The Importance of Following the Gastric Bypass Surgery Diet

October 21, 2016 — by Fernando Garcia
Tags: Gastric Bypass Bariatric Surgery

A measuring tape with an apple, salad, and glass of waterGastric bypass surgery is a bariatric procedure designed to alter the digestive system and help those who struggle with weight loss achieve their health and fitness goals. Steps taken during gastric bypass surgery recovery can help ensure successful results while also reducing the risks of complications. One of the most important things you can do during your recovery after gastric bypass surgery is follow a proper diet plan. To learn more about the gastric bypass surgery diet, schedule a consultation with Tijuana, BC surgeons Fernando Garcia and David Vazquez.

The Importance of Following a Diet Plan after Gastric Bypass Surgery

After gastric bypass surgery, it is important for patients to follow a diet plan as prescribed by their doctor or registered dietitian. Following a gastric bypass diet can help ensure safe weight loss and better results. The gastric bypass diet also allows the stomach to heal by preventing overstretching of the stomach and helping patients become accustomed to eating smaller portions to accommodate a smaller stomach. Closely following the gastric bypass diet after surgery can also help reduce the risk of complications and encourage a healthy recovery.

The Gastric Bypass Surgery Diet

Patients will be given detailed instructions on what to eat after gastric bypass surgery to ensure the success of treatment. In general, patients should keep meals small (about half a cup to a cup of food), eat slowly, and choose foods high in protein and low in fat and sugar. Each diet will vary based on patient needs, but a typical gastric bypass diet plan will look like this:

  • Liquids for the first few days: After gastric bypass surgery, the stomach will need time to heal and should not be overstressed by eating solid foods or large amounts. A liquid diet consisting of only clear liquids will need to be followed during the initial recovery stage. Once clear liquids are tolerated, other liquids may be added to the diet. Liquids may include broth, decaffeinated and unsweetened tea and coffee, unsweetened juice, skim or 1 percent milk, and sugar-free gelatin. It's also important to drink slowly and limit liquids to 2 to 3 ounces at a time.
  • Pureed foods after a few days: Once liquids have been well tolerated for a few days, and upon surgeon approval, pureed foods may be introduced into the diet. Foods should have the consistency of a thick liquid or smooth paste and may be blended with liquids like water, broth, skim milk, or unsweetened juice. Pureed foods should be unprocessed and may include beans, fish, lean ground meats, eggs, cooked vegetables, and soft fruits. Patients should also wait 30 minutes after eating before drinking anything to prevent overstretching the stomach.
  • Soft foods after a few weeks: After a few weeks of eating pureed foods, and upon doctor approval, soft foods may be eaten. Foods should be kept in small, easily chewable pieces and may include finely ground or tender, diced meats, cooked vegetables without skin or seeds, and canned or soft fruit without skin or seeds.
  • Solids after eight weeks: Most patients are recovered enough to eat solids about eight weeks after surgery. Although solid foods may be eaten, all food should be diced or cut small and thoroughly chewed. Portions should still be small and should continue to include high protein, low fat, and low sugar. Patients should avoid certain foods, such as nuts and seeds, dried fruits, fried foods, breads, tough meat, and carbonated beverages, until doctor approval is received.

Maintaining a Healthy Diet

In most cases, the stomach will be fully recovered about three to four months after surgery. Once recovered, patients may begin to eat a normal healthy diet. Maintaining a healthy, low fat diet is essential to losing weight and keeping weight off after gastric bypass surgery. Limiting sugars and carbohydrates, like breads, pastas, and starchy vegetables, while eating a balanced diet of lean meats, leafy vegetables, and fresh fruit can help ensure weight loss success and improved health.

Is Gastric Bypass Right for You?

Gastric bypass surgery is highly effective at helping those who suffer from obesity shed unwanted weight and live a healthier lifestyle. If you've struggled with weight loss and are ready to reclaim your life, gastric bypass may be right for you. To find out more about gastric bypass, or other weight loss procedures, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Drs. Garcia and Vazquez.