If you’re preparing for gastric bypass surgery, you are probably doing some research on what it will be like and what you can expect after surgery. Eating after surgery will be a lot different than what you’re used to, so here are some helpful tips on what you can eat and drink after you undergo weight loss surgery.
Immediately after your surgery, the most important factor is your hydration. Learning how to drink properly to stay hydrated can be difficult. You will want to focus on small sips, very frequently throughout the day. Avoid gulping your fluids.
From surgery to 2 weeks post-op gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, or duodenal switch surgery:
- 96oz of hydrating fluids (<15 calories, decaffeinated, and non-carbonated fluids)
- Examples: decaf tea/coffee, water, powerade zero, propel zero, diet juice, broth
- Low carb/high protein drinks as tolerated/needed
- These do not count as hydrating fluids
- Get specific examples of these from your dietitian
From 2 weeks to 4 weeks post-op:
- Continue to focus on hydrating fluids at 96+oz daily
- Still no caffeine allowed
- You will begin a soft protein diet outlined by your dietitian.
- Soft proteins include eggs, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, beans, and fish.
- You do not need to eat any pureed foods.
At 4 weeks post-op:
- You will continue to focus on hydrating fluids at 96+oz daily
- You may begin to drink caffeine again at this point.
- Foods will advance to regular consistency focusing mostly on lean protein and non-starchy vegetables. You will discuss specific eating guidelines with your dietitian to ensure you have the best outcomes possible.
After your surgery it is important to learn how to eat properly. The goal is to eat three meals per day without snacking. Your new stomach will not hold much food, so stop as soon as you feel full. Eating slowly and taking small bites are key to having dense proteins settle well in your new stomach.
Focus on eating foods that are rich in protein first to help maintain muscle mass, regulate blood sugar, and control hunger. You should always eat foods that are rich in protein like lean meats (chicken, fish, pork, and beef), tofu, cheese/greek yogurt, and occasionally beans. There is not a specific protein goal you have to reach each day. Eat mindfully and focus on the quality of your foods. Questions about what foods to eat or what should be avoided post bariatric surgery should be directed toward your dietitian.