All Categories

Bariatric Surgery Help

Archive for 'After Bariatric Surgery'

Taming Holiday Temptations after Bariatric Surgery

November marks the arrival of pumpkin and sweet potato pies, egg nog, homemade breads, and a bevy of other tempting culinary delights that will tempt you on your weight loss surgery. You can follow an approved bariatric diet while spending time with friends and family, celebrating thankfulness this holiday season.

bariatric eating


While the average American gains between five and ten pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, this time of year can also sabotage the diets of those who have undergone Lap-Band and Gastric Bypass surgeries. This is especially true for those who are in their second year post bariatric surgery, as they can tolerate larger amounts of food without becoming sick.

You will be glad to know that there are several helpful holiday hints for those who have undergone weight loss surgery to stay on track with weight loss goals. Simple and easy to follow, these tips will keep you on the path to a healthier body and lifestyle.

Don’t leave the house hungry!

Be sure to eat several small and healthy meals daily, never leaving the house hungry. If you are going to be gone for a while, pack a protein bar or shake so you don’t feel starved.

Consume protein first

If you’ve had bariatric surgery, your doctor has already told you to eat your protein rich foods first. The same is true regarding Thanksgiving and Christmas. Since you can only tolerate a small amount of food, start with the turkey or ham, saving favorite side dishes for last.

Avoid alcohol and don’t drink your calorie

Drinking water and zero calorie beverages are ideal choices, even when celebrating. Decaffeinated coffee and tea are also okay when sweetened with sugar substitutes. Don’t be tempted by high calorie egg nog and alcoholic beverages.

Keep sugar free gum on hand

Avoid the urge to snack by chewing sugar-free gum to satisfy your oral fixation. This can help by curbing your appetite and avoiding unnecessary calories.

Remember to chew your food slowly

Chewing your food slowly allows your body to release hormones in the gut to let you know when your stomach is full, which helps to prevent over eating.

Find healthy substitutes to incorporate into your favorite recipes

You can still enjoy several holiday recipes by making small and healthy changes. Opt for half and half instead of heavy cream, and look for fat free and low fat versions of the ingredients normally used. Make your favorite desserts with Equal or Splenda rather than granulated or brown sugar.

When invited to parties, offer to bring healthy platters

Instead of cooking something that is tempting, make a vegetable or fruit tray to bring to the party. You won’t have to go hungry while socializing, and there’s no guilt for eating healthy fare.

Visit with family and friends

As you plan, make the holidays more about visiting and less about food. The holidays are a wonderful time to reconnect with family and friends.

Add exercise and activities to your holiday traditions

Start new traditions centered around exercise rather than eating. Take a stroll in the park for group photos or play a friendly game of touch football you’re your relatives.

Don’t sit near the food

Sit as far away from the buffet or kitchen as you can, putting space between you and those unneeded calories. This will help you avoid the urge to munch thoughtlessly on food when you aren’t really hungry.

Tis the season to give food away

As everyone prepares to leave, pack up some food to send with them. You don’t need holiday leftovers lurking in the kitchen. Other places to donate food include soup kitchens and local homeless shelters.

Celebrating Halloween after Weight Loss Surgery


After weight loss surgery, you are starting to see results but with the fall season comes many temptations. This is largely due to the many holiday offerings that begin bariatric halloweenwith the arrival of Halloween.

While it may be a tradition to enjoy delicious Halloween candy throughout the month of October, now is not the time to indulge. Saying no to those sweet little treats and candy bars will keep your weight loss goals on target.

After a lifetime of mindless snacking, it can be difficult to resist temptation but here is a helpful list of ways you can avoid sabotaging your healthy diet and weight loss success.

Buy the candies you hate!

Sure, this may seem difficult but it actually isn’t. Avoid your favorite candies and chocolate, opting for flavors and brands that will not tempt you. Hate coconut? Buy fun-sized Mounds or other coconut filled treat. Love chocolate? Avoid buying any Halloween candy covered with or containing chocolate.

Don’t keep candy sitting around the house!

If purchasing candy and treats is a tradition you cannot escape from, don’t buy it early and store it around your home. Wait until the last possible minute to shop for candy to give away, and avoid filling any dandy dishes or dispensers until it’s time to celebrate.

Look for great alternatives to handing out candy! 

Think of other great things to hand out this Halloween rather than candy. Consider giving away temporary tattoos, stickers, small toys, raisins, cracker and cheese packs, coins, juice boxes for thirsty trick or treaters. These are just a few of the many great items that kids will love.

Celebrate with a support group!

If you don’t have a bariatric support group, invite a few of your health-minded friends over for a party. Choose healthy treats approved for your post bariatric surgery diet.

Go trick or treating with the kids!

While you don’t need the calories that Halloween treats provide, the exercise is great for you! Walk with the kids as they go trick-or-treating and stay in control of your new healthy lifestyle.

Give away over-stocked and left-over candy!

After a night of trick or treating, let the children choose a handful of candy to keep. Donate the rest of your kids’ candy haul to homeless shelters, dentists’ offices, and food kitchens. This keeps candy and chocolate from lying around the house to tempt you.

Keep candy in the freezer!

If you have candy and chocolate sitting around your house after Halloween has passed, gather it all up and stash it in the freezer. Your children will eat fewer pieces at a time, and the candy is less accessible.

Set the date for a candy-free home!

Choose a date in November and mark it on your calendar. This is the day all of the Halloween candy will be removed from your home. The candy-free zone will be conducive to your diet once again.

Don’t deprive yourself on Halloween!

Don’t deprive yourself of an occasional treat or Halloween candy when you have a craving. Try to find healthier options to chase the urge away, but if the craving lingers, have a small bite so you don’t binge later.

Read the label before eating a piece of candy or treat!

Before putting any holiday candies or treats in your mouth, know exactly what the label says regarding calories, sugar, and fat grams. Reading labels can often discourage you from eating something, as you decide if the calories are worth the short term rewards.



Five  Foods to Avoid after Bariatric Surgery


Bariatric surgery is not an instant solution to losing weight, as you will still have to make the right food choices. Once your doctor tells you it is okay to eat solid foods, you will not be able to eat anything you like. There are several foods and drinks that you should never consume again. Here are the top four foods to avoid after weight loss surgery.

five foods to avoid after bariatric surgery

Breads, Pasta, Potatoes and Rice


Heavy starches such as bread, potatoes, rice, and pasta are no longer comfort foods after weight loss surgery. In fact, attempting to eat from this food group can be quite uncomfortable. These foods can form a paste in the throat, making it difficult to swallow. If this happens, there is a fair amount of discomfort and the food may be rejected.

In a few Bariatric cases, breads, potatoes, rice and pasta have blocked the stoma, which is the entrance to the stomach pouch. It is best to give these high-starch foods up entirely, as avoidance will accelerate your weight loss. If you choose to consume one of these foods, do so rarely and in extremely small portions. Take small bites and eat very slowly, remembering not to drink anything thirty minutes before or after your meal.


Dry or Tough Meats


No matter what type of food you eat, it is important to chew well, taking your time with each small bite. This ensures that you can easily swallow and digest your meals correctly, which is especially important after Bariatric surgery. Because you will not be drinking beverages or water with your meals, it can become even more difficult to swallow some meats.

Lean meats are ideal for your new diet because you need adequate amounts of protein. Avoid meats with fat or gristle, and meats that are tough or hard to swallow  It is recommended to take bites the size of a pencil eraser, choosing meats with a sauce or gravy rather than dry. Foods to avoid include steak, ham, pork chops, and hot dogs.

Other dry foods will also be difficult to swallow such as nuts, granola and dry cereal. Eat these foods slowly and with great caution after Bariatric surgery. As your body heals, you may find that some of these foods become easier to consume.


Caffeinated, Carbonated and Alcoholic Beverages


The first advice you will probably hear after weight loss surgery is this: Don’t Drink Your Calories! Bariatric patients must avoid drinking beverages with sugar, fructose or corn syrup such as sodas, energy drinks, and fruit juices.  These high calorie beverages will sabotage your diet and could lead to Dumping Syndrome, which is very uncomfortable.

After Bariatric surgery, you should consume at least 64 ounces of water daily and avoid beverages with carbonation, which can expand your new stomach pouch. Opt for decaffeinated drinks such as coffee or tea since caffeine can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can quickly become an issue with your new smaller stomach.

Alcohol should be avoided, since these high calorie drinks offer no benefit to your body. Focus on drinks that offer the added vitamins and minerals your body needs. It is also important to remember that, after weight loss surgery, you may become intoxicated much more quickly.


Fatty, Greasy and High Calorie Foods


Fatty, greasy and high calorie foods should be avoided after weight loss surgery, as these may lead to nausea and sabotage your weight loss. Avoid high calorie, high fat foods such as bacon and sausage, butter, bologna, and whole milk.

You should also avoid foods that offer little or no nutritional value such as candy, chips, pastries, popcorn, rice cakes and similar. Consuming the wrong foods can lead to issues such as weight gain or undernourishment. After weight loss surgery, these foods are dumped into the colon soon after they are consumed, causing symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, cold sweats and weakness.


After Bariatric surgery, you will want to select low-fat deli meats and cheeses. Consuming too many bad food choices can make you feel ill or experience the effects of Dumping Syndrome. Making wise choices will be key in getting the results you deserve.

From a physical aspect, it is quite possible to have a healthy pregnancy after weight loss surgery. Recent studies suggests that having a baby after Bariatric surgery may actually be safer than a pregnancy complicated by issues stemming from obesity. Some of these issues include Gestational Diabetes, Preeclampsia and  Hypertension, all of which can affect both mother and baby. Bariatric surgery has also led to a reduced number of Cesarean births among expectant mothers who are obese.

pregnant bariatric surgery

Having a Baby after Weight Loss Surgery

The most important issue surrounding your choice to have a baby after weight loss surgery is the timing. You should wait until you have met your weight loss goal before deciding to have a baby. When your weight is stable, your body is ready to offer the nutrients your baby will need. becoming pregnant while still undergoing a rapid or consistent weight loss could lead to a low birth weight for your baby.

Most doctors and nutritionists agree that 18 to 24 months is an ideal length of time for Bariatric patients to conceive after any weight loss surgery. If you chose the lap band for your weight loss surgery, some doctors feel that twelve months is an appropriate length of time to wait before having a baby, but you may need to have your band readjusted in order to meet the needs of your body during pregnancy.

It is important to remember that your weight loss after Bariatric surgery will be quite significant in the first year, and gradual in the second year. By the third year, most Bariatric patients will have met their weight loss goals and have learned to maintain their ideal weight. Once the weight has become stable, a healthy pregnancy is not only possible but probable.


Consult Your Physician

Once you have decided to have a baby after weight loss surgery, consult your physician. You will need preconception planning and your doctor may want to consider nutritional supplements. Some of the more popular vitamin and mineral supplements for those trying to conceive after rapid weight loss include Calcium, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Iron and Vitamin D.

It may be a good idea to begin Prenatal Vitamins before conception as well as during the length of the pregnancy. Other professionals can be of great help for those who become pregnant after Bariatric surgery include registered dietitians and nutritionists, offering help in the areas of weight gain and nutrition.

The final decision to have a baby after weight loss surgery should be yours, under the advice of your trusted medical doctor. Because every person’s situation is different, your doctor will best advise you according to your personal health history. This will help you determine whether a healthy pregnancy is possible, and if it is the right choice for you, after any Bariatric surgery procedure.


Sedimentary Lifestyle Change after Weight Loss Surgery

If you are trying to lose weight, a sedentary lifestyle will not achieve the results you desire – even if you have had weight loss surgery. Most Americans sit still for far too many hours each day which is very unhealthy. Many Americans are stuck working at a desk job for approximately forty hours per week. We move from bed to car to work to car and then from car to couch to bed. Very rarely does the average person get any real exercise from a normal day’s activities. Yet we complain of exhaustion… from all that sitting.

After having weight loss surgery, it will most likely be necessary to make some changes regarding the amount of time you spend sitting still. While it is not likely that you will be able to trade your desk job for one that is more physically demanding, there are some ways to move around while working that will help your body burn calories and feel better. As you begin building new energy levels, even just five minutes twice daily can make a difference.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 10.21.10 AM

Finding Opportunities

Incidental activity is simply movement that can be done without veering from your regular routine. You can create incidental activity while sitting at your desk by fidgeting in your seat. While it is not the same level of exercise as going to the gym, many Bariatric patients have spent an increased number of calories while adjusting to their new lifestyle, thanks to this physical activity.

Weight loss surgery patients can build up their incidental activity levels each day by taking the stairs rather than an elevator or walking over to a co-worker’s cubicle rather than sending an instant message. Other, less strenuous options include tapping your foot to music or fidgeting in your chair as you type. By altering your routine with incidental activity, you burn more calories and build a slightly healthier lifestyle.


Fidgeting is Easy: Here’s How!

  • Listen to music and dance a little in your chair or at your desk.
  • Tap your foot to enjoy the beat of your favorite song as you type, bounce or kick your legs.
  • Stand up to stretch your arms at least once each hour while sitting. Make this a routine.
  • With each changing hour, stand up, stretch, drink some water, and move around to remain hydrated and moving.
  • Stand up and move around while talking on the phone. If you can’t stand while on the phone, move your fingers or swing your feet while seated in your chair.

After weight loss surgery, going to the gym may not be an option yet. However, as your body recovers, time to adjust becomes needed. Fidgeting is not meant to replace a moderate exercise routine, but it can help you burn calories during those moments when otherwise, you would be stuck sitting still.


Motivate Yourself with a Weight Loss Journal

There are numerous ways to find support after weight loss surgery. If you live in a more populated area, there are support groups you can visit weekly, if not daily. Rural dwellers have a more limited access to support groups but several active online weight loss groups can be found that really helps you chase away that feeling of being alone in your journey.

One of the best ways you can motivate yourself is with the help of a weight loss journal. Keeping track of your weight loss and other milestones, including what you eat, can really helpyou on your weight loss surgery. It is best to start keeping a record of your journey from the moment you decide to have weight loss surgery, but it is never too late to start recording your progress.

Additionally, the journaling process could be helpful long after you have reached your desired weight to help keep old habits at bay and remain focused. If you make a commitment to the record keeping process, journaling is also a great way to maintain your ideal weight and prevent any risk of weight gain after Bariatric surgery.

Interested in Sharing your Bariatric Journey with National Bariatric Link?

We would love to post your story to motivate our weight loss surgery community!  

We are always looking for guest bloggers, want to blog your weight loss journey with National Bariatric Link, please contact us!!

Journaling your Weight Loss Journey

Keeping a record of your weight loss journey can be done in several ways. Choose the one that best suits your lifestyle and will motivate you the most. If keeping a written record such as a joJournaling WLSurnal or a blog, don’t shy away from cameras. Snap those before and afters with pride because you are dedicated to your journey.

The most common choices for keeping a weight loss record include the following: keeping a written journal much like a diary, writing a blog, creating a dedicated social media fanpage such as Facebook, vlogging (which is video blogging), or picture blogging on Instagram. It doesn’t really matter which method you choose so long as you are comfortable and consistent.

When you begin the journal, be sure to log in, write or make your videos as much as possible. Set a minimum requirement for yourself as well. This is a habit which must be properly formed and your schedule may not always be regular.  You can easily balance the journaling process with your lifestyle once keeping a record has become a habit.

Sharing Your Weight Loss Journey

The weight loss journal is a record of your weight loss journey, so share the details that will motivate and build your confidence.  If you aren’t comfortable sharing certain information, then don’t! Using your own personal preferences and making your own rules regarding details will help to create a journal that keeps you focused and hopeful. Below are some of the most commonly shared details in a weight loss journal:

Your Diet: food choices, vatamin and supplement information, nutrient and calorie intake, protein sources

When You Eat: describe portion sizes, hunger times, cravings, giving in to temptation, getting back on track

Your Exercise Plan: what works and what doesn’t, trips to the gym, stamina increases, favorite exercise products

Personal Weight Loss Goals: goals, plans, hopes and dreams, weight before and afters, personal measurements

Your New Life: new sleeping habits, relationship changes, family life, activities you were unable to do before


Whether you decide to write or record long emotion-filled journal entries or jot down a quick list of updates, the weight loss record will help keep you focused after weight loss surgery. Search the internet for other recorded weight loss journeys for inspiration and ideas. Be sure to visit YouTube where you will find an entire weight loss community devoted to journaling their results to help not only themselves, but others as well.

Interested in Sharing your Bariatric Journey with National Bariatric Link?

We would love to post your story to motivate our weight loss surgery community!  

We are always looking for guest bloggers, want to blog your weight loss journey with National Bariatric Link, please contact us!!

Lap Band Surgery – About the Post-Op Phase


Your Lap Band Surgery is behind you and you are excited to begin what is sure to become your new, healthier life. The level of success you will experience depends on your resolve to follow the doctor’s post-op instructions and seek much needed support from your Bariatric team.


Your Doctor Appointments

After you are released from the hospital, your surgeon or physician assistant and dietitian will want to see you following the schedule below:

Two Weeks – This is a follow up appointment to check your incision sites.

Eight Weeks – This is your first adjustment, which is often called a ‘fill’. You will likely return every six weeks until your Lap Band has a sufficient amount of resistance to help you maintain a steady rate of weight loss.

After the correct amount of resistance has been maintained for several appointments, you will only need to visit the Bariatric Clinic every few months or so. Please understand that every doctor is different. This is just a guideline to help you understand what will happen in the months following surgery.


Your Post-Op Medications

 When you leave the hospital, you will be advised to take medications and vitamins in liquid form for the first two months post-op. You may be able to crush some medications, depending on your pharmacist’s advice. Another option is to purchase chewable medications and vitamins. This will also be necessary after each adjustment or fill.

Your nutritionist or dietitian will probably advise you regarding the required vitamin and mineral supplements. You can expect to take mineral and vitamin supplements for the remainder of your life. Here are the most common daily instructions given to Bariatric Surgery patients post-op.

One Multi -Vitamin

One or Two Calcium Tablets, Depending on your Dairy Intake

Any Additional Requests by your Doctor or Nutritionist


After Lap Band Adjustments

After each Lap Band adjustment or fill, it is important to follow a liquid diet for one or two days. This is due to the occurrence of slight swelling around your Lap Band.


How Quickly can You Expect to Lose Weight?

Every Bariatric patient will have slightly different results but on average, the expected weight loss will be one to three pounds per week. Your weight loss journey can take months or years, depending on the amount you weighed when having Lap band Surgery. With a supportive doctor and staff, you will reach your goal weight.


Don’t Worry about Weight Plateaus

Weight plateaus often occur when Lap Band patients have lost a significant amount of weight and the weight loss is now at a standstill. Your nutritionist will be able to help find a more effective diet and exercise program when you reach a weight plateau.


About Weight Gain

For Lap Band Surgery to be successful, you must change your eating and exercise habits. If you do not eat in moderation and incorporate activity into your days, it is possible to gain your weight back.


Do You Have Any Questions Regarding Lap Band Surgery Post-Op? 


What to Expect Immediately after Lap Band Surgery

While the Lap Band is considered a minimally invasive procedure compared to other weight loss surgery, there are some important facts that will help speed your recovery process. There are a few websites that will tell you that Lap Band surgery placement does not require an overnight stay at the hospital, most doctors will require at least one night.


While the laparoscopic surgery is much less dangerous than an open surgery, there is still a lot of soreness and pain immediately following the procedure. This should not cause you to worry as the doctor will prescribe pain medication to be given through your IV which will keep you comfortable.


The Recovery Process

As soon as you feel up to the task, take regular walks around your room or down the hall and back. Doing so will help rid your body of gas pain, a common side effect of any laparoscopic surgery. Commonly, this pain is often felt in the left shoulder. If you feel a little light-headed, consult your nurse before attempting to walk.


After surgery, you will have four small surgical incisions and one that is a bit larger. The largest is where your port has been placed and it will take the longest to heal. During the healing process, it is extremely important to follow your doctor’s requests not to drive, lift anything that is heavy or bend over to pick things up from the floor.



Your body needs time to heal, at least two to ten days, if not longer. It is very important to follow your recommended diet during this time to avoid any stomach irritation. After the swelling in your stomach goes down, you will probably be ready to eat regular foods. Enjoy modest, healthy meals with plenty of protein to promote maximum weight loss.


Time it takes to recover after bariatric surgery

Recovery Time After Bariatric Surgery

Meals including high levels of protein, fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will provide an optimal diet for weight loss and recovery. While you are eating less, remember to supplement your diet with additional vitamins and minerals.


The time needed to heal completely will depend upon many factors. You should not expect to return to work for two weeks. If you are not used to sleeping on your back, the first few days may be difficult. Sleeping on your stomach will be very painful and your doctor may warn against it. Sleeping on your side may prove to be somewhat painful but propping pillows around you may ease the discomfort. By the second week, your normal sleep positions should be possible.


Your First Fill and Weigh In 

Most doctors do nothing with the Lap Band until five weeks have passed, giving the port site and stomach to properly heal and adjust to the changes. At this time, you will make an appointment to have your first fill. Many Lap Band patients find that they have experienced some weight loss even though their band offered no resistance.


Do not listen to horror stories or tales of botched weight loss surgeries but instead, speak to your doctor. Ask questions and get the facts because it is your health that is being compromised by obesity. Most who have undergone weight loss surgery have zero regrets and are now living a healthier, more active life.


After bariatric surgery, a special diet is required to assist your body with healing and recovery. At this time, you will find new eating habits through effective meal planning and the assistance of your doctor or dietician. The type of food you choose and the amounts that you consume should be closely monitored to help you lose weight at a healthy pace.

Your new diet should serve several purposes but first of all, your gastric bypass procedure will train you to eat smaller amounts of foods at a much slower pace than before. Your new eating habits will allow your stomach to heal without being stretched and help your body digest foods more effectively.

Following doctor’s orders is the single most effective post-surgery advice to be followed. Your physician will assist you and answer any questions you may have as you move through the four steps of gastric bypass recovery. By step four, which is usually month number three, you will be enjoying more solid foods again.

It is important to pay close attention to your body and recognize signs when you are hungry or full. You may not be able to eat some foods, even if they were once your favorites, as your body may develop certain food intolerances after gastric surgery.


Step One: Liquids

After gastric bypass surgery, you will not be allowed to eat for 24-48 hours, depending on your personal situation which has been taken into consideration by your doctor. This is to make sure your stomach has an appropriate time to heal. Before you are released from the hospital, you will be given liquids and very soft foods to ensure that the stomach can effectively accept foods and aid in the digestion process.

These post gastric surgery approved liquids may include any of the following: broth, fat free milk, unsweetened juice, sugar free gelatin, and cream soup which has been strained. Allow yourself to consume only two or three ounces of liquid each time and avoid carbonated beverages. Caffeine should also be avoided.


Step Two: Pureed Food

Once your body has grown accustomed to liquid foods without any complications, with your doctor’s consent you may be able to advance to the next step – pureed foods. For the next two to four weeks, you should consume only the foods which could be described as a thick liquid or paste. Avoid spicy foods and most dairy products as your digestive system will still be very sensitive at this time. New foods should be introduced slowly and in very small servings to prevent stomach irritation or nausea.

There should be absolutely no solid pieces and food should be pureed well. Some doctor approved healthy foods that will blend well include the following: lean meat that has been ground up, beans, egg whites, cottage cheese, fish, soft vegetables, fruit, and yogurt. Solid foods will blend well if you add a liquid such as fat free milk, water, sugar free juice, broth and even gravy, as long as it is fat free.


Step Three: Soft Food

With the doctor or dietitian’s approval, you will remain on pureed foods for several weeks until it is time to transition to soft food. An easy way to determine whether a food is considered soft is to try mashing it with a fork. If the food mashes easily against a fork, it can be included in your diet.

Much of the same rules apply during this phase as with the previous steps. Do not drink while you are eating; instead, wait until thirty minutes after eating to have a drink. You will feel full very quickly so try to consume as much protein as possible rather than fill up on less healthy foods. This will most likely be your diet for the next eight weeks so look for healthy variations of your favorite foods.


Step Four: Solid Food

With the soft food portion of your gastric bypass diet coming to an end, thanks to doctor’s orders, the time has come to begin eating solid food again – slowly and carefully. It is still recommended to avoid spicy or crunchy foods. Using caution and eating slowly will ensure there are no setbacks or complications with your gastric bypass surgery.

Solid food does not include everything you used to enjoy. It is important to use good common sense and make safe, nutritious choices. Foods to avoid should include the following: popcorn, nuts, seeds, granola, tough or dry meat, breads, carbonated beverages, and stringy fibrous vegetables (including broccoli, corn, cabbage, and celery) as these are prone to causing several gastrointestinal problems.


Some additional things to consider as you form new habits and your body heals:

  • Eat several small meals per day – slowly
  • Meals should be the equivalent to one-half cup servings
  • Stay hydrated with liquids throughout the day rather than during meals
  • Take a daily vitamin supplement and calcium, at the doctor’s request
  • Drink plenty of water each day
  • Avoid foods that are high in sugar or fat including items such as candy bars, ice cream, and soda
  • Avoid fried foods entirely
  • Choose high protein options whenever possible. These foods will help heal wounds, regrow muscle and skin, and even prevent hair loss.


Some high protein foods include lean cuts of pork, beef, fish, chicken, or beans and are wonderful for your new diet. Other sources of protein can be found in the dairy group with items such as low-fat cottage cheese and yogurt.

More people in the U.S. are suffering from obesity and many are choosing gastric bypass surgery in order to quickly lose weight.  This procedure produces results much faster than is possible with the standard low-calorie diet and exercise routine.  Aside from the risks inherent in any surgical procedure, there is the risk of the patient suffering from nutrient deficiencies over the long term, which can be life threatening.

With gastric bypass surgery, the stomach is only able to accommodate 1 – 2 tablespoons of food.  Furthermore the area of the stomach and upper part of the small intestine, the duodenum, may be bypassed and this is an important area for the absorption of nutrients.  So without this part of the stomach, the patient’s intake of micronutrients is severely diminished and it will be necessary to take vitamins and minerals in the form of supplementation after surgery.

Vitamins & Minerals for Gastric Bypass

Bariatric Vitamins

Gastric Bypass Nutrient Absorption

The other factors causing the malabsorption of nutrients is the amount of hydrochloric acid, which is needed to absorb calcium and iron, and an intrinsic factor required for absorbing vitamin B12 is greatly reduced due to the diminished size of the stomach.  These vitamins and minerals need an acidic environment in order to be absorbed, which no longer exists without gastric acid, so supplementation is necessary.  So the acidic form of calcium, calcium citrate works best and 500 mg elemental calcium three times a day is recommended.  Calcium an iron should be taken separately to avoid interfering with each other.  After the surgery the foods containing vitamin B12 no longer mix with gastric acid, which is also required for B12 to be absorbed.  It is recommended that Vitamin B12 be taken in a sublingual form or by injection directly into the muscle.

Thiamin, folate, zinc, selenium, chromium and other vitamin and minerals have trouble with absorption and can be taken in the form of supplements or by way of injection.  Vitamin A, B complex, B6, C, D, E, K, magnesium, electrolytes plus the nutrients mentioned above can also be administered via injection into the muscle or through IV directly into the bloodstream.  Please consult your MD for the best method for each and for you personally.

Nutritional Deficiencies form Gastric Bypass Can Cause:

  • Difficulty with concentration and thinking clearly
  • Sleep disorders
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Muscle go into spasm
  • Weakening of the bones – Osteoporosis
  • Bone pain or deformities in the bone
  • Hair loss
  • Thinning skin, dry skin or other skin conditions
  • Bleeding gums
  • Tooth decay or discoloration
  • Increased bruising and tendency to bleed
  • Anemia
  • Neurological issues
  • Nerve damage, feeling of pins and needles
  • Tongue swelling or soreness
  • Swollen legs
  • The edges of the mouth become cracked
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Weakening of immune system to fight off infections
  • Dehydration

The Advantages of Administering Nutrients through an IV

It is critical for gastric bypass patients to take nutritional supplements because deficiencies will progress and can cause life threatening risks to one’s health.  To be sure that the patient is getting the nutrients they need, intravenous administration is recommended.  With IV therapy high doses of vitamins and minerals can be easily delivered to the bloodstream where they will immediately be absorbed into the system. Specialty testing can be done to determine each patient’s nutrient deficiencies and the proper treatment for administering these nutrients.

A healthy well rounded diet must still be maintained as supplements cannot substitute for whole foods in the patient’s daily diet.