A Complete Gastric Bypass Diet for Before and After Your Surgery

If you're about to undergo gastric bypass surgery, then you're aware many lifestyle changes await you. One of those changes will be your diet.

Your eating habits will begin to change before the procedure, which is why you should be aware of the gastric bypass diet you should follow.

Read on to learn what you should eat before and after the surgery for great results.

What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Gastric bypass is the physical process of changing how your stomach and small intestine process food in order to help you lose weight.

During the surgery, the surgeon will staple your stomach to divide it into two sections, a small upper section, and a large bottom section.

The upper section will be typically the size of a walnut only large enough to for a 1 liquid ounce or 28 grams.

The next step is connecting the small intestine to the small section of the stomach with the help of a small hole.

Because of this process, the food will pass directly from your stomach to the small intestine. Your body will absorb fewer calories and it will lose weight.

Who is an Ideal Candidate for Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Although the idea of losing weight through gastric bypass sounds ideal for some, this process is not for everyone. Gastric bypass is a major surgery after all and many risks are involved.

If the surgeon doesn't think you're physically and psychologically fit to undergo the procedure, it may not be for you.

Gastric bypass is an option if:

  • You've had many unsuccessful attempts to lose weight
  • Your BMI is 40 or higher
  • You have serious health conditions (type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, or high blood pressure) and your BMI is 35 or higher
  • You're a teenager and your BMI is over 35 and you are at risk of serious health conditions

There might be other circumstances that qualify you to undergo the procedure.

What to Eat Before the Surgery

When you're ready to undergo gastric bypass, the changes to your diet begin even before the surgery.

It's imperative you follow the pre-op instructions exactly like your surgeon says, or you might risk being turned away the day of the surgery.

You must lose weight before your surgery to reduce the amount of fat located around your abdomen and your liver.

You will benefit from the pre-op diet because it will reduce your risk before the surgery and give you a kick start to your new healthy lifestyle.

What to Avoid:

  • Cut back on saturated fats: fatty meats, fried food, and milk
  • Eliminate food high in carbs, bread, sugary desserts, starchy vegetables, and pasta
  • Avoid sugary drinks such as juice and soda
  • Be mindful of portion control
  • Eliminate smoking, alcohol, and recreational drugs
  • Don't forget a multivitamin
  • Don't forget protein supplements
  • Avoid drinking beverages with your meals

What to Eat

Before the surgery, the pre-op diet will be mostly made up of protein shakes and other low-calorie, high-protein foods. The goal is to eat foods that will be easy to digest while you protect your muscle tissue.

Protein will also make it easier for you to recover from the surgery. Also, expect to intake:

  • Sugar-free beverages
  • Soup broth without solid pieces
  • V-8 and other vegetable juice
  • Thin cream of wheat and rice
  • Lean meat only if approved

The closer to the surgery, you will have to switch to a mostly liquid diet depending on your doctor's specifications.

You might be allowed a few solid foods such as fish, cereal, and soft-boiled eggs.

Your doctor will give you specifications of what you can and cannot eat right before surgery.

What to Eat After the Surgery

After the surgery, you will typically go through four post-op stages of diets. Each stage is meant to help you recover and teach you about something.

Stage 1: The Liquid Diet

Right after the surgery, for about seven days, you will only be allowed liquids. In order to avoid complications, you will only drink a few ounces at a time. This will prevent your stomach to get stretched out.

Although you will start with clear liquids, you will soon be able to eat additional liquids:

  • Skim milk
  • Coffee and tea (decaffeinated)
  • Broth
  • Juice (unsweetened)
  • Sugar-free gelatin
  • Sugar-free popsicles

Stage 2: Pureed Foods

After your doctor decides you're ready for the next stage, you'll be able to move on to eat some pureed foods.

You can puree foods with the help of a food processor or a blender. Just try to stay away from spicy seasonings, fruits with a lot of seeds, and foods that are too fibrous.

Protein: Scrambled eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, white fish, and yogurt.

Fruits: bananas, applesauce, canned fruits, pears, apricots, peaches, pineapples, melons, and other soft fruits.

Vegetables: carrots, spinach, tomato juice, green beans, and types of squash

It's important you don't drink fluids with any of your meals.

Stage 3: Soft Diet

You can enter stage 3 after several weeks when your doctor has decided it's time for you to introduce more foods to your diet.

Some examples of soft foods include ground meats, soft-boiled eggs, white fish, and canned fruits.

You should always take small bites and exercise portion control.

Stage 4: Solid Food

Two months or so after the surgery you will be able to re-introduce solid foods back into your diet.

Although you'll be eating solid foods, you still have to make sure to cut them up into little pieces. Eating large pieces of solid food can cause a blockage and lead to complications.

Avoid the following foods on stage four:

  • Bread and pastries
  • Crunchy foods
  • Fried food
  • Corn on the cob
  • Popcorn
  • Sringy vegetables
  • Carbonated drinks

Make sure you introduce these foods little by little.

Four months after the surgery, you'll be able to eat normally again. Of course, you will have to be mindful of what you eat and portion control.

Learn Gastric Bypass Diet Dos and Dont's

Following an exact gastric bypass diet will ensure successful results. Make sure you only eat what your doctor recommends and take it one step at a time.

Are you ready to change your life through gastric bypass? Contact us to learn if you're an ideal candidate.