Gastric bypass surgery has been a very successful approach to helping severely overweight patients lose the weight they need to stay healthy. Even though the procedure will enable the patient to eat less and still feel full, the overall success of the program relies on the surgery, and a post-operative regiment of diet and exercise to actually lose the weight.
In some ways your diet plan after gastric bypass surgery is as important as the actual surgery itself and will ensure you reach your target weight and keep your excess weight off for the rest of your life.
Even though every patient’s diet plan after gastric bypass surgery will be somewhat different, there are certain good nutritional rules that all of the plans will adhere to in general terms. The overriding concerns that most of these diet plans have in mind is that since the patient will be consuming a much smaller quantity of food, every bit of that food needs to contribute the maximum nutritional component possible. This means reducing the consumption of most sweets and treats since all of these are high in calories but do little to boost protein levels in a diet. These sweets can also cause other complications for patients that have had bypass surgery and therefore they should be reduced or even eliminated from any diet plan after gastric bypass surgery.
Fats are another area of concern for most patients. Fats in general are hard to digest for gastric bypass patients and can delay the processing of food through the stomach. This can cause a buildup of stomach acids that may back up into the esophagus and cause heartburn. Besides being uncomfortable, this condition can damage the esophagus and eliminating as much of this fat as possible can reduce this. The types of foods that contain this fat component are typically fried foods and fatty meats.
Protein is essential in any diet plan after gastric bypass surgery for several reasons. First, new tissue requires massive amounts of lean protein to grow and eating foods that are high in protein will help the healing process and reduce scaring from the surgery. Protein will also help the body to maintain and build muscle mass and ensure that any weight that is lost as part of a diet plan after gastric bypass surgery will be from fat deposits on the body and not muscle.
Fiber is usually limited in a post-operative diet since it is hard to digest and usually has a fairly high volume. This larger volume can fill the patient’s smaller stomach quickly and will not deliver much of the nutrition they need from their meals. Fiber also presents a hazard in possibly blocking the small opening into the upper intestines and foods high in fiber should be avoided.
Vitamins and Minerals
Lastly, because of the limited volume of food intake, it is essential that any diet plan after gastric bypass surgery be supplemented with vitamins and minerals. Your doctor may prescribe a specific supplement or may suggest you use an over the counter brand. Either way it is important that you get your minimum daily requirement of these vitamins and minerals to promote a healthy recovery.