After weight loss surgery, you will be on a strict diet to allow your new body time to heal after the procedure. This is an essential part of your journey and something you should not ignore. The post-op diet can be extremely challenging to follow, especially if you did not properly prepare for it before the surgery. However, it is not in place to torture you. It truly is to make sure you do not cause any damage from the procedure. There can be consequences if you do not follow the plan as you are supposed to. As tempting as it might be to eat solid foods after surgery, you must be patient to ensure you do not cause any significant damage.
I remember like it was yesterday how difficult it was to follow the post-op diet. It can be so hard to be around food because you are on a strict liquid and puree diet for several weeks after the surgery. You might not be physically hungry, but you will mentally crave food. This is why it is so important to properly prepare before having the surgery. If you have a severe food addiction, you will struggle those first few weeks after surgery because you will no longer be able to eat the same way you did prior to surgery. If you are not ready for this huge change, you might cave and give in and eat something too soon. You might think that eating something solid a week after surgery is fine, but it can cause huge issues if you are not careful. One of the biggest risks after surgery is leaks. If you eat food too quickly, you might damage the staple line. If you stretch out your stomach too much while it is healing, you could really hurt yourself.
Trust me, I know it is so tempting to just eat a few small bites of solid foods a week after surgery, especially if you are around other people eating. It is not worth it though. It will cause you so much anxiety and you will think you damaged something. You will also probably feel really sick and could possibly vomit if you eat too soon after the procedure. You have completely changed your anatomy and therefore you need to take baby steps. You are only drinking the tiniest bit of liquid right after surgery and this is to protect you and ensure you are properly healing. Just remember that if you are only able to drink that small of amount right after surgery, you definitely will not be ready to eat solid foods a week after the procedure. It takes several weeks for the swelling to go down and for your staple line to heal. This is why the stages are so important. You need to be gradually adding things back into your diet. If you throw it all in at once, you are taking a huge risk for your health.
I truly believe that those first few weeks after surgery are the hardest because you have to get past the mental hunger and food addiction. Remember that this truly is going to be one of the hardest things you have ever done, so take the time to prepare before you have the surgery. No matter how tempted you might be to rush the post-op diet, please remember how dangerous it can be if you do not follow your surgeon’s plan. You have to trust your medical team and do your part on this journey, or you will not get anywhere. Hang in there! It will be glorious the first time you take your first bite of solid foods, but you must be patient and wait until your body is ready. You got this!