Nutritionist Linda Cardona
Bariatric Mexico Surgery is pleased to offer nutritional counseling for our bariatric surgery patients. We recognize that as a patient you are dealing with more than simply your operation and its after-effects. In order to succeed with your weight loss and make it permanent you need to embrace a lifestyle change. This change is challenging enough without having to make it on your own.
Our nutritionist, Linda Cardona is here to help you with one of the most important aspects of your lifestyle change — your diet.
A Timeline for Your Dietary Plan
You will meet with Linda while you recover from your surgery in the hospital. During this brief introductory meeting, Linda will inform you about some basic guidelines for diet and nutrition after your surgery.
Once you are back at the hotel, she will meet with you again and get into more detail on what foods are safe and healthy for you to eat as you make your surgery recovery. She will also go over any dietary supplements that she and your doctor recommend. She will also discuss with you the kind of diet you should adhere to once you are healed and back to your pre-op lifestyle.
On your return home, it is highly recommended that you follow-up with Linda during and after your recovery, either through email, phone, or her Facebook page. Based on how your body is responding to the recommended diet and how you feel overall in the following months, Linda can recommend changes to your nutritional plan as needed. In this way, she will help you to establish healthy eating habits and a foundation for long-term weight-loss success.
We recommend you stay in contact with Linda as it will have emotional benefits as well. You may occasionally find life after bariatric surgery frustrating, confusing, and perhaps even overwhelming. Your new lifestyle may involve a complete change in how you eat, exercise, and respond to post-op recovery and beyond. Having a routine that you can adopt and make habitual will be important to your long-term health — not just physical, but emotional as well. Linda is well positioned to help you with the challenges you will face.
Having access to support can help to ground you and ensure that your goals stay on track. Linda can also recommend an approach to finding support in the form of local or online groups.
Linda Answers the Top 10 Questions on Nutrition after Weight Loss Surgery
1 Can I drink caffeine after weight loss surgery?
Yes, but best to avoid caffeine for at least the first thirty days after surgery while your stomach is dealing with the healing process and highly sensitive. Also, keep in mind that caffeine can inhibit the absorption of certain vitamin like A and B vitamins, as well as some minerals like iron and calcium. Do not take your supplements with coffee, tea or any caffeine source.
2 Is it OK to I drink alcohol after weight loss surgery?
We do not recommend that you drink any alcohol at least for the first 6 months after the surgery. According to the ASMBS, “alcohol contains calories but minimal nutrition and will work against your weight loss goal. The absorption of alcohol changes with gastric bypass and gastric sleeve because an enzyme in the stomach which usually begins to digest alcohol is absent or greatly reduced.
Alcohol may also be absorbed more quickly into the body after gastric bypass or gastric sleeve. The absorbed alcohol will be more potent, and studies have demonstrated that obesity surgery patients reach a higher alcohol level and maintain the higher levels for a longer period than others”.
Also alcohol is one of the common reasons for people to stop losing weight after the surgery and even causes weight regain.
3 When can I start exercising after bariatric surgery?
You should begin walking ASAP while still in the hospital, unless your doctor instructs you to limit physical activity. As you begin to feel better, increase your exercise time and intensity. Walking will be the suggested exercise for the first 3 months until you are able to complete around 10,000 steps a day. After the third month you can technically perform any physical activity unless you have a joint or muscle problem.
4 Will I be able to eat everything again after surgery?
Yes, but it will take time for your new stomach or “pouch” to adapt and also get accustomed to new foods. We encourage you to avoid high sugar drinks and foods, as well as alcohol.
5 What protein supplement do I need to take?
After bariatric surgery it is difficult to get enough protein only from foods, so you will need to take protein shakes. Most people need to continue with them during the first year and even for longer if they are exercising. Protein shakes or protein powders from whey, pea brown rice egg, are recommended and can provide between 15-30g per serving, just make sure that the one you choose has less than 3g of sugar.
6 Will my stomach stretch after weight loss surgery?
Yes, your stomach can and will stretch after surgery. This is why it is really important to stop at the first sign of fullness, and that you do not over-eat. Our stomachs have the capacity to expand when we eat, this for sending our brain a signal of “satisfaction”. But, if every time we eat we over-expand or stomach, that can become on a permanent expansion.
7 Is it possible to regain weight after surgery?
Yes, especially if you stretch your stomach or if you eat too much sugar. Also, lack of physical activity can be contribute to weight gain.
8 How much weight will I lose after surgery?
If you follow our recommendations, we expect that you will lose around the 60% of the excess weight. Remember that everyone is different and to set personal goals based on your health.
9 How can I prevent hair loss after bariatric surgery?
Hair loss is very common and very stressful for many patients. The most common type of hair loss after weight-loss surgery is a diffuse loss known medically as telogen effluvium, which can have both nutritional and non-nutritional causes.
Hair loss can be linked with iron, protein and biotin deficiency after the WLS. But, mainly hair loss is often caused by surgery and rapid weight-loss.
10 When can I stop taking the protein shakes?
You can stop drinking protein shakes when you are able to get all your protein from foods like meats, eggs, dairy and legumes. The protein goals are: 80-100g/d for men and 60-80g for women.