After undergoing bariatric surgery, it will take some time to fully recover, and your eating habits may never fully be the same. However, that is hardly something to fret over; the benefits of the surgery and the new body that comes with it will far exceed the change in diet. While your doctor will give you a stricter diet and rules to follow immediately following your surgery, your eating options will open up as time goes on.
The important thing to remember for bariatric patients is to follow a high-protein, low fat, and low sugar diet. A few other tips to keep in mind: always eat your protein first, followed by the vegetables, fruit, and finally the carbohydrate. Choose lean protein (with any visible fat removed), and aim for low fat and low sugar. 3 meals a day is a good goal (much like it was pre-surgery), with smaller snacks in between as needed- but be wary of developing a “grazing” habit. Eat slowly, chew well, drink plenty of fluids, and of course, do not forget to take your multivitamin.
Certain foods are hard to digest and may cause issues for bariatric patients. Foods to avoid include whole milk, whole grains, grapes, nuts, pork, beef, shellfish, beans, and corn. These foods don’t necessarily need to be avoided for life, but in the weeks following bariatric surgery, it’s probably best to err on the side of caution. That doesn’t mean your options are extremely limited, however. In fact, the truth is far from it.
Decent lunch ideas might include:
- Dark chicken and steamed vegetables, with skim milk or decaffeinated tea.
- Grilled fish and a baked potato, with a few (low-fat) toppings.
- Canned tuna or salmon with celery sticks.
- Chicken tortilla soup in the crockpot.
- Roasted red pepper soup.
- Avocado egg salad (avocado is an excellent food for bariatric patients)
- Asian chicken salad
- Grilled tuna steaks
The list is quite literally endless, with plenty of recipes, informational sources, and lifestyle websites devoted to life post-bariatric surgery. By following some basic guidelines and paying attention to your newfound body and the sensitivities of your digestive system, you will find yourself easily adapting to your new dietary requirements. Although certain rules regarding what you eat may need to be followed for the rest of your life, that doesn’t mean you need to eat the same things over and over. Experiment with recipes, find new ones, share ones that you love, and enjoy exploring your new diet!