My Gastric Bypass Journey Series: Part 5(final), Stages 4-6

Funny Cow Diet Picture

Hi! Beauties! Today is the final article of My Gastric Bypass Journey Series. I will be covering the last 3 stages. As the above picture shows, I thought we would end this series with some humor! Seriously, though, the most important thing I have learned through my journey is not to look at the way I eat as a diet but as a change to a healthier way of eating and thinking. The way I should have been eating all along. I am not going to sit here and tell you that I don’t have to fight cravings just because I have had this surgery. That would be a lie. The second most important thing I have learned is what the doctor told me on my first visit, to lose weight is a simple process it is calories in verses calories out, this is what it all boils down to. Not so simple to do, but in theory and actual truth it is simple. Okay, last time we left off at stage 3, the post-op full liquid diet. Today we will cover stages 4-6.

Healthy Plate Portions

The above picture is what the nutritionist showed me what is considered a healthy plate for everyone. The amounts of each category might be different for someone who has not had the Gastric Bypass but the way the plate is divided  into 3 sections is a healthy plate. This has replaced the old pyramid system they use to go by. A tip she gave me is to not eat off of a regular sized plate but to use a white salad plate and visually you will see a fuller plate. Don’t laugh, it does work!  Now, on to stage 4. This stage lasts for 7 days and it is a pureed/soft diet. The consistency of baby food or applesauce. The purpose of pureed textures is to prevent blockages at the opening leaving the stomach. These are the tips for stage 4:

  • Slowly increase portions to 2 ounces (4 Tbsp) or 1/4 cup semi solid or 1/2 cup liquid per meal.
  • Eat slowly, it should take 30 minutes to consume 2 ounces of food.
  • Focus on proteins first, produce and then the starches.
  • DO NOT EAT AND DRINK AT THE SAME TIME, wait at least an hour after eating before you drink something.
  • Continue to take your chewable multivitamins and calcium citrate daily.
  • Now you should be in the habit of exercising at least 20-30 minutes 2-4 days/week. I chose walking.

Stage 5: Soft Low Fat Diet, starts six weeks after surgery. Your portions at 6 weeks will be 3 Tbsps – 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) total, at 3 months your portions may be closer to 1/2 cup (6-8 Tbsp) total. These are the tips for stage 5:

  • You must chew your foods 25-35 times before swallowing.
  • You must cut your meats to the size of a pencil top eraser.
  • Eat slowly and chew your foods to a mushy texture.
  • DO NOT EAT AND DRINK AT THE SAME TIME, stop drinking 30 minutes before you eat and wait an hour after you eat before you drink again.
  • Continue to take your chewable multivitamins and calcium citrate daily.
  • Continue exercising at least 20-30 minutes 4-6 days/week. I still chose walking.

Stage 6: Healthy Lifestyle. Your pouch may soften and expand after 6-9 months after surgery. Your regular appetite may return and you may be able to tolerate larger amount of food. This is natural, but it’s vital that you continue to keep control of what and how much you eat. Eat 3 times daily. These are the tips for stage 6 and hopefully from then on:

  • Eat 3 small meals per day. Over eating can cause nausea, vomiting and stretch the pouch.
  • Take 20-30 minutes to eat each meal. No Grazing!
  • Make sure to get at least 65 grams of protein a day.
  • DO NOT EAT AND DRINK AT THE SAME TIME, stop drinking 30 minutes before you eat and wait an hour after you eat before you drink again.
  • Sip on fluids between meals. Aim for 64 oz of fluid per day from non-caloric, non-carbonated, non- caffeinated fluid daily.
  • Watch your snacking or grazing in between meals. Try not to do this at all.
  • NEVER skip meals.
  • Take all recommended vitamin and mineral supplements.
  • Exercise on average of 30-40 minutes, 4-6 times a week. I was up to walking about 6 miles before winter came. I will be returning to walking as soon as weather permits.
  • Sleep approximately 7-8 hours per night.

You will need to at least once a year have labs drawn by your weight or your primary care doctor to check your “Vitamin Laboratory Protocol”.  If you choose your primary care doctor and he/she is not familiar with what lab tests that needs to be done, have him/she to contact your weight doctor to learn what lab tests are needed. This is very important to avoid any health issues.

I hope I have helped someone who has followed this series with their decision process for whether or not to have this surgery. If not with that, hopefully I have helped someone with making healthier food choices. If you want any further articles giving you examples of the different proteins, vegetables and starches just let me know below in the comments.

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