Ask the Experts

Summer 2006

Volume One / Number Three

Q: Can you suggest a multivitamin?

A: There are many great multivitamins out there. Due to the fact that supplements don't have to be monitored by the FDA to ensure the product really contains what it claims on the label we suggest sticking to a brand that is reputable. Centrum is an easy to find and reliable product. They even make an adult chewable

Q: Do I still have to count calories?

A: This question comes up quite often! Although the goal ultimately is to "break free" from obsessive dieting and calorie counting people still have to be aware of what they are consuming. We suggest you rather focus on nutritious foods because your calorie intake is going to be greatly reduced due to the sheer decrease in volume you will be able to eat. We suggest you continue to consult with our nutritionist to review your average food intake to make sure you are maximizing your nutritional status during and after weight loss. The nutritionist will also help guide you to healthier lower calorie alternatives to those foods that may be sabotaging your weight loss.

Q: How much should I expect to eat at each meal?

A: M ost patients report feeling full anywhere from 1/2 of a cup to 1 cup of food at a sitting. This is an appetizer sized portion. A sample meal could contain 3 ounces of protein, 1 serving of starch and 1 serving of vegetable.

Q: Will I be able to stay hydrated after surgery?

A: Definitely. It is very important to stay hydrated. Taking small sips throughout the day is best tolerated rather than big gulps. We suggest always having a water bottle with you at all times as it is very easy for anyone to forget to drink. Drinking 6-8 cups of fluid daily is the average goal for most people. Avoiding excess caffeine is also recommended as caffeine tends to act like a diuretic. Water, decaf coffee or tea, crystal light and the like are your best choices to keep you well hydrated.

Q: When can I start exercising after surgery?

A: After surgery, you should not perform any strenuous exercise such as weight lifting, or exercises that involve the hyperextension/or flexing of the abdominal muscles such as pilates, yoga, golfing or abdominal crunches. I know patients are enthusiastic and motivated to make the most of the new found opportunity so a safe alternative is to simply walk at a pace that you feel comfortable, working towards a sweat. Most people have full clearance to exercise at around six weeks after surgery.

Q: What are some cookbook suggestions?

A: Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery by Pat Levine and Michele Bontempo-Saray is filled with delicious recipes designed specifically for someone who had weight loss surgery. Websites like or They are filled with recipes that center on high protein meals like ground lean meats, fish, chicken thighs and soups that are extremely "gastric band friendly."

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