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Bariatric Diet

Bariatric diet is the dietary regimen that is specially planned for persons who have just completed bariatric surgery, which is carried out in order to remove excess fat from the stomach region. This is a type of surgery advised for people who are extremely obese. The success rate of this surgery depends on the bariatric diet that is undertaken post-surgery. Improper adherence to this diet will only lead to failure of the surgery and further medical complications. Such a diet consists of four stages and it is extremely important that all four are completed to resort to normal diet and lifestyle.

Bariatric Diet Stages

Stage 1: Immediately following surgery, the size of the stomach is so small that it cannot withstand any pressure. Therefore only a liquid diet is suitable at this time, which includes only water initially, subsequently tender coconut water, sugar-free fresh fruit juices, then milk-based drinks and finally broths, light soups etc. Patient is advised to take small sips of the fluid rather than large gulps of it. This stage continues for one week post-surgery.

Stage 2: In the second week after surgery, Bariatric diet includes pureed and blended foods. A protein rich diet is slowly introduced to facilitate healing and recovery. Yoghurt, cheese and eggs are introduced one at a time. The food needs to be uniformly pulverized as any large chunks could lead to pain and vomiting.

Stage 3: On completing a month post-surgery the Bariatric diet allows soft solid foods which may be presented as a thick blend. The aim is to have the patient chew on soft pieces of food. Soft foods like fish, canned fruits, rice, noodles, eggs, pasta can be consumed at this stage.

Stage 4: This last stage of the diet consists of weaning the patient from Bariatric diet and restoring intake of normal solid foods. Extra care is taken to ensure that the food provided is low in fat and sugar content so as to not allow any further weight gain. A maximum of 1400 kcal per day is allowed hereafter.

Follow-up of Bariatric Diet

Bariatric surgery is such a major operation that the initial few weeks need a great deal of planning and extreme care, as the body is in a recovery phase and complications need to be avoided.

  • An ideal diet plan consisting of proteins, vitamins and other minerals is required by the body at this time. Three small meals and one healthy snack would be ideal.
  • At least 64ounces of water intake is necessary per day. Liquids should not be consumed during the meal or an hour after eating.
  • Plenty of fruits and vegetables should form part of the diet to ensure adequate fiber intake in order to keep the digestive system clean and healthy.
  • Vitamin, mineral supplements may also be administered.
  • Lifestyle and behavioral changes need to be adopted through regular guidance and counseling. The patient needs to be encouraged to remain active all through the day. Walking as often as possible and exercising on a regular basis will help the patient remain fit and burn calories so as to not gain any more weight.
  • Regular follow-up visits with the Doctor need to be scheduled.

Following an appropriate Bariatric diet as well as strict adherence to the diet at all stages are key to making the surgery a success.