6 Foods to Eat After Your Gastric Bypass
As your stomach continues to heal post-surgery, you may find you can tolerate a few new foods. Sticking to your gastric bypass diet is crucial to keep the weight off and stay healthy. In general, once you are fully healed from gastric bypass surgery, you can expect to eat an average of 800 to 1,200 calories per day.
For the first several days after gastric bypass surgery, you can eat only clear liquids such as broth, tea and ice pops. Some physicians also allow nonfat milk. Each serving size is only 2 to 3 ounces initially.
Pureed proteins are typically added to your diet in the second week. These may include egg whites, nonfat cheeses and nonfat cottage cheese, all of which must be pureed with clear liquids such as water or broth. Some doctors also allow pureed lean meats, fish and beans. These proteins are necessary to help your body heal after surgery.
Some doctors recommend alternating the pureed proteins with more traditional protein shakes. Beginning the second week of recovery, you also need to take a multivitamin with iron every day, as well as calcium pills; the two different supplements should not be taken at the same time, however.
After several weeks eating just pureed foods, your doctor is likely to allow you to add soft foods to your diet. Again, the emphasis is on protein. These foods may include ground meat, soft or canned fruits, and well-cooked vegetables. The test for foods during this stage, which typically occurs during the fourth and fifth weeks after surgery, is whether you can mash the food with the back of a fork.
After about eight weeks, you may start to add solid foods to your diet. Add them gradually, and start with very bland foods. Adding foods gradually helps you determine what you can tolerate. You must stick to a rigid eating schedule once you've reintroduced solid foods, and you must eat very slowly and chew thoroughly to avoid gastric or intestinal distress. Once you begin to reintroduce solid foods to your diet, you may find you get full very fast.
Foods for the Long Haul
As you develop new eating habits after recovering from gastric bypass surgery, you're likely to find yourself eating far less than previously consumed; this is because your stomach can now only hold about 1 cup of chewed food. Continue to add foods one at a time, consuming mainly lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. Avoid nuts, dried fruits, fried foods, popcorn and carbonated beverages.
A gastric bypass diet is specially designed to help patients recovering from gastric bypass operations adjust to their new digestive system and learn how they must eat going forward. Because the stomach is made significantly smaller by a gastric bypass, it can't handle the same amounts or types of foods the patient ate before your bypass. Following a gastric bypass diet is crucial for the first five to six weeks after the surgery to avoid putting any pressure on the reduced stomach. It also helps teach new healthy eating habits to stay in good health in the future.