General Nutrition Guidelines After Surgery

Nov 08, 2021 Admin blog 0 comments
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Advancements in bariatric surgery have made surgical weight loss more effective and long-term. However, to realize the full potential of bariatric surgery, patients will need to eat a healthy diet and follow strict rules for nutrition.

After Surgery

Because the stomach is very sensitive after weight loss surgery, patients will need to eat small amounts of food slowly and carefully to prevent vomiting, obstruction, and stretching of the stomach pouch. Patients will also need to increase their protein intake to promote healing.

Immediately after surgery, patients will be on a strict liquid diet consisting of water, sugar-free beverages, diet gelatin, and noncarbonated drinks. A high-protein supplement should be added a few days after surgery to help patients maintain energy.


Patients should:

  • Sip fluids slowly.
  • Avoid drinking through straws.
  • Drink liquids at least six times a day.
  • Stay away from alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and carbonated drinks.
  • Consume at least 60 grams of protein and 64 ounces of fluid each day.

Once patients are clear to eat semi-solid and soft foods, it’s important to:

  • Eat slowly and stop once they feel full.
  • Eat protein first, then vegetables, and end the meal with a carbohydrate.
  • Take two small bites and chew thoroughly. Wait a few minutes before taking the third bite to reduce the risk of problems with digestion.
  • Stop eating and rest if patients feel nauseated or vomit. Only consume clear liquids at the next meal, but add blended foods for the next meal. Solid food can be consumed again the following day.


Nutritional Guidance and Tips

Once patients are able to eat solid food, here are a few tips to follow for proper nutrition and maximum results.


  • Choose lean proteins like fish or chicken.
  • Use low-fat cooking methods such as roasting, poaching, grilling, braising, steaming, and broiling.
  • Avoid red meat for at least four months after surgery. Once you’re ready for red meat, start with extra-lean ground beef.


  • Choose whole and unprocessed fruit, legumes, and whole grains to help you feel full and keep bowel movements regular.
  • Avoid high-sugar foods that contain more than five grams of sugar per serving.
  • Stay away from foods containing honey, corn syrup, sucrose, glucose, dextrose, fructose, and molasses.
  • Skip bread, white rice, and popcorn to avoid a blockage and reduce the risk of the band slipping.

Healthy Fats

  • Stay away from animal butter, sour cream, cream cheese, full-fat cheeses, full-fat sour cream, yogurt, sausage, ribs, and corned beef.
  • Choose liquid oils high in monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, canola oil, and peanut oil.
  • Eliminate deep-fried foods such as chicken, chips, tempura, and chimichangas.
  • Consume avocado, olives, mayonnaise, nuts, and nut butters.


  • Avoid drinking within 15 minutes before or 60 minutes after meals to prevent pouch stretching and vomiting, and promote digestion and satiation.
  • Slowly consume ½ to one cup (four to eight ounces) of fluids every hour.
  • Avoid drinking from a water fountain to help control water volume intake, and reduce the amount of air in your stomach pouch which could cause gas.
  • Eliminate high-calorie, high-sugar drinks low in nutritional value.
  • Cut out energy drinks, which contain excessive caffeine and irritate the new pouch.

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