After gastric sleeve surgery your stomach capacity is only 3 to 4 ounces, down from 60 ounces of capacity. In order to have a successful gastric sleeve procedure patients must follow a strict dieting routine to facilitate weight loss and to reduce complications and side effects.
According to the University Of Michigan Medical System, the surgeon and dietician should be seen at two weeks and two months following gastric sleeve surgery. Your dietician will map out the four phases of diet you will endure before your discharge from the hospital. You will be well into Phase 2 (Full Liquids) when you first visit your dietician after your surgery.
There are four major nutrition goals to follow after surgery. They include consuming the right amount of protein that will help minimize the loss of lean body mass and help healing. Patients should also learn how to eat properly, which will help them with your overall and long term weight loss goals. Weight loss should occur in a safe and healthy way. Next, always consume enough fluids to maintain hydration. Lastly, consume the proper nutrients through vitamins and mineral supplements throughout the day.
Most patients will take an acid-blocking medication for at least 12 weeks following surgery, which helps reduce the risk of ulcers. A multivitamin, calcium citrate tablets, Vitamin B12 and other vitamins may also be recommended.
Stages of Post-Operative Gastric Sleeve Diet
- Phase 1 – Clear Liquid Diet
- Phase 2 – Full Liquids Diet
- Phase 3 – Soft Foods Diet
- Phase 4 – Regular Foods Diet
Phase 1 – Clear Liquid Diet – (Typically occurs during the first 7 Days after surgery)
During the first seven days after surgery, your goal is to consume 64 ounces of fluids daily. Remember that all liquids you consume will count towards the 64 ounces.
Things to Note:
- Sugary Drinks, Caffeinated Drinks or Carbonated Beverages can cause complications and side effects.
- Always consume beverages in small sips and never more than 4 ounces in a short time.
- If it’s hot or humid you will need to increase your liquid intake accordingly.
- Patients must get enough liquids and protein. It’s important to both calculate and record your intake daily.
- If urine is dark in color or your mouth is dry, you are not consuming enough liquids.
Approved Clear Liquids:
- 100% Whey Protein Isolite Bullets 25 or 42 gram
- Ice chips
- Flavored Water
- Broth (Chicken or Beef)
- Skim milk
- Sugar-free Jell-O
- Sugar-free Popsicles
- Crystal Light, Sugar-free Tang
- Mild tea (no cinnamon), green teas
- Low-sugar apple juice or cranberry juice
- Fruit ices (without chunks of fruit)
- Sugar-free Kool-Aid
Phase 2 Diet – Full Liquids Diet – 8 through 21 Days After Gastric Sleeve
In the second diet phase patients will transition from strictly clear liquids to soft foods (phase 3). This stage will focus on consuming more protein while consuming the required 64 daily ounces. In this stage you are focusing on consuming 60 to 70 grams of protein daily.
Things to Note:
- You must stay in this phase for 2 weeks. Talk with your dietician to determine whether you’re ready for soft foods.
- If you are lactose intolerant, you may have soy or rice milk instead of cow’s milk.
Approved Full Liquids:
- Milk-skim, 1% or 2 %
- Soy beverages
- Fruit juices without the pulp (low-sugar versions)
- Plain sugar free gelatin
- Creamed soups – blended so no chunks are present (these tend to be higher in calories, so watch the content; use low-fat or fat-free versions)
- Chunky soups – put in the blender and thin out with liquid (broth or water) (Use the meat and veggie types, not pastas or rice varieties.)
- Drinkable yogurt without fruit chunks
- Blended fruit smoothies
- Carnation Instant Breakfast
- Ice milk
- Popsicles made from sugar-free juices
- Egg custard – thin
- V-8 Juice
- Sugar-free hot cocoa
- Aktins® Advantage Shakes
- Slim-Fast®Low-Carb Shakes
- 100% whey protein powder
- Labrada® RTD Protein Shakes
- Hood® Low-Carb Chocolate Milk beverage – use with your protein powder to make a great shake (Walmart® carries these in the dairy section).
During this phase, it is important to drink a high quality, protein supplement. Your goal is 60 to 70 grams of protein each day (men should aim for 75 to 80 grams per day). Look for supplements that are low in carbohydrates and fewer than 150 calories while still providing at least 15 grams of protein.
Approved Protein Supplements:
- Body Fortress® 100% Whey Protein Powder
- 100% any whey protein powder (Isopure,® Nectar,® Unjury® )
- 100% Whey Protein Isolite Bullets®
Phase 3 – Soft Foods Diet – 22 to 28 Days After Surgery
This diet phase focuses focus on the transition from liquids to soft foods. These foods and guidelines re existing to all the foods/liquids listed in the previous two phases. Patients should consume 60 to 70 grams of protein while minimizing carbs, fat and sugar. Your daily intake of carbohydrates should still be less than 40 grams per day and daily intake of fats less than 30 grams per day.
Approved Soft Foods (in small portions) include:
- Scrambled eggs (soft, boiled, poached)
- Egg salad
- Tuna fish moistened well with low-fat mayo
- Chicken salad, salmon moistened with low-fat mayo
- Low-Fat Cottage cheese
- Mild low-fat cheese
- Fruit (mashed, can – anything soft)
- Veggies (mashed, can, and slow cooked to tenderize)
- Refried beans with a bit of low-fat cheese
- Meats pressure cooked to tenderize
- Sweet potatoes, and potatoes (mashed – only)
- Yogurt (no frozen)
Things To Keep In Mind With Phase 3
Ideally three meals per day should be consumed, however some patients may have five meals per day. Also, depending on how active you are, you may include a shake to the 3 daily meals. It is important to only eat until you feel full and no more!
Your goal in this phase is to eat a high protein, low sugar, low fat and low carb diet. Never eat and drink at the same time. Also, never eat more than 4 ounces of food at once. Chew your food thoroughly. Aim for 600-800 calories daily. Never eat before bed and avoid any spicy food. Always check your labels before consumption for high fat, sugar or carbohydrates levels.
Phase 4 – Solid Foods Diet – 29 Days Later and After
By this stage your stomach should be in better shape to handle solid foods. From now on, these foods are the foods you’re going to be eating for the rest of your life. Ultimately, you can consume a healthy, well-balanced diet in small portions. At this point, you should be choosing lean meat and vegetable protein options as well as fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy items. Avoid empty calories such as things full of sugar or fat. Each meal you consume should have at least three ounces of protein.
Try to Avoid These Foods (to increase weight loss):
- Peanut butter
- Hot dogs
- Breaded & fried foods
- Fast food
- Pork rinds
- Potato chips/pretzels
- Candy, cakes, cookies, ice cream (including sugar free)
- Heavy sauces & gravy (i.e. Alfredo)
- Fruit Juice
Successful Eating Behaviors
In order to continue your weight loss endeavor, you must learn some behaviors that help promote weight loss. The first is to eat slowly and to pay attention to when you’re full. It’s no secret that when you’re full, you should stop eating. When you have endured gastric sleeve, you may become nausea or violently ill if you overeat.
Take time to chew your food thoroughly, not only does it helps you digest better, but also helps your body determine when it is full faster. Stay away from beverages when you eat. If you fill up with liquids, you won’t be able to have any room for your food. Be sure you’re drinking enough liquids in between meals to avoid dehydration.
Guide to Gastric Sleeve Surgery: