Diet Tips For Bariatric Patients

Following the post-op diet guidelines after bariatric surgery is key for long-term success. These healthy diet tips can drastically help when properly implemented into your daily meal plan.

Without further ado, here are 20 healthy diet and eating tips to follow throughout your post-op life!

  1. Eat small meals, never big meals
    Instead of eating large meals less frequently, eat small, portion-controlled meals 5 to 6 times per day. Big meals cause you to need larger portions to feel full and satisfied, which quickly can escalate to weight gain.
  2. Space out meals
    Every time you eat a meal, plan on spacing it out at least 2 to 3 hours from your previous meal and 2 to 3 hours until your next meal.
  3. Eat first meal within 1 hour of waking up
    Try to start your morning off by eating within the first hour of getting out of bed.
  4. Use natural seasonings
    Use herbs and spices with your meals (basil, cilantro, rosemary, cayenne, smoked paprika, garlic, etc).
  5. Try different cooking methods
    Foods take on a whole different flavor and texture depending on how they are cooked. Try steamed, stir-fried, roasted, and barbecued.
  6. Experiment with vegetables
    Try healthy substitutions such as cauliflower as a substitute for rice or zucchini for pasta noodles.
  7. Take a daily fiber supplement
    Fiber supplements will help prevent constipation such as psyllium husk or Benefiber.
  8. Be mindful and diligent
    Pay attention to what you are eating and how it makes your body feel. If you feel nauseous or uncomfortable after eating, you either ate too much or too quickly.
  9. Opt for healthy snacks
    Such as low-fat cheese sticks, cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs, protein shakes, protein bars, low sugar greek yogurt, nuts, and/or fruits.
  10. Pair fruit with protein
    Any high-carb foods should be paired with protein. For example, instead of having one whole apple as a snack, have ½ an apple with a cheese stick.
  11. Fill up on non-starchy vegetables
    As you want, with about 2-3 oz protein and 1 Tbsp fat such as olive oil or butter (or ½ small avocado).
  12. Use protein rich or high fiber grain
    If adding grain opt for one that has protein or higher fiber content such as quinoa, beans, or lentils. Keep portion to no more than 1/4 cup (cooked).
  13. Eat at least 3 dinners a week with only protein and vegetables
    At least 3 meals per week should include only protein and vegetables. Avoid starchy, processed side dishes.
  14. Drink at least 64 oz of clear liquid every day
    64 ounces of water is one of the most important aspects to your post-op diet. Every single day drink as many clean liquids including water, herbal tea, or other calorie-free beverage without caffeine.
  15. Track food intake
    Food and drink can easily be tracked on My Fitness Pal, aiming at a specific calorie level recommended by your nutritionist.
  16. Only eat snacks or treats under 150 calories (if you absolutely need a treat)
    On days you need a treat, keep it to 150 calories or less a day(that’s one glass of wine, one beer, one low-fat ice cream bar, one individual serving bag of chips, etc).
  17. Avoid processed foods, sugar, and fast food
    This should be obvious, but it is a huge reason for gaining weight after weight loss surgery. Here are 13 foods you must avoid!
  18. Look at menu before eating out
    If eating out, look at the menu online beforehand. Look up nutritional info and choose something under 500 calories.
  19. Include a variety of foods in your diet
    These should include lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, high protein dairy, high fiber grains, healthy fats.
  20. Take all recommended bariatric vitamins based on ASMBS guidelines.
    Bariatric vitamins are an absolute must. Normal vitamins have nowhere near the dosage needed unless you take a bunch at once (which is not recommended).
    You may spend a little more on bariatric vitamins, but it is the best decision to improve you long-term success.

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