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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 complications.

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 eat much?

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.

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 below.
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:

  • Tea
  • Fruit juices (not citrus)
  • Jelly
  • Yoghurt
  • Milk
  • Soup
  • Porridge
  • Semolina (2nd week)

    Phase 3: SOFT FOODS
    Day 14 to Day 21

    Acceptable foods and drinks include:


  • Fat free or low fat cottage cheese
  • Low fat yoghurt
  • Eggs (scrambled, poached or soft-boiled)
  • Tofu
  • Cheese
  • Baked fish that flakes easily
  • Thinly sliced turkey breast
  • Lean ground beef, or chicken
  • Mashed Potatoes

  • Banana
  • Peaches or pears
  • Apple sauce


  • Soft cooked vegetables like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower etc (mushy not crunchy)
  • Tomato juice or vegetable juices

  • Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes
  • Crackers
  • Toast
  • Soups

    Foods to avoid after surgery:

  • Raw fruits and vegetables (except bananas)
  • 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.

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