Your Diet after Surgery
After bariatric surgery, you will need to follow important dietary guidelines to ensure that your body heals properly and that you receive adequate nutrition.
You will be restricted to a liquid diet immediately after surgery, and you may not drink any liquids – soda for example – that contain carbonation, caffeine or sugar. In time, pureed foods will be added to your diet, and eventually foods with texture. Most patients are eating small amounts of non-pureed soft foods by week four or five, but this timeline is different for everyone.
Because weight-loss surgery restricts the amount of food you can eat at one time, you need to pay special attention what you eat and how much. About four ounces (roughly half a cup) of food is the recommended amount per meal, and you should eat in a consistent pattern of three meals per day. You should start with foods that are high in protein before moving on to vegetables and fruits.
You should not drink any liquids with meals, as this will cause your stomach pouch to empty more quickly, leaving you feeling hungry too soon. When you do drink liquids, you should drink only water or calorie-free beverages, and carbonated liquids of any kind should be avoided. Snacking between meals should be limited to foods that are low in calories.
Vitamin, mineral and protein supplements will be crucial to your diet after bariatric surgery. Because supplement requirements vary among patients, the Temple dietitian will determine the appropriate dosage and provide you with a list of products to choose from. You will need to have your blood checked several times during the first year after surgery – and once a year after that – to ensure that your body is absorbing nutrients adequately.
You may regain some of the weight that you will lose following surgery. You will have to make adjustments in your habits and behavior to maintain healthy weight – this includes how much you exercise, what you eat, and how frequently you eat. A successful bariatric procedure does not automatically make you thinner. The bariatric surgical procedure is a tool that usually produces good results if properly used.
You will need to make lifelong commitment to changes in your lifestyle and diet. Following your dietary guidelines and sticking to your regimen of vitamin and mineral supplements will support a healthier future and help you keep the weight off. The Temple weight loss team will be there every step of the way to assist you before and after surgery, and to provide you with ongoing support.
To register for a free informational seminar or to make an appointment for a consultation with a Temple bariatric surgeon, click here or call 1-800-Temple-Med (1-800-836-7536).
This page is intended to provide tips and guidelines only, and should not be taken as a definitive medical or dietary plan for patients of bariatric surgery. For detailed information about diet and nutrition specific to your needs, consult your doctor or dietitian.