Millions of people have opted to have lap band surgery. A lap band is a special inflatable band that a surgeon can place around your stomach, essentially shrinking how big your stomach can get. This reduces how hungry you feel and how much food you can eat at a time, which means that it can be an aid in eating a lower-calorie diet and, ultimately, losing weight. But with the reduced food intake of a lap band, you have to be careful about what you put in your body – so what should you eat once you’ve recovered from surgery? There is no one single lap band diet, but there are good guidelines that can help you stay healthy and maximize the weight loss effect you experience from your band.
Immediately after lap band surgery, your doctor will likely give you strict instructions for what to eat. Initially, you will be limited only to liquids and pureed foods. This helps reduce the strain you put on your stomach during healing. Once you have recovered, however, you will be able to eat a full variety of foods – and this is where many people feel lost without guidance.
A good guideline for anyone with a lap band is to work with your lap band, not against it. It is designed to help you feel full and sated so take advantage of that benefit. At meals you should eat solid foods, not liquid foods like soup. You should also avoid drinking anything (alcoholic or not) while eating. Liquids and liquid foods do not fill up the lap band pouch and can move your meal through quickly, so you don’t get the sense of fullness that the pouch offers. Likewise, take your time eating. Chew each bite 15-20 times before swallowing.
When choosing what to eat, focus on healthy, nutritional choices. You don’t get as much food each day so what you do get needs to be healthy. Eating fiber, such as greens, whole grains, cereals, and fruit can further help slow digestion and have many health benefits. Other choice items include low-fat proteins like seafood, eggs, and white meat; heart-healthy fats like nuts and olive oil; lots of fruits and vegetables; and low fat dairy products.
It’s important to restrict yourself to three meals a day, with no snacking in between. Snacks will fill you up quickly and often lead to skipping a healthy meal.
A smart lap band dietcan not only make the most of your lap band, it can also lead to increased energy and overall health.
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Samantha Wideman is part of a team of writers and specializes in writing about current news events.