Many patients will be in pain and have a loss of appetite after surgery.  Part of the body's response to surgery is to direct energy to wound healing, which increases the body's overall energy requirements.  Surgery affects nutritional status indirectly, particularly during the recovery period, as it can interfere with wound healing and other aspects of recovery.   Surgery directly affects nutritional status if a procedure permanently alters the digestive system.  Enteral nutrition (tube feeding) is often needed.  However a policy of 'nil by mouth' for all gastrointestinal surgery has not been shown to benefit, with some suggestion it might hinder recovery. 
Great point John! Using smaller plates can be a huge help for decreasing caloric intake. It is also healthful to include vegetables and proteins at every meal. Vegetables supply an array of beneficial nutrients while protein helps to fill you up and keep you full. Fiber is also a big help with weight loss which can be found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The important thing to remember is not one approach is right for everyone. Stick with what works for you. Consuming a balanced diet filled with a variety of food will ensure you are getting all your essential vitamins and minerals needed for health and weight loss. Good Luck!
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