Medium Term Post Bariatric Surgery Diet

MEDIUM TERM POST BARIATRIC SURGERY DIET: SOFT FOODS

Banana CustardIf you do not experience any problems with the Stage 1 ‘Fluids’ regime then you will quickly move onto the second stage which incorporates smooth, pureed, soft and then crispy food, typically called the ‘SOFT FOOD’ stage.

This stage is typically followed for about 2-6 weeks after surgery, although again always follow your bariatric team’s advice on when to start and when to move on.

Start slowly and make sure initially that your food choices are soft and loose – first stage baby food texture is what you are aiming for here. Progress to foods that can be easily crushed with a fork or mixed to a ‘slurry’ with milk, gravy or sauce. Don’t be put off when something doesn’t suit…try it again a few days later. Ironically some days something goes down easily and the next time it doesn’t. Learn to listen to your body and its signals of satisfaction or upset.

You will still need to be aiming for at least 2 litres of liquids a day in addition to these small ‘meals’. Don’t drink for 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after and aim for 4-6 small ‘meals’ per day.

Eat slowly and as soon as you are full STOP EATING! Just one extra teaspoon of food can send your system into overload and there is no pleasant way of saying this…what went down will come back up or make you feel very uncomfortable! Remember your new stomach pouch is only about the size of an egg cup.

You may find it very convenient to freeze soft meals in ice cube trays for this stage. We found a stash of these, prepared before surgery, so helpful in the coming weeks. Meals in this form can be prepared quickly for serving, variety is ensured rather than the relentless round of the same-old and wastage is reduced to a minimum.

Listed below are some good food choices for the ‘Soft Food’ stage. Introduce these foods gradually replacing them as the days progress with ones that have more texture and flavour. Try to have 3 meals per day (ramekin or small tea plate size).

Crispy foods, which will fall to bits in water, such as Melba Toast, crispbreads, cream crackers and bread sticks can also be introduced in the latter days of Stage 2. Chew them thoroughly until reduced to a smooth puree in your mouth. Don’t mistake them for crunchy foods e.g. fruit and salad which would cause problems at this stage.

This is the stage I believe you really should start looking at preparing your own recipes from scratch, that way you know exactly what is in them. Many processed foods and ready type meals have hidden sugars and fats to make them taste good but can be a banana skin for the weight-loss surgery patient. Try a few simple recipes to begin with or become extra vigilant at deciphering the back of pack nutritional information of a food. You’re aiming for low-fat (as a guideline less than 3% fat i.e. less than 3 g per 100 g listed). As for sugar toleration levels vary dramatically but I wouldn’t venture beyond the 6-7 g hit per portion. It is thought that at levels beyond 10-15 g you have a strong likelihood of bypass and sleeve ‘dumping’ syndrome and it won’t help those with a gastric band to keep their calorie count low.

GOOD CHOICES OF SOFT FOODS

  • Weetabix, porridge, Ready Brek with plenty of skimmed or semi-skimmed
    milk to make a runny consistency
  • mashed banana with a little yogurt if liked or with a low-fat and low-sugar custard
  • very soft cooked scrambled egg
  • finely minced or pureed chicken or turkey in gravy
  • pureed fish in a thin sauce
  • pureed canned fish e.g. tuna, pilchards, salmon or mackerel in a thin tomato
    sauce
  • soft and smooth low-fat pate or spread
  • plain low-fat cottage cheese
  • pureed mashed potato and thin gravy
  • pureed canned and very tender boiled vegetables such as carrot and
    cauliflower
  • low-fat and low-sugar fromage frais
  • light and smooth low-fat and low-sugar mousse made with milk
  • warmed mashed potato mixed with grated low-fat cheese or low-fat cream
    cheese
  • milky pudding such as tapioca, sago or rice but keep sugar to a minimum
  • pureed cauliflower cheese in a low-fat cheese sauce
  • pureed, thickened or soft piece vegetable and chicken soups
  • pureed casserole and stew dishes of a thinnish consistency
  • very gently cooked and soft plain omelette
  • poached egg or a soft-boiled one
  • soft beans, lentils and peas, pureed or mashed for a little texture
  • thick fruit smoothies
  • pureed avocado
  • small portions of home-cooked or ready-prepared and pureed main dishes
    like cottage pie, shepherd’s pie, fish pie, fish-in-sauce, mild chilli con carne
    or their vegetarian alternatives made with quorn
  • low-sugar sorbets
  • silken or smooth tofu
  • crispy foods like crispbreads, Melba Toast, cream crackers and breadsticks
IN ADDITION TO A DAILY MULTI-VITAMIN AND CALCIUM SUPPLEMENT

 

39 responses to Medium Term Post Bariatric Surgery Diet

  1. I found this site while looking for recipes in advance of having my bariatric surgery in about 12 weeks time. I would just like to say your recipes sound so delicious even the pureed ones, which is the stage I’m least looking forward to but now I’m quite looking forward to it! I’ve read your story of your fight with weight loss over the years and can see myself in it which I’m sure a lot of bariatric surgery patients can. The products you sell will also be useful to me so I will be purchasing some of them including your recipe books! Thank you for being an inspiration to me. I was feeling a tad nervous about going through the surgery and what to eat afterwards as I live alone but your recipes are all ones that I can divide into portions, freeze and use at a later date especially the soups as I am a homemade soup lover. Once again thank you for the advice, tips and recipes and I will be popping back looking for more recipes! Here is to a great weight loss 2014 for all us bariatric surgery patients!

  2. My list for eating in the amber/soft foods stage also has:

    Old ElPaso Refried Beans with a bit of sweet chilli sauce and mashed avocado

    Pumpkin soup with smooth low-fat ricotta cheese

    Custard made with lots of egg yolks is top of my list and I serve it with pureed canned apricots or pureed apple

    Mashed boiled eggs with Caesar salad dressing

  3. These sound wonderfully tasty Louise and I think would also make great choices for later if left with more texture. I am going to try the refried beans idea for sure. Thanks for sharing! CAROL

  4. None of these foods are on my list for stage 2. In addition to the clear liquids from stage 1, my doctor gave me a (small) list of what to introduce in stage 2 and how many days into stage 2 that I can add them! I will stay with what my doctor recommended for this part of my recovery. However I will come back to this site down the road because the food choices look good!

  5. Brenda surgeons and bariatric teams differ quite appreciably in terms of what they recommend, at what stage and over time. You should always stay with what your team has prescribed for you – they know your medical history, your operation type and many other personal details which means you have a bespoke plan. I have tried to come up with something that is very similar to many and has been endorsed by countless teams worldwide. We all also differ appreciably with what we can tolerate too within these recommendations – two patients having the same ops on the same day with the same surgeon will doubtless have different consequences and journeys. Good luck with your stages – stage 2 can be a bit tricky and boring but there is much to look forward to – I hope you’ll be back to try out some of the later stage recipes and advice. Wishing you well with your weight-loss and ‘new life’. C x

  6. I am two weeks post op after a gastric sleeve and doing great. I can eat cottage cheese, apple sauce, pinto beans with a bit of melted cheese, boiled egg mashed, grits, mashed potatoes, banana mashed, Greek yogurt and few other items. I can only eat about 5-6 oz, 3 times a day, or I start to ‘sweat’.

  7. Sounds like you’re doing really well Donna and great that you’re getting lots of protein and variety. Won’t be too long before you’re onto the final stage, what I call ‘Food for Life’. Thanks for sharing and keep in touch. C x

  8. I’m three weeks post-op and I can eat Greek yogurt, refried beans with low-fat cheese (my favorite), soft boiled eggs, jello fat-free pudding, mashed potato and sweet potato, malt-o-meal and oatmeal with plenty of milk – 1% fat. I don’t feel like I’m getting enough fluids sometimes, because I don’t feel like eating. Lately, I’ve been feeling very sluggish and only want to sleep but know I need to move around. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. I don’t like feeling tired all the time.

  9. It sounds like you’re doing well Gigi – lot’s of variety and it will get easier as time passes. We have lots of ideas on the website for soft and pureed foods (look under the Amber recipes section on the recipes page). It’s not unusual to feel a bit tired and sluggish in the early days after surgery (it has been major surgery and takes some recovering from). Do try to keep your protein levels up and hydrate well – try flavoured teas, flavoured water, sugar-free cordials and well diluted fruit juice when water seems too boring. Tiredness can also be due to depleted B12 vitamins so you might want to consider asking for a supplement to help with this. It is essential that you keep taking your vitamin and mineral supplements daily. I have a multi-vitamin, calcium citrate one, easy iron, and B12 spray vitamin as basics. I hope you’ve subscribed for our free newsletter too (home page top right hand corner) because we have lots of recipes in the pipeline that would suit your stage of recovery and the next one is going out shortly. C x

  10. I am 4 wks post surgery and down 26kgs. As I am 4 wks post I should be just off the pureed and soft foods and building up to normal type things like toast and slightly blitzed casseroles. But even now it still seems to get things stuck which generally ends in my throwing them back up. Which leaves me with very low energy from day to day. Any ideas? Any recipes I should try?

  11. Hi Cameron, it really is very early days for you and I wouldn’t worry about moving onto more normal type food too quickly. 4 weeks out is still early days and whilst it’s frustrating when food doesn’t stay down it is usually a sign that you’re not quite ready for it, have eaten it too quickly or not chewed enough. I would stick with the amber foods (soft and pureed) for now until your pouch heals really well and you are comfortable with digesting them well. I stayed on soft foods up to about 8 weeks before moving on. Check out all the recipes in the Amber section for some ideas (as well as the Amber advice feature). I would focus on soups, smoothies, soft dishes like cheesy mash and mashed beans and for breakfast look at yogurts with food purees and Weetabix. Gradually make these dishes more textured and chunkier and before you know it you’ll be eating soft casseroles, stews and toast (but try crispbreads first). I am about to post 7 smoothie type recipes on Thursday (just need to get Bonfire night ideas out of the way first) which might help you – they are full of nutrition and a variety of ingredients – look out for them! C x

  12. Thanks Carol, yes I’m getting pretty frustrated atm with what I have been told I should be able to eat but just can’t. If you telling me that 8 weeks is a better guide line than thats what I will try to set for. I have not problem eating my cruskits which is good from some texture and something different than just liquids. I even find it hard to down a pureed meal as i don’t like the texture.
    Hopefully it turns around quick.

  13. I wouldn’t say it’s a better guide Cameron and I urge you to always take the advice of your team – they know you and your surgery far better than I. However I would repeat that we all have different experiences and don’t always reach the stages after surgery at the same time. Some progress through them quickly and others need and take more time. I’m sure as you heal you’ll manage better and when you can tolerate more texture your meals will become much more enjoyable too – strive to make them more textured so that you don’t get stuck in the liquids stage. C x

  14. Hi all. I’m nearly at the end of Stage 1 after gastric bypass which has been hard as my surgeon just wants clear fluids. I’m looking for suggestions for Stage 2 which I assume will be just puree but could be wrong. I’m not sure what I will be able to have for Xmas lunch either. Many thanks, Sharon

  15. Hi Sharon, there’s lots of advice and many recipes on here for the Stage 2 puree and soft foods stage. Initially go to the home page, click on recipes on the top bar and then go to the Medium Term option. Within there you will find a link to click through to bariatric soft food which has lots of basic advice and food suggestions or click here to go to it http://www.bariatriccookery.com/recipes/medium-term-post-bariatric-surgery-diet After that if you click on the amber bariatric recipes you will be taken to all the recipes on the website that are suitable for this stage – there are plenty! As for Christmas lunch I was also at this stage some 5 years ago at Christmas time and it didn’t prove to be a problem. I simply had a little turkey (soft dark meat rather than drier breast), a little bit (like a teaspoon of stuffing), a bit of mashed roast potato and a few very finely chopped vegetables with lots of gravy to moisten and it was a treat. I chewed extremely well so that the consistency was a bit like apple sauce and just had enough to satisfy. I did beforehand also buy a Christmas soup (from M & S) I think as back-up – it had all the flavours of a Christmas lunch in a soft soup form. Hope this helps – let me know how you get on. Do you also subscribe for the free newsletter (home page top right hand corner) – there’s lots of advice on the latest (and links to previous ones) on how to survive this holiday time of the year. Do keep in touch and let me know how you get on. C x

  16. I’m 5 days post opp and starving, all the liquids are starting to make me sick, I can’t wait until Monday and start on soft foods but I’m a picky eater and scared I’m not going to like anything.

  17. Hi Christina, so today’s the day! Undoubtedly the first few weeks after surgery are the toughest when you often struggle to find something to nourish yourself with. I found liquids reasonably easy because you can opt for sweet or savoury but it does become very boring. Thankfully the soft stage has arrived which gives you more flexibility and variety even as a picky eater. It will still be a bit tricky but should prove easier to find something to tempt you. The upside with such a disinterest in food your weight-loss will be good. It is really important at this stage to take things very easy – imagine you are weaning a baby and that smooth textures are essential at first introducing more texture as time goes on – eventually you’ll be having textured food that you really need to chew. Some flavours will no doubt disappoint you and others delight but don’t abandon them if you don’t at first like, do try them again later for tastes do change and you do need to keep variety in your diet to ensure good nourishment. Some guidelines and ideas can be seen here http://www.bariatriccookery.com/recipes/medium-term-post-bariatric-surgery-diet and the recipes to look for are coded as amber or medium term ones. Many are soups, purees, custards etc but there are also soft egg dishes, ice creams and savoury mixtures. Good luck and let me know how you are getting on. C x

  18. Hi I am in my 3rd week post band surgery. Still on blended food and not finding it hard really. Looking forward to trying out your recipes. I have been making a big pan full of chicken and veg soup and dividing it into 9oz portions blended. I haven’t had my first fill yet so maybe my portion size will get smaller after that. I have lost a stone so far.

  19. Sounds like it is going really well Janet! Portion size may well get smaller with more restriction after your first fill but it’s good you’re enjoying your food and not finding it too tricky. Hopefully won’t be too long before you find your ‘sweet spot’ too where you lose weight comfortably and can enjoy your food too. Do keep in touch, good luck with the continued loss and fill, and enjoy browsing the site for some inspiration in the weeks and months to come. C x

  20. michelle morrison March 24, 2016 at 3:38 am

    I am dairy and protein intolerant and can’t tolerate any sugar at all. I have tried lactose free and still no good. I’m on week 2 of the puree stage and cant get much in. Any suggestions please?

  21. Hi Michelle,
    I haven’t come across anyone to date who is protein intolerant and therefore have no experience with protein-free diets (if they exist or are even recommended). Since protein is the building block of all body cells it’s required on a fundamental level. Maybe you mean you have problems with gluten or something else? The best people to help are your bariatric team and the dietician and nutritionist in particular. I’m sorry I can’t help any further at this stage. If you give me some idea as to what they recommend then I can suggest some meal, recipe and eating ideas. C x

  22. Michelle, I suffer from the exact same issues! Protein drinks and powders makes me desperately ill since the bypass. My bypass was done for reasons other than weight loss, not that it matters, the issues are the same. To complicate things further I am also highly sensitive to artificial sweeteners! I’ve only found 1 protein drink with regular sugar but even with only 6 grams of sugar it caused dumping! I’m so frustrated and I’m truly in the “why did I do this” stage. I feel I have to eat food, ready or not, because I’m getting nowhere near my protein requirements trying to tolerate the drinks. My surgeon is having a difficult time believing that I have an intolerance to protein drinks and that makes my frustration even higher! Good luck to you, just wanted to let you know you’re not alone, good luck.

  23. Hi there! I am 4 weeks post op from a laparoscopic gastric sleeve and doing great! My only problem has been that I am now intolerant of any and all types of sugar substitutes like sucralose or aspartame etc. So since most protein shakes have this I’ve been reduced to very few options other than tasteless options or Ensure High Protein which isn’t ideal but my doctor said it was better than nothing.

    What I’ve noticed in my journey is that my tastes have changed significantly. Like I couldn’t stand the smell of butterscotch but now I had a butterscotch pudding without much fuss at all. Sucralose was a daily thing for me because I used Splenda all the time and now it basically makes me nauseous and I have to rinse out my mouth.

    Has anyone else experienced a drastic change in tastes??

  24. Hi Mariza, in the early days after surgery I certainly noticed a change in tastes – some foods tasted really quite different but that has settled over time. What I did find was that I needed or yearned for stronger flavours to satisfy my tastebuds (maybe to compensate for the small amount of food I was eating). I preferred much spicier food for sure. Anyone else experienced this? CAROL x

  25. I have a question, I am trying to find soft food recipes I can eat. I had the gastric sleeve surgery on May the 5th I have done well so far, but now I am on soft mushy food for a month and having trouble finding foods that I can cook, or a list for the grocery store I can pick up. I have no problem with decaf coffee, sugar free popsicles, sugar free jello pudding, but trying to find other stuff is kinda hard. Please help if you can . Thank you very much.

  26. Hi Leia, most of the general information that you require can be found on the website on this link which takes you to soft foods to eat after surgery http://www.bariatriccookery.com/recipes/medium-term-post-bariatric-surgery-diet You will also find lots of suitable recipes if you go to the recipes page and scroll down to the medium term amber bariatric recipes and click the button. This wil take you to a selection of recipes that you can consider. Sounds like you’re doing well and good luck with this next soft food stage. C x

  27. I’ve been post op for 2 weeks. They actually moved me from fluids to mushy after a week which was great but I’ve been going kinda crazy with eating pretty much the same things every day. This.post. has.saved. me! Omg thank you so much for posting this 🙂

  28. I’m now three weeks post op and seem to be having a difficult time. I just can’t seem to tolerate any of the soft foods they suggest. It repeats on me terribly and I have such an extreme case of nausea. The doctor’s office tells me to remain hydrated (Was in the ER yesterday getting fluids via IV) and they tell me to keep trying to eat. I can only tolerate applesauce and some protein shake. I’m going to the store right now to get potatoes. I feel my body needs comfort food. Now, the doctor doesn’t want me to eat that (carbs), but I’m desperate. The feeling of food constantly REPEATING on my is not a good one and the nausea…Good grief!

    I just want to get in a better place, but I just don’t know how.
    I’m just sad.

  29. Oh Vicky, I feel your pain and sadness. It’s so important to hydrate well or you can experience real problems so do keep sipping water or anything else that hydrates you as much as possible. I found frozen ice (sometimes flavoured) chips a Godsend in the early days. I also didn’t really enjoy the pureed stage but found a few dishes that got me through it. One of these was mashed potatoes with a little soft cheese stirred into it and I don’t really see the harm in having this for some nutrition and valuable protein. I know most teams don’t want you to go the comfort food/soft carbs route and understandably so but it doesn’t sound like you would abuse this so maybe just a little alongside your vegetable purees, apple sauce and maybe protein drink would help you along the way. I always advise that you follow your team’s advice so why not ask for a little more help with some suggestions foe this phase or request that they approve a little more leeway with trying some more comforting dishes like bean purees, mashed potato with cheese etc to help you through this tricky stage. C x

  30. Glad that you have found us Tina and hope you find some good recipes and advice to follow. Good luck with your sleeve op – it will be here before you know it! C x

  31. I had a RNY on 15 August 2016. I have not had any pain or discomfort and so far I have been happy with what I’m eating etc. However for the last few days I have been very depressed, crying a lot, can’t eat, drinking about 500-800ml of water. All food makes me want to throw up even the smell is getting to me. I feel listless and just want to curl up and die at the moment. Is this a side effect or is there something else wrong? I am seeing my team again on Weds. I did spend a few days in ICU because my bloods were too low and had a blood transfusion. Rgds Shaz

  32. Hi Sharon, You sound as if you had something of an ordeal and it’s hardly surprising that you feel more than a little shaken and tearful after surgery. Most of us have a tricky few days afterwards wondering if we did the right thing, struggling to find anything we want to eat or drink and our emotions are all over the place. I also experienced a lack of energy and the small of food was nauseating and pretty awful to be around. I can’t comment about your individual case because I don’t know enough about your medical background (nor am I a qualified medic) but I can say what you are experiencing is fairly typical and the team will no doubt reassure you on Weds that’s the case too – I’m pleased you have the opportunity to raise this with them so soon. I would be a little concerned however about how much hydration/water you’re getting – it doesn’t seem like nearly enough and I would encourage you to try and sip more and more and more. Lethargy often comes about due to dehydration and your body won’t heal well without more water taken in. Keep a water bottle by you at all times and sip as often as you can. I promise this does get better and this early healing stage does move on to easier times. Do however ask your team about anything specific. Let me know if I can help further … you know where I am. C x

  33. Hi,
    I had a RNY gastric bypass 4 weeks ago & am really struggling to eat.

    My dietitan has suggested that I try & eat little & often but I find this hard to do, as it gives me a migraine.

    For the past few years I’m much better off just having 2 meals a day.

    Is it ok to do this after a bypass?

    I woke up at 3.30 this morning with a bad migraine, mainly because I tried to eat little & often yesterday.

  34. Hi Julie, it really is early days for you and it would be so much better for you to follow what your dietician has recommended. Indeed I can’t ‘undo’ or go against your team’s recommendations since they know you and your surgery best and far better than me. Most teams will recommend a 3 meal and optional 2 snack meal pattern daily after bypass for healthy post-op eating so do try to give this a chance to work. I don’t know much about migraines and how they are linked to food consumption – speak to your team about your problems and they may well be happy to revise their advice and lessen the frequency if it helps. What is most important however is that you hydrate well – could it be the migraines are linked to thirst or lack of hydration? Sip water as much as you during these early days. Hope this helps. C x

  35. Hi Carol,
    Thank you for the tips.

  36. Not everything here is on my approved list, and I will be following my team’s advice…but the stuff that is? I can work with that!!

    Great info! Stage 2 soft foods start for me in 4 days. Looking forward to moving back towards regular eating.

  37. Hi Kevin, hello and welcome! You’re right that every team gives out differing advice and it’s really important to follow your own team’s recommendations – they know you and your surgery. Here’s hoping your gradual return to ‘food for life’ is a good one. Come back from time to time to see some of our recipes, advice and check out our products that will help. Sign up for the free newsletter too it has lots of seasonal ideas for current eating. C x

  38. I am nearly 6 weeks post op and I have lost only 15 kilograms (and this includes 6 kilos lost in pre-op). I can only manage 400 calories a day and throw up any animal protein. I am envious of those with large weight loss.

  39. Heavens Christine I would be delighted with a 15kg loss in just 6 weeks – what and where else would you lose that amount in such a short time? i suspect that you may well be comparing yourself with others who have lost more but please don’t fall into that trap – others may not have had the same surgery, may have more to lose, have different issues and metabolism etc etc. Weight loss varies enormously from one patient to another even on the same regime and there are no predictors to explain this. Just keep to your prescribed regime following all the guidelines relating to food choice, rules etc and the weight will come off – sometimes it will be fast, sometimes slow and occasionally stall – just keep the faith. Your intake does seem a little low at just 400 calories (even though you are early post-op) and maybe you should look at supplementing this with a high protein (low fat and low sugar) shake if that’s all you can manage. Believe it or not the body doesn’t like to go into starvation mode and so hangs onto its reserves for dear life, so just upping this may encourage it to release some fat. As for the sickness are you eating too quickly? Follow the 20:20:20 rule to slow down if that’s the case. If you’ve had a band then it may be that your restriction is too high and can be changed at a further appointment but since I don’t know it’s hard to say and anyway your team will advise on this. If you continue to be sick in this way then do contact your team for advice – most will be more than happy to help they have a vested interest in your surgery being a success. If it helps to know my weight-loss was fairly similar to yours in the same time span and I only lost 3 kg on the liver reduction diet (a wls buddy lost 10 kg so I recall well how disappointed I felt and how frustrated you feel). Hope this helps and if I can advise on food choices further then you know where I am. C x

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