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Bariatric Surgery Diets

Your diet should have changed before your surgery to help you get into the habit of eating less and eating healthy. But immediately after your surgery, your eating habits and patterns will be drastically changed – a change that will have an enormous impact on your life. It will take about 9-11 weeks for you to progress to solid foods. All along you will choose low sugar, low fat foods and drinks. One of the most recommended post-operative diets include a four-tiered diet plan to help cope with the enormous physical change on your internal organs.

  • Diet #1 (Discharge Diet): Liquid / semi-liquid diet for one week. You will start with water and then clear liquids, such as jello, clear juice, and broth. You’ll only be able to eat a few small spoonfuls of each item on your tray or plate. Better to eat some of everything rather than all of one item. Sample menus for one week
  • Diet #2: Pureed / blended / baby food consistency (no chunks) for one month. Chunks of food could obstruct the opening leaving your stomach and cause vomiting and pain. Sample menus for one month
  • Diet #3: Pureed / soft diet for the next month. You are learning to chew your food thoroughly now. Start with blended meat, meat paste, liverwurst, yogurt (not raspberry), cottage cheese, sliced cheese, egg dishes, and fish. You may slowly add soft canned fruits and vegetables, baked potatoes (without the skin), rice, macaroni, noodles, crackers and prepared corn or rice cereals.
  • Diet #4: Transition back to solid foods following the food guide pyramid. You will eat a low fat, low sugar diet of about 1,200-1,400 calories a day. Remember to chew your food completely. Over the long term, you’ll work with your physician and our dietitian to make sure you understand and practice the appropriate "new way of eating" to stay healthy and successfully lose excess weight...and keep it off.

You’ll also always take supplements to compensate for nutrients that you no longer absorb in the bypassed parts of your stomach and intestine.

Sometimes certain foods might make you vomit or feel uncomfortable. This could be caused by several factors, so wait awhile and try that food again. You will find out, through trial and error, which foods work for you. Some of the more difficult foods include tough meat, orange and grapefruit membranes, fruit and vegetable skins and seeds, fibrous vegetables (e.g. celery), chili and spicy dishes, fried foods, and milk - you may become lactose intolerant.

Once you become weened off of the four tier diet plan, you will be able to eat many solid foods without discomfort. But there are some guidelines to follow. Eat slowly and chew foods until they are mushy. Stop eating as soon as you feel full. Set aside three meals a day when you only eat solid foods. Drink at least 8 cups of liquid a day between meals. Eat a balanced diet.

Weight loss surgery is successful 80% of the time. The number reason it fails the other 20% of the time: not following the post-surgery diet. You must be disciplined and committed to sticking to the program. That includes changing eating behaviors.