Bariatric Surgery Diet

During the first six-weeks, you will be going through three stages of diet as you heal from surgery. You will go home on the Stage Two Diet, usually for approximately two weeks. Advance to Stage three only according to your surgeon’s instructions or you could develop complications.

Bariatric Stage One Diet

This diet consists of clear, low-sugar fluids and can usually be started by the second or third day after surgery when ordered by your surgeon. All fluids should be room temperature to prevent esophageal spasms. Sip slowly, stopping as soon as you feel full. It is normal to have a reduced appetite in the days following surgery. You do not need to finish everything on your meal tray. Typically, patients are on the clear liquid stage for two meals, before advancing.

Simple Stage One Menu Pattern:

Breakfast Lunch Dinner
 

High protein fruit drink

½ cup clear broth

¼ cup sugar free gelatin

½ cup herbal decaf tea

Sugar substitute

 

 

High protein fruit drink

½ cup clear broth

½ cup herbal decaf tea

Sugar substitute

 

High protein fruit drink

½ cup clear broth

¼ cup sugar free gelatin

½ cup herbal decaf tea

Sugar substitute

Bariatric Stage Two Diet

This diet consists of low sugar foods that are liquid or semi-liquid at room temperature, such as hot cereal and nonfat yogurt. The diet allows your stomach pouch to heal before you make the transition to solid foods. It is normal to have a reduced appetite in the days following the surgery. Eat slowly. Allow 20-30 minutes per meal. Your servings may only be about 2-3 Tablespoons per meal. Eat every 3-4 hours. Drink only zero calorie beverages between meals. You will go home on this diet and must remain on it until your surgeon allows you to advance your diet, usually about two weeks.

Stage 2 Example Chart:

Food Group Foods Allowed Foods that may cause distress
Beverages Water, decaf coffee/ tea, non-carbonated, sugar free drinks All carbonated or high sugar beverages
Cereals

(1/4 cup serving)

Cream of wheat or rice All others
Dairy

(1/2 cup serving)

Low fat (1%) or fat-free Lactaid milk, smooth low sugar yogurt Milk may cause distress
Soup

(1/2 cup serving)

Strained low lactose cream soups, broth, bouillon, consommé All others
Desserts All sugar free or low sugar and low lactose: plain puddings,

custard, gelatin,

Applesauce

Popsicle’s

Any food with nuts, coconut, whole fruits, or seeds. Avoid sugary or high-fat desserts
Sugar and sweets Sugar Substitutes, or sugar free products Sugar, honey, syrups, jams or jellies, “diet” candies sweetened with sorbitol
Miscellaneous Salt, flavorings, mild herbs Garlic, hot spices and sauces
Protein supplements You may substitute a low sugar protein supplement for one meal a day. Water based protein supplements may be better tolerated. Protein supplements high in sugar.

Bariatric Stage Three Diet

  1. Don’t advance to Stage 3 solid foods until told to do so by your surgeon. When ready, go slowly, trying just one or two bites of each new food until you’re sure you can tolerate it. Chew everything very well and eat slowly!
  2. Remember, you just had surgery on your stomach and it is IRRITABLE. Some foods may cause nausea, discomfort or vomiting. If this happens, go back to stage one for a day or two as needed.
  3. Right now, take a chewable or liquid Multi-Vitamin with Iron and 2000 units of Vitamin D daily as well as a weekly B12 dissolvable tablet under your tongue. As soon as you can tolerate solids begin taking 1200mg Calcium Citrate Daily.
  4. For your first solids, start with a couple of plain crackers like Saltines or Reduced-Fat Ritz. You can add some grated low-fat cheese such as cheddar, jack or mozzarella. Cottage cheese is a good choice too. Be sure to avoid Non-fat cheeses, they are too rubbery.
  5. Try Broiled white Fish like sole or tilapia with olive oil or light margarine. You can mix canned tuna fish with light mayo, but make it very moist the first time. Wait a few weeks for denser fish such as salmon.
  6. You can have soft fruits like banana, watermelon, canned peaches or pears. Steam your vegetables soft enough to mash up. Vegetables such as zucchini, carrots or sweet potatoes are OK. Mashed potatoes with gravy sauce and prepared yogurts with fruit are OK.
  7. Any soup is fine; avoid chunks of chicken or meat the first few weeks.
  8. If the foods above are tolerated, try thinly sliced lunchmeat turkey, ham or chicken. You can also try canned chili without beans, eggs (poached or scrambled), bay shrimp with sauce, refried beans and soy crisps.
  9. After about 3 weeks, you can cautiously try very moist and tender dark meat chicken, ground beef, or pork. It is best to add some kind of sauce to make it go down easier.
  10. At about 4 weeks, you can try raw baby carrots, watermelon, ripe strawberries, apple slices without skin and a few bites of salad with low-fat dressing. Low fat peanut butter, peanuts and other nuts in moderation are ok.
  11. At about 6 weeks, if you are doing well, you may start trying other healthy foods such as tender moist meat and raw veggies and fruits. You may also start to try whole grains.