Our bodies demand a lot of nutrients to thrive. While you won’t have to eat so many calories to feel full after weight loss surgery, you’ll still need plenty of nutrients in your diet to function optimally.
A nutritious diet is one that is rich in all of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that your body needs. There are six types of nutrients, and following weight loss surgery all six should play a role in your post-bariatric diet plan.
The six types of nutrients are:
When the Nutrients are missing
If your diet is lacking any of these nutrients you may develop a deficiency, in which the body fails to perform certain functions due to the lack of nutrient support. Dehydration is one type of deficiency that can develop when a person does not drink enough water.
Other forms of nutrient deficiencies may cause symptoms like:
- Skin rash
Depending on the type of weight loss surgery you choose to undergo, your risk of developing a nutritional deficiency may increase after weight loss surgery. Make sure you stick closely to your weight loss surgeon’s dietary guidelines and continue eating a nutrient dense diet after bariatric surgery.
Finding Nutrients in your Post-Weight Loss Surgery Diet
There are two ways that you can get nutrients: through the foods you eat and supplements. Talk to your weight loss surgeon for recommendations on the best supplements for your lifestyle and post-bariatric needs.
Once you recover fully from surgery you’ll be able to start eating whole foods and focusing on the nutrients in your diet. As you explore healthy foods and reevaluate old favorites, take advantage of nutrition labels. Located on the side or back packaging of every bottle, box or bag of food, the nutrition label explains what nutrients are present in the food you are about to consume, and how much of each nutrient you’ll get per serving.
Here are a few quick tips on reading a nutrition label:
- Serving size: Always read the recommended serving size first and only eat one portion.
- Calories: This is at the top of the nutrition label. The number posted is per serving. If you have more than the recommended serving than the number of calories consumed rises.
- Protein: Protein is important as it helps muscles to grow stronger and encourages your body to continue healing and rebuilding as you lose weight after surgery. Try to have protein in everything you eat after surgery.
- Fats: There are good fats and bad fats. Avoid saturated and trans fats by sticking to items that have mono and poly-unsaturated fats instead.
- Daily value: The percentages on the packaging are for a 2000 calorie diet. After weight loss surgery, your daily values might be different. Stick to your post-weight loss surgery dietary guidelines to know what nutrients you need the most of as you lose weight.
Following weight loss surgery, you’ll be limited in how much you can eat at every meal. This makes it even more important that you focus on the nutritional quality of the items in your diet and restrict what you eat to foods that are nutrient-dense. Use the tips provided above to develop healthy eating habits that will help you lose weight.