Bariatric surgery changes the structure of your digestive system in which the size of your stomach is made to hold less, therefore; you will have a full feeling after eating a few bites of food. Following your surgery, a dietician will explain your meal plan for the next several weeks. At first, you will be on a liquid-only meal plan for two to three weeks. After that, soft foods will be slowly added to your diet as your stomach heals. Within four weeks, regular foods are gradually added in until you have transitioned.
For those who have recently had bariatric surgery, or will be having the procedure performed this month, the holidays can be a challenging time to recover. There are many temptations of food and drink that you’ll have to avoid at first.
The Soft Food Diet
What can you eat at this stage? Foods that are mostly protein will be the focus. Your doctor will want you to avoid food high in fiber, sugar or fat. To allow your stomach to heal, you’ll be eating 3 small meals a day and adding only one new food at a time. We know there is a long list of food to avoid, so here are some ideas for what you can eat at this point:
-Low-fat cottage cheese
-Soft cooked turkey or chicken
-Beans and lentils
-Tofu with vegetables
-Cooked soft vegetables
-Soft canned fruit
It may not be the most exciting diet, but it’s important to take proper care of your stomach and progress slowly, even though it’s frustrating. But take heart–you can still help yourself to the holiday fixings in small doses! Roast chicken or turkey is fine if it’s soft and you take care to chew it properly. Soft vegetables like cooked baby carrots or beans are also good choices.
It’s a good idea to avoid nuts, popcorn, soda or anything crunchy like granola. Stick to healthy choices like lean meats and low-fat dairy. Now is definitely the time to avoid foods that are high in sugar or fat, since they are fattening and have little nutritional value. That means passing on baked treats such as cookies and candy during the holidays. It may seem like a large sacrifice to make right now, but losing weight is an on-going effort that requires planning and diligence to accomplish. With the right decisions and attitude, you’ll be able to reach your goal weight! Just think of how great you’ll look and feel this time next year.
To set up an appointment with one of our experienced bariatric surgeons at St. Petersburg General Hospital, call our Consult-A-Nurse® line at 727-341-4055 to speak with a registered nurse and get a free physician referral. You can also visit us online for more information about weight loss surgery.