Dietary Guidelines After Bariatric Surgery

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It is very important to follow the recommended dietary guidelines after undergoing bariatric surgery. These guidelines were carefully designed by your health care providers, with the goal of limiting the amount of calories you consume, while providing balanced meals that help prevent nutrient deficiencies and preserve muscle tissue.

This new way of eating may seem overwhelming at first, but over time, most patients find the guidelines become an unconscious part of their daily routine.

General Guidelines

  • Eat balanced meals with small portions.
  • Follow a diet low in calories, fats and sweets.
  • Keep a daily record of your food portions and of your calorie and protein intake.
  • Eat slowly and chew small bites of food thoroughly.
  • Avoid rice, bread, raw vegetables and fresh fruits, as well as meats that are not easily chewed, such as pork and steak. Ground meats are usually better tolerated.
  • Do not use straws, drink carbonated beverages or chew ice. They can introduce air into your pouch and cause discomfort.
  • Avoid sugar, sugar-containing foods and beverages, concentrated sweets and fruit juices.
  • For the first two months following surgery, your calorie intake should be between 300 and 600 calories a day, with a focus on thin and thicker liquids.
  • Daily caloric intake should not exceed 1,000 calories.

Fluids

  • Drink extra water and low-calorie or calorie-free fluids between meals to avoid dehydration. All liquids should be caffeine-free.
  • Sip about 1 cup of fluid between each small meal, six to eight times a day.
  • We recommend drinking at least 2 liters (64 ounces or 8 cups) of fluids a day. You will gradually be able to meet this target.
  • We strongly warn against drinking any alcoholic beverages. After surgery, alcohol is absorbed into your system much more quickly than before, making its sedative and mood-altering effects more difficult to predict and control.
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