After the getting through the first two weeks after gastric sleeve surgery, your stomach has now begun starting to adjust to its new form and functions. During weeks 3 and 4 your body is starting its weight-loss transformation and coming into line with the new calorie limitations and once again having food in the diet rather than just liquids. Here are the 4 things to know about weeks 3 & 4 after bariatric surgery to ensure you stay on course with your weightloss goals.
Weight Loss Will Be Noticeable
By the third week after surgery most gastric sleeve patients will have noticeable weight loss. This is a great thing to see progress as this is why people decided to have surgery in the first place. Most of the weight loss at this point is due to being on a liquid only diet and consuming a very limited amount of calories but it is the first step towards a consistent pattern of weight loss as your new stomach and lifestyle get established. It is also really important to make sure you are getting your recommended daily intake of protein. You want to make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs to run effectively and is burning fat for energy and not muscle. By consuming the proper amounts of protein you will help your body lose less muscle during this phase and reduce your body fat percentage.
Don’t Over Consume the Pureed Food
Coming off two weeks of only liquids in your diet your body is ready for something more substantial but be careful to work into the foods slowly. Remember your stomach is only about 30% of what it was prior to surgery and just doesn’t have the capacity it use to have. For many people you will still have “eyes bigger than your stomach” and will take and try to eat more than you really have room for in your new digestive system. Take smaller portions and eat slowly is the best advice to keep from getting sick by eating too fast for too much. If you are still hungry 30 minutes after you eat you can always go back and get a little more but it not worth damaging our stomach or feeling ill for a few hours to cram one or two more bites down your throat.
You Will Start to Have More Energy & Less Pain
With surgery now in the rearview mirror, your body will start to strengthen and overall you will have more energy and feel better. With the intake of the pureed foods, your body will start getting more calories and nutrients and you’ll feel like being more active. Get up and start being active as you start feeling better. For a lot of bariatric surgery patients standing up and going for slow walks make them feel better after eating and tends to help with the gas and the sensation of being overfull as they learn how much to eat with their new stomach. Also the pain from the surgery should now being a lot less noticeable and be getting to the point of lessening the pain medications from the procedure. Most patients by this time are starting to not need the heavy pain medications and are ok transitioning to over-the-counter Tylenol for managing any lingering pain issues. Remember not to use ibuprofen or aspirin products as this can cause stomach irritation and bleeding in your stomach, especially along the suture line of your new stomach.
Foods May Settle Differently After Bariatric Surgery
Now that you’re eating pureed foods for the first time after surgery you may notice that things settle differently in your new stomach. Foods that at one time didn’t cause any problems with stomach upset or nausea now may cause mild discomfort or perhaps diarrhea. Because of this it important to reintroduce foods one at a time to identify what foods might be causing issues. People tend to have issues with different foods but in general a few foods that seem to have the most issues are milk products, spicy foods, foods in high fat. Beverage that have carbonation also tend to be problematic but should not be being consumed at this stage anyway. If you notice changes know this is not uncommon but should be still mentioned to your doctor at your next appointment just as a precaution ( also check out our gastric sleeve sensitivity meal plans).