Gastric bypass surgery is currently the “gold standard” among all bariatric procedures. Many people who undergo gastric bypass record significant improvements in their lifestyles and obesity-linked diseases. Sustainable weight loss results however, require a stringent diet and a number of other lifestyle changes. Undergoing a successful gastric bypass is a battle half won and the rest depends on a patient’s ability to effect the necessary lifestyle changes. Following a strict diet not only helps you lose weight at the desired pace, but also maintain the results for years to come. Bariatric patients must know the foods they need to avoid and eat post surgery. Having said that, the blog post answers five commonly asked dietary questions post gastric bypass.
1. Can I have carbonated beverages?
No. After undergoing a gastric bypass, you need to keep a tab on the daily calorie intake. Carbonated beverages are high on calories, have no nutritional value and the fizz they produce may lead to stomach stretching that is not only uncomfortable, but also increase the odds of a weight regain. Bariatric patients should, therefore, avoid drinking any carbonated beverages or sugary drinks that may increase weight and destroy the purpose of undergoing gastric bypass surgery. Keep a check on your calorie intake until you get satisfactory weight loss results post gastric bypass and then consult your bariatric doctor or nutritionist for a revised dietary plan.
2. Can I eat red meat?
No. Goes without saying, the stomach gets quite sensitive post gastric bypass and therefore, unable to digest heavy or dense food items. Red meat is densely rich in gristle, or the dietary fiber that is tough to be broken down when chewing and is unable to be comfortably processed by the stomach for digestion. Having said that, dense portions of red meat may end up clogging the newly created stomach pouch which feels uncomfortable for a bariatric patient as digestion is impaired and most patients resort to forced vomiting which may damage the gastric pouch and hamper its function. To get away with such instances, it is advisable to avoid consuming red meat for at least six months post gastric bypass surgery. If you used to gorge on meat steaks before surgery, go for lean and tender red meat post consulting with your bariatric surgeon.
3. Can I have snacks between meals?
No. Binge eating or snacking between meals adds up extra calories and delays the desired weight loss results. On top of that, a bariatric patient may also experience weight regain if there is no control over impulsive or emotional eating. Though you may feel the urge to graze mouth watering, fatty foods after gastric bypass, it pushes you on the backfoot on your weight loss journey. Snacking is a complete no; however, you may try out a few bariatric recipes that are high in essential nutrients and also help in keeping you full after a meal. Go for protein-rich foods once in a while after consulting your dietician or bariatric doctor.
4. Can I have milk products?
No. The stomach takes some time to heal completely after gastric bypass surgery. In other words, there may be a drastic change in the digestive capabilities of the stomach as some food components may not get readily digested as before. Lactose is one such component present in milk products that is not easily digested. Lactose sugar passes undigested through the digestive tract and contributes to the formation of stomach-irritating by products and gas. All of these may lead to severe digestive troubles such as cramps, diarrhea and nausea. To avoid complications, avoid milk and dairy products at least for six months after gastric bypass and for details, contact your bariatric doctor.
5. How much water must I drink everyday?
A lot. As you start losing weight after bariatric surgery, your body also needs to get rid of toxins and waste products. Water facilitates weight loss by flushing out toxins, impurities and fat out of the body. On top of that, water improves liver and kidney function, keeps you full for longer and subsequently abates those random hunger pangs. Ideally, you should drink anywhere from 1.5 to 2 litres water every day between meals to facilitate better weight loss results. For best results, drink small portions, say 100-200 mL at a time; however, drink only 30 minutes or so before and after the meals to avoid stomach stretching.
Get the Help you Need
A healthy diet is one of the essential keys to unlocking the unique weight loss benefits of gastric bypass surgery. Initially, it may be tough to follow the prescribed dietary guidelines after gastric bypass surgery as binge eating is a strict ‘no’. Give ample time to your stomach to heal and any information on the risks and benefits of gastric bypass, surgeons at Perth Surgicals and Bariatrics can help.