Why Does Diet Matter After Weight Loss Surgery?

Diet After Weight Loss Surgery

A common question patients ask when it comes to bariatric surgery is, “If bariatric surgery is an effective tool for losing weight, then why do I still need to diet after the procedure?”

Bariatric surgery is the most effective tool for helping obese individuals lose weight. However, it is not a one-time solution. How much you’ll lose weight and the success of keeping the weight off depends largely on you. And a healthy diet plays a crucial role.

Dr. K. Robert Williams and the team at New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery in Knoxville, TN, encourage you to stick to your prescribed plan for a successful recovery. Here are additional things to know from our team.

How to diet after bariatric surgery
Immediately after surgery, your prescribed diet plan will begin.

It is important to stay hydrated, so the first thing Krystal, our Registered Dietician will do is get you started on a liquid diet. This diet will include protein shakes, milk, diluted fruit juice, Gatorade G2, broths, decaffeinated tea, decaffeinated coffee, sugar-free popsicles, and sugar-free gelatin.

The most common reason patients are readmitted after surgery is dehydration, because dehydration will cause nausea and fatigue, so stay hydrated!

Two weeks after surgery, you can transition to blended and pureed foods such as scrambled eggs, turkey, chicken, pork, cottage cheese, and yogurt. Then, you will move on to a soft food diet, followed by a stabilization diet. Your dietician will guide you through this process, and answer any questions you may have.

Bariatric Surgery causes your body to go through a lot of changes. It limits the amount of food you can take and changes how the body absorbs the nutrients. Therefore, you cannot go back to your previous eating habits.

You have to commit to make the necessary changes to help prevent complications, and to succeed in your weight loss journey.

We recommend our patients to prioritize including protein in their diet. Eating high-protein foods helps preserve muscle mass and healing. Some of the best protein sources include eggs, tofu, cottage cheese, yogurt, tuna, meat, and seafood.

You should aim to eat at least 65 to 75 grams of protein each day. Don’t worry if you can’t meet this a few months after surgery. Our Registered Dietitian will help you on how to eventually get there.

You will have to take supplements. With the small amount of food you can have, it’s impossible to meet all your nutrition needs without having to take supplements.

Make sure you follow the instructions on how to take them as your body could not process pills the same way as before.
Thinking long-term

There are some foods that may be poorly tolerated by your body. This includes red meats, bread, and high-fiber foods. We encourage our patients to keep a food journal to keep track of when they eat these types of foods.

These dietary changes on top of many other changes after bariatric surgery can be overwhelming. Our bariatric team knows that. We will continually provide you with the support you need to adjust to life after surgery.

You will continually work with our Registered Dietitian who will discuss the nutrients you need to prioritize. She will help you plan your meals so you can have a better chance of losing weight successfully.

For more information about our program at New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery in Knoxville, TN please give us a call at (865) 694-9676. To find out more about bariatric surgery, register for our free online informational session where you will learn all about bariatric surgery, and get your questions answered. Register for the info session here.

New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery is part of Premier Surgical Bariatrics in Knoxville, Tennessee. New Life is affiliated with the Parkwest Center for Bariatric Surgery, part of Covenant Health Bariatric Services.