Many obese patients consider undergoing a weight loss surgery as a VIP ticket to shrugging-off extra weight. There’s no denying the fact that weight loss surgeries present a ray of hope to morbidly obese people, having helped many live productive and happy lives again, however, the procedure alone does not guarantee sustainable results without the backing of real lifestyle changes. In addition to following a dedicated and disciplined exercise regimen, patients also need to watch what they eat. To help, we’ve compiled a list of foods to avoid post surgery to ensure enduring results. Read on to learn more.
1. Foods with high (often empty) calories
Obesity surgeons in Australia and elsewhere strongly advise weight loss patients against consuming sweetened and fried food items such as pastries, candies, rice cakes, pretzels, chips, and popcorn. The foods are not only laced with empty calories but can also result in what bariatric surgeons call ‘the dumping syndrome’, a condition in which the body dumps high calorie foods in the colon, causing nausea, weakness, cold sweats, and diarrhea.
Alcohol, apart from being a high calorie beverage, also blocks space in the stomach, making the patient feel full and limiting their capacity to consume nutritious and healthy foods. The body’s capacity to absorb alcohol increases exponentially post weight loss surgery and over-consumption can result in intoxication. The bad news for heavy drinkers doesn’t end there as studies show that alcohol abuse post-surgery can lead to the onset of new alcohol abuse disorders. Patients must, therefore, take their bariatric surgeon’s advice to heart and give up excessive drinking habits.
3. Food items rich in starch
Starchy food items such as bread, rice, and pasta form a hard lump that can stress the surgically repaired area if attempts are made to push it down the throat. The foods can also block the opening to the new stomach pouch, also known as stoma, causing complications. Patients can consume such food items in moderate quantities once their condition improves and their obesity surgeon gives them a green light.
4. Tough meats
Tough meats such as steak, pork chops, ham, and hot dogs are not only hard to swallow but also laced with calories. To meet nutritional requirements and avoid gaining weight, patients must substitute tough meats with leaner and healthier options such as ground turkey, fish, and baked chicken. They must be very careful when consuming the food items and start by taking small bites.
5. Milk products (for lactose intolerant patients)
Lactose intolerant weight loss surgery patients must give up milk products to avoid complications such as bloating, gas, cramps, and diarrhea. They can, however, try low-fat milk and dairy products. If the problem persists, they can include lactose-free milk, soy products, and lactase enzyme pills in their diet, to avoid complications.
6. Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables
Fibrous vegetables such as corn, celery, broccoli, cabbage, and asparagus have hard skins and are not easily digestible. Consuming these or any other fibrous food items can put the new stomach into overdrive mode, which is bad news for the patient. Weight loss surgery patients can trade fiber-rich foods with veggies such as beans and peas during the initial recovery phase, as the food items have soft skins and are also easy to digest.
7.Caffeinated and sugary drinks
Consuming sugary drinks such as canned soda, soft drinks, and fruit juices can derail the weight loss process and result in the dumping syndrome. Additionally, patients must keep away from caffeinated drinks as caffeine can result in dehydration. Substituting caffeinated and sugary drinks with the unsweetened options, tea, and decaf coffee is a prudent option for weight loss surgery patients.
Weight loss surgery patients need to pursue a number of lifestyle changes post-surgery to avoid relapse, complications and other negative effects that result from consuming specific foods and other lifestyle choices. Include healthy, wholesome, and nutritional items in your diet plan to ensure the body gets enough raw materials to accelerate the healing process.
At Perth Surgical and Bariatrics, we provide comprehensive post-surgery support to all weight loss surgery patients in Australia. Call us at 08 6558 1901 to know whether you qualify for surgery, available surgery options, and the necessary lifestyle changes post-surgery. You can also fill out our contact form to book an appointment with one of our expert obesity surgeons.