What can you eat after your gastric sleeve surgery? This is easily one of the top questions I hear from patients who are planning to have bariatric surgery. I like to be honest with people so that they know what to expect and can make a fully informed decision on their care: weight loss surgery requires dietary adjustments, with the most drastic coming in the weeks following the procedure. Here’s what you should know about which foods you can eat, and at what point you can start to eat them.
A Liquid Diet Comes First
Immediately following your surgery, you will be on a week-long clear liquid diet. You will consume mainly water, broth, and sugar-free drinks with electrolytes. Once your doctor approves, you may move on to a “full liquid” diet, which consists of protein shakes, low-fat milk, sugar-free juices, creamy soups (no chunks!), yogurt, and gelatin. If a liquid has chunks of some sort, puree it to make sure your stomach has no trouble digesting it.
Finally: Some Real Food
After a couple weeks, your body is finally ready for more substantive food. The key is to pick soft foods: eggs, tuna fish, low-fat cheese, canned or well-cooked fruits and veggies, tender meats, and (on occasion) mashed potato/sweet potato. Continue to use a blender to puree anything that may seem too chunky to swallow. Our dietician recommends introducing one new food per day so you can more easily identify which foods your stomach is having difficulty processing.
When You’re Cleared for Solid Food
A lot of people get excited four to five weeks after surgery when they are cleared to eat fully solid foods. This is not the same as “eating normally again,” however. That’s because what you used to consider “normal” is not conducive to weight loss.
Instead, this is an important time to start following a deliberate meal plan rich in lean protein, as well as vitamins and minerals. Sugary foods, acidic foods, spicy foods, and caffeine should all be avoided as they can cause discomfort. Portion size is one of the most important considerations, so measure out your food by volume so that you know how much you are consuming. Just as importantly, pay attention to your appetite — if you feel full, it’s a good idea to stop eating, even if you haven’t cleaned your plate.
Learn More from a Leading Bariatric Surgeon
Any weight loss journey involves a modification to your diet, but surgery helps you to achieve the best outcome. Patients at Endobariatric enjoy assistance from a dietician who can help you plan healthy meals to get you through your recovery and the years to follow. To find out why gastric sleeve is so successful, please call 1-800-381-8115.
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If you want a more personalized experience and you have Instagram and TikTok, follow me (Dr. Alvarez) to see my day both in my daily routine and in the operating room. Add me! We will have a great time! My username is gmoalvarez (Instagram) and gmoalvarezofficial (TikTok).
“Changing lives…one sleeve at a time”