Everything You Need to Know About Gastric Bypass Surgery
Patients who have undergone a gastric bypass surgery may also need to bring about a major change in their lifestyles. A gastric bypass surgery diet is intended to bring about considerable weight loss. Learning new eating habits and following the diet correctly will help maintain the weight loss over a longer period of time.
A gastric bypass diet includes foods that are high in vitamins, minerals and protein, and low in fat, fiber, calories and sugar. Since a gastric bypass diet does not provide enough natural vitamins and minerals, most physicians recommend that the patients take chewable multivitamin tablets and extra iron, calcium, or vitamin B-12 tablets, if needed.
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A gastric bypass diet has several stages. It starts from a menu comprising of only liquids and progressing on to small meals of soft, high-protein foods. The quantity of meals prescribed will typically be much lesser than what the patient is used to. The foods that form a part of a gastric bypass surgery diet must be very smooth in texture.
In the first stage of the gastric bypass diet, a patient consumes only clear liquids. This diet usually lasts for a day or two after the operation. If no problems are experienced with clear liquids, the gastric bypass diet advances to high-protein liquids. This stage of the diet is started before the patient is discharged from the hospital. It may last for 1 to 2 weeks. The physician will indicate when it is time to advance to a soft or purée diet. Some patients are able to start this diet after they have been out of the hospital for about two weeks. The regular diet starts about 8 weeks after the gastric bypass surgery. While this diet includes all five-food groups, it is important to start with high-protein foods, such as lean meats or milk, at every meal.
At all stages of a gastric bypass diet, the manner in which food is consumed is as important as the food itself. Patients must remember that their new surgically altered stomach can only hold ½ a cup of food at a time. They can eat 3 to 6 small meals a day and the food must be chewed and eaten slowly. It is also important to avoid over eating and to prevent dehydration by drinking a lot of fluids. Patients should drink 1 cup of water or low-calorie beverage between each meal. They should have six cups (48 ounces) of fluids each day. Patients should take care to sip their dinks slowly, such that that it lasts 30 minutes or more. If these steps are followed, the patient can expect a quick recover from the surgery and a significant and stable weight loss.