If you’ve recently decided to go ahead with gastric sleeve surgery, congratulations – you’re not on a weight loss journey that will deliver long-term benefits to your overall health and well-being. However, your immediate success depends on following the proper diet after your procedure. That’s why Valeriu E. Andrei, M.D., Bariatric Associates P.A. has created a custom post-surgical diet for gastric sleeve patients. This specially designed diet has been perfected by Dr. Andrei to ensure the best results for every patient, so you can feel confident that your gastric sleeve surgery will be a success.
Immediately After Discharge
Once you leave the hospital, eating and drinking may be the farthest things from your mind. After all, you’re likely experiencing some discomfort, you have new medications to take, and you have to keep up on your breathing exercises. But nutrition and hydration are critical to ensure you heal successfully and begin to feel a little better each day. In the beginning, you’ll follow a liquids-only diet that allows:
- Vegetable and meat broths
- Water flavored with sugar-free powders and liquids, such as Crystal Light
- Sugar-free ice pops
Drinking plenty of water is important as well, and you’ll receive instructions on how much you should drink and how often. Just remember – carbonated beverages, even sparkling water, should be avoided.
Three Stages for Success
The variety of foods you can enjoy will continue to grow as time passes and will slowly expand to include more solid foods as you become better able to handle them. Each patient at Valeriu E. Andrei, M.D., Bariatric Associates P.A. receives detailed instructions on what and how much to eat, and it’s essential that you follow these guidelines. Your diet will feature three stages, which include:
Stage 1: Liquids
For the first week, you’ll remain on a liquid-only diet. At first you’ll be restricted to clear liquids, but eventually low-fat cream soups, light yogurt, sugar-free puddings, and dairy-based protein drinks can also be added.
Stage 2: Pureed and Soft Foods
Stage 2 includes two phases that incorporate increasingly solid foods. In the first, you can continue eating any of the foods from Stage 1, plus pureed fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, and low-fat dairy products. Beginning on day 11, patients may also consume soft foods, including meatloaf, baked fish, tuna and egg salad, cheese, and canned fruits.
Stage 3: Solid Foods
By day 15, you’re ready to begin eating solid foods. However, there are still some restrictions. You may add a greater variety of fruits and vegetables to your diet, as well as shellfish, skinless poultry, beans, nuts and seeds, and other lean proteins. This is also when grains are reintroduced, including whole wheat bread, brown rice, and cereals. You can add flavor to every meal with seasonings and salad dressings, as well as sparingly used fats.
General Eating Guidelines
In addition to understanding the foods you should eat and avoid, it’s important to follow the rules for eating provided by your doctor. Be careful to measure portions to avoid under- or overeating, and never eat and drink at the same time. Instead, wait 30 minutes after drinking to eat and vice versa.
You should plan on eating every three hours and taking suggested vitamins to ensure you receive all the nutrients required for good health. Finally, eat slowly. Cut your food into small pieces that are easy to chew and digest at every meal or snack.
Making Your Sleeve Gastrectomy a Success
If you’re concerned about choosing the right foods after gastric sleeve surgery, don’t worry. Valeriu E. Andrei, M.D., Bariatric Associates P.A. will be by your side with the information and support you need to eat well and stay on track. To learn more about surgical weight loss procedures, contact us today to schedule a consultation.