Forbidden Foods After Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Avoid Them After Surgery

i Mar 27th 11 Comments by

Gastric Sleeve Forbidden Foods

Also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy, gastric sleeve surgery is a surgical procedure that reduces the size of the stomach by 85%. During the surgery, a section of the stomach is removed leaving a thin tube-shaped stomach. Because the stomach is so much smaller, the patient will feel full faster and consume less food leading to weight loss.

Before surgery, patients must prepare their body for the procedure. At least two weeks before gastric sleeve, food restrictions are made. This diet prepares the digestive tract and the liver for the procedure. This pre-surgery diet also helps prepare the body for the lifestyle changes it will experience following surgery.

Food to Limit or Avoid Before and After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

While the types of foods each patient should avoid will depend on their particular body and how it processes and digests food, there is a list of foods that all weight loss surgery patients, whether gastric sleeve or any other surgery, should always avoid. These foods include and are not limited to:

  1. Desserts and candy such as donuts or pastries;
  2. Fried foods;
  3. Fatty foods;
  4. Carbonated drinks (soda or sweetened Kool-Aid);
  5. Alcohol;
  6. Sugar (use sugar substitutes such as Splenda, Equal or Sweet & Low instead);
  7. Whole milk products (full fat cream, sauce or cheese);
  8. No fat or skin on meat or poultry;
  9. Fast food;
  10. High-fat meats such as hot dogs, sausage or bacon;
  11. Limit added fats such as mayonnaise, salad dressing, butter or margarine;
  12. Snack foods such as tortilla chips, potato chips, and other salty snacks.

Foods That are Safe to Eat

Some commonly consumed foods before and after gastric sleeve surgery include scrambled eggs (egg whites only), oatmeal, yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, lean meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, sugar-free Jell-O, whole grains and protein shakes.

Protein is a major component of the post gastric sleeve diet and helps the body to fat burn while on a low-fat diet. For gastric sleeve patients, protein shakes or protein-rich foods should be consumed at the right time in order to prevent blockages from occurring. Drink a lot of water in order to digest properly, however never drink water while eating as you will feel full fast and not consume enough nutrition.

Helpful Tips for Preparing for Gastric Sleeve Surgery

  1. Begin choosing low-fat foods and eating at home.
  2. Practice drinking water and other fluid between meals only and try to consume at least 64 ounces of water daily.
  3. Practice sipping liquids as you will not be able to drink a lot at one time.
  4. Start decreasing portion sizes and eating 3 meals a day (do not skip breakfast).
  5. Practice chewing food thoroughly and eating slowly as you will be learning how much food you can safely consume with your new stomach size.
  6. Prepare your vitamin and mineral supplement schedule.
  7. Also, purchase all of the safe foods for post-gastric sleeve surgery and all protein drinks or shakes.

Post-Operative Gastric Sleeve Diet

There are four stages of the postoperative gastric sleeve diet: clear liquid, full liquid, soft foods and regular foods.

Phase 1 Clear Liquid Diet (the First week after surgery)

During this time all sugary drinks, caffeinated drinks or carbonated drinks should be avoided. Patients can drink water, ice chips, flavored water, broth, Propel, 100% Whey Protein Isolate Bullets, skim milk, sugar-free Jell-O or Popsicles, mild tea, just to name a few.

Phase 2 Full Liquids (Weeks 2-3 post op)

Patients will focus on consuming more protein during this phase. Some approved full liquids are soy beverages, fruit juices without pulp, low sugar, plain sugar-free gelatin, creamed or chunky soup blended, drinkable yogurt without fruit chunks, ice milk, sugar-free popsicles, blended fruit smoothies, low-carb shakes, applesauce, and protein shakes. It’s important to note this is just some of the foods you can consume during this phase.

Phase 3 Soft Foods (Weeks 3-4)

This phase focuses on transitioning from liquids to soft foods. Patients should consume 60-70 grams of proteins while making sure to minimize the amount of sugar, fat, and carbs consumed. Fat intake should be less than 30 grams a day and carbohydrates no more than 40 grams daily.

Some approved soft foods include:

  1. Egg salad;
  2. Tuna fish with low-fat mayo;
  3. Chick salad with low-fat mayo;
  4. Low-fat or mild low-fat cottage cheese;
  5. Scrambled eggs (poached, boiled or soft);
  6. Fruit (mashed);
  7. Refried beans with a bit of low-fat cheese;
  8. Veggies (mashed);
  9. Bananas;
  10. Pressure cooked meats;
  11. Sweet potatoes or potatoes, mashed;
  12. Yogurt (soft not frozen).

The goal of this phase is to eat a low-sugar, low-fat, low carb and high protein diet.

Phase 4 Solid Foods (Week 5 and onward)

While the body has healed considerably at this point, it’s important you still do not eat many foods that are hard to digest or aren’t nutrition based.

Some things to avoid include:

  • Peanut butter;
  • Bacon;
  • Sausage;
  • Nuts;
  • Hotdogs or Bratwurst;
  • Salami;
  • Bologna;
  • Fast food;
  • Rice;
  • Pasta;
  • Breaded food;
  • Fried foods;
  • Desserts;
  • Potato chips, pretzels, popcorn;
  • Alcohol;
  • Desserts (cakes, cookies, candy, ice cream);
  • Heavy gravy or sauces;
  • Fruit juice


  1. RA
    May 2, 2017 at 4:49 am

    I had Gastric Sleeve surgery March 24, 2017 – and have successfully gone through all the 4 stages post-op that included introducing just liquids – protein shakes, then creamy soups, then trying to add some cut up and diced foods to add into liquids, one new food at a time. But for the past week – every single little piece of solid food I try to add gets me sick, makes me vomit and have extreme chest pains – feeling like I am going to have a heart attack until I can vomit up every piece of food that was not tolerated. I lost almost half of the weight I hoped to lose – which I am happy about. But I have real concerns about moving forward. Since every single time I try to introduce any small portions of solid food (tomorrow marks day 40 post-op) I remember it may get me sick – so I feel like I will be on liquid foods for the rest of my life. And I have fears that this vomiting (that has now become common) might damage the successful sleeve surgery. I am doing my best to squeeze in as much protein first.
    I am afraid of what this all means as some other patients have successfully moved on to the solid food transition. I do realize this process is different for every person – I just want some hope that I will graduate to the next phase and start living my life from here, eating real food and being able to dine with others – without fear I am going to get violently ill (like I have the last couple of days). Please let me know your thoughts as I feel like I will never move past this. Is it normal for some patients to have to wait 6,7, 8 weeks from their Sleeve procedure to be able to tolerate solid foods? I don’t want my non-tolerating foods resulting in coughing up what I have attempted to eat to damage/stretch the sleeve; reverse the repair of my hiatal surgery during my procedure; and add to other ailments like hair loss, etc. from not being able to keep anything but liquids down.
    What is the percentage of Sleeve patients that go through what I am describing – and can’t go on to solid foods for way past day 40?
    Thank you,

    • Mandi Neumann
      May 9, 2017 at 3:14 am

      I’m thinking of doing lap band at the end of June I know the diet before and after is quite rigorous how did you meantally prepare for it

      • Ron
        July 14, 2017 at 4:31 pm

        I went and saw a surgeon yesterday and he said that they don’t even do the Lap Band anymore, because of complications between the 4 and 10 year point. He stated they have a high rate of body rejection and high percentage have to be removed. I was shocked because the Lap Band was still on their website. My wife said maybe that do that to draw you in.

    • Svetlana Ka
      May 23, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      I had surgery on April 3,2017. I followed all recommendation before surgery and post-op. Now I am adding solid food to my diet in very small quantity. I take a small piece and chew it till it becomes like paste and swallow it. I don’t take another piece till I swallow the previous one. This helps me to avoid overeating or vomiting.

    • Susan
      June 1, 2017 at 11:23 am

      Let your surgeon know ASAP.. you may have a stricture. It prevents the food from leaving your stomach

    • Saudi Frazier
      June 13, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      Make sure you’re bites are small and chew well with 2 minutes before the next bite believe it or not shrimp goes in easy

    • Sa
      July 12, 2017 at 3:02 pm

      Hey RA, i had my surgery in april 2017 and until today which marks my 2 and half month op i can barely eat any solid food as well and on liquid phase again since its easier for me but i do feel the same fear of dining in with hubby or friends due to that one poece of solid food can drive my stomach nuts so its ok it happens dont feel alone

    • K
      July 23, 2017 at 10:04 pm

      I just had sleeve and I was told 4 weeks liquid 4 weeks puree and 4 weeks that u can mash with a fork than u can eat solid. Maybe u just need to give it more time.

    • RL
      July 30, 2018 at 12:03 am

      Slow down RA..Im at day 90 and solid foods are still a bit much to tokerate…I’m not vomiting but I did feel a little queasy at times..Im chopping up the lean meats and veggies to better digest them.It takes time but you will be moving on just have patience..👍🏽👍🏽

  2. Shun
    May 15, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    I actually was sleeved on 5/10/17 and I can’t have solid foods for 7 weeks. First 5 days were clear liquids. Next 10 are now full liquids. I start a soft diet on 5/24 semi regular on 6/7 introducing meats. Like tuna and deliverables meat. I think it may be a tad too soon. But whenever something doesn’t agree just go back to clear liquids to give your stomach a break. Oh don’t forget to set your timer not to drink 30 mins before or after each meal. Also.the app Baritastic has been a life savor. GOOD LUCK!!!

  3. Tamika
    July 17, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    I had the gastric sleeve 4/20/2017 and I’m on day 88 post op. So far I’m down 52lbs. I have not had this reaction to introducing solid foods. The only thing that I’ve noticed is that meat feels like it sits heavier in my stomach than veggies do. Other than that no serious problems.I agree with the comment above that you see your doctor. I hope you aren’t having any serious problems. Hang in there, I hope you get better.


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