I don't understand why diet is important after bariatric surgery. If the surgery corrects the weight problem, shouldn't it also compensate for overeating and indiscretions in food choices?

Answer From Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D.

The short answer is no. Diet continues to be very important after bariatric surgery.

Because bariatric surgery changes the size of the stomach and, in some instances, the way the small intestine digests and absorbs food, you will lose weight. However, these changes also reduce your body's ability to absorb various nutrients. Short- and long-term nutrient deficiencies can develop.

Bariatric surgery also limits the types and amounts of foods and beverages you eat and drink. The quality of your diet is very important. You need to choose the right amounts and kinds of nutritious foods to stay healthy.

It's also possible to undermine your surgery with inappropriate high-calorie food and beverage choices that can slow weight loss — or even lead to weight gain.

It will be important to work with your doctor and a registered dietitian to learn how to eat in a new way to achieve and maintain weight loss, to treat and limit short- and long-term nutritional complications, and to feel your best.

April 21, 2020 See more Expert Answers

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