Diet plan after Gastric Bypass surgery
A successful weight loss surgery requires lifestyle changes and special diet to suit your surgically amended gut. Bariatric surgeons and dieticians across the world recommend special diet to ensure healthy healing; giving long term satisfaction and help the patient achieve a stable weight.
The gastric bypass diet is specifically designed to:
a) Let the staple line heal properly without being stretched by the food you take
b) Prevent any complications of gastric bypass surgery
c) Help you lose weight and prevent any further weight gain
d) Allow you to get accustomed to eating less amount of food which could be easily digested in your smaller stomach
Gastric bypass diet plan
The gastric bypass diet plan is usually divided into four phases.
Phase 1 – Week 1 – 2 (Liquid foods)
For one or two days after surgery, you won’t be allowed to eat at all, so as to make sure your stomach has started healing. Thereafter, while you are still in the hospital, the doctors would recommend you to eat liquid and semisolid foods to see your tolerance to food after the surgery.
· Sugar – free popsicles
· Sugar free gelatin
· Unsweetened tea/ decaffeinated coffee
· Sugar free hot cocoa
· Unsweetened juice
Note – It is advisable to sip fluids slowly and drink less amount of water. Avoid drinking carbonated or caffeinated beverages. Also, do not sip fluids along with the meals rather wait about 30 minutes after a meal before drinking any fluid.
Phase 2 – Week 2 – 4 (Pureed foods)
During this phase you would be allowed to eat mashed up foods. The pureed foods have a smooth consistency and do not have any solid pieces of food in the mixture. The foods that can be mashed up well are:
· Egg white
· Lean ground meats
· Cottage cheese
· Soft vegetables and fruits
Note - Liquids that you can use to blend the solid foods with are - Broth, Water, Fat free milk, fat free gravy. You should keep in mind that during this period of time, your digestive system would still be sensitive to spicy foods, so if you would like to add them to your diet, add them slowly and in small amounts.
Phase 3 – Week 4- 8 (Soft foods)
During this phase, you can add soft, solid foods to your diet. The common foods that are recommended during this period are:
- Cooked vegetables
- Fresh fruit
- Finely diced meats
Note – You should start eating soft foods once your doctor has recommended you to take soft foods that have regular consistency with firmer texture.
Phase 4 – Beyond 8 weeks (Solid foods)
After about 8 weeks you can return back to eating firmer foods. If you find it difficult eating spicy foods, incorporate them slowly in your diet and closely see what all foods you can tolerate during this phase.
Note - Even at this stage, avoid eating:
- Dried fruits
- Carbonated beverages
- Tough meats
- Fibrous vegetables
These foods should be avoided as these are not tolerated well during this period. You may start taking these foods as and when your doctor advices.
Resuming your normal healthy diet
After three to four months of weight loss surgery, you would find that initially the foods that were intolerable and irritated your stomach have now become more tolerable thus indicating that the healing has progressed. This is the phase when you can return back to your normal healthy diet.
It’s very important that throughout all dietary phases you get enough vitamins and minerals and you keep yourself focused on your weight loss goals. For this throughout all the phases you should:
· Eat several small meals and sip liquids throughout the day. Initially start with 5-6 small meals a day, then to four meals and finally to three meals a day.
· Eat only recommended diet as advised by your doctor and stop eating before you feel full.
· Drink liquids between meals. As drinking with meals can lead to pain and vomiting, you should avoid drinking along with meals.
· Chew the food properly. Also eat and drink slowly.
· Take recommended vitamin and mineral supplements.
· Avoid taking diets rich in sugar and fat.
The outcomes after gastric bypass surgery and following recommended diet regime can give you fantastic results depending upon how strongly you adhere to your doctor’s advice. With gastric bypass surgery you can expect to lose more than 80% of excess weight in two years.
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