Gastric Bypass Diet a Guide for Eating After Bariatric Surgery

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Gastric Bypass Diet a Guide for Eating After Bariatric Surgery

The Gastric Bypass Diet following bariatric surgery can be tricky to navigate and get used to. I had bariatric surgery 3 years ago and today I wanted to share the gastric bypass eating plan which I was given before my operation.

This gastric bypass diet guide can be used as a long term diet after gastric bypass surgery and is suitable for gastric bypass patients. This is also a good a diet plan for gastric sleeve patients. I hope you find this really useful.






The Liver Diet Before Gastric Bypass

Before your gastric bypass or bariatric surgery you will need to follow a liver shrinking diet to help reduce the size of your liver. By following a liver reduction diet you will be giving your surgeon the best opportunity to perform your bariatric surgery without complications.

Reducing the size of your liver will allow you to potentially have laproscopic surgery rather than open surgery making the procedure less invasive and making your recovery period much more easier to deal with.

The liver shrinking diet plan you need to follow will be given to you well in advance before surgery and may differ depending on your own personal situation. Whilst some are asked to stick to liquids, my diet plan was based on 800 calories a day and I was given certain food groups to choose from. You can see the liver reduction diet that I followed here.


Gastric Bypass Diet After Surgery: The First Stage

Following a Gastric Bypass operation your relationship with food should change forever. A gastric bypass can be reversed however this procedure is supposed to be permanent and there will be a lot of life long changes to get use to from the way you eat to the types of food you eat. .

I’d like to point out that this is a simple guide which I was given following my own bariatric surgery and that every individual is different. Therefore some of the following foods may or may not work for different gastric bypass patients.

I will be given a detailed personal plan to follow before I left the hospital by my dietician, but here are the general guidelines which any gastric bypass patient will need to follow.

What Is the Liquid Diet After Gastric Bypass Surgery?

For the first four weeks following a gastric bypass operation you will need to follow a liquid diet menu. A liquid diet consists of pureed, smooth and lump free foods.

Eating only liquid diet food for four weeks can get a little boring and therefore it is a good idea to prepare your meals well in advance before your gastric bypass procedure.

This is particularly important if you have little support in the home and usually prepare your own food as preparing your liquid diet food could be challenging while recovering from a major operation.

How Often Do I Eat After Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Whilst following your new gastric bypass diet and during the liquid diet food stage you will only be able to eat very small quantities of food. It is recommended that you have around 2-4 teaspoons of liquid food per meal and that you eat 5 small meals per day.

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In the early days following your Gastric Bypass surgery you should be able to eat one to two ice cubes worth of pureed food per meal. I would recommend purchasing easy release Freezers Ice Cube Trays as they are made from silicone and allow you to take one ice cube out at a time.

I prepared my food in advance before my operation, however I did not make enough variety and found I was getting bored easily. I recommend creating lots of different flavour Ice cube meals before you have your bariatric surgery.

With the focus being on helping your body heal you will want to have lots of fluids and a few ounces of clear liquids every few hours. Try to drink at least 2 litres of fluid a day. It will not be easy to do but if you take little sips regular you will be well on your way.

What Foods Should I Eat on the Gastric Bypass Diet?

It is really important to ensure you have plenty of protein during your liquid diet phase and following gastric bypass. The body has a lot of healing to do and therefore protein should be the number one focus on your Liquid diet menu.

It is important to follow the 20-20-20 rule. Eat food the size of a twenty pence piece, chew for 20 seconds and take a 20 second break before your next spoonful.

The following high protein foods are great to include in your liquid diet after gastric bypass surgery and some of these can be blended using gravy to create a smooth yoghurt like consistency.

I’ve created a fantastic Infographic to help you during the Liquid diet phase. Please pin this to your  Pinterest for future reference.

Gastric bypass diet liquid phase infographic


What Should I Drink on the Gastric Bypass Diet?

Liquids are so important for keeping hydrated following gastric bypass and here are some liquids you can have to help you along.

  • water
  • decaffeinated coffee and tea
  • light horlicks
  • skim milk
  • thin soup and broth
  • unsweetened juice
  • sugar-free gelatin
  • sugar-free popsicles

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What Foods Can You Not Eat After Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Following Gastric Bypass surgery you will need to ensure that all the foods you eat have less than 3g of fat per 100g product and that your gastric bypass meals are low in sugar with less than 100g of sugar per 100g.

You should not eat any foods high in fat or high in sugar. High sugar foods can cause you to have dumping syndrome which is very unpleasant and will make you feel very unwell with the following symptoms:

  • sweating
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • diarrhoea

Gastric bypass diet guide and liquid food diet

What Happens Next?

Everyone moves at a different pace following gastric bypass but the rule of thumb is to follow a liquid diet menu for at least 4 weeks. You can then with the support of your surgery team move onto the stage two The Pureed Diet. This then leads onto the Soft food diet and eventually you will be able to reintroduce solid food back into your gastric bypass diet.

To learn more about the different stages of your new gastric bypass diet you may want to read the following:

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  1. I think as long as you are strict with yourself and the food plan you’ll be fine. The doctors know what they’re doing ๐Ÿ™‚ It sounds like you have great advice to follow x

    1. It sounds simple enough. I think the biggest difference or hardest part will be small sizes and chewing for 20 seconds and putting the knife and fork down between mouthfuls. That will take some getting used to but i can and I will do it and my health and family will be better off for it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Good luck with it all. I admire people that take a decision like you have and I know that others will have different views but I believe that sometimes we need a little help.

  3. Good luck on your recovery! Everything will go just fine if you follow the rules – it was very imformative, I had no idea what kind of a diet is required after such a surgery.

    1. Thanks. As they say this is just a tool or “help” to support me in my healthy eating and also to cut down how much i need which will be helpful as my silly steroids prevent me losing much even on only 1200 calories a day. it’s frustrating so this option should help!

        1. Oh keep gong and don’t give up… plateaus are hard. I struggled to get over mine but many people do!

  4. I hope with te new lifestyle and calory management you will be fine despite the steroids.

    I think we can agree that eating our food properly should be an enjoyable experience! Yet many of us eat in a rush and dont take time to enjoy every morsel, chew it thoroughly and taste the different flavours. I think if you look at your food this way, take smaller portions which trust me you will find are more than ample and sallow slowly savoring the experience, You will get over the surgery pretty fast, and maintain as well.

    Do get well real soon. sending healing vibes your way.

  5. Good to know that everything went well and that you’re doing good! All it takes is some careful meal planning. There’s no doubt that you’re going to do an awesome job!

  6. One step at a time, and you will reach your goals! Everyday is a new chance to feel good about the fact that you deciding to make such a big change. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. My god you poor thing having surgery is difficult enough but you are ill as well! I think you are so brave and I like that you just tell it as it is and don’t feel sorry for yourself! xx

  8. i had to be on a similar food restriction following a gum graph. making the pureed food ahead of time makes a world of difference. i wish you a nice recovery

  9. My dad had gastric bypass surgery years ago and it was a really huge change for him. There were a lot of things that he had to change about his lifestyle and eating

  10. Hi there Angela, hope you are doing well now. Be strict on your diet, know what you eat and you will always be good. I know of someone who underwent surgery last two weeks and I believe that this post will be helpful to her. Thanks a lot for the share and keep taking good care of your health and wishing you a quick recovery.


  11. Hi Angela! Glad everything went well. The things you do right after your surgery can be the difference btw success and failure so often.. glad you are putting this info out there!

  12. I had the gastric sleeve surgery September 9, 2016 and have not had any real problems, but it is important to follow the instructions the doctors give you……and making sure you find a good protein drink that you like is important. I found one called Protein Milkshake Powder that I get on or directly from their website. It is high in protein, low in sugar and taste amazing……because getting in your protein is the hardest thing to do at first and finding something that does not taste like “diet” is so hard…..I have lost 85 pounds and I am reaching a point now where although I can not eat large amounts, I am finding that I can eat almost anything and my weight loss is slowing down…….so follow the directions, stay in close touch with your Nutritionist and others who have been thru the surgery always have great tips……my life has totally changed since the surgery and I am 62 years old with 25 grandchildren and so glad to be back to the Go Granny Go they love…….so enjoy your journey…… will never be the same.

  13. Hi Angela, I am 4 weeks post OP. Currently the dr has me on full menu. I am having trouble eating slow enough and bites small enough. I had rny gastric bypass. Any advice? It seems I always have a sensation of choking. I often have to throw up also:( please tell me it gets easier!

    1. Hi Cindy, it does get better for most people. The beginning is very hard. If you have to throw up then you are eating too fast and too much. I find it so hard to know when i am full. Some people just know and others find out the hard way… with time it will get easier.

  14. I notice you have milk on the protein list. That is a big no no according to my Doc. Milk has sugar, which is something you should avoid. The first thing they gave me after my RNY was something they give to people in nursing homes. One ounce and I had a major dumping syndrome attack! They kept bring it to me even after I complained. and I kept pouring it out! I’d rather have nothing than feel like that again.

    1. This was the information given to me by my dietician and bariatric team. I think different people have dumping syndrome from different foods and this is only a guide. You will have to find what works for you individually and most importantly listen to your own medical team.

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