While it’s a bit of an understatement, your approach to eating after bariatric surgery is changed pretty dramatically. You will be eating less, and your body will absorb fewer calories and nutrients. You will have to be more attentive to what you eat than the average person, and you need the appropriate nutrients for Bariatric patients.
Supplementation will no longer be an option, but a requirement. Since your body will be processing foods differently now, it will be very easy to be nutritionally deficient.
Many people enjoy the convenience and structure that comes with meal replacement products. The convenience is particularly the case for bariatric patients since your dietary requirements after surgery are much more structured than before.
This recommended structure is not always easy to handle since part of the reason many people struggle with obesity is not making the best nutritional choices. Now, your options are even fewer.
If you prefer the convenience and structure of meal replacements, there are plenty of quality products to choose from at Oregon Weight Loss Surgery, we offer Bariatric Advantage products, including high protein meal replacement shakes.
The biggest dietary challenge bariatric patients face is getting a balanced nutritional intake when the amount of food you can eat is less. You have less room for mistakes. If you eat food that is not very nutritious, you have less room to make up for it later in the day.
That’s why it is so important that bariatric patients anchor their nutritional strategy with quality supplements.
One of the biggest focuses is getting adequate protein, especially in the early stages after your surgery when your body is healing, and you are building lean body mass. While this is obtained through meal replacements or traditional recipes, there are additional options, such as whey protein shakes.
Your most important supplement for the long haul is a quality multivitamin, which will provide most of your nutritional needs. Most people choose a chewable multivitamin that provides a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals that just aren’t going to come through diet alone.
If you are not sure which multivitamins are right for you, ask your provider. You can take a chewable or non-chewable vitamin twice per day with breakfast and dinner. Your body should absorb the most nutrients possible if you space out the time between taking each one. Don’t forget the multivitamin no matter what.
There are a few other supplements that you will need to include in your repertoire.
Calcium – As all of us know, calcium is essential for maintaining healthy bones. It’s important to supplement your calcium intake, with calcium citrate being the most beneficial for people who have had weight loss surgery.
Vitamin D – This should be taken twice a day with your calcium supplement.
Vitamin B12 – Deficiency in vitamin B12 is common after bariatric surgery. It can be taken in tablet form or under the tongue.
Other Supplements – Some bariatric patients need to increase their folic acid and iron intake.
While there are common nutritional needs that every bariatric patient will have to address, every person must consult with their physician regarding what combination works best for them.