Getting bariatric surgery is the first step in a process that can last a lifetime. After surgery comes the post-surgery diet. If done right, it can help you recover faster and get your weight loss journey started on the right foot. These are the phases of the Post-Surgery diet and what you can use to help yourself in each phase.
Immediately Post-Op: Clear Liquid Diet
Immediately after surgery, the focus is on healing. You will need to avoid aggravating the surgery site, and clear liquids may be the only thing you can tolerate. Water, flavored water, Sipping Broth, and Low-Acid Decaf Coffee are clear liquids to try.
Your surgeon may recommend that you have at least 8 cups of fluid per day. A Hydration Reminder Bottle Attachment can remind you to drink from when you get up in the morning until you have hit your fluid goals. Motivational Water Bottles can help you keep track of how much you have drunk and how much you have to go.
Phase 1: Full Liquid Diet
Clear liquids are still a focus, but a full liquid diet adds liquid protein options. Your goal may be 60 or more grams per day, or whatever your surgeon suggests. Protein Shakes, including Protein Powder that comes in single-serving packets and multi-serving tubs, come in a range of flavors, including Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, and many more. Protein Bottles and a Protein Mixer can make this phase easier.
Protein Fruit Smoothies, Protein Hot Drinks such as Hot Cocoa and Mocha, and Protein Soups are also good choices during this phase. If you need a greater dose of protein, Protein Shots can lift you up without adding much volume - just an ounce or two.
Phase 2: Pureed Foods Diet
Finally, you get to eat some real foods. In addition to the liquids allowed in earlier phases, the pureed foods phase includes foods that are mushy or have been pureed so that they are completely smooth. Pureed cottage cheese, applesauce, pureed cooked peas and carrots, pureed tuna, and plain yogurt are common choices during this phase. Some foods, such as pureed ground turkey and mashed potatoes, may need extra broth or water blended with them to thin them out.
Protein Oatmeal, Protein Pudding in flavors such as Chocolate, Vanilla, and Cheesecake, and Protein Gelatin are appropriate for this phase. So are entrees such as pureed Sloppy Joe and pureed Omelets.
Phase 3: Semi-Soft Foods Diet
The Semi-Soft foods diet is also called the “Semi-Solid” foods phase. It can include ripe soft fruit, such as cantaloupe and peaches, fish, shellfish, chicken breast, eggs, oatmeal, cooked grains, and cooked vegetables. Protein Pancakes, Vegetarian Chili, and Protein Pasta are some meal helpers for this phase, sugar-free Peanut Butter, Pasta Sauces, and Ketchup are some useful condiments, and Protein Brownies and Sugar-Free Chocolate can give you a treat.
Phase 4: Solid Foods Diet
This phase gradually introduces foods, as tolerated, until you are eating the way you plan to do for the long-term. Harder or crunchier foods, such as nuts, crunchy fruit such as apples and pears, and raw vegetables, will likely be last. Protein Bars, Turkey and other types of jerky, Cheese Crisps, Protein Pretzels, and Bean Snacks are some high-protein, low-carb foods to keep you satisfied as you lose weight.
The post-op diet lays the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating and weight control. With the right choices and some great-tasting foods, you can get on the path you always wanted.