Bariatric surgery is an excellent choice when you're obese and looking to lose weight long-term and improve your overall health. It's a significant decision, but one that has impressive results if you're all in.
However, many people think the weight falls off after surgery, which is partially true — but you have to eat the right foods to ensure success.
Nutritional counseling is vital after any form of bariatric surgery to ensure you understand how to lose weight safely and effectively.
Dr. Robert Snow and the team at Snow Bariatric Center offer support and resources during every step of the bariatric surgery process.
Dr. Snow is an esteemed bariatric surgeon with offices in both Fort Worth and Flower Mound, Texas. He helps you choose the right type of surgery for your specific needs.
How does weight loss surgery work?
Carrying excess weight affects your health, including your mental and physical well-being. Obesity has a significant risk for severe health conditions, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart attack.
Diet and exercise help some people, but only some successfully lose weight with these interventions alone. If you're struggling to lose weight and are concerned about your well-being, bariatric surgery may be an option.
Various forms of weight loss surgery include gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and the LAP-BAND®. Each procedure changes how much you can eat at one time, helping you feel fuller on much less food.
Gastric bypass surgery is a more complex procedure, changing the size of your stomach and how your body digests food. It's great for people with serious health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, to improve their health through significant weight loss.
The gastric sleeve and LAP-BAND make your stomach smaller, so you eat less food. The LAP-BAND is adjustable, while the gastric sleeve is a permanent change.
However, weight loss surgery is only effective if you follow the aftercare steps and change your nutrition for the rest of your life.
Nutrition is still important
Although your stomach is smaller after bariatric surgery, that doesn't mean you can eat whatever you want. You must follow a strict diet for several weeks after surgery, consisting primarily of liquids and soft foods.
With each passing week, you can add different foods with more consistency to your diet, but the portions must be small to achieve weight loss.
You must eat tiny meals every few hours to get enough calories to sustain your body's needs. However, navigating nutrition can be difficult, especially with gastric bypass surgery.
Gastric bypass changes how your body digests food, meaning you may lack specific essential vitamins and nutrients. Nutrition is critical to ensure you get what your body needs to stay healthy as you lose weight.
Certain foods contain these vital nutrients, where nutritional counseling comes in after bariatric surgery.
Understanding nutritional counseling
The best way to ensure weight loss success after bariatric surgery is through adhering to the postoperative aftercare plan, which includes nutritional counseling, often from a licensed dietitian.
The dietitian evaluates your individual needs depending on the type of surgery you had and your specific health requirements. For example, if you had gastric bypass surgery, they help you progress your diet from liquids to solid foods within the first month.
Nutritional counseling helps you understand how your dietary needs change after bariatric surgery. If you underwent gastric bypass surgery, you typically need vitamin supplementation for the following nutrients:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
- Fat-soluble vitamins
- Calcium Citrate
- Vitamin C
- Regular multivitamin
Nutritional counseling addresses your unique needs and allows you to ask questions during recovery. It also manages food intolerances and difficulty implementing healthy habits after surgery.
The most essential aspect of your recovery is your nutrition. It's the best way to ensure healthy weight loss that's long-term and done in a way that preserves your overall health and wellness.
To learn more about nutritional counseling, don't hesitate to call one of the offices in Fort Worth or Flower Mound, Texas, today or request a consultation on the website.