Following a healthy diet is an important component in your long-term weight loss success. Eating nutrient-rich foods before surgery is just as important as eating nutrient-rich foods after surgery; you want to make the calories count. During each nutrition class and pre and post-operative appointments, the dietitian will review diet plans and meal planning strategies. The dietitian will provide the necessary material as you progress through the program. Before and after surgery it is important that you:
Drink at least 64 fluid ounces of water or other sugar-free beverages every day.
Do not skip meals. Eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and one snack every day.
Eat a lean protein with each meal
Eat fiber rich foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and beans
Avoid fried and high fat foods
Follow the 30/30 rule - do not drink 30 minutes before a meal and do not drink 30 minutes after a meal (there is not enough room in your stomach for both liquid and food after surgery)
Exercise at least 5 days of the week for at least 30 minutes
You need to think of your stomach as being “brand-new”; a lot of foods will not be tolerated in the weeks and months post-op. The main goal after surgery is to meet your protein and fluid needs. After surgery you will be following specific dietary guidelines in order for your body to adequately heal. You will progress from clear liquids to solid foods within a six week period; solid foods are slowly introduced back into your diet.
Mindful eating is eating when we are hungry and stopping when we are full. It is seeing food as nourishment, and pleasure. It is learning to savor the flavor and appreciate the textures, smells, and presentation of food. Mindful eating is eating good quality and proper quantity of foods.
Practice being a mindful eater. This skill takes time to develop so do not give up. Start by initiating one (or all) of these tips:
Take 30 minutes to eat a meal. Eliminate all distractions. Do not multi-task. This helps your brain recognize the feeling of satiety (feeling of fullness) and helps prevent over eating
Chew your food thoroughly, 30 times each bite
Recognize the difference between true and head hunger. True hunger is when the body will show physical signs of hunger. Head hunger is a desire to eat when we really aren’t hungry; an outside force is driving us to eat.