Once you schedule your bariatric surgery, life changes. You will have lab work and appointments to go on. You will have a new diet to plan for and a hospital stay to pack for. Once you have your gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap band surgery there are many more changes to prepare for: another new diet, vitamins, follow up appointments, weight loss, new clothes, and exercise. There are emotional and social changes too. But there’s also one thing that people don’t often consider: meals will take longer.
In today’s busy society, people often scarf their meals down in a few bites, often on the go. So taking more time for your meals may actually be a big change for some people, but a very necessary change.
After bariatric surgery, how you eat is nearly as important as what you eat. Not allowing adequate time for your meals and not following your new bariatric guidelines can cause upset stomach, vomiting, gagging, dehydration, and/or diarrhea. In order to start creating new habits, allow extra time for meals starting before your bariatric surgery.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for your bariatric diet:
- Plan on meals taking from 30-60 minutes
- Avoid electronics while you’re eating, if possible, in order to focus on what your body is telling you
- Practice chewing each bite 20-40 times until it forms a paste consistency
- Practice separating your meals from your fluids by at least 30 minutes
- Sip fluids, stop using a straw
- Stop eating if you feel full or nauseous
Breaking the habit of rushing through meals can be good for you, and also your family members, even if they aren’t having weight loss surgery with you. Slowing down your meals and practicing the above tips can allow for more mindful eating, eating less, enjoying your company and conversation, and actually tasting and savoring the flavors you are eating. While it may be a difficult change at first, it’s one you will get used to, and even grow to enjoy. Being aware of the necessity of the change and planning for it can make your lifestyle change after gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, or gastric band surgery feel a little easier.
For more information on your diet after bariatric surgery with Dr. Shillingford, check out his information here. Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA, is a board-certified surgeon specializing in advanced laparoscopic and weight loss surgery. His sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, and lap band patients often come from all over Florida for his excellent surgical reputation, including Boca Raton, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Jacksonville. His weight loss surgery patients receive top-notch care at Northwest Medical Center’s Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery. For more information on if gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or gastric band surgery is right for you, call Dr. Shillingford’s office at (561) 483-8840