Eating after weight-loss surgery

You are about to begin a long process. We want you to feel well. You will be changing your life and lifestyle, and it takes time to develop new eating and exercise habits. Just take small steps and work on one thing at a time. We are always here to help.

Remember that you need to change your lifestyle for good. That will help prevent you from regaining weight. 

Please follow these guidelines closely after surgery. You will need to make regular follow-up appointments with one of our dietitians. We want to make sure that you are getting enough nutrients during each phase. The dietitian will help you learn about nutrition so you can take charge of your food choices.
Eating after weight loss surgery - pureed butternut squash

Important things to remember

To help your stomach heal after surgery, you need to introduce foods slowly. The following guidelines will help you heal properly and have the most success with weight loss.

You should have a follow-up appointment with one of our dietitians three to four weeks after surgery. Please bring at least three days of food records to your appointment

Stay hydrated
Drink 64 ounces of fluid a day. You should sip fluids consistently between meals. 
Stop drinking fluids about 30 minutes before eating solid food and wait 30 minutes after eating solid food to resume drinking fluids. 
Do not drink carbonated or sugared drinks.

Get enough protein
It may be hard for you to meet your protein needs 
at first, but you should work up to this amount. Always focus on your protein needs first when deciding what to eat. Have a daily plan. You will need a protein powder or drink for the first few months after surgery.


You will need a chewable or liquid multivitamin for the first four weeks. Do not buy gummy vitamins, because they do not have all the nutrients needed. We will discuss other vitamins you might need during your first follow-up appointments. 

Things to avoid after surgery

  • Carbonated beverages - To reduce belching, gas, and stomach discomfort we recommend avoiding.
  • Sugars and fats - Candy, cookies, fruit juice, and other foods high in sugar; as well as fatty foods like potato chips and french fries may cause dumping syndrome. Symptoms of dumping syndrome are lightheadedness, shakiness, vomiting or diarrhea. If you have these foods on a regular basis, you could lose weight more slowly and even gain weight back.
  • Coffee and caffeine - Some individuals experience upset stomach or acid reflux symptoms with coffee and caffeine intake. If you experience those problems, you might want to try eliminating coffee and caffeine from your diet to see if your symptoms improve. 
  • Tomato- and citrus-based foods or drinks - Avoid if you are experiencing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux.
  • Alcohol - Avoid alcohol for at least three months. We can discuss how to safely incorporate small amounts of alcohol into your diet several months after surgery, if desired.
  • No raw vegetables, fruit with skin or seeds, sweets, breads, pasta or rice for the first six weeks after surgery. V8 and strained vegetable juices are okay. 
  • Introduce new foods one at a time - If you cannot tolerate a food, avoid it for a week or two, then retry.
  • Dairy intolerance - Some people cannot tolerate dairy products after surgery. If you cannot tolerate dairy, try using Lactaid or a milk alternative with non-dairy protein powder. 

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