Post-bariatric Surgery Diet Resources and Guidelines

There are certain post-bariatric surgery diet restrictions you must follow in order to ensure your body properly adjusts to a weight loss procedure. This page provides an overview of what you can expect your diet to look like the weeks following surgery.

Stages of a Post-bariatric Surgery Diet:

  • PHASE I –First two weeks after surgery
  • PHASE II – Three weeks after surgery
  • PHASE III – Solid foods – four weeks after surgery
  • PHASE IV – Four weeks after surgery
  • POST-OP – Weeks 5 and beyond

Bariatric Post-op Diet General Guidelines:

  • No carbonated beverages, caffeine, or alcohol for 6 weeks
  • No heavy lifting or exercise for 6 weeks (walking is fine and encouraged)
  • No swimming, tub baths, hot tubs, or Jacuzzis for 6 weeks
  • Wound care: Clean daily, gently, using Hibiclens or antibacterial soap and water, antiseptic spray, and cover with gauze or band-aid
  • Follow post-op diet – as outlined below

Ways to Make Sure You’re Following a Proper Post-op Diet:

  • Keep a food diary
  • Eat slowly. Take small bites and chew thoroughly – at least 25 times.
  • Avoid foods with large amounts of sugars, especially those in liquid forms. They are filled with non-nutritional empty calories and slow down weight loss.
  • Remember the stomach can hold 3-4 ounces after surgery. You will probably feel satisfied after 2-3 tablespoons of food.
  • Do not overeat! Over time, your stomach will stretch. It takes 6-9 months (possibly longer) for your new stomach size to stabilize and allow you determine your new normal meal size.
  • Stop eating when you feel comfortably satisfied. If you eat too much, vomiting will follow and you can stretch the size of the stomach. If you are unable to keep anything down and are having extreme difficulty staying hydrated, sip on regular Gatorade every 5 to 10 minutes. It has electrolytes necessary for normal cell function. Once you feel better, return to non-caloric beverages such as water and diet flavored waters.
  • Drink at least 6 to 8 cups (48 to 64 oz.) of fluid per day to prevent dehydration.
  • Stop drinking liquids 15 minutes before meals and wait 30 minutes after meals.
  • Eat the small nutrient-dense meals and two high protein snacks a day.
  • Introduce new foods one at a time in order to rule out any intolerance. If a food is not tolerated, go back to the full liquid diet for several days and try to reintroduce that particular food in one week.
  • If you cannot tolerate dairy, try a substitute lactose-free milk, such as Lactaid brand. You also can try soymilk fortified with calcium and vitamin D, or try lite soy, lite almond, lite rice or lite cashew milk.
  • Add one each per day of the following: sublingual B12, bariatric multivitamin per day; add biotin, calcium, and iron as needed.
  • If you experience heartburn or acid reflux, take an antacid. Omeprazole, Prilosec and Nexium are good choices, but there are several other antacid options available. Or ask the nurse for recommendations.
  • Don’t challenge your new stomach by eating solids too soon or overeating! You have really completed an amazing feat but your journey has just begun. Follow the stages of the post-op diet, exercise, write in your journal, drink lots of water, take your vitamins and supplements, and join a support group. If you are stuck or have any questions, contact us.

Other Post-bariatric Surgery Diet Resources: