As noted in your program binder, after surgery, you will find that you need to make changes in your eating patterns. These changes will help prevent pain and vomiting and help to produce your desired weight loss.
One important change to focus on is proper chewing. This is something you’ve been encouraged to practice even before you had your surgery. Swallowing foods in chunks may block the opening from your stomach to your intestine and prevent the passage of food. This will cause pain, discomfort, nausea, vomiting, stretching of your pouch, or disruption of the staple line. The development of appropriate eating habits, such as chewing well, will prevent obstruction of the stoma (the opening for food to leave the upper stomach).
Always remember the following chewing guidelines:
- Eat slowly and chew foods until they reach a soft consistency
- Set aside 20-30 minutes for each meal
- Actually count the number of times you chew each bite. Aim for 20 chews.
- Make an EAT SLOWLY sign and place it on the table in front of you.
- Explain to family members why you must eat slowly so they will not urge you to eat faster.
- Take small bites of food. You may want to try eating with a baby spoon.
- Pay attention to taste. Learn to savor each bite, noticing it’s flavor, texture and consistency.
- Chew well. Ground or very soft foods may be necessary if you have dentures.
- Do not skip meals. When you skip a meal and eat on the run, you eat too quickly and forget to chew your food well.
Refer to your program binder for additional information on appropriate fluid intake, portion sizes, food choices and foods to avoid after surgery.