Bariatric Weight-Loss Surgery

Bariatric Diet: What You Need To Know

Dr. Jason F. Moy
Dr. Brian T. Chin
Daniel Roman
May 26, 2022
Bariatric Diet: What You Need To Know

The bariatric diet is a much-respected rule of thumb for weight loss surgery patients to follow. It was originally created by Dr. E. E. Mason, a Bariatric surgeon from Iowa. As you study this diet, keep in mind that any major surgery is going to beckon some serious lifestyle changes. After your bariatric procedure, your body will not be the same, and ideally you will treat it differently than you ever have before. If you’re careful, responsible, and disciplined, you will certainly reap the rewards. The bariatric diet will continue to be your key to these rewards, which consist mainly of higher merit of health and sustained weight loss. 

This diet is an essential pre and post requisite, developed to help you find and maintain health in an entirely new lifestyle. This style of nutrient consumption will carry you through your preparation and healing process, ensuring that you get the nutrients your body needs, while avoiding added strain on your recovering digestive system. 

When you get gastric sleeve surgery, intra-abdominal fat can make things a little bit more difficult for your surgeon. Not only that, but you will eventually seek to lose this weight after your surgery anyway, so switching to this diet as far in advance pre-op will be instrumental in your healing. Essentially, as soon as you find out that you’re getting the surgery, you should consider switching to the bariatric diet. Let’s take a closer look!

How Does The Bariatric Diet Plan Work?

Your muscle mass determines your resting metabolic rate, which is the amount of calories your body will use up as your heart beats, your lungs breathe, and your body moves. This creates a high focus on protein during this time, since protein helps you convert fat into muscle, ultimately creating a higher resting metabolic rate. Putting it simply, the goal here is to reduce fat, increase protein intake, and maximize nutrient absorption. 

You will most importantly avoid foods that are fried, greasy, or filled with carbs. It might be difficult to follow the intensive recommendations, but don’t forget that you’re doing this for you, and most importantly, your health. About four months after your surgery, you should be able to eat normally again, but keep in mind the importance of responsible portion control. Ideally, you still won’t eat the foods that are inherently unhealthy. Your diet will remain the determining factor of your health both before and after your surgery.

The most important time to eat within the guidelines of your pre-op diet is the 2 weeks leading up to your surgery. This will mainly be a liquid diet, as it is the easiest on your system, and the lowest in carbs. Keep your eyes on the prize: with each spoonful of protein shake mix, you are helping your body to get to a place in which you feel much better, so stay strong! As you recover, low carb, high protein foods and lots of fruits will pave your way to sustainable health. 

Bariatric Surgery Diet: The Necessary Reality of Your New Eating Habits

Do you understand the nutritional value of the foods you eat? If not, now is absolutely the time. For the first two weeks after your surgery, just as before it, you’ll stick to that liquid diet. First, you want only clear liquids, then, you can slowly reintroduce colored liquids, like juice and easy-to-digest soups. Once you get to weeks three and four, you can start eating real foods that have been pureed, like veggies and fruits. You can also start to incorporate your protein supplements. 

Once you get to month three, you can eat some soft foods. This can mean meat, canned or fresh fruits, and raw cooked vegetables. You still want to avoid bread, rice, and carbs. Once you get to this point, be sure to eat three small meals every day, and always stop eating when you start to feel full. Your saliva helps your stomach immensely in the process of digestion, so make sure you chew your food extremely thoroughly. Also, ensure you get enough liquids throughout the day, but do not eat and drink at the same time. 

About The Author

Daniel Roman, Content Writer

Daniel Roman is a Digital Content Writer at BASS Medical Group. He received his Masters in Journalism from UC Berkeley in 2021. Daniel has published multiple newspaper articles covering public health issues. His latest was a magazine cover story on pandemics and diseases that he co-wrote with Dr. Elena Conis, a historian of medicine, public health, and the environment.

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