Dieticians and Nutritionists for Bariatric Patients - My Bariatric Life

by Cheryl Ann Borne Patient Advocate

Once you have had gastric bypass surgery, as I did, you will be required to make permanent lifestyle changes if you wish to have success. Primary among those changes will be how you eat. The type of food you eat and the amount of food you eat will change after gastric bypass surgery (or any weight loss surgery for that matter). Portions will be smaller, and the amount of minerals and vitamins taken in through food sources will decrease. A plan will be needed in order to get the proper amount of nutrients, and incorporating a dietician into your bariatric support network will prove worthwhile.

Changes in Eating Habits After Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric bypass patients must acclimate to eating frequent small healthy meals. Failure to adjust can result in poor nutrition and an inadequate intake of calories.
Weight loss surgery patients need to become habitual about taking small bites and reducing the pace at which they eat. Eating slowly helps the bariatric patient to anticipate the sensation of becoming full. Failure to eat slowly can result in vomiting.

Between eighty to one hundred ounces of water should be consumed daily. Raw or lightly cooked fresh fruita and
vegetables should be part of the bariatric diet to ensure an adequate amount of fiber and particular minerals and vitamins.

Protein intake is important for the bariatric patient, and long term protein intake varies from 55 to more than 100 grams per day. Among other things, protein burns body fat instead of muscle for a more healthy weight loss, supports your metabolism for faster weight loss, and curbs hunger.

Vitamin and mineral supplements will also be needed because gastric bypass surgery effects how the body absorbs vitamins and minerals.

The agenda for proper diet and nutrition for the bariatric client is steep, and professional guidance can be of great value.

The Bariatric Nutritionist

Bariatric nutritionists and dieticians aid bariatric physcians and health care professionals by promoting diet, exercise and behavioral modification.

Following weight loss surgery, the bariatric nutritionist is present to assure that the patient is eating as she should to help promote the best possibilities for healthy living. Bariatric nutritionists are trained to treat the specialized needs of each individual weight loss surgery patient and provide technical, nutritional, and moral support throughout the process.

The Registered Dietician

The importance of the registered dietician as a member of the bariatric support team is gaining recognition as the procedure increases in popularity.

As reported in the April, 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, pre- and post operative issues about diet require the specialized attention of a registered dietician. Registered dieticians are able to assess, regulate, and advise bariatric patients regarding the importance of proper nutrition. They are also capable of addressing the problematic areas of inappropriate eating behaviors, depression, and anxiety. Such issues can easily effect weight loss surgery patients' self-esteem and life quality, thereby undermining her efforts for successful weight management.

References
American Diabetes Association
- accessed on 4/23/12
Eat Right
- accessed 4/23/12
Medibar Diet
accessed on 4/23/12
Nutritionist-World
- accessed on 4/23/12
University of Mississippi Medical Center
- accessed on 4/23/12

Cheryl Ann Borne
Meet Our Writer
Cheryl Ann Borne

Cheryl Ann Borne, writing as My Bariatric Life, is a contributing writer and Paleo recipe developer. Cheryl is an award-winning healthcare communications professional and obesity health advocate who has overcome super obesity and it’s related diseases. She publishes the website MyBariatricLife.org, and microblogs on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Cheryl is also writing her first book and working on a second website.