Maintaining Weight Loss
Each phase of the weight loss process is critical. Making healthy food choices before and after surgery is very important, but you must also commit to maintaining your weight loss by making healthy choices in diet and lifestyle for the rest of your life.
The following list contains diet tips for bariatric surgery patients in the maintenance phase of weight loss:
- Eat three meals daily. Eating at regular intervals is important to keeping off the weight you have lost. Skipping meals does not promote weight loss and may actually cause overeating.
- Make sure you choose healthy snacks if you are hungry between meals.
- Eat fruits and vegetables with all three of your daily meals.
- Do not drink fluids with meals. Drinking fluids can fill you up too quickly and leave you feeling hungry too soon after your meal. Also, for gastric bypass patients, fluids can force the foods you eat through your stomach pouch too quickly, which may result in dumping syndrome.
- Drink plenty of water – six to eight cups – every day. Drinking water is very important for digestion and for your health in general. Carbonated beverages – including diet soda – are not recommended, as carbonation can contribute to enlargement of the stomach pouch.
- Thoroughly chew each bite of food. Your stomach pouch is unable to break down food physically the way a real stomach does. You need to chew each bite thoroughly to a liquid consistency to help your digestion and enable your stomach pouch to process its contents adequately.
- Do not eat foods that are difficult to digest. Some foods are hard for your stomach pouch to process, and eating them can result in various levels of discomfort, including dumping syndrome. You should avoid tough or fibrous meats, breads, pasta, rice, nuts or popcorn, and the skins or seeds of fruits and vegetables.
- Stop eating as soon as you start to feel full. Your stomach pouch can only hold so much food, so you must avoid eating past the point of feeling full – otherwise, you could stretch your stomach pouch and cause dumping syndrome. Eating slowly will help you notice the feeling of fullness so you can stop eating at the right time.
- Be sure to take vitamin and mineral supplements every day. Your Temple dietitian will help you determine which supplements you should take and how much, and will provide you with a list of products you can choose from.
- Get a physical every year.
- Check your weight every week. A five-pound weight increase is much easier to correct – both physically and psychologically – than a twenty-five pound gain. Catch those little gains early!
- Attend support group meetings on a regular basis. Your fellow bariatric patients are a great source of support and accountability. Keeping others involved in your progress can help you maintain your diet and lifestyle, especially when they share your goals and objectives.
- Strive to get at least thirty minutes of exercise every day. For most people, achieving weight-loss goals and keeping the weight off is difficult without regular exercise. The benefits of exercise go beyond controlling weight. Exercise can also lower blood pressure, improve blood glucose levels, decrease the risk of heart disease, strengthen your immune system, improve your mental function, and even reduce the risk of some cancers.
It can be difficult to visit your doctor if you have regained some of the weight you were told to keep off. But there is no better time to schedule an appointment. The Temple bariatric team understands the challenges you face. We are committed to helping you get back on track so that you achieve a healthy life that includes long-term weight-loss success.
To register for a free informational seminar or to make an appointment for a consultation with a Temple bariatric surgeon, click here or call 1-800-Temple-Med (1-800-836-7536).
This page is intended to provide tips and guidelines only, and should not be taken as a definitive medical or dietary plan for patients of bariatric surgery. For detailed information about diet and nutrition specific to your needs, consult your doctor or dietitian.