Post-Bariatric Surgery Diet

The proper introduction of fluids and foods in the first few days and weeks after gastric sleeve surgery is important for preventing complications and ensuring the long-term success of your procedure. The Bariatric Surgery Diet we prescribe will prevent you from stretching the new small stomach that was formed during your operation and allow time for the sleeve incision and staples to heal.

1 to 2 Weeks After Surgery: Liquid Diet

A liquid diet will allow your stomach a chance to heal properly after surgery. You’ll need to limit yourself to clear liquids, including water, clear broths, skim milk, fruit juice, and no-sugar-added popsicles. At this stage, you’re encouraged to consume liquids with calories. After you’ve moved on to solid foods, you’ll no longer want to “drink your calories,” but during the early stages it’s important that your body gets calories and nutrients while you allow the band to settle. Make sure to take your fluid in sips, rather than gulps, in order to avoid discomfort and prevent your new stomach pouch from stretching.

3 to 4 Weeks After Surgery: Pureed Foods (“Mushy Diet”)

The first step in transitioning to solid foods from liquids is to focus on pureed foods. You’ll want to stick with foods that are the consistency of baby food, or foods that can be sucked through a straw. Again, note that some foods that are appropriate at this stage will be discouraged once you can comfortably eat solid foods because they’re high in calories or can easily slip through the band, undermining the restrictive nature of gastric banding.

In addition to paying attention to the consistency of your foods at this stage, you should also make an effort to get adequate protein into your diet. This will help you recover and maintain muscle mass as you lose weight.

Foods that are appropriate for a pureed diet include pureed skinless chicken or fish, mashed potatoes, peas, low-fat yogurt or pudding, or fruit smoothies. At this stage, you can also drink water, tea, or coffee. You can also have low-calorie soft drinks, but you’ll need to let it sit in a glass for a while before drinking to reduce the carbonation.

5 Weeks After Surgery: Soft Foods

You’re now ready to introduce tender, cooked foods like fish and ground turkey into your diet. Focus on moist foods during this stage, as things like bread, red meat, and rice may still cause discomfort.

As you introduce solid foods into your diet, you’ll need to work on reprogramming your swallowing center. You’ve spent a lifetime learning how thoroughly you need to chew certain types of food, and now you must relearn that information with different rules. You’ll need to cut your food into smaller bites and take more time to chew than you did before having surgery. If you take too large of bites or don’t chew your food enough, you may experience vomiting.

If at any point you have problems with nausea or vomiting when eating soft foods, go back to liquids before slowly reintroducing solids into your diet.

Protein in Your Bariatric Surgery Diet

Protein is an essential nutrient, and you’ll need to be careful after sleeve surgery to consume enough. By increasing your protein intake with lean food sources and protein supplements, you will be able to help yourself stay healthy and on the right track after surgery.

Carbohydrates and Sleeve Surgery

You will need to carefully examine the types and numbers of carbohydrates you eat after sleeve surgery. Before surgery, this will mean following the Sugar Busters!® diet, while afterward you will have specific guidelines on which carbohydrates to eat and how to do so.

  • Understanding the Glycemic Index
    Carbohydrates are one of the six essential nutrients. Despite common talk about avoiding carbohydrates for weight loss, our bodies require them to thrive. Carbohydrates contain sugar. When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks down that sugar and absorbs it into the cells with the help of a hormone called insulin, where it is then converted to fuel and used for energy.
  • Reasons to Consider Weight Loss Surgery
    Getting weight loss surgery is a choice that can have a major influence on your health and quality of life for years to come. The conversation surrounding weight loss surgery may come up at the advice of a doctor, after seeing a friend who was successful in their weight loss efforts or maybe after a series of frustrating weight loss attempts.
  • Managing Special Occasions after Weight Loss Surgery
    Every time you turn the corner there is another fast food restaurant or bakery loaded with its own temptations, and you do what you can to stand strong and stick to your post-bariatric diet plan.
  • Healthy Shopping Strategies for a Healthy Household
    When one person in a household gets weight loss surgery, it is actually common for other members of that household to lose weight too. This is called a “halo effect.”
  • Making Healthy Food Substitutions after Weight Loss Surgery
    Approximately six weeks following weight loss surgery you’ll start making the gradual transition back to a whole-foods diet. This is an exciting period for many people. After weeks of gaining sustenance through liquids and soft foods, being able to enjoy a regular meal is something to look forward to.