Weight loss surgery
It's very important to stick to your recommended diet plan after surgery.
Diet plans can differbetween specialist centres and depend on your individual circumstances. However, most people will be given a plan similar to the ones described below.
Your diet after a gastric band operation will progress over three main stages:
Each stage is discussed in more detail below.
It's important that any food you eat during this period is pured. Attempting to eat solid foods at this stage could put pressure on the band and damage it.
Pured food has the same texture and consistency as baby food. You can pure food using a food processor, hand-held blender or potato masher.
Additional fluids, such as sauces or water, may be required to soften some types of food.
Aim to eat small portions four to five times a day. A portion isaround 100g, or five to six tablespoons of food. Eat all your meals slowly, taking small mouthfuls.
Stop eating as soon as you feel full. Because of the position of the band, you'll probably experience a feeling of fullness or tightness in your chest rather than in your stomach.
Aim to drink around 1.5 litres (2.5 pints) of water a day. Drink small glasses, around 100-200ml, between meals, but never with your meals.
If you experience repeated episodes of vomiting after eating, it may be a sign you're eating too much or that your band needs to be adjusted. Contact your surgical unit for advice.
Continue to eat a similar diet as you did for the first four weeks, but your food no longer has to be pured, although it should be soft.
For example, you could eat:
After six weeks, you'll be ready to adopt a long-term diet that you'll need to stick to for the rest of your life. Your band should now be adjusted correctly, so you should need to eat much less to satisfy your appetite.
While weight loss is an important goalof your diet, don't neglect the nutritional content. See the box at the bottom of this page for more information on what makes a healthy, balanced diet.
TheBritish Obesity Surgery Patient Association (BOSPA), a charity for people who could benefit from surgery, has six golden rules you'll need to follow to get the maximum benefit from your gastric band:
The progression of diet stages after a gastric bypass is broadly similar to those after a gastric band:
The golden rules above also apply to your diet after a gastric bypass.
However, you need to be aware of several additional issues.
Firstly, you'll need to avoid eating food high in sugar, such as chocolate, cakes, sweets and biscuits. This is because your bypass affectshow you digest sugar, andany sugar you eat will trigger your body to produce high levels of insulin.
The excessive amount of insulin can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms that are collectively known as dumping syndrome. Symptoms of dumping syndrome include:
Secondly, you'll need to take daily vitamin and mineral supplements, as your small intestine will no longer be able to digest all the vitamins and minerals your body needs from your diet.
The dosage and type of supplements can vary from case to case, but most people are required to take:
The recommended diet after other types of weight loss surgery is likely to be similar to the advice above.
Your specialist centre can provide more detailed advice.
Losing weight and then maintaining a healthy weight doesn't simply involve reducing the amount of calories you eat. Burning calories while exercising is also important.
Regular exercise has additional health benefits other than weight loss. These include reducing your risk of developing heart disease and some types of cancer, and boosting your self-esteem and wellbeing.
You'll probably be given an exercise plan that starts gradually with low to moderate amounts of physical exercise, such as 10 minutes a day, then gradually increasing.
The exercise should be intense enough to leave you feeling out of breath and getting your heart beating faster.
Recommended types of physical exercise include:
Chose physical activities that you enjoy as you'll be morelikely to continue doing them.
Readmore about fitness,including information on:
Weight loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, is used to treat people who are dangerously obese.
Weight loss surgery is only recommended for people with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more, or a BMI of 35-40 and a serious health condition that could be improved if you lose weight, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
Weight loss surgery and adapting to life after surgery is a challenging process, requiring the input of many different medical professionals working together as a team.
The three most widely used types of weight loss surgery are gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy, both based on restriction, and gastric bypass, which uses a combination of restriction and malabsorption.
After weight loss surgery, you'll need a few days to recover. It may also be several weeks or months before you can resume normal activities.
It's very important to stick to your recommended diet plan after surgery
As long as you stick to the diet and exercise recommendations, all types of weight loss surgery can achieve good, and often impressive, results.
The rapid weight loss associated with weight loss surgery can cause a number of side effects and has a number of risks.