• Frequently Asked Questions: Nutrition and Bariatric Surgery

    Discover How Healthy Choices Impact Your Success

    Making healthy choices is an important part of your journey to weight loss success. Get answers to commonly asked questions about health and nutrition after weight loss surgery.

  • Take it slow and one day at a time. If you can only drink a small amount, that's fine. Eventually, your stomach will be able to handle three to four protein shakes a day. 

    There are other forms of vitamins you can take. Bariatric Advantage and Celebrate make capsules. Check with the dietitian to see how many to take each day. Another option is to crush your multivitamin and put it into your shake or soft meal. Be sure then to drink the entire shake or eat the entire meal.

    No, just take your calcium, multivitamin and other supplements as directed by your dietician at your next dose. If you double your calcium or take both of your multivitamins at the same time, they won't absorb well.

    Try to take your vitamin at the same time every day, such as during breakfast or after dinner, so that it’s easier to remember. You can also set an alarm on a phone to remind yourself it’s time to take your vitamins. 

    No. These formulas are incomplete and don’t provide you with the micronutrients your body needs. Many over-the-counter supplements are made from synthetic ingredients that the body doesn't recognize or absorb. If you have a specific multivitamin or calcium brand you would like to take, please bring it in so the dietitian can tell you if it will meet your needs after surgery.

    It’s estimated that bypass patients will lose 65-90 percent of their excess weight in the first year. Sleeve patients will lose 60-70 percent of their excess weight in the first year. 

    Water, water, water. Your body is trying to adjust after a major surgery. You are eating more protein and taking more calcium, which can cause constipation. Remember to keep hydrated and always sip on your water or sugar-free beverages. Exercise, such as walking, also helps get things moving.

    Hair loss can be caused by major surgery and rapid weight loss. The two minerals that play a role in hair loss are iron and zinc. Iron deficiency is highly related to hair loss, more so than a zinc deficiency. It is very important that you take your multivitamin daily and eat your recommended protein amount. If you do experience hair loss, it should subside within the first year after surgery.

    There are several symptoms of dehydration you should watch for:

    • Dark, smelly urine
    • Dizziness
    • Dry mouth and swollen tongue
    • Weakness
    • Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
    • Confusion
    • Sluggishness
    • Fainting
    • Decreased urine output

    No. Alcohol is completely off limits for the first six to 12 months after surgery. Your stomach doesn't have the necessary enzymes to break down alcohol. Without the enzymes, the alcohol goes directly into the bloodstream and to the liver. Plus, you are drinking empty calories (they have no nutritional value whatsoever), which will slow down your weight loss. Alcohol can also cause dehydration.