Bariatric Surgery Diet
Bariatric Surgery Diet
Any weight loss procedure done on any patient by any doctor relies on the discipline of the patient to stick to the prescribed post-operative bariatric surgery diet for it to be truly successful. The actual operation is only half of the battle; perhaps the biggest hurdle comes in the days following the operation when the patient begins embracing a new lifestyle as symbolized by the new diet.
However, it should be equally noted that the diet is more than just symbolic. In all sense of the word, a proper bariatric surgery diet is very important towards full recovery. It is designed in order to allow the digestive tract to heal even as the patient begins taking in food, which also provides nutrients that are essential for the patient’s recovery.
A bariatric surgery diet, therefore, is broken down into 4 phases following the perceived level of healing of the stitches used after the operation.
The liquid diet phase - Beginning two to three days and lasting up to a week after conclusion of the operation, the liquid diet phase consists of pure liquid such as broth, milk, and fruit juices that are unsweetened and with the pulp completely strained out. The liquid diet phase is so designed that the body’s response to food is analyzed and understood, but also conceived in such a way as to prevent solid food from stressing the digestive tract walls prior to full healing.
The semi-liquid phase - One cannot hope to completely heal without ingesting the right nutrients that good food can provide. However, the need to slowly acclimatize the stomach to eating again requires that food be pureed and maintained in an almost liquid consistency. For this, foods can be pureed so they can be easily eaten by the patient. Some examples include fish, beans, lean meats that are ground and minced. All of these can be mixed with water broth and juices before being fed to the patient. The final consistency of the food is such that it should resemble baby food with a paste-like texture.
The semi-solid phase - Not to be confused with the semi-liquid phase, the semi-solid phase dispenses with the need to puree the food but mashing may still be a requirement depending on the patient’s healing progress. Cooked and mashed vegetables work well at this stage and so do soft fruits and diced meats.
Solid foods - The last stage of the bariatric surgery diet will allow the patient to eat solid foods, but only those that are only properly categorized so as to ensure that the patient does not react adversely after consumption. Patients should avoid nuts, popcorn, dehydrated fruits, tough meat, and textured breads. To be on the safe side, it is prudent to stick with the food groups during the semi-solid phase but without the need to mash the food.
Remember the importance of the bariatric surgery diet; it allows the body to heal, and gives the patient the chance to adjust to a new eating norm. Those who are looking for transition to a new lifestyle post-surgery should treat the bariatric surgery diet period as the bridge from the old to the new, allowing them to measure what works and what doesn’t in order for them to effectively and efficiently make the surgery work for weight loss, and overall improved fitness and health.