What Can I Eat After Bariatric Surgery?

What Can I Eat After Bariatric Surgery?

Any major surgery will require a full recovery process, and bariatric surgery, or weight-loss surgery, is no different. During recovery, it’s vital you follow the instructions of your medical team. Ideally, this team should include a dietician to guide you toward sustaining a balanced diet and making healthier meal choices. 

In the weeks immediately after surgery, you will have specific but temporary dietary restrictions. These are important to understand before your surgery date, so you and your surgery caretaker can prepare accordingly.

Eating After Bariatric Surgery

Liquid Diet

For the first day or so after your bariatric procedure, you’ll be on a clear liquid diet. This includes water, low-sodium clear broths, and sugar-free gelatin, which will help keep you hydrated post-surgery. 

After you’re able to consume 48 ounces of clear liquids per day, you’ll advance to the liquid diet until your first post-operative appointment, which is normally about a week or two after surgery. These liquids can include yogurt-like consistency foods, but they should not contain any caffeine, added sugar, or sweeteners. 

The following are good options to eat during this stage:

  • Skim milk
  • Strained cream soups
  • Low-sodium broths
  • Juice
  • Unsweetened applesauce 
  • Oatmeal 
  • Protein shakes
  • Blended beans 

Pureed and Soft Foods Diet

If approved by your doctor, you can move on to a pureed diet about two weeks after surgery. Any food you eat for the following two weeks will need to be a paste or thick liquid with no solid pieces. To achieve the right consistency, add liquid before you blend solid foods, like lean meats or fish, cooked cereal, fruits and vegetables, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, and soups.

You’ll eventually advance to soft foods with your doctor’s approval. This includes foods that are easier to chew and aren’t stringy, like:

  • Cooked vegetables with no skin
  • Soft fruits with no seeds or skin
  • Eggs
  • Cooked or dried cereal
  • Ground meat and fish

Solid Foods

At your doctor’s approval, you’ll return to solid foods about seven weeks after bariatric surgery. Try new foods one at a time, doing a trial-and-error process to determine what your body can handle. Certain foods could cause stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting, like fried or spicy foods, bread, carbonated drinks, tough meats, popcorn, nuts, and seeds.  

Avoid bread and rice and chew everything very slowly, eliminating all lumps before swallowing. Cutting things up into small pieces will make it easier.  

Learn More from Tri State Bariatrics

While you’ll be able to return to solid foods, it’s important to remember that your stomach will hold much less post-surgery. Keep your meals small, avoid drinking while you eat, and choose protein-rich, nutrient-dense foods.

For more information on bariatric surgery and your weight-loss surgery options, contact the experts at Tri State Bariatrics. Our amazing team of doctors and support staff can help you make the switch to a healthier lifestyle. Visit our blog for more information on bariatric surgery options, recovery tips, and post-surgery guidelines.

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