Patient Resources: Nutrition After Surgery2017-07-08T19:12:17+00:00

Nutrition after bariatric surgery

Nutrition is critical in the success of your bariatric procedure. We give special attention both before and after surgery in order to decrease risks during surgery as well as aid you in long term success. Here are the guidelines for eating after a gastric band procedure.

  1. Eat 3 small meals a day
  2. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly (approximately 15-20 times a bite)
  3. Stop eating as soon as you feel full
  4. Don’t drink while you are eating
  5. Don’t eat between meals
  6. Only eat fresh food (can be frozen or canned fresh foods)
  7. Avoid fibrous food (celery, broccoli, etc.)
  8. Drink enough during the day (approximately 64 ounces)
  9. Only drink low-calorie drinks
  10. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day (when released to do so by the Surgeon)


By consuming liquids only, you will prevent vomiting, or overfilling and stretching of your new stomach pouch. This gives your band a chance to encapsulate around the stomach wall, thereby decreasing the chances of your band slipping out of position later on.

  • Consume a low-fat, low-sugar, clear liquid diet for the first week
  • Sip liquids at meal time
  • Drink water or other non-calorie, non-carbonated beverages between meals

Clear Liquid diet choices are

  • Clear broth (skimmed of fat)
  • Sugar-free Kool-Aid, HiC, Popsicles, Jell-O
  • Gatorade
  • Fruit juices diluted with water

DO’s & DON’Ts
Do sip liquids slowly
Do choose liquids which are low in fat and calories
Do drink plenty of water or non-calorie beverages between meals
Do NOT drink any alcohol or carbonated beverages
Do NOT eat any solid foods or soups containing solids such as meats or breads
Do NOT gulp any liquids


Weeks 2 Eating Behaviors Food Choices
Consume a low-fat, low-sugar, all liquid diet for the first 3 weeks:
Sip liquids at each meal
Drink water or other non-calorie, non-carbonated beverages between meals
Liquid diet choices:
Nonfat (skim) milk
Carnation Instant Beverage (without added sugar)
Low-fat creamy (strained) soup
Low-fat Low-sugar yogurt, pudding or custard
Commercially prepared protein drinks
Fruit juices diluted with water
The fluids listed above may travel through the banded area rather rapidly. You may not feel full after a liquid meal. This is expected. Remember, the primary concern in the first month is not so much weight loss as it is allowing you to heal, allowing the band to encapsulate around the stomach, and preparing you to start progressing your diet to thicker, denser foods.

Sip liquids slowly
Choose liquids which are low in fat and calories
Drink plenty of water or non-calorie beverages between meals
Avoid alcohol and carbonated beverages
Eat any solid foods or soups containing solids such as meats or breads
Soups made with cream
Puddings or custards unless are low-fat and low-calorie
Gulp any liquids

Soft food!
During week 3, you should eat foods that are moist and mushy than can be crushed with your fork.
Weeks 3 Eating Behaviors Food Choices

Slowly consume soft consistency protein food in small amounts 3 times a day
Drink water or other non-caloric, non-carbonated beverages up to 15 minutes before a meal and 1 hour after a meal
Soft protein food choices:
Low-fat cheese (cottage cheese, American cheese)
Eggs or egg substitutes
Egg, chicken or tuna salad
Soy products
Soft carbohydrate food choices:
Hot cereal or cold “soggy” cereal
Mashed potatoes
Fruit without the skin (canned fruit, apple sauce or bananas)
Soft well-cooked vegetables (e.g., spinach, squash)
Remember to eat slowly and try very small portions to start. You may notice a feeling of fullness after eating small portions of soft foods.

Eat small portions very slowly
Have protein at every meal
Drink plenty of no-calorie beverages between meals
Eat any fibrous foods such as raw vegetables or tough meats
Eat any fast foods or concentrated sweets

Solid food!
You are ready to introduce solid food into your diet. You should be experiencing satiety, a feeling of fullness and satisfaction after eating small portions of solid foods, mainly after your first adjustment.

Weeks 4 Eating Behaviors Food Choices

Slowly consume a small portion of protein food and vegetables 3 times a day.
Space these solid meals 5 hours apart
Chew all solid foods to a mushy consistency
Do not drink liquids during or shortly following a meal
Solid foods, as tolerated:
Ground chicken and turkey (dark meat)
Introduce pasta, rice and red meats at separate times to see if they are tolerated
Avoid fibrous foods such as pineapple, celery and non-tender cuts of red meat
Avoid meat and other foods which are dry and overcooked
Remember to eat very slowly, chew thoroughly, and take very small bites. You should spend 30-45 minutes eating at each meal. Once solids are started, you should experience a feeling of fullness. This is how you will eat permanently.

Tough or dry meats
All fresh and frozen vegetables
Fresh fruit

Chicken or turkey, no skin
White fish
Tuna fish
Milk, skim or 1%
Egg whites or egg substitutes
Low-fat cottage cheese
Low-fat cheeses
Yogurt, non-fat, no added sugar
Beans, lentils, split peas

Whole grain bread
Cooked cereal
Brown rice
Whole wheat pasta
Beans, lentils, lima beans
Baked potato
Sweet potato
Mashed potato, no fat

Vegetables juice
Tomato juice
Canned vegetables
Fresh juices

Lean, tender cuts of veal, pork, and beef
Whole eggs

White bread
Unsweetened ready-to-eat cereal
Saltine crackers
Rice cakes

Deep fried vegetables
Creamed vegetables
Asparagus stalks
Canned fruits in syrup
Fruit candy
Fruit punch

Whole milk
Regular cheeses
Fried chicken

Snack chips and crackers
Sweetened cereal
Ice cream
Sweetened beverages
French fries

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