A meal is not just what and when you eat, but also how you eat.  You should be eating three meals per day.  Establish a schedule for eating.  This schedule will help you from feeling hungry.  Avoid old eating habits such as eating on the run or when doing something else such as watching TV, reading, or working on the computer.

EACH MEAL SHOULD CONTAIN PROTEINsuccess after weight loss

Protein is the main source of the building materials our bodies require to repair and maintain our organs.  When you eat, make sure that at least half of each meal is composed of protein.  Always EAT YOUR PROTEIN FIRST.  Without a constant intake of protein, your body will begin to weaken.  Your incisions will heal more slowly, and your skin will not be able to shrink and remodel.  You may lose weight but you will also lose the benefits of improved health and may lose your hair.  When you eat adequate protein and eat it first, you will experience earlier and better satisfaction from the food you eat.  Protein seems to be the best stimulant of the body's reaction that promotes satiety (feeling full).


Enjoying and savoring your food is an important part of eating.  We encourage you to take the time to prepare your food to look and taste good.  Pay attention to each bite and get maximum enjoyment from your food.


You will get more satisfaction and enjoyment from your food if you chew it thoroughly before swallowing.  Even more important, your food will be able to exit your stomach through the small opening at the bottom and help you feel full and satisfied.  Large chunks of food can become lodged in this opening and cause pain, nausea, and vomiting.  Cut you food, especially meats, into small pieces and chew carefully.


Foods that contain sugar (fruit juices, candy, sauces) can make you feel very strange if you eat them.  DUMPING SYNDROME (for bypass patients and some sleeve patients) occurs when sugar is rapidly placed into the small intestine.  Most patients experience cramps, weakness, lightheadedness, and may have diarrhea.  You may have to lie down until these feelings pass.  This usually lasts 30 to 40 minutes.  Read the labels on foods.  If the list of ingredients contains fructose, sucrose, glucose or corn syrup in the first 4 ingredients, it should be avoided.

Milk contains a special form of sugar called lactose.  You may have difficulty with lactose after your surgery.  A thin dairy product such as milk empties into the small intestine quickly and can cause “dumping syndrome”.  More viscous (thick) forms of lactose such as cheese and yogurt may not cause these symptoms as quickly because they enter the small intestine more slowly.  It is important to note, not everyone has a problem with dairy products after bypass surgery.  


Drink generous amounts of water (8-10 8oz glasses) frequently throughout the day.  Take small sips at first and allow your pouch to empty.  You will be able to increase the amount of water you drink over time.  Do not drink water 30 minutes before a meal, during a meal or for 30 minutes following a meal. 


Vitamins are necessary for the proper functioning of the body's chemical “enzyme” systems.  The body does not make vitamins.  We must take them in as food or supplement them as needed.  You MUST take supplemental vitamins and minerals regularly to avoid serious nutritional problems.

Depending on your lab results, your doctor may prescribe supplemental iron.  This should be in the form of Ferrous Fumerate.  This form of iron promotes absorption and reduces the irritation to the stomach and intestine.  You will start taking your vitamins about 2 weeks after surgery, when you start eating food.  You may be directed to take Vitamin B12 sub lingual if needed as well.

Calcium may be supplemented using TUMS or Viactive.  Your surgeon will inform you if this is his recommendation.


It is recommended that you avoid carbonated beverages post-operatively.  After 6 months, you may tolerate “flat” diet soda.


Fats have a very high content of calories, but no real nutritional value.  Any significant intake of fats, such as cooking oils, salad dressings, mayonnaise, or butter will seriously decrease your rate of weight loss.  Learn to avoid fats.  Read food labels carefully.  Pay close attention to the portion size and percentages on the label.  When preparing foods, it is better to bake, poach, broil or boil instead of frying.


After Gastric Bypass, alcohol can be dangerous, especially to your liver.  Because of you altered anatomy, alcohol is absorbed more quickly and will reach higher levels in your blood.  You will also feel the effects of alcohol on your brain more intensely.  NEVER more than 2 drinks (standard size bar drinks) within a 24 hour period.  DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL ON A REGUALR BASIS, and NO alcohol at all for at least 6 months after surgery.


Smoking constricts blood vessels and therefore decreases blood flow.  It can slow healing and in some cases has been linked to bleeding and the formation of marginal ulcers in gastric bypass patients.  Marginal ulcers can become a serious problem and eventually could lead to further surgery to correct the problem.

EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISEfamily-exercise-after-weight-loss-surgery

Exercise is very important.  You need to exercise to maintain your body's muscle mass and strength.  When your body lacks sufficient energy intake it must select some form of alternate fuel.  We want your body to burn fat, NOT muscle.  If you are not using your muscles, the body will consume them to meet its energy needs.  It is very important for you to exercise daily for at least 30 minutes.  You probably will not be able to exercise for 30 minutes right after surgery.  Try starting with 10 minute exercise sessions and increase the time you are exercising until you are able to tolerate the full 30 minutes at once.  Remember, decreased calorie intake causes weight loss – exercise maintains weight loss.


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