Eating After Weight Loss Surgery: The Early Weeks

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Eating After Weight Loss Surgery: The Early Weeks

Sources: National Institute of Health / Mayo Clinic

Eating right is always key for good health. But after weight loss surgery it becomes even more important for your overall health and for achieving a long-term successful outcome. Be sure to follow your physician’s guidelines and if you aren’t sure, give us a call here and we’ll be happy to help you.

For the first few days after your surgery you’ll be limited to drinking clear liquids in small amounts. When you’re at the point where your system can handle clear liquid, you may start bringing other liquids back into your diet. They still to be fairly light. Skim milk and low fat milk can be a good place to start.

During the next stage you can begin to try other liquids, including broth, unsweetened juice or even decaffeinated coffee or tea. Your food intake will still need to be very light, and may include items like strained soups, sugar-free gelatin, sugar-free popsicles and pureed foods. Be sure to focus on foods that are pureed and have the consistency of a smooth paste or a thick liquid. The foods should not contain any solid pieces.

According to the National Health Institute, when pureeing foods, keep in mind that they’ll need to be nutritious, high in protein and low in fat. Also, they’ll need to blend easily. Such foods include:

Lean ground meats
Soft fruits and cooked vegetables
Cottage cheese
Blend solid foods with a liquid, such as:

When you’re able to consume and digest pureed foods and light liquids like those mentioned able, you should meet with your physician to determine if it is time to move on to eating soft foods. Soft foods will include small, easily chewed portions of healthy selections. Consider ground or diced meats, soft fresh fruit (no seeds or skin) or thoroughly cooked vegetables (without the skin).

Weight loss surgery is only the beginning. It is a journey to a new life and one that we, as your physicians, should be a part of the entire way. So, whenever you have a question or concern, please call or email us whether your surgery was 5 days ago, 5 months ago or 5 years back. We’re here for you and want to do everything we an to ensure long-term positive results for you

Heber D, et al. (2010). Endocrine and nutritional management of the post-bariatric surgery patient: An Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 95(11): 4823–4843. Available online:

Mechanick JI, Kushner RF, Sugerman HJ, Gonzalez-Campoy JM, et al. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists; Obesity Society; American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, The Obesity Society, and American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery medical guidelines for clinical practice for the perioperative nutritional, metabolic, and nonsurgical support of the bariatric surgery patient. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2009 Apr;17 Suppl 1:S1-70. PMID: 19319140

Update Date 10/14/2014

Updated by: Ann Rogers, MD, Professor of Surgery; Director, PennState Surgical Weight Loss Program, PennStateMiltonS.HersheyMedicalCenter, Hershey, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.