What to eat after bariatric surgery

After undergoing bariatric surgery the person needs to eat a liquid diet for about 15 days and then can start the pasty diet for approximately another 20 days.

After this period, solid foods can be introduced again little by little, but the feeding usually only returns to normal, about 3 months after the surgery. However, these time periods can vary, depending on the type of tolerance that each person has after surgery.

Doing this adaptation time is very important because the person’s stomach is very small and only fits about 200 ml of liquid, which is why the person loses weight quickly because even if he wants to eat a lot, he will feel very uncomfortable because literally food will not fit in the stomach. 

1. How to do the Liquid Diet 

The liquid diet starts right after surgery and usually lasts between 1 to 2 weeks. During this period, food can only be consumed in liquid form and in small volumes, about 100 to 150 ml, making about 6 to 8 meals a day, with an interval of 2 hours between meals. During the period of the liquid diet it is common to go through the following phases:

  • Clear liquid diet: this is the first phase of the liquid diet that should be done during the first 7 days of the postoperative period, being based on soup without fats, strained fruit juices, teas, and water. The diet should start with a volume of 30 mL and gradually increase until reaching 60 mL at the end of the first week.
  • Crushed diet: after the first 7 days, this type of diet can be added, which consists of ingesting some types of crushed food, increasing the number of liquids from 60 to 100 mL. The foods allowed include non-citrus fruit teas and juices, cereals such as oats or rice cream, white meats, unsweetened gelatin, vegetables like squash, celery or yams, and cooked vegetables like zucchini, eggplant or chayote.

Food must be eaten slowly, it can take up to 40 minutes to have a glass of soup, and straws should not be used to eat them.

It is also extremely important to drink between 60 to 100 mL of water throughout the day, in small amounts, and to take the supplements prescribed by the doctor, to ensure the number of vitamins that the body needs.

2. How to do the Pasty Diet 

The pasty diet should start about 15 days after the surgery, and in it the person can eat only pasty foods such as vegetable creams, porridges, cooked or raw fruit purees, pureed pulses, protein purees, or vitamins of fruits whipped with juice soy or water, for example.

In this phase of the diet, the volume ingested should be between 150 to 200 mL, and fluid intake should be avoided with the main meals. Check out a menu and some pasty diet recipes that you can use after bariatric surgery.

When to eat solid foods again

After about 30 to 45 days after bariatric surgery, the person can return to eating foods that need to be chewed but in small quantities over 6 daily meals. At this stage, it can be useful to use a dessert plate to eat small amounts at each meal.

Liquids should only be taken between meals, it is important to drink at least 2L of water a day to prevent dehydration.

From this stage, the patient can eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk and dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, pasta, rice, potatoes, whole grains and seeds in small quantities and according to their tolerance.

Diet menu after bariatric surgery

The following is an example of a menu for the different phases of the post-bariatric surgery diet:

MealsClear liquid dietTriturada diet
Breakfast30 to 60 mL of strained papaya juice60 to 100 mL of rice cream (without milk) + 1 tablespoon (of dessert) of protein powder
Morning snack30 to 60 mL of linden tea60 to 100 mL of strained papaya juice + 1 tablespoon of protein powder
Lunch30 to 60 mL of fat-free chicken soup60 to 100 mL of crushed vegetable soup (pumpkin + zucchini + chicken)
Snack 130 to 60 mL of sugar-free liquid gelatin + 1 scoop (of dessert) of protein powder60 to 100 mL of peach juice + 1 tablespoon of protein powder
Snack 230 to 60 mL strained pear juice60 to 100 mL of sugar-free liquid gelatin + 1 tablespoon of protein powder
Dinner30 to 60 mL of fat-free chicken soup60 to 100 mL of vegetable soup (celery + chayote + chicken)
Supper30 to 60 mL of strained peach juice60 to 100 mL of apple juice + 1 scoop (of dessert) of protein powder

It is important that between each meal you drink about 30 ml of water or tea and, around 9 pm, you should take a nutritional supplement type glucerna.

MealsPasty dietSemi-solid diet
Breakfast100 to 150 mL of oatmeal with skimmed milk + 1 spoon (of dessert) of protein powder100 mL of skimmed milk with 1 slice of toasted bread with 1 slice of white cheese
Morning snack100 to 150 mL of papaya juice + 1 teaspoon of protein powder1 small banana
Lunch100 to 150 mL of chopped vegetable soup with chicken + 1 tablespoon of pumpkin puree without butter1 tablespoon of crushed carrots, 2 tablespoons of ground meat and 1 tablespoon of rice
Snack100 to 150 g of cooked and crushed apples200 mL of chamomile tea + 1 slice of toasted bread
Dinner100 to 150 mL of vegetable soup ground with fish + 2 tablespoons of mashed potato without butter30 g shredded chicken + 2 tablespoons of mashed potato
Supper100 to 150 mL of pear juice + 1 teaspoon of protein powder200 mL of chamomile tea with 1 cream cracker

In these phases, it is recommended to drink between 100 to 150 mL of water or tea between each meal and gradually increase according to individual tolerance, reaching 2 liters of water per day.

What you can’t eat 

In the first 3 months after stomach reduction surgery, foods such as:

  • Coffee, mate tea, green tea;
  • Pepper, chemical condiments, such as Knorr , Sazon, mustard, ketchup or Worcestershire sauce;
  • Industrialized powdered juices, soft drinks, as well as carbonated water;
  • Chocolate, candies, chewing gum and sweets in general;
  • Fried food;
  • Alcoholic beverage.

In addition, foods such as chocolate mousse, condensed milk or ice cream are very caloric should be avoided, and even if consumed in small quantities they can make you fat again.

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