By now we all know that Governor Chris Christie had weight loss surgery in February. The surgery he had is called gastric band surgery which is considered restrictive weight loss surgery in that it restricts the amount of food a person can consume. An adjustable band is placed around the stomach and is filled with saline which makes it tighter over time so that weight loss continues. Gov. Christie has already lost 40# according to some sources, of his 350# weight. At 5 feet 9 inches tall, he has a ways to go. Good for him for making these changes.
There are other types of weight loss surgery such as gastric sleeve procedure or Roux – en – Y gastric bypass surgery in which the stomach is made smaller and part of the small intestine is bypassed causing both restriction and potentially some malabsorption of nutrients.
As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I hope that Governor Christie and anyone who undergoes weight loss surgery understand some important nutrition considerations:
- This restriction is for life. Your golf ball size stomach is not just for a few weeks but forever. That means you need to eat small meals (about 1/2 cup food) and watch the types of foods you eat from now on. (Although some people do have their band released or removed).
- Drink liquids between meals – having liquids with meals can fill you up before you take in adequate nutrients.
- Make sure you take in adequate protein. However, meats may be difficult so you must chew these very well or even use pureed meats. Protein supplements may be necessary.
- Avoid foods high in fat and sugar. High sugar foods may cause dumping syndrome (diarrhea) and while cakes, cookies and pies may come to mind first, fruit juices are high sugar and should be diluted at least 50/50.
- Avoid carbonated beverages.
- Breads can be challenging foods so very small bites. If not you may have an obstruction or vomit.
- Take a multi-vitamin every day – often these need to be liquid or chewable – and watch for the sugar content of these – this can also cause diarrhea.
- Each weight loss surgery has specific additional vitamin and mineral requirements to assure adequate nutrition is received.
Bottom line – anyone who has gone through weight loss surgery needs to be followed closely by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Your life will change with the weight loss and the way you eat will be changed forever. That can be great news or it can be a challenge – especially over time.
As a colleague RDN said after her weight loss surgery – “It is not a quick fix – without any sacrifice or change – you have to change to be successful – eating habits must change permanently and exercise is critical.”
Whether you want to lose with with diet, exercise, specialized meal replacement or weight loss surgery, contact PNT – we can be your partner in the journey! Call 972-238-1811.
- Report: Chris Christie Had Secret Weight Loss Surgery (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)
- Gov. Chris Christie gets secret weight-loss surgery (pix11.com)
- NJ governor had secret weight loss surgery (sacbee.com)
- Christie says he underwent weight-loss surgery, report says (nj.com)