Bariatric surgery is an effective method of treating obesity, but it is not sufficient on its own. In order to increase the success of the surgery and to prevent weight gain in the long term, patients should change their diet and lifestyle habits after bariatric surgery.
Here are 10 factors to consider after bariatric surgery:
A healthy diet should become a habit
One of the most important things to do after bariatric surgery is to develop a habit of healthy eating. For this reason, meals should never be skipped, but an attempt should be taken to eat 3 main meals and 2-3 snacks in between.
Sufficient water should be drunk
To prevent complaints such as weakness and constipation that can occur after surgery, attention should be paid to water consumption. Therefore, at least 2-3 litres of water should be consumed daily.
Since it is not possible to consume a large amount of water at once due to the shrinking volume of the stomach, it is recommended to spread the consumption of water throughout the day. Remember that consuming water half an hour before and half an hour after meals is not recommended.
Avoid caffeinated and fizzy drinks
One of the most important problems after bariatric surgery is dehydration, i.e. fluid loss.
As fluid intake decreases in the post-operative period and caffeinated drinks cause additional fluid loss, it is recommended not to consume these drinks for at least one month after surgery. When weight loss and metabolism return to normal, these drinks can be consumed in a controlled manner, provided that the amount of water drunk is not reduced.
Snacks should be avoided
In the post-operative stage, in addition to the recommended meals and snacks, further snacks should be avoided.
Blood sugar should be kept in balance
Simple carbohydrates in particular should be avoided. However, vegetables, legumes and fruits, which are complex carbohydrates, are a good way to meet carbohydrate needs and therefore their consumption is recommended. Complex carbohydrates not only keep blood sugar in balance, but are also rich in fibre, regulate bowel movements and protect against constipation.
When it comes to nutrition, the focus should be on proteins.
Proteins are the most important source of nutrients after surgery. With the reduced volume of the stomach after surgery, it can be somewhat difficult to meet this need. Therefore, it is recommended to give priority to protein rich foods at meals and eat other foods (vegetables, fruits, etc.) when you are not yet full.
The vitamin and mineral balance should be taken into account
It is very important to keep blood counts under control after surgery. Iron, vitamin B12 and B2 deficiencies are particularly common. These and other vitamins and minerals should be supplemented as needed.
Attention should be paid to adequate and quality sleep
A major reason for fatigue after bariatric surgery is not getting enough sleep. Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a day and making it a routine is very important for healthy weight loss.
A balanced exercise behaviour should be followed
One of the most important requirements for healthy weight loss after bariatric surgery is to stay active. Sufficient exercise, even on the day of the surgery, will help you lose weight in a healthy way and protect you from discomfort such as an embolism. Patients who have undergone surgery are advised to walk at least 5,000 steps a day from the day they are discharged and to increase this to at least 10,000 steps within 2-4 weeks. However, demanding sports such as running, fitness and weightlifting should be avoided during the first month.
Support from nutritionists and psychologists should be continued
Studies have shown that patients who are supervised by a nutritionist and psychologist for two years in the post-operative stage lose more weight and maintain their ideal weight for longer.