Nutrition: Eating Right is Essential to Your Success

Nutrition is a very important part of your weight loss journey – starting before you undergo surgery and lasting throughout the rest of your life. It is important to understand that making a permanent change in your diet and daily eating habits will be crucial to your long-term success in losing weight and keeping it off. Remember that your weight loss team at Acadiana Weight Loss Surgery will always be here to provide you with guidance and support throughout your lifetime.

Preoperative Diet

All patients are expected to go on a special diet two weeks prior to surgery to reduce surgical risks. Our goal is to avoid a significant weight gain prior to surgery, to replenish stores of nutrients in the body, to induce some weight loss and to begin establishing new eating patterns prior to surgery.

Vitamin and mineral supplements are needed before surgery to replenish nutrient stores and enhance recovery, as described later in this section of our website. A daily vitamin and mineral supplement at levels close to 100% Reference Daily Intake (RDI) should be taken twice daily for four to six weeks before surgery (if possible).

Postoperative Diet

What type of weight do you want to lose? The goal is to spare lean body mass and lose stored fat to help your metabolism. Do you want to know the SECRET TO SUCCESS? Learn the nutrition and exercise guidelines and make them a part of your daily routine FOR LIFE. These guidelines are a balanced diet of high quality protein, complex carbohydrates and healthful fats including two servings of dairy each day. This is accomplished by following the recommended nutritional guidelines. Vitamin and mineral supplementation will also be necessary every day.

Nutrient Protocol Overview

Why is Protein Important?

After surgery, protein deficiencies may occur. It is important to focus on eating protein from food since protein is the only macronutrient that your body cannot make on its own. Protein is an essential part of cells and tissues in the body and is necessary for healing. When protein is deficient, muscle or other lean tissue (even the heart) is broken down to supply the body’s protein needs. Adequate intake of protein is necessary, therefore, to prevent the breakdown of muscle and other lean body tissue.

Maintaining muscle mass by eating protein helps your body to lose fat. Muscle has a high metabolic rate (burns a high number of calories) and oxidizes (uses) fat for fuel. You need to eat an adequate protein diet to prevent or reduce the loss of muscle and other lean tissue that may occur with weight loss to prevent reduction in metabolic rate, to increase fat breakdown and usage, and to feel full – all of which will help you achieve optimal health and weight loss success.

Why are Carbohydrates Important?

Carbohydrates add essential calories to the diet and are the first to be utilized for energy, thereby sparing protein. Carbohydrates are also necessary because they are the fuel preferred by the brain. Carbohydrates in the form of fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants that are especially necessary during rapid weight loss. In addition, higher intensity resistance exercises can be introduced into the program at an early stage to enhance metabolism by minimizing loss of lean body mass.

Why Are Fats Important?

Fat from food provides essential fatty acids necessary for functions in the body, as well as for supplying fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Moisture and flavor in foods come from the fat source within a food and while this is important, it is also important to limit the intake of saturated fats and replace with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as olive, canola, peanut, safflower or sunflower oils.

Postoperative Diet Overview

Following weight loss surgery, the nutrition plan is designed to provide a balanced diet of high quality protein, complex carbohydrates and healthful fats – including two servings of dairy in the form of milk and/or yogurt each day. It is necessary for patients to consume their foods in four (4) meals each day. For the first few months, protein supplementation in the form of shakes and/or powder is also required. In addition, vitamin and mineral supplementation is essential.