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Life After Bariatric Surgery: How to Build Better Eating Habits


By Dr. Dieter Pohl

Weight loss surgery is a life changing procedure that can offer hope to those who have tried all other methods to lose weight and still haven’t found success. After surgery, you are required to adhere to new lifestyle and diet changes. It can be scary for anyone to go through major lifestyle changes, but with the proper support and guidance anything is possible. Here’s everything you should know about what to expect after weight loss surgery and how you can build better eating habits.

How to Build Better Eating Habits

Long Term Commitment

A part of having a successful weight loss journey is the ability to long-term commit to your goals. Getting the surgery is only a small piece of the equation, the rest of your weight loss journey is on you and your ability to long term commit to a new, healthy eating plan. After weight loss surgery, your stomach is considerably smaller, making you feel full faster. Eating smaller meals will not be enough to maintain your health during weight loss, so you will have to consider the nutrients you’re putting into your body and how they affect you in the long-term.

Plan Your Meals

Since you now have a smaller stomach, you will not be able to eat like you used to. Patients are encouraged to plan their meals after surgery to make sure they are getting the correct nutrients. It’s vital that patients who have recently received weight loss surgery to eat enough protein and drink enough liquids throughout the day. Planning out your meals ahead of time can alleviate the stress of meeting your meal requirements. You should strive to plan your meals to help keep you on track with your long-term goals and decrease the chance of eating unhealthy items.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is extremely important for those who have had weight loss surgery. With a smaller stomach, it’s hard to drink large amounts of water in one sitting, making dehydration a serious concern. It’s recommended that you drink water throughout the day to maintain proper hydration and assist your body in digesting foods. It’s especially important to know when to drink your water throughout the day; it’s recommended to not drink liquids at least 30 minutes before, during, and after your meal to prevent feeling too full, then not being able to have room for food. Aim to drink water between your meals, not with them.

Prioritize Protein

You’re going to hear about protein a lot throughout your weight loss journey, after all, it’s the building block to life! Your body needs protein after having weight loss surgery to maintain muscle mass as you lose weight. A high protein diet minimizes muscle loss while you lose body fat. In all your meals, you should eat your serving of protein before consuming any other parts of the meal to make sure you don’t get full before finishing your required protein.

Have Good Support

If you’re feeling like you need support during your weight loss journey, you’re definitely not the only one. Having a good support system is a necessity after having weight loss surgery. The new lifestyle changes can take a toll on you mentally, seeing how you have to change your daily habits. Having a good support system will help make the journey easier. Join our monthly support group meetings. Hearing other people’s experiences through weight loss surgery can help you stay motivated for the long-term.

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