Knowing what you can eat and the correct amount of food to eat is one of the main components of weight-loss surgery. While every Lap-Band patient is different, there are a few guidelines to follow. From the days after surgery to the following months and for the rest of your life, a healthy diet is required for long term weight loss.
It’s not just the food you eat, either. How you eat food after a gastric band procedure is important, too. Especially at the start when your body is still getting used to the new stomach size. Gulping down water or eating too much food can cause discomfort, nausea, and other unsavory side effects.
Post-Op Lap Band Diet
During the first week or two, patients are required to follow an all-liquid diet. Water with protein, vitamins, and mineral supplements will allow you to stay hydrated as well as get you the nutrients you need. Solid and even soft foods aren’t allowed yet as the body gets used to less food intake.
When drinking the liquid, do it slowly. Your stomach will only be able to handle small amounts of the lap band. Drinking too fast will not give the liquid time to drain out of the stomach above the lap-band placement. You may feel some pain at the top of the stomach or may experience the liquid coming back up.
Your body will start to adapt, releasing hormones that make you feel fuller faster. The “need” to eat will diminish, and the stomach will begin to adjust to less food. In two weeks, you will be able to introduce soft proteins to your body. Eggs, yogurt, and certain beans can be eaten.
But you will still need to eat slowly and thoroughly chew your food. The stomach is adjusting, but there’s still not a lot of room in that pouch. In addition to these small meals, do not drink water during meals and for 1 hour after. We don’t water taking up valuable real estate in the stomach when it is reserved for food.
Certain pureed food can be eaten as well, including lean meats, fruits, and vegetables. However, not every type of produce is helpful right now. If skins aren’t entirely blended, they will not break down as well and could clog the lap band opening to the rest of the stomach.
Asparagus, broccoli, and celery are hard to digest and may cause issues so soon after surgery. As solid foods are introduced after a month or so, it’s still important to make sure food is easy to chew and swallow. Lean meat, such as fish or poultry, can be introduced and cottage cheese will become a staple of your new diet.
Eventually, you will begin to introduce more options for your meal plan. It can be hard at first to know exactly what can be eaten and when. It makes sense to find a dietitian who understands the importance of a proper post-bariatric surgery food plan.
Stay Away From These Foods
But it doesn’t take a genius to know what you shouldn’t eat. You’re probably noticing by now that candy, milkshakes, cakes, etc. haven’t been mentioned. While they aren’t necessarily bad for the lap-band surgery, they do you absolutely no favors if you’re trying to lose weight.
You will also need to avoid fried foods, foods with lots of fats, or foods that use a lot of butter or oils. Like sugary foods, high fat and high-calorie foods are also off-limits in both the short and long terms. In order to live a healthier lifestyle, you’ll need to start eating healthier foods. It’s as simple as that.
However, there are some healthy foods that can cause discomfort, pain, and even injury when eaten. Although there is no surgery to the stomach with a lap band, certain foods can upset the flow of food through the small stomach pouch. Doughy slices of bread, even thoroughly chewed, can actually plug the hole where the lap bad is located.
Carbonated drinks can also expand the small stomach pouch, defeating the purpose of gastric banding. Soda, beer, and other “sparkling” drinks should be avoided for that reason as well as the high sugar content and empty calories. Water is always your best bet, although sugar-free sports drinks can help keep you hydrated.
Work With a Proven Program
At WeightWise, every bariatric patient will receive their own dietitian to help them plan meals for the days, weeks, and months after surgery. We take the guesswork out of what you can eat and when. In addition to exercise physiologists and patient advocates, our patients are supported throughout the process.
There will be no more searching the internet and finding conflicting information or vague instructions. Our program is designed to give you all of the direction you need to start your new, healthy lifestyle and long-term success. Watch our FREE online seminar and when you’re ready to schedule an appointment, we’ll be here.