Postoperative Diet Guide
After your surgery, we recommend a specific diet plan to help you heal. This guide will help you determine what kind of food you should eat and what you should avoid at certain steps throughout your recovery.
1. Clear liquid diet (3 – 5 Days)
After your surgery, your doctor will let you know when your body is ready for clear liquids. When your doctor approves, you’ll start a diet consisting of:
- Clear broth
- Sugar-free Jell-O® and sugar-free popsicles
- Water, Crystal Light® or Propel®
At this time, your body will only tolerate one or two ounces of liquid at a time. To determine your tolerance, you will start with an ounce of liquid and will move up to two ounces only when you’re ready. You should listen to your body. Don’t force yourself to finish if you feel full. It’s important to sip all liquids at this stage. Chugging or gulping could cause nausea or vomiting.
During this diet stage, you will only consume sugar-free, caffeine-free and non-carbonated liquids.
2. Full liquid diet (2 Weeks)
During the second stage, you will remain on a liquid diet but should be able to tolerate up to three-quarters of a cup at a time. In addition to clear liquids, you can also have:
- Cream of wheat or rice
- Strained, fat-free cream soups
- Fat-free yogurt with no fruit or granola
- Skim milk
- Sugar-free pudding
- Whey protein shake
We recommend measuring all of your portions before eating or drinking. During this stage, you will also begin taking vitamins and mineral supplements to help your body get the nutrients it needs. You should have one high-protein food at each meal and avoid foods that have more than five grams of sugar.
3. Puréed food diet (2 Weeks)
After your liquid diet, your body should be ready for blended or puréed foods. At this stage, you can eat lean meats, vegetables and fruits as long as they are in liquid form. However, you should avoid raw fruits or vegetables. Canned or cooked fruits and vegetables that are puréed are acceptable.
Make sure there are no solids in your food. To make sure your food is properly blended, follow these guidelines:
- Cut food into small pieces before blending
- Add liquid such as milk or broth
- Blend until smooth
- Strain before drinking
- Avoid spicy seasoning
Sip your meals slowly and don’t use a straw. You can have two to six ounces over a 30-minute period. Don’t drink any water or other fluids during your meal. You can have fluids 30 minutes before or after you eat. Continue to take your vitamins and mineral supplements.
4. Soft food diet (4 Weeks)
In this stage, you can introduce soft, solid foods into your diet including broiled, baked and grilled lean meats. Eat six meals a day and keep portions small. Continue to avoid raw fruits and vegetables and other “hard” foods such as popcorn.
Properly chewing your food is very important at this stage. You should chew your food until it is almost liquid. This will allow you to digest solid food.
Dedicate 20 to 30 minutes to each meal and eat slowly. If you feel nauseous during any meal, stop eating and rest. Don’t lie down. Sitting up will help you properly digest the food. Go back to clear liquids for your next meal and then try blended food before returning to soft food.
Drink six to eight cups of water in between your meals throughout the day. Continue taking your vitamin and mineral supplements each day.
5. Your new diet
At the final stage, you’re ready to return to regular solid foods. However, your new, normal diet will not be like the one you had before surgery. Changing your eating habits will help you achieve your weight-loss goals.
Keep your portions small, chew your food thoroughly and keep taking your vitamin and mineral supplements. High-protein foods will help your body stay strong during your new exercise plan. Slowly add new foods to your diet.
The bariatric team at Manatee Weight Loss Center is here for you throughout your journey. Call 941-896-9507 if you have any questions about your diet.