Northwest Houston Surgical Association

Weight Loss Surgery Nutrition

bariatric surgery nutritionThe changes in the shape and size of your stomach from weight loss surgery are going to significantly affect your diet and lifestyle that will lead to drastic results. As with any procedure, there can be complication. Luckily, if you follow the nutrition guidelines before and after surgery provided from our on staff Dietitian, you can prevent most of them. When you meet with our Registered Dietitian for your initial consultation they will carefully consider what will help you attain the best possible outcome for you and your lifestyle. They will educate Houston and Cypress patients on post-bariatric surgery diet until they are convinced that they understand the risks and benefits of the weight loss option chosen. Request a consultation online or call our office at 713-426-2400 for more information about how you can take the steps toward improving your life.

HOW LONG WILL I BE OFF SOLID FOODS AFTER SURGERY?

After surgery, you will need to gradually advance your diet from liquids and then add in textures as tolerated. The diet transition lasts about 8 weeks and it is important to adhere to your diet for many reasons:

  • To give your stomach rest to ensure proper healing and prevent complications
  • To give yourself time to learn the proper eating habits
  • To stay well-nourished and maintain your weight loss for life

After 6-8 weeks, you should be able to incorporate most textures and maintain a regular maintenance diet. However, there will still be some foods you won’t be able to tolerate right away and some you might not ever be able to include back into your diet.

WHAT ARE THE BEST CHOICES OF PROTEIN?

Protein is important for many reasons. Protein builds, maintains, and replaces tissues in your body. It also helps keep skin, hair, and nails healthy. Good sources of protein include: low-fat dairy, soy, lean beef, skinless poultry, fish, and eggs. Acceptable sources of protein are: legumes, nuts, and seeds. Higher protein intake is essential during periods of rapid weight loss to maintain muscle mass. Since you will be asked to go on a liquid diet 2 weeks after surgery and unable to tolerate the texture of meat, all of your protein needs will be met via pre-mixed shakes and/or protein powder while you’re on your liquid diet.

WHY DRINK SO MUCH WATER?

It is important to drink enough water in order to prevent dehydration. When you are losing weight, there are many waste products to eliminate, mostly in the urine. Some of these substances tend to form crystals, which can cause kidney stones. A high water intake protects you and helps your body to rid itself of waste products efficiently.

  • dr-fadner-img
    Meet Our Doctors

    Dr. Fadner

    Dr. Fadner is fellowship trained in Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery and Bariatric Surgery and offers a wide range of general surgery operations to his patients.

  • Dr. Levia
    Meet Our Doctors

    Dr. Leiva

    A certified General Surgeon at the forefront of single incision and robotic general surgery. Dr. Leiva also has a special interest in primary and revision, advanced laparoscopic.






  • Dr. Amir
    Meet Our Doctors

    Dr. Amr

    As a highly skilled and fellowship trained weight loss surgeon, Dr. Amr is skilled in laparoscopic foregut surgery and bariatric (weight loss) surgery.






  • Dr. Ayyar
    Meet Our Doctors

    Dr. Ayyar

    Dr. Ayyar has pioneered minimally invasive surgery in the West and Northwest Houston area. His expertise in minimally invasive and endocrine surgery allow him to perform parathyroid operations.






WHAT IS DUMPING SYNDROME?

Dumping Syndrome is a condition that occurs with individuals after having the gastric bypass procedure. It happens when food moves too quickly from the stomach to the small intestines. This rapid movement of partially digested food causes a shock to the intestines. Water is rapidly drawn into the small intestines to accommodate the rush of food. This movement of water into the intestines can be very uncomfortable. The symptoms that describe dumping syndrome are: nausea, cramping, diarrhea, sweating, faintness, and rapid heart beating. It is especially important to avoid foods that are concentrated in sugar and fats and to avoid eating too quickly. If you follow your nutrition guidelines closely, you can almost eliminate this unpleasant side effect.

IS THERE A PROBLEM WITH CONSUMING MILK PRODUCTS?

No. Milk provides a healthy balance of protein and carbohydrates and is a good source of Calcium and Vitamin D. If you find that you aren’t tolerating milk at any time before or after your procedure, you may use lactose free milk or milk substitute (such as soy milk). The issue may be temporary however some individuals can develop a long-term intolerance to milk products.

WHY CAN’T I SNACK BETWEEN MEALS AFTER WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY?

Snacking, nibbling or grazing on convenience items, such as cookies and chips, contain excess calories defeating the restrictive effect of the procedure. Snacking in this way will slow down weight loss and can lead to weight regain.

WHY CAN’T I EAT RED MEAT AFTER SURGERY?

You can, but you will need to be very careful, and we recommend that you avoid it for the first several months. Red meats contain a high level of meat fibers (gristle) which hold the piece of meat together, preventing you from separating it into small parts when you chew. The gristle can plug the outlet of your stomach pouch and prevent anything from passing through – a condition that is very uncomfortable.

HOW CAN I BE SURE I’M EATING ENOUGH PROTEIN?

Your Dietitian will let you know your specific protein needs for the healing phase. You will be advised to use a high protein supplement while you are on a liquid diet until you can advance and are eventually able tolerate enough protein from your meals. Once you’re advanced to your soft textured diet, it is recommended to eat high protein soft foods first. Then add vegetables and fruits, and low-fat starches (such as beans, potatoes, whole wheat pasta or rice.)

IS THERE ANY RESTRICTION OF SALT INTAKE?

No, your salt intake will be unchanged unless otherwise directed by your primary care physician.

WILL I BE ABLE TO EAT “SPICY” FOODS OR SEASONED FOODS?

Most patients will be able to enjoy spices after the initial 6 months following surgery.

WILL I BE ALLOWED TO DRINK ALCOHOL?

Beer, champagne, and sparkling wine contain carbonation which should be avoided completely after surgery. It is advised to avoid all alcohol containing beverages for at least the first 6 months after surgery. Alcohol contains empty calories that may hinder your weight loss. Also, since you will need to avoid drinking with meals and will be losing weight rapidly after surgery, your tolerance level decreases and will become inebriated quicker. If and when you add alcohol back into your diet, you can choose a glass of wine or liquor mixed with non-caloric and non-carbonated mixers. A glass (one serving) is equivalent to 4-5 ounces of wine and 1½ ounces of liquor.

WILL I NEED TO TAKE VITAMINS?

Vitamins and minerals are essential for numerous biological processes that need to occur in the body including hunger, appetite, nutrient absorption, metabolic rate, fat and sugar metabolism, energy storage, neural activities, etc. Obtaining micronutrients from food is the most desirable way to ensure efficient absorption of vitamins and minerals. However, due to the reduction of stomach size and amount of food you can eat after weight loss surgery, you will need to supplement vitamins and minerals for life.

It is important to start taking a daily multivitamin prior to surgery in order to replete any micronutrients and to get into the habit of taking vitamins supplements. Our Dietitian will assist you and let you know which ones you will need specifically based off of pre and post-op lab work.

DO I MEET WITH A DIETITIAN BEFORE AND AFTER SURGERY?

Yes. Our surgeons require patients to consult with our Dietician before surgery. Dietitian visits after surgery will also be required.

WILL I GET A COPY OF SUGGESTED EATING PATTERNS AND FOOD CHOICES AFTER SURGERY?

Your Dietitian will provide materials that clearly outline expectations regarding diet. You will be asked to begin adopting a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle so that your body and mind are prepared for the procedure. Adopting a lower calorie diet prior to surgery will also help make the diet transition easier after surgery. After surgery, health and weight loss are highly dependent on patient compliance with these guidelines.

If you’re ready to improve your life, request a consultation online or call our office at 713-426-2400 for more information.

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