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The right diet after a gastric bypass

If you are morbidly obese (in other words double your ideal body weight), losing weight much more than a cosmetic issue. The risk involves premature death in certain cases. Read on to know what you should do.

health and fitness Updated: Oct 08, 2011 18:24 IST
Dr Anjali Mukerjee
Dr Anjali Mukerjee
Hindustan Times

If you are morbidly obese (in other words double your ideal body weight), losing weight much more than a cosmetic issue. The risk involves premature death in certain cases. One solution to morbid obesity is Bariatric surgery. It’s usually carried out in patients whose BMI is greater than 50 or whose obesity is life-threatening.

In gastric bypass surgery, the person is subjected to eating less by stapling a part of the stomach to form a pouch. Then a part of the intestine is attached to the pouch, thus reducing the food consumption of the person. But after the surgery there are certain things in the diet that needs to be taken into consideration. Here are the different phase that people go through:

FatDiet after surgery

Start with a clear liquid diet after the surgery. Drink only clear liquids for 10 days.

Do not use a straw as they bring air into the stomach pouch, causing bloating and pain in the shoulder or chest.

Clear liquids that can be consumed include water, iced tea, clear soup, fruit juices, lime water, coconut water

10 days later
Follow the diet after three weeks: Blend solid foods.
In between meals, consume liquids. Don’t stop having liquids 30 mins before and after meals.
Consume foods like skimmed milk, low fat curd, blended vegetable soup, scrambled eggs, mashed tofu or beets.

A month later: If your body tolerates pureed foods, progress to semi solid foods and continue the diet for three months after the surgery.
Add new foods slowly. Take small bites and chew well.
Eat a wide range of low fat, low calorie starches, fruits and vegetables.
Prepare meats using low-fat cooking methods (baking, broiling or grilling).
Use herbs and spices to season vegetables
Keep drinking clear liquids
Foods that can be incorporated in this stage include oat meal porridge, daliya, well cooked dal, soft fruits, grated apple, pureed chicken or milk-based soups.

Regular diet
Start eating a regular diet if you’re feeling fine. But it’s important to not go back to the earlier eating habits.

Must-avoid list
Avoid high-calorie liquids as they add extra calories without making you feel full. They include coffee drinks (mocha, latte, cappuccino), smoothies, alcohol, sugary drinks (sharbat), fried foods, salad dressing, potato chips, whole milk, cream cheese, ice cream, spicy gravy and mithai. Avoid carbonated drinks as they cause gas and bloating.

Diet guidelines
The diet should consist of 3 small, high protein meals (milk, low fat cheese, curd, egg whites, chicken , dal, chicken soups)
One needs to eat slowly and chew the food properly.
Avoid snacking as it may increase the calorie intake.
Small meals should be taken because the stomach pouch is small and over intake might lead to nausea and vomiting.
Stop eating when you are 3/4th full.

Have a nutrient dense diet

A day’s diet should have atleast 50 gms of protein
Do not drink liquids with the meals as it may cause over filling of the pouch
Sip liquid drinks slowly
Consume vitamin and mineral supplements
Begin eating small quantity of brown rice, whole wheat chapattis, oat meal porridge
Exercise regularly.

Dr Anjali Mukerjee is a nutritionist and founder of Health Total, a nutrition counselling centre.

First Published: Oct 06, 2011 16:43 IST