Doughnuts, fettuccini, tortillas – all the greatest foods in the world are just laden with carbohydrates. While we might be joking about “greatest” foods, carbs do tend to show up in a lot of the foods we enjoy eating. Bread, pasta, sugary cereals, and more may make up our daily menu, but they don’t do much for weight loss. At least when we talk about processed carbohydrates. So how many carbs should you eat after gastric sleeve surgery? We suggest gastric sleeve patients consume around 90 grams of carbohydrates per day depending on the level of activity and the individual’s specific needs. Consulting a WeightWise dietician is the best solution to finding the diet that is just right for you.
In fact, carbs are a necessary building block of a healthy diet. They help power the brain, improve the digestive process, heart, kidneys, and muscles. The lack of carbs in a diet can actually lead to headaches, fatigue, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
The Right Carb for The Right Job
Don’t go running for that cinnamon bagel just yet. Just like movies or music, there are good carbs and there are bad carbs. The good carbs, the ones that power the body throughout the day, are found in natural or raw foods.
Bad carbs, laden with sugar or highly processed, are the ones that slow the body down after an initial burst of energy. There are three main types of carbohydrates: fiber, starches, and sugar. Let’s take a quick look at some foods that, while containing carbs, are still good for the body.
Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage
Leafy greens: Spinach, lettuce, kale
Others vegetables: Green beans, asparagus, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini
Seeds: Pumpkin, sunflower
Legumes: Pistachios, walnuts, peanuts
Nuts: Almonds, cashews
Other: Tofu, soy milk
Gastric Sleeve Diet
After a gastric sleeve or other kinds of bariatric surgery, such as the duodenal switch or gastric bypass, what you eat is very critical. Weight-loss surgery has become very advanced over the past decade, including the use of laparoscopic surgery to speed recovery.
Laparoscopic surgery is a series of small incisions designed to be less disruptive than one large incision. As a bariatric patient, this allows you to be mobile almost immediately after surgery. In many cases, patients return to day-to-day activities 24 to 48 hours later or after leaving the medical center.
The rest of the post-surgery lifestyle will be quite a bit harder. Often, surgery is the easiest part of the life-changing procedure. Long-term success also depends on a complete revamp of the diet and physical activity. Luckily, these two go hand in hand.
Getting the required good carbs per day will keep your body energized to handle the increased activity. Cutting the bad carbs will help the lost weight stay off. So how many grams of carbohydrates are recommended after surgery to maintain a healthy lifestyle? At the start, the answer is zero.
Carbohydrate Consumption After Surgery
The first days, weeks, and months after surgery, food intake requirements are quite strict. There are many reasons for this, the most important of which is to protect the patient. While walking around the park, picking up the kids from school, or even going to the grocery store are all possible right after surgery.
What the patient buys at the grocery store is a different story. For the first two weeks, gastric sleeve patients will be limited to non-carbonated, sugar-free liquids, and liquid protein supplements This allows the body to get used to the lesser amounts of food being taken in and optimal healing
Difficult at the start for sure. Soon, the body will begin to adapt to the new diet, releasing hormones that make the patient feel fuller faster. This also allows the sleeve to heal. Eating solid food or gulping water at this point could cause discomfort, complications with the surgery, and even injury.
In the following weeks, lean, high-protein foods, and vegetables will be introduced in phases. Unfortunately, still no carbs at this point. So continue to avoid rice, bread or flour, corn starch, or other processed starches. After a month or two, you will be able to add small amounts of carbohydrates from vegetables or the occasional protein bar.
Please Read The Labels! Many manufactures use the phrase “net carbs” to make it appear they contain fewer grams of carbohydrates. However, the antiquated phrase doesn’t actually mean the food has fewer carbs, just that there are other ingredients (such as fiber) that supposedly lessen the effects of the actual carbs. Always focus on “total carbohydrates” when reading labels.
Part of the Process
The individualized diet and bariatric procedure are just two parts of the weight-loss puzzle. At WeightWise, we create a personalized plan for every patient. After all, no situations are ever alike, which means there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Before any procedure, patients will meet with our staff to discuss what will happen before, during, and after.
The first meeting with our staff will be had with one of our surgeons. The discussion will include why a client is coming to WeightWise, their family history, personal history, and any big life events that may have led to weight gain. This could include an accident, injury, or family issue that causes a lifestyle change.
This is the time for our surgeons to explain the process and the time for potential clients to ask questions. We want to make sure you understand everything that has to happen to make the surgery successful. In a few cases, clients aren’t considered good candidates for gastric sleeve surgery. Although we do offer non-surgical plans for weight loss as well.
Meet With A Dietitian
After meeting with a surgeon, our dietitian will meet with the client to go over diets before and after the procedure. You’ll talk about your current diet and what changes need to be made for long-term success. This is the time to talk about any allergies you may have and gain a better understanding of the lifestyle choice that clients will be undertaking.
We mentioned some of the necessary dietary steps right after surgery that nearly every patient goes through. Our dietitians will outline certain foods and drinks that must be avoided while losing weight and long term to maintain the weight loss.
The third meeting will be with an exercise physiologist to communicate what is expected from each client. While normal, low-impact activities will continue after surgery, the body as a whole will need to start building strength, stamina, and flexibility. We won’t be training you for a marathon, but we will show you the way to a healthier lifestyle.
Even if you weren’t that “athletic” growing up, our physiologists will personalize a workout just for you. This is the time to talk about lingering injuries or health issues you have. Part of the reason for coming to WeightWise is to address those issues. Daily physical activity and reachable goals will be put in place to help with the journey.
We understand changing your entire life around can be very, very difficult. That’s why we assign every client with a patient advocate. Not only will this person help with insurance, billing, scheduling, and the administrative part of medical care, they will also be your personal cheerleader!
Combined with in-person and online support groups and mentors, WeightWise provides a complete program for each patient. Instead of visiting different clinics to each aspect of weight loss, we’ve combined them into one facility to give our patients the best care all throughout the procedure. To learn more, watch our free online seminar or reach out to us today.