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Healthy Eating Post Surgery

a cup of chicken broth with herbs

Gastric bypass literally cuts your stomach in half, seriously reducing the amount of food you can hold at one time. Due to the drastic change in the volume of what you can eat, it's important to follow a strict diet to ensure you’re getting the essential nutrients and vitamins your body needs to heal and survive.

After surgery, you will lose a lot of weight quickly, and to keep your body healthy, it’s crucial to follow the advice of your doctor and nutritionist for the best results. Here are some tips to make the most of your new diet.

Hydration

Nothing is more important than staying hydrated. Sip water slowly throughout the day, aiming for at least eight glasses. Don’t drink during meals, but at least 30 minutes before and after, as drinking with meals may upset your stomach, or cause a feeling of fullness that prevents you from eating the nutrient rich foods your body needs.

Avoid carbonated beverages and drinking through a straw, which can bring air into your stomach. 

Liquid Diets

After surgery, you won’t be able to eat for a few days while your stomach heals. Your first foray back into eating will be with a liquid diet, including broths, juices, milk or gelatin.

Avoid added sugars and carbonated beverages during this time. You’re trying to reacclimate your body to ingesting food; don’t push too far, too fast.

Purees

After the liquid diet, you can look forward to mashes and purees. Foods should be blended well, with no solids that may upset your stomach as it continues to heal.

Continue to avoid sugar, and choose foods that blend well on their own (like beans, fish, egg whites, yogurt or cottage cheese), or blend with a healthful liquid (like water, broth, or skimmed milk), to get the puree as smooth as possible.

Soft Solids To Solids

After a few weeks of purees, any food you can mash with a fork can be incorporated into your diet, including cooked vegetables, canned fruits or ground meats. After eight weeks, you can begin adding solid foods back into your diet.

After two-three months, you can approximate a normal diet with smaller portions (plan to eat small meals all day long), keeping to healthy foods recommended by your physician or nutritionist.

Use Caution

Some foods should always be avoided, as they can’t be easily digested and will only serve to upset your stomach. These include: nuts, seeds, popcorn, dried fruits, fibrous vegetables (like celery, corn, or broccoli), granola, and breads.



It’s important to remember that during this time, you may develop new food intolerances, especially towards dairy or spicy foods. Incorporate new foods slowly back into your diet to make sure you can still eat them.

Limit sugars and fats, and opt for high protein foods that help you heal and stay strong far after surgery.

Additional Reminders And Supplements

Remember to always eat small meals and chew food thoroughly. Since you will not be able to eat as much as before, take a multivitamin and other mineral supplements recommended by your physician, to make sure you’re getting the appropriate vitamins and minerals in your diet.

It’s possible to lose a tremendous amount of weight after gastric bypass surgery, but to do so safely and to keep the weight off permanently, it’s best to follow these tips for healthy eating after surgery.

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