How will a gastric sleeve procedure affect your diet?


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Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you will find yourself unable to lose weight. If you’ve tried a wide range of diets, exercise plans, and have spoken at length with your doctor, nutritionists, and other medical professionals, one option that may be available to you is having a gastric sleeve fitted.

One common misconception around a gastric sleeve procedure is that, because the size of your stomach will be reduced, meaning you have a smaller appetite and feel full quicker, you can continue to eat whatever you like, including fatty and sugar loaded foods.

When you undergo a gastric sleeve procedure, as well as the procedure itself, you will also consult with nutritional specialists who will give you some ideas on the type of things you should be eating. If you undergo a gastric sleeve procedure and eat junk food afterwards, you dramatically reduce the chances of losing weight, getting healthier, and of the procedure being deemed a success.

So, while we know that in general you will need to ‘eat healthier,’ what does this look like in the context of the time after your surgery?

You’ll Actually Change Your Diet Before the Procedure!

In the lead up to undergoing a gastric sleeve procedure, your consultant will recommend you alter your diet. This helps you mentally adjust to the eating habits you will need to implement after your procedure – dramatically changing your diet having undergone surgery can be quite a shock to the system – as well as giving you a health boost in the short term.

Your consultant will recommend you:

  • Consume more protein and fewer carbohydrates
  • Eliminate sugary drinks and other high sugar foods
  • Increase your fluid intake, ensuring you avoid hidden sugars within these

You won’t do this just the week before, either. Sometimes a new eating plan will be created a few months in advance, and some consultants will insist you prove you can stick to it before carrying out the procedure.

What will you be eating in the weeks following your surgery? Remember this is just a general guide; every gastric sleeve patient will be given a plan specific to them by their consultant.

One Week After Surgery: Usually Liquids Only

In the week following surgery you should expect to only be able to consume clear liquids.

This list may include:

  • Water
  • Some fresh juices
  • Soups and broths
  • Decaffeinated tea, including herbal teas, and coffee may be suitable a few days after surgery

Depending on how your body tolerates these liquids, your consultant may move you onto the next stage before the end of the first week after surgery.

Carbonated drinks or drinks with added sugars will not be allowed under any circumstances.

Second Week After Surgery: Pureed Foods

Once you get to this stage you might be feeling better and think you can eat anything, but just like you wouldn’t feed a baby a solid just because they can comfortably polish off a jar of baby food, you need to take it easy. You will also be told not to consume too much, even if you do find yourself experiencing hunger pangs.

Thankfully you might not be eating puree in a baby food sense, and may be able to have:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soft cheeses
  • Sugar free yogurts
  • Watery porridge
  • Soups with blended vegetables

Week Three: Almost Back to Normal

By the third week after surgery your diet may start returning to something more familiar.

You will still need to avoid vegetables and other foods that are rich in fiber, while rice, pasta, and bread will also remain off the menu for now.

However, things you may be able to consume include:

  • Steamed fish
  • Steamed and boiled vegetables that aren’t starchy or high in fiber
  • Some soft cereals
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Mashed fruit
  • Ground chicken

Week Four: Be Mindful, but Look to the Future

In week four after your gastric sleeve procedure you should be ready to start eating solid, ‘proper’ meals and also be able to include snacks between mealtimes should you want them.

Fried foods and nuts will remain on the ‘do not eat’ list, but in addition to the foods mentioned as possibilities for week three you can now include:

  • All other vegetables
  • Chicken
  • Sweet and baked potatoes
  • Fruits
  • A wider range of cereals
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Rice crackers

As You Move On…..

Your consultant and nutritionist won’t just “leave you to it.” You could have an eating plan for many months ahead, and it could even become an on-going part of your long-term treatment until you reach specific weight landmarks. As well as what you eat, your consultant will also assist with portion control to ensure you are eating the right amounts of the right foods, both to help you reach your weight loss goals but also to ensure that you are as healthy as you possibly can be.

If you have tried losing weight through diet and exercise, a gastric sleeve procedure may be a solution for you. To find specialists who can provide you with a consultation and advise you on the types of gastric sleeve procedure that may be suitable for your needs, use MacList. MacList clinics and physicians also enable you to use a MacCredit payment plan to cover the cost of your surgery and on-going treatment should you wish to do so.

Disclaimer:  This article contains general comments and recommendations only.  This article has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs.  Before taking any action you should consider the appropriateness of the comments made in the article, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If this article relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular credit product you should obtain and consider the relevant disclosure documents before applying for the product.

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