Starting Fresh with Bariatric Nutrition

Welcome to a Fresh Start!

Welcome to a fresh start and a chance to improve your overall well-being. Bariatric surgery can give you a chance to change your life provided you are ready to work hard and make a renewed and lasting commitment to a healthy lifestyle. The goal of the bariatric diet is to achieve the calorie-restriction necessary for weight-loss while allowing for hydration and protein requirements for optimal healing. Each stage of the diet is designed to accomodate the post-surgical changes occuring in your intestines as well as take advantage of the hormonal changes that occur in the post-surgical state and the first few months after bariatric surgery.

Embrace the goodness of healthy food

Black and Red Berries
Your taste buds will reset during the initial stages of the bariatric post-surgical diet. You will have an opportunity to retrain your palate away from processed convenience foods and towards a new perspective and a better appreciation for delicious natural food.

Significant weight loss can sometimes cure and almost always decrease the risks of developing secondary conditions related to obesity which include, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and the pressure and pains that accompany supporting excess weight. As a result of weight loss and positive lifestyle changes, you can be better prepared to engage in the physical activities of daily living, improve your mobility and appearance, and extend your years of healthy living with your family and loved ones.

Support and Education

As part of Dr. Belsley’s program, all potential candidates for surgery will attend our three office visits which all include nutritional evaluations. This will give you an opportunity to learn more about the procedures and the diet. These visits allow patients to ask questions and to learn about healthy eating as well as understand similar lifestyle patterns that lead to the problem of obesity. At the same time, you will learn about food labels, low-fat cooking, heart healthy foods and exercise. You should be ready to identify and discuss unhealthy habits and the problem foods that are responsible for your weight problem. You need to be able to identify where your calories are coming from so that we can help suggest techniques to help you change. Remember we are here to help you and support your efforts.

Introduction during initial office visit

The bariatric diet will start following the consultation and your first visit with our dietitian. The idea that you are contemplating or have already committed to a gastric bypass procedure or gastric sleeve indicates that you are already considering a change.

A Closer Look at Ingredients

Black and Red Berries
New foods help motivate. Please remember that introducing new foods only works when you stop eating the problematic ones.

During your initial consultation the dietitian will outline the phases of your diet post-surgery. You will receive suggestions and recommendations in order to encourage yourself to start making changes prior to surgery. This begins by thinking about your food choices differently and modifying some of your favorite meals. The idea is to mentally psych yourself up for the post-surgery diet and to physically rid your body of some of the foods that you have become accustomed to eating routinely. Ideally, you should start to detox from carbonated beverages, sweetened beverages and snack foods, fried foods and fast-foods.

Success is impossible without a diet

The diet is the core of this journey and how, when and what you eat will help determine your weight loss success. This idea of making better choices will include calorie restriction, increased portion control, prioritizing lean protein at every meal. Please ask us questions including our dietitian about what constitutes a healthy meal plan.

Before you begin please reflect and try to visualize the concept that the pouch created during bypass surgery has now reduced your intake from 1000 ml or approximately 4 cups of food to 30 ml or 2 tablespoons of food. Try to visualize 1 ounce of food and this is basically what you will be consuming at mealtime during the initial phases. This example is also accurate for laparoscopic gastric sleeve patients who should hold the same image in their minds.

Portion sizes and understanding

Black and Red Berries
You will need to relearn approrpiate portion size and calorie recommendations.

Changes after your operation

Your tolerance for certain foods and the threshold for how much you can eat at each meal will change over the course of your recovery from the operation. Over time the swelling in the pouch will decrease, the pouch may get slightly bigger and your intestines may compensate allowing you to consume more than a healthy amount of food. It is important that you learn to identify physiological needs and condition yourself to eat within the guidelines of the post bariatric meal plans.

You also need to pay attention to eating habits after the operation. The structure and size of the changes in the intestinal system are permanent. You need to make certain that you do not relearn unhealthy habits. An example of this would be grazing on junk-food and high calorie beverages and deserts. There is no operation that can stop you from being able to drink calories or eat ice-cream. Our diet progression attempts to help you relearn how to eat and replace poor habits with good ones.

Concentrate on keeping yourself hydrated

Drinking water during exercise
Your stomach size is reduced after bariatric surgery. Not only will you be able to eat less food, you will be able to drink less fluid at one time. This is particularly important because you need to learn how to drink fluids in order to keep yourself hydrated. Do not rely on thirst as your only motivator. Thirst starts to happen once you have already become a little dehydrated. You will not be able to gulp down liquids in order to quench your thirst at one time. Learn to carry around a water bottle and drink slowly and constantly throughout the day.

Congratulations on your decision to become a healthier you! Be sure to follow the guidelines to ensure proper healing of your stomach and successful weight loss. This diet pathway is designed to allow enough time for your new stomach to heal completely. If the guidelines are not properly followed, it may result in nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and other complications with your intestines.