The composition of the post-surgery diet is essential to meeting your nutritional needs. It is important to understand the two different types of nutrients. Macronutrients consist of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats; micronutrients consist of vitamins and minerals.
For the first six months post-surgery, the surgeons recommend taking in the following:
- Protein: 60 to 100 grams daily
- Fat: 45 to 50 grams daily
- Carbohydrates: 45 to 50 grams (under 50 grams per day will put you in a ketogenic state)
- Fluids: 64 ounces daily
- Sleep: 7 hours per night
- Exercise: 150 minutes of routine exercise weekly, eventually working up to 300 minutes weekly
- Omeprazole: 20 to 40 mg daily
For the first four weeks post-surgery, most people will consume approximately 500 to 600 calories daily. For the second month post-surgery, that number will gradually increase to approximately 700 to 800 calories per day.
By the third month, your daily calorie intake should be between 900 and 1200, depending on if you are male or female. This is an excellent time to invest in a few appointments with a registered dietician because these numbers are approximations and will vary by person depending on age, gender, medications, and exercise levels.
The grams of protein should be around 60 to 100 daily, and the carbs and fats should be kept around 50 grams each. Of course, it is normal to have some days with a little more and some days with a little less.
It is important to keep the refined sugars low, at less than 25 grams daily. Usually only natural sugars that are in vegetables and fruits are allowed; no added sugars or sodium. The American Heart Association suggests consuming less than 1500 mg of sodium daily.
Take your time when adding new foods to your diet. Introduce one at a time to see how your new tummy will handle it. Sometimes the tummy will accept it and sometimes it will not – it is a learning process for each one of us.
In the first few months after surgery, it is very normal to return to softer and easier to digest foods from time to time to rest the new tummy. If you are finding yourself in a stall, go back to what worked for you in the beginning, tracking and journaling all foods and drinks.
You can always go back to having 2 protein shakes per day, 2 higher protein snacks, and a sensible healthy meal, plus lots of water, a moderate amount of exercise, and 7 hours of sleep per night. After 6 months, a good multivitamin for life is recommended.