Weight Loss Surgery Diet:
It's Also HOW You Eat

Weight Loss Surgery Diet

How to eat after weight loss surgery is just as important as what to eat after weight loss surgery.

If you're used to inhaling your food and/or mindlessly eating, you're going to need to re-program your eating behavior if you're planning to have (or have already had) bariatric surgery.

Your post weight loss surgery diet means changing how you eat in order to:

  • Prevent pain and vomiting
  • Protect your surgical weight loss procedure (ex., staple line)
  • Prevent food from getting stuck (in the opening from the stomach to the gastrointestinal tract created with the gastric bypass surgery or in the narrow passage in the stomach created with the lap band surgery)

Weight Loss Surgery Diet: How To Eat

Learn to stop eating as soon as you feel full.

If you don't, you'll get sick...

...as in you'll get a second chance to taste your food as it comes back up....


How will you know you're full?

  • You may feel pressure or fullness below your ribcage
  • You might feel nauseated
  • You may feel pain or pressure in your shoulder or upper chest (some people also describe it as a "heartburn" feeling)

Learn to hear your body's signals that it's full!

Take small bites

This will help you slow down so you have a better chance of hearing those signals.

Avoid overeating

Keeping your new stomach (a.k.a. "pouch") small should be a lifelong goal. A smaller stomach is one of the main reasons weight loss surgery works!

It limits how much you're able to eat at one time. Think of it as surgically imposed portion control!

Your pouch will start off about as big as a walnut and will be able to hold ~ 1 oz. of food. Over time it will stretch out to the size of an egg or lemon and will be able to hold 1/2 to 1 or 1 1/2 cups. You want to avoid stretching it any bigger than that.

You also want to avoid stretching the "stoma" (the opening between the pouch and the small intestine created by the gastric bypass).

How do you avoid stretching these "new parts"? By not overeating.

Use small dishes and utensils

Let's face it. 1/2 cup or 1 cup isn't a lot of food.

Weight loss surgery doesn't effect your brain. You'll still be able to look at 1/2 cup of food and know that it's not a very big portion.

However, a 1/2 cup portion looks much bigger in a small 1/2 cup souffle cup than on a 12 inch oversized dinner plate.

Make small, portion controlled dishes and even small utensils like baby forks and spoons part of your weight loss surgery diet.

Cut food into small pieces

This is one more strategy to help you get the maximal satisfaction out of a very small portion and to slow your pace of eating. Cut your food up into small pieces the size of a pencil eraser or a pea then pay attention to every delicious bite!

Chew thoroughly

Try chewing each bite 25-30 times. Chew foods until they are unidentifiable...aka "mush" or almost liquid.

Chewing thoroughly in this manner is just one more strategy to help you slow down, avoid overeating, and minimize the chance of obstruction caused by large food particles.

Eat slowly

  • Allow 30-60 minutes for each meal.
  • Allow 1-2 minutes between bites.
  • Allow 10 minutes to finish every 1 oz. of food

When you eat...eat.

Sit down and focus on what you are eating. Avoid eating while standing, driving, or working. Avoid engaging in other activities at the same time that might cause you to become distracted, such as watching t.v. or reading.

Weight Loss Surgery Diet: How To Eat

A meal should proceed something like this after surgery:

  1. Take a small portion of food and serve it on a small plate/bowl.
  2. Sit down at the table.
  3. Cut the food into small, pea size bites.
  4. Take a bite with a child size or baby size utensil and chew 25-30 times.
  5. Pause. Really pause.
  6. Repeat.
  7. Continue eating until you feel a slight pressure in your chest.
  8. Stop eating.

The whole experience should last ~ 1/2 hour.

And you know what?

Even if you haven't had weight loss surgery, this weight loss surgery diet is a great way to lose weight.

Start practicing your new eating style at your very next meal!

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