Bariatric Weight-Loss Surgery

Recipes for Bariatric Surgery Success

Dr. Jason F. Moy
Dr. Brian T. Chin
Daniel Roman
February 21, 2023
Recipes for Bariatric Surgery Success

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, involves making changes to the digestive system in order to lose weight. A post-bariatric diet typically involves five phases for you to follow after surgery to ensure optimal healing and long-term weight loss. Each phase of the diet has its own guidelines and goals.

In this guide, we have discussed several recipe options you can try in these phases for bariatric surgery success.

Phases of Bariatric Diet

There are five phases of the bariatric diet; clear liquids, full liquids, pureed foods, soft foods, and regular foods. Returning to regular foods might take you eight to twelve weeks, depending on how you recover. It is important to note that there are several trendy unhealthy post-bariatric diets that you must stay away from.

Here are the bariatric diet phases with their relevant recipe options:

  1. Clear Liquids

Within the first one to two weeks following surgery, the body requires proper hydration to reduce the risk of complications such as bleeding and infection. The only liquids that patients can consume are clear liquids like water, broth, and sugar-free Jell-O.

During this phase, chicken broth can be a great source of nutrition and hydration. It is low in calories and fat but contains a lot of protein, minerals, and electrolytes. Here's a recipe for making chicken broth that's suitable for the post-surgery diet:

Ingredients:
  • 2-3 lbs of chicken bones (backs, necks, or wings)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 chopped carrots
  • 2 chopped celery stalks
  • 1-2 chopped cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme or parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Add the chicken bones, vegetables, herbs, and seasonings to a large pot.
  2. Fill the container with water until it covers the ingredients by 2 inches.
  3. After the pot reaches a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 4-6 hours. Remove any foam or impurities on the surface.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool.
  5. Remove the solids from the broth by straining through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth and let the broth cool down. You can remove any solidified fat from the surface of the broth after it has cooled down.

You can store the broth in the refrigerator for 5 days. Note that you can adjust the seasoning, vegetables, and broth quantity to suit your taste and dietary needs.

2. Full liquids

In this phase, liquids-rich in nutrients, such as protein shakes and low-fat milk, is introduced slowly into the system. You can make smoothies and shakes using different fruit as we have described below.

Ingredients
  • 2 scoops of protein powder 
  • 2 Tbsp powdered peanut butter
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 banana or any other fruit that you prefer (consult your doctor on which fruits are okay to eat)
  • Ice cubes as preferred
Instructions

In your blender, mix your banana, ice, water, protein powder, and peanut butter powder (in this order). On high, blend the mixture until it is smooth.

3. Pureed foods

After surgery, this phase lasts four to six weeks and consists of introducing soft, pureed foods that are easy to digest. A few examples include pureed vegetables and fruits, yogurt, and pureed meats.

Curried sweet potato soup is a tasty, nutritious, low-calorie option for post-bariatric surgery diets. It's rich in vitamins and minerals, too. Here's a recipe that you can try:

Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 chopped cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 diced sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions:
  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes, or until soft.
  2. Stir in the curry powder and cumin and cook for another two minutes.
  3. Add the broth, water, and sweet potatoes to the bowl and bring it to a boil.
  4. Simmer the mixture for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste the soup.
  6. Now, pour the soup into a blender and puree until smooth.
  7. Heat the soup over medium heat in the pot again.

You can serve the soup with cilantro or parsley sprinkled on top if desired.

4. Soft foods

The goal of this phase is to introduce more solid foods that are easy to chew, such as cooked fish, eggs, and soft fruits and vegetables. This phase typically lasts six to eight weeks after surgery.

A delicious option to try in this phase is the Frittata. Here is a quick recipe to try:

Ingredients:
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 5 asparagus spears
  • 2 scallions
  • 2 large leaves of swiss chard
  • 1 Tbsp finely minced fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp finely minced parsley
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the broiler on high.
  2. Chop all vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Sauté vegetables and herbs in a medium skillet for 3 to 5 minutes in canola oil. Let the vegetables cook for a few minutes covered.
  4. Whisk eggs thoroughly in a separate bowl. Pour eggs gently over vegetables in the pan.
  5. Slowly cook eggs until they are partially set. After 2-3 minutes, sprinkle cheese on eggs and broil under the broiler. Serve right away.

5. Regular foods

The patient may return to a normal diet after eight to twelve weeks but should be mindful of portion sizes and avoid high-fat and high-sugar foods.

Since each patient's recovery process is unique, each phase's duration may differ. It is also highly recommended to stay in touch with your healthcare provider and follow the custom plan they will provide you with. Cheating on your diet after a bariatric surgery should be a big no!

For more information on the diet after bariatric surgery, contact the BASS Bariatric Surgery Center today at 925-281-3711 for a consultation. In case you are struggling with your weight, we can assist you with finding a weight-loss method that works best for you.

About The Author

Daniel Roman, Content Writer

Daniel Roman is a Digital Content Writer at BASS Medical Group. He received his Masters in Journalism from UC Berkeley in 2021. Daniel has published multiple newspaper articles covering public health issues. His latest was a magazine cover story on pandemics and diseases that he co-wrote with Dr. Elena Conis, a historian of medicine, public health, and the environment.

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