Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Best Diet for Optimal Results Following Weight Loss Surgery

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The right diet following weight loss surgery is a key component in long term, sustained weight loss results and optimal health.

Bariatric surgery modifies the gastrointestinal tract, which requires a permanent change in eating habits for successful and sustained weight loss. Post–surgery dietary guidelines given to patients must be carefully followed.

Surgically restricting caloric intake by modifying the stomach pouch and/or digestive process, may also restrict important vitamins and minerals required for good health as well as change the manner in which the body digests certain foods. Diets should include low–fat, low sugar, high–protein and nutrient–rich foods and beverages for optimal weight loss results, sustained weight loss and minimal side–effects.

Nutritional supplements should also become a part of your new diet and lifestyle change, as the restrictions created by weight loss surgery make it difficult to obtain through diet alone the vitamins and minerals required daily. The weight loss team at Houston Methodist Willowbrook Surgical Weight Loss Center will provide nutritional support and counseling to help patients achieve optimal results.

Other dietary tips for optimal weight loss surgery results include:

  • Sugar–free or low sugar foods and beverages. Omit desserts and other food items listing sugar as one of the first three ingredients. Sugar substitutes are permitted.
  • Decaf, noncarbonated and nonalcoholic beverages.
  • Lean meats and poultry, as well as high protein meat alternatives such as tofu and soy-based products, beans, and low fat yogurts and cheeses.
  • Small meal portions and small bites.
  • Mealtimes that last up to 30 minutes.
  • Drinking lots of water throughout the day.
  • Chewing solid foods thoroughly, once the consumption of solid foods is resumed (approximately 20 to 30 chews before swallowing – more may be required for steaks or other chunks of meat).
  • Consuming fluids separately, as they may cause a feeling of full before enough food is consumed.
  • Limit snacking between meals.
  • Avoid gum chewing.
  • Avoid drinking through a straw.