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January 24, 2006

Great Gastric Bypass Diet Tips!

1_1 Gastric bypass is a type of surgery in which the stomach is reduced in size by one of several methods. This smaller stomach is then reconnected or bypassed to the small intestine. Having a gastric bypass can help speed weight loss by making it difficult to eat too much food at one time and to feel satisfied after very small meals.

After a gastric bypass, the volume the new, smaller stomach can hold is reduced from about 1 quart to about 1 ounce, or 2 tablespoons. Over time, the stomach pouch will stretch until it can hold 4 to 8 ounces, or about 1/2 to 1 cup, at a time. The size of the opening created between the stomach and small intestine is smaller, roughly 1/4 inch wide which slows the rate at which food is emptied from the stomach into the small intestine.

You will need to develop a whole new attitude to food!

Learning new eating habits and following the diet correctly will help to maintain this weight loss over time. In general, the gastric bypass diet includes foods that are high in protein, and low in fat, fiber, calories, and sugar. Since the gastric bypass diet does not provide enough vitamins and minerals on its own, most physicians recommend taking: 1 adult or 2 children's chewable multivitamin tablets, Extra iron, calcium, or vitamin B-12 if needed (most likely you will need this).

Protein is the nutrient that the body uses to build new tissue. It is important to get enough protein right after surgery, to make sure that wounds heal properly. Over the long term, protein in the diet will help preserve muscle tissue, so that weight can be lost as fat instead. Foods like lean red meat or pork, chicken or turkey without the skin, fish of almost any type, eggs, and cottage cheese are high in protein and low in fat.

Minipastry2_2 Sugary foods include candy, cookies, ice cream, milkshakes or slushes, soda pop, sweetened juices or gelatin, and most desserts. The gastric bypass diet is low in sweet and sugary foods for three reasons. First, these foods are high in calories and fat. Even in small amounts, they could make weight loss difficult. Second, eating sweet or sugary foods promotes "dumping," a reaction which can occur after the gastric bypass operation. Experiencing the unpleasant symptoms of dumping syndrome may limit the desire to eat sweet foods. Finally, most sweet and sugary foods don't provide many vitamins or minerals for the calories they take up and since calories are so limited on the gastric bypass diet, it is important that every food contribute its fair share of nutrients.

Fat may be difficult to digest after gastric bypass surgery. Too much fat delays emptying of the stomach and may cause reflux, a back-up of stomach acid and food into the esophagus that causes heartburn. Fat may also cause diarrhea, nausea, or stomach discomfort. High-fat, fried foods and fatty meats are common offenders.

Fiber, found in foods like bran, popcorn, raw vegetables, and dried beans, is also limited on the gastric bypass diet. There is less space in the stomach to hold these bulky foods, and less gastric acid available to digest them. Some kinds of fiber could get stuck in the pouch itself, or block the narrow opening into the small intestine. Do not take any fiber pills or laxatives without the advice of a physician.

Vitamins & Minerals are an important part of the gastric bypass diet. Since the diet allows only small amounts of a limited variety of foods, it may be difficult to get enough vitamins and minerals from food alone. Deficiencies can develop in a matter of months. Iron, folate, vitamin B-12, and calcium are the nutrients most affected. Most physicians require their gastric bypass patients to take a multivitamin/mineral supplement.

I am personally taking Nature's Bounty B-Complex Sublingual Liquid for my B-Complex needs and Centrum Advanced Formula Chewable for my general vitamin needs.

Gastric bypass surgery creates dramatic changes in the size and shape of the stomach. It may take awhile to get used to these changes. Patients report a wide variety of complications after surgery. Some of these will go away with time, while others can be lessened with adjustment of the diet. Thank God, so far I have personally not experimented any of the following, well known and possible symptoms:

Nausea and vomiting are the most common complications occurring in the first few months after gastric bypass surgery. They may occur after eating too fast, drinking liquids while eating, not chewing enough, or eating more than the pouch can comfortably hold. It is necessary to learn to eat very slowly and chew foods thoroughly. Nausea and vomiting can also be triggered after trying new foods. If this happens, allow a few days to pass before trying a new food again. Notify a physician if frequent vomiting becomes a problem.

My doctor, told me that it is not normal to vomit. It is common, but it should not be considered as "normal". You do not have to be alarmed, but you should watch it. If you throw-up every day or after every meal, you have to tell your doctor.

Propel_1 Dehydration (loss of body fluids) is also an important concern, especially if vomiting or diarrhea is frequent. Prevent dehydration by drinking water or low-calorie beverages between meals (when there is no food in the stomach), but remember that the stomach can only hold 3-4 ounces at a time. My doctor told me that you just can't have enough water. It is very important to drink more than 3 liters a day. I have personally found that water is very boring to drink, so I am drinking Diet Snapple now, and I just love it ! I also drink Propel Water (the diet version of Gatorade) and I have recently discovered Powerade Option, I love the Black Cherry flavor. The only downside to those "water alternatives" is price... it can easily add up on your monthly budget, but it is good for a change. Again, water alone can be boring, but, I have to insist, you have to drink as much liquids as possible.

Dumping Syndrome occurs when food passes too quickly from the stomach into the small intestine. Symptoms may include a combination of nausea, uncomfortable fullness, cramping, and diarrhea, or weakness, sweating, and fast heart rate. Dumping can be provoked by eating very sweet or sugary foods. Reduce intake of sweets and notify a physician if these symptoms occur.

I am not very sure if I have experienced the full dumping syndrome yet, as described by other friends... But sometimes, when I eat too fast, I do feel a light sweating and an uncomfortable stomach. So far, I could not associate it with any specific foods, but I noticed it happens when I eat too fast.

Food Intolerances, especially to red meat, milk, and high-fiber foods, are experienced by many patients. Since food intolerances vary with the individual, a dietitian can help with sorting out food choices to minimize symptoms such as stomach discomfort, nausea, or diarrhea.

I am very lucky here. So far, I have had no intolerances. I have tried many foods (just to test my tolerance :) ) and none have caused me discomfort or any problems. But again, this depends on each individual person. To have food intolerance is normal, and I was told by my dietitian that the body is able to tolerate foods again after a year or so... So, if you experiment food intolerances, those may go away later. It is not guaranteed, but scientifically proven.

Overeating -- Almost all people who require gastric bypass surgery have had problems with overeating. The causes for this are complex, involving genetics, emotions, upbringing, and even the functions of the brain. None of this changes after bypass surgery, except that the stomach is now much smaller. Eating more than the new stomach can hold may cause vomiting, expansion of the pouch, weight gain, or even rupture of the stomach. Education, counseling, group support, and certain medications can help to prevent overeating and are just as important as diet to the success of the operation.

Before my operation, I was an over-eater, and I loved food. It is very important to re-program yourself after operation, because overeating at the early stages after your operation, can actually "break" the pouch. So be very careful.

Others: Stomach pain, ulcers, and gastritis (an inflammation of the stomach lining) are complications which may require medical attention. Notify a physician if frequent stomach pain becomes a problem.

My doctor  allowed me to take reflux medicine like Protonix 40mg. I have also researched around, and there is no indication that prescription heartburn medicines can actually harm a Gastric Bypass patient. Ohh, but again, your mileage will vary, talk to your doctor.


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diana mcdougal

thank-you for this article .i'm 1+years out wls.i'm guilty of overeating ... depressed i've gained 30pounds back for not being responsible for putting healthy food in my mouth. i need to go back to basics. i want to lose 30 pounds.

Penny Jeter

I had gastric bypass 5 years ago. I have lost 214 pounds. I have maintained this weight for over a year now. However I can only eat 3-4 ounces of food at a time. Im still looking to lose about 20 more pounds.Im glad I had the surgery!!

Rich Grooms

I was 380lbs when I started the Kaiser Options class. The day before my surgery (March 14th 2007) I was 349. Today I am 257. My goal was to get to 225 but my doc said 200 to 205 looks possible. I make sure I eat my 3 meals at the same or pretty close to the same time everyday. I read labels and that really helps. I hope to be at my goal weight by the end of the year.

Melanie C

Thank you for the information I am in the process of getting ready to set my surgery date. I have 5 weeks until I go back to my surgeon and set the date. Your page has been very helpful, thank you for sharing to help others.


Malanie ! Thanks for your comment, and good luck ! You will be fine and it will change your life... come back after the surgery and share your experience !!
- TheMorbidMe

gloria davis

I had gastro bypass 18 oct 07 Thanksgiving day will be my 5th week Can I eat soft foods w/litle turkey


I am starting the preocess
my current weight is 465
I know this is my last chance to live much longer


i had gastric bypass surgery sep 17 n have lost 89 lbs how can i slow down the weight loss??? i feel tiered n week all the time

Melanie C

I had the surgery Feb 14, 2008 I lost 59 lbs so far and things have been great. I have more energy now, and less back pain. I need to lose much more but I know it takes time. Congrats to all and Good luck to the future candidates.

Anna R.

I have just completed my first seminar on Gastric Bypass. So far everything looks good for the ok on the surgery. Is there anything that you regret or you would have done differently. Should i start taking vitamins and b12 while waiting for the big day i dont take anything right now. Did your hair fall out? What about excess skin? Does exercise help that?


I am about to have this done due to hiatal hernia and terrible reflux that meds are not helping. I wanted to know what exercises afterwards help to keep the body a little firm. My BMI is 40 so I won't loose over 80lbs but that is scary too!I would like to loose the weight without too much skin reduction surgery as possible. Any and all info will be well taken.


I had surgery June 30,1998 have lost only 50lbs so far. I am very disappointed. I have not gained but am no longer losing. I was 236 when I started and I am still 186. I am a female at 5'9 so I look okay but I want to be at the correct weight. Doc says 160 will be okay but I can't lose anymore. Appreciate any help.

Denver plastic surgery

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed. Really a nice post here!

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