PORTION SIZE AFTER SURGERY
Many people believe that as a result of bariatric surgery, you will always eat small portions. In that case, you would just keep losing weight, and you don’t. After the first time of caution with small portions, one usually end up on a normal-sized portion or in some cases a little smaller than a normal-sized portion. What does that mean? Well 75-1.5 hg meat/fish/chicken or vegetarian protein, 1-3 potatoes alt. the corresponding amount of rice/pasta (can be a little more difficult those who have undergone surgery), vegetables in fairly large quantities (1-3 dl) and possibly sauce/dressing. The fatter the meal, the smaller the serving because it can cause dumping symptoms. Many people are surprised that they can eat relatively large portions, and as long as the food is not too fat, it is often good to eat slightly larger volumes. A few months after surgery, most people should be able to eat a normal sized portion. There are occasionally women who eat small portions even long after surgery, but they are quite few.
In a Swedish study done by one of the most reputable Swedish dietitians in the area of bariatric surgery, Anna Laurenius, there was no significant difference in food weight two years after surgery. Patients ate an average of 2.6 kg of food per person per day (Laurenius et al. 2013_Decreased energy density and changes in food selection following Roux-en-Y gastric_European Journal of Clinical Nutrition).
In another study, Laurenius looked at meal frequency, which averaged 5.4 meals per day. If you divide 2300 kcal (which was the average amount of calories they ate over a day) of 5.4, each meal contains 425 kcal and then you can also expect that the main meals are probably a bit larger than snacks/inbetween meals – in conclusion: a completely normal food intake (Laurenius et al. 2011_ Changes in eating behavior and meal pattern following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass_IJO).
– After surgery, we see major changes in food choices and eating behavior that are similar to those we see in a healthy normal weight control group. Although the amount of food patients eat only decreases in the beginning, caloric intake decreases. This reflects that patients choose different foods, where fat intake decreases and fruit and vegetable intake increases, says Anna Laurenius, Head Dietitian, Doctor of Medicine and Specialist Dietician in Bariatric Surgery, Gothenburg, Sweden.
The volumes of the Mealsizer-measures are calculated by a licensed dietician and provide the daily awerage amount of energy and nutrition that a woman or man needs, based on Nordic nutrition recommendations and the plate model (similar to My plate). What your body needs in order to function does not change because you have undergone surgery. The average woman’s daily energy requirement is 2100 kcal, while for the average man the equivalent figure is 2700 kcal per day.
With the smallest Mealsizer® size, Mealsizer® Small, you get 1500 kcal per day. This size is the most common size used by women that have undergone bariatric surgery, but many also use Mealsizer® Medium (2100 kcal/day). For men, the most common size is Mealsizer® Medium. Nothing is wrong or right, it all depends on who you are. Consult your dietitian if you are unsure of which size is best for you.