If you are considering bariatric surgery, or if you have recently had such surgery, you may be thinking about your doctor-recommended diet plan. After weight loss surgery, patients typically follow a four-phase diet plan, as follows:
Phase 1: Liquids
You will begin by drinking clear liquids only, 1 to 2 ounces at a time. During this stage, you may drink broth, skim milk, unsweetened juices and popsicles, decaffeinated coffee or tea, and vitamin enriched supplement drinks. By consuming protein-rich fluids every 15 to 30 minutes, you will avoid dehydration and provide your body with the nutrients it needs. Check out Bari Life’s protein shakes >>>
Phase 2: Pureed Foods
Pureed foods are those that are cooked until soft and then blended or mashed. The consistency of these foods will range from a thick paste to moist cottage cheese. Focus on proteins, such as meats and beans, but avoid red meats. Portions should be limited to 1.5 ounces or about 3 tablespoons. View BariLife’s selection of puddings and soups.
Phase 3: Soft Foods
Normal foods can be tolerated at Phase 3, but stringy or difficult-to-chew items should still be avoided. Ground beef may be added to the diet. Portion sizes will be limited to 2 to 3 ounces.
Phase 4: Solid Foods
At this phase, you can eat a wide variety of your favorite foods, while still keeping sugars and starches in check. Portion sizes should be no more than 6 ounces.
The length of each phase will vary based on the type of surgery you had, the nutritional value of the foods you eat, and variables unique to you as an individual. Typically, you may expect Phase 1 to last 2 to 4 weeks; Phase 2, 3 to 8 weeks; and Phase 3 up to 6 months. You will then be able to eat Phase 4 foods on a continual basis
Should I Follow Doctor’s Orders?
Considering making great changes in your eating habits may be daunting. You may be thinking, “I can still eat whatever I want… I’ll just eat less of it.” However, after your surgery, good nutrition is more important than ever before. Why?
One reason is that the amount of food you take in will be limited. Therefore, what you choose to eat should be more nutrient-dense than before your surgery. Second, your body will need specific nutrients to heal. Other health problems can occur if you do not pay proper attention to your diet and follow your doctor’s prescribed plan. Finally, your reason for having the surgery is likely to lose weight and live a happy, productive life. Some food and beverage choices, such as sugary soft drinks, will prevent you from achieving these goals.
If you have undergone weight loss surgery, you have already made a commitment to reclaiming your health. Sticking to your diet plan will help you keep that promise to yourself. It will also help you to avoid dietary choices that may work against your decision.
Top 3 Reasons You Need a Post-Surgery Diet Plan
1. Your diet plan will aid and speed healing.
To heal after surgery, your body will need a large amount of protein and other essential vitamins and nutrients. Bari Life offers the only bariatric multivitamin on the market that is all-in-one and meets the ASMBS recommendations. Proteins are the building blocks of the cells that enable your body to heal. You also want to make it easy for your body to absorb these nutrients. Since liquids are the easier foods for your body to process, followed by purees and soft foods, you will graduate to these successively as your physician observes progress in your recovery.
You must also give attention to how much you consume at a time. Eating or drinking more than the recommended amount can stretch newly-healed areas of your stomach, slowing healing and causing discomfort or even pain. Until you reach Phase 4, you will avoid red meats and starchy foods, as these are more difficult to digest.
2. Your diet plan will reduce your risk of potential side effects, such as post-operative infection, bone or muscle loss, tooth decay, hair loss, paralysis, and night blindness.
Each of the side effects listed above is the body’s response to malnutrition. For example, if you are not consuming enough calcium, your body draws what it needs from your bones; too little protein and your muscles suffer. The simple solution, however, is consuming vitamin supplements according to your diet plan. During the early phases, you may use a powdered supplement mixed with liquid, and later, capsules and enriched foods.
When you read a medication’s list of potential side effects, it can be frightening. No such fear is necessary, however, when you consider the potential effects of bariatric surgery. Simply taking vitamin and protein supplements according to your diet plan will lessen any negative effects, perhaps eliminating them altogether. What is more, you have so many positive effects to gain – better health, more energy, and improved self-esteem, to name a few.
3. A diet plan makes staying healthy and achieving your goals easy and affordable.
A good diet plan, such as those provided by Bari Life, takes the guesswork out of taking care of yourself. When using Bari Life supplements as part of your diet plan, you won’t need to take a handful of supplement pills every morning, because one Bari Life supplement provides all the nutritional additives your body needs.
Bari Life also strives to make healthy living affordable with a full line of vitamins, protein shakes, soups, pasta/entrees and even sweets that will fit right in with your new and improved nutritional lifestyle.
In summary, there are three primary reasons why you should discuss a diet plan with your healthcare provider and stick to it – to speed healing, reduce the risk of side effects, and achieve your weight loss and healthy living goals. Your happiness is worth the effort you will put forth, and the benefits will exceed any perceived sacrifices you may make as you adjust to your newly-adopted lifestyle.