Successful eating after surgery
We all want to lose weight, but it takes more than that to be successful after weight loss surgery. It all begins with following a succesful food plan and a willingness to remain within the guilelines.
So where do we start? In this section we'll take a look at the overall food phase plans that will get you started on your way to success. You'll find more details about what these plans include in the food phase sections that will give you more specifics on the foods you can eat.
What does successful eating look like after weight loss surgery?
There are five food phases to success after weight loss surgery. Your beginning food stages will consist of rules (do's and don'ts) as well as guidelines and suggestions.
A guideline is for your benefit and means it is somewhat flexible while still allowing you to be successful with weight loss. A rule, however, means it is crucial for health and will help you in avoiding life threatening emergencies.
Immediately after surgery you will be on the clear liquid phase for a few days. This will help you lose weight, but more importantly, it will assist in your healing process. After a few days of clear liquids you will be ready for the next phase of full liquids in which soups, puddings and low sugar yogurts will be added.
After you are past the liquid phases, eating while drinking is not recommended, it washes food from your pouch causing you to be hungry. You should wait at least 30 minutes after eating to resume liquids. The longer you wait the less hungry you will feel. Be sure in between meals you are getting in adequate water or liquids for hydration, which is 8 cups a day. You may not be able to get in the full amount at first, but keep trying, this is your goal.
Next, will be the soft food phase. This stage will resemble anything that can be pureed to the consistency of baby food. Remember your new pouch is still healing.
After the immediate healing of about 6 to 8 weeks, your surgeon will release you to begin a regular diet.
Your ultimate goal should be to eat a healthy and whole foods, including all major food groups. Eat protein first, forever and always because protein is essential for good health.
After you have lost all the weight you want to lose, you will resume a lifetime, maintenance phase, which will allow you to gradually find your balance for maintaining a healthy weight.
During your rapid weight-loss phase you are encouraged to eat 70 percent protein, 30 percent vegetables. That would look like 2 to 3 bites of protein to one bite of vegetables. Complete proteins come from foods such as chicken, eggs, fish, cheese and other milk products.
Vegetables are defined as edible plant foods, leafy green vegetables, green, orange, yellow and red vegetables. (not raw, especially early on)
During the weight-loss phase, eliminate all high glycemic index carbohydrates except vegetables. (This would be bread, rice, chips, cookies, candy, cakes, etc.) This will encourage the body to burn fat stores.
After you have reached your goal weight the Bariatric Support Group Center International’s recommendations for long-term weight maintenance is 50 percent protein 25-20 vegetables and carbs. Complete or complex carbs can be introduced back into the diet, in moderation. As long as weight is maintained, carbohydrates can be a great addition to provide variety and taste. But if pounds start to creep back on, carbs must be cut back. Make sure refined carbs and sugars are eliminated.
Grains, legumes, tofu and soy and good sources of protein, which are considered incomplete proteins. Good complete protein selections are fish, poultry, low-fat cheeses, and low-fat milk. Proteins to use in smaller amounts (but not eliminated), are beef, eggs, whole milk, beans, legumes, and nuts.
Caution with refined carbs. It is a good idea not to add refined sugars or flours back into your diet. Instead replace them with whole foods and whole grains. An occasional sweet treat of a few bites should be just that: few and far between. Only after you have reached your goal, and only if you can use them in moderation and find that you can control them and they don’t control you! Sugar is addictive and causes rises in blood sugar as well as cause dumping. Remember a good rule of thumb is to only “feed” that which you want to grow. Remember: protein first, especially when adding even small bites of refined sugar.
A successful diet includes a well-rounded and balanced plate of wholesome and colorful foods. Yes you can...you have many more meals to go!