Long-Term Diet Guidelines for After Weight Loss Surgery

Although weight loss surgery helps patients lose weight by altering the capacity of the stomach, for complete success, long-term dieting plans are essential. Whether you have had gastric bypass, lap-band surgery, or other bariatric surgery, healthy changes in diet and exercise are the key to losing up to 60 percent of your pre-surgery weight in the first two years after the procedure.

Depending on the type of surgery you have had, a restrictive diet of liquid and soft foods may be required immediately following the procedure to allow healing. During this time, developing a clear vision of your future diet and exercise plans will help transition you from a lifetime of poor eating and exercise habits to a new, healthy lifestyle. Finding exciting recipes and slowing starting enjoyable exercise routines will spur your enthusiasm.

Medical professionals and nutritionists advise a diet high in quality protein and low in sugars and fats. Patients in Michigan and elsewhere should build their meals around lean protein, supplementing this with nutritionally rich fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The recommended daily amount of protein is between 60 and 80 grams to help maintain lean muscle.

Women are recommended to consume between 1200 and 1400 calories per day, which men are recommended 1300 to 1500 calories per day. These should be divided between three meals and up to two snacks. Portion control is important; when you are full stop eating. Many people find that slowing down the pace of eating helps enhance the needed control. Using a food journal to record daily intake makes planning and tracking your diet easier.

Some patients may notice that breads, popcorn, and tough meat are harder to digest after surgery and should be avoided. Other foods to avoid are carbonated drinks, fatty foods and sugary items.


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