If you’ve been overweight for a long time and have finally taken the steps to shed the weight with bariatric surgery, you’re on the right track. However, bariatric surgery is only step one. After surgery the real work starts with modifying your diet to keep the pounds off.
At Snow Bariatric Center in Flower Mound, Texas, you’ll be in great hands before, during, and after your weight loss procedure. Dr. Robert Snow specializes in many different forms of bariatric surgery to give you the healthy body you’ve been dreaming of.
What's involved in bariatric surgery?
When your health is at risk due to your excessive weight, you need to do something right away to ensure your health doesn’t deteriorate. Excess weight on your body causes myriad dangerous conditions, like heart disease and diabetes.
However, losing weight isn’t easy for everyone. If you’ve tried diet and exercise and every other weight-loss trick and they haven't worked, bariatric surgery might be the next step. So what types of surgery are available? At Snow Bariatric Center, we offer many types of bariatric surgery, including:
- Gastric sleeve
- Gastric bypass
- Obalon balloon system
Dr. Snow takes into account your overall health and your BMI to determine what type of surgery works best for you. He also looks at what medical conditions you have and your willingness to stick with the aftercare plan when deciding on a procedure.
Some of the surgeries, such as gastric bypass and the gastric sleeve surgery, involve altering the size and shape of your stomach. This not only helps control the amount of food you can eat, but also how it’s digested and distributed.
Eating after surgery — what to expect
You just took the biggest step in changing your life for the better, but now what do you do? After surgery, staying on track by allowing your stomach to heal and eating the right foods ensures successful weight loss.
While each person is different, the eating plan after bariatric surgery follows the same guidelines or stages.
Stage one is the first week after you’ve had surgery. In this stage, you’ll only be allowed to drink clear liquids to allow your stomach to heal. These liquids shouldn’t exceed two ounces per hour to keep pressure off the incision area. Clear liquids you can have include:
- Unsweetened coffee
You may also have milk, as long as it’s fat free or one percent.
This stage occurs after the first week, and lasts for another two weeks. In stage two, you’ll be able to advance your diet to pureed foods. During this stage, you can add more foods to your diet, as long as they can be pureed. You don’t want any pieces of solid food in the puree. Foods that you can eat in this stage include:
- Egg whites
- Cottage cheese
- Cooked vegetables
- Soft fruits
You may eat these foods in small, manageable meals about six times a day. The amount of puree should be equal to about six tablespoons. Make sure to eat very slowly, so as not to overload your stomach.
Stage three is when you can begin to incorporate soft foods into your diet. This stage lasts anywhere from two weeks up to several months after you’ve completed stage two of your post-op diet. Food in this stage should be soft enough that you can mash it up with a fork or spoon.
In this part of your recovery, you may add a lot more foods than you could in the first few weeks, and they include:
- Lean meat
- Low-fat cheese
- Cooked vegetables
If you’re making vegetables, make sure they don’t have the skin on them. During this stage, make sure to chew your food completely before swallowing.
Stage four is the stage you’ll be in for the rest of your life after bariatric surgery. This is basically a maintenance eating plan to lose the weight and keep it off for good.
In this stage, you want to make sure to eat mostly vegetables and proteins. Add very little sugar or carbohydrates to your meal plan. Although you can have different foods, you should avoid certain types of foods, which include:
- Fried foods
- Tough cuts of meat
- Nuts or seeds
- Raw vegetables
- Most breads
If you’re ever not sure of what you can eat, Dr. Snow can discuss your aftercare plan at an appointment. Being strict during the first stages of your recovery helps you lose weight and helps your stomach adjust to a new way of eating.
If you’re ready to change your life with weight loss surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Snow by calling one of our convenient offices in Texas. You can also request an appointment online using our handy booking tool.