The type or gastric surgery performed determines the diet recommendation of each individual.
The diet normally follows a step-by-step method to assist you back into eating solids as you health is restored. The speed in which you move from one stage to the next relies on how well your body reacts to each aspect of the diet, generally, however, it takes about 3 months to begin eating ordinary foods.
Dehydration is a big risk after surgery, so it is very important that there is a large intake of liquids on a daily basis, extra attention also needs to be spent listening to your body, when it is telling you that it is full.
Only clear liquids are allowed for the first day or two directly following surgery, liquids must be drank slowly and only a very small quantity taken at a time (two-three ounces). Once the stomach has accepted transparent liquids, you can move on to other liquids such as one percent milk.
During stage one, you may drink; Milk (skimmed or one percent), Broth, Decaffeinated Tea or coffee, Sugar free gelatin or popsticles, strained cream soup and unsweetened juice.
Once you are able to endure liquids for a small number of days, you can begin to consume pureed foods. Through the duration of this stage, you may only eat foods that have a smooth paste or a thick liquid consistency, no solid pieces of food are allowed in the mixture at this time.
Easy to puree foods include; Fish, beans, eggs, cottage cheese, soft fruits, lean ground meats and cooked vegetables. A useful tip is to blend solid foods with a liquid, for example, Water, broth, skim milk, juice with no added sugar.
It’s imperative that you don’t consume both food and liquid simultaneously. It is recommended to wait at least thirty minutes after consuming food to drink. Your digestive system at this time will be extremely sensitive, additionally, bear this in mind when considering including produce such as dairy and spice into your diet. Small amounts at a slow pace are suggested if you do wish to include such items.
After about 3-4 weeks of pureed food and after you doctor has agreed to do so, you may begin to add soft foods in to your diet. These soft foods usually come in the form of little, tender, easy to chew pieces.
At this stage, your diet is capable of withstanding; cooked vegetables (no skin), canned or soft fruit, ground or finely diced meats.
After about 2 months on the GP diet, you can steadily return to eating firmer foods. Foods, however, must still be chopped or diced. Go slowly, do not rush in to certain foods just because you have missed them, your stomach may need ‘training’ for some foods in reference to texture and personal tolerance.
At this stage it is still advised to avoid foods such as; popcorn, nuts, dried fruits, fried foods, granola, breads, fizzy drinks, stringy vegetables, vegetables with a lot of fibre, meats with gristle.
Three to four months after bariatric surgery, you may be able to start eating a ordinary healthy diet.
Additional Rules to remember:
- Eat and drink slowly.
- Keep meals small.
- Drink liquids between meals.
- Chew food thoroughly.
- Focus on high-protein foods.
- Avoid foods that are high in fat and sugar.
- Try new foods one at a time.
- Take recommended vitamin and mineral supplements.