Nutrition Advice For
Bariatric Surgery

Nutrition Advice for Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery can be a very effective tool to help you lose weight and improve your health. However, it is not a magic bullet and long term success is highly dependent on healthy food and lifestyle choices.

The weight loss journey usually starts before the surgery. You might be asked to go on a very low-calorie diet (or VLCD) to reduce liver size and improve surgical outcomes. This can be achieved by replacing one or all of your meals with a shake for up to 2 weeks before the surgery date.

After surgery, the diet progression is in stages from only liquids through soft solids to a healthy, balanced diet. This slow progression is necessary to allow healing and minimize post-surgical complications. Diet progression will also depend on the type of surgery.

The most drastic weight loss occurs in the first 6 months after surgery so it is important to take advantage of this period to lose as much weight as possible. However, it is also important to maintain adequate nutritional status and health. A daily multivitamin and mineral supplement, adequate fluid intake of 1.5L and at least 60g of protein per day are necessary to prevent potential nutrient deficiencies.

In the subsequent 6 months, your weight loss will slow down and start to plateau. You may feel hungry at times and start eating more food. Therefore, it is important to continue to avoid frequent snacking, making good food choices and exercise regularly.

Successful weight loss is a result of healthy and mindful eating and regular exercise. Long-term weight maintenance will depend on your efforts to follow the lifestyle changes you have made so far. An accredited practicing dietitian specializing in bariatric surgery can be your valuable companion through this journey, keep you on track and address any problems which may arise.