What to Expect after Weight Loss Surgery – Eating a Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet will make all the difference in achieving your weight loss goals and regaining good health.

Here are a few points to consider about bariatric surgery:

• After bariatric surgery, your stomach size will be significantly smaller than it was. Depending upon the type of surgery (gastric sleeve, gastric bypass or lapband) you have, less nutrients may be absorbed. With gastric bypass surgery, the intestines are rerouted, shortening the distance food travels before leaving your body, resulting in less nutrients as well as calories being absorbed.

• With your smaller stomach, you will be eating smaller portion sizes. It’s even more important to consume sufficient amounts of protein and vitamins to fuel your body with the energy it needs to be physically active. In other words, since you’ll be eating less, you will need to make every bite count.

• Depending on your procedure, the stomach is less able to process simple sugars and can cause nausea and discomfort (dumping syndrome) if too much is taken into the body. Obviously, sugar provides no nutritional value and could be taken out of your diet entirely. Of course, that’s easier said than done.

• Continued unhealthy eating habits not only contribute to health problems, but can undo the effects of the weight loss surgery. You don’t want to have gone through bariatric surgery only to find yourself right back where you started.

Weight Loss Surgery Diets Must Include Protein, Fruits & Vegetables

You should eat protein first at every meal, since it is the most essential nutrient and the new stomach resulting from your bariatric surgery will fill faster than before surgery. Good protein sources include lean meats, eggs, and dairy protein.

Fruits and vegetables are critical elements of a healthy diet too. Vegetables should be steamed and served without high calorie ingredients like butter or creamy dressings. Fruit should be fresh or canned in water.

Healthy (Bariatric Surgery Friendly) Recipe Ideas

There are many resources available online and in print to help you prepare some delicious healthy food. Online bookstores or your local library are great places to look for books full of ideas. Cooking Light has a great range of healthy and delicious recipes, all of which include precise directions and detailed nutritional information to ensure you maintain compliance with your post-weight loss surgery regimen. WebMD maintains a section of its site devoted to healthy cooking. The Food Network has recipes for healthy living, as well. If you would prefer something a little more gourmet, check the Healthy section on Epicurious for recipes from top food magazines including Bon Appetite and Gourmet. And of course, you can browse Fitness Magazine’s quick, healthy recipes.

If you’re considering having weight loss surgery to finally lose those extra pounds that have been weighing you down for such a long time, good for you! Just know, going in, that the surgery itself is not a cure. It’s more of a tool to help you change your eating habits because after bariatric surgery, it’s no longer a choice. Your body is depending on you, more than ever, to keep it healthy and nourished.

It’s a whole new way of thinking about food. Rather than focusing on food as a way to make you feel good emotionally, it’s time to focus on how it will make you feel physically. When you are eating healthy foods, not only will you lose weight more easily, but you will feel better. Healthy food gives you increased energy and doesn’t weigh you down, making you feel sluggish.

Make whatever you eat count as if your life depends on it!

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