After weight loss surgery, you’ll be asked to adhere to a strict diet. This diet allows your stomach to heal and your body to adjust to your new eating plan. There’s no one diet that everyone follows, as each clinic, center, and doctor has its preferences.
However, the essence of the plans is the same. Your caloric goals and amount of protein required may differ from another patient but follow your doctor’s care plan for your wellbeing.
The Four Phases of the Bariatric Diet
The diet plan has four phases that you utilize after surgery. You mustn’t rush through each stage or try to go outside of your doctor’s orders, as you can cause damage to your tender stomach.
Phase 1: All Liquids
Your doctor will ask you to consume all liquids anywhere from 1-14 days after your surgery. These liquids must not have sugar, caffeine, or carbonation. Things like decaf tea, coffee, and water are acceptable. Since each doctor is different, some allow stuff like soup, sugar-free popsicles, and pudding to help sustain you.
You mustn’t cheat on this part, no matter how hungry you become. You can cause your stomach to stretch and tear out the stitches.
Phase 2: Pureed Foods
You’ll be so happy when you make it to phase two, as you can eat some real food. Don’t get too excited because It’s just pureed, but it will help curb your hunger. This transitional phase allows things like yogurt, veggies, and soups. You still can’t overdo it too much as you’re still healing.
Phase 3: The Soft Diet
This phase is where you start to feel a bit back to normal. Though you will notice that you can’t eat nearly what you did before, you’ll still have cravings. You still can’t eat fruit and starchy foods as your system isn’t ready for those.
However, things like steamed veggies, cottage cheese, soft meat, and even beans can be filling. Expect this phase to last anywhere from 1-5 months. It all depends on your progress and what your doctor feels is best.
Phase 4: Your New Eating Plan
Phase four is transitioning you back to eating a wide variety of foods. You will never return to your old eating habits, or you shouldn’t if you want to be successful.
The trick to this phase is optimizing your nutrition while maintaining your weight loss. You must focus on protein and ensure you get at least 3-4 oz at each meal.
Know About the Bariatric Diet
After your bariatric surgery, you need to follow your doctor’s orders closely. This diet is very restrictive at first, but this is because of the body’s need to heal. Here are some other things you need to consider about this regimen.
- You must eat or drink at least 60 grams of protein each day.
- Protein drinks are helpful initially but don’t rely on them long-term.
- Don’t eat more than 50 carbs a day for the first six months. After six months, you can eat 75-100 grams. Never eat more than 150 grams, even in the maintenance phase.
- Healthy carbs you should incorporate include sweet potatoes, fruit, whole grains, and vegetables.
- Skip candy, pasta, white bread, cake, and ice cream. These foods can cause dumping syndrome, which makes you very sick.
- Strive for 900-1200 calories a day during the weight loss phase. This amount will be extended once you’re in maintenance.
- Every meal should include protein, healthy fats, veggies, and carbs high in fiber.
- You should eat 4-6 small meals as it’s easier on your digestion.
- Drink more than 64 ounces of liquid each day, and this should not have any sugar in them.
Final Thoughts on the Bariatric Diet
Going through weight loss surgery is a long process, but it’s worth it to finally have your life back. Following the bariatric diet is challenging at first as your cravings don’t go away just because you have surgery. Thankfully, you’ll get the hang of it and adjust to your new eating style.