Obesity Reporter

Obesity & Bariatric Guides

Gastric Sleeve Post-Op Diet Guide

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric sleeve is a popular bariatric surgery for obese individuals that have had no success with other weight loss attempts. While gastric sleeve surgery is considered to be extremely effective, it is important to remember that there is more to losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight.

This is especially important for individuals who undergo gastric sleeve surgery. There are dramatic changes that will need to be made in order to become accustomed to the new restrictions of your body. Understand the gastric sleeve post-op diet to have a better chance of successful weight loss results.

Reduced Stomach Capacity

The process of gastric sleeve surgery reduces the size of the stomach and the opening that allows food into the body. This significantly reduces the ability to take in large amounts of food making it especially important to eat foods that are beneficial to the body. After the surgery, most patients’ stomachs are only able to hold about 4 ounces of food. This is a decrease in the amount of food able to be taken in of over 50 ounces.

First Few Weeks after Gastric Sleeve Surgery

There are several stages of a proper gastric sleeve post-op diet that need to be considered. The first few weeks after surgery will require that the patient avoid certain types of food. This is can be a challenge if you are not prepared and the gastric sleeve surgeon can help you learn more.

Phase 1: Clear Liquid Diet

It is recommended that the patient tries to consume as much as 64 ounces of fluids each day. They should avoid caffeine, sugary drinks and carbonation. Sticking to a clear liquid diet is recommended. This includes things like sugar-free drinks, Jell-O, popsicles, fruit juice low in sugars, ice chips, fruit ices, skim milk, chicken and beef broth and water. These are a few of the acceptable liquid options that can keep you on the right track to success and help your body heal.

Phase 2: Any Liquid Diet

After the first couple of weeks, individuals having undergone gastric sleeve surgery can switch over to a diet comprised of most liquid types. During this time it is important that a larger amount of protein is consumed. Within the 64 ounces of liquid ingested each day, the patient should try to consume between 60 and 70 grams of proteins. Individuals that are lactose intolerant should use soy or rice milk as a substitute. Other liquids that are recommended during this time include pulp-free juice, fruit smoothies, sugar-free gelatin soups, V-8, Carnation instant breakfast drinks, protein shakes and applesauce. These are all acceptable forms of liquid and can provide sustenance.

Phase 3: Soft Foods

Once the body has had some time to adjust to the surgery, the patient can begin to introduce soft foods into their diet. This process should be taken on for approximately a week to ensure that the stomach gradually gets used to the food again. Approximately 60 to 70 grams of protein will still need to be consumed and a diet avoiding fat, carbohydrates, and sugar should be followed. Some of the foods that could provide what is necessary include tuna fish with mayo that is low fat, low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat cheese, scrambled eggs, mashed vegetables, mashed fruit, mashed potatoes, bananas, and yogurt. The size of the meals should be small and frequent while the individual is still getting used to the smaller size of the stomach and the ability to digest food. Consumption of only 3 or 4 ounces each meal with an average of 600 to 800 calories a day is a good guide.

Phase 4: Solid Foods

Once the first four weeks have been managed, the individual will be able to transition into solid foods. This should be done slowly and should include a diet of foods that should be a part of your daily life from then on. There are a number of foods that should be avoided for the best results. Some of these include bacon, peanut butter, processed meats, sausage, fried foods, pasta, desserts, rice, salty snacks, alcohol, fruit juices, and sauces.

Choosing a diet that is going to be beneficial for the long term is vital to quality weight loss and excellent results. It is also going to be easier on the patient if the new way of eating starts immediately after going through the first phases of the post-operative diet. A diet filled with beneficial foods is vital because of the limited amount of food that will be able to fit into the body.

Getting Help with Dietary Needs

Making major changes to your diet for long-term success can be exceptionally challenging for obese individuals. Getting some help with the process may be the best way to get excellent results. The surgeon may put you in touch with a nutritionist educated in the specifics relating to food for patients with gastric bypass sleeve surgery. They can help you to learn about the best foods for your needs and how to select the right foods in various situations. This might include choosing the right foods in a restaurant or gathering setting. These situations can be confusing and select the right food options is important.

Lasting Food Changes

Changing your approach to food is an important part of the success of the gastric sleeve surgery. Understanding how various food types affect your body is the only way to get results that will last. A nutritionist and dietician can help you to plan out meals that work for your lifestyle that your body will benefit from the most. Not every person is the same and some foods that might work well for one person could be problematic for another. Take the time to be sure you are getting the very most nutrients available through your food.


In addition to food intake following surgery, your physician may suggest that you take various supplements to help offset the loss of nutrients you might experience in the first few weeks and longer, after surgery. Some patients experience a deficiency in vitamin B12, calcium, iron, and similar vitamins. The doctor may suggest that you take a daily vitamin as well as calcium citrate, B12 and vitamin D to help offset any losses you might experience during the process. This might be a lifelong need that you will need to adjust based on the needs of your body. The physician can regularly check the vitamin levels in your blood to stay on top of the situation. These blood tests can help you to keep track of what your body might be missing and get you back on track quickly.

Results of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric sleeve surgery is an effective way to lose weight fairly rapidly and keep it off. The patient needs to be prepared for the many lifestyle changes that will need to be made in order to get the very best results and avoid illness after the surgery. In addition to the way in which food is approached, many patients will need help dealing with how to meet the body’s needs for various nutrients. Education is essential if you want the surgery to provide you with the results you are looking for and if you want to maintain good health after the surgery and throughout life. The doctor will counsel you on how best to manage your new body and your new restrictions as it relates to food types and food amounts.

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