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The Benefits Of Routine Nutrition Counseling After Weight Loss Surgery

After you have weight loss surgery (WLS), you may see a nutritionist to help you adapt to changes in the foods you can consume. Many people stop seeing their nutritionist within a year after WLS, which can be detrimental to their progress and maintenance. There are major benefits to routinely seeing a nutritionist along your WLS journey.

Manage Nutrient Issues 

Regardless of the WLS you have, there is always a risk of developing nutrient deficiencies, especially if you have a procedure that involves malabsorption. Although you will have blood tests at regular intervals to determine your vitamin and nutrient levels, some doctors are not good at making suggestions that work for WLS patients beyond taking vitamins. You and your nutritionist can go over your test results and determine ways you acquire more nutrients through your food, especially if you are already taking supplements. Your nutritionist might suggest blending specific fruits and vegetables into smoothies or beverages for a nutrient-dense snack that is less voluminous than eating solid foods.

Address Changing Needs

After the first six months to a year after WLS, you might find your needs change significantly as you can consume more food and old food issues resurface, or you become more active and need to sustain yourself through workouts. The restrictive component of WLS can make losing weight seem easy in the beginning because you simply cannot consume much food.

Most people will eventually be able to consume larger portions of food, and their nutritionist will be vital in helping them make better choices to prevent regaining weight. Additionally, many people who had WLS become highly active after they have lost most of their excess weight. This means they will need to consume more calories, which can be difficult because they might fear gaining weight or consuming more calories is simply a challenge with a smaller stomach.

Talk About Concerns

Although your nutritionist is not a medical doctor or therapist, they might express concerns that encourage you to seek professional help with other issues. For example, you might find you are having a harder time avoiding junk food or have certain symptoms that are concerning. 

Your nutritionist might want you to talk with a mental health professional if they believe changes in food cravings or the development of binge eating is triggered by emotions. Similarly, drastic changes in your weight might be suspicious to your nutritionist, and they may want you to have tests to check for thyroid conditions, which can cause sudden weight gain or loss independent of your diet.

All WLS patients should make an effort to see a nutritionist at regular intervals. Developing a consistent relationship with a nutritionist will help you not only lose weight but give you the support you need to keep the weight off.