11 Bariatric Friendly Tips to Taming Holiday Temptations

Taming Holiday Temptations after Bariatric Surgery

November marks the arrival of pumpkin and sweet potato pies, egg nog, homemade breads, and a bevy of other tempting culinary delights that will tempt you on your weight loss surgery. You can follow an approved bariatric diet while spending time with friends and family, celebrating thankfulness this holiday season.

bariatric eating


While the average American gains between five and ten pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, this time of year can also sabotage the diets of those who have undergone Lap-Band and Gastric Bypass surgeries. This is especially true for those who are in their second year post bariatric surgery, as they can tolerate larger amounts of food without becoming sick.

You will be glad to know that there are several helpful holiday hints for those who have undergone weight loss surgery to stay on track with weight loss goals. Simple and easy to follow, these tips will keep you on the path to a healthier body and lifestyle.

Don’t leave the house hungry!

Be sure to eat several small and healthy meals daily, never leaving the house hungry. If you are going to be gone for a while, pack a protein bar or shake so you don’t feel starved.

Consume protein first

If you’ve had bariatric surgery, your doctor has already told you to eat your protein rich foods first. The same is true regarding Thanksgiving and Christmas. Since you can only tolerate a small amount of food, start with the turkey or ham, saving favorite side dishes for last.

Avoid alcohol and don’t drink your calorie

Drinking water and zero calorie beverages are ideal choices, even when celebrating. Decaffeinated coffee and tea are also okay when sweetened with sugar substitutes. Don’t be tempted by high calorie egg nog and alcoholic beverages.

Keep sugar free gum on hand

Avoid the urge to snack by chewing sugar-free gum to satisfy your oral fixation. This can help by curbing your appetite and avoiding unnecessary calories.

Remember to chew your food slowly

Chewing your food slowly allows your body to release hormones in the gut to let you know when your stomach is full, which helps to prevent over eating.

Find healthy substitutes to incorporate into your favorite recipes

You can still enjoy several holiday recipes by making small and healthy changes. Opt for half and half instead of heavy cream, and look for fat free and low fat versions of the ingredients normally used. Make your favorite desserts with Equal or Splenda rather than granulated or brown sugar.

When invited to parties, offer to bring healthy platters

Instead of cooking something that is tempting, make a vegetable or fruit tray to bring to the party. You won’t have to go hungry while socializing, and there’s no guilt for eating healthy fare.

Visit with family and friends

As you plan, make the holidays more about visiting and less about food. The holidays are a wonderful time to reconnect with family and friends.

Add exercise and activities to your holiday traditions

Start new traditions centered around exercise rather than eating. Take a stroll in the park for group photos or play a friendly game of touch football you’re your relatives.

Don’t sit near the food

Sit as far away from the buffet or kitchen as you can, putting space between you and those unneeded calories. This will help you avoid the urge to munch thoughtlessly on food when you aren’t really hungry.

Tis the season to give food away

As everyone prepares to leave, pack up some food to send with them. You don’t need holiday leftovers lurking in the kitchen. Other places to donate food include soup kitchens and local homeless shelters.

10 Tips for Celebrating Halloween Post Bariatric Surgery

Celebrating Halloween after Weight Loss Surgery


After weight loss surgery, you are starting to see results but with the fall season comes many temptations. This is largely due to the many holiday offerings that begin bariatric halloweenwith the arrival of Halloween.

While it may be a tradition to enjoy delicious Halloween candy throughout the month of October, now is not the time to indulge. Saying no to those sweet little treats and candy bars will keep your weight loss goals on target.

After a lifetime of mindless snacking, it can be difficult to resist temptation but here is a helpful list of ways you can avoid sabotaging your healthy diet and weight loss success.

Buy the candies you hate!

Sure, this may seem difficult but it actually isn’t. Avoid your favorite candies and chocolate, opting for flavors and brands that will not tempt you. Hate coconut? Buy fun-sized Mounds or other coconut filled treat. Love chocolate? Avoid buying any Halloween candy covered with or containing chocolate.

Don’t keep candy sitting around the house!

If purchasing candy and treats is a tradition you cannot escape from, don’t buy it early and store it around your home. Wait until the last possible minute to shop for candy to give away, and avoid filling any dandy dishes or dispensers until it’s time to celebrate.

Look for great alternatives to handing out candy! 

Think of other great things to hand out this Halloween rather than candy. Consider giving away temporary tattoos, stickers, small toys, raisins, cracker and cheese packs, coins, juice boxes for thirsty trick or treaters. These are just a few of the many great items that kids will love.

Celebrate with a support group!

If you don’t have a bariatric support group, invite a few of your health-minded friends over for a party. Choose healthy treats approved for your post bariatric surgery diet.

Go trick or treating with the kids!

While you don’t need the calories that Halloween treats provide, the exercise is great for you! Walk with the kids as they go trick-or-treating and stay in control of your new healthy lifestyle.

Give away over-stocked and left-over candy!

After a night of trick or treating, let the children choose a handful of candy to keep. Donate the rest of your kids’ candy haul to homeless shelters, dentists’ offices, and food kitchens. This keeps candy and chocolate from lying around the house to tempt you.

Keep candy in the freezer!

If you have candy and chocolate sitting around your house after Halloween has passed, gather it all up and stash it in the freezer. Your children will eat fewer pieces at a time, and the candy is less accessible.

Set the date for a candy-free home!

Choose a date in November and mark it on your calendar. This is the day all of the Halloween candy will be removed from your home. The candy-free zone will be conducive to your diet once again.

Don’t deprive yourself on Halloween!

Don’t deprive yourself of an occasional treat or Halloween candy when you have a craving. Try to find healthier options to chase the urge away, but if the craving lingers, have a small bite so you don’t binge later.

Read the label before eating a piece of candy or treat!

Before putting any holiday candies or treats in your mouth, know exactly what the label says regarding calories, sugar, and fat grams. Reading labels can often discourage you from eating something, as you decide if the calories are worth the short term rewards.



Foods to Avoid after Weight Loss Surgery

Five  Foods to Avoid after Bariatric Surgery


Bariatric surgery is not an instant solution to losing weight, as you will still have to make the right food choices. Once your doctor tells you it is okay to eat solid foods, you will not be able to eat anything you like. There are several foods and drinks that you should never consume again. Here are the top four foods to avoid after weight loss surgery.

five foods to avoid after bariatric surgery

Breads, Pasta, Potatoes and Rice


Heavy starches such as bread, potatoes, rice, and pasta are no longer comfort foods after weight loss surgery. In fact, attempting to eat from this food group can be quite uncomfortable. These foods can form a paste in the throat, making it difficult to swallow. If this happens, there is a fair amount of discomfort and the food may be rejected.

In a few Bariatric cases, breads, potatoes, rice and pasta have blocked the stoma, which is the entrance to the stomach pouch. It is best to give these high-starch foods up entirely, as avoidance will accelerate your weight loss. If you choose to consume one of these foods, do so rarely and in extremely small portions. Take small bites and eat very slowly, remembering not to drink anything thirty minutes before or after your meal.


Dry or Tough Meats


No matter what type of food you eat, it is important to chew well, taking your time with each small bite. This ensures that you can easily swallow and digest your meals correctly, which is especially important after Bariatric surgery. Because you will not be drinking beverages or water with your meals, it can become even more difficult to swallow some meats.

Lean meats are ideal for your new diet because you need adequate amounts of protein. Avoid meats with fat or gristle, and meats that are tough or hard to swallow  It is recommended to take bites the size of a pencil eraser, choosing meats with a sauce or gravy rather than dry. Foods to avoid include steak, ham, pork chops, and hot dogs.

Other dry foods will also be difficult to swallow such as nuts, granola and dry cereal. Eat these foods slowly and with great caution after Bariatric surgery. As your body heals, you may find that some of these foods become easier to consume.


Caffeinated, Carbonated and Alcoholic Beverages


The first advice you will probably hear after weight loss surgery is this: Don’t Drink Your Calories! Bariatric patients must avoid drinking beverages with sugar, fructose or corn syrup such as sodas, energy drinks, and fruit juices.  These high calorie beverages will sabotage your diet and could lead to Dumping Syndrome, which is very uncomfortable.

After Bariatric surgery, you should consume at least 64 ounces of water daily and avoid beverages with carbonation, which can expand your new stomach pouch. Opt for decaffeinated drinks such as coffee or tea since caffeine can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can quickly become an issue with your new smaller stomach.

Alcohol should be avoided, since these high calorie drinks offer no benefit to your body. Focus on drinks that offer the added vitamins and minerals your body needs. It is also important to remember that, after weight loss surgery, you may become intoxicated much more quickly.


Fatty, Greasy and High Calorie Foods


Fatty, greasy and high calorie foods should be avoided after weight loss surgery, as these may lead to nausea and sabotage your weight loss. Avoid high calorie, high fat foods such as bacon and sausage, butter, bologna, and whole milk.

You should also avoid foods that offer little or no nutritional value such as candy, chips, pastries, popcorn, rice cakes and similar. Consuming the wrong foods can lead to issues such as weight gain or undernourishment. After weight loss surgery, these foods are dumped into the colon soon after they are consumed, causing symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, cold sweats and weakness.


After Bariatric surgery, you will want to select low-fat deli meats and cheeses. Consuming too many bad food choices can make you feel ill or experience the effects of Dumping Syndrome. Making wise choices will be key in getting the results you deserve.

Pregnancy after Bariatric Surgery

From a physical aspect, it is quite possible to have a healthy pregnancy after weight loss surgery. Recent studies suggests that having a baby after Bariatric surgery may actually be safer than a pregnancy complicated by issues stemming from obesity. Some of these issues include Gestational Diabetes, Preeclampsia and  Hypertension, all of which can affect both mother and baby. Bariatric surgery has also led to a reduced number of Cesarean births among expectant mothers who are obese.

pregnant bariatric surgery

Having a Baby after Weight Loss Surgery

The most important issue surrounding your choice to have a baby after weight loss surgery is the timing. You should wait until you have met your weight loss goal before deciding to have a baby. When your weight is stable, your body is ready to offer the nutrients your baby will need. becoming pregnant while still undergoing a rapid or consistent weight loss could lead to a low birth weight for your baby.

Most doctors and nutritionists agree that 18 to 24 months is an ideal length of time for Bariatric patients to conceive after any weight loss surgery. If you chose the lap band for your weight loss surgery, some doctors feel that twelve months is an appropriate length of time to wait before having a baby, but you may need to have your band readjusted in order to meet the needs of your body during pregnancy.

It is important to remember that your weight loss after Bariatric surgery will be quite significant in the first year, and gradual in the second year. By the third year, most Bariatric patients will have met their weight loss goals and have learned to maintain their ideal weight. Once the weight has become stable, a healthy pregnancy is not only possible but probable.


Consult Your Physician

Once you have decided to have a baby after weight loss surgery, consult your physician. You will need preconception planning and your doctor may want to consider nutritional supplements. Some of the more popular vitamin and mineral supplements for those trying to conceive after rapid weight loss include Calcium, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Iron and Vitamin D.

It may be a good idea to begin Prenatal Vitamins before conception as well as during the length of the pregnancy. Other professionals can be of great help for those who become pregnant after Bariatric surgery include registered dietitians and nutritionists, offering help in the areas of weight gain and nutrition.

The final decision to have a baby after weight loss surgery should be yours, under the advice of your trusted medical doctor. Because every person’s situation is different, your doctor will best advise you according to your personal health history. This will help you determine whether a healthy pregnancy is possible, and if it is the right choice for you, after any Bariatric surgery procedure.


Getting Active after Weight Loss Surgery

Sedimentary Lifestyle Change after Weight Loss Surgery

If you are trying to lose weight, a sedentary lifestyle will not achieve the results you desire – even if you have had weight loss surgery. Most Americans sit still for far too many hours each day which is very unhealthy. Many Americans are stuck working at a desk job for approximately forty hours per week. We move from bed to car to work to car and then from car to couch to bed. Very rarely does the average person get any real exercise from a normal day’s activities. Yet we complain of exhaustion… from all that sitting.

After having weight loss surgery, it will most likely be necessary to make some changes regarding the amount of time you spend sitting still. While it is not likely that you will be able to trade your desk job for one that is more physically demanding, there are some ways to move around while working that will help your body burn calories and feel better. As you begin building new energy levels, even just five minutes twice daily can make a difference.

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Finding Opportunities

Incidental activity is simply movement that can be done without veering from your regular routine. You can create incidental activity while sitting at your desk by fidgeting in your seat. While it is not the same level of exercise as going to the gym, many Bariatric patients have spent an increased number of calories while adjusting to their new lifestyle, thanks to this physical activity.

Weight loss surgery patients can build up their incidental activity levels each day by taking the stairs rather than an elevator or walking over to a co-worker’s cubicle rather than sending an instant message. Other, less strenuous options include tapping your foot to music or fidgeting in your chair as you type. By altering your routine with incidental activity, you burn more calories and build a slightly healthier lifestyle.


Fidgeting is Easy: Here’s How!

  • Listen to music and dance a little in your chair or at your desk.
  • Tap your foot to enjoy the beat of your favorite song as you type, bounce or kick your legs.
  • Stand up to stretch your arms at least once each hour while sitting. Make this a routine.
  • With each changing hour, stand up, stretch, drink some water, and move around to remain hydrated and moving.
  • Stand up and move around while talking on the phone. If you can’t stand while on the phone, move your fingers or swing your feet while seated in your chair.

After weight loss surgery, going to the gym may not be an option yet. However, as your body recovers, time to adjust becomes needed. Fidgeting is not meant to replace a moderate exercise routine, but it can help you burn calories during those moments when otherwise, you would be stuck sitting still.


Recording Your Weight Loss Journey

Motivate Yourself with a Weight Loss Journal

There are numerous ways to find support after weight loss surgery. If you live in a more populated area, there are support groups you can visit weekly, if not daily. Rural dwellers have a more limited access to support groups but several active online weight loss groups can be found that really helps you chase away that feeling of being alone in your journey.

One of the best ways you can motivate yourself is with the help of a weight loss journal. Keeping track of your weight loss and other milestones, including what you eat, can really helpyou on your weight loss surgery. It is best to start keeping a record of your journey from the moment you decide to have weight loss surgery, but it is never too late to start recording your progress.

Additionally, the journaling process could be helpful long after you have reached your desired weight to help keep old habits at bay and remain focused. If you make a commitment to the record keeping process, journaling is also a great way to maintain your ideal weight and prevent any risk of weight gain after Bariatric surgery.

Interested in Sharing your Bariatric Journey with National Bariatric Link?

We would love to post your story to motivate our weight loss surgery community!  

We are always looking for guest bloggers, want to blog your weight loss journey with National Bariatric Link, please contact us!!

Journaling your Weight Loss Journey

Keeping a record of your weight loss journey can be done in several ways. Choose the one that best suits your lifestyle and will motivate you the most. If keeping a written record such as a joJournaling WLSurnal or a blog, don’t shy away from cameras. Snap those before and afters with pride because you are dedicated to your journey.

The most common choices for keeping a weight loss record include the following: keeping a written journal much like a diary, writing a blog, creating a dedicated social media fanpage such as Facebook, vlogging (which is video blogging), or picture blogging on Instagram. It doesn’t really matter which method you choose so long as you are comfortable and consistent.

When you begin the journal, be sure to log in, write or make your videos as much as possible. Set a minimum requirement for yourself as well. This is a habit which must be properly formed and your schedule may not always be regular.  You can easily balance the journaling process with your lifestyle once keeping a record has become a habit.

Sharing Your Weight Loss Journey

The weight loss journal is a record of your weight loss journey, so share the details that will motivate and build your confidence.  If you aren’t comfortable sharing certain information, then don’t! Using your own personal preferences and making your own rules regarding details will help to create a journal that keeps you focused and hopeful. Below are some of the most commonly shared details in a weight loss journal:

Your Diet: food choices, vatamin and supplement information, nutrient and calorie intake, protein sources

When You Eat: describe portion sizes, hunger times, cravings, giving in to temptation, getting back on track

Your Exercise Plan: what works and what doesn’t, trips to the gym, stamina increases, favorite exercise products

Personal Weight Loss Goals: goals, plans, hopes and dreams, weight before and afters, personal measurements

Your New Life: new sleeping habits, relationship changes, family life, activities you were unable to do before


Whether you decide to write or record long emotion-filled journal entries or jot down a quick list of updates, the weight loss record will help keep you focused after weight loss surgery. Search the internet for other recorded weight loss journeys for inspiration and ideas. Be sure to visit YouTube where you will find an entire weight loss community devoted to journaling their results to help not only themselves, but others as well.

Interested in Sharing your Bariatric Journey with National Bariatric Link?

We would love to post your story to motivate our weight loss surgery community!  

We are always looking for guest bloggers, want to blog your weight loss journey with National Bariatric Link, please contact us!!

Food Precautions after Bariatric Surgery

After bariatric surgery, a special diet is required to assist your body with healing and recovery. At this time, you will find new eating habits through effective meal planning and the assistance of your doctor or dietician. The type of food you choose and the amounts that you consume should be closely monitored to help you lose weight at a healthy pace.

Your new diet should serve several purposes but first of all, your gastric bypass procedure will train you to eat smaller amounts of foods at a much slower pace than before. Your new eating habits will allow your stomach to heal without being stretched and help your body digest foods more effectively.

Following doctor’s orders is the single most effective post-surgery advice to be followed. Your physician will assist you and answer any questions you may have as you move through the four steps of gastric bypass recovery. By step four, which is usually month number three, you will be enjoying more solid foods again.

It is important to pay close attention to your body and recognize signs when you are hungry or full. You may not be able to eat some foods, even if they were once your favorites, as your body may develop certain food intolerances after gastric surgery.


Step One: Liquids

After gastric bypass surgery, you will not be allowed to eat for 24-48 hours, depending on your personal situation which has been taken into consideration by your doctor. This is to make sure your stomach has an appropriate time to heal. Before you are released from the hospital, you will be given liquids and very soft foods to ensure that the stomach can effectively accept foods and aid in the digestion process.

These post gastric surgery approved liquids may include any of the following: broth, fat free milk, unsweetened juice, sugar free gelatin, and cream soup which has been strained. Allow yourself to consume only two or three ounces of liquid each time and avoid carbonated beverages. Caffeine should also be avoided.


Step Two: Pureed Food

Once your body has grown accustomed to liquid foods without any complications, with your doctor’s consent you may be able to advance to the next step – pureed foods. For the next two to four weeks, you should consume only the foods which could be described as a thick liquid or paste. Avoid spicy foods and most dairy products as your digestive system will still be very sensitive at this time. New foods should be introduced slowly and in very small servings to prevent stomach irritation or nausea.

There should be absolutely no solid pieces and food should be pureed well. Some doctor approved healthy foods that will blend well include the following: lean meat that has been ground up, beans, egg whites, cottage cheese, fish, soft vegetables, fruit, and yogurt. Solid foods will blend well if you add a liquid such as fat free milk, water, sugar free juice, broth and even gravy, as long as it is fat free.


Step Three: Soft Food

With the doctor or dietitian’s approval, you will remain on pureed foods for several weeks until it is time to transition to soft food. An easy way to determine whether a food is considered soft is to try mashing it with a fork. If the food mashes easily against a fork, it can be included in your diet.

Much of the same rules apply during this phase as with the previous steps. Do not drink while you are eating; instead, wait until thirty minutes after eating to have a drink. You will feel full very quickly so try to consume as much protein as possible rather than fill up on less healthy foods. This will most likely be your diet for the next eight weeks so look for healthy variations of your favorite foods.


Step Four: Solid Food

With the soft food portion of your gastric bypass diet coming to an end, thanks to doctor’s orders, the time has come to begin eating solid food again – slowly and carefully. It is still recommended to avoid spicy or crunchy foods. Using caution and eating slowly will ensure there are no setbacks or complications with your gastric bypass surgery.

Solid food does not include everything you used to enjoy. It is important to use good common sense and make safe, nutritious choices. Foods to avoid should include the following: popcorn, nuts, seeds, granola, tough or dry meat, breads, carbonated beverages, and stringy fibrous vegetables (including broccoli, corn, cabbage, and celery) as these are prone to causing several gastrointestinal problems.


Some additional things to consider as you form new habits and your body heals:

  • Eat several small meals per day – slowly
  • Meals should be the equivalent to one-half cup servings
  • Stay hydrated with liquids throughout the day rather than during meals
  • Take a daily vitamin supplement and calcium, at the doctor’s request
  • Drink plenty of water each day
  • Avoid foods that are high in sugar or fat including items such as candy bars, ice cream, and soda
  • Avoid fried foods entirely
  • Choose high protein options whenever possible. These foods will help heal wounds, regrow muscle and skin, and even prevent hair loss.


Some high protein foods include lean cuts of pork, beef, fish, chicken, or beans and are wonderful for your new diet. Other sources of protein can be found in the dairy group with items such as low-fat cottage cheese and yogurt.

Nutrients from Food After Gastric Bypass Surgery

More people in the U.S. are suffering from obesity and many are choosing gastric bypass surgery in order to quickly lose weight.  This procedure produces results much faster than is possible with the standard low-calorie diet and exercise routine.  Aside from the risks inherent in any surgical procedure, there is the risk of the patient suffering from nutrient deficiencies over the long term, which can be life threatening.

With gastric bypass surgery, the stomach is only able to accommodate 1 – 2 tablespoons of food.  Furthermore the area of the stomach and upper part of the small intestine, the duodenum, may be bypassed and this is an important area for the absorption of nutrients.  So without this part of the stomach, the patient’s intake of micronutrients is severely diminished and it will be necessary to take vitamins and minerals in the form of supplementation after surgery.

Vitamins & Minerals for Gastric Bypass

Bariatric Vitamins
Gastric Bypass Nutrient Absorption

The other factors causing the malabsorption of nutrients is the amount of hydrochloric acid, which is needed to absorb calcium and iron, and an intrinsic factor required for absorbing vitamin B12 is greatly reduced due to the diminished size of the stomach.  These vitamins and minerals need an acidic environment in order to be absorbed, which no longer exists without gastric acid, so supplementation is necessary.  So the acidic form of calcium, calcium citrate works best and 500 mg elemental calcium three times a day is recommended.  Calcium an iron should be taken separately to avoid interfering with each other.  After the surgery the foods containing vitamin B12 no longer mix with gastric acid, which is also required for B12 to be absorbed.  It is recommended that Vitamin B12 be taken in a sublingual form or by injection directly into the muscle.

Thiamin, folate, zinc, selenium, chromium and other vitamin and minerals have trouble with absorption and can be taken in the form of supplements or by way of injection.  Vitamin A, B complex, B6, C, D, E, K, magnesium, electrolytes plus the nutrients mentioned above can also be administered via injection into the muscle or through IV directly into the bloodstream.  Please consult your MD for the best method for each and for you personally.

Nutritional Deficiencies form Gastric Bypass Can Cause:

  • Difficulty with concentration and thinking clearly
  • Sleep disorders
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Muscle go into spasm
  • Weakening of the bones – Osteoporosis
  • Bone pain or deformities in the bone
  • Hair loss
  • Thinning skin, dry skin or other skin conditions
  • Bleeding gums
  • Tooth decay or discoloration
  • Increased bruising and tendency to bleed
  • Anemia
  • Neurological issues
  • Nerve damage, feeling of pins and needles
  • Tongue swelling or soreness
  • Swollen legs
  • The edges of the mouth become cracked
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Weakening of immune system to fight off infections
  • Dehydration

The Advantages of Administering Nutrients through an IV

It is critical for gastric bypass patients to take nutritional supplements because deficiencies will progress and can cause life threatening risks to one’s health.  To be sure that the patient is getting the nutrients they need, intravenous administration is recommended.  With IV therapy high doses of vitamins and minerals can be easily delivered to the bloodstream where they will immediately be absorbed into the system. Specialty testing can be done to determine each patient’s nutrient deficiencies and the proper treatment for administering these nutrients.

A healthy well rounded diet must still be maintained as supplements cannot substitute for whole foods in the patient’s daily diet.

Pregnancy after Bariatric Surgery Safe

A review of the literature says that there is no need to delay pregnancy past 12 months after bariatric surgery.  It says that post-surgery pregnancy is safe and that there is no significant differences found in the risk of gestational diabetes, admission to the neonatal intensive care unit or perinatal death.

Details of the First of Three Published Research Paperspregnancy post bariatric surgery

The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology published research done by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hvidovre University Hospital, Denmark.  This research concluded that the weight of newborn babies from mothers who’ve had bariatric surgery does not show any significant difference compared to newborn babies from mothers who’ve not had the surgery.  This research also showed no significant difference statistically between mothers and newborns regarding the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus, preeclampsia during pregnancy, the need to have labor induced, the need for a caesarean section, hemorrhaging post-partum, need for the newborn to be admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit or perinatal death.

Slight but No Significant Differences

Dr. Mette M Kjaer, the lead author of the study told Reuters Health that although they expected to find “a positive impact on maternal complications, especially the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus, after matching for BMI we did not find any difference between the groups.”  What they did find were very slight differences in the subjects who had bariatric surgery.  Their babies had a shorter mean gestational age, 274 vs. 278 days (p<0.001), a lower mean weight at birth, 3,312g vs. 3,585g (p<0.001) and a lower risk of being large for gestational age and a higher risk of being small for gestational age as compared to babies born to mothers in the non- surgery group.  These differences too, were not clinically significant.

The study examined 339 women who had their babies after bariatric surgery with 84.4% of these having undergone gastric bypass.  They were matched with 1,277 mothers of similar age, BMI and delivery date, who had not had bariatric surgery.  The BMI in the surgery group was slightly higher than the non-surgery group (32.4 vs. 32.2).  Even though the study found that most women and their babies do well after surgery, they should still monitor fetal growth and nutrition as there may be a need for vitamin supplementation.  Kjaer added that “Paradoxically, babies who are both small-or-large-for-gestational-age are at increased risk of later obesity and metabolic syndrome”.

A Second Research Paper Regarding Delaying Pregnancy

The same researchers published a second paper in the Obesity Surgery Journal in which they essentially agreed with a study done previously that concluded that women should delay pregnancy for at least a year after bariatric surgery.  They also concluded that there was no evidence showing that waiting any longer would make any difference.

They studied a total of 286 women who became pregnant after gastric bypass surgery.  Of these 158 conceived within the first year and 128 conceived later.  And the study showed there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups of mothers for any of the risk factors mentioned earlier in this article.  It must be noted that the best time for pregnancy after having gastric bypass surgery has not been determined yet.

A Third Paper Reviewed 17 Flawed Studies

There was a third paper, a review of 17 papers,  published in the Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica journal which recommended larger studies, that matched or adjusted for BMI, be done to confirm the accuracy of the prior conclusion of pregnancy after bariatric surgery being safe.

The problem with these 17 studies was that study design was not homogeneous enough and that six of the studies had less than 50 subjects with bariatric surgery.  There were many slight differences between the groups studied, but on closer examination the differences were invalid as the study design was flawed.  They did find a single study indicating a higher risk of birth defects after surgery, but not significantly higher.


How the Brain Responds to Food After Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric Bypass Surgery patients lose more weight over the long them than those who have undergone gastric band operations.

A recent study found that obese patients who’ve had gastric bypass surgery experience changes in their brain which affect how the brain itself responds to food.  The Medical Research Council (MRC) found that this procedure reduces not only hunger, but the drive to eat for pleasure.

This was not found to be true of patients who have undergone gastric banding operations.  Therefore over the long run, gastric bypass patients lose more Gastric Bypass eat lessweight.  The research was published in the journal Gut and the theory is that physical changes made to the gut during surgery somehow have an effect on the drive to eat for pleasure.

Dr. Tony Goldstone from the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre at Imperial College London and consultant endocrinologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said that  “Both procedures reduce appetite and have health benefits including long-term weight loss and improvement or even complete resolution of type 2 diabetes. However, gastric bypass surgery appears to be more effective for weight loss and has a more profound effect on the way in which the brain responds to food.”

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) was used to measure brain activity by scientists from Imperial College London, UK.  They studied 61 men and women who had lost weight using either one of these surgical methods.  21 people had gastric bypass and 20 people had gastric band surgery.  They used a control group of 20 people who had no surgery.

Patients who had gastric bypass surgery had less activity in brain’s reward centers when shown pictures of food, compared with those who had gastric banding surgery.  Gastric bypass patients also rated high-calorie foods as less appealing and as a result ate less fat in their diet than patients having gastric banding surgery or people in the control group.

However compared to the un-operated control group, both groups that had surgery had similarly reduced hunger and seemed unrelated to their psychological traits.

Researchers could not determine what caused these changes in brain activity, but did see differences in the patients’ metabolism which might be a factor.  The gut hormones that make us feel full after a meal were higher in the gastric bypass patients.  Levels of bile, which pay a role in digestion were also higher.

Another factor that was observed was that patients with gastric bypass surgery were physically uncomfortable, even nauseous after eating foods high in sugar and fat.  So this of course influenced their eating habits.

Dr. Goldstone concluded that “These findings emphasize that different bariatric procedures work in different ways to influence eating behavior,” added Goldstone. “This may have important implications for the way we treat patients with obesity and could help pave the way for a more personalized approach when deciding on the choice of bariatric procedure by taking the impact on food preferences and cravings into account.”