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Patient Tips

Dr. Frank Veninga and his professional staff believe that providing education is a vital part of helping patients maintain weight loss after obesity surgery and are happy to provide these patient tips. Our patients from Dallas and surrounding communities report that the information we provide about bariatric surgery helps them greatly in understanding what to expect from their procedure and what their responsibilities are before and after their obesity surgery. While we strive to inform our patients by providing answers to frequently asked questions and as much patient information as possible, our patients also offer very helpful information. In the Our Patients' Tips section below, we have posted a number of great suggestions made by our patients. If you are a North Texas Bariatric patient and have undergone obesity surgery at the Baylor Medical Center or Dallas Surgery Center, we invite you to contribute to this section of our website. To submit a tip, contact North Texas Bariatric or fill out a suggestions/tips form at our monthly support meeting.

Our Patients' Tips

The following helpful tips were all provided by our patients who have undergone obesity surgery. Patients have offered these tips to help others successfully achieve their weight-loss goals. If you have a tip that you think would help others, please let us know!

We also encourage you to attend our support group meetings, First Saturday Walks, and other events. They are a great way to keep your weight loss efforts on track and to meet others who have undergone bariatric surgery. 

Eat Slowly

  • Chew your food thoroughly.
  • When you think you have chewed enough, chew some more.
  • Use smaller eating utensils, such as a pickle fork or children's utensils.
  • Eat with the opposite hand — your left hand if you are right-handed, or your right hand if you are left-handed.
  • Start conversations and become the conversationalist in your family at mealtimes.
  • Read something interesting or do a crossword puzzle between bites.
  • Creatively arrange the food on your plate.

Portion Control

  • Don't forget that your meals should not exceed one cup total.
  • Use a one-ounce shot glass or a measuring cup to measure your food portions.
  • Use a small plate to make portions look larger.


  • Sip your beverages; don't drink quickly or gulp liquids.
  • Stick to zero-calorie liquids. Skim milk and fruit juice are ok when they are counted as part of your meal.
  • Beverages should be enjoyed between meals; don't drink with your meal.
  • Stay away from carbonated beverages.


  • Eat your protein source first at each meal.
  • You can digest ripe bananas easily.
  • Your stomach can tolerate bread much better when it is toasted.
  • Make your own freezer pops with Crystal Light® or sugar-free Kool-AID®: Freeze the drinks in ice cube trays or freezer-pop molds (available in most variety stores) with a spoon or wooden stick positioned as a handle. These freezer pops are delicious and refreshing!

Weight Gain

  • If you gain a few pounds, you can easily lose them by returning to the post- obesity-surgery stage-one liquid diet for however long you choose.

If you are ready to join our patients who have successfully lost significant weight and are now enjoying active, productive lives, contact North Texas Bariatric today. We look forward to posting your tips or testimonial on our website!

The 10 Golden Rules for Success after Obesity Surgery

In addition to offering tips from our patients to help you successfully maintain weight loss after your obesity surgery at the Baylor Medical Center or Dallas Surgery Center, we provide the "10 Golden Rules" for eating, drinking, and exercise after bariatric surgery. These rules are designed help you achieve the best possible results. Keep in mind that the ultimate success of your obesity surgery is based on Dr. Veninga's skill and your willingness to make significant changes to your eating habits.

Rule 1: Eat only three small meals each day.

Gastric sleeve surgery creates a very small stomach. If you eat beyond its capacity, you can become nauseous. The best policy is to learn how change your behavior to live appropriately after your surgery.

Rule 2: Chew completely and slowly.

Chewing slowly helps you make sure that your food will be the ideal size for digestion, and it will help you reach satiety (fullness) during your meal.

Rule 3: When you feel full, stop eating.

Your stomach sends a neural signal to your brain when it senses that enough food has been eaten. This signal can take time to reach the brain, however, and this can lead you to eat more than is good for you. The result can be nausea and vomiting. Chew your food slowly and take time eating your meal. When you feel the first signs of fullness, stop eating immediately.

Rule 4: Don't drink with your meals.

You will not have room for your food if you fill up with liquids. Drink low- or zero-calorie liquids in between meals to avoid dehydration.

Rule 5: Don't eat between meals.

One of the main reasons that obesity surgery fails is because patients snack between meals. It is critical to your long-term success that you do not eat anything between meals. Once you have finished a meal, stay away from the kitchen or any area where you might be tempted to reach for a snack.

Rule 6: Only eat fresh food.

You can only eat a little after you undergo obesity surgery. For this reason, you must eat foods that are healthy and nutritional. Fresh vegetables and fruit, as well as meat and cereals, are recommended because they are high in protein and vitamins. Avoid foods that are high in fat and sugar. Apples and oranges are good, but stay away from orange juice and apple juice in cartons or bottles. We will provide you a list of approved foods and recommendations for vitamins and protein supplements.

Rule 7: Avoid foods rich in fiber.

Chewing and your saliva cannot break down fiber-rich foods sufficiently. If you just have to have a high-fiber food such as asparagus once in a while, be sure to cut the food into small pieces and chew thoroughly.

Rule 8: Drink plenty of liquids during the day.

As you lose weight, your body must excrete through urination the waste products that result from the breakdown of your body's fat. For this reason, you must drink large quantities of liquids every day. However, keep in mind that you should only drink low- or zero-calorie liquids, and you should not drink with meals.

Rule 9: Drink only zero-calorie or low-calorie liquids.

If you consume high-calorie drinks, you'll undermine the purpose of your obesity surgery, and you won't lose much, if any, weight. Stick with low- or zero-calorie beverages for optimal results. Water, mineral water, and tea or coffee without milk or sugar are good. Many of our patients also like zero-calorie, non-carbonated soft drinks such as Crystal Light® and sugar-free Kool-AID®.

Rule 10: Exercise 30 minutes or more every day.

For your obesity surgery to be successful, it is very important that you maintain a daily exercise schedule. Physical exercise will consume energy and calories, and it will improve your physical and psychological health. At first, your weight may be an impediment to getting sufficient exercise. As you lose weight, however, you will find that exercising becomes easier and progressively more enjoyable. You can start with simple exercises such as walking and swimming. As your fitness level increases, you can add more strenuous forms of exercise such as cycling, jogging, and aerobics.

Learn More about Obesity Surgery

Dr. Frank Veninga performs obesity surgery at the Dallas Surgery Center and Baylor Medical Center so that patients can overcome obesity and lead healthy, active lives. Our goal at North Texas Bariatric is to provide you with all the information you need to be successful in your weight loss program. If you have questions about any aspect about bariatric surgery, please contact North Texas Bariatric to speak with a professional staff member or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Veninga.

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North Texas Bariatric & General Surgery, P.A.

Carrollton Office
4333 N Josey Ln
Ste 203

Carrollton, TX 75010

Phone: (972) 939-8218

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