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Common Post-Surgery Questions: Food

Posted on April 5, 2017 at 9:06 AM by Lia Bahls, RD


Making the decision to have weight loss surgery is not a small task and comes with lots of questions. Below we answer common questions we receive about food intake post-weight loss surgery.


What can I eat after surgery?


Weeks 1 -2: Immediately following surgery patients will consume a full-liquid diet. At this point, it is vital to get in enough water and protein. Avoid carbonated beverages, whole milk and solid foods. To reduce the risk of stomach spasms, it is recommended to take tiny sips throughout the day and to consume roughly 2 oz. every 15 minutes. 


Weeks 2 through 4: Patients will be following a pureed diet at this stage. Patients will be able to eat up to 4 ounces (1/2 cup) at a time and consume between 3-5 meals per day.  Everything you eat should be the consistency of applesauce so it is beneficial to have a blender or food processor on hand. .Even though food choices increase at this point you still want to limit starchy options such as mashed potatoes and oatmeal. Protein is, and should always be, your priority. Strive for 64 ounces of water and 60-80 grams of protein daily. Avoid drinking 10 minutes before, during, and 30-40 minutes after each meal. 


Week 5 and Beyond: At this point, solid foods can be introduced. Start with soft foods and progress as tolerated. Slowly add in new foods one at a time. Remember to eat protein first at meals. Make sure to choose high-protein, moderate to low carbohydrates and moderate to low fat foods. It is recommended you eat three meals daily and include two healthy snacks as needed based on your hunger.


Even though patients are now able to consume a variety of foods, it is still important to make healthy choices. Avoid processed carbohydrates such as candy, cake, breads, and pasta as well as fried foods, sugar beverages, such as juice and soda, whole milk and high fat meats. 


How long will I have to take my vitamins?


It is important that patients take all the recommended vitamins every day for the rest of their life.  These include a complete multivitamin, calcium citrate with vitamin D, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.


For the first 6-8 weeks patients will need to have a chewable or liquid multivitamin (no gummies) and calcium citrate plus vitamin D. These must be taken at least two hours apart to prevent the calcium from inhibiting iron absorption. The B12 should be sublingual (under the tongue). Iowa Weight Loss Specialists clinic dietitians go into detail on the doses of each.


For more information about our weight loss programs, contact us at 515-327-2000 or visit our website at

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