6 Tips for Healthy Eating After Bariatric Surgery

An African American woman eating a healthy meal in her kitchen.

Bariatric surgery is a life-changing procedure that can help individuals struggling with obesity achieve significant weight loss and improve their overall health. However, the success of bariatric surgery also depends on making healthy lifestyle changes, particularly when it comes to diet.

What Is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight-loss surgery, is a surgical procedure that helps individuals struggling with obesity lose weight by reducing the size of the stomach or bypassing a portion of the small intestine. This results in reduced food intake and absorption, leading to significant weight loss.

Bariatric surgery is typically recommended for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher with obesity-related health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea.

Why Is Healthy Eating Important After Bariatric Surgery?

After bariatric surgery, the stomach is significantly smaller, and the body’s ability to absorb nutrients is reduced. This means that individuals must make healthy food choices to ensure they are getting the necessary nutrients while also promoting weight loss.

Additionally, healthy eating after bariatric surgery can help prevent complications and promote long-term weight management, leading to improved overall health and quality of life.

Tips for Healthy Eating After Bariatric Surgery

Making healthy food choices after bariatric surgery is crucial for proper healing, weight loss and long-term success. By following these tips and working closely with your healthcare team, you can optimize your nutrition, promote weight loss and enhance your overall well-being after bariatric surgery.

Here are our six tips to help you navigate your post-surgery diet effectively:

1. Follow your post-surgery diet plan

After bariatric surgery, your doctor will provide you with a post-surgery diet plan that you must follow to ensure proper healing and weight loss. This plan typically includes a liquid diet for the first few weeks, followed by a gradual transition to soft foods and eventually solid foods.

It is crucial to follow this plan carefully and not rush into eating solid foods before your doctor recommends it. This will help your body adjust to the changes and prevent complications.

2. Focus on protein

You know that you need liquids and you know that you are not supposed to rush into eating solid foods, but what to eat after bariatric surgery? Protein is an essential nutrient for individuals after bariatric surgery as it helps with healing and promotes satiety. Aim to include protein in every meal and snack, with a focus on lean sources such as chicken, fish, eggs and tofu.

Protein shakes and bars can also be a convenient way to meet your protein needs, especially during the liquid and soft food stages of your post-surgery diet.

3. Avoid high-calorie, high-fat foods

After bariatric surgery, your stomach will not be able to handle large portions or high-fat foods. These types of foods can also hinder weight loss and increase the risk of complications.

Avoid foods such as fried foods, processed snacks and sugary drinks. Instead, focus on nutrient-dense, whole foods that will provide your body with the necessary nutrients without excess calories.

4. Chew thoroughly and eat slowly

After bariatric surgery, it is essential to chew your food thoroughly and eat slowly. This will help prevent discomfort and ensure that you are not overeating. Take small bites and chew each bite at least 20 times before swallowing. This will also help you feel full faster and prevent overeating.

5. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial after bariatric surgery, as it helps with digestion and prevents constipation. Aim to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day, and avoid drinking with meals to prevent overfilling your stomach. If plain water is difficult to consume, try adding a slice of lemon or infusing it with fruit for added flavor.

6. Seek support and guidance

Making healthy eating choices after bariatric surgery can be challenging, and it is essential to seek support and guidance from your healthcare team and loved ones. Joining a support group or working with a registered dietitian who specializes in bariatric surgery and healthy eating for weight loss can also provide valuable support and guidance on making healthy food choices and managing your weight after surgery.

Reshape Your Tomorrow

Bariatric surgery can be a life-changing procedure for individuals struggling with obesity. However, healthy weight management and bariatric surgery must go hand in hand, as it is crucial to make healthy lifestyle changes, particularly when it comes to post-bariatric surgery diet, to ensure long-term weight management and improved overall health.

Located in Las Vegas Nevada, the Surgical Weight Control Center can provide multiple surgical weight-loss options to help you meet your health goals. If you are interested in weight-loss surgery from the Surgical Weight Control Center, please contact us today at 702-313-8446 or register for a seminar.

Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if bariatric surgery is right for you.