Diet Matters: The Role of Nutrition in Weight Loss Surgery
To ensure the success of your weight loss surgery, here are some tips to get you started on your journey.
By Noel Le, RDN, Bariatric Dietitian
An essential element of long-term weight loss success with bariatric surgery is the ability to adopt a new way of eating. With the guidance of a registered dietitian, patients can learn how to implement the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes needed for sustainable weight loss. Patients who receive counseling from a dietitian before and after weight loss surgery have been shown to achieve more clinically significant weight reduction and are less likely to experience weight regain. Additionally, consistent interaction with a dietitian helps maintain the momentum of healthful eating habits in the face of life’s challenges.
A strong indicator for a patient’s long-term weight loss success is whether they are able to implement dietary changes and lifestyle modifications prior to surgery. To ensure the success of your weight loss surgery, here are some tips to get you started on your journey:
- Start thinking about your cues to eat. Surgery limits how much you eat, but not what or why you eat. Ask yourself, are you eating out of boredom, cravings, emotion, or physical hunger?
- Prepare a list of non-food strategies for when you have the desire to eat, but it is not driven by physical hunger.
- Eat like you’ve already had surgery. Focus on a consistent meal schedule, drink adequate fluids throughout the day, and chew your food well.
- Hold yourself accountable by keeping a food journal.
- Focus on successes, big and small. Your weight loss journey is unique to you. Don’t let another person’s progress discourage you.
Establishing a strong support system is another factor that strongly influences outcomes, including weight regain after surgery. Regular attendance at support group meetings has been shown to improve weight loss outcomes and provides patients an opportunity to connect with others who are going through similar experiences. Nutrition support groups offer opportunities to receive ongoing education on nutrition, exercise, and healthful behavior changes. Torrance Memorial Medical Center offers a variety of resources, classes, and support groups that can be part of your support system, both to assist you through the tough times and also to help celebrate your victories!
If you are planning on or have a history of weight loss surgery or just looking for guidance in making lifestyle changes, contact one of our registered dietitian nutritionists who specialize in bariatric surgeries and weight management to schedule your personalized consultation today! We are located in the Torrance Memorial Specialty Center, 2841 Lomita Blvd., Suite 335, Torrance. Call 310-891-6707.