Losing weight is not an easy fit. It's even harder to keep that extra weight off for a long time. In some cases, even exercise and dieting prove ineffective. That is where weight loss surgery comes into play. For most people, deciding to undergo weight loss surgery is a serious decision. It's one of the most effective ways of helping them achieve their goals.
Still, it would help if you underwent a couple of evaluations before you qualify for any weight loss surgery. One such evaluation is a nutritional assessment. What is its purpose before the surgery? Read on to find out more.
Why you need a nutritional assessment before your weight loss surgery
Nutritional assessment is a vital part of your patient evaluation before surgery. For this, you will need to contact a licensed dietitian who will also help you come up with effective weight maintenance strategies. Most obese patients often suffer nutritional deficiencies. That includes deficiencies in micronutrients and proteins even though most patients also have an excess store of fat.
In most cases, this may result from poor eating habits or little to no effort in losing weight. The purpose of nutritional assessment is to find any preoperative deficiencies and treat them before the surgery. If not, they may worsen post-surgery. Moreover, subclinical deficiencies can manifest into significant medical conditions and illnesses that may potentially have devastating consequences.
Additionally, this assessment and patient education may help guide you towards dietary modifications post-surgery. That way, you can maintain your new weight as you work towards your weight loss goal. Also, if you have diabetes, you may need to monitor glycemic control before your surgery.
What are the best diet and nutrition practices before your weight loss surgery?
Diet before and after any weight loss surgery procedure is important. So what do you need to change in your diet before you undergo the procedure? Here are some tips to help you:
1. Protein shakes and powders are a good start.
The most common nutritional deficiency for obese patients is proteins. That deficiency worsens post-surgery, and it's up to you to prevent that from happening. Plus, an increase in your diet proteins may be just what you need to improve your healing later on. But that's not all. A proper amount of protein intake may prevent you from losing lean muscles both pre and post-surgery.
That is important in achieving the perfect body shape after losing the extra fat. So, which protein powder is recommended? Well, that depends on the type of protein your body readily tolerates. For instance, many people are lactose intolerant. That makes whey as a source of protein out of the question. If that describes you, then you can have rice or pea protein. Also, only go for sugar-free protein powders with a high protein count. Say no to any high-calorie, sugar-filled treats coming your way.
2. Sugar-filled treats are out of the question.
Most drinks and foods that are high in calories and sugar have little to no nutritional value. Although you may have given up on baked goodies and candies, some of the beverages you are taking are also full of (or even higher) calories and sugar. That means you need to be more conscious of the coffees, sweet teas, and sodas you drink regularly. You may not realize how much sugar you are consuming when you drink these beverages, making it easy to overindulge.
If you are looking for a way to satisfy your sugar cravings, you can eat sweet fruits. It's more natural and healthier. Also, you can use fruits to sweeten your low-fat yogurt at home instead of drinking already sweetened yogurt.
3. Work on your vices
As you prepare for your surgery, your vices may let you down. Most notable of these vices include alcohol consumption and smoking. Although many people use these vices to fulfill their food cravings, it's not helpful in your weight loss journey. For instance, alcohol has no nutritional value, and it's high in calories. It would be best if you gave up on your drinking and smoking habits as soon as possible.
4. Avoid binge-eating
Binge-eating disorder is a significant contributor to obesity. If you suffer from this disorder as well, you need to work on your binge-eating habits. Some of the strategies that obese patients find helpful include regularly eating throughout the day. That way, you won't overeat as a result of being too hungry. Plus, you need to measure your entire snack portion carefully and put the rest away. Checking the calorie counts of all your meals and snacks can also help you control how much you eat.
5. High carbohydrate foods offer little nutritional value
Foods like white pasta, white bread, and white potatoes are common high carbohydrate foods. Although these foods are filling, they only offer little nutritional value and make it difficult to regulate your weight. Plus, they can increase your blood sugar as they often convert to sugar as soon they enter your bloodstream. Other high carb foods include gluten-free baked goods, crackers, potato chips, mashed potatoes, fries, cereal, beer, juice, and sweetened yogurt.
6. Stay away from high-fat foods.
Your diet should be free of any high-fat foods, including fried dishes, fatty meats, butter, and whole milk products. However, you can try adding lower-fat alternatives to your diet, including low-fat cheese and lean meat. That can greatly help reduce the risk of dumping syndrome post-surgery. Other foods to avoid include heavy cream, fast food, fatty cuts of beef, bacon, fries, fried chicken, and cream-based salad dressings, bologna, sausages, and butter.
7. Over-the-counter medications are not always safe for pre and post-weight loss surgery.
Numerous over-the-counter medications could interfere with your healing post-surgery. You also risk damaging your gastric lining by using them. You must confirm with your doctor which medications are safe for use as you prepare for your weight loss surgery and which to avoid at all costs.
A nutritional assessment is essential in ensuring that you have no nutritional risks as you prepare for the surgery. Also, the assessment can help you know of any deficiencies you may have that surgery may worsen and how to handle them. You can use your evaluation as a chance to confirm with your dietitian the weight-loss strategies and diets that are effective pre and post-weight loss surgery. Contact us for more information on weight loss surgery.