Nutrition and supplementation after bariatric surgery
Today, I turn to two particularly important aspects after bariatric surgery: the importance of a good diet and proper supplementation. For patients who have undergone gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery, dealing with good nutrition intensively and consciously is vital. And not just in the weeks after surgery, but for the rest of your life.
Before I had surgery, I was somehow constantly eating unconsciously. Like so many of us, I was a real “bread person”. Or rather: a “carbohydrate person”. I ate tons of bread, mostly white, of course. But pasta, rice and potatoes were also part of my daily meal plan. Every now and then I started trying to lose weight. I gave up meat and fatty foods. I was firmly convinced that grease was the culprit and was ultimately responsible for my extreme obesity. So, I dutifully bought my beloved peanut butter and chocolate in the light version. At that time I had no idea that MORE sugar is added to these products to achieve the taste despite reduced fat content. I bought skimmed milk and low-fat cheese (which with all due respect tasted like old cardboard!), only to get a nagging hunger shortly after consumption. There are healthy fats and proteins that give you a pleasant and long-lasting feeling of satiation (yes, I admit: in hindsight man/woman is always smarter). But through the elimination of fat and protein, over the years I got locked into a vicious cycle of starvation and feeding. And of course gained more and more weight. First, as I had definitely made the decision to undergo gastric bypass surgery, I started to take a comprehensive and in-depth approach to the right diet.
After bariatric surgery, proteins in particular are known to be vital. In the first days and weeks after surgery, patients need key proteins for rapid recovery and to regain their energy. In the subsequent phase, proteins are a central element of a lifelong, post-operative lifestyle. The body can only absorb a limited amount of energy-boosting, muscle-building protein from food. The corresponding protein intake is therefore a top priority. Especially in the first few years after a gastric bypass, most patients know that it is extremely difficult to ensure the required amount of protein through food intake. After eating half an egg or a small meat snack they already feel bloated. That's why we include specially tailored products packed with proteins in our WLS range: from protein shakes and protein bars to pancakes and waffles. We offer not only sweet, but also savoury protein products! Our range includes delicious soups, breads and even crunchy protein chips.
After my surgery, these products made it fairly easy for me to get enough proteins and stay fit and strong as a result. I still eat a product from the protein line almost daily, as my invariably hectic daily routine means there is no time to prepare elaborate salads with chicken and eggs. I always find it super handy to grab a protein bar and put it in my handbag. Proteins help me to stay in good health and maintain my weight. If I need to get rid of any excess holiday pounds, I always eat extra portions of protein food after my holidays. After that, my weight goes back down almost automatically. So the key to success is: a high-protein diet, low carbohydrates, a sufficient amount of healthy fat, and as little sugar as possible. Because light products with increased sugar only lead to even more hunger, as well as high blood-sugar levels. It is now completely clear to me what I did wrong from the nutritional point of view during all those years of my low-fat lifestyle. The real culprit was sugar and unhealthy carbs.
My appetite for white bread continues to be a personal weakness, despite my gastric bypass. To create a lasting healthy lifestyle, I'm deliberately trying to discipline myself and to eat as little as possible. Also, I generally use the spelt or wholewheat varieties of rice and pasta. A small portion of pasta topped with a giant mountain of homemade tomato sauce, vegetables and minced meat is gorgeous! A little grated cheese - and you're ready. And because life really is too short, make sure you eat low-fat cheese!
Your friend Carina at WLS
PS: Would you like to learn more about the harmful effects of sugar on the body? Then I highly recommend watching the film “The Truth About Sugar".