It’s always important to follow your doctor’s instructions after a surgical procedure. When it comes to gastric bypass surgery, these rules are particularly important. That’s why Valeriu E. Andrei, M.D., Bariatric Associates P.A. has personally crafted a diet plan to help patients stay on track and succeed in their weight loss journeys. This in-depth meal plan helps you know which foods to eat and which to avoid so you get the nutrition needed to work toward your weight loss goal. Here’s a quick look at what you’ll need to know about choosing food after gastric bypass surgery.
Stage 1 Diet Plan
For the first week after gastric bypass surgery, you’ll have a very strict meal plan. It’s important to familiarize yourself with acceptable foods and to contact Dr. Andrei with any questions right away. Patients follow a liquid diet during the first three days, allowing the body to adjust after surgery. You may choose up to four ounces of any of the following at each meal:
- Clear soups
- Hot or cold tea
- Coffee (with or without milk)
- Sugar-free ice pops
- Clear protein drinks
- Noncarbonated, sugar-free beverages
Be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated during this time as well. After the first three days, you can add low-fat cream soups, light yogurt, and sugar-free pudding to your diet. Dairy-based protein drinks are also important, as they offer the fuel your body needs to heal and thrive.
Stage 2 Diet Plan
Once you hit the eight-day mark, you may eat soft foods. Only pureed foods are allowed on days eight, nine, and ten, with more choices to follow. During stage two you may eat:
- Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, or farina
- Applesauce with no added sugar
- Pureed fruits and soups
- Mashed potatoes
- Ricotta cheese
- Cottage cheese
- 1% low-fat milk
- Greek yogurt
On day 11, you can add soft, easy-to-digest solid proteins, such as baked fish, skinless chicken, pork, and beef. Cheese, canned fruit, tuna salad, and soft, cooked vegetables are also good options at this time.
Stage 3 Diet Plan
Two weeks after your procedure, your diet expands to include more solid foods. You may include skinless poultry, lean meats, fish, shellfish, beans, nuts, and seeds, as well as fresh fruit, like apples, pears, berries, and melons. Grains can return to your diet as well, including thinly sliced whole-grain bread, cereal, and brown rice.
Stage three also allows you to add more flavor to your meals with salad dressings, seasonings, oils, butter, and mayonnaise. However, remember to use fats sparingly in accordance with your new lifestyle changes. Cutting food into small pieces will help you eat slowly and aid digestion as you adjust to solid foods, while vitamins provide additional nutrients.
While you should focus on maintaining small four- to six-ounce portions, you also don’t want to fill up too quickly on water or other beverages. Because of this, be sure to wait 30 minutes after drinking to eat and vice versa.
Making Positive Changes
It can be difficult to stick to a meal plan, but doing so promotes successful recovery and sustained weight loss. Dr. Andrei has customized his post-surgical diet based on hundreds of patients and years of experience, so you can feel confident you’re eating the right food after gastric bypass. To learn more about weight loss surgery and nutrition, contact Valeriu E. Andrei, M.D., Bariatric Associates, P.A. today.