The bariatric surgery diet is the food plan that you will be following for the first 8 weeks following gastric bypass surgery. This surgery can give you a new lease on life, but a big part of that will be up to you. How well you follow what you learned in your prep classes will be a big determining factor in how much weight you lose and how much of that weight loss you will have maintained five years later. For the first 9-12 months, the weight will come off easily. After that, it will be up to you to continue the weight loss or to maintain what you have lost.
The gastric bypass diet starts out with clear liquids and this is really no different than the diet following many surgeries. You will be on this part of the diet for the first day or two. By the third day, you should be eating at step 2 part of the gastric bypass diet. This is the part of the diet is easy to follow, but you will probably be tired of it before it is time for you to move on to the next step of the diet. Step 2 consists of liquid protein, baby food or strained pureed foods. You can have any or all of these types of foods, but that is it. If you have to chew it, it does not step 2 and you shouldn’t be eating it at this point in the bariatric diet. This step can last from 2 to 8 weeks.
Step 3 is where you begin eating real food again. You will start with soft foods…things that will be easy on your stomach that is still tender. Make sure that all foods are well chewed. Your food should be liquid before it is swallowed. Try different things, but go easy at first. Proceed with caution. Overeating can cause vomiting and not chewing well enough can cause severe pain. Make sure that you avoid drinking 30 minutes before eating and 30 minutes after eating. Eating can actually be frustrating at this time. It is a time-consuming process because everything has to be chewed so well.
You should be consuming 60 grams of protein each day and 32 ounces of liquids. Eating can be a full-time job during the first several months. By the end of the eighth week, you should be eating almost all foods, but meats will be difficult and should be cut into small pieces. There are foods that can present problems. Fats and sugar will be the most difficult and you may always have to avoid these foods in any quantity. Eating these foods in excess can cause pain and may also cause dumping syndrome.
Getting through this diet and back to eating regular foods is a process and you will get through it. Your weight loss surgery will give you an opportunity to do things that you may not have been able to do in years. It is a tool and that is how it should be used!