The newly-created anastomosis enables food to bypass the stomach and go straight into your intestines. As a result, you don’t absorb as many calories from your food and you feel fuller more easily.
Gastric bypass surgery is a major procedure and it requires a life-long change in your lifestyle and dietary habits to ensure the weight loss is sustainable.
After your gastric bypass surgery, you will work closely with a dietitian who will provide you will expert nutritional guidance. In the post-surgery period, you will need to follow something called the gastric bypass diet.
This is a special diet that every gastric bypass patient must follow to reduce the risk of complications and ensure a speedy recovery after bariatric surgery.
The gastric bypass diet can be split into weeks. Each week focuses on a specific group of liquids or foods to slowly build up your new stomach’s tolerance to solid foods.
Before you start eating solid foods, your dietitian might recommend the best unflavored protein powder for bariatric patients or multivitamin tablets. Taking supplements will help you to get enough nutrients to stay healthy.
Here is a week-by-week breakdown of the gastric bypass diet.
During the first week after your surgery, you will be on a clear liquid-only diet. Your stomach is highly sensitive and can only handle water, decaffeinated tea, coffee, or squash at this point.
Sticking to clear liquids reduces the risk of complications and pain in the post-surgery period. At this stage, you should not be consuming fizzy drinks, so sparkling water or soda water is out of the picture.
Two weeks post-surgery, you can start drinking thicker beverages, such as milk and smoothies. You can also incorporate smooth soups, yogurt, and ice cream into your diet.
When you reach the third week after your surgery, you can start to shift into a diet of puréed or soft foods. Some commonly consumed foods during week three include:
- Scrambled eggs
- Scrambled tofu
- Thicker soups
- Mashed potato
- Soft cereals
- Mashed fruit, such as berries, bananas, and avocadoes
- Pureed meals
At this stage, caffeinated or alcoholic beverages are still not advised as your stomach will still be fairly sensitive.
When you reach four weeks after your gastric bypass surgery, your dietitian will advise you to move away from liquids and pureed foods into a diet of soft foods. You can incorporate things like minced meat, hard-boiled eggs, cereals, and cooked vegetables into your meals.
At this stage, you can also start to add caffeine into your diet. You should start off with minimal amounts of caffeine to begin with and gradually increase your dosage over time if you wish.
By week five, you have reached the end of the gastric bypass diet. By now, you can start transitioning back into a normal diet with solid foods. Try to consume smaller, more frequent meals and avoid consuming too much sugar in one sitting.