After bariatric surgery it is important to adapt your diet significantly. Since you will be losing weight rapidly, proper nutrition is essential to maintain lean body mass, hydration, and skin elasticity.
Nutrient needs vary from person to person. The physicians and bariatric dietitian at FirstHealth will help find the right diet for you. The primary nutrition goals after surgery are as follows:
- Learn proper eating habits that will promote weight-loss while maintaining health
- Consume adequate amounts of protein
- Take adequate amounts of fluid to maintain hydration
- Obtain adequate nutrients through and nutrient-rich diet and utilize vitamin/mineral supplementation if needed.
Protein is an important part of post -surgery life. Protein is needed for healing, to maintain lean body mass, and to keep your immune system healthy. For bariatric patients, it is recommended to consume at least 80-100 grams of protein a day. For the first two to four weeks after surgery, patients are on a liquid only diet. Some examples of fortified high protein liquids are:
- high protein broth
- Eight ounce of skim milk with 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
- high protein jello
- Whey or egg protein
- high protein drinks
After several weeks patients will be evaluated and transitioned to puree textured foods, then soft foods and then back on to a regular diet.
Hydration, vitamins and minerals are the other important nutrients post-bariatric surgery. Body cells need water to function. If you don’t consume enough fluids or you can become dehydrated. It is recommended to drink 80-100 ounces of water a day. As for vitamins and minerals, depending on your medical history and surgical procedure, it may be recommended that you take multivitamins, iron, or calcium.
FirstHealth Bariatric Program offers nutrition education to patients enrolled in the program. For more information or to meet with the bariatric dietitian, call (910) 295-0884. Or if you are not a bariatric patient but interested in one-on-one nutritional counseling, please call (910) 715-1925.