Nutrition After Bariatric Surgery: 4 Things to Know

Undergoing bariatric surgery is often the only way to reduce the risk of life-altering health problems associated with excess weight. However, it’s imperative to consider the implications carefully. Bariatric surgery is not a way to forget about diet or exercise but just a push towards a healthy lifestyle. The surgery requires a long-term commitment to healthy eating. Without this commitment, the effects of the surgery cannot be meaningful. 

How nutrition and diet should change after bariatric surgery? Here are four essential things to know. 

  1. Micronutrient Deficiencies Are Common 

Various studies show that patients who have undergone bariatric surgery experience micronutrient deficiencies that can have severe clinical manifestations. The best way to prevent micronutrient deficiencies is to take supplements. If you’ve just had bariatric surgery, you may be sensitive to supplements that contain iron, so pay extra attention to your purchases. Choose multivitamin no iron supplements with bariatric formulation to maximize absorption.  

  1. You Must Follow a Strict Diet Plan 

Bariatric surgery changes how your body handles food, so it will take a while to return to a regular diet. Your doctor will recommend you a diet plan based on your particular needs. Your diet will go through several stages in the first two months: clear liquid, full liquid, pureed food, soft foods, and general diet.  

Following the diet plan strictly is critical for your health and the success of the operation. Failing to respect the dietary guidelines can lead to digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting, indigestion, or constipation. 

  1. You Need to Adopt New Eating Habits 

Following bariatric surgery, patients must adopt new eating habits to allow their bodies to learn how to absorb the right amount of nutrients from a smaller quantity of food. The top recommendation is to eat small amounts of lean, nutrient-rich foods. Another habit to adopt is to eat more slowly. An average meal should take around 30 minutes. Sipping plenty of liquids throughout the day is also important. 

  1. Healthy Eating Is Non-Negotiable 

Another essential thing to know is that bariatric surgery makes you more vulnerable to the effects of unhealthy foods. Processed foods that contain so-called “empty calories” and little to no nutrients can do a lot of harm, so you must strictly avoid them. Since your diet should consist of small meals, you cannot afford to eat anything other than nutrient-rich foods that provide your body with the energy and strength it needs. 

A top healthy eating tip is to eat baked, grilled, steamed, or broiled foods. Avoid fried and processed foods, and eat protein at every meal. Protein is more satiating than carbs and also helps in the healing process.  

Final Words 

Nutrition, health, and weight are tightly connected. Bariatric surgery emphasizes this connection. Although deciding to undergo bariatric surgery is not easy, the long-term health benefits are immense while the risks are low. Over the last few years, the procedure has become significantly safer, improving many people’s lives. However, a lifelong commitment to healthy nutrition and exercise is essential because surgical procedures have limitations. 

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