Dietary Guidelines After Bariatric Surgery

It is vital to follow certain dietary recommendations to enjoy a healthy weight loss journey after undergoing bariatric surgery. Diet plans are designed to promote healthy weight loss, avoid any health complications, and assist the healing process. The needs of each patient may differ depending on the overall health of a patient or the type of bariatric surgery he or she underwent. Hence, it is essential to opt for personalized diet plan from your dietician. Here are some general dietary suggestions that a patient must follow after bariatric surgery:

Phase 1-Clear Liquid Diet for Patients Following Bariatric and Weight Loss Surgery

Your clear liquid diet should have hydration as its main goal in the days and weeks after bariatric surgery.

Hydration Advice

Drink plenty of liquids: Aim for 48-64 ounces (six to eight 8-ounce glasses) of fluids daily.

Fruit juices (diluted): Fruit juices may need to be diluted at first to prevent probable nausea and diarrhea. You can opt for diluted or light juices sweetened artificially. However, given to the high calorie content, limit ingestion to 2 cups per day. You can also go for Apple, Grape or Cranberry juices.

Avoid extremes of temperature: It’s advised to stay away from really hot or cold liquids for roughly six weeks to aid your stomach’s healing process.

Keep an eye on how your stomach is recovering: It’s common to experience periodic nausea or vomiting while your stomach heals. During this stage, maintaining hydration is crucial.

Phase 2A: Full Liquid Diet for Post-Surgery Patients

For patients who have had bariatric surgery, a full liquid diet phase is carefully created.

Following Bariatric Surgery, the following advice should be followed:

  1. Maintain your fluid intake.
  2. Aim for a total daily fluid intake of 48–64 ounces.
  3. Drink half a cup of liquids at each meal. The recommended choices include skim milk (protein powder can be added), cream soups (strained), yogurt ( fat free with no sugar), meal replacement drinks, etc

Phase 2B: Suggesting Puréed Foods for Patients Following Bariatric Surgery

You can start including puréed foods into your diet once your surgeon gives the all-clear to move on to foods that are thick in terms of consistency following your bariatric procedure.

Important Goals of the Phase 2B Puréed Food Diet Following Bariatric Surgery:

  1. Include High-Protein Foods: High-protein foods will help your diet and the pouch in your stomach repair. Recommended intake is between 50 and 60 grams for women and 60 and 70 grams for men.
  2. Start Taking Proper Vitamins and Minerals: To address your nutritional needs, start taking a vitamin supplement in the form of chewable tablets.
  3. Maintain Adequate Fluid Intake: To stay hydrated, consume 48 to 64 ounces of fluids each day. Recommendations include sugarfree plain yogurt, skim milk, scrambled eggs, strained cream soups, cheese (mashed cottage or ricotta), fruit/vegetable juices, baby oatmeal, etc.

Meal plan for the puréed diet following bariatric surgery:

  1. Eat three little meals throughout the day.
  2. After each meal, start including protein supplements to satiate your daily protein needs.
  3. Start with an eight-ounce serving of a protein supplement or smoothie and then drink sixteen-ounces of clear, sugar-free beverages.
  4. Aim for a three-hour window to spread out fluid intake.
  5. Wait at least half an hour before drinking anything.

By adhering to this Phase 2B puréed food diet plan, you will ensure proper nutritional intake and help your recovery following bariatric surgery. In this stage of your recovery from surgery, don’t forget to seek the advice and assistance of your medical team.

Phase 3: Post-Bariatric Surgery Patients’ Adaptive or Soft Food Diet

Following bariatric surgery, you will move to a more solid diet during this time. Soft meat, fish, chicken, cereals, steamed vegetables, and fresh and canned fruits can all fall under this category.

While on the adapted or soft food regimen, follow below given guidelines:

  1. Eat high-protein items first during meals and incorporate them into your diet.
  2. Consumption of chewable vitamin and mineral supplements is recommended.
  3. 48–64 ounces (six to eight 8-ounce glasses) of fluid should be consumed every dayRecommended choices include unsweetened cereals along with cereal milk, canned fruits, low fat cheese, pasta/rice/noodles (boiled),etc.

Meal plan for the soft food/adaptive diet following bariatric surgery:

  • Eat three little meals throughout the day.
  • Low fat fuits and vegetables should be added to the diet.
  • Foods to avoid include breads, seeds/skins of veggies and fruits, etc.
  • The foods should be chewed properly and the food intake should be stopped once the patient starts feeling fuller.

Phase 4: Stabilization Diet

  • You can eat foods with a regular consistency at this point after your bariatric surgery. It’s important to keep in mind that this does not suggest that you should go back to your old eating routines and patterns.

Key Objectives of Phase 4: Stabilization Diet

  1. Eat Three Well-Balanced Meals Each Day: Aim to eat three meals that are well-balanced each day. In addition, drink calorie-free liquids in between meals.
  2. Select Nutrient-Dense Foods: In light of your stomach’s post-surgery capacity limitations, it’s critical to prioritize nutrient-dense foods above empty calories. Steer clear of foods high in sugar or fat that are deficient in necessary proteins, vitamins, or minerals.
  3. Continue Vitamin and Mineral Supplements: Because your meals will be smaller, it’s crucial to keep taking your vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need each day.

Following this Phase 4 stabilization diet can help you recover from bariatric surgery in a safe and effective manner. To promote your long-term wellbeing, keep up your dedication to a nutritious and balanced diet. For individualized advice and assistance throughout this stage of your post-surgery journey, always speak with your healthcare team.

In addition to info given above, you also must know the right foods and amounts to eat at each meal to maximise your weight loss after surgery.

  1. Carbonated Beverages with Caffeine

After gastric bypass, avoiding drinks with a lot of sugar, fructose, or corn syrup is best. Sugary beverages, such as carbonated drinks, sodas, and fruit juices, cause dumping syndrome, which causes food to be swiftly emptied into the colon after intake.

Bariatric dietitians advise avoiding caffeine-containing beverages for at least three months because it can promote dehydration. Patients can choose water, decaffeinated coffee, or unsweetened liquids instead of caffeinated and carbonated beverages for at least three months while their systems adjust to having a smaller stomach.

  1. Stale Food

Following gastric bypass, it is advised to abstain from drinking anything for 30 minutes before and after meals. As a result, it is best to avoid dry foods, at least in the early stages of post-operative care, as the patient cannot drink liquids while eating. Foods like granola, almonds, and dried fruits can make swallowing harder.

Bariatric dietitians advise taking a few pieces of these dry meals after a specific time to observe how the body responds. Patients can once again incorporate such items into their usual diets after their stomachs have healed.

  1. Stodgy Foods

Starchy foods like bread, rice, and pasta can form a paste in the throat and be challenging to swallow without water or another liquid because of their composition. Such foods can occasionally obstruct the pouch hole and be uncomfortable. In the early phases of recovery, avoiding foods with a high carbohydrate content is best. Eating them afterward in moderation is possible, taking care to take little bites.

  1. Brittle Meats

For the first 4-6 weeks, it’s crucial for patients who consume meat to stay away from harsh, dry meats like red meat. Eating lean meats, protein sources, and more straightforward to digest, such as minced chicken, turkey, or fish, is advised. Additionally, it’s best to stay away from high-fat meats like steak, pork chops, gammon, and hot dogs.

  1. Fried And Sweet Foods

Since the stomach is small after a gastric bypass and needs to be filled with food that nourishes the body, avoiding eating anything without nutritional value is essential. Consuming too sweet or fried foods, such as pastries, chips, pretzels, popcorn, or sweets, can cause weight gain and malnourishment in the body. These foods can also result in dumping syndrome and bring on symptoms, including weakness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.


Dr. Abdul Salam Al Taie is a highly experienced consultant in the UAE who specializes in complex cases of bariatric surgery, Our staff is prepared to provide you with the best possible comfort during your recovery following surgery. Contact Dr Abdulsalam Al Taie to learn more about gastric bypass surgery and to determine whether it is a good option for you.

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