A question asked by my patients on a regular basis is how much to eat after obesity surgery. Should you eat a bit at first but a little more after a while? Are you counting calories and how come some patients are eating “normal” portions a year after surgery?
In the first few weeks after a gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery, patients are advised to eat very small portions. At the clinic where I work, we usually recommend 1-1.5 dl ( 0,5 cup) during the liquid phase, followed by 100-150 grams of weight when switching to more solid consistency. I recommend patients to keep their portions small, but eventually some need to increase their portion while others don’t.
Our energy needs are influenced by several factors, including how active we are, how much muscle we have, how we burn the food, gender, age and height. With that said, it is obvious that the energy requirement and therefore also the portion size differ depending on who you are – even if you have undergone a gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy. By eating 5-6 small meals a day, the portions should be smaller because your tank is filled up more often, but if the meal consists of 150 grams or 250 grams depends entirely on who you are and what life you are living.
Generally, I usually recommend not counting calories because my patients have been dieting enough! I want to get away from the “dieting mind” with his weight surgery and the anxiety thoughts about food and weight can cause. The goal is to create a healthy approach to food, where you feel good, but have control by following their routines. If you eat regular, protein-rich and small amounts, rarely is the calorie intake something you need to think about.
My 5 best tips:
1. Follow the recommendations of your clinic regarding the portion sizes in the first few weeks. Remember that hunger and saturation after a weight operation often do not feel like before. Get to know your body and its signals before you experiment.
2. Do not waste your 5-6 meals – it’s one of the keys to good long-term results weight-loss. Establish good routines as soon as possible. The operation becomes tougher over the years and then routines A and O. Eat your meals even if you do not feel hungry. The fact that the appetite decreases or disappears is one of the most important reasons why the operations are so effective, but that does not mean that you should not eat.
3. Sometimes it may be worth eating a seventh meal instead of expanding the portions further – consult your dietician!
4 Focus on protein (fish, chicken, beans, lentils, eggs, meat) it saturates best per calorie.
5. Forget the concept of normal portion. Normal? For who? In comparison with before? With a person who eats twice a day or with someone who moves twice as much as you? Ignore what you did before your weight surgery and what others do. Probably they do not live exactly like you!
Lots of good food recipes can be found in our app BariBuddy!