Hello everyone! This post from my mom is the second in a series about bariatic surgery, the surgery my mom’s husband has decided to undertake to reclaim his health and life. These posts might be helpful to anyone considering this type of surgery or just curious about the surgery and how it affects those around you. You can see the first posts here: Bariatric Surgery Series: Beginning The Journey and Bariatric Surgery Series: Preparing for Weight Loss Surgery
Since this post isn’t from or about me, please be respectful in the comments. If you have questions you’d like her to answer, please shoot me an email or leave a comment!
Bariatric Surgery Series: Eating Before Weight Loss Surgery
This post is for all those that may be going through the first steps of preparing for weight loss surgery. You may be thinking, do I want this or not? Remember, in order to be certain you must, I repeat, must do your due-diligence in finding out all the answers about bariatric surgery beforehand. Many people want to lose weight and they think this weight loss surgery is the easy way to do it, but it most certainly is not the easy way. It is a life changing procedure and it is not reversible, so please be sure you are making the right choice for you.
If you have done all the above and are still on the road to bariatric surgery, then you are probably looking for recipes and meal ideas to help you lose weight now. That’s right, you have to lose weight before you can have weight loss surgery! They make you lose weight before the surgery just to see if you can stick to a strict low calorie diet or not. The low amount of daily calories is what you will consume after you have the surgery so it is important to test that you are able to stick with it. You must have a supervised diet for six months on most insurance before surgery.
I have put quite a bit of thought into this low calorie diet in order to help my husband prepare for his bariatric weight loss surgery. I’ve thought about the food aspect a lot since this is where I can help the most and this is what I do.
Tips for Eating Before Weight Loss Surgery
First always keep a journal of what you are eating to keep track of your calories. Always measure all your food and weigh all the things that are so much per oz. to make sure you control your portions. This will require you to purchase a reliable food scale and accurate measuring cups and spoons.
Watch your calories but also watch your starches, or carbs. For many of us these extra carbs can mount up and cause you to gain weight even if you do not eat over your limit for calories. Steer clear of many sugary fruits, except for bananas since they will fit into your diet when you have the surgery (bananas can be mashed up to form an easy to swallow food). Fruit is not something you can eat much of on this life time diet and there are dire consequences in some cases since the skin on the fruit can clog up the small hole into the stomach.
The types of food you eat after the surgery will be very different and things like fruit skin will be a concern. If you know anything about this type of surgery, you know they cut away a great portion of your stomach and leave the entrance very small and it can be clogged up by two big a piece of food, that is not chewed well or a skin of an apple or even a grape. The best thing to do is avoid anything that could possibly cause you to be readmitted to the hospital to have surgery to unstop the entrance to the stomach. If you shouldn’t eat something after your surgery then you shouldn’t eat it before the surgery.
Meals for Eating Before Weight Loss Surgery
I wanted to give you a few of my meal tips we are currently using before bariatric surgery:
Salad. First of all we eat a salad, with low or no calories, lemon juice or vinegar and oil, for each meal.
Lean protein. We have fish or chicken most meals and always broiled, baking it sometimes takes too long or makes it too dry or fish to fishy.
Spices. The biggest help is spices, use them on everything and use a lot of them on things you do not like so much.
Vegetables. Vegetables are another tricky one, stay away from carrots and yellow colored veggies. Green vegetables are the way to go, especially cabbage it is low in calories.
Turkey meatloaf. Use ground turkey for the dishes that call for ground beef, like meatloaf. I use one pound ground turkey, one bag of mixed peppers and onions (Kroger has a good frozen bag for a dollar), one pack of beefy onion soup dry mix, one half to one cup of oats, one half cup of Pace picante sauce, one fourth cup of ketchup, onion powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce. Mix together, put some picante and ketchup on top, spray your pan with low fat oil and bake for one hour on 325-350 depending on your oven. You should have a juicy meatloaf to serve yourself and family, and it really is that good. You will of course be cutting portions to the smaller size to lose weight before and after your surgery so judge accordingly when you serve.
Eating these healthier meals that stick to the low calorie diet prescribed has helped us both lose weight before the surgery date.
More Weight Loss Surgery Thoughts
I wish all of you the best when deciding to do something about your weight whether you choose eating healthy and exercise or go the route of weight loss surgery. We Americans have so much trouble controlling weight because we are blessed with too much food. I see pictures of children in this country that are so morbidly obese and I almost cry, we have become a country of computers, cell phone, laptops, tablets, Xbox’s and food. This inactivity and food abundance is a recipe for disaster when it comes to your weight.
If are considering this weight loss surgery, please take the six weeks of supervised diet and exercise, join a gym, take your children, make it a family affair and see if all of you do not profit from it. Sometimes the decision to get serious and eat better and exercise is really all you need to make a difference.
Thanks for reading and hopefully taking some of my advice. I can’t state it enough, this is a serious surgery. It doesn’t always go as planned. I have a church friend who had it done and now has to go back every six weeks to have her stomach hole stretched so she can get food through the hole. The surgeon made the hole too small and she was unable to get enough food in. So remember there can be complications, and remember this is a life time change to your body. It is not something you can take back if you don’t like it. Please take the time to learn about the complete package of bariatric surgery before making the decision.