Welcome to a Fresh Start!
Welcome to a fresh start and a chance to improve your overall well-being. Bariatric surgery can give you a chance to change your life provided you are ready to work hard and make a renewed and lasting commitment to a healthy lifestyle.
Significant weight loss can sometimes cure and almost always decrease the risks of developing secondary conditions related to obesity which include, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and the pressure and pains that accompany supporting excess weight. As a result of weight loss and positive lifestyle changes, you can be better prepared to engage in the physical activities of daily living, improve your mobility and appearance, and extend your years of healthy living with your family and loved ones.
Embrace the goodness of healthy food
Fruits and vegetables often achieve a negative connotation in patients suffering from morbid obesity. Many fad diets that preach severe restriction preach fruits and vegetables in an unhealthy manner. Portion control and a new perspective may allow a better appreciation for delicious natural food.
Support and Education
As part of Dr. Belsley’s program, we expect all potential candidates for surgery to attend two support groups. This will give you an opportunity to learn more about the procedures and the diet. These groups are primarily an open forum for patients to ask questions and to learn about healthy eating as well as understand similar lifestyle patterns that lead to the problem of obesity. At the same time you will learn about food labels, low-fat cooking, heart healthy foods and exercise. You will have an opportunity to meet other patients who are having the surgery and speak with some whom have already had the surgery. We encourage all patients to attend support groups as often as they can after the surgery to stay focused on weight loss goals. By now you realize that it is hard to adhere to a weight loss program and support is an important part of the equation. Remember we are here to help you and support your efforts.
Introduction during initial office visit
The bariatric diet will start following the consultation and your first visit with our dietitian. The idea that you are contemplating or have already committed to a gastric bypass procedure, gastric sleeve or lap-band means that you are ready for a change.
During your initial consultation the dietitian will outline the phases of your diet post-surgery. You will receive suggestions and recommendations in order to encourage yourself to start making changes prior to surgery. This begins by thinking about your food choices differently and modifying some of your favorite meals. The idea is to mentally psych yourself up for the post-surgery diet and to physically rid your body of some of the foods that you have become accustomed to eating routinely. Ideally, you should start to detox from carbonated beverages, sweetened beverages and snack foods, fried foods and fast-foods.
Success is impossible without a diet
The diet is the core of this journey and how, when and what you eat will help determine your weight loss success. This idea of making better choices will include increased portion control, prioritizing lean protein at every meal and asking your dietitian about what constitutes a healthy meal plan.
Before you begin please reflect and try to visualize the concept that the pouch created during bypass surgery has now reduced your intake from 1000 ml or approximately 4 cups of food to 30 ml or 2 tablespoons of food. Try to visualize 1 ounce of food and this is basically what you will be consuming at mealtime during the initial phases. This example is also accurate for lap-band patients as well as laparoscopic gastric sleeve patients who should hold the same image in their minds.
Changes after your operation
Your tolerance for certain foods and the threshold for how much you can eat at each meal will change over the course of your recovery from the operation. Over time the pouch will get slightly bigger and your intestines may compensate allowing you to consume more than a healthy amount of food. It is important that you learn to identify physiological needs and condition yourself to eat within the guidelines of the post bariatric meal plans.
Concentrate on keeping yourself hydrated
Your stomach size is reduced after bariatric surgery. Not only will you be able to eat less food, you will be able to drink less fluid at one time. This is particularly important because you need to learn how to drink fluids in order to keep yourself hydrated. Do not rely on thirst as your only motivator. Thirst starts to happen once you have already become a little dehydrated. You will not be able to gulp down liquids in order to quench your thirst at one time. Learn to carry around a water bottle and drink slowly and constantly throughout the day.
Congratulations on your decision to become a better you! Be sure to follow the guidelines to ensure proper healing of your stomach and successful weight loss. This diet pathway is designed to allow enough time for your new stomach to heal completely. If the guidelines are not properly followed, it may result in nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and other complications with your intestines.