According to studies, gastric bypass surgery can help get rid of excess body weight by as much as 90 percent. Sounds too good to be true, right? But that’s possible if a patient follows a strict diet plan to avoid regaining weight and to enjoy the full benefits of the surgery. The aftermath of the surgery requires certain lifestyle changes, and that include eating habits. Make sure you get the proper nourishment you need by following these guidelines.
- Follow your physician’s or dietician’s recommendations on vitamin and mineral supplements after the surgery.
The surgery causes most of the stomach and part of the small intestines to be bypassed. This, in turn, causes your body to have difficulty taking in some nutrients, which leads to vitamin and mineral deficiency. To keep your body from losing its much-needed vitamins and minerals, make sure that you take proper supplements regularly. Usually, the supplements include multivitamins, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, iron, calcium, among others.
- Don’t take huge meals.
That would defeat the very purpose of your surgery. Just because you have achieved weight loss, that does not mean you can go back to binging or other unhealthy eating habits. Remember—following the surgery, your stomach’s volume has been reduced. Your tummy can hold only 1 ounce of food. Overeating won’t do your tummy any good. Aside from adding unnecessary calories, eating too much can cause body pains, vomiting, and dizziness.
Be sure that you eat only small amounts of food. Follow your doctor’s recommended food amounts. Soon after the surgery, you can eat about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of food in every meal. And before you feel full, resist the urge of taking another bite.
Over time, your stomach stretches and can contain more food. Thus, you can adjust your food intake as time progresses.
- Chew up thoroughly.
Make your digestive system’s job easier by chewing your food thoroughly. Why do you need to do so? After the surgery, the small opening between your stomach and your small intestine may be blocked by large pieces of food. When that opening is blocked, food will remain in the stomach and will not be able to pass through the small intestine. This will definitely cause nausea, pain in the abdomen, and vomiting.
Don’t swallow food that you cannot chew well. To make eating easier and more comfortable, take smaller bites and chew them until their texture becomes pureed before swallowing.
- Don’t eat and drink like there’s no tomorrow.
Avoid eating too fast—this will only lead to sweating, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. These are the symptoms of dumping syndrome, a condition wherein foods enter the small intestine quickly and in abnormally large amounts.
You must eat and drink slowly. Eating a meal should take at least half an hour, while drinking 1 cup of liquid should take half an hour to one hour. Also, avoid foods that have high sugar and fat content.
- Don’t drink liquids while eating.
Drink only before or after your meals. Otherwise, you will feel the symptoms of dumping syndrome. In addition, drinking liquids with meals make you feel full immediately, and this stops you from eating more nutrient-rich foods.
- Try one new food at a time.
After your gastric bypass surgery, avoid eating just any food. Certain foods and beverages like milk, soda, meat, rice, and pasta may cause pain, nausea, vomiting. Try just one food at a time—and if it causes discomfort, do not eat it.