What to Eat after Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery can provide a foundation for weight loss and renewed health. However, the actions you take and routines you follow after surgery will ultimately determine the success of your procedure. One of the most important considerations is your diet.

To help patients of Tijuana Bariatrics experience optimal results, the network of surgeons provides detailed instructions regarding what to eat after bariatric surgery during your time in Tijuana, Mexico. Contact the staff today to schedule an appointment.

Post-Bariatric Surgery Diet

Following their procedure, patients will need to adhere to a specific post-bariatric surgery diet. There is an initial transitional diet for the first 40 days, after which patients can return to a more normal diet with restrictions. *Note: There is no guarantee of Specific Results. Results can vary for each individual.

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Basic Dietary Guidelines for Bariatric Surgery Patients

Soon after your weight loss procedure, you will meet with your nutritionist to discuss your diet. He or she will provide specific instructions regarding what type and what amount of food you will be able to eat. Following a diet is not only important in helping you lose weight, but it will also help you avoid complications, such as stomach stretching. Although the details of your nutritional regimen will depend on the type of bariatric surgery you undergo and your individual needs; a post-bariatric diet typically progresses through four stages:

Stage 1 — Immediately after Surgery

For the first few days after your procedure, you will be limited to clear liquids, including water, decaffeinated teas, and fat-free broths. Because the digestive system will still be highly sensitive at this time, it is important to sip slowly, taking in no more than two to three ounces at a time. If your system is able to handle clear liquids for several days, you can graduate to a wider range: skim and low-fat milk, unsweetened juice, and sugar-free gelatin or popsicles.

Stage 2 — The First Two Weeks

After several days of success with liquids, patients can move on to pureed and strained foods. All food must be the consistency of a smooth paste or thick liquid, without any solid pieces. Your nutritionist can recommend specific foods, but lean ground meats, beans, fish, eggs, and cottage cheese mixed with liquid often blend best. 

You should be able to return to a normal diet after three to four months, though you will need to eat smaller portions than before your procedure.

Stage 3 — Three to Four Weeks after Surgery

Most patients are ready to move on to soft foods after about three weeks on the puree diet, but you will need your doctor’s approval before proceeding. Food should be tender and consumed in small, easily chewable pieces. Patients can usually expand their diet to include ground or finely diced meats, canned or soft fresh fruit without seeds or skin, and skinless, cooked vegetables. 

Stage 4 — The Coming Months

Patients can begin eating solid food after about eight to twelve weeks, but it must be thoroughly chopped and diced. To avoid overeating, it is important to start slowly and see what your stomach can safely and comfortably tolerate. Eating tough to digest foods, such as nuts, popcorn, or stringy vegetables can cause considerable gastrointestinal pain if attempted too quickly. 

You should be able to return to a normal diet after three to four months, though you will need to eat smaller portions than before your procedure. 

Other Considerations

How you eat is just as important as what you eat, particularly during your post-bariatric diet. As general guidelines, bariatric surgery patients should:

  • Avoid eating and drinking at the same time
  • Eat meals slowly and chew thoroughly
  • Keep meals small
  • Focus on high-protein foods
  • Try new foods one at a time so that any problematic foods can be caught quickly
  • Take recommended vitamin and mineral supplements
  • Stay hydrated

Many patients find that keeping a food journal allows them to better keep track of what foods they can and cannot handle. We will provide more specific advice and discuss various strategies during your initial consultation.

Schedule a Consultation with Tijuana Bariatrics Today

To learn more about proper eating after weight loss surgery, contact Tijuana Bariatrics and the team of weight management professionals today.