Eating after bariatric surgery has many different components, so truthfully, there is no perfect plan for everyone to lose weight. There are many diets and programs for weight loss, and of course, our bodies will respond differently to each. However, one main component for weight loss can apply universally for anyone trying to lose weight: a calorie deficit.
Eating After Bariatric Surgery
When you want to lose weight, the science behind a calorie deficit is that you are eating less than you are expending. This way, your body will burn more energy and lose weight.
But there are a lot of ways to approach a calorie deficit. And the number one best way to learn about eating after bariatric surgery is to talk to your registered dietitian. They will calculate how many calories you need based on your height, weight, gender, age, and activity levels.
There are a couple of ways to eat on a calorie deficit that make your weight loss a lot easier and more enjoyable. And one of those ways is by making sure you are eating the right foods. Along with calorie deficit, you want to make sure that you are eating a lot of protein and fiber and drinking lots of water.
Protein is a nutrient that helps you stay full longer and supports your muscles. Sources of protein can come from white and red meats, eggs, or even supplements. If you have protein every couple of hours during the day, it's going to help you stick to your calorie deficit better than if you were to try to hard-knuckle it and try not to eat anything to stay low-calorie. I recommend my patients eat protein every couple of hours to stay satisfied. And if you have a hard time meeting your protein needs, there are many bariatric-approved bars, powders, and supplements you can take.
The next thing to pay attention to when trying to lose weight is your fiber intake. Fiber is another nutrient that keeps you full longer and keeps you feeling satisfied. Sources of fiber will come from whole grains, wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta, oatmeal, vegetables, and fruits. You want to make sure you have a balanced diet of everything, and getting enough fiber is another key to making sure you're staying in a calorie deficit.
Another significant component is making sure that you're drinking enough water. You may not see drinking water as a component of eating healthy, but it is indeed an essential factor because your hunger cues and thirst cues are very similar. Sometimes, you may not correctly decipher whether you are thirsty or hungry. So by drinking water first, you may be satiated and not have to add calories. Thus, make sure you have enough water because staying hydrated will help you stay within your calorie limits and help you lose weight.
Lastly, we want to remind you that there is no perfect meal plan for eating after bariatric surgery. It is unique for each person, so we encourage you to continue to speak with your dietician, especially if one method isn't working out for you. And no matter what program you try, make sure you're trying to incorporate lots of protein, fiber, and water. Also, continue counting calories because staying in that deficit will make sure those pounds come off.
If you'd like to speak with a registered dietician or a bariatric professional about eating after bariatric surgery, make an appointment with us today.