Reasons Why a Pre and Post Bariatric Diet is Necessary
The goal of bariatric surgery is to help extremely obese and moderately obese patients at risk of obesity related complications lose weight. Therefore, a healthy protein-centered pre and post bariatric diet is definitely a big part of the success of the weight loss.
Unlike fats and carbohydrates, protein is not stored in the body and must be taken every day in quantities that meet dietary requirements. Both pre and post operative bariatric diets focus on protein intake and cutting back on fats and carbohydrates.
Proteins are very important because they build and maintain muscle tissue, improve healing of wounds, reduce hair-loss and generally help the body function as it should.
When you choose Advanced BMI, Lebanon for your bariatric surgery, our bariatric surgeon Dr. Jean Nagi Safa will determine the appropriate Pre and Post Bariatric Diet you need. This determination is only made after assessing your BMI, your age, your gender and your current health.
If needed, they will recommend protein and vitamin supplements you can take to ensure you get your required dietary amount.
The main aim of putting a patient on a diet before weight loss surgery is to reduce fat in your abdomen and shrink the liver to prepare the body for the surgery. This will make the surgery easier for the surgeon and safer for the patient. It also makes laparoscopic surgeries more likely.
A preoperative diet will also help you your recover faster after the surgery and helps with transitioning your body for a post operative diet; increasing the rate of weight loss.
How Long Will you need to be on a Pre-Operative Diet?
This will vary from patient to patient depending on the type of surgery they opt for and the individual dietary requirements. The preoperative diets can be recommended by the bariatric surgeon two to four weeks before the surgery or sometimes even sooner.
Some patients lose quite a large amount of weight during this liver-shrinking period but the weight lost is usually mainly water. Because the diet is usually very low on starch and carbohydrates, it stimulates the body to use fat and glycogen stored in the liver to release energy. This causes the liver to shrink significantly.
If a patient’s liver is still too large on the scheduled day for surgery, the procedure can be postponed to a later date.
After the weight loss surgery has been performed, the bariatric surgeon will put you on a progressive diet to help you smoothly transition from the pre-operative diet to a long-term diet that you will need to observe. Obviously after any surgery, your body will need time to heal.
The diet you will be put on at this time will give your body enough minerals, vitamins, proteins and all the dietary requirements it needs to heal fast and get adequate nourishment.
It is very important to follow your surgeon’s or nutritionist’s recommended diet for you after surgery to avoid interfering with the healing process and increasing risk of developing complications. Regardless of what bariatric surgical procedure you’ve had, take your time and transition slowly through the recommended pre and post bariatric diet.
Pre and Post Bariatric Diet
Immediately after surgery, you won’t be able to take any solid meals. The bariatric surgeon or nutritionist will first recommend a clear liquid diet that includes liquids like; diluted fruit juices, tea, water, clear soup and clear sugar-free non-carbonated beverages and other non acidic drinks you can clearly see through.
After this clear liquid phase, you will then transition into a full liquid phase where you will be able to drink recommended nutritional full liquids including low fat milk or shakes, smoothies etc.
Soft Foods Diet
The next phase after the liquid diet is the blended food diet and then you can advance into the soft foods diet. Foods that have been or blended pureed do not contain any solid lumps or particles. They usually have the consistency of baby food. This is to allow your stomach to transition from liquids to digesting soft food.
After a few days of taking pureed foods, you will then be put on the soft foods diet. You can begin eating soft solid foods that you can easily chew in small portions. Soft food diets normally include cooked vegetables, ground meat, fish etc.
Solid Food Diet
Your nutritionist or bariatric surgeon will recommend a solid diet that you will need to take long-term. This is usually a highly nutritious diet that is mostly comprised of high protein foods and required quantities of vitamins, minerals and all the other dietary requirements.
These include foods like; fish, meat, chicken, eggs, milk, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The key is to take three small meals a day in the recommended quantities. Stop eating when you feel full or tightness in your chest area even if you have not finished your food portion. The key is to eat full, healthy nutritious food daily.
Depending on the type of weight loss surgery you opt for, this transition from clear liquid to solid food diet after surgery will usually take around six weeks.
Water and other Fluids
One of the biggest challenges patients experience post surgery is staying hydrated. This is because while the stomach is greatly reduced, the body will still require the same amount of hydration it did before the surgery.
This challenge is especially greater for patients who opt for gastric bypass surgery. They will only be able to drink an ounce or two of fluid at a go yet the body still requires around 1.5 liters of water and fluid.
The best way to balance this after surgery is to carry a bottle of water or low calorie fluid with you at all times. This will enable you to sip a little fluid constantly throughout the day.
Are you considering bariatric surgery?
If you have any questions about obesity, weight loss and weight loss surgery, contact us at Advanced BMI, Lebanon.
We are always excited to share any information that will help your towards a path to a healthier life.