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

 

15 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

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