After gastric banding surgery, your stomach pouch will be smaller than your normal stomach and you won’t be able to eat as much food at one time. As a result, you must follow a special diet as you recover. Below is some information about the changes you must make to your diet after lap band surgery.
Post Surgical Diet
For the first three weeks after lap band surgery, you must eat pureed foods only. As your body adjusts, you can slowly transition to regular foods. You will notice that you begin to feel full with very small amounts of food. However, this is normal after surgery. Eating too much may stretch your stomach pouch, so make sure that you are eating no more than your surgeon has recommended.
How to Eat
After you are eating solid foods again, it is important to chew carefully. Swallowing food before it is completely smooth may cause discomfort, vomiting and other symptoms. Because of your increased need for chewing, it may take as long as 30 minutes to finish eating a meal. For best results, try to eat six small meals each day with no snacks in between.
You should be drinking at least 64 ounces of calorie-free liquid, including water, each day. Remember to take small sips, and avoid drinking anything while you are eating or for 30 minutes after you have finished.
Because you will be eating smaller amounts of food, it is important to monitor the amount of minerals, vitamins and protein in your diet. To ensure that you are getting enough of these essential nutrients, try to eat a diet composed of primarily whole grains, vegetables, fruits and protein. Good sources of low-fat protein include dairy, beans, eggs, lean pork, lean beef, fish and chicken. You may also need to take a multivitamin, which your physician will prescribe if necessary.
Dr. Choi will monitor your weight loss at regular check-ups. If you are losing weight too quickly, he may recommend altering your food intake. If you are not losing weight quickly enough, or if you are gaining weight, your Dr. Choi will help you identify the cause.
Remember that even though you are not eating as much food as you once did, high-calorie foods can still cause weight gain or limit your weight loss. Avoid foods that contain large amounts of carbohydrates, sugar and fat.