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Why Your Eating Habits Must Change After Bariatric Surgery


While some are under the mistaken impression that bariatric surgery is a magic bullet for weight loss, it’s simply untrue. Yes, bariatric surgery can effectively alter your physique, but patients should view it as a weight loss tool and not a lifelong cure for obesity. Choosing to undergo bariatric surgery is a commitment you must take seriously, as it isn’t a quick fix to effortlessly shed pounds and keep them off. If you simply think that getting surgery is all it takes, you’ll be disappointed to learn it takes more than going under the knife to effectively lose weight, long-term. True, the initial pounds might come off quickly, but you can easily regain the weight if you don’t commit yourself to the necessary lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

Changing your behavior is particularly important if you have a complicated relationship with food. For instance, if you are a recovering binge eater, emotional eater, or have an addiction to food, it is vital to understand why you need medical intervention. The surgery is only one step in your journey, because it cannot change your behavior. Many patients who have had bariatric surgery are dismayed to find they regain their weight. Learning to undo bad habits can help you lose weight and keep it off.

Lifestyle Changes You Must Make Following Bariatric Surgery

Bottom line: Surgery is just a tool for weight loss, not the magic bullet. Patients who undergo bariatric surgery must take nutrition counseling seriously to ensure the best long-term outcomes. Before and after surgery, your eating habits must change to ensure surgery is successful. Typically it takes a patient at least 3 months post-op to be able to consume solid foods again, to allow sufficient time for the stomach to heal.

At each stage of your bariatric surgery diet, you must:

  • Drink at least 8 cups of water per day.
  • Be careful to sip liquids between meals rather than with meals.
  • Eat and drink slow to avoid dumping syndrome, which causes painful symptoms when the stomach empties foods and liquids into the small intestine too quickly, causing nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and diarrhea.
  • Eat plenty of lean, protein-rich foods.
  • Consume minimal amounts of sugar and saturated fats.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Chew food thoroughly before swallowing.
  • Eat and drink slowly.
  • Take any recommended vitamin and mineral supplements.
  • Interested in learning more about how to cultivate healthier habits after bariatric surgery? Contact Soza Weight Loss at (504) 475-9817 today to schedule an appointment.

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