Many people undergo Gastric Bypass or Bariatric surgery to initiate weight loss. But it is essential to understand that the weight reduction after this kind of surgery doesn’t go smoothly. A person who undergoes such a surgery goes through various phases of slow weight loss after the Gastric Bypass. One could find themselves struggling to maintain the weight loss progress for weeks or even months after the surgery.
Gastric Bypass Surgery.
Gastric Bypass or Bariatric surgery is a kind of weight loss surgery wherein a surgeon creates a small pouch inside the stomach connecting it directly to the small intestine. This connection allows the food to bypass most of the stomach and the first part of the small intestine.
The stomach and small intestine are connected through a tube-like structure called the Gastric Sleeve, and thus this kind of surgery is often known as Gastric Sleeve surgery.
Gastric Bypass surgery is conducted on the people struggling with overweight and obesity and for whom diet and exercise are not enough to achieve the targeted weight loss.
Does the question then arise as to why a person who has just undergone Gastric Bypass surgery re-gains weight after surgery?
A surgery of this kind makes some changes in the stomach and intestine and doesn’t allow a person to consume or absorb much food. A person may initially lose weight. However, some people start regaining weight once the stomach has healed because the stomach can grow and stretch.
Once the surgery is done, the inflammation and scarring of the stomach restrict it from expanding. However, upon healing, the stomach stretches and accommodates more food resulting in more calories.
In such a case, the two choices available to a person:
1. Try having a revision surgery for a stomach reset
2. Go for a pouch reset so that the stomach shrinks and reduces the amount of food that a person eats.
The popular choice is a pouch reset as it’s less expensive and interfering than a second surgery.
Let us go back to our main concern as to how to restart weight loss after Gastric Bypass?
One of the most popular ways to restart the weight loss after Gastric Bypass surgery is to go for a pouch reset followed by some simple steps.
Bariatric Pouch Reset
The stomach, when empty, is about the size of a person’s fist. However, its capacity expands as it starts holding food. Even after the Bariatric or Gastric Bypass surgery, the stomach can stretch significantly due to its folds known as ‘Rugae.’ It can expand and contract in proportion to the food taken.
Shrinking a stomach back its size by drastically restricting the food intake is known as a pouch reset. The pouch reset diet is usually the same as a post-operation diet plan but lasts for about 8 to 10 days instead of a couple of months.
A normal post Gastric Bypass diet typically consists of four to five stages lasting eight to ten weeks. While going through this type of plan, one needs to remember that they are severely restricting the food intake and should do so under the guidance of their Bariatric surgeon and a dietician.
The following are the stages for pouch reset:
Day 1 – Consume only clear liquids such as water, tea, coffee, sugar-free non-carbonated drinks.
Day 2 and 3 – Consume full liquids such as non-fat yogurt, very thin creamed soups, sugar-free sorbet, sugar-free pudding, protein powder mixed with a sugar-free non-carbonated drink, sugar-free non-fat ice cream, and very thin hot oatmeal. Remember that any of these things have to be in tiny portions and liquid or very thin consistency.
Day 4 to 6 – Consume pureed foods such as scrambled eggs, soups without chunks, hummus, almond milk or coconut milk, and soft cereals. Remember to puree these foods as they are healthy and easy to digest. Stay away from meat and solid foods at this point.
Day 7 to 9 – Consume soft foods such as mashed banana, soft and steamed fish, canned tuna and salmon, ground chicken or beef, soft cheeses, soft vegetables, soft cereals, and soups.
Day 10 and Beyond – Consume healthy foods in the following way:
- These foods should be introduced slowly and healthy portions remembering that the entire meal’s size should be the size of the fist.
- Usually, a post-Gastric Bypass or Bariatric surgery diet focuses on protein and vegetables but consult the surgeon beforehand.
- Increase the liquid intake by drinking liquids 30 minutes before eating and 30 minutes after the food intake.
- Eat slowly, chewing the food well, taking at least 30 minutes for every meal.
- Stay away from sugar, eat fruits moderately and avoid nutrient lacking carbohydrates such as pasta.
- Keep track of what is being eaten daily. One can use a Bariatric app that also supplies some great tricks, tips, and information specific to weight loss after surgery.