Gastric Bypass Diet: What Should You Eat after Surgery?
Gastric bypass is a bariatric procedure that physically reduces the size of the stomach to help those who struggle with obesity reach their weight loss goals and improve their health.
Because the stomach is physically changed after gastric bypass, patients will need to modify what and how they eat by following the gastric bypass diet. The gastric bypass diet teaches patients healthier eating habits, focusing on nutrition and portion size.
Our doctors at Weight Loss Team, Bariatric Center help patients successfully reach their weight loss goals by providing detailed gastric bypass diet plans at our Puerto Vallarta, Mexico practice. To learn more about diet after gastric bypass, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with one of our doctors.
What Does a General Gastric Bypass Diet Look Like?
Each patient's dietary needs and food restrictions are unique, and accordingly, not all gastric bypass diets are the same. However, there are some general rules of thumb gastric bypass patients should follow during recovery and beyond.
For example, patients are encouraged to choose foods that are high in protein and low in fat and sugar. Additionally, meals should be small, meaning a cup or less of food. All food should be eaten slowly.
Now, let's take a look at what a gastric bypass diet generally looks like.
Liquids Only for the First Few Days
It's important to allow the stomach time to heal after gastric bypass surgery. Eating solid foods or large meals can overstretch the stomach and lead to complications. Accordingly, a liquid diet must be followed for the first few days of recovery.
During the first day of recovery, the bypass diet is limited with only clear liquids allowed.
Clear liquids may include:
- Chicken, beef, or vegetable broths
- Diluted apple, cranberry, or grape juice
- Sugar-free popsicles
After the first day, other liquids may be introduced as tolerated. Liquids should be sipped slowly and regularly for a total of about 48 to 64 ounces of fluids daily.
Other liquids may include:
- Sugar-free gelatin
- Skim or 1 percent milk
- Decaffeinated coffee or decaffeinated tea
Introducing Pureed Foods
As the stomach heals and a variety of liquids are well tolerated, pureed foods may be introduced into the bypass diet. When pureeing foods, it is important to keep the consistency rather thin, like a thick liquid, and slowly work up to a smooth paste.
Patients should choose nutrient-rich foods low in fat and sugar to puree. Adding water, skim milk, broth, or unsweetened fruit juice when pureeing foods can help achieve the desired consistency.
Some foods to consider when your physician allows pureed foods include:
- Lean meats and fish
- Soft fruits
- Cooked vegetables
It should be noted that patients should continue to drink fluids, such as water or other unsweetened non-carbonated beverages, throughout the day. However, patients should wait 30 minutes or more to drink fluids after eating to avoid overstretching the stomach.
Slowly Adding Soft Foods
Upon physician approval, soft foods may be introduced into the gastric bypass diet. This usually occurs a few weeks after pureed foods have been the primary diet.
Soft foods should be diced, or cut very small, and fruit or vegetable skins and seeds should be avoided to make digestion easier. Patients should continue to eat foods high in protein and low in fat and sugar as well as drink plenty of fluids between meals.
Some foods to eat during the soft foods phase of the gastric bypass diet include:
- Finely chopped chicken or turkey breast
- Hard boiled eggs
- Baked sweet potatoes without the skin
- Bananas or other soft fruits without their skin
Solids Upon Approval
Many patients are allowed to eat solid foods about eight weeks after surgery. When introducing solid foods back into the diet, it is important to continue to make healthy choices to ensure successful weight loss and maintain results.
Patients should continue to keep meals small and look for foods that are low in fat and sugar but high in protein and other nutrients. Sticking with a diet of lean meats, healthy grains, and colorful fruits and vegetables can help gastric bypass patients lose weight and just as importantly, keep it off.
Schedule a Consultation
For answers to your questions about gastric bypass surgery, we invite you to call our team at (818) 949-6911 to schedule a consultation.