Healthy Eating After Bariatric Surgery
In the first few weeks and months following weight loss surgery, the pounds usually melt away with very little effort on your part. You will likely have limited hunger and only eat very small amounts of food. In fact, you may struggle to consume the right number of calories and necessary nutrients each day.
But what do you do when those first few critical months are over, and you’ve reached your very first weight loss plateau? These tips will help you continue to eat healthy for weight loss success post-surgery.
Plan Your Meals
Planning meals is one of the most important skills you can master after weight loss surgery. It’s important to know what you’re going to eat ahead of time. Work to make your meals for the week easy to prepare and consume so that you don’t return to old habits for convenient eating.
Focus on Protein
You need to consume 60 to 80 grams of lean protein daily. This needs to come from foods and protein shakes. It can be difficult to meet your protein needs at first. Over time you will be able to include three to four ounce servings of protein at each of your three meals and reduce your reliance on protein supplements.
Continue Cutting Carbs
Reducing simple carbohydrates after weight loss surgery will usually have the greatest impact on your weight. Look at food labels for added sugars. Simple carbohydrates are processed quickly in your body creating blood sugar highs and lows that cause more hunger. Eat complex carbohydrates whenever possible and get the majority of your carbohydrate calories from vegetables.
Hydrate Well, Hydrate Often
You should drink at least 64 ounces of water daily. In the days immediately following surgery, this might be quite challenging, though it gets easier as you approach the one-year, post-operation mark. Get into the habit of carrying a water bottle with you all the time and sip it frequently through the day. Remember: by the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
You should not drink while eating, but drinking between meals is a great way to keep feeling full and to avoid mistaking thirst for hunger, which could lead to overeating.
Keep a Food Journal
The longer you remain committed to your food journal, the longer you’ll remain mindful and cognizant of the foods you eat throughout the course of each day. Keeping track of food amounts, calories, and liquids is easier to do than ever before with mobile phone apps that count and record the calories for you.