Gastric bypass surgery involves reducing the size of the stomach and reconnecting or bypassing it to the small intestine. Having a smaller stomach means lesser food intake because you will feel full even when you only eat small amounts of food. However, the procedure alone will not guarantee success. Following a strict diet meant for gastric bypass patients will ensure your weight-loss success and lessen the onset of side effects such as dehydration, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, ulcers and gastritis.
After undergoing gastric bypass surgery, the hospital staff will give you clear liquids to see how you tolerate eating. Sip slowly (about 2 to 3 oz. at a time) on clear liquids such as water, broth, unsweetened juices and diet drinks. Pay attention to your feelings of fullness after every sip. You will gradually transition to the liquefied diet.
Your doctor may recommend a modified liquid diet for approximately four weeks after your gastric bypass surgery. This diet may consist of combined, blended and pureed food. Crushed fish (tuna), poultry (minced chicken) or pork blended with low-fat cottage cheese, mashed tofu, pureed egg or its substitute mixed with soft or overcooked vegetables are examples of liquefied food combinations. Limit the calorie intake by using skimmed milk or low-fat yogurt instead of condensed or whole milk. Avoid peanut butter and ice cream or anything sweet because the stomach is not yet ready to digest these kinds of food.
Semi-Solid or Soft Food
After four weeks have lapsed, you can gradually transition from liquefied food to soft food. Eating soft food such as soft-boiled eggs or boiled cauliflower together with broth and sugar-free juices will help regulate your newly shrunken stomach’s food tolerance during the post-operative stage. Choose food with low fat and sugar content. Do not eat crunchy food, bread, meat and rice because they do not digest easily.
Two to three months after undergoing surgery, your doctor may allow you to start transitioning to solid food. Your breakfast may now consist of a combination of small banana and low-fat yogurt or granary toast (bread made from granary flour) with sugar-free jam or cereals with skimmed milk or grapefruit and toast with poached egg.
Eat boiled, baked or mashed potatoes instead of fried potatoes. Choose well-cooked, whole-wheat pasta instead of the regular pastas. Eating rice at this stage is possible, provided you cook it well. Do not eat creamy soups that have high fat contents. Avoid eating chips and other junk foods because they are usually greasy and salty, making them harder to digest.
Drink a fair amount of fluids in between meals, especially during the first four weeks after your operation. Avoid carbonated beverages, but opt for water, skimmed milk and diluted juices instead. Drinking up to eight cups of fluids per day will help prevent dehydration. Wait 30 minutes before you drink your fluids before and after every meal. If you drink sooner than 30 minutes before and after each meal, your stomach pouch will fill up prematurely, causing dumping syndrome, which causes food to wash quickly through the intestines. Dumping syndrome may cause urgent diarrhea, nausea, lightheadedness, flushing and stomach cramps.