It is normal for someone to lose their appetite after they have had bariatric surgery. Usually, this lasts for around six weeks, and is a perfectly normal, and needed, side effect. After you have had bariatric surgery, you will be referred to a dietician who will prescribe you a specialized diet. This will be very light in calories, while at the same time ensuring you still get sufficient nutrition. At first, you will have to eat a fully liquid diet, and you will usually also have to take supplements for your vitamins and minerals, also in liquid form.
What to Eat After Weight Loss Surgery
Your health specialist team, which will include your surgeon, dietician, and nutritionist, will provide you with a range of recipes that you can use to have a healthy, varied, and most of all nutritious diet. These recipes will all be high in protein, which is a needed in order to repair tissue and enable it to grow. Furthermore, when food is high in protein, it is usually also lower in calorie. Hence, this will encourage you to maintain your weight loss and make it sustainable.
You have to get your protein levels exactly right, however. This is something your dietician will work out for you. Usually, you will also be provided with some protein supplements, at least for the first few weeks after your surgery. This will ensure you recover quickly and don’t become malnourished.
What Not to Eat After Weight Loss Surgery
The most important thing to avoid after weight loss surgery is fat. This is true both for the good fats and the bad fats. The reason being is that eating fat can lead to dumping syndrome, which is quite a common side effect in bariatric surgery patients. Even if you don’t experience dumping syndrome, fats make it more difficult for your body to heal. You should also avoid sugar, because it is very hard to digest it. It is likely that you will already have some insulin resistance, if you don’t already have type 2 diabetes, so avoiding sugar is equally important. You can, however, replace it with honey.
How to Eat After Weight Loss Surgery
The final thing to understand is how you can eat after your surgery. For the first two weeks, you will only be able to have fully liquid foods, and they have to be completely clear. Think broth (chicken or beef), sugar free gelatin, or diluted apple juice, for instance. You may not have any carbonated drinks, because these release gas, which can be very painful. Over time, the clear liquids start to get thicker, meaning you can switch to yoghurt, milk, creamed soups, protein shakes, and puddings, sugar free of course.
After two weeks, you can move on to pureed food. These should be small portions that are heavy in protein. In about week five or six, you can start to vary your diet somewhat. This is when you start to include vegetables, fruits, good carbs, good fats, and low fat protein. After six weeks, you will usually regain your regular appetite.