Nutrition for Bariatric Patients

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What can I eat after bariatric surgery?

Nutrition for Bariatric Patients

Over the years, general nutrition guidelines have been developed, but presently no standardized diet for post-bariatric surgery patients exists. Most weight loss surgery centers have registered dietitians who, along with your doctor, help you understand your dietary needs. Typically, you will progress from liquid to pureed food over several weeks. An example of food choices one month post-operation include cheese, eggs, low fat tuna, and/or chicken blended until smooth. Cooked seedless vegetables and soft seedless fruit are also introduced at this time. By about three months, solid cuts of meat and fresh vegetables are added to your diet as tolerated.

Initially, your new stomach pouch will only hold one ounce of food. The pouch eventually expands to hold about one cup of thoroughly chewed food (a normal stomach can hold up to four cups). You should eat small frequent meals throughout your day rather than large meals that your stomach cannot accommodate. Because your stomach is so small, you will be asked not to drink liquids during or up to one hour after your meals. In general, your goal is eat 800 to1000 total calories per day.

Since you can only consume about 10 bites of food, it is very important to make those bites count. Avoid empty calories that are found in high fat foods, sodas and sweets. Your new stomach won't be able to tolerate a large amount of junk food. Overeating junk foods increases the likelihood of “dumping syndrome.” The nasty side effects of dumping include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Most doctors will let you make the last bite of food your choice, so it is possible to have a bite of chocolate now and then.



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