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Diet After Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery limits the amount of food you can consume and, in some cases, the number of calories absorbed through the small intestine. However, for surgery to be truly successful, a strict diet must be followed after surgery. This diet will consist of foods and beverages that allow for weight loss while providing the nutrients needed to stay healthy.  It is also very important to keep a food journal to list everything you eat and drink throughout the day. After surgery, you and your dietitian will focus on several goals, including:

The Typical Diet After Bariatric Surgery

Immediately after surgery:

The post surgical bariatric surgery diet may start with up to two weeks on liquids. The first few days will be limited to clear liquids.

When transitioning to the modified liquid diet, patients should avoid sodas or beverages containing caffeine or alcohol. Instead, they should drink liquids that are high in protein and low in sugar, fat, and calories. Patients should also consume low—or no-calorie liquids often throughout the day to remain hydrated.

Often the modified full liquid diet may make a patient feel full, as the gastric pouch is still healing.

Weeks 2-4: Pureed Foods.

Pureed foods or foods that are the consistency of applesauce may need to be blended, if not easily mashed with a fork.

Week 5-6: Soft Food Diet

Your surgeon will advance your diet to soft food when the time is right. At this time, consuming a limited amount of low-sugar, low-fat soft foods will help the patient feel full and satisfied. It will be important for the patient to recognize their limitations and understand how their body reacts to food.

Full Solids:

Patients will be transitioned into a full solid diet with some restrictions when appropriate. Patients are typically instructed to avoid liquids for a period of time prior to and following a meal (the exact amount of time may vary by the surgeon, but typically at least 30 minutes). Congratulations!

Practical Advice:

Advice after weight loss surgery, no matter what procedure a patient undergoes, includes avoiding high fat and high sugar foods. These types of foods add unnecessary calories and work against optimal weight loss results and subsequent disease resolution goals. Patients should also eat slowly, thoroughly chewing, allowing for maximum digestion.

Remember, while the diet after weight loss surgery is very strict it does not have to be boring. Visit our recipes page, which offer recipes and video demonstrations on how to make delicious meals that do not compromise a post-weight loss surgery diet.

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