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Bariatric and Metabolic resources for a healthier life

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Bariatric surgery diet and health tips

Your bariatric team will work with you to develop a diet and fitness plans that’s right for you, but here are few tips to help you eat better and feel better.

Stay hydrated, but avoid drinking during meals

Drink at least 64 ounces of fluid a day. But don’t drink anything 15-30 minutes before a meal, and wait 30-60 minutes after a meal before drinking again. Liquid causes food to empty from your stomach too quickly. The goal is to keep food in your stomach so that you feel full sooner and stay full longer.

Eat several small, nutritionally balanced meals each day

Protein-rich foods such as lean meat, eggs, low-fat dairy products (yogurt, cheese, etc.) will help you feel fuller longer. Starches and whole grains, fruits, and vegetables will give you a variety of vital nutrients. Take very small bites (the size of a pencil eraser) and chew thoroughly.

Avoid desserts and items with sugar listed among the first 3 ingredients

They may be hard to resist, but these high-calorie items offer very little nutritional value. The key is to get the most out of everything you eat. Sweets not only sabotage your efforts to maximize your nutrition, but for bypass patients, high-sugar and high-fat foods can lead to dumping syndrome, an unpleasant side effect.

Eat slowly so your body can tell you when it’s full

While you get used to your smaller stomach, eating slowly and without distraction will help you recognize when you are full. Taking your time will also keep you from feeling uncomfortably full.

Take the recommended vitamin and mineral supplements

Added supplements may be required after bariatric and metabolic procedures. Surgery may change your anatomy causing a decrease in your body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

Try new foods cautiously to see what you can tolerate

Some foods can cause nausea, pain, vomiting, or may block the opening of your stomach. While this is unpleasant, it’s perfectly normal for bariatric and metabolic surgery patients. When you try new foods, do so carefully. Over time, your stomach will get stronger and you can revisit those problem foods.

Regularly exercise at least 30 minutes every day

If 30 minutes a day seems like a lot right now, don't worry. Gradual increases in activity will get you there—start with simple things like vacuuming, gardening, or short walks. Strength-building tones muscle to burn more calories and tighten sagging skin. As little as 30 minutes of exercise per day can reduce the risks associated with diabetes, premature death, heart disease, high blood pressure, and colon cancer. It also improves muscle and bone structure, and improves mental health.40