Dietary Guidelines Post Bariatric Surgery
What am I allowed to have following my bariatric Surgery?
The diet after surgery progresses from a liquid diet to a pureed
diet, then from a soft diet to a modified regular diet. The diet
progression is designed to allow your body to heal. Initially,
it will help you meet your protein and liquid requirements and
later, it will assist you in meeting your nutritional needs.
It is imperative that you follow the diet's progression and adhere
to this regimen to maximize healing and minimize the risk of unnecessary
Phase 1 CLEAR LIQUIDS
Day 1. Warm water 20 ml every hour
Day 2 to Day 7 – Apple juice, flat 7 up,
black tea (warm) and water
Will I be continuously hungry following surgery if I cannot
Many patients find that they do not want to eat very much for
the first few weeks following surgery. As their appetite returns,
it is not a ravenous appetite but it is one that is soon satisfied
by following the dietary advice given.
Phase 2 – ALL LIQUIDS
Day 8 to Day 14
Sip constantly during your waking hours, aim for 200mls of fluids
over a one hour period.
Example of a menu for the first few days after surgery is given
8am: 200mls water & multivitamin
9am: 200mls decaffeinated coffee
10am: 200mls water
11am: 200mls iced tea
12pm: 200mls chicken soup (blended)
1pm: ½ cup sugar free jelly
2pm: 200mls water
3pm: 200mls water
4pm: 200mls iced tea
5pm: 200mls vegetable soups (blended)
6pm: sugar free ice lolly
7pm: 200mls herbal tea
Acceptable foods and beverages for this period include:
Fruit juices (not citrus)
Semolina (2nd week)
Phase 3: SOFT FOODS
Day 14 to Day 21
Acceptable foods and drinks include:
Protein: Fat free or low fat cottage cheese
Low fat yoghurt
Eggs (scrambled, poached or soft-boiled)
Baked fish that flakes easily
Thinly sliced turkey breast
Lean ground beef, or chicken
Peaches or pears
Vegetables: Soft cooked vegetables like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower etc
(mushy not crunchy)
Tomato juice or vegetable juices
Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes
Raw fruits and vegetables (except bananas)
Foods to avoid after surgery:
Pasta, noodles, rice and bread
Suggestions for Phase 3 Diet: During this phase you can start eating 3 small meals a day
Make a habit of eating very slowly and chew your food thoroughly
(to a mushy consistency). Try to make each meal last 20 minutes)
Learn to stop eating when you feel full, which initially may
only be after 2 or 3 mouthfuls of food. Indications of fullness
include a feeling of pain or pressure in the centre just below
your rib cage, nausea, or pain in your shoulder or upper chest.
Eat only until you feel satisfied. If you continuously eat until
you feel stuffed, you will stretch your stomach pouch.
Get into the habit of eating a protein rich food with each meal.
Your meals should be about ½ cup in size.
Continue to drink plenty of fluids (especially water, no carbonated
drinks). However, do not drink liquids for 30 minutes prior to
mealtimes (to make sure your stomach is empty), do not drink anything
with your meal (to allow room for food), and do not drink anything
for 30 minutes after a meal ( to prevent “washing”
the food through the stomach too quickly).
Phase 4 Diet Just 3 weeks post operatively!
Day 22 and beyond
You will now be able to eat solid foods and can now tolerate a
normal and varied diet. Your stomach pouch will have fully healed.
Suggestions for Phase 4 diet:
Continue to eat a diet that is rich in protein.
Develop an exercise programme. Exercise will help you to burn
more calories and build lean body mass or muscle. The more muscle
you have, the more calories you will burn. You will lose weight
faster and keep it off as long as you are exercising.
Recognise when you are full and learn to stop eating when you
are full, not stuffed.
Continue the habit of only eating 3 small meals per day and
avoid snacking and grazing. Snacking and grazing throughout the
day will prevent you from reaching your target weight.
Remember the only reason to eat is because you are hungry. If
you are not hungry, do not eat.