After bariatric surgery, it is extremely important to consume protein, water, and your recommended vitamins.
It’s all about the protein after surgery. Your bariatric team will give you a daily protein goal. My goal is 60-80 grams a day. I don’t know if everyone else feels this way, but it was hard for me to get that amount, in the beginning.
Your stomach is so small now, about the size of a banana, so you get full quickly. Prioritize eating the protein first at every meal. This will insure you hit your protein goals. According to my surgeon, about 50% of bariatric patients who have weight loss surgery lose some of their hair from so following the nutrition plan and vitamin regimen is important.
Typically, if you are going to lose hair it happens by the 4-month, post-op mark. I have a lot of curly thick hair; however, I am losing a lot of my hair, luckily you can’t really notice yet because of all my hair. Picture Tracee Ellis Ross’s hair, we have the same texture. And as a side note, Tracee’s Instagram is giving me body goals! Where was I, oh yes hair; If you do lose hair it grows back quickly, especially with all the vitamins you take daily.
I hate protein shakes, I have issues with milk so I am limited to the milk free kind. Instead, I buy flavorless (and milk free) protein powder and I sneak it into things I’m eating. Some of my favorite things I put the protein powder into are: creamed soups, smoothies, mashed potatoes, and stews. My favorite protein powder is Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder .
Water and fluids
The essence of life…water! You will tend to get dehydrated if you aren’t cognizant about how much you are consuming during the day. Post Op you will stay away from sugar, especially with drinks. It’s bad for you and your new stomach pouch can’t tolerate it very well. I drink water, G2 Gatorade or I put those Crystal Light powders in my water for a little flavor.
My goal is to get at least 64 ounces of fluids daily. If you are working out and sweating a lot, you’ll want to up your intake. I had to get into a rhythm with drinking. I never really feel thirst, even pre-op, so I force myself to drink fluids.
The weirdest thing about this surgery is that you cannot drink while you are eating. In fact, you must wait 30 minutes after your last sip to eat and you need to wait 45 minutes after you finished eating to have a sip. Basically, if I’m not having a meal, I’m drinking to get in those fluids. I use a 32-ounce water bottle to track my fluid intake. There are also apps that remind you to take a sip of water, personally I find them all annoying and ended up ignoring my alerts anyway, so the water bottle is the easiest for myself.
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Vitamins and Supplements
You’ve got your protein and water in, what’s the third piece to this puzzle? vitamins. It doesn’t matter which weight loss surgery you get; you will need to take vitamins and/or supplements for the rest of your life. And who would think a tiny pill can help your body so much.
Again, each person is different and your doctor will give you a vitamin regimen to follow. Sometimes this gets tweaked after your blood work comes back to make sure you aren’t getting too much or not enough of certain vitamins and minerals. There are great bariatric websites that provide you vitamin packs, I’ll go over the ones I like shortly.
This may seem overwhelming but I’ve learned some great tips on how to get all the supplements daily. Here are some of my favorites:
Flintsone Complete Vitamin -yes the same one you took as a kid. I love these because they are fun and a great and fairly cheap.
ProCare Health Bariatric Multi Vitamin w/ Iron– Some surgeons will recommend these to their patients because they are specifically formulated for us bariatric patients. They are priced a little higher but these worked well for me
Viactiv Calcium + Vitamin D3 – these are chewable and tastes like I’m eating a snack every day when I take them. I love the caramel kind and I get chewable or melting vitamins whenever I can, they are easier on my stomach
Bariatric Advantage Calcium Citrate Chewy – these are also chewable and specifically formulated for patients who have had bariatric surgery
Bariatric fusion B12 – really helps with energy so these are really important to take. These are sublingual, meaning you dissolve them under your tongue, they have a great taste to them as well.
Barimelts B-12 – These also melt in your mouth and help with that fatigue you sometimes get after surgery. I love the way these taste as well.
Barimelts B1 – Specifically designed for bariatric weight loss patients, they are also very easy to swallow.
Bariatric Fusion B-50 – Easy to take and also designed for patients who have had weight loss surgery such as the Gastric Sleeve or Gastric Bypass
Let us know what some of your tips are for getting in your nutritional items or some of your favorite bariatric products. This article is intended to be informational but always check with your doctor before trying any vitamins or supplements.