Bariatric surgery is usually a one-time surgery that cannot be repeated. For many it is their last chance to make serious weight loss that could add years to their life as well as significantly improving their quality of life.
But the surgery will only be successful if the patient changes their lifestyle, particularly in the areas of diet and exercise.
In fact, post-surgery, you are no longer dieting to lose weight, you are making conscious decisions to consume healthy food prepared in a healthy way.
It is a commitment that must be renewed and maintained every day for the rest of your life.
Several months after leaving hospital, you should begin to focus on how to restart weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery.
Remember the following guidelines to ensure your success and for you to stay healthy for the rest of your life.
Long-term Dietary Guidelines
Over time, possibly from six months post-surgery onwards, you will be able to increase the variety and consistency of foods in your diet suggestions.
You might find you struggle with some foods. These often include:
- red meats,
- breads, and
- high-fiber fruits and vegetables.
When you strike problems with a specific type of food, stay off it for 2 – 3 weeks, then try it again, but this time, try preparing it differently. Sometimes food intolerances may not be with the food itself, but with the additional ingredients added to it. Particularly the cooking method.
Deep frying should be avoided but boiling or grilling should be less of a problem, whatever the kind of food.
Try to stick to low-fat, low-sugar and low-calorie foods and keep counting your calories every day. Your goal should target 900 to 1,000 calories a day.
Stay well hydrated and try to drink at least 2 liters of water or non-caloric fluids daily.
Here are some further habits you must include in your new healthier lifestyle:
- Don’t skip breakfast – eat within an hour of waking. A good breakfast gets your body and your metabolism off to a good start.
- Eat frequently – eat often in small amounts, forget the 3 meals a day routine. If your stomach remains empty for too long you can become nauseous and experience fatigue and hypoglycemia. This can lead to plateaus or weight gain due to decreased metabolism.
- Count your protein, fat, and carbohydrates – plan every day to follow a healthy balanced diet suggestions. Meal replacement shakes are a quick and healthy way to keep count of most of your dietary needs.
- Take multivitamins daily – because of your limited capacity for food post-surgery, you will need extra vitamins than you cannot get from the smaller food quantities you’re consuming. You may even be prescribed multivitamins, calcium, vitamin B12 and iron to prevent deficiencies like anemia.
- Exercise regularly – this doesn’t mean you have to turn yourself into a marathon runner. Exercise shouldn’t cause you any pain, just make sure you do something often, just exercise often and keep it going for at least 15 minutes. A daily 30-minute walk is a good routine to get into.
- Learn to make healthy food choices – moderation is the key to success. If you are used to eating foods high in sugar and fat, and those around you continue with that kind of diet suggestions, you will find it challenging to ignore those foods. But if you don’t exercise control, you are defeating the purpose of having the surgery.
For many, bariatric surgery is a second chance at life, a new healthy life with many years still ahead of you. Don’t throw that all away by ignoring these long-term diet suggestions.