Deciding to have a weight loss surgery is life-changing, but it’s also stressful and time-consuming. Before your surgery, you have to undergo rigorous testing to ensure you’re healthy enough for the procedure and that you’ll follow through with making lifestyle changes to maintain the results.
Part of the process for qualifying for weight loss surgery consists of taking one of the qualifying nutrition programs in your area, which helps you learn the answer to “what is nutrition” as well as the specifics of nutrition after bariatric surgery.
What Are the Nutrition Courses for Weight Loss Surgery Like?
Once you have bariatric surgery, your digestive tract changes. You still require similar nutrition, but you aren’t able to consume as much food as you did prior to the surgery. Not only do you learn “what is nutrition,” but these nutrition courses educate you about the type of diet plan you can expect after bariatric surgery.
When you partake in nutrition programs for bariatric surgery, you have a nutrition coach who educates you on what your body requires nutrition-wise, both before and after the surgery. Keep in mind, your nutritional needs change after your surgery because you have to eat foods rich in nutrients since you can’t eat a large quantity of other foods to obtain all the nutrition you need.
Your nutrition coach stresses how your body changes after surgery and how your body doesn’t process food the same way. Nutrition courses teach you the importance of eating protein-rich foods as opposed to foods high in carbs since your body doesn’t process carbs the same way as before. You also don’t want to risk a protein deficiency or consume empty calories.
These nutrition courses help you make healthier eating choices as well, so once you start losing the weight, you’re able to keep it off. During these classes, you receive education about lifestyle changes you can make regarding food to optimize the results of your surgery and make lifelong changes.
Learning About Your Diet Before and After Your Surgery
You can’t just have the surgery without making changes to your diet before and after your surgery. The nutrition coach knows the process and can enlighten you about what you can expect during every step of the process in relation to your diet.
For instance, before your surgery, you have to start a clear liquid diet. The nutritionist lets you know the types of liquids you’re able to take during this time, so you know what to expect.
When you can only consume clear liquids, you have broths, watered-down juices, popsicles, coffee, Jello, and a few other types of liquids before the surgery. You also have to take a protein shake to ensure you’re receiving an adequate amount of nutrition leading up the procedure.
You’re clearing your body of harmful substances before the surgery. It also helps you to lose weight. The clear liquids also help to shrink your liver, which makes the procedure easier.
After your surgery, you have to continue your clear liquid diet for the first few days. Then, you’re able to start eating certain soft foods until you’re finally able to eat a regular diet.
Importance of Nutrition Classes to Prevent a Deficiency
The purpose of the surgery is to reduce how much you consume. To accomplish this goal, the surgeon shrinks the size of your stomach, which reduces how much food you can eat, ultimately making you more prone to a vitamin deficiency.
At a nutrition course, you learn to make healthy eating choices by incorporating foods high in nutrition without a high fat content. Ultimately, you learn to choose foods that provide vitamins and minerals to your body rather than eating empty calories that just fill you up.
You’re susceptible to a protein deficiency after your surgery, which is why the nutrition classes educate you about the importance of choosing proteins and which ones are best for you.
Since you have to take vitamin and mineral supplements for the rest of your life, the nutrition coach informs you of which ones you’ll need to take, so you can plan ahead for your surgery.
The nutrition programs are an ideal time to discuss any concerns you have, so you can plan ahead.
Importance of Learning Good Nutrition Habits
Part of your weight problem may stem from not having good nutrition habits. These habits won’t change on their own after your surgery, which puts you at risk for gaining the weight back after you’re able to eat again.
The nutrition coach teaches you how to live a healthy lifestyle, so you receive all of the benefits of the surgery and can maintain the results.
A nutrition course and coach are part of the prerequistes for your surgery, but they also teach you information about nutrition. After taking the course, you’ll know what to expect.