LAP-BAND ®surgery is a procedure that involves placing a band on your stomach to reduce the amount of food and liquid you can consume by making the stomach smaller in size, thereby causing weight loss. The band may be adjusted periodically to accommodate your bodies' needs.
After surgery, there are major changes that you will need to make in order to lose the desired amount of weight and ultimately maintain the loss. The surgery alone does not ensure results; changes in your lifestyle and eating habits are vital, and in order to be successful, there are certain rules and guidelines that are important.
What Can You Eat?
Immediately following surgery, the first change you will have to make is to recognize that your now smaller stomach cannot handle as much food as before, and you will need to listen to your body when it tells you it is full. In the first couple of weeks after surgery, you will be on an all-liquid diet that you must not stray from, but after that, it is back to solid foods. Once you are able to eat solid foods, you are advised by your doctor and weight loss team on what you can and cannot eat during your weight loss journey. The standard rule of thumb is to stay away from foods and beverages that are high in sugar and fat.
Generally allowed and recommended foods are:
- Vegetables and fruits (two servings of fruit and three of vegetables daily)
- Poultry, eggs, fish and meat (remove fat from meat and skin from poultry)
- Dairy Products: Milk, yogurt and cheese (These are calcium enriched foods and are part of a healthy diet)
- Fats: not all fats are harmful; they can be healthy in moderation. However, such items as margarine, oil and butter should be restricted to about 3-4 teaspoons a day.
- Drinks: You can drink calorie free beverages as much as you want, before, after and between meals. Tea, coffee and any other non-carbonated drinks are acceptable as well.
Will Exercise Be Required?
Yes, incorporating exercise into your new lifestyle will not only enhance your weight loss, but will also guarantee that your overall health and well-being will improve. Try walking and swimming, as these exercises are easier on the body and will allow you time to adjust to your new healthier lifestyle. Soon you will find you are able to do exercises that require more stamina.
By the time you reach your goal weight, you should be an expert on what to eat and your exercise routine will have become second nature, so maintaining your weight will simply consist of continuing to make healthy eating choices and ongoing exercise. Throughout your lap band surgery journey, you will have a team of medical professionals that will guide you and offer advice on the best way to lose the weight and keep it off.