Bariatric (Obesity Surgery) Nutrition
Undergoing a bariatric surgery procedure is only one part of the journey to assist you in losing weight and regaining health, fitness, self esteem and quality of life. After surgery you need to learn how to use the tool provided to get the optimum benefit from it. For this reason, Bariatric Practices consist of multidisciplinary teams including or referring to; dietitians, specialist nurses, specialist GP’s, Psychologists and exercise consultants.
Bariatric surgery will always require not only dietary education but dietary behavior modification as the surgeries always include a restriction in stomach capacity, or a change in the way you absorb nutrients from your gut, or a combination of both of these.
All patients require education on how to change not only what, but how you eat and how to manage the challenge of getting all the nutrition your body needs within the constraints of the procedure. A dietitian experienced in bariatric surgery nutrition is an essential part of your weight loss team and will provide education both pre and post surgery. Although the eating changes can sound simple, in reality, breaking years of eating habits can be hard and your team is there to support you through both the successes and setbacks along the way. In order to be successful you will be educated on:
- Eating more slowly
- Chewing more thoroughly and taking smaller mouthfuls of food
- Stopping eating as soon as you feel satisfied
- Separating eating and drinking
- Using smaller portion sizes, utensils and crockery
- Getting all the nutrition your body requires from a smaller quantity of food
- Balancing nutrients to ensure the above and looking at food quality rather than quantity
- Appropriate vitamin and mineral supplement intake pending the procedure you have had
- Strategies to assist you in recognising, avoiding and managing sabotaging behaviors’ that may prevent the best outcome post surgery
- How to deal with the physical and mental and emotional changes that occur with weight loss
When you are deciding on which Bariatric Surgery Practice to use it is good to ask which specialists are on the team or can be referred to if need be, and what their pre-operative and post operative availability and follow up procedures are.
Once again it is good to be aware and remember that the surgery is not a cure for your obesity but a great tool to help you lose weight and to keep this weight off in the future. The more you understand how the operation works and how you need to work with it and the more you utilise your team in assisting you with this task, the more successful you will potentially be.