Post-surgical diets

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Weight-loss surgery patients have special dietary considerations. If you have a LAP-BAND, you'll need to get used to separating your food and drink and avoiding "slider" foods that can easily pass through your band. Gastric bypass patients will need to learn which foods cause negative reactions such as dumping syndrome. Learn how to successfully plan meals to get the best results from your weight-loss surgery.

LAP-BAND and alcohol: Can you drink after LAP-BAND surgery?

You may have heard conflicting information about your ability to drink alcohol after Lap-Band surgery, or even horror stories about WLS surgery patients who have had a dangerously high blood alcohol content after just one drink.

Some doctors may warn you that you can never drink alcohol again - ever - after being banded, because of the risk of damaging your liver. Others say that it's fine to begin drinking moderately six months after surgery, but to exercise caution. So why the difference in opinion?

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Learning how to separate your food and drink

After your Lap-Band surgery, your doctor will advise you to not drink with your meals. If you are used to drinking a lot of liquid during your meal - especially if you have ever participated in Weight Watchers or another weight-loss program that advises you to fill up your stomach with fluids - this can be a hard habit to break.

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Meeting your protein needs

As you are probably already aware, protein consumption is of paramount importance to WLS patients. Without adequate protein, your body will not have enough building blocks for muscle, hair, and tissue growth.

Some people regularly drink protein shakes to make sure they are meeting their daily protein requirements, but others may not like the taste of protein powders and may crave more variety in their diets. Some Lap-Band patients may also have a problem digesting certain protein-rich foods, such as chicken.

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Protein drinks may contain dangerous ingredients

Protein is an important nutrient for Lap-Band patients: it is essential for maintaining muscle mass, growing healthy hair and nails, and achieving optimum weight loss.

Many Lap-Banders get their daily protein intake from protein shakes, but patients should exercise caution when using protein powders. Most – if not all – contain MSG, which can cause migraines and a multitude of other health problems.

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Salad suggestions for LAP-BAND patients

LAP-BAND patients can usually reintroduce salads into their diets at two to three months after surgery; your doctor may give you the green light to start eating salads even sooner. Salads are a great way to get vital nutrients, including your daily protein intake. However, some LAP-BAND patients find they are unable to tolerate lettuce and raw veggies, so you may need to experiment to determine what works for you.

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