Dietary Guidelines for Post Bariatric Surgery
The success of your gastric sleeve surgery will depend on your ability to stick to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Week 1 Post Operation
Duration: This stage will start when you are in the hospital and last 5 – 7 days (up to 14 days)
Recommended Intake: Clear liquid intake goal is 64 ounces (2 Liters). Minimum of 48 fluid ounces (1.5 Liters) per day. (Clear broths/bouillon/chicken/beef/vegetable).
Clear liquids can include:
- Decaffeinated coffee or tea including herbal, fruit, and green;
- Clear broth such as chicken, beef or vegetable;
- Diluted fruit juice such as apple, grape or cranberry;
- Diluted sugar-free squash;
- Sugar free drinks, flavoured water.
You should avoid:
- Caffeine – may contribute to acid reflux and dehydration;
- Sugary drinks – may result in nausea, fatigue, diarrhoea, and even vomiting;
- Sugar is also full of empty calories;
- Carbonated drinks – may contribute to bloating;
- Milk or dairy products.
Week 2-3 Post Operation
During the second week after your sleeve gastrectomy, you will continue to drink plenty of clear fluids whilst also incorporating into your diet fuller liquids that are rich in protein.
Your appetite may increase but your digestive system is not yet ready to handle solid foods. You should fill up on a variety of nutritional liquids.
Full liquid choices in addition to your clear liquids include:
- Low fat, lactose free milk. Milk can be flavoured with a low-calorie hot chocolate;
- Homemade smoothies.( up to 2 cups);
- Slimming drinks and shakes;
- Yogurt drinks;
- Sugar-free, non-fat plain Greek yogurt, frozen yogurt;
- Plant Based Milk ( Soy or Almond or coconut);
- Protein Powders;
- Natural Applesauce;
- Vegetable juices;
- Hot cereals like oatmeal/ cream of wheat;
- Sugar-Free Pudding;
- Soups (choose higher protein soups like bean soup,chunky soups that need to be blended before eating).
Additional foods to avoid include:
- Sugary foods;
- High-fat foods such as whole-milk yogurt;
- Food that has any lumps;
- Avoid all carbonated beverages, sugar and coffee after surgery.
1 oz. packet high protein oatmeal made with almond milk
One scoop unflavored protein isolate added in
Protein shake (minimum of 20 grams of protein) – clear or thick shake
4 oz. Greek-style yogurt blended with almond milk (chose a yogurt that has more protein than sugar)
Clear or thick liquid protein shake
Sugar-free pudding with one scoop protein powder blended with almond milk
Week 4-5 Post Operation
- It is important to only eat until you feel satisfied and not more than that;
- to eat a high protein, low sugar, diet;
- Never eat and drink at the same time;
- Never eat more than 4 ounces of food at once;
- Chew your food thoroughly;
- Aim for 800 calories daily;
- Never eat before bed;
- You need to ensure you eat 60 grams of protein each day so include protein in each meal. You can try adding milk when you blend your foods, ensuring that it is free of lumps and a yoghurt like texture;
- Try to eat small portions slowly. Re-introduce new foods slowly, giving your body time to react to each new food so that you can identify any foods that are disagreeable and cause gas, stomach upset, or diarrhoea.
Pureed foods can include:
- Mashed fruit – bananas, avocados, and canned fruit. Be careful of their sugar content;
- Blended steamed fish in a low-fat sauce;
- Canned tuna and salmon;
- Mashed sweet potato;
- Low-fat cottage cheese and soft cheeses;
- Liquidised meat or fish stew;
- Liquidised steamed or boiled vegetables;
- Thick blended soups;
- Scrambled eggs;
- Ground chicken or beef;
- Cottage Cheese;
- Veggies( Mashed, canned, and slow cooked to tenderize);
- Greek Yoghurt.
Additional foods to avoid include:
- Food high in starch such as pasta, rice and bread;
- Tough, raw vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, celery, and leafy greens;
- Skin and seeds from vegetables and fruits;
- Fatty foods including oils and butter;
- Spicy food.
2 scrambled eggs & 1 oz. string cheese (3 oz.)
3 oz. Chicken salad
1 oz. blended avocado
4 oz. cottage cheese
5 1 oz. fruit blended in
A protein shake or pudding with protein combined in (if hungry)
Week 6-7 Post Operation
By week six you can eat solid food safely. You can use your new eating plan as a template of healthy eating for life. Your new diet needs to be low in fat, low calorie, and portion controlled. Keep introducing new foods and monitoring any reaction to them.
Avoid empty calorie foods that do not have any nutritional value. Try to keep to three small meals a day and minimal snacks. Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated.
Healthy diet foods include:
- Lean meat, poultry, and fish;
- Low-fat dairy products;
- Steamed or raw vegetables and fruits;
- Good starches and whole grains;
- Fats in small quantities.
Additional foods to avoid include:
- High calorie foods and drinks;
- Sugary sweets and soda;
- Long term diet tips following gastric sleeve surgery;
- You will need to continue eating a healthy, high protein, low fat, calorie-controlled diet for the rest of your life to achieve and maintain your weight goals.
Some top tips include:
- Keep to three small meals a day;
- Have protein in each meal and eat it first;
- Introduce new foods one by one;
- Take a tablet form daily vitamin and mineral supplement as directed by your bariatric team. You will also require vitamin B12 injections (1mg) once every three months;
- Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly. The more you chew, the easier your food is to swallow and digest;
- Plan your meals so you are not tempted by off-diet foods;
- Drink plenty of water and always have some water to hand;
- If you feel hungry between meals try taking a drink first as your body may be mistaking hunger with thirst. If you are still hungry then have a small snack such as a piece of fruit or a low-fat yoghurt;
- Ask for half portions at restaurants – it may be discounted and it will prevent you from being tempted to overeat.
Foods to avoid:
- Food with empty calories – are harmful. Avoid them because they have little or no nutritional value.
- Alcohol – is high in calories and your alcohol absorption will dramatically increase after surgery.
- Fizzy drinks – as they cause bloating and can increase your small stomach size.
- High fat foods – they may make you feel nauseous and will not help you to lose weight.
- Tough meats – are hard to chew and hard to digest.
Things to avoid:
- Avoid eating and drinking together – wait at least thirty minutes between eating and drinking. Drinking fluids with meals may lead to an overfull stomach and vomiting. It can also stretch your stomach and “wash” your food through too quickly so that you don’t sense the early signs of fullness and may lead to over eating.
- Avoid overeating – stop eating when you feel satisfied. Overeating will stretch your stomach pouch and may make you vomit.
- Avoid grazing – this often adds extra calories to your controlled diet. It also interferes with your body’s ability to burn fat as levels will be consistently raised