Are you considering a gastric sleeve and preparing yourself to start a new life with a new body? If so, then having the operation is only part of the journey. After this, you need to know what to eat to regulate your health and wellbeing.
Part of that journey is getting rid of bad foods, but another great part is bringing exciting, delicious new foods into your diet. Below, we discuss your gastric sleeve diet and its process.
Before the Operation
Before the operation, your doctor will give you a very specific gastric bypass diet plan. The aim of this is to reduce the size of the liver and the fat around it.
This fat pushes on the stomach, which is located next to the liver. This makes surgery more complicated and hard to do safely. Any surgery, stomach or elsewhere, is harder to do on a person that has excess weight, so it is imperative you diet as much as possible.
The diet your doctor supplies will concentrate on a quick reduction in fat. As well as reducing calories, it will reduce your intake of carbohydrates such as pasta, potato, and sugars. You will be concentrating on vegetables and low-fat proteins such as meat and fish.
In the days leading up to the surgery, you will be placed on a clear liquid diet. This will consist of soups, sugar-free drinks, and possibly jello without sugar.
What to Eat After Gastric Sleeve Operations
Immediately after the operation, the foods for gastric bypass will remain as your pre-op clear liquid diet. As this is an operation on the digestive system, this lets the body heal and avoids digestive complications that may arise. Gastric leakage and constipation are both common.
In this period, avoid anything that can cause bloating. This includes carbonated beverages. Caffeine-based drinks, such as coffee, have also been known to lead to acid reflux in people who have just had a gastric band fitted.
Week 2 Gastric Sleeve Diet
Week 2 will remain as a liquid diet. However, it will now be with fuller, richer liquids and you may be able to drink food that is more substantial.
This can include a number of shakes and smoothies. However, it is recommended that you do keep the sugar levels down. No-sugar nutrition shakes, protein shakes, and thinned cereals are a great choice.
You may also begin to eat puddings and frozen yogurts. However, they must be non-fat and also low in sugars.
Week 3 Onwards
By week 3, you may start on puree foods. This allows you to get some of the taste back that you may have been craving for a long time. Lean meat and fish, along with eggs and cottage cheese are great options.
For many people, puree fish and meat are just not appealing. In this instance, you should opt for easier sources of protein. Almond butter is a great choice, filled with energy and protein, that can be blended easily into a shake or liquid meal.
The Importance of Protein
Protein is one of the most important foods for gastric bypass recovery as it is responsible for building and repairing your tissue. Because of this, you need to keep your body supplied with a healthy amount. In the early days of your surgery, this can be tough.
Nut butter is a great way to do this. It can be liquified or blended into shakes and smoothies. It will undoubtedly keep your energy levels up and provide your body with the protein it needs to facilitate a repair.
As the doctors recommend a low sugar diet, avoid butter that is high in refined sugars, such as the off-the-shelf options. Our range of almond and cashew butter, for instance, have natural sugars, is low carb, and high in protein.
It is recommended that in week 3 that you should be consuming at least 60 grams of protein per day. If you are finding this hard to do, supplement your diet with nut butter.
What to Avoid
In the first few weeks of the operation, avoid anything that could be acidic. This includes citrus-based drinks and foods. Fruit juices should be avoided at all costs as they are both acidic and filled with refined sugars which may cause stomach pain.
Carbonated drinks, such as soft drinks, are a definite no. Not only do they bloat you, but they can also actually dissolve the band you just had fitted.
Acknowledge Your Cravings
Even after the healing process is over, you still have changes to make. Everyone has cravings, and for some of us, the link between food and our emotions is a tough one to break. We turn to it when we are down or depressed leading us down the path of comfort eating once again.
While a gastric band may solve some of these problems, you also need to make changes elsewhere. Part of this is acknowledging that once in a while, you are going to want that sweet fix. Knowing that, you can attempt to make better choices.
Swap out your candy bars and chips for healthier alternatives. Try nut butters that are low carb and packed with protein. You can use them for delicious no-bake energy balls, or whisk them into fruit and vegetable-filled smoothies.
Success on your gastric sleeve diet means stocking up on the good things. When you get hungry and turn to a snack, having the right goods in your cupboard lets you make the right choices.
If you need to stock up on high protein, low carb products then American Dream Nut Butter should be your first stop. We have everything you need from peanut to cashew butter. Click here and see our delicious range, so you can diet while having the things you love!