In order to guarantee that your body reacts to a weight reduction process in the correct manner, there are individual diet limitations that you must adhere to after having bariatric surgery. This article gives you an outline of the changes to your diet that you should anticipate making in the weeks directly following surgery.
Phases of a Post-bariatric Surgery Diet
There are four primary diet phases following weight loss surgery. Once you make it through those phases, you’ll start to settle into your long-term bariatric eating habits. The four phases are as follows:
- Phase I: First two weeks after surgery
- Phase II: Three weeks after surgery
- Phase III: Four weeks after surgery
- Phase IV: Four weeks after surgery
General Guidelines for a Bariatric Post-Op Diet
You are need to adhere to certain dietary limitations at all times, regardless of how far along you are in the post-operative healing process. These limits include the following:
- For the next 60 days, you are not allowed to drink anything with carbonation, caffeine, or alcohol.
- During this six-week period, you shouldn’t do any hard training or lifting, although walking is perfectly OK and even recommended.
- Six weeks without swimming, hot tubs, Jacuzzis, or tub baths are off limits.
Also, be sure to clean your wounds gently every day with Hibiclens, antibacterial soap and water, or antiseptic spray. Cover your wounds with gauze or bandages after you’ve cleaned them.
How to Ensure You’re Following a Proper Post-op Diet
First of all, don’t put your new stomach to the test by eating solids too soon or eating too much. Remember that after surgery, the stomach can hold 3–4 ounces. After about 2 to 3 tablespoons of food, you will probably feel full.
Your stomach will get bigger over time. But it takes 6–9 months (or longer) for your new stomach size to stabilise, which will let you figure out what a normal meal size is for you now.
If you eat too much by accident, you’ll feel sick and throw up, and the stomach can get bigger. Sip regular Gatorade every 5 to 10 minutes if you can’t keep anything down and are having a hard time staying hydrated. It has the electrolytes that cells need to work properly. Once you feel better, drink water or diet flavoured water instead of drinks with calories.
Make sure you follow these rules when you do eat:
- Eat small, nutrient-rich meals and two high-protein snacks a day to fill in the gaps.
- Stay away from foods that have a lot of sugar, especially those that are liquid. They are full of calories that don’t do anything for your body and slow down weight loss.
- Slowly eat. Take small bites and chew well, at least 25 times.
- To keep from getting dehydrated, you should drink at least 6 to 8 cups, or 48 to 64 ounces, of fluid every day.
- Don’t drink anything 15 minutes before a meal, and don’t drink anything for 30 minutes after a meal.
- Use a food diary to record everything.
As you get used to your new eating habits, try to add one new food at a time so you can find out if you’re allergic to anything. If a food isn’t well tolerated, go back to a full liquid diet for a few days and try to give that food again a week later.
If you can’t eat dairy because it upsets your stomach, try lactose-free milk like Lactaid. You can also try calcium- and vitamin D-fortified soymilk or lite soy, almond, rice, or cashew milk.
You could also have heartburn or acid reflux at some point. If you feel like this, take an antacid. Omeprazole, Prilosec, and Nexium are all good choices, but you can also choose from a number of other antacids.
You should also take at least one B12 vitamin under your tongue and a bariatric multivitamin every day. If you need to, add biotin, calcium, and iron supplements.