinks
- Sugar-free popsicles
- Sugar-free gelatin
- Caffeine-free coffee and tea
The Best Post-Operative Bariatric Surgery Diet
Immediately following bariatric surgery, you’ll continue a full liquid diet for about 2 weeks to allow time for your newly sized stomach to heal.
Sticking to a liquid diet reduces your risk of
- Dumping syndrome
- Difficulty losing weight
After 2 weeks, you’ll switch to a puree-based diet that is high in protein and low in fat. Soft, pureed foods often included scrambled eggs, pureed lean meats, cottage cheese, and Greek yogurts. Although the liquid diet is over, you’ll still aim to consume about 64 ounces of liquid per day.
The pureed diet lasts about 2 weeks before switching to a soft diet which lasts about 3 months. During this stage, you can eat the same foods as you did during your pureed diet without needing to blend them.
After the soft diet, you’ll switch to a general diet that should be continued for the rest of your life. The restrictions you faced during the first few months are over, but you should focus on eating the right foods and portions.
Before switching between diets, you must work with your bariatric team to ensure the best foods and bariatric surgery diet for you.
Other Effective Diet-Focused Ways to Stay on Top of Your Weight After Surgery
While the best way to keep the weight off following bariatric surgery is to follow a bariatric surgery diet, there are other factors to keep in mind as you navigate your new relationship with food.
As you follow your new diet before and after surgery, it is vital to be more mindful about
- Eating lean proteins, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits, and vegetables daily
- Cutting back on carbohydrates
- Reducing refined sugar and avoiding foods that contain more than 15 grams per serving
- Avoiding alcohol and smoking
- Adding more fiber to your diet
- Consuming enough water each day
- Eating slowly — each meal should last at least 20 to 30 minutes.
- Eating smaller meals more frequently
- Separating eating and drinking by 30 minutes
- Continuing to take suggested multivitamins and mineral supplements
Gastric Sleeve Surgery You Can Trust
Along with a lifelong focus on a healthier lifestyle and bariatric surgery diet, comprehensive weight loss treatment can help you lose significant weight.
With results that significantly decrease your body weight and alleviate other obesity-related health conditions, weight loss surgery can impact your life in a beneficial way.
Don’t delay the care you need.
Contact our team of bariatric experts today to schedule a free consultation and begin to prepare for your gastric sleeve procedure with a weight loss team you can trust before, during, and after treatment.