• Limiting your Calorie Intake
Especially after having undergone the surgery, it is important that you are well aware of your calorie intake. As long as you do not stretch your small stomach pouch or graze all day, managing this is not a big worry. By limiting certain types of foods such as fried foods, junk foods, sweets, high calorie drinks and processed carbohydrates, you should be able to maintain a low calorie diet of 1460 calories a day.
• Eating Foods that are Nutrient Rich
With a stomach size that has been reduced so significantly, it is possible to only fit in about half a cup of food at a time. So, it is important that you make every bit count. Foods such as lean meats, fish, poultry, fat free dairy products, vegetables, fruits and high fiber carbohydrates are all nutrition rich items you must include in your diet. At the grocery store, look for foods which contain at least 5 grams of fiber per serving and has its first ingredient as whole grain on the nutrition panel.
• Ensuring Sufficient Protein Intake
Proteins are important for Bariatric patients. It is important that you consume at least 2 or 3 ounces of high protein foods in every meal. The high protein portion should be consumed before you move on to any other food group. Most medical experts recommend that you set a goal of consuming 60 to 80 grams of protein per day.
It is important to understand that there are two types of proteins that your diet needs to cover.
– Complete proteins, also known as high biological value proteins can be availed through foods that come from other animals. The existence of essential amino acids in these proteins is what makes them “complete”. Low fat foods are also great sources for complete proteins.
– Incomplete protein on the other hand does not consist of all the requisite amino acids and can be sourced through foods that are plant based. This form of protein can be obtained from beans and lentils, vegetables, nuts and whole grains.
A critical change that most people need to make to their eating habits is the inclusion of a wholesome breakfast. It is known that 78% of the successful Bariatric cases eat breakfast 7 days a week. It is important that you eat your breakfast within 1 to 2 hours of waking up. Make it a point to speak with your surgeon recommended dietitian for ideas for a complete and healthy breakfast.