Your doctor and dietician will give you specific instructions about your bariatric surgery diet that must be strictly followed before and after the surgery. In the first few weeks after surgery, your stomach can only handle small amounts of soft foods and liquids while you are healing. It is important to try to sip water throughout the day to avoid becoming dehydrated. You may notice that your bowel movements are not regular right after your surgery. You may need to take stool softeners.
Bit by bit, you will be able to add solid foods back into your diet. You must be careful to chew food well and to stop eating when you feel full, as this is particularly important with a Gastric Sleeve diet. Keep in mind that the surgery makes your stomach smaller; hence you will feel full more quickly. If you drink a lot of high-calorie liquids such as soda or fruit juice, you may not lose weight. If you continually overeat, the stomach may stretch with time. And again, as you feel better and lighter every day, don’t forget your daily 30-45 minute walk!
Your doctor will refer you to an expert registered dietitian before surgery takes place. The dietitian will educate you about the diet you will have to follow before surgery. There are four stages of diet that will be explained to you, with different meal options that suit each stage.
The pre-operative diet will be similar to the Stage I diet after surgery, which is the first week post-surgery diet. It consists mainly of a low sugar, high protein liquid diet. Taking your daily 60-70 grams of protein is a must. No solids, carbohydrates, carbonated drinks or caffeine food should be taken in this stage.
This not only will serve to get you familiar with the post-operative diet, but it will also help shrink your liver by 20-25%, which is crucial to having an easier surgery with less complications.