Gastric bypass is a proven bariatric method to aid weight loss in patients with morbid obesity, wherein conservative methods have failed. In fact, a person can lose up to 70 percent of the excess body weight in 18 months after surgery. However, attaining and sustaining the weight loss results requires hard work; and a change in the eating habits and diet plan. The stomach is sensitive post surgery; therefore, it is important to feed it with the right food and nutrients to reap the benefits and avoid the side effects. Whether a patient undergoes gastric bypass in Perth or elsewhere, they should know what to eat and more importantly, what not to eat. The blog post is a comprehensive coverage of the diet plan post gastric bypass surgery. Let’s begin.
Week 1: Clear Liquids
Within 1 to 7 days after gastric bypass surgery, a patient needs to be on a strict liquid diet to allow the stomach to heal and avoid dehydration. The patient must sip the liquid slowly, drinking only 2 to 3 ounces at a time. Once the operated stomach is accustomed to handle clear liquids, the patient can switch to skimmed or low-fat milk; after consulting with the dietician or the bariatric surgeon. Liquid diet accounts for stage 1 post surgery, and a patient can consume:
- Unsweetened Juice
- Decaffeinated tea or coffee
- Sugar-Free Jello and Water
- Skimmed or Fat-Free Milk
Though a clear liquid diet is recommended for a week post gastric bypass, individual cases may differ and consulting a dietician is mandatory.
Week 2 and 3: Proteins and Pureed Food
After a week of religiously following a liquid diet, the patient may start consuming food that are mashed to resemble a thick paste or liquid; without any solid components. The body also demands its share of protein, so liquefied sources of protein should also be incorporated in the diet. The ideal protein intake should be 60-70 grams, followed by about 60 ounces of clear liquids, excluding the water content in the pureed food. Moreover, clear liquids should not be consumed along with pureed food, and a gap of 30 to 60 minutes is recommended. Food that blend well together should be used to prepare pureed food such as:
- Lean Ground Meats
- Cottage Cheese
- Soft, cooked vegetables
- Protein requirements can be sufficed through:
- Protein Shakes
- Egg Whites
- Fat-free cottage cheese
During the phase two of gastric bypass diet, a patient also needs to stay on multivitamins, preferably in liquid or chewable form to prevent nutritional deficiency. The healing process of the stomach determines the duration of phase two diet and may vary across individuals.
Week 4 and 5: Soft Food
After two weeks of eating pureed food, a patient can gradually introduce soft food in their diet including soft meats and cooked vegetables. The nutritional requirements follow the same pattern as phase 2, and includes the intake of the recommended amount of protein, clear liquids and multivitamins. The only exception, a slight amount of fat may be permitted as a part of the diet after consulting the dietician or bariatric doctor. The daily menu during Week 4 and 5 of the diet plan can include the following:
Finely Diced Meets
Week 6: Solid Food
After a few weeks of pureed and soft food, the stomach gradually becomes capable of digesting solid food. Though the stomach may still be incapable of digesting spicy and sugary food, a patient may start eating limited amount of grains and vegetables. The best idea is to introduce one solid food at a time and check the tolerance levels of the stomach. Even during this stage, the stomach may still reject sugary, carbohydrate-rich and fatty food and result in dumping syndrome to cause vomiting, nausea, and cramping. So, chew the food well, and refrain from hard to digest food such as:
- Whole Grains
- Fried Food and Carbonated Beverages
- Popcorn and Granola
Instead, follow the guidelines in the previous stages and allow the stomach to heal properly, before incorporating rigid food in the diet. Additionally, be cautious with fat and sugar consumption and chart out a comprehensive plan for solid food for maximum health benefits.
The Way Forward
Gastric bypass has gone through several modifications over these years and recommended as a gold standard among bariatric surgery options. The process has a higher success rate than counterpart options and recovery times have also significantly improved. Moreover, the majority of excess weight vanishes within the first year post surgery, and the results sustain. Many patients believe the job is over after undergoing surgery, however; a strict diet plan is the only key that supplements the weight loss results.
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