How long will I be off of solid foods after surgery?

Your stomach needs time to heal after surgery. You will progress through phase I, phase II, and phase III.

Phase I

Liquid Phase (Duration is approximately 2 weeks)

During this phase of the program you will be using a dietary protein supplement. It is recommended that you adhere to the supplements suggested by our program. These include protein shakes, protein soups, protein hot drinks, and clear liquid protein drinks. Please drink the full amount outlined below. This supplement ensures a healthy healing process and a great start to assist you in your weight loss. During this phase you will allow your stomach and incisions to heal.

Drink all liquids slowly and wait to make sure all the fluid has gone down without any discomfort before drinking more fluids. Restrict intake to ONE ounce over 5 minutes. If you are hungry and / or not losing weight while following phase I, please call our office for assistance.


Semi Soft Food Phase (Duration will be at least 2 weeks possibly up to 4 weeks)

During this phase you will introduce semi soft foods. Semi soft fruits and vegetables should be the consistency of applesauce; protein foods should be the consistency of tuna fish in a can.  These foods can be canned, raw or cooked. It is recommended that you continue to replace 2 meals per day with protein shakes and eat only 1 meal per day. 

Drink all liquids slowly and wait to make sure all the fluid has gone down without any discomfort before drinking more fluids. Restrict intake to ONE ounce over 5 minutes. If you are hungry and / or not losing weight while following phase II, please call our office for assistance.

Phase III

Solid Food Phase It is extremely important that you dice foods, eat slowly AND chew your food thoroughly! Follow the eating technique guidelines listed on this website and provided by your bariatric surgeon’s Registered Dietitian.

Drink all liquids slowly and wait to make sure all the fluid has gone down without any discomfort before drinking more fluids. Restrict intake to ONE ounce over 5 minutes. If you are hungry and / or not losing weight while following phase III, please call our office for assistance.

What are the best choices of protein?

Egg Beaters, Egg Whites, Chicken (no skin), Cornish Hen (no skin), Turkey (no skin), Lobster (no butter), Salmon, Flounder, Haddock, Halibut, Cod Fish, Protein Shake, Trout, Tuna, Tilapia,

Scallops, Shrimp, Cottage cheese – 1% low fat, Yogurt –fat free & low carbohydrate,

Greek Yogurt - (PLAIN FAT FREE)

Why drink so much water?

When you are losing weight, there are many waste products to eliminate, mostly in the urine. Some of these substances tend to form crystals, which can cause kidney stones. A high water intake protects you and helps your body to rid itself of waste products efficiently, promoting better weight loss. Water also fills your stomach and helps to prolong and intensify your sense of satisfaction with food. If you feel a desire to eat between meals, it may be because you did not drink enough water in the hour before.

What is Dumping Syndrome?

This affect only occurs with the Gastric Bypass. Eating sugars or other foods containing many small particles when you have an empty stomach can cause dumping syndrome in patients who have had a gastric bypass where the stomach pylorus is removed. Your body handles these small particles by diluting them with water, which reduces blood volume and causes a shock-like state. Sugar may also induce insulin shock due to the altered physiology of your intestinal tract. The result is a very unpleasant feeling: you break out in a cold clammy sweat, turn pale, feel "butterflies" in your stomach, and have a pounding pulse. Cramps and diarrhea may follow. This state can last for 30-60 minutes and can be quite uncomfortable - you may have to lie down until it goes away. This syndrome can be avoided by not eating the foods that cause it, especially on an empty stomach. A small amount of sweets, such as fruit, can sometimes be well tolerated at the end of a meal.

Is there a problem with consuming milk products?

Milk contains lactose (milk sugar), which is not well digested by some gastric bypass patients. This sugar passes through undigested until bacteria in the lower bowel act on it, producing irritating byproducts as well as gas. Depending on individual tolerance, some persons find even the smallest amount of milk can cause cramps, gas and diarrhea.

Why can't I snack between meals?

Snacking, nibbling or grazing on foods, usually high-calorie and high-fat foods, can add hundreds of calories a day to your intake, defeating the restrictive effect of your operation. Snacking will slow down your weight loss and can lead to regain of weight.

Why can't I eat red meat after surgery?

You can, but you will need to be very careful, and we recommend that you avoid it for the first several months. Red meats contain a high level of meat fibers (gristle) which hold the piece of meat together, preventing you from separating it into small parts when you chew. The gristle can plug the outlet of your stomach pouch and prevent anything from passing through, a condition that is very uncomfortable.

How can I be sure I am eating enough protein?

40 to 60 grams a day are generally sufficient. Work closely with your bariatric surgeon’s Registered Dietitian about the right amount for your body.

Is there any restriction of salt intake?

No, your salt intake will be unchanged unless otherwise instructed by your primary care physician.

Will I be able to eat "spicy" foods or seasoned foods?

Most patients are able to enjoy spices just as before surgery.

Will I be allowed to drink alcohol?

Alcoholic beverages are a source of empty calories. Alcohol decreases your inhibition levels resulting in poor judgment and poor food choices. Alcohol is not recommended but if alcohol is consumed, you must be very careful and the amount consumed must be significantly reduced.

In particular, after Gastric Bypass Surgery alcohol is absorbed more rapidly into your bloodstream resulting in blood alcohol levels that rise very quickly with any type of alcohol consumption.   Just one drink can potentially result in illegal blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) of over 0.06.  If you drive after one drink, you may be at risk of a DWAI or DWI.

What vitamins will I need to take after surgery?

Taking your vitamins after surgery (forever), along with having blood levels tested at specific intervals, is an extremely important requirement.



Sleeve Gastrectomy

Gastric Bypass





Calcium Citrate with Vitamin D












Do I meet with a nutritionist before and after surgery?

Yes you will work very closely before and after surgery with the Registered Dietitian to help you build you knowledge about food choices, portion sizes, eating techniques, vitamin supplements, reading labels just to name a few. 

Will I get a copy of suggested eating patterns and food choices after surgery?

Yes, this is provided to patients at their nutritional evaluation. This material clearly outlines expectations. After surgery, health and weight loss are highly dependent on patient compliance with these guidelines. You must do your part by restricting high-calorie foods, by avoiding sugar, snacks and fats, and by strictly following the guidelines.


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