Food Phase 1
Gastric bypass surgery can be a lifesaving procedure. Weight loss and the reduction of ailments associated with obesity can help you live longer and feel and look better. To be successful long-term, however, you will have to change your diet. But before we talk about the way you should eat for the rest of your life, you have to get through the period directly after surgery.
Your diet for the first five weeks after gastric bypass surgery is important for two reasons:
- Your safety. Eating the wrong food could put undue pressure on your healing stomach.
- Resetting your bad eating habits and replacing them with new healthy habits.
Diet recommendations after gastric bypass surgery vary depending on where the surgery is performed and your individual situation, but a gastric bypass diet typically follows a staged approach to help you ease back into eating solid foods as you recover. How quickly you move from one step to the next depends on how fast your body heals and adjusts to the change in eating patterns. You can usually start eating regular foods about three months after surgery. After gastric bypass surgery, you must be careful to drink enough fluids to avoid dehydration, and to pay extra attention to signs that you feel hungry or full.
Within the first day or two after surgery, you’ll begin taking small sips or spoonsful of clear liquids. Choose fluids without sugar, caffeine or carbonation. Good choices include but aren’t limited to:
- apple juice
- instant drink mixes
- ice pops
A few days or up to a week later, you’ll be allowed to add full liquids — foods that pass through a strainer at room temperature — to your diet. Choose sugar-free, caffeine-free, non-carbonated liquids, such as:
- strained cream soups
- orange juice
- commercially-prepared high protein drinks
You’ll have to continue on a liquid diet for at least the first few weeks post surgery until your doctor allows you to move on to the next phase.
Next week our series continues, and our blog will focus on phase 2 after weight loss surgery — pureed foods.
If you live in the Las Vegas area and are considering bariatric surgery, schedule an appointment with the area’s first female bariatric surgeon, Dr. Heidi Ryan.