What to eat after having gastric band surgery

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Following your gastric band, your eating habits and portion sizes will change. We've outlined what you should and shouldn’t be eating after surgery

The long term success of gastric band surgery is largely dependent upon your commitment to a healthy eating plan. The gastric band makes your stomach smaller by closing off part of it and consequently you eat less food. Your calorie intake will normally be between 1000 to 1200 kcal per day.

In the first few weeks following your gastric band procedure your diet will progress over three main stages before you resume a normal healthy diet. During the four weeks after your gastric band insertion no solid foods should be taken. Follow the advice of what to eat and any post-surgery dietary guidelines from your surgeon or dietician.

Stage 1 - Liquid Diet

Weeks 1 to 2

Immediately after surgery drink clear fluids only such as water, dilute squash, tea (including herbal, fruit, green), clear broth, apple juice, jelly, ice lollies, ice cubes. Drink very slowly by taking small sips.

You’ll gradually progress to a full liquid based diet. Ensure you have an adequate intake of protein, calcium and other nutrients. A milk based diet is recommended.  You could try introducing smooth broths, creamed soups, yoghurt and yoghurt drinks, fruit juices and meal replacement drinks such as Slimfast and Complan.

Stage 2 – Pureed Food Diet

Weeks 3 to 4

Now start to introduce pureed and blended foods into your diet. Food should be smooth and the consistency of baby food. Attempting to eat solid foods at this stage could put pressure on your band and damage it.

You could try cereals such as Ready Brek, Weetabix, ground rice, thick creamy soups, rice pudding, custard, soft cooked and blended vegetables, mashed potato, blended meats with gravy and casseroles.

Aim to eat small portions four to five times a day. A portion is around 100g, or five to six tablespoons of food. Eat all your meals slowly, taking small mouthfuls. Stop eating as soon as you feel full.

You’ll need to drink six to eight drinks (around 1.5 litres or 2.5 pints) a day. Water is best. Avoid drinking at least 30 minutes before and after each meal and never drink with your meals.

Stage 3 – Soft Foods

Weeks 5 to 6

You can gradually move onto three meals a day of soft food that can be mashed easily or cut with a fork with texture but tender and easy to chew.

Soft foods might include ground or finely diced meats, fish,canned or soft fruit, scrambled eggs, cooked vegetables, rice and pasta.

Stage 4 – Normal Diet

Week 6 Onward

After six weeks you can steadily resume a healthy diet comprised of three small nutritional, solid food meals a day.

Eat slowly and chew each chunk of food as many times as possible before swallowing. Stop eating as soon as you feel full. Overeating or eating too fast can cause pain and vomiting.

Eat proteins first as these as they are needed by your body to function properly. Protein isn’t stored in your body so must be consumed insufficient quantities every day.  Around this time your first band adjustment is usually done and you’ll start to feel the effect your band is making around the top of your stomach.

You should avoid snacking in between meals but make sure you drink plenty in between meals. You mustn’t drink during meals as this can flush food out of your stomach pouch and make you feel less full.

Aim for 1.5 litres of low calorie liquids per day such as water or zero-calorie drinks such as diet lemonade. Avoid cola, alcohol, sweetened fruit juices and milkshakes.


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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