Post-Bariatric Dietary Transitions*

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Weight loss surgery sets you up for long-term weight loss success, but this is only true when you keep up with the dietary changes your weight loss surgeon outlines prior to your operation. If you attempt to maintain the dietary habits that you had prior to your bariatric procedure, then you may not be as successful in reaching your weight loss goals.

Following weight loss surgery, your food choices have more to do with maintaining optimal health than they do with keeping up with your weight loss program. Your body is going to require that you make slow adjustments as you return to a normal diet following surgery. Your weight loss surgeon will provide you with these guidelines, and sticking to them is important for not only your weight loss progress but for your comfort level following your procedure.

Transitioning Back to Whole Foods

Fast forward a few weeks after your bariatric procedure, and you will be ready to start eating whole foods again. For many people, the most difficult stage of any medical weight loss program is the first several weeks of transitioning back to whole foods from the full meal replacement diet plan. This is never more complex or important a process than it is following weight loss surgery. Sooner or later you will be faced with making your own food choices again, and learning how to control your exposure to food will help. This means skipping the menu as often as possible and taking charge of your diet by cooking everything yourself.

One of the biggest keys to success when transitioning back to a whole food diet is to not surround yourself with too much food. While it is ideal to prepare your own meals, you want to make sure that doesn’t lead you to spend too much time in the kitchen, where you’ll be constantly tempted by treats. This is especially important after weight loss surgery when you’ll be physically limited by how much you can eat in any one sitting.

To set yourself up for success, prepare your meals ahead of time. Cooking when you are hungry can lead to making portions that are oversized. If you are hungry before a meal, have a small snack, like a piece of fruit. Otherwise, prepare meals ahead of time and have them ready to go in the fridge for when you get home from work. Sometimes chewing gum or drinking water while cooking can also help ease hunger and will allow you to concentrate on making healthy choices. Being cautious of how you approach food during this transition period will reduce some of the stress that comes with reintegrating whole foods into your diet.

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*Weight loss surgery results vary between individuals depending on the initial weight, medical conditions and adherence to prescribed treatments. Speak to Dr. Bass about the results you can expect.