Your Nutritional Needs Before and After Gastric Bypass Surgery

Your Nutritional Needs Before and After Gastric Bypass Surgery

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Gastric bypass surgery is becoming more common as people look for a way to combat morbid obesity in adults and some teenagers. The road to having this complex surgery is not to be taken lightly. If you are more than a hundred pounds overweight, and have a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or above, then you may qualify for this extreme medical obesity treatment. If you have tried other methods for losing weight and none of them have helped you permanently shed the pounds, then you may feel that having a gastric bypass is your last hope of beating obesity once and for all.


The only way you will know for sure if gastric bypass surgery is a good option, is to make an appointment with your doctor or an obesity specialist. A staff of medical professionals will evaluate your current state of health, as well as, your psychological state of mind. They will combine all of this information with your medical history to determine if you’re a good candidate. If you pass the screening and are approved for the procedure, you may be surprised to find out that you may have to lose some weight before they operate on you.


Because gastric bypass is very risky, your doctor will require you to be at a certain weight that they consider safe. Your medical team will also want you to be as healthy as possible so that your body can withstand the long hours in the operating room. Nutrition plays a big role in the pre-operative preparations for this procedure. Just because you’ve been eating a lot and are overweight, doesn’t mean that your body has been getting the right amount of nutrients. In fact, more than likely, your diet has been missing a lot of essential proteins and vitamins. Your doctor will probably put you on a strict diet that includes protein rich foods.


Although, cutting down on calories and eliminating the fatty foods that you are used to eating will be hard to get used to, it’s important to remember that you are doing this to preserve your long term health and increase your life expectancy. There will still be plenty of good tasting foods that you can eat, but you’ll need to make a commitment to learning how to prepare your food in a healthier way. Your doctor may give you a specific diet plan to follow, or you can find a low calorie cookbook that includes recipes for meals that include lots of protein rich foods.


Protein helps to keep your body strong and functioning properly. You can eat protein for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the form of lean meats (chicken, fish and turkey), eggs, beans, dairy (cheese, milk and yogurt) and grains.


You will probably be on this restricted diet for many weeks, so you’ll also need to be very patient with yourself and with your doctor. Sometimes you may even feel a bit irritable due to the lack of food, but if you hang in there, after a while you’ll get used to your new diet. You’ll also be encouraged to exercise in order to speed up the weight loss process. At times you may feel like your progress is slow, and that you’ll never get to that surgery date, but with lots of persistence, you’ll make it there.


The nutritional changes that you are already making in your eating habits, should be very evident after a few weeks. You’ll see that you have more energy to move around than you did when you were eating too many unhealthy foods. This is exactly what the doctors want to see. When you eat healthy, protein rich foods and vegetables regularly, you are building up the stamina you need in order to undergo your bypass surgery and come out of it successfully.


Okay, now we’re going to jump ahead to the time after your bypass surgery. This is when the real test will come, and you’ll prove to yourself and others whether or not you can permanently change your eating patterns. Simply having the surgery isn’t enough to ensure that you’ll never be obese again. You must absolutely be committed to sticking with your new diet and exercise plan and follow it as if your life depends on it – because it does.


The surgery has shrunken your stomach and allows only a small amount of food to be digested at one time. This means that you’ll be taking in less calories and also less nutrients with every meal. Making sure that you get enough protein in your diet really becomes critical to your health and well being. After the surgery, you need to eat lots of protein rich foods so that you can build up muscle as your body burns off the excess fat. Protein also helps keep your body tissue strong and protects you from getting sick.


Some people, who have gone through the surgery, tend to slack off on their healthy diet after a while and slowly find the pounds creeping back on. This is because they either ignore, or fail to understand that the gastric bypass patient must always keep the body’s nutritional needs in mind when preparing each meal. Of course, you’re going to eat a few fat-filled treats every now and then, that’s normal. But if you have a history of being addicted to unhealthy foods, you should sit down with your doctor or a dietitian and have them help you come up with a diet plan that is both healthy, and realistic for you to stay on. You may still need to prepare certain gastric bypass foods after 2 years of surgery.


Overall, gastric bypass surgery can do wonders in transforming an overweight person into a slim and trim one. However, it is not a magic bullet to a lifetime free of weight issues. There is a lot that has to be taken under consideration both before and after surgery. One of the most important factors that you must be constantly aware of is the nutritional needs of your body. You’ll need to learn how to eat healthier and how to choose foods that give you vitality and energy. If you do this, you’ll enjoy the long lasting benefits from gastric bypass.

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