We need food to give us energy. Food contains the vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients we need to have a healthy, well-operating body.
Being well-nourished is an essential part of maintaining a healthy weight. That is why it is always important, but especially important after bariatric surgery that you eat the right kinds of foods and supplements to your diet when necessary to be sure your body it getting what it needs nutritionally. If you:
- can’t lose weight even though you have restricted your caloric intake
- have uncontrollable hunger, even directly after meals
- lack energy
- have late- or mid-night cravings, you may be undernourished.
People who have had weight loss surgery are, generally speaking, ingesting about one-third of their typical food intake. This fact puts you at a greater risk of being undernourished.
Each patient’s needs differ, depending on the individual and the type of surgery they undergo.
The dose and type of vitamins, minerals and protein will vary depending on the kind of weight-loss surgery you undergo and your unique body. For example, patients who undergo operations where the part of the gut that absorbs fat-soluble minerals and vitamins is removed (such as gastric bypass surgery) may need higher supplementation than someone who undergoes gastric banding or sleeve procedure.
In fact, your dose may vary considerably from that of other individuals so it is crucial that you work closely with your primary care doctor and weight-loss surgeon after your weight loss surgery to create a plan that includes the correct amounts for you.
Your physician and health team will work out a nutrition program with you to meet your comfort level and weight loss goals. However, generally speaking, most weight loss surgery patients need a protein supplement as well as vitamin and mineral supplements in order to avoid becoming malnourished. Besides a good multivitamin, your physician may recommend you take extra supplements of Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, iron and calcium.
Patients who join support groups do better long term.
Studies show that post weight-loss surgery patients who join weight loss surgery support groups, have a significantly higher success rate than those who do not. If you have undergone weight loss surgery and live in the Melrose or Medford areas in Massachusetts and are looking for a weight loss surgery support group, Hallmark Health System’s Center for Weight Management and Weight Loss Surgery hosts a free one every month.
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