Athletic girl with gym clothes eats salad at a table

Making the commitment to change your life with weight loss surgery is no easy feat. And after the surgery, you’ve worked hard to recover. A few simple lifestyle choices can make a real difference when maintaining your weight loss. Most importantly, following the proper diet is imperative for long-lasting results to avoid letting your hard work go to waste.

Feel confident about your new weight loss, and keep the pounds off for good by incorporating fiber into your diet with these tips and tricks from Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery.

What Is Fiber?

Fiber occurs naturally in plant foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, and nuts. The body can’t fully break down natural fiber, causing it to slow down digestion and absorb water. There are two types of dietary fiber, including soluble and insoluble fiber.

Soluble fibers dissolve in water and slow down the digestion process. Some common examples of foods high in soluble fiber include

  • Oatmeal
  • Beans
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Blueberries
  • Avocado

On the other hand, insoluble fibers aren’t dissolved in water and help move food and waste through your GI tract. Some common examples of foods high in insoluble fiber include

  • Celery
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Cauliflower
  • Nuts
  • Potatoes

While soluble and insoluble fibers are absorbed and broken down differently by the body, they are both important to incorporate into your diet after weight loss surgery.

Why Is Fiber Important?

Incorporating fiber into your diet is crucial to feel full longer, slow digestion, and lower cholesterol levels. Since this nutrient takes much longer to digest compared to other foods, it can stabilize blood sugar levels and make you feel satisfied for longer. And fiber intake helps improve bowel regularity, which can keep your digestive system healthy and help those suffering from constipation.

How Much Fiber Do I Need After Weight Loss Surgery?

Most people need anywhere from 25-35 grams of fiber per day after weight loss surgery. You may need more or less depending on your gender, age, weight, and other genetic factors. Fiber is best absorbed in foods, so we recommend consuming foods that are naturally high in fiber, rather than fortified with fiber, which is overly processed.

If you cannot absorb enough fiber, supplements are available to help your body receive the nutrients it needs. We advise consulting a dietician or your weight loss specialist about specific numbers and recommendations for your body after weight loss surgery.

How Can I Add More Fiber to My Diet?

Slowly add fiber to your diet if you don’t typically consume enough. Too much fiber can cause abdominal discomfort and bloating since your digestive system isn’t used to it yet. Once you start adding fiber into your regime, drink water throughout the day to aid digestion. And opt to add fiber into your meals throughout the day, and not all in one sitting for optimal results.

Some tips for adding fiber to your diet include

  • Add chia, flax, or hemp seeds to shakes, oatmeal, or yogurt
  • Swap brown rice for white rice
  • Snack on crunchy vegetables like carrots and celery
  • Top desserts or oatmeal with berries
  • Opt for whole fruits instead of fruit juice

Customized Follow-Up Care

Fiber is essential for weight loss maintenance after bariatric surgery. It can help you absorb nutrients, feel full for longer, and aid in the removal of excess waste from the body. At Birmingham Minimally Invasive surgery, our specialists can provide customized dietary plans and follow-ups to ensure you get all the benefits from fiber consumption. From the beginning of your weight loss journey to the end, our BMI Surgery team can help you achieve and maintain your goals.

Contact BMI Surgery to Get Started on Your Weight Loss Journey

The caring group of professionals at Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery will help you get started on your weight loss journey and stay with you every step along the way. Dr. Long and his team specialize in all types of bariatric surgery, including gastric sleeve surgery, gastric bypass, and the LAP-BAND. Contact us online or give us a call to set up a consultation at 205-850-1973.