How will weight loss (bariatric) surgery affect my diet?

After the procedure, your diet will be forever altered.  Patients are instructed not to drink liquids with meals to avoid stretching the pouch.  They must give up caffeine as it can be dehydrating and an irritant to the stomach, and they must also forgo carbonated beverages as it often causes discomfort.  A multivitamin and mineral supplement must be continued indefinitely to ensure that deficiencies don’t occur years after the procedure. You've also got to re-discover your feelings of hunger and satiety to better maintain weight loss.
Laura Motosko, MSEd, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics

Bariatric surgery will affect your diet considerably. It is important to seek psychological, medical and social evaluations prior to having the surgery to be sure that it is the right decision for you. Initially, it is recommended to eat a high protein, low fat, low sugar diet of portions ½ to ¾ cup at a time 4 to 6 times a day. The most frequent complications are bloating, nausea, and vomiting. A food record noting your tolerance for specific foods in particular amounts helps to develop a program to avoid these episodes.

Restricted portions and types of food may present to be a challenge for some people post-surgery and cause weight to be regained. Many people gradually introduce larger portions and a wide variety of food into a diet with successful weight loss with bariatric surgery. Remember it’s a lifelong commitment and everyone responds differently so you will need to follow up lifelong with your health care team.

Additional Internet Resources

American Society of Bariatric Surgery
Weight-control information Network

After gastric banding, almost any type of food is tolerated if chewed well enough. This is part of the reason that this surgery may not have as high a success rate as gastric bypass. Gastric bypass requires that you greatly reduce your intake of sweets and fats. You will experience physical symptoms such as abdominal cramping, sweating and general weakness when you consume too much fatty food or too many sweets.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.