If you’re looking forward to weight loss surgery, you should make sure to follow these 6 pre-bariatric surgery diet tips prior to your procedure.
Bariatric surgery is a procedure that both saves and changes your life. After you have weight loss surgery, you’ll need to maintain a specific diet for the rest of your life. It’s a good idea to get used to a strict diet plan before you have your procedure. Getting used to a different nutritional lifestyle prepares you for the journey to come and helps you become as healthy as possible long before your surgery. Follow these pre-bariatric surgery diet tips to make sure you get the most out of your procedure.
1) Lose a Percentage of Your Weight
Most of the tips in this guide are meant to encourage weight loss. While it may be tempting to relax about your weight when weight loss surgery is on the horizon, studies show that losing around 10% of your body weight prior to surgery significantly reduces the risk of suffering from complications. Even if you can only manage to lose a small amount of weight, every pound you lose will make it safer to undergo bariatric surgery. Losing weight is difficult, but it should be easier if you keep these tips in mind and remember that you just need to lose enough to make it safer to have the surgery. Remember to practice the diet plan given to you by your doctor to make sure you’re getting enough nutrients as you try to shed a few pounds before your surgery.
2) Most Insurance Companies Require a Diet Prior to Surgery
Just about every insurance company has strict requirements for whose weight loss surgery they will pay for. You can learn more in our guide to insurance for bariatric surgery. Your insurance company will have you take on a physician-supervised diet program for six months before your request for surgery will be approved. Even if you already have an extensive history with other diet programs, you will still need to complete a specific pre-bariatric surgery diet program. Contrary to popular belief, a physician-supervised diet plan is never designed to find out if you can lose weight without needing weight loss surgery. The goal of this diet is to make sure you can commit to a lifestyle change and a new nutrition plan.
3) Preserve Lean Muscle by Eating High-Protein Foods
Eating high-protein meals helps your body use fat as an energy source instead of lean muscle tissue. Preserving lean muscle is essential to losing weight prior to your surgery, and it will help you in the long run as you start on your journey toward a healthy lifestyle. Lean meats, including some, are among the best high-protein foods you can consume for your surgery diet. Cooked kidney beans and lentils are also excellent choices, especially if you live a vegetarian lifestyle or do not enjoy the taste of meat. The most effective bariatric surgery diet plan is packed with protein and low in saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, and sugars.
4) Reduce Your Caloric Intake
Most of these diet tips are geared toward helping you lose weight prior to your surgery. However, while reducing your caloric intake will help you shed a few extra pounds, it’s also an important part of training your body for your post-surgery lifestyle. After you have surgery, your caloric intake will drastically decrease due to the small size of a post-surgery stomach. As part of your diet plan, get your body used to taking in fewer calories before your procedure. With your doctor’s supervision, start cutting back on high-calorie foods and replacing them with low-calorie foods. One way to keep track of calories while you’re on your diet is to put notepads on your refrigerator every time you eat a meal.
5) Avoid Consuming Alcohol
Not only is alcohol packed with empty calories, consuming too much is terrible for your health. Even moderate amounts of alcohol can contribute to organ damage if you already have compromised health, so trying to be careful about your caloric intake when you treat yourself to a drink isn’t necessarily enough. Weight loss surgery can result in complications, from malnutrition to problems absorbing nutrients through your digestive tract, so it’s important to make sure your organs are in peak condition prior to undergoing bariatric surgery. Instead of consuming alcohol, have a healthy drink such as water or a protein shake.
6) Take Vitamins and Supplements
Taking daily vitamins and supplements through shakes or pills is an excellent way to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need before you have surgery. In fact, it’s one of the most important tips for living a healthy post-surgery lifestyle. Some supplements and vitamins you should consider taking are multivitamins (for example: Centrum® Chewable), calcium, vitamin D, B12 and iron.
Your surgery diet plan should be geared toward getting as healthy as possible prior to your procedure. If you take care of yourself before your procedure, getting used to your new diet and recovering from bariatric surgery will be much easier. Because it can cause nutritional deficiencies, it’s important to follow these tips so that you can get a head start on nutrition. After your surgery, you will need to micromanage your diet plan. Read more on foods to avoid post-bariatric surgery diet. Following these diet tips before bariatric surgery is not always easy, but it will be worth it in the end.