Registered Dietitian Donna Simon explains how your diet will change in the weeks following bariatric surgery. Donna Simon is Bariatric Coordinator and a Nutrition Specialist at Banner Gateway Medical Center in Gilbert, Arizona.
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Diet Changes After the Bariatric Surgery Procedure Yes, the diets do work in stages. The first stage would be right after surgery for our adjustable bands, they are clear liquids, all right? That’s just right after surgery. For our sleeves or our gastric bypasses, they are usually not clear liquids until at least one day post-op. Then they go on full liquids and that’s all three surgeries. They will go on full liquids for two weeks. That’s just to introduce food back into your digestive tract slowly and we will still resume having the protein shakes, they will resume taking their vitamins that they have been instructed to take prior. They will start taking things like no-added-sugar yogurt and strained cream soup and thin cereal like cream of wheat or cream of rice -- these are things that are thin enough to go through a small funnel but they are still considered an upgrade diet. The reason for this, like I said, is to mainly introduce food back into the digestive tract, and this is a two-week diet. And then after that, they are two weeks on a puree diet and it’s anything that you would normally eat. And like we tell our patients, chili is a great thing, you put it in the food processor, you can add any seasonings to it, you know. Cottage cheese, something sort of like that a loose scrambled egg would be fine on a puree, refried beans, you know. It has to be mushy enough to be say, like a dip consistency or putting consistency, and they were only allotted about a quarter of cup. They would have a protein source with either a fruit or vegetable, which is also pureed, plus in between meals they’d have their two or three protein shakes a day. And then after that they would progress to regular stuff what we call a bariatric diet. It’s just small portions, two to three ounces would be the maximum portion of a protein for a woman with a half a cup of fruit or vegetable at each meal. We limit the starchy carbohydrates until they lose about 50-75 percent of their excess weight, and then we slowly introduce the starchy carbohydrates because the starchy carbohydrates are known to slow down weight loss.

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