Your Post-Surgery Nutritional Needs
Perhaps you’re reading this while you plan your bariatric surgery. Or perhaps you’ve already had it and you’re contemplating what is going to be on your plate-literally as well as figuratively-for the rest of your life. Whether your surgery is to be-or was-gastric banding or gastric bypass, you are going to need to change everything about your eating habits.
As you are no doubt well aware (your surgery team will have told you about this at length!), once you’ve had your bariatric surgery you will not be able to eat the way that you used to. Your portions will be smaller, and you’re going to feel full faster than you did before your bariatric surgery.
While your team will have given you a full nutritional plan that you will be wise to follow, there are three basic nutritional needs of which you must be constantly aware:
* Protein: No one can store protein, so you must constantly be resupplying it, to the tune of at least 60 grams every day. The order in which you eat your food is critical: your bariatric surgery reduced the size of your stomach, so now you must make sure that you eat your proteins first with each meal so you don’t get full before eating them.
* Vitamins and minerals: After bariatric surgery, you won’t be able to meet your body’s requirements through food intake alone. You must take a multivitamin every day, along with calcium and B12 supplements.
* Sugars and fats: Just because you’ve had bariatric surgery doesn’t mean that you cannot gain weight again! You can, if you go back to the sugars and fats that you used to eat.
In addition, your surgical team has no doubt told you about the phenomenon of dumping, a post-bariatric surgery syndrome that occurs when you’ve eaten fats or sugars (usually above 10 grams). Dumping includes profound sleepiness, light-headedness, profuse sweating, rapid heart rate, cramping abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhoea. You can avoid it by limiting your intake of sugars and fats.
Always work with your doctor or nutritionist to make sure that you are eating correctly after your gastric banding or bariatric surgery, and keep these three nutritional considerations in mind as you continue on your journey to good health!