If you’re scheduled for gastric bypass surgery or have already had it, congratulations. You’ve taken a major step toward improving your health. If you’re on medication for diabetes or high cholesterol, you may be able to reduce or eliminate the medication once you lose the excess weight.
At Turnquest Surgical Solutions, our board-certified bariatric surgeons, Dexter Turnquest, MD, and Victoria C. Chang, MD, have years of experience performing weight loss surgeries. If you follow their instructions, you could lose up to 60-80% of your excess weight after gastric bypass.
But you won't be able to eat the same amount of food after the surgery. Your stomach will be approximately the size of an egg. And unhealthy processed foods may make you feel sick.
What’s the best way to manage your appetite after the surgery? Following are strategies to help control your hunger as you form a new relationship with food.
Are you getting enough protein?
Protein needs to be a large component of your food intake after gastric bypass surgery. You should be consuming 60-100 grams of protein per day. Protein keeps you full longer than other foods. Chicken, fish, beef, eggs, and spinach are good sources of protein.
If you load up on sugary sweets, you won’t be able to maintain proper nutrition, and you may regain weight. In addition, eating sugary or fried foods can lead to what’s known as “dumping syndrome.” You’ll have unpleasant digestive upsets, including nausea, diarrhea, and/or vomiting.
Hydrate: Drink enough liquids
If you skimped on water before your surgery, it’s time to change the habit. You should be drinking a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of sugar-free liquids every day once you’ve cleared the initial recovery period from the surgery. The drinks should be noncarbonated and sugar-free.
Drink a glass of water before each meal. Staying hydrated helps you feel full.
Eat small meals slowly
Because you can’t consume as much food in one setting after the surgery, eat three smaller meals every day. Stick to high protein options for snacks between meals if you need them.
Before your surgery, you may have eaten so fast you could have won a contest. In order to digest your food properly and avoid unpleasant side effects after a gastric bypass, you need to eat your meals slowly.
Keep creative substitutions for unhealthy foods in your pantry
Old habits die hard sometimes. You may have a craving for sweet foods or a soft drink. Keep healthy foods in your pantry and refrigerator. Avoid the center aisle in the grocery store where sugary processed foods are located.
Don’t be fooled by bars that tout protein; many of them contain high levels of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.
If you’re investigating surgical weight loss solutions, call us at Turnquest Surgical Solutions in Houston, Texas, or request an appointment online today.