Better Understanding Nutrition for Bariatric Surgery Patients

One of the most common questions we receive as patients approach bariatric surgery is related to your diet.   We decided to break this into a quick post that gives you a general overview of how you need to change your diet for “Life-Long Sustainability”, Pre-Surgery Diet, and Post Surgery Diet.  Over the next several months we are going to start posting more information related to your diet, recipes, making better eating choices, and some grocery store shopping tips.

Never forget that weight loss is a journey.  Bariatric surgery is a fantastic option to help you lose weight and improve your quality of life, but changing your lifestyle is the ultimate goal.  The NUMBER 1 choice you can make to help with long-term weight loss is eating better.  It’s not impossible.  It’s not expensive.  It’s a choice and we want to help!

Pre-Operative Weight Management Plans and Goals

Although weight loss surgery can be a powerful tool, it is only one part of a holistic approach to healthier living. To achieve successful weight loss, you must make changes in your eating habits prior to surgery. You should also follow a pre-operative diet for the weeks before and after the procedure.

Pre-Operative Weight Management

There are many options to help you incorporate healthier habits into daily life. These suggestions can be helpful for those who are preparing to have bariatric surgery. Texas Laparoscopic Consultants is a Nobilis Health partner and offers pre-operative weight management classes. To help you achieve these goals, we highly recommend a weight management class that provides support and structure.

Your diet should include more vegetables, whole fruits, unprocessed grains, and other healthy foods.  Think about the grocery store as a giant horseshoe.  90% of your caloric intake needs to come from whole foods. Most whole foods are normally located on the outside of the store.  You will find your meats, poultry, eggs, dairy, fruits, and vegetables around the outside of the store.   We also recommend picking up a water bottle that allows you to track your water consumption.  If you do not like the taste of water treat yourself to some type of flavorings like Crystal light or unsweet tea.  

Big Picture Tips for a Better Weight Loss Diet

  • Reduce portion size
  • Low-fat dairy products are available
  • Eliminate added sugars and concentrated sweets
  • Avoid eating out and ordering takeout. Make informed decisions when dining out.
  • Swimming, walking daily, and low-impact exercise are all ways to increase your activity.
  • Eliminate sugary drinks and carbonated beverages
  • 8 cups (64 oz.) of water daily
  • Reduce fried foods by using low-fat cooking methods like baking, broiling, and steaming.
  • Avoid using food as a reward for emotional comfort or emotional satisfaction.

Two-week Pre-operative Diet

A strict, low-calorie, low-carbohydrate liquid diet will be prescribed for you two weeks prior to your surgery. This diet has been proven to decrease liver size and make surgery safer and faster. This diet includes the following:

You should consume four to five liquid meal substitutes each day. Drinks must be prepared with specially-formulated products for patients with bariatric conditions, such as Bariatric Advantage. Some meal replacement products can contain too many sugars.

Eight glasses (64 oz.) of water daily (Crystal Light can also be used).

Multivitamin and Calcium Supplement

As a treat, sugar-free gelatin can be enjoyed.

Post Operative Nutrition

You must eat liquids for at least 2 days following surgery. You will then be given a high-protein diet consisting of pureed foods. After that, you will transition to soft foods for a few weeks before returning to a regular diet. Each procedure will have a different timeline. The nutrition guidelines may vary. Following surgery, your surgeon or dietician will advise you on what foods to eat. This is critical for a speedy recovery.

Weight Management after Surgery

Although weight loss surgery can be very effective in treating obesity it is not the end. It is just a way to live a healthier and more active life. You will need to change your lifestyle to lose weight and maintain it. After following the prescribed recovery diet, you will need to eat smaller amounts of high-protein and low-carbohydrate foods. You should eliminate foods high in sugar or fat from your diet. To maintain your health, it is important to include exercise.

Support After Surgery

Balette Bariatric Center is proud to be part of your weight-loss journey. We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and maintain healthy habits. There are many resources that can help patients keep their weight down long-term. These include classes, pre-operative weight management, and post-operative nutrition counseling. Our office also offers a range of Bariatric Advantage vitamins and supplements that are tailored to the needs of patients with bariatric conditions. We also have meal replacement products available for purchase. Our practice is more than just a place to get your surgery done. We are here to help you on your exciting journey to a healthier, more active self!

Dr. Balette is one of Houston’s Leading Bariatric Surgeons and looks forward to helping you start your weight loss journey with the help of bariatric surgery.

Contact our offices in Houston & The Woodlands to schedule your consultation – (281) 419-8400 or complete the form below.