For many Americans, weight loss surgery is the first step on a health and wellness journey. The days and weeks after the surgery are critical because you will need to rest, relax, and adjust your lifestyle to ensure the weight loss surgery is effective and you don't get sick. One of the most important aspects of your life after weight loss surgery is your diet. Here are a few post-weight loss surgery diet dos and don'ts to keep in mind.
Do Follow Your Doctor's Recovery Diet
Your doctor will provide you with a very strict diet after your weight loss surgery. This diet is intended to help your stomach heal and acclimate to the smaller portion sizes. Typically, your doctor will start you on a clear liquid diet, including water and popsicles. Next, your doctor will transition you to pureed foods and heavier liquids, such as protein shakes and pureed meats of vegetables.
Finally, once you are able to tolerate liquids and pureed foods, you can start introducing softer foods into your diet, such as egg whites, soups, and softer meats. Typically, you will remain on this progressive diet for two to three months before you are able to reintroduce more solid foods into your diet.
Don't Drink Beverages Not Approved by Your Doctor
Expect to drink a lot of water in the days and weeks following your weight loss surgery. However, there are other drinks that you might enjoy that your doctor will recommend you avoid in the weeks after months after the procedure. For example, your doctor will ask that you stay away from caffeine, including soda and coffee, for at least three months after the surgery.
You should also avoid any alcohol for at least six months after the procedure.
Do Introduce Solid Foods Slowly
Depending upon how your body is tolerating pureed and soft foods, you can expect to reintroduce solid foods into your diet about three to four months after your surgery. Choose softer, less fibrous proteins, such as chicken, fish, or turkey, rather than steak.
Also stay away from fibrous vegetables and fruits, such as celery, broccoli, berries, and avocados. When dining on foods approved by your doctor, make sure to cut up the food into smaller bites, continue to drink plenty of water, and consume smaller meals about three to six hours apart. Avoid overeating, as this can lead to serious gastric upset.
Maintaining a healthy diet and following your doctor's orders after weight loss surgery will help you regain your strength while allowing you to heal.
For more information on what to eat and not eat after weight loss surgery, contact a doctor near you.