Diet Guidelines After Gastric Balloon Procedure

Gastric Balloon Procedure

Diet Guidelines After Gastric Balloon Procedure

Losing weight can be a tough feat but is not entirely impossible, however, it can be extra challenging for some people. The gastric balloon, though temporary and lesser known than other bariatric procedures such as gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery, has been demonstrated to be an effective weight-loss solution for obese patients.

But of course, there are certain lifestyle and dietary changes that patients must follow further to maximize the effectiveness of the gastric balloon procedure. This post aims to provide new and aspiring patients with a comprehensive guide about the diet they need to follow after getting a gastric balloon.

Therefore, please read on to find out more about the different stages of the diets you’ll need to make following the procedure!

What is a gastric balloon procedure?

man holding his belly fat

The gastric balloon, also known as intragastric balloon placement, is a non-surgical, temporary bariatric procedure that can help patients who are obese achieve significant weight loss. During the procedure, the patient will be administered light sedation, and one or two balloons made of silicone rubber will be inserted into the stomach through the mouth.

These balloons are then filled with a saline solution, taking up space in the stomach and helping to reduce the patient’s appetite and food intake. The balloons typically remain in the stomach for six months, after which they are removed, and the patient can enjoy the benefits of their weight loss.

Some patients initially denied bariatric surgery may be eligible for intragastric balloon placement. By helping you adopt healthier eating habits, this low-risk procedure can help patients lose around 7 to 15% of their body weight during the six months the balloon takes up space in the stomach.

Post-Intragastric Balloon Diet

Gastric balloons are a safe and effective weight loss method many people use when traditional diet and exercise aren’t providing the desired results. After this procedure, it is extremely important to continue a healthy lifestyle of nutrition and diet to keep the weight off.

Below are some essential nutrition and diet guidelines for the post-gastric balloon procedure, which are divided into 4 phases – pure liquids, puree, soft, and regular food.

Phase 1: Pure Liquids (Week 1)

woman holding glass of water

It is highly recommended to only drink clear fluids for at least one week following the procedure. Examples of appropriate fluids include but are not limited to:

  • still water
  • clear soup broths
  • herbal or fruit tea
  • coffee (use sweetener instead of sugar)

Drink in small sips and limit intake to no more than 2-3 ounces per hour after the procedure to reduce the risk of any potential complications with the balloon. Gradually increase your intake to 4-6 ounces per hour once you feel less discomfort to ensure adequate hydration.

Additionally, remember to sit upright during and after meals and call for a follow-up appointment after a week or two to ensure that everything is in good condition.

Tips:

  • don’t use straws
  • allot 30 minutes of light physical activities daily, such as walking
  • make sure that all liquids are completely smooth with no bits

What to avoid:

  • core or abdomen exercises at least one month after the procedure
  • big gulps
  • solid food
  • carbonated drinks
  • alcoholic beverages
  • creamy soup

Phase 2: Puree (Weeks 2-3)

carrot soup

After consuming only clear liquids in the first phase, patients can now consume pureed food in phase 2. Bits and lumps in the purees are still not recommended since this stage is still crucial, where food has to pass through smoothly in the stomach.

By using a blender or food processor, patients should aim to puree their food in a yogurt-like consistency. Food that can be pureed includes:

  • meats like chicken, beef, lamb, and meat
  • beans
  • hummus
  • light cream cheese
  • porridge
  • potatoes
  • vegetables
  • fruits

Tips:

  • eat at least 5 to 6 small meals daily
  • initially start with 1 to 2 tablespoons and gradually increase if needed
  • drink at least 1.5 to 2 liters of fluids daily

What to avoid:

  • overeating
  • drinks that are carbonated, alcoholic, or sugary

Phase 3: Soft Food (Weeks 3-4)

salmon and mashed potato

You can now ditch blenders during this stage and start eating soft, mashable foods. Remember to chew slowly and recognize when you’re starting to feel full to avoid any discomfort.

Avoid hard foods with skins and seeds and opt for easier-to-mash options. As usual, avoid too sugary drinks and dry and crumbly foods.

Phase 4: Regular Food (Week 5 onwards)

vegetable salad avocado

After strictly consuming liquid and soft food for a month, you can introduce regular textured food to your diet from week five onwards. However, portion control and a healthy diet are still important, so it’s recommended that you consume three meals a day, including at least five servings of fruits and vegetables.

Additionally, introduce new food one at a time to identify any problem foods that could potentially make you nauseous, such as firm or dry meat, bread, rice, and pasta. Avoid liquids 30 minutes before and after a meal to ensure better results. When eating, aim to start with proteins, followed by vegetables and salads, and then finish with carbohydrates.

Possible Side Effects of Gastric Balloon

Many weight loss options include surgery, medications, diet, and exercise. While the gastric balloon has been found to help with weight loss, like any other procedure, there are potential side effects to consider.

Nausea

Feeling nauseous and vomiting is normal until after a few weeks of getting the procedure since the stomach is still adjusting to the balloon. As such, separating eating, drinking, and chewing your food thoroughly is recommended to help minimize these symptoms.

Furthermore, it is suggested to perform light physical activities after each meal to aid in digesting the food.

Irregular bowel movement

It’s common to have irregular bowel movements when eating a small amount of food, so it’s important to ensure you drink enough water and include fiber in your diet.

Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help relieve constipation and make it easier to pass your stool.

Heartburn and acid reflux

Consuming large amounts of highly acidic foods such as caffeine, alcohol, fatty, and spicy foods can cause heartburn and acid reflux, which can be more common after having a gastric balloon procedure.

To help alleviate these symptoms, try to limit the amount of these foods you consume and instead opt for low-fat milk, eating upright, and avoiding eating close to bedtime. Additionally, it is helpful to keep your meals smaller in size to reduce the amount of stomach acid produced.

Bloating

Feeling bloated is an unfortunate side effect of getting a gastric balloon. However, once the balloon is removed, you will immediately be able to feel less bloated. On the bright side, bloatedness can be beneficial as it can help you feel fuller and reduce your appetite, aiding you in achieving your weight loss goals.

Conclusion

Following these dietary guidelines after a gastric balloon procedure can help you achieve your desired results while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Work closely with your doctor to help monitor your progress and make necessary adjustments if needed.



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