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Gastric Bypass Diet: Dos and Donts

According to studies, gastric bypass surgery can help get rid of excess body weight by as much as 90 percent. Sounds too good to be true, right? But thats possible if a patient follows a strict diet plan to avoid regaining weight and to enjoy the full benefits of the surgery. The aftermath of the surgery requires certain lifestyle changes, and that include eating habits. Make sure you get the proper nourishment you need by following these guidelines.

1. Follow your physicians or dieticians recommendations on vitamin and mineral supplements after the surgery.

The surgery causes most of the stomach and part of the small intestines to be bypassed. This, in turn, causes your body to have difficulty taking in some nutrients, which leads to vitamin and mineral deficiency. To keep your body from losing its much-needed vitamins and minerals, make sure that you take proper supplements regularly. Usually, the supplements include multivitamins, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, iron, calcium, among others.

2. Dont take huge meals.

That would defeat the very purpose of your surgery. Just because you have achieved weight loss, that does not mean you can go back to binging or other unhealthy eating habits. Rememberfollowing the surgery, your stomachs volume has been reduced. Your tummy can hold only 1 ounce of food. Overeating wont do your tummy any good. Aside from adding unnecessary calories, eating too much can cause body pains, vomiting, and dizziness.

Be sure that you eat only small amounts of food. Follow your doctors recommended food amounts. Soon after the surgery, you can eat about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of food in every meal. And before you feel full, resist the urge of taking another bite.

Over time, your stomach stretches and can contain more food. Thus, you can adjust your food intake as time progresses.

3. Chew up thoroughly.

Make your digestive systems job easier by chewing your food thoroughly. Why do you need to do so? After the surgery, the small opening between your stomach and your small intestine may be blocked by large pieces of food. When that opening is blocked, food will remain in the stomach and will not be able to pass through the small intestine. This will definitely cause nausea, pain in the abdomen, and vomiting.

Dont swallow food that you cannot chew well. To make eating easier and more comfortable, take smaller bites and chew them until their texture becomes pureed before swallowing.

4. Dont eat and drink like theres no tomorrow.

Avoid eating too fastthis will only lead to sweating, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. These are the symptoms of dumping syndrome, a condition wherein foods enter the small intestine quickly and in abnormally large amounts.

You must eat and drink slowly. Eating a meal should take at least half an hour, while drinking 1 cup of liquid should take half an hour to one hour. Also, avoid foods that have high sugar and fat content.

5. Dont drink liquids while eating.

Drink only before or after your meals. Otherwise, you will feel the symptoms of dumping syndrome. In addition, drinking liquids with meals make you feel full immediately, and this stops you from eating more nutrient-rich foods.

6. Try one new food at a time.

After your gastric bypass surgery, avoid eating just any food. Certain foods and beverages like milk, soda, meat, rice, and pasta may cause pain, nausea, vomiting. Try just one food at a timeand if it causes discomfort, do not eat it.


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What To Eat After Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery is among the most popular bariatric surgery, with the number of those who are choosing to undergo the procedure doubling since 2001 to 2003. The American Society of Bariatric Surgery, estimates the number to be 140,000 annually. This procedure is primarily done to resolve issues of morbid obesity and the diseases associated with it.

In gastric bypass surgery, a small pouch is created in the stomach. This small pouch is stapled and the small intestines upper portion is also attached to this small pouch. The middle section of the small intestine is attached to the rest of the stomach. Food will bypass the rest of the stomach and the rest of the small intestine. Te stomach will be in smaller size which would make it full faster. Less calories will be absorbed.

This procedure would require diet change. Since the digestive system is altered or shortened, every food intake would be valuable. Some common side effects brought by the surgery is nutritional deficiency like anemia and osteoporosis. This is why it is important for patients to follow a different diet and take mineral and vitamin supplements.

The special gastric bypass diet would make sure that weight loss will be maintained over time. It would normally involve high protein food. Foods high in protein would ensure that new tissues are being built and the wounds are healing properly. Ideal high protein foods will be low in fat like red meat, chicken or turkey without skin, fish, eggs and cottage cheese.

Sugar and fat is among the foods that are avoided. Gastric bypass diet would involve food low in sugar and fat. Sugary foods are high in calories and fat. Fat is difficult to digest. Consuming too much sugar could also result to the Dumping syndrome that has nausea, dizziness, vomiting, sweating, and diarrhea as symptoms. The body could also react the same way to too much fat. Foods with too much fat and sugar, anyway, do not have sufficient nutrients that would be essential to the body.

Foods high in fiber are also limited in gastric bypass diet. Fibers could block the stomach, small intestine and would require more gastric acid to digest it. A doctors approval is needed before ingesting any laxative or fiber pills.

This change is not done immediately. There are stages in a gastric bypass diet. Clear liquids would be the first stage. For the first two days, clear liquids like water, sugar-free juice, clear broth and no fizz soda are consumed in small amounts. Within the first two weeks, low-fat, high protein liquids are ingested. It is important to also take chewable multivitamins during this stage.

Doctors would determine when would be the suitable time for the patient to progress to soft or puree diet. Some would be able to eat after two weeks, while others would have to wait longer than that. Some people who are in this stage would sometimes resort to eating strained baby foods. While others would prefer eating soft foods like scrambled eggs, low-fat cheese, blenderized lean meats, etc.

Two months after the surgery, the patient could now start eating regular diet, starting with high-protein food. Food consumed should be in small amounts. Remember that the stomach is reduced in size. After the gastric bypass, the stomach could accommodate about an ounce of food. Eventually, it could stretch and hold about 4 to 8 ounces or a cup to half a cup of food.

One thing that people should be conscious of would be overeating. Gastric bypass surgery can make the stomach smaller, however this does not affect the overall attitude to eating. People could result to overeating because of genetics or emotions. Lifestyle change is important. Overeating could cause regaining the lost weight, expansion of the pouch, and in worst cases rupture of the stomach.

There are many support groups, education, and counselling available to help deal patients with these difficulties.


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