Gastric bypass dietThe gastric bypass surgery reduces your stomach size by closing a larger section of your stomach with staples. The smaller section of stomach is bypassed to the small intestine. This as a result changes the way your body handles the food you eat. Gastric bypass can lead to weight loss quickly and safely when you cannot eat too much food at one time. Gastric bypass diet is for those who are recovering from gastric bypass surgery. Your doctor or a registered dietician will plan your diet. This will help you to heal quickly. It includes those types of food that will:
- allow the surgically stapled line to heal without getting stretched by the food you consume
- get you used to eating the smaller amounts of food so that it can be digested safely and comfortably by your smaller stomach
- Help you lose weight and avoid gaining extra weight again
- avoid side effects and complications
The diet depends on the surgery and the condition of the individual. In general, the diet consists of four phases. The rate at which you shift from one phase to another depends on how fast your body is able to adjust to the pattern of the diet and how quickly your body heals. The post surgery diet plan can be divided into four phases:
Phase 1: This phase is completely based on liquid diet. This is the time just after the surgery when you will not be allowed to take solid food for one or two days which enables your stomach to heal. In fact, when you are in hospital, you will be provided with liquid and semisolid diet to check your ability to digest after the surgery. The diet includes milk, unsweetened juice, strained cream soup, sugar-free gelatin and broth. What is more important is how you drink. You need to sip slowly such that you drink 2 to 3 ounces i.e. 59 to 89 millimeters at a time. Do not eat and drink simultaneously. You have to wait for at least 30 minutes after eating to take any drink. Stay away from carbonated or caffeinated beverages as these will have harmful effects.
Phase 2: This phase is basically referred as semi-liquid diet. Once you are ok with liquid diet, you can start having mashed up or pureed foods. You can eat foods which can be made to thick liquid or smooth paste which will not consist of any solid pieces and this phase continues for two to four weeks. Now this may include beans, fish, lean ground nuts, egg whites, soft fruits and vegetables, yogurt, cottage cheese etc. To make a paste you can blend these with water, fat-free milk, fat-free gravy, juice without sugar and broth. Do not make it spicy. Here also you need to eat slowly and in small amount; otherwise it may affect your digestive system.
Phase 3: This is a phase where you are allowed to consume semi-solid foods. After a few weeks of mashed food, with the doctor’s consent you can have some soft solid foods. This may consist of ground or finely diced meats, soft and fresh fruits, cooked vegetables which you can mash with a spoon. You need to continue with this diet for nearly about 8 weeks before you get back to your regular diet.
Phase 4: After completing all the phases properly you can gradually move on to solid foods. But returning to solid diet does not mean you can eat whatever, whenever or however like pre-surgery. Do not forget to take advice from your doctor or dietician. You may have some difficulty at first to eat foods with firmer or crunchy textures. Start slowly and as your capacity improves you will get adapted to it. Generally it takes 3 moths time after the surgery to start off with normal diet.
Do’s and Don’ts
Some important tips that you need to follow during the diet phases are-
- Eat small meals at a time. First you can star with 6 meals a day slowly reducing it to 4 meals and then 3 meals while taking normal diet. The recommended amount of meal is generally ½ to 1 cup of food. Do not eat too much such that you feel full.
- Do not drink during meals as this may lead to negative results, instead drink between meals. Take small sips and drink slowly. Try to drink minimum 6 to 8 cups (48 to 64 ounces or 1.4 to 1.9 liters) of fluids each day.
- Chew food thoroughly as large pieces of foods may lead to blockages in your stomach or the small intestine and can cause vomiting or abdominal pain. Take small bites of food and chew it properly.
- Eat and drink slowly otherwise it may cause vomiting, dizziness, sweating and also diarrhea. Take at least 30 minutes to eat. Keep an interval of 30-45 minutes before you drink after meals. Take 30 to 60 minutes to drink a cup or 237 milliliters of drink.
- After surgery some foods are not good for you. But slowly you can try new food at a time. Tolerance level differs from one individual to another. So when you try something new, chew it thoroughly and if it causes any problem, avoid it. Talk to your doctor to prevent negative symptoms.
- Go for high protein foods which help in quick healing as well as prevent hair loss. Low-fat cheese, yoghurts act as a good source of protein.
- As the size of your stomach gets reduced after the surgery, you body loses the ability to absorb enough nutrients from the food. For this you need enough vitamin and mineral supplements like vitamin, iron and calcium tablets. Take advice from your doctor to know which type is suitable for you and what is the recommended amount.
After the surgery you must pay extra attention to your health as prevention is better than cure.
- Avoid foods like nuts, popcorn, dried fruits, breads, granola, vegetables containing fiber like cabbage and broccoli, tough meat as these are not suitable post-surgery and may lead to gastrointestinal problems.
- Avoid high sugar content and fatty foods like ice-cream, candies as these are not suitable for your digestive system and reduce the healing process. Also avoid fried products and go for sugar-free soft drinks and dairy products.
- Avoid pasta, rice, raw vegetables, carbonated beverages as these are likely to cause discomfort and lead to negative symptoms.
Positive and Negative Effects
The gastric bypass diet helps you in losing weight or prevents gaining extra weight. The result varies from person to person depending on the surgery and lifestyle. The diet is designed in such a way to avoid side effects and complications. There are certain risks involved if you do not follow the diet plan properly. First is dumping syndrome which takes place due to eating high sugar content food or quick consumption of food which results in nausea, vomiting, cramping and diarrhea. Second, drinking low amount of fluids may cause dehydration. So drink adequate amount of water or low-calorie beverages. Thirdly if you do not follow a regular routine or do not exercise it may lead to constipation. Fourth, you may gain weight or fail to lose weight in case you consume high calories. You may often feel hungry or develop some food intolerances. Talk to your doctor for advice. To revert to normal but moderated eating habits after strictly following the gastric bypass diet may take three or four months after the surgery.