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What Foods Can You Eat After Bariatric Surgery?

Choosing to go through with bariatric surgery is a major decision. For many people, it is the only way they can save themselves from a lifetime of morbid obesity and the medical problems it causes. Every person who debates whether the process is right for them winds up with many questions along the way. However, one of the most common questions that comes up time and time again is: “What can a person who undergoes bariatric surgery eat, after the process is complete?

Days after surgery

For the first couple of days after the surgery, you will eat or drink nothing. You may have an IV or other method of gaining nutrition without using the stomach. This allows your stomach to heal. After that, you will spend a few days on a liquid diet. You are allowed to drink broth, juice, strained soup, sugar-free gelatin and other liquids. Your doctor will monitor your progress at this point before releasing you from the hospital.

The first weeks

After about two weeks have passed, your doctor will likely give you the okay to start eating pureed foods. This stage lasts about two to four more weeks. You can eat lean meats, fruits, and vegetables as long as they are carefully purred into a soft mush. Like all stages of the post-bariatric surgery diet, you will be very limited in the amounts you can eat at one time.

Soft food stage

Around four to six weeks post-surgery, your doctor will allow you to start eating normal foods, as long as they are soft. The rule of thumb is that the food should be soft enough to mash with a fork. Most cooked vegetables, ground meats, and pasta fit in this category. If you have any questions, your doctor will be able to provide guidance.

Solid foods

Depending on how quickly you heal from the surgery, you may be ready for solid foods within eight to ten weeks post-surgery. At this point you can eat most foods you enjoyed before your surgery, in smaller quantities. There will be certain foods that are discouraged, because they are particularly hard for your body to process. Your doctor can provide a more complete list, but these foods include: bread, tough meat, fibrous vegetables, and nuts.

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