A guide to food and drink after gastric sleeve surgery

The success of your gastric sleeve surgery will be down to you. By making good healthy dietary choices and increasing your physical activity you’ll achieve your weight loss goals.

After gastric sleeve surgery you’ll pass through four stages of eating before resuming a normal nourishing diet. These stages will help you get all the nutrients you need for the wounds in your digestive system to heal and to recover from surgery. You’ll spend a minimum of two weeks in each stage. Don’t skip stages. Be led by your body and how you’re feeling.

Stage 1 –fluids
Weeks 1 to 3

Start with sips and gradually increase the amount you take in one go; aiming for around 200ml an hour within the first week. All drinks should be smooth without bits or lumps. Immediately after surgery you’ll need to drink clear fluids only such as water, dilute squash,tea (including herbal, fruit, green), clear broth and apple juice.

You’ll then begin to introduce nutritional liquids such as skimmed milk, smooth soups, Marmite and Bovril drinks, homemade smoothies, unsweetened fruit juices, meal replacement drinks such as Slimfast and protein drinks or protein water. Aim to have a minimum of 60g protein a day.

Aim to have a minimum of 2 to 2.5 litres of total fluid each day to avoid becoming dehydrated.

Stage 2 –pureed foods
Weeks 3 to 4

Once you tolerate liquids, you can start on pureed foods. Blend your food well so that it’s lump free and of a yoghurt like texture.

You could try soggy Weetabix or Ready Brek, blended tinned fruit, blended fish in sauce, mashed potato, humous, liquidised meat or fish stew with liquidised vegetables and liquidise pasta and thick creamy soups.

Try to have four to six meals a day of one to two tablespoons per meal and gradually increase this up to a maximum of four tablespoons. Make sure you include protein in each meal. Have one to two pints of milk a day which can be used to blend foods. Do drink at mealtimes (leave a 30 minute gap between drinks and meals).

Stage 3 - soft & then crispy foods
Weeks 5 to 6

Start adding soft foods and lumps to your diet. Ideas include minced or wafer thin meats, fish, cauliflower cheese, cottage cheese, canned or soft fruit, scrambled eggs, cooked vegetables, rice and pasta.

Reduce your meals down to three to four per day and avoid eating in between.

If you can tolerate a soft diet, you can introduce crispy foods such as melba toast with low fat cream cheese or hummus. Remember to chew each mouthful of food at least 20 times before swallowing.

Stage 4 – normal diet
Weeks 7 to 8

After around 7 to 8 weeks you should be able to resume a normal solid food diet. Your gastric sleeve will allow you to eat almost any type or texture of food. You should aim for three well balanced meals each day.

Your calorie intake should be between 1000 and 1200kcal per-day.

Foods to avoid
Food may taste and be tolerated differently to before surgery. You may find that dairy is harder to digest. Chewy meats, white bread, fibrous fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds and rice can cause some people problems. Avoid these foods initially and introduce them slowly, one at a time, once a normal diet has been established so that you can observe your reaction.

Avoid or minimise food high in fat and sugar such as crisps, biscuits, cakes, ice cream, sweets and other confectionary foods to help you reach your weight loss targets.

Key points

‚Äč· Eat three small healthy meals a day with no more then five hours between meals, even if you don’t feel hungry.

· If you feel hungry between meals, take a drink first to make sure you’re not confusing hunger with thirst. If you’re still hungry have a small snack such as a piece of fruit or yoghurt.

· Eat slowly by putting a small amount of food in your mouth at a time and chewing at least 20 times.

· Don’t eat until you are ‘full’. Overeating will stretch your stomach pouch and may make you vomit.

· Don’t eat and drink at the same time. Wait at least 30 minutes after a meal before you have a drink.

· Make sure you have at least 1.5 - 2 litres of fluid a day.

· Avoid all fizzy drinks.

For further information visit our gastric sleeve page.

About Ramsay Health Care
Ramsay Health Care is a leading provider of weight loss surgery in the UK. Ramsay offers weight loss procedures performed by experienced bariatric surgeons who are highly qualified and have undergone intensive specialist training.

At Ramsay Health Care your weight loss surgeon will work in a multidisciplinary team who liaise with each other to provide the best plan of action for you. They include a dietitian who will meet with you and produce a bespoke eating plan, and specialist trained nurses who will be by your side during your journey to offer support and guidance to ensure that you achieve your goals.

Contact us for more details.

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