Weight loss surgery is an exciting step forward in your weight loss journey. If you have recently had bariatric surgery, you are in good company. In 2008, bariatric surgeons performed 220,000 surgeries. And while these surgeries are increasingly helping individuals lose weight, proper nutrition after weight loss surgery is essential to ensuring that you achieve your long-term weight loss goals.
Bariatric surgery works by restricting the amount of food you can consume at one time or reducing your body’s ability to absorb the food. Some surgeries, such as gastric bypass surgery, do both. Gastric bypass surgery creates a “smaller stomach”, which restricts your food intake, and also re-routes your digestive system to reduce absorption.
Unfortunately, about 10% of bariatric weight loss patients fail to lose what we consider adequate weight loss after surgery or regain weight years later. If you are considering weight loss surgery or have recently had an operation, it is important to understand that bariatric surgery is not a permanent solution unless it is combined with proper eating habits and increase activity.
Many weight loss surgeries limit your body’s natural ability to absorb food. While you’ll be absorbing fewer calories and less fat, you will also be absorbing fewer nutrients and vitamins. After weight loss surgery, your doctor may recommend that you take nutritional supplements or a multivitamin that contains calcium, vitamin D, B vitamins, iron and protein.
It is also important that you not only eat less, but make healthier food choices. Eating fast food like French fries or drinking sugary soft drinks robs your body of vital nutrients and fills it up with empty calories. Instead, choose fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Eat several small meals throughout the day. Be aware of your snacking rituals – if you find yourself reaching for chips every time you turn on the TV, try to engage in another activity or eat something that is high in protein. Or better yet, turn off the TV and go for a walk around your neighborhood.
If you are struggling with your diet, you may benefit from seeing our nutritionist. A nutritionist can evaluate your diet and help ensure each food you eat is full of the nutrients your body needs – and none of the extras that contribute to weight gain. At Live Healthy MD we are fortunate to have an excellent registered dietician that is very knowledgable and has worked in the surgical weight loss field for a decade. She understands very clearly the struggles that our patients go through. If you have any questions please send them a message through our “ASK THE EXPERT”
Trish Fine, RD: Trish Fine is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 25 years experience in dietetics. She graduated from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts and The Augusta Area Dietetic Internship in Augusta, Georgia. Trish has a wide variety of experience in nutrition including serving as a nutrition research coordinator for The 5 A Day program at Emory University, a high risk nutritionist for the WIC program in both Atlanta and Augusta, a consultant and cookbook author for the American Cancer Society and a nutrition educator for the American Dairy Association’s, “got milk?” and Milk Mustache campaigns. She has appeared on over 150 television and radio programs throughout the southeast. Trish has worked for Live Healthy MD for over 5 years and never tires of seeing our patients reach their weight loss and health goals. Trish is married and has 3 sons and too many pets.
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