What Can You Eat Following Bariatric Surgery?

Weight loss surgery represents a major step forward toward reclaiming your life and health, but the changes in your digestive system structure, regardless of the type surgery, whether it is gastric bypass, gastric sleeve or gastric band,  impose other changes as well — including changes in the way you eat.

While the amount of food you can tolerate will be reduced, the foods on your daily menu are also likely to undergo a transformation so you can be well nourished without regaining weight. Let’s take a look at what you can expect.

Recovery: Extreme Restrictions

The strictest dietary restrictions will come immediate after the surgery itself. Your altered stomach must heal properly, which means freeing it of everyday digestive tasks for a while. A couple of days after surgery, you’ll be allowed to try some liquid foods such as broth, milk and fruit juice in small doses.

Your bariatric surgeons and the support staff with Destination Weight Loss will monitor your tolerance for these items, and a few days later you should be able to “graduate” to purees of fruit, meats and vegetables. If running all your food through a blender may sound unappetizing, remind yourself that it’s only a temporary measure. Over the next few weeks you’ll make the transition to semi-solid and finally solid foods as approved by your physician at Surgical Associates of Marshall County.

Your New Normal

Everyone has slightly different food tolerances, depending on the amount of stomach reduction, the bariatric surgical technique employed, and individual physical quirks. You’ll undergo a necessary period of trial and error as you determine which foods, in which quantities, go down well. You may end up removing certain more challenging foods such as seeds, fibrous vegetables, and carbonated drinks from your diet permanently.

Even more important is the amount of food you take in at a single meal. Bariatric surgery recipients typically eat several very small meals a day, sipping small amounts of liquid between meals instead of alongside them. Avoid alcohol, since its effects become greatly exaggerated on a reduced stomach.

Last but not least, you may be prescribed potent vitamin supplements to take for the rest of your life. This is particularly important in procedures such as a duodenal switch that bypass a significant part of the small intestine, limiting your ability to absorb nutrients.

Start talking to your bariatric surgeon early about dietary and other lifestyle changes. The more prepared you are for the transition, the more easily you’ll make the transition to a leaner, happier life.

If you have any questions or want to speak with a member of our bariatric surgical support team, call our Albertville location at (256)840-5547 or the Guntersville office at (256)571-8734.


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