After a bariatric surgery procedure the patient will typically have a very small appetite due to the greatly reduced stomach capacity. It is this greatly reduced stomach size that leads to initial nausea and vomiting at the early stages after gastric bypass surgery.
Post-surgery, a gastric bypass surgery diet typically consists almost entirely of clear liquids. This restrictive diet includes foods such as clear broth, diluted sugar-free fruit juices or sugar-free gelatin. The next phase in the diet allows for a blended or pureed sugar-free diet for a period of at least two weeks.
Dehydration is extremely common immediately following gastric bypass surgery. Limitations on fluid intake, reduced caloric intake and a higher incidence of vomiting and diarrhea are all factors that contribute to dehydration in the patient.
In the long term a post bariatric surgery diet will include a daily multivitamin pill for life to help accommodate for nutritional deficiencies while doctors typically recommend diets high in protein and low in fat due to patients not being able to eat large quantities.
The following are tips for ways to change your eating habits after you have had gastric bypass surgery. Your doctor can help you craft a custom diet plan, but these tips below are generally recognized as universal best practices for how to eat properly.
- Eat slowly – Take your time eating your meals. You should spend at least 20-30 minutes to finish your meal. Eating too quickly can lead to nausea or vomiting.
- Chew thoroughly – Chew your food thoroughly as any big chunks of food can become stuck in your new, smaller stomach inlet to the intestines. Chewing thoroughly will also help to slow you down.
- Eat 6 small meals – instead of the standard 3 large meals you should eat smaller meals throughout the day. This will help to avoid stomach stretching and help the body digest the smaller meals more efficiently.
- Stop eating when full – This part is critical as if you continue to eat once you are full you risk making yourself sick but even more importantly, you risk stretching your stomach or even rupturing your new stomach pouch.
How and what you drink is just as important as what you eat. Following these tips on proper fluid intake will help you post gastric bypass surgery.
- Avoid drinking while eating – Drinking while eating can fill you up faster and cause you to not take in the nutritional requirements that your body needs.
- Take small sips – You should avoid gulping while drinking and instead focus on small slow slips.
- Avoid High Calorie Drinks – Drinks containing sugar, corn syrup or fructose should ne
Foods to Avoid
Because you will have reduced ability to take in food, you will want to ensure that you are eating the foods that provide the nutrition that you need. You do not want to “waste” meals eating foods that do not contain the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to maintain a healthy balance.
- Avoid foods high in fat, sugar or carbohydrates – High calorie foods should be avoided. This is standard for any healthy diet.
- Avoid alcohol – Alcohol contains “empty calories”. These are calories without nutritional benefit.