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When Can I Have Solid Foods After Bariatric Surgery?

Congratulations! You have recently undergone weight loss surgery. There are many lifestyle changes you will need to make over the coming weeks, months, and years but one of the first questions patients ask is “when can I have solid foods after bariatric surgery?”

Consider this your official nutrition guide to aid you in your weight loss journey after surgery.

Vitamin Supplements after Weight Loss Surgery

Your doctor will recommend vitamin supplements to help your digestive system function properly and to address any potential vitamin deficiencies.

Solid Foods After Bariatric Surgery

Once you have entered Phase 3 in your bariatric surgery recovery (around week 5) regular whole foods may be introduced back into your diet.

The goal is always to choose healthy food options for a balanced diet to aid in your weight loss and to help you maintain your results for years to come.

Up until now you have learned how to make these healthy choices so you should be well equipped to make great choices to enhance your results.

Meal Prepping for Post Bariatric Surgery Success

One of the best ways to manage your diet is to plan ahead by meal prepping.

Work with your dietician to create a meal plan that you can prepare ahead of time that encourages you to make premade meals and snacks to avoid binging, unhealthy eating, and to control for healthy portion sizes.

Healthy Diet Tips

Most physicians recommend one protein shake per day to help you hit your daily protein goals, however, you should aim to get the rest of your protein from solid foods.

Below are some rules to live by for healthy eating after bariatric surgery:

  • Stop eating when you feel full

  • Take small bites

  • Chew your food thoroughly before you swallow

  • Place your fork down in between bites to focus on chewing

  • Aim to eat every 4 hours

  • Drink zero calorie liquids slowly throughout the day

  • Avoid drinking around meal times and stop drinking 30 minutes before meals

  • Resume drinking one hour after meals

  • Aim to drink between 64 to 72 ounces of liquid each day (including protein shakes)

How Should I Introduce Solid Food After Bariatric Surgery?

Introduce solid foods one at a time so that you can best monitor your tolerance levels.

You should aim to find high protein foods that are easily digestible such as poached salmon.

If you notice side effects after trying a certain food contact your doctor and nutritionist/dietician as soon as possible for further guidance.

Hard to Tolerate Foods After Bariatric Surgery

Below are some foods you may want to avoid during this stage in your recovery process as they may be difficult for your body to tolerate:

  • Bread (opt for whole grain, or light bread instead)

  • Pasta

  • Rice

  • Corn

  • Sugar-rich food (candy, pie, cookies etc.)

  • High-fat foods

  • Processed meat

Approved Foods Following Bariatric Surgery

During this phase, it can help to have a list of approved foods to create a meal plan around. Save the below list for easy access:

  • Drinks: water, tea, decaffeinated coffee, sugar-free drinks, etc.

  • Whole grains

  • All fruits

  • Dairy: Skim or fat-free milk, yogurt (low fat) cottage cheese (low or fat-free)

  • Lean meats

  • Fish

  • Eggs

  • All vegetables

  • Olive oil, canola oil

  • Nuts

Always talk to your medical team about the best diet and food choices for you based on your health history following bariatric surgery.

Northern Virginia Surgical Specialists

At Northern Virginia Surgical Specialists, we are proud to offer stellar bariatric surgery services that include guidance from our team of surgeons and nutrition professionals before, during, and after your surgery.

To learn more about the services we offer please contact us today, 540-347-2805.

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