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Understanding The Gastric Bypass Diet

Gastric bypass - the newest method of losing weight today - is effective but risky. This method is not for everyone, especially not for those who only want to lose a few pounds. There are several considerations that must be discussed with the doctor before undergoing the procedure. It involves surgery which makes the stomach smaller. To make the stomach smaller, a small pouch that can only hold small amounts of food is made and connected to the lower portion of the small intestine. The patient feels full easily and consumes minimal amount of food.

As a result, excess weight is lost quickly. But there are also risks involved, and one of them is nutrition insufficiency. Because of smaller food intake, the patient does not meet required levels of nutrients which results in poor health. For this reason, the gastric bypass diet is formulated. The surgery causes changes in the shape and size of the patient's stomach which cause discomfort and other side effects.

However, these effects can be lessened by proper diet. Since the stomach is smaller, adjustment in food intake is necessary. Hence, the gastric bypass diet is divided into different phases to accommodate the strength and capabilities of the new stomach. The first phase is the clear fluid diet. This phase usually lasts for a couple of days after surgery. Clear broth, juice, water, non-fizzy soda, and gelatin are allowed in small amounts. The patient usually consumes three ounces every meal. Sugar and other seasonings are kept at minimal levels during this stage to prevent stressing the new stomach. Three days following gastric bypass, patients are allowed to take a low-fat liquid diet. High-protein drinks like breakfast milk, food drinks, and adult supplement milk are recommended.

Doctors also advise taking multivitamins and supplements at this stage to prevent nutrition loss. However, they stress that these must be chewable or in liquid form. The stomach is still in recovery and cannot handle digesting hard tablets and capsules. The low-fat liquid diet lasts for two weeks or until the doctor gives the signal to advance to soft food diet. The soft diet is also called the puree diet because the food taken during this stage are mostly pureed. Common suggestions include baby food, mashed produce, soft eggs, cream cheese, and smooth gruel. Meats can also be reintroduced in the diet in pate or spreads. Again, emphasis is on the texture. The gastric bypass diet allows patients to eat almost anything as long as it is soft and smooth in texture. Doctors advise to keep food mildly seasoned but flavorful because this stage lasts for two months.

Frustration from bland and soft food might make the patient eat foods that the stomach is not prepared to handle. Regular diet resumes after two months of gastric bypass. This diet includes all the basic food groups but it is advisable to start with protein food to help build stomach muscle. By this time, the stomach is capable of handling differently textured food. Consuming liquids between meals is necessary to help the small stomach digest the food easily. Patients may have to forego rare meats to avoid gastrointestinal complications. Seek the advise of a nutritionist or dietician who can recommend ways to squeeze necessary nutrients in small food amount. Patients should follow the gastric bypass diet because proper nutrition is important whether you have a big or small stomach.


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