Bariatric Surgery Resource

Gastric Sleeve Diet

Gastric sleeve surgery is a restrictive procedure without any malabsorptive element. This means that the bodies capacity to take in food will be greatly reduced. However gastric sleeve surgery patients will still be able to eat anything they want...just not as much as before surgery. What you eat is still entirely up to you, which means that the overall success of the weight loss efforts are ultimately and quite literally in your hands. The true measure of success for this surgery will be dependent on how diet is approached and what choices are made. Will it be healthy foods or fatty junk foods?

The following page outlines typical recommendations for patients who have had gastric sleeve surgery and what they can and should be eating in order to ensure maximum weight loss.

Diet Immediately After Surgery; Phase 1: Liquid Diet

After surgery your doctor will want you on a mostly liquid diet. This will last for anywhere between 2 days and 1 week. Your digestive system just underwent major surgery and thus will probably not be quite ready to handle anything but liquids at this point. Your diet during this time will likely consist of:

  • Chicken or beef broth
  • Sugar free ice pops
  • High-protein/low sugar liquid replacement meals

During this liquid diet phase, you will want to avoid the following:

  • Coffee
  • Carbonated drinks
  • High fat beverages
  • High sugar beverages

Phase 2: Soft Foods Diet

Between 1 and 2 weeks after surgery you will be ready to move from liquid foods to a soft food diet. It is recommended you eat small amounts (2 - 3oz) at a time while ensuring to chew your food well while taking small bites. Some doctors even recommend using child size utensils to force you to take in smaller amounts per bite. The key here is to stop eating once you feel full. Your diet during this soft food phase can include:

  • Baked Fish or crab
  • Soft chicken or turkey
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Bananas (avoid citrus fruits)

During this soft food phase, you will want to avoid the following (mainly starches):

  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Bread or Crackers
  • Fried or Greasy Foods

Phase 3: Solid (Healthy) Foods

Once you are ready to eat solid foods, which will be between the 4 and 6 week mark, you will want to focus on healthy, nutritious foods that are high in protein. This phase will continue for the rest of your life and what you do during this phase will decide how much weight you actually lose. Remember to eat slowly and stop eating as soon as you feel full. This will help to prevent nausea, vomiting, stomach pain as well as preventing the stomach from stretching.

Recommended Calorie Levels

You will want to stick to a strict caloric intact after your surgery to ensure you aren't overeating and at the same time aren't depriving yourself of the nutrition your body needs for survival. These recommendations are only a guide and will vary between patients, age and gender. These levels are:

  • 700-800 calories during the 1st year post surgery. This is when most weight loss occurs, so fewer calories during this time will help boost weight loss numbers.
  • 1200 calories after the first year to help maintain a proper nutrition level without weight gain.

Eating Tips To Remember

  • Do eat small meals
  • Do drink 6 to 8 cups of water per day
  • Don't snack between meals
  • Don't keep eating once you feel full
  • Don't eat unhealthy, high calorie foods
  • Don't eat simple sugars such as cakes and candies

It's important to remember that while your diet post-surgery is critical to your overall success, there are other factors you need to take in to consideration. Read more about what types of things you should expect after bariatric surgery that will contribute to your succesful weight loss.