Restrictive surgeries, such as gastric sleeve surgery, helps to lose weight by reducing the size of the stomach. After the surgery, you’re able to eat anything you want, but not as much as before. However, the success of the operation depends on your food choices, whether you choose junk, or healthy foods. To achieve maximum weight loss and avoid any complications, here’s a guide detailing what to eat and what to avoid in your gastric sleeve diet.
Phase One: Liquid Diet
Immediately following surgery, your digestive system won’t be ready to handle any solid foods, so your doctor will instruct you to consume mostly liquids. The goal is to stay hydrated as much as possible, to help your stomach heal, and get sufficient protein to prevent muscle tissue from degrading.
On a daily basis, it’s recommended that you consume up to 1.8 liters of water (all other foods included). Other than water, you’re allowed to drink sugar-free fruit juices, green tea, chicken and beef broth and skimmed milk. Foods to avoid during this phase include alcohol, sugary and high-fat beverages, as well as coffee.
Phase Two: Soft Food Diet
Between the second and third weeks after surgery, you’ll be ready to shift from liquids to soft foods. All the foods in phase one are acceptable here, plus some low-sugar, low-fat and high-protein foods. The doctor will usually recommend foods such as eggs, beans, soft turkey or chicken, baked fish, fruit smoothies (avoid citrus fruits), protein supplements, or yogurt.
It’s important that you eat in small amounts (2 oz) at a time, ensuring that you chew food well. Once you feel full, stop eating immediately. In addition, avoid starchy and greasy foods like, bread, potatoes, rice as well as, all fried and greasy foods.
Phase Three: Healthy Solid Food Diet
Between the fourth and sixth week, your body will be fully ready to take in solid foods. However, because this phase continues for the rest of your life, the choice of foods are entirely up to you. You’ll want to concentrate on foods that are nutritious, healthy and high in protein, fruits and vegetables.
Always remember to eat in small quantities, slowly, and stop when you feel full. This will prevent you from experiencing stomach pains, vomiting, nausea and stomach stretching.
Recommended Calorie Intake
For best results of your weight loss efforts, avoid overeating or depriving your body of the nutrients it requires. During the first year after the surgery, your daily calorie intake should not exceed 800 calories. This is the time when weight loss occurs most, and therefore, fewer calories are required to enhance the weight loss numbers.
After the first year, it’s recommended that you consume not more than 1200 calories daily to help sustain a proper nutrition without gaining weight.
Overall, the success of your weight loss after the surgery depends on whether you strictly follow your gastric sleeve diet or not. For best results, always follow your doctor’s instructions.