As you continue to lose weight, it is important to develop and maintain healthy eating habits. Success with weight loss will depend on your adherence to nutritious food choices and avoiding snacking or “grazing” between meals. The stomach pouch created by your surgery is a tool you will need to become accustomed to in order to meet your weight loss goals. The following nutrition overview provides a few quick tips to keep you on the right track.
Because your body cannot store protein, it needs a constant supply to repair and replace tissues that become worn out or damaged. Therefore, you need to eat protein every day to refresh your body’s basic protein needs. Aim for a minimum of 60-80 grams of protein each day. The gastric bypass or other bariatric surgery procedure reduces the capacity of the stomach to a very small volume. Therefore, protein-rich foods must be eaten with each meal to be sure the body gets enough to preserve lean muscle mass. We do not advise using high-calorie protein supplements or beverages. We recommend eating high protein-containing foods at the beginning of each meal. Lean proteins like fish, poultry, eggs and low-fat cottage cheese are just a few good choices.
Vitamins and Minerals
After gastric bypass or other bariatric surgery, you will not be able to eat the amount or variety of foods needed to meet recommended vitamin and mineral requirements through your diet alone. A high potency multivitamin/mineral supplement with iron must be taken every day. Daily calcium and vitamin B12 supplements are also recommended to maintain adequate vitamin and mineral stores and prevent anemia and osteoporosis. Some patients require additional supplements after surgery. Your physician will determine your individual needs based on the results of lab work.
Sugar and Fats
After gastric bypass or other bariatric surgery, a condition called ‘dumping syndrome’ will occur if you eat foods high in sugar and fat (greater than 10 grams per serving). Symptoms of dumping syndrome include profound sleepiness, light-headedness, profuse sweating, rapid heart rate, cramping abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea. Avoiding foods or liquids with high sugar and fat content will help prevent dumping syndrome. Sweets, candies, fruit juice, soda, high-fat meats and fried foods are examples of selections that may cause problems.