Chances are that if you are reading this, you (or someone you know) has had gastric bypass and is regaining some of the weight lost. I was once on the wrong end of weight loss post-op and I’m here to tell you that there is hope! Here are three tips to restarting the weight loss and feeling better.
Check your protein intake
Next to water, protein is the most abundant substance in the human body. Besides protein’s amazing ability to curb hunger between meals, here are a few other reasons to up your protein intake.
Protein helps to build muscles and maintain lean body mass. Lean body mass is what drives your body’s metabolism. When you don’t consume enough protein, lean body tissue is lost along with fat. This leads the metabolism to slow, which means your body requires less and less food the more lean body tissue you lose. This becomes a vicious cycle and is also why low-calorie diets don’t work. A high protein diet can help prevent this from happening.
Protein helps to control blood sugar. A high-protein, low-sugar diet not only aids the body in regulating blood sugar but it helps to alleviate the symptoms and risks of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is the body’s inability to produce the insulin necessary to handle sugar in the blood, which leads to type-2 diabetes and an increased risk of a number of diseases including coronary artery disease and stroke.
After a gastric bypass, especially RNY, you will not absorb protein as well as a “normal” person. But some people experience greater malabsorption than others. In order to make sure you are taking in enough protein, you should have regular blood tests done. Different doctors and dieticians recommend different amounts of protein for gastric bypass patients, but 60 – 80 grams is the typical recommendation.
Of course protein supplements count toward your total protein intake as well. Protein supplements should only supplement your food intake. Focus on food sources of protein first.
Please note: plant proteins are not “complete” proteins. A complete protein is one food item that contains all of the essential amino acids. Some examples of plant proteins are beans and soy. Incomplete proteins are very difficult for the body to assimilate – especially being malabsorbtive.
Obesity is a symptom of malnutrition. Since bypass patients do not absorb nutrients, it is imperative that supplements are maintained.
Vitamins like B12, and fat-soluble vitamins like A,D,K and E must be supplemented in order to be maintained. If you do not take your vitamin and mineral supplements will become malnourished. This is because not only are you unable to consume enough food to meet your vitamin & mineral requirements, but also because you will have a decreased ability to digest and absorb certain nutrients after having gastric bypass surgery.
Vitamin B12 works together with folate in the making of DNA and red blood cells. It’s also involved in the production of the myelin sheath around the nerves, and the conduction of nerve impulses. You can think of the brain and the nervous system as a big tangle of wires. Myelin is the insulation that protects those wires and helps them to conduct messages.
Vitamin B12 is digested and absorbed differently than most vitamins. After gastric bypass surgery, you will no longer be able to digest and absorb sufficient amounts of B12 to maintain health. You must take your B12 in a form that directly enters the bloodstream like injections or sublingual lozenges, not through the digestive tract.
B12 deficiency causes several problems, including fatigue, lethargy, weakness, memory loss, neurological and psychiatric problems and anemia.
Vitamin K is required for calcium utilization. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin responsible for intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphate. These two vitamins can be taken sublingually for best absorption.
It is important to not take the calcium and iron supplements at the same time, as they interfere with the absorption of each other. Take calcium and iron supplements at least 2 hours apart.
In a nutshell, clean eating is consuming food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet; it’s a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to an improved life – one meal at a time.
Of course, eating clean helps your body’s natural mechanisms and allows you to absorb vitamins and minerals much more efficiently than you might have if you were eating the standard American diet.
Consuming foods that contain anti-nutrients not only harms your body’s natural healing mechanisms, but it also stops you from absorbing the already diminished nutrients that you are getting.
Give the free clean-eating meal plan and grocery list a try for two weeks. The recipes are simple and can be found here on this blog. Check your progress after two weeks of clean eating. I’m sure you’ll notice a difference!