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?

Answers from Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D.

The short answer is no.

Because bariatric surgery changes the size of the stomach and, in some instances, the way the small intestine digests 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.

Because bariatric surgery limits the types of foods you can eat and the nutrients you can absorb, 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's important to work with a registered dietitian to learn how to eat in a new way to achieve and maintain weight loss and to feel your best.

April 14, 2018 See more Expert Answers