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Details of the Bariatric Surgery Diet

The Tijuana Bariatric Center provides bariatric surgeries at a fraction of the cost of treatment in the U.S. Patients can expect guidance from their initial consultation until well after the surgical procedure. In order to maintain the proper bariatric surgery diet, patients communicate with a qualified nutritionist working with the Tijuana, Mexico, practice. Following specific guidelines will speed weight loss and also minimize your risk of complications.

Why are Dietary Changes Needed?

Patients who have undergone bariatric weight loss surgery must follow a special diet. Sticking to this diet is very important for the patient’s recovery and weight loss success. The bariatric surgery diet is separated into stages so that the patient can eventually eat solid foods. How long it takes a patient to complete each stage depends on the patient’s healing time and the time it takes for the body to adjust to the new diet. In addition to following a specific diet, bariatric surgery patients must make sure that they drink enough fluids during the day so they do not get dehydrated.

Post-Bariatric Surgery Diet

Following their procedure, patients will need to adhere to a specific post-bariatric surgery diet. There is an initial transitional diet for the first 40 days, after which patients can return to a more normal diet with restrictions. Patients will need to continue healthy eating habits to maintain a healthy weight. *Note: There is no guarantee of Specific Results. Results can vary for each individual.

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A Closer Look at the Diet

For the first few days after surgery, you must follow a liquids-only diet, starting with clear liquids such as broth and water. If clear liquids are tolerated, the patient may drink other liquids such as low- or fat-free milk.

Bowl of cream of asparagus soup
Patients will need to eat a liquid-based diet in the weeks following their surgical procedure.

The next stage of the diet involves eating strained and pureed foods. These foods must be thoroughly mashed and contain no solid pieces. Recommended foods to puree include lean ground meats, fish, beans, eggs, cottage cheese, soft fruits, and cooked vegetables. These foods can be mixed with liquids such as broth, water, non-fat milk, and juice that contains no added sugar. Spicy foods and dairy products may cause digestive problems, so it is recommended that patients add these to their diet slowly. Throughout every stage of the diet, it is important for patients to drink plenty of fluids, but to wait for 30 minutes after eating to drink anything.

In a few weeks, after receiving a doctor’s approval, the patient can start eating soft foods such as canned or soft fruit (no seeds or skin), cooked vegetables (no skin), and ground or finely diced meat. These foods must be soft and easy to chew.

Following specific dietary guidelines after bariatric surgery will speed weight loss and also minimize your risk of complications.

Generally, about eight weeks after the surgery, patients can gradually start eating firmer foods. The food must still be chopped or diced, and the patient should start slowly to ensure that the new foods will be tolerated. Patients will still need to avoid popcorn, nuts and seeds, dried fruits, carbonated drinks, fried foods, breads, granola, fibrous or stringy vegetables, and tough meats. These foods may cause pain, nausea, or vomiting.

Approximately three to four months after bariatric surgery, patients may be able to tolerate a normal diet, with a few exceptions. Patients should eat small meals and stop eating before feeling full. To avoid dehydration, they should drink six to eight cups of fluids per day, but not while eating. Since the opening from the stomach to the intestine will be smaller, patients need to chew their food thoroughly to prevent any blockages. Foods will need to refrain from foods which are high in sugar and fat, and consume plenty of protein-rich foods like chicken, pork, fish, beans, and low-fat cheese.

Most patients will need to take a multivitamin supplement each day. Some patients may need additional supplements such as calcium. In order to keep the weight off, it is important for patients to stick with their new healthy eating habits.

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For additional information regarding the bariatric surgery diet, benefits, and risks of the procedure, contact the Tijuana Bariatric Center today.

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