Diet for Bariatric Surgery

If you have opted for bariatric surgery it is essential you know everything about the diet too. This article titled diet for bariatric surgery tells you what you should eat so that you get better faster.
| Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Weight loss surgery or bariatric surgery can help lose unhealthy weight and body fat and is thus a procedure many opt for today. Like most other surgeries the success rate of this surgery too is dependant on a strict diet since it helps the body heal faster. While opting for weight loss surgery it is also important to be ready for lifestyle changes since this diet for weight loss surgery will help you stay in shape.

Bariatric Surgery Diet

Post bariatric surgery it is essential to take care of what you eat since the stomach pouch needs to heal and that is only possible by following the specific guidelines put down by the doctor. Most doctors advice their patients to follow a liquid only plan for about 2 to 3 weeks after which the diet usually advances to soft foods for the next 6 to 8 weeks. The transition to regular consistency foods takes place over the next 6 to 9 months.

The doctor may also recommend that you take a multivitamin with calcium, iron with vitamin B12, additional iron and/or vitamins A, D, E and K. Of course this depends entirely on your medical history and the surgical procedure that you have undergone.


When you go home the doctor will advise you to drink about two ounces or ¼ cup of high-protein supplement every hour. This liquid should be one that is able to pass through a standard strainer. Apart from this you should also consume two ounces of non-caffeinated, non-carbonated low or no calorie liquid every 15 minutes after the hour to add up to a total of eight fluid ounces each hour.

To prevent dehydration it is important to follow the diet. Feeling a sensation of fullness after the surgery should not cause you any concern since liquids tend you make you feel like that. As the days pass you will find yourself comfortably following the schedule. While taking the liquids do ensure that it is at room temperature and avoid using straws. This liquid diet should be followed for 3 weeks after which the doctor will advise you as to the diet you should follow depending on your condition.

A few examples of liquids you can drink are:

  • Unsweetened Juice
  • Milk
  • Strained Cream Soup
  • Water
  • Decaffeinated Coffee
  • Unsweetened Decaffeinated  Tea
  • Clear Juice (diluted with water 50/50)
  • Any high protein drink (after consultation with the doctor)

Soft Food

Once you have met your doctor and he has given you the green signal you can move on to soft foods. This phase of this diet for weight loss surgery will last about 2 to 3 weeks and in this time you should eat foods that have the consistency of a thick liquid or a smooth paste only. To make soft food select solid foods that blend easily along with other liquids. Your digestive system might still be a little sensitive at this stage, so it’s best to avoid consuming spicy foods and dairy items. If you feel you cannot then add them to your diet in small amounts.

A few examples of solids you can have after they are blended with a liquid are:

  • Beans
  • Egg whites
  • Fish
  • Yoghurt
  • Lean ground meats
  • Soft fruits and vegetables

Liquids you can blend them with are:

  • Water
  • Broth
  • Fat-free milk
  • Juice without added sugar
  • Fat-free gravy

Solid, Soft Food

When your doctor feels it is fine you can slowly begin adding soft, solid food to your diet. If the food you eat can easily be mashed with a fork then it is fine to consume during this period of your diet. In this phase it is fine to eat ground or finely diced meats, fresh fruit and well-cooked vegetables. It is usually recommended that you follow this diet for about 8 weeks after which you can slowly begin to eat food that has regular consistency.

Solid Food

When the 8 weeks are over you can eat almost everything without pureeing. Of course you may have difficulty eating very spicy food or food that has a crunchy texture so it is best to avoid eating them till later. Begin slowly and eat only food that you think your body can tolerate at this stage. Remember that some may irritate your stomach in the beginning but don’t worry as it may become more tolerable as your stomach heals.

Foods That Should Be Avoided

  • Popcorn
  • Dried Fruits
  • Soda and Carbonated Beverages
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Breads
  • Granola
  • Vegetables (stringy or fibrous)
  • Meats that are tough or have gristle

A Few Points To Remember

In order to ensure that the appropriate amount of minerals are vitamins are being taken it is important to keep track of what you eat throughout all the phases of the diet, a few things you should follow have been listed here for you.

  • Since your body is not able to absorb enough nutrients from your food after the surgery you need to take a multivitamin supplement everyday. It is thus advisable to talk to your doctor who will recommend the correct vitamin.
  • Have small meals throughout the day and also remember to sip liquids. Begin with 6 small meals which you can gradually decrease to 4 and then 3. Each meal that you eat should include about half a cup to a cup of food.
  • Avoid drinking liquids with your meals, instead do so between meals. Drinking during meals might cause you pain, nausea and vomiting and also decrease the amount of nutrient rich food that your body needs at this stage. Make sure that you eat and drink your food slowly ensuring that the food is chewed properly.
  • Do not try new foods all of a sudden. Take one new food and see how your body reacts to it as after surgery certain type of food may cause pain, vomiting and might even block the opening of the stomach. If you feel discomfort it is best you avoid that food and try it again later. It is a good idea to avoid food that is high in fat and sugars.
  • High protein foods should be your priority after the surgery as it can help heal the wounds. Try and add chicken, fish, pork and cuts of beef into your diet as you progress through the phases.
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