Weight loss surgery is a tool to help you achieve substantial weight loss and live a longer, healthier, and happier life. But just as a hammer can’t perform its function without a nail, surgery is only part of regaining your health. Behavior modification with nutrition and exercise, including alterations to your diet and a regular exercise regimen, is just as important to achieving good results and becoming healthy again. Because we at Roller Weight Loss & Advanced Surgery believe that the truest path to success is a holistic approach to health, nutrition and exercise after your procedure, we have worked diligently to develop a comprehensive nutritional supplement regimen. We have chosen our mix of supplements based on the results we’ve observed. To make life simpler for you, we have partnered with Celebrate Bariatric Supplements to make our formulation available to our patients online. Click here to visit our e-store.
Every patient will be given our Patient Education and Resource Manual at the initial appointment. This manual will be your resource guide both before and after bariatric surgery and contains our nutritional program. Eating is an essential part of life and plays a role in our social, physical and mental well-being. Yet many people pay little attention to nutrition and don’t understand the basic building blocks of food. All food is comprised of calories from protein, carbohydrates, fats, or a combination of these elements. Water doesn’t supply energy in the form of calories, but it is absolutely vital to the human body. Food also supplies essential vitamins and minerals in varying amounts. To understand how what you eat affects your body, you need to become familiar with the basic fundamentals of nutrition. Our bariatric dieticians will help educate you about nutrition both before and after surgery.
A calorie is a unit of energy present in all food, including fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Fats contain nine calories per gram, while carbohydrates and proteins contain four calories per gram.
Proteins are the essential building blocks of life – every cell in the body contains protein. These cells make up skin, bones, muscle, organ tissue, blood and hormones. Protein is essential to prevent malnutrition, and the consumption of protein results in very little insulin release. (Insulin regulates blood sugar, and excess insulin has been known to lead to diabetes). Adequate protein intake following surgery is key to preventing malnutrition. Lean sources of protein include low-fat cheeses, low-fat yogurt, eggs, poultry, lean meats, fish, tofu and beans/legumes.
Fats when, eaten in moderation, are important for growth, as well as development and absorption of fat soluble vitamins. Some dietary fats are more beneficial than others. Because fat is energy dense or has a high amount of calories, all fats need to be eaten in moderation. Monounsaturated fats are “healthy” fats that are good for the heart and have a positive effect on blood cholesterol levels; sources include olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil. Polyunsaturated fats are needed in small amounts. Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids, found in fish, oils and nuts, are two types of polyunsaturated fats that are essential to the body. They are needed to make hormones and they also have a positive effect on blood cholesterol levels. “Unhealthy” saturated fats come from butter, lards, meat fats, full-fat dairy products, and coconut oil; these foods have a negative effect on blood cholesterol. Trans fats are a type of “unhealthy” unsaturated fat. They are found in some margarine, crackers, cookies, snack foods, and any processed food made with partially hydrogenated oils. Trans fats have been shown to increase the amount of “bad” LDL cholesterol in the blood and lower the amount of “good” HDL cholesterol. Consuming high amounts of trans fats is believed to increase the risk of coronary heart disease and coronary artery disease.
Carbohydrates supply energy to the body, but when consumed in excess, they are stored as fat. Carbohydrates are a group of sugars attached together as a chain. There are two main types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates cause a sharp rise in insulin production. This can lead to insulin resistance, which has been shown to contribute to diabetes. They are easily digested, causing food to empty from the stomach quickly and lead to an increased feeling of hunger soon after they are eaten. Simple carbohydrates include fruit juice, sugar, and processed or enriched white grains, such as white rice or most types of pasta. Complex carbohydrates lead to less insulin production and contain fiber, an essential part of a healthy diet. They require more work for the body to break down, causing a longer-lasting feeling of satiety, or fullness. Examples of complex carbohydrates include high-fiber, whole grain products, beans, vegetables and fruits.
Water is key to all body functions. Body weight is 55-75 percent water – including 70 percent of the brain, 82 percent of blood, and 90 percent of the lungs. We lose water daily from perspiration, exhalation, urination, and defecation. That’s why it’s essential to consume a minimum of 64 ounces of water daily to prevent dehydration. People need even more than this amount during hot summer months and during physical activity. The body cannot survive for more than five days without water, but dehydration sets in much more quickly. Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages can cause rapid dehydration and should be avoided. Symptoms of dehydration include weakness, lethargy, difficulty focusing, dizziness, and headache. Follow the water guidelines daily, since it’s very difficult to make up for a water deficit once dehydration has set in. Carry a water bottle wherever you go and create a plan to help meet your daily water goal. In order to save money and avoid waste, find a reusable bottle you like and fill it from your tap. Slow, consistent sips of water are best, equaling about eight ounces per hour. Remember the 30-20-30 rule:
- Stop drinking 30 minutes before a meal.
- Take no longer than 20 minutes to finish a meal.
- Do not start drinking again for 30 minutes after a meal.
Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy patients: Drinking with meals is not recommended. Because water takes up space in the stomach, you will not be able to eat as much and may receive inadequate nutrition as a result. Water can also wash food through the stomach pouch too quickly, increasing the risk of dumping syndrome, and allowing you to eat more.
Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band patients: Drinking with meals will wash food from the upper-banded portion of the stomach to the lower part of the stomach, allowing you to eat more, and causing you to feel hungry again more quickly.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are present in many different types of food but should be supplemented during any period of weight loss, since food intake is reduced. After gastric bypass surgery the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals is decreased. Vitamin and mineral supplements are essential for your health. We will discuss what to take during your appointments with our dietician.
Physical fitness is an important part of any long-term goal to improve health and encourage weight loss. Expending excess energy encourages the body to use stored energy – in the form of fat – as fuel. Regular exercise encourages:
- Improved cardio-respiratory function
- Improved metabolism
- Better control of blood fats
- Better control of body fats
- Improved psychological and emotional well-being
- Improved oxygen delivery/metabolic processes
Exercise also helps:
- Build strength and endurance
- Improve movement in joints and muscles
- Gain more energy
- Cope with stress
- Improve ability to fall asleep quickly
- Tone muscles
- Achieve ideal body weight
- Increase capacity for physical work
- Increase muscle strength
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce risk of diabetes
- Increase HDL level (good cholesterol)