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Do I Still Have to Diet If I Have Lap Band Surgery?

If you’re considering weight loss surgery, you no doubt have a lot of questions. Lap band surgery is less invasive than other types of weight loss surgeries, so your recovery should be quicker. And unlike other weight loss surgeries, it’s reversible. 

A peer-reviewed study in the National Library of Medicine notes that about 70% of patients who have lap band surgery lose more than 50% of their excess body weight over a period of three years. That’s encouraging. 

Our board-certified bariatric surgeons at Turnquest Surgical Solutions in Houston, Texas, have performed successful lap band surgery on hundreds of patients. 

This surgery gets its name because your surgeon places a silicone band around the upper part of your stomach that limits how much food you can consume at any one time. If you do eat too much, you feel nauseated and may regurgitate the food, which is a natural deterrent. Excessive eating is no longer enjoyable, but painful. 

What can I eat after the recovery phase of lap band surgery? 

Because you can’t eat in large quantities, you need to make sure that what you do eat is nutritious, so you get enough protein, vitamins, and minerals in your diet. 

Choose low-fat proteins like chicken without the skin, lean beef or pork, fish, eggs, beans, and low-fat dairy. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables ensures you get enough vitamins and minerals. In essence, you need to eat healthy foods, because you simply can’t eat as much as you did previously. If you don’t get enough protein, vitamins, and minerals, you’ll become malnourished. 

Do I need to diet? 

Instead of thinking of dieting, think of life after lap band surgery as a new way of eating. Eating healthy foods in smaller portions yields a healthier relationship to food. The lap band surgery forces you to eat smaller portions. 

You also should eat more slowly and chew more thoroughly. A small meal should last at least 20 minutes. Chew your food until it’s soft and in small pieces because the opening to your stomach is very small. If pieces of food are too large, they’ll block the opening to the rest of your stomach and you may experience dumping syndrome, which can cause:

The type of food you choose is what’s still under your control. Food that’s high in fat, sugar, or carbohydrates passes very quickly through the lap band, filling your stomach without your having eaten food that keeps you healthy. 

Likewise, drinking high calorie fruit juices or sodas fills you up, but they have little nutritional value. Alcohol also contains lots of calories but no nutritional value. If you cheat and consume these types of foods and beverages, you’ll likely experience dumping syndrome. 

If you do choose to eat lots of sugary, fattening foods like full-fat ice cream and eat too many small quantities throughout the day, your weight loss will be stymied. Eating healthy foods moves you toward your goal of losing weight. 

Call us or book an appointment through our online tool to learn if lap band surgery with our Turnquest Surgical Solutions surgeons is the right solution for your weight loss care.

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