Guide to diet after gastric sleeve surgery
Week 1 and 2 Diet – FLUID STAGE
During the first 2 months after Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery the stomach is still healing and very fragile. It is important to follow your bariatric dietician’s advice and avoid any cravings. The first 2 weeks after surgery will involve fluids only. Please avoid any solids. The key is to take small sips of fluid throughout the day and stay well hydrated. Carry a measuring bottle with you to ensure you are reaching the 1.5L – 2L daily fluids targets. Feel free to add protein powder to your water, juice, soups and shakes to give yourself a boost. Carbonated and alcoholic drinks can cause complications and should be avoided.
Weeks 3 and 4 – PUREE BLENDED STAGE
At this stage you will introduce a wider variety of more textured foods. As a general guide, all foods should be lump free and put through the blender to achieve a baby-food type consistency. Foods examples may include sloppy scrambled eggs, thicker soups, and blended stews. Aim for 0.5 to 1 cup per meal and resist the urge to eat more. Remember to continue to choose sugar free options and maintain good hydration.
Weeks 5 and 6 – SOFT FOOD STAGE
As your stomach continues to heal you will be able to tolerate soft or “mashable” foods. Food examples include soft steamed fish, sloppy minced meat, mashed potato, soft pumpkin, mashed beans and soft fruit. Only introduce new foods gradually.
Weeks 7 and 8 – NORMAL STAGE
Congratulations, at this stage you will start eating normal texture foods. Remember it’s not a race and everyone heals slightly differently, so take your time. Gradually increase textures and try new foods one at a time. If you have a problem, stop and try it again a week later. Avoid fresh bread and BBQ meats initially. Put your new healthy-eating skills into action by eating regular high protein meals, always eat protein first, avoid snacking and avoid foods that are high in sugar and fat.
Eating Technique – CHARTS
How to eat is just as important as what you eat and this may take some time to get used to. The easiest way to master your eating technique is to think of CHARTS:
C: CHEW, food well. Every mouthful needs to be chewed thoroughly. Aim for 15 – 20 times.
H: HYDRATION Have drinks before meals. Do not eat and drink at the same time.
A: AVOID multi-tasking. Eat mindfully, at a table without distractions.
R: REST After swallowing rest for at least 30 seconds, before your next mouthful, it’s best to put your knife and fork down to help you do this. Remember a ‘minute a mouthful’.
T: TIME Take between 20 to 40 minutes over a meal.
S: SIZE Ensure that you only take small mouthfuls of food and stop before getting overfull.
Dr Andrew Kiyingi’s Final Gastric Sleeve Diet Tips
- Remember to take a recommended multivitamin everyday lifelong to prevent nutritional complications.
- Vomiting, regurgitation and pain may be a signal that you’re eating too quickly or too much. Try and avoid this and if it persists speak to your medical team.
- Tiredness weakness and reduced immunity can be a sign of inadequate protein intake. High protein intake is essential for weight loss, muscle growth and surgery recovery. Always eat protein first.
After Gastric Sleeve Diet FAQs
If I feel well after surgery, am I able to skip food stages?
It is important to stick strictly to the diet plan from your medical team even if you feel like you are well enough to skip ahead. You only get one chance to heal correctly so skipping ahead is not worth the risk of serious complications.
Are Gummy bear Vitamins, ok?
Unfortunately, these are not the same as complete multivitamin as they do not offer comprehensive vitamin levels required after sleeve gastrectomy surgery. Talk to your medical team about an appropriate complete multivitamin.
How do I avoid regaining weight after Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Good healthy food habits everyday are the key to preventing weight regain after Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery. Attending regular ongoing follow-ups with your surgical team has been shown to reduce the risk of regaining weight. Also, avoiding habits of snacking and high sugar and high alcohol foods is important. Weight loss surgery is only the start of your weight loss journey. If you go back to your old eating habits, then you may find that your weight returns also.
Where Can I get recipe ideas following Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery?
There are plenty of online and published resources. However, please check that they fit in with your dieticians’ recommendations first. Some examples that you may find helpful:
- The Gastric Sleeve Guide – Trudy Williams
Copyright Dr Andrew Kiyingi 2021
For further information visit Dr Andrew Kiyingi at perthbariatricsurgery.com.au