• Nutrition

    Eating Well After Bariatric Surgery

    Weight loss surgery isn’t a "quick fix." It’s a lifelong commitment to eating healthy and staying active so you can keep the weight off. Making important lifestyle changes may seem overwhelming at first. But with a little preparation, planning and practice, the healthy choice quickly becomes an easy choice.

    Our team works closely with you to prepare you for success. We offer nutrition classes and pre- and post-operative appointments that arm you with the resources you need. Your dietitian also helps create personalized diet plans and meal planning strategies based on your condition, procedure and surgery date.

    Eating Tips

    After surgery, think of your stomach as "brand new." Some foods won’t be tolerated in the weeks and months after your procedure. Your doctor gives you specific guidelines to follow before and after surgery, such as:

    • Eat only the amount listed as one serving size on the food label.
    • Eat only foods low in fat and sugar, or contain no sugar.
    • Portion your meals on dessert-sized plates rather than dinner plates.
    • Drink plenty of non-carbonated beverages. Be sure take small sips.
    • Drink at least 64 ounces of water or other sugar-free beverages every day.
    • Do not skip meals. Eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and one snack.
    • Eat a lean protein with each meal.
    • Eat fiber-rich foods like fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and beans.
    • Avoid fried and high-fat foods.
    • Follow the 30/30 rule: Do not drink 30 minutes before a meal or 30 minutes after a meal.

    Learn more about:

    Sleeve and Gastric Bypass: Dietary Discharge Instructions

    Before your procedure, your team gives you specific instructions on what you should eat and drink in the first few days and week after surgery. Important points to remember include:

    • Your surgeon tells you if you are ready to start drinking protein shakes at your one-week post-op visit.
      • You will drink protein shakes for two weeks once you are cleared.
      • Once cleared, you must drink 64 ounces of water or another sugar-free beverage, such as Crystal Light, Mio, decaf coffee, Powerade Zero, Propel, low-salt broth. Find more sugar-free beverages.
    • Avoid carbonated and caffeinated beverages.
    • Avoid alcohol.
    • Sip drinks — do not gulp. Do not drink out of straws.
    • Avoid drinking or eating anything too hot or too cold.
    • Start taking supplements the day after you get home from the hospital.
    • Follow post-operative diet start dates given to you by your dietitian.
    • Take 30 minutes to drink a shake.
    • Drink four shakes a day.
    • Refer to the protein shake recipe sheets for different flavor options.
    • If you feel full and can’t finish your protein shake, don’t force yourself.
      • You can keep your protein shake in the fridge and finish it for your next meal.
    • Drink sugar-free beverages between your meals/shakes.
      • Remember the 30/30 rule: No drinking for 30 minutes before or after a meal.
    • Do not eat solid foods during the first five weeks after surgery.
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