After weight loss surgery, practically everything about your diet will change. Immediately after surgery, you’ll be limited to liquids, and over time, you will return to enjoying solid foods. Even then, though, the types of foods, quantities, and number of times you eat will be vastly different than what once was. Here, you’ll find a discussion of the best snacks (meals) to enjoy after weight loss surgery.
During the initial few weeks after surgery, liquid and pureed foods will be the substance of your diet. Snacks at this point will likely be a non-issue since, but you can choose to infuse your water or enjoy some sugar-free options.
Once your diet returns to solid foods, your ability to intake will be limited. The new anatomy you have will allow you to eat very little at a time, so meals will basically be snacks. You must be careful to eat no more than guidelines suggest. If you eat more, you could stretch out your stomach even more than it inevitably will. Over time, your stomach will grow from holding 1 tablespoon to about 1 cup of chewed food. Stretching it out unnecessarily will undermine your surgical efforts.
Thinking About Snacking in a New Way
The idea of snacking after weight-loss surgery should be turned upon its head. The way that you’ll eat is spread out and small instead of focused and large. Instead of having three large meals, you will consume six small meals. When you’re full, you should stop eating, and you shouldn’t “snack” between meals. In fact, what once you considered snacking will now be your meal habits.
The Importance of Chewing
When you snack, or eat at all, chewing will be vital with your new body. If you don’t chew, chew, and chew to the point where your food has a smooth consistency, food could get trapped within the smaller digestive passage. Foods that can be particularly problematic include rice, bread, raw vegetables, proteins, pasta, popcorn, and nuts.
Even Drinking Habits Will Be Different
After your weight-loss surgery, you should refrain from drinking for half an hour after you eat and while you eat. If you fill up on liquid, you won’t be able to consume enough nutrients, and the extra lubrication could make overeating possible.
Plan Snacks Carefully
After weight loss surgery, every calorie will count. As you lose weight, you need to make sure that your body is taking in enough protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Since your new meals are your snacks, and you’ll be limited to six per day, make sure that every bite contributes to your nutritional intake!
As you plan your snacks/meals, remember that you should limit calories and avoid foods that are high in fat, sugars, and carbohydrates; alcohol; and sugary beverages.
Great Food Options for Post-Surgery Snackers
- Skinless chicken
- Whole eggs or egg whites
- Lean cuts of beef or pork
- Cottage cheese and fruit
- Hard-boiled eggs
- 100 calorie nut or seed packs or protein bars
- Raw vegetables with hummus for dipping
- Greek yogurt
- String cheese and apples
- Pre-prepared cheese, nut, and veggies packs
- Tuna packs
- Grilled chicken strips
- Single milk serving
- Yogurt drinks
- Pre-made trail mix
- Protein drinks
Don't Forget Your Vitamins!
Vitamins will also play a major part in your life after weight-loss surgery because you won’t be able to eat and/or absorb enough nutrients in your diet. In fact, you’ll need to have regular lab work completed to consider your exact vitamin needs. Your bariatric vitamin regimen should include:
- An iron-fortified multivitamin
- Vitamin B12
- Calcium citrate – 1,200 mg daily
- Others as indicated by your doctor
Best Vitamins for After Weight Loss Surgery
After weight loss-surgery, you’ll still need to fuel your body with food, but you’ll need to learn a brand-new perspective. Preparation and eating small snacks rather than large meals will be the way that you approach eating.
The best snacks will pack a punch with nutrition and fresh taste without requiring a ton of time. The most important thing is that food is available. The last thing you need is to find yourself in a weak moment, crunched for time, no food available, and a drive-thru right there. Plan for success with snacks at the ready!