Insurance companies require most patients to participate in a three or six month period of monthly visits with a physician to document that their weight loss is not amenable to dieting and exercise alone. In my practice, I work with patients to slowly improve their diet over this time period, rather than impose a radical, often difficult to follow change immediately. Each month, I provide one simple rule that the patient will follow in order to slowly improve his or her diet. After six months, the resulting diet resembles an ideal post-operative diet.
My entire preoperative program has been placed in a separate course to ensure there is enough room to explain it in detail:
Most people devote their energy toward resisting the tempting, thermostat raising foods that cause weight gain. My approach to nutrition is focused on eating more of the foods that drive weight loss, rather than resisting processed foods. Many practices push low calorie prepared meals, protein shakes and bars and emphasize a “protein first” approach. Instead, I encourage my patients to focus more on unprocessed, whole foods. I believe that patients should focus on “vegetables first,” rather than eating large amounts of processed protein drinks and bars.
Each month, I encourage patients to learn how to make one or two simple, easy to prepare meals that represent the change we’re trying to make that month. By the end of the six month process, you will know how to make nearly a dozen new meals that can replace the standard, processed fare that most of us prepare for ourselves. Many patients think that they can wait until after the surgery to start making these changes. This is not a good strategy. After surgery, you should be able to focus on your recovery and adjusting the slower pace of eating and smaller portions that take time and energy to adjust to. Trying to learn new recipes and recover from surgery is more than post people can handle without stress. This stress is unnecessary and avoidable with proper planning.