Bariatric Surgery Diet – Your Guide After Post Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery diet is essential to ensure your recovery process. If you don’t follow the diet guidelines strictly you can risk yourself getting the band dislocated, disrupt your healing process, getting pain and vomiting.  Your surgeon or dietician will prescribe this diet right after your surgery.

Actually, your diet will start even before you undergo surgery. This is done to prepare your body for the surgery and make sure your body adapt to the new diet habit after the surgery. You will eat more protein, eat less and eat only healthy foods.

After your surgery, you will have to take supplements anywhere with you to provide necessary vitamins and minerals, protein and other nutrients that your body required. This is necessary because your body will no longer be able to absorb those vitamins, minerals, protein and other nutrients.

Protein Focus

Your diet will focus on protein which is the necessary elements for your body to function properly, help in recovery process and replenish and maintain your muscle tissue. Therefore, you need to consume protein in sufficient quantities every day. The daily minimum protein requirement for women is around 50 to 60 grams while for men is around 60 to 70 grams.

During the first few months after surgery, as a bariatric surgery patient, you will need to consume liquid protein supplements. Even after you progress to regular diet, you may still want to consume it for it is convenient. You can choose between shakes and drinks, smoothies, hot drinks, soups, and puddings.

Liquid Requirements

It is important to keep your body hydrated after the surgery. Usually, you are required to drink 64 ounces of water in one day. As you are healing from your surgery, you will then progress to drink other liquids such as tea. You should sip you drink slowly around 1 to 2 ounces over a 30 minute.

Also, you are not allowed to drink anything for 30 minutes before and after eating or during your meals, because the effect of the surgery, your stomach won’t be able to take foods and liquids at the same time.

You should avoid high-calorie and carbonated drinks. High-calorie drinks will add calories to your diet while carbonated drinks can make your small stomach pouch stretching and cause bloating.

Post Bariatric Surgery Diet Guidelines

The guidelines will be different for each surgeon. It is important to strictly follow your surgeon’s or dietician’s guidelines to avoid any complication later on. But generally, in the first three months your focus will be on healing and getting the necessary amount of nutrition.

After the surgery you will not be able to eat too much. Even after you have healed you still need to control your portion and reduce calorie to keep your weight loss. Your diet will slowly progress in four phases plan. The four phases are clear liquid diet, full liquid diet, pureed diet, and soft foods diet.

1. Clear liquid diet: For the first one to two weeks you will only drink clear liquid. In this phase, your goal is to keep yourself well-hydrated. Clear liquid is any liquid that you can see through such as water, tea, fruit juices, protein fruit drinks, broth, sugar-free gelatins and artificially non-carbonated drinks. The goal in this phase is to drink 64 ounces of clear liquid per day. You are not allowed to use a straw and need to sip slowly, 1 to 2 ounces liquid per 30 minutes.

2. Full liquid diet: Full liquid is the liquid that you can’t see through such as skim milk, yoghurt, diet pudding, bariatric soups, protein shakes and broth of low fat. You will take this diet within a week or two after bariatric surgery.

3. Pureed foods diet: Pureed foods are foods with no piece or chunk that have been blended smoothly like baby foods and added with some liquid broth, skim-milk, cottage cheese, or cream of wheat. You need to divide time between eat and drink because in this phase you are not allowed to eat and drink at the same time. Usually, it is recommended you drink 30 minutes before eat or 30 minutes after you eat. Usually, you will do pureed foods diet for three to four weeks.

4. Soft foods diet: You will do soft foods diet in week four or six. Soft foods are foods that are tender and easy to chew such as diced meats, soft fruit, cooked vegetables, rice, and noodles. This is diet transition you do regular diet. In this period, you will eat many small meals a day. You will start with six meals then progress to four meals later. The meals that you eat should include protein rich foods, like lean meat, yogurt or eggs.

After three months you will progress to eat regular foods, eating three small meals and three healthy snacks a day. The foods that you eat will consist of lean sources of protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. You will do reduced calorie diet (around 1000-1200 calories per day) to maintain your weight loss. You will also limit the consumption of high-sugar, high fat calories foods. And, you will need to take vitamins and mineral supplements for the rest of your life to meet your daily protein requirements.