after lap band surgery
The lap band helps you lose weight by:
- Reducing the amount of food that you can eat
- Reducing hunger
- Reducing the amount of kilojoules that you can eat.
With a gastric band you can eat a normal healthy diet, but you will only be able
to tolerate very small portion sizes (about ½ cup or a bread and butter plate
per meal). You may find some foods a little tricky, such as white bread, rice
and steak, however, if you eat slowly and work with your dietitian, you should
be able to eat small amounts of all foods. Eating slowly and chewing your food
well is the key to success with a gastric band. Make sure that you have time to
eat your meals, and try to reduce distractions such as the television so that
you can concentrate on eating slowly.
Gastric Band Guidelines
It is essential that you follow the Gastric Band Guidelines for the rest of your
life to ensure that you lose your optimal amount of weight and that you be as
healthy as you possibly can.
1. Eat slowly, chew well, and when you sense fullness – stop!
2. Eat 3 small evenly spaced meals per day
3. No snacks between meals
4. Separate food & fluids – avoid drinking for half an hour before or after
5. Avoid high calorie foods and drinks eg. chocolate, cheese, ice cream, soft
6. Take a multivitamin daily
Follow a Healthy Diet
After years of dieting, some people have forgotten how to eat a normal, healthy
diet. It is a good idea to practice healthy eating habits before you have your
surgery. Try the following tips:
- Include all of the 5 Core Food Groups each day. These are:
- Breads and cereals - pasta, rice, breakfast cereal, legumes, bread
- Dairy – milk, yoghurt, custard
- Vegetables – salad, vegetable sticks, stir fry
- Fruit – fresh fruit, dried fruit, canned fruit
- Meat & meat alternatives – meat, poultry, fish, canned tuna, nuts, legumes,
- Eat breakfast daily. Try a high fiber breakfast such as Fiber One, Wheeta Bix,
Special K, whole wheat toast, tomato or an egg
or fruit salad and yogurt.
- Avoid high calorie drinks such as soft drinks, cordials and fruit juices.
Drink water or low fat milk.
- If you’re hungry, have a nutritious snack such as fruit, raw
veggies with dip,
yogurt, a glass of milk or half a sandwich. Avoid foods high in calories such
as chocolate, chips and biscuits.
- Limit take away foods. Try to make foods from fresh ingredients. If you’re in
a hurry, try cooking up some meals on the week ends, then freezing them for
later. Casseroles and homemade soups are really good choices to freeze.
- Do at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise every day. Vigorous exercise means
that you should be puffing. Try things like going for a fast walk, swimming or
riding an exercise bike.
- Increase your incidental exercise. Incidental exercise is exercise which is
part of your every day life. It includes things like walking up the stairs
instead of taking the elevator, walking to the shops instead of driving or
taking public transport and washing the car instead of taking it to the car
- Reduce screen time. You should limit activities like watching TV and playing
computer games to a maximum of 2 hours each day. Go for a walk or have a hot
bath for relaxation instead.
- Drink plenty of water. Some time when you think you’re hungry, you’re actually
just thirsty, so make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water. Keep a water
bottle with you and take little sips all day long.
Diet for Surgery
For 1-2 weeks prior to your surgery, you will need to be on a meal
replacement (such as Reduce XS or Optifast) to reduce the size of your stomach.
This helps to reduce the risk of complications during the surgery. Your
dietitian will explain this diet to you in your pre-operative assessment.
In hospital, you will be seen by a dietitian who will explain stage 2.
Basically, you will need to commence a high protein fluid diet post surgery to
allow the swelling to go down, then slowly introduce new foods until you can
tolerate a full diet. You will need to start on fluids, then upgrade to
vitamized foods (soft, pureed) before finally being able to tolerate solid foods. This process
usually takes about 4 weeks.
After the first amount of fluid is put into your band, you should be
able to eat a normal diet, but only very small servings at a time. It is important
that you follow the Gastric Band Guidelines.
The dietitians are available to help and support you both before and after your
surgery. We individually tailor an eating plan for you and assist you to follow
the Gastric Band Guidelines. The package includes 5 visits with the dietitian.
- Pre-operative assessment – assessment of the quality and quantity of your
diet, discuss issues that may have caused you to become overweight and discuss
- Post-operative assessment – assess how you’ve been tolerating your post
operative diet and ensure that you’ve been following the Gastric Band Guidelines
prior to adding fluid to the band.
- Reviews x 3 – ensure that you’ve been following the Gastric Band Guidelines
and discuss any problem areas that may have arisen.
** Additional reviews are available as required at an additional cost.