Bariatric surgery requires changes in food choices and lifestyle. It is helpful to begin these changes in the few weeks prior to surgery. Your surgeon will encourage and may require pre-operative weight loss. Our program recommends following a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. We also encourage increasing daily activity by taking a 30 minute walk every day. There are many benefits to losing weight before surgery and they include:
• Faster healing and recovery after surgery
• Shrinking the size of the liver, as enlarged livers can make surgery more difficult
• Reducing the risk for any post-operative complications
• Starting your weight loss journey as soon as you make the commitment to change your health
For the first few days after bariatric surgery, you will follow a clear liquid diet to encourage healing. You will add protein shakes and gradually advance the consistency of the foods you eat over the course of several weeks. We will provide you with a very specific diet to follow after surgery and our staff of dietitians will be available to guide you along your weight loss journey.
Here are a few tips to help you with intake of food and liquids:
• Always take your time with eating foods and drinking liquids.
• Drink slowly – SIP SIP SIP.
• Warm and room temperature liquids are often better tolerated than ice cold fluids in the first few weeks after surgery.
• Avoid drinking through a straw. You will swallow more air which can lead to discomfort, bloating and gas. Eating fast can also cause this.
• Chew foods well and eat slowly as food textures change. Cut food into small pieces and take small bites. Try using a salad fork or toddler fork to help you with taking smaller bites.
• Avoid drinking liquids while eating. Drink 30 minutes before you eat or one hour after you eat.