You did your research. You’ve had the surgery. Now things should be easy peasy…not quite. If no one told you, let me be the first, there are a lot of do’s and don’ts after weight loss surgery. I’ll help fill you in on the trial and error eating process.
I made all the mistakes so that you don’t have to. It will take some time for your new stomach pouch to adjust to foods. I like to think of it as a stomach upgrade, you just need to get used to the features.
Unquestionably, You’ll have days where you drink the wrong thing or eat more than you should, and it won’t be pretty. It doesn’t matter which weight loss surgery you had done, whether its the gastric sleeve or gastric bypass, you must figure out tips and tricks to work with your new tummy.
Don’t Drink you Calories
Strive for water or low-calorie low-sugar drinks like G2 Gatorade, Propel, or Crystal Light. Besides, you got a new chance with your bariatric surgery, so, you don’t want to go filling up on sugary drinks anyway. And Not to mention it hurts!
Don’t Drink Carbonated Beverages
Carbonation = bubbles= gas which leads to pain. Besides, it hurts when you drink carbonation post-op. A friend had the surgery and couldn’t drink seltzer water for 2 years if she did, she got very sick. It will be different for everyone but why risk it.
Don’t Drink Alcohol
Some doctors will say never drink alcohol again, other doctors will tell you to wait between 6-12 months. Before you decide to try it, check with your bariatric team. Post-op stomachs react differently; some alcohol or mixed drinks are high in sugar, which is a No-No for post-op patients.
Do yourself a favor the first time you do drink, do it at home. You may find yourself getting very drunk after half a glass. Your tolerance will be gone, and it is possible to transfer your old food addiction to a new drinking addiction. It’s a slippery slope, just learn how to drink responsibly with your new stomach.
Don’t Drink with your meals
A great trick is to follow the 30-30-45 rule. Definitely don’t drink 30 minutes before a meal, take 30 minutes to eat your food slowly, and don’t have a drink until 45 minutes after you finished eating.
Don’t stop Medication/Vitamins without your Doctor’s Consent
It’s important that everything post-op is run through your Doctor, but you don’t want to stop medications or vitamins just because you feel better. It’s important to ask before stopping. Also, if you start any new meds or vitamins call your doctor to make sure they are safe. NSAIDs aren’t safe to take after you’ve had this surgery, so ask if you can use an alternative like Tylenol. Check out some of our favorite vitamins and protein here.
Do Eat your Protein First
You will be amazed at how quickly you get full. Always eat the protein on your plate first. Protein is the key to helping you lose your excess weight; you want to meet your target every day. I eat a Pure Protein bar on days when I’m running low, most have 20 grams of protein per bar. They are compliant with my bariatric program and yummy.
Do Chew your Food Thoroughly
Chew until you can’ t chew anymore. I’m the worst at this rule. Before swallowing food make sure you chew 20-30 times. It helps with digestion. If I don’t chew enough, I get annoying gas bubbles.
- Weight Loss Surgery is more Common than you Think
- Vitamins and Protein after Weight Loss Surgery
- Weight Loss Surgery: Approval Process
- Stopping Hair Loss After Weight Loss Surgery
Do listen to your body
At first, It will be a learning curve, but you will master the signs that you are full. Some people get hiccups and others get runny noses, but there is always a warning sign that you are maxed out in your stomach so be sure to pay attention when eating.
Do Follow your Recommended Diet
Your bariatric team knows what they are doing. Follow your Post Op diet and it will make losing weight even easier. It will protect the upgraded stomach from taking on too much too quickly. I started with 2 weeks liquid, then soft foods, modified diet, and then back to normal after about 6-8 weeks. Well, the new normal.
Do Stay Hydrated
Get your fluid goals in every day. The first couple of days it’s hard, I know. But do your best to get in your recommended fluid intake. I use this water bottle to remind me to drink, it glows when I’ve been ignoring my fluid intake.
These are just some of my personal tips and tricks that I learned post-op. I’m not a professional, so make sure you check with your Bariatric Surgeon when it comes to your body. You (and your insurance) paid a lot of money for the surgery, so you shouldn’t feel bad about asking questions, you paid for it.
If you have any other do’s and don’ts for us post-op bariatric patients, leave us a note in the comments.