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Gastric bypass surgery - your diet
You had gastric bypass surgery. This surgery made your stomach smaller by closing off most of your stomach with staples. It changed the way your body handles the food you eat. You will eat less food, and your body will not absorb all the calories from the food you eat.
Your doctor, nurse, or dietitian will teach you about foods you can eat and foods you should avoid. It is very important to follow these diet guidelines.
You will eat only liquid or puréed food for 2 or 3 weeks after the surgery. You will slowly add in soft foods, then regular food.
You will lose weight quickly over the first 3 - 6 months. During this time, you may have body aches, feel tired and cold, and have dry skin, mood changes, and hair loss or thinning hair. These symptoms are normal. They should go away as you take in more protein and calories as your body gets used to your weight loss.
Remember to eat slowly and chew each bite very slowly and completely. Do not swallow food until it is smooth. The opening between your new stomach pouch and your intestines is very small. Food that is not chewed well can block this opening.
Some foods you eat may cause some pain or discomfort if you do not chew them completely. Some of these are pasta, rice, bread, raw vegetables, and meats. Adding a low-fat sauce or gravy can make them easier to digest. Other foods that may cause discomfort are dry foods, such as popcorn and nuts, or fibrous foods, such as celery and corn.
You will need to drink up to 8 cups of water or other calorie-free liquids every day. Follow these guidelines for drinking:
You will need to make sure you are getting enough protein, vitamins, and minerals while you are losing weight quickly. Eating mostly protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help your body get the nutrients it needs.
Protein may be the most important of these foods early after surgery. Your body needs protein to build muscles and other body tissues, and to heal well after surgery. Low-fat protein choices include skinless chicken, lean beef or pork, fish, whole eggs or egg whites, beans, and dairy products. These include low-fat or nonfat hard cheeses, cottage cheese, milk, and yogurt.
After gastric bypass surgery, your body will not absorb some important vitamins and minerals. You will need to take these vitamins and minerals for the rest of your life:
You may need to take other supplements also.
You will need to have regular checkups with your doctor to keep track of your weight and to make sure you are eating well. These visits are a good time to talk with your doctor about any problems you are having with your diet, or about other issues related to your surgery and recovery.
Avoid foods that are high in calories. It is important to get all of the nutrition you need without eating too many calories.
Portions and serving sizes still count. Your dietitian or nutritionist can give you suggested serving sizes of the foods in your diet.
If you gain weight after gastric bypass surgery, ask yourself:
Call your doctor or nurse if:
Mechanick JI, Kushner RF, Sugerman HJ, Gonzalez-Campoy JM, et al. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists; Obesity Society; American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, The Obesity Society, and American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery medical guidelines for clinical practice for the perioperative nutritional, metabolic, and nonsurgical support of the bariatric surgery patient. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2009 Apr;17 Suppl 1:S1-70.