Bariatric surgery is a life-saving procedure. One is able to lose the stubborn weight along with associated diseases and most importantly feel and look healthy. However, for the surgery to be effective, one has to be vigilant about his/her diet intake. This is required for 2 reasons –
- For adequate healing of recently operated stomach/intestine
- For adequate weight loss and long term weight maintenance
For adequate healing post surgery, there are three stages to a Bariatric diet. Here is a quick guide to the do’s and don’ts when it comes to following a healthy diet post-Bariatric surgery
Liquid Diet (2 weeks after weightloss surgery)
The first three days after the surgery mainly involves clear liquid diet. This is to be followed in order to maintain adequate hydration levels in the body. During this period, a patient is guided to limit consumption to plain water, coconut water (if sugars are normal), clear soups, green tea, lime water etc. From the fourth day onwards, a patient can consume protein shakes, thin dal, buttermilk, tea/coffee, and soups.
Soft Diet (2-4 weeks after surgery)
The duration of this stage may vary depending on the type of surgery. A patient who has undergone a Gastric Bypass surgery needs to follow it for two weeks, while sleeve Gastrectomy patient needs it for 4 weeks. The diet mainly involves the consumption of egg whites, fish, porridge, dal, khichdi, low-fat paneer, curd, idli, dhokla, beans etc. It is important to ensure that foods should be soft and slightly overcooked. Things like bread, salads etc are not allowed.
4-6 weeks after surgery, person can start consuming even bread, dry fruits etc as staple lines have adequately healed.
Adequate Weight loss & Maintenance
Everyone loves to eat, who doesn’t? Nothing gives more satisfaction than a plate of food that you love. An obese person has to remember that bariatric surgery does not change the tendency to gain weight. So, in order to live a healthy life, optimal care of diet is necessary. Being healthy is a lifelong commitment for everyone irrespective of bariatric surgery. In our experience, most patients opting for bariatric surgery have immense will power as they have given up smoking /alcohol for years and have been exercising regularly for years.
After weight loss surgery, person is allowed to eat the food of his choice till he is full. Emphasis has to be on adequate protein intake (50-60 Gms per day) & liquids (1.5-2 litres per day). This can include fish, chicken, eggs, dal, roti, rice etc & there is no need to eat salads etc. Healthy food choices and a dose of exercises can help achieve lifelong healthy weight in all bariatric patients.