Gastric bypass surgery alters the anatomy of the digestive system to facilitate weight loss, which can be achieved through a well-planned post-surgery diet. Let us take a look at the diet plan meant for those who have undergone the surgery.
The ultimate goal of a gastric bypass surgery is weight loss. This surgery makes the stomach smaller, and bypasses a major portion of the stomach and the small intestine. The patient is left with a tiny stomach, which can hold a very small amount of food. The new stomach gets filled quickly, retaining a sensation of fullness for a longer time. As a result, the person may not be able to consume more food, and may not tolerate some types of foods. This necessitates a change in the diet.
Post surgery, one is not permitted to consume food for two to three days. After that, the food intake depends on the specific diet progression plan, which aims at faster healing through minimum stress on the surgical sites. The diet progression also helps the body to get adjusted to the new pattern of food consumption.
Diet Plan for First Three Months
The first three months after the surgery are very important. It involves the healing process and the body’s response to the new digestive pattern. Post gastric bypass surgery diet aids the healing process. Hence it is very important to follow the diet plan strictly. A liquid diet is prescribed for the first two to three days after the surgery. It includes water, juice, broth, milk, and strained soup. Semisolid or pureed foods are administered for the next three to four weeks. This is in the form of a paste or thick liquid, without any distinct chunks. This period is followed by an eight-week diet plan, which includes soft foods, like fruits, cooked vegetables, and soft meat. Basically the food must be easier to chew and digest.
Once you start with soft food, care must be taken to eat small meals, and to consume adequate liquids. You can start with six small meals and gradually reduce it to three per day. Avoid taking any liquid or water along with food. Try to include more protein-rich food items in your diet, as protein is necessary for your body after surgery. Such foods include low-fat dairy products, eggs, and lean meat.
Long-Term Diet Plan
The sooner you progress from stage one to the next, it is considered that your body is getting adjusted to the new pattern. Normally, solid foods are allowed only after three months of surgery. But in people, who show signs of faster recovery, this can happen earlier. Transition from semisolid foods to solid foods requires extra care. You must try solid food, one at a time, by testing your tolerance level. Initially, some food items may cause reactions, like nausea and vomiting, but the condition generally improves with time. The following are some tips for avoiding problems with the post gastric bypass surgery diet plan.
- Try to have smaller meals. You can increase the number of meals, but not the quantity of food intake. In case of consumption of a large amount of food in a single meal, the person may develop chest pain, nausea, and vomiting. Stick to the diet plan strictly.
- Avoid sticky food items, like buns, rolls, white bread, pasta, and cheese; as they can cause nausea and vomiting.
- One of the main rules of this diet plan is to chew the food properly before swallowing. This enhances the digestion process.
- Gastric bypass surgery may cause dumping syndrome, characterized by nausea, weakness, sweating, fainting, and possibly diarrhea, soon after eating. This is due to the fast movement of food through the stomach and intestines. Consuming food or drinks in a fast manner may also cause this condition. It can also be due to intake of high-calorie foods. Avoid foods with high levels of sugar and fat.
- Never drink liquids during your meal or just before it, as this can result in pain and dumping syndrome. Try to include eight cups of liquids a day, and consume them in between the meals.
- Supplement your food with the recommended vitamins and minerals. Regular intake of calcium, iron, vitamin D, and vitamin B-12 is very much necessary.
The diet plan recommends avoidance of alcohol and foods with high levels of sugar, fat, and spices. It is also better to avoid hot food and drinks. You can approach a registered dietitian for a proper gastric bypass diet plan. If you already have one, stick to it. Follow it diligently to achieve healthy weight loss and adequate nutrition.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.